Category Archives: Uncategorized

…..news letter #960 – power…..

Yow! What a week. Just swimming in new stuff, and a power outage today to really cack up getting this news letter out in a timely manner. So no used goodies today, sorry. Just buy all this dope stuff instead!

If you follow us on Facebook, you may have seen our informal poll on how we will deal with the Aug 29th RSD Drop. So far it’s looking like we’ll be posting our RSD titles online for purchase at 1pm. If you’ve got better ideas, let us know!

Still closed. It seems our customers are pretty happy with this decision. We seem to be getting busier and busier with new customers ordering through the website every day. If you haven’t yet ordered through the site, you should check it out! Loads of new and used stuff going up every day. 

As always, big thanks to everyone who’s been hitting up our webstore and placing orders! It’s getting competitive around 5pm when we post up fresh used stock. If you haven’t hit up the WEBSTORE, MAYBE YOU SHOULD! If you can’t figure out the site, or don’t like to use computers, you can always call the store and we can do an order over the phone. I’ll be at the shop 11-4 week days. Stay safe!

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

CHECK OUT OUR WEBSTORE!!! 
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…..pick of the week…..

Sir Richard Bishop: Oneiric Formulary (Drag City) LP
Five years after Tangier Sessions, Sir Richard Bishop, we presume, is back from his travels around the world. With Oneiric Formulary, he’s dug deeper into his bag of extra-musical gestures from the eternal and unknowable, along with a few sounds we might recognize, all transmuted for our mortal ears’ enjoyment. The last couple of Sir Richard Bishop releases on Drag City were genre exercises of sorts—The Freak of Araby explored the musical legacy of late Egyptian guitarist Omar Khorshid while Tangier Sessions explored the sound of an obscure 19th century guitar that Rick had acquired from a mysterious Swiss luthier. The title Oneiric Formulary, may sit contrarily on the tongue—but we may refer to it as representing “a collection of dream states”—which means we like it! With such a lofty goal in mind and at his fingertips, Sir Rick returns to the approach of his DC debut, Polytheistic Fragments—a different sound, a different instrument, for nearly every track, drawing from the music of all nations, including and especially that infamous republic with only one person on the census roll (initials SRB).

File Under: Experimental, Guitar, Sun City Girls
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…..new arrivals…..

Steve Albini/Alison Chesley/Tim Midyett: Music from the film: Girl on the Third Floor (Touch & Go) LP
When director Travis Stevens called about composing music for his new horror film, Steve Albini (Shellac) found himself with a new creative challenge. After meeting with Stevens and Greg Newman from Queensbury Pictures, Steve signed on and recruited Tim Midyett (Mint Mile, Silkworm) and Alison Chesley (Helen Money) to complete the ensemble that would compose and record the soundtrack for Girl on the Third Floor. Guest vocals on “Irish” were performed by Gaelynn Lea. Upon completion of the soundtrack, Albini reflected, “Tim and Alison are a joy to work with, very open-minded and eager, and master musicians. Just great. That whole part of it, writing and playing with them, was fucking fantastic and effortless, and I wish I could do it all the time.” Vinyl 2LP-set with full-color gatefold jacket featuring cover art drawn by Jay Ryan.

File Under: OST, Shellac
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Roy Ayers/Adrian Younge;Ali Shaheed Muhammad: Roy Ayers (Jazz Is Dead 2)
(Jazz is Dead) LP

In February 2018, Roy Ayers performed four sold out shows in Los Angeles as part of the Jazz Is Dead Black History Month series. It wasn’t until 2020 that fans of Ayers discovered that in addition to those shows, the legendary vibraphone player had also recorded an entire album of new material with Adrian Younge and Ali Shaheed Muhammad. Over the course of its eight original compositions, written collaboratively by Younge, Shaheed Muhammad and Ayers and recorded at Younge’s Linear Labs in Los Angeles, the resulting album sounds both like an unearthed an unreleased album from Ayers’ classic period in the 1970s (which produced the oft-sampled “Red, Black & Green,” “We Live In Brooklyn, Baby,” “Everybody Loves The Sunshine,” and “Running Away), as well as something startling, new and unexpected. Joining Ayers, Younge and Shaheed Muhammad on this musical journey are drummer Greg Paul, vocalists Loren Oden, Joy Gilliam, Saudia Yasmein, Elgin Clark and Anitra Castleberry, as well as Phil Ranelin and Wendell Harrison of the legendary Spiritual Jazz label Tribe Records. The eight tracks on this album testify to the love not only of a legendary musician’s legacy, but to the vitality and necessity of this music and these sounds in the present era, a thread that will likely run throughout all of the upcoming releases from Jazz Is Dead Records.

File Under: Jazz
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Bedsore: Hypnagogic Hallucinations
(20 Buck Spin) LP

Sea blue inside ultra clear w/ blood red splatter vinyl version!!! Warping minds and matter with their two track 2018 demo, Bedsore came to the attention of 20 Buck Spin, who, together in a twisting conspiracy, now issue the full length album Hypnagogic Hallucinations. A fitting title for the dark, lucid dreamscapes and obscure fantasia Bedsore deliver on their debut. Like an Argento film, the Roman band paint the canvas of death metal in vivid, bright washes of ornamented color and stabs of inventive horror that belies the corporeal grotesquery of the band’s name. Probing into the brain through psychedelic digression and winding hypnotic prog, a protean world of weird organic contours and mysterious meaning takes shape. A debut album of considerable imagination and subconscious peculiarity, Hypnagogic Hallucinations is an uninhibited first step for a band emboldened to travel to the farthest reaches of the possible within the celestial spheres of death metal.

File Under: Metal
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Jon Benjamin: The Soundtrack Collection
(Sub Pop) LP

Sub Pop presents The Soundtrack Collection, the latest musical venture by Jon Benjamin, the visionary who brought you 2015’s jazz-piano masterpiece Well I Should Have… Learned How to Play Piano (and who also has a side-hustle voicing the titular roles of Bob and Archer in the TV shows Bob’s Burgers and Archer). The Soundtrack Collection finds Benjamin striding boldly into the rarefied worlds of classic film music, and the Moog synthesizer. Hear themes from cinema classics 2001: A Space Odyssey, Halloween, Beverly Hills Cop, and more brought to life by Jon’s ambitious hands!

File Under: Jazz, OST
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Booker T: Note by Note (Edith Street) LP
Orange vinyl pressing of this late 2019 release. In an emotional musical journey, Booker T explores new takes on the songs that make up the fabric of his musical identity. Largely mirroring the chapter titles from his forthcoming memoir “Time Is Tight”, “Note By Note” serves as a musical companion. Stax staples like “Cause I Love You” and “These Arms Of Mine” are woven into defining musical moments from Booker’s journey after Stax, when he produced and recorded with artists as diverse as Willie Nelson and Carlos Santana. Booker T & The MG’s fans will enjoy a new ending to the song “Time Is Tight”, a Romanesque coda that has been played live yet never recorded. The album culminates with new original music, highlighting the soaring guitar and vocals of Booker’s son and collaborator Teddy Jones. Booker T is a 4 time Grammy Award winner (including the Lifetime Achievement Award), Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee, and arguably the most famous Hammond B3 player in history.

File Under: Funk, Soul, RnB
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C418: Minecraft Volume Beta (coloured vinyl/lenticular cover) (Ghostly) LP
As C418, composer and producer Daniel Rosenfeld designs sounds to resonate in both physical and pixelated realms. Best known for his original soundtracks to Minecraft, the single best-selling video game of all time, he’s developed a discography of instrumental music over the last decade that traverses electronic pop patterns, neo-classical dreamscapes, and sparse ambient motifs. The latter element has broken from the “8-bit” pigeonholing of game music and earned him accolades that reference artists like Erik Satie and Brian Eno. In 2015, after quietly self-releasing Minecraft Volume Alpha and Minecraft Volume Beta, Rosenfeld partnered with Ghostly International to reissue Minecraft Volume Alpha. The release garnered attention from proper music critics and the gaming community alike, becoming one of the most sought after records in the Ghostly catalog. Now, following several restocks of Alpha to fervent fan response, it is time for the soundtrack’s second installment to shine. For the legion of listeners and players to, at long last, have Minecraft Volume Beta on double vinyl LP. Originally self-released in 2013, Minecraft Volume Beta was C418’s longest batch of music to date at nearly 140 minutes. The collection features tracks that were “silently” added to Minecraft during its music updates and a few that never officially entered the game. The run time is now adapted to fit the double LP format. Rosenfeld’s unmistakable abilities are on display; he creates a sweeping variety of musical ideas that mirror the limitless universe of Minecraft. Ghostly International is thrilled to give this unique collaboration its due treatment and hopes to see the creative inspiration which drives Minecraft and Rosenfeld continue to disperse by virtue of this unexpectedly universal music.

File Under: OST, Ambient
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Shirley Collins: Heart’s Ease (Domino) LP
Heart’s Ease follows 2017’s Lodestar, Shirley Collins’ first record in 38 years, and one that brought Shirley’s widely missed voice back to fans. An album broader & brighter in tone than Lodestar, it finds Shirley exploring warmer themes and features three songs less rooted within the folk tradition.

File Under: Folk
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Coloured Balls: Liberate Rock (Just Add Water) LP
COLOURED BALLS by the barrel-full, a double album with 16 tracks clocking in at 77 minutes. This collects all six of their singles released on the Havoc and EMI labels between ’72 and ’74, two live tracks recorded at their legendary Sunbury ’73 festival appearance, and a canceled single from their final recording session in early ’75, shortly before the group split. This set has everything that is not on their three studio albums. Most of the songs on this compilation have been out of print on vinyl for 45+ years. “Flying” is making it’s vinyl debut on this collection. Liner notes by Aussie Rock expert IAN McFARLANE. Mastered by Aztecs drummer and engineer/producer extraordinaire GIL MATTHEWS straight from the master tapes. 100% analog—start to finish. Fold-out poster with an unpublished image inside every copy.

File Under: Punk, Power Pop
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Loren Connors: Beautiful Dreamer (Family Vineyard) 10″
“Beautiful Dreamer” is a two-part suite dedicated to Steve Dalachinsky – an original among New Yorkers and everyone else; an indefatigable supporter of the avant garde; an ingenious poet; and a close friend to Loren Connors. Connors recorded these two solo guitar pieces shortly before Dalachinsky’s passing in September 2019. Afterward, Connors returned to the music, and for the first time, used post-production to transform his real-time improvisations into an ethereal soundwork. It is unmistakably Connors – a rich, ghostly tone birthed from the blues – yet a new direction where slowness reveals a spectrum of shifting notes like a small choir, from rumbling baritones to vibrating sopranos. “Beautiful Dreamer” equally honors the dreams of Dalachinsky and captures the suspension of the Auguste Rodin dancer on the cover. Limited to 500 copies.

File Under: Ambient, Experimental
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Crack Cloud: Pain Olympics (Meat Machine) LP
Like Psychic TV before them, Crack Cloud have a philosophy, and one that they are not afraid to wear on their sleeves. While their anarchic, phantasmagorical visuals, heavy use of symbology, and seemingly never-ending cast of colorful collaborators have often invited cult comparisons, this really does the collective no justice. There is no apocalyptic death drive here; no cult of personality; no hierarchy of power. While frontman and lyricist Zach Choy is in many ways the face of the group, the collective is one founded on equality, and in his cryptic lyrical blending of poetics, polemics and personal experience, Choy is truly the mouthpiece of something far larger than himself. Nowhere else is this more apparent than on the album’s first single, “The Next Fix.” What begins as a caustic, claustrophobic account of addiction swells into a sprawling, euphoric hymn as Choy is joined by a choir of seemingly endless celestial voices. Less a cult then; more a church. Listening to this song is a truly spiritual experience, and in its building, jubilant movement it offers a glimpse of Crack Cloud’s most vital message: using community to turn adversity into hope. This isn’t just bravado; its a story born of deep, personal experience. Crack Cloud operate on the frontline of Canada’s out-of-control opiate crisis, mobilizing and organizing in Vancouver’s harm reduction programs. The group themselves have had their fair share of trauma, and the collective offers its members a vital vehicle for rehabilitation and recovery. As the tagline on the album’s back cover makes clear then, this is absolutely ‘based on true shit.’

File Under: Punk
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Damaged Bug: Bug on Yonkers
(Castle Face) LP

“I first heard Michael Yonkers via the Microminature Love reissue (Sub Pop) and was immediately hooked. I started collecting any piece of his legend that I could… some true, some likely not. He had hand-built all of his gear. He had broken his back. He was part of experimental surgery that left him in lifelong pain. He was a dancer. He was still kicking around making some of the oddest and most contrary-to-contemporary-popular-norms type of music. (A man after my own heart) And then I heard Goodby Sunball, recorded and released in 1974, the year I was born. I had and have a very deep connection with this set of songs. I wasn’t sure why, but when I finally met Michael, I understood. He was kind and seemingly a pretty regular guy. But he was also a weirdo. A rare bird, waving the true freak music flag, and it didn’t matter what kind of music he made, I loved it all. So, this record was recorded as a way to reboot and reconnect with some songs that have heavily inspired me over the years. It was hard to pick from his vast catalog, so I just sort of jumped in, with Tom Dolas, Nick Murray, and Brigid Dawson as my band (along with a bevy of others along the way) and these are the tunes that stuck to the wall. I will forever be grateful to Mr Yonkers for bringing me a little joy with his music and inspiring weirdos everywhere.” –John Dwyer, Feb 2020

File Under: Psych
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Brigid Dawson & the Mother’s Network: Ballet of Apes (Castle Face) LP
“Tip-top of Castle Face’s osmosis list is the first quiver of tunes from Brigid Dawson and her newly minted Mothers Network: wise warnings dyed in dark hues, knotted and hard-won torch songs from the edge of a turbulent sea, bittersweet balladry spun in defense against evils familiar and unknown. Lovely though it may seem from a distance, the striation of loss quicksilvered throughout provides weighty balance to her contralto lilt. Those familiar with her harmonic counterpoint from her time in Thee Oh Sees or in OCS know she can belt as well as lullaby but there’s a fresh and smolderingly heavy swing in her step on display here that Castle Face mightily digs. Ballet Of Apes tapestries together sessions that read like a who’s who from outside the label’s castle walls — in Australia with Mikey Young (Total Control/Eddy Current Suppression Ring), in San Francisco with Mike Donovan (ex-Sic Alps), Shayde Sartin (ex-Fresh & Onlys/lifetime ringer) and Mike Shoun (ex-Oh Sees/Peacers), and in Brooklyn with instrumental heavy-weights Sunwatchers — and the results are spellbinding. At the focal point of this maelstrom, the lady, as if illumed by candlelight, intones, pleads, consoles — white magic perhaps, but it carries with it the anodized tang of blood.”

File Under: Punk
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Guided By Voices: Vampire on Titus
(Scat) LP

“We are pleased to announce a new vinyl pressing of the classic Guided By Voices album, Vampire on Titus. Although there were several different pressings in the 1990s, this is the first since 1998. This edition features a new master cut at Golden, is packaged in a sturdy tip-on jacket, and includes Bob’s original insert, now enlarged to a more readable size. A limited quantity will be available on opaque yellow vinyl, the remainder virgin black. Originally released in 1993, Vampire was not unique at that time in its 4 track recording methodology, but it was perhaps the first to garner major media attention. Many minds were blown, and a few were baffled enough to return the album to the store, believing the crude sound meant their copy was defective. Vampire occupies a unique place in the GBV discography. The album is a snapshot of a brief time in the band’s history, a turning point after having broken up the previous year. It does not include any older or last-minute material. Although sonically consistent, the songs exhibit tremendous variety, skirting several genres and many moods. The lineup is just a trio: Robert Pollard and brother Jimmy with Tobin Sprout. Although it could be described as one of GBV’s ‘difficult’ LPs, it has several songs that could’ve been standouts on Bee Thousand or Alien Lanes. It was their first album that was not self-released. It is an innocent album, unaware of its audience, and fearless to the core as only true outsiders can be. As such, Vampire on Titus is an essential piece for even the more casual fan of the band. It’s also just a damn good album that’s held up to repeated listens for a quarter century.”

File Under: Indie Rock
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Lantern: Dimensions (Dark Descent) LP
Finland’s Lantern have been illuminating death metal’s dark passages since 2007. Fresh off 2019’s Lost Paragraphs EP (also on Dark Descent Records), they returns with their third full-length of timeless death metal, Dimensions. Dimensions sees the band continuing on their established path by incorporating melodic lead work and memorable riffs with the distinctive vocals of Necrophilos. It’s the perfect balance between the band’s 2013 debut Below and 2017’s II: Morphosis. The six new tracks here further entrenches the band as one of death metal’s elite.

File Under: Metal
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Laraaji: Sun Piano (All Saints) LP
Spiritual keyboard improvisations performed by Laraaji and recorded in a Brooklyn Church by Jeff Zeigler (Kurt Vile, The War On Drugs, Mary Lattimore). Sun Piano finds Laraaji fulfilling a lifelong ambition to return to his first instrument, learnt whilst growing up in 1950s New Jersey. A departure from his FX-soaked cosmic zither jams, these elegant miniatures nevertheless reveal enough personality and inner light to be clearly identifiable as ‘Laraaji Music’. This release is the latest step in something of a late career renaissance for the New York City based musician and mystic. He first came to public attention in the late 70s via his entry in the legendary Brian Eno-produced Ambient series of albums, Ambient 3: Day Of Radiance. In the last few years his music has been re-discovered by a whole new generation of fans via reissues from the likes of the Numero Group, Light In The Attic and Leaving Records; new collaborations with underground musicians Dallas Acid and Sun Araw; and a revitalized live presence that has seen him share concert stages worldwide with the likes of Solange and Jonathan Wilson. This latest musical side step introduces a new chapter to the story of a much-loved cult icon.

File Under: New Age
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Laura Marling: Song for Our Daughter
(Chrysalis) LP

Marble Purple & White Vinyl. Laura Marling’s exquisite seventh album ‘Song For Our Daughter’ arrives almost without pre-amble or warning in the midst of uncharted global chaos, and yet instantly and tenderly offers a sense of purpose, clarity and calm. As a balm for the soul, this full-blooded new collection could be posited as Laura’s richest to date, but in truth it’s another incredibly fine record by a British artist who rarely strays from delivering incredibly fine records. Taking much of the production reins herself, alongside long-time collaborators Ethan Johns and Dom Monks, Laura has layered up lush string arrangements and a broad sense of scale to these songs without losing any of the intimacy or reverence we’ve come to anticipate and almost take for granted from her throughout the past decade.

File Under: Indie Rock
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OST: The Doll Squad (Modern Harmonic) LP
Bass, organ, wah wah, va-va-voom! The alleged inspiration for the hit television series Charlie’s Angels, Ted V. Mikels’ ‘73 spy thriller looks much better than it has any right to, with brash color, gorgeously attired babes, and some visually appealing shooting locations. Composer Nicholas Carras’ score for the film provided the perfect mix of Big Band, 1960s James Bond, and 1970s “wacka-wacka” funk filtered through the mind of a son of Greek immigrants. On vinyl for the first time, and including a DVD of the entire film with a special Modern Harmonic edit made to sync with the LP! The Doll Squad is probably writer/director/ editor/producer/special effects technician/etcetera Ted V. Mikels’ most mainstream film, as he clearly had commercial intentions for his 1973 escapist action flick. The plot doesn’t make you think too much, other than thinking about a bevy of voluptuous women who kick, shoot, and kill evil males bent on taking over the world. Exploitation doesn’t get any better than this! Carras composed a rousing score using an augmented jazz band featuring brass, woodwinds, percussion, piano, organ, electric guitar, and a few electronic devices to manipulate some of the sounds. This ensemble provided everything from seventies action music with wah-wah guitar to lovely melodies accentuating the gun-toting lovelies.

File Under: OST
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OST: Psychedelic Sex Kicks (Modern Harmonic) LP
This 1967 sleazealogue about the sex and drug crazed San Francisco hippie underground is a strange trip soundtracked by the psychedelic sounds of sitar and tabla, backwards vocals, heavy breathing, satanic flutes bathed in tape delay, all underscoring the thoughts and hallucinations of the film’s plastered protagonists. It’s a sensual, id-shaking, mind-bending experience that may leave you forever changed! Pressed on colored vinyl, and includes a DVD of the entire film!

File Under: OST
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Pissgrave: Demo (Profound Lore) LP
The infamous Pissgrave demo from 2014 sees its re-release, since its initial cassette release, for the first time on vinyl format. This demo was where it all began for what has become recognized as one of the most notorious, repulsive, and abhorrent death metal bands of these times. Easily dismissed upon its release because of the band name and cover artwork (and pretty much its lack of any kind of “artistic” merit), once Pissgrave became recognized as one of the most important death metal bands emerging today, people have been clamoring for some sort of repressing of their 2014 demo and now its finally being presented once again, this time on a limited / one-time pressing vinyl edition.

File Under: Metal
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Robert Rental: Paralysis (Dark Entries) LP
Robert Rental is an artist as influential as he is overlooked. An anchor of the early British DIY and post-punk scene, his name is most frequently uttered alongside illustrious collaborators such as Thomas Leer and Daniel Miller. Dark Entries and Optimo ally to illuminate some of Rental’s early solo works with an expanded reissue of his debut 7” “Paralysis/A.C.C.” Both labels have previously excavated Rental’s catalog; we reissued the collaborative LP with Glenn Wallis in 2017, and Optimo released a collection of demos in 2018. The double A-side “Paralysis /A.C.C.” 7” was self-released on Regular Records in 1978, around the same time as Leer’s “Private Plane/Internationa”l 7”. The record is a perfect document of the DIY ethos. It was recorded with the assistance of Leer in the council flat that Robert lived in, using an assortment of budget electronics: a Roland drum machine, a Stylophone, an Electroharmonix DrQ, and a TEAC A3440 4-track recorder. The record’s sleeves were surreptitiously photocopied after hours at the offices of Virgin Records by Robert’s partner Hilary Farrow, and the labels were hand-stamped The initial print run was a scant 650 copies. With its prominent notes of Krautrock, prog, dub, and ambient, “Paralysis/A.C.C.” points to a then-emergent musical form. “Paralysis” makes its four and a half minute runtime feel like an eon, an endless morass of processed vocals and mournful melodies underpinned by the static whirrings of synthesizers. “A.C.C.” is an angular pop song that is at once both fractured and droning, like a skipping record that sounds incrementally more warped with each iteration. The original 7” material is joined here by three previously unreleased tracks. Instrumentals “G.B.D.” and “Ugly Talk” evidence Rental’s outre-prog and melodic electronic sides, respectively. Sitting between the instrumentals is “Untitled,” a sparse gem that layers Rental’s gently processed vox with guitar and drum machine, beautiful in its simplicity. The Paralysis EP has been remastered for vinyl by George Horn at Fantasy studios. The record comes in a sleeve with the original xeroxed 7” artwork. Also included is a four page booklet with lyrics, photos, and archival press material.

File Under: Electronic
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Lingo Seini et Son Groupe: Musique Hauka (Sahel) LP
One of the first full-length recordings of Hauka ritual music. Praise songs and sacred incantations to the spirits to inhabit the body. Call and response chants, the pluck of a monochord lute and relentless pounding percussion combine in a dizzying nonstop session. The Hauka movement started nearly a century ago and has persisted on the fringes of Nigerien society. Documented in the 1955 Jean Rouch film Les maîtres fous, the Hauka are a pantheon on spirits mirrored on colonial and military figures. Central to the religion is the “Holley Hori” possession ceremony, a ritual driven by militaristic percussive music, wherein spirits come into the body in powerful and violent manifestations. Lingo Seini has played ritual music for almost 60 years, learning from his father. He is joined by his son Youssouf on the calabash and Issaka Moulla, playing his homemade kuntigi. The group regularly accompanies Hauka priests in ceremonies. Recorded with a single microphone in the outskirts of Niamey.

File Under: Africa
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Skeleton: s/t (20 Buck Spin) LP
ON LIMITED SILVER / GOLD MARBLE W/ BLACK & WHITE SPLATTER VINYL!!! Ripping forth like a dagger from the flesh of Austin, Texas, comes the self-titled debut album from the lone star state’s new wreckers of civilization, Skeleton. Having plied their black market trade for several years in grime-infested underground dungeons and sub-basements, 20 Buck Spin was called forth to issue their first album, a cataclysmic expansion of the band’s unhallowed vision, venturing well beyond its earlier borders. Though some might be prone to lazily apply simplistic genre tags to Skeleton’s style, the reality is far more sweeping as this debut immediately reveals an excessively sharp metallic-charged juggernaut of severe force and high plains mayhem. Contained within are war-like hymns for the soldiers of a scorched apocalypse to come, from which a bleak alternate future will no doubt emerge. The eleven tracks comprising Skeleton signal the black dawn of a new breed, and when the final somber strains of “Catacombs” close out the album, an eerie sense of the end as the beginning lingers like a morbid premonition…

File Under: Metal
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Sparks: A Steady Drip, Drip, Drip (BMG) LP
Brothers Ron and Russell Mael aka art-pop outfit Sparks return in 2020 with their twenty-fourth studio album, A Steady Drip, Drip, Drip. Since storming into the charts, minds and airwaves in 1974 with “This Town Ain’t Big Enough For Both of Us” from their third album Kimono My House, the musically vital pop pioneers have created a unique legacy both on record and in their live performances. A Steady Drip, Drip, Drip follows Sparks’ 2017 album Hippopotamus, an extraordinary record which saw them return to the Top 10 and was universally acclaimed with many critics declaring it to be one of the finest albums of the year and the pinnacle of the band’s career – until now. Includes the bombastic, tongue-in-cheek new single “Self-Effacing.”

File Under: Rock
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Spoon: Girls Can Tell (Matador) LP
Girls Can Tell served as Spoon’s stunning follow-up to 1998’s A Series of Sneaks as well as their full-length debut for Merge in 2001. The Austin, Texas indie rock outfit’s third studio album overall finds the extremely talented Britt Daniel developing into one of the most unique voices in rock n’ roll with a remarkable maturity and economy to his songwriting. The perfect blend of craft and cool, Rolling Stone hailed Girls Can Tell as “A start-to-finish triumph!” Upon the album’s 15th anniversary, Under The Mag noted that, “Spoon have gone on to make some very good albums since Girls Can Tell, but they’ve never made one as great and one that expertly weaves their accessible and experimental sides quite as well.”

File Under: Indie Rock
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Spoon: A Series of Sneaks (Matador) LP
Originally released on Elektra in 1998, Spoon’s cult-classic sophomore full length, A Series of Sneaks hinted at the deconstructed pop perfection that was to come and earned the enigmatic Texas-based band comparisons to guitar-heavy post-punk forefathers like Wire, The Pixies and Guided By Voices. Produced with Austin legend John Croslin, the ever efficient Britt Daniel/Jim Eno battery is already at play here offering up charming pop melodies and energetic rhythms galore with plenty of hooks and vitriol to spare. “For all the blood-pumping punk “Utilitarian” and “The Guestlist/The Execution” offer, the more nuanced performances of “Reservations” and “The Minor Tough” show the band’s true growth. A Series of Sneaks most notable song is fan favorite “Metal Detektor,” a lo-fi ballad about desperately trying to reach beyond rock bottom” (Paste).

File Under: Indie Rock
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Spoon: Kill the Moonlight (Matador) LP
2002’s Kill the Moonlight finds Britt Daniel and long time musical conspirator Jim Eno destroying the form book and branching into uncharted territory. It is a staggering achievement, with stylistic range and emotional depth far beyond that of prior Spoon works. Far less linear than Girls Can Tell (2001), Kill the Moonlight is as sonically advanced as it is lyrically daring; no longer rooted to a strict guitar-bass-drum format, Spoon’s increased use of keyboards, self-created samples and implementation of studio effects is in stark contrast to the more traditionalist Girls Can Tell. That said, there is no killer gimmick at play, the weapon wielded most often is Daniel’s brain. There are no precedents for Britt’s channeling of Alan Vega on the claustrophobic opener “Small Stakes,” much as the falsetto vocal with minimalist backing of “Stay Don’t Go” sounds like nothing else in the band’s oeuvre. But if there is a common thread running through each of Spoon’s albums, it is in the way their songs are instantly memorable and impossible to shake. Cuts like “Jonathan Fisk,” “Someone, Something” and “The Way We Get By” certainly fit that bill here.

File Under: Indie Rock
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Stooges: Live at Goose Lake (Third Man) LP
The apocryphal tale of the Stooges performance at the Goose Lake festival has been told countless times over the past five decades. Bassist Dave Alexander, due to nerves or overindulgence or whatever you choose to fill in the blank, absolutely spaces in front of 200,000 attendees. He does not play a single note on stage. He is summarily fired by Iggy Pop immediately following the gig. Here starts the beginning of the end of the Stooges. But what if that simply…wasn’t the case? What if you could prove otherwise? Well, it’d be the proto-punk equivalent of having an immediate, on-the-scene, man on the street report of all those folkies booing Dylan’s electric set at Newport in ‘65. Irrefutable evidence of what actually went down. Found buried in the basement of a Michigan farmhouse amongst other tasty analog artifacts of the same era, the 1/4″ stereo two-track tape of the Stooges complete performance at Goose Lake on August 8th, 1970 is the Rosetta Stone for fans of this seminal band. Not only is this the last ever performance of the original godhead Stooges line-up, but it is the only known soundboard recording of said line-up. Playing the entirety of their canonical 1970 masterpiece Fun House, the sound, the performance, everything about this record is revelatory. Would you believe that…Alexander actually did play bass on this occasion? Or that, despite a handful of flubs, he manages to hold his own? Especially on the bass-led songs “Dirt” and “Fun House”? Does Iggy provoke the crowd to tear down festival barriers? Did the powers that be pull the plug on the Stooges? So many questions are answered only to have more arise. Released to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the performance, Live at Goose Lake: August 8th, 1970, is the rare release that literally rewrites the history of these Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees! 

 File Under: Rock
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Sun Ra: Celestial Love (Modern Harmonic) LP
True studio albums of Ra with the Arkestra are rare on this planet or beyond. This studio saucer is an interplanetary interpreter, here to convert even the faintest of heart to the sounds of Sun Ra. Recorded with Arkestra veterans at the same NY studio that hosted countless Sun Ra sessions since the late 60s, this first ever reissue of Celestial Love contains the only known recordings of the titular track and “Blue Intensity,” plus a cut not on the original Saturn LP!

File Under: Jazz
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Sunwatchers: Brave Rats (Amish) LP
Amish is pleased to announce a new EP from SUNWATHERS, the band’s third Amish-related release. Quick on the heels of the band’s fourth full-length, Oh Yeah? (Trouble in Mind) out April 2020, Brave Rats celebrates Sunwatchers and the EP format, well after the moment of the latter’s extinction. The title track delivers Sunwatchers’ most anthemic pop music to date, while the other five tracks mix the political with the punk, street toughs aligning with the avant-garde. Features covers of Sonny Sharrock’s “Blind Willie” and a live version of Alice Coltrane’s “Ptah, the El Daoud.” One-time pressing of 500 copies housed in die-cut jackets.

File Under: Psych, Kosmische
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Terminal Nation: Holocene Extinction
(20 Buck Spin) LP

ON LIMITED RED / NEON GREEN MERGE W/ NEON YELLOW SPLATTER VINYL!!! America is a tinderbox. Lockdowns, pandemic, police brutality, kleptocracy, the orange menace. The injustice system is alive and well. Since day one Terminal Nation has been shining a light on it all through their crushing music, point blank lyrics, merch and media, lashing out at institutional corruption and racist power structures. And not from a liberal coastal enclave where it’s a generally welcome message but from Deep Red Arkansas. Now with the new album Holocene Extinction at hand, Terminal Nation return at a pivotal moment, where lines are being drawn and the possibilities of compromise are going up in smoke. Like fuel to the fires of dissent the band’s brutally heavy amalgam of metallic hardcore, death metal and power violence eviscerates with unforgiving sincerity the recognizable and the insidious forces propping up the White Supremacy machine. Events are moving fast now, the dominoes are falling and everyday it’s more apparent a reckoning is at hand. War is upon us and a Holocene Extinction is a likely outcome, because one cannot save a world that refuses to be saved…

File Under: Metal
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That Dog: Retreat from the Sun (Third Man) LP
Originally conceived as a solo album from that dog. frontwoman Anna Waronker, the third studio LP from the band arrived polished, constructed and aerodynamic for the late 90’s post-grunge haze it emerged from. While gems like “Hawthorne” quaintly imagine punk rock shows in car garages and “Minneapolis” recalls the “I only saw her for one second” ephemeral beauty of Citizen Kane, The album itself traverses a myriad of emotions and counts among its fans both Pat Smear of the Germs and the Vivian Girls. Touring in support for Retreat had that dog sharing stages with the likes of Counting Crows, The Wallflowers and Blur. A deep interview by Matt Pinfield on MTV’s 120 Minutes provided prime underground exposure. Boosted by a glossy music video, “Never Say Never” even found its way onto the Billboard Modern Rock charts. While a picture disc version of alternate mixes was self-released by the band 2017, this is the first-ever vinyl release of this album.

File Under: Indie Rock
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Washed Out: Purple Noon (Sub Pop) LP
Washed Out is Atlanta-based producer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Ernest Greene. Over the course of three uniquely enchanting, critically-lauded albums and an EP, the music he makes has proved both transportive and visual, each new effort inviting listeners into immersive, self-contained universes. With Purple Noon, his fourth album, and return to Sub Pop, he delivers the most accessible Washed Out creation to date. For Purple Noon, Greene again wrote, recorded, and produced the entirety of the album, with mixing handled by frequent collaborator Ben H. Allen. Production of the album followed a brief stint of writing for other artists (most notably with Sudan Archives on her debut Athena) which enabled Greene to explore genres like R&B and modern pop for the first time. These brighter, more robust sounds made their way into the songs of Purple Noon and mark a new chapter in Greene’s growth both as a producer and songwriter. The vocals are front and center, tempos are slower, beats bolder, and overall, a more comprehensive depth of dynamics that has yet to be heard on a Washed Out record. One can hear the luxuriousness of Sade, the sonic bombast of Phil Collins, and the lush atmosphere of the great Balearic beat classics. The coastlines of the Mediterranean inspire Purple Noon, and Greene pays tribute to the region’s distinct island culture – with all of its rugged elegance and old-world charm – and uses it as a backdrop to tell the album’s stories of passion, love, and loss (its title comes from the 1960 film directed by Rene Clement, which is based on the novel The Talented Mister Ripley by Patricia Highsmith). Much like the romantic Hollywood epics, the melodrama throughout is strong – a serendipitous first meeting in “Too Late”; the passionate love affair in “Paralyzed”; the disintegration of a relationship in “Time to Walk Away”; the reunion with a lost love in “Game of Chance.” Each Washed Out release has been rooted in a form of escapism, but coupled with this new layer of emotional intensity, Purple Noon takes the project’s music to dazzling new heights.

File Under: Indie Rock
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Whitney: Candid (Secretly Canadian) LP
Covers have long been an integral part of Whitney’s ethos. Ever since the band first formed in a Chicago apartment in 2014, tackling songs by the Everly Brothers, Allen Toussaint, and more played an important part in the songwriting process for their breakthrough 2016 debut Light Upon The Lake. Since then, their takes on NRBQ’s “Magnet” and Neil Young’s “On the Way Home” have become live staples, an essential and communal part of their sets. Their love for the music that makes up their deepest influences has always been genuine and tangible. Following their acclaimed sophomore 2019 album Forever Turned Around, Whitney have decided to return with a loving tribute to songs that have been formative and lasting to the entire band. Candid is a 10-song collection boasting covers of artists like Kelela, David Byrne, John Denver, SWV, and others but it’s also a band challenging themselves to explore more than their musical comfort zone. “This could’ve been as simple as saying we really love these songs and we love our bandmates and making a covers record just felt right but it truly became an exploration into how we can evolve as a band going forward,” says drummer/singer Julien Ehrlich. Recorded in January and February of 2020 over multiple sessions at Treehouse Studios in Chicago and Flora Recording and Playback in Portland, Candid finally sees the full touring band in a recording studio together. “This is the first time we really saw what the live iteration of Whitney sounds like in a studio. It was a really celebratory vibe and everyone in the room fed off each other’s energy,” says guitarist Max Kakacek. It’s the band’s best reflection so far of their triumphant live show as most of these renditions were recorded live. Featuring keyboardist Malcolm Brown, bassist Josiah Marshall, trumpeter Will Miller, as well as guitarists Print Chouteau and Ziyad Asrar, the entire live unit is firing at all cylinders thanks to its tight-knit and road-tested relationship. Their chemistry exudes throughout the tracklist but it’s especially apparent when they open up the dynamic to their friends, like Katie Crutchfield of Waxahatchee joining John Denver’s “Take Me Home, Country Roads.” On the cover of the classic, Ehrlich and Crutchfield’s voices merge for a joyous harmony over the chorus. Over eight days at Treehouse Studios, the band would show up in the morning, learn a song together, and choose an instrument, leading to a freewheeling and adventurous atmosphere. Their renditions of SWV’s ’90s R&B heater “Rain” or David Byrne and Brian Eno’s 2008 track “Strange Overtones” prove this, as they stretch Whitney into new musical directions. “We love these songs and all have an emotional connection to each one, but we really wanted to see if we could take the skeleton of each track and approach it in a way that felt new. We didn’t want to recreate what any of these artists already did,” says Kakacek. This is most evident on Candid opener “Bank Head,” which tackles the sparse and hypnotic electronic single by Kelela. Ehrlich adds, “It’s something we’ve never done before and probably a direction that we want to explore in our future albums” he continues, “We knew we couldn’t beat these songwriters at their own game. Instead, we wanted to find songs that were great at their core and could be reimagined.” At its core, Candid is a celebration of both the songs Whitney has adored throughout its formation and the band’s evolving bond through years of relentless touring and an enduring friendship. “One thing we realized is how these songwriters could make amazing songs with so much simplicity. Taking these skeletons and working with this incredible material means we’re keeping our chops and staying tight as a band,” says Ehrlich. The LP is a sincere snapshot of their evolving and eclectic tastes that’s imbued with a wholly inviting charm. It’s Whitney at their most unvarnished and inventive but most importantly, it’s a heartfelt tribute to the songwriters who’ve helped them most.

File Under: Indie Rock
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Various: Kaleidoscope – New Spirits Known and Unknown (Soul Jazz) LP
Soul Jazz Records’ new album ‘Kaleidoscope – New Spirits Known and Unknown’ brings together many of the ground-breaking artists involved in the new jazz scene that has developed in the UK over the last few years. Featured artists include Matthew Halsall, Yazmin Lacey, Ill Considered, Tenderlonious, Theon Cross, Emma-Jean Thackray and many, many more in this ground-breaking release. As well as sharing a pioneering spirit in these new artists’ approach to frontier-crossing musical boundaries, a further theme of this album is that many also share a determination to independent practices – and most of these artists’ recordings featured here are either self-published or released on independent labels. While the attention of this new wave of jazz artists has up until now has been London-based, this album shows how this movement is spread across the whole of Britain (and indeed beyond). ‘Kaleidoscope – New Spirits Known and Unknown’ shows that while there is commonality in these artists approach to music, there is a wide variety of styles – from deep spiritual jazz, electronic experimentalisation, punk-edged funk, uplifting modal righteousness, deep soulful vocals and much more. Soul Jazz Records’ new release comes as a superb one-off pressing special deluxe triple album edition which comes with a bonus limited-edition one-off pressing 7″ single, a standard triple album, and a deluxe double CD pack. This album also comes with extensive sleevenotes, artist interviews and exclusive photography.

File Under: Jazz
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…..Restocks…. 

  Archer of Loaf: Icky Mettle (Merge) LP
Archer of Loaf: White Trash Heroes (Merge) LP
Bacao Rhythm & Steel Band: The Serpent’s Mouth (Big Crown) LP
John Bender: Plaster Falling (Superior Viaduct) LP
Blood Incantation: Interdimensional Extinction (Dark Descent) LP
Coriky: s/t (Dischord) LP
Nick Drake: Five Leaves Left (Island) LP
Brian Eno: Ambient 1: Music for Airports (Astralwerks) LP
Brian Eno: Here Come the Warm Jets (Astralwerks) LP
The Fall: Grotesque (After the Gramme) (Superior Viaduct) LP
Ellen Fullman: In the Sea (Superior Viaduct) LP
Jon Gibson: Songs & Melodies 1973 (Superior Viaduct) LP
Randy Holden: Population II (Riding Easy) LP
Idles: Brutalism (Partisan) LP
King Crimson: Islands (Panegyric) LP
King Crimson: Larks Tongues in Aspic (Panegyric) LP
King Crimson: Lizard (Panegyric) LP
King Crimson: Thrak (Panegyric) LP
King Crimson: Three of a Perfect Pair (Panegyric) LP
Fela Kuti: No Agreement (Knitting Factory) LP
Raul Lovisoni/Francesco Messina: Prati Bagnati del Monte (Superior Viaduct) LP
Moondog: On the Streets of New York (Mississippi) LP
Thurston Moore: Trees Outside the Academy (Daydream Library) LP
Ennio Morricone: Un Uomo da Rispettare (Superior Viaduct) LP
Once & Future Band: Deleted Scenes (Castle Face) LP
Portishead: Dummy (Polydor) LP
Arthur Russell: Instrumentals (Audika) LP
Sonic Youth: Sister (Goofin) LP
Spectral Voice: Eroded Corridors of Unbeing (Dark Descent) LP
Sunwatchers: s/t (Castle Face) LP
Tom Waits: Heartattack & Vine (Anti) LP
Tom Waits: Nighthawks at the Diner (Anti) LP
Tom Waits: Small Change (Anti) LP
Tom Waits: Closing Time (Anti) LP
Witch Vomit: Buried Deep in a Bottomless Grave (20 buck Spin) LP

…..news letter #959 – more hot…..

A reup on the hot new El Michels Affair. And much needed shipment from our pals at Finders Keepers with the new Suzanne Ciani! Scored some nice used stuff recently that will start making it’s way up on the site as well. Just did some back end tweaking. The USED VINYL should no longer show up in the NEW VINYL section, so when we add USED VINYL, it will only show up there.

Some scheduling notes… We will be closed Aug 10th, no pick-ups that day, but we’ll be back on Tuesday.

Lastly, as you probably know, the first RSD Drop is coming up on Aug 29th. We are debating HOW this will work. RSD draws a pretty big crowd, which we are not looking for these days. We’ll keep you posted.

Still closed. It seems our customers are pretty happy with this decision. We seem to be getting busier and busier with new customers ordering through the website every day. If you haven’t yet ordered through the site, you should check it out! Loads of new and used stuff going up every day. 

As always, big thanks to everyone who’s been hitting up our webstore and placing orders! It’s getting competitive around 5pm when we post up fresh used stock. If you haven’t hit up the WEBSTORE, MAYBE YOU SHOULD! If you can’t figure out the site, or don’t like to use computers, you can always call the store and we can do an order over the phone. I’ll be at the shop 11-4 week days. Stay safe!

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

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

…..pick of the week…..

Suzanne Ciani: Music for Denali (Finders Keepers) LP
Finders Keepers Records’ continued and unwaning commitment to preserving the archives of composer Suzanne Ciani pays off in an avalanche of dividends with this latest master tape discovery, placing further markers in the historical development of electronic music and cinematic composition. Developed at a lesser-documented axis combining Ciani’s key disciplines as a revolutionary synthesist and an accomplished pianist, these early works from 1973 capture a rare glimpse of one of the world’s most important electronic music figures embarking on the early throes of a fruitful career as a film composer and sound designer with this rare and previously unheard documentary music illustrating the first-ever skiers’ decent from the peak of the tallest mountain in Alaska. Capturing innocence and optimism in its composition, but never less than masterful in its realisation, Denali takes what would later become the yin and yang in Ciani’s versatile musical personality and provides unrivalled vistas from both side of the mountain, scaling a treacherous and fine creative line. Within the context of Suzanne Ciani’s achievements the words “maverick” and “pioneer” have regularly shared sentences amongst a list of “firsts” when documenting her expansive CV as a Grammy nominated, million-selling recording artist, and genuine revolutionary in the progression of future music in all its early capacities. But it is with this important release of uncovered recordings from early 1973 that Ciani’s “exploratory” compositions from her formative years find kinship alongside the exploits of other radical and historic trailblazers, as the music for the film known only as Denali finally achieves a wider vantage point. Commissioned in the early years of Suzanne’s “professional” life, in a period that bridged her activities with art installations, experimental theatre and her rising reputation as a film composer and sound designer, the Denali tape reels preceed Suzanne’s film work such as Lloyd Michael Williams Rainbow’s Children (1975) and Bryan Forbe’s The Stepford Wives (1975) by just 18 months, and capture Suzanne at her wide-eyed best two years after scoring her first-ever paid work providing synthesiser loops for aquariums in Middle America shopping malls (Fish Music, FKSP011). It was in 1972, whilst occupying a studio space in San Francisco, as one of a small group of prophets then celebrating the interpolation of Don Buchla’s electronic instruments, that Suzanne was approached by a French speaking ski enthusiast and short film producer called Patrick Derouin to create “forward-thinking” and “otherworldly” themes and sound design for some amazing unseen footage of the first-ever people to ski down the death-defying face of Mount Mckinley in Alaska. Recognised as one of the tallest mountains in the world, this footage would mark a significant historic feat previously inconceivable outside the hat stand notions of a small group of French speaking European explorers and would also coincide with cultural pressure within the Alaska state legislature to lobby for the United States Board On Geographic Names to reinstate the mountain’s traditional name Denali (a decision widely supported by The Koyukon Athabaskans who inhabit the area around the mountain for centuries). Given what is now widely recognised about Suzanne Ciani as a composer, it is plain to see that Derouin came to the correct place and as you will hear, for the first time, within the grooves of this record the collective aura of challenge and enlightenment is almost breathtaking in its precise narrative ability; striking similarities with Eno, Kraftwerk and Neu! at their melodic best but from a very different vantage point, with polar opposite means of execution, whilst operating on Ciani’s unique and all-important feminine “wave” length. The music on this record was also commissioned two years before Suzanne’s first Buchla concerts in 1974 and 1975, which were accompanied by her seminal National Endowment Paper, and would reveal Suzanne’s proud commitment to the developed Buchla instrument and her confidence in its place in modern music, thus proving the likes of Denali to be an earlier showcase of the instrument in it’s advanced infancy although still robust enough to carry the emotive and ambitious songwriting skills of the classically trained Ciani. After hearing this record it will come as little surprise that the track known as Ski Song would later be reappropriated (and rerecorded) on Ciani’s globally critically acclaimed debut album Seven Waves (as the Fourth Wave), which was initially released exclusively in Japan before Turkish-born electronic music pioneer _lhan Mimaro_lu signed the record to his Finnidar imprint at Atlantic records, thus making musical history for Suzanne as a widely celebrated American-Italian female composer. It stands as testimony to the composer’s determination and inventive nature that this single track, which would later make its way on to every future music best-seller list in the country, was originally composed on just piano and the modular synth model which she had helped to assemble on Buchla’s production line ten years before her Tokyo debut. “Denali was composed using just Buchla and piano,” explains Suzanne in 2020. “It was recorded at Rainbow Recording, which is the studio I found and shared with recording engineer Richard Beggs, who then sold it to Francis Ford Coppola after I fell in love and quickly moved to LA,” she laments. “If I had stuck around I would have probably ended up doing sound for Coppola,” she jokes. Instead, Suzanne would in a short time find her filmic feet in Hollywood (providing sound design for Michael Small’s aforementioned The Stepford Wives soundtrack) which would later lead to her winning the accolade of first female film composer to single-handedly record a major motion picture with The Incredible Shrinking Woman in 1982. But it was ten years earlier with Denali that the ball had started rolling alongside the film reel sprockets at Rainbow Recordings. “I have very fond memories of first meeting Patrick and his thick French accent,” Suzanne explained. “He was a rugged looking young man who literally looked like he had just stepped down from the mountain himself.” The basic brief around Suzanne’s musical journey was to be “The story of the arduous ascent and joyous descent of the mountain,” which, with one of her most melodic and dynamic projects from her early years, she successfully illustrated with utmost aplomb. Although Suzanne would only see the short film a handful of times, mostly during intense late night recording sessions (“I used to dress like a sailor so I wouldn’t get street hassle on the way home”), and never meet to actual cast of the film, she can still remember mind-blowing shots of the skier cascading down the mountains, images that have remained with her throughout the subsequent five decades as a composer. As mountaineering history denotes the first-ever skier to descend from the tip of Denali was indeed in 1972, in dates that correlate directly to Suzanne’s meticulously kept tape library and studio diaries. The explorer’s name was French speaking Swiss skier Sylvain Saudan, a celebrated household name amongst enthusiasts to this day. Like Suzanne, like Saudan, neither artist have diverted from their path, turned their back on a challenge, nor lost their footing in the face of adversity.

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

Johnny Cash: Easy Rider: The Best of the Mercury Years (Mercury) LP
Johnny Cash is one of music’s true legends and a titan in the music pantheon. While his recordings for Sun, Columbia and American have been well serviced over the years, his Mercury Records catalogue has been conspicuous in its absence in the reissue market. With the new compilation Easy Rider: The Best of the Mercury Recordings and the box set The Complete Mercury Albums 1986-1991 plus stand alone releases of Class of 55: Memphis Rock and Roll Homecoming (1986), Johnny Cash Is Coming to Town (1987), Classic Cash: Hall of Fame Series (1988), Water from the Wells of Home (1988), Boom Chicka Boom (1990), and The Mystery of Life (1991) on offer in 2020, the project is expected to deliver some richly deserved profile to an important but under-served slice of The Man In Black’s repertoire.  This deep dive into a lesser-discussed period of Cash’s career provides an important link to the celebrated resurgence he enjoyed under the production of Rick Rubin with the American Recordings series, from 1994. Respected music journalist Scott Schinder notes that the recordings “stand as a notable transitional body of work, and an illuminating prelude to the full-blown creative resurgence that Cash would experience in the 1990s.” This prolific period for the Man In Black, after the end of his 30-year association with Columbia Records, encompassed six albums in five years, at a time when he was also still touring extensively. Easy Rider: The Best of The Mercury Recordings is a 24 track, 180g vinyl 2LP collection highlighting Cash’s fruitful years on the label. Featuring such tracks as “Waymore Blues” (with Jerry Lee Lewis, Roy Orbison and Carl Perkins), “We Remember The King,” “The Big Light,” “Tennessee Flat Top Box,” “Cats In The Cradle,” “I Shall Be Free” and many more!

File Under: Country
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Philip Corner/Charles Santos: Chord/Gong!
(Unseen Worlds) LP

New York, 1978, kindred composers Philip Corner and Carles Santos meet at the Bösendorfer piano of Charlemagne Palestine to record four-hand piano versions of Corner’s pieces “Chord” and “Gong!” The result is a long-flowing distillation of the source of the two composers’ affinity: avant-garde practice of austere artistic devotion at play with perfect imperfections of the uncontainable human spirit. A small cassette edition appeared in the late 1980’s and is now presented in a new digital restoration by Stephan Mathieu, alongside a vinyl LP pressing cut by Lupo.

File Under: Experimental
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Kenny Dorham: Trompeta Toccata (Blue Note) LP
In honor of Blue Note Records’ 80th Anniversary, the legendary jazz label is launching the Blue Note 80 Vinyl Reissue Series. Distinct from the Tone Poet Audiophile Vinyl Reissue Series, this second series curated by Don Was and Cem Kurosman features 180g vinyl LP releases in standard packaging with albums spanning the many eras of the label’s history presented by themes: Blue Note Debuts, Blue Grooves, Great Reid Miles Covers, Blue Note Live, and Blue Note Drummer Leaders. The series resumes in May 2020 with Part 4 of the Great Reid Miles Covers theme – Larry Young – Into Somethin’ (1964), Kenny Dorham – Trompeta Toccata (1965), and Andrew Hill – Smoke Stack (1966). Kenny Dorham’s 1965 album Trompeta Toccata would be the final album that the great underrated trumpeter and composer would record as a leader, and it stands as a fitting testament to his prodigious talent. The album featured a stellar quintet with Dorham and his frequent collaborator Joe Henderson on tenor saxophone along with pianist Tommy Flanagan, bassist Richard Davis, and drummer Albert “Tootie” Heath. The brilliant album cover design by Reid Miles featured the bold typography that made his style so influential. This Blue Note 80 Vinyl Edition is all-analog, mastered by Kevin Gray from the original master tapes, and pressed on 180g vinyl at Optimal.

File Under: Folk, Country
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Fontaines D.C.: A Hero’s Death (Partisan) LP/2LP
Barely a year after the release of their acclaimed debut album Dogrel (which charted Top 10 in the UK, earned a Mercury Prize nomination, and No. 1 Album of the Year positions for BBC 6Music and Rough Trade), Dublin, Ireland post-punk outfit Fontaines DC return with an intensely confident, patient, and complex sophomore album. A Hero’s Death arrives battered and bruised, albeit beautiful – a heady and philosophical take on the modern world, and its great uncertainty. Available as single LP or deluxe 180g 45RPM 2LP version cut at Abbey Road Studios. Gatefold packaging comes with a 12″ x 12″ photo/lyric book.

File Under: Punk
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Andrew Hill: Smoke Stack (Blue Note) LP
In honor of Blue Note Records’ 80th Anniversary, the legendary jazz label is launching the Blue Note 80 Vinyl Reissue Series. Distinct from the Tone Poet Audiophile Vinyl Reissue Series, this second series curated by Don Was and Cem Kurosman features 180g vinyl LP releases in standard packaging with albums spanning the many eras of the label’s history presented by themes: Blue Note Debuts, Blue Grooves, Great Reid Miles Covers, Blue Note Live, and Blue Note Drummer Leaders. The series resumes in May 2020 with Part 4 of the Great Reid Miles Covers theme – Larry Young – Into Somethin’ (1964), Kenny Dorham – Trompeta Toccata (1965), and Andrew Hill – Smoke Stack (1966). On his second Blue Note album Smoke Stack (1966), pianist and composer Andrew Hill used an unusual line-up of two bassists (Richard Davis and Eddie Khan) along with the masterful Roy Haynes on drums. Blue Note founder Alfred Lion considered Hill to have as distinct and important a compositional voice as Thelonious Monk, and the seven Hill compositions that the quartet explore here contain all the rare beauty to be found in his music. Designer Reid Miles photographed Hill himself for the striking album cover design.

File Under: Jazz
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Joy Division: Atmosphere (Rhino) LP
Joy Division recorded only two albums before singer Ian Curtis tragically took his own life in 1980. But what the Manchester quartet lacked in longevity, they more than made up for in quality. The two albums were pioneering and helped shape the sound and mood of the alternative music that followed in the band’s wake. Joy Division will be re-releasing a 40th anniversary edition of their sophomore album Closer in July 2020. The release follows 2019’s reissue of the group’s ground-breaking debut album Unknown Pleasures. Complementing the Closer 40th re-release are three non-album singles “Transmission,” “Atmosphere” and “Love Will Tear Us Apart” which will be reissued with 2020 remastered audio. Since the demise of Factory records, these singles have never been repressed or reissued before and are cut on 180g vinyl, featuring the original artwork on heavyweight board.

File Under: Punk
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Paul McCartney: Flaming Pie (Capitol) LP
Paul McCartney’s critically acclaimed and universally beloved tenth solo album Flaming Pie is the latest to receive the Archive Collection treatment. Originally released on May 5, 1997, Flaming Pie ended a four-year gap between McCartney studio albums. Recorded largely in the wake of Paul’s involvement in the curation and release of The Beatles Anthology series, Flaming Pie was shaped and inspired by that experience, with Paul remarking at the time, “(The Beatles Anthology) reminded me of The Beatles’ standards and the standards that we reached with the songs. So in a way it was a refresher course that set the framework for this album.” Produced by Paul, Jeff Lynne and George Martin and featuring a supporting cast of family and friends including Ringo Starr, Steve Miller, Linda McCartney and son James, Flaming Pie is equal parts a masterclass in songcraft and a sustained burst of joyful spontaneity. With highlights ranging from the uplifting and inspirational opener “The Song We Were Singing” to the raucous title track (named for a quote from an early John Lennon interview on the origin of The Beatles’ name: “It came in a vision – a man appeared on a flaming pie and said unto them, ‘from this day on you are Beatles with an A.'”) to the pensive “Calico Skies,” and featuring singles “Young Boy,” “The World Tonight” and “Beautiful Night,” Flaming Pie would represent yet another pinnacle in Paul’s solo catalogue: Released to rapturous reviews, the album would be Paul’s most commercially successful release of the ‘90s, achieving his highest chart positions since the ‘80s and would receive gold certifications in the US, UK, Japan and more. As the thirteenth release in the Paul McCartney Archive Collection, Flaming Pie will be available in multiple configurations including this 180g vinyl 2LP edition with the remastered album cut at half speed and housed in a gatefold sleeve with an accompanying booklet. Flaming Pie is additionally available as 180g 3LP-set with a bonus LP of unreleased home recordings, a Deluxe 5CD + 2DVD Box Set comprised of the original remastered album, 32 bonus audio tracks, video content and a 128-page book, and a 4LP/5CD/2DVD Collector’s Edition featuring everything in the Deluxe Edition plus a marbled art print portfolio of six silkscreened Linda McCartney art prints, exclusive vinyl versions of the remastered album cut at half speed across 2LPs in an exclusive gatefold sleeve, an LP of home recordings in a hand-stamped white label sleeve, and “The Ballad of the Skeletons” – Paul’s 1996 collaboration with Allen Ginsberg – released for the first time on vinyl and cut at 45 RPM with vinyl etching and poster.

File Under: Rock, Beatles
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Miquela: I A De Sers (Finders Keepers) LP
Weaving a fragile thread through collectible outsider genres such as acid folk, French jazz, Braziliana and world music it is virtually incomprehensible that this incredible one-off solo album by mononymous Occitan language singer, songwriter and activist Miquela has managed to evade notoriety and wider affection zover five decades. Captured via a humble makeshift studio set-up in a classroom in 1977, this startlingly crystalline recording is one of the best examples you are likely to hear, not shying from ambitious small string arrangements and intimate Gallic jazz infusions this LP represents the quiet storm erupting from the pride and protection of the ancient “romance” language known as Occitan, as spoken by less than 1.5 million people in Southern France (as well as parts of Italy and Spain). Naturally combining a wide range of influences, and fuelled by the same impassioned fervour found in privately pressed minority language records from Britanny, Catalonia and Wales, Miquela’s first and only solo record was recorded by request of poet Ives Roqueta for his exclusively Occitan language label Ventadorn. Including players from Miquela’s surrounding area of Toulon the album also enlisted arrangements from important musicians such as co-author Jean-Michel Mariou, jazz contrabass player Didier Capeille (later affiliate of Marseilles’ Etron Fou Leloublan), and guitarist Gilles Cardon, who would regularly play for Britanny based label Nevenoe (knotting the ties between both French language rehabilitation movements). Released and well-received by a supportive and emotional Occitan fan base, this would be Miquela’s only ever solo LP (preceded by a 7″ picture sleeve EP, drawing similarities to Welsh label Sain) and laid the foundations for future releases with her folk rock girl group Lei Chapacans (The Vagabonds) which led to tours as far as Sardinia, Yemen and Moscow. As a vital forerunner of a maligned genre of Occitan femme-folk singers such as Estela, Nicòla, Jacmelina, Rosina De Peira E Martina and Claudia Galibert, this LP marks the start of a journey that would eventually find its beloved protagonist at the heart of the galvanised Occitan language media.

File Under: Folk, Psych
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Jason Molina: Eight Gates (Secretly Canadian) LP
Eight Gates is the last collection of solo recordings Jason Molina made before he passed away from complications related to alcoholism in 2013. Sometime in 2006, or 2007, Molina moved from the Midwest to London. Separated from his bandmates and friends, and never one for idleness, Molina explored his new home with fervor. He’d pick up on arcane trivia about London’s rich history, and if the historical factoids weren’t available – or weren’t quite to his liking – Molina was quite comfortable conjuring his own history. When he learned of the London Wall’s seven gates, Molina went ahead and called it eight, carving out a gate just for himself. The eighth gate was Molina’s way into London, a gate only passable in the mind. Fast-forward to 2008, Molina set off on an experimental solo tour through Europe. While in Northern Italy, Molina claimed to have been bitten by a rare, poisonous spider. A debilitating bout of illness ensued. “I was in the hospital here in London,” Molina wrote in a letter. “Saw six doctors and a Dr. House-type guy. They are all mystified by it, but I am allowed to be at home, where I am taking a dozen scary Hantavirus type pills a day that are all to supposedly help – but they make me feel like shit.” There is no record of a single doctor visit, not any prescription record for these medications. It is entirely plausible there was no spider and that whatever was keeping him indoors during this time was entirely self-induced. While at home, he of course wrote songs. Molina also claimed that during this time, he fed several bright green parrots that would gather in his yard and made short, crude field recordings of them with his trusty four-track. Only once Molina was officially on the mend and re-exploring the streets of London would he learn that those parrots had their own fabled tale. Back in the 60s, Jimi Hendrix – in a moment of psychedelic clarity – released his pair of lime green ring-necked parakeets from their cage, setting them free into the London sky. Now, their descendants are spotted regularly around certain parts of the city. Or so we’re told. Recorded in London around the time of the supposed spider bite and Jimi’s supposed parakeets, some of the songs on Eight Gates (“Whispered Away,” “Thistle Blue”) are fully-realized – dark, moody textures that call to mind his earlier work on The Lioness. Knowing what we know about those parakeets and their peppered presence on the recordings, one can’t help but think of that colorful tree of birds on Talk Talk’s classic Laughing Stock, certainly a spiritual guide for much of the set. Other songs (“She Says,” “The Crossroads and The Emptiness”) lay in a more unfinished states, acoustic takes that call to mind Molina’s Let Me Go Let Me Go Let Me Go, and still tethered to Molina’s humorous studio banter. You remember how young Molina was, and how weighty this art was for such a young man. On the closer, “The Crossroads and The Emptiness,” Molina snaps at the engineer before tearing into a song in which he sings of his birthday (30th December), a palm reading and the great emptiness with which he always wrestled. It is a perfect closer and, in many ways, the eighth gate incarnate: mythical, passable only in the mind, built for himself and partway imaginary but shared, thankfully, with us.

File Under: Indie Rock, Folk
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OST: Parasite (Sacred Bones) LP
Parasite, the seventh feature film by Korean director Bong Joon Ho, premiered at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival, where it took the coveted Palme d’Or for best film in competition. Since then, it has become the most critically acclaimed film of the year. For the film’s bracingly original score, Bong turned to Jung Jae Il, who brings the world of Parasite to life with plaintive piano and stirring strings.

File Under: OST
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J.M. Pagan: Kiu I Els Seus Amics
(Finders Keepers) LP

From the cosmic creative musical mind of Swiss/Catalan studio whizz, Zeleste Nightclub engineer, Video Nasty film composer, occasional Jaume Sisa (Música Dispersa) collaborator and future electronic music therapy pioneer comes the synth- ridden vocoder-loaded 1984 sci-funk soundtrack to Barcelona’s daytime TV response to the universal E.T. phenomena. Get ready to meet your new alienígena amic and the unidentified flying object of thousands of Catalonian kids affections through the 1980s as Finders Keepers present J. M. Pagan’s lost lunar modular synth score to Kiu I Els Seus Amics (Kiu And Friends aka Kiu Is Your Friend). From the same intergalactic phenomenon that brought such delights as Turkey’s exploito cash-in “Badi” or South Africa’s lo-rent homage “Nukie” to our unregulated small screens, and the same craze which filled international airwaves with the likes of Extra T’S electro smash single “E.T. Boogie” or the million selling Columbian “Cumbia De E.T. El Extraterrestre” smash hit… not to mention a wide range of unofficial theme- tune cover versions from Holland, Austria, France and Germany (lest we forget an inspired late period Lee Scratch Perry Album) the creators of the movie which inspire the music on the album you are about to hear made no bones about their intergalactic muse. In 1982 the diaspora from Steven Spielberg’s small fictional mid-American neighbourhood that played host to everyone’s favourite torch fingered, three toed, Skittle scoffing space goblin touched virtually every family home in every major city resulting in one of the biggest cinematic merchandise phenomenas of the 21st century, resulting in an unexpected high-demand/short-supply play-off in which bootleggers, copyists and counterfeiters rose to the challenge like never before. At the precise moment that international audiences saw that cute little baldy poke his retractable neck around the corner and started stealing beer from the fridge, demanding long distance phone calls while circuit bending kids toys and frankly not looking after the plants… the human race was hooked! and we wanted more! more! more! When Spielberg regrettably told interviewers that he had no intention of making a sequel to E.T. The Extra Terrestrial, it instantly became open-season for the imitators… but way before somebody squeezed- out, Mac & Me, ALF and The Purple People Eater a team of kid’s TV executives in Catalunya were ready to fill the widening gap in the market without haste. Created in 1983 by Luna Films and Televisió de Catalunya (TV3) and screened exclusively in Catalunya, Kiu I Els Seus Amics was one of the first E.T. “tributes” to make it out of the gate, and with a crew of five individual directors and writers to ensure that the five episode, one-off series hit the wave of phone-home-fever, “Kiu” has since remained a short but sweet micro-memory in the hearts of an entire generation of Catalonian cosmonauts.

File Under: OST
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Pixies: Bossanova: 30th Anniversary (4AD) LP
2020 marks the 30th Anniversary of Bossanova, the third studio album by Pixies. To celebrate Bossanova hitting its third decade, 4AD present a colored vinyl LP edition with the original 16-page booklet being reinserted, having previously only been available with the initial UK LP pressing. The band continued to work with Gil Norton after collaborating to such success on their platinum-selling second album Doolittle; this time choosing to record in Los Angeles over their native Boston (the track “Blown Away,” however, was recorded at the Hansa Tonstudio in Berlin during a European tour in 1989). Their third album in as many years, 1990 was a particularly fertile time for the band with Kim Deal also having success with The Breeders, who released their debut album Pod just a few months prior. Featuring the singles “Allison” (a tribute to jazz and blues pianist Mose Allison), “Dig For Fire” and “Velouria,” plus the first cover to feature on one of their albums “Cecilia Ann” (originally by The Surftones), Bossanova showed a less primal side to the band, with surf and space rock rising to the fore. Lyrically, Black Francis is even more cryptic with a recurring sci-fi theme running throughout, which in turn influenced Vaughan Oliver’s classic planet design for the sleeve.

File Under: Rock
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Mike Polizze: Long Lost Solace Find (Paradise of Bachelors) LP
The debut solo album by Mike Polizze – and his first release for Paradise of Bachelors – finds the erstwhile Purling Hiss frontman and Birds of Maya shredder stepping out from behind the wall of guitar noise into the bright sunshine. Performed entirely by Polizze with longtime friend Kurt Vile (largely live and acoustic) and recorded by War on Drugs engineer Jeff Zeigler, this intimate Philadelphia affair clarifies the bittersweet earworm melodicism of Dizzy Polizzy’s songwriting, revealing bona fide folk-pop chops. Long Lost Solace Find finally harvests the wild local honey from the buzzing hive of Hiss. With very little electric guitar and few effects audible, Polizze’s expressiveness and dexterity as a fingerstyle player (not to mention a singer) emerges, especially on unadorned tunes like “Wishing Well” and the instrumental “D’Modal,” both of which bring to mind friend and fellow Delco native Steve Gunn. An amiably languid mood prevails, offhandedly achieving an atmosphere of quiet bliss and charming nonchalance that belies the morass of contradictions, bruising anxieties, nostalgia and nauseous stasis suggested by the elliptical lyrics. The lyrical content sometimes dissolves into the simple, childlike pleasures of rhymes and phonemic play, dispensing with parsable grammar entirely, as in the chorus of “Do Do Do” and the “Bam-bam a rambling man, a midnight sham” bit in infectious lead single “Revelation,” an instantly winsome number which features Kurt on backing vocals and surprise trumpet. The way Polizze sings the banal title of “Bainmarie” – literally, from the French, “Mary’s bath,” a kind of double-boiler kitchen device, a reference to the hardships of past jobs – like “memory” gets at the remarkable way these lilting melodies unfold with gorgeous, unpretentiously Proustian grace and ease. The endless hooks here sound casual, almost shrugged-off, despite their carefully constructed recursive and ramifying nature. Long Lost Solace Find demonstrates Polizze as a fount of perfectly turned little melodies and riffs and guilelessly sung ditties – glassychords – not unlike the way that Ben Franklin was a fount of indelible, perfectly phrased aphorisms. Here’s one that feels rather relevant to Mike’s move from the shadows into the sun: “Hide not your Talents, they for Use were made. What’s a sun-dial in the shade!” Long Lost Solace Find represents the apotheosis of Polizze’s evolving craft.

File Under: Rock
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Max Richter: Voices (Decca) LP
Over a decade after its inception, ground-breaking composer Max Richter releases Voices – a major new recording project inspired by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. In a time of dramatic global change, Voices offers a musical message of hope. Richter invited people around the world to be part of the piece, crowd-sourcing readings of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights to be interwoven into the work, which features an ‘upside-down’ orchestra. He received hundreds of submissions in over 70 languages. These readings form the aural landscape that the music flows through: they are the Voices of the title. Richter explains, “I like the idea of a piece of music as a place to think, and it is clear we all have some thinking to do at the moment. We live in a hugely challenging time and, looking around at the world we have made, it’s easy to feel hopeless or angry. But, just as the problems we face are of our own making, so their solutions are within our reach, and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is something that offers us a way forward. Although it isn’t a perfect document, the declaration does represent an inspiring vision for the possibility of better and kinder world.” Voices is comprised of 56 minutes (10 tracks) of material featuring orchestra, choir, solo soprano, solo violin, solo piano and electronics. The narrated text has been adapted from the UN Declaration and is read by acclaimed US actor Kiki Layne (If Beale Street Could Talk). It also features the 1949 Recording of the preamble to the declaration by Eleanor Roosevelt.

File Under: Classical
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Stanley Turrentine: Comin’ Your Way (Tone Poet) (Blue Note) LP
When it comes to playing powerful tenor solos full of the grit of life’s experiences mixed with joyful and optimistic shouts, Stanley Turrentine was Mr. Soul Jazz. Recognizable at any part of his career within two notes, Turrentine was in his own musical category no matter what the setting. A master at caressing melodies and making them his own, Turrentine, with his passionate musical personality, could turn any song into the blues. There is plenty of evidence of his brilliance throughout the warm and bluesy 1961 recorded/1987 released Comin’ Your Way which finds Stan The Man leading a five star quintet with his brother Tommy Turrentine, Horace Parlan, George Tucker and Al Harewood. The Blue Note Tone Poet Series was born out of Blue Note President Don Was’ admiration for the exceptional audiophile Blue Note LP reissues presented by Music Matters. The label brought Joe Harley (from Music Matters), aka the “Tone Poet,” on board to curate and supervise a series of reissues from the Blue Note family of labels. Extreme attention to detail has been paid to getting these right in every conceivable way, from the deluxe gatefold jacket graphics and printing quality to superior mastering (all analog direct from the master tapes) by Kevin Gray to superb 180-gram audiophile LP pressings by Record Technology Inc. Every aspect of these Blue Note/Tone Poet releases is done to the highest-possible standard. It means that you will never find a superior version.

File Under: Jazz
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Francois Tusques: Alors Nosferatu Combina un Ingenieux (Cacophonic) LP
With what was once considered a totally abandoned project French free jazz pioneer and stalwart François Tusques stumbles upon a series of shelved recordings from 1969 which further bolster the discography of historic French improv. Having lurked in the dark shadows for exactly 50 years this mutated micro-vile of youthful elixir and rebellious invention documents what would have undoubtedly been regarded as an important supportive pillar of the movement had it been released on vinyl during those formative years. Entitled Nosferatu as both a reference to a photograph taken by legendary photographer Horace, whilst shrouding a sly wink to film director Jean Rollin, this music is the first glimpse into a wider vampiric vault comprising a host of key figures from the Actuel/Futura/Palm universe… an historical artefact indeed. These newly excavated recordings not only mark the dawn of Tusques’ large group activities, and what would become his inter communal orchestras in the coming decade, but they also see the beginnings of thematic and pictorial free-jazz auto-composition with heavy leanings towards the fantastique trends in film and pulp literature that proliferated in French art at the turn of this important decade. A potential thematic precursor to the Palm Records releases Watch Devil Go by Jacques Thollot or Such A Strange Planet by François Jeannaeu (the latter being decidedly less spontaneous) this release is an essential jigsaw price in one of Europe’s most puzzling anti-genres. Whilst comprising themes taken from Mary Shelley and Lewis Carol amongst others, Nosferatu is the first disque in a wider series of unreleased Tusques tapes scheduled for vinyl editions for Finders Keepers’ Cacophonic label. While capturing the essence of the late 60s tumultuous era and the afformentioned commitment to the fantastique and free-thinking mindsets, Cacophonic are very proud to present this record with a rare archival illustration (from the same 1969 year) by maverick American Bande Designee artist Vaughn Bode whose legacy is indelible but still bequeathes unknown gems like his own “pre-lizard” homage to Nosferatu from an early free-press fanzine. Both artist widely respected and hugely influential in France (and around the world) this package is quite possibly a bona fide match made in heaven… if not elsewhere!

File Under: Avant Garde
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Mal Waldron & Gary Peacock: First Encounter (Alternative Fox) LP
Alternative Fox presents a reissue of Mal Waldron and Gary Peacock’s First Encounter, originally released in 1971. After playing with Mingus, Coltrane, Lady Day, and Abbey Lincoln, inventive jazz pianist Mal Waldron moved to Europe and first reached Japan in 1970, where he met Idaho-born double-bassist Gary Peacock, who had played with Art Pepper, Bud Shank, Bill Evans, and free-jazz giant Albert Ayler before moving to Japan to study Zen Buddhism. First Encounter, recorded in Tokyo in 1971 for French producer Herve Bergerat, shows that the intense pairing was quite natural, the harmonic dissonance of Waldron’s “She Walks In Beauty” contrasted by the up-tempo groove of Peacock’s “What’s That”; future Native Son founder Hiroshi Murakami makes important contribution on drums.

File Under: Jazz
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Wye Oak: No Horizon EP (Merge) LP
No Horizon is the latest offering and sound of a project plumbing the depths of an “evolve or die” ethos. For multi-instrumentalists JENN WASNER and ANDY STACK, there is no fear of the unknown, no preciousness about rigidity, no hard definition of what WYE OAK is. The Baltimore-born, Durham-based pair spent 2012–2019 writing music while living in different parts of the country, but the five songs that make up No Horizon mark the first that Stack and Wasner composed while both lived in Durham. The EP was originally composed in a concentrated timeframe at the end of 2018 and early 2019, and then performed at New York’s Merkin Hall as part of Ecstatic Music Festival in collaboration with the Brooklyn Youth Chorus. The resulting EP is distinctly and recognizably Wye Oak, while simultaneously unlike any other of the band’s studio work. Eerie and dreamy, a complicated, unpredictable amalgamation of thoughtful lyrics, steely glints of synths and effects, lithe guitar lines, and the depth of Wasner’s voice, it all unfurls with the ease of any Wye Oak song, built out by the Brooklyn Youth Chorus’ presence, their tangle of crystalline voices presenting like an orchestral arrangement. 12” is 45 RPM pink vinyl in a clear, screenprinted picture disc sleeve.

File Under: Indie Rock
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Larry Young: Into Somethin’ (Blue Note) LP
In honor of Blue Note Records’ 80th Anniversary, the legendary jazz label is launching the Blue Note 80 Vinyl Reissue Series. Distinct from the Tone Poet Audiophile Vinyl Reissue Series, this second series curated by Don Was and Cem Kurosman features 180g vinyl LP releases in standard packaging with albums spanning the many eras of the label’s history presented by themes: Blue Note Debuts, Blue Grooves, Great Reid Miles Covers, Blue Note Live, and Blue Note Drummer Leaders. The series resumes in May 2020 with Part 4 of the Great Reid Miles Covers theme – Larry Young – Into Somethin’ (1964), Kenny Dorham – Trompeta Toccata (1965), and Andrew Hill – Smoke Stack (1966). On 1964’s Into Somethin’ – his first album for Blue Note – Larry Young made it abundantly clear that he had his own unique approach to the Hammond B-3 organ. Rather than the tried-and-true soul jazz sound so strongly identified with the instrument, Young explored more modal territory over the course of his six Blue Note albums including this tremendous session featuring tenor saxophonist Sam Rivers, guitarist Grant Green, and drummer Elvin Jones. The remarkable album cover design by Reid Miles made excellent use of a memorable photograph by Francis Wolff.

File Under: Jazz
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Various: Pyramid Pieces (Roundtable) LP
Borrowing its title from an infamous Australian jazz composition, Pyramid Pieces is a long overdue compilation which documents a period of Australian modern jazz that flourished during the late 1960s and 70s. A brief yet vital survey which examines an isolated yet thriving vibrant scene that was largely unheard outside of its own country. Whilst many local musicians found success abroad in the UK or the USA, those that remained found limited support for jazz from the commercially-minded mainstream music industry, thus an empowered independent movement was born, represented by labels such as Jazznote and Horst Liepolt’s 44 Records. This compilation is a showcase of this period and the various forms of modern jazz indicative of the scene, from modal and deep spiritual jazz through to avant-jazz film soundtracks and the unique sub-genre ‘Eco Jazz’ (a distinctive style which drew vivid inspiration from Australia’s natural environment). Featuring essential tracks from celebrated Australian jazz icons such as John Sangster and Alan Lee, the collection also asserts the importance of other often overlooked groups including Jazz Co/op and The Brian Brown Quintet amongst others. Pyramid Pieces is the first entry in a new series that will explore the largely unheard yet incredible sound of Australian modernist Jazz.

File Under: Jazz
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…..Restocks…. 
  Bacao Rhythm & Steel Band: Serpent’s Mouth (Big Crown) LP
Blanck Mass: s/t (Sacred Bones) LP
David Bowie: Low (Parlophone) LP
Suzanne Ciani: Buchla Concerts 1975 (Finders Keepers) LP
Suzanne Ciani: Flowers of Evil (Finders Keepers) LP
Cosmic Eye: Dream Sequence (Roundtable) LP
El Michels Affair: Adult Themes (Big Crown) LP
Rafael Anton Irisarri: Peripeteia (Dais) LP
Khruangbin: Hasta El Cielo (Dead Oceans) LP
Kraftwerk: Trans Europe Express (EMI) LP
OST: Moomins (Finders Keepers) LP
Popera Cosmic: Les Esclaves (Finders Keepers) LP
Hiroshio Sato: Orient (Wewantsound) LP
Masahiko Sato: Belladonna (Finders Keepers) LP
Earl Sweatshirt: Feet of Clay (Warner) LP
Neil Young: Harvest (Reprise) LP
Various: Musique Concrete (Cacophonic) LP
Various: Musique Experimentale (Cacophonic) LP
Various: Strain, Crack & Break: NWW Vol 1 (Finders Keepers) LP