…..news letter #829 – green…..

Ok, last time an Eno record will by the pick of the week for a long time.. unless they reissue the ambient series right away… This year has been off to a rather slow start for new releases, but… don’t worry, we got lots of dope stuff to stick on your turntable anyway. That used stuff I hinted at is hitting the bins, come have a dig.

…..pick of the week…..

agwBrian Eno: Another Green World (Astralwerks) LP
I swear, this is the last time an Eno record will be the pick of the week for at least a year, but if you haven’t picked this up yet (Austin…) now is the time… From its release in 1975 to today, Another Green World has been heaped with accolades. At the time, Village Voice described it as “the aural equivalent of a park on the moon” and Rolling Stone called it “a major triumph, an important record – and also a brilliant one,” whilst recently Q dubbed it “breathtakingly ahead of its time.” The album’s music veers from the experimental sounds of Brian Eno’s previous albums – based loosely around rock – to the more meditative, synth-oriented instrumental minimalism of his subsequent work. Produced by Eno and Rhett Davies, like his previous solo efforts, Eno had several guest musicians contribute to Another Green World: Robert Fripp, John Cale, Phil Collins and his fellow Brand X member Percy Jones. Unlike his previous albums, Eno worked on more solo material, including 6 songs in which he plays all of the instruments himself; “In Dark Trees,” “The Big Ship,” “Another Green World,” “Sombre Reptiles,” “Little Fishes” and “Spirits Drifting.”

File Under: Rock, Ambient, Electronic, Pop, Essential Grooves
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…..new arrivals…..


Franz Ferdinand: Always Ascending (Domino) LP
Scottish quintet Franz Ferdinand are back with Always Ascending! Nothing short of a rebirth, the album’s ten songs are a triumphant recasting of the group, bursting with fresh ideas and vigorous sonic experimentation. Always Ascending was recorded at RAK Studios, London and Motorbass in Paris, with the help of French producer extraordinaire Philippe Zdar (Cassius, Phoenix, The Beastie Boys), the mutual affection between band and producer seeping into every dazzling groove. Always Ascending shows Franz Ferdinand broadening their palate, as exuberant as it is euphoric, creating a sound that singer, Alex Kapranos, refers to as “simultaneously futuristic and naturalistic.” These are the louche tales of the Parisian night, the exhilaration of an Italian car racing down the autobahn; a feeling of euphoria so pure it could only exist on a knife’s edge. As such, best to press play expecting nothing more than a good time. “I hope that when you listen to it you feel exhilarated,” Kapranos adds, “Until you fully absorb the lyrics.” LP includes the album in a single LP jacket, 8 page 12″ booklet, 24″ double sided poster, and a download card.

File Under: Indie Rock
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marduk wars

Marduk: Warschau (Century Media) LP
Formed in 1990, Sweden’s Marduk are not only one of the most long running and respected black metal acts out there, but also one of the most productive. Even thirteen albums into their storied career, the quartet have never ever delivered a weak record and never wavered from their path of utter blasphemy and misanthropic contempt. Now, Century Media Records and the band are re-visiting various much sought after titles from their vast catalog: 2004’s Plague Angel was the first release featuring current vocalist Mortuus (Funeral Mist, Triumphator) who played a pivotal role in Marduk’s reinvigoration after the departure of previous singer Legion. He brought a new level of vocal and lyrical intensity plus a frightening stage presence into the game catapulting the group to new heights. The latter is perfectly presented on the merciless live album Warschau, recorded in 2005, as well as on such monumental studio albums like Rom 5:12 (2007) and Wormwood (2009), which will also be returning to vinyl in 2018. Warschau is available for the first time on vinyl in the U.S. as a 180g 2LP-set with gatefold jacket packaging and an accompanying poster.

File Under: Black Metal

marduk plague angel

Marduk: Plague Angel (Century Media) LP
Formed in 1990, Sweden’s Marduk are not only one of the most long running and respected black metal acts out there, but also one of the most productive. Even thirteen albums into their storied career, the quartet have never ever delivered a weak record and never wavered from their path of utter blasphemy and misanthropic contempt. Now, Century Media Records and the band are re-visiting various much sought after titles from their vast catalog: 2004’s Plague Angel was the first release featuring current vocalist Mortuus (Funeral Mist, Triumphator) who played a pivotal role in Marduk’s reinvigoration after the departure of previous singer Legion. He brought a new level of vocal and lyrical intensity plus a frightening stage presence into the game catapulting the group to new heights. The latter is perfectly presented on the merciless live album Warschau, recorded in 2005, as well as on such monumental studio albums like Rom 5:12 (2007) and Wormwood (2009), which will also be returning to vinyl in 2018. Plague Angel is available for the first time on vinyl in the U.S. as a 180g LP with gatefold jacket packaging and an accompanying poster.

File Under: Black Metal
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MGMT: Little Dark Age (Sony) LP
Little Dark Age is the long awaited fourth album from MGMT and follow-up to their 2013 eponymous effort. The 10-track collection was produced by MGMT, Patrick Wimberly (Chairlift, Kelela, Blood Orange), and long-time collaborator Dave Fridmann (Flaming Lips, Spoon, Tame Impala) and recorded at Tarbox Road Studios in Cassadaga, NY. Little Dark Age marks a triumphant return to early form and includes the previously released electronica and psychedelia-tinged title song, “When You Die” and “Hand It Over.” Ben Goldwasser proclaimed that, “It feels good to make music that’s fun.” LP version includes two 180-gram vinyl discs in a gatefold sleeve and a download insert.

File Under: Rock
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Portal: Ion (Profound Lore) LP
Ion is the fifth full-length album and first since 2013’s Vexovoid from enigmatic Australian avant-garde death metal surrealists Portal. The nine track collection is the band’s most intense and experimental release to date, an album not for the faint of heart or mind. “Where ‘Vexovoid’ was not only foreboding and haunted death worship but also the culmination of a specific kind of horror; ‘Ion’ is birth, creation, and power – a weapon to strike with malice,” the band explained to Bardo Methodology. “Speed and complexity with total ferocity intact throughout its entirety, electric shock and lightning spite.” Artwork and design by Zbigniew M. Beliak.

File Under: Metal
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Klaus Schulze: Irrlicht (Brain) LP
“Re-release of 1972 Klaus Schulze album Irrlicht. Klaus Schulze: Irrlicht has more connections to Musique concrete than with today’s electronics. I had not owned a synthesizer at the time. I had a damaged amplifier, a modified organ and a cassette recorder with a cheap microphone. I just went to a Colloquium Musica Orchestra rehearsal with it and recorded it. I just wanted to have the sound and played the tape backwards afterwards.”

File Under: Experimental, Krautrock, Electronic
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Klaus Schulze: Timewind (Brain) LP
“Re-release of the originally 1974 released Klaus Schulze classic album Timewind, includes generous bonus and a 16-page booklet. Evolving slowly but deliberately over the course of each album side, Timewind has been deemed an electronic version of an Indian raga. It resembles in many ways a longer variation of the third track from Tangerine Dream’s classic 1974 album Phaedra, ‘Movements of a Visionary’, but it remains a transitional work somewhere between the krautrock of Schulze’s earlier output and the Berlin School character of his following efforts. The intention of Timewind was to invoke a timeless state in the listener. Both track titles are references to the nineteenth-century composer Richard Wagner, Bayreuth is the Bavarian town where Wagner had an opera house built for the first performance of his massive Ring Cycle. Wahnfried is the name of Wagner’s home in Bayreuth in the grounds of which he was buried in 1883. It is also a pen-name used by Schulze himself.”

File Under: Electronic, Kosmische, Krautrock
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Klaus Schulze: Moondawn (Brain) LP
“Re-release of the classic Klaus Schulze album Moondawn, original released in 1976. ‘The album is a dynamic and sometimes explosive expression of the synthesized sound so recognizable as Klaus Schulze.’ (‘Trouser Press’/USA, November 1977). Without doubt Moondawn is one of Klaus Schulze’s cultic albums. Klaus was working with a ‘Big Moog’ for the very first time, which results into a special ‘fat’ sound. On ‘Moondawn’ Klaus Schulze was accompanied by Harald Grosskopf on drums. Klaus Schulze first attracted attention as a member of the German pioneers of electronic music, Tangerine Dream. Following the release of their debut LP, Electronic Meditation he departed for a solo career. Klaus’ recorded work typically features extended pieces sometimes filling an entire album built around computer-generated synthesizers and other specially programmed electronic effects. Klaus Schulze remains a cult figure in the whole world. He is widely considered an avant-garde mainstay as well as a founding father of both the new-age space music and electronica genres.”

File Under: Electronic, Kosmische, Krautrock
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Shins: Worms Heart (Columbia) LP
The Worm’s Heart is a complete re-work of The Shins’ critically acclaimed 2017 album Heartworms. The album offers new, reworked versions of the original album tracks with the sequence flipped. When James Mercer wrote, produced, and recorded the Heartworms album, he had this desire for an alternate version, an opposite version. The album’s slow songs would be flipped and re-recorded as fast songs, and vice versa. The reasoning was to showcase the versatility and strength of his songwriting, and the result is The Worm’s Heart. This ‘flipped’ collection was produced by Yuuki Matthews, Jon Sortland, and James Mercer and is a must for any fan of The Shins.

File Under: Indie Rock
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shudder to thinkShudder to Think: Ten-Spot (Dischord) LP
Originally released in 1990 and long out of print, Shudder To Think’s Ten Spot was the band’s second album and first record on Dischord. Formed in 1986, Shudder was part of a wave of younger punk bands making music that was inspired by, but also independent from, the established Dischord scene. Their music was theatrical, merging punk, progressive rock, and glam. The quartet would go on to release two more albums on Dischord (Funeral at the Movies and Get Your Goat) before moving to a major in the mid ’90s. At the time of this recording, Shudder to Think was Craig Wedren, Stuart Hill, Chris Matthews and Mike Russell. This pressing of Ten Spot has been remastered from the original tapes and has been pressed on colored vinyl. The artwork has been revised courtesy of Heather Hendrix Russell.

File Under: Punk
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superchunkSuperchunk: What a Time to Be Alive (Merge) LP
After the shocking, and for many, demoralizing result of the 2016 election, “I didn’t buy the silver lining some were promoting that ‘well, at least art and music will be great now!’,” says Superchunk co-founder and frontman Mac McCaughan. “Obviously, any sane person would gladly trade four to eight years of terrible music for not having our country dismantled to satisfy the whims of a vengeful child and his enablers.” That said, good music and art still have a lot to say, and the urgency of current events gave Mac, Laura, Jim, and Jon the momentum to make something new sooner than later. “It would be strange to be in a band, at least our band, and make a record that completely ignored the surrounding circumstances that we live in and that our kids are going to grow up in.” Enter What a Time to Be Alive, Superchunk’s first album in over four years. It’s a record, says Mac, “about a pretty dire and depressing situation but hopefully not a record that is dire and depressing to listen to.” Indeed, like so much of Superchunk’s music in the band’s nearly three decades together, the songs on What a Time to Be Alive meet rage and anxiety head-on with the catharsis and exhilaration of loud punk fire and vulnerable pop energy. Like 2013’s I Hate Music, which focused on death, loss, and the role of music in an aging life, the new record brings spirit to the frontlines of pain – it’s as defiant as it is despairing, as much a call to arms as a throwing up of hands. Written almost entirely between November 2016 and February 2017, What a Time to Be Alive was recorded and mixed by Beau Sorenson, who also worked on I Hate Music. “He’s possibly the first engineer we’ve worked with that I had to ask to turn down the guitars,” says Mac. “Not too much, though.” The record also features more guest backing vocalists than any previous Superchunk album, including Sabrina Ellis (A Giant Dog, Sweet Spirit), Katie Crutchfield (Waxahatchee), Stephin Merritt (The Magnetic Fields), Skylar Gudasz, and David Bazan. “Part of that was wanting a feeling of community,” says Mac. “I think that’s important to not be completely bummed out about everything all the time.” The title track charges in first and says it all. The record travels through the ensuing shock and chaos, from the pointed Fuck Yous (“Bad Choices,” “Cloud of Hate,” “All for You”) to the What Nows (“Lost My Brain,” “Break the Glass”). Merritt and Crutchfield join on “Erasure,” a resonant confrontation of the objective and consequences of fear and hatred.

File Under: Indie Rock
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Amon Duul II: Phallus Dei (SPV) LP
Jorge Ben: Ben E Samba Bom (Dol) LP
Blonde Redhead: Fake Can Be Just As Good (Touch & Go) LP
Blonde Redhead: In An Expression of the Inexpressible (Touch & Go) LP
Nick Cave: Skeleton Tree (Bad Seed) LP
El Michels Affair: Enter the 37th Chamber (Fat Beats) LP
El Michels Affair: Return to the 37th Chamber (Big Crown) LP
Funkadelic: s/t (Westbound) LP
La Dusseldorf: s/t (4 Men With Beards) LP
La Dusseldorf: Viva (4 Men With Beards) LP
The Nils: s/t (Label Obscura) LP
Pixies: Come on Pilgrim (4AD) LP
Radiohead: The Bends (XL) LP
Radiohead: In Rainbows (XL) LP
Radiohead: A Moon Shaped Pool (XL) LP
Ramones: s/t (Rhino) LP
Ramones: Leave Home (Rhino) LP
Ramones: Rocket to Russia (Rhino) LP
Sigur Ros: Valtari (XL) LP
Sunn o))): Kannon (Southern Lord) LP
Sza: CTRL (Sony) LP
XX: s/t (Young Turks) LP
Various: Brazil (Soul Jazz) LP

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…..news letter #828 – light…..

Welcome back to winter! Not a ton in this week, but I’ve been busy buying some cool used stuff and we’re workin’ away trying to get it out as quickly as possible. Good time for a dig.

…..pick of the week…..


Husker Du: Savage Young Du (Numero) 4LP Box
Experience the punishing sonic origins of a punk icon. Collected here for the first time, and skillfully remastered from original board tapes, demos, and session masters, this collection is an authoritative chronicling of the wellspring and maturation of Grant Hart, Greg Norton and Bob Mould—three St. Paul teenagers who’d go on to become the most heralded trio of the American punk underground. Follow the Hüskers to their earliest gigs in 1979, through extensive road dog touring, and to the start of their partnership with West Coast tastemaker SST in 1983 via a 108-page hardbound book crammed full of photos, flyers, and a sprawling essay with participation from the band. Spread across four LPs, 47 of the 69 songs compiled here are previously unissued, and includes In A Free Land, Everything Falls Apart , and an alternate Land Speed Record.

File Under: Punk
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…..new arrivals…..

LP Vinyl Outer Sleeve_3 mm Spine.indd

Belbury Circle: Outward Journeys (Ghost Box) LP
The first full length LP for this collaborative project between Jon Brooks (The Advisory Circle) and Jim Jupp (Belbury Poly). John Foxx features on vocals and synth on two tracks, Trees and Forgotten Towns, reprising his appearance on The Belbury Circle’s debut EP, Empty Avenues in 2013. Brooks and Jupp go back to their musical roots with this release, but there’s no weird children’s TV or haunted soundtracks here. It’s a joyfully re-imagined soundworld that draws heavily on late 70s and early 80s synth pop and library music. An exciting transitional era that first saw the pair taking up synths as kids. With interlocking analogue sequencers, driving rhythms, soaring lead lines, primitive sampling, and its themes of travel and return, the album evokes the eve of the digital era, when “Tomorrow’s World” was still an exciting possibility.

File Under: Electronic, Pseudo Library
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Tashi Dorji & Tyler Damon: Leave No Trace (Family Vineyard) LP
As live albums go, Tashi Dorji and Tyler Damon nail it down. No matter the crowd – head thrashers, Instagram zombies, shaken jazzniks – the shadow lines of feedback and bombastic percussive bombs are always at peak intensity. Through telepathic engagement the Bhutanese-born guitarist Dorji and Midwestern drummer Damon act with one-mind destruction as Leave No Trace: Live In St. Louis perfectly captures. It’s a pure sound for these disruptive, politically tumultuous times. Or Marc Master’s describes it as, a power lurching at you “in ways that feel dangerously uncontrolled, like someone playing with a plugged-in toaster over a filled-up bathtub.” Leave No Trace – a companion release to their hyper-acclaimed debut Both Will Escape – was recorded at Gaslight in St. Louis.

File Under: Jazz, Improv, Experimental

james hunter six

James Hunter Six: Whatever It Takes (Daptone) LP
A permanent fixture in the world of rhythm and soul, James Hunter follows up five critically acclaimed albums with his latest recording, Whatever It Takes, for New York City’s renowned label, Daptone Records. At the height of his famed recording career, Hunter and Daptone co-founder and producer Bosco Mann recorded an elegantly crafted collection of 10 originals that are evermore poignant and compelling than the singer’s previous works. The James Hunter Six and Mann recorded Whatever It Takes straight to tape at Daptone’s Penrose Studios in Riverside, CA. The needle drops on “I Don’t Wanna Be Without You” with saxophones grabbing your collar, pulling you close and moving you over the undulating curves of a rhumba. The mood and tempo then climb up into the swaggering backbeat of the title track. Drums then tear into the bottom of the groove with the full-throated rapture of “I Got Eyes.” Hunter is egged on by complicit background singers here and there. They ease in and out of Whatever It Takes, serving harmonies like tuxedoed waiters in an expensive restaurant, offering perfect pairings for each melodic course. “Mm-Hmm,” suddenly a tender mood hits. Verses of regret cascade in delicate shapes over dancing rhythms. A word-less chorus paints a painfully detailed picture of misfortune with an eloquently barren hum. Then, a bang. “Blisters,” an instrumental cigarette before you have to get up and turn the record over. Hunter’s guitar work is fearless like a buck knife carving initials into the knobby bark of a Freddy King shuffle. “I Should’ve Spoke Up” comes pitter-patting down a rain-soaked sidewalk, lost in sweet, soft, sentimental regret. Then come the talkings-to. “Show Her,” with ostinato bass, drums and organ scrawling “actions speak louder” dutifully on the chalkboard behind Hunter’s lessons. The frenetic tutorial of “Don’t Let Pride Take You for a Ride” practically tears itself apart in its final cautionary refrains. “How Long” is a yarn spun out on a porch with its gospel harmonies and foot stomping. And stepping out just as he stepped in, “It Was Gonna Be You,” an affectionate simplicity and sincerity that defies the quirkiness of the tim-tom clockwork over which it’s delivered.

File Under: Funk, Soul, RnB
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Laraaji: Vision Songs (Numero) LP
Vision Songs Vol. 1 is the Laraaji album like no other, located at the intersection of new age and gospel, his outlier and magnum opus, the feel-good DIY tape of the century. Casio synth jams recorded at spiritual retreat guest rooms and a tiny bedroom on the Upper West Side in 1984, lysergically-spectacular anthems for a continually arriving new moment. “Channeled from the sky,” humbly offered on vinyl for the first time, this is where this is going on, this is where this is taking place, this is how this is going on. Is this very clear?

 File Under: New Age, Ambient
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Efrim Manuel Menuck: Pissing Stars (Constellation) LP
Efrim Manuel Menuck returns with his second album Pissing Stars, the brilliantly intense follow-up to his 2011 solo debut Plays High Gospel and the first new material with Menuck as central songwriter and vocalist since 2014’s acclaimed Fuck Off Get Free We Pour Light On Everything from his chamber-punk-rock band Thee Silver Mt. Zion. The legendary Montréal-based musician has much-deserved cult status among fans of political punk, post-rock and avant-noise songcraft alike. Menuck celebrates 25 years of unflinching and uncompromising sonic output with Pissing Stars, wherein he launches acerbic darts, impassioned salvos and fragile flowers into gusts of noise-battered song built around pulsing maximalist electronics and drone, shot through with alternately plaintive, chilling, often processed vocals. Pissing Stars is Menuck at his most vulnerable and his most adventurous – with a timely narrative framework that only he could conjure. Pissing Stars comes in a deluxe 180-gram vinyl edition with artworked inner dust sleeve and a killer 12″ x 18″ art poster designed by Menuck, all printed on uncoated papers and boards.

File Under: Indie Rock
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Rhye: Blood (Last Gang) LP
Blood is the much anticipated sophomore album from romantic soul-pop group Rhye following 2013’s acclaimed Woman. Themed around the aftermath of love, Blood alluringly pairs the band’s sultry, subtle, funky brand of soul music with the warm, powerful, and totally unique vocals and lyrics of frontman Mike Milosh. “We’ve spent the last few years on the road translating the ‘Woman’ album from a bedroom project into a full live experience. With ‘Blood’, it’s been the opposite process; the music and sounds were really born out of the live environment and are built for performance,” commented Milosh. “It takes a lot of courage to be vulnerable in front of an audience night after night. I use the same courage on every song on this record.”

File Under: Funk, Soul
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Akira Sakata/Chikamorachi: Proton Pump (Family Vineyard) LP
Proton Pump is a milestone achievement in the winding career of alto saxophonist, gibberish shrieker and jazz legend Akira Sakata. It’s a lightning-fast, real-time cut-up of melody and bare-knuckle action that swings between the avant garde and hardcore be-bop. Sakata is backed by his famed rhythm crew Chikamorachi — drummer Chris Corsano and acoustic bassist Darin Gray — and joined by composer and pianist Masahiko Satoh. Sakata and Satoh emerged out of the late-1960s Tokyo jazz scene — Satoh already releasing albums and Sakata soon joining the famed The Yamashita Trio — and while they’ve since become uncompromising pillars of free music and vision this marks their first proper album together. On Proton Pump’s four pieces, Sakata is absolutely on top form on alto saxophone and clarinet — blowing bold melodies with unstoppable momentum and also injecting deep textural fields with his startling vocalizations. Satoh’s piano is hyperbolic throughout as he splatters counterpoints and brilliant tones at dizzying speed. Recorded before a jaw-dropped audience at Pit Inn, Tokyo in October 2015. LP limited to 500 copies worldwide, includes a full-color inner sleeve and download coupon.

File Under: Jazz

ty segall

Ty Segall: Freedom’s Goblin (Drag City) LP
Freedom’s Goblin is the new Ty Segall album: 19 tracks strong, filling four sides of vinyl nonstop, with an unrestricted sense of coming together to make an album. It wants you to get your head straight—but first, the process will make your head spin! Back in the Twins days, we talked about the schizophrenia of Ty’s outlook; today, it’s super-dual, with loads of realities all folding back on each other. On any given side, we’re tracking five or six full-blown personalities, unconcerned with convention or continuity. So drop the needle—who can say what it’ll sound like where it lands? This is Freedom’s Goblin—one track engendering, the next one oppressing, violence up in the mix—a look at everything around that Ty used to make the songs. The songs came in the flow of the year: days of vomit and days of ecstasy and escape too, and days between. The rulebook may have been tossed, but Freedom’s Goblin is thick with deep songwriting resources, be it stomper, weeper, ballad, screamer, banger or funker-upper, all diverted into new Tydentities—each one marking a different impasse, like a flag whirling into a knot, exploding and burning on contact, in the name of love and loathing. Freedom’s Goblin wears a twisted production coat: tracks were cut all around, from L.A. to Chicago to Memphis, whether chilling at home or touring with the Freedom Band. Five studios were required to get all the sounds down, engineered by Steve Albini, F. Bermudez, Lawrence “Boo” Mitchell and of course, Ty himself. The goal was getting free, embracing any approach necessary to communicate new heights and depths, new places for the fuzz to land among octaving harmonies, dancefloor grooves, synths, saxes and horns, jams, post-Nicky-Hopkins r’n’b electric piano vibes, children-of-the-corn psycho-rebellions, old country waltzes and down-by-the-river shuffles. Basically, the free-est pop songs Ty’s ever put on tape. And one about his dog, too!

File Under: Rock, Punk, Garage, Psych
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Sheepdogs: Changing Colours (Warner) LP
Two years on from delivering Future Nostalgia LP, the Sheepdogs have lifted the curtain on a follow-up full-length. Titled Changing Colours, the band’s sixth studio effort will arrive February 2 through Warner. The record runs 17 tracks in length, with the band sharing first single “I’ve Got a Hole Where My Heart Should Be” alongside the announcement. It also marks the first album to feature guitarist Jim Bowskill, who joined the group in 2015. “This album has a much wider range of sounds on it: trombone, clarinet, Latin percussion, pedal steel, fiddle and banjo all make an appearance,” the band said in a statement. “The title Changing Colours really lends itself to these different sounds on the record… We were also lucky to work with newcomer Jim Bowskill whose guitar wizardry is almost outshone by his fine mandolin playing and singing.”

File Under: Rock
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softmoonSoft Moon: Criminal (Sacred Bones) LP
Criminal, The Soft Moon’s fourth studio album, is a confessional work. Through the stark lens of shame and guilt that has followed Luis Vasquez since a violent childhood growing up within the humming ambient sprawl of ’80s Mojave Desert, here he documents the gut-wrenching sound of going to war with himself. Battling with his own sanity, self-hatred, insecurity, self-entitlement and grappling with the risk of these things transforming him into a person he despises, Vasquez has laid his feelings bare with this: his confession and most self-reflective work to date. “Guilt is my biggest demon and has been following me since childhood. Everything I do strengthens the narrative that I am guilty,” Vasquez reflects. “The concept of Criminal is a desperate attempt to find relief by both confessing to my wrongdoings and by blaming others for their wrongdoings that have affected me.” Criminal marks a striking and important chapter in his self-exploration, both artistically and emotionally. As a young musician living in Oakland, Vasquez began to try and process the narrative of his difficult upbringing veiled through musical exploration. Working with producer Maurizio Baggio at La Distilleria in Bassano Del Grappa, Italy, Criminal sees Vasquez putting his lyrics at the forefront and letting his raw emotions flow. The album begins with a confrontation with his true self through the torrid bass lines and searing vocals of “Burn,” a song evoking a loss of control akin to demonic possession, stating: “Eyes, reflecting the person that I am, and it burns”. In this track, Vasquez’s guilt bores deeper and deeper into a condemnation that ultimately is: “Fire, hell is where I’ll go to live, so I burn. The album is Vasquez’s way of holding himself accountable and seeking redemption for the abuse he inflicts on himself, and acknowledges roots in the abuse which, inflicted upon him as a child, broke him.

File Under: Post-Punk, Industrial
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mika-ryoji-nicolaiMika Vainio/Ryoji Ikeda/Alva Noto: Live 2002 (Noton) LP
LIVE 2002 captures an inspired performance at BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art in Newcastle by three revered, influential and like-minded pioneers; Ryoji Ikeda, Alva Noto, and the late, great Mika Vainio. This recording marks the only ever concert by the trio and its release serves as a tribute to the much-loved Vainio. “Mika was not only a friend and collaborator, but also an inspiration for my work as an artist. This is a celebration of his contribution to our work”, says Carsten Nicolai, AKA Alva Noto. Minimal but highly effective, the performance builds throughout with deep sub bass, sleek, spacious sound design and high voltage, inorganic ambience. The inherent noise floor in studio equipment is pushed-up to take center stage. This is sound of electricity, the hum of the engine room and of technology operating almost independently, only gently coerced with artistic finesse by expert human hands. At points static is used decoratively with an ornate, delicate intricacy. At points it becomes rhythmic, like the innate repetition found in machinery. The sonic spectrum later opens up, evoking a rush with laser-like beams of audio light and a barrage of colossal, synthesized waves.

File Under: Electronic
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Jorge Ben: Samba Esquema Novo (Dol) LP
Big Black: Atomizer (Touch & Go) LP
Cluster: Zuckerzeit (Lilith) LP
El Michels Affair: Enter the 37th Chamber (Fatbeats) LP
Fever Ray: s/t (Mute) LP
Robert Fripp/Brian Eno: No Pussyfooting (Pangyric) LP
Funkadelic: Cosmic Slop (Westbound) LP
Laurel Halo: Dust (Hyperdub) LP
Henry Cow: In Praise of Learning (Recommended) LP
Hot Snakes: Audit in Progress (Sub Pop) LP/CS
Hot Snakes: Automatic Midnight (Sub Pop) LP/CS
Hot Snakes: Suicide Invoice (Sub Pop) LP/CS
Johan Johannsson: Arrival OST (Deutsche Grammofon) LP
The Knife: Silent Shout (Mute) LP
Medusa: First Step Beyond (Numero) LP
Os Mutantes: s/t (Lilith) LP
Porches: The House (Domino) LP
Protomartyr: Agent Intellect (Hardly Art) LP
Tom Rogerson/Brian Eno: Finding Shore (Dead Oceans) LP
Sufjan Stevens: Carrie & Lowell (Asthmatic Kitty) LP
Syrinx: Tumblers from the Vault (ReRVNG) LP
Unwound: New Plastic Ideas (Numero) LP
Various: Buttons: Starter Kit (Numero) LP
Various: Buttons: From Champaign to Chicago (Numero) LP
Various: Dancehall – The Rise of Jamaican Dancehall Culture (Soul Jazz) LP
Various: WTNG 89.9FM – Solid Bronze (Numero) LP

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…..new letters #827 – table…..

YEEEEESSSSSSSS! Some killer slabs this week, including the much anticipated High Rise reissue, and an out of nowhere Dean McPhee. Some other great reissues and new stuff as well. And already delays on other stuff… Either way, wonderful things to stick in your ear.

RIP Mark E. Smith.

…..picks of the week…..


Dean McPhee: Four Stones (Hood Faire) LP
Four Stones is solo electric guitarist Dean McPhee’s third full-length album, a collection of free-flowing instrumentals which combines fluid fingerpicked melodies with atmospheric drones and trance-inducing loops. Four Stones brings together remastered versions of three tracks that were only previously available on a limited edition tape compilations on the Folklore Tapes label (2016) along with two new pieces, “Danse Macabre” and the epic 14-minute “Four Stones” which find Dean using a new kick drum pedal to add a percussive undercurrent to his music. The Folklore Tapes tracks “The Blood Of St. John” — from Calendar Customs Vol IV: Crown of Light (2016) –, “Rule Of Threes” — from Lancashire Folklore Tapes Vol 1: Pendle, 1612 (2012) –, and “The Devil’s Knell” — from Folklore Tapes Calendar Customs Vol III: Midwinter Rites and Revelries (2015). Four Stones was mastered by Denis Blackham at Skye Mastering. The album cover features a photo by Robin Zahler of The Great Stone of Four Stones in North Yorkshire. The album was recorded live with no overdubs. 180 gram vinyl. Edition of 500.

File Under: Ambient, Guitar Soli
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High Rise: II (Black Editions) LP
Black Editions present a reissue of High Rise’s II, originally released in 1986. High Rise exploded onto Tokyo’s underground music scene with the roar and reckless abandon of a motorcycle accelerating headlong into a dead man’s curve. Born from the explosive chemistry of bassist/vocalist Asahito Nanjo and frenetic guitarist Munehiro Narita, the band blazed a wild new stream of psychedelic guitar music. Their second album is a defining document of the band and unquestionably one of the greatest albums to emerge from 20th century underground Japan and beyond. With Nanjo’s distorted thunder bass and Narita’s wildly narrative lead guitar playing, II is a non-stop tour de force of improvised rock music. Combining elements of garage rock, punk, and no wave, the band pushed all levels fully in-the-red and transcended the limits of rock and psychedelia to create a raw, unique expansion of the music. Black Editions present High Rise’s II, newly mixed and mastered by Asahito Nanjo in what the band states is the definitive version of their most quintessential recording. This new edition restores the original vinyl version’s textured black and silver artwork. Housed in heavy Stoughton tip-on jacket. Pressed onto high quality vinyl by RTI.

File Under: Psych, Japanese, Freakout
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…..new arrivals…..


The Body & Thou: Released from Love/You, Whom I Have Always Hated (Thrill Jockey) LP
Both collaborative albums from The Body and Thou are finally available together on vinyl for the first time! Featuring brand new and expanded artwork Released From Love and You, Whom I Have Always Hated are presented in a gatefold jacket with flooded black pockets, black paper inner sleeves and a deluxe 12 page 11″ x 11″ booklet and download card of all tracks. The Body and Thou are bands with Southern roots that have been pushing the boundaries of heavy metal for over a decade. Both have maintained relentless touring schedules, a dedication to DIY ethics and aesthetics, and a commitment to push their respective brands of extreme music into previously unexplored territories. On their two collaborative releases they showcase their unique ability to create music that is emotionally effecting and unrelenting. On You, Whom I Have Always Hated, each band’s distinctive elements shine through and combine to create something more visceral than the sum of their parts. While the groups have different approaches to live performance and stylistic nuances, they share general creative ideas and have a history subsumed in themes of alienation, melancholy, and despair. They describe this collaboration as “a twilight dungeon crawl exploring the winding, ruined halls of Mad King Duro’s Castle, best friends at your side, enemies crushed beneath your heels, mysteries solved, and treasures found.” In keeping with Thou’s tradition of 90s worship and The Body’s knack for ingenuity, the release includes versions of “Terrible Lie” by Nine inch Nails and “Coward” by Vic Chesnutt. The remainder was written collaboratively in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and then further refined on their 2014 tour together.

File Under: Metal
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Cadence Weapon: s/t (eOne) LP
In tomorrow… An emotive rapper and a particularly thoughtful lyricist, Cadence Weapon is truly fired up on this dynamically produced artistic rebirth. Switching flows up within the same songs, he marries his youthful, wild exuberance with a nuanced maturity, asserting himself by exhibiting complete control over his domain. The Edmonton poet-laureate has said he truly found himself while living in Montreal; the nightlife there inspired and demolished him. He met Kaytranada at a DJ night they shared when Kaytra was still on the come-up, and he was also exposed to all sorts of groundbreaking electronic music. But a night like that could also lead to debauchery. Speaking with peers, he realized there was an insidious racist and sexist undercurrent within the power dynamic of their partying community and that loss of innocence shifted things within Cadence Weapon. Now in Toronto, Montreal still looms large for him, as a formative personal and creative force. Working off cool, contemporary beats from the likes of Kaytranada, FrancisGotHeat, Jacques Green and Harrison, and vocals and production from Deradoorian, Blue Hawaii, Brendan Phillip and Casey MQ, Cadence Weapon dives deep into his psyche here. It’s reflective of the five years since the downcast Hope in Dirt City, and his mind, which has changed for the better. Via his witty rhymes, Cadence Weapon captures his desire for success, a penchant for proving himself as a rapper (he does), and an eagle-eyed perspective on the revolt that is fuelling our call-out cultural moment. It’s also his most provocative and well-executed album and a high water mark for hip-hop on this continent.

File Under: Hip Hop
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Calexico: The Thread that Keeps Us (Anti) LP
Over the past two decades, a strong sense of place has shaped the music of Calexico, infusing their albums with a stylistic unpredictability and richness of texture. While 2015’s Edge of the Sun brought the Tucson-bred band to the Mexico City borough of Coyoacán, their new full-length The Thread That Keeps Us mostly came to life in a house studio near the Northern California coast nicknamed “The Phantom Ship” by Calexico vocalist/guitarist Joey Burns and drummer John Convertino. Like “End of the World with You,” much of The Thread That Keeps Us captures the anxieties and unease of living in tumultuous times. While the album draws a kinetic energy from all that uncertainty, its lyrics unfold with a literary nuance and sense of setting and character. “Instead of writing straight-up protest songs, I want to tell stories,” Burns says. Largely inspired by his wanderings around Northern California during the album’s production, the narratives embedded in The Thread That Keeps Us reflect on displacement, transitory existence, and—in Burns’s words—“returning to your home after being gone for some time and seeing how things have changed, and maybe not in the best way.”

File Under: Alt-Country, Tex-Mex
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Holly Cook: Vessel of Love (Merge) LP
Limited edition, indie-only deluxe on translucent pink vinyl w/ download. Hollie Cook combines her unique vocal talent and charisma to craft a dynamic strand of lovers rock with enduring tropical vibes, weaving a path from her West London roots to an arena of diverse collaborations, critically acclaimed records, and iconic live appearances around the world. Cook’s ability to surprise, delight, and progress solidifies her position as one of the most exciting voices in reggae, and this is clear on her third full-length and Merge debut, Vessel of Love. Cook’s music career commenced at age 19, when family friend and punk trailblazer Ari Up asked Cook to join the raucous ’70s post-punk outfit The Slits for their reformation in 2006. Thrown into the deep end she thrived, and quickly cut her teeth with four years of back-to-back shows around the globe. Acclaimed legendary producer Martin “Youth” Glover (Killing Joke) lends his venerable production expertise to Vessel of Love. Hollie Cook sits in good company on Glover’s impressive production list, joining Paul McCartney, Tom Jones, The Verve, Primal Scream, Pink Floyd, and Depeche Mode. Glover describes Cook’s songs as “sharp lyrical observations and clever word play combined with an exquisite and informed pop sensibility.” Hollie Cook’s vibrant, spirited take on lovers rock radiates positivity, and with Vessel of Love, expect to see her on top of the tropical throne of pop in 2018!

 File Under: Rock, Reggae
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Edmondo Giuliani: Il Mare: Musica Con Strumenti Elettronici (Sonor Music) LP
In tomorrow… Sonor Music Editions present a reissue of Edmondo Giuliani’s Il Mare: Musica Con Strumenti Elettronici, originally released in 1972 on the micro-label Dischi Egede. A mega-rare italian electronic underwater music library production recorded for an obscure documentary on sea from the early ’70s. Infectious and trippy abstract experimental music that plumbs in the sea depths with abyssal echoes, sound iridescences, and marine electronic themes. Addictive record out for Sonor Music Editions’ underwater library triptych, released alongside Mare Romantico and Bruno Zambrini’s Racconti Di Mare. Another great vinyl obscurity is filed and published on our label with amazing renewed artwork. 180 gram vinyl; Edition of 500

File Under: Library, OST, Italian
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Guided By Voices: Mag Earwhig (Matador) LP
1997’s Mag Earwhig! served as the first Guided By Voices album released after the dissolution of their classic line-up and finds Robert Pollard and Tobin Sprout backed by Cobra Verde. It’s a conceptual rock opera inspired by the Who’s Tommy, the Pretty Things’ S.F. Sorrow, Genesis’ The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway, and the Edgar Broughton Band’s Wasa Wasa. Pollard is the main character in this sprawling narrative, an insectile cartoon figure named the Magnificent Earwhig, who interacts with a wild cast of characters in songs evoking nostalgiac memories of an Ohio boyhood, starting one’s first band, and inhaling American roadside pop culture. Despite the progressive conceptual 70’s mindset, the record is still a collection of beautifully twisted pop songs and can be listened to as either an opera or just a series of rock arias.

File Under: Indie Rock
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heldon box

Heldon: 1976-1979 (Souffle Continu) 3LP+7″ Box
In tomorrow… 1976-1979: four years of intensive creativity for Heldon, following on from them leaving the home-studio on the Île Saint-Louis for Davout also in Paris, where a Moog 3, purchased from the Beatles, was ready in a space reserved for the leader of the group, Richard Pinhas. From here on, a trilogy was created which compares favorably with King Crimson of the period from Larks’ Tongues In Aspic (1973) to Red (1974), the French band breaking new ground with the electronics used in their music, and the numerous influences they quote, including Fripp and Eno, Philip K. Dick, and Gilles Deleuze. A totally vertiginous experience, the ensemble consisting of Un Rêve Sans Conséquence Spéciale (1976), Interface (1977), and Stand By (1979) can be seen as the sonic climax to Heldon’s oeuvre, even its climax, the violence coming from the machines. This Everest of electronic music is completed by a rare single released on RCA at the same period, making this a must-have box set for any self-respecting collector. High quality mastering from Richard Pinhas’s original masters. Each LP comes in exclusive vinyl color for the boxset: Un Rêve Sans Conséquence Spéciale comes on clear yellow vinyl; Heldon . 6 . Interface comes on coke bottle green vinyl; and Stand By comes on electric blue vinyl. Limited box set comes with the rare Richard Dunn 7″, originally released in 1978. Includes 20-page booklet with rare photos and an essay by Philippe Robert. Edition of 300.

File Under: Prog, Psych, Electronic
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Heldon: Heldon .6. Interface (Souffle Continu) LP
In tomorrow… Souffle Continu Records present a reissue of Heldon’s Heldon . 6 . Interface, originally released in 1977. The idea in the mind of Richard Pinhas, the driving force behind Heldon, was to produce music “as cold as a huge block of ice” a vertiginous experience, of course influenced by the King Crimson trilogy, from Larks’ Tongues In Aspic (1973) to Red (1974), except that Heldon represents an electrified version, leading to a perfect rapport between thought and emotion, perhaps going even further. It’s Only Rock’n’Roll (1975), the appropriately-named third album, is in its own way — already — a turning point in Heldon’s oeuvre, witness the acid and corrosive “Zind Destruction (Bouillie Blues)”. Once the next one was released (Agneta Nilsson, 1976), just after Disjuncta, the first French independent label, had been sold to Urus by Richard Pinhas in order to buy the aforementioned Moog 3 from the Beatles, the music became even more uncompromising. The group delved, like King Crimson, into a kind of trilogy, the middle of which was Interface in 1977, a year after Un Rêve Sans Conséquence Spéciale which was, thus, the first part. At this period the group’s music, as Gérard N’Guyen wrote in the fanzine Atem, was like “a guided tour through the ruins of a civilisation.” In the middle of the punk wave, the universe of Heldon indeed became more threatening and heavy, echoing the novel by Norman Spinrad from which the group took their name, The Iron Dream (1972). This was also the point at which Heldon became a genuine group, centered around Patrick Gauthier (synthesizers), Didier Batard (bass), and François Auger (drums), which allowed Richard Pinhas to focus on the real motivation behind this audacious undertaking. Like its predecessor Un Rêve Sans Conséquence Spéciale, and then 1979’s Stand By which followed, Interface, the second album of the “trilogy” recorded at studios Davout, represents a sonic culmination, even a climax, its violence coming from the machines and delving into notions of repetition and scansion, prefiguring a lot of the music that was to follow, whether it be electro and industrial or post-rock and noise. It goes without saying: seminal and always innovative! High quality mastering from Richard Pinhas’s original masters; Licensed from Richard Pinhas. Obi strip; matte printing. Swamp green vinyl; Edition of 700.

File Under: Prog, Psych, Electronic
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heldon reve

Heldon: Un Reve Sans Consequence Speciale (Souffle Continu) LP
In tomorrow… Souffle Continu Records present a reissue of Heldon’s Un Rêve Sans Conséquence Spéciale, originally released on Cobra in 1976. In Heldon, nobody particularly likes liner notes. However, although the group’s albums have none, they abound, from the very beginning, with clues and often cryptic references. The name of the group, obviously, comes from a science fiction novel by Norman Spinrad, but perhaps it is less well known that the title of the album Un Rêve Sans Conséquence Spéciale is taken from a pirate recording of King Crimson made in 1974, an elegant way to state the possible lineage between guitarist (and synthesizer player) Richard Pinhas and Robert Fripp, his peer in the British band. Likewise, Richard Pinhas values the philosophers Lyotard, Nietzsche, and Deleuze, and the cover of Un Rêve Sans Conséquence Spéciale quotes theology specialist Pierre Klossowski, according to whom all creators owe it themselves to provoke a “state of insecurity straying from the oppressive regime of mediocrity”. Having been a precursor of the home studio, Richard Pinhas came to the Davout studios to record the fifth Heldon album Un Rêve Sans Conséquence Spéciale. He had a special space reserved for him, where there was a Moog 3 which had belonged to Paul McCartney. Intense, violent, bitter, abrasive, uncompromising: the first on-site recording is in keeping with the four predecessors, prefiguring both industrial- and post-rock, showing once again that the early references to “guerrilla electronics” (and to William S. Burroughs) were not in vain. The newcomers to this universe, bassist Didier Batard (Coeur Magique, Triptyque), on one track, and drummer François Auger (heard on the fifth album by Gérard Manset) finally transform Heldon into a fiery power trio for the inspired “MVC II”. Without forgetting that the faithful Patrick Gauthier is also on board, as is Jannick Top (Magma), each on one track. Listening to the result it is easy to understand why Merzbow, Wolf Eyes, and Oren Ambarchi, in the 2000s wanted to record with Richard Pinhas. It must also be noted that the often-made comparison between Heldon/Richard Pinhas and King Crimson/Robert Fripp, while still pertinent, if insufficient, as Un Rêve Sans Conséquence Spéciale breaks much new ground beyond those horizons. High quality mastering from Richard Pinhas’s original masters; Licensed from Richard Pinhas. Obi strip; matte printing. Clear purple vinyl; Edition of 700.

File Under: Psych, Prog, Electronic
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heldon standbyHeldon: Stand By (Souffle Continu) LP
In tomorrow… Souffle Continu Records present a reissue of Heldon’s Stand By, originally released in 1979. Richard Pinhas began by absorbing Jimi Hendrix as an adolescent, leaving that behind at the beginning of the 1970s, after having heard what Miles Davis and Herbie Hancock were doing with synthesizers, and then discovering the seminal duo Fripp and Eno. It was one year on from this epiphany that the first album by Heldon was released (1974). The main idea was to rock and roll on electronic machines. Richard Pinhas was of course playing electric guitar, but was also interested in the A.R.P. and VCS 3, to the point of purchasing the Moog 3 owned by the Beatles. In order to do so, he had to sell of the Disjuncta label — the first totally independent French label — he had created in order to release Schizo (1972), Alain Renaud and Heldon. This was the beginning of the 1970s. Heldon had already released four key albums and left their home studio for Davout, beginning a trilogy starting with the sound of 1976’s Un Rêve Sans Conséquence Spéciale, continuing with 1977’s Interface (FFL 035LP), and concluding with Stand By. When Stand By was released, the press had already labeled Heldon as the first electric punk group. There is nothing silly in that, Heldon having quickly moved away from the spacey German influences which were not to Richard Pinhas’s taste. This can be heard on Stand By, the lynchpin of which is the twenty minutes of sound and fury of “Boléro”, something of a high-point from the group which owes much to the sequencers of the “technician” Didier Badez. As on the two previous releases, the ever-faithful Patrick Gauthier, François Auger, and Didier Batard were present. For one track, Klaus Blasquiz sings and highlights the underlying links between Heldon, Magma, and Weidorje, but also a shared past experience in Blues Convention with Richard Pinhas. After two solo albums, East West (1980) and L’Éthique (1982), Richard Pinhas dropped everything, through fear of repeating himself, even selling off some of his equipment, before coming back to center-stage with DWW (1992), following a sabbatical decade centered on philosophy, skiing, and paragliding. Thus, Stand By can be seen as the end of an era for Heldon. High quality mastering from Richard Pinhas’s original masters; Licensed from Richard Pinhas. Obi strip; matte printing. Sea blue vinyl; Edition of 700.

File Under: Psych, Prog, Electronic
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khruangbinKhruanghin: Con Todo El Mundo (Dead Oceans) LP
Formed of Laura Lee on bass, Mark Speer on guitar, and Donald “DJ” Johnson on drums; globetrotting Texan trio Khruangbin present their second album Con Todo El Mundo. Whereas their 2015 debut The Universe Smiles Upon You was influenced by ’60s and ’70s Thai cassettes and compilations of southeast Asian pop, rock and funk, Con Todo El Mundo hops east over India to take inspiration in similarly under discovered funk and soul sounds of the Middle-East, particularly from Iran. Laura Lee explains the album’s title: “My grandpa would always ask me ‘Como me quieres?’ (‘how much do you love me’?), and he’d only ever accept one response. ‘Con todo el mundo’ (With all the world).” Throughout Con Todo El Mundo, Laura Lee’s melodic low-end theory, Mark’s lyrical, free-role guitar lines, and DJ’s ever-steady, ever-ready backbeat form something greater than their parts. A vibe-synchronous soul-unit travelling the planet, honing their craft, absorbing the sights, sounds and feels from cultures across the globe, processing them through the Khruangbin filter and gifting the result…with all the world.

File Under: Funk, Soul, Middle-East
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avitAmi Shavit: Neural Oscillations & Alpha Rhythms (Dead-Cert) LP
In tomorrow… Dead-Cert dip their dusty digits back in Ami Shavit’s precious archive for another hemispheric harmonization of biofeedback techniques and hypnotic synth sonics following Finders Keepers ‘ reissue of 1977’s In Alpha Mood back in 2015. With an enviable private collection of synthesizers first started in 1972 during his travels to the US and shipped home to Tel Aviv, as an established kinetic artist, as well as a professor of both philosophy an art, Ami’s main focus was art that involved technology; in particular being able to give something mechanical an emotive angle. As such he sought to combine his love of electronic music acts such as Tangerine Dream and Philip Glass and this new synthesizer technology with his interest in the relatively new technique of biofeedback — a process in which technology is used to relay information about the body’s functions enabling a change of physiological activity in order to manipulate them. Combined with his understanding of alpha brainwave, Ami embarked on an experiment with what he called “Alpha Mood” — a state in which the brain is working in relaxation and in which he used music as a means of helping induce his own meditative state. With practically no formal musical training and working in complete isolation of the Tel Aviv music scene — with the exception of allowing cult prog nearly men Zingale and a handful of close friends to use his private studio — over the course of two years he recorded hours of experimental improvised music, or “sounds” as he prefers to call it. The fruit of that experimentation came in the form of a single privately pressed LP aptly titled In Alpha Mood. Part outsider electronic album; part physiological experiment; part work of art, it was limited to only 500 copies and distributed exclusively by a longtime friend, agent, and owner of a small local record shop in Tel Aviv. Five 1/4-inch tapes (including the In Alpha Mood master tape) represent the only remaining artifacts of Ami’s experiments — the rest having been either lost, given to friends, or simply thrown away. Undated and unannotated, these raw studio recordings provide a rare glimpse of Ami at work in his attempts to perfect his technique and reach the plane of “Alpha Mood”. RIYL: Tangerine Dream, Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe, Cluster. Artwork by Andy Votel. Cut at Dubplates & Mastering. Edition of 500.

File Under: Electronic, Ambient, Kosmische
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tuneyardsTune-Yards: I Can Feel You Creep Into My Private Life (4AD) LP
I Can Feel You Creep Into My Private Life is the new magnum opus and fourth full-length overall from Tune-Yards. Thematically, the twelve new songs tackle race, politics, intersectional feminism and environmental prophecies head on. But in the billows of intense subject matter, the album arrives as Tune-Yards’ most immediate and upbeat music yet – this is music to dance to. On I Can Feel You Creep Into My Private Life, Tune-Yards is officially a duo as Merrill Garbus is joined by longtime collaborator Nate Brenner who produced and wrote the album together with lyrics by Garbus. Much of the album was recorded at John Vanderslice’s new studio, Tiny Telephone Oakland, in Oakland, CA and mastered in Harlem, NY by Dave Kutch (Jay-Z, Chance the Rapper). Mikaelin “Blue” Bluespruce (Solange, Skepta, Kendrick Lamar) handled the mix. Garbus on lead trakck “Look at Your Hands”: “Yes, the world is a mess, but I’ve been attempting to look more and more inward: how do all of these “isms” that we live in manifest in me, in my daily activities, interactions? Some of the ’80s throwback production came from wanting the vocals to sound robotic, maybe to counter the sincerity of the lyrics. I started sampling my vocals in an MPC which I’ve wanted to do for years, and there was something that felt really right about my voice being trapped in a machine.”

File Under: Indie Rock
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whiteJack White: Connected By Love (Third Man) 7″
Jack White’s first new music since 2014’s Lazaretto is pressed now and available immediately for fulfillment and retail sale. Both sides of the 7″, “Connected By Love” and “Respect Commander”, are tracks featured on forthcoming Jack White full-length album Boarding House Reach, with more details to come. “Connected by Love” was produced by White and recorded at Sear Sound in New York City, Capitol Studios in Los Angeles, and Third Man Studio in Nashville – marking the first time that White has recorded an album in NYC and LA. The track features White on vocals, synthesizer, and acoustic guitar, backed by a remarkable new lineup of musicians that includes drummer Louis Cato (Beyoncé, Q-Tip, John Legend), bassist Charlotte Kemp Muhl (The Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger), synthesizer player DJ Harrison, keyboardist Neal Evans (Soulive, Talib Kweli, John Scofield), percussionist Bobby Allende (David Byrne), and backing vocalists Ann & Regina McCrary of Nashville’s beloved gospel trio, The McCrary Sisters.

File Under: Rock
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zambriniBruno Zambrini: Racconti Di Mare (Sonor Music) LP
In tomorrow… Sonor Music Editions present a reissue of Bruno Zambrini’s Racconti Di Mare, originally released in 1970. Maestro Bruno Zambrini’s soundtrack masterpiece originally recorded for the TV series Racconti Di Mare in 1970, directed by Nestore Ungaro. Mental vintage underwater score — one of the best from library/soundtrack music production. The music is a total trip with insane psychedelic and underground beats to die for, killer drum breaks, aquatic lounge and bossa themes, and huge underwater drama moods. The lounge atmospheres are reminiscent of nostalgic sea trips with the flowing sweet scat vocals broken by the spaced-out underwater marine vibes. Unmissable Italian OST! Hard cardboard quality sleeve replica. 180 gram vinyl. Includes CD with the complete stereo recording session, plus the full unreleased Mono RCA version. Edition of 500.

File Under: Italian, Library, OST
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zazoiZazou/Bikaye/CY1: Noir et Blanc (Crammed) LP
Vinyl reissue of one of the biggest cult albums in the history of Crammed Discs, Noir et Blanc was a studio encounter between Congolese singer Bony Bikaye, Algerian-born French composer Hector Zazou and mad scientists CY1, it’s traditional Central African vocals and uncompromising analog electronics was unanticipated at the time and remains sonically relevant to this day. This 1983 LP is constantly being (re)discovered by generations of fans, musicians and DJs, who hail it as an unsurpassed Afro/electronic milestone. Remastered from original analogue tapes, with 5 previously unreleased original demos available on DL card and new liner notes by Andy Beta. “One of the most innovative LPs of the year… in the same class as Byrne and Eno’s “Bush Of Ghosts”… resembles the startling outcome of an imaginary collaboration between DAF and Fela Kuti” (Melody Maker, UK, ’83)

File Under: Post Punk, Afrobeat, Funk, Electronic
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mareVarious: Mare Romantico (Sonor Music) LP
In tomorrow… Sonor Music Editions present a reissue of Mare Romantico, originally released in 1974. Amazing Italian library electronic and underwater gem originally released in 1974, which has remained totally obscure and absolutely impossible to find. A bewitching underwater music trip made through analog synthesizers and sophisticated electronic lounge mood music recorded for TV sea documentaries. Delicate marine themes alternate with hypnotic and abyssal vibes with droning effects, elegance reflected in crystal clear waves. A little jewel for fans of early electronic music and library junkies; one of the finest examples of Italian underwater library music. Features Montedoro, Tommasi, Atmo, Jarrell, Piccioni, and Santucci. Renewed artwork by painter Stefania Casagrande. Back sleeve liner notes by music journalist Marco Ferretti. 180 gram vinyl; Edition of 500.

File Under: Italian, Library, OST

pantsulaVarious: Pantsula! (Rush Hour) LP
In tomorrow… Late ’80s South African dancefloor winners only! Selected by DJ Okapi and Antal, the Pantsula! compilation holds tracks by Jivaro, The Hard Workers, Ayobayo Band, S.Y.B., and many more. The 12 tracks selected for Pantsula! come from a very unique, very different time and place. They represent the birth of electronic dance music in South Africa, through the songs of one particular independent label from the time: Music Team. The sound represents the culmination of the bubblegum era, when South Africa’s disco artists outgrew their American influences and forged an increasingly electronic and “local” pop sound. Evolving over time since long before the ’80s, the distinctly South African subculture of pantsula is more closely associated with an attitude, a style, and a signature dance, rather than any specific sound. In the late 1980s and early ’90s, Pantsula was also the name given to a new type of dance music taking over the streets of South Africa, influenced by earlier bubblegum and the rise of shangaan disco, but with a far broader appeal and a harder, purely electronic sound. This is the sharp electronic music that fueled the local Pantsula dances during the ’80s and ’90s. A must have for fans of bubblegum and kwaito music. Also features The Equals, Jivaro, Scotch Band, Kakappa, Spirro, Rush, Linda Ziqubu, Chaka, and La Viva.

File Under: Africa, Dance, Disco, Shangaan
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13th Floor Elevators: Psychedelic Sounds of (Snapper) LP
13th Floor Elevators: Bull of the Woods (Snapper) LP
Joshua Abrams & Natural Information Society: Simultonality (Eremite)LP
Cannonball Adderley: Something Else (Blue Note) LP
Arcade Fire: Put Your Money on Me (Sony) LP
Baby Huey: Living Legend (Curtom) LP
Badbadnotgood: III (Arts & Crafts) LP
Badbadnotgood: IV (Arts & Crafts) LP
Badbadnotgood: Late Night Tales (Late Night Tales) LP
Derek Bailey: Solo Guitar Volume 1 (Honest Jons) LP
Derek Bailey/Anthony Braxton: Royal (Honest Jons) LP
Derek Bailey/Han Bennink: s/t (Honest Jons) LP
Julien Baker: Sprained Ankle (6131) LP
Caterina Barbieri: Patterns of Consciousness (Important) LP
Beck: Colors (Universal) LP
Beck: Morning Phase (Universal) LP
Art Blakey: Moanin’ (Blue Note) LP
Buena Vista Social Club: s/t (World Circuit) LP
Bill Callahan: Apocalypse (Drag City) LP
Childish Gambino: Awaken My Love (Glassnote) LP
Alice Coltrane: World Spirituality Classics (Luaka Bop) LP
John Coltrane: Blue Train (Blue Note) LP
Cluster: Sowiesoso (Bureau B) LP
Cluster & Eno: s/t (Bureau B) LP
Dead Kennedys: Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables (Manifesto) LP
Depeche Mode: Violator (Rhino) LP
Eric Dolphy & Booker Ervin: Far Cry (Original Jazz Classics) LP
El Michels Affair: Return to the 37th Chamber (Big Crown) LP
Robert Fripp/Brian Eno: No Pussyfooting (Pangyric) LP
Robert Fripp/Brian Eno: Evening Star (Pangyric) LP
Dexter Gordon: GO (Blue Note) LP
Dexter Gordon: Our Man in Paris (Blue Note) LP
Funkadelic: Maggot Brain (Westbound) LP
Tim Hecker: Mirage (Kranky) LP
Here Lies Man: s/t (Riding Easy) LP
Jlin: Black Origami (Planet Mu) LP
Sharon Jones: Soul of a Woman (Daptone) LP
Fela Kuti: Vinyl Box 4 (Knitting Factory) BOX
Melvins: Houdini (Third Man) LP
Maria Monti: Il Bestiario (Holidays) LP
Nine Inch Nails: Downward Spiral (Nothing) LP
OST: Blade Runner (Rhino) LP
Pallbearer: Heartless (Profound Lore) LP
Rural Alberta Advantage: Wild (Paper Bag) LP
Queens of the Stone Age: Villains (Matador) LP
Slowdive: s/t (Dead Oceans) LP
Stars of the Lid: Tired Sounds of (Kranky) LP
Midori Takada: Through the Looking Glass (WRWTFWW) LP
Telaio Magnetico: Live 75 (Black Sweat) LP
White Zombie: La Sexorcisto (Music on Vinyl) LP
Various: Tokyo Flashback (Black Editions) LP

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…..news letter #826 – melt…..

You know, the last few years we’ve seen a few big releases right away in January, but this year, NOTHING. Finally some new releases are starting to trickle in, but not a ton. Loads of big stuff getting announced lately though, don’t worry, your wallet will be crying soon enough.

…..pick of the week.….


OST: Blade Runner (Rhino) LP
This iconic score is available again! Don’t miss out this time!!!! “The Blade Runner soundtrack was composed by Vangelis for Ridley Scott’s 1982 film, considered one of the finest sci-fi movies ever made. It is mostly a dark, melodic combination of classical compositions and synthesizers which mirrors the futuristic film noir envisioned by Scott. The soundtrack holds legendary status and at the time was well-received by fans and critics including Best Original Score nominations for a BAFTA and Golden Globe yet, except for a few cuts, it was not released until 1994. The movie remains a classic film with a long list of popular movie stars including Harrison Ford, Daryl Hannah, Rutger Hauer, Sean Young, and Edward James Olmos, most of whom appear on this record in movie dialog samples mixed into the 12 tracks of nearly one hour of music. Vangelis makes each track flow into one another. The soundtrack features vocal contributions from Demis Roussos and the sax solo by Dick Morrissey on “Love Theme.” The gatefold jacket includes many colorful stills from the film. Blade Runner is a timeless classic on film.”

File Under: OST, Ambient, Sci Fi
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…..new arrivals…..

bahamasBahamas: Earthtones (Universal) LP
In tomorrow… Afie Jurvanen isn’t from the Bahamas. He’s a Finnish-Canadian from Barrie – a working class town in rural Ontario. But his chosen epithet is fitting. Since 2009 he’s been making music under the name Bahamas – writing songs about sunsets, love affairs, and making out with crooked smiles. Through simple arrangements, he charts an escape route from the snow belt to the coral reefs. “I wasn’t feeling too inspired in 2016,” explains Jurvanen. “I’d been in a seemingly unbroken cycle of recording and touring for 6 years. I know, you’re saying to yourself “that’s so cliché̇, all musicians complain about being tired…” But wait, there’s more! Not knowing exactly what type of album to make, I was feeling pretty low. But at that very moment, my longtime manager and confidante Robbie Lackritz called and said “dude, you should make an album with D’Angelo’s rhythm section.” And just like that, the juices were flowing and the songs started coming. I wrote songs about having success, having kids, and having depression. I wrote songs about going on tour, going back in time and going in circles. I wrote songs about my other worldly wife, my jerk dad and my garbage relationship with my brother. Crazy right?! “In September of 2016 I flew to Los Angeles and spent three days in the studio with the bass boss Pino Palladinoand the titan of time keeping, Mr. James Gadson. No rehearsals, no charts, no rules. We worked fast and came away with 10 songs that sounded fresh and strange and warm and free of any genre. The results were so inspiring to me that I quickly pulled my road band (Felicity Williams, Christine Bougie, Darcy Yates, Jason Tait, Don Kerr) into a Prague studio to record a few more songs. And here’s the best part…the whole thing is produced by my longtime producer and confidante Robbie Lackritz, so you know the sound is correct, totally modern and completely familiar at the same time.”

File Under: Indie Rock
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Big Star: Live at Lafayette’s Music Room (Omnivore) LP
It is well known that Big Star played a one-off promotional show for the Memphis Rock Writer’s Convention at Lafayette’s Music Room in Memphis in May of 1973. It cemented them into legendary status due to the writers who witnessed it and carried the message of Big Star out in their writing, even though the band had only released one album, #1 Record, and were unsure of recording a second after the departure of co-founder Chris Bell. What may not be so widely known is that the trio played the same venue four months earlier with the same power and passion opening shows for the Houston R&B band, Archie Bell & The Drells. First issued as Disc 4 of the Grammy Award-winning Keep An Eye On The Sky boxed set, Live At Lafayette’s Music Room sees new light as a stand-alone release, available on double LP. The performance has never sounded better thanks to new mastering and restoration from the Grammy-winning engineer, Michael Graves with supervision from fellow Grammy-winning producer, Cheryl Pawelski. The 20-track set features material from their debut, #1 Record, songs that would appear on the (not yet recorded) follow-up, Radio City, and choice covers from The Kinks, Todd Rundgren, The Flying Burrito Brothers, and T-Rex. As an added bonus, all formats include a download of a previously unissued 1972 interview with Alex Chilton and Andy Hummel from the summer of 1971 with Jon Scott on FM 100. Packaging features new liner notes from Bud Scoppa, who was friends with the band, and in attendance at the 1973 Rock Writer’s show. His most recent work for Omnivore was an integral part of the acclaimed Big Star boxed set Complete Third. Experience the only known document of Big Star at this pivotal point in their short, but massively influential career!

File Under: Rock
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Brian Eno: Here Come the Warm Jets (Astralwerks) LP
In tomorrow… The hybrid of glam, prog and art rock on Brian Eno’s 1974 debut Here Come The Warm Jets continued in a vein similar to his previous albums with Roxy Music, but further upped the experimental ante. In developing the album’s words and music, Eno used unusual methods, including dancing for his band members – having them play accordingly, and singing nonsense syllables to himself, then forming those into actual words, phrases and meaning – a technique revisited on later albums. The lyrics on Here Come The Warm Jets are macabre with an underlying sense of humor. They are mostly free-associative and have no particular meaning – another recurring method. Eno enlisted sixteen guest musicians to play on the album, including Robert Fripp and John Wetton of King Crimson, Simon King from Hawkwind, Bill MacCormick of Matching Mole and Quiet Sun, Paul Rudolph of Pink Fairies, Phil Manzanera and Andy MacKay from Roxy Music and Chris Spedding. Eno selected them on the basis that he thought they were incompatible with each other musically. He stated that he “got them together merely because I wanted to see what happens when you combine different identities with the knowledge that there might be accidents, accidents which will be more interesting than what I had intended.”

File Under: Rock
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Hot Snakes: Automatic Midnight (Sub Pop) LP
In tomorrow…San Diego’s influential post-hardcore all-stars Hot Snakes – boasting members of Pitchfork, Rocket From the Crypt, Drive Like Jehu, Earthless, Obits, Burning Brides, OFF!, The Delta 72, and more – released three of Sub Pop’s favorite rock records of the past 20 years: Automatic Midnight, Suicide Invoice, and Audit in Progress. All three were originally issued on Swami Records, with art by singer/guitarist and visual artist Rick Froberg. As we await the somewhat-later-in-2018 release of their first new album since 2004, the label is pleased to reissue this trio of classics back on vinyl. 2000’s Automatic Midnight is Hot Snakes’ sinister and swaggering debut blast of fierce and turbulent rock ‘n’ roll. Guitars attack, drums pound and vocals destroy. The band’s sound here represented a return to the unrealized past of its members: direct, undraped rock ‘n’ roll with some edge.

 File Under: Rock, Punk
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Hot Snakes: Suicide Invoice (Sub Pop) LP
In tomorrow…San Diego’s influential post-hardcore all-stars Hot Snakes – boasting members of Pitchfork, Rocket From the Crypt, Drive Like Jehu, Earthless, Obits, Burning Brides, OFF!, The Delta 72, and more – released three of Sub Pop’s favorite rock records of the past 20 years: Automatic Midnight, Suicide Invoice, and Audit in Progress. All three were originally issued on Swami Records, with art by singer/guitarist and visual artist Rick Froberg. As we await the somewhat-later-in-2018 release of their first new album since 2004, the label is pleased to reissue this trio of classics back on vinyl. Hot Snakes’ highly anticipated sophomore effort, 2002’s Suicide Invoice, features a more varied assault and larger mood palate than their debut, but with the same guitar attack, drum pound, vocal destroy style that we’ve come to know and love.

File Under: Rock, Punk
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Hot Snakes: Audit in Progress (Sub Pop) LP
In tomorrow… San Diego’s influential post-hardcore all-stars Hot Snakes – boasting members of Pitchfork, Rocket From the Crypt, Drive Like Jehu, Earthless, Obits, Burning Brides, OFF!, The Delta 72, and more – released three of Sub Pop’s favorite rock records of the past 20 years: Automatic Midnight, Suicide Invoice, and Audit in Progress. All three were originally issued on Swami Records, with art by singer/guitarist and visual artist Rick Froberg. As we await the somewhat-later-in-2018 release of their first new album since 2004, the label is pleased to reissue this trio of classics back on vinyl. Audit in Progress is Hot Snakes’ third studio album and last to date, originally released in 2004. It finds the band doing what they do best, churning out fast and explosive songs with understated dynamics and plenty of character. By 2005 Hot Snakes was no more, however, they would reconvene in 2011 for some live dates.

File Under: Rock, Punk
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Fela Kuti: Box Set 4 (Knitting Factory) 7LP Box
In tomorrow…Knitting Factory Records presents the next installment of the long-awaited vinyl reissues from the Fela Kuti catalog. The inimitable Erykah Badu personally selected the seven albums featured in this fourth box set, which have been remastered from their original vinyl pressings. The artwork for each album has been meticulously recreated from original album artwork, alongside vintage vinyl label artwork. The 7LPs include Yellow Fever (1976), No Agreement (1977), JJD (1977), VIP (1979), Coffin for Head of State (1980), Army Arrangement (1984), and Underground System (1992). The package is rounded out with a 20-page full-color booklet featuring seven personal essays written by Erykah Badu; seven in-depth commentaries by veteran music journalist and Afrobeat historian Chris May; song lyrics; never before published photos of Fela Kuti; and a 16 x 24″ poster designed by Nigerian artist Lemi Ghariokwu, the creative force behind 26 of Fela Kuti‘s album covers.

File Under: Afro Beat, Funk
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Mudhoney: LiE (Sub Pop) LP
In tomorrow… Recorded live during their 2016 European tour at shows in Germany, Croatia, Sweden, Austria, Norway, and Slovenia LiE is the first unlimited-edition, non-bootleg live Mudhoney album to date. 2018 marks Mudhoney’s 30th anniversary, and this release is a fitting start to a year that will also see the release of a new Mudhoney full-length. Includes ten tracks spanning the band’s storied career plus their live cover of Roxy Music’s “Editions of You.”

File Under: Rock, Grunge
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Porches: The House (Domino) LP
In tomorrow… Porches’ third record The House is a conscious effort in minimalism and honesty. “Making Pool” – the band’s 2016 breakthrough record, and Domino debut – “I learned how valuable the spirit of the demos are,” says singer Aaron Maine. “So this time I made a point of capturing a song the day it was conceived.” Because of this desire to document immediate sensations, the record’s fourteen tracks offer a series of diaristic vignettes. There are moments of emerging from fear of ego death (“Leave the House,” “By My Side,” “Now The Water”), escaping the corporeal (“Now The Water,” “Swimmer”), the terrifying thrill of young love (“Country,” “W Longing”), and parting with the past (“Wobble,” “Goodbye”). While these themes possibly paint The House in a dark light, the record is marked by an excitement at the prospect of self-discovery, and commitment to the process of getting there. Though Aaron largely composes on his own, The House features contributions by Alexander Giannascoli ((Sandy) Alex G), Dev Hynes (Blood Orange), Maya Laner (True Blue, Porches), Kaya Wilkins (Okay Kaya), Bryndon Cook (Starchild & the New Romantic), Cameron Wisch (Cende, Porches), Jason Arce, Bea1991, and his own father, Peter Maine. As with Pool, Aaron brought his recorded work to Chris Coady (Beach House, Slowdive, TV on the Radio), who then mixed The House at his Sunset Sound studio.

File Under: Indie Rock
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wallColter Wall: Imaginary Appalachia (Thirty Tigers) LP
In tomorrow… A native of Swift Current, Saskatchewan Canada, Colter Wall’s sound is comprised of resonate and raw baritone vocals, folk and bluegrass style guitar and banjo picking, steady kick-drum stomping, and visually provoking, story telling lyrics. Since debuting in 2015 with the release of his Jason Plumb-produced EP, Imaginary Appalachia, Wall has received overwhelming acclaim – Steve Earle declares, “Colter Wall is bar-none the best young singer-songwriter I’ve seen in twenty years,” while Rick Rubin, who signed Wall to his American Songs publishing company, proclaims, “Colter sings and writes songs in ways seemingly lost in time. There is an agelessness about him so unusual in someone so young.” The standout Imaginary Appalachia track “Sleeping On The Backtop,” was featured on the soundtrack of the Oscar-nominated film, Hell or High Water.

File Under: Country
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neil youngNeil Young: The Visitor (Reprise) LP
Neil Young + Promise Of The Real pair up once again for the new studio album The Visitor. When Young entered Shangri La Studio with Promise Of The Real in the Fall of 2017, there were a lot of images and feelings careening around his soul. The country was heading in a direction Young had never seen, even though up until then he thought he’d seen it all. But something different was happening, and it had gotten inside his music. “I’m a Canadian by the way and I love the USA,” he sings on the first song “Already Great.” The ethos of The Visitor can be summed up in the refrain of “Already Great” where Young insists, “Already great, you’re already great. You’re the promise land, the helping hand. No wall. No hate. No fascist USA. Whose Street? Our Street.” From those words, Young was ready to take a musical journey like he had never taken before. It was one where he’d even surprise himself, always the mark of a creative leap. By the end of the recording sessions, he knew he’d made his most diverse album going all the way back to Harvest in 1972, when America was also in the throes of becoming unhinged. Neil didn’t blink then, and he is not blinking now. The Visitor is an intriguing and always exciting peek into the mind and heart of one of rock & roll’s true seekers. His new songs, whether it’s a mashup of spoken word and rock & roll on “Fly By Night” or the heart-stopping beauty of “Forever,” once again ask listeners to stay open and ready for whatever comes through the open channels of the man and his unstoppable band. Listening to an album like The Visitor is not unlike taking off on a cross-country trip without a map. There is no way to tell where the destination will lead or what will be encountered. At one moment the savage rock of “Stand Tall” leads into Caribbean and Latin musical strains rising through on “Carnival,” only to turn around to embrace the blues on “Digging a Hole.” There is also the modern funk-rock of “When Bad Got Good,” the anthemic “Children of Destiny” and the spirit-tugging strength of “Change of Heart” to ensure the musical travels remain full of wonder. With the unlimited ability of Promise of the Real, featuring Lukas and Michah Nelson along with Corey McCormick, Anthony Logerfo and Tato Melgar, the passionate power of their playing pushes the songs to maximum expression. There are very few rock bands now who can go to as many places as this outfit and always deliver their own distinct identity. The closing song on The Visitor feels like a prayer for today and tomorrow. In “Forever,” Young sings “Earth is like a church without a preacher, the people have to pray for themselves.” These lines, and everything else on this landmark release point to the future in a way that sounds the alarm for troubled times but at the same time offers hope that, once again, music can help lead the way to understanding and hopefully a better place.

File Under: Rock
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Alabama Shakes: Sound & Color (ATO) LP
Aphex Twin: Come to Daddy (Warp) 12”
Aphex Twin: Window Licker (Warp) 12”
Arcade Fire: Funeral (Merge) LP
Arcade Fire: Reflektor (Sonovox) LP
Beastie Boys: In Sound From Way Out (Universal) LP
Beck: Colors (Universal) LP
Beck: Morning Phase (Universal) LP
Boards of Canada: Tomorrow’s Harvest (Warp) LP
Alice Coltrane: Journey in Satchidananda (Impulse) LP
Alice Coltrane: World Spirituality Classics (Luaka Bop) LP
Daft Punk: Random Access Memories (Columbia) LP
Dio: Holy Diver (Rhino) LP
Dio: Last in Line (Rhino) LP
Gord Downie: Battle of the Nudes (Arts & Crafts) LP
Gord Downie: Coke Machine Glow (Arts & Crafts) LP
Nick Drake: Pink Moon (Island) LP
Flying Lotus: Cosmogramma (Warp) LP
Flying Lotus: Until The Quiet Comes (Warp) LP
Aretha Franklin: A Brand New Me (Rhino) LP
Aretha Franklin: Lady Soul (Rhino) LP
Frightnrs: Nothing More to Say (Daptone) LP
Charlotte Gainsbourg: Rest (Warner) LP
Golden Smog: Weird Tales (Rhino) LP
Herbie Hancock: Headhunters (Legacy) LP
Herbie Hancock: Maiden Voyage (Blue Note) LP
Jlin: Black Origami (Planet Mu) LP
Knife: Shaking the Habitual (Mute) LP
Kendrick Lamar: Damn (Aftermath) LP
Kendrick Lamar: Good Kid M.A.A.D. City (Aftermath) LP
Kendrick Lamar: To Pimp a Butterfly (Aftermath) LP
Led Zeppelin: II (Warner) LP
Love: s/t (Rhino) LP
Hank Mobley: Soul Station (Blue Note) LP
Thelonious Monk: Monks Dream (Wax Time) LP
Thelonious Monk: Underground (Universal) LP
Lee Morgan: Search for a New Land (Blue Note) LP
Mount Kimbie: Love What Survives (Warp) LP
Oasis: (What’s the Story) Morning Glory (Big Brother) LP
Tom Petty: Highway Companion (Universal) LP
Portishead: Dummy (Universal) LP
Otis Redding: Live In Europe (Rhino) LP
R.E.M.: Automatic for the People (Universal) LP
Daniel Romano: Modern Pressure (You’ve Changed) LP
Daniel Romano: Sleeps Beneath the Willow (You’ve Changed) LP
Richard & Linda Thompson: Shoot Out the Lights (Rhino) LP
Tragically Hip: Fully Completely (Universal) LP
Tragically Hip: Road Apples (Universal) LP
ZZ Top: Tres Hombres (Rhino) LP
ZZ Top: Rio Grande Mud (Rhino) LP

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…..new letters #825 – back…..

Happy New Year, y’all! It seems like it’s been forever since I put together one of these lists. You probably were worried sick! Have no fear, we’re still here! There still isn’t much new, but a small smattering of new things have trickled in, so here we are. I know it’s brutal out there, but just think… new records before locking yourself in with some lovely beers for the weekend. Sounds great.

…..picks of the week…..

king gizz

King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard: Polygonawanaland (Bear Tree) LP
So these crazy guys released this album for free, like…. go ahead a make your own pressing of this record free, so my buddy in the UK did just that! And so I bought some from him, an they look awesome and are almost sold out, already so if you haven’t alread, you better get over here ASAP! Adding to what has already been an insanely prolific 2017, King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard offer up their fourth album of the year and twelfth album overall. Following Flying Microtonal Banana, Murder of the Universe and Sketches of Brunswick East, Polygondwanaland finds the band journeying into the depths of the mind and the limits of the universe once again. “The stirring, quiet percussion of “Inner Cell” tiptoes into “Loyalty” for a slow buildup, before it splashes into the punctuated vocals of “Horology,” a sea of guitar tapping and rich, warm woodwinds,” writes Pitchfork. The Australian 7-piece have made a name for themselves with a steady stream of new material since their inception in 2010, blending everything from surf rock, prog, soul and folk to metal, garage rock, and even elements of spoken word and cinematic presentation.

File Under: Psych, Rock
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kakashiYasuaki Shimizu: Kakashi (Palto Flats) LP 
You probabaly missed this when it was a pick of the week before xmas, so just to remind you how awesome this record is, here it is again! “Originally released in 1982, Kakashi is another high water mark in the 80s Japanese underground. This album, which has gathered cult status in recent years, is the project of musical visionary Yasuaki Shimizu, and considered to be a highlight of his solo career. Shimizu was the bandleader of Mariah, who also saw their album Utakata No Hibi reissued by Palto Flats in 2015. Kakashi offers a similar blend of saxophone experimentations, jazz fusion and ambient dub excursions.”

File Under: Electronic, Jazz, Dub, Pop, Experimental
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…..new arrivals…..


Aphex Twin: Come to Daddy (Warp) 12”
A vibrant and exuberant 1997 release from Richard D James aka Aphex Twin with two wildly different versions of the title track alongside a pair of high-tempo yet heartfelt electronic works. The terrifying thrash of the infamous Pappy Mix of “Come To Daddy” is joined by the playful melodies and door-creak percussion of “Flim” and “Bucephalus Bouncing Ball.” An essential slab for any Aphex Twin fan. 12″ vinyl with paper inner and printed outer.

File Under: Electronic
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Aphex Twin: Windowlicker (Warp) 12”
Quite unlike anything else he’s ever done, “Windowlicker” is perhaps the most accessible and dancefloor-friendly track Richard D James has ever created. A simple, gurgling riff paired with childishly sung vocals and thrown over straight-up 4/4 beats, groaning and developing, the bizarre sonics straining to burst through the shackles of form and expectation. “Formula” provides unexpected blasts of sound, lengthy breaks, explosive aspirates – it seems to escape and transcend this very plane of existence. “Nannou” is a chilling lullaby, minor-key themes that evoke thoughts of traditional melodies while percussion seemingly made out of household trappings ground it in the everyday.​ LP w/ Paper Inner and Printed Outer

File Under: Electronic
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Future: HNDRXX (Epic) LP
Setting the pace and changing the game with every subsequent album, Future started a full court blitz in 2015 that resulted in one of rap’s most impressive winning streaks. In under a year, he achieved three back-to-back No. 1 albums on the Billboard Top 200 – the platinum DS2, platinum What A Time To Be Alive with Drake, and EVOL. 2017 saw him add to his already staggering legacy with two more No. 1 albums, Future and HNDRXX, which were issued within a week of one another and made Future the first artist to release two Billboard 200 chart topping albums in consecutive weeks. Named after his Future Hendrix alter ego, the Gold-certified HNDRXX boasts the four singles “Selfish,” “Pie,” “Incredible” and “You da Baddest” and includes guest appearances by Rihanna, The Weeknd, Chris Brown and Nicki Minaj. “HNDRXX is super personal. This is the honest album that I was supposed to be honest about,” Future told Zane Lowe. “This is me opening up and just letting it all out so I can just move past it. Certain things don’t have to speak on it again.”

File Under: Hip Hop
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OST: Live Cargo (Blackest Rainbow) LP
The score to Logan Sandler’s movie ‘Live Cargo’ (2016), a dark monochrome thriller weaving together a plot of struggling relationships, child loss and the dark world of human trafficking. For the music the Blair brothers worked closely with director Logan Sandler to capture the tone and texture of a particularly depraved way of life in the Bahamas. Mastered at 45 rpm and pressed on 180-gram seafoam coloured vinyl, the LP is packaged in a UV gloss finished sleeve with a black polylined inner sleeve.

 File Under: OST, Ambient
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Panda Bear: A Day With The Homies (Domino) 12”
New material from Panda Bear! Animal Collective founding member Noah Lennox (aka Panda Bear) adds to his impressive body of solo work (including fan-favorite Person Pitch and the critically-acclaimed Panda Bear Meets The Grim Reaper) with this limited edition 12″ release. A Day With The Homies includes 5 brand new tracks, and is exclusively available on this limited edition, vinyl-only 12″ EP (no digital is available at this time). Comes housed in full pic jacket with printed inner sleeve, no download code to keep it strictly vinyl-only.

File Under: Indie Rock


Penguin Café Orchestra: Union Café (Erased Tapes) LP
Erased Tapes has the privilege of reissuing world renowned Penguin Cafe Orchestra’s last studio album Union Cafe – out December 2017 to coincide with the 20th Anniversary of Simon Jeffes’ passing in 1997. The Penguin Cafe Orchestra was arguably the ultimate word of mouth group. But those who manage to stumble upon their richly melodic and utterly uplifting music invariably respond by asking, where has this music been all my life? Quickly followed by, which album should I buy first? How about 1993’s Union Cafe, a sprawling, diverse collection that could be the Penguin Cafe Orchestra’s White Album. 2LP-set with download.

File Under: Jazz, Classical
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Lou Reed: Berlin (RCA) LP
An American master and true rock & roller, Lou Reed transformed popular art, music and culture through a body of work that continues to affect the way fans hear and see the world. Reed, who cut his first single as a teenager in the late-50s, began his professional career working as a New York in-house assembly line songwriter in the early-60s while developing his pure artistic vision as frontman for the Velvet Underground and throughout his uncompromising solo career. 1973’s Berlin is Reed’s theatrical third solo effort which came in drastic contrast to its glam-rock predecessor, Transformer. Comprised of re-drafts of earlier compositions first penned by Reed and the Velvet Underground, Berlin tells the story of an ill-fated romance amidst heavy orchestral arrangements, harrowing horn sections and fervent lyrics. Produced by Bob Ezrin, the equally ambitious and controversial 10-song set includes appearances by Michael and Randy Brecker, Jack Bruce, Aynsley Dunbar, Tony Levin and Steve Winwood. Upon the album’s original release, Rolling Stone’s Stephen Davis described it as one of those “…records so patently offensive that one wishes to take some kind of physical vengeance on the artists that perpetrate them…a distorted and degenerate demimonde of paranoia, schizophrenia, degradation, pill-induced violence and suicide.” Thirty years later, the magazine hailed it as one of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.

File Under: Rock
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Lou Reed: Rock N Roll Animal (RCA) LP
An American master and true rock & roller, Lou Reed transformed popular art, music and culture through a body of work that continues to affect the way fans hear and see the world. Reed, who cut his first single as a teenager in the late-50s, began his professional career working as a New York in-house assembly line songwriter in the early-60s while developing his pure artistic vision as frontman for the Velvet Underground and throughout his uncompromising solo career. Following his theatrical concept album Berlin, Reed switched gears once again with 1974’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Animal, a searing live set recorded at Howard Stein’s Academy of Music in New York in December 1973 with his road band at the time which featured the twin guitar attack of Dick Wagner and Steve Hunter. The 5-song set primarily consists of extended arrangements of former VU classics including a 13-minute plus version of “Heroin,” and a 10-minute “Rock ‘n’ Roll” to go along with more concise takes on “Sweet Jane” and “White Light/White Heat.” Rock ‘n’ Roll Animal amplifies the music of the Velvet Underground as never before or since and it finds Lou Reed doing what he does best, challenging the status quo with artistic ambition and restless abandon.

File Under: Rock
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Lou Reed: Street Hassle (RCA) LP
An American master and true rock & roller, Lou Reed transformed popular art, music and culture through a body of work that continues to affect the way fans hear and see the world. Reed, who cut his first single as a teenager in the late-50s, began his professional career working as a New York in-house assembly line songwriter in the early-60s while developing his pure artistic vision as frontman for the Velvet Underground and throughout his uncompromising solo career. 1978’s Street Hassle has been referred to as the angrier, younger sibling to Reed’s eloquent, mature New York, which was released over a decade later. Teeming with the lyrical hell of drug addicts and desperate misfits, it also possesses elements of Reed’s signature pitch-black humor. A mix of New York studio recordings and fine live performances recorded in West Germany, Street Hassle is a curious and compelling coda to Reed’s tumultuous and ever-changing ’70s work.

File Under: Rock
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reed3Lou Reed: Transformer (RCA) LP
An American master and true rock & roller, Lou Reed transformed popular art, music and culture through a body of work that continues to affect the way fans hear and see the world. Reed, who cut his first single as a teenager in the late-50s, began his professional career working as a New York in-house assembly line songwriter in the early-60s while developing his pure artistic vision as frontman for the Velvet Underground and throughout his uncompromising solo career. Released in 1972 just a few months removed from his somewhat underground self-titled solo debut, Transformer immediately distinguished itself with a new sound and chart success thanks to the famous production duo of David Bowie and Mick Ronson. Reed’s signature guitar-driven rock is colored here with inventive arrangements and pop muscle, resulting in some of his best-known material such as “Walk on the Wild Side,” “Perfect Day” and “Satellite of Love.” The aptly titled release literally transformed Reed into a certifiable solo artist and it greatly influenced the direction his career would take stylistically for the remainder of the ’70s.

File Under: Rock
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shameShame: Songs of Praise (Dead Oceans) LP
Shame thrives on confrontation. Whether it be the seething intensity crackling throughout their debut LP Songs of Praise or the adrenaline-pumping chaos that unfolds at their live shows, it’s all fueled by feeling. Comprised of vocalist Charlie Steen, guitarists Sean Coyle-Smith and Eddie Green, bassist John Finerty, and drummer Charlie Forbes, the London-based 5-piece built the band up from a foundation of DIY ethos while citing The Fall and Wire among its biggest musical influences. Utilizing both the grit and sincerity of that musical background, Shame carved out a niche in the South London music scene and then barreled fearlessly into the angular, thrashing post-punk that would go on to make up Songs of Praise. From “Gold Hole,” a tongue-in-cheek takedown of rock narcissism, to lead single “Concrete” detailing the overwhelming moment of realizing a relationship is doomed, to the frustrated “Tasteless” taking aim at the monotony of people droning through their day-to-day, Songs of Praise never pauses to catch its breath.

File Under: Post Punk
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13th Floor Elevators: Easter Everywhere (Charly) LP
Amon Duul II: Phallus Dei (SPV) LP
Syd Barrett: Barrett (Harvest) LP
Syd Barrett: Madcap Laughs (Harvest) LP
Bjork: Post  (One Little Indian) LP
Blonde Redhead: Fake Can Be Just As Good (Touch & Go) LP
Blonde Redhead: In An Expression of the Inexpressible (Touch & Go) LP
Charles Bradley: Victim of Love (Daptone) LP
Bully: Losing (Sub Pop) LP
Danger Mouse: Gray Album (Fan Club) LP
Miles Davis: Big Fun (Music on Vinyl) LP
Destroyer: Ken (Merge) LP
Bob Dylan: Blonde on Blonde (Columbia) LP
Bob Dylan: Another Side of Bob Dylan (Columbia) LP
Bob Dylan: Freewheelin’ (Columbia) LP
Bob Dylan: Nashville Skyline (Columbia) LP
Bob Dylan: The Times They Are A Changin’ (Columbia) LP
Faith Healer: Try (Mint) LP
Robert Fripp/Brian Eno: No Pussyfooting (Panegyric) LP
Robert Fripp/Brian Eno: Equatorial Stars (Panegyric) LP
Yussef Kamaal: Black Focus (Brownswood) LP
LCD Soundsystem: Sound of Silver (DFA) LP
LCD Soundsystem: s/t (DFA) LP
LCD Soundsystem: This is Happening (DFA) LP
Modest Mouse: The Moon & Antarctica (Epic) LP
Modest Mouse: Good News… (Epic) LP
My Bloody Valentine: M B V (MBV) LP
Pile: A Hairshirt of Purpose (Exploding in Sound) LP
Protomartyr: Under Color of Official Right (Hardly Art) LP
Protomartyr: Relatives in Descent (Domino) LP
Raincoats: s/t (Kill Rock Stars) LP
Max Richter: Blue Notebooks (Deutsche Grammophon) LP
Run the Jewels: 1 (Mass Appeal) LP
Run the Jewels: 2 (Mass Appeal) LP
Sleep: Holy Mountain (Mosh) LP
Sufjan Stevens: Carrie & Lowell (Asthmatic Kitty) LP
Tragically Hip: Road Apples (Universal) LP
Uncle Acid: Night Creeper (Rise Above) LP
Tom Waits: Alice (Anti) LP
Tom Waits: Bad as Me (Anti) LP
Tom Waits: Blood Money (Anti) LP
Tom Waits: Real Gone (Anti) LP
White Zombie: It Came From NYC (Numero) LP
Jack White: Blunderbuss (Third Man) LP
Jack White: Lazaretto (Third Man) LP
Wolves in the Throne Room: Diadem of 12 Stars (Diadem) LP
Various: Warfaring Strangers: Darkscorch Canticles (Numero) LP

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…..news letter #824 – four…..

Ok, I hadn’t planned on such a whopper of a news letter, but why not go out with a bang! This week brings you our staff top picks of the year AND a pretty massive new arrival list as well. There were just too many great things in this week to skip them since there won’t be another list until the new year. That’s right, this is our final transmission of 2017. Thanks to everyone who came in over the year and bought records from us, it means the world to us. Have a safe and happy holidays, stop in on Boxing Day for our usual sale and see you all in 2018!

Holiday Hours….

Sun Dec 24 – 12 – 4
Mon Dec 25 – Closed
Tues. Dec 26 – 11 – 5
Sun Dec 31 – 12 – 4
Mon Jan 1 – Closed

…..staff picks of 2017…..

Ian’s Picks…

Love Theme – Love Theme (Alter)
Carla Dal Forno – The Garden (Blackest Ever Black)
Rakta – Oculto Pelos Seres (La Vida Es En Mus)
F Ingers – Awkwardly Blissing Out (Blackest Ever Black)
Anthony Linell – Consolidate (Northern Electronics)
Dedekind Cut – The Expanding Domain (Hallow Ground)
Total Control – Laughing At The System (Alter)
Lebenden Toten – Mind Parasites (Self Released) and Static! (Iron Lung)
Internazionale – The Pale And The Colourful (Posh Isolation)
K. Burwash – Moonlanding, Static Control – Debris, Soft Ions – s/t (Pseudo Laboratories)

Bailey’s Picks…

Mauno – Tuning (Idee Fixee) LP
Six Organs of Admittance: Burning the Threshold (Drag City) LP
Chad Van Gaalen: Light Information (Flemish Eye) LP
Jom Comyn: I Need Love (Double Lunch) CS
Why?: Moh Lhean (Joyful Noise) LP
Grandaddy: Last Place (Columbia) LP
Pissed Jeans: Why Love Now (Sub Pop) LP
Bully: Losing (Sub Pop) LP
Saltland: A Common Truth (Constellation) LP
The Caretaker: Everywhere at the End of Time Stage 3 (HAFTW) LP

Stefan’s Picks…

Alice Coltrane- The Ecstatic Music of… Turiyasangitananda
Colleen- A Flame My Love, a Frequency
Joshua Abrams & Natural Information Society- Simultonality
Colin Stetson- All This I do for Glory
Abdou El Omari- Nuits de Printemps
Fiver- Audible Songs From Rockwood
El Michels Affair- Return to the 37th Chamber
Midori Takada- Through the Looking Glass
John Bender- Plaster Falling
King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard- Flying Microtonal Banana

James’s Picks…

Protomartyr: Relatives in Descent (Domino) LP
Daniel Romano: Modern Pressure (You’ve Changed) LP
Sheer Mag: Need to Feel Your Love (Wilsuns) LP
K.Burwash: Moonlanding (Pseudo Laboratories) CS
Not Waving: Good Luck (Diagonal) LP
War on Drugs: A Deeper Understanding (Atlantic) LP
Faith Healer: Try 😉 (Mint) LP
Metz: Strange Peace (Royal Mountain) LP
Wares: s/t (Double Lunch) CS
Lee Hazlewood: Requiem For An Almost Lady (Light in the Attic) LP

Kris’s Picks…


Jonny Nash/Lindsay Nash: Fauna Mapping (Island of the Gods) LP
Caterina Barbieri: Patterns of Consciousness (Important) LP
Sarah Davachi: All My Circles Run (Students of Decay) LP
Loke Rahbek: City of Women & Buy Corals Online (Editions Mego) LP
Iona Fortune: Tao of I (Optimo) LP
Ben Frost: The Centre Cannot Hold (Mute) LP
Yair Elazar Glotman: Compound (Subtext) LP
Transcendence Orchestra: Modern Methods for Ancient Rituals (Editions Mego) LP
Visible Cloaks: Reassemblage & Lex (RVNG Intl) LP
Joshua Abrams & Natural Information Society: Simultonality (Eremite) LP


Coil: Time Machines (Dais) LP
Alice Coltrane Turiyasangitananda: The Ecstatic Music of (Luaka Bop) LP
Maria Teresa Luciani: Sounds of the City (Finders Keepers) LP
Roberto Musci: The Loa of Music (Soave) LP
NSRD: Workshop for the Resto Ration of Unfelt Feelings (Stroom ) LP
Steven Roach: Structures from Silence (Telephone Explosion) LP
Claudio Rocchi: Suoni di Frontiera (Die Schachtel) LP
Yasuaki Shimizu: Kakashi (Palto Flats) LP
Midori Takada: Through the Looking Glass (WRWTFWW/Palto Flats) LP
Hiroshi Yoshimura: Music for 9 Postcards (Empire of Signs) LP


Various: Even a Tree Can Shed Tears (Light in the Attic) LP
Various: Miracle Steps (Optimo) LP
Various: Mono No Aware (Pan) LP
Various: Tokyo Flashback (Black Editions) LP
Various: Wayfaring Strangers: Acid Nightmare (Numero) LP

…..picks of the week…..

kakashiYasuaki Shimizu: Kakashi (Palto Flats) LP
“Originally released in 1982, Kakashi is another high water mark in the 80s Japanese underground. This album, which has gathered cult status in recent years, is the project of musical visionary Yasuaki Shimizu, and considered to be a highlight of his solo career. Shimizu was the bandleader of Mariah, who also saw their album Utakata No Hibi reissued by Palto Flats in 2015. Kakashi offers a similar blend of saxophone experimentations, jazz fusion and ambient dub excursions.”

File Under: Electronic, Jazz, Dub
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transTranscendence Orchestra: Modern Methods for Ancient Rituals (Editions Mego) LP
The title of the debut album from The Transcendence Orchestra outlines the modus operandi of this pairing of Anthony Child and Daniel Bean. Recorded in a remote English rural setting over a period of 24 hours, this is an apt location for a recording that eschews time and space in favor of methodological displacement and deep psychological navigation. Modern Methods For Ancient Rituals is an experiment in acoustic and synthetic symbiosis which is deeply influenced by the atmosphere and acoustics of the rural location of Cats Abbey resulting in a set of recordings which can aid to the transformation of consciousness. Deploying a range of ancient and modern instruments and effects, including Buchla Music Easel, harmonium, shruti box, bass guitar, hurdy gurdy, Electro Harmonix 45000, Strymon Blue Sky, and Roland RE 101 Space Echo, among others, Child and Bean conjure an audio experience which encapsulates elements of drone, trance, pulse, rhythm, and melody, subtly shifting all into a psychologically penetrating experience beyond the aesthetic and into the comforting unknown. Front cover image by Ali Wade; Back cover image by Cathrin Queins; Design by SOMA. Mastered and cut by Rashad Becker at Dubplates & Mastering, Berlin, 2017.

File Under: Ambient, Electronic, Drone
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kirchinBasil Kirchin: Worlds Within Worlds (Superior Viaduct) LP
“Basil Kirchin was a pioneering British composer who blurred the lines between musical genres. While his career began in the ’40s as a professional jazz drummer, in the ’60s he started to make field-recordings, painstakingly splicing tapes and slowing-down sounds until the source material would be virtually unrecognizable. Originally released on Island Records in 1974, Worlds Within Worlds juxtaposes Kirchin’s various tape manipulations – -amplified insects, animals, engines, glossolalia of children — with traditional musical instruments to form an organic totality that has the overall effect of otherworldly, ambient soundscapes. As Brian Eno writes in the liner notes on the original release, ‘Within the first couple of minutes it became obvious to me that Basil had not only discovered a whole new area of sound, but had exploited it with extreme skill and sensitivity, producing beautiful and evocative music as well. . . . So Basil Kirchin has made a double contribution: he has not only built the instrument, but has written and played the first successful works for it.’ Worlds Within Worlds remains a lost classic in sonic abstraction. This first-time reissue is recommended for fans of Broadcast, Aphex Twin and Nurse With Wound.”

File Under: Ambient, Experimental, Sound Collage
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…..new arrivals…..


Alexander: s/t (No Label) LP
“Alexander is the solo guitar project of New Haven, CT native David Shapiro (Headroom, Nagual). After spending most of 2016 and 2017 touring behind an on-going series of improvised cassette releases that document the various locations Shapiro has lived, he settled down long enough to offer up a full-length LP of fingerpicking tunes. The nine tracks that make up Alexander are bound together by a melancholy sweetness that evokes a performer’s wandering lifestyle and the characters they meet along the way. Sonically tied to the ‘American Primitive’ school of guitar playing, Shapiro distinguishes himself with an exacting, almost academic focus, manipulating tempo and harmony with a confidence far beyond his young years. Where masters like Fahey and Basho drew from earlier musical lineage, Alexander incorporates a contemporary pool of influence, broadening the fingerstyle palette with patience and self-assuredness. Recorded on a guitar that Shapiro built himself, Alexander is an earnest and substantive debut that gives the listener a window into the player’s intimate devotion to his instrument and the language it speaks.” –Ian McColm Cover text by Cyd Goodwin. Recorded at Key Club Recording Company by Bill Skibbe. 180 gram vinyl; Pressed at Erika Records.
File Under: Folk, Guitar Soli


Derek Bailey: Solo Guitar Volume 1 (Honest Jon’s) LP
Honest Jon’s Records present Solo Guitar Volume 1, a reissue of Derek Bailey’s Solo Guitar release on Incus in 1971, with additional tracks included on previous reissues and a performance at York University in 1972. Kicking off a series of collaborations between Honest Jon’s Records and Incus: three double-LPs of the legendary free-improvising guitarist Derek Bailey, solo and in duos with Anthony Braxton and Han Bennink, augmenting the original releases with marvelous, previously unissued music. Recorded in 1971, Solo Guitar Volume 1 was Bailey’s first solo album. Its cover is an iconic montage of photos taken in the guitar shop where he worked. He and the photographer piled up the instruments whilst the proprietor was at lunch, with Bailey promptly sacked on his return. The LP was issued in two versions over the years — Incus 2 and 2R — with different groupings of free improvisations paired with Bailey’s performances of notated pieces by his friends Misha Mengelberg, Gavin Bryars, and Willem Breuker. All this music is here, plus a superb solo performance at York University in 1972, a welcome shock at the end of an evening of notated music. It’s a striking demonstration of the way Bailey rewrote the language of the guitar with endless inventiveness, intelligence, and wit. As throughout the series, the recordings are newly transferred from tape at Abbey Road, and remastered by Rashad Becker. The records are manufactured by Pallas.
File Under: Free Improv, Experimental
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bailey2Derek Bailey/Anthony Braxton: Royal (Honest Jon’s) LP

Honest Jon’s Records present a reissue of Derek Bailey and Anthony Braxton’s Royal, expanded to include both intended volumes. Volume 1 was originally released in 1984; the second volume was never issued. The second release in a series of collaborations between Honest Jon’s Records and Incus: three double-LPs of the legendary free-improvising guitarist Derek Bailey, solo and in duos with Anthony Braxton and Han Bennink, augmenting the original releases with marvelous, previously unissued music. Recorded in 1974, at the Royal Hotel in Luton, with Braxton playing soprano and alto saxophones, and Bb and contrabass clarinets. Two volumes were planned; only one was issued, till now. This was an early transatlantic meeting between the leading free improvisers. Many of Braxton’s signature techniques and ideas were gestated in such sessions. It still brims with inquisitive musical creativity and knockabout jazzbo allusiveness. Newly transferred from tape at Abbey Road, and remastered by Rashad Becker. The records are manufactured by Pallas.
File Under: Free Improv, Experimental
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Derek Bailey/Han Bennink: s/t (Honest Jon’s) LP
Honest Jon’s Records present a reissue of Derek Bailey & Han Bennink, originally released in 1972. The third release in a series of collaborations between Honest Jon’s Records and Incus: three double-LPs of the legendary free-improvising guitarist Derek Bailey, solo (HJR 200LP) and in duos with Anthony Braxton (HJR 201LP) and Han Bennink, augmenting the original releases with marvelous, previously unissued music. The tussling vegetables in Mal Dean’s cover-sketch somehow befit perfectly this extraordinary duo of Bailey and the great Dutch drummer Han Bennink. Recorded in London in 1972, Incus 9 was their second record (after an Instant Composers Pool in 1969), becoming a blueprint and inspiration for generations of free-improvisers. It is paired here with a brilliant session from the following year, with the same power and friendly combativeness, and oodles of creativity, technique, and humor. It’s obvious how much they loved playing together. Newly transferred from tape at Abbey Road, and remastered by Rashad Becker. The records are manufactured by Pallas.
File Under: Free Improv, Experimental
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biosphereBiosphere: Shenzhou (Biophon) LP

Biophon present a reissue of Biosphere’s Shenzhou, originally released by Touch in 2002. This expanded reissue includes a bonus album The Samphire Tower. Paul Cooper, of Pitchfork, on the album: “Shenzhou, aside from being the name of the Chinese manned-spaceflight vehicles, means ‘magic vessel’, and I can’t imagine a more apt description for Geir Jenssen’s latest excursion into ambient deep listening. . . . Jenssen again relies on found sound as source material for Shenzhou, but this time, the found sound is old vinyl recordings of the orchestral works of French Impressionist composer and ambient precursor, Claude Debussy. Jenssen lifts fragments of these scratched records in a similar manner as he did for Cirque’s ‘Black Lamb Grey Falcon’ and ‘Iberia Eterea’. The ten tracks (out of the dozen on the album) that follow this model all begin as a barely audible hum, like a small electrical transformer, out of which the dust-dappled loops of Debussy’s woodwind, brass, and strings emerge, condense, and fade out into pink noise rustles. Unlike Steve Reich’s phase pieces or Brian Eno’s Discreet Music, though, Jenssen doesn’t set his loops against each other to produce juxtapositions and piquant dissonance; he uses them to describe imagined terrain, at first glance monotonously flat and barren, but on concentration, replete with minute detailing. The overall effect of these pieces is a sense of immensity. The orchestral loops sound distant, abandoned in a vast wilderness, and strenuously battling against Arctic winds. Jenssen sets the listener down in this wilderness as an aloof observer, a witness to the music’s futile struggles against entropic forces. The two tracks not derived from Debussy share the same hypnotic aesthetic. The brief interlude ‘Bose-Einstein Condension’ is a loop of piano chords lolloping in search of coherence, while ‘Gravity Assist’ is a longer voyage into woofer-quaking low-frequency manipulation, bell-like drones, and contrails of subdued noise. I can’t help but feel that these tracks fit awkwardly and break up the conceptual flow of the album. This, however, is a minor quibble given the power of this music. Shenzhou is unquestionably a magic vessel, but one that reveals its enchantment only to those who pay close attention.”
File Under: Electronic, Ambient
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Calcium: s/t (Monster Melodies) LP
Monster Mélodies present the never before released album by Calcium. A legendary French psychedelic rock album, recorded in 1969, of which only two tracks were released at the time. Percussionist Stéphane Vilar played with pianist Jef Gilson and recorded on his 1964 album Oeil Vision. Musician Graeme Allwright introduced Vilar to Marc’O, then director of the theater school of the American Center Boulevard Raspail. The director, looking for musicians to play rock n’ roll in his project Les Idols, hired Vilar along with jazz pianist Patrick Greussay, saxophonist Didier Malherbe (Gong, Clearlight), and guitarist Didier Léon who features on the Barney Wilen’s 1972 album Moshi. Stéphane then recruited jazz bassist Jacques Zins through Jérôme Savary. Les Idols is where the musicians who baptized The Rollsticks played. It was performed in 1966 and was later adapted for a feature film in 1968, where the same participants were joined by Valérie Lagrange. Stéphane Vilar then decided, together with his brother the painter Christophe, to create his own band which included some of the Rollsticks: Jacques Zins, Patrick Greussay, Didier Léon, drummer Alain Sirguy, and singer Danièle Ciarlet known as Zouzou. Model and muse of the Parisian night scene, Zouzou acted in Eric Rohmer’s Afternoon Love (1972). Considered to be the French Marianne Faithfull, she released two 45 EPs orchestrated by Jacques Dutronc. She represents the image of the liberated woman in France in the sixties. The group took the name of Jardin, and soon changed it to Calcium. Thanks to financial support from Sylvina Boissonnas, the group bought instruments and practiced and refined the compositions for a year before recording. Two recording sessions were held at the Davout studios in 1969. Christophe was replaced by guitarist Denys Lable who later recorded on Jean Claude Vannier’s L’enfant Assassin Des Mouches. After the recordings, Michel Taittinger, the heir of the namesake Champagne and television producer, obtained a contract with Pathé for the band. A single was put on the market without any promotion, resulting in poor sales. It’s now considered to be one of the rarest singles of French psychedelic rock. Due to the disinterest of the record company, which only wanted put Zouzou’s character forward to create a new Janis Joplin, the masters for the album were abandoned on a shelf for forty-eight years. Color vinyl; Includes two inserts; Edition of 1000 (numbered).
File Under: Psych, French
cosmicMichael Cosmic/Phill Musra Group: Peace in the World (Now Again) LP
“Potent mixes of spirituality, expressionist fire and electrified newness, these LPs are presented as the 7th entry in the Now-Again Reserve Edition, mastered from the original tapes. Contains download card for .Wav files of the full release — including bonus tracks by Phill Musra Group and World’s Experience Orchestra — and a booklet with extensive liner notes by jazz historian Clifford Allen, photos, show flyers and many other unpublished gems. In an homage to the original issues, both front and back cover feature hand-printed, pasted-on slicks.”File Under: Jazz, Spiritual
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crystalizedCrystalized Movements: Mind Disaster (Twisted Village) LP
Limited 2017 LP reissue of the first Cystalized Movements LP, Mind Disaster, in paste-on sleeve replicating the original 1983 edition — on the original label, Twisted Village. The Crystalized Movements were formed in 1980 by Wayne Rogers and Ed Boyden, two Tolland High School freshmen brought together by a mutual love of no wave and ’60s psychedelia. After three years of experimenting (and countless versions of “Gloria”), they decided in early 1983 that it was time to make an LP. They recorded loose duo versions of some of Wayne’s songs, and then promptly split up after graduating from high school in June of 1983. Wayne, under the spell of the Plastic Cloud and Randy Holden, then spent the summer piling on mounds of guitar overdubs. The results were issued as Mind Disaster at the end of that year in a bank-breaking edition of 130 (as Twisted Village #1001). After a minor stir in collectors’ circles, it was reissued on the UK Psycho label with a new cover in 1984. It was received by the “psychedelic revival” community with universal horror and quickly went out of print. Wayne, meanwhile, added new members to the band and it treaded on as a little-known Connecticut institution until 1992… The years have been kind to Mind Disaster, and its wah-wah and fuzz overload have made it a much sought after LP. After uncountable requests from our adoring public, Twisted Village finally reissue Mind Disaster, with its original cover. It is perhaps the last teenage garage-psych LP to be made in our time.File Under: Psych, Garage
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elderElder: s/t + Demo (Armageddon) LP
Elder’s self-titled debut album from 2007 was an impressive offering of psychedelia-tinged stoner rock and doom that set the tone for the band’s later progressive developments. In 2006, three longtime friends and members of the small music scene anchored in the port city of New Bedford, Massachusetts got together with the mission of making music that was heavier and more brutal than anything happening around. The first version of Elder was an interesting beast, combining sludgy riffs, primitive black metal vocals and Genghis Khan-themed lyrics. After toiling in these murky waters for a year, the band shed their extreme metal origins and emerged with their first proper album, Elder, an album that would already establish the band as some of the best riff-dealers this side of Birmingham. To celebrate the record’s 10 year anniversary, this reissue comes with a second LP containing the band’s first ever recordings from their early days.File Under: Metal, Stoner
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equinoxxEquiknoxx: Colon Man (Demdike Stare) LP
Colón Man is the debut album proper by visionary Jamaican dancehall artists Gavin Blair (Gavsborg) and Jordan Chung (Time Cow) plus their extended crew, aka Equiknoxx — once again for Demdike Stare’s label. Where their widely acclaimed Bird Sound Power primer compilation, issued on DDS in 2016, brought the rest of the world up to speed with the music produced between late ’00s and 2015, their first album now brings a 2020 sound into sharp, technoid focus through a baker’s dozen steely, heat-seeking riddims galvanized with clinical electronics and a Midas Touch approach to sampling. The record’s title, Cólon Man refers to a Jamaican tale (and song) about a mysterious character, whom, like Marcus Garvey, was one of over 100,000 Jamaicans who returned from working in Cólon on completion of the Panama Canal. In context of the album, Gavsborg and Timecow take the story as a metaphorical foundational for a roots and future sound, acknowledging the vital groundwork of previous generations of producers, whilst soundly contextualizing their mutant new advancements of Jamaican dancehall. Recorded between December 2016 and June 2017, the results of Colón Man form a stark, stripped down and conceptually blinding record. In tone and texture, the duo favor far colder, more abstract sounds, crucially lit up with sparingly used samples that lend the record its dissonant, harmonic color and bittersweet hooks, stylishly feeding forward their playfully weird sense of humor into a rugged, nutty, and even noisily imagineered set. Bookended by the gauzy, Detroit-compatible synth looks and acid hall grind of “Kareece Put Some Some Thread In A Zip Lock”, and the mesh of Motor City sleekness with Far Eastern strings on “Waterfalls In Ocho Rios”, they distill and diversify their bonds in myriad ways across the album. There’s a killer dancehall/trap hybrid in the percolate chorales and man trills of “Plantain Porridge”, along with the secretive dub-into-dancehall transfusion of Addis Pablo’s melodica in the belly rolling “Melodica Badness”, while “Ceremonial Eating Dog” and the hyaline designs of “We Miss You Little Joe” — a tribute to their pal Alty Nunes — are arguably the most forward Jamaican riddims you’ll hear in 2017, and “Enter A Raffle… Win A Falafel” uncannily recalls the clockwork mechanics of Haruomi Hosono’s “Alternative 3”, from his S-F-X LP (1984). Curated by Jon K and Demdike Stare. RIYL: Lenky, Haruomi Hosono, Errorsmith. Mastered and cut by Matt Colton at Alchemy.

File Under: Electronic, Dancehall
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F/I: Space Mantra (Sorcerer) LP
Sorcerer Records present a reissue of F/i’s Space Mantra, originally released on RRRecords in 1988. First time on vinyl for nearly 30 years for this classic slice of American space rock. Milwaukee’s F/i have been an ongoing concern since 1981, pioneering a certain brand of experimental rock which encompasses elements of industrial and psychedelic space-rock sounds. Originally a purely electronic outfit heavily influenced by Throbbing Gristle and prolific in the underground tape scene, they made the transition to “rock band” in the mid ’80s, and for many, 1988’s Space Mantra LP remains the high point. With fuzzed guitars, metronomic rhythms, swirling synths, and occasionally bucolic forays into blissful acoustics, it’s a masterful take on cosmic music during the Reagan years. It was previously only ever released on LP once by the famed RRRecords label. RIYL: Hawkwind, Amon Düül, Causa Sui, Cluster. Edition of 500.

File Under: Psych, Kosmische
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Flashback #9 Magazine
Issue #9 of Flashback, Winter 2017. Features: Group 1850: Led by the charismatic Peter Sjardin and featuring the brilliant guitarist Dean van Bergen, Group 1850 were one of the most imaginative bands of their era — but it has taken decades for their legacy to be appreciated. Here their story is told in full for the first time… Jukebox: Reine Fiske of Dungen on 12 tracks that have inspired him… Disc & Music Echo: It may have been less esteemed than some of its rival pop weeklies, but that doesn’t mean this paper wasn’t packed with priceless information… First Person: The legendary Jeff Dexter takes us on a personal tour of ’60s London’s counter-culture… Fuchsia: An experimental union between a rock trio and three classical musicians at Exeter University yielded one of the era’s most enduring classics… The Love-In Festival: An eyewitness account of this landmark July 1967 event, with the aid of many rare photographs… Blonde On Blonde: This Welsh quartet played many remarkable gigs and made three fine albums, but their story has never been told until now… Nicholas Greenwood: The enigmatic bassist describes life in the Crazy World Of Arthur Brown, the making of his fabled Cold Cuts LP from 1972 (KIS 4046CD), and his stint with prog favorites Khan… Ben: Renowned for having made one of the rarest albums on Vertigo, this jazz-rock quartet give their first ever interview… Sweet Slag: This aggressively unique band combined driving rock, free jazz, and nihilistic lyrics, and give their first interview here… Overseas & Underground: 50 intriguing British albums that weren’t released at home, spanning pop, freakbeat, psych, jazz, prog, blues and more… Reviews: Thorough coverage of recent CDs, LPs, and books, taking in household names (The Beatles, Pink Floyd), cult heroes (The Zombies, Margo Guryan, Grapefruit), and ultra-obscurities (The First International Sex Opera Band, Majic Ship)… Crying To Be Heard: The poignant story of John Phillips and his sole album, released in 1969 and missing in action ever since…

haino butcher

Keiji Haino/John Butcher: Light Never Bright Enough (Otoroku) LP
Keiji Haino, one of the foremost exponents of the Japanese avant-garde, always provides a masterclass in constantly shifting improvisation. John Butcher is a saxophonist of rare grace and power, who has expanded the vocabulary of the saxophone far beyond the conventions of jazz and other musics, to encompass a staggering range of multi-phonics, overtones, percussive sounds, and electronic feedback. Haino and Butcher met when Butcher opened for Fushitsusha at the show Cafe Oto arranged at St. John, Hackney — five years ago. In 2016, they were invited to play two duo concerts — at The Empty Gallery in Hong Kong and at Cafe Oto in London. Otoroku present the audio documentation of their first UK meeting. Recorded live at Cafe Oto in July 2016, the results are an uncompromising milieu of swirling sound played out as a total union of these two legendary performers. Haino’s blues drenched guitar entices skittering notes from Butcher’s sax playing as numerous sonic clues unravel over the course of this unique and compelling journey. Personnel: Keiji Haino – vocal, guitars, etc.; John Butcher – saxophones and feedback.

File Under: Free Improv, Jazz, Experimental
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Heron Oblivion: The Chapel (Heron Oblivion) LP
The Chapel was recorded live to analog tape at the Chapel in San Francisco on January 27th, 2017, capturing Heron Oblivion at peak stage powers and bookending nearly a year of performance and touring in support of their critically acclaimed self-titled debut for Sub Pop Records. The broad dynamics, beauty, noise and ferocious tangle of guitars that fans have come to love and expect from the band are all present, enhanced and oversized here by adrenaline, a hometown crowd and raw live energy. Featuring a fifty-one minute set of six songs from the debut album, The Chapel also has two new and previously unreleased tracks, including a smoldering eight minute cover version of Doug Sahm’s “At The Crossroads.” Engineers Chris Woodhouse (Thee Oh Sees, Fuzz) and Eric Bauer (Ty Segall, Heron Oblivion, White Fence) strike a perfect balance of bootleg in-the-red rawness and multi-track vintage analog fidelity to create a unique piece that fans will find essential as the band closes their first chapter and heads toward a new one with their second studio album for Sub Pop.

File Under: Psych
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Hypnotic Brass Ensemble: Book of Sound (Honest Jon’s) LP
With its cathedral-like, richly resonant acoustics, the new Hypnotic Brass Ensemble album Book Of Sound is a brilliant expression of this interplanetary principle. The album is by turns urgent and contemplative, funky and reflective, varied in its textures; but entirely of one piece. Underpinned by concepts of earth’s place in the cosmos, held in place by meditation, swirling with notions of history, science, theology, ancestry, there is a rich conceptual brew here. The album rings with what back in the 1950s the jazz critic Whitney Balliet called “the sound of surprise”. Book Of Sound makes you believe again in the validity of “spiritual jazz”. Talking to Cid, one of the Ensemble’s two trombonists, one phrase recurs: “back to the beginning”. “We wanted to go back to the beginning, when we were kids, real young, and our father would wake us up at 5AM to practice for two hours before breakfast.” One outcome — initially unplanned but subsequently embraced — is that unlike their two previous albums on Honest Jon’s, this is an album without a drummer. “When we started, as Wolf Pack, just brothers on the street with our horns, there wasn’t a kit in sight.” Book Of Sound retains plenty of rhythmic heft, but the absence of a drummer opens up space for a notably varied instrumental palette. Acoustic guitar, piccolo, synthesizer, alto sax — all have their place on the album. Most striking perhaps are the vocal lines that thread through the album and give it a palpable warmth. Sessions were recorded in Brooklyn and Chicago, and brilliantly mixed at Abel Garibaldi’s studio in the Loop, and it’s the Hypnotic’s hometown that permeates. For Cid this is a deeply Chicago record: “It’s got the vibe of the lake, the vibe of the prairies opening up to the west.” It also has the vibe of those Sun Ra Arkestra albums recorded in Chicago in the 1950s, and — of course — the Phil Cohran albums from the 1960s. It’s Phil Cohran (the father of all seven members of the Ensemble and their first teacher, and not just in music) who is the album’s guiding spirit. For Cid it’s a major regret that, in the months before their father’s death early in 2017, Phil was not well enough to play on the album. But Book Of Sound is a magnificent testament to their Cohran legacy.

File Under: Experimental, Rock, Noise
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Khan Jamal Creative Arts Ensemble: Drum Dance to the Motherland (Eremite) LP
Eremite presents the definitive vinyl edition of the most legendary private press underground jazz album of the 1970s. There’s not another record on the planet that sounds even remotely like vibraphonist Khan Jamal’s eccentric, one-of-a-kind masterpiece, Drum Dance to the Motherland. In its improbable fusion of free jazz expressionism, black psychedelia, and full-on dub production techniques, Drum Dance remains a bracingly powerful outsider statement forty-five years after it was recorded live at the Catacombs Club in Philadelphia, 1972. Comparisons to Sun Ra, King Tubby, Phil Cohran and BYG/Actuel merely hint at the cosmic otherness conjured by The Khan Jamal Creative Arts Ensemble and by sound engineer Mario Falana’s real-time enhancements. Originally issued by Jamal in 1973 in an edition of three hundred copies on Dogtown records, Drum Dance to the Motherland was effectively a myth until Eremite’s 2005 CD reissue (MTE 050CD). Eremite’s LP edition has been a long time coming. With the master tapes long vanished, the audio was transferred on the pneumatic Rockport table at Sony Music’s 54th street studio from a minty copy of the original LP, manually de-clicked, and remastered on Sony’s vintage outboard tube EQs by Ben Young and Andreas K. Myer. The LP is pressed on premium audiophile quality vinyl by RTI from a Kevin Gray lacquer. Alan Sherry at Siwa Studios screenprinted by hand every component of the package: the screenprinted labels and heavyweight Stoughton laserdisc jackets reproduce exactly the artwork of the original Dogtown release. A screenprinted insert with Ed Hazell’s detailed telling of Drum Dance’s incredible history and eremite’s signature retro-audiophile screenprinted dust sleeves are unique to this edition. 999 copies. Personnel: Khan Jamal – vibraphone, marimba, clarinet; Alex Ellison – drums and African percussion; Mario Falana – sound effects; Dwight James – drums, glockenspiel, clarinet; Billy Mills – fender bass, double bass; Monette Sudler – guitar, percussion.

File Under: Jazz, Free Jazz
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jay glass

Jay Glass Dubs: Dubs (Ecstatic) LP
One of the boldest new producers to broach the dub sphere in recent times, Jay Glass Dubs is subject of Dubs, a prime “early years” survey of his work, compiled by Alessio Natalizia (Not Waving) for his Ecstatic label, and released quick at the heels of their ace Trax Test set and Novoline album. Written during what Dimitris Papadatos, aka Jay Glass Dubs, describes as “an adventurous and bold period”, and holding material variously issued by Hylé Tapes, THRHNDRDSVNTNN, and Seagrave between 2015-2016, the Dubs compilation frames a singular, stripped-down take on classic dub forms, wherein Jay Glass Dubs perceptibly retains the sound’s heavy function and mystic qualities, but subtly updates its palette with a range of nods to shoegaze, darkwave synth styles, and weightless dynamics. The results form a sort of ghostly, filleted subtraction of classic dub architecture, all plasmic tones and diaphanous, boneless structures buoyed by an often overwhelming, yet somehow intangible bass presence. Beyond the obvious, thematic ligature that connects the material, which was all recorded within a very short period of time, the artist also suggests there is an underlying, encrypted similarity to the material which is “merely apparent to me”, and awaits much closer investigation from keen ears. From Jay’s eponymous 2015 debut for Hylé tapes, listeners will encounter the heaving smudge of “Definition Dub”, the serpentine, Coil-like digital delays of “Grumpy Dub”, and a grime drone drill “Depression Dub”. Off the II tape for THRHNDRDSVNTNN (2016) comes the darkwave synths and militant step of “Magazine Dub” recalling a gauzier Equiknoxx production, next to the bass-less scudder, “Detrimental Dub” and the shoegazing bloom of “Daria Dub”, while his III tape (2016) tees-up some abyssal highlights in the vertiginous “Hilton Dub”, the melancholy, Basic Channel-scoped scale of “Sieben Dub”, and the HTRK-eaque starkness of “Everlasting Dub”. Exclusive to the set is “Perfumed Dub”, recorded in 2017 and pointing to vast, layered, atmospheric directions for a timeless project which is only just hitting its stride. Recorded in Athens, Berlin and Paris between 2015-2017. First time on vinyl for all the material included. Cut by CGB at Dubplates & Mastering, Berlin.

File Under: Electronic, Dub
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Hamad Kalkaba & The Golden Sounds: s/t (Analog Africa) LP
180 gram vinyl; Includes eight-page booklet; Gatefold sleeve. Analog Africa on Hamad Kalkaba and His Golden Sounds 1974-1975: “I remember the day clearly. I was searching for treasures in a record shop in Yaoundé, the Capital city of Cameroon, when suddenly I came across a 7-inch record with a picture of a young man wearing a traditional hat and bearing the marks of several imposing vertical scars on the side of his face, carved when he was just a boy as a reminder of his heritage in the Musgum tribe of the northern part of the country. The record contained two songs — ‘Gandjal Kessoum’ and ‘Touflé’ — by an artist I had never heard of before named Hamad Kalkaba. Both cuts were raw classics of fuzzed-out bass, pin-sharp horns, built upon the unshakable foundation of Northern Cameroon’s mightiest rhythm: the Gandjal. The shop owner finally said to me ‘There is another single with a green cover of the same artist, if I am not mistaken’. Over the next six years I searched for that ‘green cover’ and finally found it in a record collection belonging to an old bar in Parakou in northern Benin. . . . These two records, plus a third simply named ‘Nord Cameroon Rhythms’ constitute the entire discography of Hamad Kalkaba. Neglected for decades by all but the most devoted collectors of Afro music, Hamad Kalkaba and the Golden Sounds at long last gathers together the body of work of one of Cameroon’s forgotten geniuses. But unlike many musicians who emerged from nowhere, recorded a few singles and vanished again, Kalkaba hadn’t disappeared. Far from it. He was a distinguished public figure, a retired Colonel in the army of Cameroon, and a former member of Cameroon’s Olympic Selection Committee. When we tracked him down he was serving as president of the Confederation of African Athletics. And although Kalkaba’s job kept him busy, and he seemed initially dismissive of the music he’d made as a young man, he turned out to be an enthusiastic ally in this project. He arranged interviews, helped fill in the blanks and, when we finally met him in Yaoundé in 2016, provided us with photographs, lyric sheets and notes.”

File Under: Funk, Psych, Afrobeat
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Eyvind Kang: Plainlight (Abduction) LP
A gorgeous set of new tracks by the brilliant composer and multi-instrumentalist Eyvind Kang. It took him a decade and a half to revisit the vibe concocted on his masterpiece from 2001, Live Low To The Earth In The Iron Age, but the wait was worth it. It features an array of spiritually intoxicating instrumentation: tamboura, electric guitar, organ, trumpet, oboe, trombone, and Korean traditional instruments. Eyvind Kang on Plainlight: “In 2002 I wanted to make a kind of sequel to my first solo record on Abduction, Live Low To The Earth In The Iron Age. I found that the ‘weight’ of sounds seemed to evaporate the compositions. The last thing I wanted to make was a traditional shoegaze recording. 15 years later, I had a strange dream: a voice said ‘Because a plainlight has fallen in Heaven, heartbreak would cease.’ This statement then became a kind of guiding image and method. Thus, with Korean traditional instruments playing the ostinato and drone, things fell into place. I would like to thank all the musicians, Randall Dunn, Alan Bishop, and each and every listener.” Limited edition, one-time pressing; Edition of 400.

File Under: Electronic, Folk, Classical


Sylvia Kastel: Air Lows (Blackest Ever Black) LP
Air Lows is the debut solo album by Silvia Kastel. The Italian artist has been a fixture of the underground since her precocious teens, clocking up many miles in Control Unit with Ninni Morgia, including collaborations with the likes of Smegma, Factrix, Gary Smith, Aki Onda, and Gate (Michael Morley of The Dead C). Both solo and in her work with others, Kastel has explored the outer limits and inner workings of no wave, industrial, dub, extreme electronics, free rock, and improvisation. Air Lows is both her fullest and most refined offering to date, a work of vivid, isolationist electronics which draws deeply on her past experience but breaks new ground. Prompted by a late-flowering interest in techno and club music, Kastel sought to create something which combines a steady rhythmic pulse with the otherworldly sonorities of musique concrete, and avant-garde synth sounds inspired by Japanese minimalism and techno-pop (Haruomi Hosono’s Philharmony (1982) being a particular favouite). The formal artifice of muzak/elevator music, the intros and outros of generic popular songs, the extreme light-heavy contrasts of jungle, the creative sampling of hardcore, and the very “human” synths in the jazz of Herbie Hancock’s Sextant (1973) and Sun Ra: all were touchstones for Air Lows’ conception and composition, and all strains of music addressing — or complicating — the relationship between the human and the technological. Though used sparingly, Kastel’s voice remains her key instrument, whether subject to dissociative digital manipulations as on “Bruell”, delivering matter-of-fact spoken monologues, or providing splashes of pure tonal color. Recorded between her expansive Italy studio and a more compact, ersatz set-up in Berlin, Air Lows gradually takes on some of the character of the German capital: you can hear the wide streets and uninhabited spaces, the seep-age of never-ending nightlife, the loneliness. Air Lows is The Wizard of Oz in reverse: the glorious technicolor J-pop deconstructions of its first half leading inexorably to the icy noir of “Spiderwebs” and “Concrete Void”. These later tracks are reminiscent of 2015’s magnificent 39 12″, Kastel in the role of numbed, nihilistic chanteuse stalking dank, murky tunnels of reverb and sub-bass. But in fact there is contradiction and emotional ambiguity to Air Lows from the outset, and throughout — a sense of both infinite space and acute claustrophobia; energy and inertia; fluency and restraint.

File Under: Electronic, Experimental
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Lady June: Lady June’s Linguistic Leprosy (Mental Experience) LP
Mental Experience present the first vinyl reissue of Lady June’s Linguistic Leprosy, originally released in 1974. The legendary debut album by Canterbury scene pivotal figure, performance poet, painter, and experimental musician June Campbell Cramer, better known as Lady June. Produced by Kevin Ayers, who also plays on the album along with Brian Eno, Pip Pyle (Gong, Hatfield And The North), and David Vorhaus (White Noise). Originally released by Virgin’s budget imprint Caroline (home also of artist like Faust With Tony Conrad, Gong, Lol Coxhill, etc.), Lady June’s Linguistic Leprosy is a surreal, eccentric, psychedelic oddity of interest to fans of the Soft Machine-Gong-Canterbury family as well experimental/sound poetry/art-rock explorers. This cult album was included on the legendary Nurse With Wound list. Remastered sound; Insert with photos and liner notes by Ayers archivist Martin Wakeling. RIYL: Gong, Catherine Ribeiro, Laurie Anderson, Boards Of Canada, Mopsie Beans.

File Under: Jazz, Psych, Rock
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Les Filles De Illighadad: Eghass Malan (Sahel Sounds) LP
Future Tuareg music from the female led avant-rock group Les Filles de Illighadad. Mixing traditional percussion with electric guitars, Les Filles brings ancient village folk music into the modern era. Drawing on traditional tende music, the forgotten inspiration of Tuareg guitar, Fatou Seidi Ghali and Les Filles breathe new life into the genre. Hypnotic guitar riffs, driving rhythm, and polyphonic resonant vocals combine to create organic sound, that is both timeless and natural. A wholly original project, from a band that just last year had never left their village. Eghass Malan is their first studio production. Les Filles are all from Illighadad, a secluded commune in central Niger. The sound that defines rural Niger is a music known as “tende”. It takes its name from a drum, built from a goat skin stretched across a mortar and pestle. It is a music form dominated by women. In the past years, certain genres of Tuareg music have become popular in the west. International acts of “desert blues” like Tinariwen, Bombino, and Mdou Moctar have become synonymous with the name “Tuareg”. But guitar music is a recent creation. In the 1970s young Tuareg men living in exile in Libya and Algeria discovered the guitar. Lacking any female vocalists to perform tende, they began to play the guitar to mimic this sound, replacing water drums with plastic jerrycans and substituting a guitar drone for the vocal call and response. In time, this new guitar sound came to eclipse the tende. If tende is a music that has always been sung by woman, the Tuareg guitar was its gendered counterpart. Fatou Seidi Ghali, lead vocalist and performer of Les Filles is one of the only Tuareg female guitarists in Niger. Sneaking away with her older brother’s guitar, she taught herself to play. While Fatou’s role as the first female Tuareg guitarist is groundbreaking, it is just as interesting for her musical direction. In a place where gender norms have created two divergent musics, Fatou and Les Filles are reasserting the role of tende in Tuareg guitar. In lieu of the djembe or the drum kit, so popular in contemporary Tuareg rock bands, Les Filles de Illighadad incorporate the traditional drum and the pounding calabash, half buried in water. Recorded on their debut tour in Europe after just a handful of concerts, Eghass Malan maintains a feeling that is spontaneous and inspired.

File Under: World, Tuareg
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Lightmen: Free As you Wanna Be (Now Again) LP
“Drummer, bandleader and activist Bubbha Thomas had toured America with R&B revues, served as a session musician for Peacock and Back Beat Records, and played straight ahead jazz with legends before the political and social upheaval of the late 1960s led him to a path first charted by Coltrane. Free As You Wanna Be predates the deep-set, maverick jazz issued by the likes of Tribe and Strata East and is a harbinger of best of the 1970s jazz underground, a collective voice of resistance to the musical and cultural status quo. This is the first time that Free As You Wanna Be has seen reissue, and it is presented in both the issued stereo and previously unissued mono mixes as a double LP. Bubbha and his band’s story is told in great detail by Houston music and cultural historian Lance Scott Walker (Houston Rap/Houston Rap Tapes) and Now-Again’s Eothen Alapatt, in a booklet that contains dozens of unpublished photographs.”

File Under: Jazz, Funk
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maskMask of the Imperial Family: s/t (Important) LP
Important Records present a reissue of The Mask Of The Imperial Family, originally released in 1981. Replica LP; housed in a screen-printed jacket. All copies are pressed on turquoise vinyl to match the sleeve. Edition of 200. Mutant Sounds on the album: “Both profound and profoundly jaw dropping, the esoteric moves of this massively rare and insanely obscure 300 copy Japanese marvel have until now remained the sole preserve of a handful of heavyweight collectors. It’s time to let the cat out of the bag on this one. The dankly cavernous and unsettling acid maneuvers of Dome circa their first three LPs (though absent vocals) are the nearest antecedent I can summon for the principal thrust of the sound here. So too, there’s a ritualistic dimension to this stuff that’s also a bit suggestive of something like Vasilisk or The Hybryds, though the arcane initiatory atmosphere here is far more penetrating that anything I’ve heard either of those two muster. Combine that with a Johan Hedran-like overlay of wafting, heat-warped systemic electronics and you’re at least in the general neighborhood, but these are only indicators pointing toward the occult sonic universe that The Mask Of The Imperial Family are enacting…”

File Under: Electronic, Experimental
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Timothy McNealy: Funky Movement (Now Again) LP
Originally released for Black Friday RSD 2017. “Texas funk music is amongst the highest regarded styles in the genre, a unique mixture of jazz, blues, R&B and James Brown’s syncopation that evolved in metropolises like Houston (Kashmere Stage Band), San Antonio (Mickey and the Soul Generation), Austin (James Polk and the Brothers) and Dallas. Dallas birthed a variety of independent labels, Soultex and Doin Our Thing amongst them. But no one in Dallas, Texas or America, created a run of 7″ singles like Timothy McNealy did on his Shawn imprint. When it comes to heavy, funk music, in Dallas — in Texas — Timothy McNealy is king. This means that when it comes to funk music, in general, McNealy is hallowed. Yet McNealy’s music has never been collected as an album, nor reappraised in its totality. A series of 7″ single reissues have come out in the past 15 years, including his masterpiece ‘Sagittarius Black,’ a psychedelic funk instrumental that has been a cornerstone in every fan’s rediscovery of the genre for the past 20 years. But this is the first time that his music is presented in its totality, giving the enlightened fan an opportunity to hear the breadth and depth of his Funky Movement.”

File Under: Funk, Soul
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NVPR: 33 33 (Editions Mego) LP
NPVR is moniker taken on board by Pita, AKA Peter Rehberg, and Factory Floor’s Nik Void. Peter and Nik both share formidable reputations in the post-industrial shape-shifting world of sound and form with a vast range of releases and collaborative endeavors over a number of years. Together they tie together their collective experience into a vast array of sonic devices unleashing an album of pragmatic imbalance and psychedelic orientation. Blurring the lines of techno, ambient, avant garde, noise, etc. 33 33 positions itself in the nebulous realm of contemporary (dis)comfort presenting itself on the border of music and sound, the social and the private. Recorded and edited at The Premises, London, July 2017. Artwork by Nik Void; Photography by Georg Gatsas. Mastered by Russell Haswell at Haswell Studio, London, August 2017; Cut by CGB at Dubplates & Mastering, Berlin, September 2017.

File Under: Electronic, Industrial, Techno, Ambient


OCS: Memory of a Cut Off Head (Castle Face) LP
It is easy to forget (especially amidst the ringing of ears and aching of muscles after a typical Oh Sees show) that initially, OCS was a rather hushed affair. After the minimalistic brutality of Coachwhips, the band was the diametric opposite corner of John Dwyer’s musical world, quiet to the point of whispered in the wind, buffeted by the airy whirr of singing saw, soft and strange. Those early records especially had a rather contraband hush about them, as if the party had gone on all night and continued into the morning and everyone’s raspy from talking too much and agrees to whisper and pantomime as they watch the sun come up over the hills. Since then of course, things got gradually louder, faster, crazier…the band evolved into the Oh Sees everyone knows. For the 20th Oh Sees release, 100th Castle Face title, and 20th year doing it, Dwyer re-examines the quieter roots of it all in particularly baroque and homesteadly fashion. Memory Of A Cut Off Head was co-written with longtime collaborator and vocal counterpoint Brigid Dawson, recorded in total in Dwyer’s own Stu Stu Studio, and it’s lush, sumptuous in texture, but satisfyingly retains the gentle grace of the early stuff. There’s beautifully executed strings throughout, courtesy of Heather Lockie’s fine arrangements, horn arrangements courtesy of Mikal Cronin, and they even brought back the old saw—Patrick Mullins, that is—on saw and electronics. A return and a refinement of old forms, a few solemn meditations on life lived at high velocity, perhaps a respite from it…a softer side of JPD and distinguished company.

File Under: Psych, Folk
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Loke Rahbek & Frederrik Valentin: Buy Corals Online (Edition Mego) LP
First outing for this collaborative effort from the prolific Posh Isolation mainstay Loke Rahbek and Frederik Valentin of KYO, also on the revered Danish label. As old friends circling around the same scene, this is the first time they have combined their respective perspectives. The results are an ambitious aquatic infused audio environment. Recorded near water at Valentin’s studio within the vicinity of the new aquarium in Copenhagen, Buy Corals Online channels the sensual floating aspects of such environments. “During Japan’s Edo period (1615-1868) the phrase ‘the floating world’ (ukiyo) evoked an imagined universe of wit, stylishness, and extravagance — with overtones of naughtiness, hedonism, and transgression. Implicit was a contrast to the humdrum of everyday obligation. The concept of the floating world began in the Japanese heartland, migrated eastward, and came to full flower in Edo (present-day Tokyo), where its main venues were popular Kabuki theaters and red-light districts.” –Wikipedia Buy Corals Online arrives as a suite of works embracing the joy of being close to something you don’t require interaction in order to experience. This enchanting aquatic infused audio hovers a sensual world rich in sensory experience. Loke Rahbek and Frederik Valentin’s debut outing conjurer’s a world both sensual and abstract as it moves casually alongside fantasy. Recorded 2016 & 2017, Copenhagen S, Natfabrikken. Mastered and cut by Rashad Becker at Dubplates & Mastering, Berlin, Germany 2017.

File Under: Electronic, Ambient
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solid space

Solid Space: Space Museum (Dark Entries) LP
Dark Entries is honored to finally present the first ever official vinyl reissue of Space Museum by Solid Space. Solid Space was the British duo of Dan Goldstein (keyboards, vocals) and Matthew “MAF” Vosburgh (guitar, bass, keyboards, vocals) formed in 1980. Dan and Matthew met at the age of 11 while attending school in north London. In late 1978 at at the age of 14, they formed Exhibit ‘A’ with Paul “Platypus” and Andrew “Lunchbox” Bynghall. They recorded two EPs in 1979 and 1980, self-released on Irrelevant Wombat Records and appeared on The Thing From The Crypt compilation. After the dissolution of the group, Mathew started taking his guitar over to Dan’s house where he’d play his Casio MT-30 and they would record songs. Eventually a second hand drum machine and Wasp synthesizer were acquired from classified ads in Melody Maker and the Solid Space sound was born. By this time they were just turning 18 and finally found the freedom to make the music they’d had in their heads. Over the course of the next two years the band assembled eleven bedroom recordings that would become one of the most cherished DIY obscurities of its kind. Their debut album Space Museum was released in 1982 on cassette by In Phaze Records. The band’s music and lyrics were heavily indebted to science fiction, in particular the 1960s television series Doctor Who. Space Museum is an unveiling of atmospheric, minimalist post punk supported by bright melodies. The music combines drum machines and synths with acoustic guitar and toy drums whilst also experimenting with samples between tracks. Representing a bubbling spirit within the underground, they foreshadowed an entire world of independent music which would emerge across the ’80s and well into the ’90s. For this reissue we’ve included two bonus tracks from the band’s archive, “Platform 6” originally released on the B-side of the second single by Exhibit ‘A’, this song features only Dan and Matthew and is the first Solid Space track ever recorded. “Tutti Lo Sanno” is a cover of In Phaze label mates Marine Girls, though the lyrics have been changed to suit the gender of the new singer. Each song has been carefully remastered for vinyl by George Horn at Fantasy Studios in Berkeley. The record is sleeved in a replica of the cassette artwork featuring the Cybermen and Jamie from the Doctor Who episode “The Wheel in Space”. Every copy includes a double sided 11×11 insert with lyrics, notes and never before seen photographs of the band taken by Maf as well as a postcard featuring an original advert for the cassette.

File Under: Minimal Wave, Cold Wave
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sun ra

Sun Ra & His Arkestra: Featuring Pharaoh Sanders & Black Harold (Superior Viaduct) LP
“To understand the significance of the word ‘featuring’ on Featuring Pharoah Sanders And Black Harold, consider how infrequently Sun Ra used it and the exact way it had been used. “The October Revolution in Jazz, organized by Bill Dixon in the West Village in 1964, presented a vivid cross section of approaches to the new music, including a sextet led by Ra. For the October Revolution’s continuation, titled Four Days in December, held at nearby Judson Hall on the last days of 1964, the Arkestra performance presented Pharoah Sanders as well as a flautist (who was and remained obscure thereafter) named Harold Murray, nicknamed Black Harold. “It wasn’t until long after Sanders had achieved worldwide acclaim with John Coltrane that Ra and manager Alton Abraham decided to issue the music they’d recorded at Judson Hall. After its first release in plain or hand-decorated covers in 1976, Featuring Pharoah Sanders And Black Harold remained an exceptionally rare item in the El Saturn discography, known to a few lucky collectors. “We’re lucky to have this glimpse of what Sanders sounded like in such a different context, galvanizing the large group and in turn being inspired to make his first significant contribution on record.” —John Corbett (excerpt from the liner notes)

File Under: Jazz
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Thor & Friends: The Subversive Nature of Kindness (LM Duplication) LP
“The Subversive Nature of Kindness is the sophomore effort from Thor & Friends, the avant-chamber ensemble formed by its namesake, polymath percussionist Thor Harris. The album was recorded in Albuquerque, New Mexico, produced by Jeremy Barnes from A Hawk & A Hacksaw and engineered by Barnes and Deerhoof’s John Dietrich. It is hoped that the melodic meditations offered up will ease some of the terror of living in these uncertain times. The three primary members of the band are Peggy Ghorbani on marimba, Sarah ‘Goat’ Gautier on marimba, vibraphone, xylophone, organ, voice, mellotron and piano, and Harris on sundry percussion and wind instruments, including some of his own devising. The band has toured extensively over the past year and have performed live with many guest musicians. All these players have influenced the way the group hears its music and this had a significant impact on this new album. On this recording voice plays a more prominent role with the core trio being joined by several guest singers who provide wordless vocals: Stine Janvin Motland, an opera singer from Oslo, Norway; Michael Gira from Swans; Enrique Soriah, a throat singer from Oregon. It features more fully developed string arrangements by Barnes and Heather Trost. There are also contributions from similarly adventurous musicians including Jhno Delicateer on Armenian Duduk, violin improvisationist Aisha Burn, and Adam Torres, who provides finger-picked guitar. The band draws on classic Minimalist composers including Terry Riley and Steve Reich, but also amalgamates such diverse influences as Brian Eno, Aphex Twin, Moondog and The Necks. They embody utopian optimism by rooting their art and operation in both improvisation and the involvement of neighbors and friends in their process, making use of what and who is around at any given moment.”

File Under: Percussion, Experimental, Classical
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total control

Total Control: Laughing at the System (Alter) LP
“However you might try to find the words for it, Total Control’s caustic charm is stunning and oblique. A sensible account of the band typically focuses on its parts—the associated groups, the touring configurations, etc.—as if finding ways by which Total Control is divisible gleans critical information for breaking through their cryptic sheen. With tonic, wry twists, and forever employing aphoristic brevity for the comic/cosmic dynamite that it is best reserved for, the band seems to indulge this with each new release, or tour, or whatever’s put on the counter. The bands European tour tape from 2015 was a sure reminder of this. Their new 12″, Laughing At The System, is a succinct statement, but it feels like the sharpest thing they’ve ever assembled. Written and recorded over the past couple of years in various lounge rooms, bedrooms, and rehearsal studios, across Melbourne, regional Victoria, and Western Australia, Al Montfort, Daniel Stewart, James Vinciguerra, Mikey Young, and Zephyr Pavey are—for the record—all accounted for in the process. Laughing At The System is bookended by a title track in two parts. The scattered mania of the opener is an unsettling beginning, with cascading madhouse-riffs somehow finding a ricocheting unison. The closing part has the familiar head-charge of Total Control’s most gnashing moments, with the guitars balancing the equation between running-too-fast and drinking-too-fast in one queasy commitment. With a brilliantly acerbic wit, we’re implored to gather that there’s some equivalences here. And it’s this kind of impulse that’s kept up throughout the 12″. Drizzled with Vinciguerra’s fraught fills, which have the rare quality of being unmistakably his in both electronic and acoustic form, this punctuation comes in and out of focus between elegiac moments and breezy experimentation, the latter including the elated instrumental ‘Cathie and Marg.’ Throughout, Stewart scripts a tumultuous wake for a flatlining reality, forever nudging the listener to second-guess themselves about the sincerity and intent. Far from cynical, but earnestly neurotic, the potency of the atmosphere that Total Control has mustered across Laughing At The System registers as a deeply commanding, though bleak, psychedelicism for the future.”

File Under: Punk, Post Punk
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ulgyUgly Things #46 Magazine
“On the cover this time: The Equals the dynamic multi-racial London group famous for songs like ‘Baby Come Back’ and ‘Police on My Back,’ but whose catalog runs much deeper, as our lengthy interview with lead singer Derv Gordon explains. Also featured this issue, Curt Boettcher’s innovative folk-pop group The Goldebriars, Southern California biker rock badass Simon Stokes, The Byrds, The Balloon Farm (A Question of Temperature), pre-Dictators ’70s rockers Total Crudd, Harvey Kubernik’s examination of Bob Dylan’s John Wesley Harding album (which turns 50 in December), occult rocker Geof Crozier, Texas-to-California garage rockers The Visions, New Jersey’s Mods and the mysterious Revelation VII label, and a mad interview with the late, great Captain Beefheart. Also we reveal the 12 ‘rejected’ tracks from Lenny Kaye’s original Nuggets compilation, plus the Flamin’ Groovies saga continues into the ‘Shake Some Action’ years, and of course there’s our acclaimed, info-packed reissue and book review sections.” 152 pages; perfect bound; full-color glossy cover

zombyZomby: Mercury’s Rainbow (Modern Love) LP
After nearly a decade in the making, Zomby finally dispatches Mercury’s Rainbow, his astonishing and uniquely formulated dedication to Wiley’s series of Eskibeat releases, aka the cornerstone of grime. Originally recorded over an intense couple of weeks while suffering from circadian dysrhythmia, Mercury’s Rainbow documents Zomby riffing on intricately hand-programmed arpeggios, using theories of color and its relation to the sonic chromatic spectrum — the circle of fifths — to place an expressively avant spin on the Wiley Kat’s sliding Triton squares and frozen, post-garage drum patterns. Rather than simply imitating Wiley’s foundational unit of grime currency, Zomby innovates with a structure of bewildering, modal styles, refracting 16 diamond-cut permutations according to a color-sound spectrum of tonalities. In the process he effectively loosens up and liquefies the Eski riddim, rendering its bones and sinew in varying states of reactive, physical deliquescence or GIF-like micro-organisms. For dancers and DJs, the fluid contours and viscous, displaced rhythmic anticipation of Mercury’s Rainbow suggests myriad geometries for movement in-the-mix, and serves to single-handedly put to sleep a whole genre of also-ran, prosaic “future grime” through its methodical, inventively ground-up construction. While it’s difficult to say with certainty, if Mercury’s Rainbow was issued at the same time it was created, it may have arguably altered the course of UK grime instrumentals in much the same way Wiley’s original template coined a whole new genre, essentially making it the last word in grime futurism, proper. Master and lacquer cut by Matt Colton at Alchemy; Limited edition vinyl.

File Under: Electronic, Grime
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tokyoVarious: Tokyo Nights: Female J-Pop Boogie Funk (Cultures of Soul) LP
“Following successful disco excavation from the Caribbean to South Africa, Boston-based label Cultures of Soul booked a first class ticket to Narita to bring you the latest release, Tokyo Nights: Female J-Pop Boogie Funk: 1981 to 1988. This compilation presents 12 of the most memorable and sought-after songs of the era recorded by female artists. The music is a reflection of the unbridled optimism, technological achievement, excess and exuberance of Bubble-era Japan. More than catchy melodies and funky baselines, these are reflections of a time when Japan was the center, and future of the world. The Bubble can be characterized as an endless, extravagant party where personal and corporate wealth soared through the explosion of real estate and stock prices. Scores of young Japanese men and women moved to cities in search of affluence, transforming them into neon wonderlands. Changes in morals, values and gender roles followed suit. Prosperity leads to indulgence, and the taste for nightlife, from flashy restaurants to glitzy discotheques, was unquenchable. A soundtrack to this new, lavish lifestyle was necessary and the latest sound, City Pop (urban pop music for those with urban lifestyles), epitomized these attitudes. While influenced by American R&B and boogie, elements of fusion, YMO style Technopop, and adult-oriented rock (AOR) are front and center. Sung primarily in Japanese (with a word or two of English sprinkled in), City Pop is Japanese music for Japanese people. Producers like Tatsuro Yamashita, Toshiki Kadomatsu, and Haruomi Hosono were quick to embrace the latest studio equipment and technology. Synthesizers like the Yamaha DX7, Roland Juno-60, ARP Quadra, Moog Polymoog and Oberheim OB-8, as well as drum machines like the Linndrum, were prevalent. Digital reverb was applied liberally. Compiled by Eli Cohen (Alliance Upholstery) and Deano Sounds (Cultures of Soul), Tokyo Nights includes tracks by Hitomi Tohyama, Junko Ohashi, Mizuki Koyama, Kaoru Akimoto, Aru Takamura, Mariko Tone, Rie Murakami, RA MU, Kikuchi Momoko and Yumi Seino. Each selection celebrates the unique traits and meticulous production that define the sound. Think sandy beaches and metropolitan skylines; illumination and romance. Embrace the feeling of movement, from a coastal highway stretching towards the horizon or the city sprawling into the future. Turn on the hi-fi and slip into these Tokyo Nights.”

File Under: Funk, J-Pop


Laura Baird: I Wish I Were A Sparrow (Ba Da Bing) LP
Binker & Moses: Journey to the Mountain… (Gearbox) LP
Cactus Blossoms: You’re Dreaming (Red House) LP
Alice Coltrane: A Monastic Trio (Superior Viaduct) LP
Crass: Feeding of the 5000 (Crass) LP
Current 93: Thunder Perfect Mind (Spheres) LP
Mac Demarco: Salad Days (Captured Tracks) LP
Efterklang: Tripper (Leaf) LP
Elder: Dead Roots Stirring (Armageddon) LP
Harmonia: Musick Von Harmonia (Gronland) LP
King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard: I’m In Your Mind Fuzz (Castle Face) LP
Gigi Masin: Talk to the Sea (Music From Memory) LP
Drew McDowell: Collapse (Dais) LP
Jonny Nash/Lindsay Todd: Fauna Mapping (Island of the Gods) LP
National: Alligator (Beggars) LP
Oh Sees: Orc (Castle Face) LP
Oh Sees: Help (In The Red) LP
Orb: Naturality (Castle Face) LP
Arvo Part: Fur Alina (Mississippi) LP
Radiohead: Amnesiac (XL) LP
Ty Segall Band: Slaugherhouse (In The Red) LP
Sheer Mag: Compilation (WRC) LP
Sheer Mag: Need to Feel Your Love (WRC) LP
Sonic Youth: Daydream Nation (Goofin) LP
Pauline Anna Strom: Trans-Millenia Music (ReRVNG Intl) LP
Suicide: s/t (Superior Viaduct) LP
Sun Ra: Space is the Place (Jackpot) LP
Midori Takada: Through the Looking Glass (WRWTFWW) LP
Wolves in the Throne Room: Thrice Woven (Diadem) LP

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…..news letter #823 – eleven…..

Well folks, time is getting tight. If you haven’t started your xmas shopping, what are you waiting for?! Some nice stuff coming in this week and lots of restocks. We are just about completely out of time to special order anything, but you never know….

And if you are looking to outdo that special music lover on your list, or just want to spoil yourself, don’t forget about the awesome REGA promotion runnning right now! $200 off Planar 1 and Planar 2 turntables and $200 off the Brio amp!


…..pick of the week…..

visible cloaks

Visible Cloaks: Lex (RVNG Int.) LP
Visible Cloaks’ Lex proposes a utopian dream language and its accompanying sound, a limitless, delicate space developed by fluid musical techniques and subconscious voices. The six pieces comprising Lex simulate a more peaceful future, their mysteries telling a new tale in an unknown but imaginable melodic language. Visible Cloaks are the Portland-based musicians Spencer Doran and Ryan Carlile. Utilizing software-based composition rooted in randomization, MIDI-translation and chance operations, the duo has established an improbable humanist mode of music from esoteric processes. Following their self-titled debut, Visible Cloaks offered Reassemblage, an album simultaneously honoring the post-Yellow Magic Orchestra school of avant musical adventure and diverging from it. Veering from the paths cleared by Japanese and Italian electronic pop and ambient artists of the mid-80s / early- 90s, Reassemblage established Visible Cloaks’ own camp in a forest of deep sound canopied by trees grown from synthetic seeds. The sound represented on Lex is webbed with sculptural arrangements and interpolated by the sounds of alien speech. These strange and serene utterances were created by Doran feeding a chain of multiple dialects and accents through a language translation software to create an auditory poetry of an evolved place and time. Lex features both the final version of this process and earlier, simplified experiments with it (“Keys”). “The idea – building on ‘fourth world’ or ‘global village’ type concepts – was to create a projected language that was a fusion of many,” Doran explains. “The result was a very disorienting form of non-language that amplifies the lapses in meaning that occur with the inaccuracy of auto-translation software.” Permutate Lex, a companion short film to Lex made by Visible Cloaks in collaboration with artist Brenna Murphy (who also created the artwork for Reassemblageand several virtualist videos for the album), is an integral counterpart, both visualizing an aesthetic alive with human form and guiding the sonic experience of the first five pieces: “Wheel,” “Frame,” “Transient,” “Keys,” and title track “Lex.” “World,” the longest piece presented on Lex, is redrawn from a generative composition originally produced for an installation Doran made with Murphy. The original work incorporates LFOs and randomized MIDI-information, and was intended to variate indefinitely. In this ‘fixed’ version, “World” provides a more conclusive view into the impossible musical environments Visible Cloaks make real. Longer than any track on Reassemblage, “World” expresses the deepening, patient intimations suggested by Lex. Doran says the Lex “attempts to communicate the essence of a world distant enough that it can’t be captured or comprehended from the present, appearing only surreal and inscrutable.” The statement reveals a broader musical philosophy fueling this new moment; an awakened voice woven through complex melodic shapes and phrases establishes communication between listeners and the unknown, here presented by Visible Cloaks as sounds coloring the very edge of the envisionable.

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


A Certain Ratio: The Graveyard & The Ballroom (Mute) LP
A Certain Ratio was one of the first groups to sign to the legendary Factory Records in Manchester. Whilst many credit New Order and The Happy Mondays as the groups who brought dance music into the sound of Manchester (later Madchester!), it was in fact A Certain Ratio who were there from the beginning. Mute is pleased to present a vinyl reissue of The Graveyard and The Ballroom, the band’s landmark 1980 debut which shows off A Certain Ratio’s legendary early mix of angular, bass-heavy post-punk. Produced by Martin Hannett, the album contains 14 tracks: 7 demo songs from a session recorded at Graveyard Studios in September 1979 and 7 songs from a gig at the Electric Ballroom in October 1979. The album captures A Certain Ratio at their best – raw, dark and funky and contains early versions of future classics like “Do The Du” and “Flight.”

File Under: Post Punk
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Beastie Boys: Hot Sauce Committee: Part Two (Capitol) LP
The Beastie Boys were once upon a time the court jesters of rap. Wearing the label loud and proud, the New York trio lived by their own set of rules and ignited controversy wherever they set foot. Besides their daring-to-be-different and non-conforming attitudes, Adam “Ad-Rock” Horovitz, Michael “Mike D” Diamond and Adam “MCA” Yauch were considered pretty influential musicians too – the group were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2012. The cheekily titled Hot Sauce Committee: Part Two (2011) is the group’s eighth and final studio effort, originally intended as a two-part set and released a year before MCA’s death from cancer. Home to the swansong singles – “Lee Majors Come Again,” “Too Many Rappers” featuring Nas, “Make Some Noise” and “Don’t Play No Game That I Can’t Win” featuring Santigold – it debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 and finds the Beasties reveling in their elder statesman status and offering up entertaining and engaging hip-hop beholden to know trends or styles but their own.

File Under: Hip Hop
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Beastie Boys: To The 5 Burroughs (Capitol) LP
The Beastie Boys were once upon a time the court jesters of rap. Wearing the label loud and proud, the New York trio lived by their own set of rules and ignited controversy wherever they set foot. Besides their daring-to-be-different and non-conforming attitudes, Adam “Ad-Rock” Horovitz, Michael “Mike D” Diamond and Adam “MCA” Yauch were considered pretty influential musicians too – the group were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2012. To the 5 Boroughs (2004) served as the group’s sixth studio effort overall and first since 1998’s Hello Nasty. An expertly crafted homage to New York littered with the trio’s signature humor and political fire, the platinum-certified album debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and spawned the hit “Ch-Check It Out.”

File Under: Hip Hop
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Beatles: Sgt. Peppers 2017 Mix (Apple) LP
Hear the Acclaimed 2017 Beatles Sgt. Pepper Lonely Hearts Club Band Stereo Mix by Giles Martin and Sourced Directly from the Four-Track Session Tapes: 180g Vinyl LP Pressed at QRP. Produced by Giles Martin for 2017’s universally heralded Sgt. Pepper Anniversary Edition releases, the Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’s new stereo mix on this QRP-pressed 180g vinyl LP is sourced directly from the original four-track session tapes and guided by the original, Beatles-preferred mono mix produced by Giles’ father, George Martin. Praised by fans and music critics around the world, The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper Anniversary Edition is 2017’s most celebrated historical music release and an ideal gift for Beatle people here, there, and everywhere! It was just over 50 years ago when The Beatles’ astonished and delighted the world, ushering in the Summer of Love with Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, a groundbreaking masterwork that became popular music’s most universally acclaimed album. “It’s crazy to think that 50 years later we are looking back on this project with such fondness and a little bit of amazement at how four guys, a great producer and his engineers could make such a lasting piece of art,” says Paul McCartney. “Sgt. Pepper seemed to capture the mood of that year, and it also allowed a lot of other people to kick off from there and to really go for it,” Ringo Starr adds.

 File Under: Rock, Pop
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Daphni: Joli Mai (Jiaolong) LP
Earlier this year Daphni (aka Caribou, aka Dan Snaith) released a very special FABRICLIVE mix made up of 23 original, unreleased Daphni tracks and four new Daphni edits to widespread critical acclaim. Today he has followed up with the announcement that he’ll be releasing a new full-length album, Joli Mai, on 6 October (NB vinyl coming later..) comprised of extended versions of the tracks from the mix as well as new, unreleased track ‘Vulture’.

File Under: Electronic
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Gord Downie: Introduce Yerself (Arts & Crafts) LP
Gord Downie’s Introduce Yerself is a double-album of twenty-three new songs inspired by the people in his life. The music was recorded swiftly over two four-day sessions in January 2016 and February 2017, with the final album often reflecting first takes. Introduce Yerself continues the collaborative relationship that brought the music of the Tragically Hip frontman’s historic Secret Path to life, with Broken Social Scene’s Kevin Drew producing the album and co-writing a number of the new songs.

File Under: Rock, Tragically Hip
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Gord Downie: Battle of the Nudes (Arts & Crafts) LP
Available for the first time on vinyl and remastered especially for the format, Gord Downie’s sophomore 2003 solo album, Battle Of The Nudes, “ranges from some sublime spoken word pieces to straightforward rock songs.” (PopMatters). Featuring a backing band credited as Country of Miracles including Julie Doiron, Josh Finlayson and members of experimental blues-rock band The Dinner Is Ruined, the album leaned closer to more traditional rock than its predecessor, but no less filled with Downie’s singular poetry.

File Under: Rock, Tragically Hip
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Gord Downie: Coke Machine Glow (Arts & Crafts) LP
Lush and sprawling, Coke Machine Glow is the 2001 solo debut from Tragically Hip frontman Gord Downie who passed away from cancer on October 17, 2017. Featuring the singles “Chancellor” and “Vancouver Divorce,” the album’s backing band was credited as “the Goddamned Band” and included contributions from musicians Julie Doiron, Steven Drake (The Odds), Kevin Hearn (Barenaked Ladies), Josh Finlayson, director Atom Egoyan, and members of The Dinner Is Ruined. Coke Machine Glow highlights Downie’s singular poetic story-weaving over sparse, loose production and subdued instrumentation. First ever vinyl pressing (gatefold 2LP) remastered for the format.

File Under: Rock, Tragically Hip
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Johann Johannsson: IBM1401: A User’s Manual (4AD) LP
Never before pressed on vinyl, IBM 1401, A User’s Manual, is one of Jóhann Jóhannsson’s most beloved works. Released in 2006, the decade since its release has seen Jóhann establish himself as one of the most important composers in the world, notably scoring movies such as Arrival, Blade Runner 2049, Sicario and The Theory of Everything. Johann’s scores have been nominated for two Academy Awards, two Golden Globes, a Grammy and three BAFTA awards. He was awarded the Golden Globe for Best Original Score for The Theory Of Everything. Inspired by the work his father did in the ’60s when chief maintenance engineer of one of Iceland’s first computers, Jóhann originally wrote IBM 1401, A User’s Manual to accompany a dance piece by long-standing collaborator and friend, Erna Ómarsdóttir. For the album release, he rewrote the piece for a 60-piece string orchestra, with a new final movement (built around a poem by Dorothy Parker) and incorporating both electronics and reel-to-reel recordings made by his father and friends in 1971 of the IBM 1401 mainframe computer singing the hymn “Ísland Ögrum Skorið” by Sigvaldi Kaldalóns as it was being decommissioned. The first ever pressing of IBM 1401, A User’s Manual comes as a colored 2LP-set in a deluxe gatefold sleeve, reworked by Chris Bigg (v23) from his original design. The package comes complete with two live bonus tracks recorded with the City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra.

File Under: Ambient, Classical
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gizzKing Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard with Mild High Club: Sketches of Brunswick East (ATO) LP
FINALLY IN TOMORROW!…. King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard returns with their third album of 2017, Sketches of Brunswick East, a jazz and Tropicalia infused collaboration with Mild High Club. It’s a soothing balm of a record, a chance to get to know King Gizzard’s sunny, playful side. Where previous albums have slipped down sonic worm-holes to explore distant galaxies, this one is an examination of (and homage to) the Melbourne suburb in which King Gizzard write and record in their own studio, and from where they run their planet-spanning psychedelic operation. A knowing nod to Miles Davis’s Sketches of Spain, this album also sees the band further exploring a Tropicalia element their music only ever previously hinted at. The group’s various sketches about time and place were reworked and pieced together, akin to “sampling-culture, in which old ideas are reshaped and suddenly things make sense,” explains lead singer Stu Mackenzie. “It was like we were continually jamming with ourselves.” Sketches Of Brunswick East is the third of five projected albums to be released by King Gizzard in 2017. “We don’t expect everyone to like everything that we release, but I hope people can view these five records as one body of work,” adds Stu of this grand creative undertaking. “They’ve been made at the same time, by the same people, in the same place, and they all overlap.”

File Under: Psych
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OST: Blade Runner 2049 (Epic) LP
The original motion picture soundtrack fnor Blade Runner 2049 highlights the entrancing, ethereal, and enigmatic original score composed by Academy Award winner Hans Zimmer (Inception, The Dark Knight, Gladiator, The Lion King) and Golden Globe and Emmy nominee Benjamin Wallfisch (It, Hidden Figures, Annabelle: Creation). Original and classic compositions round out this sci-fi noir masterpiece which concludes with an original song by Grammy Award nominee Lauren Daigle. Over a backdrop of cyber-infused soul production, she delivers a hypnotic and haunting performance. Together, Zimmer and Wallfisch sought to continue the incredible musical legacy of the original 1982 Blade Runner by Vangelis, while imparting a piece of themselves upon the score. In order to do so, they implemented vintage synths such as “the star of the score” a Yamaha CS80 from the late seventies as well as modern technological innovations, yielding a rich sonic palette wholly cognizant of this world and the vision of director Denis Villeneuve. “First of all, I realized that Denis is a director who has a vision; he has a voice,” says Zimmer. “Remember, I’ve done a lot of movies with Ridley Scott. So, it was important that this was an autonomous piece of work. Let’s just be honest. Ridley is a hard act to follow – as is Vangelis. While Ben was four-years-old, I had actually experienced all of this. We watched and literally, as we stopped watching, we decided on the palette. We decided this wasn’t going to be an orchestral thing. The story spoke to us.” “We all know what Blade Runner feels like and what that experience is to watch this incredible masterpiece,” adds Wallfisch. “The first question we asked ourselves was, ‘How can we reinvent and make it fresh and new, but still be in that world?’ The mission from the beginning was this idea of finding the heart of the film – what is its soul? When you discover the simplest possible theme, it sums up humanity almost. I feel like that’s what we were all striving for towards the beginning of the process.” In a feature detailing the film’s Oscar potential, Variety highlighted the aural balance that Zimmer and Wallfisch achieve writing, “Zimmer and Wallfisch’s score maintains proper reverence for and distance from Vangelis’ iconic original work.”

File Under: OST
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OST: Stranger Things: The Music From (Sony) LP
Sony Legacy presents a 30 track 2LP compilation album gathering a range of beloved 1980s hits and classic tracks featured in the Duffer brothers 18x Emmy-nominated hit Netflix series Stranger Things and its highly-anticipated second season, Stranger Things 2. The album features nineteen songs and eleven audio clips from the show. Artists and original hit recordings appearing on Stranger Things – Music From The Netflix Original Series include Toto (“Africa”), the Bangles (“Hazy Shade of Winter”), Corey Hart (“Sunglasses at Night”), The Poice (“Every Breath You Take”), The Clash (“Should I Stay or Should I Go”), Duran Duran (“Girls On Film”), Devo (“Whip It”), Cyndi Lauper (“Time After Time”) and Scorpions (“Rock You Like A Hurricane”). Gatefold 2LP-set with an 8 x 12 mini-poster and a crack-and-peel sticker.

File Under: Rock, OST
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U2: Songs of Innocence (Universal) LP
Songs Of Experience is the companion release to 2014’s Songs Of Innocence, the two titles drawing inspiration from a collection of poems, Songs of Innocence and Experience, by the 18th century English mystic and poet William Blake. While Songs of Innocence charted U2’s earliest influences and experiences in the late-1970s and early-1980s, the new album is a collection of songs in the form of intimate letters to places and people close to Bono’s heart i.e. family, friends and fans. The original thirteen-track album features the previously released tracks “You’re The Best Thing About Me” and “The Blackout” as well as “The Little Things That Give You Away,” which U2 debuted during their Joshua Tree 2017 tour. The song “American Soul” is a fleshed-out version of “XXX,” the band’s collaboration with Kendrick Lamar that was featured on the rapper’s Damn album. The front cover features a photograph of band members’ teenage children Eli Hewson and Sian Evans as photographed by U2’s long-time visual collaborator Anton Corbijn.

File Under: Pop
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Arcade Fire: Neon Bible (Sonovox) LP
Marc Barreca: Music Works for Industry (Freedom to Spend) LP
Big Brave: Ardor (Southern Lord) LP
David Bowie: Blackstar (Columbia) LP
Leonard Cohen: The Future (Columbia) LP
Daft Punk: Tron Legacy (Disney) LP
Dead Kennedys: Gimme Convenience… (Manifesto) LP
Dead Kennedys: Fresh Fruit… (Manifesto) LP
Liam Gallagher: As You Were (Warner) LP
Vince Guaraldi Trio: A Charlie Brown Christmas (Fantasy) LP
Lauryn Hill: Miseducation of (Universal) LP
Jason Isbell: The Nashville Sound (Sony) LP
Medusa: First Step Beyond (Numero) LP
Nine Inch Nails: Broken (Nothing) LP
Jim O’Rourke: Eureka (Drag City) LP
Pink Floyd: The Wall (Columbia) LP
R.E.M.: Automatic For The People (Universal) LP
Steve Roach: Structures from Silence (Telephone Explosion) LP
Rural Alberta Advantage: Mended With Gold (Paper Bag) LP
Smiths: s/t (Rhino) LP
Talking Heads: Remain in Light (Rhino) LP
Tragically Hip: Fully Completely (Universal) LP
Tragically Hip: Live Between Us (Universal) LP
Tragically Hip: Phantom Power (Universal) LP
Tragically Hip: Up To Here (Universal) LP
Visible Cloaks: Reassemblage (RVNG Intl) LP
Lucinda Williams: This Sweet Old World (Sony) LP
Various: Eccentric Soul: Deep City Label (Numero) LP
Various: Eccentric Soul: Sitting in the Park (Numero) LP
Various: Soul Stabs Vol 1 (Colemine) LP


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…..news letter #822 – claimed!…..

Sorry to inform all you hopefuls holding out, but the RP1 has been claimed. But, good news, Rega is running a killer promo this month, $200 off of the Planar 1, Planar 2, and Brio amp, making them very nicely priced. We’ve got a bunch showing up tomorrow, but interest is already high, so don’t wait too long to take advantage of this deal.


…..picks of the week…..

lucianiMaria Teresa Luciani: Sounds of the City (Finders Keepers) LP 
Welcome to the parallel musical universe of Miss Maria Teresa Luciani, a landscape of sonic architecture and theoretical composition constructed by a family of engineers that reinvented the wheel before the vehicle even began the journey. Imagine, if you will, the musical equivalent of Peter Cook’s Archigram group or the soundtrack to Charles and Ray Eames’ private sketchbooks, hinting at a new municipal, utopian metropolis just hours before the blueprints are suspiciously misplaced by the courier and mainstream pop building regulations piss on our asbestos bonfire. These 1972 constructions of progressive, cyclic, proto-industrial colour music were never intended for public habitation. These are the Sounds Of The City in a galaxy far, far beneath our radar and above your expectations that was never built. Pseudo-futurist pop music? Cubic folk? Tape-op-art? Sì, grazie! Before the needle hits the first groove, the story of Maria Teresa Luciani reads like an Alphaville caper full of foreign intrigue, low intensity identification fraud, secret codes, family bonds, mistrust and wanderlust… Naturally, you are holding a genuine Finders Keepers article. To say this rare Italian concept album is “unbelievable” is justified on multiple levels. This multi-storey storage facility of found sounds, radiophonic samples, tape loops, early electronic music experiments, mechanical folk, cinematic vision, sound design, educated music theory, political pop and high concept art-as-noise successfully layers more musical ideas within its unique structure than one would think possible for a solo artist within any musical genre. This is why Sounds Of The City presents us with a brand new genre defying compositional framework, pre-dating sampling culture, cut ‘n’ paste plunderism and industrial music in the process. Pre-digital, indefinable and genuinely unbelievable. But who is Maria Teresa Luciani? On hearing this record respected collectors and enthusiasts have suggested “the female answer to Basil Kirchin,” or “the Italian Daphne Oram”. Both with justified cause. Mystery, myth, legend, teacher, artist, inventor, author, musician, psychologist, daughter, and (possibly most importantly) sister.

File Under: Ambient, Experimental, OST
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Tom Rogerson & Brian Eno: Finding Shore (Dead Oceans) LP
Tom Rogerson’s new solo album Finding Shore features 13 elegant and evocative tracks assembled in collaboration with Brian Eno. Finding Shore is the sound of Rogerson distilling the essence of what he does after a protracted musical journey from childhood up until now. He took the traditional route of music lessons and learning notation before starting composing “properly.” Eno’s influence on Finding Shore was to enable Rogerson to overcome his fear of committing to any one piece and turning it into an album, an issue he says he shares with many improvisers. Eno suggested that they try experimenting with the Piano Bar, an obscure piece of musical equipment. This works by using infrared beams focused on each piano key. These are then broken as the keys are played, transforming the piano’s note into a midi signal that can then be used to trigger or generate new, digital sound. “It immediately puts a frame around what I do, which is what all improvisers need,” Rogerson says. The first day in the studio was instructional in terms of what was to come. Eno had already mic’d up a piano and asked Rogerson to do what he’d normally do at a gig. Rogerson describes what he played as “very emotional, very cathartic, me wailing and screaming, getting quite out there. I thought ‘wow that was just such a perfect 45 minute thing we could just release that’.” But Eno had other ideas, eventually zooming in on just 30 seconds of music, cutting it up and looping it to a form inspired by Eric Satie. The result is the three-minute-long “An Iken Loop,” which is now Rogerson’s favorite on the record. Other Eno-devised systems included playing along to an arpeggiator, cut-ups of chord sequences written down and pulled out of a hat, or placing Midi and physical sounds in juxtaposition. “It was never anything other than pleasurable,” says Rogerson of the experience. “We had plenty of experiments that didn’t work, but it never feels like you’re failing. He’s quite egoless as well about his own ideas.”.

File Under: Ambient, Classical
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…..new arrivals…..


Nahid Akhtar: I Am Black Beauty (Finders Keepers) LP
“I am black beauty… love me!” A forthright enough request, one would think, from an artist whose music was indeed loved, revered and which played a hugely influential and omnipresent role in Lahore’s vibrant cinematic patchwork that covered the late 1970s and early 1980s. However, until now, it seems that this lost love letter to a potential global audience of millions of sonic suitors has been caught up in the pesky Pakistani postal system. Nahid Akhtar needs a connection. Don’t blame the Khyber Mail. In a neat and tidy career that spanned exactly ten years, Nahid Akhtar came, saw and conquered, then relatively disappeared without even thinking about buying the t-shirt. Disrobing the vibrant finery that interweaved textures of Ghazals, classical music, Punjabi folk songs and Qawwalis (not forgetting a wide range of progressive pop music penned for the Pakistani picture house) from which this records track list is lovingly gathered. It is virtually unfathomable that the multifarious music of Nahid Akhtar, combining textures, tempos, technologies, global influences and multi-cultural languages (and all this within the opening seconds of a song!), didn’t open the door to international stardom to match that of Asha Bhosle or Lata Mangeshkar from India. In the last few years the music of Lollywood’s golden era has enjoyed a marked resurgence amongst outernational music fans, with labels like Finders Keepers remastering and compiling the work of the Tafo Brothers and M. Ashraf for a global market with wide critical acclaim. Hopefully, with this collection as a sturdy stepping stone to a widely rewarding expanse of further listening, the music of Nahid Akhtar can find a place alongside your favourite international songbirds and her original love letters to the world of music will command a much justified RSVP.

File Under: World, OST
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Beastie Boys: In Sound From Way Out (Capitol) LP
In tomorrow… The Beastie Boys were once upon a time the court jesters of rap. Wearing the label loud and proud, the New York trio lived by their own set of rules and ignited controversy wherever they set foot. Besides their daring-to-be-different and non-conforming attitudes, Adam “Ad-Rock” Horovitz, Michael “Mike D” Diamond and Adam “MCA” Yauch were considered pretty influential musicians too – the group were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2012. The group’s excellent 1996 compilation The In Sound From Way Out! (which pays homage to the title and cover of Perrey and Kingsley’s 1966 Vanguard album) shows off some of those musical chops and collects funky instrumentals from Check Your Head and Ill Communication plus a few new cuts.

File Under: Hip Hop
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Bjork: Utopia (One Little Indian) LP
Bjork returns on One Little Indian Records with her ninth studio effort Utopia, co-produced by Venezuelan DJ Arca. It follows-up her 2015 breakup record Vulnicura and celebrates her reemergance on the other side of heartache. “The last album, we sort of call it ‘hell’ – it was like divorce. So we are doing paradise now. Utopia,” the enigmatic artist explains. “Vulnicura was about a very personal loss, and I think this new album is about a love that’s even greater. It’s about rediscovering love – but in a spiritual way…” Transcendent lead single “The Gate” serves as a fitting introduction to a record about Bjork’s romantic renaissance. The eye-catching cover art was designed by artist Jesse Kanda with creative direction from Björk and her longtime collaborator James Merry.

File Under: Experimental, Pop, Electronic
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Boris: Live at Third Man (Third Man) LP
There’s no better way to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of your best record than playing it in full, 19 nights in a row. Hailing from Tokyo, beloved psych-doom shredders Boris performed their critically acclaimed album Pink in full, live in the Blue Room at Third Man Records. They recorded it direct to 8 track, 2″ tape, providing an incredibly high fidelity document of an unforgettable night. Local weekly The Nashville Scene reviewed this show as “at least in that moment…by far the greatest show Third Man Records has hosted to date.” It’s hard to disagree. Atsuo, Takeshi and Wata filled the room with foreboding smoke, dark red light reflecting off of the blue walls and, to this date, was Third Man’s loudest performance yet. This is almost certainly the only time that they handed out and required earplugs for every single audience member upon entry. And now you can keep the celebration of Pink going with the choicest tracks of the night – get this record!

 File Under: Metal
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Butthole Surfers: Locust Abortion Technician
(5 Music) 10″
Butthole Surfers first release since the 2007 compilation Pioughd/Widowermaker is a vinyl reissue of the band’s masterful 1987 EP Locust Abortion Technician, considered a Top 50 album of all time by the late Kurt Cobain and featured in Robert Dimsey’s 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die. It reached No. 3 on the UK Indie Chart and its influence led to the birth of grunge music.

File Under: Punk, Experimental
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Suzanne Ciani: Help, Help, The Globolinks! (Finders Keepers) LP
As faithful guardians of the Ciani Musica Inc. studio vault Finders Keepers Records twist the key and return to their collaborative series of previously unreleased music from one of the most important and influential composers in the history of multi-disciplinary electronic music. Open-minded, unpretentious, enigmatic and consistently inspiring, Suzanne Elizabeth Ciani would shatter the mould and invert the stereotype of electronic composers in the early 1970s with a bona fide education in classical music, a clear understanding of technology and a genuine will to communicate and naturalise electronic music. All of these unique attributes, coupled with her natural charm and generosity, would win her success and notoriety in the colliding worlds of art, film, advertising, theatre, dance and eventually popular recorded music in the latter part of the 21st century – a multifarious achievement which remained unrivalled by any of her contemporaries, regardless of gender, conquering many male-dominated platforms and breaking creative ground in the process. It is exactly these key factors that would form the basis for this multifaceted musical project that is stored within the grooves of the record you are now holding. This electronic soundtrack for an operatic, ecological, scholastic, science fiction theatre production for children of all ages not only further reveals Suzanne’s vibrant and versatile skills as an experimental musician and narrative sound designer but also highlights her European heritage – working to the script of Milanese librettist Gian Carlo Menotti and a cast of forward-thinking fellow Italian-American creatives (including Giorgio Armani and Fiorucci in the wardrobe department). Originally written and performed in 1968, and gaining worldwide acclaim throughout the 1970s, Gian Carlo Menotti would update and revise his play for the turn of the 80s which called for a new approach to the music and sound effects – all of which would make their world premier in New York high school theatres in April of 1980. “I was honoured to have been selected to create a new electronic score for Gian Carlo Menotti’s opera for children,” Suzanne told Finders Keepers. “The original production had been in 1968 and I felt that the electronic music component could be more playful and less abrasive than the original production.” For this task Suzanne would approach the brief with the same zeal and tenacity that she continues to apply to all her work by reinventing the process, challenging convention and supplying the audience with something they have never experienced before. For Help, Help The Globolinks Ciani would give Menotti’s well-travelled aliens a brand new voice and with reinvention she communicated with a young audience keen to hear the genuine sounds of the future while retaining melodicism and personality quite potentially overshadowing the “human” casts exceptional abilities and challenging the director’s and writer’s authority in true Ciani style: “I recall meeting with Maestro Menotti at his home in New York City,” recalls Suzanne. “Later I was told that he was upset by the size of my credit on the poster.” Unlike many successful electronic composers, Suzanne, as a serious and genuinely revolutionary artist, managed to evade the obvious typecasting of her music through the medium of shlock sci-fi cinema (Swiss composer Bruno Spoerri readily observes that all the best space film scores veered from this pairing) but within the realms of opera and education Suzanne found her perfect channel (scratching her other cosmic cinematic itches with android music in The Stepford Wives and as “the first female composer to score a major Hollywood movie” with The Incredible Shrinking Woman release one year after The Globolinks redux debut). Furnishing a plot of an ecological alien intervention worthy of a Magma youth starter pack and realigning early pioneering electronic operas such as Karl-Birger Blomdahl’s Aniara or Remi Gassman’s Electronics for family consumption, this virtually undocumented work by the hardest working woman in VCO business is finally preserved after just a handful of exclusive theatrical airings over 35 years ago. Having honed her craft in the close company of late synthesiser designer Don Buchla (a company of whose development she played a key role) it is plain to see how the young Suzanne Ciani combined roles as an abstract artist and an astute technician in equal measures, a rare duplicity which would be essential The Globolinks and all our musical quests for a brighter future.

File Under: Electronic, OST
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Earth: Live at Third Man (Third Man) LP
The Blue Room at Third Man shook with the sludge-drone majesty of Olympia, Washington’s Earth. Anchored by wife-husband duo Adrienne Davies and Dylan Carlson, this band has an integral spot in American music by bringing a low-frequency uproar and six-string extremism to the forefront of the experimental, punk metal underground. More concisely, they are widely considered the pioneers of drone metal. The band built their reputation on widely respected albums, starting with Sub Pop and moving to current home Southern Lord. Using the device of repetition, the band disarms and transforms first impressions with a performance so plodding and insistent that each song is stretched to its limits. The set spanned their catalog with four first-class compositions, employing powerful guitar drones and Davies’ precise, slow-motion percussion swirling throughout.

File Under: Metal, Stoner
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Gokcen Kaynatan: s/t (Finders Keepers) LP
The missing component in the history of Turkish pop and one of the earliest exponents of Turkish electronic music alongside İlhan Mimaroǧlu and Bülent Arel, Gökçen Kaynatan electrified the rock and roll scene of the late 50s/early 60s – sending teenagers wild with his custom built guitars and back lines – helping charge the climate for the birth of Anatolian rock. Then, from the sanctuary of his private studio, he revolutionised the industry with his pioneering use of electronics whilst hanging the sonic wallpaper in the living rooms of an entire generation of telly addicts as in house composer of choice for Turkey’s first national television channel TRT 1.  Despite having a modest discography of only four 7” singles to his name his influence is a major current that flows through over 50 years of Turkish pop culture. Compiled with unparalleled access to his private studio vault, Finders Keepers proudly presents the first-ever collection of Gökçen Kaynatan’s pioneering early electronic works. Featuring a selection of his experimental pop and rock recordings dating from as early as the 1968 it features both of the highly sought after 1 Numara singles – including a never before heard extended version of Evren – as well as previously unheard archive material and songs recorded for and broadcast exclusively on TRT 1 – most of them never to be repeated. In helping Gökçen end his self-imposed 44-year exile from the record industry we can now share with you the first of these important recordings from a genuine maverick who helped shape the face of modern Turkish music, as well as shedding some light on the rise of one of Anatolian rock and pops must fruitful and experimental periods that began with the arrival (and subsequent explosion) of domestic synthesisers on the Turkish scene.

File Under: Turkish, Electronic, Funk, Psych
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Pearl Jam: Binaural (Legacy) LP
With ex-Soundgarden drummer Matt Cameron replacing Jack Irons, Pearl Jam cut their sixth LP, Binaural, in 2000. The record’s title referred to new producer Tchad Blake’s adoption of the binaural recording technique, wherein two microphones are used simultaneously to try and simulate the experience of being in the room with the band. Lyrically, this dark, brooding album frequently railed against injustice, with tracks such as Eddie Vedder’s “Grievance” inspired by the anti-corporate World Trade Organization protests in Seattle in 1999 and Stone Gossard’s “Rival” based on the Columbine High School massacre. Going gold, Binaural peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard 200.

File Under: Rock
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riot actPearl Jam: Riot Act (Legacy) LP
In tomorrow… Devastated by the tragic death of nine fans during their set at Denmark’s Roskilde Festival in 2000 and the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, Pearl Jam considered splitting up, but eventually poured their emotions into the making of their seventh album, 2002’s Riot Act. Perhaps inevitably, ruminations on death loomed large in the record’s lyrics, though the gold-certified album also included some of the band’s most sublime material, courtesy of the folksy “I Am Mine,” the Beatles-y psychedelia of “Love Boat Captain” and the looming art-rock of “Save You.”

File Under: Rock
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Pearl Jam: s/t (Legacy) LP
In tomorrow… Having concluded their Epic contract with the self-explanatory anthology set Rearviewmirror (Greatest Hits 1991-2003), Pearl Jam initially opted to self-release new records, including the single “Man Of The Hour” and rarities collection Lost Dogs. Eventually, however, they signed a short-term deal with Sony subsidiary J Records for 2006’s long-awaited Pearl Jam (aka Avocado), an exhilarating hard rock album which Rolling Stone cogently declared was “as big and brash in fuzz and backbone as Led Zeppelin’s Presence.” With the band’s loyal fanbase in wholehearted agreement and the impassioned singles “World Wide Suicide,” “Life Wasted” and “Gone” in rotation, Pearl Jam debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 and climbed to No. 5 in the U.K.

File Under: Rock
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Pile: Live at Third Man (Third Man) LP
Prominent members of the Boston music scene and post-rock specialists, Pile began as the brainchild (and solo project) of Rick Maguire in 2007. In it’s earliest incarnations, the songs were the broken bones of bigger ideas: the impassioned, ramshackle work of one dude with a momentous sense of riff and mood. In the time between then and now, the band has enjoyed a steady output and expanded to include Kris Kuss, Matt Connery, Matt Becker and, from time to time, Chappy Hull. In the Spring of 2017, their new critically-acclaimed LP A Hairshirt of Purpose was given a rare 10/10 by The AV Club, citing the record is “still pushing the (rock music) form to its outermost limits,” and fortunately, Third Man’s live LP was recorded right after its release, capturing them at a distinctly creative peak and unparalleled energy. This record is somehow chilling and explosive – to say nothing of a surprise Blonde Redhead cover. It stands shoulder to shoulder with the rest of their catalog and will no doubt remain a shining example of Third Man live series for years to come.

File Under: Rock
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Chris Stapleton: From a Room Vol 2 (Mercury) LP
Chris Stapleton’s From A Room: Volume 2 takes its name from Nashville’s historic RCA Studio A (the capital “A” in From A Room) where it was recorded with Grammy Award-winning producer Dave Cobb. Along with Stapleton on vocals and guitar and Cobb on acoustic guitar, the album features Morgane Stapleton on harmony vocals as well as longtime band-members J.T. Cure on bass and Derek Mixon on drums. In addition to seven songs co-written by Stapleton, the album features versions of Kevin Welch’s “Millionaire” and the Homer Banks/Lester Snell-penned song made famous by Pops Staples, “Friendship.” Volume 2 follows the release of From A Room: Volume 1, which debuted earlier this year at #1 on the Billboard Country Albums chart, #2 on the Billboard Top 200 chart and, with its RIAA Gold certification, remains the #1 best-selling country album of 2017. Stapleton’s 2015 double platinum, Grammy-winning solo debut, Traveller, is currently the #2 best-selling country album of the year.

File Under: Country
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Sza: CTRL (Sony) LP
In tomorrow… SZA, one of the redefining voices of today’s contemporary music era, entered the music scene in 2012 with her first critically acclaimed EP, See.SZA.Run. Following that, she released S in 2013 and Z in 2014, both to rave reviews. In 2013, SZA signed to Top Dawg Entertainment, being the first female artist to join the label. SZA wrote and performed on Rihanna’s Anti single “Consideration” in 2016 and helped write Nicki Minaj and Beyonce’s “Feelin Myself” in 2014. Born in Maplewood, NJ as Solána Rowe, SZA grew up listening to classic and avant-garde jazz, alternative, and rap. She renamed herself finding inspiration within the Supreme Alphabet: the ‘S’ stands for savior or sovereign, the ‘Z’ for zig-zag, and the ‘A’ for Allah. On the strength of hit lead single “Love Galore,” SZA’s major label debut Ctrl claimed the No. 3 spot on the Billboard 200 albums chart and entered at No. 1 on Billboard’s R&B Albums and No. 2 on the R&B/Hip Hop Albums charts. The long-awaited Ctrl is revered for its raw and honest lyrics and features guest appearances by Kendrick Lamar, Travis Scott, James Fauntleroy and Isaiah Rashad. Noisey describes Ctrl as “14 tracks of the dreamy R&B lusciousness that we’ve come to know and love the New Jersey singer-songwriter for.” NPR calls Ctrl “a resolutely confident and skillful R&B album that explores the notions of control and honesty,” while The Shade Room proclaims, “‘Ctrl’ is actuals! Imagine ‘The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill’ tailored for our generation.”

File Under: Funk, Soul
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U-Men: s/t (Sub Pop) Box
“The U-Men are one of the best bands I’ve ever seen. They were hypnotic, frenetic, powerful and compelling. It was impossible to resist getting sucked into their weird, darkly absurd world. They effortlessly blended The Sonics, Link Wray, Pere Ubu, and Captain Beefheart. Their shows were loose-limbed, drunken dance parties and no two shows were alike. The U-Men were avant-garage explorers and, most importantly, they fucking rocked. I was lucky enough to live in their hometown and I saw them every chance I could. “From 1983 to 1987, the U-Men were the undisputed kings of the Seattle Underground. No one else came close. They ruled a bleak backwater landscape populated by maybe 200 people. They were the only band that could unify the disparate sub-subcultures and get all 200 of those people to fill a room. Anglophilic, dress-dark Goths; neo-psych MDA acolytes; skate punks who shit in bathtubs at parties; Mod vigilantes who tormented the homeless with pellet guns; college kids who thought college kids were lame; Industrial Artistes; some random guy with a moustache; and eccentrics who insisted that they couldn’t be pigeonholed: all coalesced around the U-Men. “Sub Pop co-founder, Bruce Pavitt released the first record by the U-Men, a 4-song 12″ EP on Bombshelter Records. By the time they had recorded songs for another record, Bruce was too broke to release it on his proto-Sub Pop label, so he hooked them up with Gerard Cosloy at Homestead Records. This was a big deal. Homestead had a heavy rep at the time with recent releases by Foetus, Nick Cave, Sonic Youth, and Big Black. I was sure that the release of their second 12”, Stop Spinning, would propel the U-Men into the ranks of those. “Homestead acts and the worldwide underground would get hip to Seattle’s finest. Following the departure of bassist Jim Tillman (replaced by Tom Hazelmyer of Amphetamine Reptile Records, and then Tony Ransome), the band recorded two fantastic singles, and recorded their one full-length album, Step on a Bug, for Black Label, which was run out of Fallout Records. They became increasingly disenchanted with the direction the Seattle underground was heading and called it quits in 1989. “The U-Men had nothing to do with grunge. They were their own unique thing. I loved them and I still miss them. I remember thinking at the time that most of their recordings were a little soft and didn’t capture the power of the band live. Now, thirty years later, their records sound great to me and we are lucky that they exist. I’m stoked that Sub Pop complied these long out-of-print records and scrounged up some unreleased songs so that everyone has a chance to take a trip back to old weird Seattle.” – Mark Arm

File Under: Rock, Proto-Grunge
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muddy waters

Muddy Waters: Electric Mud (Third Man) LP
As a continuing collaboration with Chess Records/Universal Records and the estate of Muddy Waters, Third Man Records is proud to present the reissue of Muddy Waters’ fifth studio effort Electric Mud. The album, which Chess originally released in 1968 has not seen a legitimate domestic vinyl release since 2002, despite its enormous influence on generations of blues rockers. It features members of Rotary Connection as Muddy’s backing band and was very controversial upon its release for its fusion of electric blues with psychedelic elements. The album is now recognized as a forward-thinking classic, sampled extensively by artists like The Black Keys and Gorillaz. Pressed at Third Man Pressing in Detroit, with a beautiful gatefold jacket in its original black-on-white color scheme, and a four-panel foldout poster.

File Under: Blues
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Weezer: Pacific Daydream (Crush) LP
In tomorrow… Following the release of Weezer (The White Album), the band began working on what they called The Black Album, but as they worked, they found the songs they were writing felt more like reveries from a beach at the end of the world. Instead of forcing a different direction, they began an entirely new album; Pacific Daydream was born. Pacific Daydream – an album full of the melodic mastery and craftsmanship for which Weezer are beloved – is a record that navigates the uncertainty between reality and dreams, blurring the line between the listener knowing if they are daydreaming the world of the album, or if the world of the album is daydreaming them. It’s a record about finding the gray area between the black and the white, about escaping the everyday into the fantasy of what may be just down the line, but also maybe isn’t. It’s an album that sounds like the Beach Boys and The Clash fell in love by the ocean and had one hell of an amazing baby.

File Under: Rock
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yeah yeah

Yeah Yeah Yeahs: Fever To Tell (Interscope) LP
In tomorrow… Nearly 15 years after its original release, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ impassioned (and long out of print) debut album Fever To Tell is getting a remastered reissue in 2017. Fusing together blistering garage rock with punk’s attitude and danceable rhythms, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs brought rock music back to the dance floor here. While The Strokes may have lit the fire of New York’s nascent rock revival, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs kept it burning in the boroughs, setting the scene for the city’s DIY rock scene and introducing the rest of the world to one of the most formidable frontwomen in music history, Karen O. Released in 2003, Fever To Tell would become the blueprint for the countless indie-rock that emerged in early-2000s and beyond. Thanks to Nick Zinner’s propulsive guitar and Brian Chase’s thunderous drums the New York trio could produce gritty bangers like “Date With The Night” and “Y Control” to scorching love anthems like “Maps,” that coincidentally put them on the map after it got serious play on MTV. The album would go on to be nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Alternative Music Album and was certified gold in both the US and the UK. While the band would go on to release three additional critically and commercially acclaimed albums, Fever To Tell will always remain their lightning a bottle moment. This single LP version features a new remastering by Stephen Marcussen on black 180g vinyl and includes and five newspaper lyric posters with exclusive photos by Nick Zinner, Spike Jonze, Lance Bangs, Julian Gross, Patrick Daughters and Cintamani Calise.

File Under: Rock
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Bad Religion: Christmas Songs (Epitaph) LP
David Bowie: Blackstar (Columbia) LP
Nick Cave: Boatman’s Call (Mute) LP
Suzanne Ciani: Buchla Concerts (Finders Keepers) LP
Suzanne Ciani: Lixiviation (Finders Keepers) LP
Miles Davis: Kind of Blue (Columbia) LP
Miles Davis: Round About Midnight (Columbia) LP
Bob Dylan: The Basement Tapes (Columbia) LP
Bob Dylan/The Band: Before the Flood (Columbia) LP
Bob Dylan: Nashville Skyline (Columbia) LP
Funkadelic: s/t (Westbound) LP
Tim Hecker: Harmony in Ultraviolet (Kranky) LP
Tim Hecker: Ravedeath, 1979 (Kranky) LP
Here Lies Man: s/t (Riding Easy) LP
Joseph: Merry Christmas to You (Numero) LP
LCD Soundsystem: American Dream (Sony) LP
Melvins: Eggnog/Lice All (Boner) LP
Melvins: Houdini (Third Man) LP
OST: The Elder Scrolls (Sony) LP
Pink Floyd: The Wall (Columbia) LP
Propaghandi: Victory Lap (Epitaph) LP
Rural Alberta Advantage: Wild (Paper Bag) LP
Quasimoto: The Unseen (Stones Throw) LP
Stars of the Lid: And Their Refinement of the Decline (Kranky) LP
Stars of the Lid: Tired Sounds of (Kranky) LP
Visible Cloaks: Reassemblage (RVNG Intl) LP
Mike Watt: Contemplating… (ORG) LP
Jack White: Lazaretto (Third Man) LP
Various: Bollywood Bloodbath (Finders Keepers) LP
Various: Disco Dildar (Finders Keepers) LP
Various: Wayfaring Strangers: Cosmic American (Numero) LP

Tagged , , , , , ,

…..new letters #821 – unclaimed…..

Holy moly what a weekend! Thanks a lot to everyone who came out last weekend and picked RSD items and took advantage of our annual anniversary sale, making it our biggest one yet! We feel so loved and appreciate your appreciation of what we do here.

So far, no one has claimed the REGA RP1 we are giving away… AGAIN. Check your tickets people… if you have # 3788993 you have won! If you don’t claim it by 11 am on Monday, we will be re-drawing.

…..pick of the week…..


Jun Fukamachi: Nicole (86 Spring & Summer Collection) (WRWTFWW) LP
Cut at Emil Berliner Studios; Housed in a kraft sleeve similar to the original promo-only release. WRWTFWW Records present the release of Jun Fukamachi’s highly coveted Nicole (86 Spring And Summer Collection – Instrumental Images) album, originally recorded in 1986 for celebrated fashion designer Mitsuhiro Matsuda’s Nicole clothing brand. Never officially available before, Nicole was only distributed as a limited promotional item offered to attendees and participants of the 1986 fashion show for the Nicole brand’s Spring and Summer collection. Fukamachi’s moody magnum opus has become a sort of holy grail for fans of Japanese ambient, jazz, and synth music alike –and rightly so. Meticulously conceived, smooth and subtle, Nicole sounds like it came from an ethereal land where Erik Satie and Art of Noise lived together, a sublimely cinematic listening experience perhaps best described by renowned Japanese music writer Masaharu Yoshioka, aka The Soul Searcher: “If you are driving down the Autobahn at 160 km/h, or even 80 km/h, and Jun’s music starts playing on the car stereo, the windshield will instantly turn into your own personal silver screen.” Made in cooperation of the artist’s estate; Includes new liner notes by Masaharu Yoshioka.

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


Barry Adamson + Pan Sonic + Hafler Trio: The Hymn of the 7th Illusion (Cold Spring) LP
Pan Sonic, arranged and edited by Barry Adamson, with an additional re-arrangement by The Hafler Trio. Here, Barry Adamson and Pan Sonic have composed a 12-minute music piece that is performed by the Hljomeyki Choir and Pan Sonic. Originally released on CD by Icelandic label Kitchen Motors in 2001, now released on vinyl for the first time by Cold Spring. Produced by Barry Adamson, Jóhann Jóhannsson, and Pan Sonic. The cover art features Icelandic electronic composer Magnús Blöndal Jóhannsson having a brain scan performed while listening to this disc. 180 gram vinyl with matte card sleeve; Includes download card. “…a blend of an Icelandic choir performing Barry’s (treated) microtonal, urgent score is slowly infiltrated, first with an electronic breath and then by well-rounded bass that evolves into a satisfactory crescendo before the scary humhum returns… highly successful” –Vital Weekly.

File Under: Electronic, Classical
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Alvarius B/Sir Richard Bishop: Strange Fruit (Unrock) 10″
Limited edition four-track split vinyl 10″ featuring legendary Sun City Girls Alan and Richard Bishop, celebrating Unrock’s 25th anniversary. It features the first new recordings by Sir Richard Bishop since his 2015 Tangier Sessions and two exclusive pearls by Alan Bishop, aka Alvarius B. All tracks are exclusive to this “Unrock 25” release. Includes printed lyrics sheet. Limited one-time pressing.

File Under: Experimental, Rock, Sun City Girls
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Causa Sui: Vibraciones Doradas (El Paraiso) LP
Mint green vinyl. Each of these four epic tracks is a testament to the fact that Causa Sui have carved out a singular niche for themselves, where vintage Sabbath-isms are filtered through a distinctively post-modern ethos. Causa Sui’s brand of rock conveys everything that’s so great about fuzzed-out heaviness, yet there’s something about it that makes the listening experience far from trivial. In stark contrast to the standards of the stoner/doom scenes, Causa Sui manage to be weighty and peaceful at the same; forceful, yet vulnerable, ecstatic yet thoughtful. On opener “The Drop”, the band drives a thick John Bonham groove into Can-esque freeform ecstasy before liquefying the groove into a warm ocean of shoegaze-y guitars and wistful synths. On 11-minute centerpiece “El Fuego”, they create a sonic river that seems be channeling Popol Vuh as much as Palm Desert stoner rock. And the closing title track can best be described as sounding like that Sonic Youth sludge-metal record that never was.

File Under: Psych
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Alessandro Cortini: Forse 1 (Important) LP
2017 repress. “Deluxe double LP. Alessandro Cortini (Nine Inch Nails/How To Destroy Angels) composed the Forse series using a Buchla Music Easel. Forse, meaning ‘maybe’ In Italian, is a series of three double LP releases Cortini recorded for Important to release in 2013. ‘All pieces were written and performed live on a Buchla Music Easel, in the span of one month. I found that the limited array of modules that the instrument offers sparked my creativity. Most pieces consist of a repeating chord progression, where the real change happens at a spectral/dynamic level, as opposed to the harmonic/chordal one. I believe that the former are just as effective as the latter, in the sense that the sonic presentation (distortion , filtering, wave shaping, etc.) are just as expressive as a chord change or chord type, and often reinforce said chord progressions. Of all the years with Nine Inch Nails the period spent writing and recording the instrumental record Ghosts I-IV is probably the one which changed my approach to music making the most. After that record I started getting more into instrumental composition, although I tried to approach it in a different way. While we had a vast array of tools and instruments at our disposal then, I decided to approach my pieces limiting myself to one instrument only, as I found myself being more decisive when faced with a limited creative environment.'”

 File Under: Electronic, Ambient
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Descendants of Mike & Phoebe: A Spirit Speaks (Everland) LP
Everland Jazz present a reissue of The Descendants Of Mike And Phoebe’s A Spirit Speaks, originally released in 1974. “This delightfully eclectic LP is a prime example of ’70s soul jazz. It is an early fusion record combining elements from jazz, gospel, soul and blues. It even has an edge of classical music, to be heard in the clear soprano voice of lead singer A. Grace Lee Mims on several tracks. As such it is a great sign of the times, the early seventies when musical experimentation and coalition was all abound. Bass player and band member Bill Lee would later gain fame as being the father of controversial filmmaker Spike Lee and worked as musical director/conductor on four of his son’s excellent movie soundtracks. For sure you can already hear the early influences here! This is the best sounding reissue of A Spirit Speaks since its original release in 1974 and comes in an exact replica of the great original cover art.” –Marc Janssen Licensed by Strata-East Records.

File Under: Jazz, Soul Jazz
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Dwarfs of East Agouza: Both Sides of the Curtain (Unrock) LP
Dadawahn Bishopesque taken to just another level. Beirut, Lebanon…. three major players: Alan Bishop (Sun City Girls, Invisible Hands, Alvarius B) Osama Shalabi (Karkhana, Shalabi Effect, etc.), and Maurice Louca (Karkhana, Lekhfa). Delicate improvised freeform recorded live in Beirut in spring of 2017. Improvisation on the highest level. Organic, never arty. Hot. Released in association with Mophradat. Cover art made exclusively for this release by Mariana Castillo Debal. Deluxe gatefold sleeve. Limited edition, one-time pressing.

File Under: Rock, World, Jazz


Electric Wizard: Wizard Bloody Wizard (Spinefarm) LP
Wizard Bloody Wizard is the ninth studio effort from Electric Wizard. Produced by Jus Oborn and Liz Buckingham, and mixed by Oborn, this stripped back, all-analogue affair sees the band rising above convention and genre to construct their own vision of classic heavy rock…a sound harking back to the dreaded days when ‘heavy’ meant Grand Funk and Black Sabbath, and ‘rock’ meant drugs, groupies and mountains of amplification. Wizard Bloody Wizard: 43 brain-damaging minutes, six savage hymns to death, drugs, sex and violence, music dragged (and drugged) back from the grave…The line is drawn. In blood.

File Under: Metal, Stoner
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Eleh: Home Age (Important) LP
Home Age is the first proper Eleh full-length since 2012’s Homage To The Pointed Waveforms. These three new pieces seek to expose the inherent musicality of pure electrical currents via high resolution Serge STS synthesizers. Like early Eleh work, Home Age is inward looking, domestic, and deliberate, but also slowly emotional and revealing as if peering blurry-eyed through a window. Melody, harmony, and counterpoint are suggested but not revealed. Packaged in a deluxe gold-on-black, heavy-duty letterpress jacket made by Studio On Fire in Minneapolis; Edition of 500.

File Under: Electronic, Drone, Ambient


Eleh/Christina Kubisch: Split (Important) LP
Christina Kubisch contemplates Nicolai Tesla and his concept of electrical remoteness as it applies to the modern world. In this piece, Kubisch considers whether this is the future Tesla envisioned and what remoteness means in an age where remoteness hardly exists at all. “Tesla’s Dream” includes electromagnetic field recordings from tramways, analog machines, light systems, power stations, airports, banks, security systems, advertising, and the sounds of discharges and activities of Tesla’s own devices. Eleh’s composition “Ohmage/Resistor” utilizes a new kind of spaciousness and was composed for piano and Serge STS modular synthesizers. Letterpress printed jacket; Edition of 500. From Christina Kubisch: “The figure of Nikola Tesla has fascinated me since a long time. He was the person who imagined wireless communication in an era when there was hardly electricity. . . . Tesla had invented and patented the first telephone amplifier in 1882 in Budapest and, without knowing about its origin I used a simple telephone amplifier with incorporated small coils to listen to the sounds in my installations. Later on my work with electromagnetic induction had developed into the series ‘Electrical Walks’, city walks with special headphones which make audible the usually hidden electromagnetic fields around us. In 2012, I visited the small museum of science in the city of Kosice in Slovakia. The museum had many Tesla devices in their showroom and I got a special permission to test tem. I listened with my special induction headphones to the Tesla machines and was fascinated: a thunderstorm of electromagnetic noise. It was the moment when I got inspired to make a piece about electrical remoteness. . . .’Tesla’s Dream’ opens with the magnetic fields recorded in an old Austrian train station followed by the electrical melodies of old Tatra tramways in Bratislava (now almost disappeared). The sounds of discharges and activities of Tesla’s devices gradually come in. During the piece the electromagnetic signals change gradually from the sounds of analog machines to the more actual fields of light systems, security systems, power lines, banks, subways, airports, power stations etc. Various electrical signals of digital communication slowly merge in and change again the sound structure. . . . The glass armonica (an original instrument from the 19th century) was recorded at the Musikinstrumentenmuseum in Berlin. All other recordings were made with electromagnetic headphones and other custom made devices developed by Christina Kubisch.”

File Under: Electronic, Drone, Ambient

franceFrance: Occitanie (Aguirre) LP
Aguirre Records present the first vinyl edition of France’s Occitanie, originally released in 2009. Savage pulsating drone-rock from France, the trio of Jeremie Sauvage on electric bass, Mathieu Tilly on drums, and Yann Gourdon on amplified hurdy-gurdy. They play one note/one rhythm, producing energetic performances reminiscent of the early collaborations between Faust and Tony Conrad. Creatively recycled influences result in intense shows with pounding overtones and repetitive pulsing rhythms. Loud, straight, and trance-inducing. On Occitanie, in the mass of sound, the rhythmic repetition and the elongated drones. The hurdy-gurdy forces you deeper, highlighting points of microtonal flux, cracking open the single note, the nodding rhythm, to imply the presence of every note, every sound, inside it. The insensible evolution lurks in a corner of noise and finally imposes itself slowly on careful listening. The band members of France perform in various other projects: Tanz Mein Herz, Toad and Jérico, all are member of the collective La Novià, an organization based in Haute-Loire which brings together professional musicians and acts as a place for reflection and experimentation around traditional and or experimental music. In 2009, France was invited to play in Pau, a city far south-west of France, next to Spain, by the people running Pagans Musica, a like-minded traditional-oriented group of people, also bent on educational issues concerning the local music and dialect: Occitan and on fusing traditional musics and rock related sounds and instruments. They had set up a show for France and their band Artus and originally wanted to have Acid Mothers Temple join the bill. The Japanese band had done versions of songs coming from their village, but weren’t touring near France so instead they invited Duo Ancelin-Rouzier as the third act, a band both Artus and France were also very fond of. Pagans had everything set-up for the concert to be recorded and as France had plenty of time for sound-check, they went on to record the Pau album (2011) in the afternoon, taking a thirty seconds pause in the middle of the session so as to mark both sides of the vinyl. Occitanie is a recording of the live set later that night, with no cut and a longer, more savage performance. Artwork by Standard In-Fi Visuals. Recorded live by Tòmas Baudoin and Yannick Prévost; Mastering by Kris Delacourt. High-glossy sleeve; Edition of 500.

File Under: Psych, Experimental
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Function: Recompiled II/II (A-Ton) LP
Manhattan to Berlin: Dave Sumner, better known as Function, had found a new path in techno, and as he obsessively talked about the British Murder Boys and the work of Mika Vainio, he focused in on his latest influence: Sleeparchive. Elements of Plastikman’s take on jacking raw rhythms collided with Sähkö bleeps for a powerful post-Jeff Mills form of techno. After a laptop, Battleship-like session in Berlin with Dave and Karl O’Connor, better known as Regis, Dave decided to move to “techno Mecca”. He returned to NYC to get ready, and three months later, on the day he moved to Berlin, his record was released as Isolation on Sandwell District and was named DJ Magazine’s 12 Inch of the Month. He then set up his studio in the warehouse of Tony Vieira. Sandwell District: Sandwell District is a literal place — the Black Country — where the industrial revolution began. It’s one of the many Dadaesque references in the Integrale catalog. The whole thing has this major punk DIY spirit. Sandwell District quickly evolved from a label into a music project with a distinctly egoless and mysterious approach. They functioned around the motto of “Decentralizing the artist ego, blurring the lines between the artist, label and DJ; re-arranging the DNA of modern dance music.” The first record on Sandwell was by Regis, followed by records from Juan Mendez as Silent Servant and Dave as Function; soon they would all release collectively. Sandwell District was a more mature response, the second stage of a career with the disparate influences absorbed, digested, and slowed down, yet somehow more emotional. Later, Rrose would become an integral part of Sandwell, right before they broke up at the height of their popularity, in the spirit of their heroes Big Black. Dave then went on to record his debut solo album Incubation for Ostgut Ton and revived Infrastructure. The Next Phase: Sometimes the only way forward is to look backwards. Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it, as the saying goes. Recompiled I/II  and II/II is an attempt to understand what has happened and to liberate the artist from the burden of their own oeuvre. Moving forward, Function is still connecting the dots with his DJing around the globe, with residencies at Berghain in Berlin and Bassani in Tbilisi, Georgia.

File Under: Electronic, Techno
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John Gordon: Erotica Suite (Everland) LP
Everland Jazz present an official reissue of John Gordon’s Erotica Suite, originally released in 1978. One of the rarest albums on Strata-East Records. a great later label effort under the leadership of trombonist John Gordon — with work by James Spaulding on alto and flute, John Miller on piano and keyboards, Waymond Reed on trumpet, Lyle Atkinson on bass, and Frank Derrick on drums and bells; The whole thing has a very spiritual feel, and it features the long “Erotica Suite”, plus “Ora Lee Tingle”, “Blue Na”, and “Neleh”. Licensed by Strata-East Records.

File Under: Jazz
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Davy Graham: Folk, Blues & Beyond (Bread & Wine) LP
“One of the most influential figures in the 1960s British folk scene, Davy Graham inspired many practitioners of the fingerstyle acoustic guitar of the era, notably Bert Jansch, John Martyn and Jimmy Page. Graham is probably best known for his acoustic instrumental ‘Anji’ and for popularizing DADGAD tuning, later widely adopted by many acoustic guitarists. Not one to be categorised, Graham could be seen covering the genres of folk, blues and jazz. Graham was an entirely British phenomenon in the sixties, none of his early records were originally issued in the U.S. Originally released in January 1965, this edition of Folk, Blues & Beyond is its official, American debut. It remains perfectly named, a stunning introduction to the breadth of Graham’s craft and seeking at the peak of his impact.”

File Under: Folk, Blues
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Davy Graham: Large as Life and Twice as Natural (Bread & Wine) LP
“Large As Life And Twice As Natural is unique in Graham’s work for Decca. The album’s three extended instrumentals two immersive ragas and a wickedly knotty homage to the be-bop piano titan Lennie Tristano were the most Graham wrote for any of his Sixties LPs. And Graham never played with a better, bigger studio band. Jon Hiseman, recently out of John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers, was leading his own progressive-rock unit Colosseum; Danny Thompson was the earthy, incisive bassist in Britain’s folk supergroup, Pentangle, with guitarists and Graham acolytes Bert Jansch and John Renbourn. Large As Life And Twice As Natural was Graham’s only album from his most important decade to be released in the U.S., which at the time went unnoticed.”

File Under: Folk, Blues
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Keiji Haino/Jim O’Rourke/Oren Ambarchi: This Dazzling, Genuine ‘Difference’ Now Where Shall It Go? (Black Truffle) LP
Black Truffle presents the eighth full-length release from the trio of Keiji Haino, Jim O’Rourke, and Oren Ambarchi. Over the course of four LP sides, the October 2014 concert documented here ranges from rock power trio dynamics to maelstroms of analog electronics. Once again, the three demonstrate their commitment to pushing into new areas of instrumental exploration and group interaction. Where their previous releases featured extended vocal workouts from Haino, his vocalizations here are restricted to the occasional impassioned cry, putting the focus squarely on instrumental interplay. More than ever before, this feels like the work of three equals, with O’Rourke or Ambarchi taking the lead role as often as Haino does. The four pieces presented here each focus on extended development. The first side is propelled by Ambarchi’s busy, Jack DeJohnette-esque cymbal and tom work, which provides a skittering yet insistent pulse over which Haino and O’Rourke’s FX-saturated strings rise and fall, momentarily converging for passages of near stasis before wandering through areas of gently sour discord; O’Rourke’s use of a six-string bass here boosts the harmonic density of the music and often makes his contribution difficult to distinguish from Haino’s guitar. On the second side, O’Rourke uses his pedals to make his bass near unrecognizable, generating a squelching, harmonically unstable riff that Ambarchi accompanies with a semi-martial snare pattern. Haino moves between frenetic octave-doubled fuzz riffing and streams of feedback. The third side is the most abstract; Continuing Haino’s explorations of new instruments, the side opens with a long passage of toy piano. Alongside occasional vocal interjections from Haino (singing in English), Ambarchi creates delicate textures on cymbals and metallic percussion while O’Rourke, for the first time in this group, performs on the EMS Synthi. With Haino joining in with his own electronics, the side eventually builds to a chaotic climax. Beginning with a sequence of “fourth world” drums and flute, the final side unfolds an epic build-up over a hypnotic foundation of pounding toms. Moving from flute to vocals to electronics, Haino eventually picks up the guitar in the second half of the piece, igniting a spectral blur over driving rhythms from bass and drums that eventually builds to a frenzied climax. Cover image by Traianos Pakioufakis; Live action pics by Mike Kubeck. LP design by Stephen O’Malley; Gatefold sleeve. Mastered and cut by Rashad Becker at Dubplates & Mastering.

File Under: Experimental, Rock, Noise


James Holden & The Animal Spirits: The Animal Spirits (Border Community) LP
Electronics guru James Holden and his newly-expanded band The Animal Spirits transport its listeners to a magical other world with this third album: a bold new set of synth-led folk-trance standards, fusing elements of psychedelia, krautrock, world, and spiritual jazz with Holden’s usual propulsive melodic vigor into his most ambitious — but also most accessible — work to date. The synth-and-drum core of Holden’s Inheritors-era live touring outfit has picked up several members along the way, incorporating saxophone, cornet, recorder, and cosmic percussion, all recorded live together in one room under the direction of band leader Holden to produce a genre-blending new form of universal music that feels inherently fluid and alive.

File Under: Jazz, Electronic, Experimental
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Konstrukt & Keiji Haino: A Philosophy Warping… (Karlrecords) LP
Turkish free jazzers Konstrukt and the Japanese avant-garde/noise icon Keiji Haino present their first collaboration album. Formed early 2008 in Istanbul, Konstrukt have since been gaining high reputation and an ever-growing audience within European improvised music circles. Over the past decade, the Turkish free jazzers not only released a couple of superb albums under their own name — they also regularly invite significant musicians like Peter Brötzmann, Joe McPhee, William Parker, Akira Sakata, Marshall Allen, Evan Parker, Thurston Moore, Michael Zerang, Alfred Harth, or Alexander Hawkins for recording sessions and/or concerts (a.o. at festivals like A L’arme, .Konfrontationen Nickels-Dorf, Krakow Jazz Autumn). Their latest work A Philosophy Warping, Little By Little That Way Lies A Quagmire sees Konstrukt team up with Keiji Haino — and besides all the elements you may well expect from such a musical meeting like Konstrukt’s “acerbic razor-edged sound” (Mark Corroto, All About Jazz) and Haino’s unmistakable voice/guitar explosions, there’s also some real surprises… Personnel: Korhan Futacı – alto and tenor saxophones, zurna, kaval, sipsi, instant loops, voice; Umut Çaglar – Moog (MicroMoog), Korg (X-911), gralla, bamboo flutes, xylophones, percussion, tape echo, Vermona (Retroverb); Berkan Tilavel – Nord (Drum2), electronic percussion, tef, cymbal; Erdem Göymen – drums, cymbals, percussion; Keiji Haino: electric guitar, percussion, voice, airsynths. Cover painting “Escape” by Artur Trojanowski. Recorded and mixed by Ozan Öner at Pür Recording Studio, Istanbul. Mastered by Rashad Becker at Dubplates & Mastering, Berlin.

File Under: Free Jazz


Mary Jane Leach: Pipe Dreams (Blume) LP
Milan based imprint Blume offer two incredible archival works from the 1980s American composer Mary Jane Leach, never before released. Mary Jane Leach is a definitive model of the American avant-garde and experimental composer — creatively brilliant, tragically underrecognized, yet always there, rigorously plumbing the depths, issuing challenges, venturing toward the unknown. Leach’s creative practice began at the crossroads of the modern and post-modern — with the death of the American dream, its hegemonic point of view, and with the irreconcilable reductive legacies of their predecessors, the minimalists. Leach pursued the physicality of sound and acoustic phenomena — investigating their properties, and interactions with space. Despite being incredibly active, during the 1970s and ’80s Leach failed to offer a single commercial release. She instead instigated a singular body of work which is conceptually centered around live acoustic phenomena and performance. In effect, there are two dynamic components of her work — the notes, structures, and relationships which make up a composition, and a secondary series of difference, combination, and interference tones, generated by a work’s relationship to the space in which it is conceived and performed. Pipe Dreams represents a turning of the tide — a means through which to offer the composer the attention she has always righty deserved. Comprised of two incredible works — “4BC” and “Pipe Dreams” — this LP is a brilliant entry point into Mary Jane Leach’s sprawling body of composition and investigatory work. Like all of her efforts, they are temporal snapshots, incapable of being fully reproduced. They are singular and unique. “4BC” is a work for four bass clarinets, recorded during 1984. It is part of Leach’s large body of compositions which employs long tones (drone) within a constrained tonal palette. “Pipe Dreams”, written for, and recorded on, the organ in St. Peter’s in Köln, Germany, during 1989, was realized by, and as a direct response to, the unique environment for which it was made. St. Peter’s organ has two sets of pipes at opposite ends of the church, each having separate sounds and stops that can generate microtonal intervals. The work is a structured improvisation, exploring antiphony and the specific sounds of that organ, extra-musical as well as musical. These pieces help illuminate Leach as one of the most important voices in her generation.

File Under: Drone, Neo Classical
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Annea Lockwood: Tiger Balm (Black Truffle) LP
Black Truffle presents a new issue of Annea Lockwood’s classic 1970 tape piece “Tiger Balm”, unavailable on vinyl for over thirty years, accompanied by two exquisite unreleased works for percussion and voice. “Created while Lockwood was living in the UK, the side-long ‘Tiger Balm’ is a singular work within the canon of tape music. Inspired by research into the ritual function of music, the piece explores the possibility of evoking ancient communal memories through sound. Breaking entirely with the dynamic language of the musique concrète tradition, Lockwood uses a select palette of mainly unprocessed sonic elements chosen for their mysterious and erotic characteristics (a purring cat, a heartbeat, gongs, slowed down jaw harp, a tiger, a woman’s breath, a plane passing overhead), presenting at most two sounds at once. As one sound flows organically into the next, their shared characteristics are highlighted, opening a space of dream logic and mysterious associations between nature and culture, the ancient and the modern. The B side presents two pieces for percussion recorded here for the first time. ‘Amazonia Dreaming’ (1987), performed by Dominic Donato, uses unaccompanied snare drum and voice to evoke the nocturnal soundscape of the Amazon rainforest. Unorthodox techniques and materials (marbles, chopsticks, a plastic jar lid) transform the snare into a resonant field of sensual textures. ‘Immersion’ (1998), performed by Donato and Frank Cassara, is a slow-moving exploration of gentle beating tones, performed on marimba, tam tams, and gong. Like the other two works presented on this LP, it provides captivating proof of Lockwood’s belief in the complexity that deep listening can reveal within seemingly simple sounds” –Francis Plagne. Comes in a deluxe gatefold sleeve with archival pictures and liner notes by Annea Lockwood; Includes the score to “Amazonia Dreaming”; LP design by Stephen O’Malley; Mastered and cut by Rashad Becker at Dubplates & Mastering.

File Under: Electronic, Minimal
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N.A.D.M.A.: Uno Zingaro Di Atlante Con Un Fiore A New York (Die Schachtel) LP
Die Schachtel present the first vinyl reissue N.A.D.M.A.’s (Natural Arkestra Da Maya Alta) Uno Zingaro Di Atlante Con Un Fiore A New York, originally released in 1973. Comprised of Davide Mosconi, Franco Pardi, Gustavo Bonora, Inez Klok, Marco Cristofolini, Marino Vismara, Mino Ceretti, Otto Davis Corrado, and Talia Toni Marcus, within the history of the Italian avant-garde, N.A.D.M.A is as obscure as they come. Mosconi later came to note as a solo artist and photographer, and Pardi and Vismara within the worlds of visual arts, but beyond a scattering of releases, Uno Zingaro Di Atlante Con Un Fiore A New York is the lone document to have surfaced from most of its contributors. Details surrounding the band and the record are incredible scarce. Despite the mystery, with hindsight, they rise as a definitive gesture of the movement to which they belonged. The Italian avant-garde is among the most rigorously democratic of any of the movements within 20th century sound. Like their more well know peers in Aktuala, N.A.D.M.A grew from this spirit, but realized it in far more radical forms. They are among the wildest of those connected to the movements of free-improvisation and jazz. The group’s lone 1973 release is unlike anything else of its day. Soulful as hell, it blends a remarkable range of instrumentation and cross-cultural reference — a wild imagining of the potentialities of modal folk traditions, gathered in the writhing aggressive form of free-jazz. It is an album so remarkable and striking — among the greatest and most accomplished European efforts within the form — that there is no explanation for why it has remained so unacknowledged through the years. It is a towering, bubbling, brilliant achievement in sound. Uno Zingaro Di Atlante Con Un Fiore A New York is among the greatest documents of Italian music, and among the most important within the canon of European free-jazz. As seminal as they come. Not to be missed on any count. Edition of 500.

File Under: Free Jazz
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Bill Plummer & The Cosmic Brotherhood: s/t (Captain High) LP
Captain High Records present a reissue of Bill Plummer & The Cosmic Brotherhood, originally released in 1968. Long thought to be lost to only the most industrious of crate diggers, Bill Plummer’s 1968 album Bill Plummer & The Cosmic Brotherhood makes its triumphant return on Captain High Records. Already an accomplished jazz bassist at the time of the album’s release, Bill Plummer turned heads on The Cosmic Brotherhood with heavy Eastern and psychedelic influences that challenged contemporary ideas about jazz. Original compositions like “Journey To The East” and “Arc 294” are colored by striking sitar sounds, rhythmic chanting, and melodic improvisation, while Plummer lends his distinctive touch to songs by The Byrds (“Lady Friend”) and Burt Bacharach (“The Look of Love”). The result is an album that reflects a musician at the peak of his creative powers, unafraid to explore new ideas and sounds that meld into a cohesive, spectacular album.

File Under: Jazz, Psych, Space Age
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Satoshi & Makoto: CZ-5000 Sounds & Sequences (Safe Trip) LP
An unidentified life source on the release: “We write to you with the conclusions of our investigation into the synthesized audio transmissions picked up by the deep space telescope at irregular intervals since 1986. After many years, we pinpointed the source of the ear-pleasing frequencies. They were being transmitted from a secluded building in ‘Kawasaki’, Japan. A key to their origin was found on the video-sharing site, ‘YouTube’. When we visited the building, we discovered identical twins, huddled around a synthesizer manufactured by the Casio Corporation. The twins told us that their names were Satoshi and Makoto, and that the synthesizer model number was CZ-5000. We were still puzzled about the music we had heard, which was largely ambient in nature, positive in tone, and possibly extra-terrestrial in origin. Under interrogation, Satoshi and Makoto claimed that they had created every melody, drumbeat and musical phrase using this one piece of Japanese-made musical hardware. We doubted their version of events, so asked for a demonstration of their working method. Once they had shown us how they shaped, played, and sequenced sounds, we accepted that the transmissions we had received were indeed created entirely using the CZ-5000. Satoshi and Makoto said that the audio transmissions we were investigating had been mostly been created throughout the 1990s, under the influence of early Japanese techno, the Orb, YMO, Kraftwerk and ‘lots of soul’. We asked to be provided with a collection of these transmissions, which had never before been made available to the public. Satoshi and Makoto kindly provided us with a compact disc, on to which was scribbled the code ‘st006’. We believe it is in the public interest to make these remarkable synthesizer compositions available for wider research. We have therefore passed them on to the ‘Safe Trip’ organization. They will make suitable arrangements for public release.”

File Under: Electronic, Synth
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Sun Ra: My Brother the Wind Vol 1 (Cosmic Myth) LP
Double LP version. “My Brother The Wind, Vol. 1 captures Afrofuturist visionary Sun Ra’s initial 1969 encounter with the Moog synthesizer. The album has been meticulously remastered from archival session tapes and includes rare and previously unreleased studio material. Recorded in 1969 and self-released by Sun Ra in 1970 on his independent Saturn label, My Brother The Wind is one of several albums that showcase Ra’s initial reckonings with the then-recently introduced Moog synthesizer. Although the Astro Infinity Arkestra is credited on the original Saturn LP sleeve, only three sidemen were on the session — reed players Marshall Allen, John Gilmore, and Danny Davis, with Moog performance pioneer Gershon Kingsley serving as synth programmer and technical consultant. The original 1970 Saturn release featured four tracks, which are included on this remastered edition. Features the complete tracking session of Ra’s Moog-centric single ‘The Perfect Man,’ with three full takes of the title, including two previously unissued versions and the monumental 18-minute ‘Space Probe,’ an outrageously freewheeling Ra solo work recorded on a Moog (or two) around the same time. The remastered editions include liner notes by Moog historian Brian Kehew. Technical notes are provided by jazz historian Ben Young, who also restored and remastered the album with Joe Lizzi.”

File Under: Jazz
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Sun Ra: Space is the Place (Jackpot) LP
“In the endless ocean of Sun Ra recordings, Space Is The Place ranks among the very best but more importantly stands as the most immediately understandable of his records. This masterpiece touches flawlessly on elements of many of Ra’s multiple phases and provides both a mission statement for and a gateway to his immaculate body of work. Originally released in 1973; Tip-on Gatefold Jacket; Original Artwork; Limited Transparent Blue Colored Vinyl.”

File Under: Jazz
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Piero Umiliani: Studio Umiliani (Four Flies) LP
Four Flies Records strikes again, releasing their first archive compilation of Piero Umiliani’s work and the first compilation focussing on the Maestro’s legacy in years. “Studio Umiliani” is a collection of sunken treasures and hidden beauties yet to be re-released, and of stunning unpublished works surprisingly unknown for quite some time. The project, born from the initial effort of Andrea Fabrizii, who has far and wide been exploring Umiliani’s soundtracks before anyone else, led Four Flies research to seek for new unreleased recordings at the Maestro’s archive. A challenge that Pierpaolo De Sanctis from Four Flies Records accepted without hesitation – with the help of the Umiliani family. His two daughters Alessandra and Elisabetta Umiliani, true keepers of their father’s memory, together with their husbands Francesco Argento and John Linkowski, and of course, Piero’s wife Stefania Baffa, have been pivotal in compiling this exciting project. The result is a cross-cutting portrait of Umiliani’s activity during the golden years of his Sound Work Shop, the studio- laboratory where he has been playing, creating and experimenting with total freedom from 1969 to 1983.

File Under: Library, Funk, Jazz, Psych


World’s Experience Orchestra: As Time Flows On (Now Again) LP
“World’s Experience Orchestra’s As Time Flows On has not been available as a stand-alone vinyl release since first being issued as a private pressing out of Boston in 1980. And those pressings where in small runs — set in motion by a visionary, bassist/composer/arranger John Jamyll Jones. Jones is a magical type, who communicates with his instrument, his ensembles, and jazz’s ancient lineage in a manner so profound that his late-’70s album are out of time with jazz’s trajectory, but timeless when presented today. By the late ’90s the music of World’s Experience Orchestra was circulating throughout the collections of esoteric jazz fans, the likes of Gerald ‘Jazzman’ Short and Gilles Peterson, who played WEO for those, the Coltrane-enthralled searching for something new, something different. Something spiritual and honest. As interest in spiritual jazz and WEO grew, Now-Again set about an ambitious plan to reissue Jones’ landmark works. ‘I knew it was going to happen, but I didn’t know when,’ says Jones of the road to seeing his music re-issued. ‘It’s 35 years or more now, and I’ve been waiting for this, and I’m quite sure I’m not the only one.'”

File Under: Jazz
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So many restocks…

Tagged , , , , , ,

…..new letters #820 – AnniversaRSD…..

Well, it may not be Thanksgiving here today, but thanks to the fine folks at Record Store Day central, they’ve turned Black Friday into a mini-RSD event to drive shoppers to small mom & pop shops rather than just the big box stores. And of course they are doing that with a nice stack of exclusive releases, and fortunately pretty much all of them are available to us up here in Canada. Below you will find a list of all the exclusives  (as well as some brand spankin’ new stuff we’re putting out with the RSD stuff) we’ll have on the shelf tomorrow when we open (10 am!).

While that’s exciting and all though, more exciting is that we are celebrating our 16th anniversary! 16 years of slinging wax. It’s hard to believe how far we’ve come, from our humble beginnings with a handful of half full bins to the overflowing bins and boxes of records everywhere we are surrounded with today. Thanks to our fine customers we’ve been able to grow in to what we like to think is a pretty darned fine shop with something for everyone. And so to thank you all for another year of support this weekend not only will we have RSD tomorrow, we’ll be having a big ol’ sale all weekend too! THANK YOU!

….picks of the week…..


To thank you all for another year of support we are giving you 20% off all new and used records and CDs all weekend long! Starting at 10am Friday until 5pm Sunday!

Rega RP1s are $399 (reg. $449)

*Sale excludes Record Store Day exclusives, Brand Fucking New Arrivals, special orders and holds, local releases, and consignment items. All other gear and accessories are 10%.


As usual, we’re giving away a Rega RP1 turntable to one lucky shopper this weekend! Come in buy everyone records for Christmas so you can win a turntable.

…..Record Store Day Releases…..

Dan Auerbach: Good Sound Comes Back Around (Warner) 7″
Chris Bell: Complete Chris Bell (Omnivore) 6LP Box
Big Star: Big Star’s Third Live Stroke It Noel (Concord) LP
Black Label Society: Room of Nightmares (Warner) 7″
Death From Above 1979: Freeze Me/Keep It Real Dumb (Last Gang) 7″
Doors: Absolutely Live (Elektra) LP
Steve Earle: El Corazon (New West) LP
Electric Wizard: Wizard Bloody Wizard (Spine Farm) LP
Fleet Foxes: Electric Lady Session (Nonesuch) 10″
Aretha Franklin: Respect (Atlantic) 7″
Free Design: Kites Are Fun (Light in the Attic) LP
Grateful Dead: Grateful Dead Records Collection (Grateful Dead Productions) 5xLP
Richard Hell & The Voidoids: Blank Generation (Rhino) LP
John Lee Hooker: Black Night is Falling (Justin Time) LP
Iggy Pop: New Values (Friday Music) LP
Julie & The Wrong Guys: s/t (Dine Alone) LP
Kreator: Hail to the Hordes (Nuclear Blast) 12″
Paul McCartney: Wonderful Christmastime (Capitol) 7”
Jason Molina: Black Sabbath Covers (Secretly Canadian) 7″
Willie Nelson: Spirit (Modern Classics) LP
Willie Nelson: Yesterdays Wine (Friday Music) LP
Nine Inch Nails: Broken (Nothing) LP
Nine Inch Nails: Downward Spiral (Nothing) LP
Nine Inch Nails: Fragile (Nothing) LP
Nine Inch Nails: Fragile Deviations (Nothing) LP
Nine Inch Nails: Not the Actual Events (Nothing) LP
OST: Alien (Mondo) LP
OST: Guardians Inferno (Disney) Pic Disc
Rush: Closer to the Heart (Ole) 7″
Son Volt: Straightways (Rhino) LP
Sparks: Check Out Time 11AM (BMG) 7″
Sufjan Stevens: Blue Bucket of Gold (Asthmatic Kitty) LP
Tangerine Dream: Electronic Meditation (Varese) LP
U2: Blackout (Third Man) 12″
Townes Van Zandt: Rear View Window (Fat Possum) LP
Venom: Eine Kleine Nachtmusik (Sanctuary) LP
Bernie Worrell: All the Woo In the World (Tidal Wave) LP
Hiroshi Yoshimura: Music for Nine Post Cards (Empire of Signs) LP
Neil Young: Harvest Moon (Reprise) LP
Various: Christmas On Death Row (Death Row) LP
Various: Jazz Dispensary Moon Rocks (Concord) LP

Late but on the way… maybe tomorrow…

Tori Amos: Native Invader Russia (Verve) 12”
Boris: Live @ Third Man (Third Man) LP
Bros: A Very Bros Christmas (Dine Alone) 7”
Don Cherry & Albert Ayler: Vibrations (ORG) LP
Earth: Live @ Third Man (Third Man) LP
Isaac Hayes: Spirit of Memphis (Concord) LP
Delvon Lamarr Organ Trio: Concussion (Colemine) 7”
Shawn Lee’s Ping Pong Orchestra: Tech Star (Silver Fox) LP
Madvillain: Four Tet Remixes (Stones Throw) 12″
OST: Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (Spacelab9) LP
Nathaniel Rateliff: Baby It’s Cold Outside (Stax) 7”
Various: Garage Daze (ORG) LP

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