Category Archives: New

…..news letter #661 – copwolf…..

Well, I suppose there were AS many big new releases this week as the last few, but there’s still some pretty awesome stuff in. As you may also have noticed, the Black Friday Record Store Day list is now floating around. If there is something you would like to see us bring in that isn’t something we would already obviously be bringing in, be sure to let us know!

…..pick of the week…..
plastic cloud

Plastic Cloud: s/t (Lion) LP
Another totally killer slab of Canadian psych that everyone needs! “Bay Ridge, Ontario’s contribution to the psychedelic pantheon, their self-titled LP (Allied/1968) is a swirl of gossamer vocals and Tolkien references, swathed in the some of the most relentless fuzz guitar you will ever hear. We feel it’s about time this fine record got the compact disc treatment it deserves, so we’ve gone all out for this reissue — newly remastered from the tapes and the accompanying twenty-page booklet has all the lyrics, thanks to Don Brewer, the man who wrote them, as well as rare photos and a replica of the original press release that must be seen to be believed. Essential psychedelia.”

File Under: Psych, Garage, CanCon, Raerz
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…..new arrivals……

winged victory

A Winged Victory For The Sullen: Atomos (Kranky) LP/CD
IN TOMORROW! After releasing a first glimpse in the form of the Atomos VII EP earlier this year, A Winged Victory For The Sullen reveal their second full-length album entitled Atomos which sees the duo introduce flurries of electronics, harp and modular synthesizers to their sound in the follow-up to the 2011 self- titled album. In 2013 AWVFTS caught the ear of Wayne McGregor, founder of Random Dance Company and resident choreographer at the Royal Ballet, who is perhaps best known for his choreography work on the Radiohead video ‘Lotus Flower’ as well as ‘Ingenueʼ by Atoms For Peace. McGregor used the debut album as the warm-up music during practice sessions for Random, and after noticing the group’s reaction with the music, he contacted Adam and Dustin to see if they would write the score for his new work. Given complete artistic freedom, the duo treated the score with the same care and attention as their debut full-length by recording more than sixty minutes of music over a four-month period across studios in Brussels, Berlin and Reykjavik with the help of their long time collaborative sound engineer Francesco Donadello. During the process they came to the realization that this would become their official second studio album. McGregor provided them with the inspiration to expand their sound palette into more electronic territory, whilst keeping their signature chamber sound, resulting in a very unique release.

File Under: Ambient, Stars of the Lid
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abbhama

Abbhama: Alam Raya (Strawberry Rain) LP
Abbhama’s lone symphonic progressive effort has been highly regarded within South East Asia for years but is just starting to open ears elsewhere. Named one of the top 100 albums of all time by Rolling Stone Indonesia, Alam Raya was recorded in 1978 and has only been available on cassette until now. This fully licensed re-release will be one to hold on to. With the International Edition being limited to 250 copies (the Indonesian Edition of 250 copies has already sold out), this will surely move quickly. For fans of Genesis, Yes, Guruh Gypsy, ELP and Triumvirat. Sadly the leader of the band, Iwan Madjid passed away very recently and will be missed. May he rest in peace.

File Under: Prog, Indonesia
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last match

Aisler Set: Last Match (Slumberland) LP
Where The Aislers’ debut Terrible Things Happen’s synthesis of 60s mod-pop, 70s punk and 80s/90s indie flavors provided an end-of-the-century summation of where pop had been and where it was heading, 2000’s The Last Match upped the ante even farther. More ambitious in conception, it expanded the band’s sound into more orchestral areas. While the songs are still driving and catchy as a fish hook, the arrangements are far more sophisticated. It’s a must-listen album, one that fueled fond memories, sparked love affairs, set off spontaneous dance parties, and reminded us all of the power of song-craft and melodies and POP.

File Under: Indie, Pop
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bbs

Big Boys: Wreck Collection (Gern Blandsten) LP
Comprehensive, remastered collection of 34 tracks including original demos, outtakes, and live tracks that span the band’s entire career (1979-1984). Big Boys were highly influential in their introduction of funk rhythms to hardcore punk and also featured Tim Kerr on guitar (Poison 13). During their now legendary shows, singer Randy “Biscuit” Turner, was often seen wearing a tutu or dress and made a point of inviting the audience to come up on stage to join in singing. The Big Boys were also one of the first bands involved in the skatepunk scene, including having their very own skateboard, appearing in Thrasher magazine and many Thrasher skate videos. Essential listening, highly influential.

File Under: Punk
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bunyan

Vashti Bunyan: Heartleap (Di Christine Stairs) LP
Nine years after ‘Lookaftering’, her last album of new material, legendary British singer-songwriter Vashti Bunyan returns with a breathtaking new LP. Recorded largely in her home studio, ‘Heartleap’ is a unique and entrancing collection of ten songs forming what Vashti is adamant will be her final album. Vashti’s third album follows her rediscovery – after thirty years in the wilderness – with the 2000 re-release of ‘Just Another Diamond Day’ (a bona fide cult classic that made # 53 in the Observer Music monthly’s ‘top 100 British albums of all time’), and the critical success of 2005’s ‘Lookaftering’. With ‘Heartleap’ she has delivered an album with a classic sound, where – for the first time – she herself has been in control of the whole process, from writing and arranging to playing and recording. Working predominantly from a studio set up in her Edinburgh home, the record was slowly pieced together, and reveals an artist at her peak, capturing her songs within fluid settings that masterfully marry content and form. Both ‘JADD’ and ‘Lookaftering’ saw Vashti‘s songs arranged and framed by others. Joe Boyd’s production and Robert Kirby’s arranging of the former remain timelessly classy, whilst Max Richter’s elegantly beautiful production of Lookaftering was enhanced by contributions from a raft of supporting artists – all eagerly adding their colours. Vashti is justly proud of ‘Lookaftering’, but ‘Heartleap’ is a more personal record, standing solely on the merits and patient endeavour of its author rather than being buoyed by and filtered through the cachet and collaborative creativity of a powerful supporting cast. The vast majority of ‘Heartleap’ was recorded and edited by Vashti, who “wanted it to be more akin to my very first recordings, the ones even before ‘Diamond Day’. I wanted to try to emerge from the shelter of others and stand out in the open. It would have been much easier had I worked with a producer and an engineer – I would not have had to spend so much time on editing – but that’s been the interesting part. If I’d taken these songs and gone into a studio with them they might have turned out very differently, perhaps more ‘produced’ – but not as near to how I hear them for myself.” Recording her vocals when no one else was around to overhear – freed Vashti up to deliver more confident performances. Equally, working without the induced pressures of studio deadlines enabled her to craft it slowly and lovingly in her own time, weaving together tracks out of numerous takes. Predominantly guitar or piano led – with additional instrumentation building throughout – the songs have no underpinning bass-line or percussion, giving each instrument and voice the chance to pace itself. Like the deer on the cover painting, ‘Heartleap’ moves gracefully, enchantingly. Overcoming adversity through sheer willpower, its very existence is a dazzling triumph.

File Under: Folk, SSW
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unit

Destruction Unit: Eclipse (FDH) LP
IN TOMORROW! “In 2010 we released the Destruction Unit LP Eclipse. This album was quite a departure from the synthpunk background that the band was known for. This record was sort of the start of a new era of the band. Diving deeper into a epic Psych rock sound. Granted this record is less heavy then their most current works ‘Deep Trip’ & one of my personal favorites ‘Void’ however this record set the groundwork for these titles. You can check out the first track from the album “Time Traveler” over in our player on the right hand side of the page to get a taste of this albums vibe. We now have 100 copies back in stock on mixed color vinyl. Grab one today as they are sure to go quick.”—FDH.

File Under: Psych, Garage, Punk
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grouper

Grouper: Ruins (Kranky) LP/CD
IN TOMORROW! “Ruins was made in Aljezur, Portugal in 2011 on a residency set up by Galeria Zé dos Bois. I recorded everything there except the last song, which I did at mother’s house in 2004. Iʼm still surprised by what I wound up with. It was the first time Iʼd sat still for a few years; processed a lot of political anger and emotional garbage. Recorded pretty simply, with a portable 4-track, Sony stereo mic and an upright piano. When I wasnʼt recording songs I was hiking several miles to the beach. The path wound through the ruins of several old estates and a small village. The album is a document. A nod to that daily walk. Failed structures. Living in the remains of love. I left the songs the way they came (microwave beep from when power went out after a storm); I hope that the album bears some resemblance to the place that I was in.”—Liz Harris

File Under: Ambient, Ethereal, Drone
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heads

The Heads: Everybody Knows We Got Nowhere (Rooster) 5LP
IN TOMORROW! Fourteen years after its original release (Sweet Nothing Records, 2000), the second album in The Heads’ impressive canon is repackaged with a full complement of bonus material from that period (B-sides and tracks from 7-inches, their Man’s Ruin 10-inches, Radio 1 session and compilations), all re-mastered by Simon Price and Shawn Joseph. Broken hands, lost Rickenbackers, and sliced tendons aside, Price (guitar, vocals), Hugo Morgan (bass), Wayne Maskell (drums) and Paul Allen (guitar) hit many highs during this time. It represents the full force of the Heads’ psychedelic pummel, their trippiest, most psych collection, brutal yet beautiful. Strap in. Let go. The hardcover, full-color box set, in a numbered edition of 1000, wrapped in a specially printed tote bag, includes a 70-plus-minute CD of previously unreleased material culled from dozens of rehearsal / demo in Price’s CDr archives.

File Under: Psych, Stoner, Space Rock
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iceageIceage: Plowing into the Field of Love (Matador) LP
“Plowing Into the Field of Love” is the third album from Copenhagen’s Iceage. It is new, bold and forceful. Channeling the rage and emotion of their tempestuous early releases into finely honed musicianship, “Plowing Into The Field of Love” features piano, mandolin, viola and organ atop Johan Suurballe-Wieth’s razor-sharp guitars and the lolloping, synchronized rhythm section of Jacob Tvilling Pless and Dan Kjær Nielsen. The record has a clear, uncompressed sound, and Elias Bender Rønnenfelt’s desperate vocals are out front, nakedly accountable for the words. At the other extreme, the album tends to a sort of euphoria, especially in the unexpectedly upbeat country number “The Lord’s Favorite”. Yet desperation and loss lurks behind. This is an album about seeing, learning, and rejecting things, in a cycle that repeats and builds. The reference points are wildly varied – on a recent German radio show, the band played records by Abner Jay, Rowland S. Howard, Brian Eno, and Coil – but the sound is uniquely and darkly Iceage. “Iceage has always been a stylish band, so the accompanying video takes every opportunity to drive their point home: while taking lurid pulls off cigarettes and martinis, Ronnenfelt’s searing stare betrays the fact he knows damn well how much he’s playing against type.” – Pitchfork on “The Lord’s Favorite” (BEST NEW TRACK).

File Under: Punk, Post-Punk
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ballettoIl Balletto Di Bronzo: YS (Vinyl Magic) LP
“YS” was nothing less than a unique masterpiece of the golden age of Italian progressive rock. Coming from the town of Naples, Balletto di Bronzo had already published in 1970 their debut “Sirio 2222”, an ideal bridge among beat, prog and hard rock, when in ’71 they were joined by keyboardist Gianni Leone, who completely revolutionized the sound of the band. The following year “YS” fell like a bolt from the blue on the Italian music scene. The songwriting is always unsettling, extremely intricate and the sound is dark and dense at the same time. The tracks need several plays to be absorbed, but this effort reveals an extreme sense of gratification in the end. This milestone of Italian Prog is now reissued in the usual LP-replica edited by Vinyl Magic, including the lyric insert which was present in the original ’72. First pressing comes on a lavish white vinyl.

File Under: Prog, Italian
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isis

Isis: In The Absence of Truth (Robotic Empire) LP
IN TOMORROW! The logical expansion of ISIS’ multiple personalities yield “In The Absence Of Truth”, their latest monster full-length. It only makes sense that the ‘atmospheric’ parts are even more haunting (yet, uplifting) and the ‘heavy’ parts are even more brutal and crushing. However, it’s hardly an album of polar opposites, with the fluidity only achieved by a band who’s been consistently developing like this for nearly a decade now. The increased amount of actual singing really makes a difference on the more mellow moments, but widespread experimentation with new elements reaches far beyond the vocals here. Appropriate usage of unique tones, leads and overall surprising song-structures culminate with nine tracks of ISIS’ most impressive work to date. “In The Absence Of Truth” really is an astounding album, with a maturity displayed that leaps from their past into amazing uncharted waters of heaviness. Robotic Empire is honored to supply this gatefold, double-LP vinyl edition of ISIS’ latest masterpiece.

File Under: Metal, Post Rock
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johnson

Philip Johnson: Youth In Mourning (Superior Viaduct) LP
IN TOMORROW! Philip Johnson, a lost figure in the dark waters of early industrial music, self-released over 25 tapes starting in the late ’70s. As a part of the “cassette culture” in the UK, he produced ethereal soundscapes, damaged electronics and undanceable drum patterns, along with homemade j-cards. For his first and only LP, 1982’s Youth in Mourning, Johnson further refined his approach with mesmerizing audio collages and Mark-E-Smith-ian vocals to make one of the most unique documents of the era. The song “C81,” commenting on NME’s compilation of the same name, expresses contempt with know-it-all indie culture that was similarly reflected 20 years later in LCD Soundsystem’s “Losing My Edge.” Fans of the degenerate tale in The Velvet Underground’s “The Gift” will appreciate Johnson’s “The Karate Kicking Girl of New Invention.” Youth in Mourning is a personal record, yet fearless. It pulls back the bedroom curtain, revealing (as Johnson writes in the liner notes) “the sound of a warm-air heater on a cold afternoon and a cassette being pushed into the deck and switched on.” This first-time reissue comes from the original master tapes. Recommended for fans of Cabaret Voltaire, John Bender and The Shadow Ring.

File Under: Electronic, Experimental, Industrial
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kim ki o

Kim Ki O: Bir, Iki (S-S) LP
IN TOMORROW! Istanbul, Turkey; Year 2006: Ekin Sanaç and Berna Göl form Kim Ki O. Sanaç plays synth while Göl hits the bass. They both come up with beats and sing. Their music is lo-fi minimal synth with a post-punk / cold wave feel. The cool / warm dual female vocals are eerie and dreamy, referencing classic post-punk as well as traditional Turkish melodies but remaining understated. Over the next couple years, the pair releases two very limited CDRs and tours Scandinavia. In 2009 they appear on Radio Resistencia, released by the great Dutch synth label Enfant Terrible. One year later, Enfant Terrible releases their first album Dans. KFJC writes “The name of the band means ‘Who is that anyway’ in Turkish, and it reflects the ethereal nature of the sounds … a lovely early ’80s slow and somber electronic vibe (think Joy Division) combined with floaty, minimal lady vocals (sort of 4AD-ish like Cocteau Twins and Lush) … sweet, but not saccharine.” The vinyl issue of Dans quickly sells out. Over the next couple of years, Kim Ki O appears on various compilations and tours Turkey and Europe several times. They collaborate with Turkish filmmakers Merve Kayan and Zeynep Dadak on the short film Elope and write music for the Turkish performance group biriken for their play Re: Fwd: die in good company. In 2013, Lentonia Records out of France releases Grounds. It inspires a followup album of remixes called Grounds Album Remixes, also on Lentonia. In 2014, S-S Records dips into the Kim Ki O vaults and finds songs from their early CDRs. While the originals were muddy sounding, the tracks used for Bir, İki… (Turkish for “One, Two…”) are crystal clear. The vinyl—mastered by John Golden—gives Kim Ki O’s sound new warmth. These ten early tracks are a great addition to their catalog. Not content with music, film and drama, Sanaç and Göl are also involved in Turkey’s pro-democracy and women’s / gay rights movement. They strongly identify with other women in rock ’n’ roll and underground culture.

File Under: Post-Punk, Minimal
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vortex

Andrew Liles: The Equestrian Vortex (Death Waltz Originals) 10″
Death Waltz Recording Company in association with director Peter Strickland and audio historian Andrew Liles are proud to present the world premiere release of a true classic of Italian cinema: the 1977 giallo The Equestrian Vortex. A tale of a coven of witches presiding under a riding academy, the film has been hailed by both critics and detractors as one of the most disturbing pictures ever made, with much of the credit going to the film’s soundtrack. Supervised by director Giancarlo Santini and created by sound engineer Gilderoy, the score is a journey into the unconscious, where ghosts swirl with ethereal drones as screams echo into the night. Adding to this is the conspiratorial dialogue from actresses Silvia, Claudia, and Elisa, reading bizarre incantations that unleash the full horror of what lies beneath.

File Under: OST, Electronic, Ambient, NWW
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meatbodies

Meatbodies: s/t (In The Red) LP
IN TOMORROW! Loud, fast, wild—you’ve heard this all before but you haven’t because the Meatbodies are brand new and they’re going to dominate your eyes and ears and give you a bangover like you’ve never had before. Meatbodies initially came about as a solo project for Chad Ubovich after spending the last several years touring in other groups: In 2011, he was recruited by his friend Mikal Cronin to play bass, and eventually guitar, in Cronin’s band’s first ever tour. While Cronin strummed his twelve-string to his future classic pop songs, Ubovich howled alongside, adding his own brand of wolf-man style to Cronin’s live show. Heavy super-group Fuzz took notice of his on-stage prowess and recruited him to deliver Geezer Butler-style bass riffs that could propel Charles Moothart and Ty Segall’s songs through the stratosphere. While both of these bands have kept him busy over the past few years, his mind was always on his own songs. He would come home and secretly work on his own material—explosive, crunching, grinding songs with soaring melodies and gentle bridges cascading into torrents of riffs. Eventually he shared his work and allowed Segall to put out a tape of his bedroom recordings on his label God? Records. The tape was well received, so Ubovich recruited several friends with whom he could play around Los Angeles and San Francisco, and people began to see that he was more than just a sideman to his heavy-hitting comrades. Eventually, In the Red took notice and the Meatbodies were added to their roster. Sequestering himself in master studio magician Eric “King Riff” Bauer’s San Francisco studio / psychedelic sanctuary, Ubovich busted out an album’s worth of songs, barely leaving the small Technicolor underground quarters. Once the tracks were done, he sent them up to Chris Woodhouse to give them just the right final touches of perfectly controlled chaos. And perfectly controlled chaos is what this trifecta delivered. The self-titled record is a sonic experience truly evocative of its creator: Unabashed, unrestrained, beautiful and strange. Riffs for days. It’s everything we’ve come to expect from Chad Ubovich.

File Under: Garage, Indie
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moore

Thurston Moore: The Best Day (Matador) LP/CD
“The Best Day”, Thurston Moore’s first solo record since 2011’s “Demolished Thoughts”, radiates with both his signature dynamism of dense thrashing electric guitars as well as blissful 12-string acoustic ballads. Recorded with Thurston’s current band line-up of James Sedwards (guitars, UK), Deb Googe (of My Bloody Valentine, bass, UK) and Steve Shelley (Sonic Youth, drums, USA), there are also a some tracks that feature all instrumentation by Thurston. ‘The Best Day’ is a staggeringly confident, expansive work, one that not only rivals much of Moore’s past work, but also suggests his relocation to England has inspired a creative rebirth of sorts. This is a record defined by positivity and radical love. The songs range from opener “Speak to the Wild”, a Crazy Horse-like paean to anti-authority and activism, to “Vocabularies”, a paean to a new realization of language which includes ALL people. Thurston Moore has been at the forefront of the alternative rock scene since that particular obriquet was first used to signify any music that challenged and defied the mainstream standard. He is the founder and ringleader of Sonic Youth, the band that turned on an entire generation to the value of experimentation in rock n’ roll – from its inspiration on a nascent Nirvana, to Sonic Youth’s own ‘Daydream Nation’ album being chosen by the US Library of Congress for historical preservation in the National Recording Registry in 2006.

File Under: Indie Rock, Sonic Youth
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mm1

Modest Mouse: This Is A Long Drive… (Glacial Pace) LP/CD
IN TOMORROW! Modest Mouse’s 1996 debut album expands upon the themes of emotional and geographic isolation found in the band’s early recordings, and finds the band mixing slow, brooding numbers with thrashing guitar workouts. The general mood here is one of loneliness and desperation, eloquently expressed through both the lyrics and the rhythmic, sprawling instrumentation. Modest Mouse made their first significant mark with songs whose meanings are simultaneously universal and painfully personal.

File Under: Indie Rock
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fistful

Ennio Morricone: Fistful of Dollars (BTF) 10″
The year is 1964. Almost out of nowhere, the little-known and regarded director Sergio Leone transposes into a western key a film by Akira Kurosawa, and by putting together all the right pieces, adding a bit of intuition, lays down new rules for the “spaghetti western” genre, giving way to an endless series of imitations. A Fistful of Dollars would not have the same impact without the inimitable music written by Ennio Morricone, who had been an old elementary school mate of Leone’s. The main soundtrack themes were chosen from two arrangements that Morricone had already drafted two years earlier; once he removed the lyrics and added the unmistakable whistle of Alessandro Alessandroni, the spaghetti-sound was finally complete! The film was an incredible success, and projected Leone, Morricone, and in particular the actor Clint Eastwood into the Olympus of the Great. The soundtrack was released for the first time the following year, along with Sergio Leone’s subsequent work For a Few Dollars More. This new edition sees the original seven tracks of the score in a completely new layout.

File Under: OST, Western
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quando

Ennio Morricone: Quando Le Donne Vano La Coda (Contempo) LP
Quando Le Donne Avevano La Coda (When Women Had Tails) is the soundtrack to a bad Italian ripoff of One Million Years BC (Raquel Welch invents stoneage bikini etc) recorded in the late 1960s when Morricone was at the height of his psychedelic period. The music is colorful, bouncy, gooey, and completely irresistible. To Morricone fans, this is worth whatever you’d have to pay to get ahold of it. More than this, Quando is one of the rarest Morricone scores. Originally released by CAM in 1970, it has never been reissued on vinyl since then. Orchestra directed by Bruno Nicolai, featuring Alessandroni’s Cantori Moderni.

File Under: OST, Italian
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milano

Ennio Morricone: Milano Odia (GDM) LP
Milano Odia: La Polizia Non Puo Sparare, a 1974 movie directed by Umberto Lenzi, is the quintessence of the Italian police films. It’s even more violent and extreme than usual, with one of the best interpretations ever by the Cuban actor Tomas Milian. The soundtrack for the film was commissioned to Ennio Morricone, who at the time was already a full-time score composer, and had already worked in the same field. The Maestro wrote the entire OST starting from a single, obsessive theme, arranged in many different ways for each different scene or atmosphere. The whole soundtrack had never been released until 2007, and this is the first complete edition on vinyl ever.

File Under: OST, Italian, Crime
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nihilist

Nihilist Spasm Band: No Record (Lion) LP
One of very few indie label releases on Spin Magazine’s list of 100 top counter-cultural music, ahead of legends like Mulatu Astatke, Brigitte Fontaine, Pärson Sound, Ornette Coleman, Sun Ra and His Solar Arkestra, Harry Partch, and Os Mutantes. Zowie! “In 1965, eight guys from London, Ontario, decided to start a free-improv group — ‘free’ to the point of building their own instruments, which they decided couldn’t be set up to produce specific pitches… Their vocalist, schoolteacher Bill Exley, banged on a cooking pot and bellowed hilariously about stupidity and destruction and Canada. They didn’t treat what they were doing as an advanced, visionary form of experimental music, but as a big, stupid, fun, ecstatic noise. By the ’90s, noise artists finally recognized NSB as their ancestors — and, almost 50 years after they started, the surviving members of the Nihilist Spasm Band still play every Monday night while their children haunt loft spaces the world over.” —Spin “The record you’re holding is one of the masterworks of that big gray area of noise/weirdo/freak-out music. It’ still hard to believe that No Record was released in 1968. This was a time when popular music was still growing up, and these outsider guys from Canada came out of nowhere and made this mindfuck of record that was years ahead of itself. And as with albums like Trout Mask Replica, and The Faust Tapes, it still sounds fresh today. No Record is mandatory listening. —Lasse Marhaug

File Under: Experimental, Underground, CanCon
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orgasmo

Orgasmo Sonore: Omaggio a Bruno Nicolia (Cineploit) LP
Canada´s one & only Orgasmo Sonore was digging deep inside the Italian Soundtrack Archives and is presenting his own versions of music Maestro Nicolai did for the Giallo Genre. You can feel the black gloves and cold steel listening to this wonderful music, and maybe even following the blood drops – pure Italian Soundtrack Magic executed in the fantastic way only Orgasmo Sonore does!

File Under: OST, Italian, Redux
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friday

OST: Friday the 13th (Wax Works) LP
Waxwork Records proudly presents the original motion picture score to the 1980 horror slasher film Friday The 13th starring Kevin Bacon and Betsey Palmer, and directed by Sean Cunningham. Working closely with the film’s composer, Harry Manfredini, Waxwork Records brings the remastered score to vinyl for the first time ever. The original master tapes were discovered in the Paramount Pictures vaults by Manfredini, and have been faithfully restored to create the ultimate LP release of one of the most iconic scores in the history of horror cinema.

File Under: OST, Horror, Kevin Bacon
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house of the devilOST: House of the Devil (Death Waltz) LP
Death Waltz Recording Company are proud to present Jeff Grace’s score to The House of the Devil, Ti West’s acclaimed shocker that homages and celebrates films from one of the true golden ages of horror cinema. Coming from the same kind of place as The Omen and Rosemary’s Baby, the film has a certain period aesthetic that is reflected in its brooding and slow-burning score. Whilst it starts with an electric guitar and synth piece that immediately sets the mood and the time, Grace’s score doesn’t immediately hit you over the head, instead building itself up over time and increasing intensity while always being absolutely unsettling. The score begins in a minimalistic way, with delicate piano providing an eerie and foreboding presence. There are flashes of beauty amongst the sinister, with a solo violin providing a brief but exceptional moment of escape, but even that feels uncomfortable. Things start to heat up soon after, with the introduction of frantic strings to jolt you before Grace opens up with massive synths and insectoid violins in a glorious moment of musical confrontation, and from there on you’re in for a terrifying treat, with a final act that cements the score as a modern classic. This is a house you’ll want to return to again and again.

File Under: OST, Horror
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ought

Ought: Once More With Feeling (Constellation) 10″
Four-piece post-punk group Ought has been gathering momentum the old-fashioned way, with a humble and deceptively unassuming debut album that’s been worming its way into many many ears thanks to its combination of intelligence, authenticity, directness, simplicity and energy; and with live performances in which the band’s channeling of genuine passion, politics and charisma are consistently connecting with and exuberantly galvanizing audiences. Released in April 2014, More Than Any Other Day was showered with accolades. Since then the band has been mostly on the road, racking up tour dates and ramping up the attack on their existing songbook. Discussion of a tour-only release that would grab a couple of the band’s self-recorded early tunes and commit them to vinyl shifted by the end of spring towards a realization that Ought might update this material to reflect how the songs have evolved on stage and in concert. An intense weekend session at Montréal’s Hotel2Tango in June 2014 yielded new recordings of two early pieces, “Pill” and “New Calm Pt. 2” (the self-recorded 2012 versions of which remain available on Ought’s Bandcamp) along with the brand new, more experimental and largely instrumental “New Calm Pt. 3”. The fantastic non-album track “Waiting” from the More Than Any Other Day sessions (and the first tune to be given out via Constellation when we announced the Ought signing) rounds out this 4-song, 24-minute, 10″ vinyl-only offering, suitably titled Once More With Feeling… In light of this new/freshly recorded material, it seemed unfair to restrict the Once More With Feeling… EP to tour-only status; Constellation is also making it available to indie retail, with a proper release date and all. As with More Than Any Other Day, the 10″ was recorded by Radwan Ghazi Moumneh at H2T, mastered by Harris Newman at Grey Market, and pressed at the inimitable Optimal record plant in Germany. We think it’s a very fine set of tunes that highlights and brings fans up to date with Ought’s first two years of songwriting, revealing additional facets of the band, including its ability to play with nostalgia and balladry (“Pill”), feverish revival-tent testifying (“New Calm Pt. 2”), and  improv/abstraction (“New Calm Pt. 3”).

File Under: Post-Punk, CanCon
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pc

Parquet Courts: American Specialties (Play Pinball) LP
IN TOMORROW! American Specialties is a much stranger collection of recordings than their incredible (official) debut LP, Light Up Gold, but it’s equally as pleasing. That awesome (but a little messy) tape was sent to Play Pinball’s tried and true pal, David Willingham, at The Echo Lab in Denton to work his magic and boy howdy, this remaster sounds better than hoped.

File Under: Punk, Indie
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pickettWilson Pickett: Hey Jude (4 Men With Beards) LP
IN TOMORROW! The classic 1969 release by Wilson Pickett cut with the Muscle Shoals session crew while Duane Allman added his intense, bluesy guitar to the mix. This album of hard Southern soul features Pickett in top form with his powerful vocals featured on soul tunes such as “A Man And A Half” and “Toe Hold,” alongside choice rock covers including the title track and “Born To Be Wild.” Reissued on 180 gram vinyl with tip on jacket.

File Under: Soul
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wolfcopShooting Guns: Wolfcop (One Way Static) LP/CS
Back in stock in limited quantities, this pressing is now sold out at the source, so don’t wait!!! “Wolfcop is currently wrecking havoc at multiple festivals baffling audiences all over the world. Equally remarkable is the killer soundtrack provided by Shooting Guns. A unique blend of heavy carpenter electronics mixed with Black Sabbath-esque riffs and even a hint of country. Upon hearing it, we just knew we had to release this. Limited to #1000 copies worldwide on RED & BLUE MARBLED VINYL. Vinyl packaged in a deluxe gatefold old school tip-on jacket with original artworks by Randy Ortiz (Marvel Comics, Mondo,…). Also included is a free digital download. In addition to the vinyl release there is a cassette tape version housed in a VHS clamshell box.

File Under: OST, Stoner, Metal, Psych, CanCon
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smith

Chris Smith: Bad Orchestra (Hermit Hut) LP
IN TOMORROW! Like most key figures in the Antipodean noise scene, Chris Smith exists in the adventurous-musician nethersphere: hailed by followers, unknown to most. Though he has released a few solo albums, played in groups like The Golden Lifestyle Band and Library Punx, and co-released recordings with Peter Jefferies, his only release outside of his country was 2002’s Map Ends: 1995-2001 (Emperor Jones). Bad Orchestra is from 2007, and aside from a small CD run on Death Valley, didn’t get the opportunity to turn heads. Thankfully, Hermit Hut has taken on the mission of releasing vinyl of this impossible-to-find album. Bad Orchestra is Smith’s masterpiece, a maelstrom of expansive guitar abstractions, sound collage and full-out rocking. Recorded with a band, the album touches many tangents while converging as a glorious whole. Initially inspired, surprisingly enough, by The Germs, Smith creates music as a solution to his own inner turmoil. He captures an essential rawness on par with Jim Shepard. Bad Orchestra is an assault that is wrought with skill. Every listen unearths new treasures and dynamics.

File Under: Experimental, Guitar
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total control

Total Control: Typical System (Iron Lung) LP
IN TOMORROW! Total Control emerged from Australia’s dynamic punk scene in ’08, releasing a succession of 7”s that developed from an aggressive post-punk band sound to studio forays into electronic forms from minimal wave to house. Their debut LP, Henge Beat, was commended as one of the few records released in 2011 that evaded the ease of classification and competent tribute act status of most modern bands. Subsequently, they have released three very different records: a split 12” with Thee Oh Sees, a 7” single on Sub Pop and a house remix 12”. Typical System develops on the incongruent demands of their debut LP and ensuing releases, a further development on their continually evolving sound.

File Under: Punk, Minimal Wave, Australia
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twilight sad

Twilight Sad: No One Wants To Be Here… (Fat Cat) LP
Following their stark nod to the heroes of an industrial past, No One Can Ever Know, The Twilight Sad has dug into their own past to form an album that’s bracing, biting and as widescreen as anything in their canon. The band, ever ambassadors of Scottish gloom, have harnessed their dark muse once again and drawn on their prowess in the live arena to track a record that proves they can translate the power of their stage show to tape. Where each album prior to No One Wants To Be Here and No One Wants to Leave saw the Twilight Sad tackling new sounds and ways of writing, their latest work draws from their entire career. MacFarlane says: “Over the 8 years we’ve been touring, our live sound has taken on different forms, from full on noise/feedback, to a sparse, synth led sound, to a stripped back set up with just keys, drum machine and guitar, to playing with an orchestra, and to just an acoustic with vocal. We wanted to try and capture all of those elements and develop them in some way to make the new record.” Opting to stay in Glasgow, the album was produced at Mogwai’s Castle Of Doom studio, engineered by the band’s live soundman Andrew Bush, mixed by Peter Katis (also responsible for Fourteen Autumns), with touring member Johnny Docherty playing bass. “We spent a lot of time at home when writing this new record, we got to hang out with old friends and get back to some sort of normality, which I think really helped me clear my mind and focus in on writing these new songs,” Graham says. “I had a lot I wanted to get off my chest and I’ve done that with this new record.” A first listen to the album confirms everything the band has said – noisy, densely layered, and deeply melodic, it wouldn’t be out of line to say this may be their best yet. One thing’s for sure – the Twilight Sad have still got a lot of life left in them.

File Under: Indie Rock
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ultimate

Ultimate Painting: Bleeding Moon (Trouble in Mind) LP
IN TOMORROW! Jack Cooper (Mazes) & James Hoare (Veronica Falls) are Ultimate Painting. Each member composed five songs each, creating a seamless journey that is both pastoral & cosmopolitan. Intertwining guitar lines that ride off into the sunset, shuffling head-boppers with hook after hook, mellow gothic romances and sunny melodies—they are all found herein.

File Under: Indie
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useless

Useless Eaters: Bleeding Moon (Castle Face) LP
IN TOMORROW! Seth Sutton has been ripping the shit out of terse Telecaster-sharp riffs and Devo-indebted angular rhythms with Useless Eaters since dude was 18 years old. A young protégé of Jay Reatard, Sutton’s home-fried concoctions are sharp, corrosive mini-masterpieces that drive you to flick cigarettes and push strangers. Psycho-sexual, serrated vocals; thin, acidic guitars; rubbery bass and hot-to-tape traps lather the whole disc. Sutton delivers a really ripping crew of tunes this time around, kicking off with the supremely heavy “American Cars” and not letting up ’til the side break—these are glass-crunching gems with just the right amount of crud to cut your lip a little. A great alienated vibe flows throughout, along with some really sticky melodies, too. Going out under the neon tonight? Take this with you.

File Under: Punk
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zola

Zola Jesus: Taiga (Mute) LP
Nika is the 25-year-old singer/songwriter behind Zola Jesus. Her new album Taiga is at once challenging and accessible, and is undeniably branded with what Nika terms a “piercing ambition.” Such encompassing purpose, she explains, would be impossible without a newfound sense of personal and artistic self. The album is a declaration of that purpose; one laced with jarring clarity in both its content and production. Taiga, the Russian name for a boreal forest pays homage to Nika’s Russian roots and her time spent growing up in rural Wisconsin on a 100-acre farm. For Nika, Taiga is a leap that reflects a fearlessness to be earnest and open, an approach that is immediately evidenced in the album’s first single, “Dangerous Days,” an undeniably hook ridden four-on-the-floor smash. Nika wrote the album on Vashon Island, a densely-wooded enclave in Puget Sound with no bridges connecting it to the mainland. Nika was influenced by her time in Iceland, Vermont and British Columbia and the album conjures these places while creating a unique sonic space of its own that each listener can travel to, explore, hide in, and celebrate. Liberated in the present and connected to the past, this album is a transition for Zola Jesus. Masterful layers of composition are bathed in familiar atmospheric vocals, but a new sensibility is deeply present. Nika summates, “For me, it feels like my true debut, because it is the first time I have felt so open and liberated.”

File Under: Electronic, Synth-Pop
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sly's

Various: I’m Just Like You: Sly’s Stone Flower 1969-1970 (Light in the Attic) CD
In 1970, The Family Stone were at the peak of their popularity, but the maestro Sly Stone had already moved his head to a completely different space. The first evidence of Sly’s musical about-turn was revealed by the small catalog of his new label, Stone Flower: a pioneering, peculiar, minimal electro-funk sound that unfolded over just four seven-inch singles. Stone Flower’s releases were credited to their individual artists, but each had Sly’s design and musicianship stamped into the grooves–and the words “Written by Sylvester Stewart/Produced and arranged by Sly Stone” on the sticker. Set up by Stone’s manager David Kapralik with distribution by Atlantic Records, Stone Flower was, predictably, a family affair: the first release was by Little Sister, fronted by Stone’s little sister Vaetta Stewart. It was short lived too–the imprint folded in 1971–but its influence was longer lasting. The sound Stone formulated while working on Stone Flower’s output would shape the next phase in his own career as a recording artist: it was here he began experimenting with the brand new Maestro Rhythm King drum machine. In conjunction with languid, effected organ and guitar sounds and a distinctly lo-fi soundscape, Sly’s productions for Stone Flower would inform the basis of his masterwork There’s A Riot Goin’ On. The first 45 came in February 1970: Little Sister’s dancefloor-ready “You’re The One” hit Number 22 in the charts–the label’s highest showing. The follow-up, “Stanga,” also by Little Sister, made the wah pedal the star. The third release came from 6IX, a six-piece multi-racial rock group whose sole release, a super-slow version of The Family Stone’s “Dynamite,” featured only the lead singer and harmonica player from the group. Joe Hicks was the final Stone Flower stablemate; his pulsing, electronic “Life And Death In G&A” is one of the bleakest moments Sly Stone ever created on disc (Hicks’ prior single for Scepter, “Home Sweet Home,” the first released Stone Flower production, is also included). This long overdue compilation of Sly’s Stone Flower era gathers each side of the five 45s plus ten previously unissued cuts from the label archives, all newly remastered from the original tapes. In these grooves you’ll find the missing link between the rocky, soulful Sly Stone of Stand! and the dark, drum machine-punctuated, overdubbed sound of There’s A Riot Going On. I’m Just Like You: Sly’s Stone Flower 1969-70 opens up the mysteries of an obscure but monumental phase in Stone’s career.

File Under: Funk, Soul

temporary

Various: Temporary: Selections From Dunedin’s Pop Underground (Ba Da Bing) LP
On the same day Ba Da Bing releases an album by Dunedin legend Hamish Kilgour, the label is honored to present the city’s current artists. The tiny city of Dunedin, located in the Otago Region of New Zealand, is synonymous with smart bands, incredible melodies and a wholly distinct and innovative music. Thanks to The Clean, The Chills, The Bats, The Verlaines, and The Dead C, Dunedin has amassed a worldwide reputation for innovative music. Local label Fishrider Records has taken on the mission of compiling and producing an album that casts a light toward the Dunedin of today. These bands have all created their own sound away from the shadow of their city’s past, yet like many of their predecessors they retain the air of slightly disturbed melancholia along with a sense of space and distance from the rest of the world. Whether it is dark synth-pop, teen angst noise pop, guitar-and-organ jangle, or all-out psychedelic weirdness, these songs all come from a place on the edge of the world where the young still read books in abundance and fend off boredom by creating music and art in cold houses. Yet again, an extraordinary number of incredible groups are populating the scene, and the songs on Temporary are the best of the best—a Dunedin Double Plus Good, if you will.

File Under: Indie, New Zealand

…..restocks…..

Beachcomber Trio: Live At Kahiki 1965 (Bacchus) LP
Beach House: Teen Dream (Sub Pop) LP
Beirut: Gulag Orchestra (Ba Da Bing) LP
Beirut: Flying Club Cup (Ba Da Bing) LP
Beirut: The Rip Tide (Pompeii) LP
Big Star: #1 Record (4 Men With Beards) LP
Big Star: Radio City (4 Men With Beards) LP
Bjork: Debut (One Little Indian) LP
Black Keys: Chulahoma (Fat Possum) LP
Black Keys: Rubber Factory (Fat Possum) LP
Black Keys: Thickfreakness (Fat Possum) LP
Black Lips: Underneath The Rainbow (Vice) LP
The Body: All The Waters of… (At A Loss) LP
Captain Beefheart: Safe As Milk (Sundazed) LP
Chromatics: Nightdrive (Italians Do It Better) LP
Death From Above: You’re A Woman, I’m A Machine (Last Gang) LP
Death Grips: No Love Deep Web (Harvest) LP
Decemberists: Castaways & Cutouts (Jealous Butcher) LP
Desire: II (Italians Do It Better) LP
J Dilla: Donuts (Stones Throw) LP
Nils Frahm: Spaces (Erased Tapes) LP
Goat: Commune (Sub Pop) LP
Hiss Golden Messenger: Lateness of Dance (Merge) LP
Billie Holiday: Commodore Days (Doxy) LP
Billie Holiday: Rare West Coast (Doxy) LP
John Lee Hooker: I’m Going Home (Devil) LP
Olivia Jean: Bathtub Love Killings (Thirdman) LP
Khun Narin’s Electric Phin Band: s/t (Innovative Leisure) LP
King Khan & BBQ Show: s/t (In The Red) LP
King Tuff: Black Moon Spell (Sub Pop) LP
Magnolia Electric Co.: Trials & Errors (Secretly Canadian) LP
MF Doom: Mm.. Food (Rhymesayers) LP
Monolord: Empress Rising (Riding Easy) LP
Mudhoney: Piece of Cake (Music On Vinyl) LP
NoBunny: Love Visions (Almost Ready) LP
OST: Halloween II (Death Waltz) LP
Placebo: Ball of Eyes (Music on Vinyl) LP
Public Image LTD.: First Edition (Light in the Attic) LP
Nina Simone: Little Girl Blue (Doxy) LP
Songs:Ohia: Magnolia Electric Co. (Secretly Canadian) LP
Stefano Torossi: Feelings (Golden Pavilion) LP
T-Rex: The Slider (Fat Possum) LP
T-Rex: Tanx (Fat Possum) LP
Viet Cong: Cassette (Flemish Eye) 12″
White Fence: Family Perfume (Woodsist) LP
Wipers: Is This Real? (Jackpot) LP
Wipers: Over The Edge (Jackpot) LP
Wipers: Youth of America (Jackpot) LP
Yob: Atma (20 Buck Spin) LP
Yob: Catharsis Reissue (Relapse) LP
Various: After Dark 2 (Italians Do It Better) LP
Various: New Orleans Soul (Soul Jazz) LP

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…..news letter #660 – given…..

Holy moly! Another week of stacks of stuff piled up all over. And here I thought short weeks were supposed to give a bit of a reprieve, but no. Tons of killer stuff is on it’s way for next week too. It’s as though everyone is trying to get a new record out before there is no more vinyl left to press… man, that’d suck.

…..picks of the week…..

stranger

The Stranger: Bleaklow (History Always Favors The Winner) LP
One of the most destitute and absorbing albums in Leyland Kirby’s canon is finally given a much-needed vinyl pressing, following on from its initial CD release in 2008. Bleaklow is harrowing from the start, the opening “Something to Do with Death” reverberating dread via layers of unstable, radiant drones punctuated with pained, hi-pitched howls that cut through the mix with violent intent. “Solemn Dedication” adds percussion to the mix and sits somewhere between classic John Carpenter and Nate Young, but it’s on “Indefinite Ridge” that things really take a turn towards that eerie, destabilizing sound Kirby can do so well, like a standout BoC vignette pounded by the rattle of industrial machinery malfunctioning in the background; it’s at once deeply unsettling and oddly comforting. “A Melody Drags Me Back” recalls the spirit of Kirby’s best-known productions as The Caretaker, except in place of those old 78s you get just the vaguest hint of life and color beneath the endless layers of sonic unease. The album ends with “Ominous Sunset,” an incredible 6-minute coda that’s perhaps best compared to Kirby’s Sadly, the Future Is No Longer What It Was set, sounding like Vangelis’ score for Bladerunner aged and degraded yet still somehow conveying all its retro-futuristic romance. It’s an astonishing ending to one of Kirby’s finest albums. Fully remastered and cut by Matt Colton at Alchemy.

File Under: Dark Ambient, The Caretaker
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soused

Scott Walker + Sunn o))): Soused (4AD) LP/CD
When Sunn O))) first approached Scott Walker about appearing on their 2009 album Monoliths & Dimensions, they didn’t know what it would actually lead to. Four years on, Scott returned with something even more enticing, collaborating on Soused, a body of work he was writing with them in mind. Recorded in London in early 2014 and produced by Walker and long-time ally Peter Walsh with the assistance of musical director Mark Warman, Soused is a 5-track, 50-minute record that cements the status of both acts’ wide-reaching and otherworldly renown. The vinyl edition consists of two 180g LPs, pressed on black vinyl and housed in a heavyweight tip-on sleeve. The artwork was designed by Sunn O)))’s Stephen O’Malley, featuring photography by Gast Bouschet.

File Under: Doom, Metal, Crooners, Drone
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…..new arrivals…..

ambarchi

Oren Ambarchi/Jim O’Rourke/Keiji Haino: Only Wanting To Melt Beautifully… (Black Truffle) LP
“Begun as a one-off collaboration in 2009, the trio of Keiji Haino, Jim O’Rourke and Oren Ambarchi has now become a solid working group, refining its craft through a series of annual concerts at Tokyo’s legendary SuperDeluxe. Much of their recorded work has focused on their intense, ritualistic take on the rock power trio of electric guitar, bass and drums. Presenting the entire first set of the trio’s March 2013 concert at SuperDeluxe (the second set will follow on Black Truffle later this year), Only Wanting to Melt Beautifully Away Is It a Lack of Contentment That Stirs Affection for Those Things Said to Be as of Yet Unseen is their fifth release and blows the instrumental palette wide open for a single continuous piece focused on acoustic strings, synth, flute and percussion. Featuring one of Haino’s most delicate and moving recorded vocal performances, the opening section of the record takes the form of a spare duet between O’Rourke’s 12-string acoustic guitar and Haino’s kantele (a Finnish variant of the dulcimer), behind which Ambarchi provides a hovering backdrop of wine glass tones. While on previous releases the listener has often sensed that Haino was firmly in the driver’s seat, here O’Rourke takes center stage with an acoustic guitar performance that takes the lyricism of John Abercrombie or Ralph Towner and refracts it through the free improvisation tradition of his mentors Derek Bailey and Henry Kaiser. The atmosphere of meditative, abstracted song is reminiscent of some of Haino’s greatest recordings, such as the legendary Live in the First Year of the Heisei volumes recorded with Kan Mikami. After this stunningly beautiful opening sequence, the performance moves organically through a number of episodes, including a dramatic central passage in which Haino moves to synth and drum machine, crafting a current of raw electricity that unfurls slowly over the gently pulsing foundations of Ambarchi’s cymbals and builds to heights of manic intensity. When Haino later turns to wooden flute, Ambarchi answers him with nimble hand-drummed percussion in a passage that calls to mind Don Cherry’s liberated combination of free-jazz improvisation and non-Western musics. The trio’s move away from the power trio dynamic bespeaks a risk-taking and questing spirit that refuses to be satisfied with repeating past glories, and yet the organic, immersive flow of this single improvisation attests to the intuitive bond that has formed between them over the last five years. Exuding the signature mystery and emotion of Haino’s greatest works, this release is perhaps the strongest statement yet from this acclaimed trio, and holds out a tantalizing promise for everyone hooked on their continuing exploration of ‘those things said to be as of yet unseen.’ –Francis Plagne

File Under: Psych, Japanese, Improve
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Brilliant-Career-PR-Image

Belle & Sebastian: Dear Catastrophe Waitress
If You’re Feeling Sinister
Tiger Milk
Fold Your Hand Child…
Life Pursuit
Etc.
(Matador) LP
All ten albums repackaged in resealable mylar bags, each with customized obi “It Could have been a brilliant career’ + all album art. Download coupons included plus brand new cover art for ‘Dear Catastrophe Waitress’. “Push Barman…,” “The Life Pursuit,” and “Dear Catatrophe Waitress” back in print after a long absence from the market.

File Under: Indie, Pop
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bong

Bong: Stoner Rock (Ritual) LP
Gatefold double LP version. Ultimate drone-lords Bong have summoned the tones of the elder gods with their epic new genre-defining album, Stoner Rock, their fourth full-length release on Ritual Productions. Recorded at Blank Studio, Newcastle, the album “is a tongue-in-cheek dig at our usual classification as ‘stoner rock’ and what the term has come to represent. The idea is to create our own definition of ‘stoner rock’ by creating an album so utterly stoned and repetitive to be a million miles away from the usual definition. Those who know Bong already will get both the humor and the philosophical redefinition… those who don’t know us will either get it when they listen or will never understand Bong at all.” Inspired by the works of H.P. Lovecraft, sonically speaking, Stoner Rock ventures further into the abyss, gravitating toward an endless void, and with the magnitude of their ritualistic, mesmeric drones, we have no choice but to follow. Featuring artwork by Zdzislaw Beksinski.

File Under: Drone, Metal, Doom
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buck65

Buck 65: Neverstory (Warner) LP 
“People of Earth! Today I bring news I’ve been waiting to share with you for a long time. I’m very happy to announce that a new album called Neverlove will finally be released on September 30th, 2014. A great deal of time and pain and joy and refinement went into the making of this one. Some of the saddest and silliest and strongest songs I’ve ever written are on this record. I’m excited and terrified for you to hear it.” – Buck 65

File Under: Hip Hop, Rap, CanCon
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brood

Elliott Brood: Work & Love (Paper Bag) LP
For their fifth album, Elliott Brood wanted to break things. 2008’s Mountain Meadows was shortlisted for the Polaris Prize, and the band’s last record, Days Into Years, won a 2011 Juno award for roots album of the year. Now was the time to smash the precedents, break the mould. To withdraw to a farmhouse in Bath, Ontario, hammering out nine songs in two weeks. For the first time, Elliott Brood decided to work with an outside producer: Ian Blurton, who has helped make roaring records for the Weakerthans, Skydiggers and Cursed. And for the first time, the group’s two songwriters decided to mine the bare histories of their own lives: penning verses about the ends of relationships and the tests of adulthood, long drives, childhood retreating in a rear-view mirror. “Work and love will make a man out of you,” the Constantines sang; and so here is Elliott Brood’s Work and Love, their most personal album to date, the sound of a grown-up band searching their hearts for all they’ve lost and gained. Casey Laforet, Mark Sasso and Stephen Pitkin recorded Work and Love in the cold spring of 2014, as the ice was coming apart on Lake Ontario. They deserted their families and holed up in the Tragically Hip’s Bathhouse studio, scarcely emerging – waking and playing and playing and playing, one song a day. The magic usually happened some time after midnight, when they were “just tired enough”. Blurton would come out and lure them into a new place: a different, even truer landscape. They called him “the Wizard”. Blurton the Wizard and engineer Nyles “the Mad Scientist” Spencer, filling the corners of songs with burred effects and tape loops. Elliott Brood had “played it safe” for four records, they claim: Blurton sharpened their sound, weathered and interrogated it, forced the three musicians to confront their own habits. And it made for a full-length that gestures toward the Hip and the Cons as much as it does to Richard Buckner and Whiskeytown. Adding dimension to select tracks on the album, the band is joined by Aaron Goldtein (City and Colour, Daniel Ramano) on Pedal Steel and John Dinsmore (Kathleen Edwards, Sarah Harmer) on bass (for ÔEach OtherÕs Kids). These songs are loud and quiet but mostly loud, and always reaching toward something. First loves, lost loves, fuck- ups and young men’s just desserts. Laforet has called Work and Love a “lament for youth”, but it’s also a eulogy for the moments that came just after, on the doorstep of manhood. It’s music of remembered abandon, new burdens, and those nights, years ago, when the moonlit fields seemed to go on forever. It’s Elliott Brood at their sheerest, facing forward and backward at the same time.

File Under: Folk, Country, CanCon
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fennesz

Fennesz: Venice (Touch) LP
Special 10th anniversary edition & first time available on vinyl. Gatefold double LP release — 14 tracks. Artwork and photography by Jon Wozencroft. Featuring David Sylvian (vocals) and Burkhard Stangl (guitar). Venice, the fourth studio album by Christian Fennesz, finds electronic music at a crossroads between its early status as digital subculture, and the feeling that there has to be something more, an emotional quality that rises above noise and moves towards melody and rapture. It was voted No. 3 in The Top 50, The Wire, December 2004, was album of the week at BBCi on its release and remains Christian Fennesz’s best-selling record to date. Prefix (USA) noted: “Although Fennesz’s breakout record Endless Summer was followed by a live release and a collaboration with Jim O’Rourke and Peter Rehberg as Fenn O’Berg, Venice is the true heir to that album’s ascendant pop. Venice is not as unabashedly poppy as its predecessor (the lack of Beach Boys references can attest to that), but still mines much the same vein. It was marked by critics at the time as a move away from the relatively robotic music spawned by the IDM craze of the late nineties. Instead, its melodic, emotive tracks foresaw an electronic music that could be purely human.” Pitchfork Media (USA), in a lengthy review, also noted: “Venice’s quality extends beyond its sound. Touch proprietor Jon Wozencroft — through his breathtaking design and photography — continues to fight the good fight against records-as-pure-data by making the CD a value-added prospect.” and The Declaration Online (Web): “Two blue empty row boats left listless on rippling water. Red orange green riverbed foliage reflected in the water’s gauzy oil slick surface. An airport enveloped in dull gray stratus and snow. Upon seeing the photography and packaging accompanying Christian Fennesz’s latest recording, Venice, it is clear that the record label Touch remains intent on not simply putting out records but creating audio-visual imprints dedicated to inextricably tying sound and vision.”

File Under: Electronic, Ambient
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black emanuelle

Nico Fidenco: Black Emanuelle (Dagored) LP
The legendary Nico Fidenco’s score for Black Emanuelle is by turns sultry and serious, fun and funky. The sound is sophisticated, groovy and melodically memorable; mixin’ latin rhythms—in a continuous sexual tension with the exotic images of the beautiful Laura Gemser—and electronic textures that show the influence of early techno masters such as Giorgio Moroder and Kraftwerk.

File Under: OST, Italian
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emanuelle

Nico Fidenco: Black Emanuelle Orient Reportage (Dagored) LP
Nico Fidenco’s Black Emanuelle Orient Reportage aka Black Emanuelle Goes East is one of the seminal soundtracks that will set you on an Italian groove odyssey! The film is probably the most depraved of all the volumes of the Emanuelle series. Maestro Fidenco relies heavily on layered strings, horns, flutes, violins and an array of exotic instruments and aims for eclecticism in playing with versions of the main theme. No one is ever the same after…Black Emanuelle! Mastered at 45rpm.

File Under: OST, Italian

fvs

Function/Vatican Shadow: Games Have Rules (Hospital) LP
Function and Vatican Shadow have combined forces on Games Have Rules for Hospital Productions, simultaneously stripping back each producer’s more prevalent production elements — the dancefloor-focused techno structures of Function; the experimental cassette-roots of Vatican Shadow — to create an album of dynamic electronic ambient music, equal parts rhythmic and atmospheric. As befitting what began life as an “emotional acid” album best suited for an after-hours home-listening experience, Games Have Rules was created in the early hours at New York’s Hospital Productions and Berlin’s Inanimate Objects studios, helping imbue the record with a sense of night turning into day, and the shifting contrasts of dark and light the music evokes. Although not created as the result of improvisation, the album retains an effortless, free-flowing structure, while simultaneously introducing the traditional techno drum kit over the course of the record, deconstructing the ever-changing, looming presence of New York City’s skyline. Ambient in the most traditional sense, Games Have Rules omits the top-heavy reverb saturation of so many modern releases and builds from the ground up with an arsenal of hi-fi and lo-fi production techniques/equipment with a cinematic sequence over the arc of the record. But whereas New York City has so often been depicted in film as a prison, Games Have Rules is an embracement of the city’s endless possibilities: the LP’s gatefold black and white image of The Empire State Building lit up at night from the inside; the ongoing stories of rise and decline lived out at its base.

File Under: Electronic, Ambient, Techno, Industrial
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ATOZ_12in_TIPONSteve Gunn: Way Out Weather (Paradise of Bachelors) LP
In Donald Barthelme’s 1982 story “Lightning,” the narrator, a journalist investigating lightning strike survivors, reflects that “lightning changes things; the soul burns, having been struck by lightning.” He wonders about aesthetic (and supernatural) dimensions—is “lightning an attempt at music on the part of God?” Three decades later, as the catastrophic effects of climate change encroach upon the realms of science fiction, how might our communications and social conventions change, becoming correspondingly weirder and darker? Weather is, after all, both a formulaic conversation starter across cultures and a shared condition that connects us experientially. So what happens when “How about this weather?” becomes a less banal and much more compelling, and dangerous, question? While ecological unease worries at the edges of Steve Gunn’s bold new full-band album Way Out Weather—the breathing sea of the billowing title track, the bad wind and moon over “Wildwood,” the polluted pyramid and blue bins in “Shadow Bros,” the desert heat sickness of “Atmosphere”—the resonance of the title is primarily metaphorical and oblique. Written largely while on tour, the record is an elliptical but seductive travelogue, more engaged with navigating foreign (“way out”) emotional landscapes, and with grasping at universal threads of language and narrative, than with bemoaning rising sea levels. Despite the album-opening lyric to the contrary, “Way Out Weather” is an uncommon song in Steve Gunn’s discography. Sonically and lyrically the album demonstrates a radical evolution, lighting out for lusher, more expansive, and impressionistic territories; it’s his first major work as an artist for whom the studio provides a critical context. A more enigmatic and elevated affair than its predecessor, Way Out Weather completes Gunn’s satisfying transformation into a mature songwriter, singer, and bandleader of subtlety and authority. It ranks as most impressive and inviting record yet, an inscrutable but entirely self-assured masterpiece.

File Under: Folk Rock, Psych, Blues
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helio

Heliocentrics/ Melvin Van Peebles: Last Transmission (Now Again) LP/CD
“An interplanetary space/love odyssey featuring Melvin Van Peebles (Brer Soul, Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song). Following Heliocentrics’ Out There and 13 Degrees of Reality albums. 2 CD set — Instrumentals included on bonus second disc. Van Peebles makes for the Heliocentrics’ ideal foil: he did graduate work in astronomy in Holland in the 1950s and maintains an avid interest in cosmology. The Heliocentrics, as their name conveys, draw inspiration from both the philosophic leanings of the likes of Stephen Hawking and interstellar mysteries, like those surrounding the Malian Dogon tribe’s knowledge of the Sirius B star hundreds of years before it was discovered. Their music is as indebted to Sun Ra’s interstellar jazz as it is inspired by psychedelia’s spiritual expanse. The Last Transmission, presented as a vocal album and an expanded instrumental selection on a bonus disc, can be taken as both the band’s interpretation of Van Peebles’ poem and a musical voyage inspired by Van Peebles’ vivid imagery. The band considers it their defining work, the result of more than a decade of playing and recording together. They’ve found a voice as a band, one that meshes with Van Peebles,’ as he weaves an intergalactic ‘Rime of the Ancient Mariner.’ In between producer/drummer Malcolm Catto’s thunderous syncopation and producer/bassist Jake Ferguson’s bellowing bass lines, amidst the analog electronics and atmospheric interference naturally accorded by their organic analogue process, Van Peebles’ voice floats in and out, spectral in its tone, complete in its conviction in the unfathomable sense that life’s eruption in the cosmic expanse made, and in love’s ability to transform and transcend death.”

File Under: Funk, Library
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jawbreaker

Jawbreaker: 24 Hour Revenge Therapy (Blackball) LP
One of the most popular and successful underground bands of the early- / mid-’90s, California’s Jawbreaker was comprised of Blake Schwarzenbach (guitar and vocals), Chris Bauermeister (bass) and Adam Pfahler (drums). The band melded raw vocals, a driving rhythm section and grinding guitar with complex song structures and literary lyrics, forging a distinctive style that has since, along with Schwarzenbach’s subsequent band Jets to Brazil, influenced a generation of independent music. By the end of 1993, Jawbreaker was in full stride. The band had completed a full US tour in the summer, played several shows that October with Nirvana, and was attracting significant major label attention. 24 Hour Revenge Therapy, released in early 1994, was Jawbreaker’s third album. After the more “progressive” Bivouac, the trio had returned to a straightforward, poppier sound, and the resulting full-length is widely regarded as their best. The bulk of the recording was done by noted independent producer Steve Albini (though it is officially credited to Albini’s cat, Fluss). Following the mainstream success of fellow Californians Green Day and Rancid, Jawbreaker decided to sign with DGC. They released a final studio album, Dear You, before calling it quits in 1996. A feature-length documentary on the band is currently in the works.

File Under: Punk
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jayhawks

Jayhawks: Rainy Day Music
Sound of Lies
Smile
(American) 2LPs

The Jayhawks couldn’t be more excited to announce that the long-awaited reissues of Sound of Lies, Smile and Rainy Day Music are now available on American Recordings/Universal. Smile was never released on vinyl (in the US) and Sound of Lies and Rainy Day Music were only originally released on vinyl in very limited quantities. The new 2LP editions will released on 180g high quality vinyl and will contain bonus tracks. All of the original tracks were remastered in April 2014 by renown mastering engineer Vic Anesini at Battery Studios in NYC using original analog sources whenever possible, offering a fresh new look at these classic albums. The Jayhawks were definitely swimming against the tide when they emerged from a crowded Minneapolis music scene halfway through the 1980s – a memorable decade that saw the likes of the Replacements, Soul Asylum, Husker Du and Prince put Minnesota on the musical map in a big way. Forging a rootsy sound that wasn’t quite rock or country – “Hank Williams on speed” somebody once memorably called it – The Jayhawks quickly turned into one of the most important bands of the post-punk era. Over the course of two decades, several albums, countless memorable live shows and enough personal drama to fill a couple of Behind the Music episodes, this beloved band soared to heights few ever achieve while wining the hearts and minds of numerous critics, fans and peers in the process. Named after “The Hawks” – as in “Levon and the Hawks,” the name of Dylan’s backing band in the ’60s before they became known as “The Band” – The Jayhawks and their fellow travelers even helped make the world safe again for artists who weren’t afraid to fuse traditional rock, country and folk influences into something that was both timeless and modern, just like the best American bands always have.

File Under: Alt. Country, Rock
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jorge

Seu Jorge & Almaz: s/t (Now Again) LP
2014 repress with download code. Originally released in 2010 “Listening to this remarkable album for the first time you’ll surely be struck first by the deep, soul-piercing voice of that great Brazilian singer, Seu Jorge. Yes: he’s a singer first and foremost. Many may know him as an actor for his screen-stealing performances in the likes of Wes Anderson’s The Life Aquatic and Fernando Meirelles’ City Of God but Seu has known since he was a child that we was destined to sing. He’s a Brazilian singer who speaks the truth through samba, to paraphrase a well-known Seu Jorge quote. But this project is about a band: Almaz. Drummer Pupillo and guitarist Lucio Maia from the stalwart Nação Zumbi; bassist and composer Antonio Pinto from the soundstages of movies starring Seu Jorge. They came together naturally to record a song for a Walter Salles film; they enjoyed the experience so much that they recorded an entire album of music that inspired them. Songs famous within the Brazilian diaspora (Tim Maia, Jorge Ben) mesh with classic American (Roy Ayers, Michael Jackson) and European (Kraftwerk, Cane and Abel) soul songs begging for a bit of psychedelic samba. They enlisted producer and fellow Brazileiro Mario C. (Beastie Boys, Jack Johnson) to put the finishing touches on the project. Their album is both warm and dark; psychedelic and yet grounded, uplifting but at times somber. To listen to it is to join them in the studio, where the only bandleader is the music and the only agenda is to follow your heart.”

File Under: Brazilian, Psychedelic, Samba
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maclean

The Juan Maclean: In A Dream (DFA) LP
The dance world way too often privileges the new, and not many dance artists write albums as good as In A Dream, the third full-length album by The Juan Maclean, this far into their career. The Juan Maclean have weathered electroclash, disco-punk, electro-disco, techno, house, deep house, and whatever we can call the sound of today. They never feel totally in step with the moment, but somehow always feel right and necessary. Put differently: there’s always something exciting to say about these guys. Let’s start with Nancy Whang. Nancy’s voice has always been a kind of secret weapon on The Juan Maclean records, but this album is her triumph. Just take a look above at the album art where she’s front and center This is the Nancy Show — you get all sides of Nancy on this record, a wide range of expression. These are all love songs, but emotions run wild. And you can’t pull this off without Nancy — she’s not living in these songs, she’s leading them. Like every Juan record, this one quotes freely from house and techno and disco. Dead drums and vintage synthesizers. This is a DFA record, after all. But early on in their career, The Juan Maclean stopped sounding like genres and just started sounding like The Juan Maclean. Part of that is lyrical — how the words interact with the melodies that carry them. The diction is always off in all the right ways. Another part is how much fun Juan and Nancy have with the arrangements of their songs. Different parts interact and play off one another in a way that’s remindful of the interplay on classic disco records.

File Under: Electronic, Dance, DFA
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lss

Legendary Shack Shakers: Agri.Dustrial (Stag-o-Lee) LP
Right in time for their reunion Stag-O-Lee releases Agri.Dustrial, the latest album by Legendary Shack Shakers on vinyl for the first time. The album features a new track, a new running order and a proper vinyl remastering. A roots rock juggernaut from Nashville, TN, the Legendary Shack Shakers are a hot-rodded foursome combining blues, rockabilly, country, and rock & roll into one manic assemblage boasting all the gloriously explosive instability of an M-80. Fronted by the manic JD Wilkes, who when not busy with music (he also leads the Dirt Daubers) is also known as a visual artist, publishing comic books and creating elaborate “carnival art” murals on discarded roll-up projection screens. The Legendary Shack Shakers existed from 2000 until 2010 with Agri.Dustrial from 2010 being their last release, although only on CD back then. On this record we hear new guitarist Duane Denison (Hank III, Jesus Lizard), who plays with the enthusiastic power of his predecessors, while new drummer Brett Whitacre drives his kit like it’s a semi full of dynamite rolling down a steep hill with no brakes. Singer Colonel JD Wilkes matches the mania of his bandmates, and with longtime bass man Mark Roberts in tow, they deliver a disc packed with sizzling slabs of rock mayhem. This is one sweet and evil ride. Sixteen songs in 38 minutes. Fasten seat belts. The Legendary Shack Shakers play like their lives depend on wringing the maximum force out of every note. Agri.Dustrial — already a timeless classic.

File Under: Rockabilly
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kink gong

Kink Gong: Gongs (Discrepant) LP
Since the end of the ’90s, Laurent Jeanneau aka Kink Gong has been recording the music of mostly endangered minorities of South East Asia. Alongside his relentless pursuit of remote exotic and unpublished musical traditions, he also creates electronic versions by combining raw recordings with natural sounds, archival material and electronically-treated sounds. For Gongs, Laurent returns to his soundscape approach not heard since the Xinjiang LP (2011) and further develops his unique re-versions around the extensive gong orchestra recordings he made on location in the remote regions of Cambodia & Laos. All tracks were recorded on location and re-arranged by Laurent Jeanneau in Dali, Paris & Berlin. Vinyl pressing of 500 copies.

File Under: Field Recordings, Asia
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Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Mr. Twin Sister: s/t (Twin) LP
This is the second full length album by the five members of Twin Sister, now known as Mr Twin Sister. For this record, the band returned to the creative process they had employed on their first two EPs- working individually or in small, shifting groups, slowly building and rebuilding, before ultimately polishing with the full band. There was a new depth to the process this time- prior to 2010, the band had never before been in a proper studio. Now having spent time in one, they knew better how and when to use it, and were able to combine its benefits with a more methodical songwriting approach for the first time. Revolving around themes of self-identity and isolation, we are given eight songs stretching 38 minutes, something far deeper, darker, and more substantial than anything they have done before.

File Under: Indie Rock, Synth Pop
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stevens

Cedric Stevens: Hanging in the Wires (Discrepant) LP
After a busy spell collaborating with the likes of Fennesz and My Cat Is An Alien, Belgium experimental stalwart Cédric Stevens still finds time to complete a meditative LP of modular electronics, electric guitar and Indian tambura. Taking his trademark modular synth textures further into the ether zone, Stevens continues his flirtations between the fragile lines of noise and celestial drones, offering again another beautiful glimpse into his ongoing studio experiments at the reclusive Hermetic garage. With a gentle A-side of modular synths, guitars, and field recordings, the B-side plunges the listener into a grandiose meditating raga piece entitled “Benares Crescent.” Based exclusively on recordings of an Indian tambura and developed by Stevens over the last 5 years, “Benares” swooshes through Indian psychedelic drones, evoking a sometimes wild others meditating, electrified Indian harmonic soundscape. The logical continuation of the Belgium “school” of exploratory electronics. Fans of Baudouin Oosterlynck, Léo Kupper, Folke Rabe or Remko Scha take note.

File Under: Drone, Raga, Electronic
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supersilent

Supersilent: 12 (Rune Grammofon) CD
Rune Grammofon are delighted to welcome back the mighty Supersilent with a brand-new record, their first in four years. Recorded during three different sessions back in 2011, Supersilent 12 is produced by Deathprod from hours of recordings at his own Audio Virus LAB, Athletic Sound in Halden and the Emanuel Vigeland Museum, known for its 20-second natural reverb. Since the very beginning, Supersilent have always moved forward with the greatest integrity. Supersilent music is collective work, total group improvising, and not a matter of individual grandstanding. They never rehearse as a group and don’t discuss the music with each other, meeting only to play concerts or to record. Every recording and every concert is a unique occasion, not to be repeated, and their music lives in a no-man’s-land between the genres, somewhere between avant-garde free-jazz, rock, electronica and modern composition. It can sometimes appear to be written or at least arranged, again making it clear that these musicians communicate on a high, almost telepathic level. Supersilent 12 brings further evidence to the above. Known as being heavy on electronics, this time they have moved further towards the avant-garde territory populated by Deathprod and current Arve Henriksen releases Chron and Cosmic Creation. It features some of their darkest and most eerie soundscapes, but there’s still room for Henriksen’s lyrical trumpet. Supersilent was formed in Oslo in 1997 after producer, musician and sound artist Helge Sten approached improvising trio Veslefrekk with the idea of forming a new quartet. The first time they played together, without prior rehearsals, was at Bergen Jazz Festival the same year. Their first album, the triple set 1-3 was released in late ’97, also being the first release on Rune Grammofon. Drummer Jarle Vespestad left the group in 2008 without being replaced. Ståle Storløkken is a member of Humcrush, Elephant9, BOL, Reflections In Cosmo and Terje Rypdal’s Skywards trio and a couple of other projects. Arve Henriksen has released eight solo albums, seven of them on Rune Grammofon, and he has recorded with David Sylvian, Trygve Seim, Jon Balke, Christian Wallumrød and many others. Helge Sten aka Deathprod was a former member of rock group Motorpsycho and is now a permanent member in Susanna’s trio. As Deathprod he has released three albums as well as a retrospective 4CD box set. He is a producer on the various independent scenes in Norway, with credits including Jaga Jazzist, Nils Petter Molvaer, Motorpsycho, The White Birch, Susanna, Jenny Hval, and several others. Helge Sten (audio virus, electronics); Ståle Storløkken (keyboards, electronics); Arve Henriksen (trumpet, electronics).

File Under: Electronic, Ambient, Improv, Jazz
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jmt

Jone Takamaki Trio: Universal Mind (Arc Light Editions) LP
Arc Light Editions follows up two successful vinyl-only releases (Arthur Russell, Ingram Marshall) with Jone Takamäki Trio’s Universal Mind, a forgotten Finnish spiritual improv record from 1982, fully authorized by Jone himself. The tracks on Universal Mind are based on traditional Indian arrangements, with Japanese influence, leaning towards Alice Coltrane’s spirituality and pace. In addition to traditional improv instrumentation (saxophone, bass, drums), the record also includes synthesizers, gongs, finger pianos, a vibraphone and washbasins. Jone says, recalling making the record: “We played a lot together, daily, at our rehearsal space before recording. We went through the melodies and talked about how to handle them with a kind of different angle, improvised a lot with different sounds. We talked about tempos, especially we were diving deep into special moods, how each of those melodies talked to us. They are mostly old love songs from India, more folk songs than classical music.” After the recording, they left immediately on a European tour. “I told the people at the record company not to do anything to the record before we came back, but it was released while we were away. We saw the record on the windows of different record shops when we drove into town from the tour!” The record has never appeared on CD, and the 1982 vinyl release has rarely been heard outside Finland. The only place the release has re-emerged in recent memory is with the track “Bhupala I” selected on Son of Arctic Hysteria, a CD compilation of Finnish avant-garde and experimental music.

File Under: Finnish, Improv, Spiritual Jazz
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teenanger

Teenanger: E P L P (Telephone Explosion) LP
This eight-song offering is simultaneously their most accessible AND diverse to date. Here’s a review from Exclaim: “Teenanger have never been an easy band to peg — 2012’s Frights found the band kind of, but not quite, shrugging off their garage-y past, while 2013’s Singles Don’t $ell rode the line between direct punk poppiness and a new wave sheen. As the title suggests, E P L P is a continuation of the band’s ambivalence toward stasis or definition, sounding like a culmination of all of their previous ideas while still incorporating some new ones into their honed hooks. Most notably, Jon Schouten has opted for a sharper, crunchier guitar tone throughout the record, giving everyone else a bit more room to step up and be heard. Bassist Melissa Ball’s backup vocals play a greater role, even taking the lead on “Mild Survivor.” The changes might be slight, but like the bleating saxophone solo on “Twisted,” or the stabs of synth on “Negative Zeroes,” they’re essential to giving E P L P a sound that’s difficult to classify easily, while still making it distinct from its predecessors.”

File Under: Punk, CanCon
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tin man

Tin Man: Ode (Acid Test) LP
What does a rave sound like the next day? The strobe lights in a dark warehouse, the pounding kick, the blur of ecstatic faces lead to a morning-after emptiness, all fade into memories of the friends you once had. On Ode, Tin Man (proper name Johannes Auvinen) explores this feeling, offering tracks which possess an exhausted joy, the aural equivalent of the stretch of time beginning when the last record is played and stretching on towards the doleful contemplation of last night’s unmade sheets. Appropriately, Tin Man’s melancholic dance music is more club-ready than ever. The opening tracks explore the spacious atmosphere first proposed on Neo Neo Acid and the (recently-repressed) Acid Test 01 collaboration with Donato Dozzy. Auvinen continues to coax unique, bittersweet sounds out of the 303 — his control is akin to a virtuosic Theremin-player, all dramatic lunges and dynamics. Yet on tracks like “Depleted Serotonin,” the memories of half-remembered nights surface. That track reprises the minor-key rave breakdown, ending with nearly three-minutes of knackered techno throb. Similarly, “What a Shame” sounds like a forgotten Warp classic run through Tin Man’s palette of tasteful reserve. Always conceptual, Tin Man is commenting on big-room techno music by presenting his thoughtful, hungover version of it. On “Vertigo,” he reins in the acid box acrobatics — opting instead for a rudimentary, early-Chicago style pattern, eventually following optimistic chords skyward. It’s a simulacrum of that end-of-the-night moment when the music is so charged and utopic that all fatigue is forgotten. Auvinen’s recognized talent to imbue machines with complex human emotion draws us into his world. With Tin Man’s music, there is always something left unsaid — he uses familiar elements yet his perspective remains singular and mysterious. Each dream-like track is another clue. He ends the set with the intensely dramatic “Memoraphilia” and “Ode.” The former concludes on an ominous note with strings that evoke paranoia, yet this feeling, too, will pass. The final (and title) track begins with the Deepchord-level percussive filtering that acts as the album’s textural base. Almost immediately, Tin Man introduces an octave-jumping acid refrain. The four-bar loop reaches operatic heights of yearning. “Ode”‘s rave stabs indicate this drama comes from the implacable notion of being alone in the crowd — an emptiness which can remain long after it’s disbanded. What comes when the dance is over?

File Under: Electronic, Techno
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unicorns

Unicorns: Who Will Cut Our Hair… (Xemu) LP
2003’s Who Will Cut Our Hair When We’re Gone? is the third and final album from Montreal, Quebec band The Unicorns. The release features thirteen tracks deeply rooted in careful songwriting and lo-fi pop experimentalism. The Unicorns have a gift for blending a morbid sense of humour with irresistible pop melodies caked with beautiful vocals employing thoughtful, near-sacred lyrics. The recording opens with “I Don’t Wanna Die,” a plea to the makers of the universe to “grant me one more breath”, setting the tone for the overall theme of the album. “Tuff Ghost” takes the intensity up a notch with The Unicorns’ attempt to cash in on the disco punk sound. “Ghost Mountain” is a lyrical tale of colonialism blanketed in a taut metaphor of one journey to the top of a haunted mountain, boasting classic lines like ‘There was heat from the fire, but I still froze when I saw the ghost.’ Completing the ghost trilogy, “Sea Ghost,” a pithy pop tune in the purest form, will stick with you for days, eating at your insides and turning your skin green, not unlike a parasite attached to your leg at the bottom of the ocean. In terms of sonorous diseases, “Jellybones” is maybe the most infectious pop tune on the record, ending too soon, but sticking around so long. Analog synthesizers never sounded this good. But suddenly, the smoking urgency of “The Clap” re-awakens the unsettling undercurrent of the album, in a wiry, unforgiving 1:25. The band’s sing-along Motown-inspired “I Was Born a Unicorn” serves as the band’s confrontational anthem, flatly asking: ‘Are you a believer?’ “Tuff Luff” will make Jay-Z wet his pants when he hears it! The song’s hook comes in the form of a penny whistle, but the impact remains in the wry critical observations of U.S. foreign policy. And then, just as you’ve embraced the Unicorns as your favorite band… it’s over, sharply abrupt and sad (like slipping off a cliff to one’s demise) with “Ready to Die,” a naive dirge, relenting to the unavoidable reality of mortality.

File Under: LoFi Pop, CanCon
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univers

Univers Zero: Relaps (Sub Rosa) LP
First limited edition: solid blue, black and clear mixed vinyl. Gatefold sleeve. Founding members of the original “Rock In Opposition” (R.I.O.) movement and the inventors of “chamber rock,” mythic Belgian band Univers Zero have continued to change and grow and develop over their entire career, while still keeping an ensemble sound and spirit that is easily recognizable. These recordings were previously unavailable in an LP format. Longstanding dark-hued Belgian chamber rockers and avant-prog pioneers led by drummer/composer Daniel Denis, Univers Zero was formed in 1974 with co-composer and guitarist Roger Trigaux (who left the band in 1980). This 2LP documents the final 1980s line-ups before the band’s long sabbatical from recording and touring. Despite many line-up changes over the years, their overall sound remained fairly consistent.

File Under: Prog, Rock in Opposition
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unwoundUnwound: No Energy (Numero) 3LP Box
As a robust rock underground got swallowed alive by the Major Label Industrial Complex, the very autonomous Unwound “Olympia, Washington’s Great Noise Hope” toed the troublesome line between pay check and Check Engine light. Captured in the gaps of a ruthless touring schedule, defining fourth and fifth albums The Future of What and Repetition were issued in the back-to-back springs of 1995 and ‘96. Both find the band severing their post-hardcore roots, for gripping detours into Echoplex, kraut, D&B, and Mingus, as guided by a sun-worn copy of Book Your Own Fuckin’ Life. No Energy collects both of these 1990s masterworks, beginning with Justin Trosper’s home-made haircut stabs on ‘New Energy’, continuing with Vern Rumsey’s reanimating bass on ‘Corpse Pose’, and closing in a wall of Sara Lund crash cymbals on ‘For Your Entertainment.’ This 33-song collection is buttressed by singles and period live tracks, a pile of double-exposed photographs, and a 10,000 word essay by latter-day Unwound diarist David Wilcox.

File Under: Punk
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x2

X: Aspiriations (Ugly Pop) LP
“The Sydney band’s 1979 debut is one of the all-time great Australian records, a devastatingly tough yet diverse album featuring 14 tracks of superb punk rock, equal parts wiry tension and savage release. This antipodean classic has fallen out of print again in recent years but should always be available, so Ugly Pop is pleased to announce that we’ll be reissuing it with new insert and unseen photos.”

x1

X: Spurts (Ugly Pop) LP
“Before their legendary debut LP, X recorded a 1977 demo session that is a brilliant snapshot of the period, and a treasure for anyone with an interest in world-wide first wave punk. Ten tracks, perfect raw/full recording, seething with desperation and urgency, this is the sound of early AC/DC meets ‘Pink Flag’ with everything cranked. 37 years on, Ugly Pop presents the first ever vinyl appearance of this seminal document.”

File Under: Punk, Australian
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haino

Zeitkrazter/Keiji Haino: Live at Jahrhunderthalle Bochum (Karlrecords) LP
LP version of 2014 release Zeitkratzer + Keiji Haino. 180 gram pressing, gatefold sleeve, limited to 500, includes download code. On his second release with Zeitkratzer, Keiji Haino concentrates solely on his voice. No electronics are used except for amplification. Nevertheless, this live recording is even more radical than the first one. Radical is the concentration on the very limited but frenetic musical material, worked out in detail, which is rarely heard in the noise context — enabling Keiji Haino to sit on it, fly over, to merge or just to oppose. Zeitkratzer’s amplified instruments, played with extended techniques as developed by the group and its outstanding musicians over more than a decade and Haino’s incredible richness in voice timbres and noises complement each other perfectly. It’s one of the closest and most natural cooperations Zeitkratzer ever had. Wild and beautiful. Shouting, scratching, screaming, piping, chattering, crying, rumbling, oscillating, roaring, clashing, juttering, tinkling, singing, … and at the end, it’s hilarious, powerful music, pure noise and pure melody. As the Chicago Reader noted: “The supernova finally occurs!” and The Wire agreed: “A real highlight, with Zeitkratzer enfolding Keiji Haino in its grasp like some tentacular kraken of the deep. Haino effectively becomes another member of the group.” Rock-a-Rolla cheered: “Forceful and utterly compelling!” Nothing left to say than: listen! Zeitkratzer is directed by Reinhold Friedl: Frank Gratkowski (clarinets); Hild Sofie Tafjord (French horn); Hilary Jeffery (trombone); Reinhold Friedl (piano); Marc Weiser (acoustic noises); Maurice de Martin (percussion); Burkhard Schlothauer (violin); Anton Lukoszevieze (violoncello); + Keiji Haino (voice); Recorded live at Jahrhunderthalle Bochum, Ruhrtriennale. Recorded & mixed by Martin Wurmnest . Mastered by Rashad Becker.

File Under: Modern Classical, Experimental
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burlesqueVarious: Burlesque Temptations:
Swinging Sound
Sleazy Sound
Sophisticated Sound
(AC) LP

Swing it, baby! Welcome to a fantastic three volume series dedicated to Burlesque music. Intended as an inspiration for performers who are searching for new tunes, as well as presenting a pleasant listening experience for fans of the newly re-born art of Burlesque, these volumes are the perfect soundtrack to a Burlesque club night or any retro cocktail party. Featuring the most swinging, lascivious, and provocative sounds the 20th century had to offer, the Burlesque Temptations series will please any and all fans of Sazerac and garter belts. The series has been compiled by Rome’s own legendary guru/mentor of the thriving contemporary Burlesque scene, Alessandro Casella, and featuring beautiful original artwork from one of the UK’s finest retro aficionados, Tony Diavolo. Each volume is presented on 140 gram vinyl with a free accompanying CD.

File Under: Exotica, Jazz, Swing

falco

Various: Tav Falco’s Wild & Exotic World of Musical Obscurities (Stag’o’Lee) LP
Tav Falco, the Memphis legend (of Panther Burns fame) compiled 25 of his favorite tunes from ’50s rockabilly to tangos, waltzes & other wonderful obscurities. Songs he loves, songs he covered with Panther Burns, songs that influenced him, thus shedding much light upon the music that incessantly ignites Falco’s muse. This is a wild and wonderful ride. A Back to Mine-style compilation that will open your ears. Double vinyl housed in a gatefold sleeve with extensive liner notes by the maestro himself. Artists include: The Johnny Burnette Trio, Don Willis, Bobby Lee, Allen Page, Arthur “Big Boy” Crudup, Jimmy Lloyd, Benny Joy, Alexander Princes, Bachicha Bianco, Anton Karas, Los Indios Tacunau, Carlos Di Sarli, Orchestra Juan D’Arienzo, Osvaldo Pugliese, Elmore James, Bobby Blue Bland, Chet Baker, Fred Buscaglione, Martin Denny, Dion & The Belmonts, Shorty Rogers, Charlie Feathers, and Alex Chilton.

File Under: Rockabilly, Exotica

…..restocks…..

13th Floor Elevators: Easter Everywhere (Snapper) 2LP
Alexisonfire: Crisis (Dine Alone) LP
Alexisonfire: Old Crows/Young Cardinals (Dine Alone) LP
Alexisonfire: Watch Out! (Dine Alone) LP
Bjork: Homogenic (One Little Indian) LP
Black Keys: Brothers (Nonesuch) LP
Black Keys: El Camino (Nonesuch) LP
Black Keys: Magic Potion (Nonesuch) LP
Black Keys: Turn Blue (Nonesuch) LP
Caribou: Swim (Merge) LP
Caribou: Andorra (Merge) LP
Chrome: Visitations (Cleopatra) 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
Clash: s/t (Epic) LP
Clash: Combat Rock (Epic) LP
Earth: Primitive & Deadly (Southern Lord) LP
Flying Lotus: You’re Dead! (Warp) 4LP Box
Genius/Gza: Liquid Swords (Get On Down) LP
Grateful Dead: Aoxomoxoa (Rhino) LP
LCD Soundsystem: s/t (DFA) LP
LCD Soundsystem: Sound of Silver (DFA) LP
M83: Hurry Up We’re Dreaming (Mute) LP
MF Doom: Operation Doomsday (Metal Face) LP
New Order: Power, Corruption, & Lies (Rhino) LP
New Pornographers: Brill Bruisers (Last Gang) LP
Pallbearer: Sorrow & Extinction (20 Buck Spin) LP
Placebo: s/t (Music on Vinyl) LP
Queens of the Stone Age: s/t (Rekords) LP
Queens of the Stone Age: Rated R (Interscope) LP
Queens of the Stone Age: Lullabies to Paralyse (Music On Vinyl) LP
Laetitia Sadier: Something Shines (Drag City) LP
Sigur Ros: Meo Suo I Eyrum Vio Spilum.. (XL) LP
Sleaford Mods: Divide & Exit (Harbringer) LP
Sun Kil Moon: Benji (Caldo Verte) LP
Talking Heads: 77 (Rhino) LP
Talking Heads: Fear of Music (Rhino) LP
Talking Heads: More Songs About Buildings… (Rhino) LP
Tweedy: Sukierae (Anti) LP+CD
Robert Wyatt: The End of an Ear (Cherry Red) LP
Ahmad Zahir: 70s Aghan Psychedelic Folk-Pop (Guerssen) LP
Various: Guardians of the Galaxy OST (Hollywood) LP
Various: Original Raw Soul 3 (Now Again) LP

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