…..news letter #917 – rising sun…..

Not a load in this week, although that could largely be attributed to Universal and their refusal to have a good distribution chain. But thankfully they aren’t the only label around and plenty of other things show up as expected. We’ve also been pricing up so much great used stuff lately that it hardly matters anyway. Come down for a dig.

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

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…..pick of the week…..

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Stereolab: Cobra & Phases Group Play Voltage in the Milky Night
(Duophonic) LP

September 2019 sees the continuation of Stereolab’s seven album reissue campaign when 1996’s Emperor Tomato Ketchup, 1997’s Dots and Loops and 1999’s Cobra and Phases Group Play Voltage in the Milky Night are reissued, via Warp Records and Duophonic UHF Disks, as expanded and re-mastered editions on triple vinyl. Each album has been re-mastered from the original 1/2″ tapes by Bo Kondren at Calyx Mastering and overseen by Tim Gane. Bonus material will include alternate takes, 4 track demos and unreleased mixes. These reissues follow 1993’s Transient Random Noise-Bursts With Announcements and 1994’s Mars Audiac Quintet which received Expanded Editions earlier in 2019. Cobra and Phases Group Play Voltage in the Milky Night is Stereolab’s sixth studio album and a return to the poppier tendencies the band had left behind on their previous full-length, Dots and Loops. Where that album was an amalgam of often chilled, abstract electronica, prog and jazz, this work’s exotic pop features warm Moog textures, bursting horns and lush, layered vocals. Co-producers John McEntire (Tortoise, The Sea and Cake) and Jim O’Rourke (Sonic Youth, Gastr del Sol) add new wrinkles to Stereolab’s sound and deliver rich and expansive mixes. Their contributions to the album’s sonic deconstructions and analog keyboard textures present a radical model of pop-rock song architecture. Harmony and cacophony coexist throughout, wrapped up in the group’s familiar, mellow ’60s bossa-groove. The arrangements incorporate Chicago post-rock, Sun Ra-styled free-form jazz and classic British acid-psych styles, while the songs return to the core melodic instincts of the band’s classic albums. Cobra and Phases Group Play Voltage in the Milky Night ended a decade in which Stereolab constructed a singular vision of popular music. It completed a journey from the lo-fi fuzz of their early ’90s singles to the sophisticated and complex soundscapes of their more mature second phase. The result is an alluring collage of ’60s jazz, French pop and shimmery, ambient guitars, and an underrated piece of Stereolab’s oeuvre.

File Under: Indie Rock, Pop, Electronic
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…..new arrivals…..

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Belle & Sebastian: Days of the Bagnold Summer (Matador) LP
Days of the Bagnold Summer began life as a 2012 award-winning graphic novel by Joff Winterhart, was turned into a feature film and the directorial debut of Simon Bird (The Inbetweeners, Friday Night Dinner), and is now a wonderful, rich, bittersweet, and warmly welcoming original soundtrack album by Belle and Sebastian, to be released in September 2019 on Matador Records. The collection features eleven brand new Belle and Sebastian songs, as well as re-recorded versions of classics “Get Me Away From Here I’m Dying,” originally appearing on 1996’s If You’re Feeling Sinister, and “I Know Where The Summer Goes,” from 1998’s This Is Just a Modern Rock Song EP. “Everything we do that becomes an album is a big deal for us,” says Stuart Murdoch. “We’re quietly pleased with how the collaboration went, but the truth is that you don’t know what’s going to happen when it goes out into the world, and people hear it.” Sarah Martin thinks it is slightly different from other records they’ve put out, “It’s more consistent, probably, than most of our albums. Soundtracks are a deeper cut. They’re not a big pop statement.” But is making music for film that different than making it for a listener? “The whole thing with music is to make a good moment better,” Murdoch adds. “Deeper, more thrilling, more heartfelt.”

File Under: Indie Rock
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Elder: Gold & Silver Sessions (Blues Funeral) LP
“An experimental LP of ranging, krautrock-style jams that dramatically expands the Elder sound from its stoner/doom roots. Capturing Elder’s expanding dynamic and ongoing progression, The Gold & Silver Sessions is an experimental LP of ranging psychedelic jams that captures their expressive and nuanced development in a way a ‘regular’ studio release wouldn’t. This is still the band who put out 2017’s crushing Reflections of a Floating World, but following their imagination in an entirely new direction.”

File Under: Metal
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Nils Frahm: Encores 3 (Erased Tapes) LP
Nils Frahm releases Encores 3 on September 20, 2019 — the third and final instalment of his Encores series. The three EPs will be available as one full length release titled All Encores featuring 80 minutes of music on October 18, to follow his masterful 2018 album All Melody. Whilst Encores 1 focused on an acoustic pallet of sounds with solo piano and harmonium at the core, and Encores 2 explored more ambient landscapes, now Encores 3 sees Nils expand on the percussive and electronic elements in his work.

File Under: Electronic, Ambient, Minimalism
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Hiss Golden Messenger: Terms of Surrender (Merge) LP
Led by the introspective songwriting of M.C. Taylor, Terms of Surrender finds the charismatic bandleader ruminating on complex emotions in the wake of a personally turbulent year. Over the course of six albums, fans of Hiss Golden Messenger have connected with the unique way Taylor identifies and articulates deeply personal sentiments and observations, all from a seemingly vulnerable place. There is always an underlying sense of hope and resolution throughout his extensive body of work that makes his songs relatable. Hiss Golden Messenger is also an extraordinary band that infuses elements of rock, gospel, alternative, Americana, and folk that make their music easily accessible and highly infectious. Terms of Surrender encompasses all of these key elements and brings them to new heights. The album’s ten songs touch on a myriad of emotions, inner conflict, and questions. Starting with opening track “I Need a Teacher,” the narrator longs for guidance to help navigate life’s endless challenges. Terms of Surrender was produced by Taylor and Brad Cook and features guest appearances by Jenny Lewis, Josh Kaufman, and Aaron Dessner of The National. The album was recorded at Dessner’s Long Pond studio in upstate New York, with additional recording at Sound City in Los Angeles, Haptown Studio in Nashville, and Overdub Lane in Durham, North Carolina.

File Under: Indie Rock, Folk
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Melvins: The Maggot & The Bootlicker (Ipecac) LP
Twenty years ago, in April 1999, Ipecac Records was formed to release Fantômas’ debut release (a band featuring Mike Patton, Dave Lombardo, Trevor Dunn and Buzz Osborne from the Melvins). During that time, Buzz said, “We told Greg that if they wanted to start a label then the Melvins would love to be involved. We asked if he would be interested in doing a trilogy of releases within one year and they said no problem.” That year the Melvins released The Maggot, The Bootlicker and The Crybaby via Ipecac. Now for Ipecac’s 20th Anniversary, they’re reissuing two-thirds of the infamous “trilogy” by packaging The Maggot and The Bootlicker together in a double vinyl LP gatefold package.

File Under: Metal
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Messthetics: Anthropocosmic Nest (Dischord) LP
Anthropocosmic Nest is the second full-length by Washington, D.C.’s The Messthetics who are Anthony Pirog (Low Ways Quartet), Joe Lally (Fugazi) and Brendan Canty (Fugazi, Deathfix). Recorded at the band’s practice space throughout 2019, it’s an album that more perfectly captures the trio’s current live dynamic, complete with improvisational tangents, playful experimentation, and cathartic sprawl. When The Messthetics recorded their debut album in 2017, the trio had only done a handful of shows and had yet to fully find its footing on stage. In a way, those compositions were a template for the band that Pirog, Lally, and Canty hoped would come into being through subsequent work on the road. Since then, The Messthetics have played upwards of 200 shows across the US, Europe and Asia. Their dialog as a performing unit has necessarily focused and intensified. As a result, Anthropocosmic Nest offers a more varied vision of the band. It’s the loudest the trio has ever been and also the quietest.

File Under: Indie Rock
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One Eleven Heavy: Desire Path (Beyond Beyond is Beyond) LP
One Eleven Heavy’s brilliant second album Desire Path is a wry, occasionally biting, but always joyful celebration of human endurance and the ability to overcome. Nick Mitchell Maiato’s album opener, “Chickenshit,” deals with lazy acquiescence to attention-seekers. Pianist-cum-drummer Hans Chew’s first songwriting contribution to the band, “Fickle Wind,” externalizes the band’s raison d’etre by questioning society’s drive toward constant change. Meanwhile James Toth fires off image-laden witticisms about the unnecessary difficulty of human interaction in “Too Much, Too Much,” mocking fashion-conscious Marxists at the same time as he laughs at his own ‘cacti-withering row(s) with (his) old man.’ The musicianship is a step up from their raggedy, but already accomplished, debut, too. The album is laced with lush three-part vocal harmonies and two-part harmonized guitar licks, recalling those classic Allman Bros runs at the same time as it brings to mind timeless classics by Hendrix, the Stones and, of course, the Dead. Brooklyn, NY-based pedal steel player John Bohannon guests on a couple of tracks. Guitarist Nick Mitchell Maiato reaches new levels of guitar heroism on closing track – the Santana-esque “Three Poisons.” Meanwhile Chew also takes on drummer duties in the absence of regular hired hand Ryan Jewell who couldn’t make the session and more than earns his keep. The rhythm section of Chew and Dan Brown swings so hard, it almost doubles over on itself!

File Under: Rock
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Raincoats: s/t (We Three) LP
Limited edition 1000 special marble 180g vinyl, plus download code. Includes 2 limited edition prints by Gina Birch and Ana da Silva. Remastered from original masters. November 2019 marks the 40th Anniversary of the release of The Raincoats’ self-titled debut album. and the band plan to celebrate with a series of live performances in the UK and at Le Guess Who? Festival in Utrecht. TRACKLISTING: Fairytale In The Supermarket, No Side To Fall In, Adventures Close To Home, Off Duty Trip, Black And White, Lola, The Void, Life On The Line, You’re A Million, In Love, No Looking.

File Under: Post Punk
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Various:  Studio One DJ Party (Soul Jazz) LP
Soul Jazz Records’ new Studio One DJ Party is the latest installation from the mighty Studio One Records catalog, a wicked new collection of the finest DJs and toasters ever to inhabit the world of reggae – seminal Jamaican artists including Prince Jazzbo, Dillinger, Dennis Alcapone, Michigan & Smiley, Lone Ranger as well as a host of lesser known artists and rare cuts from Studio One. From the earliest days when Clement ‘Sir Coxsone’ Dodd ran his Downbeat soundsystem up and down the length of Jamaica, DJs and toasters such as King Stitt and Count Machukie were always a part of the sound of Studio One, introducing new records and exciting audiences with catchphrase lines such as: “No matter what the people say these sounds lead the way It’s the order of the day from your boss deejay.” So when DJ emerged as a distinct reggae style at the start of the 1970s, Studio One was, as always, way ahead of their competitors. Legendary artists of the caliber of Dillinger, Dennis Alcapone and Prince Jazzbo all queued up to record for the equally legendary label. At the end of the 1970s, as dancehall exploded onto the island, Clement Dodd was once again able to maintain Studio One’s position on the throne as the number one sound in the Jamaica, fighting off upstart competitors such as Channel One and Joe Gibbs who tried to replicate Studio One’s unique sound. During this period Clement Dodd released a series of stunning dancehall releases from young DJ/dancehall artists at the label including Lone Ranger and Michigan & Smiley. This selection spans the early 70s up until the mid-1980s, from the earliest days of deejay toasting right up until digital dancehall, ground-breaking tracks over the finest selection of the ultimate Studio One rhythms and tracks. Who could ask for more? Studio One DJ Party includes specially commissioned sleevenotes by Chris Lane, founder of the legendary British reggae label Fashion Records, as well as fantastic original artwork commissioned by the illustrator Ski Williams. The album is released as double heavyweight vinyl.

File Under: Reggae

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Various: Visible & Invisible Persons Distributed in Space (Numero) LP
P-Funk and Prince & the Revolution led the world through the last stellar evolutionary stages of soul music as it was transmogrified through the pulverizing lens of the 1980s, when African-American culture gave way to an advanced African-Interplanetary civilizations. Self-actualized artists and visionaries followed, reflecting and refracting their own interpretations as if translated by Samuel Delaney or Octavia Butler. This unwieldily titled collection documents ten successful experiments in privately-issued sci-fi soul music, lonely transmissions from a planet in a state of cultural fugue. Packaged in a one-way portal to the further limits of expression.

File Under: Funk, Soul, P-Funk
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…..Restocks…. 

Les Baxter: Ritual of the Savage (Waxtime) LP
Leon Bridges: Good Thing (Columbia) LP
Clash: London Calling (Epic) LP
Lana Del Rey: Norman Fucking Rockwell (Universal) LP
Bob Dylan: Blonde on Blonde (Columbia) LP
Jimi Hendrix: Are You Experienced (RCA) LP
Jimi Hendrix: Axis: Bold as Love (RCA) LP
Grachan Moncur III: Evolution (Blue Note) LP
Pink Floyd: Dark Side of the Moon (Pink Floyd) LP
Pink Floyd: Meddle (Pink Floyd) LP
Portishead: PNYC: Live at the Roseland Ballroom (Universal) LP
Sam Rivers: Fuchsia Swing Song (Blue Note) LP
Sunn o))): Life Metal (Southern Lord) LP
Ween: La Cucaracha (Schnitzel) LP
Various: J Jazz? Vol 2 (BBE) LP

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…..news letter #916 – annex?…..

Hooooboy, when it rains… between new releases and used purchases, we’re gonna need a bigger store. So much new grooviness to see and hear in this week, come down for a dig.

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

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

…..picks of the week….

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Satoshi Ashikawa: Still Way (Wave Notation 2) (WRWTFWW) LP
350gsm sleeve with selected UV high gloss varnish. Liner notes by Midori Takada, Satoshi Ashikawa, and Gareth Quinn Redmond. WRWTFWW Records announce the reissue of Satoshi Ashikawa’s Still Way (Wave Notation 2). Initially released in 1982 as part of the Wave Notation series (which includes Hiroshi Yoshimura’s Music For Nine Postcards), Still Way is, without a doubt, a seminal Japanese environmental/ambient/minimalism album, often mentioned alongside Midori Takada’s Through The Looking Glass (1983) and Hiroshi Yoshimura’s Green (1986) as one of the genre’s most important pieces. “Like the moment of stillness, after the wind passes through the garden, when the rain stops for a brief second…” Notably inspired by Erik Satie’s Furniture Music and Brian Eno’s ambient work, Satoshi Ashikawa aimed to compose music “intended to be listened to in a casual manner, as a musical landscape or a sound object — not something that would stimulate listeners but music that should drift like smoke and become part of the environment.” The result is simply phenomenal, subtle minimalism and emotional elegance exquisitely orchestrated by Satoshi Ishikawa and his team consisting of his wife Masami Ashikawa (on flute), Midori Takada (on vibraphone), Yuko Utsumi (on harp), Tomoko Sono (on piano), and Junko Arase (on vibraphone). In conjunction with Still Way, WRWTFWW Records is releasing Laistigh den Ghleo, a companion album by Irish ambient/minimalist composer Gareth Quinn Redmond, inspired by Ashikawa’s approach. Liner notes by Midori Takada, Satoshi Ashikawa, and Gareth Quinn Redmond.

File Under: Ambient, Japanese, Piano, Classical
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Oh Sees: Face Stabber (Castle Face) LP
Hey there, human kids, lift your face out of the feed trough and pluck that feculence from your ears. Hark! A sonar blip from beneath the pile of bodies—the latest Oh Sees, Face Stabber! Boop, blip, ughhh….people churning like a boiling swamp. Man, this din is nauseating. The screen flickers for the first time this year with a transmission from two months in the future: “the internet has deemed guitar music dead and you are free to do whatever the fuck you like ….long live the new flesh!” This album is Soundcloud hip-hop reversed, a far flung nemesis of contemporary country and flaccid algorithmic pop-barf. No songs about money or love are floating in the ether. Just memories, echoes, foggy blurs, blip-blop goes the scope, heavy funk, dystopia-punk canons, long jams, bloated solos dribbling down your caved-in chest. Human cattle like a beef avalanche, right on your burned out face hole. Spider-legs fuzz crawling in your brain. Lots of curse words for your mom. You’ve gotten the over-population blues, so let’s have some art for art’s sake. What else are you gonna do? Stare at the sky? Please…fifty carbon copies of you look back at you as you walk the streets. Take a breath, you’re going to need it. Take drugs, you’re going to need those just to stand in line at the air and water reclamation center soon enough. There’s no fruit, buddy. You’re at the bleak-peak. They will squeeze you till you’re all squeezed out. For fans of fried prog burn-out, squished old-school drool, double drums, lead weight bass, wizard keys (now with poison), old-ass guitar and horrible words with daft meanings. If you don’t like it then don’t listen, bub. Back to the comments section with you! Easy—over and out.

File Under: Psych, Punk, Rock
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…..new arrivals…..

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75 Dollar Bill: I Was Real (Thin Wrist) LP
75 Dollar Bill is one of the essential groups at the heart of NYC’s underground. Driven by the telepathic union of Che Chen’s microtonal electric guitar and Rick Brown’s odd metered percussion their long-form sound is unmistakable and compelling. On their third album I Was Real, the group expands in bold new directions, embracing brilliant fuller orchestrations, joyous rockers and entrancing new textures. Having emerged as a vibrant musical force with their previous effort — with Wood/Metal/Plastic/Pattern/Rhythm/Rock — 75 Dollar Bill have spent the last few years bringing their music to new places and people, delivering what NYC locals have known for years, with their dedication to performance in venues of all shapes and sizes. The fruits of this work can be heard here on their expansive new double-LP I Was Real. The album, its title’s origin a jumbled misremembering of the lesser-known Motown song “He Was Really Saying Something”, is 75 Dollar Bill’s third, featuring new directions accompanying the band’s previously established interest in sprawling, unusual grooves and microtonal melodies. The record is enhanced by the presence of eight additional players in various combinations over its nine tracks — but also shows off the duo’s strength when stripped down to the core. Requiring a variety of approaches, the album was recorded over a four-year period, in four different studios, with the band’s closest associates and collaborators in a range of different ensemble configurations. The album also features several “studio as instrument” constructions that harken back to the collage-experiments of the band’s early cassette tapes, while at the same time pointing to territories altogether new. The players involved highlight the “social” aspect of the band and the eight guests that appear on the record are some of the band’s closest friends and collaborators. Some pieces were conceived in the band’s very early days and others are much newer, but the music is unmistakably 75 Dollar Bill. As Steve Gunn said about the previous record: “Strings come in underneath Che Chen’s supreme guitar tone. Rick Brown’s trance percussion offers a guiding support with bass, strings, and horns supporting the melody. They have gathered all the moving parts perfectly.” Double-LP version presented in a heavy tip-on gatefold jacket with textured clothe wrap and matte foil stamping.

File Under: Blues, Experimental
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Acid King: Busse Woods (Riding Easy) LP
Every small town encompasses that one long stretch of forest where kids run to get high, jam out, and just escape. For San Francisco-based stoner metal trio, Acid King vocalist, guitarist, frontwoman, and mastermind Lori Woods, Busse Woods offered such a retreat in her native Illinois as a teenager in the ’70s. This 3,700-acre section of the Cook County Forest Preserve system beckoned her during high school with its buffet of dope, frisbee challenges, and Black Sabbath blaring from numerous trunks well past sundown. Those days left such an imprint on Lori she titled Acid King’s second full-length released in 1999 Busse Woods. Celebrating its 20th year with a special reissue on Riding Easy Records and tour in 2019, it represents the heart and soul of the band. The album still exudes the same sense of mysticism it did upon release in 1999. As the story goes, Lori and bandmates Joey Osbourne (drums) and Brian Hill (bass) entered a practice space to write the full-length follow-up to their debut Down With The Crown. Organically, they jammed out five originals and a take on “39 Lashes” from Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Jesus Christ Superstar. As everything gelled, they recorded with legendary engineer Billy Anderson. Prominent Bay Area artist Frank Kozik initially released the CD on his Man’s Ruin record label. Then “everything fell apart.” Behind the scenes, personal and professional relationships crumbled. Marriages ended. Lineups shifted. In the face of such tumult, the music of Busse Woods rarely got its due on stage in the aftermath, even though the aesthetic would prove influential. In the middle of various reissues and re-releases, Acid King kept touring internationally throughout Europe and Japan from 2005-2015. In between this time they jammed on riffs and started to craft songs but ultimately didn’t kick it into high gear to finish the release until 2015. They reawakened in the studio with the 2015 opus, Middle Of Nowhere, Center Of Everywhere. While the new music caught critical acclaim and fan approval, a funny thing happened, and Busse Woods also came back to life. Its songs would generate the most streams on Spotify. They’d generate loud responses in concert and became their most critically acclaimed release to date. The stars aligned. Twenty years down the line, it felt only right for Lori and Co. to revisit this landmark and give it the proper tour it deserves.

File Under: Metal, Stoner Rock
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Ross Alexander: Memorias Vol 2: High Atlas to the Sahara Desert (Discrepant) LP
Ross Alexander first came to our attention with Memorias Vol. 1 – Bugandan Sacred Places (SUC 007CS), released back in 2017 on Sucata Tapes. The release featured a mind-altering mix of recorded sounds from a series of visited sites considered sacred within the Bugandan Kingdom and session recordings with Ugandan musicians Albert Sempeke and the Nilotika Collective layered with his own original composition using the Yamaha DX7 and programmed FM synthesis. The result was a unique reconfiguration of new age vocabulary with East African traditional sensibilities. The tape quickly sold out and the new Volume Of Memorias presented here arrives now on the mother label Discrepant, comes on vinyl with an expanded sound palette appropriate to the format. Memorias Vol. 2 – High Atlas To The Sahara Desert is the logical progression of Volume 1; based on a series of field recordings Alexander made during a trip through the High Atlas Mountains and into the Sahara Desert in 2018. The aim of the trip was to visit a gathering of nomadic musicians at an oasis close to the Algerian border. Like Memorias Vol. 1, the recordings made on the trip were then later processed, layered, and arranged with original compositions. Where Vol. 1 had clear nods to new age music, this volume explores the more ambient side of ’80s industrial sound. Mastered and cut by Rashad Becker.

File Under: Field Recordings, Ambient
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David Axelrod: Seriously Deep (Get on Down) LP
“The rediscovery of the music of David Axelrod in the 1990s was a revelation to the scores of hip-hop and breakbeat DJs that sampled him, but his composition genius was on display as early as the 1960s. After producing and arranging major critical and commercial hits for Lou Rawls, The Electric Prunes, David McCallum, and Julian ‘Cannonball’ Adderley, he was encouraged by Capitol Records to record and produce solo material. Coming right on the heels of The Beatles’ revolutionary 1967 album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Heart’s Club Band, Axelrod would produce a slew of instrumental baroque pop records, which were intricately orchestrated, fused elements of jazz, psychedelic rock, chamber music, and neo-classical, and tackled issues of mental enlightenment, environmental impact, and would be hailed by critics as highly ambitious pieces of conceptual art. The albums Song Of Innocence (1968), Songs Of Experience (1969), and Earth Rot (1970) are most often hailed as David Axelrod’s finest moments, but little is mentioned of the producer’s 1970s material. Among these records is Seriously Deep, his lone album recorded for Polydor, and an unheralded gem of jazz-rock fusion. On Seriously Deep, Axelrod dispenses with the heavily orchestrated measures of previous works to conduct a powerhouse crew of session musicians, including Leon Ndugu Chancler of Santana on drums, Mailto Correa on percussion, Jim Hughart on bass, Joe Sample on electric keys, and many others, with production from frequent Axelrod collaborators Cannonball Adderley and Jimmy Bowen. Seriously Deep is an obscure release, but also one of David Axlerod’s tightest, and most exploratory ones. Across six tracks, Axelrod and his collective of players dip in and out of bounding jazz-funk, Afro-Latin grooves, cinematic flourishes, psychedelic synth washes, and blaring big band horns. It’s a singularly insular curiosity of musical impressionism that’s equal parts brooding and joyous, a definitive part of Axelrod’s discography, and a well of sample material for tracks by Mobb Deep, Large Professor, The Black Eyed Peas, and Beanie Siegel, among others.”

File Under: Funk, Instrumental, Breakz
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Beak>: Life Goes On (Temporary Residence) LP
Less than a year after the release of their breakthrough third album, >>>, the renowned UK out-rock trio Beak> returns with the Life Goes On EP. The four-track extended play features the recently released single, “We Can Go,” which the band says is “the most normal song we have ever written. We like it.” The EP also includes the eponymous title track, which was directly inspired by a recent trip to Mexico City, where the band awoke to the sound of a distorted young girls’ voice bellowing across the city. Further investigation revealed the source as a recording used by scrap-collecting carts urging people to bring out old beds and washing machines. Returning to the UK filled with inspiration from the trip, Billy, Geoff and Will hot-footed it to the Invada studios to record the songs that make up this efficient new gem of a record.

File Under: Rock
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Ernest Berk: Electronic Music for Two Ballets (Trunk) LP
Extraordinary unreleased homemade electronics from the late 1960s made by a pioneering ballet dancer and musician. There are very few Ernest Berk recordings. As a pioneering ballet dancer, instructor and electronic music artist he was surprisingly prolific. He made music for all sorts of uses — he even made library music — and of course this very album of his music for two of his ballets. Towards the end of his life Ernest Berk gifted his entire collection of works, tapes, documents, and all to the Historical Archive Of The City Of Cologne. Tragically, in 2009, a large part of the archive collapsed (due to the construction of an underground railway) destroying 90% of everything. Berk’s tapes have tragically never been recovered. They are assumed lost forever. So these two recordings — issued privately circa 1970 — remain precious, to say the least. There were no masters, this new pressing was simply transferred from the original copy held by his family. Trunk have done their best to restore the sound. The original notes have also been reproduced, and from what Trunk can gather, this album may well have been pressed and given away as promotion for the Dance Theatre Commune. The original album came with a small piece of paper with a geometrical squiggle stuck on the front. Ernest Berk was born in Cologne, Germany and came to England just before the war. He started a dance company in London and wanted a sound especially suited to his experimental dance style. This he found in electronic music. Berk felt that electronic music was able to express the feelings of contemporary society in a more potent and communicative way than conventional forms of music. This is not to say he disregarded traditional forms of music, rather, he blended the best elements of both, creating a new and exciting sound. Over the years he gained an international reputation as a composer of electronic music. His works have been heard in Berlin, Cologne, Florence, Edinburgh, United States, to name a few.

File Under: Electronic
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Art Blakey: Indestructible (Blue Note) LP
In honor of Blue Note Records’ 80th Anniversary, the legendary jazz label is launching the Blue Note 80 Vinyl Reissue Series. Distinct from the Tone Poet Audiophile Vinyl Reissue Series, this second series curated by Don Was and Cem Kurosman features 180g vinyl LP releases in standard packaging with albums spanning the many eras of the label’s history presented by themes: Blue Note Debuts, Blue Grooves, Great Reid Miles Covers, Blue Note Live, and Blue Note Drummer Leaders. The series resumes in September 2019 with Part 1 of the Great Reid Miles Covers theme – Freddie Hubbard Hub-Tones (1962), Kenny Dorham Una Mas (1963) and Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers Indestructible (1966) – and will continue with three albums released each month for the coming year. The word “indestructible” perfectly fits the legacy of the Jazz Messengers, the power of Art Blakey, and the music on this thrilling Blue Note album. Lee Morgan (who had recently succeeded Freddie Hubbard), Wayne Shorter and Curtis Fuller made an unbeatable frontline while Cedar Walton and Reggie Workman join Blakey in the rhythm section; talk about an all-star group! Performing their own originals, the band mixes together hard bop, soul jazz, modal music and funk to create a style that could really only be played on this level by the Jazz Messengers. The solos are exciting, the ensembles are powerful, and the passion of Blakey’s drums pushes each of the young musicians to play at their most creative. This album is full of musical magic, more of which is revealed in each listen, and features one of Reid Miles’ most iconic album cover designs to boot! This Blue Note 80 Vinyl Edition is all-analog, mastered by Kevin Gray from the original master tapes, and pressed on 180g vinyl at Optimal.

File Under: Jazz
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Joanna Brouk: The Space Between (Numero) LP
Previously issued on three rare cassette-only editions, Joanna Brouk’s 1980 sophomore album The Space Between has finally been given spacious LP quarters. The side-long title track, performed by Brouk’s Mills College instructor and sometime-lover Bill Maraldo is among the deepest and most distinctive pieces in the new age canon, while side B’s three cuts expand the theme in hypnotic new directions.

File Under: Ambient, Experimental
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LDB61365Donald Byrd: Chant (Tone Poet Series) (Blue Note) LP
Recorded in 1961 but not released until 1979, the varied Chant is a fine representation of top trumpeter Donald Byrd’s style and of the partnership of five years that he shared with baritone saxophonist Pepper Adams. Throughout these performances, Byrd’s work is especially lyrical. On “I’m An Old Cowhand” and “That’s All,” he builds whole choruses around the melody in theme and variation style. Just ten years later, Byrd and Herbie Hancock (who appears here on one of his first ever recording dates) were separately funking up the commercial market and redefining the sound of R&B. This music remains fresh and vital well over a half a century later! The Blue Note Tone Poet Series was born out of Blue Note President Don Was’ admiration for the exceptional audiophile Blue Note LP reissues presented by Music Matters. The label brought Joe Harley (from Music Matters), aka the “Tone Poet,” on board to curate and supervise a series of reissues from the Blue Note family of labels. Extreme attention to detail has been paid to getting these right in every conceivable way, from the deluxe gatefold jacket graphics and printing quality to superior mastering (all analog direct from the master tapes) by Kevin Gray to superb 180-gram audiophile LP pressings by Record Technology Inc. Every aspect of these Blue Note/Tone Poet releases is done to the highest-possible standard. It means that you will never find a superior version. “The LPs are mastered directly from the original analog master tapes by Kevin at his incredible facility called Cohearent Mastering. We go about it in the exact same way that we did for so many years for the Music Matters Blue Note reissues. We do not roll off the low end, boost the top or do any limiting of any kind. We allow the full glory of the original Blue Note masters to come though unimpeded! Short of having an actual time machine, this is as close as you can get to going back and being a fly on the wall for an original Blue Note recording session.”
– Joe Harley

 File Under: Jazz
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CTICTV2019LP_PROD

Carter Tutti Void: Triumvirate (Conspiracy International) LP
Triumvirate = the combined power of a group of three in creative collaboration. Carter Tutti Void (Chris Carter, Cosey Fanni Tutti, and Nik Void) have announced their third and final studio album. Containing all new studio recordings, Triumvirate brings Chris Carter, Cosey Fanni Tutti, and Nik Void’s collaborative partnership as Carter Tutti Void to a conclusion. The trio first came together as a collective for a live performance, invited by Mute for the Short Circuit Festival in 2011 and released their acclaimed debut, the live album Transverse the following year. Carter Tutti Void went on to release f(x), their first studio recording and performed a handful of selected shows, culminating in their final live performance in Hull, part of a series of events for Hull City of Culture 2017 centered around the COUM Transmissions retrospective at Humber Street Gallery. For some time Carter, Tutti, and Void have been awaiting an opportunity when all three artists were able to gather at Carter and Tutti’s Studio47 in Norfolk, where the album was recorded, produced, and mastered. Triumvirate was approached with the improvisational spirit of previous Carter Tutti Void albums. The rhythms, created by Chris Carter, formed the foundation and starting point from which the process began of melding the live instrumentation of Cosey Fanni Tutti and Nik Void’s searing guitars, vocals, effects and the arsenal of sounds each had amassed from a variety of sources, some sounds manipulated to extremes, all fed into the mix. Tying the album together is the power of three, and a free open approach to sound shared by the trio.

File Under: Electronic, Industrial
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721616811322_main (1)Cerebral Rot: Odious Descent Into Decay (20 Buck Spin) LP
Continuing to extract the deadliest beings from the dankest corners of the Northwest, 20 Buck Spin summons from the festering swamp-soaked murk the revolting mutation that is Cerebral Rot. Like sewage winding its way through tunnels below the street, this music reeks with the stench of vulgarity and noxious body fumes. Embalmed in an analog toxic dump, this debut, Odious Descent Into Decay, melts the skin with radioactive brutality and gurgling bursts of punishing cruelty. It’s virulent subterranean death metal glistens with pustular fallout, with an obscure rotten air from being left too long on the morgue table—the skin peels off and the last gasp of life echoes terrifyingly within. A rank abomination of disgust, the album relies not on over-technicality, but rather disfiguring physical violence and battering submission in its quest for the true embodiment of sub-underground death, morphing from one wet distorted monstrosity to another. Like the miserable mess of decayed forms on the cover, the septic sickness of Cerebral Rot has only just begun to spread.

File Under: Metal
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JBH082LP_PROD

Buddy Collette Septet: Polynesia (Trunk) LP
The rarest of all exotic LPs, like Eden Ahbez but with extra added death. This bizarre, rarely heard masterpiece brings together jazz, ancient manuscripts, and a convicted murderer… Issued originally in 1959 it originates from Phoenix, Arizona. The concept behind the recording was unusual — to bring together two unconnected worlds: the jazz genius of Buddy Collette with the academic oriental studies and translations of A.I Groeg. Little can be found of A.I. Groeg, but before the LP was recorded A.I Groeg had translated several Polynesian and Japanese manuscripts. These form the basis of the dark narrations and lyrics across the album. Sublime vocalist Marni Nixon, the voice of Maria in West Side Story (1961), was brought in for two songs and fledgling actor Robert Sorrels (now a convicted murderer) supplied the strangely unsettling and almost otherworldly narration. The original LP states that “Buddy was given carte blanche with the material. After six months of composing and studying with the voice soloists, the results were two instrumentals and two songs on side one, and tone poems on side two. The latter represents a new musical genre. They are musical descriptions, preceded by spoken lines, and they become tone poems or musical illustrations inspired by the islanders, their words and marvelous simplicity. The mood is complete, yet hovers strangely in the air like a vague tantalizing dream.” Jonny Trunk on the reissue: ‘I’d first heard the album in about 2010 on a bizarre bootlegged CD (edited strangely with exotic library music), and spent the next few years desperately trying to find an original pressing. About one copy turns up a year, it seems to be far rarer than the legendary Eden’s Island album (1960) and occupies a similar musical space. But this album has a little more death. Heaven knows what new listeners will think of Polynesia, but it sure is a dark and weird musical trip. One I feel everyone should take.” Personnel: Buddy Collette – flute, clarinet; Gene Cipriano – oboe, English horn, bass clarinet; Gerald Wilson – trumpet; Justin Ditullio – cello; Al Viola – guitar, banjo; Red Callender – bass, tuba; Earl Palmer – drums; Ed Lustgarden – cello. New sleeve notes by Trunk.

File Under: Exotica
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LDD68300_Lana Del Rey: Norman Fucking Rockwell! (Interscope) LP
Indie Exclusive coloured vinyl! Norman Fucking Rockwell! is the highly anticipated sixth studio album by Lana Del Rey and follow-up to 2017’s Grammy-nominated Lust For Life. The 14-track collection was largely produced and co-written with frequent collaborator Jack Antonoff (St Vincent, Taylor Swift, Lorde) while Rick Nowels and Zach Dawes also make contributions. Del Rey has been teasing new material for over a year, releasing a few stand-alone singles including “Venice Bitch,” “Mariners Apartment Complex” and “Hope Is A Dangerous Thing For A Woman Like Me To Have – But I Have It,” plus a cover of Sublime’s “Doin Time” for the band’s 2019 documentary. The singer notes that the album is, “in the vein of a Laurel Canyon sound. And it’s kind of transformed a little bit because there’s some surf elements to some of the songs – it’s not really surfy like Dick Dale but a lot of electric guitar, a little Red Hot Chili Peppers influence in there.” The pulp-inspired pop art cover was shot by Chuck Grant and features the torch singer embracing actor Duke Nicholson in front of a painted backdrop.

File Under: Pop
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LDD647406__

Kenny Dorham: Una Mas (Blue Note) LP
In honor of Blue Note Records’ 80th Anniversary, the legendary jazz label is launching the Blue Note 80 Vinyl Reissue Series. Distinct from the Tone Poet Audiophile Vinyl Reissue Series, this second series curated by Don Was and Cem Kurosman features 180g vinyl LP releases in standard packaging with albums spanning the many eras of the label’s history presented by themes: Blue Note Debuts, Blue Grooves, Great Reid Miles Covers, Blue Note Live, and Blue Note Drummer Leaders. The series resumes in September 2019 with Part 1 of the Great Reid Miles Covers theme – Freddie Hubbard Hub-Tones (1962), Kenny Dorham Una Mas (1963) and Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers Indestructible (1966) – and will continue with three albums released each month for the coming year. A major trumpeter who emerged in the mid-1940s next to Dizzy Gillespie, Fats Navarro and Miles Davis, Kenny Dorham was an easily recognizable, personal and very skilled bop soloist for 25 years. In a colorful career that found him sharing the bandstand with Charlie Parker, Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers and Sonny Rollins, Dorham not only became active in hard bop and developed into one of its most important leaders. A major talent scout, for 1963’s Una Mas, Dorham not only helps introduce Joe Henderson (a regular member of his quintet) but features Herbie Hancock and Tony Williams before they joined Miles Davis. Throughout one of his most exciting recordings, Dorham performs with fire, inspiration and lyrical beauty. This Blue Note 80 Vinyl Edition is all-analog, mastered by Kevin Gray from the original master tapes, and pressed on 180g vinyl at Optimal.

File Under: Jazz
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759718531817_mainDum Dum Boys: Let There Be Noise (In The Red) LP
“Often obscured by the ascent of Flying Nun’s legendary roster is New Zealand’s late 1970s / early 1980s punk scene. Based in Auckland, a cadre of acts influenced by The Ramones and Stooges briefly thrived. The Dum Dum Boys—the first NZ punk band to record and release a full-length in their native country—were hooked on the Ann Arbor sounds of Iggy Pop. “The Dum Dum Boys’ Let There Be Noise (1981) is chock-full of James Williamson and Deniz Tek riffage; it also contains elements of Iggy Pop’s nihilism. Take the lyrics to “Something To Say”—it’s refrain repeatedly asking ‘What am I living for?’—and juxtapose them to the band’s namesake track from Pop’s The Idiot (1977): ‘What happened to Zeke? He’s dead on jones, man.’ ‘Stalking The Streets’ taps into the meaninglessness of James Taylor and Dennis Wilson’s Two-Lane Blacktop journey through the American Southwest. “The Dum Dum Boys understood the proto-punk sounds of 1970s Ann Arbor and Cleveland. More importantly, they also got the vibe. Life stinks—sometimes in the places (Auckland) you’d least expect it. “As the title suggests, Let There Be Noise is anything but a record incessantly focused on introspective doom and gloom. ‘Don’t Be A Bitch’ rivals Radio Birdman’s ‘I-94’ for lyrical thick-headedness—like sticking a hot 454 in a Ford Falcon gasser, the song’s simultaneously awesome and dumb. That’s a difficult balance to strike. “Let There Be Noise (1981) was self-released and copies quickly became damn near unobtanium, even in New Zealand. (I should know: I lived there.) In The Red has performed a major service by reissuing this obscure and outstanding record. Independent New Zealand releases from the early 1980s didn’t get their due; distribution out of the country was essentially non-existent. It’s nice to see that finally getting corrected.”

File Under: Punk
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DR038LP_PRODExek: Some Beautiful Species Left (Digital Regress) LP
“From Melbourne Australia, EXEK are proud to unveil their third album, Some Beautiful Species Left. Like their previous releases, Some Beautiful Species Left is the cultivation of numerous edits and overdubs, where once again EXEK subscribe to Brian Eno’s philosophy of the studio as an instrument. This MO allows the songwriting process to develop simultaneously alongside the recording process whilst privileging greater sonic control. The result is a record difficult to pigeonhole but post punk is perhaps the easiest way to categories EXEK’s music — post-modern and containing the defiance inherent within punk whilst incorporating elements of dub production, classical arrangements, hip hop and krautrock rhythms and the use of kitchen appliances as instruments.”

File Under: Post Punk
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TO115LP_PRODFennesz: Agora (Touch) LP
Agora is Christian Fennesz’s first solo album since Mahler Remix and Bécs. Fennesz writes: “It’s a simple story. I had temporarily lost a proper studio workspace and had to move all my gear back to a small bedroom in my flat where I recorded this album. It was all done on headphones, which was rather a frustrating situation at first but later on it felt like back in the day when I produced my first records in the 1990s. In the end it was inspiring. I used very minimal equipment; I didn’t even have the courage to plug in all the gear and instruments which were at my disposal. I just used what was at hand.” Fennesz uses guitar and computer to create shimmering, swirling electronic sound of enormous range and complex musicality. His lush and luminous compositions are anything but sterile computer experiments. They resemble sensitive, telescopic recordings of rainforest insect life or natural atmospheric occurrences, an inherent naturalism permeating each piece. He lives and works in Vienna. Recorded at Kaiserstudios, Vienna, August, September 2018. “Rainfall”: vocals by Katharina Caecilia Fennesz; “Agora”: field recordings Manfred Neuwirth, vocals Mira Waldmann. Photography and design by Jon Wozencroft. Mastered by Denis Blackham at Skye. Full color inner and outer sleeve. “Imagine the electric guitar severed from cliché and all of its physical limitations, shaping a bold new musical language.” –City Newspaper

File Under: Ambient, Electronic
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5cf6d194960d9_mainFlorist: Emily Alone (Double Double Whammy) LP
FLORIST is a soft-synthesizer-folk band and the friendship project of EMILY SPRAGUE, RICK SPATARO and JONNIE BAKER. Born in the Catskill Mountains in 2012, the three began making music together after discovering their shared love for many things musical and for each other. While Florist is historically a collaborative project, Emily Alone finds songwriter Emily Sprague as it’s sole contributor. Emily wrote and recorded all 12 tracks in her Los Angeles home during the last, rainy months of 2018. After moving to California from New York a year prior, Emily found herself in a transformative time of self exploration and independence after leaving the many lives she knew of as home on the east coast to start on a new journey. Living alone and separate from many of the things she once held most close, a deep dive into the dark void of the mind began. LP pressed on white vinyl.

File Under: Folk
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LDF14711_Fly Pan Am: C’est Ca (Constellation) LP
C’est ça marks the return of Montréal avant-rock quartet Fly Pan Am, who released an acclaimed series of albums in Constellation‘s early years, from 1999-2004. The band’s unique and heady collision of motorik repetition, shoegaze maximalism, punk skronk, tape- and electronic-based interventions and audio sabotage, garnered them a cult following among fans of audaciously deconstructed post-rock. Fly Pan Am quietly reunited in late 2017 for purely artistic reasons (needless to say), to explore making new music together after more than a decade spent in pursuit of separate sonic adventures. Within weeks, it was clear the band was firing on all cylinders again, brimming with electricity and eager to pick up where they’d left off with their last album N’écoutez pas back in 2004: pushing further into full-spectrum intersections of noise pop, post-punk, power electronics and musique concrète, while continuing to incorporate shrouded, textural vocals as alternately melodic and visceral components. C’est ça is a brilliant return to form for Fly Pan Am – an album of renewed vitality and experimentation where rock structures underpinned by J.S. Truchy’s trademark rapid-fire bass and Félix Morel’s disciplined, ascetic drumming are submerged beneath waves of processed guitar by Roger Tellier-Craig and Jonathan Parant, with fluorescent noise treatments and sonic vandalisms wrought by all four. “Distance Dealer”, “Each Ether” and “Interface Your Shattered Dreams” nod to important influences like MBV and Hüsker Dü, while collapsing into/out of themselves in various ways. “One Hit Wonder”, “Bleeding Decay” and “Discreet Channeling” vault some of Fly Pan Am’s earliest reference points into the present: namely, the intrepid proto-Kosmiche of This Heat and Can, and later style-adjacent torchbearers like Boredoms, Flying Saucer Attack and Trans Am. But Fly Pan Am have always and reliably been much more than the sum of their influences and of their own constituent parts. C’est ca is terrific slab of restless, conceptual, psych-cosmic noise rock that could come from no other band, forged by four musicians with long histories both together and apart. Following years of sonic exploration in all sorts of other projects and guises, whether in rock/punk/pop groups like Pas Chic Chic, Feu Thérèse, Avec Le Soleil Sortant De Sa Bouche and Panopticon Eyelids (to name just a few) or through a wide range of experimental electronic and audio-art projects – including Roger Tellier Craig and J.S. Truchy each with solo releases on Root Strata, and Truchy having run the Los Discos Enfantasmes label for several years – Fly Pan Am have reconvened with all four original members and made a new record sparkling with the creative buzz of lifelong artistic intensity, dialogue and friendship.

File Under: Post Rock, Art Rock
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DCLP010LP_PRODRon Geesin: ExpoZoom (Dark Companion) LP
Ron Geesin on ExpoZoom: “In 1969, I was commissioned to make all the music and organized noises for nineteen looped films to be run in the British Pavilion at Expo 70 in Osaka, Japan. The overall concept was to have all the films running in fixed positions so that the individual visitors would ‘mix’ their audio and visual experience by the speed and direction of their movement through and around the environment. Since most of the ninety-second films focused on highly technical aspects of British industry, it was decided with the producer, James Archibald and Associates, that we should do the final sound mixes with the finished films in the dubbing studio from as many ingredients as I thought necessary for each film. So I made all those textures separately, but was never provided with the finished mixes. Recently, I pulled out the five 10.5″ spools of tape from my archive and ran them. Firstly, after nearly fifty years, the physical tapes were in good condition being formulated from stable chemicals before the horrible ‘sticky tape syndrome’ of the 1980s. Secondly, having not revisited any of this material after 1973, I noticed that there were many prototypes of ideas made with much tape editing and analog synthesizers that only emerged from me in the pieces for KPM Electrosound and later in the 1970s, so there was a certain energetic outpouring of crude vitality from these earlier works. After all those years, I had little idea of how the original film tracks were mixed, so I transferred all those initial ingredients to my preferred digital setup and made new pieces, keeping each group of modules under its original title where known. In a few cases I added or strengthened a melodic line and, where pure electronic tones were made on tape with inevitable dropouts, remade the tones digitally. The pieces, influenced by the original pavilion layout, then suggested to me that they be grouped in four movements. One piece, ‘Wool’, is left out because it was lifted as ‘Twist And Knit For Two Guitars’ for my As He Stands (1973) album. Maybe if this lowly composer had been allowed to go to Japan, to join and probably embarrass the gray-suited British Government officials, he would have remembered more about the final structure of the films – and maybe just as well he wasn’t, and therefore didn’t.” Recorded, composed, and mixed by Ron Geesin.

File Under: Electronic
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CREP067LP_PRODGonzo: Ruido(s) (Discrepant) LP
Sometimes one knows it’s coming, sometimes it’s unexpected, but the time to hang up one’s boots will always come. It’s better when one has total control over the moment, even better if things end on a high (or on a low). After seven years of sonic interferences, calibrating the soundscape of field recordings and helping to recreate the old sounds of today, Gonzo is retiring from music. It’s a goodbye, and a well-crafted one at that. But Ruído(s) doesn’t sound like an intentional farewell. It won’t be heard on any of the thirteen tracks that scavenge for a solution in the space between ambient music and field recordings. It won’t be felt in the intense connection between human and natural sounds; how sometimes everything oscillates in opposite states of mind. One won’t even read it in the intense-yet-subtle humor present in some of the pieces. This is all because it’s not an intentional goodbye. What is it then? It’s a celebration of random sound. How can one experience something scholastic and simultaneously deeply hilarious? Just think about the amazing triad formed by “A Fuga Dos Grilos.” “Degredado(s),” and “Cantiga Parva”. First, one is blessed with six minutes that build up on the idea that sound can be an intense religious experience, echoes going back and forth to create a fantastic Boiler Room feeling (one populated with raving Gonzos doing dabs in front of the camera) that eventually ends with a cinematic touch — someone saying the title of the song out loud. One second after we are into the Flying Lizards world, with two songs that shake any pretentious seriousness of the previous track. Is it serious or not? It is. But it doesn’t have to be. On Ruído(s) Gonzo recounts pop/electronic history through field recordings and weird-soft beats. More than compiling his seven-year history, Gonzo is more worried about understanding where he’s leaving his ideas, Caretaker-style. As the album progresses and the need to revisit it grows, it becomes clearer that Ruído(s) is more than an artist self-indulging in his work — in a very good manner. It’s also a condensed catalog of Portuguese music and its sounds, a circular trip down the memory lane of a forgotten country and its landscape. Ruído(s) is a goodbye to a country and its traditions. It does it without sulking but with the most respectful loud laugh — the Gonzo way.

File Under: Electronic, Sound Collage, Field Recordings
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BEWITH056LP_PRODMarcia Griffiths: Sweet & Nice (Be With) LP
Be With Records present a reissue of Sweet And Nice, the vital debut album from Jamaica’s undisputed first lady of song Marica Griffiths, originally released in 1974. It’s reggae at its most soulful. Slinking through a tight ten tracks of R&B and pop-sourced material, it became an instant best seller. Sweet And Nice has appeared over the years with a revised running order and under different titles. But the original’s opening sequence of loping soul is legendary, even beyond reggae circles. These songs are now returned to how they were presented on that first Jamaican release, and under their intended album title. Be With doesn’t mess with magic. Marcia’s version of “Here I Am (Come and Take Me)” has long been lusted after, played by genre-hopping selectors to snapping necks for decades now. It’s followed by the sophisticated, rollicking wah-wah funk of “Everything I Own” and the slice of smooth lovers soul par excellence that is “Green Grasshopper” and her ace, lilting Neil Diamond cover “Play Me”. The thundering, humid funk of “Children At Play” “sounds uncannily like a precursor of Massive Attack”, as FACT Mag astutely noted when they put Sweet And Nice at number 16 in their list of the 100 best albums of the 1970s. Otherworldly, moody, and essential. Side two keeps the fire burning. “Sweet, Bitter Love” should leave you swooning, and is also one of the album’s alternate titles. Curtis Mayfield’s already-eternal “Gypsy Man” follows, recast as proto-lovers rock. “There’s No Me Without You” is elevated to canonical status by the majestic, forlorn horns of the Federal Soul Givers and Marcia’s heartbreaking delivery. And if this doesn’t get you then surely the next track will: arguably the definitive version of Ewan MacColl’s “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face”. “I Just Don’t Want To Be Lonely” re-takes its rightful place at the end of the LP’s second side… but Be With Records added an entire second record of rare material recorded around the same time as Sweet And Nice, much of it unavailable since it was originally released. Amongst these 14 extra tracks you’ll find the exquisite late-60s singles “Melody Life” and “Mark My Word” which, along with the sumptuous reading of “Band Of Gold”. All material is remastered. 140 gram vinyl.

File Under: Soul, R&B, Reggae
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BT050LP_PRODKeiji Haino/Jim O’Rourke/Oren Ambarchi: In the past only geniuses… (Black Truffle) LP
Full title: In the past only geniuses were capable of staging the perfect crime (also known as a revolution) Today anybody can accomplish their aims with the push of the button. For its 50th release, Black Truffle presents the ninth album from one of the label’s core ensembles, the power trio of Keiji Haino, Jim O’Rourke, and Oren Ambarchi. Drawn from a November 2015 performance at Tokyo’s now-defunct SuperDeluxe, the record’s opening piece drops us immediately into the maelstrom, abruptly cutting into an extended episode of Ambarchi’s pummeling drums, O’Rourke’s fuzzed-out six-string bass, and Haino’s roaring guitar and electronics. Eventually settling into a hypnotic bass and drum groove over which Haino unleashes some almost Ray Russell-eque skittering atonal screech, these opening 13 minutes act as a potent reminder of the trio’s power. Alongside showcasing the steady development of a unique language for the guitar-bass-drums power trio, the group’s succession of releases over the last decade has demonstrated a constant experimentation with new instruments, which continues here with O’Rourke use of Hammond organ (played at the same time as his roaming, sometimes knotty basslines). On the album’s second piece, the organ plays a key role, furnishing a harmonically rich shimmer over O’Rourke’s angular six-string bass chords, Haino’s distant, chirping electronics and Ambarchi’s crisp cymbal work; arriving somewhere halfway between Albert Marcoeur and Terje Rypdal, this piece is undoubtedly a highlight in the trio’s catalog so far. The second and third sides are slow-burning, multi-part epics that range from spacious reflection to furious tumult. Where the trio’s previous double-LP set — This Dazzling, Genuine “Difference” Now Where Shall It Go? (BT 030LP, 2017) — was primarily instrumental in focus, here you find Haino’s voice taking the spotlight on the expansive third side, intoning, wailing. and exhorting in Japanese and English over a backdrop that moves from hushed bass and organ atmospherics to rolling toms and cymbal crashes before arriving at an ecstatic finale of searing guitar, tumbling drums and reverb-saturated bass. The fourth side returns to the hypnotic grooves of the opening piece, fixing on a relentless riff and riding it into oblivion under Haino’s roaming psychedelic soloing and jagged chordal slashes. Cover image by Traianos Pakioufakis; Live action pics by Ujin Matsuo. Mastered and cut by Rashad Becker at Dubplates & Mastering. LP design by Lasse Marhaug; gatefold sleeve.

File Under: Psych, Experimental
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LDH06601_Hide: Hell is Here (Dais) LP
Hide is an electronic duo based in Chicago, made up of visual artist Heather Gabel and musician Seth Sher. Together since 2014, the pair create sample based compositions using a combination of self sourced field recordings and various pop culture/media. Hide’s second full length album Hell is Here on Dais sees the band’s evolution pushed even further. The tone is sick and heavy. Using their previously established blueprint of complex drum programming, stomach churning sub bass and aggressive expressive vocals, Gabel and Sher poke and prod at the perception of musical context, and remind the listener that feelings of anxiety, pain, and discomfort are equally as important as those of resolution. Perhaps the strongest tool utilized here is the material’s dichotomy between the abrasive and the sterile. Beneath the crushing noisy exterior, sparks the familiar human voice. Divorced from their caustic counterparts Gabel’s vocals play a decisive role in cementing narrative for the material’s uncompromising assault on the senses. Opening track “Chainsaw” immediately lays the groundwork for the excursion to come. Twisted, cold, and dry repetition soundtracks a one sided catcalling verbal assault. The theme of objectification carries through to the following track “999” with the use of a well placed vocal sample that declares “…when you depersonalize another person… it seems to make it easier to do things you shouldn’t do.”. This sentiment is expertly echoed throughout the rest of Hell Is Here and attempts to forcefully remind the listener of humanity’s absurd and animalistic nature. Nearing the end of the punishing trek we find “Pain,” which is arguably the record’s most formidable use of space. The call and response nature of both the harsh percussive elements paired with the impending vocals effectively induces a deafening anxiety that’s rivaled only by the lyrical content of Gabel’s shrieking voice. “SSSD” (which stands for Self Self Self Destruct) calls for total destruction of the ego via empathy. Here Gabel instructs the listener “Become nothing, you can feel everything, become nothing, you can be anything” in an effort to destroy the societal constructs that dictate the way we view ourselves and interact with others/the earth. “Raw Dream” closes out the album with driving focus and a determination to calmly but not quietly move forward despite feeling beat down and powerless, as a response to it even. “Raw Dream” is an anthem for the disenfranchised’s rising up, a long overdue and joyous recalibration of an imbalance of power. The summation of material presented on Hell Is Here is perhaps best interpreted as the rawest innards of Hide’s vision for the self-governing ideology that’s consistently present throughout their body of work. Painful truth and honest examination of life’s darkest, and often undiscussed, crevices scratch and claw their way to the surface through the duo’s strongest and most confrontational work to date.

File Under: Electronic, Industrial
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LDH47420__Freddie Hubbard: Hub-Tones (Blue Note) LP
In honor of Blue Note Records’ 80th Anniversary, the legendary jazz label is launching the Blue Note 80 Vinyl Reissue Series. Distinct from the Tone Poet Audiophile Vinyl Reissue Series, this second series curated by Don Was and Cem Kurosman features 180g vinyl LP releases in standard packaging with albums spanning the many eras of the label’s history presented by themes: Blue Note Debuts, Blue Grooves, Great Reid Miles Covers, Blue Note Live, and Blue Note Drummer Leaders. The series resumes in September 2019 with Part 1 of the Great Reid Miles Covers theme – Freddie Hubbard Hub-Tones (1962), Kenny Dorham Una Mas (1963) and Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers Indestructible (1966) – and will continue with three albums released each month for the coming year. At the time that Freddie Hubbard recorded Hub-Tones in 1962, he had recently become a member of Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers. He teams up with altoist-flutist James Spaulding for the first time on this album (they would have a group together a few years later) in a quintet also featuring Herbie Hancock. In addition to reinventing “You’re My Everything,” they perform four of the trumpeter’s originals. The music looks ahead to the future while always swinging hard. Whether caressing the melody of his heart-felt tribute to the recently deceased Booker Little “Lament For Booker” or sounding explosive on “Hub-Tones,” Hubbard is dazzling throughout, causing many sparks to fly and creating superb music. Hub-Tones also features one of Reid Miles’ most iconic album cover designs! This Blue Note 80 Vinyl Edition is all-analog, mastered by Kevin Gray from the original master tapes, and pressed on 180g vinyl at Optimal.

File Under: Jazz
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LDH19051_Jenny Hval: The Practice of Love (Sacred Bones) LP
At first listen, The Practice of Love, Jenny Hval’s seventh full-length album, unspools with an almost deceptive ease. Across eight tracks, filled with arpeggiated synth washes and the kind of lilting beats that might have drifted, loose and unmoored, from some forgotten mid-’90s trance single, The Practice of Love feels, first and foremost, compellingly humane. Given the horror and viscera of her previous album, 2016’s Blood Bitch, The Practice of Love is almost subversive in its gentleness – a deep dive into what it means to grow older, to question one’s relationship to the earth and one’s self, and to hold a magnifying glass over the notion of what intimacy can mean. As Hval describes it, the album charts its own particular geography, a landscape in which multiple voices engage and disperse, and the question of connectedness – or lack thereof – hangs suspended in the architecture of every song. It is an album about “seeing things from above – almost like looking straight down into the ground, all of these vibrant forest landscapes, the type of nature where you might find a porn magazine at a certain place in the woods and everyone would know where it was, but even that would just become rotting paper, eventually melting into the ground.” Prompted by an urge to find a different kind of language to express what she was feeling, the songs on The Practice of Love unfurl like an interior dialogue involving several voices. Friends and collaborators Vivian Wang, Laura Jean Englert, and Felicia Atkinson surface on various tracks, via contributed vocals or through bits of recorded conversation, which further posits the record itself as a kind of ongoing discourse.

File Under: Electronic, Pop
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LDI21217_Indian Summer: Giving Birth to Thunder (Numero) LP
The fourth leg on the early emo table of Rites of Spring, Moss Icon, and Cap’n Jazz, Indian Summer’s Giving Birth To Thunder compiles their complete discography. Emo’s second wave crashed into the Bay Area in the summer of 1994 in a rage-filled capsule of quiet and loud, octave chords, angry sons, Spock haircuts, and screaming. At the eye of this pissed-for-the-hell-of-it storm were Indian Summer. In the quartet’s 12-month existence they wrote ten songs, appeared on half a dozen singles and comps, and played over 100 gigs across the U.S. and Canada before burning out, passing out, and moving out of their Blue House in Oakland. Their hand-screened aesthetic is replicated in alarming detail in the accompanying by 28-page book with detailed liner notes, flyers, and miscellaneous propaganda.

File Under: Emo, Hardcore
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LDM64715_The Juan MacLean: The Brighter the Light  (DFA) LP
The Juan Maclean return to DFA with a compilation LP of 12-inch singles they’ve amassed over the past six years – re-edited, re-mastered, and ready for fans who may have missed the tracks the first time around. From the dub house sway of 2013’s “You Are My Destiny” to the high-energy stomp of this May’s “Zone Non Linear,” and featuring two never-before-released tracks, “Quiet Magician” and “Pressure Danger,” The Juan Maclean once again justify their longevity as a musical force that is more than capable of repurposing club tracks for every setting. The Brighter The Light is put together in a way that lends itself to appreciating the sheer banging quality of the songs while simultaneously being able to dance to them in your living room. For example, take “Feel Like Movin,'” which Pitchfork called “gloriously beatific” and “pure DFA gold.” In the new remastered version, the fullness of the keys and the kicks takes over, unfurling across the listener. Deep house rhythms, sparkling synths and a certain spaciousness are what’s emphasized across the record. Gone is the slow-motion melancholy disco from their recent full-lengths – The Brighter The Light is all fierce enthusiasm and dance floor missives, perfect for those who aren’t quite ready to let go of summer. Juan Maclean is a DJ and producer who has been a mainstay of the New York club scene, as well as maintaining a rigorous international touring schedule, since the release of his first records on DFA in 2002. Vocalist Nancy Whang is his longtime collaborator, best known as a founding member of LCD Soundsystem and a busy touring DJ. Together, the two artists have released an extensive catalogue of 12″ singles and full-length albums for DFA, including 2014’s seminal In A Dream LP. The proper follow-up studio album will drop in 2020.

File Under: Electronic, Disco
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5d4db4e006100_mainKonstruktivists: Glennascaul (Dark Entries) LP
Konstruktivists is the Industrial project of Glenn Michael Wallis from Kent, England. In the late ’70s Wallis was a “control agent” for Throbbing Gristle and the Industrial Records crew. Influenced by Krautrock bands like Can, NEU!, Cluster/Harmonia as well as Tuxedomoon, Yello, Chrome, and SPK, Glenn began to record his own material. After several cassette releases, Konstruktivists’ first LP A Dissembly was released in 1982 followed by Psykho Genetika in 1983 and Black December in 1984. That same year Wallis collaborated with his friend Chris Carter, of Throbbing Gristle and Chris and Cosey fame, on CTI’s Conspiracy International One. In 1985, Glenn spent a week at Chris and Cosey’s studio recording 11 tracks that would become the Glennascaul album originally released on Nigel Ayers’ Sterile Records. Produced and mixed by Chris Carter, it marked a complete change in style for the band towards a beat-orientated rhythmic sound. Glennascaul is proto electro at its very best, with Glenn’s hallucinogenic vocals on top. A musical collage designed to invoke images in the mind. The back cover clearly states “No guitars. No Fairlights.” For this deluxe reissue we’ve added two bonus tracks recorded around the same time, now vinyl for the first time ever. All songs have been remastered for vinyl by George Horn at Fantasy Studios in Berkeley. The record is housed in an exact replica of the original jacket featuring cover art, which is a co-production of Trevor Brown, Nigel Ayers and an image Glenn Wallis supplied. Each copy includes a double-sided 8×11 insert with liner notes by Nigel Ayers, press clippings, and photos.

File Under: Electronic, Industrial
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5d48b315b98dc_mainK. Leimer: Irrational Overcast (First Terrace) LP
First Terrace Records have the honour to present an album of new work by influential and idiosyncratic artist K. Leimer. His second outing for First Terrace, following his part on FTS001, the album finds the composer working in a solemn & focused mode, rendering deep sonic landscapes that shimmer, sink into themselves and play host to a slowly emerging carousel of auditory apparitions – dynamics delivered through his mastery of textural manipulation. Emerging in opposition to the sunless days & countless distresses of current US politics, each track is imbued with a refreshing sense of equanimity – in Kerry’s own words, he “does not profess that music – especially an experimental, lyric-free music – can change or influence such circumstances. But this is the context in which we now live, and this has shaped the music of Irrational Overcast — a coping mechanism for living under clouds of baseless beliefs and simplistic ideologies that disfigure and stifle what is an admittedly difficult though really quite lovely world.”

File Under: Ambient
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Lord Echo: Curiosities (Soundway) LP
Soundway Records completes the Lord Echo album collection, finally reissuing the second album in the trilogy from the in-demand New Zealand multi-instrumentalist and producer. Originally released in 2013, Curiosities is available here as a DJ-friendly double-LP for the first time. The entirely self-produced album blends jazz with disco-tinged neo-soul, reggae, and classic Afro-beat in effortless manner — and joins the dots between the more downtempo first album from 2011 Melodies and the disco, electronic, club-ready of his third album Harmonies. The album also features a dub-funk cover of Pharoah Sanders’ “The Creator Has A Master Plan”, with vocals from Lisa Tomlins. Also features Leila Adu and Mara TK. RIYL: Julien Dyne, Fat Freddy’s Drop, The Black Seeds, Electric Wire Hustle.

File Under: Funk, Afro-beat, Soul
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796441822126_mainLoscil: Equivalents (Kranky) LP
Canadian composer Scott Morgan’s 12th long-player as loscil takes its title from an influential series of early 20th century photographs by Alfred Stieglitz, abstracting clouds into miasmic, painterly canvases of smoke and shadowplay. It’s a deeply fitting analog for Morgan’s own musical process across the past two decades, fraying forms and tones into widescreen mirages of opaque texture and negative space. The name Equivalents referred to Stieglitz’s notion of the photographs as being equivalent to his “philosophical or emotional states of mind;” the same could be said of these eight weighty, shivering chiaroscuros of sound. Each piece unfolds and evolves enigmatically, adrift in low oxygen atmospheres, shifting dramatically from pockets of density to dissipated streaks of moonlit vapor. The entirety of the record was created specifically for the album with the exception of “Equivalent 7,” which began as a dance score for frequent collaborator Vanessa Goodman. The album version of this track was reworked with Vancouver musician Amir Abbey aka Secret Pyramid. Cloud photographs taken by Scott Morgan at various locations throughout Cascadia in 2018.

File Under: Electronic, Ambient
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IDEAL184LP_PROD

Merzbow & Vanity Productions: Coastal Erosion (Ideal) LP
On their riveting debut collaboration, Merzbow (Masami Akita) and Posh Isolation’s Vanity Productions (Christian Stadsgaard) transmute worries about ecological disaster into a torrent of spirit-gnawing, experimental noise that surpasses the sum of its parts. Both hailing from places with a lot of coastline vulnerable to sea level rises, Masami Akita from Japan, and Stadsgaard in Denmark, Coastal Erosion sees them grasp the nettle of impending doom with typically gauntleted grip and an unswerving intensity that speaks to clear and present concerns. While perhaps not the most obvious bedfellows for collaboration, the artists patently share an emphatic empathy for the situation that resonates through their music, where human forces of emotion intersect elemental chaos in a pair of poetically tempestuous, even harrowing works. Merzbow’s visceral, primal roar sustains a perpetual force of attrition that constantly threatens to overwhelm VP’s widescreen, panoramic pads on both of the LP’s monolithic tracts. But it’s due to their democracy of vision that they speak as one, rather than over each other. In the A side’s 18 minutes of “Erosion Japan”, they connote the frothing might of the Pacific tide encroaching and destroying towering walls of steel and glass with an arrestingly Ballardian quality to their instrumental description of violence and anguish. The B side’s 17 minute “Erosion Denmark” follows with a more pensive arrangement of low-lying, unyielding drone frequencies smeared to stereo extremes and overlapped with spirit-penetrating shards of distortion, limning the prospective submergence of the Danish peninsula and its archipelagoes with a Thunbergian seriousness and intractable logic. Taken as a profound warning or as an elegy for Anthropocene extinction, Coastal Erosion is a frighteningly powerful statement that leaves its message like the murky stain of flood waters inside the mind. Mastered and cut by Rashad Becker at Dubplates & Mastering. Edition of 300.

File Under: Noise, Industrial
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MITSUKO002LP_PRODPiero Milesi: The Nuclear Observatory of Mr. Nanof (Mitsuko) LP
A rare Italian library/soundtrack gem reissued on vinyl for the first time since 1986, presented by Mitsuko & Svetlana Records, distributed by WRWTFWW Records. Composed by Piero Milesi. Archival reissue of the ethereal wonder from Italian architect/music installation and soundtrack master Piero Milesi. This lush adventure of meditative synth and melodic scores for lyricon and small chamber ensemble contains tracks from films The Nuclear Observatory Of Mr. Nanof (L’Osservatorio Nucleare Del Sig. Nanof, 1985), The Oversize House (La Casa Fuori Misura, 1985), theater play King’s Night (La Notte Dei Re, 1986), and video The Presence Of The City (La Presenza Della Citta, 1984) produced by The University For Architecture of Milan. Highly recommended to astronautic mineral engineers of the mental system. Music for films, videos, and fireworks.

File Under: Library
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LDM18962_

Moon Duo: Stars are the Light (Sacred Bones) LP
Stars Are the Light, the luminous seventh album by the American psych explorers Moon Duo, marks a progression into significantly new territory. From a preoccupation with the transcendental and occult that informed Ripley Johnson and Sanae Yamada’s guitar-driven psych rock, and reached its apotheosis in the acclaimed Occult Architecture diptych, Stars Are the Light sees the band synthesize the abstract and metaphysical with the embodied and terrestrial.  Says Yamada: “We have changed, the nature of our collaboration has changed, the world has changed, and we wanted the new music to reflect that.” Branching out from Occult Architecture Vol. 2, the album has a sonic physicality that is at once propulsive and undulating; it puts dance at the heart of an expansive nexus that connects the body to the stars. These are songs about embodied human experience – love, change, misunderstanding, internal struggle, joy, misery, alienation, discord, harmony, celebration – rendered as a kind of dance of the self, both in relation to other selves and to the eternal dance of the cosmos. Taking disco as its groove-oriented departure point, Stars Are the Light shimmers with elements of ’70s funk and ’90s rave. Johnson’s signature guitar sound is at its most languid and refined, while Yamada’s synths and oneiric vocals are foregrounded to create a spacious percussiveness that invites the body to move with its mesmeric rhythms. With Sonic Boom (Spacemen 3, Spectrum) at the mixing desk in Portugal’s Serra de Sintra, (known to the Romans as “The Mountains of the Moon”) the area’s lush landscape and powerful lunar energies exerted a strong influence on the vibe and sonic texture of the album. On embracing disco as an inspiration, Yamada says, “It’s something we hadn’t referenced in our music before, but its core concepts really align with what we were circling around as we made the album. Disco is dance music, first and foremost, and we were digging our way into the idea of this endless dance of bodies in nature. We were also very inspired by the space and community of a disco – a space of free self-expression through dance, fashion, and mode of being; where everyone was welcome, diversity was celebrated, and identity could be fluid; where the life force that animates each of us differently could flower.” The artwork for the vinyl editions of Stars Are the Light comes in four different color schemes, which will be randomly selected for each order.

File Under: Psych
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BLUME016LP_PRODWinfried Mühlum-Pyrápheros: Musica Nova Contemplativa (Blume) LP
Blume present the first ever reissue of Winfried Mühlum-Pyrápheros’s Musica Nova Contemplativa, originally released in 1970. This stunning artifact of its era has, until now, remained among the rarest artifacts in the field of cross-disciplinary efforts known as the Artist Record: sonic adventures embarked on by artists primarily dedicated to the visual realm. Creatively challenging, ahead of its time, and unquestionably beautiful, its rare musicality sets the stage for alternate understandings of what minimalism was and came from, during its early years. Droning and tense, subtle melodic elements underpin sheets of tone and atonality, sculpting an incongruous sense of spatial ambience; the concept of Musica Nova Contemplativa drew on a unique, unfixed compositional system created by combining traditional musical notation with mobile and variable elements, expressed graphically as a system of coordinates which leave variation, interpretation, and improvisation up to the performer. Captured as eleven distinct movements, the work, in hindsight, can now be understood as a lost, freestanding work of musical minimalism, echoing idiomatic roots in Fluxus and the raw temperaments of artists like Tony Conrad and Henry Flynt, threaded with touchstones in the work of Eliane Radigue, Giacinto Scelsi, and Jani Christou. Born in Germany during 1941 and educated in philosophy and psychology, over the last half century the bulk of Winfried Mühlum-Pyrápheros’s artistic output has been largely oriented around painting, sculpture, and installation, each focused on the experiences of phenomena, environment, and light. Musica Nova Contemplativa was composed in 1964 as a graphic score, then it was interpreted and recorded by Mühlum-Pyrápheros on violin and Johann Georg Ickler on organ three years later in a Franciscan church in Bensheim as is a logical extension of the artists broader concerns: seeking further territories of inclusive and expansive environments of experience. Intended as acoustic extensions of his paintings, the collective contents of the album are a metaphysical and esoteric rising in sound. Out-of-print for almost 50 years, this edition represents its first ever reissue in any form, complete with an interview between Winfried Mühlum-Pyrápheros and Stefan Bremer conducted for the occasion of this reissue, and newly commissioned liner notes by Bradford Bailey. Includes printed inner sleeve and an original insert that functions as obi; Edition of 300.

File Under: Classical, Minimalism
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Not Waving & Dark Mark: Downwelling (Ecstatic) LP
Following Not Waving’s stellar recent recordings with Jim O’Rourke, Colin Potter, and Jay Glass Dubs, Downwelling finds him in a striking Pas de deux with alt. rock god Mark Lanegan (Screaming Trees, QOTSA). It’s one of those rare link-ups that truly transcends the sum of its parts, with Not Waving’s rolling range of nuanced electronics acting as backdrops for Lanegan’s smoky baritone storytelling. Delivered in a husky but pliable voice that has come to define the American alternative rock scene since the early ’90s, Lanegan inhabits the songs with a reserved presence that has served him well for decades, but which has never been heard in quite this context. Pairing music recorded by Alessio Natalizia between London, Italy, and Paris over the past five years, with vocals recorded by Lanegan in LA, the duo arrives at dreamy non-place that’s not defined by geography or time. Instead the album offers a timeless insight into human behavior, as reflected in the sleeve art details from the “Lights Of Canopus”, a Persian version of the ancient Indian book of animal fables, the “Panchatantra”. Thanks to Lanegan’s classically dusty tone — famously described as being “scratchy as a three-day beard yet as supple as moccasin leather” — and the breadth of Not Waving’s production, the results draw listeners deep into the artists’ shared plane of world-weary but quietly hopeful conception, emphasizing the power of closeness and empathy. Their songs come on like waves lapping a shore that’s ever-shifting, ever the same. This cycle is epitomized on the opener, “Signifying The End” with Lanegan’s raspy tone met by honeyed synths, before scaling the nocturnal heights of “City Of Sin” and coolly channeling Suicide in “Burn Out Babylon”. The waters calm again for “Persimmon Tree” suitably set to harp-like arps, while the deathly croon and impending throb of “Murder In Fugue” comes to rest in the serene resolution of “The Broken Man” in a manner that’s entirely modernist but speaks to eons of human emotion. Echoing everything from latter-days Scott Walker to David Sylvian at his most strung out, and even the odd energy of Moebius, Conny Plank & Mayo Thompson’s Ludwig’s Law album (1998), or the arcane creak of John Duncan’s Bitter Earth (2016), Natalizia and Lanegan’s efforts will realign listeners presumptions of both artists and place them in a category all of their own. Mastered and cut by Dubplates & Mastering, Berlin. Edition of 500.

File Under: Electronic, Screaming Trees
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5c8bcebfa64f0_mainPelt: Pearls from the River (VHF) LP
VHF presents the first time on vinyl for Pearls From The River, the all acoustic epics album from the “classic” Pelt trio lineup of Jack Rose, Mike Gangloff, and Patrick Best. Recorded in a single March 2003 session in Virginia by Mikel Dimmick, this was a superb distillation of their interests at the time (both alone and together—Rose’s first solo records, the emergence of the Black Twigs as a busy working band, etc). “Up the North Fork” is a trio for banjo, baritone banjo, and cello—after the snakey bowed introduction, the fast thwacking of the banjos and forcefully strummed cello take over and whip up a storm. The other two tracks are lengthy ragas (one in C, one in D) with the virtuoso modal guitar of Rose front and center. The title track features Rose on twelve-string, dueling with Mike Gangloff on esraj. Best’s thick, sonorous double-bass bowing anchors the duet between the lightning thrumming / plucking of Rose’s guitar and Gangloff’s arcing, sharply bowed half-time melody. “Road To Catawba” has Rose on six-string, with Gangloff moving to tamboura. Best’s bass is again the foundation, with whistling overtones rising from his bow over the low drone. Liner notes by Byron Coley.

File Under: Folk, Minimalism
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5d1b8a8f80da3_mainPoison Idea: Pick Your King (Jackpot) LP
Not only the greatest POISON IDEA record, but the greatest PUNK album of all time! Formed in Portland, OR in 1980, Poison Idea’s debut record features 13 songs in 13 minutes. Poison Idea were one of the first hardcore bands to inspire artists across multiple genre lines. On limited edition colored vinyl with sticker and inserts.

File Under: Punk
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TTTT003LP_PRODRyuichi Sakamoto & Taylor Deupree: Live in London  (Thirtythree Thirtythree) LP
Trailblazing Japanese composer Ryuichi Sakamoto is joined by revered electronic musician Taylor Deupree on this live recording, documenting their collaboration at St John-at-Hackney Church in 2014, part of ThirtyThree ThirtyThree’s flagship concert series St John Sessions. The two musicians develop a kinetic understanding over the recording, entering a sparse musical dialogue — flourishes of prepared piano give way to bursts of noise and sculpted synths. Totally improvised, the performance follows their collaborations on record — as a duo on 2013’s Disappearance, and in a trio with Illuha on 2014’s Perpetual. Ryuichi Sakamoto has had an extraordinary career, from his founding of revolutionary electronic trio Yellow Magic Orchestra, to his remarkable film scores, notably Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence (1983) and the soundtrack for Oscar-winning film, The Revenant (2015). Taylor Deupree, meanwhile, spent his career devoted to his label, 12k, and an intricate form of ambient minimalism. Originally released in 2015, ThirtyThree ThirtyThree’s inaugural record, the album has been remastered by Deupree. Features new artwork; Comes in a gatefold sleeve; 180-gram, transparent blue vinyl; Includes 24″ photographic print.

File Under: Psych, Asia, Rock
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Sheer Mag: A Distant Call (Wilsuns RC) LP
Sheer Mag return with their sophomore album, A Distant Call. They’re still writing about surviving the current hellscape, but this time around, the politics get extra-personal. The album verges on being a concept piece, and the protagonist resembles frontwoman Tina Halladay. The songs document a particularly alienating time in her life when she was laid off from a job. Broke and newly single, her father passed away, leaving her with more wounds than it felt possible to heal. It’s heavy power-pop so sleek it gleams. “We’ve been waiting to write these songs since we started the band and we were able to take these experiences and build a story out of them,” Halladay says. “A Distant Call makes an argument for socialism on an anecdotal level. We’re talking about how late capitalism alienates and commodifies whatever is in its path without using the term ‘late capitalism.’” Guitarist Matt Palmer and Halladay’s new approach to lyricism extended to the recording process, too. Once the brothers Hart and Kyle Seely had laid down the tracks, Halladay recorded vocals with producer Arthur Rizk (Power Trip, Code Orange).

File Under: Garage, Power Pop
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STUDIOMUL022LP_PRODTakayuki Shiraishi: Missing Link (Studio Mule) LP
Studio Mule presents Missing Link, a collection by Japanese living legend electronic producer Takayuki Shiraishi. Missing Link is a collection of unreleased material recorded in the late ’80s. Shiraishi started his career in working with BGM, who released material on the Japanese experimental label Vanity Records. Their one and only album Back Ground Music (1980) has been one of the most in-demand Japanese new wave albums. The present album is unique mixture of dark new wave, post punk, kraut rock, and experimental electronic music.

File Under: Electronic
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OUEST094LP_PROD

Pontiac Streator & Ulla Straus: 11 Items (West Mineral) LP
11 Items is the textured first album by Pontiac Streator and Ulla Straus for Huerco S and his pals at West Mineral Ltd. The album sees the American duo expand upon the hazy mindset of their Chat EP across a flux of ambient interzones where they transmute fleeting, everyday feels into a bouquet of ephemeral and organically unresolved scenes The expanded double-LP palette of Streator & Straus’ second release reveals a greater variegation of their overgrown, verdant electronics and free rhythms in a gently perplexing style of ambient inception. Each of the 11 Items feels like an exploration of dreams within dreams in a way that beautifully parses the poetic from the prosaic and cannily reflects a certain hyperaware yet hypnagogic state of modern ambient music. Recorded at 50 Wingz in Philadelphia, 11 Items convects a cool, communal sort of psychedelia from nose to tail, evoking the feel of friends in a room or a cabin communicating non-verbally. In the process it conjures the type of moments that lead to comfortable silences between familiar souls, and likewise has the capacity to stimulate and dissolve conversation with the babbling, forgot-what-I-was-talking-about flow and quality of MDMA chat between relaxed but frayed and buzzing minds. In an ambiguous style that has become key to West Mineral Ltd.’s aesthetic, the music is neither gloomy nor ecstatic but full of transitory sensations somewhere in between those poles. Each part feels pulled in multiple directions at once, resulting in a sublime schism between jazzy hustle and heavy-lidded electronics in “Item 1”, and a subtle underlying tension between layered dimensions of humid, dusky acoustics and congealed electronics on “Item 3”, while “Item 5” dices with urges to dance/lean back, and “Item 10” crystallizes this idea of alchemic multi-valency with an unmissable mix of fine grained mentasms firing like synaptic surges in iridescent grey matter. Mastered and cut at Dubplates & Mastering, Berlin. Edition of 500.

File Under: Electronic, Ambient, Fourth World
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LDT61198Stanley Turrentine:” Hustlin’ (Tone Poet Series) (Blue Note) LP
When it comes to playing powerful tenor solos full of the grit of life’s experiences mixed with joyful and optimistic shouts, Stanley Turrentine was Mr. Soul Jazz. Recognizable at any part of his career within two notes, Turrentine was in his own musical category no matter what the setting. A master at caressing melodies and making them his own, Turrentine, with his passionate musical personality, could turn any song into the blues. This uplifting 1965 deep soul-jazz offering with his then wife Shirley Scott on organ plus Kenny Burrell on guitar, Bob Cranshaw on bass, and Otis Finch on drums, is easily one his finest ’60s Blue Note efforts; the musicians are loose and the music is hot! The Blue Note Tone Poet Series was born out of Blue Note President Don Was’ admiration for the exceptional audiophile Blue Note LP reissues presented by Music Matters. The label brought Joe Harley (from Music Matters), aka the “Tone Poet,” on board to curate and supervise a series of reissues from the Blue Note family of labels. Extreme attention to detail has been paid to getting these right in every conceivable way, from the deluxe gatefold jacket graphics and printing quality to superior mastering (all analog direct from the master tapes) by Kevin Gray to superb 180-gram audiophile LP pressings by Record Technology Inc. Every aspect of these Blue Note/Tone Poet releases is done to the highest-possible standard. It means that you will never find a superior version. “The LPs are mastered directly from the original analog master tapes by Kevin at his incredible facility called Cohearent Mastering. We go about it in the exact same way that we did for so many years for the Music Matters Blue Note reissues. We do not roll off the low end, boost the top or do any limiting of any kind. We allow the full glory of the original Blue Note masters to come though unimpeded! Short of having an actual time machine, this is as close as you can get to going back and being a fly on the wall for an original Blue Note recording session.” – Joe Harley

File Under: Jazz
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HOS641LP_PROD

Vatican Shadow: Pakistan Military Academy (Hospital) LP
The best Vatican Shadow release, bar none, finally lands on vinyl for the first time as part of a long overdue remaster/reissue series for the project’s earliest, fêted releases Originally slunk out on tape in 2011, Pakistan Military Academy sees Dominick Fernow (Prurient, Rainforest Spiritual Enslavement) calibrate his night-vision goggles to scan the most potent, affective visions of dark ambient and militaristic techno in his war chest. At the time of release, only months after the capture of Osama Bin Laden by US Army SEAL “Night Stalkers”, the project really came into its own as a form of impressionistic reportage, daring to grasp the nettle of contemporary US geopolitics in a way that, as music and art history will only make starker, everyone else broadly avoided at the time. In place of literal lyrics, a mix of quotes from newspapers and official government communiques, together with evocative photo documentation, supply the song titles and narrative/aesthetic framework for what are essentially abstracted emotions related to American military and foreign policy. Depending on how much you read or buy into it, for us at least the music rarely fails to evoke the shadowy unease and precarity of that era, as the sound betrayed an underlying mood contrary to the positivity of Obama-era politics, and that also spoke to the realignment of borders between musicks and socio-economics. The A side is worth the cost of entry alone for “Whitewashed Compound Stealth Helicopter Crash”, a spine-freezing tract of arcing synth pads leading to one of this decade’s most memorable codas, but when we factor in the scudding techno-stepper “Staccato Bursts of Gunfire”, plus the haunting late period Muslimgauze styles of “CIA Contractor Freed Over Pakistan Killings”, and the deep systolic thrum of “Prime Minister Defiant As Pakistan Outs CIA Agent”, this plate becomes an absolute essential for any and all connoisseurs of modern industrial and dark ambient music. RIYL: Muslimgauze, Prurient, Alberich, Raime. Remastered at Dubplates & Mastering.

File Under: Electronic. Techno, Industrial
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KOM400LP_PRODVarious: Kompakt Total 19 (Kompakt) LP
Includes only exclusive tracks, featuring: Jürgen Paape, Jonathan Kaspar, Thomas/Mayer, Albert Luxus, Julian Stetter, Sascha Funke, Voigt & Voigt, The Modernist, and Justus Köhncke; includes download. You may ask: “In the day and age of streaming playlists and the omnipresence of freely available mixes, what’s the use of a label compilation?” The answer is simple: labels still serve as a dearly needed filter mechanism in this tsunami of music we’re facing every day. Labels strive to establish trust between artists and listeners. They’re like your favorite restaurant around the corner. On the spur of the moment, you might find more excitement in that hip place that just opened somewhere else. But when the novelty fades, you’ll always return to your sanctuary. The safe place where they know your name and the last drink is on the house. Kompakt has become such a place for generations of fans and artists alike. And the Total compilation series serves as its menu: always changing but instantly recognizable. As per usual, Total is a collection of the past year’s biggest tunes, the creme de la creme of Kompakt’s steady output of 12-inches. With Jürgen Paape, the notorious Voigt brothers, Thomas/Mayer, and Jörg Burger — all founding fathers are on board. Legacy artists Sascha Funke and Justus Köhncke make their long-awaited comebacks, the latter with a kinky Patrick Cowley homage called “Mindless Sex Track”. Cologne young blood Julian Stetter nails the starry-eyed, romantic Kompakt signature sound with his remix for an up-and-coming local pop outfit called Albert Luxus. Fellow Colonian Jonathan Kaspar makes his label debut with his slinky track “Renard”. DJ Balduin definitely is one to watch in 2020. His massive “E.W.B.A.” transcends the friendly populism of an ancient Love Parade anthem while capturing the sincere spirit of today’s electro revival. Rex The Dog’s “Vortex” and Tom Demac’s “Serenade” perfectly showcase why Kompakt is still one of the most played and charted labels in electronic music today. In a scene that is more fragmented than ever these two producers delivered true consensus hits that are cherished on all sizes and shapes of floors beyond genre boundaries. The second half completely belongs to a whole new breed from the label’s beloved Speicher series such as ANNA, Yotam Avni, Extrawelt, Raxon, Blackrachas, John Monkman, and La Fleur alongside the label’s full-time members Patrice Bäumel, Kölsch, and Gui Boratto.

File Under: Electronic, Techno

NA5180LP_PROD

Various: Lamp Records – It Glowed Like the Sun (Now Again) LP
Gatefold jacket with OBI. Contains a 24 page booklet with extensive liner notes and photos. Download card for WAV files of the album and bonus tracks. “Sometimes, all it takes is one man to recognize a city’s potential for an industry. In Indianapolis, that man was Herb Miller, and his business was soul and funk. He came to prominence long after Indy’s allure as a jazz destination waned. He founded LAMP Records in the late 1960s to wake Naptown from its musical slumber. Miller served a critical role in city’s burgeoning soul and funk scene, providing not only financial backing, but acting as a one-stop, record-making shop for artists that had, to that point, been doing it all themselves. He’s the Berry Gordy you’ve never heard of. His roster — national acts like the Vanguards and Ebony Rhythm Band alongside talented, regional acts such as the Moonlighters, Montiques, Pearls and the Words of Wisdom Truth Revue — rivaled that of any American independent and paved the way for the ascension of 80s and 90s hitmakers Kenneth ‘Babyface’ Edmonds and Antonio ‘L.A.’ Reid, both of whom cut their teeth with LAMP alumnus.”

File Under: Funk, Soul
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…..Restocks…. 

Maki Asakawa: s/t (Honest Jon’s) LP
Bon Iver: s/t (Jagjaguwar) LP
Bon Iver: For Emma, Forever Ago (Jagjaguwar) LP
Bunalim: s/t (Pharaway Sound) LP
Bill Callahan: Shepherd in a Sheepskin Vest (Drag City) LP
Cluster & Eno: s/t (Bureau B) LP
Eric Dolphy: Out to Lunch (Blue Note) LP
Dome: 1 (Editions Mego) LP
Gil Evans: New Bottle, Old Wine (Tone Poet) (Blue Note) LP
Flower Travellin’ Band: Satori (Phoenix) LP
Galaxie 500: On Fire (20/20/20) LP
Jimmy Giuffre: Jimmy Giuffre 3, 1961 (ECM) LP
Dexter Gordon: Clubhouse (Tone Poet) (Blue Note) LP
Dexter Gordon: One Flight Up (Blue Note) LP
Grant Green: Idle Moments (Blue Note) LP
Kingstonians: Sufferer (ASH) LP
Melvins: Eggnog/Lice All (Boner) LP
MF Doom: Operation Doomsday (Metal Face) LP
Oh Sees: Mutilator Defeated At Last (Castle Face) LP
Om: Conference of Birds (Holy Mountain) LP
Om: Variations on a Theme (Holy Mountain) LP
Jessica Pratt: On Your Own Love Again (Drag City) LP
Rats: In a Desperate Red (Water Wing) LP
Don Rendell/Ian Carr: Shades of Blue (Jazzman) LP
Rupa: Disco Jazz (Numero) LP
Stark Reality: Discovers Hoagy Carmichaels Music Shop (Now Again) LP
Caetano Veloso: s/t (Third Man) LP
Velvet Underground & Nico: s/t (Verve) LP
Ween: White Pepper (Plain) LP
White Stripes: Elephant (Third Man) LP
Wipers: Over the Edge (Jackpot) LP
Witch: Introduction (Now Again) LP
X: Los Angeles (Fat Possum) LP
X: Under the Big Black Sun (Fat Possum) LP
Various: Wayfaring Strangers: Cosmic American Music (Numero) LP

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