Category Archives: Uncategorized

…..news letter #846 – may b…..

It seems so uneventful here now RSD out of the way. But we’re keeping busy! Lots of stuff being restocked. A bunch of new stuff. Buyin’ and pricing up used records. That new Sleep record shipped today, maybe it’ll show up tomorrow…. maybe… Come have a dig!

Also, next Friday, we have a little show going down… more details HERE

…..pick of the week…..

brown acid

Various: Brown Acid – The Sixth Trip (Riding Easy) LP
In tomorrow… Six volumes worth of licensed tracks released in just three years: doing the Dark Lord’s work isn’t an easy job, but somebody’s gotta do it, so here is Brown Acid – The Sixth Trip, with more lined up. The heads just can’t get enough obscure hard rock, heavy psych, and proto-metal from the late‘60s and ‘70s! This time around Riding Easy present ten deep cuts from across the continental USA and one from the neighbors up North. This trip kicks off with an outrageous number from Gold out of San Francisco circa 1970. The band used to open their sets with this over-the-top frantic jammer which is absolutely mind-blowing! Delving deeper into the depths, Canadians continue to prove that they could bang heads with the best of ‘em! Heat Exchange from Toronto released the rollicking ripper “Inferno” on the Yorkville label way back in 1968 and it’s still thumping almost fifty years later. Some more examples of the mind-melting tracks on this platter: Missouri isn’t a state that brought us a lot of heavy 45s, but there are a handful of outstanding tracks, one of which is the funk-laced anthem “Give Me Time” by Backwood Memory from Kansas City. Youngstown, Ohio, meanwhile, might have been the Hard Rock Mecca back in the day. Travis is yet another Youngstown group that aimed to get asses out of seats and out in the streets. Truth & Janey had their incredible proto-metal masterpiece 1976 album No Rest For The Wicked; released four years earlier, “Midnight Horseman” was a 45-only track, included here! Those are just some of the fruits of months worth of record digging and detective work included on this latest installment. This is the stuff that makes life worth living, at least until the next Trip…

File Under: Psych, Metal, Acid Rock
Listen Here

…..new arrivals…..

arndells

Arndales: Shops (In The Red) LP
In tomorrow… Arndales hail from the Three Counties (Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire) area of England, a hinterland bolted on to North London. Members of the band have also performed with Country Teasers, Art Brut, Collapsed Lung, Thrilled Skinny and others. They describe their music as “Three Counties Ug-Rock.” On their new album they have taken inspiration from the rich world of retail jargon. The main source of lyrical inspiration was a shared Google Doc where friends could deposit the latest nuggets of retail gobbledygook they’d heard at work. Opening track “Prestige Pricing” is named after the practice of deliberately inflating the price of a product to indicate it’s prestigious status. “Dark Store” takes its name from the customer-free supermarkets used to fulfill online shopping orders. Album closer “Theme from A Big 10-8 Place” is a cover of the Negativland song, transferring the narrative from the Bay Area to mid Bedfordshire, England.

File Under: Punk, Garage
Listen Here

bpb

Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy: Wolf of the Cosmos (Drag City) LP
“Sonata Mix Dwarf Cosmos by Susanna is a record that I’ve spent a lot of time with, and so this has been a long-imagined project, an attempt to understand or, better yet, experience the mysteries of that record. the lyrics are repetitive, almost like nursery rhymes for undead teenagers. Why is it so scary, why is it so sweet, why is it so comforting and disruptive at the same time. After Emmett and Cheyenne and I made Chijimi, I thought we were really onto something, and it felt like we’d made an ideal laboratory/process for reproducing the cosmos record. It’s taken a many years to get back into this lab, though. and I thought to expand the lab personnel by one, Chris Rodhaffer, would be a good way to fuck with the control.”

File Under: Folk
Listen Here

cutworms

Cut Worms: Hollow Ground (Jagjaguwar) LP
Max Clarke has a knack for conjuring up warmth in his music, like endless summer or ageless youth. The 27-year-old’s debut LP, Hollow Ground, crackles with the heat of a love-struck nostalgia, woven together with a palpable Everly Brothers’ influence and retro sound. It reaches back into decades of plainspoken, unfussy, and squarely American storytelling and pulls it forth into 2018. Some of Hollow Ground bloomed from that same period of driven creativity that yielded his EP Alien Sunset; both “Like Going Down Sideways” and “Don’t Want To Say Good-Bye” find new life on the LP. The rest is new. There’s “Till Tomorrow Goes Away,” a sheepish love song, thrumming with twangy guitar and a two-step rhythm. “Cash For Gold” channels buoyancy; a doo-wop effect on the sleepy backing vocals build out the dreaminess of Clarke’s own affecting croon. Hollow Ground strikes the balance between cerebral and simplicity in his storytelling. His lyrics explore the raw realm of youth, its weightlessness and possibilities, but channeled through a lens of restraint. Someone who’s old enough to know better but still gets drawn back in to the romanticism of teenage feelings – and knows how to take the listener along, too.

File Under: Indie Rock
Listen Here

drinks

Drinks: Hippo Lite (Drag City) LP
The latest from Cate Le Bon and Tim Presley as Drinks. “A month spent in an old mill in the under belly of France. River swimming thrice a day. Hot nights soundtracked by the rattle of randy frogs. Scorpion fear. In the sheets, on the face. Hours of bird watching—no phone service. No wifi. 3 DVDs. Jurassic Park 1, 2 & 3. Violin practice. Bread scoffing. Early morning coffee drinking before the sun was too hot to do anything but snooze in the thick walled house. Music in the afternoon after a dip in the river and a cold beer on the square. With all the ease and air needed, in this mysterious place, we made an album made for each other by one another with no hands, eyes or ears piercing the bubble other than our dear friend Steve who slid in under the door and took note of it all.”—Cate Le Bon

 File Under: Rock, Post Punk
Listen Here

freak heat

Freak Heat Waves: Beyond XXXL (Telephone Explosion) LP
In the two years since their last release, Freak Heat Waves have continued a perpetual process of transformation. Shedding familiar influences from the heavily excavated histories of post-punk and krautrock, the band has now beamed into uncharted territory with the otherworldly sound of their third album, Beyond XXXL. Beyond XXXL is 11-song excursion, alien strains of synth-pop and glam-rock are sandblasted with smooth guitar solos, eerie electronics, and pulsating drum machines propelled into skull-shattering breakbeats. Deeply distorted vocals narrate the narcoleptic trip like a DJ Screw mixtape splicing together John Foxx, John Maus, and The Prodigy. The result is Freak Heat Waves’ most cohesive and captivating release to date, amplifying earlier melodic sensibilities while remaining singularly strange.

File Under: Post Punk
Listen Here

ghastly

Ghastly: Death Velour (20 Buck Spin) LP
In tomorrow… While Finland’s Ghastly may be a new name to many, those who delve deeply enough into the death metal underworld, as 20 Buck Spin often does, will recall the band’s debut album Carrion Of Time released a few years back on cult tastemaker label Me Saco Un Ojo (Morbus Chron, Undergang, Phrenelith). A few years have passed and the band now resurfaces with their masterfully executed second album Death Velour. While there’s no question this is a pure death metal album, it could hardly be confused with most of the current bands making the rounds. The nightmarish hallucinatory sound Ghastly invokes conjures the horror of rotting in incomprehensible obscurity, passing into oblivion guided by a many-colored specter of strange origin across the Styx. An air of psych-induced weirdness and shrieking dread permeates the decomposed palette throughout the album’s cryptic duration. Like discovering a forgotten relic of mysterious brilliance from the early Finnish death metal scene, this album is a phantasm of blinding light onto the foreboding darkness of this mortal coil.

File Under: Metal
Listen Here

grouper

Grouper: Grid of Points (Kranky) LP
In tomorrow… Not long after recording her tenth album Ruins, Liz Harris traveled to Wyoming to work on art and record music. She found herself drawn towards the pairing of skeletal piano phrasing with spare, rich bursts of vocal harmony. A series of stark songs emerged, minimal and vulnerable, woven with emotive silences. Inspired by “the idea that something is missing or cold,” the pieces float and fade like vignettes, implying as much as they reveal. She describes them as “small texts hanging in space,” impressions of mortality, melody, and the unseen—fleeting beauty, interrupted. Grid Of Points stands as a concise and potently poetic addition to the Grouper catalog. “Grid Of Points is a set of songs for piano and voice. I wrote these songs over a week and a half; they stopped abruptly when I was interrupted by a high fever. Though brief, it is complete. The intimacy and abbreviation of this music allude to an essence that the songs lyrics speak more directly of. The space left after matter has departed, a stage after the characters have gone, the hollow of some central column, missing.”  —Liz Harris

File Under: Ambient, Folk
Listen Here

hopkins

Jon Hopkins: Singularity (Domino) LP
Jon Hopkins makes his long awaited return with Singularity, his first since the Mercury Prize-nominated 2013 breakthrough, Immunity. Singularity begins and ends on the same note: a universe beginning, expanding, and contracting towards the same infinitesimal point. Where Immunity charted the dark alternative reality of an epic night out, Singularity explores the dissonance between dystopian urbanity and the green forest. It’s a journey that returns to where it began – from the opening note of foreboding to the final sound of acceptance. Shaped by his experiences with meditation and trance states, the album flows seamlessly from rugged techno to transcendent choral music, from solo acoustic piano to psychedelic ambient. Its epic musical palette is visceral and emotionally honest: with a destructive opener full of industrial electronics and sonic claustrophobia and a redemptive, pure end on solo piano. Exploring the connectivity of the mind, sonics and the natural world, Singularity reflects the different psychological states Hopkins experienced while writing and recording. It’s a transformative trip of defiance from his initial sense of frustration at the state of the contemporary world to the ultimate conclusion that a true sense of peace and belonging can only come from nature. Singularity is intended to be listened to in one sitting, as a complete body of work.

File Under: Electronic
Listen Here

iceage

Iceage: Beyondless (Matador) LP
Beyondless is the fourth LP from Iceage, produced by the band and Nis Bysted, recorded all-analog by Mattias Glavå at Kungsten Studios Göteberg, and mixed by Randall Dunn at Avast Studios Seattle. Pay attention to the journey, from New Brigade, a juvenile delinquent take on post-punk, full of cold, distant condemnation, and onto the ecstasy of You’re Nothing, shedding the more aggressive hardcore influence and dragging in more light, a tendency followed on Plowing Into The Field Of Love. The intoxication is consistent, this has always been drunk music, but it’s less a stumbling confusion and more a sturdy heartfelt confession with each record. They have finally caught up with their ambition here. Their entire charm has always rested in their running ahead of themselves with blind confidence, taunting you to follow and you follow because wherever they are going is vital, is alive; on Beyondless they are treading with an assurance that is disarming, but there is no loss of charm, you are arm in arm now, whispering intimacies. Intimacies that recall other intimacies: something must have happened when Iceage heard Gun Club’s Miami. Some traumatic event! A wild band has not been tamed, but is in repose, retaining an edge but expressing something less definite, something about hurt or longing or regret. Attention must be directed toward the brilliant lyricism on Beyondless. In the evocations of beauty in profane imagery, in the plumbing of the depths of betrayal and criminality, there are suggestions of Jean Genet and the disgraceful slurring of Leonard Cohen. Love’s Forever Changes is an appropriate reference point for the record, orchestral touches to rock music that reached in a very affected/effected manner toward some transcendent experience. You can hear blissful catatonic evocations of the Waterboys, slurring face down on the bar some holy affirmations. Overall, the strongest suggestion is of the Stones in their Exile period, holed up in some decadent mansion attempting to pay tribute to American music from country honk brawls to sleazy soul revues to cocaine blues, it has this confident air of music written in the midst of excessive reveries.

File Under: Punk, Post Punk
Listen Here

jurado

Damien Jurado: The Horizon Just Laughed (Secretly Canadian) LP
Like previous albums, Damien Jurado’s The Horizon Just Laughed started with a dream – though that’s where things change, as they often do. It is Jurado’s first self-produced album in a 20 plus year career, more personal and more rooted than even his Maraqopa trilogy, as though after so much time on the road he’s stumbled upon his home. The Horizon Just Laughed feels like a beautiful collage – its narrative pieced together through letters and postcards, with each part contributing to its greater whole, and providing snapshots of ones journey to find a sense of place and connection to a changing world. The 11 tracks were recorded with Alex Bush in Irvine, CA’s Sonikwire Studio in February and April 2017.

File Under: Indie Rock, Folk
Listen Here

ltdLTD: s/t (In the Red) LP
In tomorrow… What happens when you put King Khan and Sean Wood from The Spits together? The results are Louder Than Death aka LTD. This mini-album is the first collaboration between the two titans of garage-punk and the results are as bonkers as you’d hope. Sci-fi inspired punk meets weirdo synth damage that’s as deranged and dumb as you’d hope. Since the recording of this debut release the band have added Aggy and Looch from the Magnetix to the line up and recorded an album (out later this year on In The Red) of blistering, whacked-out punk rock that is guaranteed to blow minds. Watch for the band on tour!

File Under: Punk, Synth, King Khan, The Spits
Listen Here

montiMaria Monti: Il Bestario (Unseen Worlds) LP
Maria Monti is an Italian singer and actress with a noteworthy career, performing as a cabaret singer in the ’60s, an ambitious avant-garde folk artist in the ’70s, and starring in films by directors such Sergio Leone and Bernardo Bertolucci all the while. Monti’s 1974 LP Il Bestario is a rare item even in its native country. In addition to lyrics by the infamous poet Aldo Braibanti, Il Bestiario features arrangements and synthesizer from legendary avant-garde composer Alvin Curran, as well as the soprano saxophone of jazz-great Steve Lacy. The music of Il Bestiario is a prime example of “the new art-song” of the 1970s, as Curran calls it – lush, dynamic and full of intelligence and beauty. Sourced from the original master tapes and remastered by Taylor Deupree. Includes lyrics and poster insert. For fans of Juana Molina, Steve Lacy, Alvin Curran, Brigitte Fontaine, Ennio Morricone and Buffy St. Marie.

File Under: Psych, Prog, Jazz, Folk
Listen Here

phairLiz Phair: Exile In Guyville (Matador) LP
2018 marks the 25th anniversary of Liz Phair’s landmark album Exile in Guyville and Matador Records is celebrating the occasion with the release of the extensive 7LP/3CD Girly-Sound To Guyville box sets and this standalone 2LP reissue of the original 1993 album remastered by Emily Lazar at The Lodge. Ever since her audacious debut, Exile In Guyville, landed in 1993, Liz Phair has been cipher for a certain kind of aesthetic. She’s been called “the female face of indie rock,” a “slacker poet of the first degree” and a “brainy bad girl,” but she forever remains America’s sardonic sweetheart. With Exile…, Phair created what’s considered a track-by-track response to The Rolling Stones’ Exile On Main St by reverse-engineering sexual objectification for the female gaze, all while keeping her tongue firmly in cheek. Fusing lo-fi production with a singer-songwriter sensibility, Phair helped shape what would become “indie rock” and defied expectations of what a female rock star could be. While her sexually provocative lyrics is what first enthralled the indie press, it was her fearless singing, her effortless hooks and the specificity of her lyrics that connected with fans.

File Under: Indie Rock
Listen Here

phair1

Liz Phair: Girly Sound To Guyville (Matador) Box
2018 marks the 25th anniversary of Liz Phair’s landmark album Exile in Guyville and Matador Records is celebrating the occasion with the release of the Girly-Sound To Guyville: The 25th Anniversary box set. The extensive 3CD package contains the first official restored audio of all three 1991 Girly-Sound tapes from the original cassettes as well as the Exile In Guyville album remastered by Emily Lazar at The Lodge. Also included is a lavish, thick book, which contains a detailed oral history by Jason Cohen, and essays by Liz Phair and journalist Ann Powers. Ever since her audacious debut, Exile In Guyville, landed in 1993, Liz Phair has been cipher for a certain kind of aesthetic. She’s been called “the female face of indie rock,” a “slacker poet of the first degree” and a “brainy bad girl,” but she forever remains America’s sardonic sweetheart. With Exile…, Phair created what’s considered a track-by-track response to the Stones’ Exile On Main St by reverse-engineering sexual objectification for the female gaze, all while keeping her tongue firmly in cheek. Fusing lo-fi production with a singer-songwriter sensibility, Phair helped shape what would become “indie rock” and defied expectations of what a female rock star could be. While her sexually provocative lyrics is what first enthralled the indie press, it was her fearless singing, her effortless hooks and the specificity of her lyrics that connected with fans. Features:
• Exile In Guyville (remastered)
• Three pre-Exile/Girly Sound cassettes, restored from the original tapes and never before commercially released in their entirety: Yo Yo Buddy Yup Yup Word To Ya Mutha (restored from Girly Sound cassette 1), Girls! Girls! Girls! (restored from Girly Sound cassette 2), Sooty (restored from Girly Sound cassette 3)
• An extensive booklet containing an oral history by Jason Cohen including interviews with Liz Phair, Chris Brokaw, Brad Wood, John Henderson and more, an essay by Liz Phair, and an essay by journalist Ann Powers

File Under: Indie Rock
Listen Here

reimerChris Reimer: Hello People (Flemish Eye) LP
Flemish Eye is proud to be carrying this posthumous double LP of previously unreleased material by close friend and hugely talented musician Chris Reimer. Chris Reimer was an adventurous and curious musician and composer whose talent was buttressed by generosity, compassion, empathy, gentleness and modesty. Reimer picked up the guitar at the age of eight and drums at the age of twelve. While in high school he formed a band with his closest friends, a group that would later evolve into the critically acclaimed Women. Women released two vital albums under Calgary’s boutique Flemish Eye label, Women (2008) and Public Strain (2010). After the dissolution of the band at the end of a tumultuous tour in October 2010, Reimer would go on to join San Francisco based act The Dodos as a touring guitarist. Throughout his time collaborating with other musicians, Reimer was also a solitary creator with a passion for ambient, noise, and drone sounds. He would spend countless hours spinning together listless guitar notes, subtle waves of washing sounds, or loops of glitches and distortion. Reimer also had an excitement for electronics and their manipulation of sound, frequently constructing his own effects pedals and synthesizer circuits. Noise making was his driving force and he longed to eventually compile a full album from his plethora of material. Chris Reimer passed away unexpectedly and peacefully in his sleep at his home on the morning of February 21, 2012 of a possible heart condition. His close friends and family, knowing of his desire to release his ambient work as well as the perfectionism which had prevented him from doing so in his lifetime, began to listen to his extensive archive of solo works. Over the past five years, Reimer’s family and close friends have been filtering through his extensive catalogue of recorded work spanning nearly a decade and are thrilled to finally present this double LP collection to the public. ‘ Hello People’ is a sometimes confrontational, at others warm and intimate , and always deeply personal document from a multi-faceted artist, compiled from a huge range of recordings spanning lush four-track projects to raw phone memos. Veering from ambient guitar-pedal soundscapes, to delicate acoustic melody and all the way to drone noise experimentation, ‘ Hello People’ takes the listener through an experience of composition and creation from the mind of a deeply talented spirit whose vision was cut short all too soon. The Chris Reimer Legacy Fund Society is a collective of Chris’ closest friends and family who have banded together to keep his tremendous spirit alive. We make a yearly donation to the Decidedly Jazz Danceworks Children’s Bursary Program, and fund the Chris Reimer Legacy Award at the Mount Royal University Conservatory of Music. We are a registered charitable society in the province of Alberta. cjjrlegacyfund.com.

File Under: Experimental, Women
Listen Here

rival

Rival Consoles: Persona (Erased Tapes) LP
Ryan Lee West aka Rival Consoles presents his expressive new album Persona via Erased Tapes. The title was inspired by Ingmar Bergman’s film of the same name, specifically a shot in the opening credits of a child reaching out to touch a woman’s face on a screen, which is shifting between one face and another. This powerful image struck Ryan and it inspired the album’s main theme – an exploration of the Persona, the difference between how we see ourselves and how others see us, the spaces in between; between states, people, light and dark, the inner Persona and the outer persona. Recorded at his studio in south-east London, Persona benefits from Ryan’s exploration of a dynamic production process that combines analogue-heavy synthesizers, acoustic and electric instruments with a shoegaze-level obsession with effect pedals. A greater depth of emotion and confidence can be heard across the album. From the deconstructed movements on “Unfolding” that starts the record with a snap of delayed snares, the apocalyptic drones of the title cut and thundering drums in “Phantom Grip” to more restrained ambient feels of “Dreamer’s Wake,” “Rest” and “Untravel.” The latter transverses six beatless minutes of undulating melodies representing “a limbo space, a feeling of ennui, of not really ever being known to others and others not ever really being known to you.” “Be Kind” reveals a musical connection with fellow Erased Tapes artist Nils Frahm, with its minimal approach and improvisational nature. On the more complex sounding “I Think So” Ryan aims to replicate a color collage with sound. Like a musical kaleidoscope, a flashing and convoluted mass. Written after he saw Slowdive perform live last year, “Hidden” builds from whispers to landscapes of controlled noise. “Fragment” closes the album as an innocent sounding ambient piece, almost nursery rhyme like, yielding time for reflection on how the Persona has changed.

File Under: Ambient, Electronic
Listen Here

spacemen3fireSpacemen 3: Playing with Fire (Superior Viaduct) LP
In tomorrow… Spacemen 3 began assembling their third album, 1988’s Playing With Fire, at perhaps the freest, most confident point in their career. Recording began with the band road-tested and rugged, even amidst the functional volatility that famously motivated their course. The sessions’ first offering came in the form of “Revolution,” a single of heroic Stooges-devotion and the most commercially successful release the group had to date. High expectations for the album were soon exceeded, as Playing With Fire would become Spacemen 3’s crowning studio achievement and cement their rightful place on the vanguard of otherworldly rock ‘n’ roll. An exquisite mix of stuttering tremolo guitars and wistful melodies, Playing With Fire sheds any trappings of revisionism and furnishes a nuanced grade of psychedelia. Epic entries like “Suicide” (named after the notorious NYC band) and the mesmeric “How Does It Feel?” catch Spacemen 3 at their celestial apex, the very point where their collective writing, performance and production would crest and wondrously splinter.Includes download card and new insert with liner notes by Marc Masters.

File Under: Rock, Psych
Listen Here

spacemenrecuringSpacemen 3: Recurring (Superior Viaduct) LP
In tomorrow… 1990’s Recurring, the fourth and final studio album by Spacemen 3, is often considered the introduction of two brilliant solo projects (Spectrum and Spiritualized) rather than the work of a functioning band. While Spacemen 3’s departing statement surely reveals a deep divide within the S3 camp—each side of the LP was written by Sonic Boom and Jason Pierce separately and, unlike previous releases, the two do not play on each other’s songs—Recurring maintains a cohesive, dreamy feel with its chief sonic officers backed by fellow travelers Will Carruthers, Mark Refoy and Jon Mattock. Opening saga “Big City (Everybody I Know Can Be Found Here)” marries ambient haze with narcotized indie rock, while “I Love You” manages to arrange a beautiful flute alongside a defiantly throbbing bass track. “Hypnotized,” a reimagined fuzz-pop hymn, would become the group’s first entry in the UK Singles Charts. Recurring lays bare the essence of Spacemen 3’s persistent sound, rooted in both aural expansion and phenomenal songwriting. Includes download card and new insert with liner notes by Marc Masters.

File Under: Rock, Psych
Listen Here

rossDiana Ross & The Supremes: Supreme Rarities (Third Man) Box
As the hometown girls who conquered the world, Diana Ross and the Supremes are inarguably the most successful, highest selling girl group of all time. From their inauspicious start as the long-forgotten Primettes, to their ascension past the moniker of “no-hit Supremes” through the ranks of Motown’s rank-and-file to globe-trotting superstars, this group is as pure and quintessential Detroit Motor City as you can get. Originally released on 2CD in in 2008, the Supremes Supreme Rarities from the Motown Lost & Found Series collects the rarities, outtakes and incomparable live recordings from this inimitable group of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees. Listen to the story unfold from the innocent teenaged doo-wop of “You Can Depend On Me” from 1960 all the way through the slick, socially-conscious refinement of “I’m Livin’ in Shame” from 1969. Aside from a handful of forgotten vinyl releases decades ago, the majority of this material has not been released on vinyl. Until now. Third Man, in a unique partnership with Universal Music, has taken this double-CD and turned it into a glorious 4LP collection housed in an impeccably-designed slipcase, all watercolor pastel vibrant photos highlight how absolutely impeccable this group is. Of particular interest is that Supreme Rarities are the first Motown records ever pressed in the city of Detroit. Diana Ross attended high school at Cass Tech, a mere mile away from Third Man Pressing where this title was lovingly pressed, which is also just a mile away from the Brewster-Douglass Housing Projects where Ross and fellow Supremes Mary Wilson and Florence Ballard all grew up. The 48 tracks included here include the earliest Primettes tracks, invigorating covers of The Rolling Stones “Satisfaction” and the Beatles “I Saw Her Standing There”, along with renditions of hits for other Motown artists like “Mickey’s Monkey” and “Uptight (Everything’s Alright)” in addition to alternate vocal takes of stone cold certified smashes like “You Can’t Hurry Love” and “Someday We’ll Be Together.” And if you want the hits medley, “Come See About Me,” “Baby Love” and “Stop! In the Name of Love” will wonderfully whet your appetite.

File Under: Soul

turnerFrank Turner: Be More Kind (Interscope) LP
In tomorrow… Produced by Charlie Hugall (Florence And The Machine, Halsey) and White Denim’s Austin Jenkins and Joshua Block, Be More Kind represents a thematic and sonic line in the sand for Frank Turner. The new album combines raw political and personal universal anthems with the intricate folk and punk roar trademarks of Turner’s sound imbued with new, bold experimental shades. “I wanted to try and get out of my comfort zone and do something different,” says Turner. Originally, he contacted Jenkins and Block at their Niles City Sound studio in Fort Worth, TX with the idea of recording a soul album in the vein of Dexys Midnight Runners. He found they were equally enthusiastic when he changed his mind and decided he wanted to record a more rock-led album with tints of electronic pop. “I have an obscure corner of my music taste where I’m into glitch electronic music and Warp Records,” says Turner. “It’s not an electronic record but I got into arpeggiator synths.” While 2015’s Positive Songs for Negative People was cut in nine intense days, Be More Kind was made over a period of seven months giving Turner the opportunity to turn songs on their head, try different versions, and shake up the dynamics within his band. Turner and his band, The Sleeping Souls, were touring America in 2016 “when the world decided to go collectively nuts” and the songs that make up Be More Kind started to come together. “Somewhere in the record, there’s a convergence of the ideas of personal and political, which is a central theme of the album,” Turner says. One of the other driving themes of the album is empathy, even for your enemy. “You should at least be able to inhabit the mental universe of the people you disagree with. If you can’t do that, then how do you communicate with people other than through force of arms, which is something we all agree is a bad idea.” Lead track “1933” is a clattering, state-of-the-nation anthem. Furious and direct, it’s inspired by articles Turner saw that suggested the alt-right was punk rock. “That filled me with a mixture of incredulity and anger,” says Turner. “The idea that Breitbart or Steve Bannon think they have anything to do with punk rock makes me extremely angry.” The other theme in the track is summed up by the line, “If I was one of the greatest generation / I’d be pissed / I’d be screaming at my grandkids / that we already did this.” “These ideas are surfacing again that collectively as a species we’ve already shot down,” says Turner.

File Under: Pop, Rock
Listen Here

…..Late RSD Arrivals…..

Tim Armstrong: A Poet’s Life (Hellcat) LP
Tim Buckley: Live at the Troubador (Real Gone) LP
Five Day Week Straw People: s/t (Morgan Blue Town) LP
The Kinks: Phobia (Friday Music) LP
Los Lobos vs The Shins: s/t (Third Man) LP
The Mekons: Never Been in a Riot (Superior Viaduct) LP
The Mekons: Where Were You? (Superior Viaduct) 7”
Nas: Illmatic Live (Mass Appeal) LP
Molly Nilsson: These Things Take Time (Night School) LP
Sorrow: Under The Yew Possessed (Night School) LP
Swans: Die Tur Ist Zu (Young God) LP
Various: 1+1=X (Erased Tapes) Box

…..Restocks…..

Boards of Canada: Geogaddi (Warp) LP
Boards of Canada: Music Has the Right to Children (Warp) LP
Bon Iver: For Emma, Forever Ago (Jagjaguwar) LP
Bon Iver: s/t (Jagjaguwar) LP
Bon Iver: 22, A Million (Jagjaguwar) LP
David Bowie: Welcome to the Black Out (RCA) LP
Czarface & MF Doom: Czarface Meets Metal Face (Silver Age) LP
Dead Kennedys: Give Me Convenience (Manifesto) LP
Dead Kennedys: Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables (Manifesto) LP
Mac Demarco: Another One (Captured Tracks) LP
Mac Demarco: 2 (Captured Tracks) LP
Earth: 2 (Sub Pop) LP
Earth: Pentastar In the Style of Demons (Sub Pop) LP
Electric Wizard: Dopethrone (Rise Above) LP
Father John Misty: I Love You Honeybear (Sub Pop) LP
Father John Misty: Pure Comedy (Sub Pop) LP
Father John Misty: Fear Fun (Sub Pop) LP
Hot Snakes: Audit In Progress (Sub Pop) LP
Hot Snakes: Automatic Midnight (Sub Pop) LP
Hot Snakes: Suicide Invoice (Sub Pop) LP
J Dilla: Donuts (Stones Throw) LP
Laughing Hyenas: You Can’t Pray a Lie (Third Man) LP
Love: Forever Changes (Rhino) LP
Mariah: Utakata No Hibi (Palto Flats) LP
National: Boxer (Beggars) LP
National: Alligator (Beggars) LP
National: Trouble Will Find Me (4AD) LP
Pink Floyd: Animals (Pink Floyd) LP
Pink Floyd: Atom Heart Mother (Pink Floyd) LP
Protomartyr: The Agent Intellect (Hardly Art) LP
Protomartyr: Under Color of Official Right (Hardly Art) LP
Protomartyr: Relatives in Descent (Domino) LP
Radiohead: A Moon Shaped Pool (XL) LP
Radiohead: In Rainbows (XL) LP
Ty Segall: Freedom’s Goblin (Drag City) LP
Shellac: At Action Park (Touch & Go) LP
Yasuaki Shimizu: Kakashi (Palto Flats) LP
Sigur Ros: Agaetis Byrjum (XL) LP
Sigur Ros: Meo Suo I Eyrum Vio Spilum Endalaust (XL) LP
Sunny & The Sunliners: Little Brown Eyed (Big Crown) LP
Tom Waits: Alice (Anti) LP
Tom Waits: Blood Money (Anti) LP
Tom Waits: Closing Time (Anti) LP
Tom Waits: Mule Variations (Anti) LP
Zazou/Bikaye/CY1: Noir & Blanc (Crammed) LP

Advertisements
Tagged , , , , , , ,

…..news letter #845 – rsd haze…..

Oof! What a day! Thanks a million to everyone who came down on Saturday and made us your RSD destination! We had a great day. Everyone was super awesome. We had lots of fun and sold a bunch of records. We gave away a turntable and a Collective Arts prize pack to some great people. We drank a bunch of Collective Arts beer thanks to Stu! We drank too much coffee thanks to Dirt Bag Cafe! All in all a fantastic day! Let’s do it again next year!

Also, next Friday, we have a little show going down… more details HERE

…..picks of the week…..

silverapplesMorton Subotnick: Silver Apples of the Moon (Waveshaper) LP/CS
Waveshaper Media’s deluxe, 50th-anniversary-edition vinyl reissue of Morton Subotnick’s landmark 1967 debut electronic LP, “Silver Apples of the Moon.” Limited to 1000 copies, with nearly 600 copies already pre-sold via Indigogo, here are some of the features that make this 50th-anniversary-edition special: Audio has been REMASTERED from original, pre-mastered digital tape transfers. Unlike previous reissues of this LP (both vinyl and CD), remastered for Wergo’s 1994 CD edition and narrowing the recording’s stereo field, our reissue has been remastered maintaining the full stereo field of the original recording. Strictly limited to 1000 copies. All-new, full-colour gatefold jacket. Brand new liner notes by Morton Subotnick. The original, iconic liquid-light cover artwork by Tony Martin has been re-scanned for full-resolution clarity. Featuring rarely-seen, newly-scanned photos of Morton Subotnick in his Bleecker Street studio where “Silver Apples…” was recorded. Also includes a scan of the LP’s original Nonesuch-edition liner notes.

File Under: Electronic, Buchla, Essential Grooves
Listen Here

elg

Elg: Vu Du Dome (Editions Gravats) LP
Mutant troubadour Laurent Gérard, aka Èlg, makes an ideal addition to the misfits at Editions Gravats with Vu Du Dôme, a patently strange record resembling a sort of cryptic opera or the dramaturgy of a waking dream. Leading listeners up the garden path after the Mauve Zone album (NP 021LP, 2016), the French-Belgian artist’s latest album feels like a stroll around a topiary maze at twilight on a warm night, with Èlg acting as a spectral protagonist narrating/ranting in first person while a supporting cast including Catherine Hershey, Borja Flames, and Ernest Bergez only make the trip more unfathomable. Forming a bridge between improbable dimensions of musique concrète and chanson, or electro-acoustic and literary spheres, on Vu Du Dôme Èlg riddles his music to life with literal and metaphorical take on sound poetry; blending French language vocals with glossolalic babble against quietly enigmatic backdrops whose low, shifting lighting and mid-fi resolution lends them to comparison with illusive theater stage designs as much as the overgrown niches of the imagination explored by Luc Ferrari or Èlg’s Reines D’Angleterre bandmate Ghédalia Tazartès before him. A dusty revenant, an epileptic bard, a peaceful messenger: Èlg plays all those roles simultaneously. Combining pointedly purposed production and cryptic incantation, he acts as a souterrain psycho-pomp relaying energies from one reality to another, taking care not to stray too far explicitly in either direction and hold his ground ambiguously with the nous of an ancient Greek play or the kind of pathos and logic likely to baffle a computer. Taken in context of Roope Eronen’s artwork — a naive illustration of smiling cone faces on a bouncy castle — each listener’s perception of Vu Du Dôme is bound to differ from the next in an all too rare and precious way that’s testament to the genius avant-garde vision of its mercurial creator. Èlg’s first release for fellow Francophone freaks at Jean Carval and Low Jack’s Editions Gravats. Art and design by Roope Eronen and David Coquelin. Mastered by Matt Colton at Alchemy.

File Under: Electronic, Experimental
Listen Here

…..new arrivals…..

ambarchi

Oren Ambarchi: Grapes from the Estate (Black Truffle) LP
Black Truffle make Oren Ambarchi’s Grapes From The Estate available once more on vinyl. Originally released on CD on Touch in 2004 and reissued on Southern Lord as a limited double-LP in 2006 during Ambarchi’s tenure as a member of Sunn O))), Grapes From The Estate was a landmark release for Ambarchi, seeing him expand his sonic palette beyond the clipped, bass-heavy electric guitar tones he was known for at that point. Incorporating subtle layers of strings, keyboards, percussion over a bedrock of his signature guitar tones, in retrospect this album can be seen as the beginning of a broadening and evolution in Ambarchi’s work that would lead to his acclaimed, densely layered epics for Editions Mego, Quixotism and Hubris. Beginning with the shuddering pure tones of opener “Corkscrew”, which looks back to previous guitar-only releases such as Suspension, the album’s next two pieces show a progressive broadening of the instrumental palette and a corresponding move away from textural abstraction and sustained tones towards more traditional notions of musicality. This reached its high point on the album’s third piece, the fifteen-minute long “Remedios The Beauty”, where guitars, both acoustic and electric, strings, piano, and bells build from a murmur to an interlocking web of repeating melodic patterns over gently swinging brushed snare and cymbals. The epic closer, “Stars Aligned, Webs Spun”, returns you to a space populated only by the electric guitar, but unlike everything Ambarchi had produced up until this point in his career, the piece has a liquid, psychedelic edge that looks forward to the shimmering harmonics of his more recent work. As Brendan Walls wrote at the time of the original release, this is “another outpouring of personal, intimate and enduring music from Oren Ambarchi”. Original artwork and design by Jon Wozencroft. Redesigned by Stephen O’Malley. Remastered and cut by Rashad Becker at Dubplates & Mastering, Berlin. Gatefold sleeve.

File Under: Drone, Ambient
Listen Here

baby huey

Baby Huey: The Baby Huey Story: The Living Legend (Run Out Groove) LP
Late RSD…. With a psychedelic brand of soul and a vocal style that drew comparisons to Otis Redding, Baby Huey was destined to break out of the Chicago scene with the release of his highly anticipated debut album. Unfortunately, his weight and taste for drugs resulted in a fatal heart attack that prevented him from ever seeing it come to fruition. Featuring production from Curtis Mayfield to go along with three of his compositions (“Mighty Mighty,” “Hard Times” and “Running”) plus a cover of Sam Cooke’s “A Change Is Gonna Come,” Baby Huey’s essential lone album, The Baby Huey Story: The Living Legend, which was originally recorded in 1970 and released in 1971, has become a much sought-after collectible among soul fanatics ever since!

File Under: Funk, Soul
Listen Here

belong

Belong: October Language (Spectrum Spools) LP
October Language is the debut album by New Orleans based duo Belong, comprised of Turk Dietrich and Mike Jones. Since its release in early 2006, Belongs debut masterpiece has accumulated a dedicated cult following, with comparisons to the work of Christian Fennesz and Gas, with some claims that it plays like My Bloody Valentine’s Loveless (1991) sans the songs. While these comparisons are useful for filing this album into a particular bin in the record shop, time has proven that October Language is a unique album which remains unmatched by its contemporaries. Despite the warm and welcome accolades of the albums arrival, there was no vinyl pressing until 2009, of which a limited one-time pressing vanished immediately. Spectrum Spools present a pristine vinyl cut to go with reimagined album art for the definitive edition of this legendary classic. Includes download card with three extra tracks from the impossibly rare Tour EP from the same era (2006). These tracks are exclusive to the vinyl purchase and are not available through digital outlets.

File Under: Ambient, Drone
Listen Here

bonetta

Jonas Bonetta: All This Here (Idea of North) LP
All This Here, the first full-length ambient work by Jonas Bonnetta, is environmental music conjured directly from the places in which it was written. Field recordings made on the coast of Fogo Island echo throughout the record, and from their obscurity emerges a music like the dialect of vast landscapes. Horns glisten into strings or shimmer apart into the rumble of surf, forlorn murmerings suggest some alloy of whalesong and cello. Particles of recorded footfalls collide in the vacuum of wind or woodwind and cold, watery piano tones. All This Here sounds like a record of dawn and dusk, of light that frets at the edge of the day. As tidal arrangements flow one into another and wash themselves away, what remains is something that feels more found than constructed, a ghostly sonic geography. The album takes the form of a single, sprawling field recording, a map of physical and emotional landscapes in superposition. All This Here explores something apart from the glut of modern curated life, of memories laminated by filters, contrived pageantries of person-in-nature posted for all to see. Bonnetta seems to be seeking a reality closer to that of the naturalist or nature writer than the hyperlinked world of his contemporaries. Some fresh province left off the map, eloquent and permanent. He has compared the field-recording process to a type of foraging, a hunt for treasures in the forest. In All This Here he assembles those fragments into something stubbornly pure. This is being released in a series of 300 LP’s on white vinyl.

File Under: Ambient, Field Recording, Drone
Listen Here

bushtetras

Bush Tetras: Take the Fall (Wharf Cat) 12″
The Bush Tetras are back in full force with the Don Fleming-produced Take the Fall, their first offering of new music in over ten years and perhaps the most hard-hitting group of songs of their career. Commanding a rocker’s wail almost 30 years in the making, vocalist Cynthia Sley deploys a shuddering power over the album’s careening five tracks, which rail against the reality of heaven and the toll of time in the album’s opener, “True Blue.” Guitar hero and LES noise guitar innovator Pat Place wields phased out distorted slide bombs. Yet her walls of noise explore the nooks and crannies of Dee Pop and newcomer Val Vera’s rhythm ‘n paranoia groove section. Take the Fall has a jaw-dropping energy. It’s a time-won record that will rip your head off!

File Under: Punk, No Wave
Listen Here

chevel

Chevel: Always Yours (Different Circles) LP
Chevel gives the prism-pushers at Mumdance and Logos’ Different Circles label their first album release with Always Yours; a slanted new take on the “weightless” paradigm, floating somewhere between headspaces associated with the styles of Lee Gamble, Actress, and Logos. Paradoxically the longest and yet most minimalistic release on Different Circles to date, Always Yours says its piece in succinct yet expansive terms, rendering precisely tooled rhythms and technoid motifs in acres of suspenseful emulated space in a way that connects the brutally efficient dynamic of late ’90s tech-step with a Raster Noton-like appreciation of pointillist reduction. In that imagined space Chevel moves like a Soviet gymnast or prototype robot fluidly executing a demanding routine full of intricate, rigid steps. From the ambient airlock of “One Evening In July” he pulls off the aerobic mid-air swiftness of “The Call”, which comes off like a syncopated Sleeparchive workout, before twisting into the knotted quasi-step of “Bullet” and stepping into hyperspace on “Arp 2600”. Another ambient interlude “Warming Bath” returns the LP to balmier states, before the jagged pulse of “Data Recovery” pulls back into the dance like a virulent Alva Noto piece, and “Dem Drums” pitch to the rave’s darker side, but ultimately the lushly self-explanatory “Underwater” and “Always Yours” keep the LP hovering around the edge of ecstasy and the abyss with a grasp of heady, day-after feelings known to ravers the world over. Cover photo by Yusuke Yamatani. Vinyl master and cut by Matt Colton at Alchemy.

File Under: Electronic, Ambient, Techno
Listen Here

dr dog

Dr. Dog: Critical Equation (We Buy Gold) LP
“I feel like I’m in a totally new band right now,” says guitarist/singer Scott McMicken. It’s a bold declaration considering he’s been co-fronting the beloved indie outfit for a decade-and-a-half, but it cuts straight to the heart of the intense and transformative experience behind the group’s brilliant new album, Critical Equation. Produced by Gus Seyffert, it’s the most infectious and adventurous collection Dr. Dog has laid to tape yet, born from a journey of doubt and discovery, a heavy, sometimes painful reckoning that ultimately brought the band closer together with more strength and clarity than ever before. Call it an existential awakening, call it a dark night of the soul, whatever it was, it fueled one of the most fertile creative periods in the group’s history and forced them to confront that timeless question: what do we really want? “We’d been touring and making records for our entire adult lives, and I think we just needed to take a step back,” reflects bassist/singer Toby Leaman, who splits fronting and songwriting duties with McMicken. “It was important for all of us to figure out if we were actually doing what we wanted to be doing, or if we were just letting momentum carry us down this path we’d always been on. This band has been at work a long time and this record is about a concerted effort to push ourselves to grow with courage and confidence built upon our history together. That ends up being a renewed testimony of love for ourselves, each other, the work we do together, and the willingness to approach something you know so well with a beginners innocence”

File Under: Indie Rock
Listen Here

funkees

Funkees: Dancing Time (Soundway) LP
Repressed, originally released in 2012. Gatefold double-LP version; 180 gram vinyl. Dancing Time: The Best Of Eastern Nigeria’s Afro Rock Exponents 1973-77 by The Funkees is the latest title on Soundway to mine the rich musical output of ’60s and ’70s Nigeria. For the five-year period this compilation spans, The Funkees’ output crackled with dancefloor fire. Having featured on three of Soundway’s most popular titles, across the definitive Nigeria Special compilation series, Soundway felt The Funkees’ output deserved closer inspection. Presented here are 18 slices of funky Afro-rock grooves, hand-picked by Soundway’s Miles Cleret from a selection of the band’s 45s and two full-lengths. In the early 1970s, The Funkees were the #1 east Nigerian band and the only outfit to seriously challenge the popular Lagos-based rock combos MonoMono and BLO. It wasn’t long before promoters in the UK came calling and The Funkees packed up their instruments and moved to London, where they quickly established a fierce reputation on the live circuit. Here, they recorded two seminal albums before finally breaking up in 1977 amidst some controversy. This collection features for the first time all of their Nigerian 45s alongside the best of their UK album material and is accompanied by a full interview with original member Sonny Akpan, who still lives in the capital.

File Under: Afro Beat, Funk, Psych
Listen Here

iaccoucci

Gerardo Iacoucci: Industria n. 1 (Intervallo) LP
Intervallo present a reissue of Gerardo Iacoucci’s Industria N. 1, originally released in 1972. At the beginning of the ’70s, in Italy, the revolutionary surge of 1968 was beginning to turn into something grimmer (and definitely not linked to left-wing ideology) but the concept of “factory” still had a key role in the economic and social life of the country. It was not just an alienating workplace, where you would often spent your whole life, but also — and overall — the place where demands were made and political struggles took place. Therefore, a feasible imaginary soundtrack for the factory was the daily noise of machines, tools, hammers: an idea that, years later, would be embraced by dozens of industrial bands all over the world. But, in 1972, that reality was documented by Gerardo Iacoucci: “We went into factories and workshops and recorded the noise of the machines, then we put on it special musical effects and did an accurate mix,” he tells in the liner notes. Industria N. 1, divided in “Fabbrica” on the A side and “Impianti Meccanici” on the B side, is an amazing work mixing field recordings and experimental music, proving how you can combine political commitment, art, avant-garde, and pioneering noise music in a brave record. Edition of 300.

File Under: Library, Italian
Listen Here

langley

Langley Schools Music Project: Innocence & Dispair (Bar None) LP
Replicas of the two rare and highly sought 1976 and 1977 LPs that have captivated the world, inspired a VH-1 documentary, a feature film and Broadway musical (School of Rock) and the soundtrack for Spike Jones’ Where the Wild Things Are. The Langley Schools Music Project is a 60 voice chorus of rural school children from western Canada singing the songs of The Beach Boys, Paul McCartney, David Bowie and many more. Captured in the school gymnasium, the recordings were never meant for commercial release but were pressed on LP for the students, family and friends. Long out of print on vinyl, newly re-mastered. Two separate LPs packaged together with extensive liner notes and deluxe packaging. “The backing arrangement is astounding… a piece of art that I couldn’t have conceived of, even with half of Columbia’s finest export products in me.” – David Bowie “A haunting, evocative wall-of-sound experience that is affecting in an incredibly visceral way. Amazing.” – Fred Schneider/The B-52s

File Under: School Bands, Pop
Listen Here

mouvementsMouvements: s/t (Mental Experience) LP
Includes insert with liner notes; Includes digital download code which includes previously unreleased bonus tracks; Housed in a silver-mirrored sleeve. Mental Experience present the first ever reissue of Mouvements, originally released in 1973. An impossible to find artifact from the Swiss underground avant-garde scene of Geneva, originally released as a private boxset limited to 150 copies in 1973, only sold at art galleries. A unique, instrumental mix of free-jazz, classical, psych-rock, folk, improv, kraut, funk, and musique-concrete with tape effects. In the late 60s, musician/guitar player Christian Oestreicher, “a savage in the era of twist and free jazz”, met artist and painter Richard Reimann, famous for his optical art, at the Aurora art gallery in Geneva. Fueled by the artistic creativity from this underground scene, where jazz and rock musicians rubbed shoulders with artists, poets, and painters, Christian ideated the Mouvements project, enrolling his friend Richard to create the artwork. Christian was a trained guitar player with diverse influences: Ornette Coleman, Chuck Berry, Zappa, Soft Machine. He envisioned Mouvements as a concept album and he asked some of his musician friends from the jazz/rock scene to join in for the recordings: among them, Jean-François Boillat (of Boillat-Thérace), Blaise Català, Jerry Chardonnens. The album sessions took place at an occupied mansion during 1972, using three Revox machines. The musicians played standing in a circle and there was lot of room for improvisation. Tape effects and a small portable synth were also used. The result was released in 1973 as a hand-numbered, deluxe boxset limited to 150 copies, including a series of Richard Reimann’s lithographies and inserts. For this, the first ever reissue, Mental Experience have created a new, more affordable edition with new artwork, including an insert with liner notes and previously unreleased photos. Highly recommended if you’re into avant-garde psychedelia, free-jazz, free-rock, psych-funk, kraut. Think Staff Carpenborg, Zappa, Soft Machine, Bo Hansson, The Feed-Back, Mahogany Brain, Semool, Pierre Schaeffer, the BYG and Futura labels. Master tape sound; Includes insert with liner notes and rare photos; Includes digital download code which includes previously unreleased bonus tracks, including: “Largo Pour Trompettes”, “Mouvement Pour Guitare B1”, “Mouvement Pour Guitare B2”, and “Hard-Rock Ouverture (Take 2)”.

File Under: Psych, Jazz-Funk
Listen Here 

INTER012LP_PRODNarassa: Guerra E Angoscia (Intervallo) LP
Intervallo present a reissue of Narassa’s Guerra E Angoscia, originally released in 1973. Like Gerardo Iacoucci — already celebrated twice by Intervallo with Simbolismo Psichedelico (2015) and Industria N. 1 — Narassa, real name Sandro Brugnolini, is back in Intervallo’s catalog with another gem: his second release on the legendary Rome-based label Rotary, which came out after the amazing Tensione Dinamica. Guerra E Angoscia was born as the fifth installment of seven and, like the previous album (which was recorded with the collaboration of label boss Amedeo Tommasi, the mind behind every release on Rotary), moves away from the experimental and mechanical drift of the first chapter, to dive headfirst in a dark and heavy mood — as the title suggests (“War And Distress”). Guerra E Angoscia is truly faithful to the topic of its title — with tracks like “Rommel”, “Minaccia Di Guerra”, “Campo Di Sterminio”, “Commandos”, “Battaglia Tragica”, “Beat Bellico”, “Eruzione”, and “Linea Calda” — there’s little room for misunderstanding. It does a brilliant job offering library music to evoke tragedies, dark times, and the madness of human kind. This is done with wonderful beats, sharp and powerful percussions, grievous rhythms, and dramatic string sections. No more dynamism, to quote Narassa’s other release on Rotary: “here the tension is just the effect of explosions and wrecked nerves.” Edition of 300.

File Under: Library
Listen Here

railtonLucy Railton: Paradise 94 (Modern Love) LP 
Lucy Railton is a prolific performer who has appeared on countless recordings and collaborations with many important figures in contemporary music over the last few years. Paradise 94 is, remarkably, her solo debut — featuring archival, location, and studio recordings which serve as a time capsule of all the myriad disciplines and influences that have brought her to this point in time. It both plays up to and shatters expectations of her music, which harnesses a duality of energies — acoustic/electronic, real/imagined, iconic/iconoclastic, pissed-off/romantic; out of place and androgynous — resulting in a visceral emotional insight and rare narrative grasp. Variegated, asymmetric, and located somewhere between her usual fields of exploration, Paradise 94 gives free reign to aspects of her creativity that have previously been subsumed into collaborative processes and interpretations of other composers’ work. Here, she’s free to probe, sculpt, and layer her sounds through a much broader range of techniques and strategies, placing particular focus on non-linear structural arrangements and exploring the way her cello becomes perceptibly synthetic through collaging, rather than FX. At every turn Paradise 94 is bewilderingly unique. The A-side unfolds an oneiric, inception-like sequence traversing temporalities, timbres, and tones from what sounds like a spectral ensemble playing on a traffic island in “Pinnevik”, to bursts of rabbit-in-headlights trance arps emerging from meticulously dissected musique concrète in “The Critical Rush”, and a collision of masked vocals, string eruptions, and a deeply moving, light-headed Bach rendition in “For J.R.” On the other hand, “Fortified Up” on side B tests out a far rawer approach, sampling herself playing the same glissandi over and again, which she layers into a sort of perpetual, sickly motion, the Shepard tone riffing on the listener’s psychoacoustic perceptions before calving off into a cathartic dissonant folk coda in its final throes. In the most classic sense, you can only properly begin to fuck with something from the inside once you truly know it. Railton’s dedicated years of service have more than equipped her with the nous and skill to do just that, gifting us with what will no doubt be looked back on as a raw, exposed and important solo debut in years to come. RIYL: Mark Leckey, Alvin Lucier, Beatrice Dillon, Nate Young, Valerio Tricoli, Popol Vuh.

File Under: Electronic, Ambient
Listen Here

shacks

The Shacks: Haze (Big Crown) LP
“Fronted by 19-year-old singer/bassist Shannon Wise and 21-year-old guitarist/producer Max Shrager, The Shacks are already well on their way to becoming one of the year’s big breakouts, and their remarkable debut album, Haze, solidifies their status as a band with ability to deliver on the well-deserved buzz. When Max and Shannon met in high school, a bond was created that has permeated their music since the Shacks first incarnation four years ago. That chemistry lies at the heart of Haze, a record so hypnotic and seductive that it feels more like a whispered late-night secret than a young band’s debut. Produced together by Shrager and Big Crown co-founder Leon Michels (who’s played with Bradley, Sharon Jones, and Fields in addition to working with The Arcs, Lana Del Rey, and countless others), the album was recorded in bits and pieces between Shrager’s basement and Michels’ Diamond Mine studio, which the Observer dubbed ‘the Shangri La of Soul.’ Haze opens with the title track, which is, appropriately enough, the first song Shrager and Wise ever wrote together. It’s a spare, smoky tune that shimmers and sparkles as it shifts in and out of focus, and it’s an ideal gateway into the immersive world of The Shacks. On the breezy ‘Follow Me,’ they channel the infectious charm of a 60’s girl group, while the soulful ‘My Name Is’ grooves its way through a mesmerizing take on 70’s funk. Much like a dream, the songs often merge the familiar and the unfamiliar, constructing their own psychedelic reality full of beauty and yearning, all fueled by Wise’s breathy vocals and the unmistakable electricity of a wildly creative band truly inhabiting their music. ‘Birds’ makes brilliant use of Daptone drum hero Homer Steinwess’s impeccable feel behind the kit, while the 50’s ballad-meets-baroque pop of ‘Cryin” tips its cap to Roy Orbison and John Lennon as Shrager takes over lead vocals, and the soulful shuffle of ‘Texas’ belies a dark and violent undercurrent ripped from the headlines. Through it all permeates an unshakable sense that this is a group performing just for you. ‘Nobody’ finds the Shacks re-interpreting Phil Spector’s Wagnerian approach to rock & roll, complete with sweeping strings and darkly innocent lyrics. The 13 songs featured on Haze plays out like the soundtrack to some long lost 16mm film, beckoning you into their grainy, saturated world of analog beauty. In the short time that they’ve been together, The Shacks have already made an impressive mark. Their hypnotic cover of Ray Davies’ ‘This Strange Effect’ soundtracked a global iPhone commercial, one which actually stars Wise herself, and their self-titled EP earned the band dates with St. Paul & The Broken Bones, Chicano Batman, and their Big Crown Records labelmates Lee Fields & The Expressions.”

File Under: Jazz, Blues, Rock
Listen Here

smithCraig Smith: Love is Out Existence (Maitreya Apache) LP
Tip-on gatefold sleeve; Includes liner notes; Edition of 500. Craig Smith was an extraordinarily gifted songwriter and musician who seemed poised for a successful career in the 1960s music business until his life was derailed by drugs and schizophrenia. In 1969 clean-cut, charismatic Craig Smith became Maitreya Kali, a dark, disturbed psychedelic Messiah figure with a black widow spider tattooed on his third eye. He laid out his strange vision on a self-released double-album Apache/Inca (1972), which would become a sought-after artifact of the psychedelic era. Success came easily for Craig Smith. In 1963, right out of high school he became a cast member of the popular Andy Williams TV show as one of the Good Time Singers, a wholesome folk ensemble that recorded for Capitol Records. Next he landed one of the lead parts in a new TV show, The Happeners, about a Greenwich Village folk group. But when the TV pilot was not picked up, he set out on his own musical path with the folk-rock duo Chris & Craig and then the more psychedelic Penny Arkade, produced and managed by Mike Nesmith of the Monkees. Throughout this period Smith was constantly writing songs, some of which were recorded by other artists, including the Monkees (“Salesman”), Andy Williams (“Holly”, “Christmas Holiday”), the Robbs (“Rapid Transit”), and Glen Campbell (“Country Girl”). But soon afterwards, his life took a dark, terrifying turn. Turning to LSD and Eastern mysticism he journeyed through Asia along the hippie trail where he was brutally attacked, raped, and left for dead. He was never the same again. As Maitreya Kali, he self-released the now legendary Apache and Inca albums in 1972 before disappearing into the shadows. He spent much of the 1970s in prison or in mental institutions before eventually drifting into homelessness on the streets of Hollywood. He died in his sleeping bag in North Hollywood Park in March 2012. Craig’s older brother Gary contacted Stax with a trove of unreleased music. The best of those songs are presented on Love Is Our Existence. Professionally recorded in Los Angeles studios between 1966 and 1971, these previously unheard songs reveal a singer and songwriter of breathtaking depth and talent. Remastered from acetate discs and master tapes.

File Under: Psych
Listen Here

jonesStimulator Jones: Exotic Worlds & Masterful Treasures (Stones Throw) LP
The music of Roanoke, VA’s Stimulator Jones never draws on just one place or time, instead dipping into a range of styles and periods from the ’70s and ’80s to the present day. “American music is the result of a variety of humans from diverse cultural backgrounds combining and sharing their expressions and being free of restrictions,” he says, “Any categorical borders or boundaries are illusions. I was raised in a household where soul, rock, folk, country, jazz, blues, funk, reggae, rap, opera and classical music were all played side by side. To me, the appreciation of such a wide mix of sounds is perfectly natural.” After his start in the music world as a hip-hop DJ, Stimulator Jones began writing songs, and his ballad “Soon Never Comes” was featured on the Stones Throw compilation Sofie’s SOS Tape. Peanut Butter Wolf took note and immediately signed Jones to his label. A singer and multi-instrumentalist who can play anything you set in front of him – from banjo and fiddle to harmonica and sitar – Stimulator insists on playing all the instruments on his songs himself, for complete and total control over the results. Exotic Worlds and Masterful Treasures is his debut longplayer on the label.

File Under: Jazz, Soul, R&B
Listen Here

taylor

Alexis Taylor: Beautiful Thing (Domino) LP
Beautiful Thing is the fourth solo album from Hot Chip’s Alexis Taylor and his first with an outside producer (Tim Goldsworthy). It’s a very new, very individualist and – yes – very beautiful reflection of a life that’s changed immeasurably since Alexis first started out in music. This is a musician, writer and singer who has carved his own unique path through the music of the 21st century, completely avoiding getting trapped along the way in dumb oppositions of pop vs avant-garde, dancefloor vs intellect, retro vs modernist and so on. He has worked with living legends from major pop stars to free improvisors in the furthest left field, played huge arenas and tiny clubs without ever privileging one over the other, and through all of it, never stopped listening and learning. All of this accumulated experience is put to work on Beautiful Thing in pursuit of something subtle and elusive but ultimately quite profound and beautifully human. The record is a bold and confident step forward for Alexis both sonically and in terms of his songwriting abilities. It has electronic thrills, dark spaces, memories of dancefloors, heartfelt writing; it’s composed, it’s improvised, it’s accidental, it’s strange, but it’s also very immediate. It is a Beautiful Thing itself: a moving, modern and unique sounding long-player, to get lost in on repeated deep listens. On the album’s title track which kick-started the recording process with Goldsworthy, Alexis combines experimental, clattering noises with crazed, disco lavishness and bug-eyed acid house momentum to create something giddy and glorious.

File Under: Electronic, Pop
Listen Here

wild havanaWild Havana: s/t (Mental Experience) LP
Mental Experience present a reissue of Wild Havana’s self-titled album, originally released in 1977. Obscure Dutch private pressing of laid-back instrumental psychedelic/progressive sounds with jazz-funk-groove and abstract/experimental/Latin-indigenous touches. Stoned homemade atmosphere with treated/distorted electric and acoustic guitars, flute, electric piano, primitive drum machines/homemade electronics… Much in the vein of the experimental-underground scene of France and Germany during the early ’70s but actually recorded and released in Holland. Wild Havana was the project of guitar player Johan Smith, helped by his brother Cor on flute. Influenced by artists like Zappa and Herbie Hancock, Johan recorded the Wild Havana album at his home studio on a 4-track, using effect devices developed by himself, like a modified proto-drum machine taken from a Hammond organ. He also used effects like phase shifter, chorus, etc. and experimented with putting wool on the guitar strings and electric effects on the mandolin. The result sounded like nothing else at the time. Buried for many years, we’re excited to bring to life this unique album. RIYL: Herbie Hancock, Richard Pinhas, Christian Boule, Orexis… Insert with liner notes by band member Johan Smit. “…a beautiful, strange psych-prog LP with abstract compositions ,experimental edges and some funk hints” –Mutant Sounds

File Under: Psych, Prog, Jazz
Listen Here

uneven-pathsVarious: Uneven Paths (Music From Memory) LP
Uneven Paths: Deviant Pop From Europe 1980-1991 is the second multiple artist compilation on Music From Memory. It’s compiled by record connoisseur Raphael Top-Secret and label man Jamie Tiller. The compilation brings together twenty-one tracks from across the continent; exploring the more unusual and unexpected sides of pop music produced during that period. Drawing material from cult experimental artists such as Steve Beresford, Brenda Ray, and Bill Nelson alongside one-off independent musical projects rescued from the fringes, Uneven Paths focuses on a selection of tracks that go beyond the confines of mainstream pop music but which also transcend expectations of much of the “experimental” music of the time. This is music with one foot in the avant-garde and another foot firmly rooted within the sensibilities of pop; where jazz musicians detour into synth-pop, punk bands break into boogie jams, and student doctors jam out on odd melodies with synthesizers and drum machines during their night shifts. Features Nightfall In Camp, Stroer Duo Howard Fine, Tony Hymas, Violet Eves, Miko & Mubare, Piscine Et Charles, John Makin & Friends, Nonobstant, Wolfgang Klingler, Thomas Heimes, Hans-Christian Mittag, Sound On Sound, Pete Brandt’s Method, Lost Gringos, Vanakos, Brenda And The Beachballs, Patrick Forgas, Xavier Jouvelet, Lou Blic, Steve Beresford, Bill Nelson’s Orchestra Arcana, Harte 10, and Monica Rypma.

File Under: Pop
Listen Here

sonVarious: Son Cubano NYC (Honest Jon’s) LP
Stoked to have this one back in! “Almost all of the Afro-Cuban music in this compilation fell under the new marketing category ‘salsa’ (up till then it would have been simply called Latin music), and its cradle was New York City, where the tradition flourished amidst the constant mix of ethnicities and so many styles of music. It was inevitable that Afro-Cuban music would proliferate in new genres reflecting its new home. Afro-Cuban jazz was born in New York City, through the amalgamating creativity of musicians like Chano Pozo, Machito, Duke Ellington and Dizzy Gillespie. … The recordings on Son Cubano NYC were made over the decade beginning 1972, for the new Salsoul and SAR labels and their sisters Mericana and Guajiro. For the trumpeter Chocolate, the music has ‘broader harmonies and touches of jazz phrasing, but never leaves the raices and cinquillo… Cuban music is natural — its essence is its raices [roots]’. For the singer Henry Fiol, ‘New York salsa is a hybrid. When Cuban music moved to New York it added another flavour.’ Latin music was exploding in the City. You could hear deejays like Polito Vega playing on the radio at any time of day; you could go dancing any night of the week, throughout the boros, at clubs like Corsos, Casablanca, Bronx Casino, Ochentas, Club Cabrojena, Carlos Ortiz’ Tropicana, Hunts Point Palace. And yet — held back because of the unmistakable Cuban personality of its music — ‘the success of SAR was due mainly to word of mouth’, as co-founder Sergio Bofill recalls. … This was still the period of the Cold War — when Eddie Palmieri was accused of ‘communist salsa’ for his song ‘Mozambique’ (which isn’t even salsa) — and the radio stations did their bit to suppress Cuban culture. Within a few years — by the mid-80s — New York salsa was becoming stagnant: ‘boring and monotonous’, in the words of historian Max Salazar; for Charlie Palmieri, ‘Europeanized’ in its disavowal of improvisation. The music-making on this album was dismissed as old-fashioned. Actually — in the glory of its long, flowing, rootsy forms, in the irresistible spell it casts on dancers everywhere — it is timeless.” Includes tracks by Rey Roig y su Sensacion, Charlie Rodriguez y su Conjunto, Alfredo “Chocolate” Armenteros, Henry Fiol, Lita Branda, Roberto Torres, Los Jimanguas, Fernando Lavoy y los Soneros, and Angelo y su Conjunto Modelo.

File Under: Latin, Jazz, ‘Salsa’

…..Restocks…..

Alvvays: Antisocialities (Royal Mountain) LP
David Axelrod: Song of Innocence (Now Again) LP
Badbadnotgood: IV (Arts & Crafts) LP
Beastie Boys: Hot Sauce Committee Part Two (EMI) LP
Beastie Boys: To The 5 Burroughs (EMI) LP
Boards of Canada: Campfire Headphase (Warp) LP
Budos Band: III (Daptone) LP
Childish Gambino: Camp (Glassnote) LP
John Coltrane: Coltrane’s Sound (Dol) LP
Miles Davis: Sketches of Spain (Columbia) LP
Miles Davis: Miles & Monk (Columbia) LP
Miles Davis: Round About Midnight (Columbia) LP
Miles Davis: Someday My Prince Will Come (Columbia) LP
Miles Davis: Nefertiti (Music on Vinyl) LP
Death Grips: Bottomless Pit (Harvest) LP
Dinosaur Jr: Bug (Jagjaguwar) LP
Dinosaur Jr: s/t (Jagjaguwar) LP
Dinosaur Jr: You’re Living All Over Me (Jagjaguwar) LP
Bob Dylan: Basement Tapes (Columbia) LP
Flying Lotus: You’re Dead! (Warp) LP
Godspeed You Black Emperor: Lift Your Skinny Fists (Constellation) LP
Godspeed You Black Emperor: Allelujah (Constellation) LP
Herbie Hancock: Speak Like A Child (Blue Note) LP
J Dilla: Ruff Draft: Dilla’s Mix (Pay Jay) LP
Michael Kiwanuka: Love & Hate (Universal) LP
Kendrick Lamar: Damn (Aftermath) LP
Kendrick Lamar: Damn Collector’s Edition (Aftermath) LP
Kendrick Lamar: Good Kid M.A.A.D. City (Aftermath) LP
LCD Soundsystem: Sound of Silver (DFA) LP
Massive Attack: Mezzanine (Universal) LP
Modest Mouse: Good New for People… (Epic) LP
Modest Mouse: Moon & Antarctica (Epic) LP
Nine Inch Nails: Downward Spiral (Universal) LP
Ol’ Dirty Bastard: Return to the 36 Chambers (Get on Down) LP
Olympians: s/t (Daptone) LP
Pink Floyd: The Wall (Pink Floyd) LP
Pink Floyd: Wish You Were Here (Pink Floyd) LP
Pink Floyd: Meddle (Pink Floyd) LP
Pink Floyd: Division Bell (Pink Floyd) LP
Pink Floyd: Obscured By Clouds (Pink Floyd) LP
REM: Automatic for the People (Universal) LP
Rush: Hemispheres (Universal) LP
Rush: Permanent Waves (Universal) LP
Rush: Signals (Universal) LP
Thundercat: Drunk (Brainfeeder) LP
US Girls: A Poem Unlimited (Royal Mountain) LP
Weezer: Blue (Universal) LP
Amy Winehouse: Back to Black (Universal) LP
Amy Winehouse: Frank (Universal) LP
Amy Winehouse: Lioness (Universal) LP
Yeah Yeah Yeahs: Fever to Tell (Universal) LP

…..new letters #814 – loadz…..

Lots of big new releases this week, and lots of em bumped until next week too. Nevertheless, loads of killer wax in right now, and I’m sitting here staring at a few hundred records waiting to get priced and off the counter, so… I’ll let you read on.

…..picks of the week…..

coil-trasparent-e1507854798712.jpg

Coil with Black Sun Productions: The Plastic Spider Thing (Rustblade) LP
“This album, featuring Coil’s music literally remixed and re-arranged in ritual form to serve as the soundtrack to the Black Sun Productions extreme performance art spectacle entitled Plastic Spider Things, following the performers’ (among who was counted John Balance himself) every move. Synths, drones, and psychedelic textures lead us on mystical tour of sex and magic, serving as a testament to the undeniable connection between Coil’s music, ritual magic, and performance art. A release that all hardcore Coil and Black Sun Productions fans have long been waiting for. Not to be missed!”
File Under: Electronic, Experimental, Industrial
Listen Here

miracleVarious: Miracle Steps (Optimo) LP
I keep running out of this before I can rave about it, now restocked and AWESOME…. Miracle Steps (Music from the Fourth World 1983 – 2017) has been on Optimo Music’s to-do list for ages, but it was only when Twitch and Glasgow’s Fergus Clark started crossing swords over what actually constituted “Fourth World” music that the project really got going. Twitch decided that co-compiling the release with someone who had a slightly different take on things might make for a more interesting finished product, and so it came to pass that a cohesively thrilling compilation quickly materialized as each of them drew from a wealth of different artists and eras. For the uninitiated, here’s an extract from Fergus Clark’s sleeve notes honing in on how the term “Fourth World” (an idea conjured up by Jon Hassell in the early ’80s) might be defined: “What we have attempted to gather across this compilation is a body of work which we feel directly resonates with both the literal definition of ‘Fourth World’ music and indeed our own interpretation of this unique sonic vision; from the work of the late Jorge Reyes, a Mexican musician who combined pre-Hispanic instruments with synthesizers and digital sampling, through to the work of organic ambient ensemble O Yuki Conjugate. There are tracks which utilize custom, home-made instruments and there are tracks built from scratch using the latest in digital technology, but the undercurrent tying each piece together is this deeply personal feeling of intrigue and mysterious elation. Strange and unparalleled, this feeling manages to eschew geographic borders and rigid genre movements in favor of something which manages to evoke an inner sanctum, a musical private place for both reflection and assessment. This is music grounded in nor the past nor the present, music which manages to sound futuristic yet remarkably nostalgic.” JD Twitch is one half of Glasgow’s Optimo (Espacio) and runs the Optimo Music and Optimo Trax labels. Fergus Clark is a writer, occasional DJ, and avid music fan. He is a founding member of the music and art collective 12th Isle. Housed in a gatefold sleeve designed by the redoubtable Glasgow based visual artists Al White and Jamie Johnson. Also features: Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe & Ariel Kalma, Iona Fortune, X.Y.R., Jon Keliehor, David Cunningham, Larry Chernicoff, Sussan Deyhim & Richard Horowitz, Jon Hassell, Vulgata, Afro-Disiak, Rapoon, and Javier Segura.

File Under: Electronic, Ambient, Fourth World
Listen Here

…..new arrivals…..

childbirth

Amateur Childbirth: Your Afterlife is Cancelled (Blackest Ever Black) LP
This is Amateur Childbirth’s “Christian Rock” album. The previous LP from Ivan Matthew Hick’s solo project, 2013’s Pripyat, concerned itself with the blighted belief systems of UFO worshippers. Your Afterlife Is Cancelled expands this compelling solo project’s field of enquiry to look at a wider array of “religious anomalies”: cults, for want of a better word. Each song is about a different such anomaly. To call Hicks’s vision apocalyptic would be to underplay its cruelty. The Bible’s rampant sadism pales in comparison. This is a world where faith — in a god or gods, in astrology, morality, or any meaning whatsoever — is merely a prelude to punishment. His lyrics are vivid glossaries of pain, abjection and indignity; the songs’ protagonists swim in blood, piss, shit, and ejaculate. Eschatology and scatology are indivisible here. Drugs are rampantly abused, albeit to little benefit. There are scalpel-flashes of humor in David’s wordplay, rhyming and dour Brisbane diction — but this offers scant consolation for the songs’ embattled subjects, who wait, in vein, for salvation, while crows peck out their eyes, blood pours from their ears, and psoriasis ravages their skin. These words, for all their pessimism and body-horror, are cradled in minimalist, folk-rock arrangements that are quite dazzling in their beauty and grievously earned simplicity: Hicks’s monochord strum embellished with subtle violin, synthesizer, and percussion shading. Amateur Childbirth’s caustic end-times worldview inevitably prompts comparisons with Current 93, but also a wider (non-)tradition of caustic and disturbed loner psych that includes Simon Finn, Patrik Fitzgerald, Robyn Hitchcock, Peter Jefferies, and Roy Harper. Your Afterlife Is Cancelled is a depressive tour de force from one of the most crushingly eloquent voices in the Australian underground.

File Under: Electronic, Neo-Folk, Psych
Listen Here

sea lice

Courtney Barnett & Kurt Vile: Lotta Sea Lice (Matador) LP
Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile, two of the most acclaimed and gifted songwriters of our generation, have joined forces to release a collaboration as unique and unusual as their talents. Lotta Sea Lice is a conversation between friends, documented in raw, unvarnished song, brimming with personal history, crackling with energy and shot through with humor. There’s an unforced ease to the record, helped by the fact that the pair have been not just friends, but hardcore fans of each other’s work for years. They also roped in colleagues such as Mick Turner and Jim White of the Dirty Three, Stella Mozgawa from Warpaint, and Aussie icon Mick Harvey. The shared chemistry is immediately apparent in the album opener and first single “Over Everything”, with dovetailing vocal lines and intricate, shimmering guitar. The lyrics play out as a rambling dialogue as they compare notes about songwriting and inspiration; it was the first song written for this project. While some of the songs on the record are originals, it features some covers. The pair also tackle each other’s tracks on the album, with Vile delivering a delicious, souped-up version of “Outta the Woodwork” backed by Barnett herself, and Barnett taking on Vile’s “Peepin’ Tomboy” completely solo, to spine-tingling result. The overall effect of Lotta Sea Lice is of Barnett and Vile throwing open the doors to their house to listeners – it’s their party, but everyone is invited.

File Under: Indie Rock
Listen Here

beck

Beck: Colors (Universal) LP
In tomorrow… The last time the mass public got a glimpse of Beck, it was at the end of the 2015 Grammy Awards, when Prince was handing him an Album of the Year award for his meditative, mostly acoustic album Morning Phase. Few people knew, but at that time the artist was already two years into work on the follow-up which has taken two more years to complete. Possibly the most aptly titled work in Beck’s storied discography, Colors unfolds in an intoxicating rainbow of auditory tricks and treats, making it a summery smash for the fall season. In addition to the captivating piano-driven “Dear Life,” Colors includes both Beck singles that preceded it: a new mix of the psych-dance summer jam “Dreams” that NPR hailed as “urgently contemporary and irresistibly vintage” and the retro-futuristic earworm “Wow” that had Stereogum praising its “big, sweet incandescent hook” and Esquire rejoicing, “All hail the return of Party Beck.” Dubbed as a “euphoric blast of experimental pop” by Rolling Stone, Colors was produced by the in demand Greg Kurstin (Adele, Kelly Clarkson, Sia) and Beck, with the exception of “Wow” produced by Beck and Cole M.G.N. and “Fix Me” produced by Beck. The album was mixed by Serban Ghenea, except “Dreams” and “Up All Night,” which were mixed by Kurstin and Beck.

 File Under: Indie Rock
Listen Here

caminiti

Evan Caminiti: Toxic City Music (Dust Editions) LP
Barn Owl’s Evan Caminiti leaves most any trace of Americana for dust in the rearview of Toxic City, where he fully pursues the distorted, emotive aches and atonal themes that cropped up in Meridian (2015) into more blown-out, sci-fi-tinted headspaces, with Jefre Canta Ledesma helping frame his vision on one of the album’s biggest highlights. That sense of wistful sehsucht is still in the air of Toxic City, but now polluted by a high ppm count of diffused noise and harmonic distortion that feels more angular, choked and firmly up-to-date than the sweeping high plains sound he used to drift around. “Toxic City Music was inspired by the psychic and physical toxicity of life in late capitalism. Conceived throughout 2015 and 2016, Caminiti captured the sounds of NYC’s machinery and voices before weaving them into his studio experiments. This collection of song mutations unravels in hazy plumes and serrated edges; concrète sounds mesh with disembodied strings and corrosive electronics on “Joaquin”, drones ripple under stuttering rhythms and crude synth detritus throughout “NYC Ego”. On “Toxic Tape (Love Canal)”, layers of digital degradation smear guitar clusters, dissolving into a dubby devotional-ambient space.”

File Under: Ambient
Listen Here

coil1

Coil: Another Brown World/Baby Food (Sub Rosa) LP
Two rare tracks by Coil, never before released on vinyl and commissioned by Sub Rosa. These two pieces were commissioned by Sub Rosa for these two specific projects: Myths 4 – Sinople Twilight In Çatal Hüyük (1989) and Chaos In Expansion (1993). “Another Brown World” was written by John Balance and Peter Christopherson, produced and mixed by Coil, and recorded by Danny Hyde at Threshold House, London in the Summer of 1989. The vocals were recorded at the Animist Monastery situated at the Summit of Mount Popa in Pagan, Burma. “Baby Food” was written and performed by Coil: Danny Hyde (essentials) Peter Christopherson (fundamentals), and John Balance (vibrant rays of spiritual psychosis). This track is the first to utilize the recording process known as “Sidereal Sound”, a continuation and advancement of the deep listening theories as demonstrated on the album Love’s Secret Domain (1991). Recorded in a storm in London in the summer of 1993.

File Under: Electronic, Industrial, Experimental
Listen Here

ambarchi

Chris Cole & Oren Ambarchi: Hotel Record (Black Truffle) LP
Hotel Record is the second release from the duo/couple of crys cole and Oren Ambarchi, following on from Sonja Henies vei 31. Where their debut recording presented a disquieting portrait of the erotic dimension of romantic intimacy, the follow-up continues to explore the pair’s simultaneously musical and romantic relationship in a more subtle fashion, presenting four long-form pieces that touch on the variety of forms the life of this couple takes: as a musical duo, as a pair of travelers to exotic locations, as opponents in a game of cards… Each of the double LP’s four sides presents a distinct sound-world, yet each manages to attain the same suspended, half-sleeping feeling, outlining a space where improbable combinations of the electronic and the acoustic, of extreme closeness and amorphous distance, occurring with the gentle insistence of a dream. The opening “Call Myself” calmly unfolds a fabric of long tones from electronic organ and guitar, combining the sliding, aleatoric effects of classic David Behrman with a more hands-on feel. Over the top of this slowly shifting tonal bed, cole’s voice mutters unintelligibly into a Buchla synth, teasing the listener by suggesting a meaning that remains always out of the ear’s reach. “Francis Debacle (Uno)” builds on the foundations of a heavily amplified session of the titular card game, overlaying vocal murmurs and exhalations and mysterious room-sounds to create an impossible aural environment. On “Burrata”, a palette of vintage 1980s digital synthesizer sounds combined with guitars create an irregular texture of lush chords and bubbling melodic details, into which cole’s voice processed by a vocoder, is interwoven, reading fragments of romantic correspondence. Finally, on “Pad Phet Gob”, field recordings made in Thailand become an ambiguously acoustic/electronic rainforest, eventually giving way to a mysterious, wavering electronic tone-field punctuated by sibilant, popping mouth-sounds. Carving out an intimate and human sonic space across a diverse array of compositional approaches, sound sources, fidelities, and textures, Hotel Record is the latest dispatch from the continuing explorations of a unique duo. Ambarchi and cole reimagine electro-acoustic music, not simply as “abstract” sound, but as a diary, a love poem, a dream. Comes in deluxe gatefold sleeve with photography by crys cole and LP design via Stephen O’Malley; Mastered and cut by Rashad Becker at Dubplates & Mastering.

File Under: Electronic, Ambient
Listen Here

daedrider

Dead Rider: Crew Licks (Drag City) LP
Dead Rider are up and rolling again, and Crew Licks is the latest job. After the thousand days and nights since Chills on Glass, Dead Rider had to overcome the creeping suggestion that they multitask themselves to sleep — or to premature brain death — whichever came first. Now they’re ready to get into their Rolling Stones suit and thank you for letting them be themselves again; to extrude rude grooves, shattered r’n’b and/or hip hop and mother’s blues in a priapic triad, tripped-out and overlaid, shedding the old fresh in search of new flesh; a gateway they’ve been dreaming of building in their minds. If you’re lacking for rhythm and imagination in your everyday nine-to-five, Dead Rider got the time for you. The beat is lode-bearing, brick-house solid (courtesy of batterie-man Matt Espy), but flexible, breathing. In through the cracks come stuttered words and whispers, the pealing of a steel drum, a squalling sax or two, barks from the outside. Crew foreman Todd Rittmann twines them with a cabling of acid-base guitar licks, cutting down into the roots for fingerings to invert and extend. The basslines roll and crush, bounce and squish as required (thank you, White Christmas!), bringing synth and synthesis into and away from the framework. Wafting through the room is the float and gloss of eternal rhythm and blues, whether it’s the swelling of soulful choirs, organ chords or the deft tailing of guitar lines designed to relax us in the shades of a dusty, aphrodisiac evening. All done up with wack that Thundercat would get on the one, that would drive D’Angelo or Kendrick back to the notebooks for all the right words. Crew Licks is audio-verite pop music; not created but lived, with parts of life on the run reused to facilitate other parts. A chimera, reflecting man in pieces; not whole or fully animate. But beautiful…

File Under: Rock, Electronic, Experimental
Listen Here

fingers

F Ingers: Awkwardly Blissing Out (Blackest Ever Black) LP
Recorded in Melbourne and Berlin between 2015-17 by Samuel Karmel, Carla dal Forno and Tarquin Manek, Awkwardly Blissing Out’s title is instructive… the spiky eldritch song-spells of F ingers’ previous album Hide Before Dinner have become more dubwise, immersive, and potently psychedelic; Euphoric even, but paranoid and laden with self-doubt. Projecting onto strangers, watching not participating, turning ever inwards. The cosmos explored from behind closed doors, under the bedclothes, alone. Whereas Hide Before Dinner evoked the thrill, and casual cruelty, of unsupervised childhood summers — a suburban gothic of grazed knees, hide-and-seek, nettle-stings — Awkwardly Blissing Out is an album of more adult anxieties and metamorphoses. The ghouls in your neighbor’s garden are still there, but have come to represent something else, something more mundane and empirically real, but no less terrifying. Struggles with time, distance, isolation, communication, and commitment; your memories have a heaviness now. You can hear aspects of ferric post-punk and hauntological/DIY electronics in Awkwardly Blissing Out’s musical make-up… Flying Lizards’ Secret Dub Life (1995) or Brigitte Fontaine’s Comme À La Radio (1969)… not to mention two generations of Oz/NZ underground experimentation, introspection, and dereliction. Now, more than ever, F ingers’ highly evolved, but naturalistic sound-world is difficult to precisely place or unpick: a mildew-y drug-dazed dub-scape, teeming but minimalism, framed by lonesome guitar strums, Manek’s supple percussive reverberating basslines, and Karmel’s painterly synth washes, over which dal Forno exploits her voice for its pure tonal character — whether diffracting light across the loping, uncanny techno rhythms of “All Rolled Up” and the waterlogged psych-folk of “Off Silently”, or sliced and looped into disorienting patterns of abstract glossolalia on “Time Passes” and the time-dilating nine-minute title track. Awkwardly Blissing Out is a landmark recording from one of the Southern hemisphere’s most extraordinary, visionary freak units; a deep and sensuous trip that nonetheless prompts some uncomfortable — or at any rate, bittersweet — reflection on what we are, what we were, and what we might have been.

File Under: Electronic, Dark Wave, Ambient
Listen Here

function

Function: Recompiled I/II (A-Ton) LP
First part of a two-part Function retrospective from Ostgut Ton sublabel A-Ton. A mixture of released and previously unreleased tracks, including Function’s remix of “Falling The Same Way” by Sandwell District and “Golden Dawn (feat. Stefanie Parnow) (Version)” by Function. “Once a cathedral, now a mall, Limelight was last in the line of Manhattan clubs whose lineage could be traced back to New York’s fertile club era of the ’70s and ’80s, which included the East Village punk and no wave scenes, the Mudd Club, Danceteria and the Paradise Garage. It’s connected to a storied New York history — sometimes holy, sometimes notorious. . . . ‘A lot of things that were worlds apart met in that deconsecrated Episcopal church,’ recalls David Sumner. ‘I used to practically live in that club, going two or three nights a week for years. I knew this was what I was going to do with the rest of my life.’ In many ways Limelight was America’s rave incubator. On a New Music Seminar night in July of 1992, the revolution was about to take hold. ‘Walking in, I didn’t know what was going on. Then I started to see xeroxed Underground Resistance 8 1/2 x 11s all around the club, like the kind of inserts that came inside their EPs,’ Dave recalls. He would go on to see Mike Banks, Rob ‘Noise’ Hood, and Jeff Mills perform for an electrified crowd as UR. ‘That night straight up changed my life.’ . . . New York itself is a major influence for Dave, as is its history of clubs — from discos and house music, to techno and raves. Think of Todd Terry’s 1988 Black Riot record or Boyd Jarvis’ 1983 release ‘The Music Got Me’ as milestones on this journey. ‘It’s a DJ’s approach to music. I remember in the early ’90s when the music was changing so rapidly and it felt so revolutionary, separating my records into piles and thinking “I need more of this — there needs to be more of this kind of record.”‘ It’s passion that drives this story of a life in music, and it’s a desire to blow your mind the same way his inspirations blew his. Function is always innovating and finding new ways to connect the dots, to continually pursue the art of storytelling through giant slabs of sound.” –Brendan M. Gillen, Interdimensional Transmissions, Detroit, 2017

File Under: Electronic, Techno
Listen Here

hiss

Hiss Golden Messenger: Hallelujah Anyhow (Merge) LP
Hallelujah Anyhow is the latest studio album from Hiss Golden Messenger. Its 10 new songs, penned by HGM principal M.C. Taylor, were recorded with Brad Cook, Phil Cook, Chris Boerner, Josh Kaufman, Darren Jessee, Michael Lewis, and Scott Hirsch. Alexandra Sauser-Monnig, Tift Merritt, Skylar Gudasz, Tamisha Waden, Mac McCaughan, and John Paul White provided vocal harmonies. LP includes a digital download and is packaged in a gatefold jacket containing full lyrics and photos of the band in the studio. “I see the dark clouds. I was designed to see them. They’re the same clouds of fear and destruction that have darkened the world since Revelations, just different actors. But this music is for hope. That’s the only thing I want to say about it. Love is the only way out. I’ve never been afraid of the darkness; it’s just a different kind of light. And if some days that belief comes harder than others, hallelujah anyhow.” – M.C. Taylor

File Under: Folk, Country
Listen Here

jabu

Jabu: Sleep Heavy (Blackest Ever Black) LP
Blackest Ever Black presents Sleep Heavy, the debut album of broken-hearted, downtempo R&B/street-soul and supremely atmospheric, introspective electronics from Jabu: a trio comprised of vocalist/lyricists Alex Rendall and Jasmine Butt, and producer Amos Childs. The group was born out of Bristol’s Young Echo collective: an ecosystem unto itself which has birthed and nurtured a number of other notable soundsystem-rooted projects and artists to date, including Kahn & Neek, Sam Kidel, Ishan Sound, Ossia, Asda, Chester Giles, and Killing Sound (Childs with Kidel and Vessel). Jabu’s previous 7″ singles, though arresting, barely hinted at the level of accomplishment and emotional heft that Sleep Heavy delivers. It’s a future Bristol classic with a universal resonance, with songs that are highly personal but deeply relatable, and a tripped-out, time-dissolving sound design that both haunts and consoles. It is, first and foremost, a meditation on grief, loss, making sense of separation, and death; but it also looks forward to what might come after the aftermath: healing, acceptance, the chance to begin again. Childs is one of the most gifted producers of his generation and his work here, grounded in hip-hop but floating free, is a thing of sustained wonder: crepuscular, melancholic, subtly psychedelic, and heavily dubwise, but always concise and purposeful. Stitched together from deep-dug and beautifully repurposed samples, it draws on influences from US R&B to Japanese art-pop minimalism — Mariah to Mariah Carey, if you will — and a rich seam of underground UK soul, boogie, DIY/post-punk, library music, and lovers rock. There is also of course a distant connection to the Bristol blues of Smith & Mighty and the sultry urban gothic of Protection-era Massive Attack (1994), but Jabu’s orchestration of womb-like ambiences, cold synth tones, and brittle beats feel entirely sui generis. They provide the perfect setting for Rendall’s wounded, imploring and carefully weighted vocals, which are no less extraordinary: nodding to giants like Teddy Pendergrass and The Temptations in terms of phrasing and front-and-center vulnerability, with something of The Associates’ Billy MacKenzie in there too; defeated but defiant. Meanwhile, Jas’s heavenly interventions, sometimes leading but more often parsed and layered into tremulous, gossamer abstraction, draw a line between the Catholic choral harmonies of her childhood and the ethereal, oceanic sweep of Cocteau Twins. By its end, Sleep Heavy’s world-weariness is intact and scarcely diminished, but some light has been admitted, and is visible from the sea-floor.

File Under: Electronic, Downtempo, Soul, R&B
Listen Here

jtb

Jets to Brazil: Orange Rhyming Dictionary (Jade Tree) LP
Three classic LPS from Jets to Brazil – available on 180 gram black vinyl and limited edition (indie-shop-only) clear vinyl. Jets To Brazil vinyl has been out of print since their original pressings and are in high demand. Consisting of ex-Jawbreaker frontman Blake Schwarzenbach, ex-Texas Is the Reason drummer Chris Daly, and ex-Handsome vocalist/guitarist Jeremy Chatelain, Jets to Brazil could be considered an amalgam of their forefathers with a slightly darker and more mature musical perspective. “With the 1998 release of their first LP, Orange Rhyming Dictionary, Jets to Brazil took the expectations of their peers and turned them on their heads, surprising most with their breed of music that is fresh and excitingly powerful. As the band members continue to move away from their namesakes and become more comfortable with their expanding sound, the world could see something quite intriguing evolve. Jets to Brazil followed up with Four Cornered Night in August 2000. Two years later, the band returned with their darkest, most inspirational material to date; Perfecting Loneliness was released in October 2002 and reflected mega-tight musicianship from the band.” – All Music Guide

File Under: Indie Rock, Emo, Punk
Listen Here

jtb2

Jets to Brazil: Four Cornered Night (Jade Tree) LP
Three classic LPS from Jets to Brazil – available on 180 gram black vinyl and limited edition (indie-shop-only) clear vinyl. Jets To Brazil vinyl has been out of print since their original pressings and are in high demand. Consisting of ex-Jawbreaker frontman Blake Schwarzenbach, ex-Texas Is the Reason drummer Chris Daly, and ex-Handsome vocalist/guitarist Jeremy Chatelain, Jets to Brazil could be considered an amalgam of their forefathers with a slightly darker and more mature musical perspective. “With the 1998 release of their first LP, Orange Rhyming Dictionary, Jets to Brazil took the expectations of their peers and turned them on their heads, surprising most with their breed of music that is fresh and excitingly powerful. As the band members continue to move away from their namesakes and become more comfortable with their expanding sound, the world could see something quite intriguing evolve. Jets to Brazil followed up with Four Cornered Night in August 2000. Two years later, the band returned with their darkest, most inspirational material to date; Perfecting Loneliness was released in October 2002 and reflected mega-tight musicianship from the band.” – All Music Guide

File Under: Indie Rock, Punk, Emo
Listen Here

king khan

King Khan: Murderburgers (Ernest Jennings) LP
King Khan, master of psychedelic R&B, used all of his magic to reunite one of his all time favourite bands “The Gris Gris” from Oakland, California to back him up on this long player. Produced by Greg Ashley at his Creamery Studio which has since disappeared because of the unfortunate gentrification of Oakland. This album shows a more singer/songwriter side to King Khan, while mixing in his classic garage punk swagger and many more subtle influences here and there. You can taste alot of Stooges, screaming saxes in full Steve Mackay style, pounding pianos, some Bakersfield California Country swing, some haunting desert sunset vibes and most of all the classic rock n’ soul that has become King Khan’s genuine signature sound. The resulting gumbo is as tasty as ever and even has the Oakland Taco King, Oscar “El Tacoban” Michel on Bass and legendary Oakland drummer for hire Garrett “with an A in the O” Goddard bashing the skins. King Khan starts a world tour this month to support.

File Under: Garage Rock, Psych, R&B

king krule

King Krule: The Ooz (True Panther) LP
The Ooz is the second full-length album from London-born 22 year-old polymath King Krule aka Archy Marshall. The sprawling 19-song epic follows his 2013 debut 6 Feet Beneath The Moon. 6FBTM brought King Krule universal acclaim, hundreds of thousands of record sales, worldwide tour dates, and put him on track to becoming a household name. For the last two years, Archy has been holed up in his south-east London neighborhood, shutting out the world, and shuttling between his bedroom recording setup and a small studio walking distance from his home. He has refined his craft; taking dramatic steps as a songwriter, producer and lyricist. This album is seeped with the results of that time spent alone. He has grown into a complete and expressive artist in full mastery of his craft. According to Archy, The Ooz is, “a smear, a mark. The constant sludge pouring out of your crevices. You have ear wax, snot, phlegm, piss, gasses, tears. Look how much you create. You Ooz constantly without even knowing. The record is called that because it’s whatever comes out of you to exist.”

File Under: Indie Rock
Listen Here

land

Harold Land: A New Shade of Blue (Wewantsounds) LP
Wewantsounds present a reissue of Harold Land’s A New Shade Of Blue, originally released in 1971. Following the highly-acclaimed release of Feeling Good and Inner Peace compilations, Wewantsounds present the reissue of two superb classic albums as the first releases in their Mainstream Records Original Classics series: A New Shade Of Blue, presented here, and Buddy Terry’s 1971 album Awareness. Wewantsounds has gone back to the original negative to reconstruct the original artworks and will add many jaw dropping never-seen photo sessions Recorded in 1971, this beautiful Harold Land record produced by Bob Shad, is nothing but a Harold Land-Bobby Hutcherson quintet album in disguise. The quintet recorded a handful of marvelous albums between 1967 and 1971, mainly under the Bobby Hutcherson name on Blue Note, but they recorded one album on Chess and two for Mainstream Records. A New Shade Of Blue, recorded in Los Angeles where the quintet was based, is one of their best albums and has never been reissued outside of Japan. Featuring a superb line up comprising Buster Williams on bass and Billy Hart on drums — the rhythm section of Herbie Hancock’s Mwandishi (1971) sextet — the session is augmented by Bill Henderson on piano and Fender Rhodes and Mtume on percussion. Together they create a superb soundscape featuring the quintet’s trademark sound, both spiritual and serene, with Land’s unmistakable sax playing and Bobby Hutcherson’s modal touch. The highlight of the album is the long hypnotic track “Mtume”, a deep, slow burner displaying the group’s fantastic interplay. Includes unissued session photos taken by LA photographer Dick Sanders and new liner notes by radio DJ and renowned record digger, Sam Barbatano (Sunday Jazz, KTRU Houston). CD version includes a bonus track, a beautiful eight-minute outtake “Dark Mood” briefly issued in 1974 on a Mainstream compilation.

File Under: Jazz
Listen Here

lowe

Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe: Kulthan (Latency) LP
Two swinging, hypnotic excursions by the Brooklynite (aka Lichens). Ethereal and melancholic, ‘Magnamite’ ponders ‘the relationship of machine and human’; whilst the wilder pulsations of ‘Heart Of Sogguth’ bear witness to a ‘unified human machine wherein the voice becomes the rhythm — all become one instrument’.”

File Under: Ambient, Electronic, Techno
Listen Here

major

Paul Major: Feel The Music (Anthology) Book
Paul Major has lived resolutely at the edge of outsider music culture for nearly a half-century. As an early private press and “real people” record collector turned eminent, underground rock ‘n’ roller, his influence is felt if not heard all around us—until now. Feel the Music traces Paul’s trajectory from his formative days in the Midwest, his years in the late ’70s New York punk scene, and into his curious career as a connoisseur and campaigner of the weirdest records of all time. Brought to life with unseen photographs, rare record covers, and cut n’ paste ephemera from Paul’s long running mail order catalog, while animated by Paul’s storytelling, Feel the Music is a fanatical mystery tour through the further, outer reaches of music history. Alongside Paul’s writing, Feel the Music features essays by Johan Kugelberg, Jack Streitman, Michael P. Daley, Rich Haupt, Stefan Kery, Patrick Lundborg, Geoffrey Weiss, Jesper Eklow, and Glenn Terry. Each book also comes with a special Sorcerers and Endless Boogie split 7? vinyl record.

File Under: Books, Psych

miyashita Fumio Miyashita: Live of the Boffomundo Show (Drag City) LP
“By October, 1979, my partner, Aaron Weiner and I had produced a handful of Boffomundo Shows at Los Angeles’ first public access television studio at Theta Cable in Santa Monica. It was our good fortune to meet and partner with Tony Harrington of All Ears Records and we joined forces as The All Ears Boffomundo Show. Up to that point we interviewed King Crimson’s Robert Fripp, PFM singer Bernardo Lanzetti, and Brand X & Phil Collins (before his solo fame). All Ears Records stable of artists concentrated heavily on Japanese bands and musicians. “He introduced us to the already legendary synthesizer master, Fumio Miyashita, founder of The Far East Family Band, who Tony boldly dubbed ‘Japan’s Answer to Pink Floyd.’ While certainly influenced by the Floyd, Fumio, along with fellow band member and award winning synthesist, Kitaro, were more accurately evolving the electronic techo-stylings of Germany’s Tangerine Dream, Ash Ra Temple, Kraftwerk, and other Krautrock innovators from the early 1970s. One-time Dream and Temple member, and a seminal synth innovator in his own right, Klaus Schulze, both produced and mixed several Far East Family Band albums. As Aaron recalls, ‘Fumio was a gentle soul. Soft spoken, thoughtful and intelligent. And on the cutting edge of technology. It was in Fumio’s hands that I first viewed a Sony Walkman. It is mind boggling to think what has transpired technologically since then.’ “Fumio brought multiple keyboards, percussion and incidental sundries to a studio the size of a small garage. Somehow, the staff of Theta Cable Studios managed to capture all the sound pumped through a 12″ bookshelf speaker! A single microphone rested on a wooden stool in front of that speaker. In 1980, a second appearance from Fumio included Far East Family Band members, guitarist Lance Hooks and bass player George Babon. The same lone bookshelf speaker was employed once again! That proud little speaker is no doubt fully decomposed in a landfill somewhere but the music survives…” – Ron Curtiss

File Under: Electronic, Kosmische
Listen Here

monolord

Monolord: Rust (Riding Easy) LP
Monolord encompasses and transcends genre — a vortex of heavy rock density that consumes all others. Their thunderous, tuneful heft has built a rabid international fanbase since their 2014 debut. But Rust, the band’s third full length, truly justifies why some refer to them as the Nirvana of doom. The band’s enveloping, syrupy sludge is a vibe, a state of mind. Not riffs for riffs’ sake, but a collective buzzing, rattling and rumbling that’s more total environment than collection of songs. Guitarist / vocalist Thomas Jäger, drummer Esben Willems, and bassist Mika Häkki create a massive, dynamic sound with ultra-low frequencies serving as a fourth member. Album opener “Where Death Meets the Sea” perfectly exemplifies their mastery of dynamics and hooks: a driving, infectious buzzsaw riff that lesser bands would ride off into the sunset, but they use to subtly spur the skull rattling core ever onward. This tight rhythmic unit sounds like an early ZZ Top record played at half speed. “Dear Lucifer” squeals and hums with slow deliberation as Willems summons Dale Crover with chasm-like low-tuned toms and syncopated cymbal crashes. The album’s title track is also its centerpiece, opening with a dramatic, shimmering Hammond organ intro followed by the band kicking in with a bellowing line downtuned to B that nosedives as the drums hammer down for the kill.

File Under: Metal
Listen Here

ngozi

Ngozi Family: Heavy Connection (Shadoks) LP
The Ngozi Family formed in 1975 in Lusaka, Zambia, and shot to stardom. Bandleader Paul Dobson Nyirongo aka Paul Ngozi enlisted former members of his previous band, The Three Years, and gave a popular voice to what later was called “Zamrock,” a cool fusion of older African rhythms and ’70s rockish underground modes — never too polished, but with a tightness that would have made groups up in London take notice. Heavy Connection, recorded in 1978 with drummer Chrissy Zebby Tembo, features razor-sharp guitars, hard rhythms, and a mix of English and Zambian lyrics. Original copies are impossible to find. RIYL: Witch and Amanaz. Fuzz guitars all over with African beats and political lyrics. 180-gram black vinyl. Heavy sleeve. Includes two-page insert. Numbered edition of 500.

File Under: Psych, Zambia, Fuzz
Listen Here

ninos

Ninos Du Brasil: Vida Eterna (Hospital) LP
Nico Vascellari and Nicolò Fortuni come out to play in the dark on their third and deadliest LP as Ninos Du Brasil, taking their fascinations with ritual musics — from Brazilian Afro-Latin tribal rhythms to library music and freezing Scandinavian BM — deep into the festering undergrowth of their shared, exotic aesthetic. Where the cover of their first album for Hospital Productions, Novos Mistérios, depicted a naked man covered by a leopard pelt, Marvin Gaye Chetwynd’s oil painting of a screeching Chiroptera in flight on the Vida Eterna jacket makes a strong visual allegory for NDB’s finer tuned spatial sensitivities inside, with their churning rhythms now embedded in fathoms of dread space and father shaded in layers of processed vocal chants, both punk, metal, and tribalistic. The big highlight is no doubt the closing cut, “Vagalumes Piralampos”, where Arto Lindsay, the legendary founder of DNA, chimes in on a stygian, moonlit jag between the eyes of bossa nova, batacuda, and the sort of esoteric electronics also charted by Rainforest Spiritual Enslavement or Cienfuegos. But it only really makes sense after you’ve expended your energies along with the band thru monstrous techno shakedowns such as “O Veto Chama Seu Nome”, the soca-like rush of “Condenado Por Un Idioma Desconhecido”, or found yourself lost, without coordinates, in the pitch black breakdown of “No Meio Da Noite” and have been hypnotized by the stalking rhythms and atmospheres of “Em Que O Rio Do Mar Se Toma”. The creation of this album, inspired by vampirism, was born from a collaboration between Vascellari and Fortuni with producer Rocco Rampino, whose love of dense textures and low-end bombast masterfully and cleverly couples with the bands explosive percussive charge, resulting in eight tracks that mimic sharp blades scything through a nocturnal jungle. RIYL: Psychedelic Warriors Of Gaia, Female, Vatican Shadow. Cut at Dubplates & Mastering, Berlin. Comes in a gatefold jacket.

File Under: Electronic, Batucada, Latin, Industrial
Listen Here

odwyer

Aine O’Dwyer: Gallarais (Mie) LP
David Toop, on hearing Áine O’Dwyer’s Gallarais and the subsequent conversations between November 2016 and January 2017. “Sleep music, the underworld. Twenty-six letters were sent, not far to travel, from Proust, hypersensitive writer to his upstairs neighbour, Marie Williams — ‘I was rather troubled by noise . . . I was trying to sleep off an attack. But at 8am the tapping on the parquet was so distinct that the Veronal didn’t work and I woke with the attack still raging.’ Marie Williams played harp, though it was not the harp that dragged Proust from the fumes of a bedroom armed against asthma attacks, cork-lined to smother noise.. . . Proust spoke of an imperceptible breath, ‘like the wind breathing into the stem of a reed’, mingling with the subdued song of his dying grandmother’s breathing, ‘swift and light . . . gliding like a skater towards the delicious fluid’, the human sighs released at the approach of death . . . ‘Who’s there?’ cries out the old man, stark terror pulled awake at the faintest of noises from pitch black vicinity of an unseen doorway. . . . There is one voice or two, whispers of shaping breath thrown into far obscure and occult recesses of the space as if spirits on the wing whose feathers shriek and keen. They are swans with near-human heads, carrying the lightness of souls, moving between dry land of the living, subterranean rivers of the dead. Sleep music they make, its murmurs written by the method of ‘passive writing’, a transcribing of tongues unknown to all but the most open of listeners. . . . The space was a cave, a tunnel, a room without windows. A skull without eyes, ears, nostrils, mouth, though as Beckett had noticed, the soul turns in this cage as in a lantern, silence ‘beating against the walls and being beaten back by them’; the space was a chapel, upturned boat, perhaps the curragh that carried Maildun and his crew to the Isle of Weeping, the Isle of Speaking Birds, the Palace of Solitude. . . . ‘Within a house described by Mary Butts, in Ashe of Rings (1998), the bronze note of a clock rings, ‘like a body falling bound into deep water’. . . . The body descended into the tunnel, never to return as itself.”

File Under: Electronic, Drone

rainforest

Rainforest Spiritual Enslavement: Jungle Black Magic… (Hospital) LP
Released on vinyl for the time, Jungle Black Magic And Highlands Green Sorcery is the most substantial and disorientating release in the Rainforest Spiritual Enslavement vinyl series yet, clocking in at 40 minutes and deploying some of the most uncomfortably humid productions in Dominick Fernow’s arsenal. Jungle Black Magic marks the third in a series of first-time vinyl editions of early RSE material. It was originally released as a double cassette release in 2012 in an edition of 49. Stalking phantom apparitions and infrasonic illusions from the dankest sectors of his imagination, Fernow plays voodoo tricks on charred opener “The Case Of The Male Witch From Goroka” — a tropical downer underpinned by larger than life sub-bass rumblings and what sound like field recordings of YouTube rainforest nightscapes rendered in abstract, digital form. “The Verdict Handed Down By A Kangaroo Court” furthers trance induction with a more tribal alignment of drums, before “For The Next Three Days There Was An Eerie Silence In The Village” ends the set with a completely bewildering alignment of synthetic sounds designed to play tricks on your senses; somewhere between a dark meditation aid and a reworked soundtrack to Predator (1987) — the vibe exceptionally heatsick and paranoid. These pieces operate in paradoxical dimensions where the calls of exotic birds convey a denseness that’s at odds with acres of negative space. It feels like standing in a deforested land at the edge of thick jungle, the effect is uncannily transportive; your mind constantly grappling with contrasting sensory triggers. How can something this ice cold also convey such suffocating heat? It makes for an incredible, pretty much unique listening experience; like fourth world ambience but in some kind of Lynchian above-the-convenience store dimension. Remastered by Paul Corley; Cut at Dubplates & Mastering. RIYL: Coil, Demdike Stare, Prurient, Brian Eno & Jon Hassell’s 1980 album Fourth World. Edition of 500.

File Under: Ambient, Electronic
Listen Here

rock town

Rock Town Express: Funky Makossa (Comb & Razor) LP
“In 1973, EMI Records Nigeria released the 45 rpm disc ‘Fuel for Love’ b/w ‘Soundway,’ credited to a mysterious band called Wrinkar Experience. The record was a finely-crafted gem of pop-rock and funky soul as had never before been heard coming out of the country’s nascent rock scene, and it ended up being the biggest selling Nigerian single up until that point. The success of Wrinkar Experience effectively demonstrated that was a market for homegrown pop and rock, and sent record labels scrambling to sign similar bands, kicking off the Nigerian rock revolution that is still being celebrated and discovered by new generations today. But while Wrinkar Experience launched the movement, the group itself would be short-lived: after another hit single in 1973, the band’s frontman Danie Ian split for a solo career. The remaining principal players in the group — Cameroonian musicians Ginger Forcha and Edjo’o Jacques Racine — tried to keep the Wrinkar name going before giving it up and rebranding themselves as Rock Town Express. Rock Town Express’s debut LP Funky Makossa was recorded in 1974 for ARC Records, the cutting-edge studio and label established in Lagos by English drum legend Ginger Baker. The album showcased in long format the qualities that had only been hinted at on the Wrinkar Experience singles: bright, confident pop melodies, articulate lyrics, and darkly potent funk-rock. Comb & Razor Sound is proud to present a new, fully-authorized reissue of Funky Makossa, featuring the seven tracks from the original release, plus ‘I Am A Natural Man’ and ‘I Don’t Want To Know,’ from Wrinkar Experience’s seldom-heard third and final single.”

File Under: Afro Beat, Psych, Funk, Rock
Listen Here

sanders

Pharoah Sanders: Quintet (ESP) LP
ESP-Disk present a reissue of Pharoah Sanders Quintet, originally released in 1965. Recorded on September 10, 1964, prior to his well-known association with John Coltrane, this eponymous album (later renamed Pharoah’s First) is the debut release of the iconic tenor saxophonist, Pharoah Sanders. (Yes, there are some spelling oddities here: the artist — birth name Ferrell — only later changed the spelling from the standard Pharaoh to the more personalized Pharoah). With one foot in mainstream jazz — pianist Jane Getz had played with Charles Mingus — and the other, tentatively at times, in the avant-garde, this is a fascinating glimpse of Sanders’s style before he wielded the unremitting fierceness of his playing with Coltrane and the modal mysticism of his later solo albums on Impulse. Interestingly, in recent years he has deployed a more polished version of this sort of avant-flavored bop, bringing his career full circle and strongly suggesting that the hybrid heard here was not due to any failure of nerve on his debut but rather was the cornerstone of his conception. ESP-Disk has issued this album under three different covers; for its 21st-century reissue on vinyl, they have chosen to use the second and most beautiful. It is augmented with liner notes by a current ESP-Disk artist, tenor saxophonist Ras Moshe Burnett of The Red Microphone, who can be heard accompanying Amina Baraka on their eponymous release (ESPDISK 5021CD, 2017). Personnel: Pharoah Sanders – tenor saxophone; Stan Foster – trumpet; Jane Getz – piano; William Bennett – bass; Marvin Pattillo – percussion.

File Under: Jazz
Listen Here

shabason

Joseph Shabason: Aytche (Western Vinyl) LP
When John Coltrane died in 1967 the jazz idiom rapidly shed what purists had distilled it to be, falling from the treetop of the early 20th century and striking every cultural branch of the latter half on its way down. The genre morphed through erratic age-of-Aquarius spiritualism in the 60’s, rubbed commercial shoulders with rock, funk, and disco in the 70’s, took a backseat to pop artists’ studio-sessions in the 80’s, and finally found something of a dignified retirement as a sampling source for countless hip-hop producers in the 90’s. Amidst this apparent life-boating, the dust of the exploded genre settled in some intriguing rifts wherein jazz embraced experimentalism without trading it for integrity. Pat Metheny recorded Steve Reich’s “Electric Counterpoint”, and John Hassell partnered with Terry Riley and Brian Eno to push the textural and compositional confines of the genre to an altogether different realm.  In 2017, with so-called Nu-Jazz in full view, saxophonist Joseph Shabason is solely pulling the thread left hanging by the marriage of minimalism and jazz in the previous century. His debut LP, Aytche, reveals this cross-pollination to be as fertile and captivating as ever, fitting as well– or better– into this decade as any other. Shabason builds a bridge off of the precipice his forbears established, skirting jazz, ambient, and even new age with the same deliberate genre-ambiguity that made their work so interesting. Aytche, however, is not a stoic march toward technological frontiers, but a document of exploration both inward and outward. Every step taken in sound-design mirrors a stride in emotionality, as Shabason employs a variety of effect pedals to coax rich moody textures from his instrument. He explains, “So much sax music is about chops, and being able to solo really fast. I feel like robbing the sax of the ability to shred by effecting it and turning it into a dense chordal instrument really helps the instrument become something that it’s not usually known for.” Aytche deals with themes of degenerative illness and assisted suicide with eloquence that instrumental music rarely achieves regarding any subject, much less such difficult ones. Shabason’s compositions are steeped in a deteriorative quality that seems to melt and glide between peace and confusion, tragedy and resolve, like calm memories and end-of-life fears interrupting each other moment by moment. Opening track “Looking Forward to Something, Dude” introduces the recurrent motif of the album; a warm, downward shifting chorus of effected horns that is at once healing and heartrending, creating a unnameable mood all its own. Flits of dissonant woodwinds punctuate the stillness like the impulse of anxiety arising in deep thought, giving us a reason to catch our breath in a moment of complacency. The title track and its successor “Neil McCauley” urge the procession forward with understated relentlessness before the album’s opening horn motif re-emerges under a layer of serrated distortion on the aptly named “Smokestack.” Further into the experience is “Westmeath” a piece that approaches Aytche’s subject of inspiration head-on. Here, the album’s only verbalization appears in the form of an interview with a man discussing his father’s trauma and eventual suicide after surviving the holocaust. Though we only hear a few obscured words and phrases from the interview, the impact is powerful. For Shabason, whose grandparents survived the holocaust themselves, this selection is anything but frivolous. Shabason intended for this album to be heard with Eno’s “as ignorable as it is interesting” philosophy, but the mood here is far too singular to exist as background. As with so much of the best contemplative music, there is therapy in Aytche, but the flies in the ointment make the moments of peace all the more descriptive and potent by contrast. RIYL: Colin Stetson, Jon Hassell, Arve Henriksen, etc. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

File Under: Electronic, Jazz, Ambient
Listen Here

siriusmo

Siriusmo: Comic (Monkeytown) LP
Pow, Boom, Splash! You will instantly recognize the rich brush strokes of this musical painter. Monkeytown linchpin Moritz Friedrich, aka Siriusmo, is back with a bang and a pencil. Following up 2013’s Enthusiast, his third full-length recording Comic sounds like its title suggests: colorful, rampant, funny, and hilariously foolish. Siriusmo maintains his very own sound and spot within electronic music, drawing from numerous styles and mashing it all through his personal beat-grinder, constantly understating and exaggerating. He’s the innovator that has no such intentions at all. Here’s what the master himself has to say about his new work: “Comic feels like dilettante kids drawings roughly sketched with a big marker, like abstract layouts as well as finely carved romantic paintings. 14 songs ripped from the pages of a coloring book to be vividly colored by you!” But don’t worry, those pages will fill themselves with life as soon as the mellow and trippy patterns of the opening track set in. There are big and broken beats in “Wrong Password”, extremely easygoing rave tunes like “Dagoberta”, lots of genuine oddities like “Wixn”, and the piano work on “Geilomant” even makes you think of some classic hip-hop track. Comparisons are futile, except for one: From the melodic vintage electro of “Dagoberta” to the sonic assault and whirlwind drum programming of “Bleat”, there’s a strong link to older Squarepusher records. Just replace the former’s jazz and jungle roots with Berlin’s musical history, and you get an idea of what Siriusmo is made of. Siriusmo may be the laziest genius around, though he’s been all but unproductive since Enthusiast: In 2015 he joined forces with Modeselektor and toured Europe under the banner of Siriusmodeselektor, playing festivals from Glastonbury to Sonar. The same year he produced the debut album of Romano, Köpenick’s one-of-a-kind rap phenomenon and close friend of Moritz. He remixed Moderat, collaborated with synth pioneer Jean-Michel Jarre, and contributed to Mr. Oizo’s latest album, who’s also appearing on Comic. So does Romano on standout track “La Bouche”, delivering some tasty German phrases. Having been occupied recently with Roman’s second album, his fans are very lucky that Moritz found the time to pin down a new Siriusmo album as well. He may not be a man of many words, but possesses a bold and singular musical vision. Also features Dana And Romano and Jan Driver.

File Under: Electronic, Synth Pop
Listen Here

puppy

Skinny Puppy: Bites (Nettwerk) LP
Skinny Puppy exploded onto the electronic industrial music scene with 1984’s Remission EP, fusing elements of new wave, techno dance, film noir, and innovative sampling. Lead by cEvin Key and Nivek Ogre, the band quickly garnered an international fanbase and followed up their new success with 1985’s Bites, which produced their first underground hit, “Assimilate.” Restored to their original track listing and design, Remission and Bites are now available on vinyl for the first time in over 25 years.

File Under: Electronic, EBM
Listen Here

skinny

Skinny Puppy: Remission (Nettwerk) LP
Skinny Puppy exploded onto the electronic industrial music scene with 1984’s Remission EP, fusing elements of new wave, techno dance, film noir, and innovative sampling. Lead by cEvin Key and Nivek Ogre, the band quickly garnered an international fanbase and followed up their new success with 1985’s Bites, which produced their first underground hit, “Assimilate.” Restored to their original track listing and design, Remission and Bites are now available on vinyl for the first time in over 25 years.

File Under: Electronic, EBM
Listen Here

vincent

St. Vincent: Masseducation (Loma Vista) LP
In Tomorrow… Themes of power and sex, imperiled relationships and death slice through St. Vincent aka Annie Clark’s highly anticipated new album Masseduction, the enigmatic artist’s first since her Grammy-nominated self-titled 2014 effort. The 13 tracks swirl with guitar and piano, synths and strings, and drum beats that punch with purpose. The album was co-produced by St. Vincent and Jack Antonoff at Electric Lady Studios in Manhattan, with additional recording at Rough Consumer Studio in Brooklyn, and Compound Fracture in Los Angeles. “Every record I make has an archetype,” says Clark. “Strange Mercy was Housewives on Pills. St. Vincent was Near-Future Cult Leader. Masseduction is different, it’s pretty first person. You can’t fact-check it, but if you want to know about my life, listen to this record.” Masseducation is the culmination of years of writing, with songs crafted from voice memos, text messages, and snippets of melodies that came to Clark while traveling the globe. Special guests on the album include Thomas Bartlett on piano, Kamasi Washington on saxophone, Jenny Lewis on vocals, and beat production from Sounwave. Greg Leisz and Rich Hinman add pedal steel, and Tuck and Patti Andress contribute guitar and vocals respectively on select tracks.

File Under: Indie Rock
Listen Here

stalteri

Arturo Stalteri: …E Il Pavone Parlo alla Luna (Soave) LP
Recorded in 1980 but only issued privately in 1987, Arturo Stàlteri’s …e il pavone parlò alla Luna falls among the last artifacts of Italy’s great wave of musical minimalism. Like the movement to which it belongs, rigorously resistant to categorizations and definition, this overlooked marvel sculpts a startling singularity. A radical and democratic vision in sound, blending elements of new age, the avant-garde, and prog with Western and Indian classical musics. Highly talented pianist Arturo Stàlteri debuted in 1974 with Pierrot Lunaire, one of the most original and innovative groups of the Italian progressive scene. After the dissolution of the band he began an inspirational solo career with the prog opus Andrè Sulla Luna (1979); the following year a two-month trip to India left an important impression on him and inspired …e il pavone parlò alla Luna, which stands as Stàlteri’s true masterwork. A complex and ambitious hybrid, built around organ and piano, with each passage struggling for creative autonomy and dislodging themselves from the whole, yet remaining as accessible as they are challenging, to all those willing to heed the call. Despite its repetitive rhythms and cyclical tones, bound to American minimalism, …e il pavone parlò alla Luna’s complex relationships and breadth of territory locate it as a distinctly European work, a wondrous late breath, and a seminal entry in Italy’s remarkable canon of avant-garde and minimalist music. A rippling oddity, not quite like anything else, reissued here on vinyl for the first time.

File Under: Electronic, Art Rock, Avant Garde
Listen Here

sunra1

Sun Ra & His Myth Science Solar Arkestra: Lost Arkestra Series Vol 1 & 2 (Art Yard) 2×10″
A double 10″ set featuring Sun Ra recordings. Initially released on two separate 10″s back in 2010/13. Volume 1 features “Along Came Ra”, a previously unissued live track recorded in Paris in 1983. The legendary Disco 3000 concert tapes are on the flip. Volume 2 lifts three fine selections from the Sub-Underground Saturn LPs. “Love Is For Always” and the driving, roots-y “The World Of Africa” come from 1974’s Temple U; while the myth-science poetics of “Space Is The Place/We Roam The Cosmos” comes from the 1975 What’s New set.

File Under: Jazz

space jazz

Sun Ra & His Arkestra: Space Jazz (Not Now) 3LP
3LP, pink vinyl in gatefold sleeve! A solar flare of cosmic sounds heralded the rising star Sun Ra when the pianist, composer and band leader first shone over the musical landscape in the 1950s and 1960s. He caused quite a stir with innovative albums that introduced electronics, special effects and unusual arrangements into a jazz world that sometimes slid into comfortable conservatism, despite its radical roots. This comprehensive collection of the best recordings from the formative stages of his career, enables the listener to hear with fresh ears the legendary Mr. Ra’s unique contribution.

File Under: Jazz

sunra

Sun Ra & His Solar Arkestra: Magic City  (Cosmic Myth) LP
“This landmark album, now being reissued in a definitive stereo edition, marks the debut of the new Cosmic Myth Records label. Cosmic Myth plans to reissue Sun Ra’s Saturn Records catalog titles under official license from Sun Ra LLC, comprised of the heirs of Sun Ra. Sun Ra albums like The Magic City prove the categorical futility of ‘File Under: Jazz.’ When assessing the post-Chicago (1960-on) work of Ra, ‘jazz’ turns out to be less a genre than a journalistic and marketing convenience. Jazz has a glorious tradition. Sun Ra was schooled in it, emerged from it, and grew to transcend it (though he never abandoned it). Even the cheeky term ‘Space Jazz’ cannot frame the extremes to which Ra pushed his art in the mid-1960s. In this regard, The Magic City was a pinnacle. 1965 was a turbulent year for the Arkestra and its leader, and many consider The Magic City a flashpoint for that upheaval. Arkestra drummer Tommy Hunter, quoted in John Szwed’s 1997 Ra bio Space is the Place, describes a typical performance of the period: ‘It was like a fire storm coming off the bandstand.’ On the original 1965 The Magic City LP, issued on Saturn, the monster 27-1/2 minute title track sprawled across side A. The ‘Magic City’ to which Ra refers was his birthplace — Birmingham, Alabama. The term was the town’s motto, emblazoned on a billboard by the train station near Sunny’s childhood home, intended to reflect the city’s explosive growth as a Southern industrial epicenter after the discovery of iron ore, coal, and limestone deposits. Birmingham was a place about which Sun Ra felt and expressed ambivalence: an outpost of racial segregation and grim smokestack-pocked landscapes, yet a city for which he felt twinges of nostalgia and affection. (His heirs still live in the area.) Ra customarily supervised the Arkestra’s improvisational process via keyboard cues or hand signals. He was always in charge — hence critic Simon Adams describing the title track as ’27 minutes of controlled freedom.’ ‘The Magic City’ was never performed in concert; saxophonist John Gilmore said it was ‘unreproducible, a tapestry of sound.’ Although shorter in scope than side A’s magnum opus, the four works on The Magic City’s flip side reflect the same improvisational approach, spatiality, and lack of structure. One session outtake, ‘Other Worlds,’ an alternate version of ‘Shadow World,’ is included as a bonus track on side B. For this definitive edition, historical and technical liner notes are provided by noted jazz historian Ben Young, who restored and remastered the album with his Triple Point Records partner Joe Lizzi. Both men have been recognized for their extensive work on the Grammy Nominated Albert Ayler boxset, released on John Fahey’s Revenant records in 2005.”

File Under: Jazz

hip

Tragically Hip: In Between Evolution (Universal) LP
In tomorrow… Another of the long over due Tragically Hip vinyl reissues!

File Under: Rock
Listen Here

venosta

Giovanni Venosta: Olympic Signals (Soave) LP
Giovanni Venosta’s 1984 debut album, released when the artist was only 23, is a committed, subversive parody of minimalism, and a truly original work. This is its first reissue. Recorded in Venosta’s living room with a four-track Tascam, this album reveals the young pianist’s profound need for expression, born out of his relationship with the sound of Terry Riley, Michael Nyman, Brian Eno, Steve Reich, Penguin Café Orchestra, and Dollar Brand. The contribution of Roberto Musci results in more esoteric and mystical side of the record and marks the beginning of a long and fruitful collaboration in which the arrangements of Venosta blend perfectly with the electronics and sound treatments by Musci. Forty-seven minutes of inspired Italian minimalism.

File Under: Electronic, Experimental
Listen Here

winter

Teresa Winter: Untitled Death (Death of Rave) LP
Teresa Winter’s LP debut Untitled Death is a hallucinogenic wormhole of sensuously ambiguous pop and electronic experiments primed for the after-after party and altered states of reception. Realized through a mesh of strategies from live, lo-fi tape recordings of synths, samplers, and vocals to nascent experiments with algorithmic software, Untitled Death is both a divine revelation of new aspects to Teresa’s sound and an expansion of The Death of Rave’s as-yet-unidentified aesthetic. Teresa’s zoomed photos of magic mushrooms spattered in popping fluorescent oils which adorn the cover of Untitled Death hint at a more personalized insight and psycho-activity, a proper, lush trippiness. Just like the putative psilocybic experience, Untitled Death naturally comes on in waves of synaestically-heightened sensuality, from strangely libidinous stirrings to utter, eat-your-heart-out euphoria with a spectrum of hard-to-explain and unexpected sensations between. It’s hard to recall a more seductive album opener than “Oh”, which blossoms from plaintive drum machine and chiming pads to a half- or mis-heard beckon “I really like it/ when you let yourself go/ I really want you inside me/ I want to make you my own”, before curdling into bittersweet partials and deliquescent hooks as ear-worming as anything from AFX’s classic Selected Ambient Works 85-92 (1992). It’s devastating in its simplicity and almost blush-worthy in effect, and is soon enough lopped curtly into the soundtrack-like enchantment of “Untitled Death”, which could almost be a cue from some ’60 Polish or Czech art-house film, serving to neatly set up the prickling, windswept scene of romantic introspection and dereliction in “Pain Of Outside” — perhaps Teresa’s most accomplished and affective pop turn to date; think Grouper awkwardly blissing out at 9am in the corner of a successful sesh/campsite/free party. From that perfectly damaged side closer, the B side opens to a different sort of spine-freezing beauty and sense of abandonment with plangent, dissonant harmonics describing rugged Yorkshire wolds and coast as much as a radiant lightshow on the back of flickering eyelids. RIYL: Grouper, F Ingers, Leyland Kirby, early AFX, Delia Derbyshire. Master and cut by Matt Colton.

File Under: Electronic, Ambient
Listen Here

gamelan

Various: Gamelan of the Walking Warriors (Akuphone) LP
Includes printed inner sleeve; Includes download card with complete ceremony, extra photographs, and liner note translations (French, Italian, Japanese). A fascinating immersion in the heart of a funeral ceremony live recorded in Bali, where gongs, cymbals, and drums give rhythm to the bewitching atmosphere of this mortuary procession. The international audience’s interest into Balinese music and its gamelan orchestras dates back to the edition of large ethnographic series in the 1950s, ’60s, and ’70s which largely encouraged the discovery of this music beyond Indonesia’s borders. Taking advantage of a more advanced technology, compared to the vinyl golden era, the present field recordings produced in 2011 render, at the closest, the power of gamelans. Gamelan is presented here in two forms. The first one (tracks 1 to 4) offers a display of Beleganjur music out of the ritual context, which can be differentiated by a more melodic form and a more dramatic and hypnotic aspect in the compositions. The second one (tracks 5 to 9) presents the Beleganjur style in the ceremonial context of the Ngaben funerary rite in the village of Peliatan. The utmost vitality of these orchestras springs out throughout the different stages of these funerals, and the sound environment surrounding the musicians immerse the listener in the very heart of the procession following the corpse. With The Gamelan Of The Walking Warriors, Akuphone carries on its exploration of ritual and ceremonial music with those materials of rare intensity. These recordings were collected by Vincenzo Della Ratta, PhD in Ethnomusicology from the Sapienza University (Rome). As a specialist of the gongs music from the Austronesian cultures of Southeast Asia, Della Ratta is the author of numerous articles on the subject. His field researches have already been edited as a vinyl entitled Kwangkay: Funerary Music Of The Dayak Benuaq Of Borneo (SF 106LP, 2016). Tracks 1 to 4 were recorded in the village of Wanagiri, in the district (“kecamatan”) of Sukasada, of the regency of Buleleng. Tracks 5 to 9 were recorded in the village of Peliang, in the district of Ubud, of the regency of Gianyar.

File Under: Gamelan, World, Bali

lostlibrary-etched-render

Various: Lost Library (Fire) LP
Jane Weaver provides vocals for Virginias Wings take on Suzanne Menzel lost pop classic “It Starts Again”, Noveller tackle John Carpenters “The Thing” and Death and Vanilla re-imagine Bert Janschs “Moonshine” on this first edition of the new “Lost Li-brary” series from Fire Records, conceived by the labels James Nicholls and designer Luke Drozd. Featuring 3 new tracks from 4 of Fire Records acclaimed female fronted roster, Jane Weaver, Virginia Wing, Death and Vanilla and Noveller this limited edition one-sided 12”, on transparent vinyl, with symbolic etching, is expected to sell out fast. Artwork and vinyl etching provided by Luke Drozd.

File Under: Electronic, Synth Pop, Ambient

trax

Various: Trax Test (Ecstatic) LP
Trax Test is the first ever survey of Italy’s pioneering, visionary, and influential label and mail art collective Trax, which ran from 1981-1987 as a network for the creation of collaborative projects. The collective included a pre-NWW Colin Potter and some of the earliest work from Masami Akita, aka Merzbow, but also had deep connections with the art world; a few Trax members went on to become famous designers and artists — Ettore Sottsass of hugely influential Memphis Group even guests on vocals on the last track of the compilation. The whole selection here is rare as heck and sorely in-demand by collectors, much of it now making its vinyl premiere some 30-odd years after the fact. With credit due to compilers Vittore Baroni of Trax and Ecstatic’s avowed wave fiend, Alessio Natalizia (Not Waving) — who was also behind the Mutazione (Italian Electronic & New Wave Underground 1980-1988) compilation (2013) — Trax Test is a portal to the international scene which laid the grassroots for a proliferation of electronic music over the proceeding decades — a pioneering part of the infrastructure for independent music distribution which could be said to pre-echo the myriad social networks and platforms today. As Frans De Waard astutely points out in the 16-page booklet, there were no “templates” for this thing back then, meaning artists did everything DIY: from cutting, pasting, and Xeroxing their artwork to experimenting with recording techniques and disseminating their work; all resulting in a wonderfully daring and freeform mosaic of ideas which valued the virtues of ostensibly “unfinished” or open-ended work. Traces of disco, cosmic krautrock, jazz, electro-pop, and industrial noise are all tessellated across the compilation’s 25 tracks, with a number of artists and the same equipment — cheap drum machines, synths, FX and tape — cropping up in various, mutant formations. This set is right up there with the best compilations from Vinyl On Demand, Light Sounds Dark, or Minimal Wave. Features: Cancer, M.A.Phillips, Nausea, Amok, Mecanique Vegetale, Daniele Ciullini, E-Coli, The Cop Killers, Peter Mayer, Rod Summers, Robin Crozier, Capitalist Pig, Biagio D’egidio, Piermario Ciani, Vittore Baroni, Nocturnal Emissions, De Rezke, Ado Scaini, Enrico Piva, Giancarlo Martina, B Sides, Colin Potter, Naif Orchestra, Merzbow (Vacation Of Merzbow Lowest Music & Arts), Monty Cantsin, Die Form, Utopia Production, Spirocheta Pergoli, Nostalgia, Ptose, Ddaa, Zone Verte, and I Nipoti Del Faraone. Mastered by Matt Colton at Alchemy.

File Under: Electronic, Industrial, Experimental
Listen Here

…..Restocks…..

And You Will Know Us By The Trail of Dead: Source Tags & Codes (Interscope) LP
Arcade Fire: Funeral (Merge) LP
Beyonce: Lemonade (Sony) LP
Black Flag: Damaged (SST) LP
Bon Iver: s/t (Jagjaguwar) LP
Charles Bradley: No Time for Dreaming (Daptone) LP
Brand New: Deja Entendu (Razor & Tie) LP
Miles Davis: Big Fun (Music on Vinyl) LP
Miles Davis: On The Corner (Music on Vinyl) LP
Miles Davis: Round About Midnight (Legacy) LP
DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince: His the DJ (Sony) LP
Lee Fields: Emma Jean (Truth & Soul) LP
Lee Fields: Problems (Truth & Soul) LP
Fleetwood Mac: Rumors (Rhino) LP
Richard Horowitz: Eros in Arabia (Freedom to Spend) LP
Zola Jesus: Okovl (Sacred Bones) LP
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard: Nonagon Infinity (ATO) LP
Laraaji: Ambient 3 (Glitterbeat) LP
Mazzy Star: So Tonight That I Might See (Plain) LP
Minutemen: Double Nickels on the Dime (SST) LP
Thelonious Monk: Misterio (Columbia) LP
OST: Baby Driver (Lakeshore) LP
OST: Drive (Lakeshore) CS
Outkast: ATLiens (Arista) LP
Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith: The Kid (Western Vinyl) LP
Midori Takada/Satoh: Lunar Cruise (WRWTFWW) LP
A Tribe Called Red: We Are the Hallui Nation (Pirates Blend) LP
Weather Station: s/t (Outside) LP
Wu Tang: Iron Flag (Sony) LP
Various: Wayfaring Strangers: Acid Nightmares (Numero) LP/CD

Tagged , , , , , ,

That’s a wrap!

Wow! What a bonkers day! When the snow started to fall this morning as we opened the floodgates, I didn’t expect today to be the best RSD yet, but IT WAS! Thanks to everyone who came out and hung out in the shop today. Great chill vibes all day! And now for the important part… our prizes! And keep an eye out and hold on to your tickets, if no one claims the prizes by end of day (6pm) MONDAY APRIL 24th we will redrawn!

The Descendents tickets…

desc

The coffee bundles from Elm Cafe…

cof1

cof2

The skateboards from Local 124…

skate1.jpgskate2.jpg

And the Grand prize! The Rega turntable…

Congrats to all the winners. Please bring your winning ticket down to the shop to claim your prize! You have until 6pm Monday April 24th to claim get in touch, otherwise we’ll be redrawning! Thanks again for coming out today!

…..news letter #783 – reconciling…..

Not a HUGE list this week, but after the last few, I think we could all use some time to catch up. Lots of big releases coming up too, like Spoon, Depeche Mode, etc. Thundercat MIGHT be late. It’s not here yet but could show up tomorrow, but it didn’t sound promising…. anyway, back to my paperwork.

…..pick of the week…..

king-gizz
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard: Flying Microtonal Banana (ATO) LP
You may have missed this rockin’ slab a couple of weeks ago, and there was too much great stuff that week, so we’re bringing it to your attention again cuz it’s awesome! Flying Microtonal Banana is King Gizzard’s first-ever experience in microtonal tuning, which features intervals smaller than a semitone and not found in customary Western tuning octaves. “Earlier this year we started experimenting with a custom microtonal guitar our friend Zak made for Stu,” further explains drummer Eric Moore. “The guitar was modified to play in 24-TET tuning and could only be played with other microtonal instruments. We ended up giving everyone a budget of $200 to buy instruments and turn them microtonal. The record features the modified electric guitars, basses, keyboards and harmonica as well as a turkish horn called a Zurna.” The Melbourne-based band plan to release five studio albums in 2017, an ambitious feat as each record will be its own unique sonic adventure.

File Under: Psych, Rock
Listen Here

…..new arrivals…..

ie

Budgie: Bandolier (Island) LP
Originally formed in Cardiff, Wales in 1967 by Burke Shelley (vocals, bass), Tony Bourge (guitar), and Raymond Phillips (drums), relatively obscure yet influential act Budgie was one of the earliest British heavy metal bands. Their weighty riffs and high-pitched vocals often draw comparisons to Black Sabbath and Rush and the group has released nearly a dozen studio albums and a handful of live recordings to date amidst numerous line-up changes. The founding line-up of Shelley, Bourge and Phillips would issue three of the band’s finest albums including eponymous debut Budgie (1971), sophomore follow-up Squawk (1972) and third effort Never Turn Your Back on a Friend (1973) and is universally hailed as Budgie’s definitive incarnation. Issued in 1975, Bandolier is the band’s classic fifth full-length and last album for MCA Records. It showcases Budgie at the height of their recording and songwriting acumen pursuing a much more accessible straight ahead rock sound. It was also notable for being their first of many releases with third drummer Steve Williams whose work Bourge said “complimented the type of stuff that Budgie did. It did make the band sound a bit more tasteful.”

File Under: Hard Rock
Listen Here

budgie

Budgie: In For The Kill (Island) LP
Originally formed in Cardiff, Wales in 1967 by Burke Shelley (vocals, bass), Tony Bourge (guitar), and Raymond Phillips (drums), relatively obscure yet influential act Budgie was one of the earliest British heavy metal bands. Their weighty riffs and high-pitched vocals often draw comparisons to Black Sabbath and Rush and the group has released nearly a dozen studio albums and a handful of live recordings to date amidst numerous line-up changes. The founding line-up of Shelley, Bourge and Phillips would issue three of the band’s finest albums including eponymous debut Budgie (1971), sophomore follow-up Squawk (1972) and third effort Never Turn Your Back on a Friend (1973) and is universally hailed as Budgie’s definitive incarnation.  1974’s In For The Kill is the fourth Budgie full-length and first sans the original power trio with Ray Phillips’ drum duties being taken over by Pete Boot (his only studio release with the group). As heavy as any of the band’s early offerings, Bourge’s guitar heroics dominate the proceedings with the title track featuring a contagious boogie in the vein of ZZ Top while the 9-minute plus fan favorite “Zoom Club” finds the group truly dropping the heavy metal hammer.

File Under: Hard Rock
Listen Here

budgie1

Budgie: Never Turn Your Back On A Friend (Island) LP
Originally formed in Cardiff, Wales in 1967 by Burke Shelley (vocals, bass), Tony Bourge (guitar), and Raymond Phillips (drums), relatively obscure yet influential act Budgie was one of the earliest British heavy metal bands. Their weighty riffs and high-pitched vocals often draw comparisons to Black Sabbath and Rush and the group has released nearly a dozen studio albums and a handful of live recordings to date amidst numerous line-up changes. The founding line-up of Shelley, Bourge and Phillips would issue three of the band’s finest albums including eponymous debut Budgie (1971), sophomore follow-up Squawk (1972) and third effort Never Turn Your Back on a Friend (1973) and is universally hailed as Budgie’s definitive incarnation. Never Turn Your Back On A Friend was the last release from the orinal trio as drummer Ray Phillips would depart the group in 1974 and it’s home to Budgie’s best-known song, the speed metal-esque “Breadfan” which was later covered famously by noted fans Metallica for their 1998 album Garage Inc.

 File Under: Hard Rock
Listen Here

buzz

Buzzcocks: Time’s Up (Domino) LP
Domino is proud to be reissuing Buzzcocks’ Time’s Up, the 1976 album of demos recorded with founder and singer Howard Devoto and originally released as a bootleg. “It’s the buzz, cock.” Devoto read this headline from a February 1976 Time Out review of Rock Follies – the 1970’s TV musical drama following the ups and downs of the fictional female rock group Little Ladies. Adapting and appropriating it for the new band that he and Pete Shelley had just formed (having just realized what a Sex Pistol was before anyone else), the Buzzcocks were officially born. Howard and Pete went about organizing the now infamous 1976 Lesser Free Trade Hall gigs that brought punk to the provinces and galvanized the Manchester music revolution. The plan was to simply play support to the Pistols and see what happened next. The rest, as they say, is history! Featuring the original line-up of Howard Devoto (vocals & songwriter), Pete Shelley (guitar & songwriter), Steve Diggle (bass guitar) and John Maher (drums), Time’s Up was recorded at Revolution Studios, Bramhall Lane Stockport on the 18th of October 1976. The session, recording Buzzcocks’ live set at the time, cost around $55 and was engineered by Andy MacPherson.

File Under: Punk
Listen Here

creation

The Creation: Action Painting (Numero) LP
The Creation were a dynamic band with an equally engaging image, they would burn brightly for less than two years, yet would leave an indelible mark upon music history. With producer du jour Shel Talmy at the helm (The Who, Kinks, Easybeats, Cat Stevens) The Creation went on an incredible two year tear of singles, including “Making Time,” “How Does It Feel To Feel,” “Tom Tom,” and “If I Stay Too Long.” By 1968 it was over. Eddie Phillips’ trademark guitar bowing would be nicked by Jimmy Page and Boney M would cheese-up “Painter Man.” Over the nearly five decades since, The Creation has seen a tremendous resurgence in interest. First it was the Jam flossing “Making Time” on the inner sleeve of All Mod Cons. A few years later Alan McGee formed the band Biff Bang Pow and his Creation record label. By the turn of the century a new generation had discovered the band via a strategic placement in Wes Anderson’s Rushmore. Presented here for the first time are twenty Creation studio recordings, remastered from the original tapes by Shel Talmy, and given fresh stereo mixes where previously unavailable. New essays by Dean Rudland and Alec Palao tell the band’s story and dive into their complete studio sessions. Scores of previously unpublished photographs adorn the accompanying booklet. Numero has rounded the whole package out with four tracks by pre-Creation freakbeat quartet the Mark Four, making Action Painting the definitive collection of this legendary UK band.

File Under: Garage, Psych
Listen Here

dude sincerely

Dude York: Sincerely (Hardly Art) LP
The Seattle-based trio Dude York – Peter Richards on guitar and vocals, Claire England on bass and vocals, and Andrew Hall on drums – is announcing itself with an album that couches its themes of anxiety and eroding mental health in rock tracks that amp up the sweetly melodic crunch of power pop with massive distortion and bashed-to-heck drums. Sincerely is a loud, sweaty rebuke to those moments in life when it seems like nothing is working, a testament to the power of friendship, staring problems directly in the face, and finding solace in art. Longtime Sleater-Kinney and Bikini Kill producer John Goodmanson and The Blood Brothers’ Cody Votolato helped Dude York craft a more straightforward draft of Sincerely, one based on the energy of their live show but without any superfluous flourishes. The band’s thoughtful approach to putting together Sincerely’s songs echoes the album’s overarching themes of almost-punishing inward focus. Bringing England’s straightforward drawl into the mix underscores that idea, and its contrast to Richards’ excited yelp heightens the tension on Sincerely, a chaotic, yet ultimately triumphant album that’s a vital tonic for these increasingly confused times.

File Under: Indie Rock
Listen Here

gnaw

Gnaw Their Tongues: Hymns for the Broken (Consouling Sounds) LP
The Dutch master of all things nightmare Gnaw Their Tongues returns with the release of his brand new offering Hymns For The Broken, Swollen and Silent. The new album shows Gnaw Their Tongues at the top of its game. The band started out as a studio project, but has recently started performing live, and it feels like this carefully found its way into the music. Don’t get us wrong: oppressive, bleak and claustrophobic remain the key words when describing the unique output of this drone/noise/black metal infused miscreant of Mories. The music grabs you by the throat and sucks all the air out of the room. Although it leaves little more than an anaerobe environment, the music itself feels likes it has been breathing and organically growing into this true beast of an album.

File Under: Drone, Noise, Black Metal
Listen Here

addy

Granddaddy: Last Place (30th Century) LP
In March 2017, Modesto, CA’s Grandaddy will release Last Place (on Brian “Danger Mouse” Burton’s 30th Century Records), the group’s long awaited first studio album since 2006’s Just Like the Fambly Cat. Produced by the band’s Jason Lytle, Last Place is wry, humane, poignant, fantastical, and very beautiful; a panoramic representation of everything that has always made Grandaddy so well-loved. After Grandaddy broke up in 2006, Lytle relocated to Montana, where he happily made two solo albums, and reconnected with the natural world around him. Eventually, though, life uprooted him again, taking him to Portland, OR until he eventually returned to his former home of Modesto. The return to California was practical (he needed to be near his bandmates) but also appropriate: he had started writing songs that he felt would be fitting for another Grandaddy album. He needed to let the ideas flow until he found the perfect chemistry for what is now Last Place, which he describes as: “just enough personal stuff and just enough escapism, just enough electronics and just enough acoustic elements. The full spectrum.” The result is a perfect addition to the band’s celebrated, critically-acclaimed catalogue, that includes their breakthrough sophomore album, Sophtware Slump, and their debut, Under the Western Freeway. It’s a symphonic swirl of lo-fi sonics and mile-high harmonies, found sounds and electronics-gone-awry mingling with perfect, power pop guitar tones. Lytle‘s voice sounds as warm and intimate as ever, giving graceful levity to the doomsday narratives that have dominated the Grandaddy output. When it came time to release the record, Grandaddy found an ally in artist, producer, and label owned Danger Mouse who notes, “Grandaddy’s music has had a big influence on me and the new album almost sounds like it could fit between Sophtware Slump and Sumday.”

File Under: Rock
Listen Here

ibibio

Ibibio Sound Machine: Uyai (Merge) LP
Ibibio Sound Machine is a clash of African and electronic elements inspired in equal measure by the golden era of West African funk, disco, modern post-punk, and electro. Since their self-titled debut in 2014, the band has forged a reputation as a high-energy live act. New album Uyai (pronounced ‘you eye’) means “beauty” in Ibibio language and refers to the strength and free spirit of women in general and in particular, the courage of the women in lead singer Eno Williams’ family, to whom she often refers in her writing…”The songs are based more around themes of empowerment, freedom, and the liberation of dance for women, and people in general.” The album opens with “Give Me a Reason,” a song about the 276 Chibok girls who were abducted in northern Nigeria in 2014 and remain missing to this day. Eno challenges, “Why should girls be denied the right to education, and why should people in general not be free to be who they want to be in their life?” “The Pot Is On Fire” is a food dance celebrating the “happy place” when the food will be ready soon. “It’s also metaphorical,” Eno writes. “Something is brewing which will soon bear fruit.” Folk stories, recounted to Eno by her family as a child in her mother’s Ibibio tongue, form the creative fabric from which the band’s unique musical tapestry is woven. Evocative poetic imagery and empowering messages set against an edgy, Afro-Electro soundscape give the band a unique space within the current wave of modern Afrocentric sounds sweeping across the globe.

File Under: Afro-Beat, Electronic, Funk
Listen Here

lambchop

Lambchop: Is A Woman (Merge) LP
Lambchop’s 2002 album Is a Woman is a very quiet album best heard loud. On a musical landscape of sophisticated, uncluttered melancholy, Kurt Wagner’s lyrics are given unprecedented space, allowing every guttural detail of every single word to be heard, revealing densely poetic texts as intimate as they were incisive, as comic as they were confessional. To discover the true spirit of Is a Woman, however, one need only listen to the remarkable “My Blue Wave,” one of the band’s finest recordings to date. Here, Wagner depicts a world of helpless tragedy in which comfort can nonetheless be found in the smallest of gestures, as he journeys from the contented sight of his pets – “You lay around the house…Just bones and squirrels inside your head” – to recollections of a devastating phone call from friend and bandmate William Tyler: “And William called and tried to tell me / That his sister’s boyfriend has just died / He’s not sure what to do / And I’m not sure what to tell him he should do / Sometimes William, we’re just screwed / In my blue wave.” 15 years later, Lambchop continue to confound and astound in equal measures, but this startlingly private song captures the magic of Is a Woman at its most distilled. With their sound consistently shifting and surprising, the band’s line-up has morphed and adapted repeatedly since then, but the lingering mood of lachrymose but compassionate elegance of “My Blue Wave” helps explain why this extraordinary, idiosyncratic record is now considered to be one of the band’s finest. As Wagner himself asks on “Bugs”: “Think of things and how they got this way / Way above the rest / Isn’t this the fucking best?”

File Under: Folk, Country, Rock
Listen Here

fiasco

Lupe Fiasco: Drogas Light (1st & 15th) LP
A decade after Lupe Fiasco exploded onto the hip-hop scene with his seminal 2006 debut Food & Liquor, the Chicago native is closing the chapter on his career with his most visualized projects yet. The independent rapper, who parted ways with his former label Atlantic Records following the release of 2015’s Tetsuo & Youth, hits his creative peak with a trilogy of albums – Drogas Light, Drogas and Skulls – the final curtain call on one of the most gifted lyricists and visionaries to grace the mic. If anything, Drogas Light, the first delivery to fans arriving in early 2017, is a testament to Fiasco’s artistic growth throughout the years. The 14-track LP is free of restraint, and daring by his standards: the sonic and storytelling palettes are vast and diverse, more so than ever before, traipsing genre and style with ease and touting songs to soundtrack everything from a night at the club to a quiet listen on headphones. Where Tetsuo & Youth leaned into more experimental pastures, Drogas Light is the embodiment of a musician whose foray beyond the boundaries of hip-hop feels increasingly natural, a glimpse into the genius that will be Fiasco’s legacy as he inevitably walks away from the spotlight. From the start of Drogas Light, Fiasco lays his rhyming skills bare, attacking a haunted beat accented by a screwed vocal sample on opener “Dopamine” that self-reflectively emphasizes the magnetism of the album (“Over-d off of this, but don’t fall asleep ‘til the dopamine hit!” he chants). The set is dotted with several trap-inflected songs – “NGL” featuring Ty Dolla $ign is a turn-up anthem that entertains the reasons why success comes slow to many, while the Streetrunner-produced lead single “Made in the USA” catalogues the various home-grown, illicit products manufactured in the country. Fiasco has often been pegged as a socially conscious emcee, likened to peers including Common and Nas, and he lives up to the reputation on “City of the Year,” where he explores the economic disparity of Chi-town. He flexes his storytelling muscle on the hypnotic, spinning “Jump,” on which he unfolds the tale of going from a “trapper to a rapper” by supplying a female adversary with a career boost. But it’s when the album hits the relax button that Drogas Light coasts on cushy grooves: “Kill,” also featuring Ty Dolla $ign, is an after-hours ode to women who work at gentleman’s clubs, and the vamping closer “More Than My Heart” is an emotionally charged hat-tip to all the mothers who would sacrifice anything for their children. While Drogas Light is just a taste of what he has to offer in the new year, it’s yet another earmark on a track record of an artist who continually comes into new bloom.

File Under: Hip Hop
Listen Here

malek

Ahmed Malak & Flako: The Electronic Tapes (Habibi Funk) LP
In the early 1980s, Ahmed Malek was already in his 50s , when he discovered synthesizers and electronic music for himself and started to experiment with sounds. The result was a mixture of ambient synth music, field recordings he made in Cuba and a wide variation of different sound experiments that he also presented as different avantgarde music festivals in Cuba and the US.

File Under: Electronic, Ambient, Algerian
Listen Here

marling

Laura Marling: Semper Femina (More Alarming) LP
Semper Femina is Laura Marling’s sixth studio album. It was largely written on the road, following the release of Laura’s acclaimed album, Short Movie, in the spring of 2015. Its loose lyrical thread strings together her keen, freshly observed take on womanhood, and what Laura describes as a particularly ‘masculine time in her life’. It’s a record that similarly addresses questions of how society views sexuality and gender but without seeking to provide definitive answers. It retains an openness to express and portray her own ‘voyage’ of self-discovery, but also to develop and learn as artist, performer, and as an individual over the course of her career. A rich and enriching listen, Semper Femina is a typically mature and raw record by one of our most talented and prolific young musicians of a generation. The deluxe vinyl LP edition includes an exclusive live bonus disc, recorded at Martyrs’ in Chicago. This deluxe product features two 140g vinyl discs, printed inner sleeves on reverse board with embossed sigil design, and wide spined sleeve. Also comes with digital download cards for both discs.

File Under: Folk
Listen Here

mono

Mono: Under The Pipal Tree (Temporary Residence) LP
Under The Pipal Tree is the debut album by now-legendary Japanese experimental rock band MONO. Released in 2001 on avant-garde icon John Zorn’s Tzadik label, Under The Pipal Tree showcased a young Japanese quartet whose wide range of influences – most notably Sonic Youth, Mogwai, The Velvet Underground, and Neil Young’s Crazy Horse – were on ferocious and ambitious display. Though MONO would eventually become known for their expert marriage of metal and classical genres, Under The Pipal Tree highlights the band’s psychedelic roots. Long stretches of hypnotic, melodic washes give way to scorching guitar freakouts that evaporate into haunting silence. It’s remarkable not just for its earnest exploration, but for its startling execution. 15 years and 8 albums later, Under The Pipal Tree stands as one of the great debut albums by a seminal underground band. Finally released on vinyl for the first time ever, Under The Pipal Tree has been remastered for the format by longtime friend and tour mate, Bob Weston at Chicago Mastering Service. The double album is packaged in all new artwork, and is pressed onto audiophile-quality 100% virgin vinyl. This stunning album has never looked, sounded, or felt better.

File Under: Post-Rock
Listen Here

shins

The Shins: Heartworms (Columbia) LP
The Shins present their fifth studio effort, Heartworms. In contrast to 2012’s Port of Morrow, which debuted at No. 3 on the Billboard Top 200 and was nominated for a Best Alternative Album Grammy, Heartworms ushers in a return to the handmade. The 11-track collecion was, as always, entirely written by James Mercer, with exception of “So Now What” (produced by band member Richard Swift). Heartworms is the first Shins album to be largely self-produced by Mercer since Oh, Inverted World in 2001. Heartworms also boasts Mercer’s most diverse lyrical ptalette to date, a cohesive, yet genre defying album marked by the frontman’s distinct voice and melodic composition. Unified by his singular vision, Mercer creates a sound that is both a nostalgic nod to the album’s predecessors and distinctly new. The album’s first single, “Name For You,” is a resounding call for female empowerment inspired by his three daughters.

File Under: Indie Rock
Listen Here

smith

Elliott Smith: Either/Or: Expanded Edition (Kill Rock Stars) LP
1997’s Either/Or is widely regarded as Elliott Smith’s best album, and remains his best-selling. To commemorate the 20th Anniversary of this masterpiece, Kill Rock Stars proudly presents Either/Or: Expanded Edition which features the original tracks carefully remastered from original tapes under the supervision of Larry Crane, owner of Jackpot! Studios and archivist of the Estate of Elliott Smith plus a generous helping of bonus material. The additional content features five live multi-track recordings from the Yo Yo A Go Go Festival in Olympia, WA in 1997, as well as three previously unreleased studio recordings and one b-side gem. The double LP is packaged in a gatefold jacket with an insert of the original liner notes, a postcard of the original master tapes, and several never-before seen photos. This gorgeous collection is an essential listen for longtime fans and newcomers alike!

File Under: Indie Rock, Folk
Listen Here

soundgarden

Soundgarden: Ultramega OK (Sub Pop) LP
This remixed and expanded reissue of Soundgarden’s Ultramega OK is a long-planned “correction” of the legendary band’s Grammy-nominated debut full-length. The album was originally recorded and released in 1988 on SST Records. While the band enjoyed working with the original producer, Drew Canulette, they soon realized they weren’t quite happy with the final mix. Thus, shortly after the album’s release, the band decided to remix the album for subsequent pressings. However, success intervened: the band rapidly scored a deal with A&M and began work on their major-label debut, Louder Than Love, and the Ultramega OK remix project fell by the wayside as Soundgarden climbed their way to (ultra)mega-stardom. In 2016, after worldwide success, a breakup, a reunion, and many albums and tours, the band finally acquired the original multi-track tapes to Ultramega OK and carved out time to dig into the remix. They handed the tapes over to longtime friend and engineer Jack Endino (Nirvana, Mudhoney, Screaming Trees, Skin Yard), who worked with the band to create a fresh mix of the album that, for the band, ties up this persistent loose end and remedies the sound of their debut album. While they were at it, the band dug out six early versions of tracks that wound up on Ultramega OK. The songs were recorded in 1987 on 8-track tape by Endino and Chris Hanzsek at Reciprocal Recording in Seattle, and mixed by Endino in 2016. These versions feature the band in raw, powerful form – sonically closer to the band’s Endino-recorded debut EP Screaming Life – and provide a fascinating window into the development of songs that eventually became staples of the band’s set. The six songs comprise what the band refers to as Ultramega EP, and they are included in this reissue. Hailed as grunge innovators, Soundgarden redefined rock music for a generation. In the ‘80s, the band – singer/guitarist Chris Cornell, guitarist Kim Thayil, bassist Hiro Yamamoto, and drummer Matt Cameron – combined a punk ethos, brutal metal soundscapes, and Cornell’s ravenous roar to capture the attention of the masses. Jagged and ferocious, their music was deeply at odds with the synth-pop and hair metal which dominated the 80’s airwaves. Early indie releases, including seminal Screaming Life and Ultramega OK, quickly led to a dedicated indie following as the band toured on both sides of the Atlantic. Subsequent albums, including Badmotorfinger, Superunknown, and Down on the Upside, achieved multi-platinum sales and launched the band to international fame.

File Under: Grunge
Listen Here

temples

Temples: Volcano (Fat Possum) LP
English four-piece Temples issue their sophomore set, Volcano, on Fat Possum Records. All the elements people loved about Temples’ debut, Sun Structures, remain intact, but this time, there is a noticeable evolution presented from the outset. It’s clear Volcano is the sound of Temples squaring up to their potential, immediately evident with lead single “Certainty.” Its beefed-up beats reveal an expanded sonic firmament, one in which bright synth hooks and insistent choruses circle around each other over chord sequences that strike just the right balance between nice and queasy. Entirely self-produced and written by all four members of the band, Temples’ melodies seem to come effortlessly. There are sun-dazed numbers and lysergic dream-pop songs and those where synth and mellotron interweave to beguiling effect. One thing is certain; it’s harder to spot the influences this time around. Mystical language has been supplanted by something more direct. They’ve been broken down and blended together – fossilized into a single source of creative fuel, resulting in a sound that is undoubtedly Temples. As described by co-founding member Tom Warmsley, “we discovered a lot as we went along, and the excitement at having done so radiates outwards.”

File Under: Indie Rock, Psych
Listen Here

tennis

Tennis: Yours Conditionally (Mutually Detrimental) LP
Critically acclaimed group Tennis returns with their highly anticipated fourth full length album, Yours Conditionally. The record was composed both on land and at sea during a five-month sailing trip through the Sea of Cortez. Upon returning, Tennis’ husband-and-wife team of Patrick Riley and Alaina Moore self-produced the record in a small cabin in Fraser, CO. It was mixed by Spoon’s Jim Eno at Public HiFi. Lead track, “Ladies Don’t Play Guitar,” has been hailed as “a smolderingly sardonic feminist anthem perfectly suited for social climate of today” by Consequence of Sound while The Verge added that the song is “a great introduction to their sound if you’re unfamiliar: a wistful piano line, a biting, sarcastic vocal from Alaina Moore, and a little fuzz to keep things grounded.” Their newest record comes on the heels of the group’s most recent release, 2014’s Ritual in Repeat, which received rave reviews across the board.

File Under: Indie Pop
Listen Here

…..Restocks…..

Alabama Shakes: Boys & Girls (ATO) LP
Antibalas: s/t (Daptone) LP
Beach Boys: Pet Sounds (Universal) LP
Beatles: Let It Be (Apple) LP
Black Mountain: In The Future (Jagjaguwar) LP
John Carpenter: Lost Themes II (Sacred Bone) LP
Michael Chapman: 50 (Paradise of Bachelors) LP
Childish Gambino: Camp (Glassnote) LP
Shirley Collins: Lodestar (Domino) LP
Miles Davis: Birth of Cool (Legacy) LP
Miles Davis: In A Silent Way (Legacy) LP
Depeche Mode: Music for the Masses (Rhino) LP
Depeche Mode: Violator (Rhino) LP
Dinosaur Jr: Farm (Jagjaguwar) LP
Dinosaur Jr: Bug (Jagjaguwar) LP
Dinosaur Jr: I Bet On Sky (Jagjaguwar) LP
Grails: Chalice Hymnal (Temporary Residence) LP
Herbie Hancock: Headhunters (Legacy) LP
Daniel Johnston: Yip Music (EYE) LP
King Woman: Created in the Image (Relapse) LP
Lady Gaga: Joanne (Universal) LP
Led Zeppelin: I (Warner) LP
Led Zeppelin: II (Warner) LP
Led Zeppelin: IV (Warner) LP
Mazzy Star: So Tonight That I Might See (Plain) LP
Melvins: Houdini (Thirdman) LP
Menahan Street Band: Make The Road By Walking (Daptone) LP
Menahan Street Band: The Crossing (Daptone) LP
Hank Mobley: Soul Station (Blue Note) LP
Hank Mobley: Workout (Blue Note) LP
Modest Mouse: The Moon & Antarctica (Epic) LP
Mogwai: Rock Action (PIAS) LP
Angel Olsen: My Woman (Jagjaguwar) LP
OST: Arrival (DG) LP
Iggy Pop & The Stooges: Raw Power (Legacy) LP
Portishead: Dummy (Polydor) LP
Portishead: s/t (London) LP
Andy Shauf: The Party (Arts & Crafts) LP
Solange: A Seat At The Table (Columbia) LP
Songs: Ohia: Axxess & Ace (Secretly Canadian) LP
Songs: Ohia: Didn’t It Rain (Secretly Canadian) LP
Songs: Ohia: s/t (Secretly Canadian) LP
Unicorns: Who Will Cut Our Hair… (Caterpillar) LP

Tagged , , , , , ,

…..news letter #773 – see ya 2016…..

One final transmission for the year that just won’t stop. This week, just a quick list of our favourite records we heard this year and shared with you. As well a big thank you to each and everyone of you that reads these lists and comes in to the store, or any store and buys physical music still. You are the reason we are able to open the doors every day and send out lists full of weird and wonderful things every week. We’ve had a wonderful year being your record dealers and look forward to all the killer wax that comes through the shop next year. Have a safe and awesome New Year’s tomorrow and we’ll see you soon.

This weekend our hours will be….

Saturday Dec 31 11 – 4
Sunday Jan 1 closed
Monday Jan 2 back to normal

…..listen’s best of 2016…..

Kris’s Top New Releases…

||| |||: Feireenesse (Entr’acte)
Biosphere: Departed Glories (Smalltown Supersound)
Calhau!: U (Kraak)
Anthony Child: Electronic Music from Maui Jungle 2 (Editions Mego)
Demdike Stare: Wonderland (Modern Love)
Elg: Mauve Zone (Nashazphone)
Goat: Requiem (Sub Pop)
Steve Gunn: Eyes on the Line (Matador)
Ignatz: The Drain (Feeding Tube)
Willie Lane: A Pine Tree Shilling’s Worth (Cord-Art)
Rob Noyes: The Feudal Spirit (Poon Village)
Olympians: s/t (Daptone)
Orior: Strange Beauty (DDS)
Pye Corner Audio: Stasis (Ghost Box)
Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith: Ears (Western Vinyl)
Supersilent: 13 (Smalltown Supersound)

Kris’s Top Reissues/Archival Releases…

AMM: AMMMusic (Black Truffle)
Loren Connors: Lullaby (Recital)
Tony Conrad/Faust: Outside the Dream Syndicate (Superior Viaduct)
Deux Filles: Silence & Wisdom/Double Happiness (Dark Entries)
Ariel Kalma: Interfrequence (Black Sweat)
Korean Undok Group: s/t (Penultimat Press)
Abul Mogard: Works (Ecstatic)
Ricardo Musci: Tower of Silence (Music From Memory)
Not Waving: Redacted (Ecstatic)
The Peace: Black Power (Now Again)
Sonic Youth: Sister (Goofin)
Tapes: Selected Works (Ecstatic)
This Heat/Camberwell Now/Lifetones: All! (Light In The Attic/Modern Classics)
Trad, Gras och Stener: Box (Anthology)
Piero Umiliani: Genti e Paesi del Mondo (Black Sweat)
Various: Wake Up You 1 & 2 (Now Again)

James’s Top New Releases…

A Tribe Called Quest: We Got it From Here… (Epic)
Dinosaur Jr.: Give a Glimpse of What You’re Not (Jagjaguwar)
Steve Gunn: Eyes on the Line (Matador)
Neurosis: Fires Within Fires (Neurot)
Not Waving: Animals (Diagonal)
Pye Corner Audio: Stasis (Ghost Box)
Sheer Mag: III (Wilsuns)

James’s Top Reissues/Archival Releases…

Blonde Redhead: Masculine Feminine (Numero)
Camberwell Now: The Ghost Trade (Modern Classics)
Kleenex/Lilliput: First Songs (Kill Rock Stars)
Mare: s/t (Hydrahead)
Tapes: Selected Works (Ecstatic)

Bailey’s Top New Releases…

Tim Hecker – Love Streams (Paper Bag)
Andy Shauf – The Party (Arts & Crafts)
Car Seat Headrest – Teens Of Denials (Matador)
Andy Stott – Too Many Voices (Modern Love)
Yoni & Geti – Testarossa (Joyful Noise)
Charles Bradley – Changes (Daptone)
Bitter Fictions – Jettison (Shaking Box)
Hamilton Leithauser & Rostam – I Had A Dream That You Were Mine (Glassnote)
Lab Coast – Remember The Moon (Wyatt)
Colin Stetson – Sorrow (52Hz)
Nick Cave – Skeleton Tree (Bad Seed)

Stefan’s Top 16 of 2016…

A Tribe Called Red: We Are The Halluci Nation (Radicalized)
BADBADNOTGOOD: IV (Innovative Leisure)
Black Mountain: IV (Jagjaguwar)
Charles Bradley: Changes (Daptone)
Kyle Dixon & Michael Stein: Stranger Things OST Vol. 1 (Lakeshore)
Various: Doing It In Lagos- Boogie, Pop & Disco in 1980’s Nigeria (Soundway)
Duchess Says: Sciences Nouvelles (Bonosound)
Various: Haiti Direct- Big Band, Mini Jazz, Twoubadou Sounds 1960-1978 (Strut)
The Highest Order: Still Holding (Idee Fixe)
Lucifer(Mort Garson): Black Mass  (Black Mass Rising)
Angel Olsen: My Woman (Jagjaguwar)
Rhythm of Cruelty: New Ethos (Pseudo Laboratories)
Various: Senegal 70- Sonic Gems & Previously Unreleased Recordings from the 70’s (Analog Africa)
Kaitlyn Auerelia Smith/ Suzanne Ciani: Sunergy (RVNG Int.)
Various: Togo Soul  70- Selected Rare Togolese Recordings from 1971 to 1981 (Hot Casa)
Warpaint: Heads Up (Rough Trade)

Tagged , , , , , , ,

…..news letter #772 – last minutes…..

Well, it’s getting down to the wire, but you’ve still got some time to get in here and pick up some sweet wax or a new turntable for that special someone on your list. We’re here until 9 tonight and tomorrow and until 4 on Saturday. It’s a wee bit hectic around here so I’ll keep it short. There are some new things, like the new Tribe Called Quest, so I’ll make a list for y’all below. Next week we’ll have another short list with our staff top picks from the year. In the meantime, Happy Holidays to all of you and your family!

Our hours over the holidays will be….

Saturday Dec 24 11 – 4
Sunday Dec 25 closed
Monday Dec 26 11 – 5
Saturday Dec 31 11 – 4
Sunday Jan 1 closed

More importantly, on boxing day, we will obviously be having a big sale! 20% off pretty much all music and accessories and gear are 10% off! So if you didn’t get everything you wanted for xmas, come get if for cheap! Hell, even if you did get everything you wanted, come buy some more stuff!

…..new arrivals…..

A Tribe Called Quest: We Got It From Here… (Epic) LP
Alessandro Alessandroni: Sangue Di Sbirro (Four Flies) LP
John Barry: Walkabout (Roundtable) LP
Bobby Beausoleil: Lucifer Rising (Anja) LP
Silvano D’Auria: Sortilegio (Four Flies) LP
East of the Valley Blues: s/t (Death is not the End) LP
Lee Hazlewood: Cowboy in Sweden (Light in the Attic) LP+DVD
Justice: Woman (Because) LP
Kaytranada: 99.9% (XL) LP
Kleenex/Lilliput: First Songs (Kill Rock Stars) LP
Konami Kukeiha Club: Larange Point (Ship to Shore) LP
La Matos: Join Us (Death Waltz Originals) LP
Massive Attack: Blue Lines (Virgin) LP
Massive Attack: Protection (Virgin) LP
Massive Attack: No Protection (Virgin) LP
Ennio Morricone: 60 Years of Music (Virgin) LP
OST: Gremlins (Mondo) LP
OST: Jessica Jones (Mondo) LP
OST: Daredevil (Mondo) LP
OST: The Fountain (Mondo) LP
Deantoni Parks: Touch But Don’t Look (Elite) LP
Sheer Mag: Compilation (Wilsuns RC) LP
Stone Roses: s/t (Modern Classics) LP
Charles Wain: The Last Wave (Roundtable) LP
Various: The Microcosm (Light in the Attic) 3LP Box
Various: PZYK Vol 2 (PZYK) LP

Tagged , , , , , , ,

…..news letter #764 – disco disco dj…..

This might be a tad last minute for some of y’all, but I’m not one for a lot of self promotion, but…. I’m heading to the Black Dog to DJ tonight after I close up the shop. I’ll be upstairs spinning records with Yuri for the final installment of Dig It! Thursdays. If you find yourself bored and on the southside, you should come hang out and have a beer while I play some wild and wonderful things!

…..pick of the week…..

deuter

Deuter: Kundalini Meditation (Deuter) LP
New age masterpiece from krautrock mystic Deuter, this album contains the music for the first two stages of an hour long kundalini meditation developed for westerners by Rajneesh (later known as Osho). The stages involve listening to the music and “Shaking” (stage one), “Dancing” (stage two), and “Witnessing” (stage three). These stages are not really meditations but a sort of preparation to facilitate meditation. Rajneesh had been trying to teach the practice of direct meditation for ten years before he realized his effort was futile: “I would say, ‘Relax’, to those I was teaching. They would appear to understand the meaning of the word, but they could not relax.” He developed a technique that would activate the body with intense movement, creating tension in order to allow for the stillness of the meditation. Deuter and Rajneesh (along with a team of disciples that tested and consulted on these methods) collaborated to make music that would (in stage one and two) occupy the mind and compel the body. The music of stage three was designed to relax the body and compel the mind to awareness, acting as a transition to stage four, which is silent, with the person lying down, (actually) meditating. Speaking about music, Rajneesh wrote, “Between sounds of music there are gaps of silence. The authentic music consists not of sounds, but of the gaps. Music can make you aware of those gaps more beautifully than anything else.” While living at the ashram as a disciple of Rajneesh, Deuter produced a series of compositions to be used in these “active” meditations. They were recorded using a multitrack tape machine and an assortment of acoustic and electronic instruments – guitar, tambura, bells, percussion, and synthesizers. The playing style is repetitious yet dynamic, incorporating loops, Indian classical motifs, musique concrète, and pastoral acoustic passages. Kundalini Meditation, never released on vinyl in the states, is presented here for the first time with the full length tracks. It was originally released in 1979.

File Under: Krautrock, New Age, Kosmische

…..new arrivals…..

allen

Tony Allen: HomeCooking (Comet) LP
Originally released in 2002, Comet presents the legendary album from Tony Allen, HomeCooking, reissued with a remastered version. Tony Allen talks about the album: “After Black Voices and Psyco On Da Bus albums, I came back with HomeCooking which was an album filled with guests. I brought in Ty, who had remixed some of my work previously, to rap on the record, and Damon Albarn, who had already sung about me on ‘Music Is My Radar’. On the first day in the studio, Damon didn’t record anything because we were enjoying ourselves too much. He came with two boxes of champagne and everyone got boozed and he decided he’d take the music back to his own studio and finish it there. That was the beginning of our friendship and since then we’ve done a lot of different things. Since the early days I’ve been trying to find things that everybody will want to listen to. I’ve always been pushing Afrobeat in different directions. Here’s another one again, another style, almost clean but still rough, raggedy and radical.” Also features: Mary & Norman and Eska.

File Under: Afrobeat, Funk, Jazz
Listen Here

hubris

Oren Ambarchi: Hubris (Editions Mego) LP
“Hubris continues the exploration of relentless, driving rhythms heard on Oren Ambarchi’s Sagittarian Domain and Quixotism. Where those records looked to krautrock and techno for their starting points, the side-long opening track on Hubris begins from the perhaps unlikely inspirations of disco and new wave, drawing particularly from Ambarchi’s love of Wang Chung’s soundtrack to William Friedkin’s To Live and Die in L.A. (1985). Leaving behind the song-forms of these reference points, Ambarchi weaves a sustained and pulsating web of layered palm-muted guitars from which individual voices rise up and recede, eventually setting the stage for some lush guitar synth from Jim O’Rourke. Arnold Dreyblatt collaborator Konrad Sprenger contributes overtone-rich motorized guitar, pushing the piece into a satisfying intersection of shimmering minimalism and rhythmic drive that smoothly builds up until the entrance of Mark Fell’s electronic percussion in its final section. After a short second part, in which Ambarchi, O’Rourke and Crys Cole pay tribute to the skewed harmonic sense of Albert Marcoeur with a track built from layered bass guitar figures and abstracted speech, the long final piece pushes the concept of the first side into darker and denser areas. Joined by electronic rhythms from Ricardo Villalobos and the twin drums of Joe Talia and Will Guthrie, the layered guitars of the first piece are transformed into a raw and tumbling fusion-funk groove that calls to mind early Weather Report or even the first Golden Palominos LP (1983). As this stellar rhythm section rides a single repeated chord change into oblivion, a series of spectacular events emerge in the foreground: first, aleatoric synthesizer burbles from Keith Fullerton Whitman, then slashing skronk guitar from Arto Lindsay, until finally Ambarchi’s own fuzzed-out guitar harmonics take center stage as the piece builds to an ecstatic frenzy. Few artists could hope to include such an incredible variety of collaborators on one record and still hope for it to have a unique identity, but Ambarchi manages to do just that, crafting three pieces that emerge directly out of his previous work while also pushing ahead into new dimensions.” — Francis Plagne. Mastered and cut by Rashad Becker at D&M, Berlin, April 2016. Photography by Estelle Hanania. Sculptures by Daniel Druet. Design by Stephen O’Malley.

File Under: Electronic, Krautrock, Minimal
Listen Here

aycockDylan Golden Aycock: Church of Level Tracks (Scissor Tail) LP
“Dylan Golden Aycock is part of the new generation of guitar pickers young enough to first have been influenced by early volumes of Tompkins Square Records’ Imaginational Anthem series and then to be anthologized on a later one. The Oklahoma native is on Volume 7, should you feel like looking, playing an early version of ‘Red Bud Valley,’ which sits in the middle of the B-side of the LP under consideration here. Aycock’s composing on Church Of Level Track offers evidence that he’s well studied in a lineage of American Primitive pickers that stretches back decades before he was born. ‘Lord It Over’ puts it right out there by opening with a double-thumbed bass line right out of John Fahey’s bag of tricks. But this quotation is merely an opening gambit, and one that is quickly followed by moves that prove Aycock is no parrot but a bird with his own song to sing. The steel guitar that sails in over his picking evokes first the bucolic playfulness of Jim O’Rourke’s Bad Timing and then keeps going back into the deep back shelves of country-rock lyricism. At the same time a virtual band (Aycock plays everything on the track and nearly everything on the LP) sets up a subtle undertow of entropic drumming and echo-laden feedback. . . .” –Bill Meyer (Dusted Magazine, Chicago Reader)

File Under: Folk, Blues, Guitar Soli
Listen Here

bitori

Bitori: Legend of Funana (Analog Africa) LP
In 1997, an unassuming 59-year-old man named Victor Tavares — better known since the late 1950s as Bitori — walked into a studio for the very first time to record a work that many Cabo Verdeans consider to be the best funaná album ever made. Analog Africa’s Legend Of Funaná marks the first time that these recordings, originally issued as Bitori Nha Bibinha & Chando Graciosa in 1998, have been available outside of Cape Verde, bringing Bitori’s beloved accordion-based sound to the world. In 1954, Bitori embarked on a journey across the seas to the island nation of São Tomé and Príncipe with the hopes of returning with an accordion. Following two years of hard labor, Bitori had saved enough money to acquire what was to become his most valued possession. The two-month journey back to Cape Verde provided time enough for him to master the instrument. Self-taught, Bitori developed his own style, an infectious blaze that quickly caught the attention of the older generation. Before long Bitori was asked to perform at local festivities around Praia, the capital of Cape Verde. But not everybody welcomed the rural accordion-based sound of the funaná. Perceived as a symbol of the struggle for Cabo Verdean independence and frowned upon as music of uneducated peasants, the funaná was prohibited by Portuguese colonial rulers. Performing it in public or in urban centers had serious consequences — often jail time and torture. As a result, the funaná began to slowly disappear. In 1975, Cape Verde achieved independence from Portuguese colonial rule, and the ban on the funaná was lifted. Many artists embraced the funaná, translating and adapting its musical form in new ways. It was not until the mid-1990s, however, that the funaná in its traditional form was actually recorded. A young singer from the Cabo Verdean town of Tarrafal, Chando Graciosa, heard Bitori and immediately felt drawn to his playing style — a raw, passionate sound accompanied by honest lyrics that reflected the harsh reality of the Cabo Verdean working class. He approached Bitori suggesting they join forces and travel overseas to take the funaná beyond its rural roots. After introducing a receptive European audience to the vibrant energy of the funaná, Bitori eventually returned to his beloved Cape Verde, while Graciosa settled in Rotterdam. Graciosa vowed, however, to bring Bitori to Holland to eventually record an album. In 1997, the time was ripe to immortalize the sound Bitori had shaped over four decades. Drummer Grace Evora and bassist Danilo Tavares helped record “Bitori Nha Bibinha,” which catapulted Graciosa to stardom, establishing him Cape Verde’s foremost interpreter of the funaná. Bitori’s songs quickly became standards — classics known and loved throughout the country.

File Under: African, Latin, Funk
Listen Here

darkthrone

Darkthrone: Arctic Thunder (Peaceville) LP
Norwegian duo, Darkthrone, return with their first new studio material since 2013’s triumphant The Underground Resistance; the album becoming the band’s most successful release in recent years. Darkthrone’s new album Arctic Thunder is due for release in October 2016 through Peaceville. A new heavy metal odyssey now awaits fans as Fenriz and Nocturno Culto once more show their mastery of “the riff,” demonstrating why Darkthrone remain one of the most respected and enduring acts in the history of extreme metal. An eclectic mix of free-spirited 80’s fueled blackened heavy metal, all executed in Darkthrone’s trademark raw and organic style, Arctic Thunder was recorded and produced by the band themselves, with the sessions conducted at Darkthrone’s old rehearsal unit, The Bomb Shelter, which they had originally used during 1988-1990. With themes based around hate, contempt, and the inner mind and soul, and with the notable presence of Nocturno Culto on vocal duties across all songs for the first time in recent years, Arctic Thunder retains a grim atmosphere throughout the album’s 8 tracks, with mastering once again handled by Jack Control at Enormous Door.

File Under: Black Metal
Listen Here

detroit

Eddy Detroit: Black Crow Gazebo (Assophon) LP
Eddy Detroit returns with a brand-new LP! The legend refuses to diminish. Eddy Detroit crafts eight new songs full of his trademark twisted folk, satanic Americana, and trance voodoo magic. This album ventures into the deranged psychosis of the Phoenix AZ characters that inhibit Eddy’s world. Multiple-personality girlfriends, twisted and rouge hanger-goners, and life as a street musician in the infernal Arizona summer heat. Another cast of local musicians are on board for this record that features cello, ocean drum, piano, guitar, bongos, and violin. This is all capped off by the B-side, a deep, trance-inducing descent into Dante’s Inferno that features Alan Bishop (Sun City Girls) on vocals, Doug Clark (Victory Acres/Feederz) on synthesizer, and Eddy Detroit on bongos — overlaid with a recording of Eddy Detroit waxing on about his extraordinary life. “Toe Sucker Beach” is meant as an homage to The Velvet Underground’s “The Gift” — a track that can be listened to as a whole or as a hard pan, with the demented instrumental in one channel and Eddy’s reminiscences in the other channel. This record is another swan dive into the brilliant mind of one of the most original outsider musicians out there. Limited edition of 400. Released to coincide with Eddy’s Detroit’s first European tour in the fall of 2016.

File Under: Outsider, Exotica
Listen Here

stranger-things

Kyle Dixon & Michael Stein: Stranger Things OST (Lakeshore) LP
We’ve got a bunch en route, either they’ll all show up tomorrow, or a few tomorrow and the rest early next week… A love letter to the ’80s classics that captivated a generation, Stranger Things is set in 1983 Indiana, where a young boy vanishes into thin air. As friends, family and local police search for answers, they are drawn into an extraordinary mystery involving top-secret government experiments, terrifying supernatural forces and one very strange little girl. Lakeshore Records has partnered with UK’s Invada Records founded by Geoff Barrow to press and release Stranger Things Vol. 1 Soundtrack (composed by S U R V I V E’s Kyle Dixon and Michael Stein) on vinyl for a release date in October 2016 just in time for Halloween. The release will be a double disc gatefold package with a printed insert featuring album credits and additional art. Michael Stein explained to Noisey: “We discussed having a classic tone and feel to the music for the show but being reserved enough that it wasn’t ’80s cheese, while offering a refreshing quality so that felt modern as well – which is one of the qualities that drew them to our music in the first place. Having a familiarity with classic synths works but with an overall modern and forward thinking approach.”

File Under: OST, Electronic, Synth
Listen Here

harris

Betty Harris: Lost Queen of New Orleans Soul (Soul Jazz) LP
Betty Harris’ The Lost Queen of New Orleans Soul collects together the steady stream of amazing soul and funk singles she issued from 1964 to 1969, under the musical guidance of legendary composer, musician and producer extraordinaire Allen Toussaint, a collection which truly captures the heart and soul of the city of New Orleans during this era. Harris’ powerful, fiery soulful vocals found a perfect accompaniment with the New Orleans’ players that Toussaint put together to back her, which by the time of her funk classic “There’s A Break In The Road” were the legendary supertight, super-funk New Orleans group The Meters. With the extraordinary song-writing skills of Toussaint alongside the powerful, soaring, confident and emotive singer and the groove of The Meters, you have an unbeatable combination. That Harris never in fact lived in New Orleans (she flew in from Florida for all her sessions with Toussaint’s local in-house players) seems almost an irrelevance, a geographical aside to the defining New Orleans sound captured on the recordings featured here. All of the singles featured here were released on Toussaint and his business partner Marshal Sehorn’s local New Orleans label Sansu, widely distributed in the southern city but in only limited quantities elsewhere. As a consequence, Harris’ music failed to achieve the commercial success of other New Orleans artists such as Lee Dorsey (who she recorded with) and The Meters (who backed her). And so at the end of the decade she stopped recording, retired from the music business to raise her family in Florida. This is no reflection of the stunning musical quality of all these songs which encompass everything from southern soul, heavy funk, deep soul ballads and northern soul. Harris has been a cornerstone of Soul Jazz Records’ New Orleans Funk and New Orleans Soul compilations. Always soulful and always funky, Betty’s music contains the essence of New Orleans music. She is the Lost Soul Queen of New Orleans. This collection is released on heavyweight gatefold double LP vinyl (with download code).

 File Under: Soul
Listen Here

xharris

Xander Harris: California Chrome (Rock Action) LP
In his 5th album as Xander Harris, the bloke off Buffy The Vampire Slayer continues to pursue a horror disco sound for Mogwai’s Rock Action label, picking up precisely where he left us with the Cry Havoc 7” back in 2014 with a pensively slow suite of EBM and Italo grooves galvanised with cinematic synth mettle. Perhaps not your typical Rock Action fayre, but it’s not difficult to draw lines between Harris’ taste for layered melodic progressions and Mogwai’s post rock architectures and windswept atmospheres, especially in the motorik shift of Basilisk Stare, or the stacked reverbs of Predator State and the album’s panoramic closer, Dirts. But that’s only one half of his sound, and the other is well looked after here with dancefloor-strength EBM in the epic drive of Nervous Serpents and the gritted momentum of The Eye In The Triangle.

File Under: Electronic, Ambient
Listen Here

jung-an-tagen

Jung An Tagen: Das Fest Der Reichen (Editions Mego) LP
Jung An Tagen, aka Stefan Juster, presents Das Fest Der Reichen. Jung An Tagen is the primary music act operating inside the Virtual Institute Vienna. By using subtractive synthesis and sampling techniques, Jung An Tagen builds aleatoric arrays, repetitive figures and polyrhythmic moirés circulating around distinctive timbres and haptic fragments. This results in a vision of morphing movements between high energy and zero gravity states. Due to the synaesthesian nature of the VIV, Jung An Tagen is bound very closely to a specific visual grammar and is intertwined with video art, even though the performative settings are usually reduced to music only. Previously, Stefan Juster was mainly present with different bands and monikers on labels like Not Not Fun, Blackest Rainbow, 100% Silk or his own imprint SF Broadcasts. “Lässt Los, Jeder Immer” is the remix of the Jung An Tagen soundtrack for Embargo (2014), a video by Johann Lurf. Artwork and layout by Milica Balubdzic and J. Fröhnel. Mastering by Brian Pyle. Features: Raju Arara, Ensemble Economique, Superskin and Miaux.

File Under: Electronic, Synth
Listen Here

mahjun

Mahjun: s/t (1973) (Souffle Continu) LP
First time vinyl reissue of the eponymous classic debut album by Mahjun, one of the most innovative French prog underground bands, on the productive Saravah label in 1973. Their music, as you can hear on tracks such as “Les Enfants Sauvages” or “Chez Planos”, is a subtle mix of spiritual jazz, pop music, folk and avant-garde reminiscent of Full Moon Ensemble, Brigitte Fontaine or the Thêatre du Chêne Noir. Standard black vinyl LP version is in an edition of 500. Comes in 350 gram, gatefold sleeve with an obi strip and matte printing.

File Under: French, Prog, Avant-garde
Listen Here

mahjun-2Mahjun: s/t (1974) (Souffle Continu) LP
On Mahjun’s second eponymous album released by Saravah in 1974, percussionist Nana Vasconcellos joined the line up on the nearly 14 minute long track “La Ville Pue” and “Fin Janvier”. Their politico folk-prog sound moved to an ethnic flavored psychedelic fusion. First time reissue of this classic and influential album. Standard black vinyl LP version is in an edition of 500. Comes in 350 gram sleeve with an obi strip, insert and matte printing.

File Under: French, Prog, Avant-garde
Listen Here

op-doom

MF Doom: Operation: Doomsday (Metal Face) LP
“Back again on vinyl where it belongs, MF DOOM’s 1999 classic Operation: Doomsday is now presented on a premium grade LP, with audio re-mastered from the original Fondle’Em Records release, and a poster of the album cover art! Underneath his mysterious metal mask, MF DOOM hides the cachet underground legends are made of. After KMD (his first group)’s 1994 sophomore album Bl_ck B_st_rds was shelved by Elektra in 1994 and his blood brother Subroc (one half of the sibling rap duo) passed away, surviving front-man Zev Love X mutated into the MC Avenger known as MF DOOM and the rap world is better for it. This 19-cut deep album is ridiculously dope, in a bizarro Ol’ Dirty Bastard kind of way. Doom sounds either high or drunk on most of the tracks, his self-produced beats are gritty, and his rhyme styles are almost indecipherable. On arguably the best track, ‘Rhymes Like Dimes,’ Doom weaves some pointed lyrics through his abstract wordplay, spitting ‘only in America could you find a way to earn a healthy buck / And still keep your attitude on self-destruct.’ ‘Who You Think I Am?’ features DOOM’s crew M.onster I.sland C.zars, while on ‘?’ he trades hot verses with former Columbia artist Kurious Jorge. Doom’s avant-garde ghetto-rhyme philosophies take even more intentionally weird twists on ‘Tick, Tick…’ where he and guest MC MF Grimm’s flows warble over a rhythm track whose tempo speeds up and slows down continually. The comic-book themed skits, will help take you deep into the mind of an MC who is as otherworldly as they come. And in today’s bland commercial rap universe, Operation: Doomsday’s left-of-center beats and rhymes are the perfect remedy.”

File Under: Hip Hop
Listen Here

music

Roberto Musci: Tower of Silence (Music From Memory) LP
Music From Memory present Tower Of Silence from Roberto Musci. Traveling extensively across Asia and Africa between 1974 and 1985 to study music, Roberto made many field recordings and collected many instruments on his travels which he would then combine with synthesizers and electronics back in Italy.

File Under: Italian, Electronic, World, Field Recording
Listen Here

notwist

The Notwist: Superheroes, Ghostvillains & Stuff (Alien Transistor) LP
Cover with large spine. Includes three printed inner sleeves. Includes download code. The Notwist release their first ever official live recordings with Superheroes, Ghostvillains + Stuff. “Brothers Markus and Micha Acher have launched various musical vessels, bands and free-floating constellations over the past three decades – and yet: amid all these other speedboats and unlikely sonic barges, The Notwist has always remained the mother ship. This new album documents the latest live incarnation of this very band, which also features Andi Haberl, Max Punktezahl, Karl Ivar Refseth, and Cico Beck. Recorded on December 16, 2015 on the second of three consecutive, sold-out nights at UT Connewitz in Leipzig, Germany, Superheroes, Ghostvillains + Stuff indeed feels like a first-hand live experience. That’s why it’s the definitive album of The Notwist’s career. Although there is one song that points to the early, ‘louder years’ of The Notwist, ‘One Dark Love Poem’ off the album Nook (1992), the rest of the night’s set sees the band perform all the major hits off Neon Golden (2001), The Devil, You + Me (2008), and Close To The Glass (2014). However, these are different, organically enhanced versions, new interpretations and combinations that feel much more alive; thanks to Olaf Opal’s incredible mix, they sometimes even outshine the original studio recordings. Listening to Superheroes, Ghostvillains + Stuff feels like watching these songs evolve and change, moving from one frame to the next, much like a baroque triptych. What starts out like ‘wimmelbook’ imagery, the music soon folds and unfolds like a Moebius strip: Sans bottom or top, sans inside or outside, the inside becomes the outside and vice versa. It’s all about sonic interconnection, about music as entanglement, music as reconciliation. The rather majestic, cinematic (indie) pop and experimental, kraut-infused jazz, the spirit of the enlightenment and baroque playfulness, the traces of modernism and minimal music, dub leanings, hip-hop lessons, and even hints of house music: here is where they all come together, reconciled in a sound that’s both melancholy and romantic. The crew’s back at it, working the instruments, the rigging, with sails a-billow, launching the next voyage of discovery, assuming the east in the west and vice versa. And thus the adventure saga continues.” — Pico Be (Das Weiße Pferd).

File Under: Indie Rock, Electronic
Listen Here

novo-line

Novo Line: Movements (Ecstatic) LP
Following a limited tape release for Ecstatic, Berlin’s Nat Fowler renders his meticulous Novo Line alias for its second full-length release, a killer marriage of automated EBM and unexpected MIDI disruptions, continuing a life-long quest for esoteric knowledge and a love of archaic computer hardware. Modeled on re-appropriated software, run on two separate Atari ST’s, Movements is the compelling result of obtuse production technique and painstaking trial and error; basically experimentation at the service of discovering a sound that really sounds unlike anything else out there. As he explains: “I like the idea of using restrictions in order to find and push boundaries, from limiting which octaves I use to how many notes at a time. I use the only PC capable of MIDI that had no multitasking, so communication is immediate, a direct mechanical communication from my fingers to the sounds is created. I feel lucky because technology has accelerated so fast since the first digital synthesizers and PCs that nothing since the early 1980s has been really pushed to its limits.” In that sense, he can be placed in a small category of operators – including The Automatics Group, Dave Noyze, Lorenzo Senni and V/VM among them – who persistently gnaw at the boundary between dance-pop and avant-electronics, and with all of whom he shares a capacity for hearing the poetry of singular frequencies, unique pitch combinations and the strange electronic timbres just waiting to be born from overlooked, outmoded equipment. Whilst at times it may recall the saltiest digital tone and gait of early Chicago house and Belgian new-beat, there’s a futuristic funk and idiosyncratic ambiguity to Movements that entirely belongs to Novo Line; whether bubbling up the mutant dembow lacquer of opener, “The Movement 1”, radiating form the tightly-bound, curdled funk of “Hot Piece”, or jabbing like a bag of cyborg slow house cats in “The Movement 2”, it really does make for one of the year’s finest and most addictive dancefloor mutations, bar none. 2016’s most meticulous album of algorithmic body music. Inspired by F.M. Alexander, G.I. Gurdjieff and Pythagoras. Mastered and cut by Matt Colton at Alchemy.

File Under: Electronic, House, Leftfield
Listen Here

orb

The Orb: COW/Chill Out, World! (Kompakt) LP
The Orb, Alex Paterson and Thomas Fehlmann, have become known for their genre-bending curiosity and surprising sonic detours, exploring experimental soundscapes as well as club-friendly beats. COW / Chill Out, World! is a masterful ambient album that branches out in many directions, but unmistakably sounds like The Orb. In contrast to their much-acclaimed previous full-length Moonbuilding 2703 AD, which took years to prepare and fine-tune, COW / Chill Out, World! was produced over the course of only five sessions in six months, directly following the like-minded Alpine EP. Paterson on recording the album: “It got so spontaneous that a track like ‘9 Elms Over River Eno (Channel 9)’ consisted only of material collected at North Carolina’s Moogfest in May – second-hand records from local stores, field recordings, live samples from gigs that we liked, and of course an excursion to the Eno River, which actually exists. This geographic intimacy and the spontaneity are among the top reasons why we love this album so much.” Fehlmann sees the duo’s relentless gigging schedule as a formative influence on the new album: “the countless performances we’ve played in the last years have brought us closer as a musical unit. The spice of our concerts is improvisation – a fertile process that we’ve brought to the studio, where we operate with very simple rules of engagement and go wherever the flow takes us.” It’s an approach that one might expect from traditional acoustic instrumentation, not necessarily an electronic set-up. Once more, The Orb’s trademark playfulness is on full display on COW / Chill Out, World! and it doesn’t limit itself to the multi-layered sampling and psychedelic sound composites. It’s not so much an obscure trope coming full circle as a perfect example for The Orb’s multi-timbre approach to sound and meaning – a compelling, immersive journey to diverse places and impressions. Each track title is a conceptual work in its own right, playing with multiple references, some of which remain highly personal and mysterious. But the greatest feat of The Orb’s latest outing might just be how all this semantic doodling never gets in the way of the actual listening, at all times directly relating the artists’s sonic vitality and cheerful nosiness.

File Under: Electronic, Ambient
Listen Here

orcutt

Bill Orcutt & Chris Corsano: Live At Various (Palilalia) LP
“That guitarist Bill Orcutt & drummer Chris Corsano would play as a duo should come as a surprise to no one. As artists, both of them have bent sonic boundaries to the breaking point, especially as regards rock-based music, and they have long flowed through the same international sub-underground arteries. It was only a matter of time. The first fruit of their union was a brain melting LP called The Raw & The Cooked (2013), recorded on tour in 2012. Live at Various / Various Live is made up of the two Palilalia cassettes that followed it. The tracks were recorded between a couple of tours, one in 2013 and one the following year, in Northampton, Mexico City, Brooklyn, Montreal, Cleveland and Rochester. And they demonstrate the ferocity of Orcutt’s return to the electric guitar. Twinned-up with Corsano, Bill goes for the most distorted and bleeding tones available, whether pouring out frenzied clusters, or slow-bending blue-notes in the tradition of Loren Connors, the raunch of the proceedings is a physical presence. And Corsano goes deep into rolls and splashes with an almost perverted intensity. There ain’t much space here for sweetness or subtlety. The music is driven home with mallets, achieving a near-Beefheartian density in spots. Heard as a whole, this album provides a gush of relentless thug-beauty of a sort that has never been in long supply. Grasp it now or hold your sad peace for now and ever.” — Byron Coley. Double LP with gatefold cover. Recorded by Chris Corsano and Bill Orcutt on tour in 2013 and 2014. Reissue of two cassettes originally released on Palilalia as Live At Various and Various Live. Edition of 500.

File Under: Improv, Guitar, Free Rock
Listen Here

oval

Oval: Popp (UOVOOO) LP
Oval’s album Popp started as a concept album. It was neither meant as a pop record nor as “the Markus Popp signature album”. At first, Popp was all about playing around. And about changing the musical outlook from the earlier hyper-detailed, improvisational Oval style to straight-up sequencing, old-school glitch tricks and beat-making. Popp explains, “Working on these new ‘club tracks’ was like going from cucina povera (my 1990s student-budget glitch style) and hi-tech fusion cuisine (post-2010) to feeling like a vegan who just stumbled into a barbecue seminar.” Popp is a relentless, euphoric love letter to a musical utopia: kaleidoscopic and soulful, optimistic and grandiose. No matter if you choose to trace the many exhilarating, meandering melodies (“RE”, “ID”), or if you prefer to dance to the housy information overload of “AI” and “LO”, Popp is simply a joy to listen to. The newly introduced, intricate “fantasy vocals” are another new through line in Oval’s music: weaving a blissful, sensual, “post-R&B”-narrative beyond words (“KU”, “LO”, “VE”). Ghosts of vintage Oval glitch stylings (“FU”, “MY”, “MO”) are met with swooning strings, dreamy bells, 1990s rave stabs, angular bass lines and polyrhythmic beats. The atmosphere can even border on the solemn (“SA”), cinematic (“CA”) or even hymn-like (“VE”) before dissolving into these unstoppable, multi-layered loop-scapes. Popp explains further, “However complex and insanely technical my tracks may ever be getting, I will always make sure they sound organic, as if they’re running on nothing but sheer imagination.” Popp is released on Uovooo, a new label run by Markus Popp. Markus Popp’s early, now legendary album releases sent shockwaves through the “electronica” landscape in the late 1990’s – introducing a unique, innovative digital sound and production aesthetic. With an undeniable instinct for the pleasantly irritating, the drastic and the dreamy, Popp pioneered “glitch” and “clicks & cuts”, inspiring and provoking an entire generation of musicians to this day. After a long hiatus, Oval returned in 2010, changing the game all over again with a new, groundbreaking “hyperreal” style, blurring the lines between the electronic auteur and (virtual) “band music”. The distinctive, organic appeal of Oval tracks, remixes and albums have brought along several watershed moments for the entire genre.

File Under: Electronic
Listen Here

painkiller

Painkiller: Execution Ground (Karlrecords) LP
The seminal 1994 double album Execution Ground, by the original Painkiller with the line-up of Bill Laswell, John Zorn and Mick Harris on vinyl for the first time. When Painkiller started in 1991, their first two albums Guts Of A Virgin (1991) and Buried Secrets (1992) (both released on extreme metal label Earache) were heavy attacks blending grindcore and free jazz that brought together the musical backgrounds of the three protagonists: drummer Mick Harris had just left grindcore legend Napalm Death, John Zorn explored new extremities with his Naked City project while Bill Laswell had as a member of roaring free jazz quartet Last Exit (with Peter Brötzmann, Sonny Sharrock, Ronald Shannon Jackson) proven that he was not only a visionary producer but also an accomplished bassist. But it is their 1994 double album Execution Ground remains the opus magnum of the brilliant trio: Zorn’s unmistakable shrieking saxophone, Harris’s pounding drums and Laswell’s growling sub-bass lines were given heavy mixing desk treatment, resulting in extended tracks that are no less intense than their early works but display the full range of the musicians’s skills. Avant-jazz, grindcore, dub and ambient melt into eerie tracks of haunting atmospheres – even more so in the “ambient” versions of the second disc. Mastered and cut by Rashad Becker at D&M Berlin. Available here as a double 180 gram vinyl. Includes a download code and insert. Edition of 500.

File Under: Free Jazz, Grindcore, Ambient
Listen Here

prurient

Prurient: Pleasure Ground (Hospital) LP
One of Prurient’s most captivating raids on the borderlands of power noise and symphonic doom rears its furious head once again for this gatefold reissue on Hospital Productions, ten years on from its original release on double tape and then as a single vinyl pressing for the legendary Load Records in 2007. Pleasure Ground stands as a key part of Prurient’s golden quadrant alongside The History Of Aids (2002), Black Vase (2005) and Cocaine Death (2008), its immolating rage renders Ian Dominick Fernow at an early crest of his energies, consolidating the hi-pitch intensity and bile of his idols, Whitehouse, with the majestic, meditative inspirations of black metal and a more personalized bloodlust for unheimlich synth tones and pulsating electronic undercurrents. Its four long tracks are riven with the paradoxes that make Prurient’s music so compelling and practically a genre unto itself, meting out a sound in “Earthworks / Buried In Secret” that’s simultaneously nerve-gnawing yet bleakly tender, or weighing up caustic harshness with a melodic vulnerability in “Apple Tree Victim” that appeals far beyond the bombed-out no-man’s land of pure noise to intersect with the entrails of EBM in the raging but poised thunder of “Military Road” – one of his finest moments, bar none – and cold-wave pop and fetishistic synth themes in “Outdoorsman / Indestructible”. If you’re willing to bite down, you will find a depth of bittersweet flavor submerged beneath the tidal waves of white noise filled with nuance and vulnerability, slowly dragging you into the abyss. Ultimately though, there’s no mistaking that in the end Pleasure Ground is just unflinchingly fucking heavy. Housed in a deluxe, reverse-board gatefold sleeve. Mastered and cut by Barry Grint at Alechemy.

File Under: Noise, Industrial
Listen Here

scorch-tio

Scorch Trio: XXX (Rune Grammofon) LP
XXX is a four LP collection featuring Scorch Trio’s recordings. It includes Scorch Trio (2002), Luggumt (2004), Brolt (2008) and a radio session entitled Oval. In Norway, Scorch Trio was greeted with 6/6 reviews in the two biggest newspapers and The Wire said “the scope of their improvisational ideas is breathtaking”, in spirit comparing the album to The Mahavishnu Orchestra’s The Inner Mounting Flame (1971). Four years after Luggumt, Brolt was to become the final album with Paal Nilssen-Love behind the drums. Following in the tradition of the previous albums, this is a masterful example of passionate improvisation and breathtaking interplay. The joker in this collection is Oval, a radio session done for Yle, the Finnish broadcasting company, two years before their debut album was released. Why this recording has been left on a shelf for so long is anyone’s guess because this is quite a remarkable recording, showing off a new group brimming with energy and new ideas. Paal Nilssen-Love was only 25 at the time, but he and Ingebrigt Håker Flaten already had a reputation as one of the most energetic and creative rhythm sections in Scandinavia. Here the Finnish guitar phenomenon Raoul Björkenheim had found the perfect partners for his new group. Oval is previously unreleased in any form. Scorch Trio has only been available on CD until now, while both Luggumt and Brolt have long been out of print on vinyl.

File Under: Free Jazz, Improv
Listen Here

she-him

She & Him: Christmas Party (Columbia) LP
She & Him (the sublime duo of Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward) offer up their second holiday themed collection with Christmas Party, the sequel to their acclaimed 2011 release A Very She & Him Christmas. The uplifting 12-track set features guest appearances by Jenny Lewis, The Chapin Sisters, Sonic Youth’s Steve Shelley and Jim Keltner amidst stylized renditions of “Let It Snow,” “Winter Wonderland,” “Run Rudolph Run,” and “Mele Kalikimaka.” Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas Is You,” is also updated wonderfully here with Deschanel noting, “I’ve always loved this song, and I was like, ‘I’d love to hear it without the digital keyboards. I’d love to hear it recorded in a little more of an old school way.”

File Under: Indie Rock, Holiday
Listen Here

shifted

Shifted: Appropriation Stories (Hospital) LP
Guy Alexander Brewer, aka Shifted, is involved in several projects taking in techno, noise and experimental electronics overlaying a once-hidden past in drum’n’bass. Having shunned his previous work in Commix, more recently Brewer has learned to look back, even making sideways stabs into breakbeat territory with his Covered In Sand alias. The process grows more intricate and subtle on Appropriation Stories for the Hospital Productions imprint helmed by Dominick Fernow (aka Prurient, Vatican Shadow, et al.). On Appropriation Stories, rigorous processing and studio treatments transform classic breaks into deeply hidden components that add new layers of character to his highly-developed techno sound. At first presenting itself as a dense wall-of-sound underpinned by an incessant pulse, Appropriation Stories at length reveals itself to be a much more complex work. In place of the stark minimalism, razor-sharp digital textures and smeared analog surfaces of his previous output, Brewer offers layered tracks with intricate mixes that reveal themselves gradually over time. For long stretches – opener “This Passage”, “For Closure”, “In Respect of Tactics” – the rhythm steps back from insistent to implied, further exposing the careful arrangements of pure sound. As his origins in purist techno grow ever-more distant, Shifted’s sound has progressed from digital clarity to the murky-but-hard middle ground of his sophomore full length on Bed Of Nails, Under A Single Banner, and through a clear evolution on Brewer’s own Avian imprint. Integrating his more searching work as Alexander Lewis and his increasingly introspective work as Shifted while eloquently addressing his past, Appropriation Stories is a comprehensive statement of intent and Brewer’s finest, most mature work to-date. Mastered by Matt Colton at Alchemy.

File Under: Electronic, Techno, Ambient
Listen Here

cologne

Various: Cologne Curiosities (Mental Experience) LP
The Nuggets (1972) of krautrock, Cologne Curiosities collects for the first time on vinyl, all the otherwise unpublished/un-reissued material that originally appeared on the three Unknown Deutschland – The Krautrock Archive CDs released on Virgin in 1996. These CD only releases were originally compiled by Trevor Manwaring (Paratactile, Impetus, Virgin, Harmonia Mundi) from tapes supplied to him by Toby Robinson. Toby, aka The Mad Twiddler, aka Genius P. Orridge, is well-known to krautrock collectors as one of a number of engineers working at Stockhausen’s WDR and Dierks Studio in Cologne in the mid-1970s, where he assisted on recordings by many famous kraut bands such as Can, Birth Control, Mythos and Dzyan. The recordings included here were made between 1972 and 1976 using studios in and around Cologne, produced by Toby Robinson for his own amusement. Bands would come in for practice sessions, to record demos, and during slack periods, impromptu jams would happen. Most of these sessions were recorded by Toby, and they feature Toby himself plus a revolving cast of friends and musicians (some of them apparently big kraut names under pseudonym). Including lost-in-time bands/studio projects like Astral Army, Fuerrote, Spirulina and Baal among others, the music here ranges from killer proto-new wave kraut psych to wild space rock, proto-ambient electronic, dark psychedelia and raw kosmische sounds with lots of analog synths/Moog. It was during that time in Cologne, that Toby, along with Fluxus artist Robin Page, gave birth to the mysterious and controversial Pyramid label, for which these tracks were originally made for. 24-bit domain remaster from the original master tapes. Insert with detailed liner notes by Alan Freeman (Ultima Thule, The Crack In The Cosmic Egg (2007)). Also features: Chronos, Neil Andersen and Ten To Zen. RIYL: Pink Floyd, Gila, Cluster, Hawkwind, Ash Ra Tempel, Amon Düül II, Popol Vuh, Cosmic Jokers.

File Under: Krautrock, Kosmische

french-dbs

Various: French Disco Boogie Sounds Vol. 2 (Favorite) LP
After an internationally acclaimed first edition, Favorite Recordings and Charles Maurice follow-up their French Disco Boogie Sounds compilation with this second volume. Pursuing his fine work at digging rare music from around the world, DJ and collector Charles Maurice presents another brilliant selection of great music linked to France and French West-Indies: 12 hidden and forgotten titles, all produced between 1978 and 1985, in France, or by French artists abroad. Again, he perfectly browses and defines the great energy and quality of this specific disco/funk scene at that time, both in the underground market, or through bigger labels. On one hand, tracks by Crystal, Jackie Esam, Ideku Dynasty or Marc Ashy, were produced by small artists and labels from the French Caribbean and African community and are filled with a raw spirit and some tropical influences. On the other hand, tracks by Claude Morgan, Greg Smaha, Roots, or Black Bells Group, were released by major labels such as Phonogram, RCA, Derby, or Carrere, thanks to confirmed independent producers, acting not only in France, but also in Canada and the US. Favorite Recordings and Charles Maurice unearth these 12 gems, amongst them some very hard to find and almost unknown titles. Also features: Charms, Neilo Feel,Nel Oliver and Messan.

File Under: Disco, Boogie

…..Restocks…..

Beach Boys: Good Vibrations (Universal) LP
Beastie Boys: Licensed to Ill (Universal) LP
Broadcast: Noise Made By People (Warp) LP
Califone: Roomsound (Dead Oceans) LP
Alice Coltrane: Journey in Satchidananda (Impulse) LP
Converge: You Fail Me Redux (Deathwish) LP
Lana Del Rey: Born To Die (Universal) LP
Michael Farneti: Good Morning (Companion) LP
Guns n Roses: Use Your Illusion 1 (Geffen) LP
Guns n Roses: Use Your Illusion 2 (Geffen) LP
Intersystems: s/t (Alga Margen) Box
Norah Jones: Day Breaks (Blue Note) LP
Fela Kuti: Expensive Shit (Knitting Factory) LP
Medico Doktor Vibes: Liter Dorker (Companion) LP
Mitski: Puberty 2 (Dead Oceans) LP
Naked & Famous: Simple Forms (Sony) LP
New Creation: Troubled (Companion) LP
Angel Olsen: My Woman (Jagjaguwar) LP
OST: Beyond the Black Rainbow (Jagjaguwar) LP
Pearl Jam: Versus (Legacy) LP
Pearl Jam: Ten (Legacy) LP
Pearl Jam: Vitalogy (Legacy) LP
Pharcyde: Bizarre Ride II (Bicycle Music) LP
Pink Floyd: Meddle (Pink Floyd) LP
Daniel Romano: Mosey (New West) LP
Jack Rose: Kensington Blues (VHF) LP
Semi-Colon: Ndia Egbuo (Comb & Razor) LP
Small Faces: First Step (Rhino) LP
Stooges: s/t (Rhino) LP
S U R V I V E: RR7349 (Relapse) LP
Syrinx: Tumblers from the Vault (ReRVNG) LP/CD
T. Rex: s/t (Rhino) LP
Throbbing Gristle: 2nd Annual Report (Industrial) LP
Throbbing Gristle: DOA (Industrial) LP
Tomorrow The Rain Will Fall Upwards: Wreck (Blackest Ever Black) LP
Caetano Veloso: s/t (Lilith) LP
Weezer: Green Album (Universal) LP
Weezer: Red Album (Universal) LP
Various: Brixotica Goes East (Trunk) LP
Various: Psych Funk 101 (World Psych Funk Classics) LP

Tagged , , , , , ,

…..news letter #763 – boop…..

Another modest list this week, but I have it on good authority that next week is going to be a whopper. Also, our used bins are stuff with killer slabs these days, so get on down for a dig while the weather is warm.

…..pick of the week…..

dickens

Lt. Frank Dickens: Sunburned (Jaz) LP
Lt. Frank Dickens is the nom-de-musique of the former singer, guitarist, and songwriter of Vancouver’s shadowy pop band Peace, formerly signed to Suicide Squeeze records. Recorded in pieces over a number of years, his debut album Sunburned was originally released as a limited run cassette in the autumn of 2015. Now the album is being made available with a new cover and two extra songs through JAZ Records in a run of 300 copies. Sunburned is made up of songs that Dickens had been working on for as much as ten years’ time. It is a collection of haunted lullabies informed by the mysterious underbelly of life on the West Coast as much as musical touchstones such as Scott Walker, Syd Barrett and the Television Personalities. The instrumentation differs significantly between songs, but there is unity in the albums wistful tone and Dickens’ baritone sing-speak. Sunburned is a darkly lyrical and hermetic fairy-tale of a record that hints at the deeply personal while maintaining a veil of mystery.

File Under: Indie Rock
Listen Here

…..new arrivals…..

amfoot

American Football: s/t (Polyvinyl) LP
Not long after Polyvinyl Records released American Football’s self-titled debut album in 1999, the band called it quits, having only played a smattering of Champaign-Urbana college house parties and sets at small clubs like Chicago’s legendary Fireside Bowl. Such an inauspicious turn of events made what followed all the more incredible. Over time, the record went on to become one of Polyvinyl’s best selling releases to date, and ended up serving as “one of the single most influential rock records of its time” according to Noisey and many others. To most everyone that found them after the fact, the band was no more than an apparition. The record the only artifact left behind as a timeless snapshot of a group of individuals in transition, newly discovered each year by a fresh crop of music fans reaching a similar inflection point in their own lives. When American Football announced in 2014 that they would play live for the first time in 15 years, the built up appreciation for that eponymous LP physically manifested itself as they sold out three nights at Webster Hall in New York City in a matter of hours, and then went on to do the same at venues around the world. A quarter of a lifetime removed, and at times thousands of miles away from the house on the sleepy street in the middle of Illinois depicted on their debut album’s iconic cover, they found themselves playing to sold out crowds that numbered in the thousands in London, Tokyo, Barcelona and beyond. The again self-titled American Football finds the band with new material that takes them on a serendipitous detour down a familiar road. It is replete with the swelling emotions that might be spurred on by locked away memories unearthed by a familiar scent or crack in the concrete, or the rush of warm apprehension when coming face to face with a lover left before the fire was close to going out. “The past still present tense” sings Mike Kinsella on “Home Is Where The Haunt Is,” but while the house on the cover and the title of the album are the same, they are made strange by time and new found perspective. “We’ve been here before,” he declares on album opener “Where Are We Now?”, “but I don’t remember a lock on the door.” At a time when reunions have become rote, American Football is decidedly an anomaly. There is no past glory to relive or reignite, nor the burden to branch out and break from a well worn formula. Seventeen years later everything still feels brand new, because for them it is. They are a band that for one reason or another closed the lid on their creative output just as they were beginning an unforeseeable upswing, and are just now after a stasis returning to uncork it with the benefit of greater maturity and better musicianship. The sound is even more expansive, the lyrics less naive and more world weary, the songs have greater depths to explore and layers to peel back throughout. “You can’t just forget all the other lives you’ve lived,” Kinsella sings, and every single one of the nearly two decades worth of experiences since they last put pen to paper as American Football seem to bleed through on this record.

File Under: Indie Rock
Listen Here

angel-witch

Angel Witch: s/t (Real Gone) LP
One of the first and greatest “black metal” albums, and one of the records that helped launch the New Wave of British Heavy Metal movement, the 1980 self-titled debut from Angel Witch still packs a wallop some 36 years later. Unlike, say, Black Sabbath or Led Zeppelin, songwriter Kevin Heybourne’s lyrical imagery just doesn’t dabble in the occult, it lives (dies?) there, with abundant sword and sorcery themes and tales (e.g. “Angel of Death”) of damnation. Yet, as on the title track, the band is not above crafting some catchy hooks, though the raw production ensures that those hooks have barbs. Real Gone Music is proud to present the first vinyl reissue of this classic metal album, in limited edition (of 600 copies) colored vinyl. Buy or be eternally condemned!

File Under: Metal
Listen Here

connors

Loren Connors: The Departing of a Dream Vol VI (Family Vineyard) 10″
Just months after reviving The Departing of a Dream series from a ten-year hiatus with the release of Volume V — Loren Connors issues another movement of saturated guitar tones, dissonance and impermanence. Volume Six begins with the percussive sound of struck, muted strings, it’s an unusually rhythmic effect for one of Connors solo recordings, writes Kurt Gottschalk in The Wire. But from there, Connors’ guitar notes morph into gentle wisps of guitar sounds — or as Connors himself describes: “just like the wind scattering the notes around.” The mini-album is presented as a 10-inch with artwork by Connors — a faint, nearly transparent drawing of a woman’s face. Audio mastering by Taylor Deupree at 12k and vinyl mastering by Jason Ward at Chicago Mastering. One-time edition of 550 copies, includes download coupon.

File Under: Ambient, Guitar
Listen Here

cyr

Cyrillic Typewriter: Your True Emblem (Jaz) LP
Your True Emblem is the latest offering from Vancouver’s Cyrillic Typewriter, the enigmatic mantle of Jason Zumpano, joined here with fellow Destroyer alumna Scott Morgan (Loscil) and Nic Bragg, and recent recruit Terri Upton of Frog Eyes. Maintaining the suite-like format of 2015’s Best Suit, it assumes a sci-fi cinema stance: delicate, capsule-like intervals of mellow post-rock spaciousness – a sonic depth of field that gives a vibey sense of flotation – which are then interrupted by abrasive and agitated interludes of redirection that signal a narrative of tense anticipation: we are waiting for a message from outer space, and this is either the soundtrack to the waiting, or the message itself. LPs with art from frequent Cyrillic Typewriter collaborator Jason McLean; each comes with one of three 5×5 matte cardstock photo inserts.

File Under: Ambient, CanCon
Listen Here

duchess

Duchess Says: Sciences Nouvelle (Bonsound) LP
Slovenly Recordings, in conjunction with Bonsound (CA), is proud to present the latest orb from Duchess Says, re-entering the Earthen atmosphere to soil your sweet dreams with their third astral opus Sciences Nouvelles. Faithfully endorsed by the Church of Budgerigars, this antagonistic workout features chanteuse maniaque Annie-Claude Deschenes and her band of desensitized robot cronies clawing their way through ten tracks of Moog saturated cold / new / dark wave blasters, besmirching your cherished optimism and grinding it into dust. Duchess Says drops science in a heady amalgam of tracks in English, French and also of the wordless persuasion, with fudgy bass and fuzz propelled by slinky punk beats and fat synth bleeps delaying for eons, projecting a Giorgio Moroder vs. Devo dance-off on space station Italo-Q: A:.

File Under: Electro Punk
Listen Here

dumbo

D.D Dumbo: Utopia Defeated (4AD) LP
D.D Dumbo’s long-awaited debut LP Utopia Defeated is set for worldwide release via 4AD. The album is a collision of blues licks, echoes of world music, strident ‘80’s pop, the kinetic energy of dance music, and splashes of outsider art akin to Captain Beefheart, one of D.D Dumbo’s touchstones. D.D Dumbo’s fantastical debut album conjures a vivid, wide-eyed musical landscape teeming with nervous energy and exotic evocations of the world at large. Backed by skittering sounds, Utopia Defeated hinges on Oliver Hugh Perry expressive voice, and the dissonance of an artist compelled to question his position in the natural world. Written and performed almost entirely by Perry, the album was recorded at 4AD’s London Studios, with recording, engineering and production by Perry and 4AD’s resident.engineer Fabian Prynn. The 10 track album hurdles effortlessly over the expectations set by his intriguing debut EP, Tropical Oceans.

File Under: Pop
Listen Here

hieroHieroglyphic Being: The Disco’s of Imhotep (Technicolour) LP
Jamal Moss aka Hieroglyphic Being issues his definitive solo album, The Disco’s Of Imhotep, via Ninja Tune’s Technicolour imprint. He has built a sterling reputation both as a producer and live performer of deep, mesmeric experimental electronics and free jazz rooted in his native Chicago and his relationship with the city’s fertile underground club scene. Inspired by the likes of Ron Trent, DJ Rush (residents at The Reactor where he danced week in week out) and Ron Hardy, Moss was mentored by visionary producers Steve Pointdexter and Adonis, who showed him the drum machines that were the backbone of the Movement and whom encouraged his early forays into music production. Releasing prolifically on his own Mathematics Recordings imprint and a clutch of other imprints including RVNG Intl. and Soul Jazz / SOTU; collaborating with Marshall Allen of Sun Ra’s Arkestra and Noleian Reusse (as Africans With Mainframes) – Moss has cemented his stature as a unique creative force. He balances his ancient heritage and musical DNA with a passion to experiment, create and channel music as a healing force, which has resulted in his art being tagged “Afrofuturist”. Moss, however, prefers to describe his output as Synth Expressionism / Rhythmic Cubism and would rather be viewed simply as a promoter of Nubian Rights.

File Under: Techno, Acid
Listen Here

nxworries

NxWorries (Anderson.Paak & Knxwledge): Yes Lawd! (Stones Throw) LP
Yes Lawd! As temping as it may be to just let that exclamation suffice as your sole introduction to NxWorries, we should go a little deeper. The men at the heart of this LP – soul styler Anderson .Paak and loop beast Knxwledge – make an exceedingly clean pair, even as they deal almost entirely in the gritty: vocals that sound lived in for a couple of lifetimes; beats that kick up dust as they bump; and an 19-track set that plays like a mixtape merging skits, songs, and snippets into a package of fluid groove and rough-cut rap ‘n’ soul gems. You may have heard these two out in the world, on their own or sprinkling some of their musical gold dust on someone else’s songs, but this is what happens when .Paak and Knx get home, lay back, light up, and let it go. If there’s a Blaxploitation vibe to Yes Lawd!, that’s just the depth of NxWorries’ funk and strut showing. If there’s gospel in the grits, that’s the history of the cooks. Each grew up with religion. It was Knxwledge’s job to tidy up the family church in Jersey as a kid, and when he was done, he got to play on the instruments. Better still, when those instruments went bad, he kept them. Similarly, he’d soon find sounds in his growing vinyl cache, and when he moved to Los Angeles in 2008 as a beat maker, his compositions ensured he’d be home at Stones Throw. His hypnotically dank 2015 LP Hud Dreems was the tip of an iceberg – 75 Bandcamp collections, and counting.  Paak was neck deep in those songs when Knxwledge reached out. The singer grew up in Oxnard drumming in his own family’s church. His folks got locked up when he was a teen, and while he’d eke by on odd jobs (grocer, trimmer, personal assistant), he was homeless for a spell with a newborn son. But .Paak pushed forward, building a career via imaginative albums (2016’s Malibu), and collaborations that always seem to make him the star, even when he’s just there to sing the hook. On Yes Lawd!, .Paak – who calls the album “my best work” – plays theatrically brash version of himself who sings like a ‘70s superstar and talks shit like a stone cold player. But the performance is seeded with details from his life, which has seen a fair share of struggle and hardwon triumph. Meanwhile, Knx weaves a tapestry of sampled bits and live fragments – bass, brass and violin – that smooths everything over, reminding us that despite whatever struggle it took to get here… well, you already know the name: NxWorries.

File Under: Hip Hop
Listen Here

powell

Powell: Sport (XL) LP
Powell announces his debut full length album Sport on XL Recordings. Touring to commence late summer / early fall and continue into the exciting and unforeseeable future. Sport is music for both the mind and the body. Sure, it’s physical and you can dance to it, but Powell wants to drag people’s brains along for the ride too. “Standing apart from many less singular producers is Powell, whose music has become clearly distinct and attributable only to him.” – Ad Hoc. “Oscar Powell belongs to a very small pool of dance artists whose music is a style in itself… His tracks combine the attitude of post-punk with the physicality of techno and the adventurous spirit of experimental music.” – Resident Advisor. “Powell…traverses the same spectrum from brilliant to dumb, from super to stoopid as The Beastie Boys circa Intergalactic, and proposes the same kind of grand unifying theory of funk as Basement Jaxx circa Red Alert.” – The Wire.

File Under: Electronic, Techno
Listen Here

prince

Prince: Sign ‘O’ The Times (Warner) LP
Prince’s Grammy Nominated 1987 Album Following the Dissolution of The Revolution Back in Print! Prince arrived on the scene in the late-70s, and it didn’t take long for him to upend the music world with his startling music and arresting demeanor. He rewrote the rulebook, forging a synthesis of black funk and white rock that served as a blueprint for cutting-edge music in the ’80s. He made dance music that rocked and rock music that had a bristling, funky backbone. From the beginning, Prince and his music were androgynous, sly, sexy and provocative. His colorful image and revolutionary music made him a figure comparable in paradigm-shifting impact to Little Richard, James Brown, Jimi Hendrix and George Clinton. Prince hit an artistic peak with Sign ‘O’ the Times (1987), his first album since 1999 not to be co-credited to the Revolution. A double album that was trimmed down from an intended triple, Sign ‘O’ the Times was Prince’s most musically expansive and lyrically incisive album. On the sobering “Sign ‘O’ the Times” (No. 6), Prince enumerated a catalog of social ills (AIDS, crack, gang violence) over a skeletal funk track. Other hits from the album included “U Got the Look” (No. 2), a duet with Sheena Easton, and “I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man” (No. 10).

File Under: Pop, Funk, Electronic
Listen Here

jks_winterwheat-jpg-540x540_q90_crop

John K. Samson: Winter Wheat (Anti) LP
Singer/songwriter John K. Samson enlists the rhythm section from his renowned band The Weakerthans for much of his second solo album, Winter Wheat. Inspired by the search for connection and community, his hometown of Winnipeg, and our individual and collective struggles with addictions to drugs, screens, and fossil fuels – Winter Wheat is a sprawling, masterful and timely work by a writer at the peak of his powers. Winter Wheat was produced in garages and homes through a Winnipeg winter by Samson’s partner and collaborator, Christine Fellows, and his Weakerthans co-founder and drummer/multi-instrumentalist Jason Tait, and mixed in the spring in Toronto by Robbie Lackritz (Bahamas, Feist). The spare and thoughtful arrangements also feature Greg Smith of The Weakerthans on electric bass, Ashley Au on double and electric bass, Leanne Zacharias on cello, and Shotgun Jimmie on electric guitar. Like the crop itself, which is planted in the fall, sprouts, goes dormant through months of snow and rises in the spring, Winter Wheat is a determined, beautiful, resilient response to difficult and extraordinary times. Double Vinyl includes three sides of music and an etching on Side D. For fans of the Weakerthans, Wilco, Death Cab for Cutie, Elliott Smith, and Built to Spill.

File Under: Indie Rock
Listen Here

sleafordSleaford Mods: T.C.R. (Rough Trade) LP
Equal parts classic-era punk, casio minimalism, slam poetry, growling protest chant, and poison ivy rash, Sleaford Mods are singular, and always powerful. And with their TCR 12″, particularly its title track, named for the 1970s auto toy “Total Control Racing,” the Mods are surprisingly…tuneful? The 12″ leads into the duo’s Rough Trade debut, planned for 2017, and don’t worry they still manage to raise as much hell and throw as many punches as ever here!

File Under: Hip Hop

nycghosts

Sonic Youth: NYC Ghosts & Flowers (Geffen) LP
For more than a quarter century, Sonic Youth – featuring Thurston Moore, Kim Gordon, Lee Ranaldo and Steve Shelley – ruled the New York underground as the reigning post-punk experimental noise band of its era, releasing 15 full-length albums, from 1983’s Confusion Is Sex to 2009’s The Eternal. Universal Music Enterprises (UMe) is re-releasing the entire nine-album DGC/Geffen catalog – which ranges from 1990’s Goo to 2006’s Rather Ripped – remastered from the original stereo analog master tapes on high-grade vinyl. All vinyl album releases will also include an accompanying digital download card. 2000’s NYC Ghosts & Flowers is Sonic Youth’s thirteenth album, and yet manages to sound fresh and familiar at the same time – probably largely due to the theft of an extensive amount of their gear directly prior to the album’s composition. It was also their shortest record in years, a fact that shouldn’t be interpreted as lack of new ideas – instead, Sonic Youth offer a fury of chaotic, melodic, and psychotic soundwaves that leave you wanting more. Greg Kot of the Chicago Tribune exclaimed: “Though Sonic Youth flirted with alternative-rock songcraft in the early ’90s, these noise-rock renegades are once again happily viewing their guitars as hunks of wood, wire and infinite possibility…No rock band makes the avant-garde sound quite this tactile and sensual.”

File Under: Indie Rock
Listen Here

yanneusa

Yann Tiersen: Eusa (Mute) LP
To North Americans who know him only as the mastermind behind the Amélie score, it might come as a surprise that French songwriter Yann Tiersen’s new album, EUSA, is the first minimal piano album of his storied career. That’s right: the man behind “Comptine d’un autre été : L’après-midi” — maybe the prettiest piano composition of all-time — has never made a piano album. That’s a shame, because EUSA is a consistently gorgeous work that extrapolates nicely on his past handful of piano-based compositions. It almost didn’t exist. EUSA, named after Tiersen’s Breton island homeland (Ushant in English), was originally conceived as ten pieces inspired by and named after places on the island, to be released only as sheet music. It was only after Tiersen played the work live at a series of French shows, augmenting it with improvised musical “pathways” between songs, that he realized he wanted to release it as an album. EUSA begins with the first of that series of loose piano interludes, “Hent I,” which builds tension perfectly around just two chords before resolving with “Pern.” The early highlight rises and falls beautifully, feeling somehow sprightly and melancholy at the same time, while “Porz Goret,” a more straightforward ballad, evokes “Comptine” in its sweet, sad elegance. Elsewhere, songs like “Penn ar Roc’h,” “Yuzin” and “Roc’h ar Vugale” provide a perfect soundtrack for bright mornings or rainy afternoons.

File Under: Classical
Listen Here

hip

Tragically Hip: s/t (Caroline) LP
Critically acclaimed for over two decades, The Tragically Hip has been at the heart of the Canadian musical zeitgeist for evoking a strong emotional connection between their music and their fans that remains unrivaled. A five-piece group of friends including Robby Baker (guitar), Gord Downie (vocals, guitar), Johnny Fay (drums), Paul Langlois (guitar) and Gord Sinclair (bass), who grew up in Kingston, Ontario, The Hip has achieved the enviable status of a band that enjoys both mass popularity with over 8 million albums sold worldwide, as well as peer recognition with 14 Juno Awards via a dozen recordings. Originally issued in 1987, the band’s auspicious 8-track debut self-titled EP was produced by Ken Greer of Red Rider and includes the raw and impassioned early offerings “Small Town Bringdown” and “Last American Exit.”

File Under: Classic CanCon
Listen Here

up-to-here

Tragically Hip: Up to Here (Caroline) LP
Critically acclaimed for over two decades, The Tragically Hip has been at the heart of the Canadian musical zeitgeist for evoking a strong emotional connection between their music and their fans that remains unrivaled. A five-piece group of friends including Robby Baker (guitar), Gord Downie (vocals, guitar), Johnny Fay (drums), Paul Langlois (guitar) and Gord Sinclair (bass), who grew up in Kingston, Ontario, The Hip has achieved the enviable status of a band that enjoys both mass popularity with over 8 million albums sold worldwide, as well as peer recognition with 14 Juno Awards via a dozen recordings. 1989’s Up To Here is the debut full-length recording from the Tragically Hip following the release of their 1987 self-titled EP. Recorded with Don Smith and Bruce Barris at Ardent Studios in Memphis, Tennessee the promising 11-song set is awash in driving rhythms, effective riffs, subtle soloing and the heartfelt vocals and poetics of singer Gordon Downie. Standout tracks on Up In Here include “Boots Or Hearts,” “38 Years Old” and “Blow At High Dough” which became the theme song to the CBC comedy-drama Made in Canada.

File Under: Classic CanCon
Listen Here

road-apples

Tragically Hip: Road Apples (Caroline) LP
Critically acclaimed for over two decades, The Tragically Hip has been at the heart of the Canadian musical zeitgeist for evoking a strong emotional connection between their music and their fans that remains unrivaled. A five-piece group of friends including Robby Baker (guitar), Gord Downie (vocals, guitar), Johnny Fay (drums), Paul Langlois (guitar) and Gord Sinclair (bass), who grew up in Kingston, Ontario, The Hip has achieved the enviable status of a band that enjoys both mass popularity with over 8 million albums sold worldwide, as well as peer recognition with 14 Juno Awards via a dozen recordings. Originally issued in 1991, Road Apples is the second full-length effort from the Tragically Hip and the band’s first Number One album in their home country. Recorded in New Orleans, LA with Bruce Barris and Don Smith, the energetic, emotional and poetic 12-song journey stands as one of the group’s best and is highlighted by such fully realized catalog gems as “Little Bones,” “Twist My Arm” and “Long Time Running.”

File Under: Classic CanCon
Listen Here

videodrones

Videodrones: Mondo Ferox (El Paraiso) LP
Danish synth duo Videdrones are all about simultaneously channeling of the vibes of maestros, ranging from the epic choirs of Popol Vuh or Fabio Frizzi through the smooth gliding arpeggios of Tangerine Dream or Giorgio Moroder, even into Goblin or Morricone at their most abstract. But there’s more to it than mere tribute. Mondo Ferox is the kind of album where electronic instruments take on a life of their own – Constantly in flux, changing direction and pace like that of the lives at the bottom of the sea. It’s like a constant overture. These are sounds that the listener knows, but they’re turning themselves inside out, bleeding into each other and losing themselves in the flow – Favoring emotion and impulse over logic and structure. Rather than repeating what’s already been seen and heard, Videodrones re-melts the voices of cinema into something yet to be imagined.

File Under: Electronic, OST
Listen Here

kenya

Various: Kenya Special Vol. 2 (Soundways) LP
To many outside of East Africa, the Kenya Special Soundway compilation released in 2013 was their introduction to the full spectrum of the musical landscape of 1970s and ‘80s Kenya. The promotion of Kenyan music on an international level from the mid-eighties onwards had often been within a narrative of ‘otherness’, where releases were marketed as world music, focusing on a few genres with clearly defined sounds, such as benga and Swahili rumba. Kenya Special did more or less the opposite by highlighting songs and bands that couldn’t easily be categorized. Many of the featured songs seemed to bend the rules, break away from existing genres and sometimes borrow from foreign music trends. Whereas the world music campaigns of the 1980s were moderately successful in drawing in young audiences, the more recent wave of reissues has caught on with a demographic that’s one or two generations younger than those listeners that were originally interested in the music that was recorded in Kenya from the 1960s to the 1980s. The approach to musical rediscovery that is behind Kenya Special has its origins in a youthful movement of vinyl collecting (and to some extent club culture), which has, in the past decade and a half, carved out its own niche alongside the established music industry. Despite the renewed interest in music from Kenya’s past, finding these tracks and their rights holders hasn’t become any easier. Only a handful of music archives around the world harbour collections of Kenyan music, and just a few private collectors in Kenya and abroad have been sharing catalogue info online or privately. One of the problems with East African music of this era is that much of it was originally released only on 45 rpm, seven-inch vinyl singles, many of which were only ever produced in tiny runs of a few hundred. 45s with their thin, paper sleeves do not age as well as LPs and are often far more susceptible to the elements. The compilers of Kenya Special 2 have gone to great lengths to disclose a small part of what is slowly being accepted as an essential element of East Africa’s cultural heritage: the history of recorded popular music. We hope you enjoy it. As always with Soundway releases Kenya 2 comes with extensive liner notes, photo’s and artwork from each 45. Vinyl is housed in a gatefold sleeve.

File Under: Africa, Afrobeat, Funk
Listen Here

studio-one

Various: Studio One Radio Show (Studio One) LP
Studio One Radio Show presents two rare performances recorded for Studio One by the Jamaica Broadcasting Corporation. Up until the 1970’s there were heated discussions about the amount of U.S. soul hits being played on the radio. It was in this climate that Studio One’s Clement Dodd as well as Duke Reid and Lee Perry, started purchasing time from the radio stations to play their material uninterrupted. The favored radio jock for Studio One was Wintston Williams nicknamed “The Whip With The Solid Kick.” Winston “The Whip” Williams first entered radio in the 1970’s at the now defunct Jamaica Broadcasting Corporation as a newscaster and disc jockey for the afternoon show ‘Whip with the Solid Kick’. He also helmed the Studio One radio show that was broadcast on JBC on Saturday Mornings. Williams specialty was his rapid-fire jive rhyming delivery alongside his alter-ego Marcus who “ate chicken on Sundays.” To date his career in radio spans four decades as newscaster and radio personality, ‘Winston in Kingston’ continues to excite listeners as the ‘radio rhyme king’ on Power 106FM. Broadcasted on Saturday these shows were intended to showcase recent releases and to advertise the various Studio One locations and their products. The first of the two Studio One Radio Shows was known as the Sound of Young Jamaica and featured Winston Francis, The Boss, Jerry Jones, The Heptones, Ernest Ranglin, Horace Andy and Burning Spear. The second show, known as Soul Power and Sound, features Sugar Minott, Ken Boothe, Alton Ellis, The Heptones and Carletone & The Shoes.

File Under: Reggae

…..Restocks…..

Alabama Shakes: Boys & Girls (ATO) LP
Alabama Shakes: Sound & Color (ATO) LP
Aphex Twin: Cheetah (Warp) LP
Aphex Twin: Syro (Warp) LP
William Basinski: 92982 (Temporary Residence) LP
William Basinski: The Deluge (Temporary Residence) LP
Beastie Boys: Hello Nasty (EMI) LP
Black Sabbath: Paranoid (Rhino) LP
Broadcast: Haha Sound (Warp) LP
Broadcast: Tender Buttons (Warp) LP
Broadcast: Work & Nonwork (Warp) LP
Nick Cave: Abattoir Blues (Mute) LP
Nick Cave: Boatman’s Call (Mute) LP
Nick Cave: Firstborn is Dead (Mute) LP
Nick Cave: Henry’s Dream (Mute) LP
Nick Cave: Kicking Against the Pricks (Mute) LP
Nick Cave: Let Love In (Mute) LP
Nick Cave: No More Shall We Part (Mute) LP
Nick Cave: Your Funeral… My Trial (Mute) LP
City & Colour: If I Should Go Before You Do (Dine Alone) LP
Cure: Pornography (Rhino) LP
J Dilla: Donuts (Stones Throw) LP
Dillinger Escape Plan: Calculating Infinity(Relapse) LP
Eric Dolphy: Outward Bound (Original Jazz Classics) LP
Earthless: Sonic Prayer (Gravity) LP
Earthless: Rhythms From A Cosmic Sky (Tee Pee) LP
Fleetwood Mac: Rumors (Rhino) LP
Flying Lotus: You’re Dead! (Warp) LP
Grizzly Bear: Shields (Warp) LP
Grizzly Bear: Veckatimest (Warp) LP
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard: Paper Mache Dream ballon (ATO) LP
Fela Kuti: Beasts of No Nation (Knitting Factory) LP
Fela Kuti: Confusion (Knitting Factory) LP
Fela Kuti: He Miss Road (Knitting Factory) LP
Fela Kuti: Sorrow, Tears & Blood (Knitting Factory) LP
Daniel Lanois: Goodbye to Language (Anti) LP
Led Zeppelin: III (Warner) LP
Metallica: Master of Puppets (Blackened) LP
Metallica: Ride the Lightning (Blackened) LP
Metallica: Kill Em All (Blackened) LP
Mumford & Sons: Babel (Glassnote) LP
Mumford & Sons: Sigh No More (Glassnote) LP
Parliament: Mothership Connection (Universal) LP
Joel Plaskett: La De Da (Maplemusic) LP
Iggy Pop: Post Pop Depression (Loma Vista) LP
Queens of the Stone Age: Rated R (Interscope) LP
Rolling Stones: Exile on Main Street (Universal) LP
Rolling Stones: Let It Bleed (Abkco) LP
Rolling Stones: Sticky Fingers (Universal) LP
Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet: Savvy Show Stoppers (Yep Rock) LP
Swans: The Seer (Young God) LP
Talking Heads: 77 (Rhino) LP
Talking Heads: Fear of Music (Rhino) LP
Thor & Friends: s/t (L.M. Duplication) LP
Velvet Underground: s/t (Verve) LP
Stevie Wonder: Innervisions (Tamala) LP
Stevie Wonder: Music of my Mind (Tamala) LP
Stevie Wonder: Talking Book (Motown) LP
Various: Don’t Stop Recording Tap (Numero) LP

Tagged , , , , , ,

…..news letter #762 – leftovers…..

Classic short week here, hardly anything new in…. however, if the Fed Ex man delivers tomorrow, the much anticipated, under appreciated Syrinx albums will be available for your ears to munch on.

…..pick of the week…..

syrinx

Syrinx: Tumblers From The Vault (ReRVNG Intl.) LP
In tomorrow???…..The two instrumental albums that Syrinx issued in the early 1970s sound little like the psychedelic music prevailing Toronto’s rock venues at the time, and are even further removed from the electronic tape experimentations spooled by a younger John Mills-Cockell. Instead, the path of Syrinx whimsically veers away from the dominant mode of ‘70s subculture, charting surprising commercial success. Tumblers From The Vault presents their entire recorded legacy, reviving the story of Syrinx and sharing their memorable, mind-bending melodies. The musicians behind Syrinx were composer and keyboardist John Mills-Cockell, saxophonist Doug Pringle, and percussionist Alan Wells. All three were young veterans of the Toronto creative scene by the beginning of 1970. LSD played a supporting role in their artistic pursuits, but equal guidance also came from Mills-Cockell’s studies at the University of Toronto and Royal Conservatory of Music, where he established an ad-hoc, DIY electronic music course in the school’s basement. Before long, Mills-Cockell was an accomplished young composer and an important conspirator in Intersystems, a rogue, multimedia ensemble that intersected heterogenous artists and musicians via the Toronto underground. In this freeform environment, Mills-Cockell’s compositions found alert ears, among them his primary collaborator Doug Pringle, a wily wind player, and producer Felix Pappalardi, whose credits include Cream’s Disraeli Gears and who helped John land an album deal with True North Columbia. After Intersystems dissolution, Mills-Cockell journeyed to Canada’s west coast to work on an album of original synth-based compositions using his multi-suitcase Moog as the primary instrument. Pringle was enlisted to color outside the music’s already adventurous lines, his sinuous, signal-processed saxophone adding another electrifying voice to Syrinx’s signature sound. A sound that hybridized chamber music dynamics with wild, yet tuneful electronic melodicism. With Alan Wells’ understated percussion rolled into the fold, what started as a solo venture for Mills-Cockell became a new kind of collective. From these coastal sessions were conjured exemplary pieces like “Journey Tree” and “Hollywood Dream Trip,” both plaintive and serene expressions of Mills-Cockell’s economical arrangements, and also Syrinx’s restrained and expert use of their electronic resources. “Hollywood Dream Trip” alone presents a theme so memorable and melancholic that it calls to mindErik Satie, John Cage’s early piano works, and the cinematic power of Golden Age soundtrack music. Syrinx’s self-titled debut arrived in 1970, followed in 1971 by Long Lost Relatives, which is highlighted as the first album on Tumblers From The Vault. Between the two albums, Syrinx became a vital part of the Toronto music scene, with Doug Pringle’s loft serving as the central node for impromptu performances and the group’s collaborative activities. Syrinx also started receiving high profile work, first for television, film, and dance, and then for orchestra. One commission culminated commercially in “Tillicum”, the unforgettable theme music for pioneering reality television show Here Come the Seventies. As a standalone single, “Tillicum” would climb to #38 on Canada’s RPM charts. The most eventful assignment came from the Toronto Repertory Ensemble’s conductor and composer Milton Barnes, whose solicitation inspired the powerful orchestral suite Stringspace. The studio version of Stringspace for Long Lost Relatives is a near faithful version to the live performance, the Toronto Repertory Ensemble offering the same sweeping, deeply engrossing symphonic support. (An original live version also appears on Tumblers from the Vault on the third LP, along with other rare and alternate Syrinx gems). “Tillicum” also appears on Long Lost Relatives, a nod to the group’s new visibility, and perhaps an assertion that Syrinx was part of the trailblazing new world that their television theme song signaled. Syrinx’s music is more than a faded strain in Canada’s consciousness, but has never expanded universally. One modest task of Tumblers from the Vault is to reinstate Syrinx to their place in the wider canon of groundbreaking music so their story can be appreciated beyond the limits of Canadian notoriety. Another task is to simply have this music heard again, which is an endeavor made less difficult by the fact that the most defining quality of Syrinx’s music is its timelessness and agency. Unlike so many turn of the ‘60s experiments fusing rock and pop music language with new technology, Syrinx was never excessive in expressing their vision of what electronic music could offer. Instead, they blended these sounds in a holistic way, allowing the acoustic and electronic textures to create one organic voice. They opted to foreground the lyrical and poetic content of their compositions rather than their innovative techniques. It’s a tribute to John Mills-Cockell’s compositions, and his comrades Doug Pringle and Alan Wells, that the tangential path of Syrinx remains as present, exploratory and inviting as ever. Syrinx’s Tumblers From The Vault will be released on October 14, 2016 as triple LP set, double CD, and digital formats. An accompanying documentary about Syrinx by artist and filmmaker Zoe Kirk-Gushowaty will screen selectively.

File Under: Electronic, Psych, CanCon
Listen Here

…..new arrivals…..

anciients

Anciients: Voice of the Void (Season of Mist) LP
Anciients return on Season of Mist with their long-awaited sophomore album Voice of the Void. A heavier and harder-hitting album than their debut, Voice of the Void raises their game with mind-melting, frenetic guitar work and a more explosive percussive attack. Tracks such as “Serpents,” “Pentacle,” “Incantations” and more are prismatic; bursting with heavy riffs in every shade and color without sacrificing the quartets heavy rock roots. Anciients are the archetype of a modern, progressive heavy band and Voice of the Void is a dynamic listen carrying the spirit of metal’s forerunnners.

File Under: Metal
Listen Here

black-marble

Black Marble: It’s Immaterial (Ghostly) LP
It’s Immaterial is the second full-length effort from Black Marble. Their first for Ghostly, It’s Immaterial follows up their EP Weight Against the Door and highly acclaimed debut full-length A Different Arrangement. Still featuring Chris Stewart at the helm along with select collaborators as supplementation, the project’s recent shift in locale from East Coast to West Coast lends a great deal to the overall feel of the new album: the light and dark elements of shadows, the salt and sting of evening’s high tide sea spray, a beautiful thing left on a shelf too high to maintain. The general mood is that of creating something new, but going back in time to do it. Like attempting to flesh out a song that you woke up humming but can’t find because it doesn’t exist yet. With the end of the East Coast chapter of Stewart’s life on the horizon, It’s Immaterial was recorded in a period of mental and physical transition, trapped between spaces and unable to move on until the snow globe flurry of ideas floating around him settled just right. It’s Immaterial is soaring and muted all at once. It’s a collection of songs pieced together from perfect seeming snippets heard while passing open doors. It’s a framework in which your imagination creates its own version of what you need to hear but didn’t have a way to describe – like a favorite song heard on an unlabeled mixtape by a band you can’t uncover. It’s Immaterial is a further evolution in Black Marble’s sound. Where the songs featured on their debut full-length seemed to hiss from a vent in the floor, the new tracks seem to be coming from the next room. Written, recorded, mixed, and performed entirely by Stewart, the new songs are a unified vision – one person’s attempt to patchwork together bits of vapor and the most subtle gleanings of preference to make something wholly new. It’s an endless drive in the passenger seat of a car while listening to everything you’ve ever loved, but lasting only 40 minutes.

File Under: Electronic, Indie Rock
Listen Here

califone

Califone: Roomsound (Dead Oceans) LP
Califone’s debut album Roomsound was originally self released in April of 2001. Roomsound covers the same rustic, slightly ramshackle back forty that Tim Rutili has been plowing through since his previous band Red Red Meat. Only this time the tilled bedrock unveils the most vividly colored, luring crop of songs Rutili has ever harvested. The sleepy, country-blues picking and autumnal backwoods melodies are accented with striking splashes of electronic tone color, obsolete keyboards and off-kilter percussion. Lyrically, Roomsound penetrates the breath of pirates, poison apples at a tango contest and the waiting room between death and canonization where missionaries have quit and 19th-century prostitutes have been rescued for all the wrong reasons. Masterfully produced by Brian Deck, the album is vaulted far beyond the sum of its parts. Roomsound is a hauntingly unique and distinctive record of crafted and sculpted beauty.

File Under: Indie Rock
Listen Here

cheap-high

Cheap High: Subterranean Suburbia (Dipstick) LP
From BC’s Fraser Valley comes the exciting sounds of Cheap High. They give a spirited performance on the eerie post-punk number “Time and Space, which features artsy sing/speak, goth/punk guitars and a percussion section that goes off like a carefully sequenced detonation.

File Under: Postpunk
Listen Here

dorji

Tashi Dorji & Tyler Damon: Both Will Escape (Family Vineyard) LP
Both Will Escape is the debut full-length between electric guitarist Tashi Dorji and percussionist Tyler Damon. In the long tradition of string/drum duets — from Bailey & Bennink to Haino & Yoshida — these two cleave out their own unmapped continent of sound. Across four pieces they connect lashes of ecstatic intensity and outer reaches of texture and timbre. At times Dorji’s brutal electric torrents meld into Damon’s metal and tonal abstractions. These two developed in parallel for years before forging an ongoing duo in 2015. Dorji has released a string of startling acoustic albums that’ve rescrambled six-string notions of jazz/improv/Flamenco. Damon’s rethink of overtone and rhythm is enraptured as it’s stupefying in solo exhibitions or with Mars Williams, Darin Gray and Thee Open Sex. Both Will Escape — their second release after a live cassette on Astral Spirits — was recorded by Patrick Kukucka at the Hi Z lo z Studio in Asheville, NC and mixed by John Dawson at Magnetic South in Southern Indiana. Edition of 500 LPs with download coupon.

File Under: Jazz, Free Improv
Listen Here

kings-of-leon

Kings of Leon: Walls (RCA) LP
Multi-platinum selling rock band Kings of Leon return with their hugely anticipated seventh studio album Walls, the follow-up to their Grammy Nominated 2013 effort Mechanical Bull. The group decided to revisit their recording roots in Los Angeles, CA, where they layed down their first two albums, working with famed producer Markus Dravs (Arcade Fire, Coldplay, Florence + the Machine) for the first time. Dravs pushed Kings of Leon in new directions on the organic 10-track set which finds the band experimenting with their signature sound and committing to the most personal material of their career. Bassist Jared Followel to Billboard, “He just said things that nobody had ever said to us. Like, ‘I don’t like that song, that’s not good, we can move on from that.'” Dravs also asked the band to change tempos and musical styles at the drop of a hat. “He’d be like, ‘OK, now play it like the Sex Pistols.’ And then you’ve turned a slow song into a fast one.”

File Under: Rock
Listen Here

merch

Merchandise: A Corpse Wired for Sound (4AD) LP
Formed nearly a decade ago, galvanized by Tampa hardcore and inspired by its miscreant noise, A Corpse Wired For Sound signals a new chapter for Merchandise. Following 2014’s After The End – a full-band effort recorded in a closet – the band stripped back to its core of Carson Cox (vocals, electronics), Dave Vassalotti (guitar, electronics) and Pat Brady (bass). The trio traveled to Rosà, Italy for their first ever sessions in a recording studio at La Distilleria, with local producer Maurizio Baggio. The nine-song nocturnal A Corpse Wired For Sound was recorded half in the studio and half at home, in Tampa as well as Cox’s newly adopted bases of New York and Berlin – the culmination of a long-distance collaboration between Cox and Vassalotti. The album’s metallic title is inspired by a science fiction short story by JG Ballard, but equally sums up the band’s current state of mind. “We were ‘reborn’ as a rock band for After The End,” says Vassalotti, “and then we straight-up died again. It couldn’t last. The result is this distended corpse responding to you from both sides of the Atlantic, forever singing in spite of everything.” Cox expands further, “it’s about the truth of growing up. You can’t take your friends or lovers with you. It’s about finding peace with that loneliness.”

File Under: Post-Punk
Listen Here

 

monoMono: Requiem for Hell (Temporary Residence) LP
MONO is a band driven by intangible conflicts. Their albums have found inspiration in the inescapable coexistence of love and loss, faith and hopelessness, light and darkness. Fittingly, their new album, Requiem For Hell, incorporates all of those conflicts into the one universal inevitability in life: Birth, and death. Requiem For Hell finds MONO returning to longtime friend and collaborator, Steve Albini. After MONO and Albini’s band, Shellac, toured Japan together last year, they realized how much they missed the (often wordless) creative dialogue they shared during the making of many of their most memorable albums – beginning with Walking Cloud and Deep Red Sky… (2004) and culminating with Hymn To Immortal Wind (2009). The rebirth of the Albini collaboration for Requiem For Hell also coincided with the birth of a close friend’s first child, whose actual in utero heartbeat serves as the foundation for the aptly named “Ely’s Heartbeat.” For MONO, it all felt so right, so inevitable. Requiem For Hell is undeniably heavier and scarier than most of MONO’s output to this point – hear the dizzying 18-minute title track for example – but it also carries some of their most sublime moments. This dichotomy is how one band’s obsession with conflict has manifested itself into one of underground music’s simultaneously quietest and loudest catalogs.

File Under: Post-Rock
Listen Here

naked

The Naked & Famous: Simple Forms (Somewhat Damaged) LP
Simple Forms is the third studio album by Los Angeles-based New Zealand indie electronic band The Naked and Famous. Simple Forms features the first single “Higher.” The band formed New Zealand in 2007 but relocated to Los Angeles five years later. The Naked And Famous consists of Alisa Xayalith (vocals, keyboards), Thom Powers (vocals, guitars), Aaron Short (keyboards), David Beadle (bass) and Jesse Wood (drums). The band has released two studio albums: Passive Me, Aggressive You (2010) and In Rolling Waves (2013). The Naked and Famous took their name from English musician Tricky’s song “Tricky Kid”, which is ambivalent about the notion of celebrity.

File Under: Indie Rock, Electronic
Listen Here

red-fang

Red Fang: Only Ghosts (Relapse) LP
After three years of vigorously touring the world, Red Fang re-emerge with their greatest and latest full-length album, Only Ghosts. Produced by the legendary Ross Robinson (At The Drive In, The Cure, Slipknot) and mixed by Joe Baressi (Queens of the Stone Age, Kyuss, Melvins), Only Ghosts consists of ten new tracks of the band’s signature, high-impact, hook-filled, hard rock. Red Fang prove once again they are top-notch songwriters who have mastered the heavy anthem without taking themselves too seriously. Only Ghosts is a rock album of incredible magnitude that demands to be played at maximum volume!

File Under: Metal, Stoner
Listen Here

soulmates

Soul Mates: Snake Oil (Deathstryke) LP
“An ill-mannered rock ‘n’ roll outfit with tweaked-out riffs for miles and swagger to burn. They have the elusive severity of classic hardcore, but with an evolved and bizarre approach to tapping into that sound.” – Skot Hamilton (KEN mode/Adolyne/Grey Light District)

File Under: Noise Rock
Listen Here

confSonic Youth: Confusion is Sex (Goofin) LP
“Originally slated to be a seven-inch single to follow up their self-titled debut, Sonic Youth’s Confusion Is Sex blossomed into the band’s first album: a brain-bludgeoning, completely fried endeavor of dissonance and disarray, a perfect soundtrack for running from a chain-wielding gang near the SIN Club. This was the sound of 1983 New York City: nothing like London where punks were starting to scrub their faces and sounds to get on Top of the Pops , and nothing like the jangly roots of college radio rock starting to formulate in Athens, GA. “It sounded like no one else on Earth, for that matter. The raw, Wharton Tiers 8-track production is dark, the Kim Gordon-scrawled cover figure art of Thurston Moore is dark, Lee Renaldo’s back cover photo-collage and Catherine Ceresole’s crumpled-xeroxed images that adorned the inside are dark. It’s an album that moves Sonic Youth forward from their first EP almost by devolving backwards into true ugly, lo-fi primitivity “…While its confrontationalism might have put off some critics, time has rewarded Confusion with a truly distinctive air and atmosphere in the Sonic discography, enough to have Moore declare it his fave along with the band’s swan-song The Eternal.” – Brian Turner, WFMU

File Under: Art Rock, Noise
Listen Here

warpaint

Warpaint: Heads Up (Rough Trade) LP
It’s easy to get the wrong impression about Warpaint. The band’s studio albums (including their most recent full-length, 2014’s Warpaint) have tended to emphasize moody atmospheres: gauzy keyboards, hypnotic harmonies and sinister grooves. In concert, however, the Los Angeles quartet – vocalist/guitarist Emily Kokal, vocalist/guitarist Theresa Wayman, bassist/vocalist Jenny Lee Lindberg and drummer/keyboardist/vocalist Stella Mozgawa – pair this moodiness with bumped-up tempos and sinewy beats. The music’s no less dark – but it has an additional rhythmic urgency and tension that can be surprising. Of course, confounding expectations has been part of Warpaint’s m.o. since the band formed in 2004. And so when the band convened to make their third studio album, Heads Up, they shared a common goal: to make a faster, dance-oriented record. “We’ve always had this really jammy, high-energy live show compared to some of our records,” Kokal says. “We all love to dance. We didn’t want to take away from the emotion or the core feeling of what our band is all about – which I don’t even think we could take out if we wanted, because it is who we are – but we wanted to bump the speed up and have a little bit more fun.” Mission accomplished.

File Under: Indie Rock
Listen Here

Tagged , , , , , ,
Advertisements