…..news letter #800 – landmark…..

800 of these things! That means every Thursday for the last 15+ years I’ve been sitting here putting these lists together! Crazy! Thankfully this one is a short one as this heat has made me lazy today. So enjoy!

…..pick of the week…..

frostBen Frost: Threshold of Faith (Mute) 12″
Not a whole lot of info on this new Ben Frost 12″ (I can’t even find you a track!) but it’s 7 new tracks and it’s awesome, so you should buy it! Frost, a native Australian currently living in Reykjavik, Iceland was chosen in 2010 by Brian Eno as part of the Rolex Mentor and Protégé program for a year of collaboration. Frost regularly collaborates with other musicians, artists, and choreographers and directors to produce original scores, including recent work on Richard Mosse’s The Enclave. These various collaborations and alliances underline Frost’s continuing fascination with finding ways of juxtaposing music, rhythm, technology, the body, performance, text, art, beauty and violence. Ben Frost is highly critically acclaimed as a sound experimentalist – his music sits both within and without the electronic, ambient, drone, noise, minimalist, avant-garde and post-rock genres.

File Under: Electronic, Ambient

…..new arrivals…..

lips

Black Lips: Satan’s Graffiti or God’s Art? (Vice) LP
Atlanta, GA flower punk pioneers Black Lips return with their first album in three years, Satan’s graffiti or God’s art? Produced by Sean Lennon at his studio compound in upstate New York throughout 2016, the album is the group’s most musically evolved to date, while still staying true to their original blistering take on fuzzy, dirty rock n’ roll. During the recording the band isolated themselves from the outside world, infusing the album with a focused liveliness similar to the spirit that brought them together in the first place. On Satan’s graffiti or God’s art? founding members Cole Alexander and Jared Swilley teamed with former guitarist Jack Hines (who played in the group from 2002-2004) and recent additions Oakley Munson on drums and Zumi Rosow on saxophone. The album also features contributions by Saul Adamczewski of Fat White Family and guest vocals by Yoko Ono. Black Lips were born of DIY ethic, working their way from sweaty basement shows in Georgia to huge crowds at international music festivals (including a performance at Fun Fun Fun Fest that appears in Terrence Malick’s forthcoming film Song to Song) to tours in such far flung locales as India, Jordan, Cyprus, Egypt, Lebanon, Iraqi Kurdistan, the United Arab Emirates, and many more. Satan’s graffiti or God’s art? vindicates Black Lips for sticking it out through many years of shifting trends and buzz bands; a sonically captivating document that is as creatively unhinged as it is precisely executed, one of the rawest and most expansive albums in the band’s storied history.

File Under: Punk, Garage
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broken

Broken Social Scene: Hug of Thunder (Arts & Crafts) LP
Hug Of Thunder marks the fifth studio album from Canadian alt-rock supergroup Broken Social Scene, their first in seven years. Founded in ‘99 by Kevin Drew and Brendan Canning, the new album features 15 players including original members Emily Haines and Jimmy Shaw of Metric, Amy Millan and Evan Cranley of Stars, Charles Spearin and Ohad Benchetrit of Do Make Say Think, and Grammy-nominated Leslie Feist. Hug Of Thunder is everything BSS fans love from the Canadian collective and then some, an album overflowing with glorious open chords, multi-voice harmonies, spacious psychedelia-tinted breakdowns, and more. It is a panoramic, expansive album that manages to be both epic and intimate; and like all things BSS, in troubled times, it offers a serotonin rush of positivity. Since their inception in the early Aughts, BSS have always pushed sonic boundaries while remaining reverent of a perfect chorus; almost twenty years down the line, Hug Of Thunder sharpens that balance and then some. The record’s twelve songs refract the band’s varying emotions, methods, and techniques in ways that not only reference their other albums, but surpass them. Hug Of Thunder is righteous but warm, angry but loving, melodic but uncompromising. And if you’ve ever fallen in love with Broken Social Scene – as many of us have – it is a perfect return that was truly worth the wait.

File Under: Indie Rock, CanCon
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cure

The Cure: Greatest Hits (Elektra) LP
Originally a postpunk outfit with gothic leanings, The Cure evolved into one of the most visionary, creatively satisfying and influential groups to come of age in the 1980’s. From dreamy pop to moody expressionism, their signature sound is adventurous, hypnotic, and rich with texture. Curated and remastered by Robert Smith and now available on vinyl for the first time, this 2001 Greatest Hits package collects 16 of the band’s finest from their then 25-year history like “Just Like Heaven,” “Love Song,” “Boys Don’t Cry,” and “Friday I’m In Love” plus the two new tracks “Cut Here” and “Just Say Yes.”

 File Under: Post-Punk, Goth, Pop, Rock

cure12

The Cure: Acoustic Hits (Elektra) LP
Originally a postpunk outfit with gothic leanings, The Cure evolved into one of the most visionary, creatively satisfying and influential groups to come of age in the 1980’s. From dreamy pop to moody expressionism, their signature sound is adventurous, hypnotic, and rich with texture. Curated and remastered by Robert Smith and now available on vinyl for the first time, Acoustic Hits was issued in 2001 as the second disc of the Greatest Hits 2CD edition and features stripped-down versions of all the of the band’s finest from their then 25-year history like “Just Like Heaven,” “Love Song,” “Boys Don’t Cry,” and “Friday I’m In Love” plus the two new tracks “Cut Here” and “Just Say Yes.” “We wanted to do it to make the ‘hits’ package more special,” explained Smith. “This collection contains the songs that are sung with a smile – the Cure’s ‘lighter side.”

File Under: Post-Punk, Goth, Pop, Rock

laurel-halo-dust

Laurel Halo: Dust (Hyperdub) LP
Laurel Halo returns to Hyperdub for her third LP with a fresh approach and a new sound. Routed out of the electronic abstraction of 2015’s In Situ – but with clear reference to 2012’s sleeper-hit Quarantine – Dust is an album revolving around loose and languid songs; warped, sun-filled, melted and at times, heavy-hearted and obscure. Recorded over a period of two years, the writing process began at EMPAC in upstate New York in January 2015. With access to microphones, percussion, keys and a wide range of routings, Laurel spent days alone in the cavernous space, later inviting musicians Eli Keszler and Lafawndah to join her there. Those sessions would eventually become this album: a collection of breezy, broken songs, based on woody instrumentation, sub bass and restless, intricate electronics. Earnest songwriting meets with modal cut-up strategies, improvisational playing with higrade digital dust. Tactile and fibrous throughout the record, the vocals and percussion coalesce and breathe life into each other. Swung grooves eddy and collapse; acoustic drums are warped into sensual, febrile melodies. The lyrics are themselves bricolage, without a specific narrator or place in time. In line with the album’s sound, Dust is ‘Laurel Halo’ as a flexible cast of characters. Filled with dialogue, the album helms an interchangeable ensemble of vocalists and musicians, featuring vocals from Klein, Lafawndah, and Michael Salu, as well as musicians such as Eli Keszler, Craig Clouse ($hit and $hine), Julia Holter, Max D, Michael Beharie and Diamond Terrifier. Laurel’s omnivorous influences play out in mutated fashion – coalesced, unfettered and inclusive – a broad musical palette free from entrenched modes, catalysed by digital production that could only happen in 2017.

File Under: Electronic, Synth Pop
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radflowers

Hawkeyes/Radiation Flowers: split (Cardinal Fuzz/Sunmask) LP
Hawkeyes are a 6 piece instrumental heavy psychedelic space rock band from Kitchener Ontario. Their claustrophobic wall of sound flows from heavy, dark, and monolithic rock towards more spacious soundscapes and textured ambience that always worships at the altar of Pompeii. The band formed out of sheer boredom in 2012 after several previous bands stopped making music. The debut full length ‘Poison Slows You Down’ was recorded and initially self-released on cassette in 2013 and was picked up and given a vinyl release on Helmet Lady Records in 2015. Several compilation appearances followed and a split 12″ with like-minded friends Shooting Guns was released a few months later. And now on the new shared split LP from Sunmask and Cardinal Fuzz, Hawkeyes rock out, space out and pound away with nods to classic acid rock, krautrock, ambient and beyond. Saskatoons The Radiation Flowers revisit classic shoegaze and 4AD sound with a heavier guitar driven edge. Dark, smoky ambience with floating vocals play off against analog fuzz guitars and a solid low end. Since releasing their 2015 self-titled album they have toured across Canada and played several festivals with Canadian tour dates this summer. They have recorded and released a split-7” with Swedish band The Orange Revival and also have a new full length LP out on Sunmask/Cardinal Fuzz out in July. Three new tracks with a driving space rock instrumental, some beautiful, spacious psychedelic shoegaze and a cover of the always perfect psychrock band Sun Dial. 350 copies on eco colour vinyl with full colour printed inner sleeve. Limited CDr release in vinyl replica jacket.

File Under: Psych, Rock, Cancon
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kraftwerk

Kraftwerk: 3-D: The Catalog (Parlophone) LP
Released to coincide with Kraftwerk’s June 2017 tour – their first UK dates since the breathtaking shows witnessed at the Tate Modern in 2013 – is Kraftwerk 3-D The Catalogue. This is the ground-breaking 3-D Kraftwerk Concert brought thrillingly to life, developed using high definition 3-D visuals, with Dolby Atmos surround sound and presented to the technological and audio standards one would associate and indeed come to expect from the pioneering Germans led by founder Ralf Hütter. For the very first time, every Kraftwerk fan can now experience a “Gesamtkunstwerk – a total work of art” in the comfort of their own home. 3-D The Catalogue features new recordings of Kraftwerk’s 8 classic albums performed/filmed at various locations around the world between 2012-2016 and mixed at the band’s own state-of-the-art, Kling Klang Studio, Düsseldorf. 3-D The Catalogue is released across a number of formats including this 77 minute (abridged) version of the full-length release containing music from all 8 albums on double heavyweight 180g vinyl plus download card. The abridged version is culled from the 8 albums Autobahn (1974), Radio-Activity (1975), Trans Europe Express (1977), The Man-Machine (1978), Computer World (1981), Techno Pop (1986), The Mix (1991) and Tour De France (2003).

File Under: Electronic, Krautrock
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radf

Radiation Flowers: Summer Loop (Cardinal Fuzz/Sunmask) LP
Since releasing their 2015 self-titled album, Saskatoon space-rock dreamers The Radiation Flowers have toured across Canada (with shows from Vancouver to Ottawa, and festival dates at Levitation Vancouver and Sled Island in Calgary), they have recorded and released a split-7” with Swedish band The Orange Revival, and have recorded an EP entitled Summer Loop, set to be released on July 7, 2017. After mixing the mastering the album for a run of promo CDs, the band teamed up with Canadian analog label Sunmask and venerable UK label Cardinal Fuzz to get Summer Loop remixed and remastered for vinyl, shaking up the track listing and adding bonus track, “Colours.” Continuing with the softly heavy, brightly dark sounds they’ve come to be known for, Summer Loop takes on a noisier, guitar-ier edge. With the departure of their keyboardist after the release of their self-titled album, the full and textured guitar sounds of Shelby Gaudet and Christopher Laramee took an even more prominent role in band’s sound, with drummer Amber Ross and bassist Jay Allen continuing to provide the rhythm and backbeat of the band. New keyboardist Lucas Goetz added some Hammond organ to songs “Just Go Away” and “Walking Down The Street” just in time for the vinyl release of Summer Loop.

File Under: Psych, CanCon
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heron

Gil Scott-Heron: The Revolution Will Not Be Televised (BPG) LP
A compilation of Gil Scott-Heron’s best-known works for the Flying Dutchman label on CD and LP. Originally released to capitalise on the success of Scott-Heron’s then-current hit ‘The Bottle’ and his subsequent signing to Arista, this 1974 compilation has since become the definitive distillation of his early work. Contained within the original 11-track selection were the title track, ‘Whitey On The Moon’, ‘Home Is Where The Hatred Is’ plus eight more. . Replicating the original 11-track running order and packaged in a heavy duty sleeve, the vinyl reissue features the original LP’s inner gatefold artwork on the inner bag.

File Under: Funk, Soul
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shbakey

Shakey Graves: And The Horse He Rode In On (Dualtone) LP
After years of fan requests, Shakey Graves will officially release two EPs from his collection of rarities and early home recordings – Nobody’s Fool and Donor Blues as the gatefold colored 180g 2LP package Shakey Graves and the Horse He Road In On courtesy of Dualtone Records. Donor Blues is currently available digitally only via Bandcamp and Nobody’s Fool is even harder to find, passed around as an online bootleg by fans. The vinyl also comes with a download card for the entire double-album.

File Under: Folk, Country
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swans

Swans: The Great Annihilator (Young God) LP
The Great Annihilator, originally released in 1995, will be released on double vinyl – the album’s first release on vinyl for decades – and as a 2CD set. Both the vinyl (in the form of a download code) and CD will feature Drainland, Michael Gira’s debut solo album recorded at the same time as The Great Annihilator. “I have long been uneasy with the sound of the mastered version of The Great Annihilator (and it’s companion, contemporaneous solo album, Drainland, included here in this new release). For whatever reason things drifted out of hand at the time, and there was never enough time or money to untangle the sonic knots created by the original unsatisfactory mastering that took place until now. It was with the utmost alacrity that I received the news recently from my friend Bill Rieflin that he had discovered the original (after much digging), unmastered mixes for both albums in his archives. We were able to proceed now with lovingly mastering both Great Annihilator and Drainland from these virgin sources, with our right hand mastering man Doug Henderson in Berlin, Germany. I have to say I’m rather pleased with the result. It’s one of those instances where it’s like hearing the thing for the first time again. I hope you enjoy the experience. – Drainland is a 1995 obscure solo album by me, co-produced by the lovely Bill Rieflin and myself, with musical contributions from Bill and Jarboe. Mostly featuring spare arrangements, it was recorded in Bill’s living room. Some of this is pretty damn good. Some of it isn’t! In all modesty, I think the good outweighs the bad. It was recorded immediately after the recording of GA. ” – M. Gira 2017

File Under: Rock, Industrial
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toro

Toro Y Moi: Boo Boo (Carpark) LP
Limited edition (indie-store-only) blue and white marble-colored vinyl. Includes download. “By the time I felt ready to begin working on a new record, I knew that this idea of space within music would be something that propelled my new work forward. The artists that were influencing what I was making included everyone from Travis Scott to Daft Punk, Frank Ocean to Oneohtrix Point Never, Kashif and Gigi Masin. I recognized that the common thread between these artists was their attention to a feeling of space, or lack thereof. I decided that I wanted to make a Pop record with these ideas in mind. That idea for a record is what eventually became Boo Boo.”

File Under: Soul, Funk, Synth Pop
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verocai

Arthur Verocai: Encore (Far Out) LP
Far Out Recordings present the ten-year anniversary of Arthur Verocai’s Encore, originally released in 2007. Encore features 11 original compositions from Arthur Verocai with guest musicians including Azymuth, Ivan Lins, and a nine-piece string section. The highly anticipated follow-up to Arthur’s eponymous debut album from 1972, Encore saw Arthur joining the dots over 35 years to create a modern classic of Brazilian music that, like his debut, combines Brazilian influences with his take on American soul and cinematic experimentation, and shows that Arthur’s sound is as poignant as it ever was. In the mid-2000s, following on from Marcos Valle, Joyce, and of course Azymuth, Arthur Verocai joined the long-line of Brazilian musicians whose music was to be introduced to a whole new legion of fans by Far Out Recordings. The story of Encore begins with Joe Davis, Far Out Recordings’ head honcho who stumbled upon Arthur’s debut in a dusty record store in downtown Rio in the late ’80s. At the time of its release in 1972, critics panned Arthur’s debut and both the album and artist subsequently vanished into obscurity. Fast forward to winter 2004 and Joe’s at the studio of Far Out Recording artists Harmonic 313 — aka production duo Mark “Troubleman” Pritchard and Dave Brinkworth — playing them some of his favorite Brazilian albums. Dave recalls the moment Joe put on Arthur’s debut, “As soon as the needle hit the record and we heard the fantastic arrangements, songs and sounds, Arthur completely blew our minds.” Three months later and Dave was in Brazil with Arthur Verocai, and the plans for what was to become Encore were being laid down. Produced by Dave, Encore sees Arthur on incredible form, the 35 plus years between the recording of his debut and this the follow-up just melting away as Arthur picked up the (conductor’s) baton once again to create 11 epic tracks of stirring samba-soul and experimental cinematic movements that sees him creating a record to rival his debut.

File Under: Brazil, Bossanova, Soul, Funk
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yacht

Various: Seafaring Strangers: Private Yacht (Numero) LP
The Numero Group’s dive into the deep end of America’s private press continues. Having battled the witches and wizards of Darkscorch, the outlaws of Cosmic Americana, and traveled alongside Ladies From the Canyon and their Lonesome Heroes, it’s time to take it easy. With pop music’s volume knob adjusted for deflation in the early ‘70s, softness begat smoothness. Crewmen arrived from the worlds of jazz, folk, rock, and soul, all peddling a product that was sincere, leisurely, and lofty. A sound that was buoyant, crisp, defined. Sometimes classified as West Coast—and, later, Yacht Rock—the compass points of our Private Yacht expedition are the blue-eyed harmonies of Hall and Oates, the cocaine-dusted Fender Rhodes of Michael McDonald, and the combover strums of James Taylor. Here, at the glassy apex of rock’s softer side, 20 strong swimmers are gathered together. An album for both relaxation and reflection, where listeners can enjoy the present, a cool breeze, and a taste of the good life.

File Under: Yacht Rock

…..restocks…..

Aphex Twin: Syro (Warp) LP
Avalanches: Since I Left You (Astralwerks) LP
David Bowie: Hunky Dory (RCA) LP
Vic Chesnut: Silver Lake (New West) LP
Sam  Cooke: Night Beat (Music on Vinyl) LP
Danzig: Skeletons (Sony) LP
J Dilla: Donut (Stones Throw) LP
El Michel’s Affair: Return to the 37th Chamber (Big Crown) LP
Full Of Hell: Roots of Earth Are Consuming My Home (A389) LP
Full Of Hell: Trumpting Ecstasy (Profound Lore) LP
Kendrick Lamar: To Pimp A Butterfly (Aftermath) LP
Nirvana: Unplugged in New York (Geffen) LP
Nirvana: Nevermind (Geffen) LP
Sam & Dave: Soul Men (Rhino) LP
Seeds: s/t (GNP) 2LP
Slayer: Reign in Blood (Universal) LP
Slayer: Seasons in the Abyss (Universal) LP
Talking Heads: Speaking in Tongues (Rhino) LP

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…..news letter #799 – lagged…..

Well, I’m back, and the jet lag is catching up with me. There isn’t a ton in this week, but I’m a little out of practice, so this isn’t the BEST news letter i’ve ever put together. But there’s some sweet stuff, and even more so, there’s sweet stuff in the bins. The gang priced up lots of good used stuff while I was away as well, so get on down for a dig.

Much like the rest of the world, we’ll be taking a short day on Monday for Canada Day, we’ll just be open 12-5.

…..pick of the week…..

radiophonicRadiophonic Worshop: Burials in Several Earths
(Room 13) 4×10″ Box

In tomorrow… Burials In Several Earths is a brand new work by the legendary Radiophonic Workshop, the soundtrack architects behind classic British TV music such as Doctor Who and The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. An evocative suite of synth improvisations, Burials In Several Earths evokes the haunting qualities of their classic work whilst exploring fresh new vistas of sound. Conjuring up atmospheric, immersive textures that mix tried-and-trusted analogue techniques and leading edge digital technologies, the release connects the dots between the work of pioneering British electronic composers such as Delia Derbyshire and artists whose work bares the unmistakable genetic footprint of the Radiophonic Workshop: the likes of Cavern Of Anti-Matter, Pye Corner Audio and Children Of Alice. Features guest appearances from Martyn Ware (The Human League, Heaven 17) and Steve ‘Dub’ Jones (Grammy-award winning mixing engineer for The Chemical Brothers, UNKLE, and New Order). The vinyl edition is a deluxe quadruple 10″ boxset (including fold-out double-sided poster and download card) featuring edits of the tracks unique to this edition, and an alternate mix that does not appear on the CD and digital versions. The formatting is a subtle nod to the retrospective 4 x 10″ set the Aphex Twin’s Rephlex label put out in 2003. Burials In Several Earths was designed by David Chatton Barker, founder of the acclaimed Folklore Tapes label. The titling of the album and individual tracks were inspired by Francis Bacon’s incomplete 1627 literary work New Atlantis, previously used by one of the founders of the Workshop, Daphne Oram, as a manifesto for the original sound sorcery they famously produced in room 13 of the BBC Maida Vale studio complex in London. Room 13 is also the name of the Workshop’s newly minted label!

File Under: Electronic, Radiophonic, Experimental, Library
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…..new arrivals…..

ashley

Greg Ashley: Pictures of Saint Street (Trouble In Mind) LP
Greg Ashley has been a fixture on the underground music scene since the late-90s while strafing eardrums as a teenager in Houston in garage-punk band The Strate-Coats. Since then he’s proven himself not only as a songwriter, singer and guitar player in bands like The Mirrors and The Gris-Gris, but also as a producer/sound engineer via his Oakland-based Creamery Studio. His career as a solo artist is vast and varied, spanning the gamut between fried and beautiful psychedelia, gorgeous and cathartic symphonic suites and gentle, damaged folk music, beginning with 2003’s Medicine Fuck Dream and last leaving us with 2014’s Another Generation of Slaves. His latest, Pictures of Saint Paul Street carries forward that album’s musical palette (a rootsy amalgam of tortured, Cohen-esque folk tinged with the beer soaked recklessness of a West Texas honky-tonk). The songs are lush and beautiful autopsies of society’s underbelly, with stark and brutally honest ruminations on humanity. Tracks like “A Sea of Suckers” and “Pursue The Nightlife” pull no punches, while “Jailbirds & Vagabonds” and “Blues For A Pecan Tree” carouse on a more abstract, human (almost romantic) level. By the time you’ve hit the album’s centerpiece; “Bullshit Society,” Ashley’s songs move from ballads of hopeless misery to rallying anthems for the dispossessed. Pictures of Saint Paul Street isn’t always an easy listen, but that’s the point; the journey to salvation isn’t easy or pretty. The protagonist in many of Ashley’s songs may be Ashley himself – a true artist willing to admit he’s nowhere near perfect, and honest enough to document his sunrises & sunsets no matter if they occur in his own backyard, or on a barroom floor.

File Under: Indie Rock, Folk
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beachhouse

Beach House: B-Sides & Rarities (Sub Pop) LP
In tomorrow… “When we announced that we were releasing a B-sides and rarities album, someone on Twitter asked, “B-sides record? Why would Beach House put out a B-sides record? Their A-sides are like B-sides.” This random person has a point. Our goal has never been to make music that is explicitly commercial. Over the years, as we have worked on our 6 LPs, it wasn’t the “best” or most catchy songs that made the records, just the ones that fit together to make a cohesive work. “Accordingly, our B-sides are not songs that we didn’t like as much, just ones that didn’t have a place on the records we were making. The oldest song is “Rain in Numbers” and was recorded in 2005, during the summer when we formed the band. We didn’t have a piano, so we asked our friend if we could use his, which was pretty out of tune. We used the mic that was on the four-track machine to record the piano and vocals. It was originally the secret song on our self-titled debut. The next couple of songs are from late 2008. We were so excited about “Used to Be” that we quickly recorded it and put it on a 7″ for our fall tour with the Baltimore Round Robin. “The same session begat our cover of Queen’s “Play the Game” for a charity compilation benefiting AIDS research; we will continue to donate all profits from the song to that charity. As fans of Queen, we thought it would be fun and ridiculous to try to adapt their high-powered pop song into our realm. These songs were recorded at the same studio where we made Devotion. There are a bunch of songs written and recorded in the 2009-2010 window. “Baby” was written and recorded in October 2009 with our friend Jason Quever. “10 Mile Stereo” was recorded during the Teen Dream session in July 2009. Since we used tape, we often slowed the tape way down to create effects while recording, which led to “10 Mile Stereo (Cough Syrup Remix).” “”White Moon” and “The Arrangement” were both songs that we didn’t believe fit on Teen Dream. “White Moon” originally appeared on our iTunes live session. Since that was recorded and mixed very hastily, we have remixed it to better match our current aesthetics. We have also remixed and included the version of “Norway” we did at that same session. We wrote and recorded “I Do Not Care for the Winter Sun” during a break between tours and released it on the internet for free, unmastered. Well, it’s finally been mastered…” – Beach House

File Under: Indie Rock, Pop
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carter

Carter Family: American Epic (Third Man) LP
American Epic represents a 10-year odyssey undertaken by director Bernard MacMahon and producers Allison McGourty and Duke Erikson, and audio engineer Nicholas Bergh that involved tracking down countless long forgotten musicians, restoring the music that they recorded and reassembling the technology that created it. Along the way they brought some of the most important figures in contemporary culture to help them on their quest. Executive Producers Jack White, T Bone Burnett and Robert Redford have lent their support to what Redford calls “America’s greatest untold story.” In addition to American Epic: The Sessions soundtrack, Third Man Records is slated to release 180 gram 12″ audiophile vinyl versions of American Epic: The Carter Family, American Epic: Memphis Jug Band, American Epic: Mississippi John Hurt, American Epic: Blind Willie Johnson and American Epic: Lead Belly plus thematic collections including American Epic: Blues and American Epic: Country.  The Carter Family, a family vocal group from Appalachian Virginia, were the most impactful discovery of talent scout Ralph Peer and the first vocal group to become country music stars. Apart from the beautiful harmonies that can only come from kin, Mother Maybelle Carter pioneered “scratch” style guitar picking, a clever synthesis of autoharp, banjo and guitar picking, and for years served as a matriarchal figure in the Grand Ole Opry. Single LP with single pocket tip-on jacket with soft touch finish.

File Under: Country, Folk

Evan-Dando-Baby-Im-Bored-cover

Evan Dando: Baby I’m Bored (Fire) LP
Yellow vinyl LP, single sleeve, printed inners. 2CD Book-back with 24 page book. Emerging after The Lemonheads disbanded ‘Baby I’m Bored’ is a stellar record that stripped Dando of his grunge label. At the time of recording, he was without the band which saw him lean more to-wards an achingly melodic alt-country rock sound. Self-deprecating, these are songs of de-cline and coming back from that. The record includes “Hard Drive” and “All My Life” two tracks penned by Ben Lee and features contributions from producer/composer Jon Brion, producer Bryce Goggin, Tom Morgan, Giant Sand’s Howe Gelb, Calexico’s John Convertino and Joey Burns, ex-Spacehog frontman Royston Langdon, Come’s Chris Brokaw and Arthur Johnson.

File Under: Indie Rock
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d&v

Death & Vanilla: To Where the Wild Things Are (Fire) LP
Formed in Malmö, Sweden by Marleen Nilsson and Anders Hansson, Death and Vanilla utilize vintage musical equipment such as vibraphone, organ, mellotron, tremolo guitar and moog, to emulate the sounds of 60s/70s soundtracks, library music, German Krautrock, French Ye-ye pop and 60s psych. They revel in the warmth of older analogue instruments to create a more organic sound, each loose wire and off-kilter noise adding to the rich atmosphere. After a handful of successful releases including a debut EP in 2010, their self-titled LP in 2012 – which sold out on pre-order – and a beautifully designed 7″ single, the experimental pop duo were invited to compose a live soundtrack for the classic horror film, Vampyr (1932), for the Lund Fantastisk Film festival in Lund. Now, newly signed to Fire, the band return with To Where The Wild Things Are. Named after the Maurice Sendak children’s book, the album is comprised of pop music with a wild, dreamy and experimental edge, celebrating imagination and the ability to travel to stranger recesses of the mind. Where the Wild Things Are starts off with some of the most “pop” songs they’ve ever recorded, typified in the sweet and melodramatic “Arcana,” and the classic pop inspired “Time Travel.” Like Sendak’s book of the same name, the album then proceeds into stranger and stranger territory, resulting in some of the most experimental material Death and Vanilla have produced, such as the six minute “Something Unknown You Need to Know” and the machine-like, surf-guitar track “The Hidden Reverse.” The band recorded the new album themselves in their rehearsal space, using just one microphone – a 70’s Sennheiser – which they bought at a flea market for a tenner. It is this unconventional recording process that gives Death and Vanilla their unique personality; using a trial and error approach to recording has rewarded the album with a strangeness that would not have otherwise been achievable. Creating deliciously enticing soundscapes, full of moody moogs, swirling melodies and breathless vocals, their influences on To Where the Wild Things Are are apparent and diverse, ranging from Ennio Morricone to Scott Walker, Tom Dissevelt to Norman Whitfield, The Zombies to Sun Ra, and Bo Hansson to The BBC Radiophonic Workshop.

File Under: Electronic, Psych, Experimental
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demen

Demen: Nektyr (Kranky) LP
A few years ago Kranky received an anonymous email with a link to three tracks and a simple message: “Hi, maybe you would be interested in this music.” The songs were instantly striking: extraordinarily slow, somber, and spacious, each vaulted cathedral chord reverberating poetically into the distance, the melodies rolling out like fog across a cemetery. Captivated, they requested more, receiving a single word in response: “Yes.” Then, nothing. Eventually, 3 months later, another email with slightly more information was received: a name (Irma Orm), a location (Stockholm), and a bit of context (she worked alone, and progress on music was slow but steady ).Fast-forward to mid-2016: the album is complete: Nektyr, by Demen, and it is breathtaking. Hermetic gothic swan songs conjured from funereal piano, twilit ambience, minimalist percussion, and spellbinding vocals. The mood is lulling and lush but lost in sorrow, stark grey structures looming in the night. Majestic open spaces between notes heighten the melancholic grandeur of Orm’s arrangements, blurring the line between lament and lullaby. The songs don’t end so much as ebb away, succumbing to their own downcast beauty.

File Under: Ambient, Electronic, Folk
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hurt

Mississippi John Hurt: American Epic (Third Man) LP
American Epic represents a 10-year odyssey undertaken by director Bernard MacMahon and producers Allison McGourty and Duke Erikson, and audio engineer Nicholas Bergh that involved tracking down countless long forgotten musicians, restoring the music that they recorded and reassembling the technology that created it. Along the way they brought some of the most important figures in contemporary culture to help them on their quest. Executive Producers Jack White, T Bone Burnett and Robert Redford have lent their support to what Redford calls “America’s greatest untold story.” In addition to American Epic: The Sessions soundtrack, Third Man Records is slated to release 180 gram 12″ audiophile vinyl versions of American Epic: The Carter Family, American Epic: Memphis Jug Band, American Epic: Mississippi John Hurt, American Epic: Blind Willie Johnson and American Epic: Lead Belly plus thematic collections including American Epic: Blues and American Epic: Country. Blues fingerpicking guitarist, singer and sharecropper Mississippi John Hurt was born in the heart of Mississippi Hill Country, along the veiny tributaries of the great American river. His moving renditions of “Frankie” and “Spike Driver Blues” were included in Harry Smith’s American Anthology of Folk Music in 1952 and were vitally influential on the Greenwich Village folk music revival of the 1960s as well as John Fahey’s development of the American Primitive Guitar genre. Single LP with single pocket tip-on jacket with soft touch finish.

File Under: Blues

johnson

Blind Willie Johnson: American Epic (Third Man) LP
American Epic represents a 10-year odyssey undertaken by director Bernard MacMahon and producers Allison McGourty and Duke Erikson, and audio engineer Nicholas Bergh that involved tracking down countless long forgotten musicians, restoring the music that they recorded and reassembling the technology that created it. Along the way they brought some of the most important figures in contemporary culture to help them on their quest. Executive Producers Jack White, T Bone Burnett and Robert Redford have lent their support to what Redford calls “America’s greatest untold story.” In addition to American Epic: The Sessions soundtrack, Third Man Records is slated to release 180 gram 12″ audiophile vinyl versions of American Epic: The Carter Family, American Epic: Memphis Jug Band, American Epic: Mississippi John Hurt, American Epic: Blind Willie Johnson and American Epic: Lead Belly plus thematic collections including American Epic: Blues and American Epic: Country. Texas slide guitarist and gospel bluesman Blind Willie Johnson recorded only 30 songs over the course of his life as a preacher and street performer. Even so, the savvy combination of his gritty and powerful “chest voice” singing style coupled with his mastery of slide guitar (some report he regularly used a knife as a slide) has given him a notably influential legacy, specifically with later bluesmen Howlin’ Wolf and Robert Johnson. His tune “Dark Was the Night, Cold Was the Ground” was selected for Carl Sagan’s Voyager probe Golden Record, the Library of Congress as well as the National Recording Registry. Single LP with single pocket tip-on jacket with soft touch finish

File Under: Blues

leadbelly

Lead Belly: American Epic (Third Man) LP
American Epic represents a 10-year odyssey undertaken by director Bernard MacMahon and producers Allison McGourty and Duke Erikson, and audio engineer Nicholas Bergh that involved tracking down countless long forgotten musicians, restoring the music that they recorded and reassembling the technology that created it. Along the way they brought some of the most important figures in contemporary culture to help them on their quest. Executive Producers Jack White, T Bone Burnett and Robert Redford have lent their support to what Redford calls “America’s greatest untold story.” In addition to American Epic: The Sessions soundtrack, Third Man Records is slated to release 180 gram 12″ audiophile vinyl versions of American Epic: The Carter Family, American Epic: Memphis Jug Band, American Epic: Mississippi John Hurt, American Epic: Blind Willie Johnson and American Epic: Lead Belly plus thematic collections including American Epic: Blues and American Epic: Country. Louisiana delta native Huddie “Lead Belly” Ledbetter is the master of 12-string blues guitar. His story is one of high-highs and low-lows, from serving stints in prison after killing a man in a fight for a woman’s heart, but then eventually earning early release by entertaining his fellow prison-mates and penning a song for the governor, thus cementing his reputation of singing his way out of prison. Folklorists John and Alan Lomax were early supporters that brought Lead Belly to the attention of Ivy Leaguers as well as a European audience. His songs have been widely covered by artists such as Elvis, Nirvana, Johnny Cash, and the Grateful Dead. Single LP with single pocket tip-on jacket with soft touch finish.

File Under: Blues

memphis

Memphis Jug Band: American Epic (Third Man) LP
American Epic represents a 10-year odyssey undertaken by director Bernard MacMahon and producers Allison McGourty and Duke Erikson, and audio engineer Nicholas Bergh that involved tracking down countless long forgotten musicians, restoring the music that they recorded and reassembling the technology that created it. Along the way they brought some of the most important figures in contemporary culture to help them on their quest. Executive Producers Jack White, T Bone Burnett and Robert Redford have lent their support to what Redford calls “America’s greatest untold story.” In addition to American Epic: The Sessions soundtrack, Third Man Records is slated to release 180 gram 12″ audiophile vinyl versions of American Epic: The Carter Family, American Epic: Memphis Jug Band, American Epic: Mississippi John Hurt, American Epic: Blind Willie Johnson and American Epic: Lead Belly plus thematic collections including American Epic: Blues and American Epic: Country. The Memphis Jug Band, most active from 1926 into the 1950s, revolved around guitarist, harmonica player and singer Will Shade and featured a wide variety of instrumentation including harmonica, kazoo, fiddle, mandolin, guitar, piano, washboard and, of course, jug. They recorded more songs than any pre-war jug band and as a result, were key in developing the jug band tradition and format. Single LP with single pocket tip-on jacket with soft touch finish.

File Under: Blues, Jug Band

mulaney

John Mulaney: The Comeback Kid (Drag City) LP
John Mulaney has performed standup comedy on stages around the world, written for such shows as Saturday Night Live and Documentary, Now!, and starred in his very own cancelled sitcom. If all that isn’t enough, his dog is a viral sensation on Instagram. Mulaney’s Emmy-nominated 2015 comedy special The Comeback Kid was recorded live at the Chicago Theatre and is issued here on vinyl courtesy of Drag City. Armed with boyish charm and a sharp wit, Mulaney offers sly takes on marriage, his beef with babies and the time he met Bill Clinton.

File Under: Comedy

needles

Needles//Pins: Good Night Tomorrow (Mint) LP
Vancouver power-trash trio Needles//Pins began in 2009 as an excuse for three friends to hang out. Two LPs and a handful of 7 inch singles later the band has come a long way but are still, at their core, a few friends having fun. 2017 sees the band set to release their 3rd LP Good Night, Tomorrow on Mint Records. The record is a progression both musically and lyrically from their older material while still maintaining the hook-centric philosophy of their previous releases. The band has become legendary in Vancouver for wild shows and gruff but catchy punk rock melodies. They draw from classic punk roots like the wiry pop of The Buzzcocks and the gravely anthems of Stiff Little Fingers, but have a unique West Coast approach that would align them with the catchiest of the Lookout! or Dirtnap Records catalog. Though none of the band’s songs overstay their welcome, you’ll find yourself humming one of their hooks days after seeing them play or hearing the record. Recorded with Jesse Gander (Japandroids, White Lung) in Vancouver at Rain City Recorders, the record shows an organic growth from the power pop of their previous two albums. Guitarist and singer Adam Solomonian’s voice is gruffer from playing hundreds of shows, and you can see a richer appreciation of the group’s influences such as Jawbreaker and the Replacements at play in the song writing. Tony Dubroy’s solid bass lines and Macey Budgell’s heavy drumming combine to form a powerful rhythm section that perfectly complement Solomonian’s simple-but-pointed guitar playing.

File Under: Punk
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baby-driver

OST: Baby Driver (Sony) LP
The soundtrack for Edgar Wright’s music laden film Baby Driver features gems from almost every musical genre and spans across multiple decades. The movie tells the story of Baby, a talented, young getaway driver (Ansel Elgort) who relies on the beat of his personal soundtrack to be the best in the game. When he meets the girl of his dreams (Lily James), Baby sees a chance to ditch his criminal life and make a clean getaway. But after being coerced into working for a crime boss (Kevin Spacey), he must face the music when a doomed heist threatens his life, love and freedom. Includes music from the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, Jonathan Richman & The Modern Lovers, The Beach Boys, Dave Brubeck, The Damned, The Commodores, Martha & The Vandellas, Sam & Dave, Blur, Golden Earring, Barry White, Young MC, Queen, Sky Ferreira, Simon & Garfunkel and Koala Kid among others.

File Under: OST

eraserhead

OST: Eraserhead (Sacred Bones) LP
Pressed on Silver Vinyl exclusively for the 10th Anniversary of Sacred Bones Records. Comes with deluxe 16-page book, three 11″x11″ prints, and a silver vinyl 7″ featuring Peter Ivers’ “In Heaven (Lady in the Radiator Song)” b/w “Pete’s Boogie.” Limited edition of 1000. It is with great pride that Sacred Bones Records present its official, expanded, re-release of the soundtrack to David Lynch’s landmark 1977 film, Eraserhead. The bonus song “Pete’s Boogie” is a newly discovered Peter Ivers recording taken from the original audio tapes and mixed by Lynch himself. It was previously only available on the long out of print limited edition LP.

File Under: OST, Industrial, Ambient
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labrrinth

OST: Labyrinth (Universal) LP
In Tomorrow… An enchanting fantasy classic that has mesmerized fans for generations, 1986’s Labyrinth was directed by Jim Henson (The Muppets) and produced by the master of myth George Lucas (Star Wars, Indiana Jones). It also happens to feature the one and only David Bowie in the cast as well as several of his original songs on the soundtrack, his second motion picture to feature both his name and Jim Henson’s in the credits. “I’d always wanted to be involved in the music-writing aspect of a movie that would appeal to children of all ages, as well as everyone else, and I must say that Jim gave me a completely free hand with it,” explained Bowie. “The script itself was terribly amusing without being vicious or spiteful or bloody, and it had a lot more heart in it than many other special effects movies. So I was pretty hooked from the beginning.” As both a film and a soundtrack, Labyrinth ended up as far more of a cult classic than a full-fledged smash, but it nonetheless has a substantial fanbase, thanks to decades of the film being aired on various cable networks. And standout numbers from its soundtrack like “Magic Dance,” “As the World Falls Down,” “Within You,” and “Underground” are still beloved to this day.

File Under: OST, Rock

pop1

Iggy Pop: The Idiot (Virgin) LP
Iggy Pop is one of music’s genuine iconoclasts, a walking embodiment of all that is risky and dangerous about rock ‘n’ roll. He’s also an artist of considerable depth, and the creator of a diverse body of work that demonstrates his uncanny ability to defy expectations and explore uncharted creative territory. The Idiot, Lust for Life and TV Eye Live, originally released between 1977 and 1978, marked Iggy’s surprise rebirth as a solo artist after the dissolution of his pioneering protopunk band The Stooges. They also marked a timely collaboration between Iggy and longtime admirer David Bowie, then at the peak of his cultural influence. Bowie produced, co-wrote and played on The Idiot and Lust for Life, and plays keyboards on TV Eye Live. The three albums form a trilogy that remains a cornerstone of Iggy’s album catalog. On The Idiot, such standout tunes as “Nightclubbing,” “Funtime,” “Dum Dum Boys” and the original version of “China Girl” (later an ’80s hit for Bowie) introduced listeners to a more cerebral, introspective Iggy, often substituting an understated sense of unease for The Stooges’ raw aural assault.

File Under: Rock

lust

Iggy Pop: Lust for Life (Virgin) LP
Iggy Pop is one of music’s genuine iconoclasts, a walking embodiment of all that is risky and dangerous about rock ‘n’ roll. He’s also an artist of considerable depth, and the creator of a diverse body of work that demonstrates his uncanny ability to defy expectations and explore uncharted creative territory. The Idiot, Lust for Life and TV Eye Live, originally released between 1977 and 1978, marked Iggy’s surprise rebirth as a solo artist after the dissolution of his pioneering protopunk band The Stooges. They also marked a timely collaboration between Iggy and longtime admirer David Bowie, then at the peak of his cultural influence. Bowie produced, co-wrote and played on The Idiot and Lust for Life, and plays keyboards on TV Eye Live. The three albums form a trilogy that remains a cornerstone of Iggy’s album catalog. Iggy’s smiling face on the front cover of Lust for Life signals the album’s more upbeat vibe than its predecessor, with such numbers as “The Passenger,” “Success,” “Tonight” and the anthemic title track embodying the album’s swaggering essence and Iggy’s reenergized creative vision.

File Under: Rock

ride

Ride: Weather Diaries (Domino) LP
Ride’s first album in over 20 years was produced by legendary DJ, producer and remixer Erol Alkan, and is packed with all the classic elements that made Ride one of the defining bands of the early-90s. Trembling distortion, beautiful harmonies, pounding rhythms, shimmering soundscapes and great songwriting all combine to make an album that’s ambitious in scope, timeless and thoroughly addictive. Weather Diaries will be released through Wichita Recordings and sees the band reunited with label co-founders Mark Bowen and Dick Green, who worked with Ride during the band’s early years on Creation Records. It also brings the band back together with mixer Alan Moulder (Arctic Monkeys, Smashing Pumpkins, The Killers) who mixed their seminal 1990 album Nowhere and produced its follow up Going Blank Again.

File Under: Indie Rock, Shoe Gaze

soulwax

Soul Wax: From DeeWee (Sony) LP
A brand new Soulwax album, the first studio effort from the indie dance luminaries in 12 years! After a period of extensive rehearsals and a level of planning to befit such a huge feat, From Deewee was recorded with the full touring band in one take at the Dewaele brother’s Deewee Studio in Ghent, Belgium in February 2017. Based on the Transient Program For Drums and Machinery which began touring in the summer of 2016, they set out to record these songs live with the exact same setup, machines and musicians as they had on the road. Playing on this record are Stephen and David Dewaele, Stefaan Van Leuven, Iggor Cavalera, Victoria Smith, Blake Davies and Laima Leyton. The instruments used are two Staccato drumkits, one clear crystalline Meazzi Wooding drumkit, one set of Rototoms, various Hofner bass guitars, a Macbeth M5n, an Oberheim Two-Voice Pro, a Two Thousand Six Hundred copy built by The Human Comparator, one Oberheim OB-Mx, an EMS Synthi AKS, an Arp Odyssey, a TB-303 clone, a Mellotron M4000D, a Sequential Prophet 6, a Waldorf Streichfett, a Burns Sonic guitar, a Vox Phantom guitar, one Syncussion clone built by Loudestwarning, various solid state Roland, Peavey and Acoustic amplifiers and a wide range of effects, all going through three Trident Fleximix consoles, straight into Pro Tools.

File Under: Electronic, Dance
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white hills

White Hills: Stop Mute Defeat (Thrill Jockey) LP
The dismal realities, political or otherwise, that are part of our modern world naturally influence our creative voices. It is in this context that White Hills re-evaluated their approach to creating a new album. Having continually refined their sound, pushing the boundaries of psychedelic music, White Hills flipped the script on Stop Mute Defeat. Dave W. and Ego Sensation have brazenly produced an industrially-charged record that pulsates unlike anything they’ve released before. Hard-line, gritty, and intellectually engaged, Stop Mute Defeat is a New York record through and through. With this in mind, White Hills drafted Martin Bisi (Sonic Youth, Brian Eno, Afrika Bambaataa) to mix. White Hills recorded with Bisi on two of their previous releases, Frying On This Rock in 2012 and its follow-up So You Are…So You’ll Be, however Stop Mute Defeat is the first time they worked with Martin “The Beast” Bisi in control of the mixing board. A native New Yorker who made his name in the city’s early hip-hop and no-wave scenes, Bisi was attracted to White Hills’ new material for its distinct early-80s Mudd Club feel. A dance hall, drug den, and bar, the Mudd Club was one of New York’s legendary haunts in the late 1970’s. As a center of a distinct art scene the club served as a major influence for White Hills and Stop Mute Defeat’s sound. Following similar techniques to those propagated by William S. Burroughs (a regular at Mudd Club), Stop Mute Defeat sees White Hills break free from the guitar-driven structure of their earlier releases. Reassigning William Burroughs’ word “cut-up” technique to music, Dave W. and Ego Sensation deconstruct sound clips to create minimalist but rhythmically complex phrases. Title track “Stop Mute Defeat” layers turbocharged bass loops with squalling guitar samples, to create a sound that calls to mind Xtrmntr-era Primal Scream. “If… 1… 2” goes even further down the rabbit hole, oscillating into the experimental electro-sound of early 80s Sheffield, UK band Cabaret Voltaire. Meanwhile the taut brawny grind of “Attack Mode” industrially hardens White Hills’ rock boundaries to tribal densities. Appalled by the rampant consumerism and the proliferation of ‘post-truth’ mythology, White Hills’ defiant lyricism is at their most philosophically scathing. Condemning doublespeak as “Subliminal seduction…a serenade with a grenade,” the song “Overlord” laments political and economic opportunism, where “In travesty, [there’s always] another dollar to be made.” On “Attack Mode” meanwhile, a clenched-jawed Dave W. channels the perverse cynicism of Throbbing Gristle, throwing scorn on “societies where misogyny leads and the objectification of young girls runs free.” Exposing Western vulgarity in bright light, Stop Mute Defeat is a fearless and necessary denunciation of the political and economic powers that be.

File Under: Psych, Rock

blues

Various: American Epic: The Best of the Blues (Third Man) LP
American Epic represents a 10-year odyssey undertaken by director Bernard MacMahon and producers Allison McGourty and Duke Erikson, and audio engineer Nicholas Bergh that involved tracking down countless long forgotten musicians, restoring the music that they recorded and reassembling the technology that created it. Along the way they brought some of the most important figures in contemporary culture to help them on their quest. Executive Producers Jack White, T Bone Burnett and Robert Redford have lent their support to what Redford calls “America’s greatest untold story.” In addition to American Epic: The Sessions soundtrack, Third Man Records is slated to release 180 gram 12″ audiophile vinyl versions of American Epic: The Carter Family, American Epic: Memphis Jug Band, American Epic: Mississippi John Hurt, American Epic: Blind Willie Johnson and American Epic: Lead Belly plus thematic collections including American Epic: Blues and American Epic: Country. Early geniuses of Delta Blues – Robert Johnson, Geeshie Wiley & Elvie Thomas, Son House, Charley Patton and many more have been painstakingly remastered using a mix of analog and digital technology for a hybrid sound that is simultaneously contemporary, immediate but still completely true-to-form. Single LP with single pocket tip-on jacket with soft touch finish.

File Under: Blues

country

Various: American Epic: The Best of the Country (Third Man) LP
American Epic represents a 10-year odyssey undertaken by director Bernard MacMahon and producers Allison McGourty and Duke Erikson, and audio engineer Nicholas Bergh that involved tracking down countless long forgotten musicians, restoring the music that they recorded and reassembling the technology that created it. Along the way they brought some of the most important figures in contemporary culture to help them on their quest. Executive Producers Jack White, T Bone Burnett and Robert Redford have lent their support to what Redford calls “America’s greatest untold story.” In addition to American Epic: The Sessions soundtrack, Third Man Records is slated to release 180 gram 12″ audiophile vinyl versions of American Epic: The Carter Family, American Epic: Memphis Jug Band, American Epic: Mississippi John Hurt, American Epic: Blind Willie Johnson and American Epic: Lead Belly plus thematic collections including American Epic: Blues and American Epic: Country. Early champions of Country Music – The Carter Family, Uncle Dave Macon, the Massey Family, Jimmie Rodgers and many more – have been painstakingly remastered using a mix of analog and digital technology for a hybrid sound that is simultaneously contemporary, immediate but still completely true-to-form. Single LP with single pocket tip-on jacket with soft touch finish.

File Under: Country

 

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…..news letter #798 – land…..

If you’ve been in the shop this week you may have noticed two things. One, there’s a load of great new stuff in this week. And two, I’m not around! I’m putting this list together on Monday, and all of this stuff should be in by the time you read this. Hell, there’s probably even more than this. So I’ll update you on that next week when I’m back. Anyway, go visit Stefan and Bailey at the shop, they’ll be more than happy to sell you this stuff, or some of the killer used goodies we priced up before I left too…. go!

…..picks of the week…..

haino

Keiji Haino: Watashi Dake? (Black Editions) LP
Black Editions present the first vinyl reissue of Keiji Haino’s stunning debut album Watashi Dake?, originally released in 1981. This first ever edition released outside of Japan features the artist’s originally intended metallic gold and silver jacket artwork. Over the last fifty years few musicians or performers have created as monumental and uncompromising a body of work as that of Keiji Haino. Through a vast number of recordings and performances, Haino has staked out a ground all his own, creating a language of unparalleled intensity that defies any simple classification. For all this, his 1981 debut album Watashi Dake? has remained enigmatic. Originally released in a small edition by the legendary Pinakotheca label, the album was heard by only a select few in Japan and far fewer overseas. Original vinyl copies became impossibly rare and highly sought after the world over. Watashi Dake? presents a haunting vision — stark vocals, whispered and screamed, punctuate dark silences. Intricate and sharp guitar figures interweave, repeat, and stretch, trance-like, emerging from dark recesses. Written and composed on the spot — Haino’s vision is one of deep spiritual depths that distantly evokes 1920s blues and medieval music — yet is unlike anything ever committed to record before or since. Produced in close cooperation with Keiji Haino and legendary photographer Gin Satoh. Coupled with starkly minimal packaging, featuring the now iconic cover photographs by Gin Satoh, the album is a startling and fully realized artistic statement. Housed in custom printed deluxe Stoughton tip-on jackets, including black on black inserts, extras, and hand-colored finishes; Remastered by Elysian Masters and cut by Bernie Grundman Mastering; Pressed to high quality vinyl at RTI; Includes download code.

File Under: Experimental, Japanese, Psych
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zamrokVarious: Welcome to Zamrock! Vol. 1 (Now Again) LP
Includes download card. Featuring Nogzi Family, Witch, Musi-O-Tunya, Chrissy Zebby Tembo, Amanaz, Blackfoot, “and every important Zamrock band.” “Explore Zambia’s liberation and its impact on the country’s rock revolution. By the mid-1970s, the Southern African nation known as the Republic of Zambia had fallen on hard times. Though the country’s first president Kenneth Kaunda had thrown off the yoke of British colonialism, the new federation found itself under his self-imposed, autocratic rule. Conflict loomed on all sides of this landlocked nation. Kaunda protected Zambia from war, but his country descended into isolation and poverty. This is the environment in which the ’70s rock revolution that has come to be known as Zamrock flourished. Fuzz guitars were commonplace, as were driving rhythms as influenced by James Brown’s funk as Jimi Hendrix’s rock predominated. Musical themes, mainly sung in the country’s constitutional language, English, were often bleak. In present day Zambia, Zamrock markers were few. Only a small number of the original Zamrock godfathers that remained in the country survived through the late ’90s. AIDS decimated this country, and uncontrollable inflation forced the Zambian rockers that could afford to flee into something resembling exile. This was not a likely scene to survive — but it did. Welcome To Zamrock!, presented in two volumes, is an overview of its most beloved ensembles, and a trace of its arc from its ascension, to its fall, to its resurgence.”

File Under: Psych, Fuzz, Africa
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circleCircle: Terminal (Southern Lord) LP
Circle is the very definition of genre-defying; a rare feat for any band, but effortlessly achieved by this prolific Finnish collective. Circle’s latest album Terminal, issued on Southern Lord, is pure hedonistic pleasure. Never content on staying the same, Circle has created an idiosyncratic cocktail of sonic fusions, conjuring an impulsive, dizzying energy that stirs a spirit of curiosity within the listener, and possesses all who encounter the band. Whilst many would run out of creative steam after more than thirty albums, Circle continue to boldly explore sonic soundscapes, venturing curiously into terrains of Stooges-esque swagger, trance-inducing kraut rock mantras, beautiful electronic ambience, psychedelic rock noodling, arena storming AOR weirdness, ’70s prog rock extravagance, glam pop pomp, and of course their core sound, heavy metal, not to mention other peculiar and daring sounds that simply cannot be pigeonholed. Circle’s Terminal is gloriously fruitful in tones, shapes, colors, and sounds. Eccentric, accessible, delightful and thrilling.

File Under: Metal, Hard Rock, Krautrock
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…..new arrivals…..

algiers

Algers: Underside of Power (Matador) LP
This is the musical response that dark times demand, one that not only shakes its fist but deploys it. Locally-informed global citizens, Algiers refuse to sit idly by while most contemporary artists appear perfectly content to sit out the revolution. Not only do Algiers harbor a purposeful sense of obligation in what they do on their latest resistance record The Underside Of Power, but they recognize the roots and thorns of precedent in said resistance. Beyond the technical necessities living their respective lives both in and outside of music, Algiers’ continued deviation from a more traditional band approach created a more versatile sound, one that better incorporates a collective and respective panoply of influences and styles. Some of this is informed by their choice of collaborators in this process, a crew that includes Adrian Utley [Portishead], Ben Greenberg [Uniform, The Men], Randall Dunn [Sunn 0)))], among others. Pick any track off The Underside of Power and the reference points expand exponentially, a dizzying and thrilling Recommended-If-You-Like list that would consume a series of afternoons. Poke at the seasoned members’ bruised flesh, and outcome wafting touchpoints as disparate and intriguing as Big Black, Wendy Carlos, John Carpenter, Cybotron, The Four Tops, Portishead, Public Image Limited, Steve Reich, and Nina Simone, to name but a few. Deep echoes of Black Lives Matter and its 20th century forbears gather, surge, and subside in their often soulful work, a form of principled, acute dissent more interested in learning from the past than in evoking nostalgia.
File Under: Indie Rock, Post Punk, Experimental
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canCan: The Singles (Mute) 3LP

Can The Singles, a brand new collection of all of the band’s single releases, on triple vinyl. This unique document is the first time the singles have been presented together and shows the breadth of their influential career, from well loved tracks like “Halleluwah,” “Vitamin C” and “I Want More” to more obscure and sought after singles such as “Silent Night” and “Turtles Have Short Legs.” The tracks are all presented in their original single version, many of which have been unavailable for many years and not presented outside of the original 7″ release. The triple vinyl edition comes packaged in a trifold sleeve and is decorated with a beautiful spot gloss lamination and is designed by the award winning Julian House from Intro, a long time design collaborator of Can’s.
File Under: Krautrock
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casas
Carlos Casas: Pyramid of Skulls (Discrepant) LP
Inspired by the common task and the people of Pamir in Tajikistan, filmmaker and sound artist Carlos Casas deconstructs far-away sights and sounds to create a unique field recording experiment that equally worships past, present, and future traditions. Nikolai Fedorov thought the Pamir to be the cradle of humanity, the hidden and forgotten nest, a pyramid of skulls that held the secrets of past human kinship. He believed that most of Asian myths of human origin pointed the Pamir region as their inception. For the Chinese, Indian, and Semitic myths, the mountainous region of Central Asia, often referred to as “the roof of the world”, was the key to understand his resurrection plan.
File Under: Experimental, Field Recordings
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chiltonAlex Chilton: Take Me Home and Make Me Like It (Munster) LP

Take Me Home And Make Me Like It comprises unrehearsed, first-take recordings by Alex Chilton, recorded in 1975. Notes by Alex Chilton and producer Jon Tiven; 180 gram vinyl. “This is music performed with some of the most callous abandon ever to have been allowed in a recording studio. Many of these tracks have a raw cinéma vérité atmosphere applied to recorded rock and roll. My own performances seem to be either obnoxious or attempting an insufferable cuteness, but often they achieve a compelling electricity in their spontaneous excitement. We recorded over a few days in the fall of 1975. I was very into a loose, unrehearsed first take sort of approach to recording music. I learned from producer Jim Dickinson the method of throwing a very impromptu rendering of a song onto tape. . . . This method gives a fresh, sometimes anarchistic quality to the performances. The first day of the sessions was approached in this way. The second day went according to the producer’s more conservative method of planning and rehearsal. All in all there is some hot, untamed rock and roll on this disc.” –Alex Chilton, 1992. “This record is meant as an addendum to Singer Not The Song (1977) / Bach’s Bottom (1981) and not a substitution. The idea that somebody would be interested in anything beyond what had already been released is lunacy considering the underwhelming reaction the record industry had to it at the time. When Munster asked if I’d like to take a look at releasing anything that wasn’t out previously, I had to say yes. Now you have it, all the contents of the first crazy night of recording, plus some new ways to look at some of the other material. . . . It’s sort of similar (not musically, but in terms of the producer/artist relationship) to the Blowin’ Your Mind! album by Van Morrison (1967) — you can sense the underlying tension, and not every track is a ‘success’, but it is mighty powerful. . . . Alex was not about melody at the time, he wanted to repudiate his Big Star work and make a sinister record that threatened people. Without half trying, Singer Not The Song did accomplish that. It became one of the first punk rock/new wave records, the very first EP for the genre.” –Jon Tiven, Jan 2017
File Under: Rock, Big Star

fedrigotti

Michele Fedrigotti/Danilo Lorenzini: I Fiori Del Sole (Song Cycle) LP
Song Cycle Records present a reissue of Michele Fedrigotti and Danilo Lorenzini’s I Fiori Del Sole, originally released on Cramps Records in 1979. I Fiori Del Sole is a composition for organ and piano by the Italian duo of Michele Fedrigotti and Danilo Lorenzini. The encounter between minimalist aesthetic and evocative religious atmospheres make this album one of the most interesting and obscure treasures of Italian minimalism. The album was produced by the legendary Franco Battiato with whom the duo Fedrigotti-Lorenzini collaborated the same year for L’Era Del Cinghiale Bianco.

File Under: Electronic, Ambient, Classical
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fleet

Fleet Foxes: Crack-Up (Nonesuch) LP
Crack-Up is the long-awaited and highly anticipated third album from Northwest indie-folk act Fleet Foxes. The Nonesuch Records release comes six years after the 2011 release of Helplessness Blues and nearly a decade since the band’s breakout 2008 self-titled debut. All 11 songs on Crack-Up were written by Robin Pecknold who also co-produced the album with longtime bandmate and close collaborator Skyler Skjelset. The album comes preceded by “Third of May / Ōdaigahara,” a nearly nine-minute epic powered by piano and electric twelve-string guitar, string quartet, and the group’s trademark sparkling harmonies. Crack-Up was recorded at various locations across the United States between July 2016 and January 2017: at Electric Lady Studios, Sear Sound, The Void, Rare Book Room, Avast, and The Unknown. Phil Ek mixed the album, at Sear Sound, and it was mastered by Greg Calbi at Sterling Sound. Fleet Foxes is Robin Pecknold (vocals, multi-instrumentalist), Skyler Skjelset (multi-instrumentalist, vocals), Casey Wescott (multi-instrumentalist, vocals), Christian Wargo (multi-instrumentalist, vocals), and Morgan Henderson (multi-instrumentalist).

File Under: Indie Rock
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hallaisPhilippe Hallais: An American Hero (Modern Love) LP

Philippe Hallais returns to Modern Love with An American Hero, the first album under his own name. It follows his label debut as Low Jack with Lighthouse Stories in early 2016. An American Hero is by some distance his most important work to date, setting aside the squashed dancefloor productions of his Low Jack alias for an album of emotive, indefinable ambient pieces. After working through different subcultural musical languages as Low Jack, with An American Hero, Philippe takes inspiration from the TV biopics of high-performance athletes for an album of exceptional emotive impact; somewhere between pastiche, tragedy, and electronic futurism. Fascinated by the sports documentaries mass-produced by the US TV channel ESPN, Hallais transcribed and amplified its dramatic recipes. These form the material of tearful soap operas which develop the same narrative ad nauseam; the rise to the top, the betrayal, decline, salvation, comeback, and ultimately, nostalgia and regret. The TV formatting reduces the life of these high-level athletes to a generic tale, transforming them into impersonators of their own lives through extreme use of editing, slow motion, and musical themes. Acting as a Greek tragedy, An American Hero delves into the dislocations of the mythology of sports and its achievement in mass entertainment; whereby the hero becomes a dispensable and mimetic body. Hallais delves into this unusual portrayal of triviality and disaster, naivety and cynicism that make the real life and ordeals of the hero indistinguishable from their scripted form on TV. This obsession with storytelling and the creation of bigger-than-life characters forms the narrative of An American Hero, a parable for our times. RIYL: James Ferraro, Yves Tumor, Hype Williams, My Bloody Valentine, Leyland Kirby. Artwork and photography by Ethan Assouline; Mastered and cut by Matt Colton.
File Under: Electronic, Ambient
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ding

Aldous Harding: Party (4AD) LP

Finally, some copies for the shelf! Aldous Harding returns with her second album, Party, produced with the award-winning John Parish (PJ Harvey, Sparklehorse) in Bristol, a world away from her New Zealand home. As well as contributions from Parish, Perfume Genius’s Mike Hadreas lends vocals on lover’s call to arms “Imagining My Man” and “Swell Does The Skull.” Igniting interest with her eponymous debut issued just two years ago, Harding is known for her sinister torch songs, gentle laments and eerie odes delivered with a charismatic combination of hubris, shrewd wit and quiet horror. Party introduces a new talent to the stark and unpopulated dramatic realm where Kate Bush and Scott Walker reside.
File Under: Indie Rock
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henriksenArve Henriksen: Towards Language (Rune Grammofon) LP

With Towards Language, trumpeter Arve Henriksen is back with his trusted long-time musical partners Jan Bang and Erik Honoré. Also, an important part of the line-up is Eivind Aarset, the ECM associated guitarist extraordinaire. Towards Language is Arve’s ninth album (eight on Rune Grammofon and one on ECM) under his own name. Asked to comment on his new album, and its title, here’s what he has to say: “To express something on your own can be quite challenging at times. I have, for years, been in creative collaborations with musicians and producers that have encouraged and inspired me. Music that has a connection to ‘Places of Worship’, but this time recorded ‘live’ in the studio in a chamber music like approach inspired by contemporary elements from composers like Toru Takemitsu and Manuel de Falla, to traditional organ music, and at the end of the album bringing in a traditional ‘kven’ (ancient Nordic song tradition) theme from the roots of my family from the North of Norway, sung by Anna Maria Friman of Trio Mediaeval.”

File Under: Jazz, Electronic
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henriksen1

Arve Henriksen: Chiaroscuro (Rune Grammofon) LP
First time on vinyl for Arve Henriksen’s heart-wrenching 2004 album, Chiaroscuro. Chiaroscuro was the follow-up to this fantastic trumpet player’s debut album, the much acclaimed Sakuteiki from 2001. BBC Online called Sakuteiki “a thing of rare and compelling beauty…. music making as natural and essential as breathing.” This time he is joined by drummer Audun Kleive and sound artist Jan Bang to create some very beautiful musical soundscapes where the trumpet is the natural point of focus. There’s also more room for Arve’s wordless singing, sometimes used to stunning effect with Supersilent.
File Under: Electronic, Jazz
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Noyes_The_Holy_Shroud_Ghost_Repeaters_Jacket

Holy Shroud: Ghost Repeaters (Noyes) LP
The Holy Shroud were a Canadian supergroup featuring members of North of America and Wintersleep. Here, for the first time on vinyl, is their Ghost Repeaters LP. This set was originally released in 2005 on the influential Level Plane label. The record has been remastered and includes never before seen photos and a retrospective essay by founding member Michael Bigelow. This is a ferocious and crucial record. Limited to 300 on white vinyl.
File Under: Indie Rock, Math Rock
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kinggiz

King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard: Murder of the Universe (ATO) LP
Melbourne’s King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard are a once-in-a-generation group playing a heady combination of psychedelia, prog rock, freakbeat, jazz, heavy metal and Krautrock at a breathless punk pace. A concept album to end all concepts, their new record Murder Of The Universe is a face-melting musical assault concerned with the downfall of man and the death of the planet. Lit by thunderclaps and lightning, MOTU inhabits a sonic landscape of death, decay, ossification, fossilization, rebirth. It is a place occupied by wandering shape-shifting beasts, bleeding skies, pools of blood, great fires and mushroom clouds; a planet rent asunder by conflict. Like in the band’s frenzied live show, snippets of their breakthrough records I’m In Your Mind Fuzz and Nonagon Infinity resurface throughout the new album to haunt their latest sound. “We’re living in dystopian times that are pretty scary and it’s hard not to reflect that in our music,” says frontman Stu Mackenzie. “It’s almost unavoidable. Some scientists predict that the downfall of humanity is just as likely to come at the hands of Artificial Intelligence, as it is war or viruses or climate change. But these are fascinating times too. Human beings are visual creatures – vision is our primary instinct, and this is very much a visual, descriptive, bleak record. While the tone is definitely apocalyptic, it is not necessarily purely a mirror of the current state of humanity. It’s about new non-linear narratives.”
File Under: Garage, Psych
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kirby1

Leyland Kirby: When We Parted My Heart Wanted to Die (HAFTW) LP
2017 repress. Originally released in 2009. It’s a prescient hauntological elegy somewhere between Vangelis’ Bladerunner OST (1982), Lynch and Badalamenti’s Twin Peaks score, Erik Satie’s solo Piano works, William Basinski’s gradual tape decompositions, and James Ferraro’s washed out visions. Back in 2009, James Leyland Kirby explained: “Here we stand, twenty years on from the first CD, and our optimism has been gradually eroded away collectively. ‘Tomorrows World’ never came. We are lost and isolated, many of us living our lives through social networks as we try to make sense of it all, becoming voyeurs not active participants. Documenting everything. No Mystery. Everything laid bare for all to see.” A decade later, it could hardly have been more prescient. It’s with this pessimistic sense of being that Kirby constructed these incredible pieces, creating a sequence of music designed to overwhelm and absorb, affecting our sense of time and place by tracing and retracing musical steps into a blur, re-using the same motifs with incremental differences, trapped in our own feedback loops of lost emotion. On this long double album, James Leyland Kirby once again acts as a spiritual bridge, holding fast against the perceived current of time and culture in order to afford a slow, lingering gaze on its ambiguous, ever-shifting ripples and eddies. Like staring at a body of gently moving water, the effect is strangely soothing and meditative, encouraging immersed reflection and dilated focus…
File Under: Ambient, The Shining
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kirby2

Leyland Kirby: Sadly, The Future is no Longer What it Was (HAFTW) LP
2017 repress; Originally released in 2009. The second part of Leyland Kirby’s uniquely prescient dark ambient masterstroke, Sadly, The Future Is No Longer What It Was (2009) finds the listener returning to Kirby’s draughty corridors of processed 78s and midnight keyboard meditations is a sublime, haunting experience like no other. The listener can read his melancholic diagnosis of capitalist malaise, deferred futurism and thwarted social utopianism as a genuinely uncanny foresight of what has played out in contemporary society, in an age when Facebook and Twitter have become an all-encompassing filter for daily life and effectively assuaged the rich analog ambiguity of collectivism in favor of cold, hard, binary politics and reflexive, unthinking emotional responses. Especially in the wake of Mark Fisher’s tragic passing earlier in 2017, Kirby’s hauntological sentiments, embedded quite literally in titles such as “When Did Our Dreams And Futures Drift So Far Apart”, and figuratively perfused through its stark negative space, now feel to resonate stronger than ever; using shared echoes of the hive mind such as classic film scores from Vangelis and Lynch/Badalmenti — both quite literally omnipresent in imminent sequels right now — as cues for sorrowful elegies and meditations which aesthetically resonate as much with Deathprod’s liminal scapes, as a sort of mildewed modern classical flocking to Satie’s tasteful ambient wallpaper. Yet it’s not all doom and gloom. There’s a sense of underlying sense of resilience, of resistance to Kirby’s hushed, ribboning expressions which flows with a considerate pathos and open-ended emotional curiosity which belies the narcissistic reaffirmations of social media’s echo chambers and dialectic cul-de-sacs, quietly striving to wrench something beautiful and affective from the clutches of a manipulative mainstream.
File Under: Ambient, The Shining

kohn

Kohn: Kreis Plon (Kraak) LP
Almost 20 years ago, Jürgen De Blonde debuted on Kraak with the nowadays unfindable and almost visionary album 1 (1998). It was the starting point for a vital and wondrous exploration that lead him over paths of glitch, idm, shoe gaze, hypnagogic pop, improvised music, straight forward synth music, field recordings, and kraut… In the middle of this ungraspable adventure through contemporary electronic music, Köhn stands as a genuine artist that stayed true to the curious spirit of the DIY knob twiddling and boggling boy he once was. Kraak present his seventh album on the label, Kreis Plön, which documents and envisions 20 years of exploring. It’s an album that is about a fusion of the past and the future, of separation and reconfiguration, of mourning and rejoicing, of noise and peace. Kreis Plön is about geolocation. It’s about probable fiction and looking for bits of different puzzles that fit together. It’s an exercise in linear and perpendicular coherence devoid of any objective logic. In the middle of the album an artist is envisioning his place in the now, questioning how or when he got there, as he links memories to imaginary places, and real places, to imaginary histories. Kreis Plön stands as such a masterpiece that bluntly envisions the future of electronic music. Mastered by Karel De Backer; Recorded and produced by Jürgen De Blonde; Artwork and design by Ruttens-Wille.
File Under: Electronic, Krautrock, Kosmische
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kronos

Kronos Quartet: Folk Songs (Nonesuch) LP
When Nonesuch Records celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2014, with festivals at London’s Barbican Centre and New York’s Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), Kronos Quartet joined forces with four labelmates – Sam Amidon, Olivia Chaney, Rhiannon Giddens and Natalie Merchant – to perform a concert entitled Folk Songs. The group later recorded the songs, most of which are traditional with contemporary arrangements, with Doug Petty as the album’s producer. In addition, the album includes the instrumental “Last Kind Words” by Geeshie Wiley. For more than 40 years, San Francisco’s Kronos Quartet – David Harrington and John Sherba (violins), Hank Dutt (viola), and Sunny Yang (cello) – has combined a spirit of fearless exploration with a commitment to continually re-imagine the string quartet experience. In the process, Kronos has become one of the world’s most celebrated and influential ensembles, performing thousands of concerts, releasing more than sixty recordings, collaborating with many of the world’s most eclectic composers and performers, and commissioning more than 900 works and arrangements for string quartet.
File Under: Classical, World
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radiohead

Radiohead: OK Computer OKNOTOK (XL) 3LP
LIMITED INDIE STORE ONLY BLUE VINYL... Rescued from defunct formats, prized from dark cupboards and brought to light after two decades in cold storage… OKNOTOK will be issued June 23 on XL Recordings, coinciding (roughly) with the original 1997 release date(s) of Radiohead’s landmark third album, OK COMPUTER. OKNOTOK features the original OK COMPUTER twelve track album, eight B-sides, and the Radiohead completist’s dream: “I Promise,” “Lift,” and “Man Of War.” The original studio recordings of these three previously unreleased and long sought after OK COMPUTER era tracks finally receive their first official issue on OKNOTOK. All material on OKNOTOK is newly remastered from the original analogue tapes. OK COMPUTER was originally released on various dates ranging from May to July 1997. Produced by the band and Nigel Godrich, the album is widely cited as one of the greatest works of Radiohead’s–or any artist’s–catalogue and was the first Radiohead record to reach #1 in the UK and to be nominated for the Album of the Year GRAMMY. The album features singles “Paranoid Android,” “Karma Police,” “Lucky” and “No Surprises. In 2015, The National Recording Registry selected OK COMPUTER to be preserved in the Library of Congress as a recording that has proven “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.” The Library of Congress wrote of OK Computer, “On their third album, Radiohead create an information-age dystopia characterized by psychopaths, corrupt politicians, ill-behaved consumers, tyrannical robots, airline disasters, car crashes and failed safety protocols. For the album, the band had mostly stripped away such alt-rock signposts as personalized lyrics, sinus-clearing guitars and thunderous bass and drums. The ghosts of the Pixies and Nirvana have been decisively exorcised. The presence of fin de siècle electronic dance music, jazz, 20th-century classical and dub are all palpable”.
File Under: Rock, Electronic
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riley

Terry Riley: Persian Surgery Dervishes (Aguirre) LP
The classic minimal music album is now available again on vinyl for the first time since the ’70s. During the 1970s, Californian composer Terry Riley concentrated on solo keyboard performances, continuing to make music yet writing down almost nothing. Riley selected a mode, chose a few motifs or basic patterns and then, seated on the floor in front of his audience, improvised on electronic keyboard. The electric organ, superseded at later concerts by a synthesizer, was portable and consistent. By the early ’70s, Riley had come to feel that scores were a distraction. Faithful interpretation of an already written piece was a deviation from the true purpose of making music, which was spiritual quest. Fortunately, some of those live performances were captured on tape. Persian Surgery Dervishes, issued initially on the French label Shandar in 1972, features two such concerts for electric organ and reel-to-reel delay, one recorded in Los Angeles on April 18th, 1971, the other in Paris on May 24th, 1972. At the start of that decade, Riley became a dedicated student of the great Hindustani singer Pandit Pran Nath. Looking into North Indian classical tradition, he found correspondences to modal and cyclic ideas that he was already working on. In 1971, Riley started teaching Indian music at Mills College, in Oakland. That experience fed directly into his solo keyboard performances, but other influences were also shaping his music. Personal research into ancient Persian culture and the poetry of Rumi lit up his imagination, while the repetitive swirling of Sufi devotional music from North Africa and jazz, an enduring source of inspiration, reverberate through these performances. The Californian version of Persian Surgery Dervishes starts with low dark tones, dense and brooding like a huddled human figure, deep in introspection. But as the improvisation unfolds Riley’s buoyant spirit asserts itself, spiraling out in ecstatic coils. The Parisian concert conveys a different mood, brighter and more open in texture, more relaxed from the outset and breathing with greater freedom as it takes flight. Persian Surgery Dervishes is a mesmerizing record of a vital stage in Riley’s ongoing quest for connection with the universal mind and sublime music. “Music is my spiritual path. It’s my way of finding out who I am.” –Terry Riley, 1976 Includes insert with liner notes by Julian Cowley; Lacquer cut by Rashad Becker; Layout by Jeroen Wille; Remastered by Equusl; Licensed from FGL Productions; Edition of 1000.
File Under: Ambient, Drone, Minimalism
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tweedy

Tweedy: Together At Last (Anti) LP
Together At Last is a new album by songwriter and guitarist Jeff Tweedy. It features the Wilco bandleader performing eleven of his own songs, culled from the Wilco catalog as well as from side-projects Loose Fur and Golden Smog, in a solo acoustic setting. Co-produced by Tweedy and Tom Schick (who also engineered and mixed the collection) and recorded in January 2016 at Tweedy’s Chicago recording studio The Loft, Together At Last showcases Tweedy’s accomplished and intricate guitar playing and his expressive, plaintive voice, and while audiences have experienced Tweedy live onstage as a solo performer for years, this is the first studio recording of its kind for the acclaimed musician. Mastered by Bob Ludwig at Gateway Mastering (Portland, ME).
File Under: Folk, Wilco
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makossa

Various: Pop Makossa: The Invasive Beat of Cameroon (Analog Africa) LP
The Pop Makossa adventure started in 2009, when Analog Africa founder Samy Ben Redjeb first travelled to Cameroon to make an initial assessment of the country’s musical situation. He returned with enough tracks for an explosive compilation highlighting the period when funk and disco sounds began to infiltrate the makossa style popular throughout Cameroon. From the very beginning, there were several mysteries hanging over Pop Makossa. It was not until DJ and music producer Déni Shain was dispatched to Cameroon to finalize the project, license the songs, scan photographs, and interview the artists that some of the biggest question marks began to disappear. His journey from the port city of Douala to the capital of Yaoundé brought him in contact with the lives and stories of many of the musicians who had shaped the sound of Cameroon’s dance music in its most fertile decade. The beat that holds everything together has its origins in the rhythms of the Sawa people: ambassey, bolobo, assiko and essewé, a traditional funeral dance. But it wasn’t until these rhythms arrived in the cities of Cameroon and collided with merengue, high-life, Congolese rumba, and, later, funk and disco, that modern makossa was born. Makossa managed to unify the whole of Cameroon, and it was successful in part because it was so adaptable. Some of the greatest makossa hits incorporated the electrifying guitars and tight grooves of funk, while others were laced with cosmic flourishes made possible by the advent of the synthesizer. However much came down to the bass; and from the rubbery hustle underpinning Mystic Djim’s “Yaoundé Girls” to the luminous liquid disco lines which propel Pasteur Lappé’s “Sekele Movement”, Pop Makossa demonstrates why Cameroonian bass players are some of the most revered in the world. “Pop Makossa Invasion”, an obscure tune recorded for Radio Buea makes its debut here and joins the pantheon of extraordinary songs that plugged Cameroon’s makossa style into the modern world. Also features: Dream Stars, Mystic Djim & The Spirits, Bill Loko, Eko, Olinga Gaston, Emmanuel Kahe et Jeanette Kemogne, Nkodo Si-Tony, Bernard Ntone, Pat’ Ndoye, and Clément Djimogne.
File Under: Funk, Disco, Africa
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…..Restocks…..
Caterina Barbieri: Patterns of Consciousness (Important) LP
Breeders: Pod (Plain)LP
Cyclobe: Sulphur-Tarot-Garden (Phantom Code) LP
Cyclobe: The Visitors (Phantom Code) LP
Danger Doom: The Mouse & The Mask (Lex) LP
Descendants: Milo Goes To College (SST) LP
Eric Dolphy: Out to Lunch (Blue Note) LP
Full of Hell: Roots of Earth are Consuming (A389) LP
Full of Hell: Rudiments of Mutilation (A389) LP
Husker Du: New Day Rising (SST) LP
Iron Maiden: A Matter of Life and Death (Parlophone) LP
Iron Maiden: Dance of Death (Parlophone) LP
Iron Maiden: Rock in Rio (Parlophone) LP
Iron Maiden: Brave New World (Parlophone) LP
MF Doom: Operation Doomsday (Metal Face) LP
Mountain Goats: Goths (Merge) LP
Prince: Purple Rain (Warner) LP
Loke Rahbek: City of Women (Editions Mego) LP
Royal Blood: How Did We Get So Dark? (Warner) LP
Run The Jewels: s/t (Mass Appeal) LP
Run The Jewels: II (Mass Appeal) LP
Neil Young: Decade (Reprise) LP
Various: Black Man’s Cry (Now Again) LP
Various: Brazilian Guitar Fuzz Bananas (World Psych Funk Classics) LP
Various: Ghana Soundz (Soundway) LP
Various: Miracle Steps (Optimo) LP
Various: Psych Funk 101 (World Psych Funk Classics) LP
Various: Psych Funk Sa-Ra-Ga! (World Psych Funk Classics) LP
Various: Senegal 70! (Analog Africa) LP
Various: Slow Grind Fever Vol 1 (Stag-o-Lee) LP
Various: Those Shocking Shaking Days (Now Again) LP
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…..news letter #797 – ice……

Well, if you haven’t already got the dads in your world a stack of records, what are you waiting for? You’ve got a few days left and we’ve got loads of killer wax to make that special dad’s day. If you aren’t sure what to get him, we have gift certificates.. give him some Listen money and an hour or two to come down and browse for somethings for himself.

…..pick of the week…..

connors

Loren Connors: Evangeline (Recital) LP
Recital present the first-time vinyl issue of Loren Connors’s Evangeline, originally released as a limited CD in 1998. Evangeline finds Connors working in a narrative structure. This album trails the story of Evangeline, the heroine of an epic-poem written in 1847. Loren’s guitar tone follows the weary landscapes and mournful souls of the characters. Thematically, Evangeline falls in line with the other romantic Connors LPs Recital has published, Airs (2015) and Lullaby (2016), though with a defining arc in direction. Parallel guitar preludes begin this collection, leading to distant ballads in spheres of reverb. Suzanne Langille softly singing on the first track sets this album as a child’s fable. As longing, clouded in dreams of loss and devotion. Includes an 8.5″x11″ insert: a story written by Suzanne Langille based on the epic poem, Evangeline; Includes restored audio and new artwork by Loren Connors; Remastered for vinyl by Sean McCann; Edition of 500.

File Under: Guitar, Ambient, Blues
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paix

Cathrine Ribeiro + Alpes: Paix (Philips) LP
First-time legit vinyl reissue! Born from the tumult of the ’68 riots in France, Ribeiro + Alpes defined a uniquely Gallic take on the progressive psychedelia of the time. This is ecstatic music fusing European medieval traditions with the contemporary free jazz of the era. Ribeiro, with her confrontational and surrealistic poetry, along with Patrice Moullet’s invented instruments, defined a genre unto themselves and created some of the most original music of the early ’70s with these two masterpieces. Paix, released in 1972, is considered Catherine Ribeiro + Alpes’s masterpiece and rightfully so! The album marked a change in the musical direction of the band, evolving into a more cosmic sound achieved by way of much improvised propulsive energy. Paix floats, shrouded by a strong, uniquely medieval, Gallic folk influence. Composed mainly of two expansive suits, Paix delivers a unique amalgam of progressive, spacey instrumentals (due largely to Moullet’s homemade instruments: percuphone, cosmophone, and orgolia) standing in sharp contrast to Ribeiro’s severe yet hypnotic vocals, both seemingly informed by the same shadowy depths of feeling. It is on Paix that this collaboration reached its summit, producing some of Ribeiro and Moullet’s most haunting and passionate work. A landmark album FINALLY reissued on its original format. Included on the legendary NWW list. Remastered sound.

File Under: French, Prog, Psych
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…..new arrivals…..

arcadea

Arcadea: s/t (Relapse) LP
Five billion years after the last great extinction, the galaxy Andromeda spins headlong into the Milky Way with three intergalactic travelers in tow. Drummer/vocalist Brann Dailor (Mastodon), guitarist/keyboardist Core Atoms (Zruda, Gaylord) and keyboardist/guitarist Raheem Amlani (Withered, Scarab) are said pioneers, the space wizards of psychedelic soundscapes where organic drums collide with synthetic keys to create an infinite transmission from an event horizon. They go by Arcadea and their otherworldly brand of psyche-electric, synth-driven, metallic madness sounds alien yet somehow familiar. Arcadea’s visionary, self-produced, self-titled debut was mastered by Colin Leonard (Mastodon) and features stunning cover art from renowned sci-fi fantasy artist Essy May.

File Under: Electronic, Mastodon
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best if

Big Star: The Best of Big Star (Fantasy) LP
If the short-lived but fondly remembered Big Star could have experienced popular success in direct proportion to its posthumous influence, the rangy Memphis rock quartet would have lived up to its ambitious name, and then some. With the possible exception of the Velvet Underground, no other underground pop band has left such a lasting and indelible legacy. Taking the gritty soul of Memphis rhythm and blues and fusing it with the artful melodies and vocal harmonies of British power pop, and injecting it all with a flailing, pre-punk, garage-band energy, Big Star created a unique sound with a potentially universal appeal. This new ‘Best Of’ compilation celebrates the founding fathers of power pop with 16 tracks spanning all three of their LPs (1972’s #1 Record, 1974’s Radio City and Third, released after the group disbanded). Includes rare single versions of some of their most popular songs, plus new liner notes.

File Under: Rock, Power Pop
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ziggy_hunky_gold_logo_1000sq.jpg

David Bowie: Rise & Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars/Hunky Dory (Parlophone) LP
Two very strictly limited edition gold vinyl retail exclusive albums, The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars and Hunky Dory. The albums are being released via Parlophone on 16th June 2017, the 45th anniversary of the original release of Bowie’s classic 1972 Ziggy Stardust album. They will only be available as a strictly limited edition one-off run in ‘bricks and mortar’ stores and their online storefronts, but will not be available from online only retailers.

 File Under: Rock
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com

Com Truise: Iteration (Ghostly) LP
Six years after Galactic Melt introduced the cosmic story of Com Truise, Iteration now concludes his sprawling saga. True to its name, the album is built on Com Truise hallmarks: neon-streaked melodies, big drums, robotic grooves, bleary nostalgia. But Iteration is also the most elegant and streamlined that Haley’s singular music has ever sounded. At the album’s heart is an elaborate narrative, one full of longing, hope, anxiety, and triumph. Iteration illustrates the last moments Com Truise spends on the perilous planet Wave 1, before he and his alien love escape its clutches to live in peace.  “…Of Your Fake Dimension” launches the interstellar drama with its anthemic swells and widescreen sound design, before lovesick songs like “Dryswch” and “Propagation” outline scenes wrought with cybernetic pathos. Later, the frantic rhythms of “Syrthio” conjure images of panicked flight as Haley’s gorgeous synth melodies gild the action in quiet heartbreak. Then comes the resounding “When Will You Find The Limit…,” when Iteration’s pain and sadness finds liberation in the vast unknown. The closing title track ends it all in a gush of majestic revelry. Some of Seth Haley’s smartest, catchiest work is here, from the weightless pop of “Isostasy” to “Ternary’s” lush synth-funk. A song like “Vacuume” somehow balances massive bass drops and smashing drums with angelic gasps, and “Usurper” gracefully pairs subtle poignancy and uplifting dance beats.

File Under: Electronic, Down Tempo
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cowboy

Cowboy Junkies: The Trinity Sessions (Sony) LP
Cowboy Junkies recorded this spectacular LP as a “live” event on November 27, 1987 at the Church of the Holy Trinity in Toronto, Canada. It was recorded with a digital R-Dat and using only a Calrec Ambisonic Microphone. What this means is the record sounds like the band was playing right in front of you with the perfect ambiance. Yes, this is a digital recording, yet a recording this outstanding is more than worthy of the highest quality vinyl reissue. Featuring the sublime vocals of Margo Timmins and the meticulous backing of her brothers Peter (drums) and Michael (guitar) plus Alan Anton (bass), The Trinity Session is an unequivocal, economic country-rock classic. First released in late 1988, The Trinity Session was named “Album of the Year” by The Los Angeles Times and The New York Times described it as “a quiet, special record that challenges traditional music.” Rolling Stone declared the album to be “as important as it its inspiring.” Today, it remains much more than a snapshot of a single day’s work captured on tape. The church where the album was recorded was selected on the basis of work recording engineer Peter Moore had done there with other jazz and classical artists. Using a single Calrec Ambisonic microphone, the results are stunning.

File Under: Rock
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danzig

Danzig: Black Laden Crown (Nuclear Blast) LP
Following up his historic reunion with the classic Misfits lineup, Glenn Danzig and Co. return with the well crafted Black Laden Crown, the first Danzig album of all new material since 2010’s widely acclaimed Deth Red Sabaoth. Produced by Glenn Danzig, the dark and muscular 50-minute-long slab will be issued on Evilive Records/Nuclear Blast Entertainment and finds Danzig joined by guitarist Tommy Victor (Prong) and drummer John Kelly (Type O Negative). Danzig on how he channeled gloominess into Black Laden Crown: “It’s the times. You’re sitting back and watching people get their heads cut off, and you’re hearing stupid people say, ‘Oh, we’ll never see World War II again. We’ll never see this kind of persecution again.’ Then you hear about it in the Middle East, and no one’s doing anything about it. It’s so stupid and so hypocritical. I just want to say, ‘Shut the fuck up, you lying-ass motherfucker.'” Consequence of Sound notes that, “The vibe of Black Laden Crown can be gleaned by its song titles: “The Witching Hour”, “But a Nightmare”, “Blackness Falls”. The signature Danzig sound is omnipresent and consistent…his strength is his nuanced voice, his baritone and tenor as sultry as Jim Morrison’s and his charisma informed by Johnny Cash and Elvis.”

File Under: Metal
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arle

Justin Townes Earle: Kids in the Street (New West) LP
Justin Townes Earle has signed to New West Records for the release of his new record Kids In The Street. The 12-song set was produced by Mike Mogis (Bright Eyes, First Aid Kit) at his ARC Studios, and is the first time in his career that Earle has worked with an outside producer. Kids In The Street marks a decade into Earle’s recording career and follows his acclaimed companion albums Single Mothers (2014) and Absent Fathers (2015). The deeply soulful set is both emotionally riveting and effortlessly uplifting. Now embracing sobriety, marriage, and impending fatherhood, Earle is enthusiastically looking to the future. “Life has changed a lot for me in the last few years,” Earle reflects. “I got married and am getting ready to become a father, and this is the first record that I’ve written since I’ve been married. There’s definitely an uplifting aspect to this record in a lot of ways, because I’m feeling pretty positive. When I wrote songs in the past, I was looking in on what I was feeling, but this record’s more about looking outward on what’s happening, and writing about subjects like gentrification and inner city strife. This record also has more of a soul influence to it, and it’s got a deeper connection to the blues than anything I’ve done before.” Several of the songs on Kids On The Street reference the lower-middle-class Nashville neighborhoods of Earle’s youth, which in recent years some say have lost their character to the creeping scourge of gentrification. Significantly, the album is the first of Earle’s not recorded in Nashville. “It’s the first time that I’ve worked outside of my usual umbrella of people to make a record,” Earle explains, adding “In Nashville, if you have the right connections, it’ll spoil the shit out of you, because you’ve got access to the best musicians in the world and the best studios in the world. If you had told me when I started making records, that I wasn’t gonna make every record in Nashville, I would have told you you were crazy. And if you’d told me that I’d end up making a record in Omaha, I’d tell you you were out of your freaking mind.”

File Under: Folk, Country
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ennanga

Ennanga Vision: s/t (Soundway) LP
Deconstructed royal-court music from the forgotten kingdoms of the Buganda, reconstructed electronic wedding music, fluorescent pink African pop, crunched 8-bit drum machines and a 10-foot long monster xylophone are just a few of the many sounds of Ennanga Vision. This post-modern African soundtrack follows London producer Jesse Hackett’s heady musical journey into the heart of Uganda – recording with chief collaborator, multi instrumentalist and singer Albert Ssempeke and featuring assorted vocal legends from the north of the country. The music blends a fully electronic sensibility with unusual, hand-crafted, African one-string fiddles, a 200-year-old harp and an enormous, group-played xylophone. It mixes traditional Ugandan folk songs and modern pop forms into a new PLASTIC ORGANIC VISION. Hackett is influenced as much by the music of the African continent as he is by European electronic compositions and soundtrack scores. The sounds of hauntingly-dark vocoded vocals, crushed electronics, and poly-rhythmic drum machines sit alongside chiming African fiddles, rippling harps and children’s laughter. He is a member of Owiny Sigoma band having sung on and co-written a lot of their work spanning three albums. He is also touring keyboard player for the Gorillaz and has released records on Stones Throw, Honest Jon’s and DEEK Recordings, to name a few. Albert Ssempeke is the son of a prestigious royal court musician who played in the days of the old Buganda kingdom – one of more than twenty five musical siblings, Albert is simultaneously an educator, performer and preservationist of this intricate and complex traditional form of music. Here he plays over ten traditional Ugandan instruments including Amadinada (xylophone), Ngindidi (fiddle), Endongo (harp), Ennanga (flute) and many more.

File Under: African, Hip Hop
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isbell

Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit: Nashville Sound (Southeastern) LP
The Nashville Sound is the first official Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit album since 2011’s Here We Rest. The 400 Unit features Derry Deborja (keyboards), Chad Gamble (drums), Jimbo Hart (bass), Amanda Shires (fiddle) and Sadler Vaden (guitar). The Nashville Sound was recorded at Nashville’s legendary RCA Studio A and produced by Grammy Award-winner Dave Cobb, who also helmed Isbell’s Grammy-winning 2015 album Something More Than Free and his 2013 breakthrough Southeastern. “Lyrics and melody are still the driving force behind what we’re doing, but this time around, there’s more of a rock ‘n’ roll influence,” Isbell says. “You might shed some tears, but for once, there’s a chance you might also dance a little.”

File Under: Folk, Country
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jaar

Nicolas Jaar: Love You Gotta Lose Again (Double Standard) 10″
2017 repress, originally released in 2010. This is a special edition all-white 10″ by Nicolas Jaar. It all kicks off with “WOUH,” a time-stopping piece with sparse arrangements, quirky gulps of sound and electric ambiance in a complex tapestry of harmony. The anthemic “Love You Gotta Lose Again” moves into contrasting boundless activity with broken beats, triumphant singing and pleasant guitar licks. “Don’t Believe The Hype” retreats into mystique again — a cascading mass of body-moving sound, simmering with secrecy.

File Under: Electronic

morby

Kevin Morby: City Music (Dead Oceans) LP
City Music is an airplane descending over frozen lakes into Chicago. City Music is riding the Q Train out to Coney Island to smell the ocean and a morning in Philadelphia where great cranes reconfigure the buildings like an endless puzzle. City Music is also the new album by Kevin Morby. Full of listless wanderlust, it’s a collection inspired by and devoted to the metropolitan experience across America and beyond by a songwriter cast from his own mold. It is a collection crafted using the other side of its creator’s brain, the jumping off point perhaps best once again encapsulated by an image. “Here, Lou Reed and Patti Smith stare out at the listener,” explains Morby. City Music sees Morby joined once again by cohorts Megan Duffy (guitar) and Justin Sullivan (drums). Here the vocals were recorded at night, in darkness, overlooking a Pacific Ocean illuminated only by the stars, the wash and whisper of the ebbing tidal a distant soundtrack. The record was completed with Richard Swift in Oregon (producer of Foxygen, sometime member of The Black Keys). Here the album gives voice to all those cities speaking the same universal language of chaos and commerce and culture. City Music is an airplane descending over frozen lakes into Chicago. City Music is riding the Q Train out to Coney Island to smell the ocean and a morning in Philadelphia where great cranes reconfigure the buildings like an endless puzzle. City Music is also the new album by Kevin Morby. Full of listless wanderlust, it’s a collection inspired by and devoted to the metropolitan experience across America and beyond by a songwriter cast from his own mold. It is a collection crafted using the other side of its creator’s brain, the jumping off point perhaps best once again encapsulated by an image. “Here, Lou Reed and Patti Smith stare out at the listener,” explains Morby. City Music sees Morby joined once again by cohorts Megan Duffy (guitar) and Justin Sullivan (drums). Here the vocals were recorded at night, in darkness, overlooking a Pacific Ocean illuminated only by the stars, the wash and whisper of the ebbing tidal a distant soundtrack. The record was completed with Richard Swift in Oregon (producer of Foxygen, sometime member of The Black Keys). Here the album gives voice to all those cities speaking the same universal language of chaos and commerce and culture.

File Under: Indie Rock
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mutoidman

Mutoid Man: War Moans (Sargent House) LP
Mutoid Man – the brainchild of Steve Brodsky (guitar, Cave In), Ben Koller (drums, Converge, All Pigs Must Die), and Nick Cageao (bass) – pushes metal’s villainous pageantry to vaudevillian levels. Initially meant to be an exercise in flexing the creative chops outside of the members’ other projects, debut EP Helium Head (2013) and critically-acclaimed debut album Bleeder (2015) confirmed that Mutoid Man is an imposing force regardless of their pedigree. On the band’s sophomore LP War Moans, Mutoid Man bask in their love of frantic, ferocious, no-frills metal; no riff deemed too extreme, no drum pattern considered too absurd. From the chugging bass line and guitar trills that kick off album opener “Melt Your Mind,” Mutoid Man sets a precedent of divine instrumentation and unholy riffs on War Moans. Mutoid Man have also recruited friends from all over the musical spectrum to join them here; “Irons in the Fire” finds Cave In compatriot Adam McGrath lending guitar heft to a megalith anthem, “Melt Your Mind” instantly recalls The Big Four, with thrash icon Marty Friedman further cementing the vibe by lending a blazing guitar solo, and grim folk luminary Chelsea Wolfe and her longtime collaborator Ben Chisholm lend vocals and auxiliary instrumentation to the goth-inflected “Wreck and Survive,” as well as the album’s harrowing closing track, “Bandages.”

File Under: Metal, Cave In, Converge
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t2

OST: Trainspotting 2 (Polydor) LP
In tomorrow… Import LP pressing. Original soundtrack to the 2017 motion picture, the long-awaited sequel to Trainspotting. Includes a newly commissioned remix of Iggy Pop’s ‘Lust for Life’ (Prodigy Remix) along with two new cuts from Underworld – ‘Slow Slippy’ (a new take on the classic ‘Born Slippy’) and ‘Eventually But (Spud’s letter to Gail)’ that features Ewen Bremner. Other highlights include; Wolf Alice, Young Fathers and more.

File Under: OST

zombi

OST: Zombi 3 (Classic Version) (WRWTFWW) LP
We Release Whatever The Fuck We Want Records unleash the complete uncut soundtrack for Lucio Fulci and Bruno Mattei’s 1988 cult zombie-ploitation gem Zombi 3 (aka Zombie Flesh Eaters 2, aka Sanguelia 2) for the first time ever on vinyl, available on two different collector’s edition vinyl, the “Classic Version” and the “Special Version”. This future deluxe edition OOP classic is packed with menacing synths, ghoulish melodies, and contaminated anthems, remastered directly from the rare original reels of maestro Stefano Mainetti. Zombi 3 is the (unrelated) sequel to Zombi 2 (1979), itself an unofficial sequel to George Romero’s Dawn Of The Dead (1978). This marvel of the VHS-era finds a group of super scientists working on a very secret biological weapon called Death One which mutates and kills living humans… and re-animates the dead. Feared by critics and beloved by vintage exploitation fanatics, Zombi 3 has all the charms of the glory days of Italian B-horror, including a fantastic soundtrack. Underrated composer and conductor Stefano Mainetti has done soundtracks for Italian sleaze masters Joe D’Amato and Bruno Mattei, but also for Weekend at Bernie’s (1989) and First Blood (1982) director Ted Kotcheff, and Russell Mulcahy of Razorback (1984) and Highlander (1986) fame. His resume includes 1988’s badass actioner Strike Commando 2 (aka Trappola Diabolica), exploitation horror flick from 1988 Ratman (aka Quella Villa In Fondo Al Parco), and 1995’s The Shooter (aka Hidden Assassin) with the manly superstar Dolph Lundgren. Much like his Italian peers Fabio Frizzi, Claudio Simonetti, or Stelvio Cipriani, Stefano Mainetti can do it all: haunting synths à la John Carpenter, jazzy atmospheres, classical orchestrations, erotic funk, decadent FM rock, and the list goes on. His eclectic abilities and flair for ’80s cinematic moods are well represented in Zombi 3: The Soundtrack. The “Classic Version” comes on red-is-dead colored vinyl with a red Japanese Sanguelia 2 VHS obi; a helicopter is pictured on the back cover. Housed in a Stoughton Tip-On jacket; 180 gram vinyl; Edition of 400.

File Under: OST, Horror
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zombi3

OST: Zombi 3 (WRWTFWW) LP
Green-inferno vinyl version. Special DJ Blue Heart version, with included skits/interludes from the movie. Heavy cardboard Stoughton Tip-On jacket; Green Japanese Sanguelia 2 VHS obi; 180 gram vinyl; Edition of 400. We Release Whatever The Fuck We Want Records unleash the complete uncut soundtrack for Lucio Fulci and Bruno Mattei’s 1988 cult zombie-ploitation gem Zombi 3 (aka Zombie Flesh Eaters 2, aka Sanguelia 2) for the first time ever on vinyl, available on two different collector’s edition vinyl, the “Classic Version” and the “Special Version”. This future deluxe edition OOP classic is packed with menacing synths, ghoulish melodies, and contaminated anthems, remastered directly from the rare original reels of maestro Stefano Mainetti. Zombi 3 is the (unrelated) sequel to Zombi 2 (1979), itself an unofficial sequel to George Romero’s Dawn Of The Dead (1978). This marvel of the VHS-era finds a group of super scientists working on a very secret biological weapon called Death One which mutates and kills living humans… and re-animates the dead. Feared by critics and beloved by vintage exploitation fanatics, Zombi 3 has all the charms of the glory days of Italian B-horror, including a fantastic soundtrack. Underrated composer and conductor Stefano Mainetti has done soundtracks for Italian sleaze masters Joe D’Amato and Bruno Mattei, but also for Weekend at Bernie’s (1989) and First Blood (1982) director Ted Kotcheff, and Russell Mulcahy of Razorback (1984) and Highlander (1986) fame. His resume includes 1988’s badass actioner Strike Commando 2 (aka Trappola Diabolica), exploitation horror flick from 1988 Ratman (aka Quella Villa In Fondo Al Parco), and 1995’s The Shooter (aka Hidden Assassin) with the manly superstar Dolph Lundgren. Much like his Italian peers Fabio Frizzi, Claudio Simonetti, or Stelvio Cipriani, Stefano Mainetti can do it all: haunting synths à la John Carpenter, jazzy atmospheres, classical orchestrations, erotic funk, decadent FM rock, and the list goes on. His eclectic abilities and flair for ’80s cinematic moods are well represented in Zombi 3: The Soundtrack.

File Under: OST, Horror
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royal

Royal Blood: How Did We Get So Dark? (Warner) LP
After becoming the biggest breaking British rock band with their self-titled 2014 debut album, Royal Blood returns on Warner Bros. with their eagerly anticipated second album How Did We Get So Dark? In November 2016, vocalist/basist Mike Kerr and drummer Ben Thatcher, along with producer Jolyon Thomas, spent six weeks in a studio in Brussels which featured a warehouse of antique gear. How Did We Get So Dark? was subsequently completed after a final session in London with their debut album’s co-producer Tom Dalgety. The album’s first single “Lights Out” ups the ante on their first outing with a wrecking ball of a groove cemented by Thatcher’s thunderous rhythms, while Kerr wrangles the twisted invention of his bass riffs to a whole new level. Their patented two-man artillery of carefully constructed melodic aggression is prevalent throughout, especially in “I Only Lie When I Love You,” which is a compelling cowbell-assisted reminder of the power of a stop-start riff and a strident chorus. There are times when Royal Blood are more visceral than ever – notably the gargantuan introduction to “Hook, Line and Sinker” and also the intense denouement that brings “Look Like You Know” to a close. While the album finds Royal Blood refining their melodic might, there are other moments that fulfill their aim to create songs that will add new dimensions to their live sets. Adorned with Kerr’s falsetto, “Don’t Tell” drops the intensity to mesmerizing effect, while “Where Are You Now?” pulsates with a bounding energy that’s quite a step apart from anything else in their catalogue. The Royal Blood palette is also expanded with the inclusion of harmony vocals – something that they didn’t use on their debut.

File Under: Rock
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vanishing twin

Vanishing Twin: Choose Your Own Adventure (Soundway) LP
Formed in 2015, Vanishing Twin came together to make an exploratory record that marries oblique English pop with a palette of arkestral sounds. Having previously released a string of conceptual cassettes under the name Orlando, founder Cathy Lucas named the group after her vanishing twin, an identical sister absorbed in utero, when they were both still a cluster of cells. Enlisting the help of producer Malcolm Catto (Heliocentrics, DJ Shadow, The Gaslamp Killer) the band began work at his London studio, Quatermass Sound Lab, last spring. Recording the basis for eight tracks, they blended structure and improvisation in pop songs that describe a personal mythology through the adventures of Lucas’ vanished twin. Drawing on sounds outside of the usual pop vocabulary, the group used forgotten drum machines, home-made electronics, vibraphones, tablas, and harp to invoke the esoteric psychedelia of lost soundtracks, radiophonic experiments and minimal music orchestras. In a studio that Catto built for maximum atmosphere and minimum interfere, and crammed with obscure vintage equipment, he brought his own distinctive sonics to the table, informed by outsider jazz, Italian library music and ethnographic field recordings. The band has previously been championed by the likes of Gilles Peterson and the Quietus. They played widely in 2015 presenting an immersive show that is equal parts crafted sound and improvised delirium. Vanishing Twin is made up of singer Cathy Lucas (Innerspace Orchestra), drummer Valentina Magaletti (Raime, Tomaga, Uuuu, Neon Neon), bassist Susumu Mukai (Zongamin, Floating Points), library music head Phil M.F.U. (Man From Uranus) on strange sounds, and film maker and visual artist Elliott Arndt on flute and percussion.

File Under: Psych, Indie Rock
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…..Restocks…..

Ryan Adams: Prisoner (Universal) LP
Alabama Shakes: Boys & Girls (ATO) LP
Alabama Shakes: Sound & Color (ATO) LP
Buena Vista Social Club: Lost & Found (World Circuit) LP
Chemical Brothers: Dig Your Own Hole (Astralwerks) LP
Chemical Brothers: Push the Button (Astralwerks) LP
Alice Coltrane: Ecstatic Music of Alice Coltrane (Luaka Bop) LP
Brian Eno: The Drop (All Saints) LP
Bill Evans: Waltz for Debbie (Jazz Images) LP
Ibrahim Ferrer: Buena Vista Social Club Presents…. (World Circuit) LP
Godspeed You Black Emperor: Yanqui UXO (Constellation) LP
Grateful Dead: Cornell 77 (Rhino) Box
George Harrison: All Things Must Pass (Apple) LP
Sharon Jones: Naturally (Daptone) LP
Sharon Jones: Soul Time (Daptone) LP
Sharon Jones: Give the People What They Want (Daptone) LP
July Talk: Touch (Sleepless) LP
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard: Flying Microtonal Banana (ATO) LP
Tim Maia: Nobody Can Live Forever (Luaka Bop) LP
OST: Bob’s Burgers (Sub Pop) LP
Pink Floyd: Dark Side of the Moon (Pink Floyd) LP
Pink Floyd: The Wall (Pink Floyd) LP
Steve Reich: Music for 18 Musicians (Nonesuch) LP
Sturgill Simpson: A Sailor’s Guide to the Earth (Atlantic) LP
Sturgill Simpson: Metamodern Sounds in Country Music (Thirty Tigers) LP
Sufjan Stevens: Carrie & Lowell (Asthmatic Kitty) LP
Esperanza Spalding: Junjo (Ayva) LP
Ali Farka Toure & Toumani Diabate: In The Heart of the Moon (World Circuit) LP
Vanishing Twin: Choose Your Own Adventure (Soundway) LP
Jack White: Lazaretto (Third Man) LP
Witch: Lazy Bones (Now Again) LP

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…..news letter #796 – sooooon…..

Ugh, not sure why this news letter has taken me this long, so I’ll leave you with it, loads of good stuff this week….

…..pick of the week…..

dedekind

Dedekind Cut: American Zen (Special Edition) (Hospital) LP
Following a strictly limited tape edition of American Zen, Lee Bannon, aka Dedekind Cut, links with Hospital Productions for an expanded new vinyl edition, clasping a sublime bonus single collaboration with Alex Zhang Hungtai, who’s better known for his maudlin pop moniker, Dirty Beaches. If you like your ambient music intangible and synaesthetically olfactory, huffable, you’re encouraged to check this one without delay… American Zen finds its center in quivering, pensive drones and fractured small sounds, but is rent with an oceanic sense of scale, deploying splashes of distant percussion, extreme panned vocal snippets, and slowly escalating harmonic space perfused by crackling radio-waves and that intangible timbre of an old TV turned on somewhere, but you can’t quite pick out its location. It unfolds at a glacial pace in five parts, crossing lines/waves comparable to Chino Amobi & Rabit’s ultraviolent mixtape (2015), the nostalgic Americana yearn of Torn Hawk, and even The Caretaker’s hallowed ether zones; perpetually out of reach, submerged or hardly there, but feeling as though he’s close, breathing quietly in the background and watching you listen. In addition to the original five tracks, including the formerly tape-only “Folsom Lake 04”, you’ll now also find a rare outing from Alex Zhang Hungtai infiltrating the finely graded and diaphanous silhouette of “I’ll Give You The World” on the final side, serving to complement and temper Dedekind Cut’s broader strokes with fluctuating microtonal infidelities and a gauzier, anaesthetizing and almost pastoral atmosphere that’s a real pleasure to drift off with. Excellent stuff, perhaps the most interesting of Bannon’s releases so far. Cut at Dubplates & Mastering, Berlin.

File Under: Dark Ambient, Drone
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…..new arrivals…..

nost

Ellen Allien: Nost (Bpitch Control) LP
Ellen Allien’s seventh solo album Nost, which comes from nostalgia, is the quintessential sound of Berlin. It has a sensibility which can only be found in the depths of the city’s darkest underground clubs. The album begins with an expert lesson in hypnosis with “Mind Journey”; a warped vocal lures you into its creepy world, while a persistent beat, narcotic bassline, and spine-tingling eerie top-end builds an intense, immersive vibe. “Innocence” channels the loose atmosphere of a Berlin dancefloor, with its insistent energy conjuring up images of a clandestine warehouse soiree. “Jack My Ass” is a whirring, utterly captivating dancefloor treat with tension building rises in energy, built to create moments of pure exhilaration; techno from the 23rd Century, built by a modern-day master. “Call Me” sees Ellen inject sexy vibes but keeps it strictly jackin’; Berlin’s unmistakable vibe is blended with the classic sound of Chicago. “Electric Eye” follows with its emotive riff, again transmitting a lucid, hypnotic rhythm. Ellen demonstrates her expertise in warping vocals, and combines it with deadly techno elements. “mma” is a snarling beast of a track with dramatic strings creating a hair-raising atmosphere and a mesmerizing riff. “Physical” is a message from future inhabitants of our universe — the beats are crisp and powerful, while a symphony of analog effects cascade through the background. All the while a vocal clip appears once in a while, saying “Physical” — adding a strange human element to proceedings. The penultimate track is “Stormy Memories”, which opens with an extended, emotive intro, slowly building into a brooding acid-tinged workout with that classic 303 sound bubbling away in the low-end. Closing out this masterful selection is “Erdmond”, a delicate, hazy soundscape that feels like the “morning after the night before”, the sun blazing into your room through a gap in the curtain, a variety of electronic critters chirping and calling to one another and your head slowly shedding the layers of fuzz to reveal memories of last night. Like in all of her albums, Ellen uses her vocals like an instrument through alienation in many different ways. Nost is a homage to the feeling of nostalgia, that Ellen knows just too good, and that happens quite often to her, when she plays her DJ sets: This incredible, warm feeling, when she drops one of the old classic records, that she loves, and the people start smiling.

File Under: Electronic, Techno
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altj

Alt-J: Relaxer (Atlantic) LP
Alt-J follows up their UK No. 1, Grammy and Brit Award-nominated 2014 album This Is All Yours with their third full-length effort Relaxer. The 8-track offering was recorded all over London – from Shoreditch to St John’s Wood, Crouch Hill to Brixton – with producer Charlie Andrew at the helm for the third time. A first taste of the album comes in the form of the broody lead single “3WW.” The stereo-heavy tune is a production gem, sending out shakers into your eardrums and guitar chords into your heart one line at a time. Alt-J is one of the most successful British bands of the millennium. This Is All Yours and Mercury Prize and Ivor Novello Award-winning 2012 debut An Awesome Wave have sold in excess of two million copies and their songs have been streamed more than one billion times.

File Under: Indie Rock
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Arcade-Fire-Everything-Now-12inch Arcade Fire: Everything Now (Sony) 12″
Arcade Fire have issued a vinyl single called “Everything Now,” ahead of their long-awaited first new album since 2013’s Reflektor. Pitchfork confirms the song is for sale at merch tables on Arcade Fire’s current tour, which features an instrumental version of “Everything Now” on its B-side. Arcade Fire has been hinting at an imminent new album since January, when they released a collaboration with Mavis Staples called “I Give You Power.” They’ve since debuted some six previously unheard tracks during a secret Montreal show. The band posted an image that appears to be new album artwork earlier today, with the caption: “Stay tuned for Infinite Content.”

 File Under: Indie Rock
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auerbach

Dan Auerbach: Waiting On A Song (Nonesuch) LP
Waiting On A Song is the second solo album from 9x Grammy–winner and Black Keys frontman Dan Auerbach and the much anticipated follow-up to his acclaimed 2009 debut Keep It Hid. A love letter to Nashville, he recruited some of Music City’s most respected artists to work on the album including the great John Prine who co-wrote seven tracks, Mark Knopfler whose supple guitar work graces lead single “Shine On Me,” and guitar icon Duane Eddy who’s featured on standouts “Livin’ In Sin” and “King of a One Horse Town.” “Living in Nashville has definitely changed the way I think about music and the way that I record it,” Auerbach explains. “I didn’t have all of these resources before. I am working with some of the greatest musicians that ever lived.”

File Under: Rock, Indie Rock
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ball

Ball: s/t (Horny) LP
Intensely disturbed, dirty, smut peddling, Swedish slime hard rock-psych-madness from the deepest cesspool of humanity. Fucked up sub-human fuzz guitars; Depraved, screaming vocals; Gut rumbling bass and caveman drums; A nightmare of revolting sounds. Ball is hard rock from hell. This is the much-anticipated follow up to the bands acclaimed Fyre/Fyre Balls single (2015). Ball’s debut album is a deranged hard rock tour-de-force that will have you gasping and gagging. Ball was formed by the mysterious S. Yrék Ball, previously known as a strong force in the occult underground of Northern Europe’s secret societies. He has now decided to dedicate his will to music and the good life outside of the covens and black magic orders. Backed by his two older brothers, they form a fierce and fearsome power trio. These guys aren’t very talkative but say their main interests are – apart from banging on their instruments – booze, girls, horror comics, and monster model kits. The guys have finally been released from probation, so hopefully they will be able to do some live shows. Anyways, it’s a good thing they are still together and have recorded this – nothing short of a miracle considering the circumstances.

File Under: Rock, Psych
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barbieri

Caterina Barbieri: Patterns of Consciousness (Important) LP
Patterns Of Consciousness is the powerful second full-length from analog synth composer Caterina Barbieri. Gorgeous high resolution analog textures and algorithmic melodies unfold under Barbieri’s careful control, exploring the basic nature of sound and consciousness. These pieces are minimal in arrangement but maximal in presence asserting Barbieri as a unique voice in contemporary electronic music composition. Patterns Of Consciousness was originated by ideally infinite permutation of patterns through a disciplined and exclusive use of machinery (an indexed quad sequencer and a harmonic oscillator). By means of subtraction, addition, and jitter operations, Barbieri derives a myriad of interlocking patterns extracted from an original matrix of just few harmonic archetypes, gradually developing the potential of the reduced constellation of pitches and durations determined in advance. Pushing the limits of her monophonic instrument, Barbieri seeks out counterpoint from a single oscillator through the exclusive use of additive synthesis, fast progressions, extreme melodic jumps, and intricate delay lines. She develops an illusory counterpoint style influenced by her passion for baroque lute music, where fast arpeggios are employed to get effects of sustained chords and overcome the limits of fast decay timbres. But the highly formulaic and germinative style of these pieces is also influenced by Indian classical music’s vision of sound as an agent of change and recreation. Patterns are understood as the cells of an organism or the units of a language: a limited set of signs that can be recombined to always generate new possibilities. In POC, repetition and permutation of patterns are explored as tools to reconfigure perceptions and bend emotions, approaching sound as a medium to develop and master our own perceptual art. Emerging machine intelligence, human desire of pattern detection and the understanding of music as a cognitive feedback between humans and technology are primary sources of inspiration for this work. All the compositions share a common fatalistic tension, an impossible running, a restless rush – somewhat nervous somewhat ecstatic – to grasp a meaning out of fragments. Every piece in POC is conceived as a generative entity, a dynamic and living being able to develop its own organic laws, whose inner potential of growth and change is embedded in the initial instructions of the sequencer. Music produced by Caterina Barbieri between September 2015 and January 2016. Mixed at EMS (Elektronmusikstudion) in Stockholm. RIYL: Alessandro Cortini, Eleh.

File Under: Ambient, Electronic
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berthling

Berthling/Kuchen/Noble: Threnody, At The Gates (Trost) LP
Johan Berthling: double bass; Martin Küchen: tenor and soprano saxophones, retardophone, flute; Steve Noble: drums and percussion. Recorded by David Carlsson at Gula Studion, Malmö, Sweden, November 1, 2015. Mixed by David Carlsson. Mastered by Martin Siewert. Cover photo by Donald Boström.

File Under: Free Improv, Jazz

biosphere

Biosphere: The Petrified Forest (Biophon) LP
Biosphere is the main recording name of Geir Jenssen — a Norwegian musician who has released a notable catalogue of ambient electronic music. He is well known for his works on ambient techno and arctic themed pieces, his use of music loops, and peculiar samples from sci-fi sources. His 1997 album Substrata was voted by the users of the Hyperreal website in 2001 as the best all-time classic ambient album. The Petrified Forest is inspired by the movie of the same name, released in 1936 and directed by Archie Mayo. IMDB description of the film: “Alan Squier, a failed, world-weary British writer, hikes into an isolated, weather-beaten desert diner in Arizona owned by Jason Marple. Jason’s daughter, Gabrielle is immediately taken with the disillusioned intellectual, since they share idealistic dreams of escaping the stark reality of their lives.” Features: Joan Lorring, Leslie Howard, and Bette Davis. Mastered by Stefan Betke; Designed by Joanna John.

File Under: Avant Garde, Experimental
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cluster

Cluster: Konzerte 1972/1977 (Bureau B) LP
The two authorized recordings presented on Konzerte 1972/1977 vividly conjure up the atmosphere, perhaps even the magic, of a Cluster performance back in the day. One took place in 1977 during a science fiction festival in Metz (France). The other dates back to an earlier show in Hamburg’s Fabrik venue. Cluster played three gigs in the city in 1971/1972, including the one partially included on 1972’s Cluster II. Cluster shows routinely lasted six hours or more, luring both the band and the audience into a state of intoxication, no doubt acutely enhanced by the intake of certain substances. The buzzwords of the moment were: psychedelic, magical, ritualistic, corresponding more or less to the Dionysian hedonism which pervades certain styles of contemporary music culture today. It is worth noting this context as useful background when listening to the live recordings presented here. In the beginning, Cluster’s music was rough, brutal, and spontaneous, created with the most rudimentary tools. Unlike many of their colleagues in this pioneering age, Cluster did not use any synthesizers, sequencers, or high-end amps. But this proved to be their strength, rather than a disadvantage. Roedelius and Moebius played in the truest sense of the word, untroubled by mechanical processes. They used their machines but were not dependent on them. Intuition was the dominant force, the risk of potential failure was readily understood to be as much a part of their vibrant art as success. Perfection had become a concept associated with convention. Indeed, anyone who was lucky enough to witness Cluster play in the 1970s will testify that things sometimes went badly wrong. But mostly they did not, and then the real magic was tangible. A utopian, previously undiscovered world of sound was created in the presence of the beholder. The sound quality of these two documents is average. A successful performance was considered more important than a perfect recording thereof. As listeners, this should be accepted today. Konzerte 1972/1977 provides a short journey into the nascent heart of Cluster’s creative universe, just after the big bang.

File Under: Krautrock, Kosmiche
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contrepoint

Contrepoint: s/t (Monster Melodies) LP
At the end of the sixties, Jean Pierre Weiller, a young Parisian and amateur bassist, was an assistant at a Soft Machine concert, and befriended Hugh Hopper who introduced him to Robert Wyatt. He was invited to the Abbey Road studios to attend the recording of Kevin Ayers’s 1969 album Joy Of A Toy. Back in Paris, in October 1970, he decided to add a saxophonist to the band Brave New World, a band he set up at the age of seventeen with two other high school students of Paris’s thirteenth arrondissement. Having become a quartet, the group took the name Contrepoint. Contrepoint, first formed by bassist Jean Pierre Weiller, organist Jean Pierre Carolfi, percussionist Mike Freitag, and saxophonist Robert Taylor, started to explore instrumental avant-garde music between rock and free jazz. Like so many bands at the time, Counterpoint performs in the circuit of the MJC and for various events. The members gained a certain notoriety, allowing them to be invited to the Pop Club of “France Inter” where they performed three singles: “Facelift”, “Golden Section”, and “Lily Kong” in the company of English musicians Elton Dean, Lol Coxhill, Hugh Hopper, and Laurie Allen. The group had a growing reputation and were in talks with CBS to release an album, but it was not like England. In France, the market for innovative music was not in line with the expectations from the French majors requesting maximum profitability. Contrepoint never recorded a studio album. Contrepoint did end up recording a live single, “Unfathomable Of The Seventh Time”, on the initiative of Laurent Thibault, for Puissance 13 + 2 (1972), a compilation with other bands such as Catherine Ribeiro and Magma. In 1974, it was a new beginning. Counterpoint played in the first part of the new group by Hugh Hopper, which included Jean Pierre Weiller, Jean Pierre Carolfi, Elton Dean, and Mike Travis. A record from the band Hugh Hopper Monster immortalized on its second face the performance recorded in Bordeaux on March 20, 1974. But despite the recognition, after more than 200 concerts throughout France, Contrepoint separated in 1976. The unpublished record of Contrepoint, directed by Jean Yves Tonello in 1971, was originally engraved on acetate at the time and it remains one of the few existing testimonies of the work of these excellent musicians. Includes two inserts; Transparent vinyl; Edition of 1000 (numbered).

File Under: Jazz, Prog

emmanuel

J.D. Emmanuel: Rain Forest Music (Aguirre) LP
Aguirre Records present a reissue of the 1981 debut album by new age pioneer JD Emmanuel, Rain Forest Music. Texan musician JD Emmanuel’s career story is, in a way, a story about how the passion of fans can make a difference and about a gifted musician whose music may have been lost to the ages. The tale begins in 2005 when Douglas Mcgowan stumbled on several dusty boxes of two JD Emmanuel vinyl albums — several hundred of them, all still sealed — at a discount book and record store in North Dallas, Texas. Mcgowan purchased 50 copies and took them back to the west coast. This discovery set in motion a chain of events that led to a series of reissues and Emmanuel’s return to recording and performing in 2010. The majority of JD Emmanuel’s studio recordings date from the 1980s, when new age music in America was still an indie scene. Whether you call his albums new age or not, the meditative vibe, spiritual underpinnings and self-releasing are all hallmarks of the genre. Yet his cyclic, organ-based music is different from most of his contemporaries of that era. Back in 1970, he was deeply impressed by his first taste of classical minimalism when he heard American minimalist composers Terry Riley and Steve Reich. He was also attracted to the improvisations of modern jazz and long-form rock jams. Minimalism and improvisation, then, became the foundations of his art, and the evocation of trance-like states his goal. In 1980, with his newly acquired Crumar Traveler-1 organ, analog synths, guitar, and various effects, he began building a body of warm, melodic, usually stripped-back ambient trance with a unique mystical vibe. On Rain Forest Music he builds gentle, short cycles of notes into floating clouds of sound, mostly improvising around single chords. The “minimalism” in his music lies not in repetitive patterns that barely change — the extreme end of classical minimalism — but more in the spare arrangements. There’s also an open, loving optimism to the melodies that has obvious appeal to new age listeners. The album cover is from an original water color created for the LP in 1981 by Houston artist, Molly Khan. 180 gram vinyl; Printed inner sleeve; Remastered by Rashad Becker; Lacquer cut by Rashad Becker; Cover reconstruction by Jeroen Wille; Edition of 1000.

File Under: Ambient, New Age
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golden

Golden Cup: Futura (Grandangolo) LP
Luca Massolin is an active figure in the young generation of outsider musicians. Born in Italy, he is now living in Portugal. His sound is focused on string instruments (guitar, bass, mandolin), voice, and analog electronics. He is constantly encouraged by his fascination for the work of early electronic music pioneers, early ’70s guitar rock, as well as cosmic improvisation, minimalism, and free jazz. In his solo recordings and live performances, as well as his involvement in Golden Jooklo Age and Neokarma Jooklo Experience, he developed a personal sound focusing on the power of music to create images and visions. His efforts as a band member and solo artist have been documented by labels such as Qbico, Digitalis, Backwards, Troglosound, Peasant Magik, Utmarken, Holidays, and his own 8mm imprint. Massolin has had intense non-stop live activity, performing in 20 nations across Europe, Middle East Asia and the United States, playing music on stage and in the studio with artists like Anla Courtis, Peaking Lights, Takeisha Kosugi, John Paul Jones, Sonic Youth, Sachiko, The Merce Cunningham Dance Company, and Stefan Neville. Since 2002, he has run his record label 8mm Records, focused on limited editions of free improvised and obscure underground music from all over the world.

File Under: Psych, Drone, Neokarma
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golem

Golem: Orion Awakes (Mental Experience) LP
Mental Experience present a reissue of Golem’s Orion Awakes. Orion Awakes was recorded and produced circa 1976 by Toby Robinson, aka Genius P. Orridge, while he worked as second engineer at the famous Dierks Studio in Cologne. Memories from those hazy times are sketchy, but all evidence leads you to believe that the musicians featured here were well-known names from the kraut scene working under pseudonyms, recording 100% underground, non-commercial music under Toby’s guidance, just for fun. Apparently, Orion Awakes was released as a very limited hand-made pressing housed in a silver foil sleeve on the Pyramid label, which was run by Toby and his friend Robin Page, the Fluxus artist. No original copies have ever been found. The fascinating liner notes by kraut expert Alan Freeman talk about seeing an original copy of Golem at a record shop in Germany many years ago and he also sheds some light on who could be the real musicians involved, as well as discussing the controversial story of the Pyramid label and the accusations of Golem being a manufactured ’90s “fake” instead of a real vintage ’70s recording. A glorious blend of space-rock, kraut, and psychedelia, courtesy of the mysterious Golem — Plenty of Hammond organ, analog synths, ripping guitar, effects, trippy jams. RIYL: Gila, Mythos, Guru Guru, Cosmic Jokers, Novalis, Neu!, Hawkwind, Brainticket, My Solid Ground, Pink Floyd. “Legitimately tripped out, fans of the Cosmic Jokers could certainly get behind this one.” –Angela Sawyer (Weirdo Records) Includes download coupon; 24-bit domain remaster from the original tapes; Housed in a silver foil sleeve; Insert with liner notes by Alan Freeman (Ultima Thule/The Crack In The Cosmic Egg (1996)).

File Under: Space Rock, Psych
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cornell

Grateful Dead: Cornell 77 (Rhino) 5LP
There are concerts, and then there are live performances so epic that they are still spoken of in hushed tones several decades after the fact. In the latter category: the Grateful Dead’s performance at Cornell University’s Barton Hall on May 8, 1977. Yes, we know, this is exactly the sort of praise that you’d expect Rhino Records to lavish on the Dead, but it’s not just us: a recording of the concert in question was added to the Library of Congress’ National Recording Registry in 2011. Do we have your attention now? Here’s hoping so, because we’re here to tell you that Rhino has just released CORNELL: 5/8/77, which offers this famous performance as a limited edition five-LP set (only 7,700 copies will be pressed), and as a digital download. “During the 18+ years I’ve worked with the Grateful Dead, no concert has garnered as much attention and as many requests for release as Cornell,” said David Lemieux, Grateful Dead archivist and the set’s producer. In addition, MAY 1977 comes in an ornate box crafted by Grammy-winning graphic artist Masaki Koike and includes an in-depth essay by noted Dead scholar Nicholas G. Meriwether as well as the book Cornell ‘77: The Music, The Myth And The Magnificence Of The Grateful Dead’s Concert At Barton Hall, by Peter Conners.

File Under: Rock
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gulbenkoglu

Arek Gulbenkoglu: Three Days Afterwards (Penultimate Press) LP
Three Days Afterwards is the fourth solo release from Arek Gulbenkoglu. Within manifests a disorientating assignment of tones, textures, and voice. Hovering around the key words below there is an unsettling psychedelic music – ready ripe and raw for the current foreboding age: Sickness; Rooms; FM synthesis; The fickle; Objects; Rituals; Armenia; Vibrations; The inconsequential; Three days afterwards; Arek Gulbenkoglu. Mastered by Joe Talia. Artwork concept by Arek Gulbenkoglu; Layout by Matthew Revert; Published by Mark Harwood. Comes in a high gloss sleeve; Edition of 300.

File Under: Experimental
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heliocentrics

Heliocentrics: A World of Masks (Soundway) LP
The Heliocentrics are a group for which genres are meaningless and boundaries invisible. Since first appearing on DJ Shadow’s 2006 album The Outsider the group have gone on to release a string of records that float through jazz, hip-hop, psych, krautrock, and musique concrete whilst collaborating with numerous genre heavyweights from Mulatu Astake to Gaslamp Killer and picking up prestigious fans along the way, such as Madlib and the recently departed David Axelrod. The primarily instrumental group, who operate out of their vintage analogue studio in East London called the Quatermass Sound Lab, bring in a new singer on album number four – a young Slovakian singer called Barbora Patkova. The result is an album that takes the band, already solidified in ever-expanding grooves and rhythms into new previously unexplored dimensions.The group’s deep-set ability to craft music intuitively and impulsively stems from a desire to avoid typical processes or generic structures. Since its conception, the band’s music has mainly been created from live improvisation. This musical approach gives the band its own sound and identity -“for anything to happen it must be at that time from the people in the room, and on the spot”. A decade of such sonic adventures has resulted in a tightly knit bond that the group refer to as “almost a form of telepathy” with “musical changes that otherwise would be near impossible to write.”

File Under: Jazz, Funk, Soul, Psych
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heroin

Heroin in Tahiti: Remoria (Grandangolo) LP
Heroin In Tahiti is a death surf duo from Rome, Italy, composed of Valerio Mattioli and Francesco de Figuereido. In Roman mythology, the murder of Remus by his brother Romulus is the key event that led to the founding of the city of Rome. But what if Remus overcame Romulus? Easy: rather than Rome, we’d have Remoria, the city that never happened. We’ll never know what Remoria would have looked like, at least compared to the Rome which still stands there 27 centuries after the ominous brother’s sacrifice. But perhaps, the ghosts of Remoria still harbor under the so called Eternal City, as a kind of deforming mirror of the events, the shapes, the geometries, and the values which lay on the surface. In their new “alternate history LP”, Heroin In Tahiti explore the negative occult side of their native city, portraying the myths, the legends, the heroes, and the tragedies of that original “what if”, and sink into the abyss of Rome’s psyche and griefs.

File Under: Psych, Ambient, Experimental
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magfields

Magnetic Fields: 50 Song Memoir (Nonesuch) 5LP Box
Nonesuch Records presents the Magnetic Fields’ 50 Song Memoir. The 5LP-set chronicles the 50 years of songwriter Stephin Merritt’s life with one song per year; it was produced by Merritt with additional production by Thomas Bartlett and Charles Newman. Merritt began recording on his 50th birthday: February 9, 2015. Unlike his previous work, the lyrics on 50 Song Memoir are nonfiction – in Merritt’s words, “a mix of autobiography (bedbugs, Buddhism, buggery) and documentary (hippies, Hollywood, hyperacusis).” As he says in the album’s liner note interview with his friend, the author Daniel Handler, “I am the least autobiographical person you are likely to meet. I will probably not write any more true songs after this than I did before, but it’s been interesting working on it.” In addition to his vocals on all 50 songs, Merritt plays more than 100 instruments on 50 Song Memoir, ranging from ukulele to piano to drum machine to abacus.

File Under: Indie Rock, Pop
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martens

Lieven Martens Moana: Music From the Guardhouse (Kraak) LP
Lieven Martens Moana’s first album under his birth name marks an important shift in his oeuvre. While still indebted to the universe created under his moniker Dolphins Into The Future, Music From The Guardhouse shows the artist reaching the shores of his mental island, fully matured. This is where a new journey begins, a musical research program within the “composer genre”. Through literature and landscape painting, Martens develops a language that is as close to the personal-spiritual documentary as to contemporary classical music. Quoting Percy Bysshe Shelley in its opening piece, the tone of “Aria, The Cloud” is set for an intimate but extroverted modernist take on neo-romanticism. The album is conceived as a play for magnetic tape recorder, using field recordings and midi devices as its round characters. Rich musical intertextuality, ranging from Baudelaire to Toru Takemitsu and Messiaen, cleverly chaperones the theater of sound, emphasizing every shift and every detail while still allowing time and space for reflection between the acts. More than ever, Martens’s work is the result of a deep process of enlightening. It shows the becoming of a mediating poet who summons the spirits of Nature, of the Sensual, of the Unspoken. A quatrain of Emerson is whispered in a ghost appearance: “All day the waves assailed the rock, / I heard no church bell chime; / The sea-beat scorns the minster clock / And breaks the glass of Time.” All along the deliberately chosen archaisms are beautifully transcended, making these compositions a constant game of question and answer between past and present, between man and art. This album lays bare modern man’s need of myth, of classic beauty. Music From The Guardhouse could be regarded a corner stone, a blue print for the future of composition to come, a lecture in honesty and depth.

File Under: Electronic, Field Recording
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nilovic

Janko Nilovic: Funky Tramway (Underdog) LP
Underdog Records present a reissue of Janko Nilovic’s Funky Tramway, originally released in 1975. Rare, remastered edition. Following the recent reissues of 1972’s Pop Impressions, 1976’s Super America, 1975’s Soul Impressions, and 1974’s Chorus, Underdog Records continue the series with another brilliant album by the underrated French composer and producer, Janko Nilovic. Janko Nilovic certainly was one of the greatest studio talents of Europe in the ’70s. Devoted to music, Nilovic’s output resulted in a great number of published works, but most of them were made for library music labels and therefore not available for sale. His oeuvre stretches from classical, jazz, and funk to pop, psych, and easy listening. Nilovic has been sampled many times by hip-hop artists such as Jay-Z, Dre, Dafuniks, or Guts.

File Under: Library
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palestine

Charlemagne Palestine & Grumbling Fur Time Machine Orchestra: Omminggg & Schlomminggg (Important) LP
Important Records present Omminggg and Schlomminggg, the second release by continuous music pioneer Charlemagne Palestine and Grumbling Fur, consisting of London based multi-disciplinary artists Daniel O’Sullivan and Alexander Tucker; the Time Machine Orchestra being the extended drone arm of Tucker and O’Sullivan’s experimental avant-pop conception. This double LP captures a performance of the trio at Copenhagen’s illustrious Jazzhouse on November 28th, 2016. The pin-drop acoustic clarity of the venue providing an ideal setting for this mesmeric recital of eternal music. A Grumbling Fur redux/remodel constitutes side four. The signature strumming of Palestine’s piano augmented by Tucker and O’Sullivan’s earthware electronics and processed strings create seamless sonic ripples in a constant state of unfolding. This is perhaps the most demonstrative document of Palestine’s powerful vocal delivery – an alien hybrid of sacred music drawing deep from the well of the cantorial synagogue and Hindustani classical styles in a bid to channel inter-dimensional beings from ancient cultures. In some respects, this could be thought of as Charlemagne in dub as Grumbling Fur carefully twist and mangle their palette of electrified harp, viola, bowed mandolin, percussion, tapes, and voice transformers through chains of loopers, resulting in a slowly dilating vapor. A unique document of portal opening music that defies time and space. Gatefold sleeve art by Alexander Tucker; Inside art by Daniel O’Sullivan. Assembled and mixed by Grumbling Fur; Mixed at O’Sullivan’s Dream Lion Studio; Cut by Matt Colton, Alchemy Mastering.

File Under: Drone, Experimental
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EMEGO237LP_PROD

Loke Rahbek: City of Women (Editions Mego) LP
Editions Mego welcome Danish artist Loke Rahbek (Damien Dubrovnik, Croatian Amor, Posh Isolation) to the fold. Known for countless creative and commercial endeavors, Loke presents City Of Women, his first solo full-length under his own name. As with all of Loke’s output, City Of Women harnesses the radical with the aesthetic in a manner of extreme pleasure for all who encounter. Harnessing his thorough knowledge and experience in extreme electronics, melodic encounters, and sultry showmanship, Loke ties together disparate threads of various underground movements to create a singular and deeply personal journey through industrial temptation, noise refraction, and melodic seduction. This is 21st century pop music. One which dismantles previous held borders of sound to present a wide palate of sound, song, abstraction, and intense emotion. Recorded throughout Europe; Assembled in Stockholm at EMS studios and in Copenhagen 2014-2016. Mixing assistance by Malthe Fischer, Copenhagen; Mastering by Bonati, New York; Cut at Dubplates & Mastering, Berlin. Additional instrumentation by Anton Rothstein, Mikkel Reher Langberg, Alex Zhang Hungtai, Kristian Emdal, and Elias Bender Rønnenfelt. Artwork by Rahbek, Emdal, and Lukas Højlund.

File Under: Electronic, Experimental
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planetarium

Sufjan Stevens/Bryce Dessner/Nico Muhly, James McAlister: Planetarium (4AD) LP
Planetarium is the new collaborative album co-composed by Sufjan Stevens, Bryce Dessner, Nico Muhly and James McAlister. A completely reimagined version of the project originally undertaken years ago and performed in various iterations around the world, Planetarium unites Stevens’ vocals, McAlister’s beats, Dessner’s guitar performance, and Muhly’s instrumental compositions – part rock odyssey, part electronic experiment, part classical opus. Conceptually, Planetarium revolves around the cosmic ideas Stevens’ lyrics explore: mythology, astrology, science, astronomy and the intricacies of human consciousness. The album began when Dutch concert hall Muziekgebouw Eindhoven commissioned Muhly to create a new piece and he enlisted friends Dessner, Stevens and McAlister, all of whom had been looking for the opportunity to collaborate on a larger scale. After sketching the framework of the song cycle and performing the piece as a band – flanked by a string quartet and seven trombones – in various forms, the quartet put the project on hold for several years. Returning to the raw material in 2016, Stevens and McAlister reversed their typical process, taking recordings of the live show and adapting to the studio. “We had recorded all the arrangements and the live parts in a studio after our last performance,” says Stevens, “so years later when we all kind of settled down, we said, ‘let’s open Pandora’s box.'” Stevens and McAlister worked to arrange Muhly’s symphonic framework and Dessner’s guitar virtuosity alongside their own lyrics and beats. Stevens became the driver behind the “song” part of the song cycle, his unique voice providing a clear and coherent center of gravity for the whole project.

File Under: Indie Rock
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trent

Ron Trent: Prescription: Word, Sound & Power (Rush Hour) 6LP Box
Prescription: Word, Sound & Power presents the groundbreaking Chicago based house label’s anthology, holding milestone songs. The legendary Prescription Records defined the 1990s deep house sound. This anthology holds numerous classics that have been out of press for years, along with previously unreleased tracks. Chez Damier and Ron Trent started the label in 1993, releasing some two-dozen singles in a four-year span, many of which attained legendary status on the underground scene. Ron Trent talks about the starting Prescription Records: “Chez Damier and I started the label, because we had the idea to take a certain level of fidelity and bring that fidelity to what people call tracks. Tracks being drum orientated Chicago rhythm tracks with a minimalistic melody. We were playing with that idea, expounding a point of that minimalistic aspect and making it more complex.” Ron Trent was born in Massachusetts but raised in Chicago, listening to jazz and learning percussion. He began DJing in 1982, playing at area high schools. His first EP, containing the epic instrumental “Altered States”, was released on Armando Gallop’s Warehouse Records in 1990. Chez Damier (Anthony Pearson) grew up in Chicago, where he danced at the Warehouse as a youth. He left for Detroit in the 1980s, helping to open the Music Institute and working A&R for Kevin Saunderson’s label, KMS. Damier and Trent met while Damier was visiting Chicago and immediately hit it off. Today, Prescription Records is cited by countless producers as a major influence. “It’s a very dub experimental label… sound bites, samples, rhythms, and a lot of ethereal stuff, too,” Trent expounds. “Not to mention. Prescription’s embrace of heavy sub-bass,” concludes Trent, “It was ahead of its time, definitely.” In addition to Damier and Trent, Precription also features: Angora (Peven Everett, Roy Davis Jr.), Anthony Nicholson, USG (Anthony Nicholson, Ron Trent), Monica Elam, Konfusion Kidzz (Anthony Nicholson, Ron Trent), Ani, World, Sky & Universes (Trent), Harry Dennis, Noni (Anthony Pearson). Includes a download code with four more exclusive tracks.

File Under: House, Dance
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u2

U2: Joshua Tree 30th Anniversary (Island) LP
2017 sees U2’s seminal album, The Joshua Tree, turn thirty years young. Released on Island Records in March 1987, the album is considered by many to be the turning point at which the iconic band honed their trademark, stadium-filling sound. Released to universal acclaim and featuring the hit singles “With Or Without You,” “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” and “Where The Streets Have No Name,” The Joshua Tree shot to No. 1 around the world, selling in excess of 25 million copies and catapulting Bono, The Edge, Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen Jr from heroes to superstars. The album was an instant classic: critics loved that U2 were drawing inspiration from the USA to develop the European sounds they’d explored on 1984’s The Unforgettable Fire. The subject material ranges from commentary on America’s wealth and hypocrisy to heroin addiction, romantic despair, the loss of a friend, political and economic oppression and totalitarian brutality. In a decade associated with financial success – U2 were a band that had something to say. “Recently I listened back to The Joshua Tree for the first time in nearly 30 years,” says Bono. “It’s quite an opera. A lot of emotions which feel strangely current, love, loss, broken dreams, seeking oblivion, polarisation…all the greats.”

File Under: Pop, Rock

ugk

UGK: Too Hard To Swallow (Get on Down) LP
Repressed; previously: impossible-to-get RSD 2017 release. “To celebrate the 25th Anniversary of UGK’s first album, Get On Down goes the extra mile, presenting it for the first time ever on vinyl. And 2-LP clear vinyl at that, giving the strutting, funky grooves the chance to really stretch out on your system. Back in 1992, Southern hip-hop was still proving to the world that it could sustain a fan base that was chiefly raised on rap from New York and LA. The Geto Boys and 2 Live Crew had made strong cases by the earliest ’90s, and Pimp C and Bun B were ready to make their own. Most of the trunk-bumping bass comes from drum programs and basic sampling on these tunes — in later years they would build their sound into something even fuller and deeper. Self-produced with additional work from Houston locals Bernie Bismark and Shetoro Henderson, the tracks here are minimal, slow and menacing, which matched their lyrical approach quite nicely. You can hear the beginnings of the group’s true greatness in these early lyrical workouts — several taken from the regional cassette-only EP The Southern Way that got them signed to Jive — with tales of street hustles, relationships and self-reliance in a world stacked against them. They may have been done early-on, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t crucial to UGK’s legacy — cases in point being the three singles: ‘Something Good’; a charismatic update to Bill Withers’ ‘Use Me Up’; and ‘Pocket Full Of Stones’ (the latter featured on the Menace II Society soundtrack). Beyond the singles, deeper cuts like ‘I’m So Bad,’ ‘Feels Like I’m The One Who’s Doin’ Dope’ and ‘Cramping My Style’ made it clear to the world that this crew had the attitude and charisma to make even bigger waves in the years to come.” Edition of 1000.

File Under: Hip Hop
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uroy

U-Roy: Dread in a Babylon (Get on Down) LP
2017 repress; previously an RSD 2017 release. “U-Roy was a true reggae pioneer, dubbed The Originator for good reason. Bursting onto the Jamaican scene in the earliest 1970s, he pioneered the vocal approach called ‘toasting,’ which in addition to branching out Jamaican music into a new era, was also heavily influential on an American genre in its infancy: rapping. On Dread In A Babylon, his third full-length, he stretches out over traditional roots grooves provided by the Soul Syndicate and Skin, Flesh & Bones bands, riffing on topics including love (‘Runaway Girl,’ a 1975 single released in the UK on Virgin Records); the Bible (‘The Great Psalms’); walking the straight and narrow (‘Listen To The Teacher’); and even his take on governmental policy goals (‘Chalice In The Palace’). The album finishes with an instrumental version of Bob Marley & The Wailers’ ‘Trench Town Rock,’ for good measure. U-Roy’s style and charisma are always on display, and — as with all of his classic records — the groove rules all. Presented on black vinyl with a poster of the glorious, ganja-drenched cover art, it’s the perfect chance to revisit one of the more underrated voices in Jamaican musical history. Includes an 18″ x 24″ full-color poster of the cover art.”

File Under: Reggae
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waters

Roger Waters: Is This the Life We Really Wanted? (Columbia) LP
Roger Waters, the creative power and song writing force behind Pink Floyd, returns with his first rock album in 25 years, Is This The Life We Really Want? Waters’ last studio album, 1992’s Amused To Death, was a prescient study of popular culture, exploring the power of television in the era of the First Gulf War. The long-awaited follow-up is an unflinching commentary on the modern world and uncertain times and serves as a natural successor to classic Pink Floyd albums such as Animals and The Wall. Produced and mixed by Nigel Godrich (Radiohead, Paul McCartney, Beck, U2), Is This The Life We Really Want? includes 12 new Waters musical compositions and studio performances. The musicians on Is This The Life We Really Want? are: Roger Waters (vocals, acoustic, bass), Nigel Godrich (arrangement, sound collages, keyboards, guitar), Gus Seyffert (bass, guitar, keyboards), Jonathan Wilson (guitar, keyboards), Joey Waronker (drums), Roger Manning (keyboards), Lee Pardini (keyboards), and Lucius (vocals) with Jessica Wolfe and Holly Proctor. Tracks on Is This The Life We Really Want? include: “When We Were Young,” “Déjà vu,” “The Last Refugee,” “Picture That,” “Broken Bones,” “The Life We Really Want,” “A Bird In A Gale,” “The Most Beautiful Girl,” “Smell the Roses,” “Wait For Her,” “Oceans Apart,” and “Part of Me Died.” The lyrics for “Wait for Her” were written by Roger Waters and inspired by an English translation by an unknown author of Lesson from the Kama Sutra (Wait for Her), by Mahmoud Darwish. Double 180-gram vinyl in a gatefold jacket.

File Under: Rock
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westcoast

West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band: Vol 3: A Child’s Guide to Good & Evil (Jackpot) LP
“Released in July 1968 on Reprise Records, Vol. 3: A Child’s Guide To Good & Evil is considered to be the band’s most accomplished work and a masterpiece of the psychedelic genre. Released just nine months after Vol. 2, the band explores their incredibly creative psychedelic pop song writing with an accomplished mastery of studio techniques. Featuring iconic original artwork by John Van Hamersveld (Beatles, Rolling Stones). A long awaited reissue from the master tapes.”

File Under: Psych
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miracle

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

File Under: Electronic, Ambient, Experimental
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saigon

Various: Saigon Supersound Vol 1 (Saigon Supersound) LP
Gatefold sleeve. What started as an idea in 2012 now becomes reality with the release of Saigon Supersound Vol. 1, compiled by Jan Hagenkötter. A compilation about the story of a musical era in Vietnam that was almost lost, made of tracks from 1965 to 1975, the so-called “Golden Music” period in the south of Vietnam, where — under difficult circumstances — a lively pop culture had developed. This period is characterized by the fusion of Vietnamese music with western pop music. The compilation includes some tunes reissued for the very first time since their original release. Jan Hagenkötter, a music-lover and DJ who is also the mind behind the renowned music publishing company and record label INFRACom!, relocated to Saigon in 2012. In co-operation with the Vietnam based dOSe crew, Jan organized parties and shows, inviting guest and friends like DJ Spinna, Jazzanova, Alice Russell, and many other artists. In 2012, as he was spinning tunes in Saigon and other parts of South East Asia, the idea for this project was born. In 2013, Jan returned to Germany, but he has been swinging back and forth between Saigon and Frankfurt ever since. In the following years, he began to research and collect more seriously. He bought vinyl singles from around the world, often several copies of the same release, just to restore or rather “rebuild” one good recording from several sources. With the help of friends based in Saigon, he was able to navigate an almost impenetrable jungle of music websites and come into contact with several collectors. The best recordings from this treasure hunt were then retouched, refined, and remastered in the studio for this release. Besides this amazing project, Vietnamese producers like Maqman from Saigon, DJ Yellow from Paris, and others who also share roots in Vietnam, have already started to work on edits and re-works of songs featured on Saigon Supersound Vol. 1. Features: Carol Kim, Hùng Cường & Mai Lệ Huyền, Duy Quang & Thái Hiền, Thanh Vũ, Connie Kim, Hòa Tấu, Phượng Mai, Khánh Ly, Kim Loan, Thanh Thuý & Văn Thanh & Hoàng Liêm & Thanh Mai, Kiều Oanh, Thanh Lan, Châu Hà & Thanh Mai, Mai Lệ Huyền, Vân Sơn & Thùy Dung, Hoàng Oanh, Phương Dung, and Ngọc Giàu.

File Under: Asia, Garage, Psych

slow

Various: Slow Grind Fever 7 (Stag-o-Lee) LP
The seventh volume of Slow Grind Fever, the amazing series of slow grinding R&B/soul/exotica tunes as they are played in a club in Melbourne/Australia. “Around midnight on the last Saturday of every month, an assemblage of juiceheads, grifters, kittens, dandies, and derelicts gather in a dimly-lit, smoke-filled room and dance together real slow. These are some of the records they dance to… Thanks to all the flute players and backing singers of yore for flavouring these old records up just like we like them.” –Richie1250, Melbourne, 2017. Fourteen songs dating from 1957-1962. Side A compiled by Richie1250; Side B compiled by Pierre Baroni. Liner notes by Richie1250. Features: Bob And Lucille, The Ravons, Kip Tyler, Ferlin Husky, Louis Armstrong, Johnnie Morisette, Jack Hammer, Bing Day, Big Jack, Jack Costanzo, Peggy King, Dr. Horse, Frank Minion, and The Swinging Tigers.

File Under: R’N’B, Exotica

…..Restocks…..

!!!: Shake the Shudder (Warp) LP
Beatles: Let It Be (Apple) LP
Beatles: Sgt. Pepper’s (Apple) LP
Black Sabbath: s/t (Rhino) LP
Dave Brubeck: Time Out (Jazz Wax) LP
Childish Gambino: Camp (Glassnote) LP
Coil: Backwards (Cold Sweat) LP
Dadawah: Peace & Love (Dug Out) LP
Dick Dale: Singles (Sundazed) LP
Nick Drake: Pink Moon (Island) LP
Bob Dylan: Blood on the Tracks (Mofi) LP
Feist: Pleasure (Universal) LP
Gas: Narkopop (Kompakt) 3LP
Gorillaz: Humanz (Warner) LP
Iron Maiden: Number of the Beast (Parlophone) LP
Iron Maiden: Piece of Mind (Parlophone) LP
Iron Maiden: Powerslave (Parlophone) LP
Jay Z: Black Album (Universal) LP
Jay Z: Blueprint (Universal) LP
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard: Nonagon Infinity (ATO) LP
Curtis Mayfield: Superfly (Curtom) LP
Nas: Illmatic (Get on Down) LP
New Order: Power Corruption & Lies (Rhino) LP
Relatively Clean Rivers: s/t (Phoenix) LP
Satan: s/t (Monster Melodies) LP
Midori Takada: Through the Looking Glass (WRWTFWW) LP
Allen Toussaint: Collection (Warner) LP
A Tribe Called Quest: Low End Theory (Jive) LP

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…..news letter #795 – jooooon…..

Well, only slightly more stuff in this week than last week. But I can tell you, there’s a lot on the way for next week so, there’s that. There’s also a lot of really great used stuff hitting the bins this week. Come on down for a dig….

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…..pick of the week…..

Oxbow-Thin-Black-Duke-1487864449-640x640

Oxbow: Thin Black Duke (Hydrahead) LP
First studio album in over 10 years! Over the 30 years of Oxbow’s operations, no one has come comfortably close to classifying the Bay Area group. This could arguably be the result of Oxbow’s ongoing evolution, but accurately describing any particular phase of the groups’ seven-album career is no easier than describing the broader metamorphic arc of their creative path. This is especially true with their seventh album Thin Black Duke , where Oxbow’s elusive brand of harmonic unrest has absorbed the ornate and ostentatious palate of baroque pop into their sound, pushing their polarized dynamics into a scope that spans between sublime and completely unnerving. This is new musical territory for all parties involved. The album was engineered and co-produced by Joe Chiccarelli (Beck, My Morning Jacket, Etta james, etc).

File Under: Metal
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…..new arrivals…..

buffalo

Buffalo Tom: Let Me Come Over (Beggars) LP
Buffalo Tom (Bill Janovitz, Chris Colbourn and Tom Maginnis) formed at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst in 1984 – a breeding ground of post punk guitar bands like Dinosaur Jr. and Pixies. They thrived on college radio in the late 1980’s and toured extensively in Europe, the US, Australia and Japan. In 1992 the band recorded their third album Let Me Come Over with a varied group of songs they had been developing at home and on the road – mixing their live power trio sound with some more acoustic based guitar ballads. The album’s single “Taillights Fade” would become their signature song. 2017 marks the 25th anniversary of this album, and to celebrate, Beggars Banquet will reissue it together with a live album – in fact the first ever live release from Buffalo Tom. The show was recorded in early 1992 just prior to the release of Let Me Come Over at U.L.U. which stood for University Of London Union (and is now known as Student Central). The band mixed the live album at Q Division in Boston, and it was mastered at Abbey Road. On its first two albums, Buffalo Tom constructed towering guitar-scapes and mastered a naturalistic version of quiet-to-loud dynamics. So, for its third, we found Buffalo Tom shedding a bit, but not all of the skin it had worn and emerging with its charms more front and center. Let Me Come Over is the sound of the trio exiting the insular underground for the wide world of “alternative” rock – -but more or less bringing its best moves along with it, too. Previously loosely linked with fellow travelers Dinosaur Jr. and Uncle Tupelo via a similar three-piece format, stunning depth of songwriting and association with Boston’s Fort Apache Studios – it’s not hard to imagine Buffalo Tom wanted to stake a claim stylistically. Yet, LMCO never feels like a break with the past, it’s a transition. Inside that abstruse cover are undeniably magnificent tunes. “Staples” is emblematic of a band in flux with a grungy lyrical conceit rendered with hi-fi guitar squalls. It’s the first single “Taillights Fade,” however, where the band appears to find a new comfort zone, at an unhurried speed where Janovitz’s storytelling and car crash metaphors stand the best chance of making an impression. It plays with quiet-to-loud dynamics, and as for emotional expression, it swings for the bleachers – and a place on alternative rock radio. “Mineral” jangles in a similar vein and makes grand gestures. “Darl” and “Larry” are solid but disparate cuts. Colbourn’s “Darl” feels a bit like an outlier with its thrashy feel – it sounds better louder. “Larry” has a sweetness to it that’s augmented by its busker’s strumming. Released as a second single, “Velvet Roof” had given us a taste of what was newly possible, a hook-heavy stomper with a densely woven rhythm matched by tight lyric writing – each piece expertly crafted to go into the next, no frayed ends here – and a snazzy mix by Ron Saint Germain, a pro who would later bring out the best in Soundgarden. A wailing harmonica solo gives it all a swagger that’s kind of new for the band. “Stymied” summons the emotional intensity of Birdbrain – it’s probably the album’s darkest moment. Somehow both life-affirming and wistful “Porchlight” contrasts with the way “Saving Grace” blazes through the barroom like a ‘Mats tribute. There’s no filler to be found here. “Frozen Lake” sees the band caressing acoustic guitars in comedown mode. Let Me Come Over is kind of a short story collection with equal parts thunder and intimacy, hills and valleys, last night’s mistakes and tomorrow’s contrition. Ultimately, it’s possibility, a sense of ‘hey, this just might work’ that makes it such a deep spin 25 years later. Let Me Come Over triumphs.

File Under: Indie Rock
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crimp

Crimpshrine: Duct Tape Soup (Numero) LP
Before Green Day, Operation Ivy, and Lookout Records put the East Bay’s burgeoning punk scene on the map, a trio of Berkeley kids were reinventing the genre with music that was melodic but full of feedback, and a singer who sounded like he gargled glass. Crimpshrine’s debut EP was Lookout’s fourth release, followed by an album, a second EP, and a slew of split singles and compilation tracks before the band imploded in 1989 after a ridiculous two-and-a-half-month tour in a Ford Pinto hatchback. Formed around teenage binary stars Jeff Ott and Aaron Cometbus, Crimpshrine went through a series of lineups in their four-year run, utilizing future Tilt and Go Sailor bassists Pete Rypins and Paul Curran, and briefly including second guitarist Idon Bryant. Not overtly political, their fiery brand of introspective punk touched on homelessness, teenage pregnancy, drug use, friendship, isolation, and a grimy sort of romance. Duct Tape Soup is their Lookout-rejected 1988 debut LP that was parsed out to various compilations and split 7″s before being recompiled for Larry Livermore’s punk institution in 1992. After Lookout’s unfortunate demise at the turn of the century, the album went out of print. In cooperation with the band, Numero has remastered the recordings and freshened up the accompanying booklet to make the perfect legacy edition of this ’80s punk classic.

File Under: Punk
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crim

Crimpshrine: The Sound of a New World Being Born (Numero) LP
Before Green Day, Operation Ivy, and Lookout Records put the East Bay’s burgeoning punk scene on the map, a trio of Berkeley kids were reinventing the genre with music that was melodic but full of feedback, and a singer who sounded like he gargled glass. Crimpshrine’s debut EP was Lookout’s fourth release, followed by an album, a second EP, and a slew of split singles and compilation tracks before the band imploded in 1989 after a ridiculous two-and-a-half-month tour in a Ford Pinto hatchback. Formed around teenage binary stars Jeff Ott and Aaron Cometbus, Crimpshrine went through a series of lineups in their four-year run, utilizing future Tilt and Go Sailor bassists Pete Rypins and Paul Curran, and briefly including second guitarist Idon Bryant. Not overtly political, their fiery brand of introspective punk touched on homelessness, teenage pregnancy, drug use, friendship, isolation, and a grimy sort of romance. Sound Of A New World Being Born compiles their Lookout singles like “Sleep What’s That “and Quit Talkin’ Claude EP with a handful of compilation and split 7” tracks. In cooperation with the band, Numero remastered the 16-track album and freshened up the accompanying poster to make the perfect legacy edition of this ’80s punk classic.

 File Under: Punk
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crystal

Crystal Fairy: s/t (Ipecac) LP
Members of the Melvins (Buzz Osborne and Dale Crover), At The Drive-In/The Mars Volta (Omar Rodriguez-Lopez) and Le Butcherettes (Teri Gender Bender) have formed the roaring new rock band, Crystal Fairy and present their self-titled debut. “When the Melvins toured with Le Butcherettes, Teri would come out at the end of the set and do ‘Rebel Girl’ with us,” explains drummer Dale Crover. “It was almost always the highlight of the show! From doing that, we knew there was some chemistry between us that was worth exploring. We became close friends with both Teri and Omar on the tour and came up with the idea of starting a new band with them.” “Omar caught up with us on the Melvins’ tour because he is an admirer. Through the travels, the Melvins and Omar connected as well,” adds singer Teri Gender Bender. “Sometimes, Omar and I would fantasize loudly of hopefully being able to form a power group together. Before we knew it, we were writing music in the studio (both in El Paso and L.A.) and birthed a magical little gem that I am extremely proud to be a part of.”  “The Melvins have had many different line-ups, and we’ll continue to mix things up but with Crystal Fairy, working with Teri and Omar, I knew this was something different and deserved to have its own identity,” said singer/guitar player Buzz Osborne. Omar Rodriguez-Lopez notes , “While our main bands will still remain our focus and priority, we intend to have as much fun as possible recording and touring with this special and unique project.”

File Under: Rock, Melvins
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elder

Elder: Reflections of a Floating World (Armageddon) LP
It’s time to get euphoric. With Elder’s fourth full-length album, an epic piece of rock music will be released unto the world. And we think that’s a reason to celebrate. Band members and friends Nick Disalvo, Jack Donovan and Matt Couto already dismissed any last remains of stoner metal stereotypes on Lore (2015). Their current album, which was written following the long and acclaimed Lore tour in moments of intense creativity, is a journey into prog rock and psychedelic worlds. Six monumental songs, huge in sound, each of them their own cosmic expedition. What begins as driving mid-tempo rock filled with heavy guitar riffs repeatedly erupts into melodic tangents and clever variations. The high demands that DiSalvo places on his own songwriting seem to become more unfettered from minute to minute—as does the pleasure of listening to him. Guest musicians Michael Samos and Mike Risberg have added additional guitars, pedal steel and keyboards to the trio, making Elder’s sound more voluminous than ever, and the influences found here range from ’70s prog dinosaurs such as Yes, King Crimson or Pink Floyd to their kindred spirits in the European psychedelic and space rock scenes. And it is of course a cliché, but Elder bring their own organism to life from all these influences. Elder will be taking Reflections of a Floating World live to European fans in July and August 2017, followed by a USA tour in the fall. The East Coast trio will be a quartet for the first time ever on these tours with the addition of Mike Risberg on second guitar and keyboards. Anybody who has already seen Elder live know that they shouldn’t miss the opportunity to see them on this tour. 500 LP pressed on clear / green vinyl.

File Under: Metal

fucked up

Fucked Up: Live at Third Man (Third Man) LP
Picture it: peak summer in Nashville, TN in July 2015. The sweltering days and nights are long as ever and the humidity ain’t kind. So what does Third Man Records do? They put on a matinee all ages show with one of the most raucous bands you can conceive of resulting in one of the sweatiest crowds in Blue Room history – Fucked Up. True to tradition, they recorded the whole thing direct-to-acetate and are now unleashing the force unto the world. Fucked Up is a rare band. They’re a mutant strain of post-hardcore, arena-punk super-talents capable of reworking the strange and the beautiful into something cohesive, but never at the expense of their signature, addictive, furious entropy. They are truly a blitzkrieg of song and lyric. Is it work-shy and lazy to call a live record whose songs flow seamlessly into one another “epic?” What if every track is a battering ram of rabid guitar, fugitive vocals, deathmatch bass and roaring drums? No matter how you dice it…one word won’t ever be enough to explain a band like Fucked Up. All substitutions will pale in comparison to the experience itself. But Third Man’s record does the show justice. They’ve been itching to get this one on your turntables and they know you can’t wait to drop the needle. So here it is..a six-track sonic boom of a record now available for your listening pleasure!

File Under: Indie Rock, Punk

gonzalez

Delia Gonzalez: Horse Follows Darkness (DFA) LP
Horse Follows Darkness is the second record by Delia Gonzalez and follow up to her debut In Remembrance. The title is taken from a werewolf genre film her 8 year old son Wolfgang had created. At this time, Wolfgang also turned Delia onto a genre of cinema she had always resisted – the American Western. The narrative is one of re-encountering the frontier mentality that shaped the country but somehow never faded. This time as a foreigner. The genre of the Western remains pertinent, many of the same stories of that brutally deromanticized era are still relevant today. America hasn’t changed – the cast, times and settings have, but we still hold onto the same ideal. Horse Follows Darkness is essentially a modern electronic soundtrack for the Revisionist Western. Even the idea for the record cover is inspired by one of the most well known modern Westerns, Robert Altman’s McCabe & Mrs Miller. The album was recorded with Abe Seiferth at Transmitter Park studios, which Delia likens to “going to the finest tailor.” Abe became an integral part of the recording, playing guitar and helping to suggest experimenting with different synthesizers, something Delia was keen to do. She refers to Abe as “a magical and incredibly intuitive collaborator” regarding the sound of the record. The music that emerged from these recording sessions combines a range of influences – from the compositions of Erik Satie to Salon De Musique, the solo piano record by Su Tissue (of the L.A. punk band Suburban Lawns). The record also took on a much different shape and sound with the introduction of the Sequential Circuits Prophet VS, as well as a vintage Korg Poly synth and the Roland SH-101. The golden era Krautrock recordings of bands like Neu!, Cluster and Harmonia were touchstones as well, the repetition, swirling soundscapes and locked-in rhythm tracks.

File Under: Electronic, Experimental, Minimal
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nys

New Year: Snow (Undertow) LP
First new album in 9 years. National press campaign by Jacob Daneman at Press Here. Track premieres on Pitchfork, NPR, Stereogum. “It’s been nearly nine years since The New Year released any new music. But since the slowcore/indie-rock outfit dropped their last LP, The New Year, band members have stayed busy. Brothers Matt and Bubba Kadane worked on an outstanding comprehensive box set of music from their previous band, the seminal Bedhead. In 2013, they dropped a record as Overseas with compatriots David Bazan and Will Johnson. And the whole way through, they tinkered with and labored over a batch of songs for a fourth LP.” – Paste.

File Under: Indie Rock
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pentagram

Pentagram: Relentless (Peaceville) LP
Cult rock legend Bobby Liebling and his band Pentagram have been churning out genre defining and highly admired hard rock/doom metal for over four decades. At the onset of the 1970’s, they helped birth the behemoth known as ‘heavy metal’ and years later they’d be planting the seed of what would become known as ‘doom’. Though a prolific musical entity throughout the ’70s, due to many band breakups and personnel changes they didn’t issue a full-length album until the release of Pentagram in 1985. In 1993, Pentagram renamed and reissued the album on Peaceville Records under the appropriate title Relentless. “If producing top quality doom records was an Olympic sport, Pentagram would be weighed down by gold medals.” – Kerrang!

File Under: Metal
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solstafir

Solstafir: Berdreyminn (Season of Mist) LP
Iceland’s Solstafir return on Season of Mist with the entrancing new album Berdreyminn. Evolving from their hard rock roots, Berdreyminn is drenched in the glorious buzz of vintage tube amps and classic guitar harmonies. Their bombast is wrought with translucent melodies and an artisans finesse to create soulful, moving songs that are both evocative and anthemic. The band’s graceful, measured approach is cinematic in its scope and resonates long past listening. Solstafir is the genuine article and Berdreyminn another epic moment in their canon of greatness.

File Under: Metal, Iceland

troubled horse

Troubled Horse: Revolution of Repeat (Rise Above) LP
Formed in 2003 in their hometown of Örebro, Sweden (also home to Witchcraft), Troubled Horse erupted into the consciousness of riff-worshippers everywhere with a low-key seven-inch vinyl release in 2010, and then their debut album Step Inside, which was released by Rise Above Records in 2012. An invigorating whirlwind of spiky garage rock, propulsive psychedelia and thunderous, overdriven soul-meets-doom riffing, Step Inside showcased a band with little interest in current or nostalgic trends, instead reveling in a consciously classic but undeniably fresh new take on the most revered and ageless of musical components. With a refreshed line-up, Martin Heppich’s vision of a no-holds-barred celebration of heavy rock in all its colorful, subversive glory has never sounded stronger than it does on their sophomore effort Revolution On Repeat. From the barreling, high-energy thunder of “Hurricane” and “Which Way To The Mob” through to the sprawling head-rush of “The Haunted” and acid-tinged, lo-fi psych of “Desperation,” it’s an instinctive and naturalistic triumph for fire, fury and feel over the forces of plodding revisionism. Throw in a sublime rendition of Warren Zevon’s death-premonition anthem “My Shit’s Fucked Up,” and the album amounts to a bold, pertinent and subtly dispiriting statement on the state of the world, all underpinned by the loudest guitars imaginable. Revolution On Repeat is a diverse, diverting and irresistible slab of curiously timely heavy rock that defies the rulebook and breathes new life into that most enduring and fecund of musical genres.

File Under: Metal
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…..Restocks…..

Amps: Pacer (Plain) LP
Beyonce: s/t (Sony) LP
Buena Vista Social Club: s/t (World Circuit) LP
Can: Future Days (Mute) LP
Miles Davis: Dark Magus (4 Men With Beards) LP
Deathprod: Imaginary… (Smalltown Supersound) LP
Brian Eno/David Byrne: My Life in the Bush of Ghosts (Nonesuch) LP
Fugazi: Repeater (Dischord) LP
Funkadelic: Cosmic Slop (Westbound) LP
Funkadelic: Maggot Brain (Westbound) LP
Funkadelic: Standing on the Verge of Getting it on (Westbound) LP
Gorillaz: Humanz (Warner) LP
Husker Du: Candy Apple Grey (Rhino) LP
Kaleo: A/B (Atlantic) LP
Mazzy Star: So Tonight That I Might See (Plain) LP
Of Monsters & Men: Beneath The Skin (Universal) LP
Of Monsters & Men: My Head… (Universal) LP
Pulp: Different Class (Plain) LP
Rag’n’Bone Man: Human (Sony) LP
Red Hot Chili Peppers: Blood Sugar Sex Magik (Universal) LP
Shellac: At Action Park (Touch & Go) LP
Slates: Summery (New Damage) LP
Spacemen 3: The Perfect Prescription (Fire) LP
Kurt Vile: Square Shells (Matador) 12″
Kurt Vile: So Outta Reach (Matador) 12″
Ween: Chocolate & Cheese (Plain) LP
Ween: The Mollusk (Plain) LP
Ween: White Pepper (Plain) LP
Various: Eccentric Soul: The Capsoul Label (Numero) LP
Various: Titan: It’s All Pop! (Numero) 4LP

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…..news letter #794 – kitey…..

A rather lite week around these parts, what with the long weekend and well, ALL THE STUFF IN LAST WEEK! Anywho, still lots of tasty bits to stick in yer ears.

Also, a couple of real nice chaps who also happen to work here are playing a show and releasing some new tunes this Saturday (May 27th) at our friend’s barber shop. So, if you’d like to see Slates, Switches, and Tee Tahs at Barber Ha, you’re gonna need a ticket, and we’ve got em. $15, cash only. Get em while you can.

…..pick of the week…..

slates

Slates: Summery (New Damage) LP
Hey! This guy showed up on Friday last week so it got missed in last weeks’ mailing, but that’s ok because now we can make it pick of the week! These guys are super dudes and their new album is super and you should go to their album release show this Saturday at Barber Ha…  Summery is the follow-up to SLATES’ buzzworthy 2013 release Taiga. Determined to capture the raw intensity and authenticity of their previous release, the band chose to once again record to analog tape with noted engineer Steve Albini (Nirvana, The Stooges). Heading back into the studio with Albini, this time at Edmonton’s Homestead Records, allowed both parties to settle very comfortably into their roles, with both knowing what to expect from the other. This familiarity allowed more room for spontaneity and experimentation to guide the sessions. The 11 new cuts on Summery see the band’s sound deepening, coloured by birth and death in the extended SLATES family. “Our latest record was recorded in the aftermath of some pretty sudden and bleak shit,” comments lyricist and vocalist James Stewart. “It was time to find a light in the storm, and to head towards it. ‘I’m ready for summer’ is the lyric that defines this record. I want to sing about life lived, and the love of those close to me, especially when facing loss and grief.”

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

SgtPepper

Beatles: Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band: Anniversary Edition (Capitol) LP
In tomorrow… Sgt. Pepper is telling the band to play like never before: Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, the watershed Beatles classic many consider the finest album in pop history, is celebrating its 50th anniversary in a big way. Newly mixed by Giles Martin and Sam Okell at Abbey Road Studios in stereo, the first LP is expanded and enhanced on this analog pressing with a second LP featuring previously unreleased complete takes of the album’s 13 songs, newly mixed in stereo and sequenced in the same order as the album. The audiophile-quality 180g vinyl LPs are presented in a faithful reproduction of the album’s original gatefold jacket. This is the first time Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band has been remixed and presented with additional session recordings, and it is the first Beatles album to be remixed and expanded since the 2003 release of Let It Be… Naked. To create the mixes for Sgt. Pepper, producer Martin and mix engineer Okell worked with an expert team of engineers and audio restoration specialists at Abbey Road Studios in London. All of the Anniversary Edition releases include Martin’s new stereo mix of the album sourced directly from the original four-track session tapes and guided by the original, Beatles-preferred mono mix produced by his father, George Martin. “50 years young, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band killed The Beatles so that they might live, and unveiled a boundary-smashing philosophy that enriched all rock to come. In 2017 it is reborn, augmented by revelatory outtakes and a spectacular new stereo mix: two new reasons to turn-on and tune into the alpha and omega of albums.”
– Mojo, July 2017

File Under: Pop, Classics
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burial

Burial: Subtemple/Beachfires (Hyperdub) 12″
In tomorrow… Two new tracks by Burial, rendered in his singular ambient style. Total running time of seventeen minutes and thirteen seconds.

File Under: Ambient, Electronic
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dilla

J Dilla: Jay Dee AKA King Dilla (Ne’astra Music) LP
In tomorrow… The mark that the late producer J Dilla left upon hip-hop during the 90s and early-to-mid 00s is undeniable. His work with De La Soul, Busta Rhymes, The Pharcyde, and of course Slum Village long been cemented his prominence in the annals of hip-hop history. Of the many words one can use to describe J Dilla’s legacy, one that’s not used enough is prolific. Dilla made beats constantly. So new Dilla compositions are still being discovered. One of the places where those works are still being unearthed is the archives of the Ne’Astra Music Group, who proudly present here 8 Dilla tracks previously unissued on vinyl. Dilla’s legacy continues to be shared and celebrated by today’s hip-hop audience – with help from the tireless efforts of Ne’Astra.

File Under: Hip Hop
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man or astroman

Man or Astroman: Live at Third Man (Third Man) LP
In tomorrow… On Record Store Day 2016 the aliens returned to earth after years of deep space hibernation and touched down with a perfect landing in the quiet parking lot of the Nashville Mission. Following Federation protocol, a scouting party was dispatched who bravely traversed a long cement tunnel with strange markings way back into the deepest reaches of Third Man Records, where they were to discover a martian landscape of sloping blue walls crafted of an unknown material, great beasts heads adorned the walls of this cave as though they were trophies, the entire cavern was bathed in a blue glow… the aliens, Man or Astroman?, climbed the steps of the platform in the south end of the cave AND PROCEEDED TO MELT EVERY FACE IN THE ROOM, culminating in an electrical display the likes unseen since the days of whispered about goings on at Shoreham NY way back in 1901. Man or Astroman? was recorded direct-to-acetate in Third Man Blue Room. This literally ELECTRIC performance is now available for you and future generations to enjoy on your home audio hifi systems and turntables. Buy one for yourself. Buy one for your children. Buy one and dig a deep time capsule and bury it for future civilizations to discover and corrupt THEIR youth.

File Under: Punk, Surf
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massrieen

Al Massrieen: Modern Music (Habibi) LP
In tomorrow… “Al Massrieen: Disco, funk and modernized Arabic pop from Egypt. In the beginning of Habibi Funk, our search was focused on vinyl records. Around a year ago though, we got to the point where we realized that it became substantially harder to discover music that we enjoyed and hadn’t heard before. It became apparent that it was time to start looking for other formats. Cassette tapes were the obvious alternative. These were introduced in the Arabic world around the late 1970s. In some countries they took over a bit earlier, in others a bit later, but eventually they pushed the vinyl format out of the market in the 1980s. In Egypt this trend already even started in the late 1970s. Al Massrieen was one of the first bands I learned about once I discovered the tape format for myself. They were really popular in Egypt in the 1970s and the more of their music I found on either tapes or Arabic pirate mp3 sites, the more I was becoming a fan. Only very few bands from the region can match the band’s versatility as well as their strive for innovation. Hany Shenoda is the man behind the Al Massrieen band. He is a renowned figure of the Egyptian music scene and has worked with everyone from Abdel Halim Hafez to Mohamed Mounir. Al Massrieen was his attempt to introduce his ideas of modernizing Egyptian music, heavily encouraged by Naguib Mahfouz (Egypt’s only winner of the Nobel Prize for literature) after discussing his ideas with him. Al Massrieen’s sound goes from lush disco like ‘Sah’ to psych rock like ‘Horreya’ or incredible jazz fused pop on songs such as ‘Edba Mn Gded’. I was shocked to realize the band seemed to be hardly known outside Egypt, even though I feel they’re at least on the same level as Ahmed Fakroun. A relative obscurity which I largely attribute to the fact that their releases never have been pressed on vinyl (apart from a Greece best of LP which wasn’t a strong compilation of the group’s songs). One way or another it felt like this band and especially their composer, band leader and overall brain Hany Shenoda was in need to get some recognition outside of Egypt. The release is fully licensed from the band and comes with an extensive booklet with liner notes, interviews and unseen photos.”

File Under: Egypt, Pop
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goths

Mountain Goats: Goths (Merge) LP
In tomorrow… Vinyl cut at 45 RPM & packaged in gatefold jacket with full printed lyrics. Vinyl includes code for expanded download. Album illustration by Leela Corman John Darnielle (the Mountain Goats) is a New York Times Best-Selling author (Wolf in White Van & Universal Harvester) & a nominee for the National Book Award (Wolf in White Van). “The theme this time around is goth, a subject closer to my heart perhaps than that of any Mountain Goats album previous. And while John writes the songs, as he always has, it feels more than ever like he’s speaking for all of us in the band, erstwhile goths (raises hand) or otherwise, for these are songs that approach an identity most often associated with youth from a perspective that is inescapably adult. Anyone old enough to have had the experience of finding oneself at sea in a cultural landscape that’s suddenly indecipherable will empathize with Pat Travers showing up to a Bauhaus show looking to jam, for example. But underneath the outward humor, there is evident throughout a real tenderness toward, and solidarity with, our former fellow travelers—the friends whose bands never made it out of Fender’s Ballroom, the Gene Loves Jezebels of the world—the ones whose gothic paths were overtaken by the realities of life, or of its opposite. It’s something we talk about a lot, how fortunate and grateful we are to share this work, a career that’s become something more rewarding and fulfilling than I think any of us could have imagined. We all know how easily it could’ve gone the other way, and indeed for a long time did.” – Peter Hughes, February 2017, Charlotte, NC

File Under: Indie Rock, Folk
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Oxbow-Thin-Black-Duke-1487864449-640x640

Oxbow: Thin Black Duke (Hydrahead) LP
In tomorrow… First studio album in over 10 years! Over the 30 years of Oxbow’s operations, no one has come comfortably close to classifying the Bay Area group. This could arguably be the result of Oxbow’s ongoing evolution, but accurately describing any particular phase of the groups’ seven-album career is no easier than describing the broader metamorphic arc of their creative path. This is especially true with their seventh album Thin Black Duke , where Oxbow’s elusive brand of harmonic unrest has absorbed the ornate and ostentatious palate of baroque pop into their sound, pushing their polarized dynamics into a scope that spans between sublime and completely unnerving. This is new musical territory for all parties involved. The album was engineered and co-produced by Joe Chiccarelli (Beck, My Morning Jacket, Etta james, etc).

File Under: Metal
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skatalites

Skatalites: Independence Ska & The Far East Sound (Soul Jazz) LP
The Skatalites were the definitive Jamaican group, who first came together in Kingston in the late 1950s and featured the acknowledged finest musicians in the country – Tommy McCook, Rolando Alphonso, Lester Sterling, Lloyd Brevett, Lloyd Knibb, Don Drummond, Jah Jerry Haynes, Jackie Mittoo, Johnny Moore and Jackie Opel. In 1963 they became the house band at Clement ‘Sir Cosxone’ Dodd’s newly opened Studio One at 13 Brentford Road. The group played on every song cut at the studio, backing the greatest singers of the day – Bob Marley & The Wailers, Ken Boothe, Toots and The Maytals – as well as recording some of the finest instrumental music ever made under their own name. Here is a selection of some of their finest and hardest-to-find cuts made at Studio One between 1963-65. The album was originally released as a collectors 7-inch box set (now deleted) and is now available for the first time as a double LP edition complete with 10 extra bonus tracks and new extensive sleeve notes.

File Under: Reggae, Ska
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…..Restocks…..

Avalanches: Since I Left You (Astralwerks) LP
Badbadnotgood: Sour Soul Instrumentals (Lex) LP
Big Star: Complete Third Vol 3 (Rhino) LP
Childish Gambino: Awaken, My Love! (Glassnote) LP
Mac Demarco: Salad Days (Captured Tracks) LP
Drake: If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late (Universal) LP
Drake: Take Care (Universal) LP
Drake: Views (Universal) LP
Billy Holiday: Lady in Satin (Legacy) LP
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard: Paper Mache Dream Balloon (ATO) LP
Madvillain: Madvillainy (Stones Throw) LP
Thelonious Monk: Brilliant Corners (Original Jazz Classics) LP
Thelonious Monk: Monk’s Dream (Waxtime) LP
Thelonious Monk: Straight No Chaser (Music on Vinyl) LP
Mr. Bungle: s/t (Music on Vinyl) LP
Portishead: Dummy (Universal) LP
Portishead: s/t (Universal) LP
Portishead: Third (Universal) LP
Quasimoto: The Unseen (Stones Throw) LP
Replacements: Let It Be (Rhino) LP
Replacements: Stink (Rhino) LP
Daniel Romano: Modern Pressure (You’ve Changed) LP
Nina Simone: I Put A Spell on You (Universal) LP
Nina Simone: Pastel Blues (Universal) LP
White Stripes: Under Great White Northern Lights (Third Man) LP
Various: Studio One Groups (Soul Jazz) LP

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…..news letter #793 – uk raerz…..

Ah, Spring, sweet Spring. The sun is shining. Rain clouds are looming. Kids are playing soccer. People are selling their records. We’ve been getting flooded with used records the last few weeks. Also sorts of stuff, classic rock, indie rock, UK rarities. You name it! And there’s some great new stuff too! All in all a really great week to be buying records. Come stroll through for a dig.

Also, a couple of real nice chaps who also happen to work here are playing a show and releasing some new tunes on May 27th at our friend’s barber shop. So, if you’d like to see Slates, Switches, and Tee Tahs at Barber Ha, you’re gonna need a ticket, and we’ve got em. $15, cash only. Get em while you can.

…..pick of the week…..

moral

Deathprod: Morals & Dogma
(Smalltown Supersound) LP

YES! This album is like, the bleakest, darkest, saddest ambient album. Super hyped for this to finally be released on vinyl, just in time for a beautiful May long weekend. Based in Oslo, Norway, composer Helge Sten has been crafting this music since the early ’90s, a deeply atmospheric, grainy minimalism that slows time down and explores the very particles of sound itself. The Deathprod concept arose in 1991 when Sten realized his complex array of homemade electronics, samplers, sound processing and analogue effects—cumulatively known as the “Audio Virus”—could add a musical dimension above and beyond the merely technical. Almost obsolete samplers and playback devices distort and transform sounds into unrecognizable mutations of their former selves. The virus breeds layers of complex and overlapping sonic debris, creating a kind of cellular composition. Sten is a founder member of Norwegian improvising group Supersilent and has produced records by Motorpsycho, Susanna, Jenny Hval, Arve Henriksen and others. In 1998, alongside Biosphere, he electronically transformed the music of Norway’s leading contemporary composer, Arne Nordheim. More recently he composed music for Harry Partch’s legendary invented instruments for the Cologne based Ensemble Musikfabrik. Now the core trilogy of Deathprod albums are released for the first time on vinyl. Cut to vinyl by Rashad Becker at Dubplates and Mastering in Berlin, they form Deathprod’s complete official canon. HIGHEST RECOMMENDATION!

File Under: Dark Ambient, Supersilent
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…..new arrivals…..

actress

Actress: AZD (Ninja Tune) LP
Actress, real name Darren Jordan Cunningham, known to friends as Daz, returns with a new album, now on Ninja Tune and a new music system called AZD (pronounced “Azid”), a chrome aspect journey into a parallel world. An artist who has always preferred to make music than to talk about it, in AZD he has achieved another remarkable landmark, one which is as resistant to interpretation as it is demanding of it. The album is themed around chrome – both as a reflective surface to see the self in, and as something that carves luminous voids out of any color and fine focuses white and black representing the perfect metaphor for the bleakness of life in the Metropolis as suggested by Anish Kapoor’s Cloud Gate. Take lead single, “X22RME” (pronounced “Extreme”) which elegantly plays between the lines of Oriental classic rave and Balinese warehouse Techno machined in a Rotherhithe lock up welding the grooves into a seamless cracked joint. At the other end of the spectrum is “Faure in Chrome,” a byproduct or development from his collaboration with the London Contemporary Orchestra, in which he “repatterns” aspect of Faure’s Requiem into a piece which sounds like the very institution of classical music being encased in electronic ice and scanned through a high frequency bandwidth. In between are gems like “Runner,” a personal re-soundtracking of Blade Runner ” and “Falling Rizlas,” an alienated music-box ballad. It’s a remarkable piece of work, that harks back both to Actress’ previous productions and to earlier iterations of the (broadly conceived) “techno” project without being beholden to anything but Cunningham’s forward-facing, individual and disembodied vision.

File Under: Elecrtonic, Techno
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gambino

Childish Gambino: Awaken, My Love! (Glassnote) LP
In tomorrow… Awaken, My Love! is the third album from entertainer extraordinaire Childish Gambino aka Donald Glover and first since 2013. As Childish Gambino once again sheds his skin, Awaken, My Love! is a sonic evolution. It has been described as R&B meets Pink Floyd, and an amalgam of rock, funk, and soul influences. It is the groundbreaking next step from the multi-talented artist following the genre blending STN MTN / Kauai mixtape and the twice-Grammy nominated rap album, Because The Internet. Features: • 2 x heavyweight 45 RPM LP box set • Exclusive booklet • Virtual reality headset • Glow in the dark cover • Instructions to access exclusive virtual reality live performances from the PHAROS Experience

File Under: R&B, Psych
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cindy lee

Cindy Lee: Malenkost (w.25) LP
In tomorrow…  Cindy Lee is the brainchild of singer/guitarist Patrick Flegel. While some may know Flegel from his time spent in Canadian experimental indie band Women, Cindy Lee has spent the past four years crafting songs that push and pull in opposing directions – from tales of tragedy laced with haywire distortion to moments of breathtaking beauty. On Malenkost, Flegel combines everything that makes Cindy Lee so essential: heart-wrenching romantic pleas, rough shards of noise and twilit ballads. Featuring the lo-fi pop single “A Message From The Aching Sky,” Malenkost sounds like Deerhunter playing The Supremes or vice versa. Superior Viaduct’s imprint W.25TH presents the first of many Cindy Lee releases. Spectral and timeless, the music of Cindy Lee is hauntingly familiar yet of another plane, a magical collision of Brill Building hooks and uncompromising No Wave. “Cindy Lee is intensely dark and cathartic, an eerie fever dream of fleeting, utterly heartbreaking classic girl-group melodies … one of the best things we have heard all year.” —Gorilla Vs. Bear

 File Under: Indie Rock, Psych, Women, Lo Fi
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coltrane

Alice & John Coltrane: Cosmic Music (Superior Viaduct) LP
In tomorrow…  John Coltrane transformed the inner architecture of jazz, throughout the mid-1950s and 1960s and long after his premature death at age 40 in 1967. No other American musician could be said to be at the spiritual center of the ‘60s musical universe as Trane influenced Albert Ayler, La Monte Young, Jimi Hendrix and everybody in between. Cosmic Music, originally self-released by Alice Coltrane in 1968 and later issued by Impulse!, features two tracks (“Manifestation” and “Rev. King”) by John Coltrane’s legendary final quintet that were recorded in San Francisco on February 2nd, 1966 and two more (“Lord Help Me To Be” and “The Sun”) from Alice Coltrane’s very first session as a bandleader, recorded six months after her husband’s passing. “Manifestation” opens with the group already in mid-flight: Trane’s fierce tenor leads the way with Pharoah Sanders’ blistering sax and Alice’s powerful chords hearing his call. On “Rev. King,” Trane introduces a lyrical theme and then the composition erupts into fiery incantations, while Jimmy Garrison’s bass throbs alongside the propulsive, gravity-defying drumming of Rashied Ali. Foreshadowing her majestic debut, A Monastic Trio, “Lord Help Me To Be” brings Alice’s celestial piano playing and inspired improvisations to the foreground with Sanders, Garrison and drummer Ben Riley rumbling in tow. “The Sun,” a meditative ballad with subtle urgency, perfectly closes the album’s contemplative circle. As John Coltrane recites on the final track, “May there be peace and love and perfection throughout all creation.”

File Under: Jazz
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treetop

Deathprod: Treetop Drive (Smalltown Supersound) LP
Based in Oslo, Norway, composer Helge Sten has been crafting this music since the early ’90s, a deeply atmospheric, grainy minimalism that slows time down and explores the very particles of sound itself. The Deathprod concept arose in 1991 when Sten realized his complex array of homemade electronics, samplers, sound processing and analogue effects—cumulatively known as the “Audio Virus”—could add a musical dimension above and beyond the merely technical. Almost obsolete samplers and playback devices distort and transform sounds into unrecognizable mutations of their former selves. The virus breeds layers of complex and overlapping sonic debris, creating a kind of cellular composition. Sten is a founder member of Norwegian improvising group Supersilent and has produced records by Motorpsycho, Susanna, Jenny Hval, Arve Henriksen and others. In 1998, alongside Biosphere, he electronically transformed the music of Norway’s leading contemporary composer, Arne Nordheim. More recently he composed music for Harry Partch’s legendary invented instruments for the Cologne based Ensemble Musikfabrik. Now the core trilogy of Deathprod albums are released for the first time on vinyl. Cut to vinyl by Rashad Becker at Dubplates and Mastering in Berlin, they form Deathprod’s complete official canon.

File Under: Dark Ambient
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imaginary

Deathprod: Imaginary Songs From Tristan Da Cunha (Smalltown Supersound) LP
Based in Oslo, Norway, composer Helge Sten has been crafting this music since the early ’90s, a deeply atmospheric, grainy minimalism that slows time down and explores the very particles of sound itself. The Deathprod concept arose in 1991 when Sten realized his complex array of homemade electronics, samplers, sound processing and analogue effects—cumulatively known as the “Audio Virus”—could add a musical dimension above and beyond the merely technical. Almost obsolete samplers and playback devices distort and transform sounds into unrecognizable mutations of their former selves. The virus breeds layers of complex and overlapping sonic debris, creating a kind of cellular composition. Sten is a founder member of Norwegian improvising group Supersilent and has produced records by Motorpsycho, Susanna, Jenny Hval, Arve Henriksen and others. In 1998, alongside Biosphere, he electronically transformed the music of Norway’s leading contemporary composer, Arne Nordheim. More recently he composed music for Harry Partch’s legendary invented instruments for the Cologne based Ensemble Musikfabrik. Now the core trilogy of Deathprod albums are released for the first time on vinyl. Cut to vinyl by Rashad Becker at Dubplates and Mastering in Berlin, they form Deathprod’s complete official canon.

File Under: Dark Ambient

domake

Do Make Say Think: Stubborn Persistent Illusions (Constellation) LP
Do Make Say Think has been widely celebrated as one of the preeminent instrumental rock bands of the 90s-00s. Stubborn Persistent Illusions is the group’s first album in eight years – and a brilliant addition to one of the most consistently inventive and critically praised discographies in the ‘post-rock’ canon. They have a well-earned reputation for imbuing their instrumental music with soulful and emotive narrative power that doesn’t rely on obvious tropes or bombastic dynamics. Among the band’s special strengths is an ineffable naturalism that avoids anything too woolly, proggy, purist or clichéd, while remaining a fundamentally guitar-driven group whose ornate four- and six-string interplay balances rockism, pastoralism and electronic-influenced post production in a class of its own. Stubborn Persistent Illusions is built from this distinctive toolkit, at once familiar and as fresh as anything DMST has committed to tape. A short Bhuddist poem about boundlessness and recurrence informs this profoundly imagistic listening experience, amplified by the beautiful commissioned paintings of the deluxe gatefold album art. Stubborn Persistent Illusions testifies to the idea that an honest conviction in the communicative power of cerebral instrumental rock need not imply pretension, escapism, faux naiveté or nostalgia. Do Make Say Think enter their third decade with a new album that helps reaffirm the promise of genuinely emotive, narrative, restorative and life-affirming instrumental rock music – and will surely rank among their best.

File Under: Post Rock, Instrumental
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dreyblatt

Arnold Dreyblatt: Propellers in Love (Superior Viaduct) LP
In tomorrow… Arnold Dreyblatt has been called “the most rock ‘n’ roll of all the composers to emerge from New York’s downtown scene in the 1970s.” Dreyblatt founded The Orchestra Of Excited Strings in 1979, harnessing unusual tuning intervals to an exuberant performance style. Propellers In Love, the Orchestra’s second album – originally released in 1986 on the Stasch imprint, in conjunction with the contemporary art space Künstlerhaus Bethanien – develops Dreyblatt’s rhythmically exacting exploration of the glittering resonances and overtones generated by an ensemble of uniquely-altered stringed instruments and drums. On Propellers In Love, simple song titles – “Odd & Even,” “Harmonics,” “Bowing” – belie intricate harmonic structures. Dreyblatt’s modified instruments – a contrabass and miniature piano fitted with piano wire along with violin, all tuned in just intonation – undergo the Orchestra’s rapid, staccato attacks. Sparkling timbres dance above interlocking rhythmic patterns moored by sparse yet propulsive percussion (“Pedal Tone Dance” and the title track). Throughout, the Orchestra’s perpetual motion achieves a tremulous and exquisite density. Thirty years since its initial release, Propellers In Love remains a peerless work of second-generation American minimalism. This first-time domestic release is recommended for fans of Glenn Branca, Ellen Fullman and Charlemagne Palestine.

File Under: Avant Garde, Experimental
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endless

Endless Boogie: Vibe Killer (No Quarter) LP
New York’s ’60s influenced garage rock act Endless Boogie (no better described than their own name) return on No Quarter Records with their fourth studio effort Vibe Killer. The first single LP of their tenure, the concise six track affair was produced by the band’s own Paul “Top Dollar” Major and recorded at Gary’s Electric in Brooklyn. As on the band’s 2013 album Long Island, guitar nomad Matt Sweeney again joins Endless Boogie’s killer core of Marc Razo (bass), Harry Druzd (drums), Jesper Eklow (guitar) and Major (vocals, guitar). The LP’s accompanying download card also includes the CD-only track “Whilom” plus two further bonus tracks.

File Under:
 Psych
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extremity

Extremity: Extremely Fucking Dead (20 buck Spin) LP
In tomorrow… Gestating in the twisted bowels of the Bay Area for six years, only now, in 2017, has Extremity dislodged itself from the musty climes of obscurity to contaminate the American death metal cesspool. Like a jaundiced plume drifting up from a fetid swamp, on Extremely Fucking Dead the four-piece infects their audience with odiously oozing intentions. From the grisly gore metal of “Crepuscular Crescendo” to the Bolt Thrower ravaged plunder permeating “Bestial Destiny”, Extremity presents a simultaneously studied and loosely devastating specter of death metal cited from the genre’s many epicenters in America, Scandinavia, the UK and beyond. The veteran lineup of Shelby Lermo (Vastum), Aesop Dekker (Worm Ouroboros, Ludicra, Agalloch), Marissa Martinez-Hoadley (Cretin, Repulsion) and Erika Osterhout (Necrosic, Scolex, Trepanation) stirs the salaciously sanguine death and grind sewage on this debut to a crepitating clamor of cacophonous cruelty.

File Under:
Metal
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farah

Farah: The Only Ones (Italians Do It Better) LP
In tomorrow… The enigmatic FARAH is back with her third 12-inch EP on Italians Do It Better. Picking up where “Law Of Life” left off, she alternates between Farsi and English asking: “Can you touch the dying sun?” Features a guest appearance from JOHNNY JEWEL on vocoder. Five unreleased tracks. 17 minutes of music. Pressed on 180-gram transparent copper vinyl in an edition of 500 copies.

File Under: Disco, Synth Pop
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gibson

Jon Gibson: Two Solo Pieces (Superior Viaduct) LP
In tomorrow… For his second album, Two Solo Pieces, Jon Gibson forgoes the dense, multi-layered timbres of Visitations in favor of simple textures and tone. While Two Solo Pieces serves up further evidence of Gibson’s centrality to American minimalism – witness its inclusion in Alan Licht’s famed Minimal Top Ten list – this profoundly intimate record also reveals the beauty of enclosed spaces and infinite harmonic vistas. As its unadorned title suggests, Two Solo Pieces consists of a pair of side-long tracks featuring the composer alone. While “Cycles,” an iridescent improvisation on organ, achieves a downright eerie sense of expansiveness, Gibson’s captivating alto flute on “Untitled” draws the listener inside the instrument itself. The photo on the album’s back cover – a seated Gibson surrounded by cascading rows of organ pipes and the vaulted ceiling in Manhattan’s Peace Church – offers a striking visual complement to these gorgeous recordings. Originally released in 1977 on Philip Glass’ Chatham Square imprint, this first-time vinyl reissue is recommended for fans of Anthony Moore, Roberto Cacciapaglia and Terry Riley.

File Under: Avant Garde, Minimalism
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helium1

Helium: Dirt of Luck (Matador) LP
Led by Mary Timony (Ex Hex, Wild Flag, Autoclave), Helium was one of the most important rock bands of the ‘90s, and finally their influential output is being released on vinyl after a decade of being out of print courtesy of Matador Records. In addition to the reissues of breakthrough 1995 debut The Dirt Of Luck (featuring stellar cuts “Superball” and “Pat’s Trick”) and revered 1997 swan song The Magic City (bundled on a double LP with the No Guitars EP), Helium will also release a brand new collection of rarities, b-sides, and unreleased demos on a 19-track double LP (with 5 bonus downloads) titled Ends With And.

File Under: Indie Rock
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helium

Helium: Ends With And (Matador) LP
Led by Mary Timony (Ex Hex, Wild Flag, Autoclave), Helium was one of the most important rock bands of the ‘90s. No history of American indie should be written without a chapter on Timony, who managed to straddle multiple worlds – among them Boston’s college-borne rock realm and Dischord’s DC-based DIY scene – over the course of her early career. In the Boston band Helium, Timony took center stage, playing rock and roll that was anything but straightforward. Ends With And collects the band’s singles and compilation tracks. Early singles like the liberatory “Hole In The Ground,” from their second 7-inch, and the churning “XXX”-“OOO” diptych, from the Pirate Prude EP, show how immediately Helium’s aesthetic was established; later offerings like the swirling “What Institution Are You From,” off 1995’s Superball EP, and the crystalline “Puffin Stars,” from a 1994 Kill Rock Stars compilation, show Timony’s fluid ability to move between sinewy rock and refracted pop. The collection also contains previously unreleased material including the spindly “Golden Bridge,” the last song Timony wrote for Helium, and buyers can also download rarities including an early version of The Dirt Of Luck’s music-box fantasia “Lucky Charm” and an up-from-the-vaults live version of the slashing (and previously unreleased) “Green Chair.”

File Under: Indie Rock
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helium2

Helium: Magic City + No Guitar (Matador) LP
Led by Mary Timony (Ex Hex, Wild Flag, Autoclave), Helium was one of the most important rock bands of the ‘90s, and finally their influential output is being released on vinyl after a decade of being out of print courtesy of Matador Records. In addition to the reissues of renowned 1995 debut The Dirt Of Luck (featuring stellar cuts “Superball” and “Pat’s Trick”) and revered 1997 swan song The Magic City (bundled on a double LP with the No Guitars EP), Helium will also release a brand new collection of rarities, b-sides, and unreleased demos on a 19-track double LP (with 5 bonus downloads) titled Ends With And.

File Under: Indie Rock
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jewel

Johnny Jewel: Home OST (Italians Do It Better) LP
In tomorrow… The soundtrack to critically acclaimed Flemish director Fien Troch’s fourth film Home. Side A features pop music from Chromatics and Symmetry with Johnny Jewel’s ambient score on the flip. Fourteen songs. Pressed on 180-gram white vinyl and housed in gatefold jackets.

File Under: Electronic, OST
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jjewel

Johnny Jewel: A Beautiful Now (Italians Do It better) LP
In tomorrow… The soundtrack to director and writer Daniela Amavia’s first feature film starring Abigail Spencer, Cheyenne Jackson, Collette Wolfe, Elena Satine and Sonja Kinski. Features music from Johnny Jewel, Desire, Chromatics, and Glass Candy. Pressed on 180-gram red vinyl and housed in gatefold jackets. Edition of 1,000 copies.

File Under: Electronic, Pop, OST

nitejewel

Night Jewel: Obsession (Italians Do It Better) LP
In tomorrow… Nite Jewel returns with a five-song teaser to an upcoming full-length. 20 minutes of music pressed on 180-gram pink champagne vinyl in an edition of 500 copies.

File Under: Electronic

singles

OST: Singles (Legacy) LP
Yikes, the timing on this one is rather unfortunate… The 25th anniversary of Cameron Crowe’s groundbreaking 1992 romantic comedy, Singles, is being commemorated with the release of a newly expanded and remastered edition of the film’s integral Original Motion Picture Soundtrack. The 2LP edition features the album’s original 13 tracks newly mastered and freshly pressed across four sides of collectible 12″ vinyl plus a bonus CD of rarities and unreleased tracks included as a special insert. The newly expanded edition of the film’s soundtrack was produced by Danny Bramson and Crowe and mastered by Mike Piacentini at Battery Studios, New York and includes liner notes – and a track-by-track description of the album’s music written especially for this collection by Crowe. The newly released bonus CD (included with the 2LP-set) features previously unreleased recordings by Chris Cornell, Mike McCready, Mudhoney, and Paul Westerberg in addition to rarities such as Cornell’s 1992 EP Poncier (debuting an early rendition of “Spoonman”) and tracks from the film not included on the best-selling soundtrack album first released on June 30, 1992. It also includes “Touch Me I’m Dick,” the signature track from Singles performed by Citizen Dick (a fictional band created for the film featuring frontman Matt Dillon backed by Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder, Stone Gossard and Jeff Ament). 25 years ago, the film Singles and its soundtrack worked together to bring the underground Seattle music scene to the forefront of mainstream consciousness. The album was among the first top-selling movie soundtracks of the 1990s to showcase new material from emerging contemporary acts including Alice In Chains, Pearl Jam and Soundgarden – while Paul Westerberg, in his first solo recordings outside The Replacements – contributed two songs and provided the score for the film. Smashing Pumpkins were also featured on the soundtrack with the song “Drown.” “The album itself was always designed to be sort of an anti-soundtrack, more like a souvenir and a simple mix-tape of some of Seattle’s finest,” said Cameron Crowe. “It really is and was a tribute to those hard-working bands that welcomed me to their city with open arms, and the music so many still love so much. Anyway, here we are now revisiting ‘Singles,’ the film, as well as the soundtrack you hold in your hands, expanded with a special tip of the hat to the fans of the original release. Included are unreleased and raw elements that helped shape the experience of making the movie back in 1991. Hope you enjoy the trip back as much as I did – Viva Seattle!” The expanded edition of Singles: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack is cause to celebrate anew the radical rock sounds that radiated out of the American Northwest a quarter century ago and changed pop music forever!

File Under: Grunge, Rock, OST, RIP
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priests

Priests: Nothing Feels Natural (Sister Polygon) LP
In tomorrow… Nothing Feels Natural is the first full-length by Washington, D.C.’s PRIESTS. Recorded in the fall of 2016, the record is the culmination of two years’ writing, touring, tweaking, and refining. Throughout that time the band has carved out an existence on its own terms,performing mostly all-ages shows booked via a network of like-minded artists both within and outside punk communities. The album represents a major step forward for Priests. It’s the bands most stylistically diverse set of songs to date, expanding on their lo-fi post-punk bona-fides with ideas drawn from pop, R&B, and industrial noise. Thematically, Nothing can be understood as a series of vignettes—nine stories that crystallize into a bigger picture about the economics of human relationships, the invisibility of feminized labor, and the dual purpose of art for both the group and the individual. The album will be the first full-length LP released on Sister Polygon Records, the label that Priests founded and operate. Priests are Daniele Daniele (drums), Katie Alice Greer (vocals), G.L. Jaguar (guitar), and Taylor Mulitz (bass). Formed in 2011, the band has proven a valuable force for strangeness in a city that is increasingly terraformed by norms. More significantly, they’ve helped to raise the general standard of show-going at home through cassettes and singles released on Sister Polygon, including music by bands like Sneaks, Snail Mail, Pinkwash, Cigarette, Downtown Boys, and numerous Priests-affiliated groups like Gauche and Flasher. Still, even amidst thriving hometown creativity, Priests possess a singular gravity. They are physical and combustible, urgent and visceral.

File Under: Punk
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Daniel Romano: Modern Pressure (You’ve Changed) LP
Daniel Romano is an Ontario-based artist, poet, musician and performer of international acclaim. A genre-defying student of musical experimentation and a brilliant multi-instrumentalist, Romano is acutely well versed in the languages of melody, shape, lyric construction and song arrangement. Apt in its title, Modern Pressure will surely prove to be his most explorative endeavor to date. The twelve tracks pick up where Mosey left off, boldly asking, “What age is this? What blooming weight do we carry through these stolen streets?” Written in observational scrutiny beneath the overcast atmosphere of 2016, the record vigorously tackles the present-day heaviness we contain in the jotting bones of our guilty expressions. It pleads for the restoration of empathy and resonance, to fill the empty chamber once again. The recording phase for Modern Pressure took place in a minimalistic cabin in secluded Finnsäs, Sweden over the month of August 2016 (with additional string and horn players being added at Baldwin Street Sound in Toronto, ON in October, 2016). Engineered by long-time collaborator Kenneth Meehan, the fevered pace of work lent itself to the unrestrained and undeviated nature of the songs themselves.

File Under: Folk, SSW
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woods

Woods: Love is Love (Woodsist) LP
In tomorrow… “Wisdom comes with age, so it’s no surprise that Woods have grown more sage in the twelve years since they formed, expanding from sylvan drum circles into increasingly elaborate, transcendent psychedelia.”- Pitchfork “We walked down streets and crammed onto trains, our faces masks of fear. Unsure how to react, we, collectively, did not react. We grieved for a country and an ideal we never thought would die. We grieved for a loss of certainty. We argued about what we thought would happen. We preached understanding. We advocated for anger. Some people said that we’d at least get some incredible art, other people said that was a small view of a world we were quickly realizing we’d misunderstood. Everyone was right. Everyone was wrong. Art made in precarious times matters as much as we let it matter. But what are we looking for from the art we enjoy? Escapism? A reckoning with harsh reality? A temporary shared hallucination? Music can heal because it presents the pain of being human as universal. Love is Love was written and recorded in the two months immediately following the election, but it’s not a record borne entirely of angry, knee-jerk reaction to what America is becoming. Instead, it’s a meditation on love, and on what life means now. Taking cues from last year’s City Sun Eater in the River of Light, it feels very much like a record made from living, shoulder to shoulder, in a major city: weaving psychedelic swirls of guitar between languid horns reminiscent of the best Ethiopian jazz—Love is Love is a distinctly New York record. It is a document of protest in uncertain times and an open-hearted rejection of cynicism in favor of emotional honesty. It is bright, and then, unexpectedly, a little dark sometimes too. There will be parts of life where we will watch as events unfold and we will feel helpless. We will not be sure of the future. On good days, we’ll have each other. On the bad ones, we’ll turn to the art that helps us feel something. Love is Love is a document of the new world we live in, proof that light can come from despair and hope is still possible. We just need a little help remembering it exists.”- Sam Hockley-Smith

File Under: Indie Rock
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vortex

Various: Hightlights of Vortex (Etats Units) LP
In tomorrow… The brainchild of visual artist Jordan Belson and electronics polymath Henry Jacobs, the Vortex Experiments ran from 1957 to 1960, first at San Francisco’s Morrison Planetarium and later at the SF Museum of Art. The very name of these events announced their aim: a swirling totality of sensory experience. Around Belson’s richly-colored visuals – making use of the planetarium’s entire dome and featuring luminous, sharply geometric imagery projected through an array of devices – Jacobs ringed a system of roughly 40 multidirectional loudspeakers, each of which could be precisely controlled to produce, in the words of one reviewer, “a living theater of sound and light.” A landmark recording in the history of electronic tape music and an engrossing artifact of proto-psychedelia, Highlights Of Vortex gathers recordings designed for the Vortex system by Jacobs and collaborators David Talcott, William Loughborough, and Gordon Longfellow. Source material including free improvisation, field recording,classical Indian instrumentation, West African polyrhythms and musique concrète is transmogrified through tape manipulation, atomizing swathes of reverb and delay, and other live and recorded effects, making dramatic use of the monumental Vortex soundsystem. An unprecedented marriage of image and sound, Vortex Experiments exercised immeasurable impact on the imagination and practice of countless experimental visual and sonic artists so this album is a must for fans of such visionaries as Stan Brakhage, Tony Conrad, and Jack Smith. Limited edition of 500 numbered copies on clear vinyl.

File Under: Avant Garde, Early Electronic
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…..Restocks…..

Alabama Shakes: Sound & Color (ATO) LP
Aphex Twin: I Care Because You Do (1972) LP
Buena Vista Social Club: s/t (World Circuit) LP
Nick Cave: Skeleton Tree (Bad Seeds) LP
Alice Coltrane: Monastic Trio (Superior Viaduct) LP
John Coltrane: A Love Supreme (Impulse) LP
Crass: Feeding of the 5000 (Crass) LP
Miles Davis: Birth of Cool (Columbiaa) LP
Bob Dylan: Bringing It All Back Home (Columbia) LP
Bob Dylan: Freewheelin’ (Columbia) LP
Bob Dylan: Highway 61 Revisited (Columbia) LP
Bob Dylan: The Times They Are A Changin’ (Columbia) LP
The Fall: Dragnet (Superior Viaduct) LP
The Fall: Slates (Superior Viaduct) 10″
Flaming Lips: Oczy Mlody (Warner) LP DLX
Guided By Voices: Bee Thousand (Scat) LP
Jimi Hendrix: Are You Experienced (Reprise) LP
Billie Holiday: Lady In Satin (Columbia) LP
Hot Snakes: Audit In Progress (Swami) LP
Jay Som: Everybody Works (Polyvinyl) LP
King Gizzard: I’m In Your Mind Fuzz (Castle Face) LP
King Gizzard: Quarters (Castle Face) LP
KMD: Bl_ck B_st_rds (Metal Face) LP
Liquid Liquid: Optimo (Superior Viaduct) LP
Charles Mingus: The Black Saint & The Sinner Lady (Superior Viaduct) LP
Moondog: s/t (Columbia) LP
Oh Sees: A Weird Exits (Castle Face) LP
Oh Sees: Floating Coffin (Castle Face) LP
Oh Sees: Help (Castle Face) LP
Oh Sees: Mutilator Defeated at Last (Castle Face) LP
Oh Sees: Putrifiers (In The Red) LP
Oranssi Pazuzu: Karmokolginen (20 Buck Spin) LP
Oranssi Pazuzu: Kosmonument (20 Buck Spin) LP
Oranssi Pazuzu: Muukalainen Puhuu (20 Buck Spin) LP
Porcupine Tree: Coma Divine (Kscope) LP
Radiohead: A Moon Shaped Pool (XL) LP
Ty Segall: Lemons (Goner) LP
Shobaleader One: Elektrac (Warp) LP
Stereolab: Transient Noise Bursts (1972) LP
Sufjan Stevens: Carrie & Lowell (Asthmatic Kitty) LP
Tool: Lateralus (Zoo) LP
Townes Van Zandt: Live At The Old Quarter (Fat Possum) LP
Kurt Vile: B’Lieve I’m Goin’ Down (Matador) LP
Kurt Vile: Childish Prodigy (Matador) LP
Kurt Vile: Smoke Ring For My Halo (Matador) LP
Various: Guardians of the Galaxy (Hollywood) LP

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…..news letter #792 – too much library…..

Yikes! So much stuff in this week, we’re gonna need an annex! Anyway, loads of great stuff in this week as well as some great fresh used stuff as well. Come have a dig while the weather’s hot!

As a special treat, Constellation Records has sent us an advance copy of the new DO MAKE SAY THINK record for your listening pleasure. This Saturday (May 13th) at 2pm we’ll be playing it in store. If you are dying to hear the new album, stop in and have a listen and enjoy our a/c.

Also, a couple of real nice chaps who also happen to work here are playing a show and releasing some new tunes on May 27th at our friend’s barber shop. So, if you’d like to see Slates, Switches, and Tee Tahs at Barber Ha, you’re gonna need a ticket, and we’ve got em. $15, cash only. Get em while you can.

…..pick of the week…..

spettro

Spettro Records!
It’s no secret that we love library records around here. If don’t know what library records are, well let me tell you… they are basically the music equivalent to stock photography. It was music made for use in radio and film production. Radio stations and studios would have a ‘library’ of music and when they needed music for an ad, or a show they would find something that suited their needs and use it, and then pay based on the usage. Many brilliant composers and musicians made library records in the 60s and 70s but these records were not available to the general public, so it wasn’t until the 80s and 90s, when radio/tv stations started dumping their vinyl libraries as they were going digital, that DJs and crate diggers started to finally get access to more of these records. The other thing is that library records, because they were used for such a specific small purpose, they also tend to be rather limited and rare. So now, in the golden age of reissues loads of great records are being made available again. This Italian label popped up last year and their releases have finally made their way into the shop! If you’ve dabbled in library records, some familiar names are here.. Alessandroni, Rocchi, Fabor, etc. As for the sound, library music is a broad world… everything from romantic chamber music to avant garde electronic, funky jazz breaks to sound effects, quirky electronic to ballroom.

File Under: Library, Italian
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…..new arrivals…..

whigs

Afghan Whigs: In Spades (Sub Pop) LP
From its evocative cover art to the troubled spirits haunting its halls, The Afghan Whigs’ In Spades casts a spell that challenges the listener to unpack its dark metaphors and spectral imagery. On the one hand, In Spades is as quintessentially Afghan Whigs as anything the group has ever done – fulfilling its original mandate to explore the missing link between howling Midwestern punk like Die Kreuzen and Hüsker Dü, The Temptations’ psychedelic soul symphonies, and the expansive hard-rock tapestries of Led Zeppelin and Lynyrd Skynyrd. At the same time, this new record continues to push beyond anything in the Whigs’ previous repertoire – another trademark, along with the explosive group dynamic captured on the recording. Indeed, the chemistry of the lineup –  frontman Greg Dulli, guitarists Dave Rosser and Jon Skibic, drummer Patrick Keeler, multi-instrumentalist Rick Nelson, and Whigs co-founder/bassist John Curley – set the tone for In Spades’ creation. When it came to follow up the band’s triumphant return to recording – Do To the Beast (2014), which was the band’s first ever Top 40 album, – the die was cast. “This is the first time since Black Love [the Whigs’ 1996 noir masterpiece] that we’ve done a full-blown band album,” Dulli says. The joys, sorrows, and upheavals of innocence and experience echo throughout In Spades: it powerfully documents where The Afghan Whigs have been, and where they might go next. For Dulli and Curley, it’s a journey that, since their origins as one of the first Sub Pop acts to be signed from outside the label’s Pacific Northwest base, has spanned decades. Dulli notes they were barely in their twenties when they first started the band, and yet here they are, fulfilling dreams long held and frequently realized. “Having a break from the Whigs helped me remember what made it so rewarding,” Curley says. “Over the course of a lifetime, there are constants, and there’s also change. You see who’s dropped off the vine – who’s going in reverse, and who’s still by your side. It’s interesting to see where life takes you, and where it doesn’t. That’s the journey and it hasn’t stopped.” In Spades was recorded at Rick Nelson’s studio Marigny Sound in New Orleans, LA.

File Under: Indie Rock
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best woman

Vincent Ahehehinnou: Best Woman (Analog Africa) LP
Analog Africa present a reissue of Best Woman, Vincent Ahehehinnou’s first post-Orchestre Poly-Rythmo de Cotonou album, originally released in 1978. In early 1978, Ahehehinnou left the Poly-Rythmo without explanation. He had been one of their principal vocalist since 1968 and had helped transform them from a hard-charging nightclub band into a musical powerhouse and Africa-wide sensation. On a business trip to Nigeria, Vincent met with Ignace de Souza of Benin’s Black Santiago band, who agreed to arrange Vincent’s songs, assemble musicians, and book a session at the legendary Decca Studios in Lagos. With everything in place Vincent returned to Cotonou, gathered together all the money he had saved over the years and set out again for Lagos. The nine-piece band, handpicked by de Souza, learned the songs and set them to tape in the span of only a week … but the results are as timeless and essential as anything to emerge from West Africa in the late 1970s. Vincent’s Afrobeat credentials are in full evidence on opening track “Best Woman” (English) whose driving beat, focused horns, and intricate vocal melody recall the raucous intensity of Poly-Rythmo. But the deep funk of the title track turns out to be only a warm-up for album-highlight “Maimouna Cherie” (French), a moving expression of love and longing which kicks off with a hi-hat and wah-wah guitar workout, but shifts gears mid-way into a more concentrated and contemplative groove. The funk and Afrobeat gems on Best Woman are balanced by songs that draw upon Sato, one of the many Vodoun rhythms of Vincent’s native Benin. Side one concludes with “Vi Deka” (Mina), an epic slow-burner propelled by some of the record’s most soulful vocals, while album closer “Wa Do Verite Ton Noumi” (Fon) all but dares you not to lose yourself in its sublime hypnotic trance. Best Woman was released on Nigeria’s Hasbunalau Records in 1978, and original pressings are now highly-prized collector’s items. Reissued on Analog Africa’s Dance Edition imprint — newly mastered by Nick Robbins, cut by to vinyl by Frank Merritt at the Carvery, and approved by Vincent himself. 180 gram vinyl; Gatefold sleeve with liner notes and pictures; 30×60 inlay/poster.

File Under: African, Afrobeat, Funk
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Alessandro Alessandroni: Il Tempo Dello Spirito (Spettro) LP
Amongst the first bunch of this new label releases, we couldn’t miss a tribute to one of the greatest masters of libraries recordings, Alessandro Alessandroni, born in 1925. In his long career Alessandroni has published lots of soundtracks – and we mean lots of – and for this he’s considered a real star of Italian music. As a friend, and close collaborator of Ennio Morricone, he’s remembered as “the whistle man” for his fundamental contribution to the immortal scores of Sergio Leone’s movies. His class allowed him to range between genres and atmospheres, from beat to avant-garde, from funky to abstract compositions, always reaching and keeping the highest quality. This is immediately clear in “Il Tempo Dello Spirito”, originally published in 1971 for the meritorious Flirt label. It’s an album full of sacred music, gospel and spiritual, yet capable of personal flashes that make it interesting, particular and unique. Simple church songs? In some cases it may seems so – titles as Ave Maria, Gloria In Excelsis Deo, Pellegrinaggio or Messa Solenne do not leave much room for doubt and interpretations – but Alessandroni is able to astonish even in extreme cases like this. The best comes with songs like Il Peccato, Black Hallelujah, Deposizione, Elevazione and Concilio, in a crescendo of mysticism.

 File Under: Library, Gospel, Organ
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Antonia Arena & Fabio Fabor: Superman (Spettro) LP
1983, in the history of synths, is a key year. During the January edition of NAMM (the most important music fair in the US), indeed, MIDI – the standard protocol for electronic instruments interaction – was introduced to the world. Until then, programming and making synths work together was something practiced by a restricted elite of wizards, explorers armed with cables and analog patches, who could create new sonic worlds – but totally temporary, not replicable. Real superheroes of sonic synthesis, scientists of filters who, nowadays, are highly considered by musicians all over the world, after decades of forced exile. In Italy, the seeds of this tradition were planted in RAI’s Laboratory of Phonology (in Milan), in the middle of the 1950’s; later, pioneers like Piero Umiliani, Federico Monti Arduini (aka Il Guardiano Del Faro), Marcello Giombini, Giampiero Boneschi and Fabio Borgazzi (Fabio Fabor) introduced electronic music in pop. Fabor (together with Antonio Arena) is the protagonist of Superman, an album of library music released by the World label (owned by Minstrel group) in 1984. Borgazzi, born in 1920, lived through the whole saga of Italian easy listening music (from big orchestras to the digital revolution), always keeping up with the latest styles and trends. So it’s not a surprise, here, to see him using a LinnDrum and the first Japanes synths; and it’s perfectly natural to find some electro-funk touches (especially Rockit, by Herbie Hancock, which is a clear influence) between cosmic sounds and rock’n’roll songs – and, of course, here you will also find heavy traces of the typical dance pop of the era.

File Under: Library, Italian, Electronic
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The Astral Dimension: Galassia M81 (Spettro) LP
Fabio Borgazzi – aka Fabio Fabor – played literally every known style of music, from baroque to satanic electronic, in his library music albums released during his career which lasted almost seven decades. Born in Milan in 1920, Fabor was one of the great artisans of post-war Italian popular music. Author, arranger and conductor with a classical background, he started writing songs (in the 1950’s and 1960’s) for popstars such as Nilla Pizzi, Johnny Dorelli and Milva; he then turned to music for theatre, cinema and tv, to which he dedicated the rest of his career. In 1981, when he released Galassia M81, Fabor was a veteran in the scene of library music, both as an author and an editor. It was the so-called golden age for the genre, just a moment before the advent of MIDI – which made everything easier, but flatter too, putting an end to the Italian Touch. The tracks featured here (credited to the fictional combo The Astral Dimension: Fabor together with his friend Antonio Arena) still have a definite Seventies taste, reminding the wave of German kosmische musik (especially the Darmstad school), but they also reflect the Moog-mania raging in pop music after the big success of Walter/Wendy Carlos with the Switched On series. Avant-garde and kitsch hand in hand, ambient for documentaries and background music for horoscopes… all in sequence, with the only purpose of being used and generating royalties. Apparently there’s nothing poetic here, but the deepest core of this music is full of substance and genius, mixing a classical background with a futuristic twist – something that made so special a lot of the best music written in Italy during the 20th century.

File Under: Library, Italian, Electronic
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ayler

Albert Ayler: Prophecy (ESP) LP
ESP-Disk present a reissue of Albert Ayler’s Prophecy, originally released in 1975. Recorded in concert at the Cellar Cafe, NYC, June 14, 1964. Three weeks before this trio recorded ESP-Disk’s first jazz album, the epochal Spiritual Unity, it was captured “live” by Canadian poet Paul Haines, who also recorded the New York Eye and Ear Control soundtrack. This is one of the most influential groups in jazz history, a coming together of like-minded innovators who would be considered crucial influences by succeeding generations, so there is no question of the immense value of this material. Yoked, in the CD era, to the one-sided 1965 LP Bells, made with a different band in a very different style a year later, it is perhaps best appreciated on its own. Personnel: Albert Ayler – tenor saxophone; Gary Peacock – bass; Sunny Murray – drums; Paul Haines – engineer. Presented here on opaque yellow vinyl.

File Under: Free Jazz
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bacalov

Enriquez Luis Bacalov: La Seduzione (Sonor Music) LP
Sonor Music Editions present a reissue of La Seduzione, originally released in 1973. An Italian soundtrack holy grail and one of the most highly regarded scores by the majestic Oscar Award winning maestro Luis Enriquez Bacalov. This is the original soundtrack for the drama/erotic film of the same name directed by Fernando Di Leo and shot in beautiful Sicily, Italy. The music on La Seduzione totally destroys all his soundtrack productions with a big orchestra selection, featuring some of the best Italian grooves ever – terrific funk beats, mind-melting scats, Brazilian influenced music with loads of dope exotic vibes. A gigantic Italian music masterpiece finally available for the joy of collectors. Features compositions by I Ninhos Pega (“Tucumania” and “Pinha Tamburim”) and Rosa Balistreri (“Mi Votu E Mi Rivotu”). 180 gram vinyl; Edition of 500.

File Under: Library, Funk
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bpb

Bonnie “Prince” Billy: Best Troubador (Drag City) LP
With Best Troubador, Bonnie ‘Prince Billy pays homage to a long-time and forever hero, the late Merle Haggard. A singer who, some 25 years previously, first performed in public by playing a Merle Haggard song, Bonny has often cited Merle’s work in performance, on records and in conversation with anyone who was around, even talking to Merle himself for Filter magazine in 2009. Merle’s body of work was considered by Bonny for a record such as this for some time, but his passing in April of 2016 almost put a stop to it. The goal was to participate in the handing forward of the songs of a living legend, as Merle had done so many times in his own career. With Merle gone, some of the impetus of the project was in peril. A plan to make the album in Nashville studios was abandoned. The songs still called to be played again, however — and so sessions were endeavored at home, capturing feeling, memory and new expression in familiar confines with the full-hearted playing and singing of the Bonafide United Musicians: Van Campbell, Nuala Kennedy, Danny Kiley, Drew Miller, Cheyenne Mize, and Chris Rodahoffer, with special guests Mary Feiock, Emmett Kelly, A.J. Roach and Matt Sweeney. The songs sung on Best Troubador are pulled from all over — from Haggard’s third album in 1967 though to his 47th in 2011 — but this is no simple hits compilation. Capable only of occupying a shared space between himself and Merle Haggard, Bonny chose personal favorites, singing the songs he wanted to sing, to find Merle and himself together in the music. Dedicated to new life and old, Best Troubador is wistful and bittersweet and no lament at all,v but a tribute instead, for the triumph of a life spent in unending pursuit of the goal: new and expressive music, as our inspirations and heroes once sang it.

File Under: Folk, Country
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caretaker

The Caretaker: Everywhere at the End of Time – Stage 2 (HAFTW) LP
The second of six albums issued under the title Everywhere At The End Of Time, The Caretaker’s fictional first person account of life with early onset dementia, takes a more wistful tack as our protagonist gradually realizes that all is not well and begins to rummage deeper into the recesses of his memory, masking emotions of grief, loss, fear, and uncertainty by deeper dwelling in the recesses of a decaying mind. As The Caretaker’s short term memory functions begin to more rapidly erode, the loop-based punctuation of previous installments begin to subtly unravel, leading his mind to drift off and ponder fuller segments of tea dance strings and horns which appear uncannily more inviting, seductive, and now even more tangible than the abbreviated reels of earlier editions. Loop points wilt away in autumnal greys and russet rustles as new information becomes more difficult to process, back pedaling down memory lane toward an opaque smudge of half-forgotten/remembered spaces, places and un/familiar faces which provide more comfort and clarity than the world around him. It feels strange to recommend undergoing this experience, albeit in such an impressionistic and detached manner, but it somehow feels like a conversely enlightening one for these strange, disingenuous and unpredictable end times that we inhabit right now. Artwork by Ivan Seal. Mastered and cut by Lupo.

File Under: Ambient, Electronic
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Paolo Castiglione: Clouds (Spettro) LP
More than to reward the artistic ambitions of the artist, the majority of Library records were generally functional to sonorizations and conceived for a commercial use. So the main difficulty for the artist was to demonstrate his compositional versatility that allowed the use of his songs in different contests : documentaries, spaghetti western movies, television programs and dramas, news reports. “Clouds”, fourth chapter of this new and exciting Spettro series, is a classic library release in its purest form. Despite being credited solely Pasquale Castiglione, this is in effect a collaboration of the composer with Paolo Casa, here involved in arrangements and in conducting the orchestra. The two are less known respect to Umiliani, Alessandroni and Macchi, but they are surely worth of being rediscovered. Just listen to the super-classic eurofunk “Movimenti di Casa” to understand. “Clouds” was released in 1975 from the label Octopus. Amongst the songs clearly influenced by Ennio Morricone, you’re able to discover funk and jazz rock gems (“Chase” and “Games”), smooth and relaxed moments as in the lush title track, simple pop interludes (“Loneliness”) and even some experimental excursion similar to the ones of other “aquatic libraries” like in the song “Modern Expressions”.

File Under: Library, Jazz, Funk
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Conrado, Scuderi & Montanari: Bass Modulations (Spettro) LP
Released by Octopus in 1973 and now available for the first time on vinyl by Spettro, “Bass Modulations” is a record included in many “hip hop breakbeats” charts and it pays specific attention on bass – as title – and percussions. Composers are Antonino Scuderi, who worked on 2 tracks, ‘Overtime’, with low frequencies and a primitive drum machine, and ‘Range in’, one of the most strange track of this compilation, Roberto Conrado, Roman composer, already member of Gli Apostoli in the 60s, and Piero Romano Montanari, Roman, scores’ author (long-lasting collaboration with cult director Joe D’Amato), bass player and session-musician for many Italian pop stars as Renato Zero, Ivan Graziani, Pino Daniele, Sergio Caputo and Claudio Baglioni, just to name a few. “Bass Modulation” is an easy listening collection of tracks, with no experimental fit and lot of funky hooks and 70s rhythms and dynamics. ‘Likewise’ is a groovy gem, led by guitar, bass and synth; ‘Pledge’ hangs between light psych and flutes, while ‘Properly’ is another little masterpiece of this record, full of fuzz guitar and afro percussions. Just let the groove overwhelm you, every track is devoted to bass modulations.

File Under: Italian, Library, Funk, Groove
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constantine

Constantine: Day of Light (Not on Label) LP
Follow the sound of echoing flutes and sleeping bells; past the willows, far over the hill. Disappear on a journey down the forest path, where kings and magicians are hiding in the trees. Beware the darkness of the forest and enjoy the vibrant colors of the land; harpsichords and Mellotrons as your guide. Come wander til the day has vanished and a new day begins… Day of Light will lead you on a lysergic odyssey filled with Mellotron, harpsichord, sitar, studio effects & more. Fans of the 1969/70 dense, delicate and psychedelic acid folk sound need to get Day of Light into your ears!

File Under: Folk, Psych
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cortini

Alessandro Cortini & Merzbow: s/t (Important) LP
Alessandro Cortini (Nine Inch Nails) and Japanese noise legend Masami Akita (Merzbow) share a mutual love for the EMS Synthi, a British synthesizer from the early ’70s notorious for its patch matrix, portability, and distinct tone. Astonishingly, these two disparate artists meld into a single sound as they flex the analog circuitry of the EMS Synthi in new ways; giving this classic synth a modern workout and proving that, in capable hands, a 40-year-old analog synthesizer is a tool for the ages. Metallic shimmer print on heavy duty jackets; 180 gram vinyl.

File Under: Synth, Noise, Nine Inch Nails
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dangerdoom

Dangerdoom: The Mouse & The Mask (Metal Face) 3LP
Back in 2005, super producer Danger Mouse and masked hip hop supervillain Doom came together for The Mouse And The Mask, a collaborative album released under the name Dangerdoom. Among Doom’s most successful projects both critically and commercially, the album was inspired by Cartoon Network’s latenight Adult Swim programming slate, and includes appearances from several Adult Swim characters, including Aqua Teen Hunger Force, Space Ghost, Harvey Birdman, and more. The full 7-track 2006 Dangerdoom EP Occult Hymn is included, as well as two previously unreleased tracks, making this the definitive Dangerdoom collection.

File Under: Hip Hop
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faust

Faust: Fresh Air (Bureau B) LP
Faust’s new album Fresh Air differs in several respects from its predecessor, Just Us. The recordings were made at Jean-Hervé Péron’s rehearsal studio in Schiphorst in northern Germany, hypnotic pieces with the kind of noisemaking the band is known for. For the new album, Péron and Werner “Zappi” Diermaier were looking for communication with musician friends and the audience. The tracks were recorded in changing ensembles at changing locations in the USA (during a tour in 2016). In these community recordings, with friendly support from Péron’s database of field recordings, a strongly shaded noise music emerged which extends its feelers to the remotest corners of the here and now. Droning, swinging, lusting for freedom, here and there holding out quite stoically as machine-room blues. On board are the freely fabulous Barbara Manning in a live lecture, Jürgen Engler (Die Krupps) in overdub, and Ysanne Spevack as a wonderful wave-maker on the viola. The seven and a half minute title track begins with the poem by a French school friend of Péron (translated and recited in Polish) and ends in an industrial sound inferno. The singer cries for “Fresh Air” as if it is being taken away from him. Jean-Hervé Péron offers a political reading: “Can you breathe calmly here, or are we being poisoned?” “Engajouez Vous!” Péron presents this franco-Faustian artificial word to the audience and rewrites the Marseillaise for the here and now in the track “Chlorophyl”. And finally, Zappi has his mini-dada performance with “Schnobs” and “Bia”: a small dialect-based text piece, which starts with chlorophyl, goes over the meadow past the cow and lands with the farmer who drinks a beer and schnapps and suddenly sees two cows. The story of the band can tell that tale nicely. As Krautrockers, Faust had a worldwide career. On their first three albums in the early 1970s, they inhabited the vast field from improvisation to bricolage to rock’n’roll with the ease of rogues and the determination of declared sonic renegades. One can still feel the breathing of this music in current Faust pieces, in the stone-age thudding of “Fish”, which Faust anticipated in 1972 on “Mamie Is Blue”. “We let the music play through us,” says Jean-Hervé Péron. Jean-Hervé Péron has a little tip for us: Listen to the fish.

File Under: Krautrock
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fourth sensation

Fourth Sensation: s/t (Cinedelic) LP
Cinedelic Records present the first ever reissue of the sought after album Fourth Sensation, originally released in 1970. The band was formed by Ares Tavolazzi (I Giganti, Area) — who later was an active session musician as well as being a leading figure in the Italian jazz scene, accompanying Gil Evans, Steve Lacy, Max Roach, Lee Konitz, Phil Woods, Enrico Rava, Stefano Bollani, Franco D’Andrea, and many others — on guitar, Ellade Bandini on drums, keyboardist Vince Tempera — who, a few years later formed the progressive supergroup Il Volo with Mario Lavezzi and Alberto Radius and, in the late ’70s, composed a myriad of memorable TV and cartoon themes –, and Angelo Vaggi on bass. Musically, the project is precisely within the context of the year it was released, which coincided in Italy with the decline of the beat and the advent of the underground and psychedelic movements; in the Italian scene it inaugurated a trend of records of this type such as The Underground Set (1970), Blue Phantom’s 1971 album Distortions (KIS 4029CD), The Psycheground Group’s Psychedelic And Underground Music (1971), Silvano Chimenti’s Droga (1972) and others, still objects of worship by collectors worldwide. The composers of the songs are known to library music lovers, namely they are Stefano Torossi, Giuliano Sorgini, Massimo Catalano, and Sandro Brugnolini. Musically, it is undeniable the technical skill of the four interpreters in the ten tracks here, all curiously titled with the names of women, they are alternately a mix of acid blues, soul jazz, funk, and psychedelia, with the Hammond organ of Tempera in the foreground. Comes in a solid cardboard cover.

File Under: Library, Funk, Jazz, Psych
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fry

Mark Fry: Dreaming With Alice (Merlins Nose) LP
Merlins Nose Records present a reissue of Mark Fry’s Dreaming With Alice, originally released in 1972. Dreaming With Alice was already an obscurity by the time of its release. Recorded by a 19 year old Mark Fry for an Italian sub label of RCA, it presented a beautifully naive kind of psychedelic folk similar to what the Incredible String Band laid down at the same time just a bit more straight forwarded. Young Mark enchants his listeners with dreamy vocal melodies of utter beauty which create an outmost peaceful atmosphere. The picturesque tunes take the listener on a trip out to the English countryside, on a gentle and warm spring morning, and into a fairytale world. You might get lost within this colorful dream and not be willing to return to grey reality anymore, but this music burns as the flame of love within your heart. The direction, despite all psychedelic elements, is definitely determined by British folk music of the ’60s and ’70s. One charmingly odd aspect of the album is that the title track has been split up over the whole album as short sections flanking the longer tunes. Mark Fry plays his acid folk from the bottom of his soul without thinking about satisfying the demands of the mainstream audience. Dreaming With Alice is intriguing, keen, and absolutely one of a kind, with a mood changing from rainy days to sunny mornings out in the meadows. Original copies in good condition go for about 1600 Euros, so a reissue is welcome among fans of totally psyched-out music, with mostly acoustic instrumentation and vocals. A must have for all fans of acid folk from the late ’60s to the early ’70s era. RIYL: Perry Leopold, Incredible String Band, Steeleye Span, Woods Band, Pentangle.

File Under: Psych, Folk
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TrupetingEcstasy_Cover_1000-630x630

Full of Hell: Trumpeting Ecstasy (Profound Lore) LP
Maryland / Pennsylvania experimental death-noise band Full Of Hell have embarked on quite the journey leading up to the their latest full-length album Trumpeting Ecstasy, their most punishing, virulent, and dynamic work to date. The embryonic beginnings of Full of Hell displayed their palette at its most primitive: d-beat and blast-ridden hardcore punk, with spats of noise and caustic rhythm. After the release of their Profound Lore Records debut Full Of Hell & Merzbow in late 2014, their third full-length album, the band began to truly come into their own, combining elements of their previous sound with grindcore, death / black metal, sonically laden power electronics and industrial pounding. The band followed this up with a direct collaboration album with The Body and several EPs, one of them being their most-recent split 7-inch with Nails (which debuted on #2 on the Billboard Top 100 Singles Chart). The band builds upon their Merzbow collaboration and the releases succeeding it with this latest—going into God City Studios with Kurt Ballou at the production helm, the result is their best and strongest. Sky tearing and sonically cataclysmic, this aural deluge also features guest appearances by Aaron Turner (Sumac / Old Man Gloom / Mamiffer / Isis), Nate Newton (Converge / Old Man Gloom), Andrew Nolan (Column Of Heaven / The Endless Blockade), and Canadian singer/songwriter Nicole Dollanganger.

File Under: Metal
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gas

Gas: Narkopop (Kompakt) 3LP+CD/CD
In the body of work of Cologne artist Wolfgang Voigt – who, like few others, has informed, shaped and influenced the world of electronic music with countless different projects since the early 1990s – Gas stands out in particular, a saturnine sound cosmos based on heavily condensed classic sequences. Even after nearly 20 years, the sound of Gas doesn’t seem to have lost any of its luster, as shown by the commanding success of Kompakt’s fall 2016 re-release of the essential back catalogue as a box set. The overwhelming feedback from a loyal international fan community and worldwide media outlets attests once again to the sheer timelessness of Gas. Which is why it will feel like hardly a day has passed since the release of the last official album Pop nearly two decades ago in 2000, when Wolfgang Voigt resumes this specific creative path with the upcoming new full-length Narkopop. Even in the here and now, the unmistakable vibe of Gas immediately hits home, taking the listener on an otherworldly journey with the very first sounds, drawing them into an impervious sonic thicket, down to the depths of rapture and reverie. From wafts of dense symphonic mist emerges a floating and whirling feeling of weightlessness, before the listener steps into an eerily beautiful forest of fantasy, pulled in by the allure of a narcotic bass drum. While earlier Gas tracks were often based on the hypnotic effects of looping techniques, the ten new pieces on Narkopop unfold their magic in a more entwined manner, sometimes with the sonic might of an entire philharmonic orchestra, at times subtle and fragile. A main characteristic of Voigt’s oeuvre, the coalescence of seemingly contradictory stylistic aspects such as harmonious and atonal, concrete and abstract, light and heavy, near and far is also a decisive feature of Narkopop. In accordance with the transgressive spirit of his collective work, Voigt carries the aesthetic conceptions of his music over to the realm of the visual. Based on his abstract forest pictures, the Gas artwork addresses Voigt’s artistic affinity to romanticism and the forest as a place of yearning. For the first time, a closer look at the cover of Narkopop reveals signs of architectural fragments which hint at another, maybe parallel world behind Voigt’s forest. Truth is the prettiest illusion.

File Under:
 Electronic, Ambient, Techno
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imarc

I Marc 4: G.L.P. 1001 (Sonor Music) LP
Sonor Music Editions present a reissue of I Marc 4’s G.L.P. 1001, originally released in 1970. The first volume in the Nelson Records series by the infamous Italian Jazz quartet. A seminal, deep underground session by a legendary Italian library studio combo, equipped with tons of sleazy sounds. Psychedelic guitar riffs, crazy tough funk and sharp groovy beats, to lovely jazz-arranged theme music, all influenced by the samba, bossa nova, and easy listening vibes of the time. I Marc 4 provided some of the best cinematic and theme music of the late sixties and early ’70s, and this is one of their deepest productions. Top Italian library LP production. 180 gram vinyl; Edition of 500.

File Under: Library, Jazz, Funk, Groove
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imarc4

I Marc 4: G.L.P. 1002 (Sonor Music) LP
Sonor Music Editions present a reissue of I Marc 4’s G.L.P. 1002, originally released in 1970. G.L.P. 1002, marking their second record in the Nelson Records series, was the toughest session by the great I Marc 4 Italian jazz library combo. A killer album that is easily one of the top three albums from the Nelson Records series with no weak tracks at all. The music goes from insane psychedelic tunes to jazz, funk, and bossa and lounge tracks, with plenty of fuzz guitars, an amazing Hammond job, and totally catching drum breaks. An insane trip into early, golden Italian psychedelia and underground, with loads of laden beats and grooves, all with the mark of the legendary Italian quartet. Another essential jewel on Sonor Music Editions. 180 gram vinyl; Edition of 500.

File Under: Library, Jazz, Funk, Groove
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SPL08

Modern Sound Quartet: Horoscope (Spettro) LP
Rome was, of course, the pulsating heart of Italian library music – it is the place where tv and movies are made, so editors and musicians tend to gather there. But we must not forget what was happening, at the same time, in Milan – where there was a very active music industry, but leaning more on the pop and jazz side. The Roman style was more connected to the classic and orchestral tradition, but the musicians in Milan adopted a more urban and international approach, in the vein of contemporary pop with some US jazz-funk instrumental deviations. It’s not a coincidence that among the most active artists in the library world we find people who – in the Seventies and Eighties – played in many records by Mina, Fabrizio De André, Gaber, Branduardi and Fausto Papetti. The quartet featuring pianist Oscar Rocchi, bassist Gigi Cappellotto, drummer Andy Surdi and guitarist Ernesto Verardi is behind many great library music albums, most of which released via the labels owned by Edizioni Minstrel. Horoscope was released in 1978, in a few hundred out of commerce copies, credited to Modern Sound Quartet (one of the many monikers used by the band), on Ring label. This album is a manifesto of the band’s style, using the concept of horoscope and zodiac signs to lay down a dozen of tracks perfectly reflecting their age: a good dose of disco (Lion, Aries, Sagittarius, Scorpion, Gemini), a hint of melodic pop (Virgin, Balance), a touch of prog (Fishes, Cancer), some light jazz-funk fusion (Capricorn) and b-movie atmospheres (Acquarius, Taurus).

File Under: Library, Italian, Disco, Jazz, Funk
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moore

Thurston Moore: Rock n Roll Consciousness (Caroline) LP
In tomorrow… Thurston Moore entered The Church studios in London to record new songs with producer Paul Epworth. Thurston, the founder of seminal US alternative rock experimentalists Sonic Youth and Paul, the celebrated producer and co-writer of Adele, The Pop Group, Florence & the Machine et al created a dynamic vibratory match (with the realization that they were both Leos, on the cusp of Cancer, born on July 25.) The session was mixed by Randall Dunn (Marissa Nadler, Sunn 0))), Earth, Boris) at Avast! Studios in Seattle. Thurston Moore Group had been touring since the critically acclaimed release The Best Day (2014, Matador) that introduced the core members James Sedwards (guitar), My Bloody Valentine’s Deb Googe (bass) and Sonic Youth’s Steve Shelley (drums). Rock n Roll Consciousness is Thurston’s focus on this group’s strength, beauty and promise, with an unleashing of Sedwards’ brilliant guitar play, Googe’s minimalist groove ethic and Shelley’s in-the-pocket swing dynamism. The songs Thurston introduces here are expansive, anthemic and exploratory with lyrics, co-written with poet Radio Radieux, investigating and heralding the love between angels, goddess mysticism and a belief in healing through new birth. They range from the opener “Exalted,” an unfolding and emotional journey in homage to sacred energy and exaltation, to “Cusp” a springtime charging, propulsive piece with a feeling of Sonic Youth mixing in with My Bloody Valentine to “Turn On” a pop-sonic poem to holy love both intimate and kosmiche to the contemplative mystery of life-defining time travel in “Smoke of Dreams.” The record concludes with “Aphrodite,” a strange and heavy no wave rocker in salutation to the idol of love, beauty, pleasure, and procreation. Rock n Roll Consciousness is a new and exhilarating chapter for Thurston Moore, and promises to be a creative highpoint for anyone interested in his legacy of avant-garde music and writing, as strong a statement as anything he has recorded these last three decades – serious and precocious and strangely accessible.

File Under: Indie Rock
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mpunga

Denis Mpunga & Paul K: Criola (Music From Memory) LP
A mini LP of works by Denis Mpunga and Paul K., all recorded between 1980-1984. Combining elements of traditional African music with experimental electronics, the Belgian/Congolese duo released only a handful of tracks, scattered across a few rare LP and cassette compilations that were put out in the mid-eighties by obscure European labels. This release also includes a few previously unreleased songs that were found on the original master tapes. Relocating with his family from the Congo to Belgium in 1973 at the young age of 13, Denis Mpunga grew up in Liege and quickly became deeply embedded in its musical scene, forming the group Gomma Percussions in 1979; a percussive group driven by West African influences. A side project Eko-Kuango formed by the Gomma Percussion members also saw the release in 1985 of the now much sought after 12″ Fura (1986), which also includes Denis Mpunga on vocals. Denis has continued to produce and compose music, perhaps most notably writing the soundtrack for the Dardenne brothers’s La Promesse (1996). Patrick Stas, who would release with Denis under the “Paul K.” moniker, was a well-known local musician in Liege and considered something of a luminary figure in the electronic and experimental music scene in Belgium. Patrick would set up the independent cassette and vinyl label Home Produkt. Both well-known figures in Liege’s music scene, the two of them would join forces in 1980 to work together on a soundtrack for a children’s animation company called CAMERA etc, recording the Intermezzo tracks which are included here. Keen to experiment further as a duo, Denis would propose the idea of combining some more traditional songs or percussive African elements with Patrick’s experiments with drum computers and synthesizers. Working around more conventional instruments such as guitar and bass, Denis would also bring balafons, senzas, and a zither to their recordings whilst Patrick would work with an array of synthesizers and drum machines, such as the Roland MC 202, TB 303, and TR 808, and the Korg MS20 and Monopoly. The recordings set out to play with and challenge preconceptions and expectations of African music and African culture. Together, Denis Mpunga and Paul K.’s, if somewhat brief, musical adventure would create a fascinating new musical language: African music born out of an industrial European landscape. 180 gram vinyl.

File Under: African, Electronic, Experimental
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SPL10

New Sound Quartet: Crazy Colours (Spettro) LP
Rome was, of course, the pulsing heart of Italian library music – it is the place where tv and movies are made, so editors and musicians tend to gather there. But we must not forget what was happening in the library music world, at the same time, in Milan – where there was a very active music industry, but leaning more on the pop and jazz side. The Roman style was more connected to the classic and orchestral tradition, but the musicians from Milan adopted a more urban and international approach, in the vein of contemporary pop with some US jazz-funk instrumental deviations. It’s not a coincidence that among the most active artists in the library world we find people who – in the Seventies and Eighties – played in many records by Mina, Fabrizio De André, Gaber, Branduardi and Fausto Papetti. The quartet featuring pianist Oscar Rocchi, bassist Gigi Cappellotto, drummer Andy Surdi and guitarist Ernesto Verardi is behind many great library music albums from the golden age, most of which released via the labels owned by Edizioni Minstrel. Crazy Colours (originally marketed in 1979 via BAM label, credited to the New Sound Quartet), is quite a big effort for a library music album, since it features a whole orchestra to back the quartet and soloist Hugo Heredia (always present on sax and flute in the albums by the four musicians). In these eight tracks, orchestral disco music is the main focus: in the vein of late Seventies, the biggest influences are to be found in Quincy Jones and Barry White. But the future is already there, since a few synths can be heard in the mix. To this landscape, Rocchi, Cappellotto, Surdi and Verardi add their personality, their experience in the pop field and the love for jazz – all with that peculiar Italian feel.

File Under: Library, Disco, Jazz
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SP02

Bruno Nicolai: Femmine Insaziabili (Spettro) LP
Second release from the vaults of Spettro and another classic Italian gem of the late Sixties, a wonderful score from the genius of Bruno Nicolai, renowned for his long collaboration with Ennio Morricone and for countless and beautiful works for tv and cinema. Femmine insaziabili – also known as Carnal Circuit – is a 1969 Alberto De Martino giallo flick (with a young Romina Power) whose best part is without doubt the original soundtrack. With the help of the voice of the sublime Edda Dell’Orso, Nicolai delivers an amazing Italian giallo soundtrack, regarding an “insatiable female” as the title suggests, full of beat sound, orchestral landscapes, unbelievable themes and at least two or three classics like I Want It All (two versions, the instrumental ones being the best), I tuoi sospiri and Nostalgia di un incontro – some of the finest examples of Nicolai’s penchant for wordless female vocals in an instrumental setting.

File Under: OST, Library
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tempo

Bruno Nicolai: Tempo Sospeso (Cinedelic) LP
Cinedelic Records present a reissue of Bruno Nicolai’s Tempo Sospeso, originally released in 1975. Bruno Nicolai was a leading figure in the world of Italian soundtracks although he is primarily known for being the most important of Ennio Morricone’s collaborators and his orchestra conductor in the period of Morricone’s greatest productions in the ’60s and ’70s. But Nicolai’s solo works are certainly not of lesser artistic relevance. Tempo Sospeso (“Suspended Time”) is one of the most representative albums in the sense that it was produced by Nicolai in 1975 without any filters or restrictions, in the period of his greatest artistic maturity. The style of his thriller soundtracks of the time, such as 1971’s The Night Evelyn Came Out Of The Grave, 1972’s The Red Queen Kills Seven Times and Your Vice Is A Locked Room And Only I Have The Key, and 1975’s Eyeball, is evident here, as well as the vibe of the “electrified” western, thanks largely to the acid fuzz guitar of Alessandro Alessandroni. The instrumentation is varied and the maestro plays piano, harpsichord, organ, and synth. What is presented here is library music that is definitely above average. The new graphic design of this edition was created by Daniel Martin Diaz from Tucson, Arizona, known for his symbolist works that have been published in The LA Times, NY Times, Juxtapoz, High Fructose, and Low Rider Magazine, as well as four of his own art books. Inside the LP is a postcard/photo of maestro Nicolai, a portrait in front of his Moog. Comes in a solid cardboard cover.

File Under: Library, OST, Italian
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bobs

OST: Bob’s Burgers (Sub Pop) 3LP
Bob’s Burgers premiered on the Fox network January 2011, and quickly became one of the most watched series on television. After enjoying the highest-rated new season premiere of the 2010-11 season, Bob’s Burgers quickly settled into an average viewership of over 4 million per episode. The show has won an Emmy award and been nominated five times, including a current nomination for Outstanding Animated Program. It has inspired many popular spinoff items, including a recent, best-selling cookbook. With the seventh season currently in progress, Bob’s Burgers’ cultural influence only grows. Now comes The Bob’s Burgers Music Album, featuring 109 songs from the first 107 episodes (all six existing seasons), plus five special cover versions of songs from the show. Originally broadcast within the episodes – and often in abbreviated form – these songs appear here in their freestanding glory for the first time. The Bob’s Burgers Music Album – in both its standard edition and its impressive deluxe edition – is sure to be a must-have for any fan of the show (and, really, any sentient life-form). The album features the main cast members – Bob (Jon Benjamin) and Linda (John Roberts) and their children Tina (Dan Mintz), Gene (Eugene Mirman) and Louise (Kristen Schaal) – singing original songs that build on the show’s unique sense of humor. Also featured are many of the show’s recurring and special guests, from comedians like Aziz Ansari, Sarah Silverman, Kevin Kline, Bill Hader, Zack Galifianakis, and Fred Armisen, to musical guests Cyndi Lauper and Carly Simon. Includes five never-aired “Bob’s Buskers” cover versions of songs from the show performed by St. Vincent, The National, Lapsley, and Stephin Merritt of Magnetic Fields.

File Under: OST, Indie Rock

fight

OST: Fight Club (Mondo) LP
Mondo are proud to present the soundtrack to Fight Club on vinyl for the first time in over 15 Years. The Dust Brothers only film score to date, Fight Club is arguably one of the most enjoyable soundtrack albums to come out of the 90’s and part of that has to do with the fact that it is one of the best sequenced scores of all time. Weaving all of the films cues from the film into 16 songs, the album winds up feeling like the best instrumental Trip-Hop album you’ve never heard. Buy it, or you will be incomplete. But be warned, this album is not beautiful, clean or perfect. It is not Mint, or even VG+. It is Fair at best. Just like you. You are not your record collection.

File Under: OST, Mondo
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girl with

OST: The Girl With All The Gifts (Death Waltz) LP
We are absolutely thrilled to finally work with composer Cristobal Tapia de Veer. His work on the UK TV show Utopia is one of our most played records of the last few years, and he is surely one of the most original and unique voices in the world of soundtracks of the last decade. The fact that we get to work with him on one of THE best zombie films in years is the icing on the cake. Breathing new life into a stale genre is so hard to do, but The Girl with All the Gifts turns the genre on its head, managing to be intelligent, thrilling, scary and funny without sacrificing the gore or characterization. De Veer’s score is haunting, beautiful and so multi-layered I still haven’t tired of it after six months of constant listening. This truly is one of the best scores of 2017.

File Under: OST, Horror, Death Waltz
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silent hill

OST: Silent Hill (Mondo) LP
Set in the eponymous town of Silent Hill, you play as Harry Mason after a car crash leaves you stranded and searching for his missing adopted daughter, Cheryl. But this town is not what it seems, and Harry quickly discovers that his daughter’s disappearance may be a connected to the town’s mysterious cult activity. Mondo is proud present the premiere Vinyl release of the soundtrack to the haunting, original Playstation title Silent Hill. Don’t let the tone of the plucky mandolin driven opening track fool you, this is one of the most haunting soundtracks we’ve ever released. Full of hair-raising, pulse-pounding, industrial cues – this soundtrack is the stuff of nightmares – which is important, since Silent Hill (and its subsequent sequels) has it’s feet planted firmly in the legacy of survival horror gaming.

File Under: OST, Horror, Video Games

pancrace

Pancrace: s/t (Penultimate Press) LP
Penultimate Press present the debut recording from French outfit Pancrace. Music for pipe organ Stiehr-Mockers 1848, bird calls, baroque violin, tin whistle, boîtes à bourdons, landscape piano, motorized bow, Standuino Pi synth, microphones, hurgy toys, AM radio, church bells, uilleann pipes, and hulusi. Pancrace is an improvising quintet comprising French, British, and Austrian performers. The members include Prune Bécheau, Arden Day, Julien Desailly, Léo Maurel, and Jan Vysocky. Pancrace is also the name of the church in Dangolsheim Alsace located next to where the instrument inventor Léo Maurel lives. Maurel makes ingeniously designed instruments inspired by the hurdy gurdy. The recording emerged from a disruption of the traditional elements within the church, namely the church organ which was prepared inside out whilst the performers challenged its gregarious authority with an array of constructed and modified instruments. On Pancrace, one can hear many of these shape-shifting instruments and devices being twiddled without quite knowing which are bowed, plucked, hammered, or rubbed. The results are a maelstrom of sound and song which see-saw between the harrowing and the sublime with incredible detail to sonic content. Pancrace instigates proceedings in the confinement of an organ; a cyclops puffing its continuous and raucous breath only to be woken by instruments who, like horseflies, mischievously start tormenting proceedings with microtones and striated polyrhythms. The journey ends four sides later with the language of the birds imposing an unadorned silence on the church. Edition of 500.

File Under: Ambient, Drone
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SPL07

Oscar Rocchi & Tullio De Piscopo: Metamorphosis (Spettro) LP
The early Eighties marked a transition in popular music, especially for a generation of musicians (still heavily influenced by the previous decade) trying to assimilate the changes in aesthetics and technology which were occurring. Disco music is dead, so is prog, synths are still too expensive and unreliable, jazz is lost somewhere and the term fusion has become really popular. This the environment in which this album – released in 1981 by library music label Ring – was recorded by a bunch of jazz players and session men from the Milan area, led by pianist Oscar Rocchi and world famous drummer Tullio De Piscopo (respectively credited for seven and four tracks of the album). The stellar line-up features bass player Julius Farmer (from New Orleans), guitarist Sergio Farina, Argentinean sax and flute player Hugo Heredia and Cicci Santucci (trumpet and saxcorn). Metamorphosis is not the typical fragmented collection – something pretty common in the world of library music; this is a body of heterogeneous songs with a common ground, a solid body of work (which would surely fit in De Piscopo’s and Rocchi’s personal discographies). The genre is fusion, still positively influenced by jazz-funk (no muzak effect here!) but also following the impulse to experiment typical of the most progressive jazz-rock. De Piscopo is in top shape (it’s not a coincidence that, in 1981, Vai Mo by Pino Daniele was also released), sporting a bit less exuberant style of playing compared to his jazz albums of the same period – so he sounds really effective and sharp. With Farmer (who was playing with Dr. John and Professor Longhair before moving to Italy) he makes one of the best rhythm sections of Italian music of the Seventies and Eighties (if you’re not convinced, just listen to Carta Straccia and America Good-Bye, two amazing pop albums with a funk soul).

File Under: Library, Italian, Jazz, Funk
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roelens

Puccio Roelens: La Musica Di Puccio Roelens (Sonor Music) LP
Sonor Music Editions present a reissue of La Musica Di Puccio Roelens, originally released in 1969. This album by the great maestro and orchestra conductor Puccio Roelens, who’s responsible for some for the funkiest productions made in Italy, is considered a legendary album among Italian library junkies and Euro groove hunters. Music swings from jazz to funk and psychedelia, with loads of terrific beats, laden grooves, and top breakbeats simply to die for. Breathtaking psychedelic jazz arrangements, lounge funk tunes, catchy bossa, and terrific drums groove. One of the most desired items of the genre is finally available. Holy Grail Alert! 180 gram vinyl; Edition of 500.

File Under: Library, Italian, Jazz, Funk, Psych
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SPL01

Ruscigan: Disagio Sociale (Spettro) LP
Ruscigan is Guido Baggiani, neapolitan composer and trumpet player & Piero Umiliani, one of the most important Masters in Italian music, author of dozens of soundtracks and library recordings. “Disagio Sociale” was always considered as Umiliani’s solo work, even though it’s not part of his detailed and official discography as, i.e., “Viaggio nel domani”. Despite all the mystery and the discomfort of not knowing, the re-release of “Disagio sociale” is now available for the first time on vinyl. Title songs were and still are actual and prophetics: ‘Disoccupazione’ (unemployement), ‘Classe operaia’ (working class) (yes, but which one now?), ‘Campagne abbandonate’ (forsaken farmlands), ‘Casa di riposo’ (rest home), ‘Riformatorio’ (Reformatory), speak about Italy in the ‘70s, outdated yet still existing. Moods and textures belong to those years – we are in 1971, when ’68 political echoes still resound in citizens’ ears and minds. The Morriconian’s and almost western theme of ‘Movimento sindacale’ (labour movement) stands for redemption and labor and human rights, but melancholy and frustration are the main concepts of the album, highlighted by flutes and acoustic guitars (‘Casa di riposo’, unhappy starting from the title, and the two versions of ‘Riformatorio’). The strange experimental intermezzo in ‘Mano d’opera’ (manpower) is just an interlude, leading the listener to the last song “Coscienza di classe’ (class consciousness), expression of the social distress this record refers to. “Disagio Sociale” is a rare and beautiful album and it’s important that’s the first release of the newborn Italian label Spettro.

File Under: Italian, Library
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stapleton

Chris Stapleton: From A Room Vol 1 (Mercury) LP
In tomorrow… Chris Stapleton will follow up his Grammy Award-winning, double platinum 2015 debut Traveller with not one but two albums in 2017. From A Room: Volume 1 will be issued in May while second installment From A Room: Volume 2 will appear later in the year. The album takes its name from Nashville’s historic RCA Studio A, where it was recorded during the winter of 2016-2017. Once again produced by Grammy Award-winning producer Dave Cobb, Volume 1 features eight original songs as well as a rendition of “Last Thing I Needed, First Thing This Morning” written by Gary P. Nunn and Donna Sioux Farar and made famous by Willie Nelson. Other highlights include “Second One To Know” which Stapleton recently premiered at the 52nd Annual Academy of Country Music Awards as well as the album’s first single, “Either Way.” In addition to 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 and musicians Mickey Raphael on harmonica, Robby Turner on pedal steel and Mike Webb on keys. “I’m real proud of this record,” Stapleton exclaimed at a record release party at RCA Studio A in Nashville, TN. “We made it right here in (RCA Studio A) like the last one. We camped out in here…and had a lot of fun recording things.”

File Under: Country
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sugar

Sugar: Copper Blue (Demon) 3LP
Late UK RSD…. 2017 is the 25th anniversary of Copper Blue, the Top 10 debut album by American alternative rock band Sugar. In 1992 NME voted it Album Of The Year, and it was also included in the book ‘1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die’. This limited edition reissue includes the classic album and a double LP of ‘Live At The Cabaret Metro, 1992’. The live show has never been available before on vinyl. Format: 3LP Gatefold on silver, gold & blue coloured vinyl.

File Under: Alternative Rock
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ugly things

Ugly Things #44
“Our headline stories this time include a candid, in-depth new interview with Dean Torrence of Jan & Dean, and a feature of ’60s Southern rock ‘n’ soul heroes The Uniques. We also reveal the stories of Sloan & Barri pop protégés The Thomas Group, Australian shock rocker Geoff Crozier, Swedish R&B long-hairs Sooner Or Later and New York garage teens Johnny Farfisa & The Individuals. Meanwhile Mike Medina delves into the mystery of drumming genius Eddie Hoh, who played with MFQ, the Monkees, the Mamas & the Papas and others before disappearing into night and fog at the end of the sixties. Our story about Southern California garage psych cult heroes Things To Come concludes, and Hunter Bennett interviews Tony Kinman of The Dils and Rank & File. Plus much more, including a new installment in Cyril Jordan’s ongoing Flamin’ Groovies saga, and our extensive review sections, the ultimate consumers’ guide to all the latest vinyl and CD reissues and rock’n’roll-related books.”

File Under: Magazines, Reading

vink

Jaap Vink: s/t (Recollection GRM) LP
“The Institute of Sonology in Utrecht has earned its international reputation mostly for pioneering work in the field of computer-assisted algorithmic composition and digital sound synthesis by composers such as Gottfried Michael Koenig, Werner Kaegi, Paul Berg, and Barry Truax. Anyone familiar with the music of these composers would have to admit that even within this ‘genre’ there were no stylistic dogmas. The stylistic range of the Institute’s artistic output becomes even broader when the work of other staff and frequent guests is taken into account, for example the compositions based on field recordings and audio-visual projects by Frits Weiland, the radiophonic works and pieces for tape and instruments by Luctor Ponse, the cybernetic tape compositions by Roland Kayn, or the experiments with computer graphics by Peter Struycken, to name just a few. And then there was Jaap Vink. Jaap Vink studied engineering at first, but then became interested in electronic music. He attended courses in electroacoustics at Delft University of Technology and installed a pedagogical studio for electronic music in 1961 at the Gaudeamus Foundation . . . Jaap Vink always tried to break out of the periodicity of the sounds so abundantly available in the electronic music studio. Although his music was entirely produced with purely electronic sound material, its textures resemble the richness of orchestral sounds, or large natural sound-complexes, as a result of recursive processes. The density of this sound material increases and decreases by careful control of feedback networks with configurations of analog tape recorders (delay lines), filters, and modulators. It should come as no surprise that his work is being rediscovered at a time when a new generation of musicians has conquered the stage with modular synthesizer setups and ‘no-input mixers’, in which feedback of audio and control signals plays an important role. And although Jaap Vink’s music wasn’t performed live but produced and recorded on magnetic tape in the studio, it is exactly the human interaction with feedback processes that connects his work with the current generation of live electronic music performers. To some extent Jaap Vink’s pieces are indeed recorded live improvisations, and extending his patches and ‘rehearsing’ with them was an ongoing process. . . . The selection presented here gives an overview of Jaap Vink’s works made in Utrecht, ranging from his first composition Screen up to Tide 85.” –Kees Tazelaar Works selected by: François Bonnet and Kees Tazelaar.

File Under: Early Electronic

weaver

Jane Weaver: Modern Kosmology (Fire) LP
Modern Kosmology sees Jane Weaver’s melodic-protagonist channeling new depths of creative cosmic energy within. After the huge critical acclaim of 2012’s Fallen By Watchbird, followed by 2015’s exploratory Silver Globe LP winning her unanimous “record of the year accolades” and hefty measures of radio play-listing Jane Weaver’s conceptual trajectory has sent her neo-kosmische penchants to the point of no-return. Jane Weaver’s unwaning yearning for psychoactive pop energy has just reached a new level of magnetism. As snowclones go, Modern Kosmology is the new Silver. Another Spectrum to add to the tension. Jane Weaver also announces a short run of album launch shows in the UK this May, ahead of more extensive UK and European touring to be announced later in the year.

File Under: Kosmische, Pop
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brown acid4

Various: Brown Acid: Fourth Trip (Riding Easy) LP
If you thought we were getting close to the end of the Brown Acid series with our last Trip, you were dead wrong…we’re only just getting rolling. The well of privately released hard rock, heavy psych, and proto-metal 45s is deep and we are nowhere near tapped out.  Most of these records were barely released and never properly distributed so they ain’t easy to find, but they’re out there if you’re willing to dig…and we aren’t afraid to get our hands dirty.  Hard calluses have formed from handling the shovel and we’ve sifted through a lot of dirt, but we’ve dug up another ten tremendous records to share with all the heavy heads out there.  This volume brings together eight insanely rare and skull-crushingly heavy 45s as well as two previously unreleased bangers. You may remember the Zekes’ jaw dropper “Box” from the First Trip.  If you don’t, you better go back and refresh your memory, you stoner.  That song rips!  And so does this previously unheard recording we legally obtained from the Beverly Hills records vaults.  “Comin Back” is the longest tune we’ve yet to include on this series and it’s a full-on rager!  The only surviving copy of this recording came to us on the original 1/4” master tape from  Hollywood’s long-defunct Demars & Duffy Music.  We did our best to preserve the recording and we think you’ll appreciate the rawness. There have been numerous groups named Bad Axe over the years, but the one you hear here is the baddest.  This five-piece fresh outta high school kicked out this jam (and a few others) in a Chicago studio in 1973 just for the hell of it.  As a garage band, they were previously named The Burlington Express and they went on to be known as Bitch, but these dudes hit their stride as Bad Axe and “Coachman” is their crowning achievement.  It went completely unreleased until 2014 when Permanent Records issued it and “Poor Man, Run” as a limited edition 45 with a killer picture sleeve.  It’s long out-of-print and only obtainable now on Brown Acid. The rest of the records included on this volume vary in rarity, but at least two of them were virtually unknown until we discovered them.  You’ll win the lottery before you find copies of all of the original 45s in even the best record stores.  Many of the records included in this volume are owned only by the members of the bands and some of the band members don’t even have personal copies.  That’s just how hard these guys hit it back in the day!  We’re lucky some of these guys are still alive and well enough to give us permission to use their masters. And for that, we thank them.  And you, for all your support.  Brown Acid is here to stay…as long as you’ll have us.  Plug in, turn up, and freak out…this is what RocknRoll is all about.

File Under: Rock, Psych

mono

Various: Mono No Aware (Pan) LP
Mono No Aware is the first compilation to be released on PAN, collating unreleased ambient tracks from both new and existing PAN artists. Featuring Jeff Witscher, Helm, TCF, Yves Tumor, M.E.S.H., Pan Daijing, HVAD, Kareem Lotfy, ADR, Mya Gomez, Sky H1, James K, Oli XL, Bill Kouligas, Flora Yin-Wong, Malibu, and AYYA, the compilation moves through more traditional notions of what is called “ambient”, to incorporating wider variations that fall under the term. “Mono no aware”, “the pathos of things”, also translates as “an empathy toward things”, or “a sensitivity to ephemera”. A term for the awareness of impermanence, or the transience of things. A meditation on mortality and life’s transience, ephemerality heightens the appreciation of beauty and sensitivity to their passing. In investigating the passing of time, the boundaries between memory and hallucination become blurred; between fiction and reality. The movement of time transforms into an eternal present. James K’s “Stretch Deep” features Eve Essex. Features photography by Molly Matalon; Design by Bill Kouligas. Mastered and cut by Rashad Becker at Dubplates & Mastering.

File Under: Ambient, Electronic
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…..Restocks…..

Joshua Abrams: Simultonality (Eremite) LP
Alabama Shakes: Boys & Girls (ATO) LP
Antibalas: s/t (Daptone) LP
TL Barrett: Like A Ship… (Light in the Attic) LP
Black Mountain: In The Future (Jagjaguwar) LP
Karen Dalton: In My Own Time (Light in the Attic) LP
Del: I Wish My Brother George Was Here (Traffic) LP
Fleet Foxes: s/t (Sub Pop) LP
Fleet Foxes: Helplessness Blues (Sub Pop) LP
Frost/Bjarnason: Solaris (Bedroom Community) LP
Serge Gainsbourg/Jane Birkin: s/t (Light in the Attic) LP
Mort Garson: Plantasia (Great Thunder) LP
Lee Hazlewood: Cowboy in Sweden (Light in the Attic) LP
Karen Krog: Don’t Just Sing (Light in the Attic) LP
La Femme: Psycho Tropica Brazil (Bornbad) LP
La Femme: Mystere (Bornbad) LP
Clara Mondshine: Luna Africana (Great Thunder) LP
Monks: Black Monk Time (Light in the Attic) LP
Morphine: Cure for Pain (Modern Classics) LP
Picchio Dal Pozzo: s/t (Goodfellows) LP
Public Image LTD.: First Issue (Light in the Attic) LP
Arthur Russell: Calling Out of Context (Audika) LP
Shocking Blue: At Home (Music on Vinyl) LP
Elliott Smith: Either/Or (Kill Rock Star) LP
This Heat: S/t (Modern Classics) LP
Virgo Four: Resurrection (Rush Hour) LP
Wipers: Is This Real (Jackpot) LP
Wipers: Over The Edge (Jackpot) LP
Wipers: Youth of America (Jackpot) LP
Yamasuki: Le Monde Fabuleux (Great Thunder) LP
Various: Africa Airways 1 (Africa Seven) LP
Various: Africa Airways 2 (Africa Seven) LP
Various: Hillbillies in Hell 2 (Iron Mountain) LP
Various: I Am The Center (Light in the Attic) LP

…. and much much more…..

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…..news letter #791 – sunny days…..

Finally things are starting to get back to normal around here. Not too many new releases but still some big ones, and some killer ones. Not too many restocks. Lots of used stuff getting priced and put out. It’s looking like a beautiful next few days, come down for a dig.

…..pick of the week…..

alice

Alice Coltrane: Ecstatic Music of Alice Coltrane Turiyasangitananda (Luaka Bop) LP
Alice Coltrane’s devotion to spirituality was the central purpose of the final four decades of her life, an often-overlooked awakening that largely took shape during her four-year marriage to John Coltrane and after his 1967 death. By 1983, Alice had established the 48-acre Sai Anantam Ashram outside of Los Angeles. She quietly began recording music from the ashram, releasing it within her spiritual community in the form of private press cassette tapes. Luaka Bop is pleased to present the first-ever compilation of recordings from this period, making these songs available to the wider public for the first time. Entitled World Spirituality Classics, Volume 1: The Ecstatic Music of Alice Coltrane Turiyasangitananda, the release is the first installment in a planned series of spiritual music from around the globe; curated, compiled and distributed by Luaka Bop. This powerful, largely unheard body of work finds Alice singing for the first time in her recorded catalog, which dates back to 1963 and includes appearances on six John Coltrane albums, alongside Charlie Haden and McCoy Tyner, and 14 albums as bandleader starting with her Impulse! debut in 1967 with A Monastic Trio. The songs featured on the Luaka Bop release have been culled from the four cassettes that Alice recorded and released between 1982 and 1995: Turiya Sings, Divine Songs, Infinite Chants, and Glorious Chants. The double-vinyl edition features two additional songs, “Krishna Japaye” from 1990’s Infinite Chants, and the previously unreleased “Rama Katha” from a separate Turiya Sings recording session. Luaka Bop teamed with Alice’s children to find the original master tapes in the Coltrane archive. The recordings were prepared for re-mastering by the legendary engineer Baker Bigsby (Ornette Coleman, Sun Ra, John Coltrane), who had overseen the original sessions in the 80s and 90s. The compilation showcases a diverse array of recordings in addition to Alice’s first vocal work: solo performances on her harp, small ensembles, and a 24-piece vocal choir. The release is dotted with eastern percussion, synthesizers, organs and strings, making for a mesmerizing, even otherworldly, listen. Alice was inspired by Vedic devotional songs from India and Nepal, adding her own music sensibility to the mix with original melodies and sophisticated song structures. She never lost her ability to draw from the bebop, blues and old-time spirituals of her Detroit youth, fusing a Western upbringing with Eastern classicism. In all, these recordings amount to a largely untold chapter in the life story of Alice Coltrane Turiyasangitananda.

File Under: Spiritual Jazz, New Age
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…..new arrivals…..

tactus

A Pulse Train: Tactus Tempus (Geej) LP
A Pulse Train is a one-off supergroup with some notable members: Joe Goddard of Hot Chip, Junior Boys’ Jeremy Greenspan, Sam Shepherd (AKA Floating Points), Dan Snaith (AKA Caribou) and James Shaw of Simian Mobile Disco. The contents of Tactus Tempus, however, may be pretty niche in their appeal. Born of “a rare moment of collective down time” in London last summer, the record features two realisations of a 1973 graphic score by lesser-known American composer Frank McCarty. According to an interview with McCarty and his BIOME ensemble, included in a Bandcamp bonus download, the title has something to do with a medieval concept separating “perceived” and “performed” time. The piece requires performers to improvise along a “density-intensity” curve in order to produce a sonic “pulse train.” The results—two 15-minute passages of quiet-loud-quiet, performed on an orchestra of blooping, swirling, fizzing synths—are less brow-furrowing than this all sounds. The release is at its most accessible in the opening of “Tactus Tempus (Tonal),” where sparse, flickering tones coalesce into sultry minor-key ambience. The energy builds slowly, before giving way to something more cacophonous at around six minutes. At 11 minutes, the dense squall of sound abruptly thins out, and a couple of minutes later the whole thing is reduced to a few unsteady sputters and twangs that slowly recede into nothing. It’s not the overall arc of intensity that makes the track interesting, but the deviations from it: fleeting shifts in mood, eddies of melody and rhythm which quickly dissipate in the improvised confusion. “Tactus Tempus (Noises And Impulses),” which swaps pitched sounds for a roiling sump of half-percussion, scuttling arps and blasts of radio interference, is no more predictable. At first, it’s a little too dominated by a single looping rhythmic part, but soon the cloud of detail underneath rises to enshroud it. Shortly before the ten-minute mark, a grinding high-pitched howl signals the start of the track’s unsteady descent back to silence, and that loop becomes the punctuation in a more delicate texture of filtered noise and decelerating pulse bursts.

File Under: Electronic, Hot Chip, Junior Boys, Caribou
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atthedrivein

At The Drive In: Inter Alia (Rise) LP
The music industry sees artists come and go on a regular basis. Plans change, life gets in the way and bands fade away. Occasionally we’re lucky enough to see an important band return from their silence: enter At The Drive In. While At The Drive In was quiet, the members (Omar Rodriguez-Lopez, Cedric Bixler-Zavala, Tony Hajjar and Paul Hinojos) were incredibly busy, selling millions of albums, winning Grammys and putting out a lot of quality music with their other projects (The Mars Volta, Antemasque, Gone Is Gone and many more). After a 15 year break, the band returned to the studio to create the follow-up to 2000’s Relationship of Command. It’s the moment fans have been waiting for since their return to the stage as 2012 Coachella and Lollapalooza headliners…prepare for in·ter a·li·a. Produced by the band’s own Omar Rodriguez-Lopez and Rich Costey (Muse, Sigur Rós, Santigold), in·ter a·li·a includes eleven songs that resonate the classic At The Drive In intensity that fans love, while breaking the band’s decade and a half drought with something fresh and exciting, that slides right into 2017. The band will be touring throughout 2017 to support this heavily anticipated release. The silence is finally broken…resume transmission. Pressed on colored 180 gram vinyl with gatefold packaging complete with an accompanying MP3 digital download card.

File Under: Rock, Hardcore, Emo
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brother ali

Brother Ali: All The Beauty In This Whole Life (Rhymesayers) LP
Over the past 17 years, Brother Ali has earned wide critical acclaim for his deeply personal, socially conscious, and inspiring brand of hip-hop. Under Rhymesayers Entertainment, he’s unleashed a series of lauded projects, establishing himself as one of the most respected independent voices in music. The latest chapter in that celebrated journey is All the Beauty in This Whole Life, a 15-track collection produced entirely by Atmosphere’s Anthony “Ant” Davis. “This entire album is based on the reality that beauty is the splendor of truth,” says the Minneapolis MC. “Beauty in all of its forms is the outward manifestation of love and virtue. It soothes the soul and pulls it gently toward the truth it communicates. Every word and note of this album is intended to either reflect beauty, or expose the ugliness that blocks us from living lives of meaning.” All the Beauty in This Whole Life is Ali’s first official release in five years and represents the newest and most refined chapter of his life’s journey. “Each of my albums are the result of the pain, growth and eventual healing that I experience. Articulating the pain and navigating the healing allows the people who really feel my music to travel with me. It’s not only that we hurt together, we heal together as well.” Contrasting intensely heavy moments with joyous and grateful ones, All the Beauty in This Whole Life arrives right on time, to help heal a divided nation through the power of music. Ali wouldn’t have it any other way. “In times of great suffering in the outside world, the most important battles start from within.”

File Under: Hip Hop
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cave

Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds: Lovely Creatures (Mute) 3LP
Lovely Creatures: The Best of Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds 1984-2014 is the most comprehensive overview of the recorded work of Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds to date. Spanning thirty years of music from their debut album From Her To Eternity through to Push The Sky Away their fifteenth studio album, the collection navigates one of the most exhilarating, idiosyncratic and inventive bodies of work created in contemporary music. Included are long-standing live favorites “Stagger Lee” and “The Mercy Seat,” their hit single from 1995 “Where The Wild Roses Grow” through to recent fan favorites “Jubilee Street” and “We No Who U R.” There are songs that newcomers may only know from their appearance on film and television soundtracks, notably “O Children” (Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows Pt. I) and the ubiquitous “Red Right Hand,” most recently familiar to fans of the series Peaky Blinders. The album was compiled by Nick Cave and founding member Mick Harvey, with help from the current Bad Seeds. Band members past and present also raided their personal archives to provide previously unseen photos. Lovely Creatures was originally intended for release in 2014. Since its postponement the band have recorded and released their highly acclaimed sixteenth studio album Skeleton Tree. 21 tracks on a 3 x 180-gram 12″ black heavyweight vinyl set with triple gatefold sleeve. “There are some people out there who just don’t know where to start with The Bad Seeds. Others know the catalogue better than I do! This release is designed to be a way into three decades of music making. That’s a lot of songs. The songs we have chosen are the ones that have stuck around, for whatever reason. Some songs are those that demand to be played live. Others are lesser songs that are personal favourites of ours. Others are just too big and have too much history to leave out. And there are those that didn’t make it, poor things. They are the ones you must discover by yourselves.” – Nick Cave

File Under: Rock
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iwc

Ian William Craig: Slow Vessels (Fat Cat) LP
Following the widespread critical acclaim of his recent Centres album (2016), Vancouver-based vocalist/composer Ian William Craig returns with Slow Vessels, an album-length EP which both extends and radically re-imagines Centres, rendering six of its tracks in a stunning new light. While not quite an “unplugged” version, it is fundamentally stripped back, raw and predominantly acoustic, the songs included have been returned to their point of origin. Slow Vessels sees Ian paring back the dense, billowing layers and heavily distressed textures that dominated the album and re-playing these tracks on a borrowed acoustic guitar and piano. While four of the tracks also feature some minimal tape manipulation, it’s a move that foregrounds the strength of the songs, imbuing them with a heightened sense of nearness and intimacy and briefly reframing their author in the more traditional mantle of singer-songwriter. Deeply affecting and almost devotional in character, this utterly gorgeous re-setting of the songs sees them bathed in a warm, golden glow and throws a brilliant new slant on Ian’s prodigious creativity. The entire record was recorded at an Airbnb flat in Gothenburg, which just happened to have a guitar and piano, over several days in August, during a stopover on Ian’s debut European tour. The tracks were each captured in a single take with a small amount of noise/overdubbing coming from the modified cassette decks and equipment he’d brought with him for shows. Once recorded, each track was then mixed on a laptop between shows or while in transit – travelling onboard a ferry, a train, an airplane – or while waiting in airports, a hotel rooms and a Latvian taxidermy museum. Finally, it was polished up a little once home in Vancouver with a Reverbulator spring reverb and a SupaPuss Delay, and mastered for release on vinyl.

File Under: Acoustic, Folk, Experimental
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demarco

Mac Demarco: This Old Dog (Royal Mountain) LP
In tomorrow…Before you ancients out there turn your heads and scoff at the premise of a 20-something rock-and-roll goofball calling himself an old-anything, consider this: said perpetrator, he who answers to the name Mac DeMarco, has spent the better part of his time thus far writing, recording, and releasing an album of his own music pretty much every calendar flip, and pretty much on his own. The fresh meat you’re now feasting on, This Old Dog, makes for his fifth in just over half a decade – bringing the total to 3 LPs and 2 EPs. According to the DMV, Mac is 26. But in working-dog years, he could easily qualify for social security. To stay gold, turns out all he needed was some new tricks. Though used to and pretty happy with that annual grind, it was a little space – in time, location, and method – that inspired DeMarco while making the record. Moving from his isolated Queens home to a house in Los Angeles helped give the somewhat transient Canada-native a broader base, and a few more months on his calendar to create did their job as well. Arriving in California with a grip of demos he’d written in New York, he realized after a few months of setting up his new shop – complete with a few new toys – that the gap was giving him perspective. “This one was spaced out,” DeMarco says. “I demoed a full album, and as I was moving to the West Coast I thought I’d get to finishing it quick. But then I realized that moving to a new city and starting a new life takes time. And it was weird, because usually I just write, record, and put it out; no problem. But this time, I wrote them and they sat. When that happens, you really get to know the songs. It was a different vibe.” DeMarco wrote some demos for This Old Dog on an acoustic guitar, an unusual yet eye-opening method for him. He also attributes some of the delay to his exploration of new gear he’d purchased, specifically a CR-78 drum machine, which he used while writing and can be heard on his album tracks for the first time ever. “That thing helped a ton, especially for demoing,” he says. “It’s on the album a lot, maybe four or five songs. I usually demo on a drum machine and then record real drums, but I liked that machine so much I kept it on the album. The majority of this album is acoustic guitar, synthesizer, some drum machine, and one song is electric guitar. So this is a new endeavor for me.” And right off the bat, from the pops and clicks of the CR-78 and acoustic strums on the album-opening “My Old Man,” the synth-drenched beauty of the second track, “This Old Dog,” and that ironic recurring word itself, it’s clear that DeMarco’s bag is filled with new tricks indeed. This Old Dog is rooted more in a synth-base than any of his previous releases, but he is careful not to let that tactic overshadow the other instruments and overall “unplugged” mood of the work. In fact, DeMarco recognizes that he might share more than just a geographical flight-path with a certain Canadian-cum-Californian songwriter. “I think what I was trying to do is make Harvest with synthesizers,” he adds. “But I don’t think I even came close to the mark – something else entirely came out. This is my acoustic album, but it’s not really an acoustic album at all. That’s just what it feels like, mostly. I’m Italian, so I guess this is an Italian rock record.”

File Under: Indie Rock
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feist

Feist: Pleasure (Interscope) LP
In tomorrow…Feist’s first album in six years reflects on secrets and shame, loneliness and tenderness, care and fatigue and is at its core a study on self-awareness. As the fourth full-length from the singer/songwriter born Leslie Feist, Pleasure builds off the warm naturalism of the Polaris Prize-winning Metals and emerges as her most formally defiant and expansive work so far. And while each album is a departure from the next, Pleasure finds the 4x Grammy nominee again showing the extraordinary depth of her artistry. Recorded over the course of three months – in Stinson Beach, Upstate New York, and Paris – Pleasure was co-produced by Feist with longtime collaborators Renaud Letang and Mocky. In addition to reaffirming Feist as a cagily inventive guitar player, the album threads her shape-shifting and often haunting vocals into sparse and raw arrangements.

 File Under: Pop
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goddard

Joe Goddard: Electric Lines (Domino) LP
Electric Lines, the landmark new album from producer Joe Goddard, is all about connections. It’s an apt title for a record which brilliantly unites the broad-ranging strands of a unique career. Whether it be as a key member of Hot Chip, one half of the 2 Bears, songwriter, producer, DJ, remixer or co-founder of the influential Greco-Roman label, Goddard’s influence has been keenly felt in clubs and headphones all over the world for over a decade. Electric Lines is the culmination of all this and more, and confirms Goddard’s place in the front rank of British producers. Electric Lines is a generous, embracing album which joins the dots of electronic music with great warmth and exquisite skill. It is the musical autobiography of a man who has been inhabiting club culture for over 20 years and knows all the links in the chain. It is the perfect expression of Joe’s open-hearted idealism, following the lines that draw people together – a towering achievement which deservedly earns a place alongside seminal titles such as Leftism, Blue Lines and Remedy, whist also showing new ways forward. An important record for an important time, Electric Lines is set to draw the map of 2017’s musical landscape.

File Under: Electronic, Hot Chip
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helado

Helado Negro: Private Energy (RVNG Intl) LP
Exploring the expressivity within intense states of being, Latinx identity, and pluralistic sensibilities, Helado Negro’s Private Energy (Expanded) is an engrossing statement achieved through lyrically personal and political avant pop music. It carves a deep groove through the electronic music landscape, challenging to best Brooklyn-based artist Roberto Carlos Lange’s previous accomplishments under the Helado Negro moniker. Half a decade and half a dozen albums later since Helado Negro’s 2009 debut album Awe Owe, Lange has cultivated an untraditional approach to songcraft that places his voice on an adventurous musical impulse without shying from familiar pop appreciation. The hymn of Private Energy (Expanded) initially sounded in 2014 while Lange absorbed accounts of the unjust death of Michael Brown and felt a sharpened sense of vulnerability and anger as a minority. Lange’s creative drive veered toward toward catharsis – he sought to make music that would protect as a form of protest. The music of Private Energy (Expanded) was shaped to demarcate the artist’s pride of being, preserving and persevering, and celebrating, as Lange puts it, “my brownness, my Latinidad.” “Transmission Listen” is a exemplary selection from Private Energy (Expanded), a song so effortlessly tuneful and seductive it sounds beamed in from the radio waves of an outer world. Or alternately, an inner world. Speckled and reverberant, it’s a love song as much as a purely joyful sonic experience. “Young, Latin, and Proud” and “It’s My Brown Skin” are prideful lyrically but complicated texturally, fusing restrained synthesizer voicings with sparse percussion and an interpolation of rhythmic tones. Here, as elsewhere, though, Lange’s distinct voice is the spine of the music’s ambulatory energy. Helado Negro’s Private Energy will be re-introduced to the public via RVNG Intl. in expanded form, appearing on vinyl for the first time. Supplemented with three brand new “versions,” this iteration of Private Energy (Expanded) will continue the strong narrative of Helado Negro’s spectral and transmissive 2016 opus.

File Under: Electronic, Latin
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moon duo

Moon Duo: Occult Architecture Volume 2 (Sacred Bones) LP
Meaning all things magick and supernatural, the root of the word occult is that which is hidden, concealed, beyond the limits of our minds. If this is occult, then the Occult Architecture of Moon Duo’s fourth album – a psychedelic opus in two separate volumes released in 2017 – is an intricately woven hymn to the invisible structures found in the cycle of seasons and the journey of day into night, dark into light. Offering a cosmic glimpse into the hidden patterning embedded in everything, Occult Architecture reflects the harmonious duality of these light and dark energies through the Chinese theory of Yin and Yang. Following the Yin (feminine, darkness, night, earth) represented on Occult Architecture Vol. 1, Vol. 2 presents the Yang. Yang means “the bright side of the hill” and is associated with the male, sun, light and the spirit of heaven, and as such Vol. 2 explores the light and airy elements of Moon Duo’s complex psyche. “In production we referred to Vol. 1 as the fuzz dungeon, and Vol. 2 as the crystal palace,” guitarist Ripley Johnson explains. “The darkness of Vol. 1 gave birth to the light of Vol. 2. We had to have both elements in order to complete the cycle. We’re releasing them separately to allow them their own space, and to ensure clarity of vision. To that end we also mixed Vol. 2 separately, in the height of Portland summer, focusing on its sonic qualities of lightness, air, and sun. Listeners can ultimately use the two volumes individually or together, depending on circumstance or the desired effect.”

File Under: Psych, Rock
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perfume

Perfume Genius: No Shape (Matador) LP
2014’s Too Bright showcased Mike Hadreas stepping out saucily onto a bigger stage, expressing, with the production help of Portishead’s Adrian Utley, emotions arranged all along the slippery continuum from rage to irony to love. Here in 13 new ferocious and sophisticated tracks, Hadreas and his collaborators blow through church music, make out music, an array of the gothier radio popular formats, rhythm and blues, art pop, krautrock, queer soul, the RCA Studio B sound, and then also collect some of the sounds that only exist inside Freddy Krueger. Tremolo on the electric keys. Nightclubbing. Daywalking. Kate Bushing, Peter Greenawaying, Springsteening, Syreetaing. No Shape was produced by Blake Mills, the man behind Alabama Shakes’ Grammy Award winning album. He added precision and expansion. Some things are pretty and some are blasted beyond recognition. Records like this, records that make you feel like you’re 15 and just seeing the truth for the first time, are excessively rare. They’re here to remind you that you’re divine.

File Under: Indie Rock
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slowdive

Slowdive: s/t (Dead Oceans) LP
UK shoegaze pioneers Slowdive enter their second act and offer up a fourth studio opus, their first in 22 years. Self-titled with quiet confidence, Slowdive’s stargazing alchemy is set to further entrance the faithful while beguiling a legion of fresh ears. Deftly swerving what co-vocalist/guitarist Rachel Goswell terms “a trip down memory lane,” these eight new tracks are simultaneously expansive and the sonic pathfinders’ most direct material to date. Birthed at the band’s talismanic Oxfordshire haunt The Courtyard, their diamantine melodies were mixed to a suitably hypnotic sheen at Los Angeles’ famed Sunset Sound facility by Chris Coady. “It’s poppier than I thought it was going to be,” notes principal songwriter Neil Halstead, who was the primary architect of 1995’s previous full-length transmission Pygmalion. This time out the group dynamic was all-important. “When you’re in a band and you do three records, there’s a continuous flow and a development. For us, that flow re-started with us playing live again and that has continued into the record.” “There’s a different energy about it,” adds drummer Simon Scott. “It took ages to get back together and write songs and for it to click in the studio, but this album doesn’t feel like a bolt-on – it’s got an energy that’s as vibrant as Souvlaki and Just for a Day. It feels very relevant to now.”

File Under: Shoegaze
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sun ra

Sun Ra: Singles Vol 2 (Strut) LP
Strut present the second volume of definitive singles released by jazz maverick Sun Ra during his Earth years, spanning 1962 to 1991. Released prolifically during the 1950s and more sporadically thereafter, primarily on the Saturn label, the 45s offer one-off meteorites from Ra’s prolific cosmic journey, tracing the development of his forward-thinking “Space-Bop” and his unique take on jazz and blues traditions which sounded unlike anything else from the period. As with his LPs, most 45s were only pressed in small runs and were sold at gigs and have since become extremely rare and sought after. Some have only been discovered in physical form in recent years; some were planned and penciled but allegedly never made it to vinyl and some appeared as one-off magazine singles and posthumous releases.

File Under: Jazz

sword

Sword: Greetings From… (Razor & Tie) LP
In tomorrow… There’s an unspoken edict handed down through the ages when it comes to rock bands: there are no rules. The Sword – John Cronise (vocals, guitar), Kyle Shutt (guitar), Bryan Richie (bass), and Santiago Vela III (drums) – cut out boundaries since day one. Their style never stood predicated on a trend or a template. They always create what feels right and let the results speak for themselves. Greetings From… is a collection of nine tracks spanning the band’s career. The Sword’s own Bryan Richie recorded and produced the album encompassing the best elements of their live show. From Age of Winters to their latest, High Country, Greeting From… creates a seamlessly crafted cocktail showcasing the music of The Sword throughout the past decade.

File Under: Metal, Rock
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umoja

Umoja: 707 (Awesome Tapes From Africa) LP
Proud to announce ATFA’s collaboration with legendary South African pop artist “Om”Alec Khaoli, whose band Umoja recorded several astoundingly danceable records in the 1980s. Known for his work with Harari and the Beaters before Umoja, “Om” Alec created a singular oeuvre of funk/rock/folk/disco musis uring the course of his decades-long reign as one of the most influential artists in the highly challenging (to put it mildly) apartheid-era music scene. Perhaps the band’s most successful outing, which was originally released in 1988. Love and vocoder, positivity and synth. This recording rocks short and sweet, with a dollop of electronic post-disco hook-y songwriting. Every song was a top ten hit at the time, and to me this music feels timeless. If in doubt, check the vintage music video for title track “707” and dare to ignore the inimitable—and ultimately groundbreaking—allure of Umoja.

File Under: Africa, Funk, Reggae, Electronic
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ww

Wooden Wand: Clipper Ship (Three Lobed) LP
In a world of guitar players, James “Wooden Wand” Toth remains first and foremost a songwriter and lyricist. Clipper Ship, however, presents a break in tradition: in attempting to emancipate himself from old habits, Toth wrote most of the songs on Clipper Ship ‘music first,’ adding lyrics later, a reversal of the tried and true method that has made him one of the most prolific and respected songwriters of his generation. The result is the most democratically-conceived, multi-layered, and musically sophisticated album in the vast Wooden Wand discography. Clipper Ship is the first proper full-length Wooden Wand album since 2014. Performers include Darin Gray (On Fillmore, Dazzling Killmen, Jim O’Rourke, Tweedy, William Tyler), Ryan Norris (Coupler, Lambchop), Glenn Kotche (On Fillmore, Wilco), Jim Becker (Califone, Iron & Wine), Nathan Salsburg (Joan Shelley), Kyle Hamlett (Lylas), Josh Wright & Seth Murphy (Bear Medicine), Luke Schneider (Margo Price, JEFF The Brotherhood, Natural Child, William Tyler), Zak Riles (Watter, Grails), and Jim Elkington (Tweedy, Horse’s Ha, Richard Thompson, Steve Gunn).

File Under: Folk
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…..Restocks…..

Bad Brains: Build a Nation (Megaforce) LP
Bon Iver: 22, A Million (Jagjaguwar) LP
Bon Iver: For Emma, Forever Ago (Jagjaguwar) LP
Bon Iver: s/t (Jagjaguwar) LP
David Bowie: Blackstar (Columbia) LP
Can: Future Days (Mute) LP
Car Seat Headrest: Teens of Denial (Matador) LP
Nick Cave: Tender Prey (Mute) LP
Miles Davis: Agharta (Music on Vinyl) LP
Miles Davis: Kind of Blue (Legacy) LP
Depeche Mode: Spirit (Sony) LP
Father John Misty: Pure Comedy (Sub Pop) LP
Father John Misty: I Love You Honeybear (Sub Pop) LP
Future Islands: Singles (4AD) LP
Steve Gunn: Eyes on the Lines (Matador) LP
Herbie Hancock: Thrust (Music on Vinyl) LP
Jamie XX: In Colour (Young Turks) LP
Jonsi & Alex: Riceboy Sleeps (XL) LP
The National: Alligator (Beggars) LP
The National: Boxer (Beggars) LP
The National: High Violet (4AD) LP
The National: Trouble Will Find Me (4AD) LP
Anderson.Paak: Malibu (Obe) LP
Anderson.Paak: Venice (Obe) LP
Parquet Courts: Human Performance (Rough Trade) LP
Pink Floyd: Dark Side of the Moon (Pink Floyd) LP
Pink Floyd: Animals (Pink Floyd) LP
Pink Floyd: Meddle (Pink Floyd) LP
Pink Floyd: Obscured by Clouds (Pink Floyd) LP
Radiohead: Kid A (XL) LP
Radiohead: Hail to the Thief (XL) LP
Radiohead: Ok Computer (XL) LP
Radiohead: In Rainbows (XL) LP
Radiohead: Pablo Honey (XL) LP
Radiohead: The Bends (XL) LP
Run the Jewels: Run the Jewels (Mass Appeal) LP
The Shins: Heartworms (Columbia) LP
Stooges: s/t (Rhino) LP
Sunn o))): Black One (Southern Lord) LP
Vampire Weekend: s/t (XL) LP
Vampire Weekend: Modern Vampires in the City (XL) LP
Vampire Weekend: Contra (XL) LP
War on Drugs: Lost in the Dreams (Jagjaguwar) LP
XX: s/t (XL) LP
XX: Coexist (XL) LP

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