…..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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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…..

Tagged , , , , , , ,

…..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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…..news letter #790 – rsd hangover…..

Well, that sure was a day! Thanks a ton to everyone who came out and braved the sketchy weather, stood in line, was super chill, bought a bunch of stuff, and helped us all have a super rad time! Congrats to all our prize winners. Lastly a huge thanks to Elm Cafe for coming out and supplying coffee in the morning and 3 sweet coffee prize packs, and Local 124 for the sweet skateboards!

…..pick of the week…..

moomins

Graeme Miller & Steve Shill: The Moomins OST (Finders Keepers) LP
Imagine, if you will, a foreboding homemade electro-acoustic, new age, synth-driven, proto-techno, imaginary world music created on a Portastudio soundtrack for a Polish-made animated fantasy based on a Finnish modern folk tale and created for German and Austrian TV, composed in 1982 by two politically-driven post-punk theater performers from a shared house in Leeds. To even the most perspicacious and adventurous of alternative music fans, the genuine bloodline of this previously unreleased record already begins to sound like an entire record collection in one sitting. It would be surprising if this project’s ambitious and exotic credentials didn’t tick at least one box on your musical matrix and without one drop of unnecessary nostalgic hyperbole this project already sounds like the perfect fantasy record that you’ve never heard. From the same social landscape as Gang Of Four, The Mekons, and Impact Theatre Co-operative – armed with a Wasp synthesizer, an ocarina, and a cassette of the Robinson Crusoe music taped off the TV, Graeme Miller and Steve Shill used minimum means for maximum mayhem, instilling over 35 years of dream-like illusory fuzziness and freakiness into the memories of a generation of school age TV addicts waiting for the next five minute fix of outer national fuzzy felt folklore. Collected here, all in one place for the first time, Finders Keepers, in close collaboration with the original composers, present the first-ever full soundtrack release for the UK-specific cult animated series. Finders Keepers take the original homemade micro-melodies and reintroduce them to a musical landscape where fans of vintage electronics, concrète tape effects, pocket percussion, and domestic synths are finally ready to be reunited with the magnetic music of Moominvalley.

File Under: OST, Electronic, Fuzzy Felt Folk
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…..new arrivals…..

arkbro

Ellen Arkbro : Organ & Bass (Subtext) LP
For Organ And Brass is comprised of two works by the Stockholm-based composer Ellen Arkbro. Both works focus on tuning, intonation, and harmonic modulation. In previous projects, Arkbro composed for early music ensembles, wrote a series of durational pieces utilizing synthetic tones and processed guitars, and, most recently, presented a work lasting 26 days at the Stockholm Concert Hall. For Organ And Brass looks back to Arkbro’s studies in just intonation with La Monte Young, Marian Zazeela, and their disciple Jung Hee Choi in New York, as well as with kindred spirit Marc Sabat in Berlin. The title composition was written for an organ with a specific kind of historical tuning known as meantone temperament. It was only after locating an appropriate instrument — the Sherer-Orgel dating back to 1624 in St. Stephen’s Church in Tangermünde, Northeastern Germany — that Arkbro set about recording both for organ and brass and its counterpart, Three. “Hidden within the harmonic framework of the Renaissance organ are intervals and chords that bare a close resemblance to those found in the modalities of traditional blues music,” explains Arkbro. “The work can be thought of as a very slow and reduced blues music.” The work moves gradually through a series of long, sustained tones played by the organ and in parallel by a brass trio comprised of horn, tuba, and trombone. Arkbro’s treatment of pitch resembles the tuning strategies of La Monte Young. The brass parts were performed by microtonal brass trio Zinc & Copper, a group whose repertoire has included works by C.C. Hennix and Christian Wolff. In Arkbro’s words, “the brass instruments and the organ fall into patterns of interaction in which a new breathing instrument emerges.” Three, which follows the 20-minute title work, deploys the same principles of harmonic relativity. In removing the organ from the instrumentation and switching to a different meter, Three acts as an intimate counterpoint to the ritual drone cycles of the title piece. For Organ And Brass was recorded in Tangermünde, Germany in September 2016. The performers were Johan Graden (organ), Elena Kakaliagou (horn), Hilary Jeffery (trombone), and Robin Hayward (tuba). Ellen Arkbro’s work has been performed in Brooklyn, Stockholm, Norberg, Bologna, Gothenburg, Berlin, Birmingham, and Malmö, and on Swedish National Radio.

File Under: Ambient, Minimalism, Classical
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grail

Robbie Basho: The Grail & The Lotus (Takoma) LP
A reissue of Robbie Basho’s The Grail & The Lotus, originally released in 1966. It’s become an oft-quoted statement that John Coltrane was the Father, Pharaoh Sanders was the Son, and Albert Ayler, the Holy Ghost. It could arguably apply to the holy trinity of steel string guitarists as well. Many claim John Fahey to be the Father, Kottke was considered the Son, and Robbie Basho would certainly be considered the Holy Ghost. The Basho/Ayler similarities are many, and both pushed their idioms further physically and emotionally than all of their respective contemporaries. The Grail & The Lotus was Basho’s second release for the Takoma label, preceding the wildly prolific year of 1967 that produced three absolute classics with the Falconers Arm sets and Basho Sings. Supposedly the thematics of The Grail & The Lotus came to Basho while recovering from a feverish bout of pneumonia, and in that state Basho envisioned and expressed a simultaneous glimpse of the Feudal Age, European and Japanese evocations side-by-side, both co-mingling with Knighthoods in Flower. A truly outsider take on the American primitive genre, The Grail & The Lotus is finally reissued for the first time on vinyl, 50 years after its initial release. Beautifully remastered; Edition of 500.

File Under: Folk, Guitar Soli
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sings

Robbie Basho: Basho Sings (Takoma) LP
A reissue of Robbie Basho’s Basho Sings, originally released in 1967. It’s become an oft-quoted statement that John Coltrane was the Father, Pharaoh Sanders was the Son, and Albert Ayler, the Holy Ghost. It could arguably apply to the holy trinity of steel string guitarists as well. Many claim John Fahey to be the Father, Kottke was considered the Son, and Robbie Basho would certainly be considered the Holy Ghost. The Basho/Ayler similarities are many, and both pushed their idioms further physically and emotionally than all of their respective contemporaries. Basho Sings was Basho’s fifth release for the Takoma label and as the title proclaims, Basho Sings showcases a unique voice that transcends the limitations of the vocal form. He’s left the pentatonic raga scales of his previous releases and showcases a unique and unparalleled take on the folk/blues song idiom. A truly outsider take on the American primitive genre, Basho Sings is finally reissued for the first time on vinyl 50 years after its initial release. Beautifully remastered; Edition of 500.

 File Under: Folk, Guitar Soli
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basiBasic House: I Could Tell You… (Alter) LP
The second album from Basic House for Alter takes a sober turn towards the thematic intersection of occult knowledge and globalized black operations, brokering a piercing anxiety throughout, from the tension between the scale of the politics being invoked and the familiarity of the covert identity tactics to music cultures, subcultures, and the like. The opening track to I Could Tell You But Then You Would Have To Be Destroyed By Me turns from a naive fatalism to an addled stream of consciousness that flirts, just about, with psychosis, establishing the record’s push-and-pull between the local and the global, the personal and the public. Swarming, hinged string sections light the way ahead, barely hinting at the edges of a space with a rhythm, as if attempting to induce claustrophobia with the engulfing rush of total darkness. In moments of continually tapering collages, Basic House appeals to paranoia. Never sustained to the point of exhaustion, it frames the placid momentum of its quieter passages when seemingly domestic recordings collapse into cracked dub motifs. However, more critically, it signals the play between the hyper-vigilant mindset that seeks to protect itself and its order, and the intuitive processes by which we code the means for this into our social signaling and general communication.

File Under: Electronic, Ambient, Techno
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blackangels

Black Angels: Death Song (Partisan) LP
In tomorrow… Austin’s psych rock masters The Black Angels return with Death Song, the five-piece’s first full-length release in four years and their debut for Partisan Records. Written and recorded in large part during the recent election cycle, the music on Death Song serves as part protest, part emotional catharsis in a climate dominated by division, anxiety and unease. Opening cut “Currency,” a strong contender for the heaviest song the band has ever put to wax, meditates on the governing role the monetary system plays in our lives, while slow-building psychedelic earworm “Half Believing” questions the nature and confusing realities of devotion. Recorded between Seattle and Austin, Death Song features production from Phil Ek (Father John Misty, Fleet Foxes, The Shins).  The 11-track collection offers a sharply honed elaboration on their signature sound – menacing fuzz guitar and cutting wordplay, steeped in a murky hallucinatory dream. Double vinyl LP comes with a sticker, poster, and digital download card.

File Under: Psych, Rock
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buttertones

Buttertones: Gravedigging (Innovative Leisure) LP
The Buttertones’ Gravedigging is more a movie waiting to happen than an album—or a soundtrack just waiting to inspire a movie, with scene after scene of action, tension and release set to a sound that takes everything good and true about American music before the Beatles prettied it up (surf, sweet soul, the boss saxophone-overdrive garage of the Northwest wailers like the Sonics) and matches it to punk energy, post-punk precision and the kind of personality that blows the circuit-breakers at a backyard party. The Buttertones started their own journey in 2011 as three music school misfits (or drinking buddies, they say) in the heart of Hollywood, happy to learn how to to play, produce and perform but less excited about frequent go-nowhere conversations with classmates who had little interest in either the past or the future of music. So that’s why bassist Sean Redman (also a former member of Cherry Glazerr) felt like he’d lucked out when he found guitarist/singer Richard Araiza and drummer/polyinstrumentalist Modesto ‘Cobi’ Cobiån: “Cobi and Richardwere the first guys I met where I thought they knew what they were talking about,” he says. “They had good influences—they weren’t just trying to pander. Their first rehearsals were in a Hollywood bedroom where Redman was living on an air mattress, then Araiza finally locked down Boettcher—who he’d often see responding to the same casting calls as he did—to replace another guitarist who was transitioning back to family life even as the Buttertones prepared their debut release, a self-titled cassette on L.A.’s garage-pop Lolipop label. Then they absorbed sax player London Guzmån (formerly in Long Beach’s Wild Pack of Canaries with breakout local Rudy De Anda) after spotting him at a local DJ night, recruiting him for their sophomore album American Brunch—and discovering the kind of chemistry they didn’t know they were missing. Says Araiza: “We’re proud to be a legit band. It’s a very collaborative process—we rely on each other. I feel that’s rare nowadays, especially with rock bands.” When it came time to make Gravedigging—the follow-up to a special issue 8” for Innovative, which ended up pulling them aboard the label full-time—they knew it was time to go deeper and get dirtier. Recorded at Jazzcats studio in Long Beach—home-away-from-home to fellow Innovative Leisure artists Hanni El Khatib, Tijuana Panthers, Wall of Death and more—in the spring of 2016, the sessions were supercharged with hard-won live experience from endless street-level shows and relentless midnight-to-six rehearsals at the Buttertones lock-out, then focused even further by the insight and vision of producer Jonny Bell. (“Jonny pushed us like crazy,” says Boettcher. “He had so many ideas all the time.”) Think of it this way: you might not yet know how the band that made Gravedigging is going to land—but you know it’s going to hit hard.

File Under: Rock
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cherry

Don Cherry: Music, Wisdom, Love 1969 (Cacophonic) LP
Reaching a near-mythical status amongst fans of free jazz’s most worldly intrepid explorer, these seldom heard Paris soundtrack sessions known as Music, Wisdom, Love have evaded collectors’ grasps and confused historians for exactly 50 years. Instigated in Paris in 1967 and filmed during Don Cherry’s downtime on a visit to the Chat qui Pêche nightclub in March 1967, where he played with Karl Berger, Henri Texier, and Jacques Thollot, the bulk of this cinematic portrait was filmed on the streets of Paris under the direction of creative all-rounders Jean-Noël Delamarre and Nathalie Perrey, who, as their careers bloomed, would become pivotal figures in underground French cinema – straddling La Nouvelle Vague, adult entertainment, and cinema fantastique in what can only be described as speedball cinema. As the supportive creative family that primarily played home to French vampire/horrortica director Jean Rollin, both Nathalie and Jean-Noël, his brother Jean-Philippe Delamarre and a small team of other fans of oblique media would be responsible for a vibrant micro-culture that awkwardly flourished on the outskirts on the Parisian new wave – combining comic book culture, Lettrism, sexual liberation, psychedelic rock, graphic design, and, with this record as prime example, free jazz and avant-garde music. What previously might have been regarded as an unlikely coupling, with the benefit of half a century of archival hindsight, this release documents the essential cosmic collision of two fantastic planets. Available here for the first time ever and licensed from producer and director Jean-Noël Delamarre himself.

File Under: Jazz, Improv, OST
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cocker

Jarvis Cocker/Chilly Gonzales: Room 29 (Deutsche Grammophon) LP
In tomorrow… Compelling new Deutsche Grammophon album Room 29, a unique collaboration between Jarvis Cocker and Chilly Gonzales, asks what the ghosts of Hollywood’s golden age can tell us about how we came to be where we are today. Standing at the west end of Hollywood’s Sunset Boulevard, the Chateau Marmont hotel has seen many a famous and infamous guest pass through its doors since it opened in 1929. A 2012 stay in one of its second-floor rooms inspired British lyricist and singer Jarvis Cocker to look into its history and led to this collaborative project with multi-faceted Canadian pianist and composer Chilly Gonzales. Gonzales’ score and Cocker’s lyrics conjure up the lives of some of Room 29’s previous occupants, as well as shining a light on the glittering fantasy and often bleak reality of Hollywood. “If you must get in trouble, do it at the Chateau Marmont,” noted Harry Cohn, founder of Columbia Pictures, in 1939. Cocker was intrigued by the hotel’s links to the history of the film industry. He found the key to creativity in the fact that Room 29 contained a baby-grand piano. What if it could “sing” of the life stories and events it had witnessed? The idea also ignited Gonzales’s imagination, and both artists embarked on a three-year journey of artistic discovery, unearthing details about guests such as Jean Harlow, Mark Twain’s daughter Clara, and Los Angeles mobster Meyer Cohen, alias “Mickey the Haberdasher.” As well as dramatizing some of those stories, their songs capture both the essential loneliness of the hotel room and the ways in which moving images have “moved” people in ways they don’t quite understand.  Gonzales and Cocker have drawn on the 19th-century model of the song cycle for a structure capable of containing the broad sweep of emotions and states of mind elicited by the real and imaginary dramas of one unusual hotel suite. Room 29 emerges as metaphor for a place within each of us, home to our deepest desires and fantasies. The Hamburg-based string quartet Kaiser Quartett also plays a prominent part in Room 29, providing a sonorous tonal complement to Gonzales’ piano writing and accompanying Cocker’s vocals.

File Under: Classical, Vocal, OST
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derdiyoklar

Derdiyoklar Ikilisi: Disco-Folk (Pharaway Sounds) LP
Pharaway Sounds present a reissue of Derdiyoklar Ikilisi’s Disco-Folk, originally released in 1984. More demented, brain-damaging Turkish electro-saz and synth drums galore by the mighty Derdiyoklar duo. Anadolu pop doesn’t get weirder than this. These two Turkish guys armed with electro-saz, guitar, drums, and synthesizers were hitting the Turkish market in Germany where they lived, playing their sets of traditional flavored electro-folk in weddings and circumcision feasts for Turkish emigrants in Germany. That crazy is the story, that crazy is their sound.

File Under: Turkish, Psych, Electro, Wedding Music
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todliche

Die Todliche Doris: “” (Etats-Unis) LP
“Die Tödliche Doris was born out of West Berlin’s lively post-punk community in the early ’80s. Along with Einstürzende Neubauten, Malaria, Sprung Aus Den Wolken and Frieder Butzmann, Die Tödliche Doris ranks amongst the Geniale Dilletanten — which roughly translates as ‘ingenious dilettantes’ — who sought to democratize cultural productions beyond the grip of both Western capitalism and GDR socialism. The Geniale Dilletanten became synonymous with a free-for-all approach to music, film, painting and performance where participants encouraged raw expression through provocation and experimentation. Wolfgang Müller and Nikolaus Utermöhlen founded Die Tödliche Doris in 1980, presenting the public persona of Doris as a constantly shifting entity that deliberately engaged the contradictions of the human condition. The band often referenced themselves in the third person singular, alluding to Doris as a fully-formed female character with explosive, colorful emotions. For her debut album — originally released on Zickzack in 1982 and playfully titled ” ” (that is, blank space surrounded by quotation marks) — Doris most closely entertains the notion of a typical rock band with drums, bass and guitar. Produced by Neubauten’s Blixa Bargeld, the thirteen songs presented here are disquieting lullabies of profound anxiety, savage and primitive deconstructions of German polka and manic lacerations of punk minimalism: all reflections of the many and fractured personalities of Doris. This first-time vinyl reissue includes a reproduction of the original 24-page booklet. Limited edition of 500 numbered copies on clear vinyl.”

File Under: Experimental, No-Wave
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dockstader

Tod Dockstader: Eight Electronic Pieces (Etats-Unis) LP
“Originally self-released in 1961 and later issued by Folkways, Tod Dockstader’s Eight Electronic Pieces is a foundational document of American electronic music and a stunning first work from this revolutionary composer. Refused access to the resources and funding of the academy and without any interest from the record industry, Dockstader assembled his debut album through three years of his own private labor — recording after-hours at the New York radio station where he worked. Dockstader’s approach was informed by the laboratory experiments of his European contemporaries Edgar Varèse and Pierre Schaefer as well as by the aleatory compositional techniques and neo-dadaist aesthetics of John Cage. While Dockstader famously described his music as ‘organized sound,’ Eight Electronic Pieces is not pure musique concrète. Oscillators pulse and clash with fragments of incidental tape music, leaving collages of sound as tuneful and memorable as they are otherworldly. A visionary debut that presages the abstract ambience of modern IDM and an essential addition to any collection of early electronic music. Limited edition of 500 numbered copies on clear vinyl.”

File Under: Early Electronic, Experimental
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michels

El Michels Affair: Return to the 37th Chamber (Big Crown) LP
“The wait is over, Return To The 37th Chamber is El Michels Affair’s highly anticipated follow up to 2009’s underground cult classic Enter the 37th Chamber. Churning out classic records since then for the likes of Lee Fields, The Arcs, The Shacks, and tons more, it is clear that EMA’s signature sound is stronger & sharper than ever. This time, in addition to re-interpreting the Wu compositions for a live band, EMA pays homage to the production and sonic fog that makes a RZA beat so recognizable. Producer and bandleader Leon Michels recorded the album completely analog, sometimes hitting 6 generations of tape before it was ready for mixing, giving the Return to The 37th Chamber its own hazy sound. Adding to the unique fidelity, the record is laced with psychedelic flourishes, ‘John Carpenter’ synths, heavy metal guitars, triumphant horns, and traditional Chinese instruments that make up for the lack of the Wu’s superlative vocals. From start to finish it’s a dark trip that walks the line between RZA’s timeless hip-hop aesthetic and the cinematic soul EMA has become known for. El Michels Affair tackles some classics like ‘4th Chamber’ and ‘Wu Tang Aint Nuthin to Fuck Wit’, as well as some deeper cuts like Ol Dirty Bastard’s ‘Snakes’, Raekwon’s ‘Verbal Intercourse’, and ‘Shaolin Brew’, Wu-Tang’s contribution to the St. Ide’s Hip Hop endorsement campaign from 1994. This time El Michels brings some of the Big Crown family along for the ride. Lee Fields handles vocal duties on ‘Snakes’ and is joined by Shannon Wise of The Shacks for their version of ‘Tearz’, which pays as much homage to the Wendy Rene sample as it does to the Wu-Tang Clan. Lady Wray makes an appearance on the cover of Method Man’s hit, ‘All I Need’, lending her vocal prowess to what gave the Wu one of their biggest hits of all time. Interspersed throughout the record are some original interludes that are like the ‘rug that ties the room together,’ giving Return To The 37th Chamber a cinematic narrative that makes it a proper El Michels Affair record and not just a collection of covers. From the music to the presentation, this album is a perfect example of what can only be achieved through diversity. The end result is as much a kaleidoscope of influences and multiculturalism as the city it was recorded in. El Michels Affair is once again, ‘sounding out the city’ that raised them, pulling elements of art and culture from across the country and around the globe to create an album truly unique in its own right.”

File Under: Funk, Wu-Tang
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fiver

Fiver: Audible Songs From Rockwood (Idee Fixe) LP
Simone Schmidt, aka Fiver, is a Toronto-based musician working within the frame of traditional North American folk music. Her latest album Audible Songs From Rockwood is a series of eleven fictional field recordings, gathered from case files of patients at the Rockwood Asylum for the Criminally Insane between 1854-1881. The rigour of Schmidt’s writing process is shown through the work: Over the course of 2 years, Schmidt pored over the asylum’s primary documents – patient files, architectural diagrams, superintendents’ diaries –  spinning her findings into historical fiction and, from there, into song. The voices on the record are crafty, witty, evasive, despondent, and lucid. Audible Songs of Rockwood shapes its subject matter as expertly as any old bluesman would, with wit, baseless optimism, sadness, and even joy. Using a strictly acoustic sonic pallet and working with some heavies in the Old Time folk tradition (John Showman, Max Heineman, Chris Coole, Kristine Schmidt) and odd ball instrumentalists (Cris Derksen, Alia O’brien of Blood Ceremony) the performances carry forward potent gateways to explore the tragedy and optimism that gives traditional roots music its soul, while also giving voice to  people, living in the margins of History, out of sight and mind. The album is accompanied by a book written by fictional ethnomusicologist, Simone Carver, written in the style of the liner notes of Smithsonian Folkways compilations.  It includes lyrics and supplemental information about the historical context of the inmates and their songs along with original artwork by Darby Milbraith, Geneva Hailey, Jennifer Castle, Jeff Bierk and Julianna Neufeld. The package carries questions about the archive as an apparatus of colonial power, definitions of sanity and criminality, and the early settler-colonial agenda foundational to those modes of thought still operating in today’s carceral system. For almost a decade, Schmidt has been a cult figure in the Canadian underground, writing new life into and around the Folk, Country and Rock songs. Critically outspoken about politics, sharp, and largely evading the branding of the music industry proper by working under several aliases, Schmidt has several times been named one of Canada’s best songwriters.  Anyone who has seen her perform remembers her distinctly either from her tenure as the front person and songwriter for celebrated country act One Hundred Dollars (2007-11) or psych rock unit The Highest Order (2011-ongoing), or from her psych folk solo work as Fiver (2012 – on).  Schmidt has five LP’s to her writing credit, collaborations with artists as wide ranging as hardcore punk phenomenon Fucked Up, to the inimitable USGirls, and Old Time and Bluegrass veteran Chris Coole. Schmidt has produced original works for film (World Famous Gopher Hole Museum, Land of Destiny) and appears as a guest vocalist a number of records, including Doug Paisley, Tasseomancy and Shotgun Jimmie.

File Under: Folk, CanCon
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distance

Flying Saucer Attack: Distance (VHF) LP
First ever US vinyl of the second album by Bristol’s Flying Saucer Attack. This edition of the LP is produced in full collaboration with FSA / Dave Pearce. Originally released on VHF as a compact disc at the end of 1994, this was the second FSA album, compiling five tracks from impossible-to-get seven-inches with twenty minutes of previously unreleased (and good) material. Similar in blend to the band’s first LP (also newly issued in the USA on deluxe vinyl), the songs hang together as a collection that improves on the individual singles. The two proper singles that make up half of Distance — “Soaring High” / ”Standing Stone” and “Crystal Shade” / ”Distance” were instant collectables upon their release, so this album was compiled to make the songs permanently available. “Soaring High” and “Crystal Shade” are jagged bits of fuzzed-out pop genius; tracks like the mutant concrete “techno” of “Distance” and the two lengthy glissando workouts on “Oceans” and “Oceans II” offset the more conventional tunes, upping the overall impact as a whole album.

File Under: Space Rock, Shoe Gaze
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fsa

Flying Saucer Attack: s/t (VHF) LP
“First-ever US vinyl of the debut album by Bristol’s Flying Saucer Attack, and first vinyl edition of any kind since 1993! This edition of the album is produced in full collaboration with FSA/Dave Pearce. Aka Rural Psychedelia, Flying Saucer Attack’s first album was released in 1993 after a couple of instantly sold-out singles. Released at the height of the shoegaze boom, the album is a blend of memorable fuzzed out songs and far-out instrumental doodles, sidestepping the rock bombast of many contemporaries in favor of a home-made aesthetic. FSA’s blend of razor-edged static, softly sung melody, and echoing atmospherics builds a dour beauty that sustains itself over the course of the entire program. ‘My Dreaming Hill,’ ‘Wish,’ and ‘The Season Is Ours’ are couched in fuzz and whispery reverb, but are beautiful and accessible tunes, able to stand on their own in any context. ‘Popol Vuh 1’ and ‘Popol Vuh 2’ are straight up tributes to the now much better known German masters, steeped in the hushed atmosphere of the best Vuh records (if not exactly the sound).”

File Under: Space Rock, Shoe Gaze
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futureislands

Future Islands: The Far Field (4AD) LP
The Far Field refines and builds on the breakthroughs of the Baltimore-based trio’s 2014 album Singles, bursting with undeniable hooks and disarmingly honest lyrics written by Samuel T. Herring (vocals, lyrics), William Cashion (bass, guitars) and Gerrit Whelmers (keyboards, programming). After the success of Singles and the hundreds of Future Islands shows played in that period, the band began writing new material on the coast of North Carolina, and continued throughout the year in Baltimore before road-testing these songs at a series of secret shows under fake names. Later that year, they traveled to Los Angeles to record with Grammy Award-winning producer John Congleton at the legendary Sunset Sound, where everyone from The Beach Boys to Prince have laid down masterpieces. With string and horn arrangements by Patrick McMinn, The Far Field is the first Future Islands record to feature live drums by Michael Lowry, who joined the band prior to their sensational performance of “Seasons (Waiting On You)” on David Letterman’s late night TV show. Blondie’s Debbie Harry also makes a guest appearance, in a duet with Herring on penultimate track “Shadows.” Across The Far Field’s twelve chest-pounding love songs and odes to the road, Future Islands brilliantly expresses the band’s central themes they’ve been exploring for the last decade: that there is power in emotional vulnerability, that one can find a way to laugh and cry in the same breath – and be stronger for it.

File Under: Indie Rock, Synth Pop
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ganimian

Ganimian: Come With Me To The Casbah (Cacophonic) LP
Oft overlooked for over half a century while misfiled amongst exploit bellydance records and holidaymaker souvenirs this one-off twelve track album is the only existing full-length record by the best-kept mutant musical secret of the Armenian American diaspora, oud pop maestro Charles ‘Chick’ Ganimian. One of the earliest examples of any kind of recorded fusion between rhythm heavy pop music and traditional Turkish music, Ganimian’s developments in New York City – with his sadly unrecorded turk jerk combo The Nor-Ikes (New Dawn) combo – ran almost simultaneously alongside the rising Anadolou Pop scene in Turkey, resulting in his short lived powerhouse of Kif proto-rock under the changing names of Ganim’s Asia Minors,  Ganimian & His Orientals and Ganimian & His Oriental Music Orchestra. Combining a  line-up of mostly unknown musicians from his local community (where he was worked as a butcher), Ganimian, in a short unison with ATCO records, was fortunate enough to accommodate jazz guitarist Al Schactman as part of his studio personnel (launching the career of this Nina Simone regular) as well as French born Armenian folk singer Onnik Dinkjian and reid player Steve Bogoshian (both from the band The House Of The Seven Uncles) as well as the esteemed Turkish raised Kanun player Ahmet Yatman.  As one of the very few early American recorded authentic Middle Eastern fusion record Come With Me To The Casbah has piqued a refined interest in a new generation of progressive world music collector resulting in a distinct drought in original Ganimian pressings on the collectors’ market earning Chicks name a rising placeholder on the want lists of DJs, vinyl hounds and ethno psychedelia collectors.This LP includes all of Ganimians recordings including the rare singles for Atco and East West which sit awkwardly next to bizarre and unique takes on popular American standards enhancing the exciting freak factor of this record which simply could not be made by today’s stifling self-aware anti-standards.  Aside from rare (poorly recorded) private family tapes this album is the only chance to hear the music of this lost enigma of early world music, Eastern fusion and a missing kink in the fabric of New York pop music history captured before his short stint as an exotic Herbie Mann sideman which proceeded his migration into obscurity and his well-imparted tragic struggle with alcohol dependency depriving pop culture of a forward thinking pioneer who paved the way for the more credible exponents of the cross-continental Indo fusion enigma such as John Berberian and the later well pruned hard rock efforts of The Devils Anvil.

File Under: Jazz, World, Roma, Turkish, Jazz
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gerry

Gerry & The Holograms: s/t (Cache Cache) LP
Well–documented as one of Frank Zappa’s favourite ever groups and instantly recognisable as the BLUEprint of 80’s Mancunian electro pop, the inflated alter–egos of Gerry & The Holograms (and their unrivalled brand of conceptual sarcastic synth pop) successfully remodelled, ridiculed and redefined plugged–in punk before hitting the self–destruct button and burying the evidence under a pile of hand–mutilated microgrooves for over 35 wet summers. Having risen from the electronic embers of Manchester’s first genuine psychedelic band, via Vertigo commissioned prog and experimental theatre, then refined through the musical mind behind the most inspired vinyl moments of Martin Hannett, John Cooper Clarke and Jilted John – the onliest discography of the GATH anti–band remains unrivalled as the most idiosyncratic and enigmatic pivotal post–punk artefact from the first electronic entrenchment of pop. A consistent inclusion on record collector want-lists, transcending both decades and musical genres, the first-and-only listenable 2 track record by this masked art-rock studio duo, entitled Meet The Dissidents originally appeared in record racks in 1979, selling-out instantly only to be sequelised by a totally unplayable situationist-inspired follow-up which was glued into its own sleeve destroying the grooves in the process (rivalling that of Peter Saville and Durutti Column’s Debordist sandpaper re-hash by at least 3 years). With a life-span shorter than the hours on their studio bill, the band would find bedfellows amongst other incognito groups like Naffi Sandwich, The Mothmen and Blah Blah Blah within the Absurd Records stable – a daring Mancunian imprint that sat awkwardly between older and younger half-sister labels Rabid and Relentless. With a 11 release library of mostly non-returning faceless atonal electronic punk/DIY industrial bands Absurd would spearhead and pre-empt the subsequent decades of Mancunian independent record labels that followed in the footsteps of the more commercially successful Factory Records (while also drawing comparisons with Spiral Scratch, Test Pressings, Object Music and Throbbing Gristles’ Industrial Records). Despite just one official title to their name however, the true identity behind Gerry And The Holograms would unify those sister-labels and collectively play an important supporting role in Manchester’s independent music history with a story which goes back as far as most rain soaked memories can attempt to forget.

File Under: Electro, Post-Punk
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gorillaz

Gorillaz: Humanz (Parlophone) LP
In tomorrow… Gorillaz are back. The world’s most successful virtual band makes their highly anticipated return with the new studio album Humanz. Produced by Gorillaz, The Twilite Tone of D /\ P and Remi Kabaka and recorded in London, Paris, New York, Chicago and Jamaica, Humanz comes seven years on from the release of albums The Fall and Plastic Beach. Murdoc Niccals (bass), Noodle (guitar), Russel Hobbs (drums) and 2D (vocals) are – as always – joined by a stellar line up of featured artists which includes Jehnny Beth (Savages), Danny Brown, Benjamin Clementine, De La Soul, D.R.A.M., Peven Everett, Anthony Hamilton, Grace Jones, Zebra Katz, Kelela, Mavis Staples, Vince Staples, Popcaan, Pusha T, Jamie Principle and Kali Uchis among others

File Under: Rock, Hip Hop
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grippe

Ragnar Grippe: Sand (Dais) LP
Since its original release in 1977, Ragnar Grippe’s seminal debut album entitled Sand has been adorned with immense praise and influenced a myriad of ambient musicians and minimalist composers. Grippe’s unique approach of bonding post-modern classical composition into the tape techniques of musique concrète allowed him to be one of the leading experimental electronic musicians of the late 20th century. Originally trained as a classical cellist, Grippe had relocated to Paris in the early 70’s to study at the famous Groupe de Recherches Musicales (more commonly known as GRM) founded by musique concrète pioneers Pierre Schaeffer, Pierre Henry and Jacques Poullin. Around the same time, Grippe had struck up a close friendship with French avant-garde minimalist Luc Ferrari. It was under Ferrari’s direction and guidance that the young Grippe started to build a shared experimental music studio, aptly named l’Atelier de la Libération Musicale (ALM), in which Ferrari shared his knowledge and instrumental supplies, thus forging Grippe’s implementation of harmonic tone within the confines of musique concrete. After a brief stint of electronic music study at McGill University in Montreal, Grippe returned to Paris in 1976 to compose with Ferrari at the now fully-realized ALM studio. One of the visiting artists passing through the creative epicenter of the Cité Internationale des Arts during this time was the painter Viswanadhan Velu. Velu’s recent works consisted of various Sand paintings which were to be exhibited at the Galerie Shandar, the avant-garde art gallery and home to the Shandar record label which was the home to minimalist composers Terry Riley, La Monte Young, Cecil Taylor and Charlemagne Palestine. Grippe was asked to compose a composition that was to be played during the Sand painting exhibition and was then to be released on the Shandar imprint in 1977. This release would be the first official album that would start Grippe’s career as a modern avant-garde composer and electronic musician. After a celebrated release, “Sand” has since been out-of-print on its original vinyl format for four decades and original copies fetch high prices amongst minimalist listeners and collectors.

File Under: Electronic, Ambient, Minimalism
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iacoucci

Gerarado Iacoucci: Le Avventure (Finders Keepers) LP
Combining all the traits of an international superhero or intrepid comic book adventurer, the true identity, whereabouts and history of the spectacular Italian composer known as Gerardo Iacoucci has been a mystery to record collectors for many years. As a result of the best efforts of secretive archivists and DJs as well as and the overprotective force field that surrounds the clandestine world of Italian library music, the commanding experimental psychedelic pop music made single-handedly by this early pioneer of the anti-genre time after time rises to the top of collectors’ want lists, commands huge ransom notes, ignites dancefloors, and decimates genre tags before returning to its mythical status as one of the kings of the underworld without removing his mask. Despite the fact that original Italian copies of records by Gerardo Iacoucci are amongst the rarest, enigmatic fixtures of European psychedelia, his music simply refuses to be ghettoized and as the name of this album suggests the history of this artist reads like the memoirs of a genuine musical adventurer as well as a well-traveled prophet of experimental music and unsung pillar of Italian jazz and sound design. Recorded in early 1970, Iacoucci’s wide-eyed L’Avventura suite spanned six sides of loud, heavyweight monophonic vinyl for Romano Di Bari’s Deneb label and created an epically detailed blueprint for independent mood music companies whilst sharing release schedules with like-minded workaholics Alessandro Alessandroni and A. R. Luciani. However, Gerardo’s adventure didn’t begin here… As a published author, recorded musician, professor, film composer, gentleman, musicologist, and scholar, Gerardo Iacoucci has managed to cram the stories of nine lifetimes into one heroic existence, while maintaining a humble, earnest and near mythical status as one of the great lost progressive pop pioneers of one of the most important transitional eras of European music, cinema and general, seldom rivaled, creative super powers. When the needle drops, L’Avventura has only just begun.

File Under: Library, Psych
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jansch1

Bert Jansch: Birthday Blues(Superior Viaduct) LP
Bert Jansch’s freewheeling fifth album, Birthday Blues, occupies a unique place in his solo discography. Released in 1969, the same year Basket of Light propelled Pentangle into the UK pop charts, Birthday Blues almost sounds like a Pentangle LP missing John Renbourn and Jacqui McShee. Backed-up by bandmates Danny Thompson and Terry Cox, Jansch neither holds back his characteristic moodiness nor takes himself too seriously. What’s more, Jansch is in love. Heather Rosemary Sewell isn’t just the inspiration for one of the song titles; she also designed the cover, whose Hans Feurer front photo shows Bert holding the couple’s puppy. With just enough of a Donovanesque pop sense, Pentangle producer Shel Talmy keeps the overall feel of these recordings fresh, warm and immediate. As its playfully ambivalent title suggests, Birthday Blues reveals an artist fully comfortable in his own skin. Blues and folk influences are woven together into songs at once directly personal, yet generously light and free. The most “pop” of Jansch’s ‘60s solo recordings and perhaps one of his most underrated, Birthday Blues is a deep and rewarding family affair at the height of his musical powers. This vinyl release has been carefully remastered from the original master tapes and features liner notes by Richie Unterberger.

File Under: Folk
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jansch

Bert Jansch: Rosemary Lane (Superior Viaduct) LP
“By the time Rosemary Lane was released in 1971, Bert Jansch had covered a great deal of territory on numerous albums as a solo artist, collaborations with John Renbourn and records by the band in which he and Renbourn sang and played guitar, Pentangle. Returning to the intimate economy of his self-titled debut LP from a half-dozen or so years earlier, Rosemary Lane was recorded on portable equipment by engineer/producer Bill Leader and featured Jansch with no accompaniment save his guitar and voice. Rosemary Lane has elements of many of the styles Jansch covered in his extraordinarily eclectic career — from the folk and blues that were his bedrock to medieval music — yet cuts to the heart of his strength as spell-binding storyteller and empathic interpreter of isolation and want. Occasional instrumentals vary the mood that, like much of his work, is usually somber and introspective. Jansch once again lights the way forward with detours through the past. His sparse arrangements seamlessly merge original songwriting and traditional folk songs, while Jansch’s imaginative lyrics charm every step of the way — as if speaking directly to the listener alone. This vinyl release has been carefully remastered from the original master tapes and features liner notes by Richie Unterberger.”

File Under: Folk
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jones

Joe Jones: In Performance (Etats-Unis) LP
“After studying with composers John Cage and Earle Brown, Joe Jones became a prominent figure in Fluxus, contributing to the movement’s first ‘yearbox’ alongside La Monte Young, György Ligeti and Nam June Paik. Beginning in late 1961, Jones began constructing his own music machines — drawing inspiration from the calliopes, automata and orchestrations of the 19th and early 20th century to create self-playing ensembles of stringed instruments, percussion and woodwinds — ‘played’ through an elaborate (yet decidedly lo-tech) system of rubber bands, balls and tin foil. Christened the Tone Deaf Music Company, this battery of automated musical instruments generates the sounds on In Performance (originally released in 1977 on the Harlequin Art imprint). With exacting conceptual precision and varied subtleties of natural motion — not unlike Harry Bertoia’s sounding sculptures — Jones’ machines produce richly-textured strata of sound and serve as engines of paradox. While bringing the figure of the artist-composer to the foreground, the machines ultimately dispense with the need for the performer entirely — a cunning subversion of the fetish for virtuosity and individual genius. Limited edition of 500 numbered copies on clear vinyl.”

File Under: Experimental, Fluxus, Avant Garde
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lanegan

Mark Lanegan Band: Gargoyle (Heavenly) LP
Heavenly Recordings presents Gargoyle, the new album from the Mark Lanegan Band. The 10-track LP features guest appearances from long-time collaborators Josh Homme, Greg Dulli and Duke Garwood. The contributions of English musician Rob Marshall (who co-wrote six songs) fit perfectly with the direction Lanegan had been pondering: in essence, a more expansive progression from the moody Krautrock-influenced electronica textures of his two previous albums, Blues Funeral and Phantom Radio. While sharing roots with its two predecessors, on Gargoyle there’s a significant up-shift in the swaggering powerlode of such keynote songs as “Nocturne” and “Beehive,” while the lyrics’ tonal palette is more varied. The album title comes from a lyric in “Blue Blue Sea”  – “Gargoyle perched on gothic spire” – and was chosen for its hint of self-deprecation. “I’m most proud of the songs that are atypical to stuff that I’ve done in the past,” Lanegan says. “So I really like Old Swan, because it’s an expression of positivity, which is completely anti-anything I’ve done before!”

File Under: Indie Rock
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forte

Le Forte Four: Bikini Tennis Shoes (Etats-Unis) LP
“The origins of Le Forte Four are those of the Los Angeles Free Music Society itself. Chip Chapman joined forces with Rick Potts (and shortly thereafter Tom and Joe Potts), taking up the LAFMS name in 1974. Ultimately baptizing themselves Le Forte Four, they began threading imagined lines between John Cage and The Residents, Cecil Taylor and Henry Cow — generating sounds completely unlike any of these and anything since. The inaugural release on the eponymous LAFMS imprint with only 200 copies pressed originally, Bikini Tennis Shoes is a staggering piece of anti-music that remains as refreshingly ground-clearing today as it was when it first appeared in 1975. Its 40 minutes (parceled out across nearly as many tracks) chart forays into free improvisation, Buchla misuse, filtered noise, begrudging and damaged melodic sorties (from the Star-Spangled Banner to Stravinsky’s ‘The Rite of Spring’) and healthy doses of basement pablum. Le Forte Four emerged out of the lethargic American ’70s as a locus where, in their own words, ‘gamelans and ragas merged with serial and chance compositions finally melting together with instructional records and Beatles bootlegs.’ A wildly eclectic rummaging of postwar culture and 20th century sound, Le Forte Four’s Bikini Tennis Shoes preempts punk’s outsider ethos and DIY autodidactism. Limited edition of 500 numbered copies on clear vinyl.”

File Under: Electronic, Musique Concrete
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tempo di demoni

Stefano Marcucci: Tempo di Demoni, Papi, Angioli, Incensi e Cilici (Finders Keepers) 10″
The mythical, mysterious and misfiled transcription disc of a lost Italian demonic religious rock opera recorded at Pierre Umiliani’s Sound Workshop by Stefano Marcucci – beat group veteran, Fernando Arrabal collaborator and Libra affiliate. Featuring members of the wider Casa/Ducros family and future Federico Fellini collaborators, this previously commercially unavailable mini-LP features embryonic Minimoog, ecclesiastical organs and chorus alongside a tight psych funk rhythm section from Italian library music’s golden era. Imagine Jean Pierre Massiera’s Visitors restoring a scene from Juliette Of The Spirits, backed by a skeleton staff from Jean-Claude Vannier’s Chorale des Jeunesses Musicales de France on a foreign exchange program; on Halloween, in the Vatican… Continuing our mission to shine light on the genuine anomalies of 70’s Italian production music, Finders Keepers Records resurrects another unlikely transcription disc from the vaults of one of Rome’s most esoteric library music archives. This bizarre one-off theatrical project, composed and recorded at Umiliani’s studio, was commissioned for a short-run demonic religious performance entitled Tempo Di Demoni, Papi, Angioli, Incensi E Cilici under the musical direction of former Italian psychedelic beat-group member Stefano Marcucci. Instantly recognised by Flower Records founder Romano Di Bari as having commercial potential beyond its handful of church and small theatre performances in the early months of 1975, Marcucci agreed that they should commit these bizarre recordings to vinyl as a form of preservation with hope of attracting a wider commercial audience through Di Bari’s Television and Films synchronisation contacts. Sitting slightly ajar to the custom-made projects of its label bedfellows (swapping schedules with experimental theme-music by Alessandro Alessandroni, Gerardo Iacoucci and Anthonio Ricardo Luciani) and confusingly sharing an identical catalog number to another collectable Flower release called Ritimico by (close friend) Paolo Ferrara this album has slipped under the radar of many Library label completists over the years attracting confusion, scepticism, polarised opinion but nothing short of astonishment at the bizarre hidden synth-ridden psychedelic concept pop found behind some of the most striking duo-tone artwork to come out of Italy’s most experimental era.

File Under: Library, OST, Italian
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omari

Abdou el Omari: Nuits De Printemp (Radio Martiko) LP
First issue of this previously unreleased Oriental psych monster from the organ king of Casablanca, combining traditional rhythms with spaced out modern sounds. Nuits De Printemps is the third part of Abdou El Omari’s Nuits-trilogy. This album contains dazzling instrumentals, spiced up here-and-there with some traditional vocals. While playing his fine melodies, Abdou switches swiftly from his Farfisa Professional mothership to an analog ARP synthesizer. This new sound and some funky wah guitar riffs give his music an extra cosmic touch. Includes download code.

File Under: Electronic, Funk, African
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demons

OST: Les Demons (Finders Keepers) LP
The unreleased Euro pysch score to the French/Portuguese X-rated version of The Devils meets The Witchfinder General! Synchronised by Spanish anti-establishmentarian, sexual liberator, die-hard independent filmmaker and unrepentant voyeur Jess Franco (Vampyros Lesbos/De Sade). Composed entirely by French composer Jean-Bernard Raiteux aka Jean-Michel Lorgere (Sinner/Harlem Pop Trotters) and presented here in full soundtrack form for the first time. Proudly claiming the dubious accolade of the Spanish sexploitation version of The Devils as the distributor’s most bankable asset, this previously banned 1973 European witch flick would rip the art house facade from Ken Russell’s well polished box office smash and push the envelope way beyond the closet titillation of the gentrified new wave controversy seekers. Delivered on a comparable shoestring budget as the 55th feature in Jess Franco’s filmography of approximately 203 completed movies, The Demons (Les Démons), directed under the Anglicised pseudonym Clifford Brown, took many of the Franco’s sexually stylistic watermarks (epitomised in his Vampyros Lesbos trilogy) adding witchcraft, possession and nunsploitation against a rural Mediterranean backdrop before disappearing into the woods. Whilst clearly taking inspirational plot cues from Michael Reeve’s The Witchfinder General (UK 1968) and drawing comparisons with scenes from Eiichi Yamamoto’s Belladonna Of Sadness (Japan 1973) this B-Movie reduction of Franco’s wide palette of colourful ingredients has in recent years provided enthusiasts/champions/defenders of the workaholic horrotica bastion with a rare and treasured addition. Future-proofed by an essential component, omnipresent in Franco’s films, it is the mysterious commercially unobtainable soundtrack music that cements the unwaning interest in his risqué brand of unconventional shock/schlock sinema (not hindered my the enigmatic title card misinformation that often surrounds the original composers) and the music herein that has given Franco’s harshest critics a second chance/reason to reevaluate this man’s unapologetic art. Following on from Finders Keepers previous expanded release of Bruno Nicolai’s score for Franco’s 1970 adaptation of De Sade this record stands as another tribute to Franco’s life which he lived through the mechanisms of a camera with relentless zeal and a passion to challenge every aspect of movie making along the way. UNDERground, OVERambitious, RIGHT on, LEFTfield, BELOW the radar but ABOVE criticism. INdulgent and OUTrageous, but never middle of the road, Jess Franco was many things but he wasn’t pretentious and never delivered art for art’s sake and I feel honoured to have spent time with him. Franco was in fact a realist, he kept both feet firmly on the ground and a keen eye behind the right side of the lens and if Jess did have any demons his films were his exorcisms, the critics were the bloody judges and his legacy (through the medium of X-rated cinema of variable quality) is immortal.

File Under: OST, Psych
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infra

Max Richter: Infra (Deutsche Grammophon) LP
Deutsche Grammophon presents the third physical release from Max Richter’s Retrospective catalog, Infra. Written for piano, electronics and string quartet, Infra is an expansion on Richter’s score for Wayne McGregor’s ballet of the same name that was created as a response to the London bombings on 7/7. Infra follows Richter’s latest album, Three Worlds: Music from Woolf Works, an album featuring his score for another McGregor ballet, Woolf Works. This LP version of Infra also features the bonus track, “Sub Piano.”

File Under: Classical, Electronic
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dissonance

Valgeir Sigurosson: Dissonance (Bedroom Community) LP
History freely dilates and collapses on Valgeir Sigurðsson’s Dissonance, his first solo release since 2012. Its three large-scale works are haunted by the old Western tradition, infused with the ethereal workings of electronics and sound manipulation. Recorded and produced between September 2015 and November 2016 at Greenhouse Studios, Dissonance is disarmingly human, reflecting the most extreme four years of Sigurðsson’s life, full of ecstatic joy and deep sorrow. Dissonance is a personal and collective musical treatise to explore and question a world that is collapsing under its internal dissonances. Post-minimalist, post-ambient, post-something else.

File Under: Minimalist, Ambient, Electronic
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stetson

Colin Stetson: All This I Do For Glory (52Hz) LP
“All this I do for glory” is a reasoning and exploration of the machinations of ambition and legacy, an examination of the concepts of afterlife, and the first half of a doomed love story in the model of the greek tragedies. As a narrative, it exists temporally somewhere between 2015’s “Never were the way she was” (with Sarah Neufeld) and the 1st volume of the NHW Trilogy. With this, his first solo outing since 2013’s “To See More Light”, Colin Stetson ventures into territory both familiar and strange. Here still, is the dogmatically stripped down approach to performance and capture (all songs recorded live with no overdubs or loops) but there is an immediacy to the album that belies a more invasive and thorough miking of the various instruments being utilized and a seeming influence drawn from the early nineties electronica of artists like Aphex Twin and Autechre, evident in the more pointed role played by the instruments’ many percussive elements. There are ancestries, motivic and timbral, woven through these six songs that plainly anchor them within the shared universe of his Trilogy, though the overall experience is one of extreme intimacy, the sounds and imagery more tangible and immersive than previous offerings. The brief and brutal “In the clinches” recalls (or presages) echoes of songs like “Judges”, though now feeling like one has fallen down the bell of Stetson’s ancient bass saxophone itself. “Spindrift”, crystalline and serene, calls to mind the ambient works of Aphex Twin, while “Between Water and Wind” with it’s “Immigrant Song” swagger, relentlessly carves it’s way into the bedrock here, paving the way with an increasing focus on the minute and the minimal, with a deepened sense of patience shared by most of the album’s six tracks. Engineered and mixed by Stetson himself, this album represents a decidedly independent approach across the entire creative process and finds him at the top of his game, both as a composer and instrumentalist as well as a
producer.

File Under: Electronic, Classical, Jazz, Experimental
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dayfornight

Tragically Hip: Day For Night
Tragically Hip: Live Between Us
Tragically Hip: Trouble at the Henhouse (Universal) LP
All 17 of the Tragically Hip’s records rose into the Billboard Canadian Albums chart following their nationally televised final show last summer. Now, three of the band’s most beloved works are back on vinyl. Remastered by Bob Ludwig at Gateway mastering and on 180-gram vinyl. The reissues mark the first time the exceedingly rare records have come back to vinyl since their initial releases. Sites such as Discogs show that Day for Night has previously sold for nearly $500 CAD, while Trouble at the Henhouse has commanded up to $400 CAD in the past. A listing for an original pressing of Live Between Us also currently features an astronomical starting price of $1,171.05 CAD.

File Under: Rock

u2

U2: How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb (Interscope) LP
2004’s How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb was an album that not only led to three more Grammy Awards for U2, but heralded their momentous arrival in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. From the very first sound of Larry Mullen Jr’s sticks and Bono’s count-in to “Vertigo,” there was no room for doubt that they were in the mood to complete the circle back to being the uncompromising rock ‘n’ roll band we first knew. The resolution to make a definitive rock ‘n’ roll record was unshakeable and Steve Lillywhite jumped aboard as the album’s principal producer. He was just the link with U2’s lean and formative persona that was required, chief among a cast of eight production contributors that included further longtime confidants Daniel Lanois, Brian Eno and Flood, and newer collaborators Jacknife Lee, Nellee Hooper and Carl Glanville. The calling card was the unstoppable “Vertigo,” the sort of definitive U2 single to give “rifferama,” as Bono called it, a good name. It was one of the earliest ideas for what became How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb, a riff that immediately sounded like something from the annals of classic rock, somewhere between Zeppelin and the Stooges, but with a 21st century vitality that was entirely custom-made. The song smashed straight to No. 1 in the UK, their sixth chart-topping single. Two weeks later, when the album arrived, it was clear that U2 had outrun all of the misfortune to complete a record full of new signature tunes. Underpinned by rock guitar, they came in a wide variety of moods and tempos, from loud and extrovert on “All Because Of You” to contemplative on “Sometimes You Can’t Make It On Your Own.” Indeed, the album was immersed in that rare spirit that this quartet had developed over decades by now: never to be afraid of thinking big, with inspiring songs that put their arms around their entire world of devotees.

File Under: Rock

weaver

Jane Weaver: The Amber Light (Bird) LP
After almost two years of busy tour schedules and widespread unanimous critical acclaim longstanding experimental pop crusader Jane Weaver finally commits one of her most requested projects to vinyl in the shape of dedicated mini-album The Amber Light presented here on exclusive and limited Amber transparent vinyl. Originally issued as a limited CD only bonus disc for The Silver Globe album global re-release The Amber Light surprised fans expecting B-sides and outtakes with what for many stood up as its own isolated project including some of Jane’s best material to date including the pulsating synth anthem I Need A Connection which since became a radio favourite also appearing on film and fashion shows throughout the latter half of 2015. The Amber Light also included further collaborations with Finders Keepers Andy Votel as well as long awaited collaborations with Atari/Star Wars Synthesist Suzanne Ciani, Tom Furse (keyboardist from The Horrors) and Sean Canty from Demdike Stare. Recorded over the course of two long weekends between tours with her custom-built band operating at an energetic optimum, The Amber Light captures Jane exuding the passion, experimentalism and justified confidence which is instantly reflected with some of her best songwriting to date. Currently causing a stir with her collaboration with Beyond The Wizards Sleeves and within the final throes of recording a brand new LP it is still a very exciting time for this unique multi-tasking independent female composer who’s loyal long-running fan-base multiplies with every closely recorded breath. Trepidation is not required here, The Amber Light means you can go.

File Under: Indie Pop
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The_life_of_pablo_alternate

Kanye West: Life of Pablo (Fanclub) LP
The Life of Pablo is the seventh solo album and eighth studio album by American rapper Kanye West. It was released on February 14, 2016, by GOOD Music and Def Jam Recordings. Recording sessions took place from 2013 to 2016, in Italy, Mexico, Canada and the United States. Record production on the album was handled by West alongside a variety of producers such as Mike Dean, Noah Goldstein, Metro Boomin, Rick Rubin, Hudson Mohawke, and more. He also enlisted a wide array of guest vocalists, including Ty Dolla Sign, Desiigner, Kid Cudi, The-Dream, Chance the Rapper, Rihanna, and Frank Ocean.

File Under: Hip Hop, Pop

akwaba

Various: Akwaba Abidjan (Oriki) LP
Akwaba Abidjan: Afrofunk In 1970’s Ivory-Coast, the new Oriki Music compilation, includes serious 1970s Afro dancefloor hits – A promising favorite among DJs, Afrofunk, and tropical music revival aficionados. Vinyl diggers can finally play some of Ivory Coast’s hardest to find deep funk, Afrobeat, Manding, and tropical rhythms tunes, recorded by such legends as Moussa Doumbia, De Frank Jr, or Francis Kingsley. Compiled by pioneer African music digger and respected DJ Greg De Villanova, a legend among Afro/tropical music collectors and DJs. The consistent liner notes focus on the original label history of Société Ivoirienne Du Disque, based on interviews with the producer. This compilation also marks the great return of the dormant French record label, which released such wonders as Orchestra Baobab’s A Night At Club Baobab (2006) or Moussa Doumbia’s Keleya (2007). Also features: Afro Train, Sewa Jacintho, Les Frères Kante, Les Nidrou, Afro Soul System, and L’orchestre De La RTI. Includes original and unreleased pictures of the artists and the city of Abidjan in the 1970s, and great artwork.

File Under: Africa, Funk, Afrobeat

musique

Various: Musique Concrete (Cacophonic) LP
This record represents an important milestone in the development and progression of musique concrète – marking a crossroad for not only the genre itself but also in the paths of its originator Pierre Schaeffer and another of the genre’s most important and respected protagonists Pierre Henry. Undoubtedly one of the most influential experimental and electroacoustic musicians, Pierre Schaeffer is also credited as being the father of the theory of musique concrete as well as later name coining the term itself. Having found a job in 1936 at Radiodiffusion Française (later Radiodiffusion-Télévision Française or RTF) as an engineer, Scaeffer developed a newly found interest in music and with the blessing of his superiors made the most of his access to the Radiodiffusion Française studios, utilising his abilities as an engineer to experiment with sound whilst collaborating with musicians and composers that passed through the station’s hallowed doors. In 1942 Schaeffer and influential theatre director, producer and actor Jacques Copeau founded the Studio d’Essai (renamed Club d’Essai in 1946) as part of RTF in order to experiment with radiophonic techniques. Drawing on the works of French filmmaker, critic and novelist Jean Epstein, Schaeffer would occupy his time and his mind with the manner in which sound recordings “revealed what was hidden in the act of basic acoustic listening” and in 1948 formally set about his research in ernest – the results of which were presented as a series of studies known as Cinq études de bruits (Five Studies of Noises) during a concert in Paris. With word of his theories and experiments spreading, Schaeffer was able to press the RTF management to further finance and in doing so expand his research. However, for an undertaking of this size he would need help. Having previously collaborated as part of his early research with a young classically trained composer by the name of Pierre Henry, Schaeffer had no problem convincing the RTF executives he was the right man of the job. By adding a third prong to this sonic fork in the shape of sound engineer Jacques Poullin, Schaeffer was able to complete a powerhouse, which he renamed the Groupe de Musique Concrete, that would push his experiments further than he could have imagined. In1951, RTF handed the trio the keys to one of the earliest purpose-build electroacoustic studios (the other being the WDR Studio in Germany), furnishing it with state of the art bespoke equipment such as a Morphophone (designed by Poullin himself and capable of tape loop-delay) and a Phonogène (a multi-headed tape instrument also designed by Poullin). The studio went from strength to strength, attracting composers such as Karlheinz Stockhausen and Edgard Varèse to collaborate, and in that same year Schaeffer and Henry produced and premiered what is considered to be the first opera concrète, Orphèe 51. As Schaeffer’s notoriety grew as did demand for his time and he found himself increasingly called away from the studio during which time he would hand the keys to over to his colleagues. Pierre Henry wasted no time in pursuing projects closer to his own heart, working with experimental filmmakers and choreographers like Maurice Béjart (the two would later collaborate with Michel Colombier on the cult classic Les Jerks Électroniques De La Messe Pour Le Temps Présent Et Musiques Concrètes Pour Maurice Béjart). In 1957, following a particularly prolonged absence on RTF duties, Schaeffer returned unhappy with the direction the group had taken and tabled an idea to revitalise both their approach as well as personnel. As a result, Henry and several other key members left the group the following year leaving Schaeffer to lay the foundations in 1958 for a new collective called Groupe de Recherches Musicales – one of a number of theoretical and experimental groups overseen by Saeffer’s Service de la Reserche at RTF – and set about recruiting new members including Iannis Xenakis, Henri Sauguet, Luc Ferrari and Michel Philippot as well as usher in a new steady stream of eager musicians eager to study within what had rapidly become (and still is) a national institution – including a young Jean Michel Jarre! Featuring the full versions of these seminal early works (abridged versions of which had previously appeared across two 7” singles on Disques BAM) the recordings presented here are the first fruits of this new alliance and served to lay the bedrock for the future of the Groupe de Recherches Musicales research which would later count the likes of Ivo Malec, Philippe Carson, Romuald Vandelle, Edgardo Canton and François Bayle (who went on to coin the term Acousmatic Music) amongst its members and cement its place in the annals of experimental, electroacoustic and early electronic music history.

File Under: Musique Concrete, Duh

…..Restocks…..

So many restocks…….

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That’s a wrap!

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

The Descendents tickets…

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The coffee bundles from Elm Cafe…

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The skateboards from Local 124…

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And the Grand prize! The Rega turntable…

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

…..news letter #789 – rsd…..

 

Alright! Here we go! Weeks of ordering and receiving and plotting and in about 24 hours, all hell is gonna break loose around here. Tonight we’re gonna close up early and completely strip the walls and replace everything will all them glorious RSD exclusives.

AND just in case you don’t get what you wanted, or maybe you don’t want any of the exclusives, all the other records in the shop will be 20% off as well as gear and other accessories.

AND if that isn’t enough we’ll be giving away all kinds of swag through out the day.

AND if that isn’t enough, our pals from Elm Cafe will be here giving all you early birds free coffee.

AND our pal Nadir is coming down to play some music for y’all around 3:30 pm.

AND IF THAT ISN’T ENOUGH SOMEONE IS GOING TO WIN A $500 REGA QUEEN TURNTABLE JUST FOR SHOPPING HERE ON SATURDAY! 

AND if you don’t win the turntable you could still win one of two boards from Local 124.

OR if you don’t win a skateboard you could win one of three coffee prize packages from Elm Cafe.

OR you could win a double guest pass to see the Descendents.

Not so fine print… We will be opening at an hour early, 10am. However,  people do start lining up well before that. We do try process this all as fast as possible, but it will likely be crisp out in the morning. Plan to spend a good while outside in line, and dress accordingly. Some exclusive releases are extremely limited, and we have very few copies. Others, not so much. Exclusives are first come, first served and one per customer.

Also, we’ll be launching some new Listen swag on Saturday…

…..top RSD picks…..

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Various: Function Underground: The Black & Brown American Rock Sound 1969-1974 (Now Again) LP
“14 tracks by Jimi Macon, Black Maffia, Blacklites and more, many reissued for the first time. Includes a 16 page booklet with extensive notes on an overlooked and important portion of rock n’ roll’s history & a download card to WAV files of the full album. Nearly everyone in the world can rattle off the great African-American musical forms. Jazz, blues, R&B, soul, hip-hop, house, gospel. One influential genre is always left off of the list: a folk music known as rock n’ roll. Rock n’ roll was a term originally coined to market the white-friendly version of a genre that already existed; prior to 1965, the line between rock n’ roll and R&B was thin: Ike Turner recorded and released ‘Rocket ’88’ ‘ in 1951 and, while its Chess Records release reached number one on the Billboard R&B chart, it is regarded by many as the first rock n’ roll record. The Great Divide between R&B and rock n’ roll came after the Beatles and the British Invasion decimated the Top 40 chart in 1964. Simultaneously, R&B entered a new phase, soon to be labeled ‘soul,’ which upped the music’s gospel quotient and turned its frantic twang. So somewhere in the mid to late-1960s, rock n’ roll became perceived as something for the Caucasian kids. When Jimi Hendrix and Arthur Lee made the scene, they were said to be black musicians entering into a white world. While that couldn’t be farther from the truth, that false dichotomy has existed in America’s popular conscious ever since, to the point where the idea of a black rock musician is on the level with the idea of a black cowboy. In the mid-1960s, funk replaced soul as the rhythm that was going to move the world. We know all its progenitor – James Brown, The Meters, Kool & The Gang – and their innovations: the syncopated, 4/4 dance between the bass and drums, horns repurposed as percussion, chicken-scratch and wah-wah guitar. We can trace where they came from. But there is one crucial funk influence that no one seems to want to acknowledge — a devil-may-care attitude we can attribute to rock n’ roll. It’s not a stretch to say that funk is the African-American answer to psychedelia and hard rock rolled into one. The idea of ‘progressivism’ that took over rock music after psychedelia’s heyday in the late 1960s belatedly spilled over to funk. In the early 1970s, as the underground/psychedelic fire burnt out in the white rock world, it roared to a blaze in the black musical community. Nearly every American city with a large black population boasted self-contained funk bands that didn’t consider themselves simply revues or backup groups, but rather fully-operational ensembles in these bands, everything from composing, arranging, record production and distribution, was handled in house by band members. These are the bands whose music comprises this anthology, and while they’re all different, they’re unique in one way: they kept their ears open for new developments in funk and rock music. This anthology presents earnest questions as to why we know so little about these bands and the movement of which they were a part. While we don’t anticipate that we’ll ever find a definitive answer as to what these ensembles’ true goals were, then, we do know that they took their charges seriously. And they knew they were onto something different, something that, though only they and their immediate kin might recognize it, was more interesting than the status quo. Function Underground shines light on an important and overlooked part of rock n’ roll’s history and talented ensembles that toiled in the shadows, derided by their peers ‘Do you realize that Hendrix was dead before most black people in America knew he was a black man?’ Ebony Rhythm Band drummer Matthew Watson questions rhetorically. ‘We was scorned. In that era, everybody else in the black community was wearing three-piece suits, processes and Afro wigs and that shit. We was the first guys to wear bell bottoms. The first guys to wear big hats. We were off into a whole other thing.’ “

File Under: Funk

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Moondog: s/t (Sony Legacy) LP
He was born Louis Hardin, but the world knew him as Moondog—and his avant-garde compositions influenced a generation of minimalist composers like Philip Glass and Steve Reich. Now, Moondog, The Viking of 6th Avenue’s seminal 1969 album recorded with producer James William Guercio, will be reissued on white vinyl, its first pressing in over a decade. Featuring original symphonic and classically-inspired works (including material dedicated to Charlie Parker and Benny Goodman), Moondog is an album that must be heard to be believed.

File Under: Experimental, Avant-Garde

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Various: Psychic Migrations (Cinewax) LP
For Record Store Day 2017, Cinewax is teaming up with influential California-based board sports and lifestyle brand Volcom to release the original soundtrack to their 2015 surf film Psychic Migrations. Directed by multifaceted surf filmmaker Ryan Thomas, Psychic Migrations was shot on Super 16-mm film & Red Digital Cinema in the West Indies, East Indies, Australia, Polynesia, and the Americas. The global scope of the film is complimented by an international cast of surfers, including Yago Dora, Ryan Burch, Ozzie Wright, Dusty Payne, Mitch Coleborn, and Kelly Slater, among others. To match the cinematic poetry of this psychedelic surf journey, a suitable soundtrack was necessary: proto-New Age piano music by Gurdjieff / de Hartmann, drone jams from Bitchin Bajas and Al Lover, and garage-psych from Thee Oh Sees, Cave and White Fence. An artistic synthesis of eclectic music, pulsating surf action, and mesmerizing scenery, this highly acclaimed film builds on and advances the rich history of surf flicks. The package is completed with a deluxe gatefold jacket, housing double pink vinyl and a digital download card for both the film and soundtrack. Limited to 1,000 copies worldwide.

File Under: Psych, Garage

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Various: Nuggets – Come to the Sunshine (Rhino) LP
Originally released as a 2004 compilation by Rhino Handmade, one of two new compilations using the Nuggets name. The title comes from the first track, “Come To The Sunshine” performed by Harpers Bizarre. This orange/yellow marble double vinyl set follows the Record Store Day 2016 release Hallucinations: Psychedelic Pop Nuggets from the WEA Vaults. (Limited worldwide release of 3500.) SOFT LIKE A KITTEN. DEAL.

File Under: Soft Rock, Pop

popol vuh.jpgPopol Vuh: Cobra Verde (One Way Static) LP
One Way Static Records presents exclusively for Record Store Day 2017: COBRA VERDE (Original 1987 Motion Picture Soundtrack composed by POPOL VUH). Born as Florian Fricke’s brainchild, Popol Vuh needs little introduction, the band stayed active between the late 1960s & late 1990s (until Florian’s passing in 2001). Regarded as pioneers in avant-garde German electronic music, their early works practically laid down the foundations for Kosmische Muzik (Space Music) with the then new sounds of the Moog synthesizer joined with ethnic percussions. Later the group evolved to include all kinds of instruments (both electric and acoustic alike) shrouding their music in a spiritual & introspective mystical aura. Popol Vuh influenced many other European bands with their uniquely soft but elaborate instrumentation, which took inspiration from the music of Tibet, Africa and pre-Columbian America. With music sometimes described as “ethereal”, they created soundscapes through psychedelic walls of sound, and are regarded as precursors of contemporary ‘world music’, as well as of ‘new age’ and ‘ambient’. The band regularly contributed soundtracks to the films of Werner Herzog that include classics like Aguirre, Nosferatu, Heart Of Glass & of course Cobra Verde. Cobra Verde (featuring Klaus Kinski) was the final collaboration between Popol Vuh & director Werner Herzog. Originally released in 1987, this is the first time the soundtrack gets a vinyl release outside of Europe. Regal chants accompanied by hand drums, guitars, piano and clavier in a sacred manner are alternated with synthesizer themes that have a tense/dramatic & haunting effect. African ceremonial music and the Choir of the Bavarian State Opera corner this as a landmark meditative & ambient piece of cosmic music. Out of print since 1987, now back available as a gorgeously packaged deluxe vinyl edition, exclusively for Record Store Day 2017. Strictly limited to 1000 copies on green vinyl & comes with insert and extensive liner notes. A necessary purchase for both Popol Vuh fans and Herzog collectors.

File Under: Kosmische, OST

…..RSD Exclusives…..

At this point almost all of this has shown up, some is due tomorrow, there may be some surprises, but this should all be here….

Against Me!: Stabitha Christie 7″
Air: Le Soleil Est Pres De 12″
Alexisonfire: Crisis LP
Alice In Chains: What The Hell Have I 7″
Alien Sex Fiend: Edit/Overdose LP
Andre 3000: All Together Now 7″
Animal Collective: Meeting of the Waters 12″
Atomic Bomb Band: Plays the Music of William Onyeabor LP
Band of Pain/Nurse with Wound: Abbey Rd LP
Banks & Steelz: Wild Season 7″
Ben Folds: Live in Perth LP
Bevis Frond: Triptych LP
Big L: Devil’s Son 12″
Big Star: Complete Third Vol 3 LP+Box
Blitzen Trapper: Unreleased Recordings Vol.1 12”
Blonde Redhead: 3 O’Clock LP
Blowfly: Forever Fly LP
Bonnie “Prince” Billy & Nathan Salsburg: Beargrass Song 7”
David Bowie: Bowpromo Box
David Bowie: Cracked Actor LP
David Bowie: No Plan LP
Brian Jonestown Massacre: Pol Pot’s Pleasure Penthouse LP
Brother Ali: Undisputed Truth LP
Danny Brown: Ain’t It Funny 10”
Harriet Brown: Contact LP
R.L. Burnside: Long Distance Call LP
Alex Calder/Homeshake: Nankhatai / Stuck Inside 7”
Camera/Pinhas: RSD 12″
Tristram Cary: Quatermass & the Pit (Electronic Cues) 10″
Tristram Cary Quatermass & the Pit OST LP
Johnny Cash: Children’s Album LP
Cat Party: s/t LP
Archie James Cavanaugh: Black and White Raven LP
Vic Chesnutt: West of Rome LP
Cinematic Orchestra: Ma Fleur LP
Claypool Lennon Delirium: Lime and Limpid Green LP
Cleaners from Venus: Best Of… LP
Coheed & Cambria: Good Apollo I’m Burning Star IV LP
Jerry Cole: Astro-Sounds From Beyond the Year 2000 LP
Colleen: Golden Morning Breaks LP
Colleen: Les Ondes Silencieuses LP
Colleen et les Boites: s/t LP
Inna Baba Coulibaly w/ Ali Farkar Toure: Sahel 10″
Crushed Butler: Uncrushed: British Punk from 1969-1971 LP
Curanderos (Bardo Pond): S/T LP
The Cure: Acoustic Hits LP
The Cure: Greatest Hits LP
Miley Cyrus: Bangerz LP
Czarface: First Weapon Drawn LP
Dave Matthews Band: Live at Red Rocks 8.15.9 Box
Deee-Lite: Groove is in the Heart 12″
Thomas De Hartmann: The Music of Gurdjieff 5LP Box
Dillinger Escape Plan: Instrumentalist 7″
Klaus Dinger & Prejapandorf: 2000! LP
Distillers: Coral Fang LP
Doors: Live at the Matrix LP
Steve Earle: Live 7″
Easybeats: Vigil LP
El Nino & The Southern Oscillators: s/t 10″
Faust/Ulan Bator: RSD 12″
Flamin’ Groovies/Dylan Gardner: Side By Side 7″
Flaming Lips: Onboard the ISS Concert for Peace LP
Flower Travellin’ Band: Anywhere LP
Blaze Foley: Sittin’ By the Road LP
Follakzoid w/J. Spaceman: London Sessions LP
Goat: Goatfuzz 7″
Goblin: Notturno LP
Gold Panda: Kingdom 12”
Dexter Gordon: Walk the Blues LP
Grateful Dead: P.N.E. Garden LP
Emmylou Harris: Queen of the Silver Dollar 5LP
Hawkwind: Best of United Artists LP
Hawklords: Live 1978 LP
Head & The Heart: Stinson Beach LP
Heads: Relaxing with LP
Heldon/Pinhas/Schizo: Singles Collection LP
Iron & Wine: Archive Series Vol No.3 12”
Jason Isbell: Live from Welcome to 1979 LP
Jane’s Addiction: Been Caught Stealin’ 12″
Robert Johnson: Centennial Collection LP
Glenn Jones & Matthew Azevedo: Waterworks LP
Sharon Jones: Heaven Bound 7″
Kinks: Got Love If You Need 7″
Kinks: All Day 7″
Kylesa: Live At Maida Vale Studio 10″
Hamilton Leithauser + Rostam: Live at KCRW Morning Becomes Eclectic LP
Lhasa: La Llorona LP
Lumineers: Song Seeds 10”
Luna: Penthouse LP
Madrigal: S/T LP
Marcy Playground: S/T LP
Marajita: This is Marajita LP
Mayer Hawthorne: Party of One LP
Metavari: Metropolis Re-OST LP
Meters: A Message from The Meters LP
Meredith Monk: Key LP
Moondog: s/t LP
Kevin Morby: Beautiful Strangers 7”
Beny More: El Barbaro Del Ritmo LP
Motorhead: Clean Your Clock LP
NBRQ: High Noon LP
Nico & the Fraction: Fata Morgana LP
Stevie Nicks: Rarities LP
Harry Nillson: Nilsson Schmilsson LP
Noise Addicts: 10,000 Kids LP
Notorious B.I.G: Born Again LP
Old 97’s: Off My Mynd EP 12”
Oneida: Live at Secret Project LP
OST: Abdullah LP
OST: Dark Crystal LP
OST: Don LP
Emmanuelle Parrenin: Maison Rose LP
Emmanuelle Parrenin: Perelandra LP
Dolly Parton: Puppy Love 7”
Pearl Jam: State of Love & Trust 7″
Penguin Cafe & Cornelius: Umbrella EP 12”
Art Pepper: Quintet LP
Pin Group: Ambivalence 7″
Pin Group: Coat 7″
Pink Floyd: Interstellar Overdrive LP
Iggy Pop Post Depression: Live From Albert Hall Box Set LP
Popol Vuh: Cobra Verde OST LP
Roberto Pregadio: Kriminal OST LP
Roberto Pregadio: Satanik OST LP
Prince: Batdance 12″
Prince: I Could Never… 12″
Prince: I Wish U Heaven 12″
Prince: Partyman 12″
Prince: Pop Life 12″
Prince: Sign o the Times 12″
Psychic TV: Fishscales Falling LP
Ramones: Singles Box 7″ Box
Red Hot Chili Peppers: Go Robot 12″
Lou Reed: Perfect Night LP
Ike Reiko: You, Baby LP
John Renbourn & Wizz Jones: Joint Control LP
Jody Reynolds: Devil Girls With Raven Hair LP
Malvina Reynolds: Little Boxes and Magic Pennies LP
Rockabye Baby!: Lullaby Renditions of the Doors LP
Run The Jewels Tote Bag+Pins
Sand: Golem LP
Sara & Tegan: Under Feet Like Ours LP
Lalo Schifrin: My Life in Movies LP
Sex Pistols: Singles Box 7″ Box
Sia: Spotify Sessions LP
Sinn Sisamouth & Ros Serey Sothea: Navy A Go Go 7″
Sloths: Makin’ Love 7″
Patti Smith: Hey Joe 7″
The Smiths: Boy With the Thorn in His Side 7″
Soul Assassins: Muggs Presents LP
Spacemen 3: For All the Fucked Up Children LP
Spacemen 3: Playing with Fire LP
Spacemen 3: Recurring LP
Spoon: Hot Thoughts 12″
Bruce Springsteen: Hammersmith Odeon, London 75 4LP
Star Wars: New Hope OST 10”
Sun Ra: Janus LP
Superchunk: Cup of Sand LP
Super Furry Animals: Fuzzy Logic LP
Suuns: Hold/Still Remixes 12”
Sword: Low Country 12”
Tegan & Sara/Regrettes: Side By Side 7″
Temples/Kadhja Bonet: Fortune 7″
The Time: What Time is it? LP
U-Roy: Dread in a Babylon LP
U.K. Subs: Live n Loud 89 LP
Vangelis: Blade Runner LP
Vanishing Twin: Dream By Numbers 10″
Venom: At War with Satan LP
Arthur Verocai: s/t LP
Vitamin String Quartet: Performs Kanye West LP
War on Drugs: Thinking of a Place 12″
Dennis Wilson: Bambu LP
Wipers: Better Off Dead 7”
Link Wray: Be What You Want To LP
Link Wray: Beans and Fatback LP
Neil Young: Decade LP
Zombies: A Rose for Emily – Cello Version 7”
Various: Ciao! Manhattan OST LP
Various: Close to the Noise Floor LP
Various: Function Underground: The Black & Brown American Rock LP
Various: Giant Single LP
Various: Girls in the Garage: Groovy Gallic Gals Vol.10 LP
Various: Girls in the Garage: Oriental Special Vol.9 LP
Various: Guitars of the Golden Triangle LP
Various: Insane Times LP
Various: Let the Children Techno LP
Various: Like Nashville In Naija: Nigeria’s Romance With Country LP
Various: Lost in Space LP
Various: Magic Cube 10″
Various: Max Kansas City 1976 & Beyond LP
Various: Mighty R&B Instrumentals LP
Various: Nuggets: Come to the Sunshine LP
Various: Nigeria Soul Power 70 7” Box Set
Various: Pineapple Express OST LP
Various: Psychic Migrations OST LP
Various: Really Rock Em Right: Sun Records LP
Various: Rough Guide to Gospel Blues LP
Various: Rough Guide to Blues Women LP
Various: Rough Guide to Cuban Rare Groove LP
Various: Soho Scene ’61 LP
Various: Soul 70 7″ Box Set
Various: Soul Slabs Vol.1 LP
Various: Soul Transfusion LP
Various: Southwest Side Story Vol 19 LP
Various: Space Jam OST LP
Various: Studio One Hi-Fi Special 7″ Box
Various: We’re Gonna Have A Party! LP

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…..news letter #788 – eggs not rsd…..

Obviously, not a lot of new releases a week before Record Store Day, but there’s a few things in. If you don’t like waiting in lines, I recommend coming in over the Easter weekend this weekend and scooping the crowds on all the recent new releases. Speaking of Easter….

Friday April 14 – Noon – 5
Saturday April 15 – 11 – 6
Sunday April 16 – CLOSED
Monday April 17th – 11 – 6

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 Rhythm of Cruelty 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…..

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SATURDAY, APRIL 22nd is RECORD STORE DAY!
Needless to say we are busy, busy and BUSY getting things ready for next Saturday. Exclusive releases are starting to show up, other things are en route. Some things haven’t even shipped. Stress levels are rising. Typical RSD. Anywho.. you know the drill by now right? Come down early. Dress warm. Be prepared to wait in line. Etc. We are looking forward to seeing you that day!

Oh, and did I forget to mention, as with every Record Store Day, we’ll be running a draw to give away a REGA Queen Turntable! And if you don’t win that, you could win one of our other prize packages from our pals up the road at Local 124, or Elm Cafe (who also will be providing coffee for the early birds).

File Under: RSD, Parties

…..new arrivals…..

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Anjou: Epithymia (Kranky) LP
Ambient power duo Anjou’s sophomore statement continues in the vein of their 2014 debut, unfurling a full hour of mesmeric synthetic drift and veiled melodic undertow. Comprised of Mark Nelson (of pioneering post-rock experimentalists Labradford and Pan·American) and Robert Donne (of Labradford, Aix Em Klemm, Cristal), the group works largely in long-form suites of sound, alternately spacious and dense. Epithymia’s six pieces embrace flux and ambiguity: drones swell and shudder, hushed currents of noise glitch and dissolve, atmospheres congeal and liquify. As with the participants’ prior projects, Anjou evokes a shadowed, mysterious mood, variously melancholy and transcendent. The album is an accumulation of craftsmanship and experience, blurred forms traced in light and fog.

File Under: Electronic, Ambient
Listen Here

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Arca: s/t (XL) LP
Arca’s self-titled record is the first to feature the Venezuela-born, London-based producer’s untreated singing voice. He sings in Spanish – the language of his childhood home, Caracus. It stands as a defiant, delicate statement of intent, and cements his position as one of this turbulent decade’s defining musicians. Previous work has incorporated snatches of song and Arca’s rapping, but on Arca, his voice is front-and-centre on eight of the album’s 13 tracks. Frequently, he has used his first-takes, untreated and without post-production: clicks of saliva and burrs of the throat carry melodies of staggering richness and delicacy. His masterful production knits together vocal tracks like “Sin Rumbo” and first single “Anoche” with instrumentals like “Whip” and “Urchin”, each as extreme as the other. Across the album, the tectonics of pure digital sound, his own piano playing and voice combine, weaving the album together like folds of skin, or wounds healing post-trauma. Arca has made some of most brazenly forward-thinking music of recent years, both on his previous solo albums Xen (2014) and Mutant (2015), and in collaboration with fellow futurists Björk (Vulnicura), Kanye West (Yeezus), and fashion collective Hood By Air.

File Under: Electronic, Abstract, Experimental
Listen Here

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Joey Bada$$: All Amerikkkan Bada$$ (Cinematic) LP
Joey Bada$$ is an American, independent hip-hop recording artist, who hails from Brooklyn, New York. With his rugged style, an invigorating outcome of his Brooklyn neighborhood and surroundings, Joey has been a staple in the hip-hop industry for maintaining an authentic, unique and versatile sound. Whereas other rappers may take less risks with formulaic projects, Joey never shies away from keeping his music raw and original. All-Amerikkkan Bada$$ is the politically minded sophomore full-length from Joey Bada$$ and follow-up to 2015’s B4.Da.$$. The project features such high profile guest artists as J. Cole, ScHoolboy Q, Styles P, Chronixx, Flatbush Zombies’ Meechy Darko, and Pro Era crewmates Kirk Knight and Nyck Caution. The album is ushered in by the powerful single “Land of the Free” and its stirring music video.

File Under: Hip Hop
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mars

Nick Cave & Warren Ellis: Mars OST (Milan) LP
National Geographic Channel and Milan Records partner with artists/composers Nick Cave and Warren Ellis to deliver a cosmic title song and score for the original soundtrack of MARS, the network’s six-part global event series that predicts an international crew of astronauts’ critical, maiden mission to Mars. Directed by Everardo Gout (Days of Grace), who formerly collaborated with Cave and Ellis; executive produced by Brian Grazer and Ron Howard; and starring an ensemble cast, MARS tells the story of mankind’s first successful mission to Mars, human colonization and the precarious purpose of becoming an interplanetary series. Cave and Ellis deliver a pitch-perfect score to complement the thrilling yet daunting mission to a desolate alien planet in which the human species struggle to survive, thrive and forge an existence in this new world. “When I first started on MARS, I knew I wanted to make a series about people, not about machinery,” says Gout. “I wanted to create Das Boot in space and understand the emotional journey of the astronauts on this Martian mission. Having worked with Nick and Warren before, I immediately thought they would be perfect for this project. They bring such a visceral human quality to their scores, a sound so delicate and yet so powerful What does Mars sounds like? This was a challenge both in substance and form. We needed to create the musical universe with Mars as a veritable protagonist in our story. Equally, the sound of MARS not only had to underscore a futuristic grounded drama but an intelligent factual, scientific documentary, as well.” To coincide with the home release of the television series, the MARS soundtrack is getting the vinyl treatment. The soundtrack is pressed on rust red colored 180g vinyl so that the music disc itself appears like the eponymous planet. The LP is housed in a euro sleeve along with a download card for a digital version of the album. A high quality dress jacket completes the package.

File Under: OST, Bad Seeds
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darkDark: Anonymous Days (Void) LP
For the first time on vinyl, the killer second offering by UK Psych monsters Dark! Anonymous Days is the second studio album from Dark recorded 23 years after the first, the famous and highly collectible (and stone cold psychedelic classic) Round the Edges LP. The band’s line-up remains the same— Steve Giles, Ron Johnson, Martin Weaver and Clive Thorneycroft. Anonymous Days contains songs written between 1974 and 1995 and is the album that Dark always wanted to make, combining the Dark progressive rock style with more modern recording techniques. “The first album was recorded in about 24 hours, this one took an awful lot longer: that’s modern studios for you. The tracks are pure Dark combining complicated twin harmony guitar work with thought provoking lyrics and wide ranging musical structures. We thoroughly enjoyed getting back together again to write and rehearse after all those years, we even played a live gig in our home town of Northampton. At the start of the project Ron’s bass guitar was taken from the dust in his loft where it had lain undisturbed for over twenty years. After the album was finished he put it back in exactly the same place; ready for the next one?” —Martin Weaver, Northampton, England. June 2001.Anonymous Days was recorded between 1994-1996 at Outrider Studios Northampton, all tracks were composed between 1974-1995. Many of the songs were written in the wayback, some of them more recent but all Dark! This will sell out fast. 500x copies on black vinyl, with insert.

File Under: Psych
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ooh baby

Willie Mitchell: Ooh Baby, You Turn Me On (Fat Possum) LP
A prominent bandleader, hit instrumental recording artist and prolific producer, Willie Mitchell is credited with creating the now legendary “Hi Sound,” its legacy of hit records, and discovering and directing the creative careers of Hi’s incredible artist roster which included Al Green, Ann Peebles, Otis Clay and Syl Johnson. Mitchell’s mix of jazz sophistication and down-home Southern blues – not to mention his ambition and work ethic – set him apart, and he and his streamlined, stripped-down big band were in demand by black and white audiences alike. 1967’s Ooh Baby, You Turn Me On (retitled Soul Serenade in 1968) is another consummate slab from Mitchell featuring soul-infused instrumentals and excellent covers of standards like “Slippin’ and Slidin'” and “Sunny.” The album is appearing on vinyl for the first time since 1968, remastered with updated artwork.

File Under: Funk, Soul
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driving beat

Willie Mitchell: Driving Beat (Fat Possum) LP
A prominent bandleader, hit instrumental recording artist and prolific producer, Willie Mitchell is credited with creating the now legendary “Hi Sound,” its legacy of hit records, and discovering and directing the creative careers of Hi’s incredible artist roster which included Al Green, Ann Peebles, Otis Clay and Syl Johnson. Mitchell’s mix of jazz sophistication and down-home Southern blues – not to mention his ambition and work ethic – set him apart, and he and his streamlined, stripped-down big band were in demand by black and white audiences alike. 1966’s Willie Mitchell’s Driving Beat is one of his finest solo efforts, a funky and soulful affair that finds the Hi master working outside of the usual pop framework with killer results. Home to dancefloor dynamite like “Everything’s Is Gonna Be Alright” and “That Driving Beat,” the album is appearing on vinyl for the first time since its original release, remastered with updated artwork.

File Under: Funk, Soul
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dance time

Willie Mitchell: It’s Dance Time (Fat Possum) LP
A prominent bandleader, hit instrumental recording artist and prolific producer, Willie Mitchell is credited with creating the now legendary “Hi Sound,” its legacy of hit records, and discovering and directing the creative careers of Hi’s incredible artist roster which included Al Green, Ann Peebles, Otis Clay and Syl Johnson. Mitchell’s mix of jazz sophistication and down-home Southern blues – not to mention his ambition and work ethic – set him apart, and he and his streamlined, stripped-down big band were in demand by black and white audiences alike. 1965’s It’s Dance Time is a compelling collection of instrumental dance numbers highlighted by “Buster Browne” and “When My Dreamboat Comes Home” and rounded out by stylish covers of “Twine Time,” “Fever,” and “Since I Met You Baby.” It’s Dance Time is appearing on vinyl for the first time since its original release, remastered with updated artwork.

File Under: Funk, Soul
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robbins nest

Willie Mitchell: Robbin’s Nest (Fat Possum) LP
A prominent bandleader, hit instrumental recording artist and prolific producer, Willie Mitchell is credited with creating the now legendary “Hi Sound,” its legacy of hit records, and discovering and directing the creative careers of Hi’s incredible artist roster which included Al Green, Ann Peebles, Otis Clay and Syl Johnson. Mitchell’s mix of jazz sophistication and down-home Southern blues – not to mention his ambition and work ethic – set him apart, and he and his streamlined, stripped-down big band were in demand by black and white audiences alike. Mitchell kicked off the ’70s with Robbin’s Nest, another accomplished set of soul-infused funk highlighted by rock solid cuts like “Tails Out” and “Wade in the Water.” The album is appearing on vinyl for the first time since its original 1970 release, remastered with updated artwork.

File Under: Funk, Soul
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wdy

Various: Nicolas Winding Refn: The Wicked Die Young (Milan) LP
In 2016, Milan Records had the pleasure of releasing the soundtrack to Nicolas Winding Refn’s The Neon Demon, composed by Cliff Martinez. The synth-heavy electronic score went on to be one of the most critically-lauded soundtrack releases of the year, making numerous “Best of 2016” critic lists along the way. Refn now returns with his latest creation: The Wicked Die Young. The Wicked Die Young is the latest release in Milan’s “Nicolas Winding Refn Presents” series –  a sublabel of releases curated by director Nicolas Winding Refn (Drive, The Neon Demon). Conceptualized as a companion album to The Neon Demon and curated by Refn, The Wicked Die Young compiles the music that he was listening to while writing and filming The Neon Demon. This album is a unique opportunity to enter the musical mind of one of the most visionary contemporary directors. This eclectic selection confirms his love of music from the disco of Giorgio Moroder and Tommy Seebach to the punk and rock of Suicide and 999! The album also features exclusive tracks by Cliff Martinez, Electric Youth and Julian Winding. Available on vinyl, The Wicked Die Young comes pressed on a pair of colored 180 gram vinyl discs housed in a beautiful gatefold jacket featuring liner notes by Nicolas Winding Refn. “The fourteen tracks on this compilation represent the various ideas I had while preparing The Neon Demon and each song represents a specific emotion. Some of the tracks are from the past and some the present including new material by Cliff Martinez, Julian Winding, and Electric Youth. Since I wanted my film to be both a horror film and a melodrama with camp, glitter, and vulgarity, as well as a comedy and of course a little science fiction, all these various tracks made me able to step into a parallel world to tell the story.” – Nicolas Winding Refn

File Under: Comps, Drive

resistance

Various: Resistance Radio (Columbia) LP
Danger Mouse (a.k.a. Brian Burton) was recently approached by the folks at Amazon to compile a companion piece to the network’s alternate dystopia hit show The Man in the High Castle. Officially dubbed Resistance Radio: The Man in the High Castle, the star-studded affair was helmed by Burton and co-producer Sam Cohen, who were already working together in the studio when the offer was broached. It features a curated collection of brand new covers versions of classic 1960s songs, including contributions from Sharon Van Etten, Beck, Benjamin Booker, the Shins, Angel Olsen, Michael Kiwanuka, Grandaddy, Kevin Morby, Kelis, Norah Jones and Karen O.

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

Angel Witch: s/t (Real Gone) LP
Bauhaus: Crackle (Beggars) LP
Black Angels: Passover (Light in the Attic) LP
Michael Chapman: Wrecked Again (Light in the Attic) LP
Betty Davis: They Say I’m Different (Light in the Attic) LP
Bob Dylan: Freewheelin’ (Music on Vinyl) LP
Serge Gainbourg: Historie de Melody Nelson (Light in the Attic) LP
Greg Graffin: Millport (Anti) LP
Lee Hazlewood: Cowboy in Sweden (Light in the Attic) LP
Kaytranada: 99.9% (XL) LP
Egisto Macchi: Bitmori (Roundtable) LP
Neutral Milk Hotel: On Avery Island (Merge) LP
OST: Stranger Things (Lakeshore) LP
Outkast: Stankonia (Arista) LP
Pixies: Bossanova (4AD) LP
Power Trip: Nightmare Logic (Southern Lord) LP
Radiohead: A Moon Shaped Pool (XL) LP
Radiohead: Amnesiac (XL) LP
Radiohead: Ok Computer (XL) LP
Rodriguez: Coming From Reality (Light in the Attic) LP
John K. Samson: Winter Wheat (Anti) LP
Shellac: Terraform (Touch & Go) LP
Shellac: 1000 Hurts (Touch & Go) LP
Shellac: Excellent Italian Greyhound (Touch & Go) LP
Spoon: Hot Thoughs (Matador) LP
XX: Coexist (Young Turks) LP

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…..news letter #787 – royal snail…..

Just a few short weeks and RSD will be upon us! Our ordering is done, and next week things should start shipping next week.  As usual, we’ll have all kinds of fun swag and give aways, including the always popular REGA Turntable giveaway! In the meantime, I’ve got a lot to receive right now… Enjoy….

…..pick of the week…..

weiss

Klaus Weiss: Time Signals (Trunk) LP
Trunk Records present a reissue of Klaus Weiss’s Time Signals, originally released on Selected Sound in 1978. This hectic mix of dark drums with plugged-in, way-out, funked-up studio gear has been high on library geeks’ want-lists for years. Made by Niagara drummer/library overlord Klaus Weiss, and including the monster that is “Survivor”, originals are super rare, going for up to $300 if you can ever get near one. Standard black vinyl comes in a varnished bronze sleeve – a replica of the original LP. Jonny Trunk on Time Signals: “It was way back in the mid-1990s when fellow record collector and library music head Gareth Godard (AKA Cherrystones) first played me Selected Sound library LP 67, Time Signals. At the time — and I think it’s still the case — Gareth was into Klaus Weiss. Weiss was the drummer for Munich supergroup Niagara, he could be found on library LPs we were digging up on the Conroy and Golden Ring labels, and his name would appear across early 1960s jazz LPs from Germany. His drumming sound was mechanical, peculiar, unpredictable and distinctive. But nothing he’d done that I’d heard sounded quite like Time Signals. It was more manic and experimental, and the sounds and slightly offensive rhythms burrowed into my brain almost instantly. It probably took about another three years to recover and find myself a copy, and even then I’d found the sounds completely at odds to anything else I knew about. A few years later Gareth also pointed out to me that this LP was all over Rockin’ With Seka, a jet set hardcore movie from 1980 starring Swedish sensation Seka and Big John Holmes. Obviously the sound department on the film got busy with Selected Sound as another cue from the LP Nymphe (1979) is also on the soundtrack. But that is exactly what library music is for; Selected Sound produced these amazing library LPs, all beautifully recorded, sent them out in their shiny bronze sleeves around the world with rough guides to what they might be good for and waited for the royalties to roll in. Time Signals is probably the most desirable LP in the 9000 series catalogue. It sounds like nothing else and there are many high points, certainly something for everyone. And as musical tastes change and develop, Time Signals just seems to move along and fit. What seemed like otherworldly music to me two decades ago now seems like the norm. So here is Time Signals in all its odd glory, offering you a futuristic musical trip like no other.”

File Under: Library, Funk, Electronic
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…..new arrivals…..

abramsJoshua Abrams & Natural Information Society: Simultonality (Eremite) LP
Simultonality is the follow-up to Joshua Abrams’s critically acclaimed 2015 album Magnetoception. Credited to Joshua Abrams and Natural Information Society (NIS), it is the first recording in the project’s nine year, four album history made by a regularly gigging manifestation, rather than a special assembly of friends. Recorded in 2014 and 2015 in single takes by the full ensemble during and after tours of the US and Canada, Simultonality once more affirms the project’s unique approach to joining traditional musics, American minimalism, and jazz with the Gnawa ceremonial instrument the guimbri. Stasis, continuity, and repetition, central qualities of Abrams language, defined Magnetoception, listed by many as one of the best records of 2015. These same qualities form the heart of Abrams’s music on Simultonality. But where Abrams once said Magnetoception is about “winter and death”, Simultonality, in Abrams’s words, is an album of “pure motion”. Without sounding frenetic it is the most explosive NIS music on record, and without sounding over-determined, it is Abrams’s most structured and through-composed music yet. Much of it is also fast, a mass of densely patterned elements swiftly orbiting constantly reconfiguring centers that are variously harmonic and rhythmic, clearly stated or implied. The music is at no time any more disorderly than a colony of bees pollinating a vast garden. Its many moving parts function in mutualistic relationship toward fulfilling Abrams’s long stated intention for the project: to help listener’s achieve a meditative center and to consciously use music as a gateway to living. Abrams credits William Parker as an inspiration for this intention. The musicians on Simultonality date back to the nascency of NIS. Along with Hamid Drake, Mikel Avery and Frank Rosaly are Abrams first-call drummers for the project. On Simultonality, Avery is in the left channel, Rosaly the right. Astute heads may recognize the rhythm in “Sideways Fall” as Jaki Leibezeit’s drum break in Can’s “Vitamin C”. At Abrams behest, the two drummers divided the beat into separate parts. According to Hamid Drake, the rhythm was popularized, if not originated, by John “Jabo” Starks and Clyde Stubblefield of the J.B.’s. Nearly ten years into its existence, Abrams and the NIS wear their influences with creativity and ease. Long standing NIS members, Ben Boye and Emmett Kelly, were previously together with Abrams, or not, in Bonnie Prince Billy’s band, and Abrams and Boye have at different times played in Kelly’s band The Cairo Gang. Harmonium player Lisa Alvarado contributes the large format pattern paintings used by NIS at concerts and for its album covers. Personnel: Joshua Abrams – guimbri, bass, small harp, bells; Lisa Alvarado – harmonium, Leslie, percussion; Michael Avery – drums and percussion; Ben Boye – chromatic electric autoharp, piano, Wurlitzer; Ari Brown – tenor saxophone (on “2128½”); Emmett Kelly – electric guitar; Frank Rosaly – drums and percussion, resonator bells. Pressed on premium quality audiophile vinyl by RTI, presented in replica audiophile dust sleeves and heavyweight Stoughton LaserDisc jackets screenprinted by Alan Sherry/Siwa. Edition of 825 copies.

File Under: Jazz
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lusurra

Alberich/Lussuria: Borgia (Hospital) LP
Following on from that hugely sought-after Green Graves issue by Rainforest Spiritual Enslavement (2016), Hospital Productions re-examine a longstanding tradition of industrial ambient music on this exceptional collaboration between two of the label’s most consistently innovative, highly absorbing producers. Originally released in a private press run of handmade tapes in 2016, the collaboration was made in person with both Alberich and Lussuria making use of digital synths in homage to that distinctly European scene of the mid ’90s that combined hardcore industrial textures with ambient pulses. It’s a sound you’ll be familiar with if you’ve immersed yourself in the most unnervingly quiet sections of the last few Prurient albums, building a kind of futuristic soundscape situated somewhere between David Lynch, Kevin Drumm, and a more dystopian variant of Brad Fiedel’s distinctive soundtrack to The Terminator (1984). Alberich’s instinct for harsh propulsive rhythms is tempered here by Lussuria’s weird topography, the digital rendering adding a kind of artificial foundation quite removed from the throbbing earthiness you’d find on a hardware session. Instead, the more linear trajectory of so many dark ambient excursions is replaced with a constantly shifting landscape, veering from an oddly displaced vocal narrative into pounded, crumbling rhythms at some points, while those sinking sub bass sands keep things resolutely atmospheric for the duration. There are no concessions to that blackened aesthetic here, if you were into Green Graves or want to immerse yourself in one of the most brutally atmospheric albums you’ll hear this year, check this out. Edition of 500.

File Under: Ambient, Industrial

afrodiscoteca_def

Alessandro Alessandroni: Afro Discoteca (Four Flies) LP
Four Flies Records is back in full force, this time with an EP that looks at the more sophisticated and modern dancefloor. The Italian label embarked on another journey of rediscovery, a specialty they seem to master. The destination of this trip was a dusty vault in Africa, where a famous Italian musician moved years ago… The Italian film and TV industry provided in the 60s and 70s countless opportunity for talented musicians to compose and produce a rich variety of music: soundtracks, library music, experimental music – an infinite amount of recordings that still represents a paradise for the most curious and passionate diggers. So here we have the proof that there’s still lot to discover. Alessandro Alessandroni is one of those pioneers, a maestro that built the legend of Italian soundtracks and library music along with Ennio Morricone, Piero Umiliani and many others. His vault testifies how prolific had been those times, with hundreds of tapes and obscure recordings from that period. Among the many, a dusty tape bearing the hand-written label “Afro Discoteca” captured the attention of Four Flies. The music contained in the tape had never been released until now. When he listened to the tracks, Italian legendary DJ LEO MAS (one of the undisputed inventors of the Balearic sound) told us: “It is surprising to listen to something that sounds so modern… This EP is the perfect union of Afro influences and Italian taste. There’s something Afro lounge here but also incredibly cinematic – it makes me think of John Carpenter’s atmospheres. B1 (Afrodiscoteca) reminds me of clubs I’ve been in Malindi in the late 70s and the closing track is absolutely spellbinding. This is wonderful.” PAOLO SCOTTI, head of Déjà vu Records and an authoritative Italian jazz expert said: “Alessandroni’s contribution to music is huge, he’s a great musician and a great experimenter. Afrodiscoteca sounds like it’s been produced yesterday by a DJ of our times, an absolutely surprising EP and proof of Alessandroni’s spontaneous genius!”

File Under: Italian, Library, Funk
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birkin

Jane Birkin/Serge Gainsbourg: Le Symphonique (Parlophone) LP
In October 2016, Jane Birkin along with the Polish Radio Orchestra under the baton of Michała Klauza in Warsaw recorded the album Birkin Gainsbourg: Le Symphonique comprised of evocative symphonic interpretations of the most beautiful songs by former collaborator and romantic partner Serge Gainsbourg. 25 years after the death of Gainsbourg, the British actress/singer, with the integral support of Philippe Lerichomme (artistic director, longtime Serge associate) and pianist Nobuyukiego Nakajima, has created a special project in honor of the man who for many years was the closest person in her life both artistically and privately. “It is a privilege that one of the greatest French writers wrote for me from the age of 20 to 45. In a way it never stopped. It’s a strange situation. What can I do for him now, even though it’s too late! At least I can wear him, take him with me. Say his words!”

File Under: French Pop
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brother ah

Brother Ah: Divine Music (Manufactured) 5LP
Five LP box set version. “Following the reissues of Brother Ah’s three studio albums in 2016, Manufactured Recordings is proud to present Divine Music, a collection of three unreleased albums from this jazz visionary: The Sea (1978), Mediation (1981), and Searching (1985). Moving from rich spiritual jazz to more meditative ambience, Divine Music further explores Brother Ah’s unique sound and musical vision. Released as a 5xLP box set, Divine Music includes an extensive interview with Brother Ah by Pitchfork and Resident Advisor contributor Andy Beta. Recommended for fans of Laraaji, Alice Coltrane, Terry Riley, Brian Eno, Popul Vuh, and the recent new age renaissance. The renowned French horn player known as Brother Ah (aka Robert Northern) is one of the most prolific and respected musicians in the history of jazz music, with a recorded output spanning more than 40 years. Born in 1934 and raised in the south Bronx, Brother Ah was playing jazz trumpet as early as fifteen years of age. Following a classical French horn education at Austria’s Vienna State Academy, he emerged in the late ’50s and established himself as a skilled and consistent session musician, playing with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, the Radio City Music Hall Orchestra, and numerous Broadway theater orchestras. Brother Ah recorded well into the ’60s with some of the most illustrious names in the genre, including Donald Byrd, Dizzy Gillespie, John Coltrane, Thelonious Monk, Miles Davis, Gil Evans and, perhaps most influentially, Sun Ra. In 1969, Ah formed his own group, The Musical Sound Awareness Ensemble, and released several works under his own name from 1974 onward. In the late ’60s, his interest in non-western music developed, and his ’70s and ’80s recordings, incorporated elements of Eastern and ‘Third World’ music, fusing them with jazz structures.”

File Under: Jazz, Spiritual Jazz
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brugnolini

Brugnolini/Carnini: Beat Drammatico Underground Pop Elettronico (Schema) LP
A fantastic obscure record, whose tracks simply anticipate Techno and generally Electronic music of the early 70s, including Kraftwerk’s milestone “Autobahn”, Heldon and Lard Free. A mind-melting opera. While Kraftwerk released “Ralph & Florian”, and about one year before the releasing of the milestone “Autobahn”, maestros Sandro Brugnolini and Giorgio Carnini were already experimenting the deep sounds of analogue synthesizer ARP 2600. The set provides some blending Funk tunes driven by Experimental Electronic music, all with a heavy dramatic feel: the result is an unbelievable, unique and explosive library music LP. “Beat Drammatico Underground Pop Elettronico” is the title that Brugnolini and Carnini adopted for this collection of several TV synchronization the- mes. What we had is stunning Drama Cop scores and dark Electronic moods, all surrounded by loads of fuzzy vibes and all that weird, Industrial, Futuristic Synth FX and so on…This reissue gives back a long forgotten and obscure session originally released on Fonit label in 1973. Lorenzo Fabrizi / Sonor Music Editions

File Under: Library, Electronic
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zebra

Cohelmec Ensemble: Hippotigris Zebra Zebra (Souffle Continu) LP
Souffle Continu Records present the first vinyl reissue of Cohelmec Ensemble’s Hippotigris Zebra Zebra, originally released in 1971. The Cohelmec Ensemble celebrate, above all, the pleasure of collective music-making. A group without a designated leader, they base their approach on reciprocal listening, but also on a dialogue between written and improvised material, in which all members have an equal responsibility whatever their instrument. This is even demonstrated in their name: COH as in Jean Cohen (saxophones), EL as in Dominique Elbaz (piano) and MEC as in the brothers François and Jean-Louis Méchali (respectively, amongst others, bass and drums), joined for this album by Evan Chandlee, known for his participation in Love Rejoice (1969) by Kenneth Terroade, and accepted, of course, as a full group member. Fitting together like hand in glove, the five musicians build something together, rather than trying to destroy an established order, as was the thing to do at the start of the 1970s, leaving the expression of an openly political agenda to others. In France, there was a tendency to explore an imaginary folklore which allowed certain elements of free jazz to be circumvented without being ignored. Which is why it is reminiscent of, in the melody of “Hippotigris Zebrazebra” when played with collective intensity, the best of American cosmic jazz, while also occasionally hearing McCoy Tyner or even Cecil Taylor under the fingers of Dominique Elbaz, or the vibraphone of Walt Dickerson evoked by Jean-Louis Méchali. Globally, however, their identity is original (even seminal), a fact which was to be confirmed by their next two recordings. For the record, it should be noted that the first album by the Free Jazz Workshop (from Lyon), another French group with a similar approach, would only be published two years later. Licensed from Cohelmec Ensemble. Deluxe reissue with high definition remastered audio; 12-page booklet on 200 gsm art paper. Includes liner notes and rare pictures; Gatefold LP with obi strip; Edition of 700.

File Under: Experimental, Jazz, Improv
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next

Cohelmec Ensemble: Next (Souffle Continu) LP
Souffle Continu Records present the first vinyl reissue of Cohelmec Ensemble’s Next. The Cohelmec Ensemble celebrate, above all, the pleasure of collective music-making. A group without a designated leader, they base their approach on reciprocal listening and equal responsibilities. This is reflected in their name, created from the first syllables of the founding member’s names, which would remain unchanged in spite of the subsequent personnel changes: COH as in Jean Cohen (saxophones), EL as in Dominique Elbaz (piano) and MEC as in the brothers François and Jean-Louis Méchali (respectively, amongst others, bass and drums), Evan Chandlee joined them after they had already been playing together for a while, at the time they recorded their first album, 1971’s Hippotigris Zebra Zebra. The follow-up (appropriately named Next) saw the original pianist leave, to be replaced by guitarist Joseph Dejean, who had already played with the Full Moon Ensemble, known for having accompanied Archie Shepp at the Antibes Jazz Festival in 1970. In spite of the personnel changes, the understanding and cohesion remain total within Cohelmec. They also maintain their trademark ambitious mix of written and improvised material. From this point of view, Next is even more audacious than its predecessor Hippotigris Zebra Zebra. Relatively brief tracks follow hot on the heels of one another, bolstered by a poly-instrumentality which stands out even more than in the past, giving the album the feel of a contrasting suite. There is a lot going on, leading to evocative atmospheres in which rigor and fantasy go happily hand in hand. Which is enough to say that this album should please fans of a style of free (chamber?) jazz which includes intelligent composed structures, a form in which French musicians have always demonstrated a personal approach, as in the example of Oeil Vision by Jef Gilson in 1964. Profoundly original and, it has to be said, seminal. Licensed from Cohelmec Ensemble. Deluxe reissue with high definition remastered audio; 12-page booklet on 200 gsm art paper. Includes liner notes and rare pictures; Gatefold LP with obi strip; Edition of 700.

File Under: Experimental, Jazz, Improv
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octobre

Cohelmec Ensemble: 5 Octobre 1974 (Souffle Continu) LP
Souffle Continu Records present the first vinyl reissue of Cohelmec Ensemble’s 5 Octobre 1974, originally released in 1974. Out of the musical effervescence in post May 1968 France were born the labels BYG and Futura Records. The concept of collective creation appeared as essential, of which Cohelmec Ensemble was a typical example: in such procedures, individual identities can of course still express themselves but framed within a non-hierarchical common thought process with the emphasis on experimentation. Music making becomes a shared pleasure with an established vocabulary, and is often accompanied by militant left wing activism; which feeds into an ethical form of creation. For their third, and what would turn out to be final album, the Cohelmec Ensemble chose to save for posterity their live performance work, on which their reputation was based. A concert recording was made, notable for the inclusion of trumpeter Jean-François Canape, and the group lost none of its subtlety in moving from studio to stage. On the contrary, the situation galvanized them on to higher energy levels, without leaving behind the typically complex structures, to which were added potent, flowing improvisations, longer than usual, confirming the high standard of free jazz being played in France in the 1970s. This was demonstrated not only by the Cohelmec Ensemble but also, in similar or quite different registers (who cares), by formations such Perception, Dharma Quintet, Free Jazz Workshop, Machi Oul, or Armonicord. Licensed from Cohelmec Ensemble. Deluxe reissue with high definition remastered audio; 12-page booklet on 200 gsm art paper. Includes liner notes and rare pictures; Gatefold double LP with obi strip; Edition of 500.

File Under: Experimental, Jazz, Improv

august

Counting Crows: August and Everything After (Geffen) LP
By the time the Counting Crows signed to Geffen in 1993, they had already built up a significant fanbase which payed dividends upon the release of their runaway hit debut August And Everything After later that same year. Produced by the great T-Bone Burnett, the album climbed all the way to No. 4 on the Billboard 200 charts thanks to the trio of ubiquitous singles “Mr. Jones,” “Rain King” and “Round Here,” selling over seven million copies in the U.S. alone in the process. It checks in at a respectable No. 67 on Rolling Stone’s ‘100 Best Albums of the Nineties’ who writes: “An artfully crafted, intimate song cycle, August and Everything After seemed to explode on impact. Vividly produced by T Bone Burnett, its post-punk bleakness married to old-school rock influences, August became that rare album over which both alterna-kids and classic rockers could bond.”

File Under: Alt-Rock

recovering

Counting Crows: Recovering The Satellites (Geffen) LP
By the time the Counting Crows signed to Geffen in 1993, they had already built up a significant fanbase which payed dividends upon the release of their runaway hit debut August And Everything After. Three hit singles and seven million copies later, the band returned in 1996 with the stunning Gil Norton-produced follow-up Recovering the Satellites. Featuring a darker, heavier sound and more introspective lyrics, compelling and emotive material like “A Long December,” “Angels of the Silences” and “Daylight Fading” found the band truly coming into their own amidst the mid-’90s alt-rock craze and its No. 1 Billboard showing proved that not only was their debut no fluke but they were just getting started.

File Under: Alt-Rock

manu dibango

Manu Dibango: Ceddo (Africa Seven) LP
For Africa Seven’s 2nd release they’ve resurrected the soundtrack to the African movie Ceddo. Composed by one of our favorite African artists, Manu Dibango, comes 6 funky tracks. Now it’s getting a full vinyl re-issue! The film takes place during the 17th century during the period of slave-trading and of the introduction of Christianity and Islam in West Africa. Ceddo is a film of reflection, bringing together bits and pieces of facts and authentic events that took place in a period spanning the centuries up to the present day.

File Under: Afrobeat, Funk
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enhet

Enhet For Fri Musik: Inom Dig, Inom Mig (Aguirre) LP
Folk unit originated in the Swedish underground Enhet för Fri Musik – featuring members of Sewer Election,  Ättestupa,  Neutral,  Makthaverskan, and Blod – continually re-invent what music is about through free improvisation and lengthy folk meanderings. Embedded in the ever exciting Swedish underground scene, Enhet För Fri Musik continue the quest for innovation numerous legendary Swedish bands started during the ’70s – such as, Pärson Sound, Trad Gras Och Stenar, and Arbete Och Fritid. Taking the ideas of communal music craft and experimentation, on Inom Dig, Inom Mig, the group comes to a unique combination of Jandek-like atonal guitar, organ, tape effects, field recordings, and saxophone, with Sofie Herner’s amazing loner voice running over it. Adding another inspiring document to the world of open-minded music. Inom Dig, Inom Mig was originally release on cassette in 2015 on Forever United. Silkscreened sleeves by Marijke Loozen; Music by Dan Johansson, Gustaf Dicksson, Hugo Randulv, Sofie Herner; Mastered by Kris Delacourt; Artwork by Dan Johansson; Edition of 150.

File Under: Folk, Experimental, Psych

father john

Father John Misty: Pure Comedy (Sub Pop) LP/DLX LP
Pure Comedy, Father John Misty’s third album, is a complex, often-sardonic, and, equally often, touching meditation on the confounding folly of modern humanity. Father John Misty is the brainchild of singer-songwriter Josh Tillman. Tillman has released two widely acclaimed albums – Fear Fun (2012) and I Love You, Honeybear (2015) – and the recent “Real Love Baby” single as Father John Misty, and recently contributed to songs by Beyoncé, Lady Gaga, and Kid Cudi. You could say a lot about Pure Comedy – including that it is a bold, important album in the tradition of American songwriting greats like Harry Nilsson, Randy Newman, and Leonard Cohen – but it’s best to let its creator describe it himself. Tillman explains: “Pure Comedy is the story of a species born with a half-formed brain. The species’ only hope for survival, finding itself on a cruel, unpredictable rock surrounded by other species who seem far more adept at this whole thing (and to whom they are delicious), is the reliance on other, slightly older, half-formed brains. This reliance takes on a few different names as their story unfolds, like “love,” “culture,” “family,” etc. Over time, and as their brains prove to be remarkably good at inventing meaning where there is none, the species becomes the purveyor of increasingly bizarre and sophisticated ironies. These ironies are designed to help cope with the species’ loathsome vulnerability and to try and reconcile how disproportionate their imagination is to the monotony of their existence. Something like that.” Pure Comedy was recorded in 2016 at the legendary United Studios (Frank Sinatra, Ray Charles, Beck) in Hollywood, CA. It was produced by Father John Misty and Jonathan Wilson, with engineering by Misty’s longtime sound-person Trevor Spencer and orchestral arrangements by renowned composer/double-bassist Gavin Bryars (known for extensive solo work, and work with Brian Eno, Tom Waits, Derek Bailey).

File Under: Indie Rock
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ferrari

Luc Ferrari: Heterozygote/Petite Symphonie… (ReGRM) LP
In the field of biology Heterozygous (Hétérozygote) means: a plant whose heredity is mixed. It implies that Hétérozygote, composed between December 1963 and March 1964, is an attempt to engineer a language located both on the musical and on the dramatic plane. You could call this music “Anecdotal Music” for if the organization of events is purely musical, their choice suggests situations justified at two levels: the music and the anecdote. Luc Ferrari explains the piece Petite Symphonie Intuitive Pour Un Paysage De Printemps (1973-1974) in 2002: “This electroacoustic music is part of a series that could be called ‘imaginary soundscape’. Unlike ‘Presque Rien Ou Le Lever Du Jour Au Bord De La Mer (Almost Nothing Or Daybreak By The Seaside)’, where the landscape narrates itself, here a traveller discovers a landscape which he tries to convey as a musical landscape. Brunhild and I were in the Gorges du Tarn area. We chose to take a small path that was going up a rocky mountain for about ten kilometres. After a last turn, a totally unexpected landscape opened before my eyes. It was sunset. Before us, a vast plateau spread open with soft curves up to the horizon, up to the sun. The colours ranged from dry grass yellow to purple, in the distance, with the darkness of a few small groves punctuating the space. The almost bare nature was presenting itself to the eye, free from any obstacle. We could see everything. Later, when I recollected this place and the sensations I had experienced there, I tried to compose a music that could revive this memory. The ‘Causse Méjean’ is a high plateau, about 1000 m high, in the Massif Central mountain range. It is dotted by scattered farms. A few people bring their flocks of sheep home. I thought about evoking this solitary and hazy human presence by including snippets of conversations I had had with some of the shepherds. Human language is woven into the musical texture; the sound of the voice says more than its actually meaning. Once, a shepherd told me ‘… I am never bored. I listen to the landscape. Sometimes I play my flute and then I listen to the echo responding…’ Thinking of him, I used the flute and its echo in my music.”

File Under: Early Electronic, Musique Concrete
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folds

Ben Folds: Songs for the Silverman (Analog Spark) LP
In tomorrow… Throughout his career, Ben Folds has created an enormous body of genre-bending musical art that includes pop albums as the front man for Ben Folds Five, multiple solo rock albums, as well as unique collaborative records with artists from Sara Bareilles and Regina Spektor, to Weird Al and William Shatner. Out of print on vinyl for over 10 years, 2005’s Songs For Silverman is the second solo studio effort from the acclaimed singer-songwriter. The ballad-based 11-track set is home to the warmhearted singles “Landed and “Jesusland,” the Elliott Smith dedication “Late” and “Time” which features a cameo from Weird Al. This is Songs For Silverman’s first vinyl reissue. Audio has been sourced from the original mix reels. Mastered by Kevin Gray at Cohearent Audio and pressed and plated at RTI. 180-gram vinyl pressing housed in a Stoughton old style “tip-on” jacket.

File Under: Rock

mediterraneoGruppo Afro Mediterraneo: 1972 Blues Jazz Session (Black Sweat) LP
Unreleased recordings of future members of Aktuala and I.P. Son Group. The history goes back in the alternative Milan of the early ’70s, to the flavor of the first jam-blues of that era where musicians from different parts of the world (India, Africa or South-America), and of disparate backgrounds and cultures, gathered together to experiment just with an authentic sense. These four tracks seem to retrace the path of that spirit with which great pioneers, such as John Mayall and Alexis Corner, the essence of the Afro-American music masters ferried from overseas. On 1972 Blues Jazz Session, the devotion to the blues roots remains strong but an aerial and wandering component, colored as if by a magic of exotic and spiritual accents, leaks into the compositions. Hypnotic patterns of guitars flowing almost like slowed raga-grooves, free-jazz horns blowing winds of the ancient seas of the south, while voices and percussions span distant Latin or African horizons. Gruppo Afro Mediterraneo throws its eye on a cultural dimension more extensive and composite and therefore constitutes a fundamental historical document for a crucial period of Italian underground.

File Under: Jazz
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jamal

Ahmed Jamal Trio: The Awakening (Be With) LP
Ahmad Jamal is a jazz giant and The Awakening is his iconic masterpiece. The landmark deep trio session – recorded in NYC and released on Impulse! in 1970 – is an essential album and perennially sought-after on vinyl, so Be With Records are delighted to make it available again. As a “Zen master of jazz piano” and one of its greatest innovators, Jamal evolved his elegant sound with this adventurous record. The Awakening showcased his fast, richly melodic chops in remarkable variation. A consummate orchestrator of his own complex arrangements, Jamal was emboldened here by his potent sidemen. Backed by the exquisite timing of bassist Jamil Nasser and the precision of Frank Gant’s drumming, he was liberated by the reliability of the trio setup. Free to juggle rhythmic dexterity with harmonic intricacy, Jamal brilliantly performed groove-oriented compositions written by himself, alongside wonderful renditions of tracks by Herbie Hancock, Oliver Nelson and Antonio Carlos Jobim. It is impossible to discuss The Awakening without acknowledging its indelible mark on golden age rap. A defining album of hip-hop culture, producers of the highest calibre have famously sampled elements of this timeless record to lace all-timers with a foundation for their most legendary tracks. Indeed, both the experimental “DJ Premier In Deep Concentration” and Shadez Of Brooklyn’s seminal “Change” utilised Jamal’s sparse title-track to stunning effect. A melancholy motif from “I Love Music” was employed by Pete Rock for Nas’s crucial “The World Is Yours” whilst, over a more abstract refrain from the same track, Jeru memorably delivered his “Me Or The Papes” ultimatum. Over in Chicago, No I.D. elevated Common’s peerless “Resurrection” by lifting a precise riff from Jamal’s plaintive rendition of “Dolphin Dance” whilst the head-nod quality of All Natural’s hypnotic “Renaissance” owes it all to the looped keys of Jamal’s take on “You’re My Everything”. With bold beauty and unhurried grace, Ahmad Jamal plays piano differently from everyone else. He was a huge inspiration to Miles Davis and influential to how Wynton Kelly performed across Kind of Blue. In his autobiography, Miles describes being blown away by Jamal’s dynamic “concept of space, his lightness of touch [and] his understatement”. It’s why The Awakening will always be so revered. In line with the quality of all Be With reissues, the record is presented in a luxurious gatefold sleeve and comes adorned with the original eye-catching artwork throughout, along with the original sleeve notes. Simon Francis’ sensitive mastering ensures the sonics are majestic throughout and, for the first time, it has been pressed at a reassuringly weighty 180g.

File Under: Jazz
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jamc

Jesus & Mary Chain: Damage & Joy (Ek Ok) LP
The legendary Jesus and May Chain – fronted by the quarrelsome Reid brothers Jim and William – release their long awaited brand new studio album Damage and Joy – their first studio effort since Munki, issued back in the summer of 1998. Produced by Martin Glover aka Youth and featuring contributions from former Lush bassist Phil King and the band’s touring drummer Brian Young, the highly anticipated 14-track set includes stunning lead single “Amputation” and a re-energized new version of “All Things Must Pass” which was previously showcased in the TV show Heroes. Creation Records boss and band manager Alan McGee exclaimed, “They’ve made another album! It’s a big deal! It’s kinda enormous.”

File Under: Rock
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kangding

Kangding Ray: Hyper Opal Mantis (Stroboscoptic) LP
Triple LP version. Includes download card. The tension between the natural and artificial, the body and mind, are central themes in electronic music in general, and techno in particular, as the means of creation, focused around technology and interactions with machines, contrast with the emotional response to sound, the mystical ritual of collective dancing, and the ethos of liberation and tolerance embedded in the culture it produced. We’re navigating a world of engineered pleasures, big data monitoring of movements and consumption habits, and falsely objective representations of reality, further blurred by a reduced attention span and several opaque layers of cultural interpretation and political manipulation. Manichean simplifications are used to create hate and fear in order to achieve domination and impose limits on freedom, and the irrational belief in endless growth, increasingly disconnected from nature, led to massive environmental destructions and waves of unprecedented extinctions of species. Our primal sensuous perception, vastly more abstract, emotional and sensual, make us feel the world as an ambiguous realm we are part of, but not in control of; a complex network of interacting forces and enigmatic patterns, a matrix of overlapping desires. Rebuilding our bonds with nature, reconnecting with our senses, and spreading love in the process become an essential act of resistance. Hyper Opal Mantis is a triptych on three states of desire, and the first long player of Kangding Ray for Stroboscopic Artefacts. Hyper is the primal, sensual lust, Opal is the emotional catharsis, a blissful desire for love. Mantis, like the insect it refers to, is the destructive, fatal attraction. French-born, Berlin-based composer and producer David Letellier, aka Kangding Ray, uses the combination of slowly swelling melodies and emotionally charged machine sounds to gives way to a sensitive, rhythmic symphony of staggering beauty – a juxtaposition of organic and synthetic, of acoustic instrumentation and digitized beats. His darkly textured techno grooves – a palette of throbbing bass lines, necromantic synths, processed guitar loops, rattling walls of distortion and unorthodox field recordings – accounts for a brooding, futuristic entity that connects him with both experimental and club culture.

File Under: Electronic
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konstruct1

Konstrukt: Molto Bene (Holidays) LP
Edition of 250. In the summer of 2015, A L’ARME! Festival invited Konstrukt to perform with William Parker and Holiday Records teamed up with Matt Bordin of Outside Inside Studio to invite the quartet to play two shows in Italy on their way to Berlin. Plans overlapped leaving two days off spent playing with no interruption at Matt’s studio in Montebelluna, capturing four incredible tracks. Now, Konstrukt are well known for their many collaborations with key players and real giants of worldwide jazz scene, but – once again – having the chance to listen to the music they produce when they play “by their own” is something special. Their tribute to the past is paid with every single tune they play, but these recordings are something that can only be described as “new music”.

File Under: Jazz, Free Jazz
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konstrukt2

Konstrukt & Alexander Hawkins: Live at Cafe OTO (Holidays) LP
Istanbul-based free music ensemble Konstrukt perform alongside special guest Alexander Hawkins, building the perfect groove in a sweaty Cafe OTO on August 10th, 2015. Two sets from the same night, each a 40 minute long improvisation. The first set is a psychedelic warm-up where the Turkish quartet welcomes Hawkins in a whirlwind of hypnotic funky tunes going electric in the Miles way. The second set starts with Hawkins piano keys bouncing along a silent background soon to be filled with a groovy odd drum tempo leading to a wall of sound where all parts build a perfectly unpredictable dialogue. Edition of 200.

File Under: Jazz, Free Jazz
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lischen

Lichen Gumbo: Boilin’ (Aguirre) LP
Lichen Gumbo is a lo-fi underground rock band from Finland. Boilin’ was recorded during a week of seclusion in a small cabin deep in the woods with no running water and at home during an exceptional heat wave hitting Finland in 2014, hence the Boilin’ title for this album of hazy tunes. The selected songs range from Throbbing Gristle hits to a more noisy garage style. Mixing heavily distorted drums and guitars, vocals varying in style going from garage, no wave to totally deranged, and synth bubbles which sound like they’re recorded straight from the water surface of hot springs (or perhaps they just borrowed a Moog from Acid Mothers Temple). Lichen Gumbo are Olli Aarni and Ville Oinonen. Olli has been recording under his own name since 2011 and mostly works with electronic sounds. He has released music as Ous Mal and Nuojuva. Ville joins him for the lo-fi ride that is Lichen Gumbo. Hand-assembled sleeves; Artwork by Olli Aarni, Ville Oinonen and Mia Tarkela; Mastering by Kris Delacourt; Edition of 150.

File Under: Lo-Fi, Electronic, Rock
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nardini

Nino Nardini: Musique pour le Futur (WRWTFWW) LP
We Release Whatever The Fuck We Want Records present a reissue of Nino Nardini’s e Musique Pour Le Futur, originally released in 1970. An experimental, musique concrete, sci-fi masterpiece, available for the first time since 1970. Originally recorded for Crea Sound Ltd., a sub-label of Louis Delacour’s Neuilly imprint, Musique Pour Le Futur finds the French composer, arranger, producer, possible time-traveler, and all around music library legend Nino Nardini experimenting with synthesizers, percussions, prepared piano, echo, and special effects. Fans of electronic oddities, eerie cinematic audio-landscapes, Piero Umiliani, or Bernard Parmegiani, will rejoice at this full-length musical adventure that could very well be the soundtrack for a film in which characters from a ’70s Italian horror movie visit a distant (forbidden) planet from a ’50s sci-movie. It’s bizarre, hypnotizing, slightly spooky, always out-of-this-world, and goddamn brilliant. Nino Nardini, also known as Georges Teperino, had a very fruitful career in library music, much like longtime collaborator Roger Roger. He composed a very large amount of works for French and British libraries which continues to be featured in numerous programs (radio, TV, films) all around the world. His passion for electronic music experimentations began in the late ’60s and kept going until the ’80s. Housed in a phosphorescent glow-in-the-dark, heavy cardboard sleeve.

File Under: Early Electronic, Experimental
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castlevania 3

OST: Castlevania 3: Dracula’s Curse (Mondo) LP
Mondo is proud to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Castlevania franchise with the premiere vinyl release of the original soundtrack to the 1989 Famicom / Nintendo Entertainment System Three-quel / Prequel: Dracula’s Curse. Dracula’s Curse is a dark horse for most beloved of the original NES/Famicom trilogy, as it was a happy marriage of the linear elements of the first Castlevania and the more exploratory elements of Simon’s Quest – a union that led to the introduction of multiple playable characters, multiple paths and multiple endings – that remain franchise staples even today. The story follows Trevor Belmont, Simon’s ancestor and his battles with the prince of darkness, alongside three other warriors: Grant Danasty the Pirate, Sypha Belnades the Mystic, and Alucard, Dracula’s Son, who makes series debut here, and will play a more pivotal role in the games to come. The soundtrack to Dracula’s Curse is important as well. Not only for fan favorite track ‘Beginning,’ a track you’d be nary to find excluded from any future Castlevania game, but for the dynamic audio introduced on the Japanese version of the game. The VRC6 Audio chip contained in the Japanese version allowed for a wider array of sound channels, producing a brighter, fuller soundtrack than on the cartridge released in the US. The Nintendo Entertainment System could not process this level of audio, so the version released in the US needed to have the audio scaled back. Despite this audio handicap the US version is still terrific, and the superiority of the which version best is still a matter of debate to this day. No need to choose though, since Mondo’s vinyl re-issue contains both, spread across two 12″ LPs, housed in a gatefold jacket featuring amazing new artwork by Sachin Teng.

File Under: OST, Video Games
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contra

OST: Contra 3: Aliens Wars (Mondo) LP
Mondo is proud to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Contra franchise with the premiere Vinyl release of the original soundtrack to the 1992 Super Nintendo sequel: The Alien Wars. Set 3 years after the original, Red Falcon and his legion have returned to Earth, this time with the intent of launching a full-scale war against it’s inhabitants. It’s up to Bill and Lance, our heroes to scale walls, ride motorcycles, and even cling to soaring missiles in an attempt to defeat the onslaught. The music of Contra 3: The Alien Wars is epic to say the least – the looping sequences of each level are longer, taking full advantage of the new audio capabilities available to the composers on the Super Nintendo. In some instances, like with ‘Battle Runner’ which operates on-the-rails for large stretches, it affords for the composers to have some sequences to go nearly two minutes before a single loop. The sweeping scope of these tracks leads to a chaos absent from the previous chapters of the run-and-gun series, while still obeying the structures and pacing of Video Game music… Just with more complex time signatures, and percussion patterns.

File Under: OST, Video Games
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galaxy force

OST: Galaxy Force II/Thunder Blade (Data Discs) LP
For Data Discs’ tenth release in partnership with SEGA of Japan, they are excited to offer two arcade classics – Galaxy Force II (1988) and Thunder Blade (1987) – together for the first time ever on vinyl. Composed by Koichi Namiki, Katsuhiro Hayashi and Tohru Nakabayashi, both soundtracks adopted an ambitious funk and fusion style, simulating an impressive range of real world instrumentation (think synthesizers, drums, slap bass and cowbells), which for its time and hardware limitations, is nothing short of astonishing. And yes, there’s even a coded slap bass solo. These two brief, but remarkable soundtracks each accommodate a single side of an LP, but work together seamlessly. Galaxy Force II includes a bonus arranged version of its leading track, Beyond the Galaxy, produced by Hiroshi “Hiro” Kawaguchi (composer of OutRun, Space Harrier) and features a full studio band, complete with brass section and a keyboard solo by Hiro himself. In addition, the Thunder Blade side includes three unused tracks.

File Under: OST, Video Games
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monstersquad

OST: Monster Squad (Mondo) LP
Available on vinyl for the first time, Mondo is proud to present Bruce Broughton’s score to Fred Dekker directed, Shane Black scripted cult classic The Monster Squad. The Monster Squad tells the story of six suburban kids who go toe-to-toe with some of the baddest monsters of all time: The Mummy, The Wolfman, The Gillman, and Dracula join forces to unleash evil on the world, and only the titular “Monster Squad” (with a little help from Frankenstein’s monster) can stop them. Produced by Mike Matessino and Dan Goldwasser.

File Under: OST, Mondo
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gimme danger

OST: Gimme Danger (Rhino) LP
When it comes to The Stooges’ place in rock history, there’s more or less a consensus among rock critics – or as close to a consensus as you’re ever going to get with rock critics, anyway – that they’re among the greatest rock bands of all time. As such, if a director was going to put together a documentary – or “rockumentary,” if you will – about the life and times of The Stooges, one would hope that it would prove to be as memorable and historic as the band itself. It’s safe to say Jim Jarmusch’s Gimme Danger delivers the goods and more and you can rest assured that the soundtrack succeeds in equal measure. With material selected by Jarmusch and Iggy Pop himself, the soundtrack focuses on tracks from The Stooges’ first three studio albums and includes such proto-punk classics as “I Wanna Be Your Dog,” “Loose,” “Gimme Danger” and “Down On The Street” to name a few. It’s a great compilation, and if you’ve never owned a Stooges album, it’s also the perfect gateway drug into their catalog.

File Under: OST, Rock

panzer

OST: Panzer Dragoon (Data Discs) LP
We are proud to present the first ever vinyl edition of Yoshitaka Azuma’s score to SEGA’s classic rail-shooter, Panzer Dragoon. First released in 1995 to coincide with the North American launch of the Saturn console, Panzer Dragoon has since become a cult favourite, not only for its stark art direction, inspired by renowned French artist Jean “Mobieus” Giraud, but also for its sweeping soundtrack. Composed by the late Yoshitaka Azuma, whose previous solo albums for Nippon Columbia had drawn on everything from ambient, prog, krautrock and electronic minimalism, the music of Panzer Dragoon moves between swelling orchestral pieces, blasts of rhythmic synthesis and ambient passages that wouldn’t seem out of place in the Tangerine Dream discography. When viewed as a standalone concept album, Panzer Dragoon succeeds in somehow conveying, by the sum of its seemingly dissonant parts, that most basic of human fantasies; the sensation of being in flight. In the 90s.

File Under: OST, Video Games
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shinobi

OST: Revenge of Shinobi (Data Discs) LP
Collaborating once again with legendary composer Yuzo Koshiro, Data Discs is thrilled to present one of the most revered and timeless soundtracks of the 16bit era: The Revenge of Shinobi. Composed in 1989, the music for the Mega Drive game (known as The Super Shinobi in Japan) blended Western dance music with Japanese overtones, to create something truly unlike anything else before. The soundtrack was Koshiro’s first commissioned work for SEGA and served as a forerunner to his seminal Streets of Rage trilogy, where the concepts and styles he founded with Shinobi would be expanded upon to astonishing effect.

File Under: OST, Video Games
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other people

Other People Place: Lifestyles of the Laptop Café (Warp) LP
Tucked away in the great depths of the Warp catalog is this elegant, liquid heartache of a record. An album credited to the late James Stinson, one half of cult-Detroit techno unit (alongside Gerald Donald) Drexciya, Lifestyles Of The Laptop Café stands as one of the remarkable records of the genre. Stinson died a year after its 2001 release, lending this already beautiful work endless resonance. Where the dystopian aqua-tronics of previous Drexciya were often jet-black, cold, brittle and abrasive this is a yearning soul music, played out down rain soaked streets, the buzzing lights of industry flickering in the darkness, the warm blue of a new day ready to break. This is a record where techno reached its raw, most emotive peak. Sustained pads paint minor-key melodies while electroid-vocals are buried deep in the hydrothermal mass of squelching bass-clusters and funky-filtered bleeps. At its skittering percussion core, a stripped back 808 tapestry, sequenced into myriad jazz-inflected shapes, a pulsing kick drum the snapping heartbeat, ticking hi-hats bursting from every angle. All this tingles with the ghosts of records past, of Kraftwerkian humanoids, of first-wave Detroit, of refracted Hancock and Ayres, but as Stinson intones on the fifth track, ‘let me be what I wanna be’, Lifestyles is a creation all of its own special making, a sound that would inspire the latter day deep-house machinations of Omar S, Jus-Ed, Moodymann and influence – however indirectly – a wealth of current UK/US bass operators including Actress and Kyle Hall. More importantly it remains a beguiling epitaph to Stinson’s sadly distinguished life.

File Under: Electronic, House
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strumming

Charlemagne Palestine: Strumming Music (Aguirre) LP
The classic minimal music album, available again on vinyl for the first time since the ’70s. Primed with a glass of cognac, Charlemagne Palestine sits at the keyboard of a Bösendorfer Imperial grand piano. One foot firmly holds down the sustain pedal while both hands perform an insistent strum-like alternation on the keys. Soon Palestine and his Bösendorfer are enveloped in sound and bathed in a shimmering haze of multi-colored overtones. For 45 minutes, this rich pulsating music swells and intensifies, filling the air. When Strumming Music first appeared on the adventurous French label Shandar during the mid-1970s, it seemed a straightforward matter to place Charlemagne Palestine in the so-called minimalist company of La Monte Young, Terry Riley, Steve Reich, and Philip Glass, whose work also featured in the Shandar catalog. Palestine too used a deliberately restricted range of materials and a repetitive technique, but as he has often pointed out in more recent times, the opulent fullness of his music would more accurately be described as maximalist. Strumming Music, recorded in Palestine’s own loft in Manhattan, has no written score. In an age of recorded sound he still feels no need for traditional notation. The surging energy of this particular recording stands comparison with the improvising of jazz visionaries who impressed and inspired him while living in New York as a young man. But, as Palestine himself has made clear, primarily he brings to music-making the sensibility of an artist rather than a musician. Although the technique of the piece has roots in Palestine’s daily practice, when a teenager, of playing the carillon at a church, hammering sonorous chimes from a rack of tuned bells, it also draws on his later work as a body artist, staging vigorously muscular, physically demanding and often reckless performances. In addition, Strumming Music can be heard as a sculptural tour de force, while its textures connect with the color moods, plastic rhythms, and tactile space of Mark Rothko’s abstract expressionist canvases. Strumming Music remains the essential index of Palestine’s singular creative vision. Fundamentally this fascinating piece is a collaboration between an artist and an instrument. Palestine had first encountered the Bösendorfer Imperial back in 1969. “The Bösendorfer at its best is a very noisy, thick molasses piano,” he has remarked. Charlemagne Palestine embraced its clinging sonorousness, its clangorous resonance and out of that embrace came the voluptuous sonic fabric of Strumming Music.

File Under: Minimal, Avant Garde
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pallbearer

Pallbearer: Heartless (Profound Lore) LP
Heartless is an inspired collection that presents Arkansas progressive doom metal quartet Pallbearer’s most monumental material to date, offering a complex sonic architecture that weaves together the spacious exploratory elements of classic prog, the raw anthemics of 90’s alt-rock, and stretches of black-lit proto-metal. Lyrics about mortality, life, and love are set to sharp melodies and pristine three-part harmonies. As the group explains: “Instead of staring into to the void – both above and within – Heartless concentrates its power on a grim reality. Our lives, our homes and our world are all plumbing the depths of utter darkness, as we seek to find any shred of hope we can.” From the gloriously complex, sky-lit opener “I Saw the End” to the heartbreaking 13-minute closer “A Plea for Understanding,” the entire group puts forth the full realization of their vision: More than a doom band, Pallbearer is a rock group with a singular songwriting talent and emotional capacity. Heartless finds the group putting forth their strongest individual efforts to date; vocalist/guitarist Brett Campbell and bassist/vocalist Joseph Rowland, along with guitarist/vocalist Devin Holt and drummer Mark Lierly, turn in peak marathon performances. Both Campbell and Rowland also handle synthesizers alongside their normal duties, and there are plenty of ambient passages and gently strummed acoustic guitars amid the crunchy electric tones, adding a moody, ethereal sparseness that compliment the towering metal that lies at the essence of Heartless. Tracked in analog at Fellowship Sound Studios in Little Rock and mixed by acclaimed producer Joe Barresi (Tool, Queens Of The Stone Age, Melvins, Soundgarden), and featuring artwork by Michael Lierly.

File Under: Metal
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pentagram

Pentagram Home Video: Satanic Path (Death Waltz) LP
Pentagram Home Video return with their sophomore record for Death Waltz Originals. Continuing the (satanic) path carved out on their debut LP Who’s Out There, broody analog electronics weave in between a thumping kick drum and snares that can snap a back at 50 paces. What Pentagram does with the 80’s infused synth template is give it space to breathe. His music is as much about what’s happening in between the bass stabs as the actual melodies themselves which gives his music an other worldly feel, the only person you could even mildly compare him too is Pye Corner Audio. In a world full of retro synth merchants PHV stands out because there is no hint of cheesy 80’s revisionism here, the music is dark, foreboding and very eerie indeed.

File Under: Electronic, OSTesque
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pio

Giusto Pio: Motore Immobile (Soave) LP
Soave present the first vinyl reissue of Giusto Pio’s Motore Immobile, originally released in 1979. One of the most striking documents of Italy’s minimalist movement, Giusto Pio’s Motore Immobile is a masterwork with few equivalents. Produced by Franco Battiato in 1979, at the outset of a long and fruitful period of collaboration between the two composers, and issued by the legendary Cramps Records, its triumphs were met by silence, before falling from view. Emerging on vinyl for the first time since its original pressing, Motore Immobile now sits within a reappraisal of a large neglected body of efforts made by the Italian avant-garde during the second half of the 1970s and early ’80s. It is singular, but not alone. It resonates within a collective world of shimmering sound, one familiar to fans of Battiato, Lino Capra Vaccina, Luciano Cilio, Roberto Cacciapaglia, Francesco Messina, and Raul Lovisoni. An exercise in elegant restraint – note and resonance held to the most implicit need. Everything between root and embellishment has been stripped away. A sublime organ drone, against interventions of deceptively simple structural complexity – executed by piano, violin, and voice. A sonic sculpture reaching heights which few have touched. A thing of beauty and an album as perfect as they come. The reemergence of Motore Immobile heralds what is unquestionably one of the most important reissues of 2017.

File Under: Minimal, Ambient
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sollo

Jake Sollo: s/t (Africa Seven) LP
Jake Sollo was one of the most prolific innovative musicians from Nigeria in the 70s and 80s. His talents as a rhythm guitar player saw him through much of his career where he played with several Nigerian bands of varying styles. After a stint in the beat group the Hykkers (which he formed whilst studying at the University of Nigeria in Nsukka) then went on to wider recognition as a member of the Funkees. Sollo then went on to play with famed Afro-rock group Osibisa. His stint working alongside group leader Teddy Osei. The Funkees had become very popular, not just in Nigeria where a rough demo of the track “Akula Owu Onyeara” was on constant rotation at the East-Central State Broadcasting Service, but the track was went on to be picked up by the BBC DJ John Peel. After successes in bands, Sollo went solo and found a steady stream of work in London as a session musician and a producer. He returned to Nigeria in 1981 where he produced “bouncy, high gloss boogie” which was incredibly in demand. He had a distinctive playing and producing style and was incredibly popular. He utilized synthesizers which were uncommon in Nigeria at the time. The 1979 “Jake Sollo” self titled album was produced for Pye / Disques Esperance in London. Touches of pop, plenty of African groove, moments of psychedelica… all bound together with Jakes distinctive guitar playing and sleek production. These are sounds that are reminiscent of African music lovers contemporary of Sollo such as David Byrne and Talking Heads, and Paul Simon in Graceland, but with a glittering grooviness that is all Jake Sollo. Sadly Jakes career was cut short when he tragically died in a car accident in 1985. Depriving the world of no doubt what would have been decades of more innovative and creative music.

File Under: Africa, Psych, Boogie
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timber

Timber Timbre: Sincerely, Future Pollution (Arts & Crafts) LP
In Tomorrow… Timber Timbre’s music has always traced a shadowed path, using cues of the past to fuse the sound of a distant, haunted now. On its fourth record – Sincerely, Future Pollution – Timber Timbre coats the stark, sensual sound of 2014’s Hot Dreams in an oil-black rainbow of municipal grime. It is the cinema of a dizzying dystopia, rattled by the science fiction of this bluntly nonfictional time. First single – “Sewer Blues” – is an ironclad groove marked by plodding, heavy rhythm, cavernous delay, and a backdrop of starry synthesizers. The scene is set with the long cold tones of album starter “Velvet Glove & Spit” and Taylor Kirk’s warm but mournful vocals. For the recording, the trio – armed with “secret weapon” Olivier Fairfield on drums – traveled to La Frette chateau outside Paris, where they looked to the studio’s array of archetypal synthesizers for the flesh of the songs. Be it the freedom of recording abroad, or the revelation of these unexplored instruments, Timber Timbre found a release from artistic constriction and created its most daring work yet. Perhaps for the first time, Timber Timbre indulged its alleged “decade drift” – from the self-titled record’s 50s doo-wop, to Creep On Creepin On’s oblique 60s folk, and Hot Dreams’ 70s caprice – allowing the tools to personify the songs. A blend of the album’s mid-apocalyptic setting and its idyllic recording, Sincerely, Future Pollution is a romance of neoteric machines and dark, futuristic hues: with promise as beautiful as it is unsettling. The result is a newfangled sound with the plastic, cinematic tint of 80s avarice. “Grifting” struts, literally grifts, a deep, synthetic funk, with brash determination never before heard in Timber Timbre’s earthy catalogue. “Moment” glints with dazzling synthesizers – hiding heartbreak with the mastery of Nick Cave’s most elegant dirges – before devolving into a fray of shredded guitar. The title track growls with low-end urgency then combusts in a cloud of chiming sequencers. “Western Questions” lurks like the exotic, deserted remnants of Hot Dreams’ “Grand Canyon,” while “Bleu Night” is electrified with vocoder verses and the poltergeist of seven billion handheld devices. If each Timber Timbre record is framed in genre play, on Sincerely, Future Pollution, the components are the most askew: the glam of Roxy Music; the plaintive pop of Talk Talk; the disquiet of Suicide; the invincibility of Talking Heads; the haunting This Mortal Coil. All (and more) unlikely references are present, tethering Timber Timbre’s experimentation to points of familiarity. The range is an acute angle from New Age to Popular French Disco Revival like Daft Punk and Air, filtered through Timber Timbre’s painterly imagination. Freshly exhumed, Sincerely, Future Pollution is a portent from the bygone year 2016:

File Under: Indie Rock
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tonstarts

Tonstartssbandht: Sorcerer (Mexican Summer) LP
Sorcerer is the first full-length studio album from Andy and Edwin White, the Florida / New York duo known as Tonstartssbandht (tahn-starts-bandit). On Sorcerer, the brothers chart a heavenly course above the storm and stress, one explored over years of touring and a poetic language forged between performers and siblings. Sorcerer offers three long form depictions of Tonstartssbandht’s boundless spirit; ambitious noise rock narratives buoyed in a swampy sonic scene of delay, distortion, and virtuosic interplay. The album displays larger lyrical concepts within the framework of a guitar and drums duo; Andy’s guitar and vocal loops creating a cascading sheet of interpretative reverb and future melodies, Ed’s high-stakes drumming divided every which way but loose, a deep canvas of cohabitating sounds. Recorded live in the living room of Le Wallet, the affectionate name of Andy and Ed’s former Bushwick, Brooklyn apartment (additional vocals were added after a move back to their hometown – and present dwellings – of Orlando, Florida), elements of the environment Sorcerer was captured – a water heater’s hiss, a passing cop car siren, the rumble of the train – bleed in and out while the music fills the room to reflect its very shape. Lyrically shaped by relapse, recovery, and lost relationships, the brothers’ harmonized voices and trademark glossolalia shade the songs of Sorcerer with a beautiful, unsettled subtext. A desirous unmaking of design happens across the three album parts, eventually recovering and cohering as an earnest, honest experience. Andy and Ed never halt their working pace, and never cease to stroll the path they’ve invented despite the challenges at hand. Intentionally striving for and then subverting self-sabotage, weathering the storm they’ve summoned, Sorcerer is the romantic abstract of this invented space and the individual’s relationship with that space. It is raw and flawed, but brilliant and real because it is intentionally so. This is Tonstartssbandht at the height of their song – and story – craft, channeling pure motion and emotion through a soulful filter at the speed of sorcery. Witness the incantation and let the spell take hold.

File Under: Indie Rock
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zeit1

Zeit: Un Giorno In Una Piazza Del Mediterraneo (Black Sweat) LP
Black Sweat Records present a reissue of Zeit’s Un Giorno In Una Piazza Del Mediterraneo, originally released in 1979. In the late ’70s, the Italian music scene’s renewed interest in sound research involved a stimulating fusion of popular elements, jazz improvisation, and suggestions of the middle-oriental classical heritage. Starting from the experience of Aktuala, the idea of a common “Mediterranean air” that could compare and harmonize rhythms and timbres of various regions, enlivened a large number of musicians. In this context, it also placed the short history of Zeit and one of their main member Andrea Tamassia, who played and recorded with Aktuala. Un Giorno In Una Piazza Del Mediterraneo, their first album, seems to be a continuation of Aktuala’s music. It presents a compendium of styles and shapes, a collection of letters and visual notes from various places (Greece, Italy, Turkey, Hungary, Maghreb, Balcan Area, etc.), rearranged in the form of a hypothetical diary, in order to create an unknown narrative scenario. In the music of Zeit, there are no formalistic or philological purposes, but it triumphs with an attitude of imaginative incorporation that is always changing. The rich poly-instrumentalism brings the rhythms of dance and ancient melodies, but also results in a palette of more abstract and ecstatic sounds, with rare experimental lyricism that approaches the Florentine ensemble to the significant European experiences of The Incredible String Band or Third Ear Band.

File Under: Folk, Rock
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zeit2

Zeit: Il Cerchio Degli Antichi Colori (Black Sweat) LP
Black Sweat Records present a reissue of Zeit’s second album Il Cerchio Degli Antichi Colori, originally released in 1981. With Il Cerchio Degli Antichi Colori, Zeit re-propose their own vision of a new cultural multi-geographical mosaic without boundaries. The sound confirms the inspired and eclectic vein of previous work, suggesting a greater conviction and maturity of intent. The arrangements tend to dilate more alchemical and hypnotic sequences, while the range of inspirations (Balkan music, Greek, Turkish, Persian, African, etc.) and the poly-instrumentalism is more precious and varied. Decisively more experimental compositions such as “Gli Antichi Colori”, “Nuovo Orizzonte”, or “Kalimba”, are indicative of an unparalleled executive expertise that flows into meditative and introspective delights by resonances now more obscure or solar. The compresence of popular European and Middle-East atmospheres act as a strong reminder to the world of dance, suggesting once again the charm of the meeting between East and West, in view of brotherhood and solidarity among peoples. So, the “Circle” relieves itself almost like a sound tale of distant and ancient Byzantine, Arab, and Christian novels, according to a nomadic spirit that finds in music the preferred journey to joy and love. This reissue includes a 7″ with two unreleased live tracks, further enriching the repertoire of one of the most original group that Italy has ever known.

File Under: Folk, Rock
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sodiac

Zodiac: Cosmic Sounds (Pure Pleasure) LP
The 1967 concept album, The Zodiac – Cosmic Sounds, features both music and spoken narration on the theme of signs of the zodiac. Based on an initial idea by Elektra chief Jac Holzman, it was a collaborative effort with music written by Mort Garson, words by Jacques Wilson, and narration by Cyrus Faryar. The early use of the Moog synthesizer was by Paul Beaver. There was no artist called either The Zodiac or Cosmic Sounds, a fact which confused some LP buyers. The back sleeve informed listeners that the record “Must Be Played In The Dark.” It was heavily played by John Peel on his Perfumed Garden shows, where he used it as a basis for a competition (he had been sent a copy by Clive Selwood, the then head of Elektra’s London office and later to become Peel’s manager). The LP was extremely popular with Perfumed Garden listeners and was mentioned in the lyrics of Geoffrey Prowse’s fan tribute to the program, “The Perfumed Garden Blues” or “John Peel’s Lament.” An absolutely essential conceptual psych masterpiece culled from the original analogue masters and pressed on 180g vinyl!

File Under: Early Electronic
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esterno giorno

Various: Esterno Giorno (Four Flies) LP
Chapter two of a compilation project centered around and inside the secret archives of RCA’s glorious soundtrack catalogue – full of unreleased tracks from great Italian soundtrack Maestros such as Gianfranco Reverberi, Armando Trovajoli, Piero Piccioni, Paolo Ormi, Nico Fidenco, and so on. Light and joyful music made for plein air sequences of 60’s and 70’s Italian cinema. Presented here is an explosive mixture of jazz, blues, funk, psychedelia, and spicy exotica, composed for a wide range of movies, from thrillers to sexy comedies, and from TV sci-fi to superhero films.

File Under: Library, Funk, Jazz, Psych

notte

Various: Esterno Notte (Four Flies) LP
A trip into unchartered Italian RCA film music vaults, including lots of unreleased gems from great Italian soundtrack Maestros such as Alessandro Alessandroni, Giuliano Sorgini, Piero Umiliani, Alberto Baldan Bembo, Giovanni Tommaso, and so on. As an uninterrupted flow of lost soundtracks from the most subversive and psychedelic age of Italian cinema, Esterno Notte evokes, above all, the night time cityscape settings of Italian movies of the 70’s (thriller, horror, erotic, comedy, noir, and action). It captures that spirit and its musical core with a captivating concentration of funk, jazz-funk, deep breaks, prog and psych – all capable of seducing even today’s dancefloors.

File Under: Library, Funk, Jazz, Psych

…..Restocks…..

David Axelrod: Messiah (RCA) LP
Badbadnotgood: III (Arts & Crafts) LP
Badbadnotgood: IV (Arts & Crafts) LP
Bad Religion: Suffer (Epitaph) LP
Bad Religion: No Control (Epitaph) LP
Bad Religion: Generator (Epitaph) LP
Beach house: Devotion (Carpark) LP
Art Blakey: Moanin’ (Blue Note) LP
Boards of Canada: Campfire Headphase (Warp) LP
Bohren & Der Club of Gore: Sunset (Pias) LP
James Brown: Funky People 2 (Get on Down) LP
Cavern of Antimatter: Blood Drums (Duphonic) LP
Children of Alice: s/t (Warp) LP
Gene Clark: No Other (Music on Vinyl) LP
Coil: Astral Disaster (Prescription) LP
Sam Cooke: One Night Stand (AS) LP
Betty Davis: Columbia Years (Light in the Attic) LP
Doom: Born Like This (Lex) LP
Flying Lotus: Los Angeles (Warp) LP
Fusioon: Danza Del Molinero (Sommer) LP
Fusioon: Farsa Del Buen (Sommer) LP
Gorillaz: s/t (EMI) LP
Kid Koala: Music to Draw To (Arts & Crafts) LP
King Crimson: Red (Disciple) LP
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard: Nonagon Infinity (ATO) LP
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard: Paper Mache Dream Balloon (ATO) LP
Kraftwerk: Radio-Activity (EMI) LP
Kendrick Lamar: To Pimp A Butterfly (Aftermath) LP
Liars: They Were Wrong So We Drown (Mute) LP
Le Femme: Psycho Tropical Berlin (Bornbad) LP
Madlib: Shades of Blue (Blue Note) LP
Marine Girls: Beach Party (Cherry Red) LP
MC5: Kick Out The Jams (Rhino) LP
MF Doom: Operation Doomsday (Metal Face) LP
Moon B: Lifeworld (Growing Bin) LP
Mos Def: Black on Both Sides (EMI) LP
NOFX: Punk in Drublic (Epitaph) LP
Paternoster: s/t (Now Again) LP
Peace: Black Power (Now Again) LP
Iggy Pop & The Stooges: Raw Power (Legacy) LP
Radiohead: Kid A (XL) LP
Sinoia Caves: Beyond the Black Rainbow OST (Secretly Canadian) LP
SJOB Movement: Friendship (Cultures of Soul) LP
Smiths: Louder than Bombs (Rhino) LP
Songs: Ohia: Ghost Tropic (Secretly Canadian) LP
Spoon: Hot Thoughts (Matador) LP
Midori Takada: Through the Looking Glass (WRWTFWW) LP
Talking Heads: Speaking in Tongues (Rhino) LP
Tame Impala: Currents (Modular) LP
Tame Impala: Innerspeaker (Modular) LP
Toots & The Maytals: In The Dark (Get on Down) LP
Giuliano Sorgini: Zoo Folle (Four Flies) LP
Various: The Ballad of JFK (Iron Mountain) LP

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…..news letter #786 – harmonic…..

As usual, the next few weeks are apt to be a little slow on the releases as we move closer to Record Store Day, although, that said, there are some pretty big things out in the next couple of weeks. Anyway, we’ve got a lot on the go for RSD so you’ll want to be sure to stop in. You may have seen, the Record Store Day list is out! Check it out here. Be sure to take a look and let us know if you see anything on there you would like to see on the shelves RSD morning. And be sure to pencil RSD in your calendar for April 22nd. Enjoy….

Did you know you can receive this weekly update in your email inbox? Click here to subscribe.

….pick of the week…..

galas

Diamanda Galas: All the Way (Interavenal Sound) LP
Diamanda Galas’s All the Way is a collection of radical re-workings of traditional and jazz standards such as “All the Way,” “You Don’t Know What Love Is” and “The Thrill Is Gone” (made famous by Chet Baker). It also includes a solo piano interpretation of Thelonious Monk’s “Round Midnight, and live voice and piano interpretations of the American traditional “O Death” and the country song, “Pardon Me I’ve Got Someone to Kill.” The album includes both electric live performances (recorded in Paris, Copenhagen, and East Sussex) and studio recordings made in San Diego, CA.

File Under: Jazz, Blues, Experimental
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…..new arrivals…..

sui

Causa Sui: Live in Copenhagen (El Paraiso) 3LP Box
Live In Copenhagen captures Causa Sui at two very special nights: at the release parties of Euporie Tide and Return To Sky. Since the band seldomly performs live, this may very well be the best chance to experience what the band are capable of at their best. One show was recorded at avant-garde institution extraordinaire, Jazzhouse, while the other captures Causa Sui at legendary underground venue Dragens Hule. Both shows were recorded multitrack with an A-grade selection of mics. During these three discs Causa Sui aren’t merely running through classic cuts from the catalog. Each track is explored, reinterpreted and given new life – often straying far away from its original roots with a fervent energy. One minute the band is bluesy and heavy, the next they’re repetitive and blissed-out or venturing into a cacophony of Ayler-like sax bursts, free-form electronics, and feedback. Swedish saxophone player Johan Riedenlow joins both shows and Papir-guitar player Nicklas Sørensen occasionally adds his magic to the Dragens Hule set – including a towering 13-minute version of “Eternal Flow”, that seems to channel the energy of mid-1970s Popol Vuh, as well as a breezy cover version of Agitation Free’s “First Communication”. “Ju-Ju Blues”, from the Jazzhouse set, is Causa Sui at their most fuzzed-out and Hendrixian, reaching new improvisational heights, whereas “Dawn Passage” feels like an obvious fusion of Tame Impala and Allman Brothers. On the Dragens Hule sets, the band goes all the way out. “Portixeddu / Tropic Of Capricorn” turns Bitches Brew-era Miles Davis into a crazed sludge-fest, and fan-favorites “El Paraiso” and “Red Valley” appear here in their ultimate versions. To cap things off, the band delivers a 17-minute exclusive tribute to John Coltrane’s “A Love Supreme” featuring both Johan Riedenlow and Nicklas Sørensen.

File Under: Psych
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dylan

Bob Dylan: Triplicate (Legacy) DLX 3LP
Bob Dylan’s newest musical endeavor is the three-disc studio album, Triplicate, featuring 30 brand-new recordings of classic American tunes and marking the first triple-length set of the artist’s illustrious career. With each disc individually titled and presented in a thematically-arranged 10-song sequence, Triplicate showcases Dylan’s unique and much-lauded talents as a vocalist, arranger and bandleader on 30 compositions by some of music’s most lauded and influential songwriters. The Jack Frost-produced album is the 38th studio set from Bob Dylan and marks the first new music from the artist since Fallen Angels, which was released in early 2016. Triplicate is available in several configurations including this Deluxe 180g 3LP-set packaged in a numbered case-made book with 3 bound in swing pockets and four panel folder. For Triplicate, Dylan assembled his touring band in Hollywood’s Capitol studios to record hand-chosen songs from an array of American songwriters including Charles Strouse and Lee Adams (“Once Upon A Time”), Harold Arlen and Ted Koehler (“Stormy Weather”), Harold Hupfield (“As Time Goes By”) and Cy Coleman and Carolyn Leigh (“The Best Is Yet To Come”). The titles of the individual LPs are ‘Til The Sun Goes Down, Devil Dolls and Comin’ Home Late. Dylan notes, “I am finding these great songs to be a tremendous source of inspiration that has led me to one of my most satisfying periods in the studio. I’ve hit upon new ways to uncover and interpret these songs that are right in line with the best recordings of my own songs, and my band and I really seemed to hit our stride on every level with Triplicate.” The artist’s two previous album of classic American songs, 2016’s Fallen Angels and 2015’s Shadows in the Night, were both critically acclaimed worldwide hits and garnered Grammy Award nominations in the category of Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album. Fallen Angels achieved Top Ten debuts in more than a dozen countries while Shadows in the Night debuted in the Top 10 in seventeen countries.

File Under: Folk
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feral ohmsFeral Ohms: s/t (Silver Current) LP
Feral Ohms is a power trio from Oakland, California, led by Comets On Fire / Howlin Rain / Heron Oblivion guitar and voice fireball Ethan Miller along with animal drummer Chris Johnson (Drunk Horse / Andy Human) and the loudest bassist in fifteen counties, Josh Haynes (Nudity). The band turns the spatial pyrotechnics and expansive spirit of classic psychedelia inside out, dragging it through the punk rock era kicking and screaming and boils it down into a series of explosions that start at needle drop and end when the record does. They blast pure action and outlaw rock ‘n’ roll joy through relentless, violent musical force, blowing the doors off psychedelic rock and letting loose the raw, wild, high speed feedback wail of something massive careening off the rails and into your ears. This is Feral Ohms’ debut studio album. Recorded by Eric “King Riff” Bauer (Ty Segall, White Fence, Heron Oblivion), Phil Manley (Earthless, Wooden Shjips) and mixed with scorched Earth policy by Chris Woodhouse (Thee Oh Sees, Fuzz). For fans of The Pink Fairies, ‘80s and ‘90s Nanjo led PSF records, Motorhead, Void, ‘70s & ‘80s Australian punk and “red album” Grand Funk.

 File Under: Psych, Comets on Fire
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fucked upFucked Up: Year of the Snake (Tankcrimes) LP
Year Of The Snake is the eighth installment of the Zodiac Series from long-running Canadian hardcore punk collective Fucked Up. Fusing all the prime tenets of rock, punk, metal, and psychedelia into a comprehensive and imposing opus of unyielding enormity, Fucked Up is sonically and conceptually devouring in ways few bands can emulate. Following the releases of 2006’s Year Of The Dog, 2008’s Year Of The Pig, 2009’s Year Of The Rat, 2010’s Year Of The Ox, 2012’s Year Of The Tiger, 2014’s Year Of The Dragon, and 2015’s Year Of The Hare, Fucked Up‘s latest entry into the Zodiac Series documents the journey of self-care and opening awareness through the use of psychedelics and medicinal plants. The 24-minute epic title track follows the narrative of a trip with strange instrumentation and electronics held together sonically with the bands own loose interpretation of hardcore punk.

File Under: Punk
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fussell

Jake Xerxer Fussell: What in the Natural World (Paradise of Bachelors) LP
Entrancing guitarist and singer Jake Xerxes Fussell follows his celebrated self-titled debut (produced by William Tyler) with a moving new album of Natural Questions in the form of transmogrified folk/blues koans. This time these radiant ancient tunes tone several shades darker while amplifying their absurdist humor, illuminating our national, and psychic, predicaments. Featuring art by iconic painter Roger Brown and contributions from three notable Nathans—Nathan Bowles (Steve Gunn), Nathan Salsburg (Alan Lomax Archive), and Nathan Golub (Mountain Goats)—as well as Joan Shelley and Casey Toll (Mt. Moriah).

File Under: Folk, Blues
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geotic

Geotic: Abysma (Ghostly) LP
Ask Will Wiesenfeld to contrast his project Baths with the music made under his Geotic alias, and you’ll get a simple response: Baths is active listening, Geotic is passive listening. But behind this straightforward duality exists two projects that are equally poignant yet starkly distinct, reflective of the emotional complexities of its creator. Don’t mistake passive listening for anything remotely resembling apathy. Over the course of nine self-released albums plus a handful of singles & EPs (all released on Bandcamp), Wiesenfeld has certainly proved the contrary. With Abysma, his first release for Ghostly, Wisenfeld solidifies this notion as Geotic makes his label debut in tandem with the projects first ever physical offering. Abysma might be dance music created for at-home listening, but it’s replete with a quiet beauty and private communion that can rival anything made to command the totality of your attention span. In a world riven by noise and distraction, Abysma is as subtle as Sunday morning ritual, a tender epiphany in a bombastic fireworks show.

File Under: Electronic
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gnod

Gnod: Just Say No… (Rocket) LP
“It seems like we are heading towards even more unsettling times in the near future than we are in at present,” reckons Chris Haslam of Gnod. “2016 is just the beginning of what I see as the establishment’s systematic destruction of liberalism and equality as a reaction to the general public’s loss of faith in their system.” Charged by this outlook, Gnod’s new album, Just Say No To The Psycho Right-Wing Capitalist Fascist Industrial Death Machine, represents a hitherto uncharted level of antagonism and adversarial force for the band – an artistic statement as righteous, fervent and direct as its title. “On the surface it could almost seem like there’s no political art movement out there to oppose what’s happening, but there is – we know there is,” adds the band’s Paddy Shine. “Maybe that movement is struggling to find its voice as a cohesive whole right now but that will change.” Fueled by their militant drive and unyielding ardor, Just Say No refracts Gnod’s harsh and repetitive riff-driven rancor through a psychotropic haze of dubbed-out abstraction, with Paddy’s incendiary vocal delivery to the fore. Gnod – fiercely independent, never comfortable in one place artistically for any duration of time, always with their coordinates set on uncharted territory and the next challenge ahead, and delivering a monument of ire and iconoclasm.

File Under: Psych
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gnoomes

Gnoomes: Tschak! (Rocket) LP
Gnoomes, the threesome hailing from Perm, Russia, present Tschak!. It may only be eighteen months since the release of Ngan!, the band’s first release for Rocket Recordings, yet the band have already moved on to a sonic landscape still more adventurous and ethereal on Tschak!, not to mention an emotionally resonant approach that’s bewitching to witness. Taking in torrents of guitar, noise, and electronic extrapolations, both bliss-fully kosmische and aggressively abrasive, it exists outside of all or any convenient genres, a vivid and singular work by three dreamers-at-heart forced to manifest their vision into a psychic defense to the circumstances surrounding them. Working in splendid isolation, thanks to a studio space provided by their work for a local radio station, the band had time and space for the alchemical process of creating Tschak! entirely on their own terms. Central to this were a collection of Russian synths that they gathered, whose eccentric arpeggios and analog textures form crucial ingredients on songs like “Severokamsk” and the title track, which allows them arrive at a sound that forms a star-crossed and timeless marriage between the experimentation of krautrock and the lineage of Warp Records.

File Under: Electronic, Krautrock
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goldfrapp

Goldfrapp: Silver Eye (Mute) LP
Silver Eye, Goldfrapp’s seventh album, is dance music which evokes a pagan ritual rather than a club soundtrack. Cold, metallic electronics with a hot current of blood running through them. A 21st century moon dance. It weaves together the two strands of Goldfrapp’s music like never before. If 2013’s Tales of Us, a set of noirish folk fables, roamed the same pastoral landscape as Felt Mountain and Seventh Tree, then Silver Eye (a reference to the moon) belongs to the pulsing, electronic lineage of Black Cherry and Supernature only deeper and darker. The common thread between these two modes, apart from the consistently exquisite arrangements and Alison Goldfrapp’s extraordinary voice, is a set of enduring preoccupations, which inform both the lyrics and the visual aesthetic. “Mysticism, ecstasy, ritual, contemplation, metamorphosis, the elemental,” says Alison, who took all of the photographs and creatively directed all artwork visuals. “I’ve realised that there are things I feel passionate about on a deep level and they’re in this record.” On Silver Eye, for the first time, Alison and Will Gregory sought new collaborators as the songs were taking shape. They spent 10 days in Dallas with John Congleton, Grammy-winning producer of St. Vincent, John Grant and Wild Beasts. In London, they teamed up with electronic composer Bobby Krlic aka The Haxan Cloak. Alison describes Goldfrapp’s music-making as “a constant quest. I don’t think you ever feel like you’ve achieved everything, it’s impossible. You’re always searching, trying to attain some kind of utopia in what you do.” With Silver Eye, that search has taken them to yet another new place, one that’s full of mystery, menace and transcendent beauty. Goldfrapp’s quest continues.

 File Under: Pop, Electronic
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hills

Hills: Alive at Roadburn (Rocket) LP
Alive At Roadburn is Gothenburg based Hills’ third album with Rocket Recordings. Hot off the Swedish psychedelia revival of the past few years and after their hailed 2015 album Frid, Hills connect the dots to their country’s rich and intoxicating past with a handful of new sepia-toned tunes. Like their predecessors unholy trinity of Pärson Sound, International Harvester, and Träd Gräs Och Stenar, Hills penchant to stretch out beyond, performing what feels like openly casual exhortations into intricate Eastern tones and primal hypnotic rhythms. These four tracks sit deeply buried in oblivion, bones, skin, sweat, grooved with fearless intensity with no diminution of the interplay, spontaneity, and feeling onstage, the band are entombed in mantric repetition while the vapor trail of The Byrds’ (Untitled) epic; “Eight Miles High” descends into an Elysian Field, where the dead enjoy happy tranquility, until they come to life and rise up again.

File Under: Psych

holter

Julia Holter: In the Same Room (Domino) LP
Domino is proud to launch Documents, an irregular new series of live studio recordings designed to capture the ever-evolving arrangements of the label’s artists and bands in high fidelity. Taking its inspiration from classic BBC sessions, each Documents release will be recorded in no more than a day or two at a world class studio in London. Or at least that’s the plan. In The Same Room, a beautiful new release from Julia Holter, inaugurates the Domino Documents series. Named after a song from Holter’s 2012 album Ekstasis, this career-spanning collection is the fruit of two days recording by Julia and her tremendous band (Corey Fogel – drums/vocals; Dina Maccabee – viola/vocals and Devin Hoff – stand-up bass) at RAK Studios in the days after their main stage performance at Green Man Festival in Wales. Comprised of new arrangements of songs from three of her previous studio releases (Tragedy, Loud City Song and 2015’s breakthrough Have You In My Wilderness), Holter’s Domino Documents is an essential release for anyone who has witnessed her brilliant, beguiling band on tour around the world in the last five years as well as the perfect introduction to a truly important and innovative young artist.

File Under: Indie Pop, Electronic
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tapes

Magnetic Domain Tapes
A wonderful batch of tapes from the excellent Saskatchewan based Magnetic Domain. Three new releases, 4 sides of deep modular explorations from Chad Munson and a collection of experimental pieces for various instruments by musician and visual artist Jon Vaughn. As well as restocks of all of the still in print previous releases including Pulsewidth, Will Kaufhold, and Mehta Youngs.

File Under: Electronic, Experimental, Drone
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mastodon

Mastodon: Emperor of Sand (Reprise) LP
Emperor Of Sand finds the mighty Mastodon returning to a deeply imaginative and complex conceptual storyline that ponders the nature of time. Threading together the myth of a man sentenced to death in a majestically malevolent desert, the band conjures the grains of a musical and lyrical odyssey slipping quickly through a cosmic hourglass. “Emperor of Sand is like the grim reaper,” says drummer/vocalist Brann Dailor. “Sand represents time. If you or anyone you know has ever received a terminal diagnosis, the first thought is about time. Invariably, you ask, ‘How much time is left?'” “We’re reflecting on mortality,” adds bassist/vocalist Troy Sanders. “To that end, the album ties into our entire discography. It’s 17 years in the making, but it’s also a direct reaction to the last two years. We tend to draw inspiration from very real things in our lives.” Emperor Of Sand was recorded at The Quarry Recording Studio in Kennesaw, just outside Mastodon’s hometown of Atlanta, GA with producer Brendan O’Brien (Pearl Jam, Neil Young, AC/DC, Rage Against The Machine), who first worked with the band on their seminal 2009 album Crack The Skye. The majestic album artwork was created by Alan Brown aka Medusawolf.

File Under: Metal
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moonlandingz

Moonlandingz: Interplanetary Class Classics (Chimera) LP
Hailing from Sheffield, England, The Moonlandingz brings together bloodthirsty NME cover boys Lias Saoudi and Saul Adamczewski (of Fat White Family) with oddball synth twiddlers Adrian Flanagan and Dean Honer (of The Eccentronic Research Council). Produced by Sean Lennon, the whole is even loonier than the sum of its parts. Interplanetary Class Classics is a feast of swirling juddering synths, wailing guitars, motorik stomp and extraordinary songwriting. The Moonlandingz have proven themselves to be one of the best live bands in the UK and now they’ve produced an equally as compelling album’s worth of weird, catchy, glorious and filthy pop. Includes guest vocals by Yoko Ono, Rebecca Taylor (Slow Club), Randy “Cowboy” Jones (The Village People) and Phil Oakey (The Human League).

File Under: Psych, Electronic
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nabay

Janka Nabay & The Bubu Gang: Build Music (Luakabop) LP
Janka Nabay, the famed modernizer of indigenous Sierra Leonean Bubu music issues Build Music, his second album for Luaka Bop. The production harks back to his ‘90s Freetown cassette recordings, built on a foundation of multi-tracked drum machines, Casios, and samplers. Nabay began the process of recording with three original Bubu Gang members: Syrian-American singer-bassist Boshra AlSaadi (TEEN, Saadi), keyboardist-musicologist Michael Gallope (IE, Skeletons, Starring), and producer-engineer Daniel Schlett (Strange Weather Studios, White Bike). Soon they enlisted the help of Steve Marion (Delicate Steve) and Matthew Mehlan (Skeletons, Congotronics vs. Rockers). Mehlan ultimately played the role of producer, working closely with Nabay, AlSaadi, and Gallope to help sculpt three years’ worth of material. The result is a bubbling Bubu cocktail with Nabay as mixologist. Certain tracks retain the live band flavor of the previous record (“Build Music,” “Popeneh,” “Santa Monica” “Stop Jealous”), while others are culled from Voice Memos recorded on tour from an iPhone (“Game Over,” “Kadiatu,” “Tek Lak la Gben ba Kun”). Some are updated, reimagined versions of old songs Nabay had recorded in the 1990s (“Sabanoh”, “Angbolieh”), while others are vocals sung over original Sierra Leonean “riddims” (“Sabanoh”, “Bubu Dub”) that were created by collaborators back at home (Lanzo on D Beat, the late Tunni Boy, and the late Nfagie Kabeh of the Kabeh Brothers). Sung in Sierra Leone’s lingua franca, Krio, his native tribal Temne, as well as English and bits of Arabic, Nabay’s songs sound infectious, inventive, and entertaining on the surface. But a listen with the translations of Nabay’s lyrics in hand reveals complex layers of meaning and discontent. “Game Over” expresses a strange mixture of hope and despair. “Santa Monica” is a joyous affirmation that relates a traumatic story of being harassed by the Santa Monica police just prior to his performance at The Getty Museum. Others are drunken calls to celebrate (“Popeneh”), self-reflexive songs about the power of songwriting itself (“Build Music”), love songs (“Stop Jealous”), and pleas for social cohesion (“Combination”).

File Under: African, Highlife
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pharmakon

Pharmakon: Contact (Sacred Bones) LP
The release date of Contact marks the ten-year anniversary of Margaret Chardiet’s project, Pharmakon. While working on her newest release, she began to evaluate the project as a whole. Though the content of each record has been very different and specific, the pervading question, which has underlined them all, is what is means to be human. Her last album, Bestial Burden, focused on the disconnect between mind and body, looking at the human as an isolated consciousness stuck inside of a rotting vessel. For Contact, she wanted to look at the other side of the spectrum – the moments when our mind can come outside of and transcend our bodies.  Because an album is itself an object, she struggled with how to convey the transcendence of the physical, through a physical medium. She started to study trance states and equate her live performances to them. In trance states, music and the body are used to transcend the physical form and make contact with some outside force. In the live setting, she used sound and her body to create an exchange of energy and make contact with outside forces – humanity, empathy, the audience. This energy/empathy exchange has always been at the heart of a Pharmakon performance, but she felt that on records, it wasn’t translating. They were one-sided and flat – declarations rather than conversations. She decided to structure the compositions of each side of Contact after the four stages of trance: preparation, onset, climax, and resolution. By using these stages as a biorhythm for the album, she animates it, and instills the intention of communion into the music.

File Under: Experimental, Noise
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sadier

Laetitia Sadier Source Ensemble: Finding Me Finding You (Drag City) LP
From its percolating opening beat, Find Me Finding You locates new systems within the sound-universe of Laetitia Sadier. This in itself isn’t a surprise — Laetitia has relentlessly followed her music through different dynamics and into a variety of dimensions over the course of four solo albums since 2010 (not to forget the long era of Stereolab) — but the nature of the construction here stands distinctly apart from her recent albums. Laetitia was inspired by a mind’s-eye envisaging of geometric forms and their possible permutations. As she sought to replicate the shapes in music, this guided the process of assembly for the album. Part of the freshness of Find Me Finding You comes from working and playing within the Source Ensemble and exploring new sound combinations via a set of youthful and evolving musical relationships. The designation of Source Collective implies a new togetherness phase; alongside long-time collaborators Emmanuel Mario and Xavi Munoz, keyboard and flutes parts played by David Thayer (Little Tornados) were essential contributions, as well as further keys, synths and electronics from Phil M FU and several intense guitar sequences from Mason le Long. Chris A Cummings (aka Marker Starling, Laetitia’s favorite composer) graciously wrote “Deep Background” for her. The duet with Hot Chip’s Alexis Taylor on “Love Captive” (not to mention Rob Mazurek’s distinctive coronet playing!) gives voice to an ideological cornerstone of Find Me Finding You — that, should we be responsible enough to endeavor into a world of basic incomes and open relationships, we would make astonishing strides as a society. These sorts of things can only be done in agreement with others. Expressing great compassion and expectation with startling immediacy, as well as an abiding belief in an underlying unity that permeates and intimately binds all things and beings, Find Me Finding You combines a rigorous process for music-making with a deeply invested mindset, making captivating music that promises many stimulating spins to come!

File Under: Indie Rock, Stereolab
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saltland

Saltland: A Common Truth (Constellation) LP
A Common Truth is the second album by Saltland, the solo project of veteran Montréal cellist and composer Rebecca Foon. Following the acclaimed 2013 debut I Thought It Was Us But It Was All Of Us, Foon performed Saltland live in various successful configurations, but as the concept and compositions for a new album began to materialize, she wished to further expand on an approach with her cello as primary source for all sounds on the record. Combining unadulterated, processed and sampled cellos, A Common Truth largely reflects this commitment and results in an album of gorgeous integrity, restraint, and meditative intensity. The one notable exception: longtime friend and prior collaborator Warren Ellis (Nick Cave, Dirty Three) is the album’s special guest player, contributing violin, pump organ and loops to the album’s four instrumental tracks. Working with engineer Jace Lasek (The Besnard Lakes), Foon has produced a song cycle that alternates between wordless instrumentals and lyric-driven pieces, balancing austere, organic intimacy and lush, multi-layered expansiveness. The analog warmth of Lasek’s naturalistic rock production anchors Saltland’s juxtaposition of dry and processed strings, with the placement of Foon’s voice very much within the mix but never veiled or concealed; a voice described as “an instrument of somnolent, gossamer allure which floats gracefully amid the eddying, amniotic music” (Mojo, 2013). Electronic music strategies, via signal processing and re-sampling, are deployed minimally and judiciously – and all the more powerfully as such. A Common Truth also importantly channels other strands from Rebecca’s life: the record is about climate change and marks an attempt to musically translate a complex mix of emotional, social and political resonances in this regard. The album’s atmosphere and pace is guided by the coexistence of optimism and despair, resolve and resignation, the intimacy of the local/personal and the hope of the global/collective. Foon has devoted much of her life in recent years to working for decarbonization, land conservation and renewable energy – as a member of Sustainability Solutions Group cooperative, as founder of the conservation charity Junglekeepers, and as co-founder of Pathway to Paris, an international concert series bringing together musicians, writers and activists to help raise consciousness toward implementation of a robust international climate agreement. Rebecca Foon’s new Saltland album A Common Truth is a compelling coalescence and fullest musical expression of the inspiring trajectories charted by this committed and renowned artist, activist and organizer. Thanks for listening.

File Under: Indie Rock
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wire

Wire: Silver/Lead (Pink Flag) LP
Silver/Lead is the fifteenth studio album from musical pioneers Wire. It arrives on the 40th anniversary of their debut performance. Yet it’s about as far from nostalgia as you could get. This is the sound of a uniquely addictive 21st century psychedelic post-punk. Colin Newman and Matt Simms’s guitar work is alternately jagged and luminous, while bassist Graham Lewis’s ear-catching lyrics are vivid yet oblique. Meanwhile, drummer Robert Grey provides a virtual masterclass in percussive minimalism. But it’s how the various instruments mesh together that really counts. And Newman’s production creates a sonic space in which even the smallest gesture is accorded some recognition. Highlights include the optimistic dazzle of “Diamonds In Cups,” with its almost T. Rex-style buzz and chug, and the moody swing of “This Time.” Elsewhere on the musical spectrum, there’s the menacing widescreen grandeur of “Playing Harp for the Fishes” and breakneck-paced guitar pop of “Short Elevated Period.” Wire are one of the world’s most ground-breaking bands, their influence acknowledged by bands as diverse as Blur, Sonic Youth, R.E.M. and Savages. But they have never been interested in exploiting past glories. For Wire, there is only ever one possible direction: forwards. So it’s perhaps not surprising that over recent years, they’ve played strings of sold-out shows, achieved career-best record sales, and been cited as a strong influence by yet another generation of bands. Wire’s last three albums garnered nothing but rave reviews from 2013’s strangely beautiful Change Becomes Us to the crackling motorik of 2015’s Wire and 2016’s punchy mini-album Nocturnal Koreans. Consequently, although it may be being released on the band’s 40th anniversary, Silver/Lead is an album which has nothing to do with the past and everything to do with the future.

File Under: Rock, Post Punk
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…..Restocks…..

Arcade Fire: Funeral (Merge) LP
Boris: Pink (Sargent House) LP
Charles Bradley: Victim of Love (Daptone) LP
Johnny Cash: At Folsom Prison (Legacy) LP
Creation: Action Painting (Numero) LP
Daughters: Hell Songs (Hydrahead) LP
Godspeed You Black Emperor: Lift Your Skinny Fists (Constellation) LP
Greg Graffin: Millport (Anti) LP
Jimi Hendrix: Are You Experienced (Reprise) LP
Jimi Hendrix: Axis: Bold As Love (Reprise) LP
Daniel Johnston: Hi How Are You (Eternal Yip) LP
Madlib: Bad Neighbor (Bang Ya Head) LP
Modest Mouse: The Lonesome Crowded West (Glacial Pace) LP
Moondog: Snaketime Series (Moondog) LP
Nine Inch Nails: Ghosts i-iv (Halo) LP
NOFX: White Trash (Epitaph)
NOFX: The Decline (Fat Wrecks) LP
Parquet Courts: Human Performance (Rough Trade) LP
Pink Floyd: Animals (Pink Floyd) LP
Rag’n’Bone Man: Human (Sony) LP
Rancid: Life Won’t Wait (Epitaph) LP
Rancid: And Out Come The Wolves (Epitaph) LP
Six Organs of Admittance: Burning the Threshold (Drag City) LP
Smog: A River Ain’t Too Much To Love (Drag City) LP
Smog: Knock Knock (Drag City) LP
Spoon: Hot Thoughts (Matador) LP
Stars of the Lid: And Their Refinement of the Decline (Kranky) LP
Tool: Opiate (Zoo) LP

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…..news letter #785 – solder…..

Not the heaviest week in the last couple of months, but hot damn there’s some killer sides in this week. If you haven’t heard it, listen to the Midora Takada record. Incredible! As you may have seen, the Record Store Day list is out! Check it out here. Be sure to take a look and let us know if you see anything on there you would like to see on the shelves RSD morning. And be sure to pencil RSD in your calendar for April 22nd. Enjoy….

…..Pick of the Week…..

takada.jpg

Midori Takada: Through the Looking Glass (WRWTFWW/Palto Flats) LP
Highly recommended! Comes in a Stoughton “Tip-On” jacket; Includes printed inner sleeves. Palto Flats and We Release Whatever The Fuck We Want Records present the highly-anticipated reissue of Japanese percussionist Midori Takada’s sought after and timeless ambient/minimal album Through The Looking Glass, originally released in 1983 by RCA Japan. Considered a holy grail of Japanese music by many, Through The Looking Glass is Midori Takada’s first solo endeavor, a captivating four-song suite capturing her deep quests into traditional African and Asian percussive language and exploring contemplative ambient sounds with an admirably precise use of marimba. The result is alternatively ethereal and vibrant, always precise and mesmerizing, and makes for an atmospheric masterpiece and an unparalleled sonic and spiritual experience. Midori Takada is a composer, multi-percussionist, and theater artist renowned in Japanese vanguard circles. Midori has released two solo albums: Through The Looking Glass and Tree Of Life (1999) and wrote music for Tadashi Suzuki’s theater plays. Her hypnotic, minimalist music is based in the concept of coherence between sound and the human body. She performs solo on marimba and other percussion instruments. She debuted on the scene of Berlin Philharmonic, performing with the RIAS Symphonie-Orchester Berlin just after graduating from Tokyo University of the Arts in 1974. She continued her career with solo concerts in Japan and abroad. In the 1980s, Midori began to explore the traditional music of Asia and Africa. Her fascination resulted in joint projects with Kakraba Lobi from Ghana, Lamine Konte from Senegal, Farafina Band from Burkina Faso, and Korean musicians: zither player Chi Seong-Ja, flute player Won-Il, and saxophone player Kang Tae-Hwan. She also led Mkwaju Ensemble’s innovative percussion project and still performs with free-jazz band Ton-Klami with Kang Tae-Hwan and jazz pianist Masahiko Satoh. Takada’s compositions have a remarkable way of affecting the imagination. Her minimalist, contemplative music is filled with the concept of infinity and reminds us of a moon voyage, falling stars, a journey into the ocean, or a walk in the garden. The trans melodies, initially simple, begin to loop and splinter, their rhythm breaking and thickening, slowly drawing the listener into another reality. This fully licensed reissue comes with extensive liner notes.

File Under: Electronic, Ambient, Classical, Minimal, Japan
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…..new arrivals…..

6lack

6Lack: Free 6Lack (LVRN) LP
In tomorrow… Free 6LACK is the dark and moody debut studio album from rising Atlanta, GA R&B/hip-hop recording artist Ricardo Valentine aka 6LACK. Largely produced by go-to-guy Singawd and Nova, his candid lyrics and hypnotizing melodies are undeniably present in the emotional singles “Ex Calling” and “PRBLMS.” Peaking at No. 5 on the US Billboard Rap Albums Chart and No. 8 on the US Billboard R&B Albums Chart, Free 6LACK is a testament to 6LACK’s uncanny ability to inspire a new generation of R&B. “I wanted [the album] to serve as kind of a statement for everything, summarize the last five to six years of my life,” he tells Billboard. “I wanted to make a statement that I’m free from my older relationships and I’m free from all ways of thinking and my old feelings.”

File Under: R&B, Hip Hop
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children

Children of Alice: s/t (Warp) LP
In tomorrow…. Children of Alice have been quietly producing amorphous and intoxicating soundscapes as part of the Folklore Tapes collective for a number of years now, beginning in 2013 with “Harbinger of Spring” on the shared Ornithology release. This poetic conjuration of rebirth and new growth was the first unfurling of post-Broadcast creation from James Cargill, one half of the personal and artistic relationship at the heart of that epochal and increasingly feted band. The name Children of Alice was chosen as an act of tribute to the late Trish Keenan, for whom Alice in Wonderland and in particular Jonathan Miller’s summerhazy 60s idyll of an adaptation, was a presiding inspiration. The name invokes her abiding spirit and also creates a sense of continuity with the evolving Broadcast soundworld, which became more concentrated and individual as it refined itself and adapted to new configurations.  The group (or perhaps we should call them a collaborative triad, since they occupy island territory far removed from the familiar shores of rock, though still keeping it in vision on the far horizon) consists of Cargill along with his former bandmate Roj Stevens (who played keyboards in Broadcast) and Julian House, co-founder of Ghost Box records, whose distinctive graphic design work also gives the label its signature look, and hidden prestidigitator behind The Focus Group. This self-titled LP brings together their entire output to date, on their first widely available release.

File Under: Abstract, Ambient, Electronic, Broadcast
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fusion1

Fusioon: Danza Del Molinero (Sommer) LP
Sommor Records present a reissue of Fusioon’s Danza Del Molinero, originally released in 1972. This is the first album by these Catalan psych-progsters. Traditional Spanish songs receive a psychedelic/progressive/jazz-rock treatment with a tremendous rhythm section (drum breaks galore), fuzz-tone guitar, Hammond and analog keyboards, piano, and occasional string arrangements. RIYL: Soft Machine, Egg, Goblin, Arzachel, Le Orme, Collegium Musicum. Master tape sound. Original artwork in gatefold sleeve; Comes with an insert with rare photos and detailed liner notes in English/Spanish/Catalan.

 File Under: Prog, Jazz Rock
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fusioon

Fusioon: Farsa Del Buen Vivir (Sommer) LP
Sommor Records present a reissue of Fusioon’s Farsa Del Buen Vivir, originally released in 1974. This second album by Fusioon is one of the masterpieces from the ’70s Catalan/Spanish psychedelic and progressive scene. Produced by the great Josep Llobell, you’ll find here plenty of Hammond, Moog, effects, a solid rhythm section, distorted lead guitar, and highly inventive arrangements. RIYL: Soft Machine, Egg, King Crimson, Gentle Giant, The Nice, Focus, Goblin. Master tape sound. Original artwork; Comes with an insert with rare photos and detailed liner notes in English/Spanish/Catalan.

File Under: Prog, Jazz Rock, Psych
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growing

Growing: Disorder (Important) LP
Disorder marks a few milestones for the band Growing; it is their ninth full-length release, in the fifteenth year of their band, as well as their first record in almost six years. Though this is their first record in quite some time, this by no means a reunion record. When asked, Joe DeNardo stated “We never ‘stopped’ doing Growing, it’s just that it was tough living on two different coasts. We work kinda slow so I think it just took us a while to adjust to how to make it work with the distances. As Kevin kind of built up his home studio in Olympia over the years, it got to a place where we couldn’t not use it for Growing – it’s such a great isolated spot to hunker down and chisel out some tunes.” With an entire country between the them, Kevin Doria has been focusing his energy on his Total Life project, releasing a handful of releases and touring with Fuck Buttons, GodSpeed You Black Emperor and a host of others. DeNardo has spent the last few years making various music-themed films and performing under the Ornament moniker. At first listen, one may be tempted to refer to this as “return to form” for the band: sonically heavy side-long pastoral excursions being a hallmark of their earlier recordings. But Disorder stands more as a refinement of Growing’s evolving sonic palette, employing dissonance as liberally as harmony, delivering the listener’s ear to a rather unsettling “comfort zone”. The effect could be stated as one of submersion. “Kevin’s Total Life records and live set really inspired me to take a look at a much simpler setup.” DeNardo went on to suggest, “I don’t think I succeeded necessarily, but the way he maximizes his sound sources really blew me away. And I think it affected what I was recording for Ornament, and so when we got to jamming for the record, it sort of evolved from that. We recorded to four-track reel-to-reel, it was a pretty minimal setup. It seems like a heavy record to me, these slow, subtle shifts that feel like a bad trip sometimes.” Disorder is neither revival nor bookend for Growing. Disorder is another mile marker on the long open road, both figuratively and literally. Double-sided, screen printed jacket by Neil Burke @ Monoroid; Heavy duty virgin vinyl; Edition of 250 copies.

File Under: Drone, Ambient
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mogard

Abul Mogard/Maurizio Bianchi: Nervous Hydra/All This Has Passed Forever (Ecstatic) LP
Ecstatic’s stunning split release between Maurizio Bianchi, godfather of the Italian industrial noise scene, and Abul Mogard, the much loved and hyperstitious synthesist, conjures a spellbinding testament to the transcendent and transportive energies of electronic music. Although appearing to starkly contrast on the surface, both artists’ work patently shares a lust for the suggestive abstraction of raw current and its pareidolia-like capacity to generate rich and uncanny emotional responses from the end user. On the A-side, Maurizio Bianchi serves the obfuscated, coruscating atmosphere of “Nervous Hydra”; a 17-minute piece of sunken, desiccated harmonic structures and warped greyscale tones rinsed with ET radio signals and distant percussion that recall the sound of embers landing on tinfoil or snow. It evokes the experience of being caught in a quietly raging whiteout with only a dying fire for company, or equally a sense of subaquatic, amniotic serenity prior to being evacuated into a much colder world. Listeners can trust that the Italian artist’s first new work in several years is faithful to his ever-uncompromising oeuvre, but there’s also a tantalizingly elusive sense of redemption buried deep in there which marks it out from the rest of his canon and close to the work of his antecedents such as Kevin Drumm and Jim Haynes. In that piece’s tempestuous wake, Abul Mogard brings a sense of soothing, glacial calm with “All This Has Passed Forever” on the B-side. For 16 blissed minutes, Mogard spells out a nostalgic fantasy in creamy strokes of Farfisa organ and Serge modular synthesizer recorded at EMS studios, Stockholm, and later combined with field recordings to elicit a wistfully widescreen paean to his days on the workshop floor accompanied by the harmonious drones and cacophony of heavy machinery. No matter the piece’s provenance, though; it’s simply a sublime example of Abul Mogard’s gift for illusive, suspenseful ambient music which has seen his previous releases sky-rocket in second hand value since their earliest, sold-out editions. Over 30 minutes of ostensibly contrasting yet subtly, similarly spirited pieces that speak to the mystery and enigma of electronic music’s tortured, searching and romantic soul in equal measure. Cut at Dubplates & Mastering; Edition of 500.

File Under: Ambient

richter

Max Richter: Three Worlds: Music from Woolf Works (Deutsche Grammophon) LP
Following the success of Sleep, Max Richter reveals his latest recording project – a new album entitled Three Worlds: Music from Woolf Works. It’s drawn from his music to Wayne McGregor’s award-winning Royal Ballet production Woolf Works – inspired by the works of Virginia Woolf – and will be released on Deutsche Grammophon.  Just like the ballet, Richter’s new album has a three-part structure, built around themes from three of Woolf’s novels: Mrs Dalloway, Orlando and The Waves. Fragments from her letters, diaries and other writings are woven into the work, with spoken words from Gillian Anderson, Sarah Sutcliffe and even Woolf’s own voice, reading the essay Craftsmanship from a 1937 BBC recording. Max Richter explains: “When we began to discuss making the ballet, I hunted around for material of all kinds, photographs, memoirs, biographies. I never expected to find a recording of Virginia Woolf – this is the only one to survive. It’s like a tremendous time machine which allows you to hear her voice and wonderful use of language. I’ve used spoken-word elements quite often in my work, so to come across Virginia Woolf reading her own words was like a Christmas present. That lit the fuse for the musical language of the ballet’s first act, based on Mrs Dalloway, and the piece grew from there.” Richter’s new album, which stems from his longer score for Woolf Works, features a vast palette of sounds – from solo instrumental and orchestral episodes, to electronic textures and music for wordless soprano. It opens with the chime of Big Ben, whose unmistakeable sound can still be heard above the noise of London traffic from the distance of Gordon Square in Bloomsbury, where Virginia Woolf lived before her marriage to Leonard Woolf. Woolf’s suicide note, her heart-rending farewell letter to her husband, read by Anderson, sets the contemplative atmosphere for Tuesday, the album’s final and longest track. The piece develops from the sound of breaking waves into a plaintive solo melody, constantly repeated yet ever-changing, and grows to become a dream-like meditation on life and death. “My approach goes back to the aesthetic pleasure of simple, well-made things,” Richter observes. “I believe ‘Tuesday’ connects to minimalism in painting and architecture; within the realm of what people call spirituality, it connects to Zen Buddhism. All those things flow together in the striving for the maximum from the minimum.”

File Under: Modern Classical, Electronic
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sjob

SJOB Movement: Friendship Train (Cultures of Soul) LP
“SJOB Movement’s Friendship Train was the second LP by the group and one which saw the group rise to new heights. It’s a masterpiece of African music with its fluid Afro beat grooves and spaced out Moog synthesizer sounds. Here is an excerpt from the liner notes written and researched by Uchenna Ikonne: ‘Prince Bola Agbana might hardly be the most immediately recognizable name in the constellation of Nigerian music stars, but for a significant portion of the last half-century he labored in the shadows, dutifully serving as one of the key movers in its development: An in-demand session musician. An early and respected exponent of funk. A catalyst in the retrofit of juju into a modern pop genre. Most of all, though, he is recognized as the founder, leader, drummer and principal vocalist of the SJOB Movement. SJOB: Sam, Johnnie, Ottah, Bola. For a moment in the mid-1970s, they were le dernier cri in modern Nigerian music, representing the next step in the evolution of Afro rhythms, and a new paradigm for the band economy. Their first album, 1976’s A Move in the Right Direction, was a minor sensation and was swiftly followed by Friendship Train in 1977. Then it appeared that the movement stopped moving, and SJOB disappeared from the scene.”

File Under: Funk, Soul, Afrobeat
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tomlinson

Rick Tomlinson: Phases of Daylight (Voix) LP
Rick Tomlinson of prog-folk luminaries Voice Of The Seven Woods unveils his latest album in the form of the brilliant ‘Phases Of Daylight’. Starting with the minimal horns and electro-acoustic chattering of ‘Final Sunrise Morning’, setting a languid but perceptible arc of crescentic bliss with GYBE-esque melodic counterpoints and stark icy minimalism. We see some more of the spacious and fulfilling ambient echoes skittering around in follower ‘Cloud Hum’ but rather than the steady swelling drone of horns, we get tuned percussives rattling around the stereo image, forming the titular hum around organic sweeps and reverberating dusted echoes. The solar interlude is a beautiful and hauntingly brittle acoustic piece, centred around a reticent plucked string riff, which sets the scene perfectly for the spacious rainforest chimes and sparse percussive elements in ‘Daylight Phase’. More often than not, true musical beauty can be distilled down to one or two elements, surprise artifacts in an otherwise expected outcome, and Tomlinson manages to make the most of this fact by keeping everything he does within the realms of improbability. ‘Visual Spirit’ is a prime example of this, with its soaring drone motif being punctuated with tickles of metallic percussion before segueing into a primal and glimmering eastern-influenced swell of sound, bringing together all of the previusly assembled instruments into a perfectly arced cacophony of percussion, drone and melody. Following on from the cosmic binary space-station radio interference of ‘Nail House’, rife with frequencies felt if not necessarily heard individually, the mesmerising alt-folk majesty of ‘Living Stream’ brings us to a crepuscular and fitting end with its driving acoustic motif and stabbing percussion. A mesmerising and beguiling collection of patiently forged sounds, beautifully collated instruments and curated with a defness and restraint rarely heard in experimental music today. Haunting, visceral and beautiful.

 File Under: Folk, Ambient, Experimental
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zeitkratzer

Zeitkratzer: Performs Songs From Kraftwerk 1 & 2 (Karlrecords) LP
Karlrecords celebrates its tenth birthday, and Zeitkratzer celebrate their 20th with necessary re-interpretations of early compositions by electronic pioneers Kraftwerk. Founded in 1997 by Reinhold Friedl, Zeitkratzer have since been creating an impressive catalog of recordings that embraces 20th century avant-garde composers (Cage, Stockhausen, Lucier) as well as electronic artists (Carsten Nicolai, Terre Thaemlitz) or underground experimentalists like Throbbing Gristle or Column One. In their 20th anniversary year, the critically acclaimed ensemble will release a series of diverse albums that will explore new grounds in the typical, adventurous Zeitkratzer way – the first of these albums is dedicated to Kraftwerk and their early, kraut-esque albums Kraftwerk (1970) and Kraftwerk 2 (1972). As Kraftwerk never re-released these albums, Zeitkratzer gave its best to cover the first tranche of the songs. Recorded in Marseille/France in May 2016, the six tracks reveal a bucolic and even psychedelic aspect of the ensemble that’s mostly known (or feared) for its interpretative and aesthetic acerbity. And yet there’s no doubt that Songs From The Albums “Kraftwerk” And “Kraftwerk 2” is a true Zeitkratzer recording in the best and fullest meaning. Zeitkratzer directed by Reinhold Friedl are: Frank Gratkowski – flute, clarinets; Elena Kakaliagou – french horn; Hilary Jeffery – trombone; Reinhold Friedl – harmonium, piano; Didier Ascour – guitar; Maurice de Martin – drums; Lisa Marie Landgraf – violin; Burkhard Schlothauer – violin; Elisabeth Coudoux – violoncello; Ulrich Phillipp – double bass. Presented here on 180 gram vinyl; Includes insert and download code; Edition of 500.

File Under: Electronic, Classical
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buzzjoint2

Various: Buzzsaw Joint Cut 2 (Stag-o-Lee) LP
Stag-O-Lee present Cut 2 of the Buzzsaw Joint series, compiled by Astro138 and DJ Zorch. Buzzsaw Joint was born of a club offering Londoners the chance to revel in the sounds of good ol’ trashy rock n’ roll in all its vintage vinyl forms. Club top-cat, Fritz, then took the primitive buzzsaw sounds online with a series of savage Mixcloud mixes created by record fiends from all over the globe. Now, the high-octane energy of Buzzsaw Joint has manifested into the physical form with a run of compilations on Stag-O-Lee. Get your ears around the wild n’ weird sounds of the extraordinary and inimitable Buzzsaw Joint! This second deep cut, coming from two city of angels record demons, unearths more strange sounds from times past. Astro138 and DJ Zorch created The Vinyl Record Association, an online haven where a global network of rare record fanatics and friends regularly share favorite spins. They can also be heard on Radiocore.org. Sixteen blistering buzzsaw selections from Astro138 and DJ Zorch, all recorded between 1956-1962. Features: Cy Wagner Orchestra, Shades Of Rhythm, Dave Osborn, Whispering Pigg, The Bikinis, The Gimicks, J.J. Jones, The Pharaohs, Los Twisters, Doug Powell, Duke & The Ambers, Charlie Daniels, The Altecs, Billy Preston, The Merrylanders, and The Dream Girls.

File Under: Rock n Roll, Rhythm & Blues

…..Restocks…..

Badbadnotgood: IV (Arts & Crafts) LP
Beatles: White Album (Apple) LP
Big Star: #1 Record (Ardent) LP
Big Star: Radio City (Ardent) LP
Boards of Canada: Music Has the Right to Children (Warp) LP
David Bowie: Rise & Fall of Ziggy Stardust (RCA) LP
The Clash: London Calling (Epic) LP
John Coltrane: Blue Train (Blue Note) LP
The Cure: Three Imaginary Boys (Rhino) LP
Daft Punk: Discovery (EMI) LP
Depeche Mode: Violator (Sire) LP
Dungen: Ta Det Lugnt (Subliminal Sound) LP
Bob Dylan: Freewheelin’ (Music on Vinyl) LP
Duke Ellington: At Newport (MoFi) LP
Flaming Lips: Clouds Taste Metallic (Warner) LP
Flying Lotus: Cosmogramma (Warp) LP
Flying Lotus: You’re Dead (Warp) LP
Marvin Gaye: How Sweet It Is to Be Loved By You (Motown) LP
Marvin Gaye: Let’s Get It On (Motown) LP
Marvin Gaye: What’s Going On (Motown) LP
Grateful Dead: s/t (Rhino) LP
Grizzly Bear: Veckatimest (Warp) LP
Grizzly Bear: Yellow House (Warp) LP
Isaac Hayes: Black Moses (Enterprise) LP
July Talk: Touch (Sleepless) LP
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard: Nonagon Infinity (ATO) LP
The Knife: Deep Cuts (Mute) LP
Kraftwerk: Trans-Europe Express (EMI) LP
Alison Krauss: Windy City (Universal) LP
Bob Marley & The Wailers: Legend (Universal) LP
Meters: Fire on the Bayou (Reprise) LP
Nails: Abandon All Life (Southern Lord) LP
Nails: You Will Never Be One of Us (Southern Lord) LP
Necks: Unfold (Idealogic Organ) LP
Ol’ Dirty Bastard: Return to 36 Chambers (Get on Down) LP
Richard Pinhas: Reverse (Bureau B) LP
Power Trip: Nightmare Logic (Southern Lord) LP
The Shins: Heartworms (Sony) LP
Songs: Ohia: Magnolia Electric Co. (Secretly Canadian) LP
Sublime: s/t (Universal) LP
Sublime: 40oz to Freedom (Universal) LP
Gabor Szabo: Sorcerer (Impulse) LP
Tanya Tagaq: Retribution (Sixshooter) LP
Teenage Bandwagon: Bandwagonesque (Music on Vinyl) LP
Temples: Volcano (Fat Possum) LP
Tragically Hip: Fully Completely (Universal) LP
Tom Waits: Swordfishtrombones (Island) LP

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…..news letter #784 – case…..

Well, just when we thing it’s spring, it starts to snow again! As long as it gets this out of it’s system before April 22nd cuz you know what that is right? Everyone’s favorite day to line up outside to buy all the records! If you haven’t seen, the rumored RSD list is starting to float around, but next week the official list drops. Be sure to take a look and let us know if you see anything on there you would like to see on the shelves RSD morning. Enjoy….

…..pick of the week…..

brio-full-shot-illuminated

Rega Brio Integrated Amplifier
The new Brio is here! The Brio has a completely new case to house its improved circuits and parts. It now sits in a fully aluminium two-part case which boosts the Brio’s heat sinking capabilities and improves on Rega’s already solid build quality and reliability. The new Brio has a cleverly integrated headphone socket specially designed to avoid interference with the audio circuit when not in use and as you would expect, a very high specification moving magnet phono stage is built in as standard. Throughout the design process the Brio has been meticulously improved in every aspect, from the quality of materials to the manufacturing process, to make this new Brio a step ahead in Rega’s engineering and design for amplifiers.

File Under: Gear, Rega, Amps

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…..new arrivals…..

anohni

Anohni: Paradise (Secretly Canadian) 10″
The revelry of 2016’s Hopelessness helped reinvent Anohni (fka Antony and The Johnsons) in the mold of staunch political agitator. Self-aware and self-flagellating, Anohni speaks of deep concern for our very livelihood, as a species and as a civil society. Critically acclaimed, Hopelessness came to represent a new and necessary musical language. Anohni’s Paradise EP is the extension, into 2017, of a language of protest and distress. The songs – already featured in her arresting live performances – were made during the same sessions as Hopelessness, but rather than trimmings or bonus material, they are, instead, unique touch points for old problems and newly minted geo-political crises writ macabre. Hudson Mohawke and Oneohtrix Point Never co-produced the EP. Available on 10″ vinyl with art featuring portraits of the performers at Anohni’s worldwide shows.

File Under: Electronic, Indie Rock
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brotz1

Brotzmann/Van Hove/Bennink + Mangelsdorff: Elements (Cien Fuegos) LP
In tomorrow… Peter Brötzmann: tenor saxophone; Fred Van Hove: piano; Han Bennink: drums, voice; Albert Mangelsdorff: trombone. Recorded during the Free Music Market, August 27 and 28, 1971, in Berlin. Designed by Peter Brötzmann. Part of the legendary “Berlin Trilogy” originally released by FMP in 1971 (FMP 0030). 180-gram vinyl. One-time pressing of 500. First standalone reissue. “What reveals itself in the über energetics on display here is the ability of one quartet to take so much for granted and yet express so much in the process. Van Hove, for instance, shuns all conventions in his approach to the piano: he quotes Liszt and Schubert as well as Ellington and Peterson then wipes all of them out with his elbows as if erasing a chalkboard. His ‘Florence Nightingale’ is a perfect example. Texturally, he creates diversions from the fury while never disengaging from it. Brötzmann and Mangelsdorff are out and out challenging each other to see who can destroy their instruments first, and Han Bennick is the most proactive percussionist in jazz history. His use of anything and everything while simultaneously playing a trap kit that creates time is astonishing. Elsewhere, on Brötzmann’s ‘Elements,’ African percussion and slow, long opened tonal drones by Mangelsdorff create a backdrop for the other two to explore without rushing in. Brötzmann enters almost tenderly, looking for a room to exit out of, but engaging himself in the microtonalities created by the rhythm section. Van Hove’s long augmented chords create a mode for not opening but splintering that exit and Brötzmann ushers the band through in a hurry heading for the outer reaches of the possible. . . . one of the best documents of the period on any continent.” –Thom Jurek, AllMusic, 1991

File Under: Free Jazz

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Brotzmann/Van Hove/Bennink + Mangelsdorff: Couscouss de la Mauresque (Cien Fuegos) LP
In tomorrow… Peter Brötzmann: tenor saxophone; Fred Van Hove: piano; Han Bennink: drums, voice; Albert Mangelsdorff: trombone. Recorded during the Free Music Market, August 27 and 28, 1971, in Berlin. Designed by Peter Brötzmann. Part of the legendary “Berlin Trilogy” originally released by FMP in 1971 (FMP 0040). 180-gram vinyl. One-time pressing of 500. First standalone reissue. “Brötzmann’s regular trio was joined by the trombonist Albert Mangelsdorff, one of the most respected German jazz musicians, who has managed to keep abreast of musical developments for more than a decade. Those who remember him only for those fine early-sixties albums (like Tension, on German CBS) will be in for a shock, because he’s updated his playing all the way. On ‘Couscouss De La Mauresque’, for instance, his tonal distortions rival those of Paul Rutherford, as he backs Brötzmann’s wailing with a rip-snorting obligato. He has the advantage of being a virtuous technician, so that some of his wilder flights are truly breathtaking. . . . Mangelsdorff’s technique doesn’t hinder his fire, either, and he’s well able to stand up to the rest of this very hairy band. Van Hove and Bennink obviously know each other inside out by now, and you’ll hear few more exciting passages of music than their interlude during the trombonist’s solo on ‘Couscouss’. Bennink is getting further into textures every day, and on this album makes great play with his steel-drum and many unidentifiable implements, thus giving the music a great deal of variety. If you wanted to buy just one of these records, it would be very hard to choose because the level is so high throughout.” –Richard Williams, Melody Maker, February 5, 1972

 File Under: Free Jazz

brotz3

Brotzmann/Van Hove/ Bennink + Mangelsdorff: The End (Cien Feugos) LP
In tomorrow… Peter Brötzmann: tenor saxophone; Fred Van Hove: piano; Han Bennink: drums, voice; Albert Mangelsdorff: trombone. Recorded during the Free Music Market, August 27 and 28, 1971, in Berlin. Designed by Peter Brötzmann. Part of the legendary “Berlin Trilogy” originally released by FMP in 1971 (FMP 0050). 180-gram vinyl. One-time pressing of 500. First standalone reissue. “The great thing about this trilogy/set is how naturally everything flows. . . . each subdividing of the group, each solo excursion, feels smooth and logical, as though the player(s) in question had nodded to the others as if to say ‘Gimme a minute here, I’ve got an idea,’ and received assent in response. There’s all the ferocity any free jazz diehard could ask for, but it never goes on so long that it becomes schtick, and it’s always countered by passages that are genuinely beautiful in the most conventional, you-could-play-this-for-your-mom sense. Even without Mangelsdorff, Brötzmann, Van Hove and Bennink were a remarkably empathetic and attuned team, and when he joined them (and these records document their second and third times playing together, ever), everyone’s game was raised.” –Phil Freeman, Burning Ambulance, 2013

File Under: Free Jazz

cannibale

Cannibale: No Mercy For Love (Born Bad) LP
In tomorrow… Still unknown in rock territory, French band Cannibale gets its name from its “kind of exotic garage” music whose humid tropical groove is slowly eating up all the stereotypes about Born Bad Records releases. If there’s cannibalism to be found in No Mercy For Love, it’s in reference to the Caribbean rhythms here-and-there, and to the psychedelic sound from the backwoods that make this first album a peculiar occurrence in the land of strikes and wine drinkers. There’s never any silence with Cannibale and, as for the lambs, stick to the village in the middle of nowhere where the band members reside – a hamlet in Normandy with a total population of 300, including the cows. Rather than human flesh, these guys have been feeding on their own impatience. Lead guitarist Manuel and singer Nicolas met in junior high (which is the case for 99% of rock bands so far), but the members of Cannibale have a Frustration type profile – almost all of them are over forty. During the last twenty years, with unbending faith, these guys played in loads of bands that never made it to the top (Amib, De Rien, 7Questions, Kouyaté Neerman, Renza Bo, Blast) and even ended up playing as session musicians alongside Camile Bazbaz or Johnny Halliday. After winning the Inrocks Labs contest with Bow Low, their penultimate band, and releasing two albums with Because, the Norman guys finally decided to create Cannibale in 2016. In theory, considering the beginning of their career, or lack thereof, you couldn’t imagine you’d end up hearing the sounds from No Mercy For Love: a surprising mixture of cumbia, African rhythms and garage music. Or, if you will, a kind of missing link between Fela Kuti, The Doors, and The Seeds. A bunch of forty year-olds whose origins are as white as their soul is black. “Releasing the album in our forties, we think it’s a laugh. Of course we keep on believing, it’s all we do, it’s what’s keeping us alive.”

File Under: French, Garage, Psych
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ciulliniDaniele Ciullini: Domestic Exile Collected Works 82-86 (Ecstatic) LP
In tomorrow… Ecstatic resuscitate Daniele Ciullini’s “sonic polaroids” of odder ’80s pop, drone, and drum machine workouts in the detached dimensions of Domestic Exile: Collected Works 82-86. Compiling the Florentine artist’s standout ’83 cassette plus a whole other side of compilation obscurities on vinyl for the first time, it presents a series of brilliant, isolated self-portraits by a mail art and tape scene insider (also photographer, zine publisher) who operated on the periphery of electro-industrial and ambient zones. His music is little known outside of Italy, so all credit is due to Alessio Natalizia for bringing his wide-ranging and prescient work to a broader audience here. As Ciullini’s pal and bandmate in The Cop Killers (along with Masami Akita, no less), Vittore Baroni states on the liner notes that Domestic Exile was produced when Ciullini was in his late 20s and therefore possesses a more measured, mature approach than many of his contemporaries who were also scrabbling around similar sounds. Using the instantly identifiable Boss DR-55 and Roland TR 606 drum machines, plus a 303, Fender Stratocaster Electric, and Yamaha CD-5 fed direct to TEAC tape deck, these are beautifully concise, dynamic glimpses of a sharpened mind at work, proving equally adept at nipping shifty industrial drum patterns as well as brooding proto-shoegaze with “Soft Marble”, or European synth expressions like “Flowers in the Water”. A massive recommendation for fans of Chris Carter’s The Spaces Between (1980), early The Human League or John Bender. Compiled by Not Waving. Edition of 500.

File Under: Electronic, Experimental, Ambient
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cohn

Al Cohn: Cohn on the Saxophone (Modern Harmonic) LP
Al Cohn first sprung on the national scene as one of the saxophonists on the Woody Herman hit “Four Brothers,” a crazy arrangement of “Jeepers Creepers” featuring each “brother” on a wild-and-crazy swingin’ saxophone solo. Along with fellow “brother” Zoot Sims, Cohn became one of New York’s leading sax men, forming with Sims in a quintet that played in the hot beatnik jazz scene of the day, even backing up Jack Kerouac on a few poetry recordings. Cohn on the Saxophone finds our man Cohn taking the lead on a series of great jazz standards. Al’s sax voice on this session is smooth, lyrical; almost like he’s talking to you or telling a story. Dig his smooth, supple playing on “We Three,” or the gorgeously blue-toned notes he hits on “Singing The Blues” — Cohn is very much a man at home with his instrument, and the band lays back and lets him spin his tales. When Cohn on the Saxophone was originally issued in 1956, Downbeat magazine gave it the prestigious and rare five-star rating — and over 60 years down the pike it still sounds as vital and delicious as it did when it was released. This lost jazz classic is finally yours to enjoy again, pressed onto colored vinyl, and neatly slid into a beautifully restored package. Only on Modern Harmonic!

File Under: Jazz
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constant

Constantine: Hades (Bedouin) LP
In tomorrow… “The expression of two years’ field recording on the Greek islands of Kalymnos and Lesbos — deep inside a network of caves, and in the teeth of torrential winter storms — with added strings, grand piano, live drumming and orchestral percussion, in its confluence of ‘modern classical, metallic drone, dark ambient, and fuzz’. Guided by Steve Reich, Mika Vainio and Henri Bergson; haunted and spurred by the refugee crisis.”

File Under: Ambient, Electronic, Classical
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dixon

Reverend Sam Dixon: My Soul Says Yes (Asherah) LP
In tomorrow… “DIY gospel, privately emitted from Ozone Park, Brooklyn sometime in the late 1970’s! Luckily for us, Rev. Samuel Dixon’s Samdy label stayed in business long enough to get a few copies of this deep soul children’s choir treasure into the atmosphere. Buried for 40 years, finally aloft for a new generation of homemade music fans” –Rob Sevier, Numero Group

 File Under: Gospel, Blues
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dodec

Dodecahedron: Kwintessens (Season of Mist) LP
Dodecahedron returns after four years to take black metal by the horns and launch the genre to new heights with their sophomore album Kwintessens. The band conjures a unique sound that is as alien as it is terrifying; dragging the listener through a horrific journey of atonal and dissonant moments, jarring tempo changes, and dramatic shifts in composition. Kwintessens sees Dodecahedron embrace the shifting from the light to the dark as they masterfully guide their signature style of bizarre, uneasy aggression into passages of cold, threatening calm. Kwintessens marks a new evolution for a band far ahead of their peers, and spares no one in its path of sonic demolition.

File Under: Black Metal
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jacaszek

Jacaszek: Kwiaty (Ghostly) LP
Michal Jacaszek is an absolute master of melancholy: the Polish composer who’s spun dramatic shades of darkness and light into gold for more than a decade now, from the trickle-down electronics of Treny and artful gloom of Glimmer to the vapor-trailed verses of their looming spiritual cousin Kwiaty. The album – which was inspired by An English anthology of metaphysical poetry from the 17th century – is the most vocal-driven material Jacaszek’s ever written, melding his stormy melodies with a breakout performance by Hania Malarowska (of the Warsaw-based rock band Hanimal) and the robust supporting roles of Joasia Sobowiec-Jamioł and Natalia Grzebała, with lyrics adapted from poems from Virgil and Robert Herrick.

File Under: Ambient, Electronic
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nouvelle1

Nouvelle Vague: s/t (Kwaidan) LP
Bossa Nova = Neuvelle Vague = New Wave. This transliteration was the starting point for Marc Collin and Olivier Libaux’s unique project Nouvelle Vague which by appropriating the punk and post-punk cannon and running it through the Bossa Nova filter, reinvented the cover band genre, revealing new and brilliant talents along the way including Camille, Phoebe Killdeer, Nadeah, Melanie Pain and Liset Alea. Nouvelle Vague is the revered French group’s 2004 self-titled debut. The album consists entirely of easy listening and bossa nova versions of songs that were written and recorded during the post-punk/new wave era by the likes of Joy Division, Depeche Mode, The Clash, Public Image Ltd, XTC and The Cure among others. And in an interesting twist the songs were recorded with female vocalists who were unfamiliar with the tunes they would be covering. Repress comes on colored 180g vinyl and includes MP3 download of the full album.

File Under: Bossa Nova, French, New Wave
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nouvelle2

Nouvelle Vague: Bande a Part (Kwaidan) LP
Bossa Nova = Neuvelle Vague = New Wave. This transliteration was the starting point for Marc Collin and Olivier Libaux’s unique project Nouvelle Vague which by appropriating the punk and post-punk cannon and running it through the Bossa Nova filter, reinvented the cover band genre, revealing new and brilliant talents along the way including Camille, Phoebe Killdeer, Nadeah, Melanie Pain and Liset Alea. Bande à Part is the revered French group’s second album, originally released in 2006. Like their eponymous debut, it’s a compelling collection of bossa nova cover versions of ’80s new wave tracks from artists like Echo & the Bunnymen, Buzzcocks, Blondie, New Order, The Smiths, Siouxsie and the Banshees and U2 among others. Repress comes on colored 180g vinyl and includes MP3 download of the full album.

File Under: Bossa Nova, French, New Wave
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nouvelle3

Nouvelle Vague: 3 (Kwaidan) LP
Bossa Nova = Neuvelle Vague = New Wave. This transliteration was the starting point for Marc Collin and Olivier Libaux’s unique project Nouvelle Vague which by appropriating the punk and post-punk cannon and running it through the Bossa Nova filter, reinvented the cover band genre, revealing new and brilliant talents along the way including Camille, Phoebe Killdeer, Nadeah, Melanie Pain and Liset Alea. 3 is the revered French group’s third album, initially released in 2009. As with their previous releases, it consists entirely of cover versions, mostly of post-punk and new wave songs from the ’70s and ’80s. Four of the tracks are performed as duets, featuring the song’s original vocalist performing alongside one of Nouvelle Vague’s female singers. Repress comes on colored 180g vinyl and includes MP3 download of the full album.

File Under: Bossa Nova, French, New Wave
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omari

Abdou El Omari: Nuits D’Ete Avec Naima Samin (Radio Martiko) LP
In tomorrow… First issue of this previously unreleased oriental psych monster from the organ king of Casablanca, combining traditional rhythms with spaced out modern sounds. Nuits D’ete Avec Naima Samin is the second part of Abdou El Omari’s Nuits-trilogy. This album contains heavenly compositions for the Moroccon diva Naima Samih and some moody instrumentals in a similar vein to the previous album, Nuits D’ete. Includes download code.

File Under: Psych, Electronic, Morocco
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pinback

Pinback: Some Offcell Voices (Temporary Residence) LP
In the early days of Pinback, they were known mostly as two lauded musicians who spent their spare time away from their primary projects (Three Mile Pilot, Thingy, Heavy Vegetable) to hone their home recording skills while experimenting with ideas, tones, and instrumentation that didn’t quite fit into those primary projects. Pinback hadn’t yet become their day job; it hadn’t yet become a well-oiled 5-piece touring machine; and it had no idea where it was going to go. In retrospect, that earnest curiosity is what makes those early Pinback recordings so resonant and so unique, and what separated them from every indie rock band of this century.  Every bit as powerful and expressive as their first two albums, the 1999 EP, Some Voices, and the 2003 EP, Offcell, famously bucked the perception of EPs as outtakes and toss-offs. What were ostensibly minor stopgaps between albums became massive fan favorites and staples of Pinback’s live show. Having never been released on vinyl, it’s only fitting that Temporary Residence revisit these poignant recordings – and take the opportunity to painstakingly remaster and repackage them into the full-length album that never was, the aptly named Some Offcell Voices.

File Under: Indie Rock
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raney

Jimmy Raney: Visits Paris (Modern Harmonic) LP
By the time Jimmy Raney recorded the ultra-cool Visits Paris, he was already at the peak of his career. Having started in 1944 with the Jerry Wald band, he’d pass through a passel of great jazz combos before ending up with Stan Getz in his classic quintet. There, the guitarist became world-renowned, and just weeks before cutting this album, in 1954, he was voted the number one guitarist in the world by French magazine Le Hot Jazz. The album finds Raney on a (very) brief break from touring France, taking the opportunity to cut an album with some local musicians and putting himself very much in the foreground after having been a sideman on previous projects. He spins through a variety of songs, from his solo composition “Tres Chouette” (translation: “very cute”) to standards such as “Night and Day” and “Love For Sale” with his trademark smooth guitar style. The French band is very much up to the challenge, and the album’s bubbling energy on songs like “Too Marvelous For Words” is positively infectious. Long a sought-after jazz classic, Visits Paris is finally available again and pressed onto colored vinyl with lovingly-restored artwork. Only on Modern Harmonic!

File Under: Jazz
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realestateReal Estate: In Mind (Domino) LP
In Mind, the fourth full-length record from Real Estate, is a portrait of a mature band at the height of its power. Long respected for their deft lyrical hand and gorgeous melodies, In Mind builds upon the band’s reputation for crafting perfect songs and carries Real Estate even deeper into the pantheon of great songwriters. On the new record, the band fine-tunes the winsome songwriting and profound earnestness that made previous albums – 2009’s Real Estate, 2011’s Days, and 2014’s Atlas – so beloved, and pushes their songs in a variety of compelling new directions. Written primarily by guitarist and vocalist Martin Courtney at his home in Beacon – a quiet town in upstate New York – In Mind offers a shifting of the gears, positing a band engaged in the push/pull of burgeoning adulthood. Reflecting a change in lineup, changes in geography, and a general desire to move forward without looking back, the record casts the band in a new light – one that replaces the wistful ennui of teenage suburbia with an equally complicated adult version. The record not only showcases some of the band’s most sublime arrangements to date, it also presents a leap forward in terms of production, with the band utilizing the studio as a tool to broaden the sonic landscape of their music to stunning effect. Recorded in Los Angeles with producer Cole M.G.N. (known for his work with the likes of Beck, Snoop Dogg, Dam-Funk, Nx Worries, and Julia Holter), the eleven tracks on In Mind deliver the same kind of warmth and soft-focus narratives that one has come to expect from the band – pastoral guitars, elegantly deployed arrangements, a sort of mindful melancholy – but there is also a newly adventurous sonic edge to the proceedings. Album opener – the ebullient pop number “Darling” – announces itself with a wash of synth tones rather than guitars. Elsewhere, on tracks like “Serve the Song” and “Two Arrows,” guitarist Julian Lynch employs a variety of distorted guitar sounds that might have felt out of place on previous Real Estate records, with the latter track stretching out beyond the six-minute mark – the closest thing to a jam the band has ever recorded. The band’s predilection for crafting airtight pop songs remains in full-effect here, with songs like “Stained Glass” and “Same Sun” occupying the same kind of rarefied universe as fan favorites like “Talking Backwards” or “It’s Real.” Glittering pop moments aside, the record’s most stunning moments are arguably it’s most restrained – “After the Moon” unspools in waltz-like fashion, while album closer “Saturday” offers In Mind’s most pointed take on moving beyond the fascinations of youth.

File Under: Indie Rock
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russell

Arthur Russell: Instrumentals (Audika) LP
In tomorrow… “Remastered double LP with 12 page booklet including liner notes by Tim Lawrence, Ernie Brooks and Arthur Russell. All material previously released on the Audika CD compilation First Thought Best Thought (2006). Before disco, and before the transcendent echoes, Arthur wanted to be a composer. His journey began in 1972, leaving home in Oskaloosa, Iowa. Heading west to Northern California, Arthur studied Indian classical composition at the Ali Akbar Khan College of Music followed by western orchestral music at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, before ending two years later in New York at the Manhattan School of Music. Traversing the popular and the serious, Arthur composed Instrumentals in 1974, inspired by the photography of his Buddhist teacher, Yuko Nonomura, as Arthur described, ‘I was awakened, or re-awakened to the bright-sound and magical qualities of the bubblegum and easy-listening currents in American popular music.’ Initially intended to be performed in one 48 hour cycle, Instrumentals was in fact only performed in excerpts a handful of times as a work in progress. The legendary performances captured live in New York at The Kitchen (1975 and 1978) and Franklin St. Arts Center (1977) feature the cream of that eras downtown new music scene including Ernie Brooks, Rhys Chatham, Julius Eastman, Jon Gibson, Peter Gordon, Garrett List, Andy Paley, Bill Ruyle, Dave Van Tieghem, and Peter Zummo. Pitchfork lauded Instrumentals Vol. 1 as a masterpiece and one of Arthur’s ‘greatest achievements’. Americana touching on Copeland, Ives, and maybe even Brian Wilson. Instrumentals Vol. 2 is a moving, deeply pastoral work performed by the CETA Orchestra and conducted by Julius Eastman. Also included are two of Arthur’s most elusive compositions, ‘Reach One’, and ‘Sketch For Face Of Helen’. Recorded live in 1975 at Phill Niblock’s Experimental Intermedia Foundation, ‘Reach One’ is a minimal, hypnotic ambient soundscape written and performed for two Fender Rhodes pianos. ‘Sketch For Face Of Helen’ was inspired by Arthur’s work with friend and composer Arnold Dreyblatt, recorded with an electronic tone generator, keyboard and ambient recordings of a rumbling tugboat from the Hudson River. For this remastered vinyl edition, a key part of Arthur’s musical life has been restored. The sparkling, multidimensional results take the listener closer to Arthur’s coast-to-coast journey: his iconoclastic determination to combine pop and art music; and his desire to make music that would resonate in the present and, ultimately, across time.”

File Under: Ambient, Classical, Experimental
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spectres

Spectres: Condition (Sonic Cathedral) LP
In tomorrow… The follow-up to Spectres’ acclaimed 2015 debut Dying, Condition was recorded by Dominic Mitchison and mastered by Frank Arkwright at Abbey Road in London. It’s louder and more abrasive than their debut, but also a real progression. It sounds huge and adds a genuinely innovative and confrontational edge. “There were discussions about experimenting with electronics, but the idea soon petered out when we realized we still wanted to experiment with guitars,” reveals singer and guitarist Joe Hatt. As a result tracks such as “End Waltz” have a relentlessly pounding, almost techno structure, in contrast to the kinetosis-inducing dirge of “Dissolve”. Elsewhere, the almost restrained (by Spectres’ standards) white noise and wordplay of “A Fish Called Wanda” and the sprawling “Colour Me Out” are counterbalanced by brutal assaults such as “Neck” and “Welcoming The Flowers”. “On this album we became even less interested in actually playing guitar,” explains Hatt, “which meant that we got more into experimenting with the sounds we could get out of them when brutalizing them and letting the feedback do the talking.”

File Under: Noise Rock
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spoon

Spoon: Hot Thoughts (Matador) LP
Hot Thoughts is the bravest, most sonically inventive work of Spoon’s trend setting career. With all due respect to earlier efforts which have made the quintet both critically acclaimed and a commercial contender, preconceptions about this band are about to be obliterated. That’s not to say Hot Thoughts doesn’t have a requisite supply of infectious earworms but there’s a lyrical bent that’s as carnal as it is crafty, and a newfound sense of sonic exploration that results in the genre smasher Spoon have flirted with in the past but not fully consummated. Produced by Dave Friedmann and back with Matador (third time’s the charm) helps position Spoon to mount the highest highs of their already spectacular career. Matador is overjoyed to be back in the Spoon business and in time for Britt Daniel’s spot in the pantheon of rock’s genius songwriters was well established way back – with the crackling, incandescent, multi-dimensional backdrop conjured on Hot Thoughts, the lines between accessible and experimental become non-factors for once and all. It’s pop as high art, delivered with total confidence and focus.

File Under: Indie Rock
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drunk

Thundercat: Drunk (Brainfeeder) 4×10″
Stephen Bruner, aka Thundercat returns with his follow up to 2015’s The Beyond / Where the Giants Roam. The latest album titled Drunk is released via Brainfeeder and features production from Flying Lotus. Following his Grammy award winning contributions on Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp A Butterfly, Bruner delivers arguably his most ambitious work to date. Vocal features include Michael McDonald and Kenny Loggins, Kendrick Lamar, Wiz Khalifa and Pharrell. In addition to Lamar, Thundercat has worked with a wide range of artists including Erykah Badu, Childish Gambino, Mac Miller, Ty Dolla $ign, Bilal, Suicidal Tendencies, Kamasi Washington, Terrace Martin and more making him one of the most in demand musicians of our time.

File Under: Hip Hop, Fun, Soul, RNB, Disco, Electronic
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turinn

Turinn: 18 1/2 Minute Gaps (Modern Love) LP
In tomorrow… Outta the shadows and into the strobe-light, Alex Lewis, aka Turinn, debuts on Modern Love with a debut double-pack of sawn-off bruk-beats and anxious, nerve-riding grooves brewed in the ravines of North Manchester. Turinn emerges from a new generation of producers in the city that include longtime spar Willow, and upcoming producer Croww. Crooked and rugged, but tempered by an acute emotive sensitivity, 18 1/2 Minute Gaps renders a bleedin’ cross-section of mongrel, hybrid style ‘n pattern in a breathless, deceptively freehand fashion that comes riddled with an electric blue energy all of its own. Committing ten tracks of fractious, mutant funk and sore feels, 18 1/2 Minute Gaps serves to cap Turinn’s formative phase of production like a lead lid on a nuclear rave implosion; trapping original ‘ardcore ‘nuum, Detroit booty and dank post-punk elements in a perpetual flux of in-the-pocket grooves which ravenously attempt to split at the seams, alternately pushing into Muslimgauze-like buffer zones of distortion or resoundingly wide ambient dimensions, and often both at once. This ambiguous dichotomy is epitomized between the rare surge of quick/slow torque in “Ovum”, which almost sounds like Chris Carter sparring with Burial Hex, and then in his nod to the Italian new wave with “Elba”, which seems to find the square root between Lorenzo Senni and some skudgy as heck Kassem Mosse grind, whereas the bittersweet soul of “1625” finds compatible links with his close peer, Workshop’s Willow as well as Japan’s Shinichi Atobe and scene enabler Move D, while “Parratactico” swaggers into quantum dancehall meters. The album title track runs at a next level Detroit momentum like DJ Stingray flipping Derrick May and Carl Craig’s “Kao-tic Harmonies”, before “ESO” cuts in like a super cranky El-B wearing itchy Primark underwear, and the bone-rattling hardcore jungle of “Spawn” soon enough gives way to the sweet lad couplet of “Petrichor” and “Ondine”, where his elusive, distressed melodic touch really shines thru. Mastered and cut by Matt Colton at Alchemy; Pressed at Pallas.

File Under: Electronic, Dub, Techno
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typhonian

Typhonian Highlife: The World of Shells (Kraak) LP
In tomorrow… Typhonian Highlife is the new moniker of Spencer Clark. Clark is the ultimate shape-shifter, a trickster continuously mutating from a sci-fi hero, into a mystic guru or into a speculative visionary. As Typhonian Highlife, he assimilates juxtapositions of the natural world and fantastic technology to reanimate the manneristic tradition. His compositions envision possible futures and speculative pasts. They imagine a new vision upon mankind, as a mythical underwater creature who creates meaning through a prosaic mysticism. The World Of Shells works as an dream expedition that has overflowed itself into real time. Through continual material-world visualization, a technologically natured music unfolds as a series of movements outlining the existence of a mythological African creature. Travelling through Hollywood, Hanging Rock, Australia, and The Ear of Dionysus in Sicily, the creature was placed, and has enacted a music and art form that explores a sci-fi aquatic and wind-blown desert fusion to uncover the life and wanderings of this non-material being. Mastered by Christophe Albertijn. Artwork by Spencer Clark.

File Under: Electronic, Experimental
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vu3

Velvet Underground: Legendary Guitar Amp Tapes 3 (Tummy Tapes) LP
In tomorrow… The third and final installment of the massive trilogy of The Legendary Guitar Amp Tapes. Recorded through a microphone jammed in the back of Lou Reed’s amp right around the release of The Velvet Underground’s third album (1969), The Legendary Guitar Amp Tapes are formidable in their unadulterated rock and roll fire and fury and a revelation for anyone who hasn’t paid close attention to Reed’s dynamic guitar playing which in this set is a monolithic roar, a pulverizing electronic kaiju (strange beast) grinding the whole universe into pebble and sand. Recorded at the Boston Tea Party on March 15, 1969. Paste-on covers. Edition of 500.

File Under: Psych, Rock

wilen

Barney Wilen: Moshi (Souffle Continu) LP
In tomorrow… Deluxe remastered reissue of Barney Wilen’s 1972 album Moshi, featuring additional artwork and a 20-page booklet of rare pictures, sheet music, and the original liner notes. Includes a bonus DVD (packaged with exclusive artwork) of Caroline de Bendern’s 1971 film à l’intention de Mlle Issoufou à Bilma, documenting this amazing African journey. Limited edition of 1000. “In 1970 Barney Wilen assembled a team of filmmakers, technicians, and musicians to travel to Africa for the purpose of recording the music of the native pygmy tribes. Upon returning to Paris two years later, he created Moshi, a dark, eccentric effort fusing avant jazz sensibilities with African rhythms, ambient sound effects, and melodies rooted in American blues traditions. Cut with French and African players including guitarist Pierre Chaze, pianist Michel Graillier, and percussionist Didier Leon, this is music with few precedents or followers, spanning from extraterrestrial dissonance to earthbound, street-legal funk. Wilen pays little heed to conventional structure, assembling tracks like ‘Afrika Freak Out’ and ‘Zombizar’ from spare parts of indeterminate origins.” –Jason Ankeny, AllMusic

File Under: Electronic, Jazz, Field Recordings
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black cat trail

Various: Black Cat Trail (Mamlish) LP
In tomorrow… “Long before the era of digital reissues, the Mamlish blues compilation LPs served a critical role in in keeping the musical tradition alive. More than a genre primer, this meticulously curated and annotated set, featuring such key forces as Snooky Pryor, Elmore James and Robert Nighthawk, doesn’t just showcase long unavailable classics, it provides an emotionally charged, deeply satisfying listening experience.”

File Under: Blues

chicago

Various: Chicago Slickers 1948-1953 (Nighthawk) LP
In tomorrow… “This issue of Nighthawk Records presents twenty-four classic recordings from Chicago’s heyday as a blues center. The rapid local proliferation of small independent labels during the postwar years and the shoestring economics practiced by their owners, fostered a fierce competitiveness more than matched in the musical community. Unfortunately, the failure of such small labels as Parkway, Tempotone and Random often obscured in extreme rarity even the most inspired performances by such regional heavyweights as Little Walter, Floyd Jones, John Brim and Johnny Shines. The resurrection of these important recordings will be cause for celebration in blues circles. (full liner notes and photos located inside)”

File Under: Blues

chicago 2

Various: Chicago Slickers 2 1948-1955 (Nighthawk) LP
In tomorrow… “Chicago Slickers Vol. 2 presents another selection of the best and rarest Chicago blues recordings of the early postwar era. All of the selections included here were previously available on a limited edition double album on the Boogie Disease label, but in the many years since that important anthology was issued, several titles have been duplicated elsewhere, and thus the two discs have been re-edited down to one album of the most important and obscure sides.”

File Under: Blues

home again

Various: Home Again Blues (Mamlish) LP
In tomorrow… “The post-war era’s feverish outbreak of independent blues recording captured some of the mightiest practitioners in the genre’s history, and this trove of long unavailable rarities is every fan’s dream come true. With prime cuts from such masters as Sunnyland Slim, Frankie Lee Sims and the soul stirring Brother Willie Eason, this classic Mamlish retrospective is a painstakingly compiled trove of electrifying mid-century blues.”

File Under: Blues

fluxus

Various: Fluxus Anthology (Song Cycle) LP
In tomorrow… Song Cycle Records present a reissue of Fluxus Anthology: A Collection Of Music And Sound Events, originally released in 1989. Fluxus was a collaborative movement of artists that worked across the diverse artistic mediums of performance, music, dance, poetry, photography, architecture, painting, sculpture, and film during the 1960s. Emerging in New York City, and spreading to Europe and Japan, Fluxus was led by recognized artists such as George Maciunas, Yoko Ono, Joseph Beuys, Nam June Paik, La Monte Young, and John Cage. Fluxus Anthology is a collection of works created by these visionary artists, featuring works by: Walter Marchetti, Juan Hidalgo, La Monte Young, Ben Vautier, Wolf Vostell, Milan Knizák, Robert Filliou, Alison Knowles, Emmett Williams, John Cage, Joseph Beuys, Yoko Ono, Dick Higgins, Philip Corner, Eric Andersen, Robert Watts, and Ken Friedman. Released in collaboration with Maurizio Nannucci. Presented here on clear, 180 gram vinyl.

File Under: Fluxus, Experimental

hustle

Various: Hustle: Reggae Disco (Soul Jazz) LP
Soul Jazz Records’ reissue their long-out-of-print album Hustle! Reggae Disco in a new expanded 2017 edition which now features five bonus tracks. This ground-breaking album features non-stop killer reggae versions of original funk and soul classics in a disco style. Reggae disco updates of seminal classics by Anita Ward (“Ring My Bell”), Chaka Khan (“I’m Every Woman”), Michael Jackson (“Don’t Stop ‘til You Get Enough,”) Sugarhill Gang (“Rappers Delight”) here performed by Derrick Laro and Trinity for producer Joe Gibbs and more, all showing the hidden but inseparable link between the dance floors of New York, Kingston and London. New bonus tracks to this collection include Derrick Harriott’s funky take on Eddie Drennon’s “Do It Nice & Easy,” the classic disco reggae of Risco Connection’s take on McFadden and Whitehead’s “Ain’t No Stopping Us Now” and the London rare groove lovers rock take on Barbara Acklin’s soul classic “Am I The Same Girl.” Hustle! Reggae Disco has been one of Soul Jazz Records’ best-selling releases since its first issue 15 years ago (and subsequently featured heavily in the early Grand Theft Auto games). This new 3LP edition comes fully re-mastered and with all original titles plus the new tracks.

File Under: Reggae, Disco

lord

Various: Lord Have Mercy (Playback) LP
In tomorrow…  “A hard-hitting collection of 27 funky, fantastic Gospel gems from the Checker catalog! Includes Gospel legends The Soul Stirrers, Salem Travelers, The Violinaires and many more, featuring beats, grooves and vocal performances that rival any of R&B recordings of the era — the best of the label’s rich heritage of music the church!” Also features: The William Singers, The Gospel Classics, Charlie Brown, Stevie Hawkins, The Meditation Singers, The Masonic Wonders, The East St. Louis Gospelettes, Meditations, The Jordan Singers, Gospel Six, The Gospel Hi-Lites, Martha Bass, and The Harmonizing Four.

File Under: Gospel, Funk, Soul

new deal

Various: New Deal Blues (Mamlish) LP
In tomorrow… “When Mamlish first issued this superb collection of Depression-era blues in 1970’s, it was a bellwether in the reintroduction of a critically important form of traditional American music. Featuring such striking classics as Kansas Joe McCoy’s ‘Meat Cutter Blues,’ Memphis Minnie’s ‘Keep it to Yourself’ and Peanut the Kidnapper’s ‘Suicide Blues’ this lovingly assembled and annotated set is a compelling musical tour de force.”

File Under: Blues

spiritual7

Various: Spiritual Jazz 7: Islam (Jazzman) LP
In tomorrow… Esoteric, modal, and progressive jazz, inspired by Islam and recorded between 1957-1988. Songs ancient and divine – the seventh volume of Jazzman Records’ acclaimed Spiritual Jazz series examines the influence and impact of Islam on four decades of jazz innovation. Through Malcolm X and Muhammad Ali, the civil rights era in America saw African American liberation politics famously associated with Islamic belief. This was not the first time that radical developments in African American cultural life had been widely and famously associated with Islam – that distinction belongs not to political or sporting giants, but to the progressive jazz musicians of the bebop generation. Kenny Clarke, Art Blakey, Sahib Shihab, Gigi Gryce, Idrees Sulieman, Ahmad Jamal, Yusef Lateef; all these legendary jazz pioneers – and countless more – were early converts to the spiritually charged Ahmadiyya school of Islam. Their faith profoundly influenced the music that they made, and the presence of prominent and innovative Muslim musicians at the heart of jazz culture in America has been recognized ever since. The tracks on this collection follow the story of Islam and jazz from the 1950s to the 1980s. Recorded by Muslim jazz musicians, they often draw specifically on Middle Eastern or Islamic music, dream of an esoteric or spiritual Afro-East, or invoke the landscape and sound worlds of Islamic Africa. Spiritual Jazz 7 presents a selection of visionary music – inspired by faith, powered by jazz. Many tracks never before reissued. Features: Maurice McIntyre, Kahil El’Zabar’s Ritual Trio with Malachi Favors & Ari Brown, Pharoah Sanders, Emmanuel Abdul-Rahim, Creative Arts Ensemble, East New York Ensemble De Music, Idrees Sulieman, Jamila Sulieman, Yusef Lateef, Sabu Martinez & Sahib Shihab, Abdelrahman ‘Abdo’ Elkhatib, Solar Plexus, The Lightmen Plus One, Ahmed Abdul-Malik, and Dawan Muhammad. Double LP version comes in gatefold a sleeve with extensive liner notes and pictures.

File Under: Jazz

windy city

Various: Windy City Blues 1935-1953 (Nighthawk) LP
In tomorrow… “This first issue of Nighthawk Records documents primarily the transitional work of Southern born bluesmen who immigrated to Chicago before the Second World War, but whose careers endured into the postwar era. The lure of the major studios and the easy availability of club work on the growing South side made the Windy City the natural destination of talented blues musicians and the local blues scene was firmly established by the late 20s when the vanguard included Tampa Red, Big Bill, and Georgia Tom. The 30s brought Sonny Boy Williamson, Robert Nighthawk, Washboard Sam and Memphis Minnie while the 40s produced Robert Lockwood, Johnny Shines and Muddy Waters. (full liner notes and photos located inside)”

File Under: Blues

…..Restocks…..

Adele: 25 (XL) LP
Buena Vista Social Club: s/t (WCV) LP
Sarah Davachi: All My Circles Run (Students of Decay) LP
Bob Dylan: Blonde on Blonde (Columbia) LP
Bob Dylan: Bringing It All Back Home (Columbia) LP
Grails: Black Tar Prophecy 1, 2, & 3 (Temporary Residence) LP
Grails: Take Refuge in Clean Living (Temporary Residence) LP
Jonsi: Rice Boy Sleeps (XL) LP
Le Femme: Psycho Tropical Brazil (Born Bad) LP
Les Rallizes Denudes: Live 7 (Mono-Tone) LP
Stephen Malkmus: Mirror Traffic (Matador) LP
Moondog: Viking of Sixth Avenue (Honest Jons) LP
Orb: COW/Chill Out, World (Kompakt) LP
Radiohead: Ok Computer (XL) LP
Rag’n’Bone Man: Human (Sony) LP
Otis Redding: Dictionary of Soul (Sundazed) LP
Run D.M.C.: Raising Hell (Music on Vinyl) LP
Scientist: Rids the World of the Evil Curse of the Vampires (Dubmir) LP
Sleep: The Clarity (Southern Lord) LP
Colin Stetson: Sorrow (52Hz) LP
Various: Antologia de Musica Atipica Portuguesa (Discrepant) LP
Various: TransWorld Punk Rave 1 (Transworld) LP
Various: TransWorld Punk Rave 2 (Transworld) LP

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