wow…. if you weren’t here on saturday, then perhaps you saw the photo we posted, and if not, well you missed something truly insane! a massive line up to get in for record store day, line up to pay for almost the entire day. so many smiling friendly faces. so many record lovers. such great times! thank you thank you thank you to every single person who came down and supported the shop. and now, back to normal… killer records, all the time! and this week is a doozy, one of my all time favorite albums finally reissued on vinyl, for the first time ever, and a whole lot of other rad stuff too….
…..pick of the week…..
*bill fay – time of the last persecution – 4 men with beards – lp
– hell ya! this is one of the best albums ever! so happy to finally own this thing on vinyl… “time of the last persecution is bill fay’s second and final album for the deram label, originally released in 1971. an absolute classic of melancholy (borderline morbid) folk-rock that falls somewhere between pearls before swine, leonard cohen, and a suicide prevention hotline. time of the last persecution is almost single-mindedly obsessed with end times so it’s fitting that this brilliant album would be his last release for over 30 years. now that fay is back with a new and highly lauded album, it’s high time that his classic, definitive statement, is available again on 180 gram vinyl.” you need this in your life….
a certain ratio – to each – drastic plastic – lp
– hand-numbered, limited edition of 180-gram vinyl or coloured vinyl. originally released on factory records in 1981, and produced by legendary joy division producer martin hannett, a certain ratio is known for their post-punk masterpiece to each. here is a haunting exploration of the dark crannies and corners that might be contained inside a jazz cathedral. for fans of the durutti column, the pop group, joy division, and p.i.l. remastered for vinyl by masterdisk.
a hawk & a hacksaw – you have already gone to the other world – l.m. dupli-cation – lp
– the duo of jeremy barnes (neutral milk hotel) and heather trost, known for performing traditional and original music steeped in eastern european folk traditions, present their sixth album. the sixteen tracks feature seven originals along with nine ukrainian, hungarian and romanian traditional songs re-imagined and arranged with inspiration taken from the legendary 1964 film shadows of forgotten ancestors by russian filmmaker sergey paradjanov.
akron/family – sub verses – dead oceans – lp
– “the album started with visions of large monumental sounds inspired by heizer and turrell; american works on a grand scale, monuments, dirty hands and an epic american masculinity. dust, stone, sky, earth. these broad, bold strokes would come to pass but not quite as expected. from shamanic hypno-mantras to noise-damaged soul anthems to north african street frenzy, from droning microtonal balladry to modular synthesizer destruction to lynchian doo-wop and back again. the sound is propulsive and driven by it’s physicality, and a disciplined acknowledgement of lineage. akron/family is here, with drums and guitars like divining rods calling on sonny sharrock and link wray, on elvin jones and john bonham, on jimmy garrison and aston barrett.
*barn owl – v – thrill jockey – lp
– “barn owl has always specialized in devotional darkness, pushing desert rock into previously unexplored, murky territories. v marks a shift in approach for the duo of jon porras and evan caminiti. the pair augmented their arsenal of guitars and effects with an array of electronics, vastly expanding the album’s sounds and textures. special attention was given to implied rhythms nestled within dense slow building environments, giving the album a rhythmic presence, albeit one that is buried beneath intricate layers. theirs is a ghostly rhythm, almost beyond reach.”
cosmonauts – if you wanna die then i wanna die – ayo silver – lp
– reissue of the cosmonauts’ second lp, originally released in 2012 by burger records. punk, rock’n’roll, and psychedelic music, reminding the contemporary big names of the style, such as thee oh sees, ty segall, moon duo, or the growlers. what you will find in this album is a combination of rock and roll beats, psychedelic vibes and punk attitude that transcends those genres. in a field where bands are usually subscribed to the same clichés, cosmonauts drown them. their music arises from the stomach, it’s as real as a punch full of anger, like a cold shower or sweaty pogo-dancing in first row. despite their significant charisma, cosmonauts are a perfect example of this generation; a new scene full of bands reading the past but writing the future, but they also reference the velvet underground, silver apples, or sst bands. cosmonauts take us on a psychedelic field-trip empowered by amphetaminic punk nerve on this album, and on other tunes they dig atmospheric loops with minimalistic structures while maintaining a pop heart.
disappears – kone – disappears – 12″
– disappears take 30-plus minutes to stretch out into the void, get abstract and make something that’s rare these days-music that asks the listener to listen. two different versions of “kone” (the b-side “edit” ends in a lock groove to infinity!) plus one new cut to boot. precedes the next disappears lp era due out in the fall of 2013 on kranky. limited edition of 1,000 copies with download.
*expo seventy – virtually from the unknown – sonic meditations – lp
– “expo ’70 is mainly known for being the work of justin wright with the occasional contribution of other musicians, primarily dabbling in drone, krautrock, psychedelic rock and kosmische music. this new release features a trio line-up of wright accompanied by aaron osborne and mike vera. rounded out by bass and drums, a heavier doom-inspired psychedelic journey from the drop of the needle takes the listener into the inner tangled web of sound and locked grooves from the rhythm section allowing wright to express washes of textures and breaking loose on more rock-esque guitar playing. as the needle drops onto side b, ‘closet full of candles’ opens as a huge sabbathy riff and get’s into stoner rock territory and quickly becomes dismantled by a wash of psychedelic jamming.”
luc ferrari – programme commun – sub rosa – lp
– sub rosa presents two substantial pieces from electro-acoustic musique concrete innovator luc ferrari: “programme commun pour clavecin et bande magnetique” (1972), performed by elisabeth chojnacka, and another previously-unreleased piece that he held dear: “les emois d’aphrodite” (1986/1998), performed by san francisco’s mc band under his direction. “‘programme commun…’: although cheerful, this piece of music asks a serious question: can one separate one’s political and artistic concerns, either directly, as a film can allow, or indirectly, as in this music? mostly though, this music is my way of commemorating the signing, in 1972, of the programme commun. ‘les emois d’aphrodite’: from the 1986 version i have retained the character of this piece, a kind of disjointed rock that periodically pops up as aphrodite’s dance. i have added harmonic ‘manipulations,’ or a progression toward disjointed harmony, which is what i currently look for (i have not said ‘which is my current aesthetics’). finally, the introduction of samplers makes it possible to convey the liveliness of time to disjoint tones.” –luc ferrari
*genius/gza – liquid swords – get on down – 4lp + chess set
– back in! “for record store day, get on down is proud to bring you gza’s liquid swords in its most deluxe treatment ever. the liquid swords chess box contains the entire liquid swords album and complete instrumentals, as well as in depth, full color liner notes with contributions from gza himself, inner jackets and dust sleeves with memorable vintage artwork from the original release, and even a complete full-sized wooden chess set, which can be played on the chess board contained on the inner lining of the box. housed in a sturdy wrapped hard board box with a deluxe magnetic clasp, this edition of liquid swords spans across eight sides of vinyl with the complete album as a double lp and the full rza produced instrumentals as a double lp. the album features appearances by the entire wu-tang clan, and includes the auspicious debut of killah priest on ‘b.i.b.l.e.’ liquid swords now has the vinyl reissue deserving of a project acknowledged as one of the ‘100 best rap albums’ by the source and ‘top 100 records of the 1990s’ by pitchfork.”
*gravetemple – ambient/ruin – ideologic organ – 2lp
– gravetemple was formed in 2006 as a side-project of the band sunn o))) by oren ambarchi, stephen o’malley and attila csihar. the group formed initially to tour in israel in the summer of ’06, creating several recordings which eventually became the holy down album, which was released on southern lord recordings in 2007. at the time of the israel tour, the lebanon war started and was in action. in summer ’08, the trio reformed together with the addition of australian drummer matt “skitz” sanders for a short european tour culminating in a headlining performance at supersonic festival in birmingham. in late 2009, the original trio reconvened for a special one-off concert at london’s institute of contemporary arts. april 2013 marks the first set of live action since that period, and a new chapter in the ongoing system of the related network. ambient/ruin was created with the 2008 quartet — elements of tape collage, concrète, and field recordings blend within a strong, geographically-diverse (parts were recorded in japan, australia, paris and israel) suite of heavy minimalist/maximalist music, black/death metal and drone. the culmination of these efforts become the music, literally, of sadistik exekution meeting phill niblock. gravetemple clearly adapted the more abstract and experimental aspects related to sunn o))) and have continued from that point, with ongoing focus on metaphysical construction of free music and will. the music became a geographically and metaphysically-based effort.
*gruppo di improvvisazione nuova consonanza – musica su schemi – suprior viaduct – lp
– in the early 1970s, franco evangelisti assembled gruppo di improvvisazione nuova consonanza, a collective of italian composers that included ennio morricone on trumpet. gruppo aspired to revolutionize composition through group improvisation and-like their peer, karlheinz stockhausen-musique concrete, aleatory (controlled chance) techniques and early electronic music. one significant influence in the studio was their use of chess to define key parameters of their music. musica su schemi is unpredictable, fluid and always marked by a tension between the performers and their conscious rejection of traditional forms. each member of gruppo would establish themselves as important figures in 20th century music, though no others gained the notoriety of morricone. nonetheless, gruppo’s influence on modern composition endures. as composer / saxophonist john zorn explains, “[they] were instrumental in founding a radical tradition of western musical improvisation that owed little or nothing to anybody and created some of the strangest music ever made.”
*keiji haino/jim o’rourke/oren ambarchi – now while it’s still warm let us pour in all the mystery – black truffle – lp
– “following on from 2012’s acclaimed imikizushi, now while it’s still warm let us pour in all the mystery is the fourth release from the established power trio of keiji haino, jim o’rourke, and oren ambarchi, recorded in january 2012 at their yearly concert at super deluxe, tokyo. while the trio’s two previous double lp releases featured sprawling, side-long performances, the music here is presented in six shorter pieces, each one displaying a different side of the trio’s interactions, from holy minimalism to cave-man rock. the record begins with the trio joined by special guests charlemagne palestine and eiko ishibashi, conjuring ghostly tones from wine glasses as an accompaniment to haino’s angelic vocals. this 10-minute piece, which moves from near silence and the sound of onstage footsteps to a stunning passage of clean guitar work from haino, is steeped in the same mysterious atmospherics as haino’s great folk-drone project, nijumu. when haino turns to the flute on the lp’s second track, a performance that clearly demonstrates the importance of the special concept of space and silence (ma) that haino has developed from traditional japanese aesthetics, o’rourke and ambarchi transform into the delicate and probing rhythm section of a classic ’70s fusion side. when the trio returns to the crushing free-rock of their last two records, o’rourke’s heavily effected bass rolling alongside ambarchi’s tumbling rhythms as haino’s guitar squeals and slashes above them, their performances display a new purposefulness and concision. now truly operating as a band after a number of years of playing together, the pieces here feel like instant rocks songs — o’rourke and ambarchi instantly locking into solid riffs over which haino alternates between jarring no-wave chords, intense soloing and his signature vocalizations. when the trio slow down and stretch out, the rhythm section plods like an abstracted crazy horse on the brink of collapse, and haino elicits long, mournful solos reminiscent of the first classic fushitsusha double live lp. perhaps more accessible than the trio’s previous recordings because of its range and concision, now while it’s still warm… exudes the dark, alien quality of haino’s greatest recordings and testifies to the strength of the musical bond that has developed between these three players. –francis plagne, jan 2013.”
xander harris – new dark age of love – not not fun – lp
– the past two years have found austin’s dark lord xander harris (aka justin sweatt) on a heavy transfigurative trip, overhauling his live rig, detouring through an expansive soundtrack project celebrating the 20th anniversary of neal stephenson’s snow crash, touring outside texas (from new orleans to the netherlands), plus a host of other inner-life turmoils and metamorphoses-all of which have seeped into the synthesizer soil of his stunning second full-length, the new dark age of love. from the first shimmering hovercraft tones that kick off album opener “night fortress,” the growth is glaring; gone is the slasher camp and horror tropes of urban gothic, replaced by sleek, streamlined post-industrial cold-wave dystopias. a ballardian mood of paranoia, doom and technocratic elegance reigns, from icy, sci-fi night-drives to sweeping cyber-gothic dread symphonies; even the few forays into overt vhs splatter-score worship are executed with a similar sense of future-shocked metropolitan menace. echoes abound of classic chris & cosey urban wasteland synth-pop, umberto’s vintage evil, and klaus schulze at his most candlelit and crowleyian, but the new dark age of love is unquestionably sweatt’s story to tell, and it’s a tome.
*the haxan cloak – excavation – tri angle – lp
– in 2011 with the release of his debut, the haxan cloak, solo project of multi instrumentalist, bobby krlic, appeared seemingly out of nowhere with an impressively fully formed sound that blew away most anyone who heard it. recorded over the space of 3 years the haxan cloak was a wildly ambitious fusion of malevolent strings, junkyard found-sounds and primitive percussion, krlic’s grand ambitions transcending the fact that it was all recorded in a shed at the bottom of krlic’s parent’s home in wakefield, yorkshire. in the two years since the release of his debut, krlic relocated to London and began working on it’s epic follow up, and tri angle records debut, excavation. bolstered by the concept he was developing for his follow up and a desire to challenge himself into new terrains, krlic has evolved his sound to incorporate more of his electronic influences. the result is an album awash with serrated beats and cavernous sub-bass, meshing with the classical drones and ghostly details the haxan cloak fans will have already been accustomed to. excavation finds krlic confidently adopting a more minimalist approach to his compositions, experimenting with space and silence without forsaking any of the intensity that made his debut such a powerful statement of intent. if the haxan cloak was conceived as the soundtrack to a character’s journey towards death, excavation is its sequel representing the journey after death. excavation is about disconnecting entirely from this and entering upon a more astral plane, explaining some of the albums more ethereal, ambient moments that are in constant tension with jagged and aggressive elements. this journey isn’t supposed to represent an archetypal heaven or hell scenario, but something more abstract and unknowable; the abstraction of the situation being one of its most unsettling aspects. excavation is another uncompromising, incredibly personal record from an artist who is continuing to operate very much within his own world.
iron & wine – ghost on ghost – nonesuch – lp+cd/cd
– ghost on ghost is the fifth release from singer-songwriter sam beam, using the pen name iron and wine. ghost on ghost was produced by beam’s longtime associate brian deck (modest mouse, califone, fruit bats) and follows 2011’s kiss each other clean, which debuted at #2 on the billboard chart to critical acclaim. rolling stone said of kiss each other clean that “pop music hadn’t seen anything like it since the heyday of cat stevens,” while pitchfork said it “more closely resembles the lush, gold-toned singer songwriter records of the late 60s and early 70s – astral weeks, goodbye yellow brick road.” for ghost on ghost, beam sought to move from what he called the ‘anxious tension’ of his two previous records. “this record felt like a reward to myself after the way i went about making the last few,” he says. helping achieve beam’s vision was a group of stellar musicians including rob burger, steve bernstein, brian blade, curtis fowlkes, tony garnier, marika hughes, briggan kraus, maxim moston, tony scherr, doug wieselman, kenny wolleson, and anja wood. burger (tin hat trio) has worked with beam intermittently through the years and handled arrangements for strings and horns on ghost on ghost.
*paul metzger – tombeaux – nero’s neptune – lp
– tombeaux, the much-anticipated new album from paul metzger, marks our alchemist’s third appearance on nero’s neptune, following critically-acclaimed contributions to labels like locust and honest jon’s. metzger summons the spirits of musical appalachian forefathers, guitarist django reinhardt and classical sitarist nikhil banerjee, among others, weaving a peerless, highly individualistic music that sounds unlike anyone but himself. metzger’s playing doesn’t imitate raga structures so much as use those modal figures as a starting point. he employs dazzling, breviloquent string-plucks on the main banjo strings, while producing rhythmic, droning textures on the cross-strings of an added bridge. some have suggested similarities to the works of john fahey or sandy bull, but metzger’s modus operandi doesn’t constitute a mirroring of those styles; rather, he composes and operates apart from their music, in an insular and altogether separate universe. in the process, metzger transcends and expands the lexicon in a wholly organic manner.
milk music – cruise your illusion – milk music – lp
– combining the driving hooks of the wipers, slashing riffs of husker du, and melodic-on-the-edge-of-control vocals of early dinosaur Jr., milk music reinvent early- to mid-’80s sst-style hardcore punk and ’90s lo-fi pacific northwest influences for a new generation. formed in olympia, washington, the band is comprised of singer/guitarist alex coxen, drummer (and coxen’s brother) joe rutter, guitarist charles warring and bassist dave harris. a self-titled, self-released cassette offered in 2009 introduced listeners to their anthemic, thrashing sound, followed a year later by the beyond living ep, which found a wider release in 2011 with the perennial label. all the familiar elements slightly borrowed from the above references are here but they’ve added some atmospheric fuzz-jams reminescent of neil young & crazy horse. singer alex coxen sounds as blazed as he does disenchanted with with all things rule oriented.
*daphne oram – oramics – young americans – 4lp
– 2013 repress, originally released in 2010. young americans is a new label operating under the modern love umbrella, proud to present an extremely special vinyl pressing of some of the most important early electronic music ever made. daphne oram was the founder of the bbc radiophonic workshop, a department she more or less single-handedly created in 1958, camping out at the bbc studios for nights on end splicing tapes and working with various modified machines to create her abstract soundscapes. eventually the bbc bent under her pressure and in studio 13 created the soon-to-be-legendary radiophonic workshop, with daphne oram as its first director. oram also invented her own “drawn-sound” technique, a process whereby strips of 35mm film would be manipulated before being fed into her home-made “oramics” machine which would convert and “read” the film into sound. despite her considerable and historic list of achievements, oram’s life and work remain largely unknown by the wider public. as this remarkable 44-track collection shows, however, her work ranks amongst the most varied and pioneering ever made, and it’s quite incredible to think that this is the first time any of these precious recordings have been available on vinyl.
thee oh sees – floating coffin – castle face – lp
– a brandy-new full length from the tour sharpened oh sees, featuring the louder, grungier, synth-meltier sound they’ve been bludgeoning audiences with lately. this newest chapter in the story of thee oh sees, show the band fixing their fury against the onrushing night. it’s another blistering demonstration of thee oh sees greatest trick: they’re the only prolific band who doesn’t put out records often enough. featuring terrifying artwork from matt brinkman and john dwyer.
*bill orcutt/chris corsano – the raw and the cooked – palilalia – lp
– gatefold sleeve. recordings from the tour last summer (2012). ex-harry pussy guitarist with the percussion monster, chris corsano!
*bill orcutt – a king of something – palilalia – 7″
– small restock of this limited tour-only 7″, originally released in 2011. ‘a king or something’/’crossroads’/’the man in the mirror’ b/w ‘sad michael’/’solitary habits’/’die then come back to life.’
pere ubu – live at the longhorn — april 1, 1978 – nero’s neptune – 2lp
– the three vinyl sides of pere ubu live at the longhorn are as much an indispensable live rock album as modern dance is an indispensable studio album. the show consists mainly of material from the modern dance album, only rocked out and swinging, more raw-nerved yet seasoned than their studio counterparts. what becomes apparent, especially on repeated listens, is how well-made this music is, how the drama and comedy flows within the modules of each song, how the songs fit together to give an audience an experience that — while sharpened to paranoia and sensitive to harsh realities — is as ineffable as it is concrete.
physics – spectramorphic iridescence – digitalis – lp
– resident los angeles android, [physics] unveils his debut lp spectramorphic iridescence for the digitalis label. glazed electronics and polymorphic beats run through wetware enhancements left behind by future civilizations. even with the neuron-popping hooks from opener “anodyne dream” or the crystalline “isosceles trapezoid” acting like sandman for your brain, there’s a dark undercurrent running throughout spectramorphic iridescence. death-march rhythms snake through “emerald forest,” adding an extra sinister layer to all the cryptic stabs. as it bleeds deftly into “the keep,” it’s the ghost trapped in the machine, tortured into obsolescence. [physics] continues pounding the electricity, waiting for the last voice to drown beneath the bloated, cybernetic waves. moments of sonic ecstasy filter in when they can, though, finding heavy tranquility cycles with “realization” and album closer, “ultimate l.” its over-the-top, sugary synthetics laced with all aural opiates you need. “ultimate l,” especially, achieves maximal catharsis through countless layers of slowly-evolving tones. [physics] have crafted an album steeped in cyberpunk lore, complete with neon death rays and jacked-in viruses. spectramorphic iridescenceweaves a singular narrative through thoughtful sequencing and impressive songwriting. before the end it manages to sing its dystopian hymns like a mythic artificial intelligence finally freed from its vr prison.
portal – vexovoid – profound lore – lp
– no death metal band in the history of the genre is as bizarre, unique and aesthetically engaging as australia’s portal. unfolding a singular vision through polarizing music, distinct imagery and otherworldly live shows, portal has slowly set a new standard within the underground over the course of a decade-indeed, giving a new meaning to the term “death metal” itself. the band has spread their sonic plague via three full-length albums to date, the last of which, 2009’s swarth, brought them their highest level of recognition and praise yet. portal’s surreal psychosis sounds like a lovecraftian nightmare manifested; weird rhythms and perplexing musical structures twist together in a cinematic soundscape of sheer terror and madness. vexovoid takes their artistry to new levels, delivering their biggest and most dense sounding album of their career. comprised of seven harrowing tracks, it proves once again why portal is the harbinger of the coming new dreadful age of death metal.
*rainforest spiritual enslavement – black magic cannot cross water – blackest ever black – lp
– blackest ever black presents the first vinyl pressing of music by rainforest spiritual enslavement. two long-form, minimal synth/dark ambient compositions with field recordings. sourced from a box of cassettes found at a market in port moresby, it was thought to be recorded by a group of christian missionaries prior to their unexplained disappearance during the 1980s. limited edition of 500 copies only.
*colin stetson – new history warfare vol 3: to see more light – constellation – 2lp
– colin stetson established himself as an intensely original solo composer and performer in 2011 with the release of the widely acclaimed new history warfare vol. 2: judges. judges ended up on countless year-end lists and emphatically proved that stetson’s approach to solo saxophone transcends niche or genre; a unique and emotionally resonant instrumental music with influences as wide-ranging as jazz, metal, pop, soul, drone, industrial, minimalism, electro-acoustic and modern contemporary. remarkably, stetson channels these manifold musical strains into a singularly identifiable and personal sound as a polyphonic soloist who doesn’t rely on looping/layering or multitrack/overdubs technologies. new history warfare vol. 3: to see more light is the final installment in a trilogy of solo albums and is stetson’s most ambitious song cycle to date, again recorded live in single takes with a wide array of microphone positions and again mixed by groundbreaking producer ben frost. colin’s membership in bon iver over the past two years has also led to vocal contributions from justin vernon for this record, who appears on four songs, with a diverse approach on each, and whose voice constitutes the only overdubbing on the album. the new record’s 15-minute centerpiece, title track “to see more light,” is the longest piece stetson has yet recorded and possibly the heaviest: a tour de force of swirling arpeggiation, continuous breathing, pumping valves and vocalizations through the reed of the horn that gives way to a tremendous, screaming, sea-sawing dirge through the song’s final movement. this latter stretch conjures a sort of saxophonic sludge metal, and the album’s heaviosity references other sub-genres of metal as well, most notably in the hardcore blast of “brute” (abetted by vernon’s cookie monster barking) and the ambient grindcore throb of “hunted.”
*mark templeton – jealous heart – under the spire – lp
– mark templeton presents jealous heart, an album which re-imagines the story of his sound in an approach that is both staid and deeply emotional, reorienting what is offered and what is held back through a myriad of smeared stringed instruments, fragmented horn phrases, tape loops, and found-sound-driven explorations. templeton’s music is always difficult to truly classify, which is part of its charm. it is way too dense and detailed to qualify as ambient in a traditional sense — instead developing itself into a highly organized, spacious clutter. it is electro-acoustic music that harkens to tape machines and misused instruments of yesteryear, viewed whole-heartedly through the prism of ultramodernity, of an awareness of what has transpired in-between. filled with subtly processed horns that recall a jazz club under the sea, a speakeasy of a future past blanketed in a detailed haze that allows one to find an individual path through it — a precise murkiness, where objects coalesce in the background while the focus stays predominantly on the instrumental underpinnings of each track. at times the album holds a sense of longing, of days past or imagined to be, but cloaked in hopefulness, of a consistent sense of working through an idea, an experience, a sound source — wringing something constructive out of it and re-forming it into something better. warm and textured is a given with templeton’s work. this album is similarly so, but with a layer of knowingness, an awareness that warmth is not enough. there is a pervasive sense of age, a feeling of it being an older object than it actually is, almost as if it was found on a forgotten shelf, yet had sensibilities that won’t exist until tomorrow. the landscape becomes one where the album manages to be constantly moving while presenting the listener with a sense of stillness, a balancing act that is incredibly difficult to get right.
umberto – confrontations – not not fun – lp
– kansas city’s goblin king of neo-giallo, brood-blooded dark fantasy soundtracking returns with his fourth official full-length, two years after the badass psychodrama of prophecy of the black widow. the time betwixt was well spent, on tours, one-off tapes and 12-inches, and tweaking the mixes and minutia of the seven undead invasion omens comprising confrontations. what instantly distinguishes this new album from the previous is its ominous, slow burn composititional model, building its evil temple brick by brick, basking in the tension of each new chiming, carpenter-esque synth line or monkish doom om for multiple measures before stirring the next substance into the cauldron. this elegant sense of patience gives the tracks a more oozing, operatic aura; these confrontations aren’t hostile showdowns in the woods but the creeping dread of alien-nation body snatchers infiltrating the populace. death comes slipping. can someone hire this genius to score the they live remake already?
velvet underground – at the end of cole ave., the first night – keyhole – 2lp
– the velvet underground were arguably at their live peak in late 1969. lou reed, sterling morrison, maureen tucker and doug yule (who’d replaced john cale a full year previously) had developed into a sensationally tight and adventurous quartet, and this show — the first of two recorded on consecutive nights before a tiny audience in dallas, texas — is unquestionably one of the finest surviving documents of them in performance. remastered sound and background notes included on printed insert.
wanda group – piss fell out like sunlight – opal tapes – lp
– wanda group is the brighton-based louis johnstone, whose prolific output for labels like astro:dynamics, nna tapes, and leaving makes him one of the most intriguing voices in contemporary electronic music. johnstone’s recent discography is best understood as a process of refinement: the more overt sampledelia of 2010’s caveman smackunder the dem hunger alias has been gradually distilled until only the barely-there remnants of damage and decay remain. with that arc in mind, the excellently-titled piss fell out like sunlight for opal tapes is perhaps the producer’s subtlest, gauziest work yet. johnstone assembles these two side-length tracks out of large building blocks: 30 seconds or a minute of a single idea, each cross-faded into the next, moments recurring multiple times or bookending others to form oblique poetic sentences. the results function like a particularly cryptic, labyrinthine mini-mixtape. within that, dance forms occasionally come under scrutiny: early in “her stomach on terror” we’re treated to a baleful techno throb over which reedy synths chirrup restlessly; later on, a hard-edged, andy stott-esque thump holds sway for a minute or so. the latter half of “pans out in the afterlife” is dominated by a desiccated hulk of a kick drum, dreamy detroit pads wheeling overhead. but johnstone’s relationship to the current crop of noise-techno fusionists is only passing; mostly this is an album of weightless moments: delicate washes of electrical hum, amplified grit in the wires, burbling synth clusters and stringently buried melodies. what’s remarkable is the pathos that johnstone wrings from these most microscopic of sonic phenomena.
wold – freermasonry – ideologic organ – 2lp
– statement from the wold communiqué sent out following the completion of freermasonry: “lyrically freermasonry consists of a series of poems and discourses. early on in freermasonry during ‘sol,’ the mother allusion is referenced out of faust part two. it’s a small portion and short moment. faust does an invocation to the mothers, but the execution is as trickery through occult charlatanism and not truly believed ritual. goethe found passages about dark goddess figures known as mothers in the writings of plutarch. the metaphor is ambiguous, generally associated with creative dark force and will, but reared in a potent lie. i use it in correlation with screech owl as atheistic reactionary sentiment. of course there are many other aspects to freermasonry.” –fortress crookedjaw “this is all to say that freermasonry — the obliterative sixth album from wold, the saskatchewan act led by the incredibly named fortress crookedjaw — is ultimately enigmatic and entirely unknowable, an intersection of noise, metal, and electronics that doesn’t yield to such plainclothes criticism. mean, dense and multivalent, with a lyrical conceit based on masonic symbolism and biblical scripture, it’s the rare loud music that begs to be louder still if you’re to have any chance of understanding it. freermasonry is a case study in controlling the illusion of chaos, an elegantly constructed nightmare of sound where hearing one layer of serrated screams, static bursts, and feedback flares means you’ve missed some mass of activity somewhere else. weirdly seductive rhythms tumble beneath a laundromat of blown-out tones and crackling vocals, generally pulling your attention a dozen different ways. i’ve been listening to the album consistently for three months now, and somehow, i’m still surprised by what its 58 minutes sound like and accomplish. paradoxically disorienting and direct, freermasonry is a constant tumult of surprising activity, more unforgiving than most everything in the noise, metal, and drone scenes, places where wold kind of fits.” –grayson currin, pitchfork (8.3)
various – harafin so – bollywood inspired film music from hausa nigeria – sahel sounds – lp
– first-ever international release of film soundtrack tunes from northern nigeria — where the film industry is modeled on bollywood. autotuned robotic vocals combine with frenetic drum machines and pitch-bending synths for a singular hybrid of local styles and indian influence. featuring smash hits by hausa superstars fati niger, abubakar sani, and the exuberant sani danja. limited edition of 1,000 copies. includes insert with liner notes.
*ash ra tempel – s/t – mgart – cd
calexico – spiritoso – anti – lp
the clash – s/t – music on vinyl – lp
coloured balls – ball power – sing sing – lp
cramps – psychedelic jungle – vinylisssimo – lp
*destroyer – this night – merge – lp
*dust – s/t/hard attack – sony – 2lp
*brian eno – discreet music – editions eg – lp
flaming lips – zaireeka – warner – 4lp
fleet foxes – helplessness blues – sub pop – lp
foxy gen – we are the 21st century.. – jagjaguwar – lp
ghostface killah – 12 reasons to die – soul temple – lp
gong – est quoi mort – celluloid – 2lp
*ilaiyaraaja – fire star – bombay connection – lp
*les rallizes denudes – great white wonder – phoenix – 4lp
madvillain – madvillainy – stones throw – lp
*stephen malkmus & friends – can’s ege bamyasi – matador – lp
*medsusa – first step beyond – numero – lp
postal service – give up – sub pop – 3lp
pretty – mustache – numero – 2×7″
*laurie spiegel – expanding universe – unseen worlds – 2cd
chad van gaalen – diaper island – flemish eye – lp
*various – the conet project: recordings of shortwave numbers stations – irdial – 5cd
various – good god! a gospel funk hymnal – numero – lp
*various – brand new wayo – comb & razor – lp
various – minimal wave tapes 2 – stones throw – lp
*various – sorrow come pass… – dust to digital – lp
thanks for listening….
10443a – 124 street