Well, it’s that time of year again…. OUR ANNUAL ANNIVERARY SALE! As we mentioned back in September, this year we’re celebrating 20 years of selling wax to all the best people! With out all of you fine music lovers we wouldn’t be here today, so thanks for your continued support throughout the years. Especially the last year, which has been a bit of a wild ride for everyone. So as always, we’re having a sale! We don’t have many, so take advantage while you can! we’re still having our biggest sale of the year.
20% off new & used vinyl, accessories, and apparel! 10% off gear (in-store only)!
Use the code ‘BFRSD‘ at the checkout online. (BFRSD titles and brand new arrivals are exempt).
On top of that though as a special treat, we’re dropping roughly 200 amazing used records in-store only. And we’re opening an hour! 10 am the fun begins!
Check our Instagram profile for teaser highlights of what we’re going to be dropping. Here
And as we’ll probably be a bit busy tomorrow please be mindful of our Covid protocols ..
– Max 4 people in the store at a time, please try limit your time, to accommodate others waiting. – Wear a mask (if you don’t have one, we’ll have some) – Sanitize your hands(we’ll have some)
Various: Tickets for Doomsday – Heavy Psychedelic Funk and Soul (Now Again) LP “Now-Again Records’ follow up to one of its most well-loved compilations, Forge Your Own Chains, with another batch of rare, largely uncompiled — and sometimes barely heard — heavy psych-rock and funk. Pounding drums, scathing fuzz guitar and morose, contemplative lyrics will bring you up on a downer. Tickets For Doomsday, as the title hints, is and rumination on what might befall the human race ? made especially salient by the past year’s trials and tribulations ? as performed by prison funk ensembles, Indonesian hippies, Krautrock legends, Icelandic prog-rock bands and even Bay Area rap catalyst E-40’s uncle, the man to ¬first distribute Master P’s No Limit Records, and the creator of this album’s title track, St. Charles ‘Chucky’ Thurman. A unique and compelling listen, and surely a worthy companion for these times.”
Alrighty… not to rag on RSD, but this is hands down the most pathetic RSD showing from the labels/distributors of all time. We have so little of our RSD stock in so far it’s sort of a joke. But what can you do. If/when we confirm quantities on anything else that ships (like tomorrow) we’ll make them available on our website for purchase in advance on Saturday morning.
All Them Witches: Live on the Internet (New West) LP Chet Baker: Albert’s House (Tidal Waves) LP Big Brother & the Holding Company: Captured Live (Sony) LP Leonard Cohen: Songs of Love & Hate (Legacy) LP Miles Davis: Live – Evil (Legacy) LP Tav Falco: Club Car Zodiac (ORG) LP Andrew Gabbard/Kendra Morris: Don’t Talk (Karma Chief) 7″ Jimi Hendrix: Paris 67 (Legacy) LP John Hicks: Is That So? (Tidal Waves) LP Jackson Conti: Sujinho (Madlib Invazion) LP Judas Priest: Best of (eOne) LP K.D. Lang: All You Can Eat (Warner) LP John Legend: Once Again (Columbia) LP Matata: Independence (Tidal Waves) LP Munsters: At Home With (BMG) LP Os Brazoes: s/t (Mr. Bongo) LP Art Pepper: Promise Kept (Omnivore) BOX Grant Lee Philips: Yuletide (Yep Roc) LP RZA as Bobby Digital: Digital Bullet (Get on Down) LP Shangri-Las: Best of the Red Bird and Mercury Recordings (Real Gone) LP Dusty Springfield: Complete Anthology Singles 1968-1971 (Real Gone) LP Joe Strummer: Johnny Appleseed (Dark Horse) LP Thundercat: Golden Age of Apocalypse (Brainfeeder) LP U2: Gloria 40th Anniversay (Univeral) LP Various: Beleza Tropical (Luaka Bop) LP Various: Tickets for Doomsday (Now Again) LP
Ordered, but not shipped… (Will add to the site if/when shipped/confirmed)
Broken Social Scene: Feel Good Lost – 20th Anniversary (Arts & Crafts) LP Jim Carroll Band: Catholic Boy (Fat Possum) LP CFCF: Continent (Paper Bag) LP Sam Cooke & The Soul Stirrers: The First Mile of the Way (Craft) 3×10″ Alice Cooper: Brutal Planet (eOne) LP Lana Del Rey: Chemtrails Over the Country Club (Interscope) LP Evanescence: s/t (Craft) LP Vince Guaraldi Trio: Baseball Theme (Craft) 7″ Half Moon Run: Seasons of Change (Crystal Math) LP Jackson 5: ABC (Anagram) LP L.A. Guns: Waking the Dead (eOne) LP Motorhead: The Lost Tapes Vol. 1 (BMG) LP Oneohtrix Point Never: Renditions 1 (Warp) 10″ Charlie Parker: Bird in LA (Universal) BOX Sons of Kemet: African Cosmology (Verve) LP Soundtrack: Ghosts of Mars (John Carpenter) (Varese Sarabande) LP Soundtrack: Iron Giant (Varese Sarabande) LP Soundtrack: Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (Disney) LP Spoon: Wild (Matador) 7″ Staple Singers: Twenty-Fifth Day of December (Craft) LP U-Roy: Creation Rebel Rare Sides (Sound System) LP Kali Uchis: Sin Miedo (Interscope) LP Wrens: Secaucus (Craft) LP Various: You Got the Power (Abkco) LP Various: You Can’t Sit Down (Abkco) LP
And these two have straight up been pushed to Dec. 10th...
Jason Isbell: Georgia Blue (Southeastern) LP Swirlies: They Spent Their Wild Youthful Days (Taang) LP
Well, almost a normal week except there’s still a pretty good chunk of new releases out, which is super weird for this time of year. But what can you do right? Just keep buying! That’s what I do.
You might have heard, next week is Black Friday! We do have a bunch exclusives coming in and this go around, they are IN STORE ONLY. The powers that be have decided that online RSD is no longer an option. So, we’ll be here at 10am on Friday the 26 slinging RSD exclusives and the like.
Also, I won’t be posting any more used to the website after tomorrow, possibly for the rest of the year. I think I did this last year too around this time. It’s just too hectic to do daily, and with most people’s spending focused elsewhere, it’s just less torture. HOWEVER, we will be doing an instore only drop of some amazing rare stuff that I’ve been stockpiling all year for Black Friday. So even if you aren’t after any exclusives, you’ll probably want to come down for a poke through those.
As previously mentioned, in line with current health restrictions we are operating as below..
– in-store shopping/pick ups – 11 – 6 pm Monday – Friday, 11 am – 4 pm Saturday (if you don’t want to come into the store for a pick up, call and/or use the back door) – Max 4people in the store at a time – Wear a mask(if you don’t have one, we’ll have some) – Sanitizeyour hands(we’ll have some)
…..pick of the week…..
Various: Intermission (Ghost Box) LP Ghost Box compile entirely new and exclusive material from Roj, Plone, Belbury Poly, The Advisory Circle, Die Dosis macht das Gift, Pye Corner Audio, The Focus Group, Justin Hopper, Beautify Junkyards, Sharron Kraus, ToiToiToi and more on this intimate label group portrait. Looking to string together the gaps or pauses in collective cultural memory and tie them into a meditative narrative for downtimes like these, ‘Intermission’ cradles your attention carefully with a gentle flow of ambient gestures that twinkle with a promise of yesteryear. Belbury Poly and Justin Hopper follow work on 2019’s ‘Chanctonbury Rings’ with an introductory manifesto that plays out across the quiet charms of The Advisory Circle’s analog tears in ‘Airflow’, the parquet calisthenics of Plone’s ‘Running and Jumping’, and an absolute jam from Roj in ‘The Animal Door’, with exquisite uchronic-ethnographic treats in store from Toi Toi Toi and a pair of gilded night slugs from Pye Corner Audio that bring the dancefloor tantalizingly within sight.
Adele: 30 (Columbia) LP 30 is the first new music from Adele since the release of her third studio album 25 in November 2015. The album was produced with former collaborators Greg Kurstin, Max Martin and Shellback and Tobias Jesso Jr., as well as new collaborators Inflo and Ludwig Goransson. Adele on the album: “I’m ready to finally put this album out. It was my ride or die throughout the most turbulent period of my life…I’d become so consumed by my own grief. I’ve painstakingly rebuilt my house and my heart since then and this album narrates it.” The highly anticipated collection comes introduced by the sublime lead single “Easy On Me.” 180g vinyl 2LP-set with printed inner sleeves and standard jacket packaging. “The hallmarks of the British superstar’s best-selling brand of pop are all there on her feverishly anticipated new single – the stately piano-and-vocals intro of “Hello,” the extended chorus syllables of “Someone Like You,” the subtle yet crucial bridge placement of “When We Were Young.” And then, of course, there’s Adele’s voice, as soulful an instrument as exists in modern music, and the primary reason she’s been able to transcend any trends that may be inhabiting the world whenever she returns to our orbit. Hearing that irreplaceable tone breathe the words “There ain’t no gold” in the opening seconds of “Easy On Me” induces precisely the same goosebumps as “Hello… it’s me…” did six years ago.” – Jason Lipshutz, Billboard
Aesop Rock: Labor Days (Block Block Chop) LP Double vinyl reissue of New York-born, San Francisco-based rapper and producer, Aesop Rock’s third full-length studio album, Labor Days, on the artist’s own Block Block Chop label. Originally released in 2001 on Definitive Jux, the 14-track set is regarded as Aesop Rock’s definitive collection, featuring production work from Blockhead and Omega One and guest appearances from the likes of Illogic and C-Rayz-Walz. “Aesop Rock is one of those MCs who have stumbled upon a blindingly intelligent solution to this state of affairs: he’s ignored all of that baggage and made a record that’s mostly about something. That something is work. Labor – effort in its broadest sense – is a topic he treats sometimes pedantically but often more thought-provokingly than not only the bulk of hip-hop, but the bulk of any genre. It helps that Labor Days is as terrific a record as anyone could ask for, really, and you should buy it…” – Nitsuh Abebe, Pitchfork
Black Angels: Passover (Light in the Attic) LP Coloured vinyl! These are fighting times, people. We are surrounded by grit, spit, and bloody war, but in the distance moving forward is The Black Angels. Passover, The Black Angels debut album, speaks of real-life horrors, death, and destruction with doses of love, sex, and healing. Don’t lose track, these are caring times as well. Formed in 2004 and hailing from the mescaline-infused outskirts of Austin, Texas, this gang of musical misfits has been on the road non-stop since their birth, performing at such renowned venues as Sin-e, Middle East, and Spaceland. In early 2006, the band’s self-titled debut EP was dubbed highly recommended in Spin Magazine while receiving heavy radio airplay on such influential stations as KEXP and BBC Radio 1 by Zane Lowe. Growing in spades since their EP, Passover showcases a band on the make. Spiraling upwards to the skies with the enemy straight on their trail, “The Sniper At The Gates Of Heaven” sees The Black Angels reaching high and stretching out with trance-inducing guitar lines from Christian Bland, Nate Ryan’s filthy medical dumpster bass, and the grizzly preacher vox of lead shaman Alex Maas. “Black Grease” is a bluesy monster full of swagger propelled by the primitive beat of drummer Stephanie Bailey and the mourning drone of organist Jennifer Raines. 10-songs deep, Passover has come again. Reflecting and questioning the intergenerational psychosis of American social life that surrounds us, The Black Angels put forth their answers in song. It’s a “Call To Arms” for those ready to join the good fight, a rock ‘n’ roll salvation during the times we need it the most. As Maas bellows on “Young Man Dead,” “Fire for the hills, pick up speed, and let’s go…”
Body/Dilloway/Head: s/t (Three Lobed) LP This debut album resulted from Body/Head (the duo of Kim Gordon [Sonic Youth, solo] and Bill Nace) handing over previously unreleased studio sessions to Aaron Dilloway (solo, formerly of Wolf Eyes) for processing and editing. The result is unmistakably a complete synthesis of their respective sounds and styles, a sum that makes sense and leaves you wondering “how didn’t this happen sooner?” Any attempt to describe the nature of this particular collaboration is fraught, with it impossible to say where lines might get drawn, because there simply aren’t any. One of this LP’s many pleasures is the inability to identify specific emotions within it, despite the undeniable emotional responses it elicits. Instead, these are memories of moods, nascent feelings we haven’t grown into yet. As a wise and oft-repeated doctor once told/warned us, don’t dream it, (listen in and) be it – give yourself over to Body/Dilloway/Head.
Hayes Carll: You Get it All (Dualtone) LP In tomorrow! With folkie conscience, country simplicity, and a vagabond’s desire for mischief, Hayes Carll has spent over 20 years including anybody who will listen in an easy conversation about what it is we’re all doing here. “I like to tug at heartstrings, find commonality with others, reflect on my own life, and sometimes I do it in a lighthearted way,” says Carll while discussing his eighth album You Get It All. “A lot of musical styles found their way onto this record, but my first and most formative influences came from country music. This is a country singer-songwriter record. It’s just unapologetically me.”
Vic Chesnutt: Silver Lake (New West) LP At the time, you could count on two things with Vic Chesnutt: he would approach any topic, from the delicate to the mundane and he would take an unexpected angle. With an incisive eye and razor wit, he would always cut straight to the heart of the matter. He did so to great effect on Silver Lake, giving equal weight to the tender affirmation of “In My Way, Yes” and the scathing self-critique of “Styrofoam,” and applying his delightfully odd spin to the standard love story on both “Band Camp” (a funny, nostalgic tale of romance in the high school horn section) and the Brian Wilson homage “Fa-La-La” (a saga of unanswered longing that’s set in a hospital). Chesnutt’s idiosyncratic quaver and nylon-string strum are abetted throughout by generous rock and soul arrangements, all of which were pristinely recorded by Daniel Lanois protege Mark Howard (who also produced Lucinda Williams’s World Without Tears).
The Clean: Boodle Boodle Boodle (Merge) LP In tomorrow! Merge will reissue two crucial releases from The Clean’s distinguished discography. The “Tally Ho!” b/w “Platypus” 7-inch and the Boodle Boodle Boodle 12-inch EP, the Dunedin trio’s first official recordings as a band, both celebrate their 40th anniversary this year. These reissues have been remastered by Tex Houston with assistance from the Alexander Turnbull Library New Zealand, and The Clean’s David Kilgour and Robert Scott oversaw the careful re-creation of the original packaging. Merge is thrilled to make these records globally available for the first time since their original release in 1981.
The Clean: Tally Ho!/Platypus (Merge) 7″ In tomorrow! Merge will reissue two crucial releases from The Clean’s distinguished discography. The “Tally Ho!” b/w “Platypus” 7-inch and the Boodle Boodle Boodle 12-inch EP, the Dunedin trio’s first official recordings as a band, both celebrate their 40th anniversary this year. These reissues have been remastered by Tex Houston with assistance from the Alexander Turnbull Library New Zealand, and The Clean’s David Kilgour and Robert Scott oversaw the careful re-creation of the original packaging. Merge is thrilled to make these records globally available for the first time since their original release in 1981.
Come: Don’t Ask Don’t Tell (Fire) LP In 1994 Come responded to the difficult-second-album stereotype with the hypnotic, intense and emotional masterpiece Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. Featuring the original line-up of Thalia Zedek, Chris Brokaw, Sean O’ Brien and Arthur Johnson, the Boston band broadened their sound by slowing down the tempos and creating a dense urban stream of consciousness that mixes noise, city blues and…catharsis. The album hits you immediately as one of the greatest dissident records ever made. Lovingly remastered, this expanded edition includes ‘Wrong Sides’, an additional albums worth of b-sides and unreleased tracks, including the band’s very first single “Car” and their last recorded song, “Cimarron,” featuring this core line-up. These gems showcase the rawness and incredible growth of a band completely in command of their songwriting and at the same time paying homage to some of their punk roots with beautiful renditions of Swell Maps “Loin Of The Surf” and X’s “Adult Books.” Also Includes new artwork with unearthed photos and fresh liner notes by the band. Dissident from traditional rock – this is a band playing music that thematically and structurally seems to pull from old Europa, from Eastern folk and modernist classical music as much as US and UK rock. Dissident from traditional ideas about singing and songwriting – Thalia’s (ex of Live Skull) presence on songs like “Yr Reign” and the astonishing closer “Arrive” isn’t the pushy self-aggrandizement of a lead singer but the internal voice of the eternal migrant, someone who knows about survival, hiding, how living between multiple worlds can become its own refuge of distance, its own sanctuary of unbelonging. Don’t Ask Don’t Tell emerged from a period of cohesion, a break from the tight and hectic touring schedule Come had been plunged into after the acclaim accorded 11:11, and you can hear that increased focus in every moment – the layers of guitars and feedback are even more precise, the structuring of songs takes on a new openness and ambition, and the whole narrative arc of the record from “Finish Line” to “Arrive” is more exquisitely realized and sequenced.
Loren Connors & David Grubbs: Arborvitae (Improved Sequence) LP This is the first LP release on Loren Connors’ and David Grubbs’ Arborvitae, originally released on CD by the Swedish label Häpna in 2003. Loren Connors and David Grubbs first performed as a duo on May 30, 2003 at the Green-Wood Cemetery Chapel in Brooklyn, N.Y. Green-Wood Cemetery is one of Brooklyn’s landmarks—it’s the highest natural point in the borough, and an unexpected expanse of tranquility in the midst of the city. The stone interior of the chapel makes the quietest of sounds audible, and Loren and David played a remarkably quiet yet extraordinarily varied hour of improvised music. Energized, they repaired to the studio to record Arborvitae. It certainly could have happened earlier. David first heard Loren’s In Pittsburgh LP (St. Joan) in 1990, and felt it a revelation. Loren’s example of creating silences, of singing—with the guitar—in silences, was crucial to David’s shift from the rock trio Bastro to the often percussionless Gastr del Sol. David and Jim O’Rourke reissued In Pittsburgh several years later on their Dexter’s Cigar label, and Loren and Gastr del Sol performed a number of shows on the same bill, including the 1996 Table of the Elements Yttritum festival in Chicago. Arborvitae opens and closes with the pairing of David on piano and Loren on an electric guitar played so quietly that at times his pedal-stomping is wondrously distinct. “Blossom Time” and the title track positively float, with Loren alternating between soaring single-note lines and playing the rough, barnacled anchor to David’s relentless tide. David’s approach to the piano recalls his playing on Palace’s Arise Therefore and his own Banana Cabbage, Potato Lettuce, Onion Orange. Loren hypnotizes throughout. This is one of the rare instances up to this point in his career that he had recorded in a commercial studio, and his playing, time and again, rewards such a detailed recording. “The Ghost of Exquisite” and “Hemlock Path” are two slow-motion lockings of guitar horns. “The Highest Point in Brooklyn” isn’t the place to be in an electrical storm—but it rolled in all of a sudden and there we were, uncovered and open to the elements…
David Crosby: If I Could Only Remember My Name (Atlantic) LP Singer-songwriter David Crosby’s solo debut, If I Could Only Remember My Name, was dismissed by critics when it came out in 1971. Over the years, however, appreciation has grown for the album’s adventurous aesthetic, stacked harmonies and haunting lyrics about loss and confusion. Billed as Crosby’s solo debut, the album was anything but a one-man project. Instead, it was one of his most collaborative efforts, featuring an all-star cast of players that included members of the Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, and Santana, along with Graham Nash, Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, and others. If I Could Only Remember My Name turned 50 in 2021 and Atlantic/WEA celebrates the occasion with a newly remastered version of the original album on 180-gram vinyl. The new remaster was overseen by original album engineer Stephen Barncard with restoration and speed correction using Plangent Processes. When Crosby started recording the album in 1970, he was grieving the death of his longtime girlfriend Christine Hinton, who was killed in a car accident a year earlier. At the time, Wally Heider Studios in San Francisco became a refuge for Crosby, who remembers Jerry Garcia showing up nearly every night. “There’d be that grin, and then that look in the eyes, and this fascination with the music,” Crosby recalls. “Easy, not forced, graceful, fun, ever-present. It was a kindness, I’m pretty sure. Jerry never said that, never even implied it. Just, ‘Hey, I heard you were doing something. What are you doing? Let’s do something.” What they made was music that would be embraced by later generations of singer-songwriters and cited as an early example of the “freak folk” genre. On the original, the nine songs explore a wide range of moods and textures. Crosby’s swagger and Garcia’s stinging solos give “Cowboy Movie” its intensity, while “Song With No Words (Trees With No Leaves)” gently stretches out to a place between choral folk and modal jazz. For “Orleans,” Crosby transformed the French children’s song using the studio and its echo chamber to record a choir of his vocal harmonies.
Manu Dibango: Afrovision (Digger’s Factory) LP Manu Dibango is probably the most famous musician from Cameroon and quite possibly one of the most internationally well-known African musicians ever. He is a most versatile musician, having played and recorded almost every style of music you care to mention – soul, reggae, jazz, spirituals, blues, African, electro. Dibango displays his virtuosity on vocals, saxophone, percussions, and keyboards in a set that attempts to pick up commercially where Soul Makossa ended.
Doris: Did You Give the World Some Love Today (Mr. Bongo) LP Coloured vinyl! This was Doris’ jazz album though it contains more than a hint of Joni Mitchell, Led Zepellin and the like. Backed by her husband Lukas Lindholm on bass she was able to lay down some seriously funky bass lines on tracks like Don’t and Beatmaker. On You Never Come Closer, an experimental track that was way ahead of its time, Janne Carlssonunleashes a fearsome sound on drums helped by Bernot Egerladh on organ.
Justin Townes Earle: Kids in the Street (New West) LP Coloured vinyl! Kids In The Street was the 7th and album from American roots troubadour, Justin Townes Earle. After marrying, moving to various corners of the country and continuous touring with both full band and solo, Earle made time to reflect on the previous years of his life and find new clarity. With Kids In The Street, he made a conscious decision to work with a producer for the first time. Earle made the trip to Omaha, Nebraska to work with Mike Mogis (First Aid Kit, M.Ward, Connor Oberst) at ARC Studios. Together, they hand picked musicians to create a new sound and environment for the songs that speaks to Justin’s roots, musically and personally. This creative collaboration, paired with Justin’s longtime guitarist Paul Niehaus, resulted in an album that took a big step forward.
Steve Earle: GUY (New West) LP Coloured vinyl! Steve Earle was nineteen and had just hitchhiked from San Antonio to Nashville in 1974. Back then if you wanted to be where the best songwriters were you had to be in there. Guy Clark had moved to Nashville and if you were from Texas, Guy Clark was king. Flash forward more than forty years. In the fall of 2018, Steve and The Dukes went into House Of Blues studio in Nashville and recorded GUY in six days. “I wanted it to sound live…When you’ve got a catalog like Guy’s and you’re only doing sixteen tracks, you know each one is going to be strong.” Earle and his current, perhaps best-ever Dukes lineup, take on these songs with a spirit of reverent glee and invention. But in the end Guy leads the listener back to its beginning, namely Guy Clark, which is what any good “tribute” should do. Guy is a saga of friendship, its ups and downs, what endures. We are lucky that Earle remembers and honors these things, because like old friends, Guy is a diamond.
Steve Earle: I’ll Never Get Out of This World Alive (New West) LP This is a first time color vinyl pressing of the anticipated follow up to the Grammy® Award-winning 2009 release Townes titled, I’ll Never Get Out Of This World Alive . This 11-track set was produced by T-Bone Burnett and was Earle’s first collection of original material since his 2007 Grammy® Award-winning album, Washington Square Serenade. The album includes the celebrated song” This City,” written for the HBO Original Series, TREMÉ, which Earle also appeared in as an actor. “This City” features horn arrangements by Allen Toussaint and has garnered a Grammy® Award Nomination in the Best Song Written for Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media Category. Other highlights include the ballad “Every Part of Me” and the ode to those who make their living on The Gulf Of Mexico.
El Michels Affair: The Abominable EP (Big Crown) LP In tomorrow! Coloured vinyl! El Michels Affair follows up the massive success of their full length Yeti Season with The Abominable EP. A collection of unreleased tracks, alternate takes, and instrumentals from the Yeti Season recording sessions.
Embryo: Auf Auf (Madlib Invazion) LP In tomorrow! The lauded krautrocking, global groove ensemble’s first album on maverick producer Madlib’s label. The late Christian Burchard, who founded the Embryo ensemble in 1969, loved the slogan Auf Auf, German for Up, Up, or Keep On Going. Anyone with anything more than a passing interest in the German krautock scene of the ’70s and ’80s knows that Burchard followed that intent, all around the world, tirelessly seeking out new sounds and inspirations and creating a catalog of music unlike most anything else the world has ever heard. Madlib has often said Embryo is his favorite rock band. Of course the hip-hop-producer-with-the-deepest-musical-knowledge knows Embryo is more than just a rock band. When Marja Burchard, Christan’s daughter, who grew up with Embryo and toured with them for years, took the reins of the ensemble after Christian’s death in 2018, she started recording what would become this album, over the course of two years, finishing it in the throes of the Covid pandemic in 2020. She approached Madlib and Egon, who had, years back, visited and jammed with Christian, and Embryo musicians Uve Mullrich, Roman Bunka and Jan Weissenfeldt, in a Bavarian wine cellar, with the idea to issue Auf Auf on Madlib Invazion. The reply was a resounding, definitive “yes.” So here is Marja’s take on the Embryo ethos, continuing with her father’s intrepid style, and leading the band in her own style. Auf Auf ranges from the deep, free-form jazz of “Alphorn Prayer” to modal music from Afghanistan on “Baran” to psychedelic-tinged jazz-rock of the title track. Joining Marja are Embryo veterans Bunka, on oud and guitar, and Karl Hector and the Malcouns/Whitefield Brothers/Poets of Rhythm producer and guitarist Jan Weissenfeldt and others, including important players on the global scene from Afghanistan and Morocco.
Neal Francis: In Plain Sight (ATO) LP Neal Francis’ sophomore album offers up a body of work both enchanting and painfully self-aware. Recorded entirely on tape and mixed by Grammy Award-winner Dave Fridmann (Spoon, Tame Impala, Flaming Lips), the record spotlights Francis’s refined yet free-spirited piano playing, an instrument he took up at age four. The songs came to life over the course of a tumultuous year spent living in a (possibly) haunted church in Chicago. The result: a portrait of profound upheaval and weary resilience.
David Grubbs & Ryley Walker: A Tap on the Shoulder (Husky Pants) LP You never know when that tap’s going to come. How about now? (Not for you to decide.) Or exactly what it means—except in the aftermath. Mutual admiration society and David Grubbs and Ryley Walker had been taking notes on one another’s playing for some time before they hit the stage together on a couple of blistering occasions immediately pre-pandemic. (One of these live sets was released earlier this year as Fight or Flight Simulator on Café OTO’s Takuroku label.) Studio sessions were clearly in the cards, and the result is A Tap on the Shoulder, a collection of duo performances that veers from crystalline instrumental compositions (“A Tap on the Shoulder,” “Accepting Most Plans,” “Dorothy Kept”) to animated alien chatterfests (“Leslie Steinberger”), and from ecstatic extrapolations charging this way and that (“Pump Fake on the Death Rattle,” “The Madman from Massachusetts in an Empty Bar”) to, I don’t know, words don’t do the trick (“Uglification”). Don’t think for a second that these shorthand descriptions suffice. Electric guitars make electronic music. Ryley’s hellion musical fearlessness lights a fire under the more typically Apollonian, chess-masterly Grubbs. What’s good for the geezer is good for the, etc. And where the duo’s live performances thus far have been set-length juggernauts, A Tap on the Shoulder toggles effortlessly between microscope, telescope, and Cinemascope, letting the smallest of gestures land in all of its sonic specificity before opening the scene up to disorienting panoramas. Listen to A Tap on the Shoulder in the context of Ryley’s glorious Course in Fable; listento it in the context of Grubbs’s playing with Loren Connors, Jim O’Rourke, Taku Unami, and others; or listen to it as if you’ve never heard note one from these soulful odd birds, the two of them curiously, quixotically committed to working inside and beyond song form.
Homeshake: Under the Weather (Dine Alone) LP Unlike most of us, Peter Sagar – also known as Homeshake – was staying at home a lot, long before the pandemic. Sagar wrote the majority of his fifth studio album, Under the Weather, in 2019, when he was going through a long, unrelenting period of sadness. “I was in a deep, deep depression,” he recalls of that time period now. “Tours were breaking me. It was awful.” Sagar and his partner were living in Montreal and while everyone was out being social, he was inside listening to ambient music, binging Star Trek, and writing songs. (Sound familiar?) “It was a bit of a dark pit,” he says. “That’s kind of what the whole album is about.” Under the Weather follows Sagar’s life and the depression that consumed him in 2019 – after a brief album intro, it jumps right into “Feel Better,” a reflection on attempting to buck up when the weather outside is grim. The album is hazy and moody, the pace slow as syrup, and from beginning to end, a fog falls over every synth and guitar line. In “Inaminit,” Sagar cancels plans when he’s feeling low; the closing track, “Tenterhooks,” sees Sagar’s deliverance into the depths of despair: “Feel myself drying up / feel myself turn into dust,” he sings over a funhouse mirror synth. “Oftentimes when you’re in a dark place, you’re supposed to journal and that helps release the pressure,” Sagar says. “For me, it always found its way into the music.” Capturing the cloudy sound of a depressive funk was no simple feat, especially in the headspace Sagar was in for over a year. For that reason, he decided to enlist his friend, Jerry Paper’s Lucas Nathan, to help with production on the record. Having Nathan contribute helped Sagar dial back some of “dry, pristine digital sound” that defined his fourth studio album, Helium, and add back personal analog touches that drew people to the Homeshake project in the first place.
Idles: Crawler (Parisan) LP IDLES return with their new album “CRAWLER” – an album of reflection and healing amid a worldwide pandemic that stretched the planet’s collective mental and physical health to the breaking point. Frontman Joe Talbot says, “We want people who’ve gone through trauma, heartbreak, and loss to feel like they’re not alone, and also how it is possible to reclaim joy from those experiences.” IDLES albums have always been anchored by these overarching themes, but the ability of the band to juxtapose beauty and rage with humor and drama has never felt more satisfying than on “CRAWLER.” These stories are vividly brought to life through IDLES’ most soul-stirring music to date, recorded with co-producer Kenny Beats (Vince Staples, Freddie Gibbs). There are, of course, numerous moments that will inspire absolute mayhem in a packed concert venue, but there are also fresh textures and experiments that push IDLES into thrilling new territory. “I don’t really see us as a ‘rock band’ and working with Kenny [Beats] freed us of the idea of genre,” Talbot enthuses. “On this album, our dissolution of ego was helped by Kenny’s humble nature and willingness to learn. He has boundless passion for making the best song possible. Not the best ‘rock’ song — the best song possible.” He continues, “It was writing selfishly that helped make it possible. Reflecting. Telling my own story. Not trying to tell everyone else’s story. Not trying to fix the world — just talking about how I am fixing mine.”
Makoto Kubota & The Sunset Gang: Dixie Fever (Wewantsound) LP In tomorrow! Wewantsounds close the Makoto Kubota reissue series with the release of Dixie Fever recorded in Hawaii in 1976 and co-produced by Haruomi Hosono. Like its predecessors, Dixie Fever continues to explore American and Island music through a Japanese prism with a skillful mix of blues, swamp funk and America adding an exotic edge to the whole. A year after the release of their highly-acclaimed album Hawaii Champroo in 1975, Makoto Kubota and The Sunset Gang reunited at Sounds of Hawaii studios with co-producer Haruomi Hosono to record a new album, Dixie Fever. They used pretty much the same ingredients that had made the success of Champroo — an effortless mix of Japanese folk and American roots music with some tropical influences. The same mix that Haruomi Hosono was applying to his own albums, especially Tropical Dandy which was experimenting with the same ideas — in fact the front cover of both Tropical Dandy and Dixie Fever are illustrated by Yasuo Yagi. As per Hawaii Champroo and Sunset Gang, Dixie Fever includes a mix of original compositions and covers. On the album, you spot The Lovin’ Spoonful’s “Wild About My Lovin'” and a funked-up version of UK singer songwriter Ralph McTell’s song “When I Was A Cowboy”. They feature the Gang’s usual musicians (Keni Inoue on guitar, Yosuke Fujita on slide guitar and Takashi Onzo on bass and keyboards) complemented by a handful of guests including Tin Pan Alley drummer Tatsuo Hayashi, Motoya Hamaguchi on percussion and New Orleans pianist and Dr. John friend, Ronnie Barron. Together they play a superb brew made of blues, soul, Hawaiian music and southern swamp rhythms. One of the highlights of the album is undoubtedly “Hoshikuzu (Stardust)” which has become a cult classic over the years on the international city pop scene and whose sunshine mid-tempo vibe is the perfect reflection of the group’s musicianship. The first time the album is released outside of Japan. Features original artwork with OBI and insert plus remastered audio by Makoto Kubota himself.
Bob Marley & The Wailers: Catch A Fire (Universal Japan) LP The Wailers’ “Catch A Fire (Original Jamaican Version)”, the world’s first analog LP with a zippo lighter jacket, will be reissued! This is the original Jamaican version of their 1973 major-label debut, “Catch A Fire”. This album features the dynamic Jamaican sound without the guitar and organ overdubs of the UK version and features Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, Bunny Wailer, and the band’s own vocals from the master tapes recorded at Randy’s by Harry J., Aston “Family Man” Barrett, and Carlton Barrett. The original Jamaican recording, which conveys a real and tight heartbeat, is now revived! The song order is different from the UK version, and the original takes of “High Tide Or Low Tide” and “All Day All Night,” which were not included in the UK version, are also included!
Charles Mingus: Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus (Impulse) LP This 1963 recording is a major showcase for the multi-talented Charles Mingus as a bassist, pianist, and writer. From the blues-painted bass moaning that opens “II BS,” to the blazing fire of “Hora Decubitis,” these tunes come furiously barreling out one after another. Speed and density aside, however, there are also multi-color, lovely tunes like Duke Ellington’s “Mood Indigo” and Mingus’ paean to Lester Young. More than anything, though, Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus is a major document due to the presence of two alternating big ensembles, anchored by Jaki Byard on piano and fronted by a herd of horn players, Eric Dolphy and Booker Ervin chief among them. This all-analog 180g vinyl LP reissue was mastered from the original analog tapes by Ryan K. Smith at Sterling Sound, pressed at QRP, and comes housed in a Stoughton tip-on gatefold jacket.
Minoru Muraoka: Bamboo (Mr. Bongo) LP Japanese jazz/breakbeat, folkloric mega-rarity as hallowed the likes of DJ Shadow, Cut Chemist, Egon and co. Uniquely combines traditional Japanese instrumentation with Western jazz influences. Minoru Muraoka plays ‘shakuhachi’ – a traditional bamboo Japanese flute – joined by his band members accompanying him on the ‘koto’ (strings) and ‘tsutsumi’ (drum) amongst others, to create their ‘Shakuhachi Jazz’ sound. Official Mr Bongo reissue. Gatefold single LP.
Fumio Miyashita’s unreleased last recording is finally here. We are honor to receive the master audio of Waterfall Symphony from Fumio’s family last year and finally ready to release on both Vinyl & CD.”
Ennio Morricone: The Bird with the Crystal Plumage (Mondo) LP Fanatics of ’70s Italian giallos take note… Behold a veritable smorgasbord of sounds that is Ennio Morricone’s score to Dario Argento’s debut film, THE BIRD WITH THE CRYSTAL PLUMAGE (a.k.a. L’uccello dalle piume di cristallo) from 1970. Considered one of the genre’s gold standards, Maestro Morricone’s stunning sonic work is a masterful accompaniment to the knife-wielding images on the screen. This colorful (yet dark) score features il Maestro’s trademark scat vocal harmonies, beautiful melodies, and mandatory sinister themes – perfect musica for this wonderfully stylistic giallo masterpiece. The first of Argento’s “animal trilogy” series, the music on THE BIRD WITH THE CRYSTAL PLUMAGE is a lovely mix of string-infused bossa, to tenser and instrumentally sparse passages that Morricone does so well. Just be sure to handle the piumaggio cristallino with care… we suggest wearing your black gloves.
Nirvana: Nevermind (Geffen) LP In tomorrow! Released in September of 1991, Nirvana’s sophomore album and major label debut elevated Kurt Cobain, Krist Novoselic and Dave Grohl from a critically acclaimed Aberdeen, Washington, cult band to generational spokesmen who’d unwittingly created a cultural shift and musical touchstone. Rising to #1 the world over by year’s end and ultimately selling over 30 million copies worldwide, Nevermind would come to be much more than one of the most successful and influential albums of its or any era. As the album that returned unaffected rock ’n’ roll integrity and passion to the top of the charts, Nevermind would prove a singular inspiration to fans and musicians alike over the last two decades, and will undoubtedly do so for generations to come. Now, on the occasion of Nevermind’s 30th Anniversary, Universal Music presents a full spectrum re-release worthy of such a pivotal classic.
OST: The Brown Bunny (Tulip) LP Tulip Records presents The Brown Bunny Motion Picture Soundtrack. Written, directed, edited and produced by Vincent Gallo. Original Music featured in The Brown Bunny by Ted Curson, Jeff Alexander, Gordon Lightfoot, Jackson C. Frank and Francesco Accardo, featuring exclusive music composed and performed by John Frusciante, and produced by Vincent Gallo. Frusciante’s music was written for the film’s soundtrack and was directly inspired by The Brown Bunny screenplay. Ultimately the Frusciante music was not featured in the actual film for reasons Gallo says are unexplainable. Gallo has stated “I did make The Brown Bunny to the music John Frusciante made for the film and John Frusciante did make music specifically for and inspired by The Brown Bunny film. Frusciante’s music is the silent music of the film. The music from inside the film. The part that cannot be seen. The part that was there before the film was made.” The Brown Bunny is a love story. It’s the story of one man, the one lost love of his life and his attempts to find that love again. The story of a lost soul unable to forget his past. Bud Clay races motorcycles. After finishing a race in New Hampshire, Bud Clay (Vincent Gallo) loads his motorcycle into the back of his van and begins a cross-country odyssey to California where he is to compete in another race. During his trip, Bud meets three very different girls. Violet, Lilly (Cheryl Tiegs), and Rose. None of these girls can replace Daisy, the only girl he’s ever loved and the only girl he will ever love. Bud will never escape his intense feelings for the love of his life, Daisy (Chloe Sevigny), and so he plans to reconcile with her when he reaches California. Arriving in Los Angeles, Bud checks into a motel before visiting the abandoned home he once shared with his true love Daisy. He leaves a note for her, hoping she will turn up at his motel room . . . Building to a notorious climax, the film presents one of the frankest and most insightful portrayals of male sexuality and male heartbreak ever seen in American cinema. Vincent Gallo is a true artist in multiple mediums, and the most misunderstood, misquoted, misrepresented talent of his generation. This DMM (Direct Metal Mastering) deluxe vinyl pressing was Produced by Vincent Gallo and is the first domestic pressing of The Brown Bunny soundtrack. Art Direction, Design, and Audio Remastering by Vincent Gallo. Housed in a 400gsm single pocket gatefold jacket with gold foil stamping limited to 1000 copies, the black LP is housed in a 250gsm inner sleeve, featuring album credits with Die Cut Disco Hole. The soundtrack comes sealed in a printed brown bag which includes a hype sticker on the front. This piece of art is intended for adults only, due to mature content and nudity on the jacket.
Radiohead: Kid A Mnesia (XL) LP In tomorrow! Red vinyl! Our first copies that aren’t actually already spoken for, although, by the time you read this, they might be. But there’s more on the way for next week too! Don’t sleep! Radiohead announces KID A MNESIA, a multiple format triple-album release marking the 21st anniversary of Kid A and Amnesiac, out November 5th via XL Recordings. KID A MNESIA collects Radiohead’s fourth and fifth albums alongside the debut of a newly compiled third disc titled Kid Amnesiae. Exclusive to this release, Kid Amnesiae is comprised of unearthed material culled from the Kid A / Amnesiac sessions. Along with alternate versions and elements of Kid A and Amnesiac album tracks and B-Sides, Kid Amnesiae features the never-before-heard “If You Say the Word”If You Say the Word” and a previously unreleased studio recording of “Follow Me Around.”
Razen: Blue Rot (Hands in the Dark) LP Weightless melancholy drones that almost bend time, recorded using harmonium, recorder, serpent, glass harmonica and cristal Baschet. ‘Blue Rot’ is mystical, mind-expanding stuff that sits very comfortably alongside meditations from Sarah Davachi, Kara-Lis Coverdale and Kali Malone. If you’ve got ear fatigue from the onslaught of dusty nostalgic ambient music that’s been clogging the fatpipes in recent years, ‘Blue Rot’ should work like Draino. Instead of using the requisite synth and tape plugin setup, Razen take a more traditional approach to create their drones, looking at the past to chart a course into the future. For ‘Blue Rot’ they’ve assembled an ensemble to play a selection of lesser-heard instruments that lend a distinct character and texture to the music that lifts it into a different dimension entirely. The core duo of Brecht Ameel and Kim Delcour play prepared harmonium and monochord, and recorders and reeds respectively. But new band member Berlinde Derman brings along the serpent, an unusual 16th century wind instrument that’s an ancestor of the tuba. Guest musician Thomas Bloch adds the final piece of the puzzle, playing glass harmonica – a musical instrument made from glass bowls pioneered by Benjamin Franklin – and cristal Baschet, an organ made from tuned glass rods. The sound that the quartet produces is singular; rooted in contemporary drone – almost sounding electronic – but the unusual texture of the instruments gives it an unusual, archaic quality. There’s always the sense of breath and tonal variation; the sound of glassy resonance or the ancient familiarity of the recorder grounds each composition in real world recognition, while we’re quietly transported to another world entirely. “Blue Rot” is deviously well conceived music that challenges expectations and evolves with still, contemplative ease = v, v good.
Rolling Stones: Tattoo You (Interscope) LP In tomorrow! Tattoo You celebrates 40 years with a 180g vinyl LP release of a brand new remastered edition of the chart topping, multiplatinum 1981 album. The 40th anniversary edition, remastered by Stephen Marcussen, includes such enduring favorites as “Hang Fire,” “Waiting On A Friend” (showcasing jazz saxophone giant Sonny Rollins) and of course the opening track that’s been a band signature ever since, “Start Me Up.” The Tattoo You (40th Anniversary Edition) follows the 2020 reissue of the Stones’ 1973 landmark Goats Head Soup, which took the album back to No. 1 in the U.K. Remarkably, this marked the second time their peerless catalog had produced a U.K. chart-topper twice over, after 2010’s deluxe edition of their 1972 staple Exile On Main St. On first release, Tattoo You, produced by the Glimmer Twins with associate producer Chris Kimsey, topped the charts in the U.S. (where it went quadruple platinum), Canada, Australia and across much of Europe, with gold and platinum awards around the world.
Emma Ruth Rundle: Engine of Hell (Sargent House) LP Emma Ruth Rundle’s forthcoming Engine of Hell is stark, intimate, and unflinching. For anyone that’s endured trauma and grief, there’s a beautiful solace in hearing Rundle articulate and humanize that particular type of pain not only with her words, but with her particular mysterious language of melody and timbre. The album captures a moment where a masterful songwriter strips away all flourishes and embellishments in order to make every note and word hit with maximum impact, leaving little to hide behind. “I really wanted to capture imperfection and the vulnerability of my humanity,” Rundle says of the album’s sonic approach. “Here are some very personal songs; here are my memories; here is me teetering on the very edge of sanity dipping my toe into the outer reaches of space and I’m taking you with me and it’s very f***ed up and imperfect.’” Emma Ruth Rundle has always been a multifaceted musician, equally capable of dreamy abstraction (as heard on her album Electric Guitar: One), maximalist textural explorations (see her work in Marriages, Red Sparowes, Nocturnes or collaborations with Chelsea Wolfe and Thou), and the classic singer-songwriter tradition (exemplified by Some Heavy Ocean). But on Engine of Hell, Rundle has opted to forego the full-band arrangements of her previous albums in favor of the austerity of a lone piano or guitar and her voice, which creates a kind of intimacy, as if we’re sitting beside Rundle on a bench, or perhaps even playing the songs ourselves. It’s an extremely up-close and personal confessional with a focus on the rich subtleties and timbre of Rundle’s graceful performances.
Ryuichi Sakamoto: Esperanto (Wewantsound) LP In tomorrow! Wewantsounds continues their Ryuichi Sakamoto reissue series with the release of the 1985 album Esperanto, composed for a performance by New York avant-garde choreographer Molissa Fenley. Produced and performed by Sakamoto with contribution by Arto Lindsay and Japanese percussionist Yas-Kaz, Esperanto is a fascinating instrumental work mixing electronica, ambient and synth pop. Released in Japan in 1985 on Midi Inc.s’ School label, the album has never been released outside of Japan until now. Esperanto originally came out in 1985 and was Ryuichi Sakamoto’s sixth solo album. Coming after his stint with the influential Yellow Magic Orchestra, and also the worldwide success of Sakamoto’s 1984 soundtrack for the film Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence (in which he starred alongside David Bowie), Esperanto was a return to Sakamoto’s leftfield roots. Composed as the soundtrack to a performance by New York choreographer Molissa Fenley (a show commissioned by Japanese producer Shozo Tsurumoto), the album was masterminded by Sakamoto with the help of the cutting-edge electronic technology of the time (the only external contributions are by Arto Lindsay on guitar and Japanese composer Yas-Kaz on percussion). Indeed, the album is a fascinating soundscape experimenting with the new sampler technology — which, according to Ryuichi Sakamoto from a conversation with journalist Andy Beta mentioned in the liner notes, needed a computer that was huge at the time. Esperanto is composed of eight tracks displaying a varied mix of influences. “A Wongga Dance Song” is pulsating with rhythms while “A Rain Song” adopts a minimalist mode with its distinctive repetitive pattern. “Dolphins” and “A Carved Stone” are captivating ambient pieces showcasing Sakamoto’s talent for setting beautiful abstract melodic ornaments over atmospheric tones. One of the highlights of the album is “Adelic Penguins”, a fascinating proto techno piece with a funky twist stretching over six minutes which echoes the electro funk of 1981’s album Hidari Ude No Yume (WWSCD 033CD/WWSLP 033LP/WWSLP 034LP). “Ulu Watu”, a collage-like piece featuring bird motives and a tropical soundscape closes the album with an experimental note. It’s interesting to note that, a year later, the tracks from Esperanto would be turned into an experimental video project by New York visual artists Kit Fitzgerald and Nam June Paik collaborator Paul Garrin. A unique album in Ryuichi Sakamoto’s rich discography, Esperanto is a groundbreaking work worth rediscovering in its full glory. Original artwork; includes two-page insert with a new introduction by journalist Andy Beta. Audio remastered in Tokyo by Seigen Ono.
Nanako Sato: Funny Walkin’ (Beat Ball) LP Tokyo-based singer-songwriter Nanako Sato(佐藤奈々子) teamed up with Motoharu Sano(佐野元春) during her time in school and submitted an entry into a collegiate women’s song contest, which made it to the finals. This led to her signing with Better Days/Nippon Columbia and the release of her debut album, <Funny Walkin’>. In charge of arrangements is ‘Master’ Yuji Ohno(大野雄二) of fame, who weaves a classy pop record with bold jazz vibes. Sato’s nonchalant, whispering, vocal style – which would go on to deeply influence the later Shibuya-kei style – comes together with Sano’s broad musical arsenal encompassing ragtime, good time rock n roll, and jazz to create one beauty of a record. The opening track ‘Subterranean Couple’ has been rediscovered to great acclaim amid the recent ‘city pop’ craze.
Released in 1989, this is the first analog version of the debut album by Shambala, a vocal band formed by Kaoru Akimoto and Yurie Kokubu on twin vocals and Tetsuo Sakurai and Akira Jimbo, who were members of Cassiopeia.
She & Him: A Very She & Him Christmas (Merge) LP In tomorrow! A Very She & Him Christmas is a wonderful collection of holiday tunes from two of music’s most beloved artists: Zooey Deschanel (She) & M. Ward (Him). Inspired by seminal holiday albums by the likes of The Carpenters, Vince Guaraldi, The Beach Boys, Elvis Presley and more, She & Him created an intimate holiday recording of Christmas classics that helps bring new emotions out of old songs. Recorded in Los Angeles and NYC at various points in 2011, A Very She & Him Christmas sees the duo stepping back slightly from the layered, lush aesthetic of their critically acclaimed second album, Volume Two. Deschanel and Ward let the songs speak for themselves, oftentimes recording them with only acoustic guitar and vocals. Consistent in everything are the elements that have made She & Him one of the most loved bands of the last few years – Deschanel’s soulful vocal delivery and Ward’s impressive guitar work, both sounding as timeless as ever. The 10th anniversary deluxe edition is pressed on colored vinyl LP and includes a brand-new 7-inch, also on colored vinyl, that features covers of Madonna’s “Holiday” and Wham!’s “Last Christmas,” as well as a bonus download of their beautiful take on “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas,” the Meredith Wilson classic popularized by Perry Como and Bing Crosby in 1951.
Snapped Ankles: Forest of Your Problems (Leaf) LP Snapped Ankles return to the forest, but it’s not as they left it. Trees planted in neat rows. A well-ordered monoculture with access roads and heavy machinery. The smell of greenwashed money in the air. There’s no sign of the ancient woodland they emerged from on debut album, Come Play The Trees. And it’s far cry from the gentrified East London they found themselves hawking on Stunning Luxury. All is not well in the face of progress. Welcome to the Forest Of Your Problems. Forest Of Your Problems runs the gamut of modern woodwose emotions. In this neat human approximation of the forest, it’s an increasingly knotted affair. Despite all of this, Snapped Ankles haven’t lost their innate ability to make you want to move your feet – their Teutonic forest rhythms are still shot through with post-punk lightning.
Thomas Stronen/Aymi Tanaka/Marthe Lea: Bayou (ECM) LP A fresh and open music, delicate and space-conscious, is shaped as drummer Thomas Strønen and Ayumi Tanaka, previously heard in the ensemble Time Is A Blind Guide on Lucus, resurface in a new trio with clarinettist/singer/percussionist Marthe Lea. The group first came together at Oslo’s Royal Academy of Music, where for two years the players would meet each week for exploratory music making. Strønen: “We always played freely-drifting between elements of contemporary classical music, folk music, jazz, whatever we were inspired by. Sometimes the music was very quiet and minimalistic: playing together generated some special experiences.” The spontaneous spirit of the music is reflected in the trio’s debut recording, which was made at the Lugano radio studio and produced by Manfred Eicher. With the exception of the title piece, based on a traditional Norwegian tune, the music on Bayou was collectively created in the moment.
Horace Tapscott: Dial B for Barbra (Pure Pleasure) LP The best of pianist Horace Tapscott’s recordings for the tiny Nimbus label is this 1981 LP which features him in a sextet with trumpeter Reggie Bullen, altoist Gary Bias, tenor saxophonist Sabir Matteen, bassist Roberto Miranda and drummer Everett Brown, Jr. The group stretches out on a couple of Tapscott’s originals plus a 19-and-a-half-minute version of Linda Hill’s “Dem Folks.” Although the music could be called avant-garde, its use of rhythms and repetition keep the results from being forbidding and the performances have a momentum of their own. A great group recording from pianist Horace Tapscott – recorded in LA in the early 80s, but done with all the righteousness and spirituality of his earlier albums! Tracks are long and exploratory, but also relatively lyrical too – stretching out with a style that’s never too “outside”, and which has Horace and the group really soaring to the heavens on the best moments!
Tunic: Quitter (Artoffact) LP Tunic’s sophomore album, Quitter, is a slab of intense noise-rock from the coldest place in North America. Engineered and mixed by Jace Lasek (Godspeed You! Black Emperor) at Private Ear Studios in Winnipeg and mastered by Carl Saff (Bambara, Human Impact), the album will see an October 15th release on Artoffact Records. Tunic can trace its musical roots to the caustic, angular stylings of Big Black and The Jesus Lizard and their colleagues from across the AmRep and Touch and Go rosters. Pummeling drums, distorted bass, discordant guitar, and wild-eyed vocals combine and lurch forward like an Army tank of sound. Yet, Tunic is more transparent than its noise-rock heroes ever were. There is an earnestness that links the Winnipeg outfit to a line of more heartfelt ancestors — post-hardcore gods like Drive Like Jehu and Fugazi. Frontman David Schellenberg lays his soul bare as he screams his head off about the most personal of topics.
Colter Wall: Live in Front of Nobody (Thirty Tigers) LP Live in-studio recording of Colter Wall’s ‘Live in Front of Nobody’ live-stream concert from March 11th, 2021. Only available on vinyl LP at independent record stores. Features full-band renditions of highlights from Colter Wall’s discography as well as cover songs.
Various: Buganda Royal Music Revival (Nyege Nyege Tapes) LP In tomorrow! From its founding in the late 14th century, the kingdom of Buganda has been celebrated through sound and nurtured a rich musical tradition in its royal court. Coming from across the kingdom, musicians would take turns in the palace to sound drums, xylophones, flutes, lyres, and more to praise and honor the existence of the kingship. In recent years however, the tradition has been more difficult to maintain, especially since 1966 where there was a violent attack on the palace that abruptly abolished the kingdom and during which royal musicians fled or were killed. And while the kingdom was re-established in 1993 as a cultural institution, many of the remaining musicians had since chosen to sideline their skills to deal with the issues of their day to day lives, the practice of the royal tradition waning in popularity, especially with younger listeners and players. But all is not lost. Scattered across the kingdom, a motivated team of older veterans and attentive young players are still keeping the tradition alive. Offering a transversal glimpse into the past and the present, Buganda Royal Music Revival collects recordings made in between the late 1940s and 1966 illustrating the older generation’s skills, and presents them alongside recent recordings featuring old and young musicians who still carry on this musical tradition, some even performing for the current king, Muwenda Mutebi II. The later were made during the shooting of the 2019 documentary Buganda Royal Music Revival that presents through a film what this album conveys through sounds: a packed dive into a century-old tradition. The music displayed here is diverse and vibrant, presenting a variety of styles and highlighting instruments that illustrate the depth and sophistication that stemmed from the royal court experience of Buganda. This rousing selection of music and moods is a unique and all too rare exploration of sounds that celebrates the common history of generations of musicians, and the question remains open as to how this rich cultural tradition will shape and be shaped by the upcoming Bugandan future, and what engagement it will trigger among audiences within, but also beyond, the kingdom of Buganda.
Various: Death in Gothenburg (Woah Dad) LP If you’re into harder music you know about The Gothenburg Sound. Bands like At The Gates, Dark Tranquillity and In Flames have spread that brand of melodic death metal all over the world, but what did that sound grow out of? This compilation of thrash/death-bands from the early 90s metal scene in Gothenburg features early attempts from Dark Tranquillity and In Flames as well as soon-to-be members of bands like Hammerfall, Tiamat, Evergrey and Engel.