Tag Archives: instock

…..news letter #844 – rsd…..

Alright! Here we go! Weeks of ordering and receiving and plotting and in about 36 hours, all hell is gonna break loose around here. Tomorrow night 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 we’ve got some killer Listen Record pint glasses! We’ll be giving away a limited amount and have the rest of them for sale for a super nice price throughout the day.

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 Dirt Bag Cafe will be here giving all you early birds free coffee and treats.

AND Stu from Collective Arts Brewing is coming down in the afternoon to pour samples of some of their delicious brews.. I hope be brings some IPA #5.

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

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.

…..RSD Top Picks…..

harvesterInternational Harvester: Remains (Silence) 5LP BOX
This may not be an official RSD release, but this is hands down the best thing out this week and damnit, it’s gonna be our top RSD pick! If you bought the Parson Sound box, or the Trad, Gras Och Stenar box, YOU NEED THIS…. Silence present a five-LP box set featuring International Harvester titled Remains. The box contains their debut album from 1968 Sov Gott Rose-Marie and Hemåt from 1969, along with three full bonus albums with live material dating from 1967-1969. It also includes a poster, lots of pictures, and a long interview with member Thomas Tidholm made by Mats Eriksson Dunér. 180 gram black vinyl; Edition of 1000. International Harvester emanated from Pärson Sound and later became Träd, Gräs och Stenar(“Trees, Grass and Stones”). Member Thomas Tidholm on the recordings: “We talked about making the music stop and stand perfectly still. And that did happen sometimes. We never let go of the drone. We hardly made any key changes and never changed chords.” Thomas Tidholm and Anders Lind, the engineer for the early albums, have listened to two cases full of live recordings from 1967 to 1969. After editing them, Anders has restored and mastered the live material from the old cassette tapes and for the two original albums — original analog master tapes have been used. Digitally transferred at 96 khz/24 bits and gently remastered by Anders Lind.

File Under: Psych, Drone, Experimental

NA5165LP_CU

David Axelrod: Song of Innocence (Now Again) LP
Supply for this one was looking grim, but we managed to secure a decent amount at the last minute. Rejoice! “David Axelrod delivered one of the great psychedelic albums with 1968’s Song Of Innocence, based around the poetry of William Blake. It is considered by many his masterpiece. Song Of Innocence is this weird hybrid that no one, not even Axelrod himself, could ever really describe. The listener is pulled in by his melodies, simplistic at first blush, but colored by odd chord progressions and turn arounds, grounded by the drummer Earl Palmer and Carol Kaye’s funk, torn between the juxtaposition of musical elements — a jazz vibraphone solo here, a fuzz guitar tear here, a nod to the baroque in Don Randi’s clavichord comps — and put at ease, always, by Axe’s arrangements, which utilize brass and strings in a way that no 1960s arranger did. It’s worth noting that there are really count-on-your-hand examples of anything that might even be compared to Song Of Innocence. Perhaps Arthur Verocai’s self-titled and only artist album, issued on the Brasilian Continental label in 1972, or the collaborations between Serge Gainsbourg and Jean Claude Vannier, which found their epitome in 1971’s Histoire de Melody Nelson. But even these albums, superb, in any thinking music fan’s canon of the best from this era, perhaps in their lives — and perhaps in line with Song Of Innocence — are one-offs. Axelrod’s Song Of Innocence set in path a series of artist albums on Capitol and other labels and influenced the world countless times over, from The Verve to DJ Shadow to Madlib to J.Dilla. Remastered from the original tapes in a new transfer, with extensive liner notes and unpublished photos.”

File Under: Jazz, Psych, Funk

w2ngVarious: W2NG 89.9 FM (Numero) LP
Another not official RSD release, which really, seemed like a publicity stunt more than a stand, either way this is the follow up to their fantastic WTNG comp from a few RSDs back and their more recent killer Yacht Rock comp. By that math, this is sure to be a wild ride in your uncle’s ‘yacht’…. In the wake of 2017’s Seafaring Strangers: Private Yacht, Numero is proud to present another addition to the soft rock cannon: W2NG. Set your FM dial to smooth and sail away with 42 minutes of uninterrupted easy glide, pontoon rock, and whispery disco. Featuring unreleased burners from Gary Hyde, Love Transfusion, Marshall Titus, and Phillips, alongside scarce cuts from Nannette, Greenflow, Jim Spencer & Son Rize, Larry Sanders, Kettner & Shawe, Orphans of Love, and Lion, W2NG is sure to surprise even the most devout boat shoe enthusiast.

File Under: Yacht Rock, Soft Rock, AM Gold.

zeitTangerine Dream: Zeit (Varese Sarabande) LP
This is one of the essential Krautrock, electronic, ambient, kosmische slabs of the 70s. So so so SO essential. Couldn’t be happier to see this reissued, hopefully it’s around long after RSD, but I wouldn’t take that chance… After selling-through on 2200 copies of Tangerine Dream’s debut album as part of RSD’s Black Friday 2017, Varese returns with their third album and first breakthrough record, Zeit. This double LP was the first with the main trio of Edgar Froese, Peter Baumann and Chris Franke. Each side features only one epic song varying in length from about 18 minutes to almost 20 minutes. The cover of a solar eclipse is widely considered iconic in the genre. Pressed, appropriately enough, on Tangerine colored vinyl, in fitting with the cover as well as the band name.

File Under: Kosmische, Electronic, Ambient

piperPink Floyd: Piper at the Gates of Dawn MONO (Pink Floyd) LP
This is the best Pink Floyd record. And everybody knows the mono mix is always better. YOU NEED THIS…. The psychedelic debut album by Pink Floyd was their sole album completed with original vocalist/guitarist Syd Barrett and featured the early classic “Interstellar Overdrive”. The original mono version of Pink Floyd’s first LP, named of of Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time, is available for Record Store Day 2018.

File Under: Psych

…..RSD EXCLUSIVES…..

AC/DC: Back In Black (Sony) CS
Air: Sexy Boy (Warner) LP
Arcade Fire: s/t EP (Sony) LP
David Axelrod: Song of Innocence (Now Again) LP
Duck Baker: Les Blues du Richmond (Tompkins Square) LP
Bobby Bare Jr.: Things Change (Hypermedia) LP
Courtney Barnett: City Looks Pretty (Mom + Pop) LP
Courtney Barnett: The Double EP (Mom + Pop) LP
Rob Base & DJ E-Z Rock: It Takes Two (Profile) LP
Bass Communion: s/t (Hidden Art) LP
Chris Bell: I am the Cosmos (Omnivore) 7″
Belly: Feel (Sony) 10″
Chuck Berry: Greatest Hits (Sundazed) LP
Black Lips & Khan Family: Play Safe (Sony) LP
Bleachers: Unplugged (RCA) LP
Blitzen Trapper: Kids Album (LKC) 10″
Richard Bone: Brave Travels (Medical) LP
David Bowie: Let’s Dance (Parlophone) LP
David Bowie: Now (Parlophone) LP
David Bowie: Welcome to the Blackout (Parlophone) LP
Jeff Buckley: Live at SIN-E (Columbia) BOX
Cam’ron: Purple Haze (Get on Down) LP
Car Seat Headrest: Twin Fantasy (Mirror to Mirror) (Matador) LP
John Carter Cash: We Must Believe in Magic (Cash) LP
Johnny Cash: Rough Guide to (Rough Guide) LP
Johnny Cash: At Folsom Prison (Columbia) BOX
Jimmy Castor Bunch: It’s Just Begun (Tidal Wave) LP
Circle Jerks: Gig (Relativity) LP
Oliver Coates: John Luther Adam’s Canticles of the Sky (RVNG Intl) LP
Willie Colon: The Big Break (Get on Down) LP
Elvis Costello: Someone Else’s Heart (Yep Rock) 7″
The Courteeners: St. Jude (Polydor) LP
The Cure: Mixed Up (Rhino) LP
The Cure: Torn Down (Rhino) LP
Cymande: Promised Heights (Mr. Bongo) LP
Cymande: Second Time Around (Mr. Bongo) LP
Dap-Kings: A Closer Look (Daptone) LP
Miles Davis: Rubberband (Rhino) LP
Lhasa De Sela: Lhasa live in Reykjavik (Audiogram) LP
Dejohnette/Grenadier/Medeski/Scofield: Hudson (Motema) LP
Mac Demarco: Old Dog Demos (Captured Tracks) LP
Mac Demarco/Shamir: Beat Happening Covers (Bayonet) 7″
Distillers/Regrettes: Side by Side (Warner) LP
Bo Diddley: 16 All Time Greatest Hits (Sundazed) LP
Pino Donaggio: A Venezia un Dicembre Rosso Shocking (Vinyl Magic) LP
The Doors: Live at the Matrix (Rhino) LP
Thomas Andrew Doyle: Incineration (Sub Pop) LP
Dylan & The Dead: s/t (Columbia) LP
Steve Earle & The Dukes: Live from the Continental Club (E-Squared) LP
ESG: Come Away with ESG (Fire) LP
Flamin’ Groovies: Grease (Skydog) LP
Flaming Lips: Pouring Beer in You Ear (Warner) 7″
Fleetwood Mac: Tango in the Night Alternate (Rhino) LP
Josephine Foster: A Wolf in Sheeps Clothing (Fire) LP
Florian Fricke: Spielt Mozart (One Way Static) LP
Serge Gainsbourg/Michel Colombier: Le Pache (WeWantSound) LP
Marvin Gaye: Sexual Healing Remixes (Columbia) LP
Robert Glasper x Kaytranada: The Artscience Remixes (Blue Note) LP
Marvin Gaye: Sexual Healing Remixes (Legacy) LP
Goat: Double Date Score (Rocket) 10″
Goblin: Squadra Antigangster (Vinyl Magic) LP
Grateful Dead: Filmore West, San Francisco, CA 2/27/69 (Rhino) BOX
Grant Green: Funk in France (Resonance) LP
Groundhogs: Scratching the Surface (Fire) LP
Albert Hammond Jr: Etchings (Red Bull) 10″
Hawkwind: Levitation (Atomhenge) 3LP
Hawkwind: Dark Matter (Parlophone) LP
Jimi Hendrix: Mannish Boy (Legacy) 7″
Robyn Hitchcock: Insanely Jealous (Yep Rock) 7″
J Dilla: Ruff Draft – Dilla’s Mix (Pay Jay) LP
Bert Jansch: LA Turnaround (Earth) LP
Bert Jansch: Santa Barbara Honeymoon (Earth) LP
Bert Jansch: A Rare Conundrum (Earth) LP
Michael Kiwanuka: Out Loud (Polydor) LP
Kreator: Behind the Mirror (Noise) LP
Delvon Lamarr Organ Trio: Live at KEXP! (Colemine) LP
Los Sospechos: Postales (Colemine) LP
Machito: From Montuno to Cubop (Grosso) LP
Madchild: Dope Sick Record (Suburban Noise) LP
Beverly Martyn: Where the Good Times Are (Hifly) LP
Maytones: Only Your Picture (Burning Sounds) LP
MC5: I Can Only Give You Everything (Modern Harmonic) 7″
MC5: Looking At You (Modern Harmonic) 7″
Merzbow/Mats Gustafsson/Pandi/Moore: Cuts Up Cuts Out (Rare Noise) LP
Messengers Incorporated: Soulful Proclamation (Guestroom) LP
Thelonious Monk: Monk. (Columbia) LP
Kevin Morby & Waxahatchee: Farewell Transmission (Dead Oceans) 7″
Morbid Angel: Kingdoms Disdained (Nu-Wrinkle) LP
Van Morrison: Alternate Moondance (Rhino) LP
Ennio Morricone: Un Esercito di 5 Uomini (Vinyl Magic) LP
National: Boxer Live in Brussels (4AD) LP
Doris Norton: Computer for Peace (Mannequin) LP
Doris Norton: Personal Computer (Mannequin) LP
Nublu Orchestra: (
The Open Mind: s/t (s/t (Sunbeam) LP
OST: American Dreamer (Cinewax) LP
OST: Ganja & Hess (Cinewax) LP
OST: Hitchcock (Silva Scree) 7″
OST: Oldboy (Beatball) LP
OST: Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance (Beatball) LP
OST: Star Wars – The Last Jedi Porg Vinyl (Disney) 10″
Patton Oswalt: Annihilation (Comedy Dynamics) LP
Eli Paperboy Reed: Meets High & Mighty Brass Band (Yep Rock) LP
Pere Ubu: Terminal Tower (Fire) LP
Pink Floyd: Piper at the Gates of Dawn MONO (Pink Floyd) LP
Plush: Fed (Be With) LP
Popol Vuh: Messa di Orfeo (One Way Static) LP
Prince: 1999 (Rhino) LP
Bernard Purdie & Friends: Cool Down (Sugar Road) LP
Rage Against The Machine: Democratic National Convention 2000 (Epic) LP
Ramones: Sundragon Sessions (Rhino) LP
Lou Reed/Kris Kristopfferson: Bottom Line Archive (Bottom Line) LP
Residents: W***** B*** Album (Ralph) LP
Antonio Sanches: Buli Povo! (Analog Africa) LP
Sheepdogs: Trying to Grow (Warner) LP
Sheepdogs: Big Stand (Warner) LP
Sheepdogs: I’ve Got A Hole (Warner) LP
Skatalites: Hi-Bop Ska (Jump Up) LP
Soneros de Verdad & Luis Frank: Buena Vista: Barrio de la Habana (Connector) LP
Son Volt: Okemah & The Melody of Riot (Thirty Tigers) LP
Soundgarden: A-sides (A&M) LP
Melvin Sparks: Texas Twister (Tidal Wave) LP
Spectrum: Highs, Lows, & Heavenly Blows (Medical) LP
Spiritualized: Fucked Up Inside (Glass) LP
Jamie Stewart: An Aggressive, Chain Smoking Alcoholic (Bad Paintings) LP
Stooges: Detroit Edition (Rhino) LP
Streets: Remixes & B-Sides (Warner) LP
Sublime: 89 Visions (Geffen) 10″
Sun Ra: Astro Black (Modern Harmonic) LP
Sun Ra: The Cymbals/Symbols Sessions (Modern Harmonic) LP
Superchunk: What A Time to Be Alive (Merge) 7″
S U R V I V E: RR7400 (Relapse) LP
David Sylvian: Dead Bees on a Cake (Virgin) LP
Tad: Quick & Dirty (MVD) LP
Tangerine Dream: Zeit (Varese Sarabande) LP
Television Personalities: Privilege (Fire) LP
Television Personalities: Closer to God (Fire) LP
Johnny Thunders: So Alonesome (Remarquable) LP
U2: Lights of Home (Universal) 12″
Uncle Tupelo: No Depression Demos (Legacy) LP
Urban Dogs: s/t (Fallout) LP
Tom Waits: Bastards (Anti) LP
Tom Waits: Brawlers (Anti) LP
Tom Waits: Bawlers (Anti) LP
Sam Waymon: Ganja & Hess OST (Strange Disc) LP
The Who: The Kids are Alright (Polydor) LP
White Hills/Gnod: Aquarian Downer (Rocket) LP
Wilco: Live at the Troubadour (Rhino) LP
Wire: Nine Sevens (Pink Flag) 9×7″
Wu-Tang Clan: Enter the Wu-Tang Clan 36 Chambers (RCA) CS
Shiho Yabuki: The Body is a Message of the Universe (Subliminal Sounds) LP
Richard Youngs: Endless Futures (Glass) LP
Various: The Beginning of the End: The Existential Psychodrama in Country Music (Iron Mountain) LP
Various: Digging for Gold Vol. 2 (Rubble) LP
Various: Digging for Gold Vol. 6 (Rubble) LP
Various: Girls in the Garage Vol 2 (Past & Present) LP
Various: Girls in the Garage Vol 3 (Past & Present) LP
Various: Hillbillies in Hell 666 (Iron Mountain) LP
Various: Motown Funk Vol 2 (Motown) LP
Various: Natural High (Studio One) LP
Various: Mighty Instrumentals R&B (History of Soul) LP
Various: New Orleans Soul 1967 (History of Soul) LP
Various: New York Soul ’67 (History of Soul) LP
Various: Pornosonic – Unreleased 70s Porn Music (Enjoy the Ride) LP
Various: Singapore A-Go-Go (Sublime Frequencies) LP
Various: Soho Scene ’60 (History of Soul) LP
Various: Soho Scene ’66 (History of Soul) LP
Various: Soul Jazz Presents – Punk 45: Approaching the Minimal with Spray Guns (Soul Jazz) 5×7″ Box
Various: Soul Jazz Presents – Congo Revolution (Soul Jazz) 5×7″ Box
Various: Soul Jazz Presents – Dub Plate Special (Soul Jazz) 5×7″
Various: Tamla Motown (History of Soul) LP
Various: Texas Soul ’67 (History of Soul) LP

…. more to be added tomorrow, check our facebook event….

Advertisements
Tagged , , , , , , ,

…..news letter #843 – 9…..

If you can imagine.. not a lot of new stuff this week. Although there are a couple of much anticipated stragglers from last year in finally… looking at you King Gizzard and Lorde. But really, the important thing is…….

RSD is next week! Stuff is starting to arrive and a lot is shipped and en route now. Fills are all over the place, as usual. Next week we’ll be updating the Facebook event (HERE) with what is in. We’ve got our pal Stu coming down from Collective Arts Brewing to pour samples in the afternoon, and as usual, WE’RE GIVING AWAY A REGA RP1 TURNTABLE! So clear your day, you’re going to want to spend your April 21st here!

…..pick of the week…..

schulze.jpg
Klaus Schulze: Cyborg (Brain) LP
Along with Tangerine Dream’s Zeit, Klaus Schulze’s Cyborg stands as one of the supreme achievements of Germany’s early 1970’s space cadet nexus. Dark and disturbing, yet eerily hypnotic, Cyborg is a panoramic voyage from the outer limts of far-flung galaxies to the even more stranger inner landscapes of the human brain. It’s basically over an hour and a half of cosmic background radiation filtered and amplified through little more than a VCS3 synthesizer and a Farfisa organ. Its simplicity is almost primal; its effect on the listener is nothing short of mind altering. The opening track “Synphara” reminds one of a seance being conducted in the absolute darkness of the intergalactic void. The ominous drone of detuned oscillators and Schulze’s hovering Farfisa create a sinister backdrop for a barrage of cosmic debris distilled and modulated through pulse, triangle and sawtooth wave fluctuations. “Conphara” continues this otherwordly invocation by slightly changing the pitch of the fundamental drone and adding the ghostly presence of a full orchestra that drifts in and out of the sonic interstices created by Schulze’s humming generators. The overall effect is like being in a cathedral floating through the asteroid belt. “Chromengel” roils with the menace of an approaching thunderstorm, its leaden cellos rising and falling like a low pressure front as a hail of electronic effects ricochet in the consuming darkness. The final cloudburst of shrieking high-voltage energy unleashes a sheet of synthetic rain that sweeps the piece into brooding silence. “Neuronengesang” (trans. “Song of Neurons”) reverses polarity and charts a course directly to the stormy hemispheres of the listener’s brain. Its massive synthesized drones crash like shards of lightning across convoluted gray matter terrain while charged particles of electronic noise crackle and explode in the atmospheric flux. Its subtle shifts of timbre and tonality almost resemble the static flow of electricity trapped in a Tesla coil. Imagine standing at the center of a power station where invisible speeds of energies race so fast they stand still, where blue fire flickers snap and hiss and shuttle through the humming air, where pulsing currents crawl across the skin like a prickling electric spider–these are the impressions “Neuronengesang” evokes. Long before it was fashionable, Schulze had gone where no one had dared to explore, and Cyborg is the travelogue of that strange but fascinating voyage.

File Under: Electronic, Krautrock, Kosmische
Listen Here

…..new arrivals…..

place

A Place To Bury Strangers: Pinned (Dead Oceans) LP
For well over a decade now, A Place to Bury Strangers has become well known for their unwavering commitment to unpredictable, often bewildering live shows, and total, some might say dangerous volume. Pinned, their fifth full-length album, finds the band converting difficult moments into some of their most urgent work to date. It’s their first since the 2016 election, and their first since the 2014 closing of Death By Audio, the beloved Brooklyn DIY space where guitarist/singer Oliver Ackermann lived, worked, and created with complete freedom. There are searing meditations on truth and government-led conspiracies (“Execution”), as well as haunting, harmonized responses to the tensions of our current political climate (“There’s Only One of Us”). It all opens with “Never Coming Back,” a frightening crescendo of group vocals, vertiginous guitar work, and Dion Lunadon’s unrelenting bass. It’s a clear and honest statement of intent, not just for everything that follows, but for the band as a whole.

File Under: Indie Rock
Listen Here

aksak

Aksak Maboul: Un Peu de L’ame de Bandits (Crammed) LP
Founded in 1977 by Marc Hollander and Vincent Kenis, Aksak Maboul already contained some of the key elements of the Crammed aesthetics: eclecticism, internationalism, deliberate and playful mixing of forms, cultures and genres. Un Peu De L’ame De Bandits (1980) was recorded by a lineup featuring English musicians Fred Frith and Chris Cutler. More intense and “experimental” than their debut, this album’s music contains complex, completely written sections as well as totally improvised hardcore ambient pieces, not to mention drum machines, bassoons, sampling before samplers existed, Bulgarian, Pygmy, Polynesian and Delta Blues voices, tango, a Turkish tune, crypto-punk and pseudo-Varese music. Even the most ambitious moments are infused with Aksak Maboul’s customary playfulness: “Tango” for example is based on various existing tangos, the scores of which were cut-up, shuffled and randomly glued back together; the musicians then proceeded to learn the resulting “opus”, and actually performed it live in one take; “A Modern Lesson” contains recorded fragments taken from every single other track on the album; the last section of “Cinema” is an improvised impression of a late-night program on Bulgarian radio. Un Peu De L’ame De Bandits’  first reissue on vinyl includes a booklet and previously-unreleased recordings on an accompanying download.

File Under: Electronic, Jazz, Avant Garde
Listen Here

badrelig

Bad Religion: The Gray Race (Epitaph) LP
Bad Religion has become synonymous with intelligent and provocative West Coast punk rock and are considered one of the most influential and important bands in the genre. Over the past three decades the band has continually pushed social boundaries and questioned authority and beliefs armed only with propulsive guitars, charging drumbeats, thoughtful lyrics and an undying will to inspire and provoke anyone who will listen. Newly remastered, 1996’s The Gray Race is Bad Religion’s ninth full-length effort overall and follow-up to their highly successful 1994 album Stranger Than Fiction. Produced by The Cars’ Ric Ocasek and serving as the band’s first recorded sans original guitarist Brett Gurewitz, it’s home to such fan favorites as “A Walk,” “Punk Rock Song,” “Pity the Dead” and “Spirit Shine.”

File Under: Punk
Listen Here

aladdin sane

David Bowie: Aladdin Sane (RCA) LP
45th anniversary edition on coloured vinyl! Originally released in 1973, Aladdin Sane came right at the height of David Bowie’s new superstar status and followed up the breakthrough Ziggy Stardust. It’s also the final album on which the Spiders’ classic lineup of Mick Ronson (guitar, piano, backing vocals), Trevor Bolder (bass), and Mick ‘Woody’ Woodmansey (drums) appears and marks the debut of one of avant-jazz pianist Mike Garson. In addition to vocals, Bowie plays guitar, harmonica, keyboards and saxophone on a set that has more than stood the test of time. Described by Bowie as “Ziggy goes to America,” Aladdin Sane saw him create a rockier, more frenetic album than its predecessor, with the Rolling Stones a possible influence on album opener “Watch That Man” and a transgressive cover of their song, “Let’s Spend the Night Together.” Elsewhere, Muddy Waters’ influence is heard in the riff of the UK #2 single “The Jean Genie” and “futuristic nostalgia” of “Drive-In Saturday.” “Cracked Actor,” possibly Bowie’s most decadent moment, was written after he had toured Hollywood Boulevard, translating the images and environment into raw rock n’ roll. The addition of Garson and his remarkable talents, infuse some of the album’s key tracks, in particular the title track with its dissonant improvisation, the Brechtian cabaret of “Time,” and album closer “Lady Grinning Soul” with an edgy, schizophrenic quality.

 File Under: Pop, Rock
Listen Here

dubuffett

Jean Dubuffet: Musical Experiences (Etats-Unis) LP
“The legendary French painter and sculptor Jean Dubuffet exalted naivety and spontaneity in visual art, and his brazenly experimental recordings on Musical Experiences evince the same spirit through sound. He once reflected, ‘Certain unexpected windfalls … come of improvising on an instrument one doesn’t really know how to use.’ Dubuffet, who famously founded the art brut (or outsider art) movement, began making music in the early 1960s with avant-garde figure Asger Jorn. With no training, they played a range of instruments: saxophone, bassoon, detuned piano, hurdy-gurdy, cabrette, bombarde and so on. Soon, Dubuffet reserved a room in his home for making music and bought two tape-recorders in order to manually edit the results. He wrote fondly of the recordings’ crudeness and the sense that they ‘had no beginning and no end but were simply extracts taken haphazardly from a ceaseless and ever-flowing score.’ Dubuffet’s discography begins in 1961 with the release Expériences Musicales, a six 10-inch record set produced in an edition of fifty with original artwork and lithographed sleeves. Musical Experiences, compiled by composer Ilhan Mimaroglu and released in 1973 on his Finnadar imprint, collects eight of the twenty pieces on the much sought-after Expériences Musicales. First-time vinyl reissue. Limited edition of 500 numbered copies on clear vinyl.”

File Under: Avant Garde
Listen Here

duncan

John Duncan: Organic (Etats-Unis) LP
“The inter-disciplinary maverick John Duncan emerged in 1970s Los Angeles as a confrontational performance artist and, as the decade progressed, aligned himself with the experimental-music collective Los Angeles Free Music Society. His sound art appeared on various self-released cassettes and alongside artists such as Jim Pomeroy and Yoshi Wada on the Los Angeles Institute of Contemporary Art’s influential compilation Sound. Duncan’s debut album, Organic, released in a tiny edition on the artist’s own AQM imprint in 1979 and distributed through LAFMS, collects some of his earliest and most absorbing noise experiments. Recorded live, Organic is composed of two sidelong pieces: ‘Broken Promise,’ a patient, murky dirge featuring Duncan on tape and percussion, plus Michael Le Donne-Bhennet on bassoon; and ‘Gala,’ a kinetic, durational percussion piece featuring Duncan alone. The meditations on texture and unpredictability, realized with unconventional and found sounds, anticipate his later work with shortwave radio. First-time standalone reissue. Limited edition of 500 numbered copies on clear vinyl.”

File Under: Electronic, Experimental
Listen Here

jepson

Warner Jepson: Totentanz (Etats-Unis) LP
“Considered as the first piece of electronic music to accompany a ballet, Totentanz is the arrestingly abstract and mightily expressive result of Warner Jepson’s experiments with tape and Don Buchla’s groundbreaking synthesizer, the Buchla 100. Totentanz, originally self-released in 1972, reveals a composer relieved of convention. In the 1950s and 1960s, Jepson was part of an informal circle of Bay Area artists that included Pauline Oliveros, Terry Riley, La Monte Young, Morton Subotnick and Steve Reich. A fixture of the legendary San Francisco Tape Music Center, Jepson was among the performers who realized the world-premiere of Riley’s seminal minimalist composition In C and worked closely with postmodern dance figure Anna Halprin as well as the Welland Lathrop Dance Company. Jepson’s affection for the performing arts meant that he was thrilled to be commissioned by the San Francisco Ballet Company to compose a piece to accompany Carlos Carvajal’s beguiling, danse macabre-inspired Totentanz. Jepson, who passed away in 2011, incorporated concrete sounds from his collection as well as creations on the Buchla 100, which had recently migrated to Mills College. As the composer once wrote, ;Don Buchla’s box … offered numerous sound possibilities without a map.’ First-time vinyl reissue. Limited edition of 500 numbered copies on clear vinyl.”

File Under: Electronic, Avant Garde
Listen Here

king giz

King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard: Gumboot Soup (ATO) LP
In tomorrow… Australian rockers King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard said they would issue five full-length LPs in 2017 alone and with the release of Gumboot Soup at the tail end of the year they accomplished the mean feat. Gumboot Soup follows February’s Flying Microtonal Banana, June’s Murder of the Universe, August’s Sketches of Brunswick East, and November’s Polygondwanaland. In an interview with Consequence of Sound, the band’s Stu Mackenzie described their final record of 2017 as a “place for us to put a lot of different ideas that we’re trying to experiment within the song, rather than within the whole record. And for me, some of my favorite songs of the year are on the fifth record. It’s more song-oriented than album-oriented.”

File Under: Psych
Listen Here

king tuff

King Tuff: The Other (Sub Pop) LP
The ten tracks that make up The Other represent a kind of psychic evolution for Kyle Thomas aka King Tuff. No less hooky than previous records, the new songs ditch the goofy rock-and-roll bacchanalia narratives of earlier outings in favor of expansive arrangements, a diversity of instrumentation, and lyrics that straddle the fence between painful ruminations and a childlike, creative energy untarnished by cynicism. The soulful and cosmic new direction is apparent from the album’s first moments: introduced by the gentle ringing of a chime, acoustic guitar, and warm organ tones, “The Other” is a narrative of redemption born of creativity. As Thomas sings about being stuck in traffic, directionless, with no particular reason to be alive, he hears the call of “the other,” a kind of siren song that, instead of leading towards destruction, draws the narrator towards a creative rebirth. Elsewhere, tracks like “Thru the Cracks” and “Psycho Star” balance psychedelia with day-glo pop hooks. “The universe is probably an illusion, but isn’t it so beautifully bizarre?” he asks on “Psycho Star,” providing one of the record’s central tenets. At a time when everything in the world feels so deeply spoiled and the concept of making meaning out of the void seems both pointless and impossible, why not try? Thomas self-produced the record, as he did his 2007 debut, Was Dead, but on a far grander scale. He recorded it at The Pine Room, the home studio Thomas built to work on the record, and playing every instrument aside from drums and saxophone. He pulled Shawn Everett (War On Drugs, Alabama Shakes) in to assist with the mixing process. While it would be easy to think of The Other as a kind of reinvention for King Tuff, Thomas views the entire experience of the record as a kind of reset that’s not totally removed from what he’s done in the past.

File Under: Psych, Garage
Listen Here

lockwood

Annea Lockwood: Glass World (Etats-Unis) LP
“New Zealand-born sound artist and composer Annea Lockwood received formal training at various institutions before exploring the sonorous potential of glass in a series of performances in the late 1960s. With plates of wired glass, glass discs, chunks of green cullet glass, glass tubing, sheets of micro-glass, glass jars and other incarnations of the material, Lockwood elicited a staggering array of sounds, some subtly uncanny and others as outlandish and alien as anything emitted from the era’s early synthesizers. Lockwood’s glass concerts yielded a text-score published in Northern California new-music journal Source: Music of the Avant-Garde and attracted the attention of South African producer Michael Steyn, who encouraged her to record the glass pieces for his label Tangent. They worked for two years in a small, resonant church in London to document a veritable catalogue of the materials’ tone and timbre; Lockwood wished to present each sound as if it were a piece of music in and of itself. Glass World originally appeared on Tangent in 1970. ‘I wanted to entice people into really listening intensively,’ Lockwood once reflected. ‘Into really listening. I wanted a deep immersion in the sounds of themselves, for the audience.’ First-time vinyl reissue. Limited edition of 500 numbered copies on clear vinyl.”

File Under: Avant Garde, Sound Art
Listen Here

lordeLorde: Melodrama (Lava) LP/DLX LP
In tomorrow… New Zealand-born singer/songwriter Lorde scored her first US No. 1 album when her long-awaited second LP Melodrama topped the Billboard 200 in the summer of 2017. Co-written and co-produced with Jack Antonoff (Fun, The Bleachers), each track – including captivating singles “Green Light,” “Liability,” “Sober,” and “Perfect Places” – is an intimate portrayal of late teenage years, which makes her wide appeal all the more impressive. The Fader called lead single “Green Light,” “a true pop anthem – made for both earbud strutting and the club”; Billboard praised “Liability” as “an absolute jaw-dropper”; and SPIN hailed “Sober” as “the strangest, coolest Melodrama song yet.” The universally acclaimed Melodrama was nominated for Album of the Year at the 60th Annual Grammy Awards. Featuring double sided record sleeve and double sided photo insert.

File Under: Pop
Listen Here

mienMien: s/t (Rocket) LP
Rocket Recordings are pleased to reveal the self-titled debut album by MIEN, the exciting new four piece band comprised of The Black Angels’ Alex Maas, The Horrors’ Tom Furse, Elephant Stone’s Rishi Dhir and The Earlies’ John-Mark Lapham. Inhabiting a modern-day realm in which what is termed ‘psych’ is all-too-often a codified and predictable incarnation entirely at odds with the original free-flowing spirit of psychedelia, it can be a struggle to find a band who can marry the essence of its inception with an adventurous mindset – one with the ability to render their creations beyond clichéd genre trappings and studied thriftstore cool. Who knows whether through study or serendipity, but MIEN – a Transatlantic four-way collision of considerable force involving luminaries who have each forged a reputation for head-spinning audial magick in their own right – are just such a band. What’s more, their eponymous Rocket recordings debut is no less than a rich tapestry of third-eye visions and nocturnal serenades both vivid and vital. The chemistry between these four gures is manifest amidst a kaleidoscopic series of atmospheres and excursions whereby the fertile songwriting of the golden age of ‘60s psychedelia is transmitted into a transcendental realm above and beyond the second decade of the 21st century.

File Under: Psych
Listen Here

nicolaiBruno Nicolai: Indio Black (Dagored) LP
Dagored present a reissue of Bruno Nicolai’s soundtrack for the 1970 spaghetti western Adiós, Sabata. The great Bruno Nicolai, one of the closest collaborator of Ennio Morricone, composed this epic score for the second film of the western cult classic Sabata Trilogy, starring the legendary Yul Brinner, employing a dramatic style creating what is considered one of the great masterpieces of Italian western music. First time complete soundtrack on vinyl. Orange vinyl; Edition of 500.

File Under: OST, Italian
Listen Here

schaRemko Scha: Machine Guitars (Etats-Unis) LP
“Gnashing, thrashing and teeming with enchanting microtones — Machine Guitars is the definitive recorded work of Remko Scha, although the late Dutch artist didn’t play a single note himself. Rather, Scha arranged a motorized, rotating wire brush and saber saw in front of suspended electric guitars and let these metallic torrents flow. Scha was a linguist and generative artist, enamored of computers’ capacity for algorithmic creativity. A leading researcher at the University of Amsterdam, he also cofounded the famed arts-space Het Apollohuis in a former cigar-factory in 1980. This haven for intellectuals and underground autodidacts served as the recording studio for most of Machine Guitars (as well as Ellen Fullman’s brilliant The Long String Instrument), which originally appeared in 1982 on the small Dutch label Kremlin. Machine Guitars, as the critic Byron Coley has noted, ranks among the best of the era’s minimalist-inspired, avant-garde guitar statements by Glenn Branca and Rhys Chatham. The semiautonomous sound-making sculptures also evoke contemporaneous work by Christian Marclay. Scha’s work falls somewhere between conceptual art and avant-garde music — a total revelation for minimalists and No Wave fans alike. First-time vinyl reissue. Limited edition of 500 numbered copies on clear vinyl.”

File Under: Experimental, Noise, Rock
Listen Here

pieroPiero Umiliani: Requiem per un Agente Segreto (Dagored) LP
Dagored present a reissue of Piero Umiliani’s soundtrack for the 1966 film Requiem Per Un Agente Segreto. A catching exploration of easy listening and lounge music by the legendary Piero Umiliani, one of the Italian score masters who penned some of the most outstanding film music from the ’60s and ’70s. Composed for the Italian spy thriller Requiem Per Un Agente Segreto starring Stewart Granger and Bond-girl, Daniela Bianchi. First time complete edition on vinyl. Green vinyl; Edition of 300.

File Under: OST, Italian
Listen Here

wye oakWye Oak: The Louder I Call.. (Merge) LP
For The Louder I Call, The Faster It Runs, Wye Oak’s Jenn Wasner and Andy Stack flew to one another’s cities – she in Durham, NC, he in Marfa, TX – for a week or so at a time, hunkering in home studios to sort through and combine their separate song sketches. These shorter stints together produced less second-guessing and hesitation in their process, yielding an unabashed and unapologetic Wye Oak. They discarded past rules about how to write a record, instead funneling all those experiences and experiments into perfectly unified statements. The result is the biggest, broadest, boldest music Wye Oak has ever made. Louder… pursues a litany of modern malaises, each of its 12 tracks diligently addressing a new conflict and pinning it against walls of sound, with the song’s subject and shape inextricably and ingeniously linked. It arrives at a time of immense doubt, when our personal problems are infinitely compounded by a world that seems in existential peril. But these songs answer the challenge by radiating self-reflection and resolve, wielding hooks and musical intricacy as a shield against the madness of the moment.

File Under: Indie Rock
Listen Here

…..Restocks…..

Alvvays: s/t (Royal Mountain) LP
Bahamas: Earthtones (Republic) LP
Big Black: Songs About Fucking (Tough & Go) LP
Blue Cheer: Vincebus Eruptum (Sundazed) LP
Butthole Surfers: Electriclarryland (Plain) LP
Brainticket: Celestial Ocean (Lilith) LP
Brainticket: Psychonaut (Lilith) LP
Brainticket: Cottonwoodhill (Lilith) LP
CCR: Green River (Fantasy) LP
CCR: Chronicle Vol 1 (Fantasy) LP
Alice Coltrane: Journey in Satchidananda (Impulse) LP
John Coltrane: A Love Supreme (Impulse) LP
John Coltrane: Blue Train (Blue Note) LP
Miles Davis: Birth of Cool (Columbia) LP
Miles Davis: Bitches Brew (Columbia) LP
Miles Davis & John Coltrane: Final Tour (Columbia) LP
Nick Drake: Bryter Layter (Island) LP
Nick Drake: Five Leaves Left (Island) LP
Nick Drake: Pink Moon (Island) LP
Essaie Pas: New Path (DFA) LP
GZA: Liquid Swords (Universal) LP
Herbie Hancock: Speak Like A Child (Blue Note) LP
Joy Division: Preston 28 February 1980 (Get Back) LP
Led Zeppelin: s/t (Warner) LP
Madlib/Freddie Gibbs: Pinata (MMS) LP
Nirvana: Nevermind (Geffen) LP
Nirvana: Unplugged in New York (Geffen) LP
Queens of the Stone Age: Rated R (Interscope) LP
Queens of the Stone Age: Lullabies To Paralyze (Music on Vinyl) LP
Spacemen 3: Sound of Confusion (Fire) LP
Spacemen 3: Recurring (Space Age) LP
Swans: The Glowing Man (Young God) LP

Tagged , , , , , , ,

…..news letter #842 – glass…..

Another week, another stack of wax waiting for me to finish this news letter so it can hit the shelves. Some real sweet pieces in this week, including the OST to Another Wolfcop from our pals Shooting Guns! Maybe this weather will let up and spring will come in time for RSD, cuz no one wants to wait in line in this cold. Speaking of RSD…..

RSD is in a few weeks! Some pretty neat stuff coming in for that, and as usual, we’ll have all kinds of fun planned, so plan to come on down on April 21st! Follow our Facebook event to keep up to date one what’s going on…. HERE

…..picks of the week…..

shooting guns

Shooting Guns: Another Wolfcop (One Way Static) LP
Our buds from S’toon have done it again! Shredding it up for Another Wolfcop!  A year has passed since the eclipse transformed hard-drinking Officer Lou Garou into a lycanthrope crime-fighter. Although the evil that controlled the town of Woodhaven was defeated, it is as depressed as ever. Lou’s liquor-fuelled lunar outbursts are now seriously testing his relationship with his partner Tina Walsh — the new Chief of Police. An old friend has mysteriously reappeared with a truly bizarre secret to share, and a villainous entrepreneur looking to transform the town has set up a nefarious new venture. Prepare for the next phase of this global cult favourite that promises to be dirtier, hairier and more outrageous than ever! Featuring a cool cameo by Kevin Smith, receiving raving reviews & stacking up award nominations … Another Wolfcop is currently wreaking havoc at festivals/theaters & is coming soon to VOD/Netflix. Also returning on scoring duties is the Canadian outfit ‘SHOOTING GUNS’. Hailing from Saskatoon, SK, in the heart of the Canadian prairies, Shooting Guns are hard at work fortifying the heavy end of the psychedelic spectrum, haunting the foggy moor between Sabbath-styled doom riffery and heavy pulse-riding kraut-rock. Their debut LP, ‘Born To Deal in Magic: 1952-1976’, was nominated for the Polaris Music Prize in 2012. Their sophomore LP, Brotherhood of the Ram, released in 2013 was nominated for the 2015 JUNO Metal/Hard Album of the Year as well as the Polaris Music Prize. Shooting Guns scored the soundtrack to Canadian horror-comedy WolfCop and released the Official Soundtrack in 2014 (also on One Way Static Records) which won the 2015 WCMA Award for Metal/Heavy Recording of the Year. The Another WolfCop OST sees the band’s most ambitious recording to date, incorporating a wide range of influences and instruments to expand on the WolfCop universe and take this nail-biting, action-packed film over the edge. Available as a classic black vinyl edition (limited to 250 copies) which will be available from record stores and online retailers worldwide on 4/6. Next to this black vinyl edition there will also be TWO color variants available: ‘PINK DONUT VINYL’ (300 copies) available exclusively from Light In The Attic & Mondo in North America and through Transmission in Europe. ‘BEER-CAN BROWN VINYL’ (250 copies) available exclusively from Light In The Attic (USA) and from Shooting Guns (Canada). All versions also come with a digital download card. Album art is handled by ‘The Dude Designs’ who is known for his work for Mondo, Troma, Arrow and many others.

File Under: Metal, S’tooner Rock, OST
Listen Here

sotl

Stars of the Lid: Gravitational Pull vs The Despair for an Aquatic Life (Kranky) LP
The release of Music For Nitrous Oxide, the 1995 debut by Stars Of The Lid, heralded a new strain of the American underground music scene, one born of the heat and humidity, boredom, and the insular, constipated, rock-ist music scene of Austin, Texas, home of the duo of Brian McBride and Adam Wiltzie. It was a muffled lashing out against surrounding musical conventions, a small middle finger to the local dominant “Americana” scene, but one that nobody could see outside the shack of a house in which they recorded or at their occasional sparsely populated live performances. It was as punk a move as anyone could make at that place and in that time. But, in a surprise to the two members of SOTL, people took notice, as related rumblings and grumblings were taking place simultaneously in other parts of the American landscape. Coming quickly on the heels of their debut was Gravitational Pull vs. The Desire For An Aquatic Life, released one year later. This is a transitional release that travels from the scruffiness of the debut’s ambiance to more extended and subtle undulating tides of assembled sound, yet still dominated by processed guitars as the primary sound source. It also serves as an omen to the mini-orchestral works to come, beginning with the Avec Laudenum album a few years later. This is a small masterpiece.

File Under: Electronic, Ambient, Drone
Listen Here

…..new arrivals…..

coil

Coil: Astral Disaster Sessions Un/Finished Musics (Perscription) LP
These rare COIL tracks were recorded as part of the legendary Prescription label album sessions in the late 1990s that resulted in the album Astral Disaster. As we described with regards to our first Coil volume, they were invited to record at Sun Dial’s studios beneath the London Bridge Hop Exchange. This studio was no ordinary studio. It was originally know as Samurai Studios, and had been originally built and owned by Iron Maiden. The premises in Victorian times had been an old debtors prison, which had three underground levels, and still had the original chains, manacles and wrought iron doors from the old prison. This caught the attention of John Balance, and he was very keen to record there. At Gary Ramon’s invitation, Coil spent a number of days recording at the studio during Halloween 1998. Coil developed a number of tracks, some of which resulted in the Astral Disaster album. For various reasons, unissued material and mixes were omitted from the original album. That brings us to here and now, and this LP, which provides Coil fans with their first opportunity to listen to this additional material from the Astral Disaster sessions. This album includes previously unissued mixes, the rare version of ‘I Don’t Want To Be The One’ (only included on the very rare 1999 promo only Prescription sampler); and the 14-minute track ‘Cosmic Disaster,’ which was the original working title of the album. Edition of 1,000 copies.

File Under: Ambient, Experimental, Industrial
Listen Here

exek

Exek: Ahead of Two Thoughts (w.25th) LP
Melbourne’s Exek began as a studio project with frontman Albert Wolski before the 2014 formation of the four-piece line up with Andrew Brocchi (synthesizer), Henry Wilson (bass) and Sam Dixon (drums). With the addition of Nell Grant on saxophone, the group’s sound entered another dimension that reveals Exek to be conjuring the ghosts of PiL, This Heat and Swell Maps. Ahead Of Two Thoughts, Exek’s sophomore release, pushes headlong into haunted, post-punk territories. Opening track “U Mop” pairs sneering vocals with elastic bass and spectral guitars, while the elliptical discourse of “Weight Loss (Henry’s Dream)” is accentuated by reverbed drums that would make Martin Hannett proud. Superior Viaduct’s W.25TH imprint presents Ahead Of Two Thoughts, a never-ending loop of dub-infected textures and anxious lyrics. Mastered by Mikey Young (Eddy Current Suppression Ring, Total Control), this tightly coiled album recorded in 2015-2016 could easily be mistaken for a classic 4AD title from the ‘80s. Look for Exek on tour in 2018.

File Under: Post Punk
Listen Here

farrah

Shamek Farrah: First Impressions (Pure Pleasure) LP
For a label that wasn’t around long, Strata East achieved the same sort of label recognition that Impulse! or Blue Note managed to build. In other words, you knew what you were getting when you bought a record on the label, even if you didn’t know the names on the outside of the cover. This is no exception. Who is Shamek Farrah? Who knows? Who cares? It’s the music that’s important. This is the standard spiritually intense new jazz one learns to expect from the label, soaked in some Eastern influences but always with its ear to the street. Musicians took their roles as leaders and spokesmen very seriously back then. This very adult statement from a group of very serious men is no exception. However, what might be an average, forgettable session is rescued by the propulsive engine of Milton Suggs’ bass. He adds the fire and the drive that keeps things interesting and prevents the music from wandering into a circular spiritual morass. For fans of the sound or the label, this can be heartily recommended.

File Under: Jazz, Strata East
Listen Here

harper

Billy Harper: Capra Black (Pure Pleasure) LP
Capra Black remains one of the seminal recordings of jazz’s black consciousness movement. A profoundly spiritual effort that channels both the intellectual complexity of the avant-garde as well as the emotional potency of gospel, its focus and assurance belie Billy Harper’s inexperience as a leader. Backed by an all-star supporting unit including trombonist Julian Priester and drummer Billy Cobham, Harper’s tenor summons the brute force and mystical resolve of John Coltrane but transcends its influences to communicate thoughts and feelings both idiosyncratic and universal. This is music of remarkable corporeal substance that somehow expresses the pure language of the soul.

File Under: Jazz, Strata East
Listen Here

kunkel

Robb Kunkel: Abyss (Future Days) LP
“…one of the best, perhaps the best, on the label…displays the typical Tumbleweed combination of a loose, stoned ‘Astral Flash’ vibe and a classy production.” – Patrick Lundborg, Acid Archives. Denver in 1971 was the right place, right time for musician Robb Kunkel. He’d just come off a year rambling around North America before settling in Colorado, landing a gig as a promotions rep for ABC-Dunhill. The weed was potent, magic was in the air, and Kunkel’s life was about to change forever. The San Fernando earthquake had spurred industry pals Bill Szymczyk and Larry Ray to join forces to form their own label—and get the hell out of California. The duo reached out to Kunkel who helped set up shop for their burgeoning Denver enterprise, Tumbleweed Records. Kunkel secured a headquarters, helped staff the label, and brought in talent, including Danny Holien, Pete McCabe, Dewey Terry. But Kunkel was itching to make a record of his own. Perhaps to repay him, Tumbleweed agreed. A longtime piano man and blues aficionado, Kunkel had the soul of a poet and the restless spirit of the jazz musicians he also worshipped. For his album, Kunkel wanted a jazz producer, and Szymczyk hired Ed Michel, then the head of Impulse Records, who brought on a string quartet and jazz legend Ray Brown and Wrecking Crew musician Jimmy Bond. Ostensibly a pop album at heart, Abyss brings all of Kunkel’s influences together and vacillates wildly in style. From folky ditties to pensive wailers, Kunkel’s songs are often piano-driven but rarely straightforward. Tracks regularly veer off into jazz or baroque string arrangements, but there’s a raw quality—in the production and in Kunkel’s literary and at times earnest lyrics. It’s the album of a young and uninhibited musician who has realized a lifelong dream and who takes it seriously, but not too seriously.

File Under: Folk Rock
Listen Here

love

Love: Forever Changes 50th Anniversary (Rhino) BOOK+LP
The golden anniversary of Love’s landmark 1967 album Forever Changes is being celebrated with an extensive 4CD/DVD/180-gram LP collection reissue housed in a beautifully illustrated 12 x 12 hardbound book that features a newly written essay and track-by-track notes by music historian Ted Olsen. The set features a few firsts for the album, including the CD-debut of a remastered version made by its original co-producer and engineer Bruce Botnick, as well as the first-ever release of the mono version on CD. Also included are alternate mixes of the album, as well as a selection of rare and unreleased singles and studio outtakes. Botnick’s stereo remaster of the original album also makes its vinyl debut on the LP included with this set. It was cut from high resolution digital audio by celebrated audio engineer Bernie Grundman. The DVD that accompanies the anniversary collection includes a 24/96 stereo mix of the album remastered by Botnick. Also featured is Your Mind And We Belong Together, a rare promotional video directed by Elektra producer Mark Abramson that was originally released in 1968. Recorded during the Summer of Love in Hollywood, CA, Forever Changes is the group’s most fully realized studio effort, featuring Arthur Lee (vocals, guitar), Johnny Echols (lead guitar), Bryan MacLean (rhythm guitar, vocals), Ken Forssi (bass) and Michael Stuart (drums, percussion). The original album introduced such timeless classics as “Andmoreagain,” “Red Telephone,” “A House Is Not A Motel” and “Alone Again Or.” Forever Changes: 50th Anniversary boasts more than a dozen rarities, including single versions of “Alone Again Or” and “A House Is Not A Motel” that are available now for the first time since 1967. Two other recordings on the set have never been released: the backing track for “Live And Let Live” and an outtake backing track for “Wonder People (I Do Wonder).”

File Under: Psych
Listen Here

menzel

Suzanne Menzel: Goodbyes & Beginnings (Frederiksberg) LP
Frederiksberg Records is proud to announce the first reissue of Suzanne Menzel’s 1981 album “Goodbyes and Beginnings”. This sought-after rarity presents a blend of ambient, new-age, 60’s inspired folk music. The melancholic lyrics of singer-songwriter Suzanne Menzel are transformed by Danish New-Age pioneer, Klaus Schønning’s, futuristic soundscape. Schønning, not only produced “Goodbyes and Beginnings,” Menzel also credits him as giving her the artistic courage to self-release her first and only album. “Goodbye’s and Beginnings” sits at the cross-section of many genres. Menzel’s voice is as timeless as her heartfelt, somber lyrics. While Schønning’s synthesizer, organ and rhythm computers offer a playful contrast. The beautiful tension between them creates a fresh, unique sound and makes “Goodbye’s and Beginnings” hard to categorize even today.

File Under: New Age, Synth Pop
Listen Here

spacemen3

Spacemen 3: Dreamweapon (Superior Viaduct) LP
August 1988, Spacemen 3 embark on one of the strangest events in the band’s already strange history. Billed as “An Evening Of Contemporary Sitar Music” (although consciously omitting the sitar), the group would play in the foyer of Watermans Arts Centre in Brentford, Middlesex to a largely unsuspecting and unsympathetic audience waiting to take their seats for Wim Wenders’ film Wings Of Desire. Spacemen 3’s proceeding set, forty-five minutes of repetitive drone-like guitar riffs, could be seen as the “Sweet Sister Ray” of ‘80s Britain. Their signature sound is at once recognizable and disorienting —pointing as much to the hypnotic minimalism of La Monte Young as to a future shoegaze constituency. On this double LP reissue, Dreamweapon is augmented by studio sessions and rehearsal tapes from 1987 that would lead up to the recording of Spacemen 3’s classic Playing With Fire album. “Spacemen Jam,” featuring Sonic Boom and Jason Pierce on dual guitar, is a side-long mediation on delicate textures and psychedelic effects. Includes download card and new insert with liner notes by Will Carruthers.

File Under: Drone, Psych
Listen Here

spiny

Spiny Norman: s/t (Riding Easy) LP
Spiny Normen were an incredible mid-’70s Houston hard rock, progressive, psychedelic rock band that featured mellotron, Vox Jaguar, crunchy, heavy guitars, flute with echo effects, and lots more. A totally lost relic, this self-titled album was recorded at a community college and never released. The recording is very English, dark, mysterious and proggy, but also very acid-drenched. “Circa 1976, Gerry [Diaz] and I would skip class, smoke whatever scrap of contraband we could scrape together and meet in the high school auditorium where there was a piano and bang out crunchy rhythms. Gerry was playing guitar, listening to Alice Cooper, hair down to his back and about the only Mexican-American in a white bread school. He was cool! So when he said one day, ‘Hey man we should jam some time,’ I was stoked. I found an ancient Vox Jaguar that had belonged to Fever Tree and a Kustom amp that I blew out just right, that made the most beautiful distortion, accompanied by a beloved phase shifter. Over the next three years we began to experiment, spending months penning intense, bizarre, surreal and mind-affecting pieces influenced by King Crimson, Pink Floyd, film soundtracks, Van Der Graaf Generator, and the like. I was collecting keyboards: a mellotron, a single-key-play Moog… Gerry was adding echos, early guitar, synth and tons of pedals. I learned the flute. In we went with a hired stand-up bass player and little engineering knowledge to the community college 8-track recording studio and just played like psychedelic Mozarts. Timpani, live effects, sound effect records, backward echo, violin bow on guitar and plenty of echo. Gerry and I on vocals. What came out was still, to this day, in my humble opinion, some very complex, untouched territory, holy-what-the stuff. We were all about 19.”     —Steve Brudniak (cofounder of Spiny Normen)

File Under: Psych, Hard Rock
Listen Here

streets

Streets: Original Pirate Music (Locked On) LP
English rapper/producer Mike Skinner aka The Streets burst onto the U.K. music scene at large in 2002 with his fresh and fearless debut album Original Pirate Material. Showcasing Skinner’s part street poet and part punk suburban everyman duality, it led to both voice of his generation and best album of the decade laudits and earned a Mercury Prize nomination. The landmark effort melds hip-hop, dub, ska, and dance beats to form an epic backdrop for The Street’s witty vignettes. His writing and his music are equally distinctive here, flipping from humorous to dark and introspective and back again. The highly sought after, long out of print LP is home to the half rapped/half sung singles “Has It Come to This?,” “Let’s Push Things Forward,” “Weak Become Heroes” and “Don’t Mug Yourself.”

File Under: Electronic, Hip Hop, Dub
Listen Here

umoUnknown Mortal Orchestra: Sex & Food (Jagjagwuar) LP/DLX LP
Where are we headed? What are we consuming, how is it affecting us, and why does everything feel so bad and weird sometimes? These are some of the questions posed on Ruban Nielson’s fourth album as Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Sex & Food – a delightfully shapeshifting album that filters these real-deal serious themes through a vibrant sonic lens that spans battered drum-machine funk, doomy and thrashing rock, and pink-hued psychedelic disco. Recorded in a variety of locales from Seoul and Hanoi to Reykjavik, Mexico City, and Auckland, Sex & Food is a practical musical travelogue, with local musicians from the countries that Nielson and his band visited pitching in throughout. Over the last decade, Nielson’s established himself as one of the most inventive sonic traveler currently working, and Sex & Food is the most eclectic and expansive Unknown Mortal Orchestra release yet, from the light-footed R&B of “Hunnybee” to the stomping flange of “Major League Chemicals.” The adventurousness is all the more impressive considering that there’s a bit of DNA from the past UMO discography in Sex & Food: the soft-focus psych of the project’s 2011 debut LP, the lovely melancholia of 2013’s II, and the weirded-out funk of 2015’s virtuosic Multi-Love. But rather than living in the past, Nielson is firmly in the here and now, drawing from personal unrest and generational malaise while surveying a variety of societal ailments. “If You’re Going to Break Yourself” and “Not in Love We’re Just High” chronicle the effects of drugs and addiction on personal relationships, while the lyrics for “Ministry of Alienation” drip with modern-day paranoia like the silvery guitar tones that jewel the song’s structure. It’s a scary world out there, and it’s been that way for a while – and Sex & Food finds Nielson surveying the damage while attempting to reckon with the magnitude of it all. Indeed, the modern world – and all the thorny complications that come with living in it – loomed large on Ruban’s mind while making Sex & Food. But even though he’s not afraid to get topical throughout – as evidenced on the surprisingly boisterous “American Guilt” or the roomy-disco medication-meditation “Everyone Acts Crazy Nowadays” – Ruban was also careful not to get too political, and for good reason. “Everything is so soaked in politics, and it’s kind of depressing for everything to be political right now,” he explains. “I wanted to keep it light. I think everyone’s feeling angry, and there’s nothing particularly interesting about my anger.”

File Under: Indie Rock
Listen Here

vantzouChristina Vantzou: No. 4 (Kranky) LP
Belgium-based composer Christina Vantzou’s fourth full-length for Kranky ventures further into the uniquely elusive and evocative mode of ambient classical minimalism which has become her signature: a fragile synthesis of contemplative drift, heady silences, and muted dissonance. In regards to the new album she speaks of focusing particular attention on the effects of the recordings on the body, and of “directing sound perception into an inner space.” No. 4 took shape across roughly two years, incorporating a diverse array of musical and conceptual collaborators, including fellow Kranky artists Steve Hauschildt and John Also Bennett (of Forma) as well as Angel Deradoorian (ex-Dirty Projectors), Clarice Jensen, Beatrijs De Klerck, and members of Belgium’s Echo Collective. During the creation process Vantzou wanted to “blur lines of hierarchy,” and thus allowed all ensemble members and technical assistants to add or delete elements. Despite such a spectrum of input the eleven tracks feel distinctly cohesive, weaving elegant textures and resonant open spaces within a twilit landscape of eclectic instrumentation: piano, harp, vibraphone, voice, strings, marimba, synthesizers, gong, and bells. A mindset of premeditated exploration informs the album’s emotive textural intuition, with hushed drones and delicate gestures eliding in the periphery of the mix. Vantzou cites sleep and “the loosening of time” as two formative practices in her private and professional life, which manifests in the quietly hallucinatory properties of her music. No. 4 feels both endless and ephemeral, immersive and immaterial. It’s a music of horizon lines and half-light, mapped with feeling and foresight.

File Under: Ambient, Classical, Minimalism
Listen Here

…..Restocks…..

Black Sabbath: s/t (Rhino) LP
Black Sabbath: Master of Reality (Rhino) LP
Black Sabbath: Sabbath Bloody Sabbath (Rhino) LP
Black Sabbath: Vol. 4 (Rhino) LP
Butthole Surfers: Independent Worm Saloon (Plain) LP
Depeche Mode: Violator (Warner) LP
Flaming Lips: Transmissions from the Satellite Heart (Warner) LP
Flaming Lips: Soft Bulletin (Warner) LP
Flaming Lips: Yoshimi Battles (Warner) LP
Bridgette Fontaine: Est… Folle (Superior Viaduct) LP
Bridgette Fontaine: Comme A La Radio (Superior Viaduct) LP
Nils Frahm: All Melody (Erased Tapes) LP
Fuzz: II (In The Red) LP
Johnny Jewel: Digital Rain (Italians Do It Better) LP
Joy Division: Unknown Pleasures (Rhino) LP
Joy Division: Closer (Rhino) LP
Love: s/t (Rhino) LP
Metallica: Kill ‘Em All (Blackened) LP
Metallica: Ride the Lightning (Blackened) LP
Cecil Payne: Zodiac (Pure Pleasure) LP
Sheer Mag: Compilation (Wilsun) LP
Sheer Mag: Need to Feel Your Love (Wilsun) LP
Simply Saucer: Cyborgs Revisited (In The Red) LP
Spiritualized: Ladies & Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space (Plain) LP
Terekke: Improvisational Loops (Music From Memory) LP
Thundercat: Drunk (Brainfeeder) 4×10″
Marcos Valle: Vento Sul (Light in the Attic) LP
Marcos Valle: Previsao do Tempo (Light in the Attic) LP
Ween: 12 Golden Country Greats (Plain) LP
Ween: Chocolate & Cheese (Plain) LP
Ween: God Ween Satan (Plain) LP
Justin Walter: Lullabies & Nightmares (Kranky) LP
Wand: Golem (In The Red) LP
Wand: Plum (Drag City) LP
Various: Deutsche Elektronische Musik Part 1 (Soul Jazz) LP
Various: Deutsche Elektronische Musik Part 2 (Soul Jazz) LP

Tagged , , , , , , ,

…..news letter #841 – mere weeks…..

Hoooboy! Loads sitting on the counter so I’ll be brief. LOTS IN! Come buy em!

RSD is in a few weeks! Some pretty neat stuff coming in for that, and as usual, we’ll have all kinds of fun planned, so plan to come on down on April 21st!

…..picks of the week…..

pendant

Pendant: Make Me Know Sweet (West Mineral Ltd) LP
The artist sometimes known as Huerco S. ushers a phase shift of sound to the shoegazing harmonic gauze of Make Me Know You Sweet, his immersive debut proper as Pendant. In this horizontal mode, Brian Leeds relays abstract stories from a headspace beyond the dance, placing his interests in the Romantic landscapes of JMW Turner, Robert Ashley’s avant-garde enigmas, and Indigenous North American philosophy at the service of a more expressive, oneiric sound that sub/consciously avoids the trap falls of “chillout” ambient cliché. Across seven amorphous, texturally detailed tracks he establishes far reaching coordinates for both Pendant and the West Mineral Ltd. label, which aims to release everything except the commonly accepted, traditional forms of late 20th/early 21st century dance music, while also representing the work of his inner circle of friends, producers, artists. In that that sense there’s a definite feeling of “no place like home” to his new work, but that home appears altered, much in the same way The Caretaker/Leyland Kirby deals with themes of memory and nostalgia. It’s best described as mid-ground music, as opposed to the putative background purpose of ambient styles, or the upfront physicality of dance music. Rather, the sound billows and unfurls with a paradoxically static chaos, occupying and lurking a space between the eyes and ears in a way that’s not necessarily comforting, and feels to question the nature and relevance of ubiquitous pastoral, new age tropes in the modern era of uncertainty and disingenuity. The results ponder an impressionistic, romantically ambiguous simulacrum of real life worries and anxiety, feeling at once dense and impending yet without center. From the keening, 11-minute swell of “VVQ-SSJ” at the album’s prow, to the similar scope of its closer, Pendant presents an absorbing vessel for introspection, modulating the listener’s depth perception and moderating our intimacy with an elemental push and pull between the curdling, bittersweet froth of “BBN-UWZ”, the dusky obfuscation of “IBX-BZC” and, in the supremely evocative play of phosphorescing light and seductive darkness in the mottled depths of “KVL-LWQ”, which also benefits from additional production by Pontiac Streator. Make Me Know You Sweet taps into a latent, esoteric vein of American spirituality that’s always been there, yet is only divined by those who remain open-minded to its effect. Master and lacquer cut by Matt Colton. Edition of 700.

File Under: Electronic, Ambient, Experimental
Listen Here

banabil

Michel Banabila: Trespassing (Séance) LP
Trespassing is a 2LP compilation focusing on Dutch electronic artist Michel Banabila’s incursions into otherworldly and imagined realms. LP1 is a compilation of works spanning over 20 years that acts as a bridge between his earliest work and his contemporary practice. LP2 is a reissue of his early masterpiece Marilli, a highly sough-after album that acts as both an LSD inspired DIY tribute to Byrne and Eno’s Ghosts and a youthful exploration of Banabila’s personal background and his experience as a squatter in Amsterdam in the early 80s.

File Under: Electronic, Ambient, Experimental
Listen Here

roach

Steve Roach: Dreamtime Return (Telephone Explosion) LP
Steve Roach’s 1988 double-disc is back in production for the first time in 30 years! Dreamtime Return was inspired by multiple visits to the Australian Outback. The concept behind Dreamtime has secured the album as one of the pivotal works in ambient music today. The tales told over two LPs touch on the earth’s origins, and the role humans have to play in it. Inspired by the stories of Australia’s first people, Steve Roach used a combination of synthesizers and Aboriginal instruments to create the album’s signature sound. Dreamtime Return travels through unexpected pathways with slow moving textures, as tones scatter into brilliant arrays and evolve into a mystic long-distance journey. Remastered from the original tapes, Dreamtime Return will be released as a deluxe gatefold double LP.

File Under: Electronic, Ambient
Listen Here

…..new arrivals…..

PI203LP_PROD

Vanessa Amara: Manos (Posh Isolation) LP
Cut from the same cloth as 2017’s double-cassette, Like All Mornings, Vanessa Amara’s new album, Manos, trails shorthand piano pieces and wilted strings through magnificent, electro-acoustic sounds, often settling into buzzing, syncopated reveries. Their new album feels hesitant to reveal its parts and is perhaps a document of the limits of what can be revealed, a memorial to its own process as it winds itself in and around its delicately hued landscape. Though beginning with a morose gait, the album quickly turns over. And revealing its softer self, the clarity of the moving string arrangements hang in the air like fine mist. Everything settles against surfaces as the day breaks, opening up the space, though eventually condensing into the unnerving crescendo of the album’s final piece. A recurrent, gentle whirring, much like a gramophone’s needle, tracks through much of Manos. It carefully steadies the listener into a mode of measuring duration, a meditative self-awareness that deliver’s Vanessa Amara’s world. Always intricate, and effortlessly tender, Manos is an album as textural as it is melodic, and it is certainly the most exquisite suite of works to have been presented by Vanessa Amara thus far. Vanessa Amara is Birk Gjerlufsen Nielsen and Victor Kjellerup Juhl.

File Under: Ambient, Electronic
Listen Here

dunes

Amen Dunes: Freedom (Sacred Bones) LP
Over the course of 10 years, Damon McMahon aka Amen Dunes has transformed continuously, and Freedom is the project’s boldest leap yet. On the surface, it’s a reflection on growing up, childhood friends who ended up in prison or worse, male identity, McMahon’s father, and his mother, who was diagnosed with terminal cancer at the beginning of recording. The characters that populate the musical world of Freedom are a colorful mix of reality and fantasy: father and mother, Amen Dunes, teenage glue addicts and Parisian drug dealers, ghosts above the plains, fallen surf heroes, vampires, thugs from Naples and thugs from Houston, the emperor of Rome, Jews, Jesus, Tashtego, Perseus, even McMahon himself. Each character portrait is a representation of McMahon, of masculinity, and of his past. Yet, if anything, these 11 songs are a relinquishing of all of them through exposition; a gradual reorientation of being away from the acquired definitions of self we all cling to and towards something closer to what’s stated in the Agnes Martin quote that opens the record, “I don’t have any ideas myself; I have a vacant mind” and in the swirling, pitched down utterances of “That’s all not me” that close it. The themes are darker than on previous Amen Dunes albums, but it’s a darkness sublimated through grooves. The music, as a response or even a solution to the darkness, is tough and joyous, rhythmic and danceable. The combination of a powerhouse rhythm section, Delicate Steve’s guitar prowess filtered through Amen Dunes heft, and Panoram’s electronic production background, makes for a special and unique NYC street record. It’s a sound never heard before on an Amen Dunes record, but one that was always asking to emerge. “Blue Rose” and “Calling Paul the Suffering” are pure, ecstatic dance songs. “Skipping School” and “Miki Dora” are incantations of a mythical heroic maleness and its illusions. “Freedom” and “Believe” offer a street tough’s future-gospel exhalation, and the funk-grime grit of “L.A.” closes the album, projecting a musical hint of things to come.

File Under: Indie Rock
Listen Here

solaris

Edward Artemiev/Andrey Tarkovsky: Solaris. Sound and Vision
(Song Cycle) Box
Song Cycle Records present the release of Solaris. Sound And Vision, a collector’s edition box set, that includes the soundtrack realized by the great Russian composer Edward Artemiev for Andrey Tarkovsky’s masterpiece film Solaris (1972). The box includes the soundtrack in two formats: 180 gram, high-quality virgin vinyl and, for the first time, CD. The release is also accompanied by an exclusive, hardcover photo book with unreleased images of the movie set and essays about music and cinema of the duo Artemiev/Tarkovsky, and the BluRay version of the film, in original language with English subtitles; BluRay region B (Europe only). The set comes in a limited edition of 500 numbered copies. The collaboration between Tarkovsky and Artemiev started in conjunction with the completion of Solaris when the director was seeking for a film score capable to give back and complete, through the sound, the meaningful images of the film. Back in the day, Artemiev was a member of the legendary Experimental Studio of Electronic Music in Moscow, a place of high experimentation in the field of the electronic music, in the context of which the ANS synthesizer was conceived and employed for the first time for music composition. Invented almost ten years before by Murzin, the ANS was used by Artemiev to create the special sound atmosphere that Tarkovsky was looking for. Artemiev and Tarkovsky’s association will also extend to two other undisputed masterpieces of Tarkovsky, Mirror (1975) and Stalker (1979), both forthcoming. A unique artistic joint-venture is that among the duo, in which the musician is seen as a sound organizer, more than a composer, within the process of giving form to a soundscape intertwined completely with the film in its unfolding: always essential and never to be experienced as an accessory element. What emerges here is how and at what degree for Tarkovsky the sound is part of his own existence. Made in collaboration with the Andrey Tarkovsky Institute, Solaris. Sound And Vision is a compelling publication for everyone who wants to dive deep into the Tarkovsky’s realm.

File Under: Ambient, Drone, OST
Listen Here

atobe

Shinichi Atobe: Butterfly Effect (Demdike Stare) LP
2018 limited repress. Shinichi Atobe has managed to stay off the grid since he made an appearance on Basic Channel’s Chain Reaction imprint back in 2001. He delivered the second-to-last 12″ on the label and then disappeared without a trace, leaving behind a solitary record that’s been selling for crazy money and a trail of speculation that has led some people to wonder whether the project was in fact the work of someone on the Basic Channel payroll. That killer Chain Reaction 12″ has also been a longtime favorite of Demdike Stare, who have been trying to follow the trail and make contact with Atobe for some time, whoever he turned out to be. A lead from the Basic Channel office turned up an address in Japan and — unbelievably — an album full of archival and new material. Demdike painstakingly assembled and compiled the material for this debut album. And what a weird and brilliant album it is — deploying a slow-churn opener that sounds like a syrupy Actress track, before working through a brilliantly sharp and tactile nine-minute piano house roller that sounds like DJ Sprinkles, then diving headlong into a heady, Vainqueur-inspired drone-world. It’s a confounding album, full of odd little signatures that give the whole thing a timeless feeling completely detached from the zeitgeist, like a sound bubble from another era. This is only the second album release on Demdike Stare’s DDS imprint, following the release of Nate Young’s Regression Vol. 3 (Other Days) in 2013. Who knows what they might turn up next? Mastered by Matt Colton at Alchemy.

 File Under: Electronic, Basic Channel
Listen Here

HJR203LP_PROD

Derek Bailey: Lot 74 (Honest Jon’s) LP
Honest Jon’s Records present a reissue of Derek Bailey’s Lot 74, originally released by Incus in 1974. Recorded at a private house in West London, the side-long title track is a masterwork: a twenty-two-minute, starkly personal, freely expressive, itchily searching re-casting of orders of rhythm and sound into a new, quicksilver kind of affective and musical polyphony. Never mind the guitarist’s championing of “non-idiomatic improvisation”, the poet Peter Riley gets the ball rolling in his identification of the various hauntings of Bailey’s playing at this time: “mandolins & balalaikas strumming in the distance, George Forby’s banjo, Leadbelly’s steel 12-string, koto, lute, classical guitar… and others quite outside the field of the plucked string.” The five pieces on side two were recorded back home in Hackney around the same time — with the exception of “Improvisation 104(b)”, from the year before (and issued by Incus in its TAPS series of mini reel-to-reel tapes) — opening with ventriloquized guitar feedback, and taking in some cod banter about colleagues like Mervyn Parker, Siegfried Brotzmann, and Harry Bentink. Crucial.

File Under: Improvised Music, Experimental, Jazz
Listen Here

HJR204LP_PROD

Derek Bailey: Duo (Honest Jon’s) LP
Honest Jon’s Records present a reissue of Derek Bailey and Tristan Honsinger Duo, originally released by Incus in 1976. Born in Burlington, Vermont, and conservatory-trained in the US, the cellist Tristan Honsinger moved from Montreal to Amsterdam in 1974, quickly linking with Han Bennink and Misha Mengelberg and opening a long and fruitful musical relationship with Derek Bailey. Recorded in 1976, Duo displays a performative musical approach already characterized by the lack of inhibition which would later endear him to The Pop Group: he is knockabout, exclamatory, explosively rhythmic; burping Bach and folk melodies with spasmodic lyricism, in amongst the garrulous textures and accents of his scraping, bowing, and plucking, and gibbering like a monkey; throwing out his arms and stamping the floor, grappling with his instrument like an expert clown, always tripping himself up. You can hear Bailey reveling in the company, as he ranges between scrabbling solidarity and an askance skewering of his partner’s antics, on prepared (nineteen-string) and standard electric guitars — and a Waisvisz Crackle-box, for the garbled, quizzical, cross-species natter which closes “The Shadow”. Throughout, the spirited interplay between laconic, analytic wit, and guttural, sometimes slapstick physicality is consistently droll, often laugh-out-loud funny; vigorously alert, alive, and gripping.

File Under: Improvised Music, Experimental, Jazz

ESPDISK5024LP_PROD

Robbie Basho: Live in Forli, Italy 1982 (ESP) LP
Robbie Basho (1940-86), who died young after a stroke, never got his due in the culture at large, but steel-string guitar enthusiasts have known for decades that he was one of the greats of “American Primitivism”. Technically adept and compositionally imaginative, fusing the music of many cultures into a mesmerizing solo style, he has been an inspiration for many; his music has generated a surge of interest in recent years. This 1982 concert was part of a four-show Italian tour. It took place at the 18th-century Palazzo Gaddi that housed the local music high school and was mostly used for classical concerts, in an intimate space co-organizer Mario Calvitti (whose memories of the events surrounding this concert make up the bulk of the liner notes) says Basho called it “one lovely little room where I could play all night.” Only previously released incompletely as a download, this show can now be heard in its full glory. This release is in cooperation with the Official Robbie Basho Archives. No. 2 in the RB-Archives-Live series. Produced by Buck Curran; Co-released with Obsolete Recordings. “American musician Robbie Basho (1940-1986) is without doubt one of the greatest pioneers of world guitar music. To this day, his songs and compositions for the acoustic guitar remain wholly unique, contemporary, and otherworldy. Though largely unknown in Italy when he toured there in 1982 (in the company of Italian acoustic guitarist Maurizio Angeletti), the small to medium size audiences who attended his performances were overwhelmingly sympathetic to his musical vision and deeply entranced in the glow of his musical presence. From what is documented on this recording from Forlì, we are given witness to Basho’s idiosyncratic spirit and musical artistry. Wielding only a six and twelve-string guitar and his powerful voice, we hear rapturous fingerpicking and singing. As the concert evolves, Basho’s spirit rises high above terra firma as he transforms into a wild mythical winged stallion, riding waves of colour and sound … charging across plains of cosmic light towards the outer regions of space and time.” –Buck Curran, September 11, 2017, Bergamo, Italy

File Under: Folk, Solo Guitar, Americana
Listen Here

REGRM019LP_PROD

Francois Bayle: Tremblements (Recollection GRM) LP
François Bayle on Tremblement de terre très doux (1978); first performance on March 19, 1979 at the Grand Auditorium of Radio-France, Ina-GRM’s Cycle Acousmatique: “The familiar generates the strange. These rolls, these hums, these sudden rushes; this song, these peaceful circlings; these sudden outbursts, these returns to quiescence — what do they remind us of? This piece’s trajectory could also be a representation of the dramatic unfolding of a day — of a life — from sunrise (‘Climate 1’) to night-time (‘Landscape 4’) via restless encounters, transitions (‘Transit 1’, ‘2’, and ‘3’) that announce the drama climaxing in ‘Landscape 3’, before reaching its denouement in “Climate 4″… A whole concrete ‘story’. The subterranean properties inherent to listening gently shift our ideas…” François Bayle on Toupie dans le ciel (1979); first performance on January 21, 1980 at the Grand Auditorium of Radio-France, Ina-GRM’s Cycle Acousmatique: “A wave is swaying on two minors thirds. This constantly uniform yet constantly varied swaying revolves in a swarm of sharp designs that blink on and off in a layer of growing density and mobility. Distance, speed, pressure, density, temperature, color, intensity, are the ‘themes’ of the 27 short interconnected cells flowing together though this seemingly unified movement. Occasionally, a breach in the texture reveals skies dotted with little comets. In the center, a slow gliding picks up the distant harmonics of a basic chord. Toward the end, this gliding returns with a fiery burst. Fine lines and whirs are generated from the song of a spinning antique top. To end on a lighter note the title Toupie dans le ciel — ‘Spinning Top in the Sky’ reminds us of ‘Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds’ by The Beatles as well as Lucy, the oldest Australopithecine (three million years), our African grandmother in the Erosphere… The overall title Erosphere alludes to the desire inherent to the listening experience, and to the very primitive cues that sustain the auditory attention and are the basis of all musical pleasure.” Cut by CGB at Dubplates & Mastering, Berlin, June 2017; Digital transfer by Jonathan Fitoussi; Translations by Valérie Vivancos; Layout by Stephen O’Malley; Coordination GRM – Daniel Teruggi and François Bonnet; Executive Production – Peter Rehberg.

File Under: Early Electronic, Experimental

BIO025LP_PROD

Biosphere: Hilvarenbeek Recordings (Biophon) LP
Review from A Strangely Isolated Place: “‘As The Sun Kissed The Horizon’ is one of my favorite Biosphere tracks. It’s a recording of (what to me sounds like) the empty fields after a bustling summer’s day, as the sun slowly sets and people leave for home. It reminds me of my summer’s youth, and every time I listen, I picture myself in that exact field, the same field I spent my summers playing football in, hanging with friends and generally enjoying my childhood. Music has the power to reinvigorate lost memories and despite me never hearing this until years later, this track brings back memories every time Biosphere’s The Hilvarenbeek Recordings capture a similar emotional response. Across the eight pieces, we’re treated to a similar summer’s day in ‘tSchop. Biosphere is known for his field recordings, but they are sometimes lost amongst his more electronic productions, or in some instances, slightly too focused on extremely obscure sounds. This album is the perfect middle-ground and defines the Biosphere I enjoy the most. A subtle mixture of beautiful ambient formed from some of nature’s finest textures — sounds that have the power to transport you from your own relatable experiences.”

File Under: Electronic, Ambient
Listen Here

AALP085LP_PRODCamarao: Imaginary Soundtrack to a Brazilian Western Movie
(Analog Africa) LP

Camarão, living Patrimony of the state of Pernambuco November 2012: “In 1960 we received an invitation to play in Recife, a wonderful, exciting and dangerous place, often described as a ‘social jungle’. The Forró party took place at Caxangá´s neighbourhood theatre, on the first floor; with its high ceilings, wooden floors and balconies, the place was perfect for these kinds of events. When all the windows were wide open, there would be a wonderful breeze during the hot tropical evenings. Since everyone was looking for amusement, the place was packed on weekends. People from all corners of society would arrive nicely dressed, animated and chatting loudly over the sound of clinking glasses. Pernambuco´s Cachaça, considered by many, especially by the locals, to be the best in the country, had started flowing generously and the popular sugar cane-based alcohol lives up to its reputation. We always had a few shots to warm up before performing and by the time the place was packed we were already in a very good mood. Our local cachaça had loosened the bodies and minds of everyone in the room, people started to pair off and twirl around to the sound of forró music, smiling and sliding their feet off the floor — a reflex picked up from dancing in rural villages to avoid kicking up the dust.”

File Under: Brazil
Listen Here

corruptedCorrupted: Felicific Algorithm (Cold Spring) LP
Corrupted is a mysterious Japanese doom metal band, formed in 1994. Immensely down-tuned guitar and crushingly slow bass are shrouded under deep layers of feedback. They are rightly hailed as one of the heaviest and darkest doom metal bands of all time. This record isn’t your standard doom fare. The title-less tracks are to be played at either standard vinyl speed. Therefore, and at the band’s request, no samples or download code. The limited 12″ is accompanied by a foldout poster.

File Under: Doom Metal

deadmeadowDead Meadow: The Nothing They Needed (Xemu) LP
Dead Meadow’s unique marriage of Sabbath riffs, dreamy layers of guitar-fuzz bliss, and singer Jason Simon’s melodic croon have won over psychedelic pop/rock and stoner rock fans alike. With their new album The Nothing They Need the band show that in 2018, they continue to fuse their love of early-’70s hard rock and ’60s psychedelia into their own distinct sound. The album was recorded in Dead Meadows’ studio/rehearsal space, Wiggle Room and it celebrates 20 years of the band with eight songs that feature everyone that has been musically involved with the band over the years. Jason and Steve Kille are joined by original drummer Mark Laughlin, Stephen McCarty (the drummer throughout the Matador years), and current drummer Juan Londono. Cory Shane joins them on guitar for some Feathers era dual guitar interplay.

File Under: Indie Rock, Psych
Listen Here

FFL038LP_PRODDharma Quintet: Mr. Robinson (Souffle Continu) LP
Souffle Continu Records present the first ever reissue of Dharma Quintet’s Mr Robinson, originally released in 1970. In an interview with Jazz Magazine in the early 1970s, Dharma, as a collective voice, outlined their method: “we try to reach, within free jazz, the same sort of rhythmic cohesion as in bop, a cohesion based not exactly on tempo, but something which feels like tempo. A kind of underlying pulse.” Evidence of these ideas can be heard immediately on listening to Mr Robinson, the first album by the Dharma Quintet, for whom community living seemed obvious, in order to add to the aforementioned cohesion. Through this, the group members played together on a daily basis, trying out things which were worked on day in, day out. They also listened to a lot of records, with of course a preference for free jazz, but not forgetting Miles Davis in his electric period, notably for the keyboards of Keith Jarrett and Chick Corea. To which should be added esthetical-political concerns based on a refusal of hierarchy, and a desire to escape from a restrictive academic approach… It was within this framework that Jef Sicard and Gérard Coppéré (saxophones, flute, bass clarinet), Patricio Villarroel (electric and acoustic piano), Michel Gladieux (bass), and Jacques Mahieux (drums) formed the first version of a collective united by structured intentions. The result is a beneficial cohesion, and moments of great beauty born of a collective excitement and giving rise to ambiances which seemed almost possessed. The use of modes could seem to link Mr Robinson to the spiritual jazz of the past but that is without taking into account the fact that the benevolent spirit of Eric Dolphy seems to watch over this album. In France, a similar desire for cohesion could be found in the Cohelmec Ensemble, who had parallel preoccupations, to the point where their bassist, François Méchali, ended up by joining Dharma. As a quintet, with however some personnel changes, Dharma recorded three albums (one as a trio, under the name of Dharma Trio), which are all of fundamental importance (Dharma also accompanied the songs of Jean-Marie Vivier and Colette Magny). Individually, the members would record with musicians passing through (notably Anthony Ortega, Dave Burrell) and participated in other key groups including Machi Oul and Full Moon Ensemble. Licensed from Dharma. Obi strip; Includes 12-page booklet; Edition of 700.

File Under: Free Jazz
Listen Here

FFL039LP_PRODDharma Trio: Snoopy’s Time (Souffle Continu) LP
Souffle Continu Records present the first ever reissue of Dharma Trio’s Snoopy’s Time, originally released in 1970. Dharma as they were simply known, at the time when they were still playing, englobed all the incarnations of the group, trio, quartet (essentially as a live band), and quintet built around the stable core of pianist and bassist Patricio Villarroel and Michel Gladieux. Snoopy’s Time is their second album, concentrated on the rhythm section including the ever-faithful Jacques Mahieux on drums, and recorded three months after Mr Robinson (FFL 038LP), the first album, made as a quintet including Jef Sicard and Gérard Coppéré, both at the time saxophonists with Claude Delcloo’s Full Moon Ensemble. It is the most classic album in their discography, marked by the influence on Patricio Villarroel of the electric explorations of Miles Davis’s pianists from 1968, that is to say Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea, Joe Zawinul, and Keith Jarrett. Indeed, the use of echo, reverb and saturation by Patricio Villarroel is similar to that of his famous counterparts. It would be a year later in France, but with a sound all his own, that Siegfried Kessler would undertake similar experiments playing with Perception, a group similar in spirit to Dharma. Specialists may also evoke Paul Bley, notably on Scorpio (1973) and Sweet Earth Flying (1974), or even Richard Beirach with Dave Liebman on Drum Ode (1975), but these albums came out a few years after the innovative Snoopy’s Time, surprisingly released in 1970. Even amongst all the instrumental funky music of the time, it is rare to find such a communicative energy, magnified all the more by the subtle use of effects and an innate sense of groove. Licensed from Dharma Obi strip; 12-page booklet; Edition of 700.

File Under: Free Jazz

FFL040LP_PRODDharma Quintet: End Starting (Souffle Continu) LP
Souffle Continu Records present the first ever reissue of Dharma Quintet’s End Starting, originally released in 1971. For Gérard Marais, guitarist with Dharma (the quintet), from this third album — in fact he replaced Gérard Coppéré, one of the two saxophonists present on the first album — Albert Ayler’s instruction to play your own music was the detonator. This did not fall on deaf ears, and was particularly appropriate as it would have been difficult, even for a musician attracted to free jazz, to make something of his own from the esthetic and political direction taken by Cecil Taylor, Archie Shepp, or Sun Ra. What could be summarized as ethnic differences. The quest was to find one’s own music, whatever the more or less apparent roots. For, at the beginning of the 1970s, Gérard Marais and his comrades in the Dharma Quintet were overwhelmed by electric period Miles Davis. Not the band with Pete Cosey, which was still gestating, but the one fascinated by electronic keyboards and the famous Fender Rhodes which added so much to the atmosphere of In A Silent Way (1969). From the beginning of Dharma, but without ever copying anyone, Patricio Villarroel played the role of Chick Corea with Miles Davis. While Gérard Marais, whose fulgurate playing added another dynamic to the group, was at the level of John McLaughlin, or Sonny Sharrock at the same period. Another important soloist, alto saxophonist Jeff Sicard was as inventive as Byard Lancaster, Noah Howard, Gary Bartz, Marion Brown, or Sonny Simmons. Questioned by a critic, years after the group split, Gérard Marais insisted on it being an idea born of the seventies, which seemed the only creative way to enable written music and improvisation to coexist. This was a philosophy that he would continue to develop within Michel Portal’s group, on Splendid Yzlment (1972), but also in a great duo with Joseph Dejean (of Full Moon Ensemble), and yet again in a trio led by drummer Stu Martin, with two guitars the other being Claude Barthélemy. The Dharma Quintet, made their mark, appearing under the letter “D”, between Dedalus and Dies Irae, on the list of major influences created in 1979 by Nurse With Wound. Licensed from Dharma. Obi strip; 12-page booklet; Edition of 700.

File Under: Free Jazz
Listen Here

FFL041LP_PRODDharma: Archipel (Souffle Continu) LP
Souffle Continu Records present the first ever reissue of Dharma’s Archipel, originally released in 1973. “Do your own music!” was Albert Ayler’s advice, received loud and clear in France. Cohelmec Ensemble, Workshop de Lyon, and the Dharma Quintet, three groups close in spirit, which would each illustrate, in their own way, a local principle: to get some distance from American free jazz. As far as Dharma is concerned, the community-based approach was put in place to escape from any academism. This may draw comparisons with the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians, but they were also influenced by Gong. The events of May ’68 were fresh, and protest was still in the air: no leadership structure was possible, and personnel could change with each recording (on Archipel, a new drummer makes an appearance; however, there is no recorded trace of the group with Jean Querlier and François Méchali). Like its predecessor End Starting (FFL 040LP), Archipel is a constructed album, mixing free rock and European free jazz in a series of collective explosions based on abrupt and contrasting improvisations. For much of the time, piano, guitar, and saxophone intertwine over intense rhythms, with everything and anything being electrified. Retrospectively, such remarkable timbral combinations, evoking sometimes the freer passages of Cinemascope by Joachim Kühn with Toto Blanke (1974), make the demise of Dharma in 1974, even more regrettable. Their modernity has nothing to envy of the later advances of Paul Bley with guitar (Pat Metheny, John Scofield), or of OM on 1977’s Rautionaha, Patricio Villarroel’s electric piano adding a nonetheless surprisingly singular touch to Dharma. This is without mentioning a kind of incisive violence when things sped up, which was unique to the Dharma Quintet, or a sound as dense as that of On The Corner by Miles Davis (1972), or Stark Reality, John Abercrombie’s group from around the same period. Who else could seem approximately close to the Dharma Quintet at the same time… Emergency, a quintet which had played and recorded in France. Masabumi Kikuchi in Japan also deserves a mention. Along with the Cohelmec Ensemble, the Workshop de Lyon, the Full Moon Ensemble, Perception, Armonicord, or the Michel Portal Unit, the Dharma Quintet stand out as one of the most important examples of free jazz as it was played in France at the beginning of the 1970s. Licensed from Dharma. Obi strip; 12-page booklet; Edition of 700.

File Under: Free Jazz

drummKevin Drumm: Inexplicable Hours (Sonoris) LP
Six-panel, double gatefold sleeve; Includes CD. Inexplicable Hours is the sequel of the successful six-CD boxset Elapsed Time, also released by Sonoris in 2017. The material on the first LP of Inexplicable Hours documents a new direction in his music, with some of his last electroacoustic experimentations with audio generators, field recordings, and various electronic devices. The material on the second LP explores the same ambient/drone territories as the boxset, but there is less static and it is more complex than it appears on the first listen. And as always with recent Kevin Drumm’s music there’s a sense of majesty, of mystery and a melancholic beauty that is uniquely his own. Some words about the boxset are also appropriate for this record: “Despite Drumm’s noisy reputation, his music can be overwhelmingly sensual even at its loudest, providing a form of minimalism replete with a delicate, melancholic motion. How wildly divergent emotions rise, hover, and fall using so little is a mystery that only Kevin Drumm can provide.” Mastering by Giuseppe Ielasi. CD version comes in cardboard cover.

File Under: Ambient
Listen Here

essaieEssaie Pas: New Path (DFA) LP
On New Path, their second album for DFA, Montreal electronic duo Essaie Pas (Marie Davidson and Pierre Guerineau) take inspiration from Philip K. Dick’s A Scanner Darkly, a dystopian science fiction classic. The album sounds like the book reads – a voyeuristic, druggy, and paranoid narrative of existence in the surveillance state. New Path touches on addiction, loss, and the lingering strength of identity within late capitalism’s mass media paranoia. It pins down the central character’s destructive tendencies, using this as a metaphor to explore the dichotomous rupture between our inner lives and our social environment, one that is often fed and soothed by various kinds of dependencies. Essaie Pas possess a wiry, experimental take on the more leftfield end of techno music, in the way of pioneers Chris & Cosey and Cabaret Voltaire, as well as newer acts like Fever Ray, Factory Floor, and Helena Hauff. The album trades in hypnotic pads of strings, punctuated by dramatic stabs and sensual rhythmic patterns, with Marie’s tripped-out, pseudo-scientific verbiage further adding to the ambience. The world the duo have created here offers a tangled vision of tomorrow’s aesthetics, a soundtrack stacked with cold music for cold times.

File Under: Electronic
Listen Here

vesselFrankie Cosmos: Vessel (Sub Pop) LP
Frankie Cosmos has taken several different shapes since their first full-band album, 2014’s Zentropy, erupted in New York’s DIY music scene. For Vessel the band’s lineup comprises multi-instrumentalists David Maine, Lauren Martin, Luke Pyenson, and Greta Kline. The album’s 18 tracks employ a range of instrumentations and recording methods not found on the band’s prior albums, while maintaining the succinctly sincere nature of Kline’s songwriting. The album’s opening track, “Caramelize,” serves as the thematic overture for Vessel, alluding to topics like dependency, growth, and love, which reemerge throughout the record. Although many of the scenarios and personalities written about on Vessel are familiar territory for Frankie Cosmos, Kline brings a freshly nuanced point of view, and a desire to constantly question the latent meaning of her experiences. Kline’s dissonant lyrics pair with the band’s driving, jangly grooves to create striking moments of musical chemistry. Vessel’s 34-minute run time is exactly double the length of Frankie Cosmos’ breakout record, Zentropy, and it is an enormous leap forward. Vessel’s unique sensibility, esoteric narratives, and reveling energy place it comfortably in Kline’s ongoing musical auto-biography. Vessel was recorded in Binghamton, New York with Hunter Davidsohn, the producer and engineer who helped craft Zentropy and Next Thing, and at Gravesend Recordings in Brooklyn with Carlos Hernandez and Julian Fader. It features contributions from Alex Bailey (formerly of Warehouse, and now part of the live configuration of Frankie Cosmos), Vishal Narang (of Airhead DC), and singer/songwriter Anna McClellan, all of whom have played on bills with Frankie Cosmos and collaborated on-stage with the band. The final mixes were done by Davidsohn, and the album was mastered by Josh Bonati.

File Under: Indie Rock
Listen Here

gilbert

Bruce Gilbert: Ex Nihilo (Editions Mego) LP
Editions Mego’s 250th release continues its ongoing legacy of cross-pollinating and perverting various threads of radical 20th century music whilst concocting and propelling further ideas into the nebulous region where we all currently reside. With Ex Nihilo, Editions Mego resumes its enduring relationship with long-term collaborator and stalwart representative of the label’s aesthetic with a new release from London’s most charming deviant occupant, Bruce Gilbert (formerly of Wire, Dome, etc.) Gilbert’s peculiar approach to sound over four decades has seen him engage with a wide variety of practice and performance always hovering amongst the grey area between his mind and the surrounding architecture. Ex Nihilo is another significant entry into Gilbert’s outer sound-book. Inhabiting a murky zone between interference and trauma, Ex Nihilo is a daring and dark audio ride through a contemporary ketamine haze, one which haunts identifiable parameters whilst remaining too oblique to be truly quantified. “Change And Not” teases discomfort, “Black Mirrors” embraces disorder, “Nomad” skirts the unsettling. Whilst never quite resolving its own logic, Ex Nihilo invites the casual listener to privy a devastating peculiar and somewhat paranoid fantasy (reality?). Another effortless Gilbert classic. Design: David Coppenhall; front image/concept: Bruce Gilbert. Mastered by Russell Haswell. Cut by Rashad Becker at Dubplates and Mastering, Berlin.

File Under: Experimental, Wire
Listen Here

SSJ001LP_PRODBeverly Glenn-Copeland: s/t (Super-Sonic Jazz) LP
Super-Sonic Jazz present a reissue of Beverly Glenn-Copeland’s self-titled debut album, originally released on the Canadian GRT imprint in 1970. The debut release by Afro-Canadian singer, songwriter, and cult figure within new age experimental sounds, has been long been sought after. The soulful jazz release, was original recorded in 1970 alongside musicians Dough Bush, Don Thompson, Terry Clark, Lenny Breau, Jeremy Steig, and Ray Charles collaborator Doug Riley, aka Dr. Music. Written when she was 26, the album is a testament to Copeland’s stand-out songwriting and earnest, beautiful vocal talents, fitting into the realms of spiritual folk. Born into a musical family in Ottawa, Canada, Beverly Glenn-Copeland studied the classical piano repertoire, after being brought up listening to his father’s playing at home. Following his studies, Copeland moved on to songwriting, in order to weave all the different musical cultures he had come to love. He is best known for the 1986 release Keyboard Fantasies, reissued in 2017 by Invisible City, a record described as a mixture of “digital new age and early experimental Detroit techno”. Now going by his name Glenn Copeland after gender transitioning, the singer songwriter also made a name for himself writing children’s music for TV shows Sesame Street and Mr. Dressup. Referring back to his debut record, Copeland states: “I was a fresh-faced kid of twenty-six when I wrote these songs, only a few years out of the classical music world in which I had been immersed since childhood, performing the European classical song repertoire in concerts both live and for radio broadcast. So I sold my oboe, bought a guitar, and began tuning it in wild and wonderful ways to more easily find the chords I had no idea how to find in the regular tuning. I didn’t want to study anymore. I just wanted to write.” Comes in a heavyweight tip-on sleeve.

File Under: Folk, Jazz
Listen Here

bartonUrsula K. Le Guin & Todd Barton: Music and Poetry of the Kesh
(Freedom to Spend) LP

Music and Poetry of the Kesh is the documentation of an invented Pacific Coast peoples from a far distant time, and the soundtrack of famed science fiction author, Ursula K. Le Guin’s Always Coming Home. In the novel, the story of Stone Telling, a young woman of the Kesh, is woven within a larger anthropological folklore and fantasy. The ways of the Kesh were originally presented in 1985 as a five hundred plus page book accompanied with illustrations of instruments and tools, maps, a glossary of terms, recipes, poems, an alphabet (Le Guin’s conlang, so she could write non-English lyrics), and with early editions, a cassette of “field recordings” and indigenous song. Le Guin wanted to hear the people she’d imagined; she embarked on an elaborate process with her friend Todd Barton to invoke their spirit and tradition. For Music and Poetry of the Kesh, the words and lyrics are attributed to Le Guin as composed by Barton, an Oregon-based musician, composer and Buchla synthesist (the two worked together previously on public radio projects). But the cassette notes credit the sounds and voices to the world of the Kesh, making origins ambiguous. For instance, “The River Song” description reads, “The prominent rhythm instrument is the doubure binga, a set of nine brass bowls struck with cloth-covered wooden mallets, here played by Ready.” According to writer and long-time friend of LeGuin, Moe Bowstern (who pens the liners for the Freedom To Spend edition of Kesh), Barton built and then taught himself to play several instruments of Le Guin’s design, among them “the seven-foot horn known to the Kesh as the Houmbúta and the Wéosai Medoud Teyahi bone flute.” Barton’s crafting of original instruments lends an other-worldly texture to the recordings of the Kesh, not unlike fellow builders Bobby Brown and Lonnie Holley. Bowstern notes, “Other musician / makers have crafted their own Kesh instruments after encountering the earlier cassette recordings that accompanied some editions of the book.” Both Barton and Le Guin are sensitive to the sovereignty of indigenous Californians and were careful not to trample the traditions of the Tolowa people who lived in the valley long before the Kesh. “You research deeply, and then you bring your own voice to the table,” said Barton. Within the Kesh culture, the numbers four and five shape the lives, society and rituals. Barton composed loosely around these numbers, patiently listening to the land of Napa Valley for signs and audio signals from the natural elements. Todd incorporated ambient sounds of the creek by Le Guin’s house and a campfire they built together. The songs of Kesh are joyful, soothing and meditative, while the instrumental works drift far past the imaginary lands. “Heron Dance” is an uplifting first track, featuring a Wéosai Medoud Teyahi (made from a deer or lamb thigh bone with a cattail reed) and the great Houmbúta (used for theatre and ceremony). “A Music of the Eighth House” sends gossamer waves of the faintest sounds to “float on the wind.” Like the languages invented in the vocal work of Anna Homler, Meredith Monk, and Elizabeth Fraser, the Kesh songs and poems play with the shape of voice. The Music and Poetry of the Kesh cassette was meant to accompany and enhance the experience of reading Always Coming Home. Presented in this edition as a long-playing album, where only traces of the book linger (the jacket offers some of Le Guin’s illustration, and a letterpressed bookmark featuring the the narrative modes of western civilization and the Kesh valley is included), the music alone breaking the silence of what might be. It can transport—offering a landscape for imagining a future homecoming. One in which we are balanced, peaceful, and tend to the earth and its creatures. A line from “Sun Dance Poem” reminds us, “We are nothing much without one another.” Freedom To Spend gives new life to the recordings of the Kesh people in the first ever vinyl edition of Music and Poetry of the Kesh also availably on digital formats on March 23, 2018. The LP will include a spot printed jacket with Ursula’s illustrations from Always Coming Home, a facsimile of the original lyric sheet, liner notes by Moe Bowstern, a multi-format digital download code and a bookmark letter pressed by Stumptown Printers in Portland, OR.

File Under: Experimental, Spoken Word
Listen Here

MUSIQ223LP_PRODFumio Itabashi: Nature (Mule Musiq) LP
Mule Musiq present the first vinyl reissue of Fumio Itabashi’s Nature, originally released in 1979. The legendary Japanese jazz pianist’s first solo record ever, Nature was recorded at Nippon Columbia’s first studio in Tokyo from March 13-15 in the year of its release. It features Itabashi making feverish love with the piano and he shares the studio with the great bass players Hideaki Mochizuki and Koichi Yamazaki, drummers Kenichi Kameyama and Ryojiro Furusawa, soprano saxophonist Yoshio Otomo, and vibraphone wizard Hiroshi Hatsuyama. They all joined him to perform his very own songs, composed by Itabashi himself and produced by Ryonosuke Honmura, who also produced Japanese jazz heroes, like saxophonist Keizo Inoue, during his career. Nature is fresh, propulsive, twitchy, and melodious from the first to the last tone. Sometimes the instrumentalists play a classic solo in an overall deep modal jazz atmosphere that seems to be made for cats that love the good old stars and inventors — from John Coltrane to Miles Davis, from Thelonious Monk to Art Blakey. Nature also shows how deep Itabashi studied the history of the genre, while keeping his very own vision of jazz alive. The man that made his professional debut as a member of the Sadao Watanabe Quintet in 1971 and who was also a member of the Elvin Jones Jazz Machine world tour from 1985-1987, plays the piano in all tempos, from a nervous high-flying quickness to a deep blues-style slow. Besides the traditional jazz flavors, you get a feeling of mind-expanding spiritual jazz, that grand masters like Pharaoh Sanders or Gary Bartz, turned into a sacred music genre. A master-class record in ravishing big city jazz music, adventurous, sometimes meditative, sometimes faster than the speed of light, always grooving with a bright, pure-toned sensibility and deeply soulful melodic imaginations. It extends the jazz history with a fine balance between tradition and innovation. And it stays infectious all the time while sounding surprisingly fresh due to a lot of thrilling musical spontaneity that touches profoundly even though all notes have been written down by Itabashi before he and his combatants entered the studio. And maybe that’s the mystery of these timeless five at times epic recordings: all notes written on paper, but each musician had the freedom to dance with them in his very own unique way.

File Under: Jazz
Listen Here

JOmfJackie-O Motherfucker: Flags of the Sacred Harp (Textile) LP
Released in 2005 this fifth full-length album from the Portland based collective displayed the group’s patient and evolved songwriting style with historic references to American blues and hymns. This double-LP contains songs that are all manifestations, mutations, and reinterpretations of old blues and gospel, specifically from an old hymnal called “The Sacred Harp”. It is definitely the most accessible and sublime release from Jackie-O Motherfucker.

File Under: Experimental
Listen Here

jbs

JBs: Hustle With Speed (Get on Down) LP
“Get On Down proudly presents another top-notch vinyl reissue, from their long-running series of collaborations with James Brown’s famed 70s funk label People Records. As the 1970s wore on, the classic funk sounds that had defined James Brown’s backing band, The J.B.’s, gave way to the rise of disco music. Fred Wesley and his collective of musicians couldn’t resist the chance to make their mark, releasing Hustle With Speed in 1975, with Charles Bobbit and Don Love producing, and the godfather himself, James Brown co-writing and providing arrangements. Hustle With Speed didn’t cross over like the band had hoped it would, but it was nonetheless remarkable album, featuring The J.B.’s signature funky style married with disco to exciting effect. All the while there’s still plenty to be had for the funk die-hard, from the brass blow-out jam ‘Here We Come, Here We Go, Here We Are’, to the trombone-heavy ‘All Aboard The Funky Soul Train’, to the powerhouse opening salvo that is ‘(It’s Not The Express) It’s The JBs Monaurail’. Songs from Hustle With Speed would take on lives of their own decades after the album’s release, through sampled appearances in tracks by Jay-Z, Nas, Eric B. & Rakim, Ultramagnetic MCs, EPMD, and many more.”

File Under: Funk
Listen Here

SR438LP_PRODRagnar Johnson & Jessica Mayer: Music From Yemen Arabia
(Sub Rosa) LP

Sub Rosa present Music From Yemen Arabia: Sanaani, Laheji, Adeni And Samar a reissue of both Music From Yemen Arabia: Samar and Music From Yemen Arabia: Sanaani, Laheji, Adeni, recorded by Ragnar Johnson and Jessica Mayer. These songs originate from the city of Sanaa, the sheikdom of Lahej and the port of Aden. These songs originate from the city of Sanaa, the sheikdom of Lahej and the port of Aden. Samar is the delicious, luxury time when people gather for relaxation, refreshment, and music. This record contains oudh playing, percussion, and singing from Yemen. The three Kawkabani brothers sing traditional poems and play oudh (lute), double drums, tambourine, and, occasionally, the kanoun (zither). They were recorded in Sanaa in 1973. The oudh player Hassan al Zabeede and his double drum playing brother sing songs in the Lahej style and were recorded in Taez in 1973. File under: Le Coeur du Monde. Features the Kawkabani Brothers (Mohamed Al, Abdel Wahab Al, and Saad Al), Hassan Al Zabeede (also credited as Hassan Al Zbeede and Hassan Zubeede), and Saad Al Kawkabani.

File Under: Arabia, World, Folk

kinkgongKink Gong: Dian Long (Discrepant) LP
Another unique document of Kink Gong’s, aka Laurent Jeanneau, collection of surreal soundscapes of augmented field recordings, this time turning into his love/hate relationship with China into a mesmerizing soundscape of unclassifiable music. Jeanneau on Dian Long: “Before becoming Kink Gong I had different names, one of my projects, designed by cultural circumstances in China at the beginning of the 21st century, was Dian Long (‘electric dragon’ in Chinese). I landed in Shanghai in 2000 in order to make music and recordings of whatever. Faced with the cruel tendency of modern China to reject tradition and embrace full on bling-bling culture, my option was to attack this music industry commercial flavor by destroying it. I had in my bag a faithful portable CD player who knew how to turn syrup into crystal. Later, reaching Yunnan in 2001, I discovered the reality away from the bling-bling of eastern towns and did a realistic soundscape of it.”

File Under: Electronic, World, Collage
Listen Here

klitzThe Klitz: Rocking The Memphis Underground (Mono-Tone) LP
All girl band from Memphis who happened to be Alex Chilton’s protégés; primal, loose rock n’ roll à la Chilton/Jim Dickinson/Tav Falco in a wild and primitive no wave/DIY punk style. Whether you like Charlie Feathers or Kleenex, The Cramps or Lydia Lunch, you will adore The Klitz, the unadulterated sound of the Memphis underground. One side studio, one side live, both sides frantic, chaotic, and electrifying!

File Under: Punk
Listen Here

macariEblen Macari: Musica Para Planetarios (Séance Centre) LP
Mexican guitarist and ambient artist Eblen Macari’s masterpiece Música Para Planetarios (Music for Planetariums) was originally composed for weekly performances in the Luis Enrique Erro Planetarium in Mexico City. The album, released in 1987 was based around Macari’s solo performances using Ensonic ESQ-1, a Korg Poly 800, two guitars and pre-hispanic Ocarinas. The arrangements on the album are expanded to include a full stable of pre-hispanic percussion and beautiful baroque harpsichord played by Macari’s wife. Remastered from the original master tapes.

File Under: New Age, Ambient, Guitar, Mexico
Listen Here

HOS594LP_PRODMerzbow: Noisembryo (Hospital) LP
Hospital Productions present a vinyl reissue of Merzbow’s Noisembryo, originally released on CD by The Releasing Eskimo in 1994. Noisembryo is a holy grail, not only of Merzbow’s obsessive discography, but of the entire ’90s noise movement. You’ve heard the stories surrounding the infamy of this release, but beyond that stands the depth and wild energy that Noisembryo encapsulates over two decades later. High-speed loops, roving automotive bass, and cacophonic drum machines gel together with the surprising inclusion of a sound rarely heard within Merzbow’s many years… Masami Akita’s own voice. Akita’s surrealism of the past stands prominently relevant to this day. Includes the bonus track “Travelling” from the equally as infamous Noise Forest compilation (1992), appearing here for the first time on vinyl. Edited and remastered for vinyl by Masami Akita. Includes insert featuring unseen classic paintings and collages of Masami from the original Noisembryo sessions. Deluxe foil-stamp gatefold sleeve.

File Under: Noise
Listen Here

messtheticsThe Messthetics: s/t (Dischord) LP
“The Messthetics are an instrumental trio featuring Brendan Canty (drums), Joe Lally (bass), and Anthony Pirog (guitar). Brendan Canty and Joe Lally were the rhythm section of the band Fugazi from its inception in 1987 to its period of hiatus in 2002. This is the first band they’ve had together since then. Anthony Pirog is a jazz and experimental guitarist based in Washington, D.C. One half of the duo Janel & Anthony, he has emerged as a primary figure in the city’s out-music community. The trio’s debut includes nine songs recorded at Canty’s practice space throughout 2017, live and mostly without overdubs. It’s a snapshot of a band dedicated to the live ideal, where structure begets improvisation.”

File Under: Punk, Fugazi
Listen Here

moaningMoaning: s/t (Sub Pop) LP
Moaning is a band defined by its duality. The abrasive post-punk trio comprised of LA DIY veterans, Sean Solomon, Pascal Stevenson, and Andrew MacKelvie, began nearly a decade after the three started playing music together. Their impassioned debut album comes born out of the member’s experiences with love and distress, creating a sound uniquely dark and sincere. Although the band is just breaking out of their infancy, Moaning’s sleek and cavernous tone emphasizes the turmoil of the era they were born into. One where the endless possibility for art and creation is met with the fear and doubt of an uncertain future. Moaning’s conception came when Solomon sent Stevenson and MacKelvie the first demo for “Don’t Go,” setting the tone for the impulsive songwriting that would follow. The three fleshed out Solomon’s primitive recordings, adding in MacKelvie’s heavy syncopated drumming, and Stevenson’s melodic driving bass and synth parts, capturing each member’s personality in their sparse and fuzzed out tracks. Like many of their previous collaborative projects, Moaning forces pain up against pleasure, using the complexity of personal heart break to inform the band’s conflicted sound. The band’s homemade video for an early, home-recorded version of “The Same” caught the attention of Alex Newport, a seasoned engineer and producer who had previously worked with At The Drive-In, Bloc Party, and the Melvins. With Newport, Moaning began working on the tracks that would make up their self-titled release, employing a lush, open ended production quality that had never been at the band’s disposal. Tracks like “Artificial” stand out among the recordings, where Moaning used the studio’s recourses to take their frantic live arrangement and give it the intensity merited by Solomon’s lyrics. As a whole, Moaning drifts from sentimental to catastrophic, hiding meek and introspective lyrics within powerful droning dance songs, giving sonic nods to some of the band’s musical heroes like, New Order, Broadcast, and Slowdive. The band’s youthful attitude is met with the weight of topics like loss, routine, and mental health, reflecting the anxiety towards the status quo that much of their generation faces today.

File Under: Punk
Listen Here

modernModern Institute: Another Exhibition at the Modern Institute (Diagonal) LP
Diagonal pull out a zinging art-techno curveball with Another Exhibition at the Modern Institute, the second EP by Glasgow’s hottest new prospect, The Modern Institute; an iconoclastic trio of agitators comprising Golden Teacher’s Richard McMaster and Laurie Pitt joined some droll, scaly Northern English vocalist, James Stephen Wright, for one of the freshest and vital blends of post-punk, art-school, and techno sensibilities to emerge in recent memory. Aimed as a snark at the middle-class art gaze as much as a slippery engine for the dancefloor, Another Exhibition at the Modern Institute reels six mercurial fusions of scudding, techy rhythms, and sheer electronic contours strewn with drily observant vocals describing hyper-sensual scenarios. It’s a sound perhaps purposefully located lightyears away from Golden Teacher’s charming retro-vintage styles, and effectively gives that group’s rhythmic engine of McMaster and Pitt a space to express their more contemporary concerns. Forming the second blow of a Glasgow-centered 1-2 after Russell Haswell and Sue Tompkins’s Respondent EP, The Modern Institute swarm in formation from a white-hot electro-stepper “IV Cheeks” to somewhere darker, almost paranoid by the close of “Dozen Cocktails”, taking in a sound like Errorsmith producing for MES in “Limitless Light”, or Hecker doing footwork on the new beta anthem “Quicksilver Lips”, whilst “Unbreakable Pulse” and the pinging ballistics of “Molton Gold” short circuit the deep-rooted transatlantic connection between Glasgow art punks’ afterparties and Detroit ghetto styles with a deadly swagger. RIYL: Chris Carter, DJ Stingray, Toresch, Dale Cornish, Cabaret Voltaire, Fad Gadget, John Bender, Smersh, LCD Soundsystem. Artwork by Guy Featherstone. Mastered and cut by Matt Colton. Includes locked grooves. Red vinyl; Edition of 500.

File Under: Electronic
Listen Here

SP045LP_PRODBrett Naucke: The Mansion (Spectrum Spools) LP
Brett Naucke returns to Spectrum Spools with his sophomore LP for Spectrum Spools following the Seed LP as well as a string of exceptional cassette releases on Umor Rex and Hausu Mountain. The Mansion finds Naucke at the peak of his powers with a fresh array of meticulously composed psychotropic tapestries. Themes based on a childhood home, now a distant memory, reveal a mysterious narrative in mind-bending sonic detail. These complex ideas fuse conflicting states of tension and beauty with an organic acumen, each track a piece of the greater whole. The Mansion is a fine mixture of contemporary concrète structure interlaced with tightly crafted melodic arrangement and hi-fidelity electronic exploration. In addition to his stalwart synthesis, Naucke employs additional personnel featuring vocal duties from Natalie Chami (of Goodwill Smith and TALsounds) and viola sounds from Whitney Johnson (of Matchess). Field recording, piano, and other various instrumentations are also carefully implemented adding a new, deeper dimension to the Naucke oeuvre. With his most realized set of compositions yet, The Mansion finds Naucke at the paragon of his conceptual and sonic ethos with a work that’s at once deeply meaningful and profound in its auditory breadth. The Mansion was written and recorded in Chicago, IL between January 2015-February 2017. Mastered at Dubplates & Mastering Berlin by CGB, July 2017.

File Under: Electronic, Ambient
Listen Here

orquestOrquesta Akokan: s/t (Daptone) LP
Akokán is a Yoruba word used in Cuba meaning “from the heart,” and indeed, every song on the self-titled debut album by Orquesta Akokán feels like a heartfelt gift from the band to the listener. Assembled and led by Cuban vocalist José “Pepito” Gómez, Orquesta Akokán is a big band collective of the finest musicians on the island, both young and old. It features all-original music and was cut live to tape over a three-day session at Havana’s hallowed state-run Estudios Areito, one of the longest operating studios in the world where many important Cuban records have been made. The album was produced by Jacob Plasse and arranged by Mike Eckroth. Orquesta Akokán flexes its blazing hot mambo from the first downbeat, with lead-off track “Mambo Rapidito”: a breakneck pace, deft big band orchestrations that dart and weave, rich cascades of piano, all led by Pepito’s soaring, joyful proclamations.

File Under: Cuban
Listen Here

ELP034LP_PRODPotter Natalizia Zen: Shut Your Eyes on the Way Out (Ecstatic) LP
After stranding listeners in deep space with Schleißen 4 in 2015, Colin Potter, Alessio Natalizia, and Guido Zen regroup along the percussive vectors of Shut Your Eyes On The Way Out for the Ecstatic label. Three years in the making, taking cues from German synth rock, cosmic disco, abstract EBM, and obscure library sounds, the trio head for seductive new horizons of pulsing rhythms and floating ambient dub tones. The six hands control the mission with masterful skill and sleight of hand, prompting routes for the user rather than signposting the way with cliché. Of course, it’s hard to escape some sense of homage or reverence for the original forms, but they do so with such sensitivity to the material and “the journey” that the results simply transcends that heritage, to arrive somewhere, timelessly, out there. In a starfield littered with long-abandoned shuttles and criss-crossed by previously attempted missions, they chart a steady course, slowly melting from cryogenic stasis to map out free-floating space in “Articulated”, then holding their course despite the gravitational pull from massive objects in “Rhythm Did Not Change”, and under pressure of slow disco G-forces in the pulsing beauty of “Linda”, leading to the interception of panicked bleeps in “Chaosmosis”. Over on the B side “When Time Stops Moving” the mission becomes very Tarkovsky-esque and surreal, with Zen’s lysergic drones really coming into their own, before the upside-down tonal sculpting of “Unsystematic Waves” re-aligns the user’s brain functions in preparation for the stunning dynamic proprioception of “Che Osmosi”, where the route ahead becomes scrambled in a delirious tangle of nagging arpeggio melodies and pill-belly pulses, emulating pretty much how you’d feel, lost but happy to be zillions of light years from terra firma. RIYL: Eduard Artemiev, Klaus Schulze, Vangelis, John Carpenter. Mastered and cut by Matt Colton at Alchemy.

File Under: Electronic, Ambient, Experimental
Listen Here

HOS598LP_PROD

Prurient/Hanged Man’s Orgasm: Unknowns (Hospital) LP
Originally released as a bonus cassette to Prurient’s Rainbow Mirror, Unknowns appears here on vinyl as two side-long collaborative tracks from Dominick Fernow, joined by longtime producer Kris Lapke (Alberich), with Patrick O’Neal (Skin Crime). Hanged Mans Orgasm was the earliest project from O’Neal starting in the late ’80s and early ’90s that could be a rural American counterpart to England’s Nurse With Wound middle period. Consisting of unrecognizable, discomforting electric acoustic noises mixed with radiation noise, Prurient fills the void with sub-bass electronics and a caustic reading of the Rainbow Mirror short story written in collaboration with Scott Bryan Wilson. A vocal counterpart to the otherwise instrumental Rainbow Mirror album. The B side is a reworking of field recordings and woodland screams recording in Rhode Island and reworked in New York City around the time O’Neal and Fernow first met. Housed in a deluxe sleeve with manual artwork by visual artist Adam Marnie, whose works have been featured previously on Prurient’s epic Frozen Niagara Falls (2015). Foil-stamped cover; Edition of 500.

File Under: Electronic, Experimental

WWSLP012LP_PROD

Hiroshi Sato: Orient (Wewantsound) LP
Wewantsounds present a reissue and the first international release of Hiroshi Sato’s ultra-rare synth masterpiece, Orient, originally released in 1979 on Kitty Records in Japan only. This highly sought-after album is a superb breezy mix of Japanese synth-pop with a subtle touch of mid-70s Herbie Hancock-style funk and AOR. Originally released in 1979, at a fruitful time when Hiroshi Sato, Haruomi Hosono, and Shigeru Suzuki were fresh from playing in the group Tin Pan Alley and Haruomi Hosono had just formed Yellow Magic Orchestra, Orient is a unique balance of various styles. It has become one of the most sought-after Japanese LPs on the global Balearic scene and is now exchanging hands for astronomical prices. The album includes such cult tracks as “Son Go Kuw” and “Do-Jo” popular on the international DJ scene. It features the best Japanese musicians at the time, including Shigeru Suzuki on guitar, Haruomi Hosono on bass, Pecker on percussion, and Sato himself on keyboards and synthesizers. The album also features on Gilles Peterson’s “Significant Album” List. Fully remastered from the original Kitty Records tapes by Universal Japan. Includes original four-page color insert, including English translations of the original liner notes by leading Japanese journalist Yasufumi Amatatsu, plus the full track-by-track musician line up. “Breezy Balearic synth pop with a Nippon twist” –The Vinyl Factory.-pop with a subtle touch of mid-70s Herbie Hancock-style funk and AOR. Originally released in 1979, at a fruitful time when Hiroshi Sato, Haruomi Hosono, and Shigeru Suzuki were fresh from playing in the group Tin Pan Alley and Haruomi Hosono had just formed Yellow Magic Orchestra, Orient is a unique balance of various styles. It has become one of the most sought-after Japanese LPs on the global Balearic scene and is now exchanging hands for astronomical prices. The album includes such cult tracks as “Son Go Kuw” and “Do-Jo” popular on the international DJ scene. It features the best Japanese musicians at the time, including Shigeru Suzuki on guitar, Haruomi Hosono on bass, Pecker on percussion, and Sato himself on keyboards and synthesizers. The album also features on Gilles Peterson’s “Significant Album” List. Fully remastered from the original Kitty Records tapes by Universal Japan. Includes original four-page color insert, including English translations of the original liner notes by leading Japanese journalist Yasufumi Amatatsu, plus the full track-by-track musician line up. “Breezy Balearic synth pop with a Nippon twist” –The Vinyl Factory.

File Under: Electronic, Funk
Listen Here

SFERIC002LP_PRODSpace Afrika: Somewhere Decent to Live (Sferic) LP
Ambient duo Space Afrika offer a bird’s-eye view of the city center at night with Somewhere Decent To Live; their keenly anticipated first album on Sferic — the Manchester-based label they run in conjunction with Will Boyd. Taking gaseous form as a series of dark blue hues and electromagnetic sub-bass impulses, the vibe inside is delectably elusive. Unlike their previous transmissions on Where To Now? and Köln’s LL.M., the pair’s dancefloor urges are dissolved in favor of suggestively mutable ambient frameworks this time, leaving the kicks in the club whilst they appear to float overhead like the dead kid embarking his Bardo in Gaspar Noé’s Enter The Void (2010). Unshackled from dancefloor needs, but still inspired and feeding off its spirit and romance, the pair respectfully acknowledge the undercurrents of jungle, dubstep, ambient techno, and deep house which feed into their home city’s late-night economy, dowsing their tributaries back to dub and rendering the findings in a quiet, modestly lush ambient haze with a flawlessly anesthetizing effect. In firm but gentle style they feel out eight interlinked headspaces, drifting like spectral flaneurs from the Diversions-like opener “uwëm/creation” to intercept telepathic thoughts from Teutonic friends in the percolated subs and drizzly ambient clag of “sd/tl”, before arriving at the most arresting moment in their catalog thus far with the masterfully widescreen yet immersive “bly” and its sublimely smeared timbral thizz. The second half of the record subsequently describes a more inward journey from wistful loops in “u+00B1” to the sylvan two-step of “gwabh” and “curve”, featuring Echium, ultimately culminating in the echo chamber melt of “dred”. RIYL: Jan Jelinek, Huerco S, Detroit Escalator Company, The Connection Machine. Master and lacquer cut by Pole at Scape Mastering.

File Under: Electronic, Ambient
Listen Here

paradoxNeil Young: Paradox (Reprise) LP
A free-spirited tale of music and love, Neil Young and his band of outlaws sow seeds of strange mischief and musical wonder under Western skies in the dreamlike 2018 Netflix film Paradox by Daryl Hannah in her directorial debut. Paradox (Original Music from The Film) features music from Neil Young + Promise Of The Real, Young with an Orchestra recorded on the MGM Soundstage, Young backed by drummer Jim Keltner and bassist Paul Bushnell, and several solo electric guitar passages. Willie Nelson contributes narration on the album opener “Many Moons Ago in the Future.” All of the music was recorded spontaneously with no overdubs and provides the soundtrack to Paradox, the film. The 22-track 2LP collection features brand new music composed especially for the film plus covers of Willie Nelson, Lead Belly and The Turtles.

File Under: Rock
Listen Here

REGRM020LP_PRODChristian Zanesi: Grand Bruit/Stop! l’Horizon (Recollection GRM) LP
Christian Zanési on Grand Bruit (1991): “The great mobile sound bodies have an ordinary yet amazing ability to place the listener-traveler within, as if he or she was inside a giant double bass, in this case a train stroked by a double bow: the rails and the air. In 1991, I explored this phenomenon during my daily commute from the studio to my home. I used only a 21 minutes recording and treated it as a single sound object. I then processed and enhanced it as a photographer would have done, immersing it in successive ‘baths’. The title I chose for this singular form was Grand Bruit.” Christian Zanési on Stop ! l’horizon (1983): “Saturday morning, nine o’clock as I reach the studio. No one here. I only turn on the spotlights as the fluorescent tubes are too noisy. I switch the power on, shut the door, unplug the telephone. I then switch the mixing desk on, which sends an electronic impulse into the amps. The four speakers react individually with a very brief and low hiss. A kind of presence. I haven’t listened to anything since the evening before and my ear is refreshed by a night’s sleep. I feed the original mix into the master recorder and sit down in the center. Remote control: PLAY With the first sound I close my eyes. The studio instantly vanishes. Another place, a much larger space opens up. I enter it. I have the very distinct feeling that music is merely a ‘great noise’, chiseled inside with a thousand details. It opens up like a living organism to let my hearing wander across it. A magnetic relation quickly occurs and all the sounds that constitute this great noise draw me towards the East. I accept this direction. Later, much later, I reach a distant point on the horizon which pulls me towards it.”

File Under: Early Electronic

STAGO120LP_PRODVarious: Dusty Ballroom Vol 1 (Stag-o-Lee) LP
Aloha dear Aficionado — welcome to Dusty Ballroom! It was in late 2008 in the heart of Berlin when the three passionate record lovers and partners in crime — Der Staubfinger, Elmo Lewis, and Ilo Pan — decided to launch a new series of vinyl-only club shindigs. Their aim was to break with the usual one-style-all-night-long-fixation that was served at most other vintage dances around at the time. Their ears were spread and minds wide-open for a vast variety of what they call the roots of their musical culture. Together they went on an ongoing trip — traveling back in time, digging deeper on the most dusty and faraway vinylistic shores, exploring heaps of lost treasures, black pearls, and entertaining flotsam — always looking for the perfect beat to hop with. Ever since blending styles ranging from 1920s Charleston, ’30s swing and jazz though ’40s jump blues, ’50s rockabilly, mambo, cha cha, Cumbia, or calypso to ’60s surf, big beat, ska, rocksteady, soul, mod, garage, psychedelia, early ’70s funk, Afrobeat, boogaloo, Bollywood, and the whole world of mystic exotica they were eager to please a growing crowd of crazy cats, joyful jivers, and dirty dancers. Magic moves, consenting smiles, and some strange liqueur was what they got in return. Almost ten years have passed now and they still can’t stop celebrating that steamy vinyl bounce once a month at the hottest venues in town — often supported by the most far-out vintage live bands of our time… Enjoy this wild aural selection of many different styles that should work perfectly for both — your booty shaking needs as well as your listening pleasures! 17 tracks recorded between 1966-1962. Features Enid Mosier & Her Trinidad Steel Band, The Olympics, Bill Black’s Combo, Dorothy Collins, Jonah Jones, Gene & Eunice, Sil Austin, The Isley Brothers, The Shirelles, The Duals, Fatso & Flaire, Ruth Brown, Robert Parker, The Soupy Sales Show, Irene Lopez with Rio Gregory & His Band, Jamaica Johnny And His Milagro Boys, and Barbara George.

File Under: Party Times, Exotica

JMAN096LP_PRODVarious: Spiritual Jazz 8: Japan Part One (Jazzman) LP
Part one of two double LP versions. Textured, gatefold sleeve; Obi strip. Jazzman Record’s latest examination of esoteric, modal, and progressive jazz of the 20th century has taken them to Japan. The liberating force of jazz has been created and felt all around the world, but few nations on earth embraced the jazz message with the passion and intensity of Japan. From the dawn of the jazz age to the present day, Japanese audiences have been renowned tastemakers, enthusiasts, and champions of the music — in the 1980s, Japan was the biggest per capita market in the world for jazz records, and it has even been said that Japanese jazz fans kept the jazz record industry alive through the lean years of the 1970s, when the music fell from commercial favor in the land of its birth. But while the jazz aficionados of Japan are celebrated as sophisticated fans and consumers of the music, comparatively little is known outside Japan of the remarkable and abundant music produced by generations of Japanese jazz musicians. Numerous Japanese jazzers have found enormous success on the international stage — Toshiko Akiyoshi, Sadao Watanabe, Teramasu Hino, and many others are household names among jazz listeners all over the world, and with good reason. But if such global figures are put aside, the stunning heritage of Japanese jazz remains poorly understood outside Japan. As a result, the work of many celebrated Japanese jazzmen has remained largely unknown to international audiences, and the extraordinary scope and depth of Japanese jazz has not been widely recognized. Compiled for the Spiritual Jazz series in collaboration with the celebrated collector and DJ Yusuke Ogawa (Deep Jazz Reality, Tokyo), this set aims to correct that omission by uncovering the uniquely deep sound of esoteric, modal and progressive jazz from Japan — music of the heart, soul, and Japanese spirit. Part One features: Mitsuaki Kanno, Tadao Hayashi, Minoru Muraoka, Takeo Moriyama, Koichi Matsukaze, Sadao Watanabe & Charlie Mariano, Shungo Sawada, New Direction For The Arts.

File Under: Jazz

JMAN097LP_PRODVarious: Spiritual Jazz 8: Japan Part Two (Jazzman) LP
Part two of two double LP versions. Textured, gatefold sleeve; Obi strip. Jazzman Record’s latest examination of esoteric, modal, and progressive jazz of the 20th century has taken them to Japan. The liberating force of jazz has been created and felt all around the world, but few nations on earth embraced the jazz message with the passion and intensity of Japan. From the dawn of the jazz age to the present day, Japanese audiences have been renowned tastemakers, enthusiasts, and champions of the music — in the 1980s, Japan was the biggest per capita market in the world for jazz records, and it has even been said that Japanese jazz fans kept the jazz record industry alive through the lean years of the 1970s, when the music fell from commercial favor in the land of its birth. But while the jazz aficionados of Japan are celebrated as sophisticated fans and consumers of the music, comparatively little is known outside Japan of the remarkable and abundant music produced by generations of Japanese jazz musicians. Numerous Japanese jazzers have found enormous success on the international stage — Toshiko Akiyoshi, Sadao Watanabe, Teramasu Hino, and many others are household names among jazz listeners all over the world, and with good reason. But if such global figures are put aside, the stunning heritage of Japanese jazz remains poorly understood outside Japan. As a result, the work of many celebrated Japanese jazzmen has remained largely unknown to international audiences, and the extraordinary scope and depth of Japanese jazz has not been widely recognized. Compiled for the Spiritual Jazz series in collaboration with the celebrated collector and DJ Yusuke Ogawa (Deep Jazz Reality, Tokyo), this set aims to correct that omission by uncovering the uniquely deep sound of esoteric, modal and progressive jazz from Japan — music of the heart, soul, and Japanese spirit. Part Two features: Four Units, Tohru Aizawa, Keitaro Miho, Tee & Company, Takeo Moriyama, Kiyoshi Sugimoto, Toshiko Akiyoshi, and Yoshio Ikeda.

File Under: Jazz

…..Restocks…..

AMM: AMMMusic (Black Truffle) LP
Courtney Barnett: Sometimes I Sit and Think (Mom + Pop) LP
Breeders: All Nerve (4AD) LP
Destroyer: ken (Merge) LP
Godspeed You Black Emperor: Asunder (Constellation) LP
Godspeed You Black Emperor: F#A# (Constellation) LP
Godspeed You Black Emperor: Lift Your Skinny Fists (Constellation) LP
Godspeed You Black Emperor: Slow Riot (Constellation) LP
Hot Snakes: Audit In Progress (Sub Pop) LP
Hot Snakes: Automatic Midnight (Sub Pop) CS
Johann Johannsson: IBM 1401 (4AD) LP
Laughing Hyenas: Merry Go Round (Thirdman) LP
The Men: Drift (Sacred Bones) LP
OST: Neon Demon (Milan) LP
Pavement: Brighten The Corners (Matador) LP
Pharoah Sanders: Izipho (Everland) LP
Sigur Ros: Agaetis Byrjum (XL) LP
Sigur Ros: Meo Suo I Eyrum (XL) LP
Spacemen 3: Playing With Fire (Space Age) LP
Vampire Weekend: s/t (XL) LP
Vampire Weekend: Contra (XL) LP
Kurt Vile: Wakin’ on a Pretty Daze (Matador) LP
Kurt Vile: B’lieve I’m Going Down (Matador) LP
Kamasi Washington: The Epic (Brainfeeder) 3LP
Gillian Welch: Harrow & The Harvest (Acorn) LP
Various: Acid Nightmares (Numero) LP

Tagged , , , , , , ,

…..news letter #840 – rama…..

Finally! The first real ‘big’ releases of the year! Hot Snakes, Preoccupations and Jack White in one week! And other cool stuff in and on the way. By the by, if you haven’t already looked, the Record Store Day list is out. Please look and let us know if there’s something on there you are gonna want, LET US KNOW ASAP!

…..picks of the week…..

hot snakes

Hot Snakes: Jericho Sirens (Sub Pop) LP
After a 14-year hiatus from the studio, Hot Snakes kick down the door with their new album, Jericho Sirens. The record blasts out of the speakers with the furious “I Need a Doctor,” inspired by Rick Froberg’s experience needing a doctor’s note in order to miss an important work function. Throughout Jericho Sirens, Froberg commiserates with the frustration and torrential apathy that seems to be a fixture in our daily lives, while also reminding us that we have no fucking clue. “Songs like ‘Death Camp Fantasy’ and ‘Jericho Sirens’ are about that,” he says. “No matter where you look, there’re always people saying the world’s about to end. Every movie is a disaster movie. I’m super fascinated by it. It is hysterical, and it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. It snowballs, like feedback, or my balls on the windshield.” Musically, the album incorporates the most extreme fringes of the Hot Snakes sound (the vein-bulging, 78-second “Why Don’t It Sink In?” the manic, Asian Blues on speed of “Having Another?”), while staying true to longstanding influences such as the Wipers, Dead Moon, Michael Jackson, and Suicide on propulsive tracks such as “Six Wave Hold-Down.” Other moments like the choruses of “Jericho Sirens” and “Psychoactive” nod to Status Quo and AC/DC.

File Under: Punk, Rock, Rocket From The Crypt, Drive Like Jehu
Listen Here

musciRoberto Musci & Giovanni Venosta: Water Messages on Desert Sand (RER) LP
Water Messages on Desert Sand was the very first sound creation from the Italian avantgarde duo of Roberto Musci and Giovanni Venosta. A classic work in the genre, released by Chris Cutler’s Recommended Records in 1987. Back in the mid Eighties, Musci & Venosta, both on sampler, synthesizer, guitar, piano, effects and tapes were masters in overlaying and constructing rhythmic and harmonic pictures of transparent sound from electronic, acoustic and documentary source, taking ethnic field recordings (from Africa, Indonesia, Asia, India) as their thematic centre. “Water Messages” finds place In the realm of Eno-Byrne “My Life in the Bush of Ghosts” but far more accomplished and developed. A rich moving and still very stimulating work and an essential purchase for anyone interested in adventurous modern art informed by ethnic music and sound explorations. In two words: Highly Recommended!

File Under: Experimental, Ambient
Listen Here

…..new arrivals…..

czarfaceCzarface & MF Doom: Czarface Meets Metal Face (Silver Age) LP
Rising from the wreckage of a war torn planet, Czarface joins forces with MF Doom in the epic Czarface Meets Metal Face! Blending Doom’s trademark abstractions and Czarface’s in-your-face lyrical attack, this album is ripe with cartoon violence, societal observations and pop culture musings. Over banging beats provided by The Czar-Keys, the armored team give you the witty unpredictable treats any hip-hop fan can sink their fangs into. Expect beats, rhymes, and metal as Czarface controlled by Wu-Tang Clan powerhouse Inspectah Deck and 7L & Esoteric team up with everyone’s favorite villain, MF Doom. With track titles like “Nautical Depth”,”Meddle With Metal”, “Astral Traveling” to “Madness of Badness” this album packs a punch with 16 brand new tracks. Add that with features from Open Mike Eagle and Jedi Mind Tricks’ Vinnie Paz, we promise you mind-bending metaphors and brain-melting beats as this powerful pairing sounds off in March 2018!

File Under: Hip Hop
Listen Here

dabrye

Dabrye: One/Three (Ghostly) LP
Combining the loose swagger of Detroit hip-hop (Slum Village) and the minimal glitch ethos of modern hybrid IDM (Chocolate Industries, Schematic), 2001’s One/Three is a concise, albeit bizarre study in abstract beatscapes. Under his Dabrye alias, Tadd Mullinix couples his oddball sense of humor with his love for the hip-hop instrumental, grinding out compelling cut-up beats that are as strangely listenable as some of the skittering R&B symphonies heard on pop radio lately. The first LP in a trilogy of the Dabrye sound, One/Three diminishes the space between the cerebral and the sexual in this blend of abstract electronics and attempts to tie the immediate past to the way-far future, with more than pleasurable results.

File Under: Hip Hop, Electronic
Listen Here

dabrye23

Dabrye: Two/Three (Ghostly) LP
Tadd Mullinix first made a name for himself as Dabrye in the early 2000s with a pair of instrumental albums combining the rhythmic finesse of Detroit hip-hop with the ingenuity of electronic music. But instrumental beats were only a temporary goal, a way for Mullinix to catch the ears of MCs. On Two/Three, his second Dabrye album for Ghostly, Mullinix brought together a formidable crew of local and national talent to make the statement he’d always intended. Released in 2006, Two/Three offered a fevered vision of rap’s future that remains just as intoxicating a decade on. Ahead of the long-awaited conclusion of Dabrye’s hip-hop trilogy in 2018, Ghostly is reissuing Two/Three. Dabrye’s move towards rap began in 2004 with the album’s first single, “Game Over” featuring Jay Dee and Phat Kat. An early inspiration of Dabrye’s, Jay Dee invited Mullinix to his crib in 2002 for a listening session during which he picked the “Game Over” beat to rap on. Crucially everyone involved was in accord that despite perceptions of their respective work this would be a hardcore rap song. Together with Kat, Jay delivered a one-two lyrical punch on “Game Over” that no one saw coming. Detroit made the world go round and everyone’s head spun. “Game Over” set the tone for the album and, over the next few years, became a Detroit anthem. Moody, propulsive, and above all ambitious, Two/Three emerges from a sonic stew of Detroit and UK dance music, Jamaican sound clashes, and hip-hop sampledelia. The guests, a who’s who of the mid-’00s underground rap scene, engage in a raucous rhyming session that pays as much attention to the realities of the streets as it does world events. MF Doom, Wildchild, Vast Aire, Beans, and AG represent for the various coasts while local talents – Waajeed, Ta-Raach, Invincible, Finale, Kadence, Guilty Simpson, Big Tone, Phat Kat, and Jay Dee – bring Two/Three alive with an infectious energy. In between bursts of raw rap and hard beats, Dabrye showcases detailed instrumentals that evoke bleak industrial futures, underwater meditations, and smoky late night sessions.

 File Under: Hip Hop, Electronic
Listen Here

dabrye33

Dabrye: Three/Three (Ghostly) LP
When Tadd Mullinix began exploring hip-hop under the name Dabrye 20 years ago, he soon honed in on a startling vision of what the genre could be: ingenious, refined, daring. This vision came to life across two albums for Ghostly – 2001’s One/Three and its 2006 follow-up Two/Three – with each record further positioning the Michigan producer as one of his generation’s best, equally comfortable creating minimalist instrumental meditations or sharp rap salvos. In the late 2000s, following critical acclaim and accolades from both peers and inspirations (including the late Jay Dee with whom Mullinix collaborated before his untimely passing), Mullinix put the Dabrye moniker on ice and dedicated himself to other genres and ideas. All the while the influence of his work on a new generation of electronic musicians continued to make itself felt in subtle but meaningful ways. All this changes as Dabrye makes his long-awaited return with Three/Three, a razor-sharp rap album that brings to completion a prophetic trilogy. Mullinix’s incisive productions provide the backdrop for equally acute rhymes that run the gamut from intergenerational observations and being your best self to back alley deals and having fun in the ride. Guests include indie rap legend Doom, whose previous collaboration with Dabrye remains a point of reference for many, Wu Tang storyteller Ghostface Killah, L.A word fanatic Jonwayne, and Long Island’s rugged surrealist Roc Marciano. Most importantly Three/Three is, much like its predecessor, an unfettered celebration of Detroit-area talent with Guilty Simpson, Phat Kat, Kadence, Quelle Chris, Danny Brown, Shigeto, Clear Soul Forces and more all lending their touch to Dabrye’s return. The blend of American and British dance music, hip-hop sampling, and Jamaican sound clash energy that underpinned Two/Three remains a quiet, guiding principle. At the same time Mullinix rejoices in a refreshed perspective, having had time to incubate ideas and find clarity in the distance between albums and the evolution of scenes. The beats are looser and less angular, more embracing of repetition. Organic techniques inspired by soul and jazz round off some of the harsher sonics. The resulting broad palette of tracks reflects both this evolution and the range of the Dabrye persona: relaxed headnod (“Tunnel Vision”); nervous, slow-motion electro (“The Appetite”); glacial motifs (“Emancipated”); jazzy, cut-up funk (“Sunset”); minimal brutalism (“Electrocutor”); intricate layering (“Culture Shuffle”).

 File Under: Hip Hop, Electronic
Listen Here

dabryeinst

Dabrye: Instrmntl (Ghostly) LP
2002’s Instrmntl is a continuation of the beat experiments Tadd Mullinix aka Dabrye began with One/Three and a bridge to the diverse textures that would define Two/Three four years later. About half of its nine tracks (ten if you lived in Japan) were created at the same time as One/Three while the rest were newer or made specifically for the album. Once again Mullinix looked outside of hip-hop to techno, house, and drum & bass for stylistic and technical ideas while embracing the blissful minimalism of a good hip-hop instrumental and the rhythmic nuance of Detroit. Despite the similarities between Dabrye’s debut and this follow up, Mullinix didn’t simply replicate what had made One/Three so arresting. He pushed and pulled further between the two cornerstones of his approach to reveal more potentials. Instrmntl takes you deeper into electronic depths – the rugged synth stutter of “Won,” the tumbling, wobbling bass in “No Child Of God,” the electro get down of “Prospects (Marshall Law)” – while also treading more organic grounds by letting samples breathe and moods unfurl at a gentler pace (“Take Me Home,” “Evelyn” and “You Know The Formula Right?”). And then there are the moments where this push and pull finds balance and the result becomes more, as it does on the mournful march of “D-Town Tabernacle Choir” and the twinkling daydream of “This Is Where I Came In.” At just over 30 minutes, Instrmntl offers a snapshot of a time when potentials seemed infinite, when lines could be drawn between jazz, ragga jungle, techno, and hip-hop and the resulting shape divined an exciting future.

File Under: Hip Hop, Electronic
Listen Here

final tour

Miles Davis & John Coltrane: Final Tour (Columbia) LP
Miles Davis and John Coltrane first collaborated in 1955, when Davis recruited the tenor saxophonist alongside pianist Red Garland, bassist Paul Chambers and drummer Philly Joe Jones. This “first great quintet” debuted on record with ‘Round About Midnight, Miles’ first album for Columbia Records in 1957. These early recordings showcased the stunning contrasts between Miles’ spacious, melodic lines and Trane’s cascading high-energy solos, famously described by the critic Ira Gilter in 1958 as “sheets of sound.” While the quintet disbanded shortly after the release of ‘Round About Midnight, Coltrane was back in Miles’ ensemble in early 1958. A year later, the Miles Davis Sextet (Davis, Coltrane, Chambers, saxophonist Julian “Cannonball” Adderley, pianist Bill Evans and drummer Jimmy Cobb) recorded the historic Kind Of Blue, the best-selling jazz album of all time. That same year, Coltrane built upon the modal jazz ideas of Kind Of Blue (based on scales or “modes” instead of chords) on his fifth studio album Giant Steps, released by Atlantic Records in 1960. Giant Steps established Coltrane as one of the most innovative bandleaders of the genre, and it became clear that his rising star would take him in a different direction than Davis. Even so, Miles could not immediately find a suitable replacement for a Jazz At The Philharmonic tour of Europe organized by jazz impresario Norman Granz, and persuaded his bandmate to join him one last time. It was Trane’s first trip to the continent, and his intense, exploratory playing often baffled audiences (who responded vocally). Nonetheless, these early performances from that European tour – Miles and Trane’s last outing together before Coltrane passed away in 1967 – showcased both musicians’ incredible influence on the changing sound of jazz. The beautiful music they made together at Copenhagen’s Tivolis Koncertsal on March 24, 1960 is presented here for the first time from the original ¼” analog tapes recorded by national broadcasters in Sweden.

File Under: Jazz
Listen Here

decemberists

Decemberists: I’ll Be Your Girl (Capitol) LP
The Decemberists explore a new sound with a new producer on their inspired eighth studio album I’ll Be Your Girl. The acclaimed Portland, Oregon-based band worked with producer John Congleton and embraced influences such as Roxy Music and New Order to spark a new creative path as evidenced on synth-driven lead single “Severed.” “The songs tend to the darker, more absurdist side of things and feature a lot of nice vintage synth work by Jenny and Chris, some heavy drumming from Mr. Moen and, of course, the sort of baroque bass work you’ve come to expect from Nate Query. All in all, everyone acquitted themselves quite nicely,” explains the band.

File Under: Indie Rock
Listen Here

woods

Dungen & Woods: Myths 003 (Mexican Summer) LP
For the third Marfa Myths release, we’re proud to present seven all-new songs written and recorded by Stockholm’s psychedelic masters Dungen and adventurous Brooklyn indie-folk pioneers Woods. In the case of Dungen and Woods, the two bands were tour mates in the summer of 2009, traversing America and bonding with one another in the process. The familiarity with one another’s music and personalities was already well in place, but the eight years that passed between the tour and the making of this record reveal that nothing was lost in the interim. That this is the most music assembled for a Marfa Myths release to date is telling of a rare and special connection between Dungen and Woods, reignited by the circumstances of the occasion. Myths 003 showcases a seamless merging of two bands following the same track to different locations throughout their career, as if they’d been playing together for decades, an exhilarating and buoyant example of how shared experiences can foster truly wonderful music.

File Under: Indie Rock
Listen Here

green druid

Green Druid: Ashen Blood (Earache) LP
Brooding. Atmospheric. Isolationist. With weighty riffs summoning the Lovecraftian horrors of the cosmos, Green Druid’s music entrances listeners with tales of the Old Blood and of dismal worlds too soon forgotten. Hailing from the land of Denver, Colorado – the first US city to legalize marijuana, Green Druid worships at the feet of the monolithic amplifier, and performs holy communion with the tremorous onslaught of murky tones that emanate from its maw. Ordained at the allowed altars of Sleep, Electric Wizard and all things THC, Green Druid’s full length debut album, Ashen Blood, descends upon the ears of the worthy in early 2018.

File Under: Stoner, Metal
Listen Here

hendrixJimi Hendrix: Both Sides of the Sky (Reprise) LP
Jimi Hendrix’s Both Sides of the Sky is the third volume in a trilogy of albums intended to present the best and most significant unissued studio recordings remaining in the music legend’s archive beginning with Valleys of Neptune (2010) and followed by People, Hell and Angels (2013). This dynamic third release completes the spectacular recording event in epic fashion with 13 studio recordings made between January 1968 and February 1970, 10 of which have never before been released. Hendrix’s desire to push the boundaries of blues music can be heard throughout and Both Sides of the Sky additionally highlights his mastery of studio production and increasing use of these facilities as a proving ground for new sounds, material, and techniques. Pressed at QRP, this 180g 2LP set sounds amazing on vinyl. Many of the album’s tracks were recorded by the trio that would come to be known as Band of Gypsys: Jimi on guitar/vocals, Billy Cox on bass, and Buddy Miles on drums. For their first-ever recording session on April 22, 1969, Hendrix turned to their shared musical root, delta blues. Their previously unreleased, uptempo reworking of Muddy Waters’ “Mannish Boy” opens the album and sets the tempo for what follows. “Lover Man” was a favored Hendrix original and the guitarist was determined to realize a finished master. Previous attempts by the original Experience had yet to yield this for Hendrix but this December 1969 effort by the Band Of Gypsys – complete with its homage to the popular Batman theme song – was his strongest effort to date. “Hear My Train A Comin'” features drummer Mitch Mitchell and bassist Noel Redding from the original Jimi Hendrix Experience. This original blues composition had become a staple of Hendrix’s concerts. This previously unreleased April 1969 recording captured the furious power and dynamic tension that made the song so memorable. Previously unheard recordings of “Stepping Stone,” “Jungle,” “Cherokee Mist” (which features Hendrix on both electric guitar and sitar) as well as the January 1968 recording of “Sweet Angel” provide further highlights. Both Sides of the Sky also features an assortment of notable guest musicians. Stephen Stills befriended Hendrix at the June 1967 Monterey Pop Festival. In September of 1969 Stills was invited to a Hendrix session at the Record Plant in New York. Stills burst into the session with a song Joni Mitchell had recently composed, titled “Woodstock.” Joined by Hendrix and Buddy Miles, the trio recorded this version first – months before Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young released their popular rendition of Mitchell’s song. Stills would also contribute “$20 Fine,” an original song that featured Hendrix on multiple guitars, Mitchell on drums, Stills on organ and lead vocals and Duane Hitchings (Buddy Miles Express) on piano. Another of the album’s unique band creations sees Hendrix and Johnny Winter on guitar, backed by Billy Cox and drummer Dallas Taylor of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. An excerpt of their rendition of Guitar Slim’s “Things I Used To Do” was initially heard as part of a 1990 nationally syndicated radio program and accompanying box set, but here it is presented in full, newly mixed by Eddie Kramer for Both Sides of The Sky. On “Georgia Blues,” Jimi is reunited with his old bandmate Lonnie Youngblood (vocals/sax) from his pre-fame days in Curtis Knight & The Squires. Briefly issued as part of the 2008 Martin Scorsese Presents the Blues series but out of print for nearly a decade, this special recording is once more available to Hendrix fans throughout the world on all audio formats. Both Sides of the Sky was produced by Janie Hendrix, John McDermott, and Eddie Kramer. Kramer served as recording engineer on every Jimi Hendrix album made during the artist’s life. In order to preserve the integrity and continuity of the Hendrix legacy, this same team has produced every Jimi Hendrix audio and visual release since 1996.

File Under: Rock
Listen Here

mobyMoby: Everything Was Beautiful, and Nothing Hurt (Arts & Crafts) LP
Everything Was Beautiful, and Nothing Hurt is a glowing tapestry exploring spirituality, individuality and the brokenness of humanity and finds Moby returning to his orchestral, soul, trip-hop and gospel roots. Featuring LA-based soulstress Raquel Rodriguez, lead single “Like a Motherless Child” is a re-work of the well-known spiritual with origins in the slavery of the American South. The track describes the void left when one feels separated from a parent, higher power or similar guiding force. Over the years this powerful song has been reinterpreted by the likes of Odetta, Lena Horne, Mahalia Jackson and Van Morrison. Moby also curated a playlist of artists that influenced the recording of his fifteenth studio album which includes Baby Huey, Marianne Faithfull, Grace Jones, Soul Makossa, Mulatu Astatke, Liquid Liquid, Fresh Four, Sly And Robbie, Simple Minds, James Brown, Talking Heads and Gil Scott-Heron.

File Under: Electronic, Pop, Trip Hop
Listen Here

monstermagnetMonster Magnet: Mindfuck (Napalm) LP
Monster Magnet put the pedal to the metal with Mindfucker, their tenth studio effort which mastermind Dave Wyndorf stated is “full-ahead Detroit-style, early 70s, MC5 and Stooges type of rock.” In terms of power driven stoner rock these gentlemen from New Jersey belong to the measure of all things. But Mindfucker is different, a step forward and a step back at the same time to the almighty roots of beat music. Wyndorf seeks and finds timeless songs here, kindled by the unpretentious protopunk era and manipulates his guitar with rich virility and the drive of his shifty soul throughout. Pumping and scratching at every turn, all things are in constant motion with a sound of groovy straightforwardness, always heading for the essence of the song. Up tempo, savage in both sound and spirit, Mindfucker is the real deal. The album has the potential to surprise and to whip up the love for the genre, while still giving the sludgies and stoner freaks exactly what they wish for in a new Monster Magnet album.

File Under: Stoner Rock, Psych
Listen Here

last jediOST: Star Wars: The Last Jedi (Disney) LP
In Star Wars: The Last Jedi, the Skywalker saga continues as the heroes of The Force Awakens join the galactic legends in an epic adventure that unlocks age-old mysteries of the Force and shocking revelations of the past. After creating the scores for the seven previous Star Wars films, five-time Academy Award-winner John Williams returned to compose and conduct his signature sweeping music for The Last Jedi. As with Star Wars: The Force Awakens, audiences can expect to hear quotations from earlier Star Wars themes. For Williams, incorporating the previous themes is part of the fun of scoring the Star Wars movies and helps create what he calls “the fabric of the films.” Many of the characters also have their own musical themes. Williams explains, “Rey has a theme, Kylo Ren has a theme, Finn has one, Rose has one…These thematic elements infuse the whole score and are part of what moves the film along, giving its sonic outline. In the Star Wars films, the orchestra can be as extrovert as it wants to be at given times, so it really becomes a big part of the fun and imagination of it all.”

File Under: OST
Listen Here

preoccupationsPreoccupations: New Material (Flemish Eye) LP
Preoccupations’ songs have always worked through themes of creation, destruction, and futility, and they’ve always done it with singular post-punk grit. The textures are evocative and razor-sharp. The wire is always a live one. But while that darker side may have been well-explored, that’s not quite the same as it being fully, intensely lived. This time it was, and the result is New Material, a collection that broadens and deepens Preoccupations to a true mastery of their sound. In it lies the difference between witnessing a car crash and crashing your own, between jumping into an ocean and starting to swallow the water. “It’s an ode to depression,’ singer Matt Flegel says plainly. “To depression and self-sabotage, and looking inward at yourself with extreme hatred.” Typically resilient, the months leading up to recording New Material brought a new order of magnitude to feelings that had been creeping up on Flegel for some time. New Material builds a world for that feeling, playing through its layers and complexities while hiding almost nothing. That inscrutable side is part of the magic, here, and a necessary counterweight to the straight-jab clarity of Flegel’s lyrics. You can deep-dive the lyrics or zone into a riff; you can face it or you can get lost in it. Opener “Espionage” kicks off with a clattering, rhythmic echo that gives way to sprinting percussion and a melody in the orbit of Manchester’s classics. “Manipulation” explores the futility of going through the motions, balancing a droney, minimal march with a thunder roll that brings it to the brink, and to the doomed romantic declaration, “please don’t remember me like I’ll always remember you.” “Dissaray” bursts up like a blackened confetti cannon, the song’s undeniably bright melody dancing over a refrain of “disarray, disarray, disarray” and literally nothing else. The hunt turns into a search-and-destroy mission on “Decompose,” a tense, speedy, “blow yourself up and start again” type of song. If the through-line unifying Preoccupations’ work is a furious, almost punishing cyclical quality, New Material does offer some relief. Closer “Compliance” may not seem revelatory on first listen, but it is deeply elemental, a crucial finale and the band’s first standalone instrumental. Flegel acknowledges it is more affecting to him than any other song on the record. It’s not redemption, more like a forced reprieve.

File Under: Indie Rock
Listen Here

rosenstockJeff Rosenstock: Post- (Polyvinyl) LP
Jeff Rosenstock wrote POST- in a double-wide trailer in the Catskill Mountain town of East Durham, the snow-covered hills surrounding him like a landscape of blank pages. The serene, empty space was a big change of scenery for a guy who bounces around the world like a human comet, playing super-catchy, super-devastating shout-alongs to dedicated fans around the world. Written in the days after the 2017 Presidential inauguration, POST-‘s lyrics get (really) heavy but the melodies are so catchy and the builds are so big and bright that the end result is more of a rallying cry than a surrender. The album was recorded in a one-week, 86-hour marathon recording session with Jack Shirley (Joyce Manor, Deafheaven) at the Atomic Garden in East Palo Alto, CA. “The four of us stood in a room without headphones on and just played the songs live to tape, and after that we had some friends (Dan Potthast, Laura Stevenson, Chris Farren, PUP) fill out some of the sound,” explains Rosenstock. So, if the record feels even more unifying than usual, like a party that turns into a sleepover that turns into egg-n-cheese sandwiches on the beach that turns into a protest march that unites a gang of buddies for eternity, well, maybe that’s why. “POST- is a confirmation of Rosenstock as one of punk rock’s greatest, most effusive living songwriters.” – Pitchfork

File Under: Punk
Listen Here

suunsSuuns: Felt (Secret City) LP/DLX LP
There are those in our ranks who are touting this new triumphant collection from Montreal’s art-rock heroes Suuns as the most outright grooved record they’ve made. But hold it right there. Not so fast. Suuns have always had that deep groove on fucking lock, albeit oft-slithering within an austere and/or sneering veneer. Consider, if you will, how Kraftwerk had far more funk flowing through their wires and cables than most of we flesh bodies. Same goes for the necromancers of Suuns. And their world class drummer Liam O’Neill has heroically accepted the challenge of playing in and around programmed beats like a diabolical, sentient metronome. O’Neill’s kit is a bit more out front than it’s been in a hot minute and he’s as patient and ferocious as ever. Meanwhile, Singer/guitarist Ben Shemie’s sourmilk deliver is as frightening and enchanting as ever, but now coming from some deep area that feels like a human heart. And as alluded to by its title and neon-warm album art, Suuns’ Felt is gonna make you feel things. You’re gonna learn something about your body listening to cuts like on DJ Shadow-leaning, head-bobber “Look No Further” or “Make It Real,” which could be a radio signal of a lost Silver Apples cut – that is, before it becomes a doomsday siren breakup song. These four gentlemen could be making beats for 21 Savage or Migos. But for now, lucky for you, they’re ruthlessly set on being one of the planet’s finest, bravest bands.

File Under: Indie Rock
Listen Here

umilianiPiero Umiliani: Africa/Continente Nero (Dagored) LP
Dagored presents a double LP bundle of two first official Piero Umiliani reissues. Africa from Piero Umiliani’s M. Zalla moniker, originally released in 1972, and Continente Nero, released under Umiliani’s own name in 1975. The double LP bundle contains inserts with liner notes for each release; Edition of 500. From the liner notes for Africa, curated by Stefano Gilardino: “. . . Keep in mind the release year, January 1972, before approaching the matter covered in this precious jewel: the black rhythm of the incredible ‘Africa To-Day’, the ‘fourth world’ Jon Hassell-style of ‘Green Dawn’, the ‘exotic’ touch à la Martin Denny (‘Lonely Village’, ‘Echos’), the ‘Sortilège”s reference to the electronic new wave (really!), the folk influence (‘Rite’, ‘Folk-Tune’). With many years in advance, Umiliani synthesizes in Africa sounds and styles that will make then the fortune of well-celebrated and famous artists. . . .” From the liner notes for Continente Nero, curated by Luca Collepiccolo: “. . . The African continent rebuilt in ‘microsolchi’ by maestro Umiliani in 1975 is therefore a projection, an image that is influenced strongly by the affairs of overseas colleagues. All those artists from Duke Ellington to the Art Ensemble of Chicago, through Max Roach, who have been fundamental in the genesis of African-American culture . . . Over 40 years since its conception, it is a remarkable, pioneering work, a place of hypotheses and happy intuitions. . . .”

File Under: Library
Listen Here

jackwhiteJack White: Boarding House Reach (Thirdman) LP
Boarding House Reach is the eagerly anticipated new album from Jack White, the 12x Grammy Award-winner’s third solo LP and first all-new album in nearly four years. The record sees White expanding his musical palate with perhaps his most ambitious work thus far, a collection of songs that are simultaneously timeless and modern. Written and conceived while holed up in a spartan apartment with no outside distractions, Jack replicated the identical environment and used the same gear as when he was a 15 year old (a quarter-inch four-track tape recorder, a simple mixer, and the most basic of instrumentation) to pen sketches of the songs. The album explores a remarkable range of sonic terrain – crunching rock ‘n’ roll, electro and hard funk, proto punk, hip hop, gospel blues, and even country – all remapped and born anew to fit White’s matchless vision and sense of restless experimentation. Boarding House Reach is a testament to the breadth of White’s creative power and his bold artistic ambition. The 13-track set features White on vocals, acoustic and electric guitars and drums, organ, and synthesizers. He’s backed by a remarkable new lineup of musicians that includes: drummer Louis Cato (Beyoncé, Q-Tip, John Legend, Mariah Carey), bassists Charlotte Kemp Muhl (The Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger) and NeonPhoenix (Kanye West, Lil Wayne, Jay-Z), synthesizer players DJ Harrison and Anthony “Brew” Brewster (Fishbone, The Untouchables), keyboardists Neal Evans (Soulive, Talib Kweli, John Scofield) and Quincy McCrary (Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Pitbull), percussionists Bobby Allende (David Byrne, Marc Anthony) and Justin Porée (Ozomatli), and backing vocalists Esther Rose and Ann & Regina McCrary of Nashville’s beloved gospel trio, The McCrary Sisters, as well as longtime collaborators like drummers Daru Jones (Nas, Talib Kweli) and Carla Azar (Autolux, Depeche Mode, Doyle Bramhall II). Singer-songwriter C.W. Stoneking also appears, contributing a stirring spoken word performance to the album’s “Abulia and Akrasia.” Boarding House Reach is ushered in by the rapidly acclaimed new single, “Connected By Love,” b/w “Respect Commander,” and was produced by Jack White and recorded at Third Man Studio in Nashville, TN, Sear Sound in New York, NY, and Capitol Studios in Los Angeles, CA; the album was mixed by Bill Skibbe, Joshua V. Smith, and White at Third Man Studio in Nashville, TN.

File Under: Rock
Listen Here

saruVarious: Eccentric Soul: The Saru Label (Numero) LP
The 20th volume of Numero Group’s flagship Eccentric Soul series has all the boxes checked: Gun-toting, skip-tracing record producers, child stars, rip-offs, the “World’s Greatest Bail Bondsman,” swindles, soaring falsettos, and a dwindling rust-belt cityscape offering mere glimpses of hope before the record industry escaped for the coasts. Helmed by the O’Jays Bobby Massey, Saru was a creative vortex that pulled Cuyahoga County’s greatest talent in, making a strong case for Cleveland to contend with Detroit, Philly, and Memphis as America’s soul music capital. Includes obscure and unknown sides from the Out of Sights, the Elements, Pandella Kelly, David Peoples, Sir Stanley, the Ponderosa Twins, the Ba-Roz, Bobby Dukes, and of course, the O’Jays.

File Under: Soul

…..Restocks…..

Boards Of Canada: Geogaddi (Warp) LP
Broadcast: Work And Non-Work (Warp) LP
Can: Monster Movie (Mute) LP
Johnny Cash: With His Hot & Blue Guitar (Wax Love) LP
Felt: The Seventeenth Century (Cherry Red) LP
Flying Lotus: Youre Dead! (Warp) LP
Nils Frahm: Solo (Erased Tapes) LP
Kayranada: 99.9% (Sony) LP
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard: Flying Microtonal Banana (ATO) LP
Lamar; Kendrick: Damn (Collector’s Edition) (Aftermath) LP
Lcd Soundsystem: Sound Of Silver (DFA) LP
Massive Attack: Blue Lines (EMI) LP
Massive Attack: Mezzanine (EMI) LP
Meters: Fire On The Bayou (LP
MGMT: Oracular Spectacular (
Os Mutantes: s/t (Lilith) LP
Pink Floyd: A Collection of
Visible Cloaks: Reassemblage (RVNG Intl.) LP
Marlon Williams: Make Way for Love (Dead Oceans) LP
Townes Van Zandt: s/t (Fat Possum) LP

Tagged , , , , , , ,

…..news letter #839 – pano…..

A bit of light week here, but if that damned Hot Snakes vinyl wasn’t late that would be all we’d be talking about anyway… Hopefully its here next week! In the meantime check out the killer Avulsions from Saskatoon or get depressed with the new Mount Eerie Then cheer yourself up and party down with Thundercat.

…..pick of the week…..

sugai

Ken Sugai: UkabazUmorezU (RVNG Intl) LP
With a melodic cluster dripping into a pool of dark water, UkabazUmorezU’s arrival ripples as an apex in Sugai Ken’s continued construction of a deeply resonant, enveloping sound world. Upon contact, UkabazUmorezU gently and generously unfurls across aural alleys and streets mundanely but mystically detailed with recontextualized Japanese rituals and tradition. Sugai’s compositional language took its most cohesive form in the producer’s almost decade long career with the 2016 album On The Quakefish. Evolving the sound design intuited on 2010’s ToKiShiNe and  2014’s Tada, Quakefish utilized an all-seeing, all-knowing edit for wider screens and wilder properties. The sable stage set for UkabazUmorezU is both bottomless and forgiving, a rich soil for new experiments to grow in Ken’s self-described “style that conjures [the] subtle and profound ambience of night in Japan.” A lived experience of traditional Japanese music’s conversation with environment, and vice versa, forms the melodic make-up and metaphysical philosophy conditioning UkabazUmorezU. Upon imagining a landscape, Sugai decomposes the image (and the images within the image) and replaces it with a sound representation – an artifactual terrain, tethered to but abstracted from the natural world. The 11 pieces which form UkabazUmorezUdovetail meaningfully with the invented album title, roughly translating to “slow and steady wins the race.” Made up of recordings sourced and appropriated from the local performing arts of Kanagawa, Japan (where Sugai lives), his daily surroundings, and Sugai’s tool kit of electronic synthesis,  UkabazUmorezU evokes tranquil patience while never settling into a single style or still of sound for too long. Sugai Ken’s upbringing among a generation of Japanese artists exposed to Western culture becomes the basis for another part of UkabazUmorezU’s ritualistic experimentation. On “Sawariyanagi,” for example, an atmosphere inspired by the yokai monster Yanagi Onna finds itself speaking through a Western electroacoustic motif. Elsewhere on “Ganoubyoshi” a processed “hoarsely voice of the elderly” is treated with a reverence reserved for the realm of symphonic music – the micro and the macro receive equal amounts of mindful care in the cerebral ceremony of Sugai Ken. The profundity of UkabazUmorezU’s nighttime arrives, in part, upon the idea that what remains hidden is limitless. While one might be horrified by the concept of negative space, Sugai views this obscured horizon as an invitation for a tempered type of spontaneity. A heartfelt connection to his personal trajectory and the folk history of his country allows UkabazUmorezU to calmly throw itself headlong into a jumbled sound experience sometimes beyond our conscious comprehension.

File Under: Ambient, Electronic, Experimental
Listen Here

…..new arrivals…..

avulsions

The Avulsions: Expanding Program (Flemish Eye) LP
In tomorrow… The Avulsions’ highly anticipated debut album Expanding Program launches the Saskatoon group’s gothic post-punk into a sci-fi dystopian future that may not be far off. Songs uncoil slowly while patiently working through hypnotic passages. Shards of spindly guitar and synth work alternate between chilly, dread-inducing backdrops and regal orchestral-style arrangements, all pinned down by distinctive percussion that rarely relies on a familiar beat. On these slow-burning mini-epics, spectral ambience inspired by The Cure is fused with the chiming dissonance of early Sonic Youth, the deadpan drama of Nico’s The Marble Index, or the nuclear war paranoia of This Heat.  The album’s morbid lyrics conjure a society of “Mars” under military control, lingering evil in the Twin Peaks referencing “BOB”, and the scorched earth of “The End” eliminating all suffering forever, before the explosive release of 12-minute closer “Clone” serves up a closing moment of uncertain calm.

File Under: Goth, Post-Punk
Listen Here

byrne

David Byrne: American Utopia (Nonesuch) LP
American Utopia fits hand-in-hand with David Byrne’s vision for his series “Reasons To Be Cheerful,” named for the song by the late Ian Dury. Over the last year, Byrne has been collecting stories, news, ideas, and other items that all either embody or identify examples of things that inspire optimism, such as a tech breakthrough, a musical act, a new idea in urban planning or transportation – something seen, heard, or tasted. Just as the album questions the current state of society while offering solace through song, the content of the series recognizes the darkness and complexity of today while showcasing alternatives to the despair that threatens us. While Byrne has collaborated on joint releases with Brian Eno, Norman Cook (aka Fatboy Slim), and most recently St. Vincent over the past decade, American Utopia is Byrne’s first solo album since, 2004’s Grown Backwards. American Utopia morphed during the writing and recording process, beginning with longtime collaborator Brian Eno, and eventually growing to include collaborations with producer Rodaidh McDonald (The xx, King Krule, Sampha, Savages) alongside a diverse cast of creative contributors including Daniel Lopatin (aka Oneohtrix Point Never), Jam City, Thomas Bartlett (St. Vincent producer, aka Doveman), Jack Peñate, and others. The album was recorded in New York City at DB Spare Bedroom, Reservoir Studios, Oscilloscope, XL Studios, and Crowdspacer Studio and in London at Livingston Studio. The packaging features the work of “outsider artist” Purvis Young, whose work was often a blend of painting/drawing and collaged elements comprised of everyday found objects. A painting depicting a head with a face of indeterminate race or possibly gender – dreaming, meditating, contemplating – is on the album’s cover. American Utopia will be accompanied by a world tour and choreographed concert that Byrne has called “the most ambitious show I’ve done since the shows that were filmed for Stop Making Sense.”

File Under: Pop
Listen Here

django

Django Django: Marble Skies (Ribbon) LP
Django Django – David Maclean (producer/drummer), Vincent Neff (vocalist/guitarist), Jimmy Dixon (bass) and Tommy Grace (synths) – return, exploring new sounds with their third full-length album, Marble Skies. It’s a concise and focused album that recalls their dynamic, genre-blurring debut and its handmade, cut-and-paste approach. Following the release of their 2012 Mercury Prize-nominated debut and 2015’s Born Under Saturn, the process for Marble Skies began with a back-to-basics approach in line with the DIY ethos of the band’s early days. In late 2016, Django Django (minus Maclean) assembled at Urchin Studios in Tottenham, London with Metronomy drummer Anna Prior to experiment with new material. After ten days of recording, there was plenty of raw demos to send to Maclean for him to edit, refine and evolve before the band rejoined for recording proper. Marble Skies was completed in mid-2017 in their small, equipment-crammed studio in north London – a similar environment to the first record, which was recorded in Maclean’s bedroom.

File Under: Electronic
Listen Here

dwarves

Dwarves: Free Cocaine (Burger) LP
The Dwarves’ killer 39-track, 2LP compilation Free Cocaine: 1986-88 collects material from the band’s Fuck-You-Up-And-Get-High Years. The pus-charged and violently dripping assemblage of scum from punk rock’s reigning over-the-hill bad boys includes compilation cuts, the Toolin’ For A Warm Teabag 12-inch, the Lucifer’s Crank 7″, the That’s Rock’n’Roll 7″, the I Wanna Kill Your Boyfriend 7″, the She’s Dead 7″ and the Sex & Violence 7″ plus 15 unreleased tracks.

File Under: Punk
Listen Here

earthless

Earthless: Black Heaven (Nuclear Blast) LP
Earthless has a surprise for you. Whereas the band’s three previous albums featured anywhere from two to four completely instrumental space rock jams, the California trio’s fourth and latest, Black Heaven, is nothing like that. “It’s quite different,” drummer Mario Rubalcaba explains. “It has six songs, and most importantly it has vocals on about 70 percent of the record. There goes being pigeonholed as an instrumental band, I guess…” Of Black Heaven’s six tracks, only two are instrumental. And one of those instrumentals is less than two minutes long. “It wasn’t a premeditated thing to do a record with vocals,” Rubalcaba notes. “On the older records, Mike was responsible for a lot of the riffs that would start these jams, but on this one Isaiah really brought his own pizazz and flavor to it. I’d say that’s one of the major differences on this album: It has more of Isaiah’s input. He took a risk bringing these ideas to us, not knowing if we’d like them. But as with everything we’ve done in the past, it felt very organic and natural.” Black Heaven is a game changer for Earthless. “I’m sure there will be some people who have come to expect the big gargantuan space rock jams, and I don’t know if they’ll be into this or not,” Rubalcaba admits. “But I’m ready to deal with a little bit of disappointment from people who just want the freakout stuff. At the same time, I think people are gonna enjoy hearing a different side of us. If people really listen to what we’re doing, it’s gonna sound like us. Sometimes it just takes a few listens. And that’s the kind of stuff that pays off more in the end.”

File Under: Metal
Listen Here

galas

Diamanda Galas: At Saint Thomas the Apostle Harlem (Intravenal) LP
Diamanda Galás is a Greek-American avant-garde composer and performer, whose work confronts the subjects of violence and despair with political conviction and austerity. Galás rose to prominence in the ‘80s and ‘90s with the recorded trilogy, Masque of the Red Death, and the performance work Plague Mass, which addressed the AIDS crisis in a time of deafening political silence and inaction. At St. Thomas the Apostle Harlem documents Galás’ volcanic May 2016 performance at St. Thomas the Apostle church in Harlem, NY, described by the New York Times as “guttural and operatic, baleful and inconsolable, spiritual and earthy, polyglot and wordless, nuanced and unhinged.” The concert, produced by Intravenal Sound Operations and Red Bull Music Academy, was composed exclusively of what Galás calls “death songs.”

File Under: Jazz, Experimental
Listen Here

hayden

Hayden: Moving Careful (Hardwood) LP
Following an anniversary edition of Everything I Long For, Canadian songwriting hero Hayden is giving his Moving Careful release the same treatment. Hayden releases the 1996 EP as an expanded 20th anniversary edition, both on vinyl and digitally. It will mark the first vinyl pressing of the release since it initially arrived as a 10-inch. Moving Careful was originally recorded in the mid-’90s and released via Hardwood/Sonic Unyon in late 1996. For the expanded reissue, Side 2 of the release will include a series of rare recording captured between ’94 and ’96. In a statement, Hayden had this to say about the release: After touring my debut, Everything I Long For, across Canada for the better part of two years from 1994-96, I celebrated its imminent International release by developing a strong dislike for the sound of my music. A major sticking point in my negotiations with Outpost Recordings (my US label at the time) was to have the ability to release singles and EPs on my own or through smaller labels. They agreed, and Moving Careful was born from late night obsessions on the third floor of a rented Victorian house in Toronto. Although much of my debut was recorded on a 4-track cassette, I was eager to get back to my Yamaha MT100 II, and very inspired by what Eric’s Trip and Lou Barlow were doing at the time.

File Under: Indie Rock, Folk
Listen Here

hot snakes

Hot Snakes: Jericho Sirens (Sub Pop) CS
Where oh where is the vinyl at!!!! After a 14-year hiatus from the studio, Hot Snakes kick down the door with their new album, Jericho Sirens. The record blasts out of the speakers with the furious “I Need a Doctor,” inspired by Rick Froberg’s experience needing a doctor’s note in order to miss an important work function. Throughout Jericho Sirens, Froberg commiserates with the frustration and torrential apathy that seems to be a fixture in our daily lives, while also reminding us that we have no fucking clue. “Songs like ‘Death Camp Fantasy’ and ‘Jericho Sirens’ are about that,” he says. “No matter where you look, there’re always people saying the world’s about to end. Every movie is a disaster movie. I’m super fascinated by it. It is hysterical, and it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. It snowballs, like feedback, or my balls on the windshield.” Musically, the album incorporates the most extreme fringes of the Hot Snakes sound (the vein-bulging, 78-second “Why Don’t It Sink In?” the manic, Asian Blues on speed of “Having Another?”), while staying true to longstanding influences such as the Wipers, Dead Moon, Michael Jackson, and Suicide on propulsive tracks such as “Six Wave Hold-Down.” Other moments like the choruses of “Jericho Sirens” and “Psychoactive” nod to Status Quo and AC/DC.

 File Under: Punk
Listen Here

imarhan

Imarhan: Temet (City Slang) LP
When Imarhan released their self-titled debut album in 2016, they stepped into a genre already flooded with talent and exposure, but still managed to rise to the top and be heralded as the “new wave Of Tuareg music” by Fact Magazine and The Guardian. Temet is a huge leap forward in production, as well as creatively for Imarhan. Whereas their debut was anchored in the meditative Desert Blues tradition, Temet eclipses such notions, finding bounce and drive by stirring their sound with funk, fuzz, disco and rock. This is not a novel concept to the band, as anyone who has seen them play will attest. There is a disparity between their emotional and thoughtful first album and the raucous, ecstatic live show. And while Temet is decisively more eclectic, the aesthetic wisdom and singular vision of their debut remains on full display.

File Under: African, Tuareg, Desert Blues
Listen Here

mount eerieMount Eerie: Now Only (PW Elverum) LP
Now Only, written shortly following the release of A Crow Looked At Me and the first live performances of those songs, is a deeper exploration of that style of candid, undisguised lyrical writing. It portrays Elverum’s continuing immersion in the strange reality of Geneviève’s death, chronicling the evolution of his relationship to her and her memory, and of the effect the artistic exploration of his grief has had on his own life. The scope of Now Only encompasses not only hospitals and deathbeds, but also a music festival, childhood memories of conversations with Elverum’s mother, profound paintings and affecting artworks he encounters, a documentary about Jack Kerouac, and most significantly, memories of his life with Geneviève. These moments and thoughts resonate with each other, creating a more complex and nuanced picture of mourning and healing. The power of these songs comes not from the small, sharp moments of cutting phrases or shocks, but the echoes that weave the songs together, the way a life is woven. The music, fully realized by Elverum alone at home, is fleshed out texturally and seems to react to the words in real time. In a moment of confusion, dissonance abruptly makes itself known; in a moment of clarity, gentle piano arises. On the title track, the blunt declaration of “people get cancer and die” is subverted by a melody that can only be described as pop. As Elverum reinvents his lyrical process, he is also refining his musical vocabulary. Elverum’s life during the period he wrote Now Only was defined by the duality of existing with the praise and attention garnered by A Crow Looked At Me and the difficult reality of maintaining a house with a small child by himself, as well as working to preserve Geneviève’s artistic legacy. Consumed with the day to day of raising his daughter, Elverum felt his musical self was so distant that it seemed fictional. Stepping into the role of Phil Elverum of Mount Eerie held the promise of positive empathy and praise, but also the difficulty of inhabiting the intense grief that produced the music. These moments, both public and domestic, are chronicled in these songs. They are songs of remembrance, and songs about the idea of remembrance, about living on the cusp of the past and present and reluctantly witnessing a beloved person’s history take shape. Time continues.

File Under: Indie Rock

myrrorsMyrrors: Burning Circles in the Sky (Fuzz Club) LP
The band’s debut album, recorded sometime in 2007/2008 prior to the band’s extended hiatus and originally released in a limited run of fifty handmade, screen-printed copies. Features the original Myrrors lineup of Nik Rayne, Grant Beyschau, and bassist Claira Safi, who also designed the now somewhat iconic sleeve. These are quite literally the first recordings made by the band, cut at Nik’s house, quick and loose and on the fly. That original self-released edition sold out long ago, but the album has since been reissued internationally multiple times on CD, cassette, and LP by labels like Fuzz Club Records, Cardinal Fuzz, and Rewolfed Gloom.

File Under: Psych
Listen Here

starchildStarchild & The New Romantic: Language (Ghostly) LP
“Black boys have a whole world of complexity that society makes us stomp out of ourselves.” Language, Bryndon Cook’s full-length debut as Starchild & The New Romantic, communicates his refusal to do so. Describing himself early-on as a “young romantic boy from Maryland,” Cook has long been a dreamer, a student of black music’s rich lineage and its intersection with pop. He’s drawn to landmark moments where artists have found truth in darkness; the diverse language of music living in their core. This record is his; lifting off from the monochrome world of Crucial, his 2016 EP, up towards a dazzling crimson blood-rush of sky-high defiance and autonomy. On Language, Cook refines his phonics for funk, electro, and R&B, and arrives at a revelation, best summarized by a single motto: “my sensitivity is my strength.” Sonically and spiritually, Cook finds guidance in grand standards: looking up to producers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, studying their contributions to the New Jack Swing era and pop music at large. Touchstone statements like Janet Jackson’s Control, Michael Jackson’s Bad, and Prince’s 1999; singular breakout LPs from Terence Trent D’Arby and Bobby Brown; the honesty of Bruce Springsteen’s Nebraska and Carole King’s Tapestry; the ingenuity of Laurie Anderson. Cook also reflects on recent years with Solange, as part of her touring band, and collaborations with Dev Hynes aka Blood Orange, as reminders of artistic individuality. Hit most earnest, warm-hearted material to date, Language is the sound of Bryndon Cook eloquently occupying his space without apology, envisioning a world where the crimson qualities of sensitivity and softness aren’t shamed, they are celebrated as magic.

File Under: R&B, Soul
Listen Here

of abstracSun Ra: Of Abstract Dreams (Strut) LP
Strut and Art Yard present another exclusive from the vast catalogue of cosmic jazz pioneer Sun Ra: a previously unreleased radio session most likely recorded at the WXPN FM radio studios in Philadelphia, 1974-5. This newly discovered session features a new version of Ra’s earlier ‘Island In The Sun’, a romping, raucous rendition of ‘Unmask The Batman’ and the first studio recording of ‘I’ll Wait For You’ There is no bass player on the sessions and Ra’s left hand beats out a rhythmic bass pattern on the piano. All tracks are remastered directly from the original tapes. The album package features a newly commissioned painting by legendary Bristol urban artist Guy Denning and new sleeve notes by Paul Griffiths. Recently discovered in the Sun Ra archive, the recording forms part of a series of sessions that Ra and the Arkestra recorded for WXPN-FM between 1974 and 1980. The ‘Antique Blacks’ album was recorded there in ’74. Based on the campus of The University of Pennsylvania, WXPN’s station manager Jules Epstein and music director Russ Woessner were instrumental in the exposure and recording of The Arkestra in their broadcast production studios. Geno Barnhart, founder of The Empty Foxhole concert collective, Jules and Russ broadcast an on-going series of jazz concerts covering a wide spectrum. The Arkestra performed at The Foxhole in Philly many times from 1974.

File Under: Jazz

drankThundercat & OG RonC & The Chopstars: Drank (Brainfeeder) LP
Brainfeeder presents a special chopped not slopped mix of Thundercat’s incredible 2017 album Drunk by DJ Candlestick and OG Ron C of legendary Houston DJ collective The Chopstars. Slowed down and chopped up, the mix has been appropriately re-titled Drank. It appeared online in 2017 as an unofficial homage to the virtuoso bassist, songwriter and producer’s third and universally acclaimed album and received hearty approval from Thundercat who proclaimed “If you got Drunk it’s only right that you get Drank. I feel like they go together,” inciting Brainfeeder to offer up this colored vinyl pressing. “I’ve always been a fan of chopping up creative music,” explains DJ Candlestick. “A lot of people don’t know we chop up rock and alternative music. We believe in chopping up everything just like DJ Screw’s dream – ‘chopping up the world.’ We are fans of this type of music and especially Thundercat and Flying Lotus. With these type of projects, OG Ron C and myself usually vibe out and do what we do best. ‘Drank’ gives you a perfect musical high. It’s also a project that all types of people can vibe to – smooth, chill and entertaining.”

File Under: Hip Hop, Funk, Jazz
Listen Here

ween2Dean Ween Group: Rock 2 (Schnitzel) LP
Dean Ween – aka The Deaner – recorded the rock2 album at his dedicated studio facility in Lambertville, NJ, across the river from his native New Hope, PA. Ween says: “A lot has changed since I released my first ‘solo album’ a couple of years ago…This album is a snapshot of the fall of 2016 – there have been a lot of tunes recorded before then and even more since then, but this is my second official solo album. These were written for this sole purpose and recorded with the entire lineup: the best band in the world, Ween – Claude Coleman Jr., Dave Dreiwitz and Glenn McClelland, also the other best band in the world, the lineup of the DWG – Mike Dillon, Bill Fowler, Ray Kubian, Scott Rednor, and the other 50 members and usual suspects…I’m pretty proud of this one – it represents the first time that I was able to take what we do onstage and put it on a record…Every little thing I’ve ever learned is somewhere on here, somewhere.” Gatefold colored 180 gram LP.

File Under: Rock
Listen Here

yo la tengoYo La Tengo: There’s a Riot Going On (Matador) LP
There’s A Riot Going On. You don’t need Yo La Tengo or anyone else for that matter to tell you that. These are dark times, in our heads as much as in the streets. It’s easy to lose contact with the ground. Confusion and anxiety intrude into daily life and cause you to lose your compass. There are times that call for anthems, something to lift you out of your slump and put fire in your feet. And sometimes what is needed is a balm, a sound that will wrap around you and work out the knots in your neck. For Yo La Tengo, this is a slow-motion action painting. Ira Kaplan, Georgia Hubley, and James McNew did it all themselves, in their rehearsal studio, with no engineer and no complicated equipment (John McEntire later assisted in mixing). They did not rehearse together beforehand; they turned on the recorder and let things coalesce. Songs came together over long stretches, sometimes as much as a year going by between parts. You’d never guess this, since the layers are joined with such a liquid brush. You’d imagine most of the songs had sprung forth whole, since they will enter your head that way. You will be powerless to resist the magnetic draw of “Shades of Blue,” will involuntarily hear “She May, She Might” on your internal jukebox first thing in the morning and “Let’s Do It Wrong” late at night. While There’s A Riot Going On, Yo La Tengo reminds you what it’s like to dream. The sound burbles and washes and flows and billows. If records were dedicated to the cardinal elements, this one would be water. There are shimmery hazes, spectral rumbles, a flash of backward masking. You are there. And even if your mind is not unclouded – shaken, misdirected, out of words and out of time – you can still float, ride the waves of an ocean deeper than your worries, above the fray.

File Under: Indie Rock
Listen Here

…..Restocks…..

Alvvays: s/t (Royal Mountain) LP
Robbie Basho: Art of the Acoustic Guitar (Gnomesong) LP
Robbie Basho: Visions of the Country (Gnomesong) LP
Caravan: If I Could Do It All Over Again, I’d Do It All Over You (4 Men With Beards) LP
Alice Coltrane: Journey in Satchidananda (Impulse) LP
Charlotte Gainsbourg: Rest (Because) LP
Johan Johannsson: Arrival OST (Deutsche Grammophon) LP
Love: Forever Changes (Rhino) LP
Kikagaku Moyo: s/t (Guruguru Brain) LP
Kikagaku Moyo: House in the Tall Grass (Guruguru Brain) LP
Mariah: Utakata No Hibi (Palto Flats) LP
John Mayall & The Blues Breakers: s/t (Sundazed) LP
Microphones: The Glow Pt. 2 (PW Elverum) LP
Mount Eerie: A Crow Looked at Me (PW Elverum) LP
Pink Floyd: The Wall (Pink Floyd) LP
Porcupine Tree: In Absentia (Kscope) LP
Porcupine Tree: Deadwing (Kscope) LP
Andy Schauf: The Party (Arts & Crafts) LP
Sleep: Holy Mountain (Earache) LP
Swans: Glowing Man (Young God) LP
Ebo Taylor: s/t (Mr. Bongo) LP
War on Drugs: A Deeper Understanding (Warner) LP
Weezer: s/t (Blue) (Universal) LP
Yo La Tengo: I Can Hear the Heart Beating as One (Matador) LP

Tagged , , , , , ,

…..news letter #838 – speed…..

Big software changes around here, so things are both easier and more work all at the same time… so some things are taking longer, but luckily there still isn’t that much coming out this year yet so I guess we picked a good time to do it. Anyway, enough about us, here’s some killer tunes for you to stick in your ear.

…..picks of the week…..

MFM028LP_CU

Terekke: Improvisational Loops (Music From Memory) LP
Terekke drifts gracefully onto Music From Memory with a long player of looping ambient pad pressure. Terreke explains: “The recording of Improvisational Loops began in 2012 during yoga classes at Body Actualized Center in NYC. In the spirit of past ‘new age’ or minimal music, it aims to open up a space within the room giving the listener a chance to explore inward or outward. It was recorded using a digital synthesizer, reverb, and looper.”

File Under: Ambient, Electronic
Listen Here

BB280LP_CUHeldon: Electronique Guerilla (Bureau B) LP
Bureau B present a reissue of Heldon’s debut album Electronique Guerilla, originally released on Disjuncta in 1974. In 1973, 22-year old Richard Pinhas was well on his way to becoming a full-time philosopher. He had almost finished his PhD and begun teaching at the University of Paris. But he also had a hobby: writing music and recording it himself. When he submitted a few tracks to British label E.G. (home of King Crimson and Roxy Music), the imprint was interested, but Pinhas was frustrated to find out he’d have to wait a year for them to release anything. So Pinhas put out his first album on his own label, Disjuncta. He called the project Heldon (from a location in Norman Spinrad’s 1972 sci-fi novel The Iron Dream). It might have been the first self-released rock record in France. “Or at least the first one that worked,” says Pinhas. “It was like a musical and political event in France. Musical because there were few artists using synthesizers here, or even in the world. And political because we tried to say that the big companies make everything bad and their records are too expensive.” Most of Electronique Guerilla was made by Pinhas alone, but “Ouais, Marchais, Mieux Qu’en 68” featured five collaborators, including one of his mentors, Gilles Deleuze. Over winding guitars and pointed percussion, the French philosopher reads lyrics taken from Friedrich Nietzsche’s “The Voyager and His Shadow” (1880). Despite being self-released — with Pinhas himself delivering some stock directly to record stores — Electronique Guerilla quickly sold over 19,000 copies. That convinced Pinhas he should make and release more music by himself — but he would have little time for philosophy. “I had to make a decision, because at that point in France, you couldn’t do two jobs,” he remembers. “So I made this very bad choice to be a rock ‘n’ roll musician.” It’s a choice he’s stuck to for four decades, and the fiery Electronique Guerilla provided a potent spark. 2018 remaster by Willem Makkee.

File Under: Prog, Psych, Electronic
Listen Here

…..new arrivals…..

alessandroni

Alessandro Alessandroni: Romance & Drama (Transversales Disques) LP
Transversales Disques present the first reissue of Romance & Drama, an essential LP by Italian pioneer and Ennio Morricone cohort, Alessandro Alessandroni. Originally released on Munich based experimental, progressive library label Coloursound. Alessandroni at his best: very refined Italian cinematic sound, tense 12-string guitar themes, synth sequences, beautiful sound of chamber classical music mixed with psych choir. You can feel Alessandroni’s magical touch for melodies and arrangements on nearly every song and at the same time, some are reminiscent of François de Roubaix on themes like “Dramatic” and “Sad Farewell”. No doubt each track of this underrated masterpiece could have been a classic soundtrack theme. Remastered from original tapes.

File Under: Library, Italian
Listen Here

allen

Tony Allen: Black Voices (Comet) LP
Comet presents a reissue of Tony Allen’s Black Voices, originally released in 1999. This reissue features remastered versions and “Ariya (Psychedelic Juju Mix)” as a bonus track, which was not part of the original release. Tony Allen completely rewrote the books on what was possible within the Afrobeat genre with his stunning 1999 album, Black Voices. When one considers exactly “what” is going on throughout Black Voices, it is quite mind boggling, as it is almost impossible to associate a minimalist, electronic feel with the massive walls-of-sound which Allen was known to create. Yet these walls-of-sound are still very present, yet they gain an entirely new feel due to the presence of the producer, Doctor L. He takes the mesmerizing rhythms that Allen creates and he spins them into a stunningly modern sound. While Doctor L’s production work throughout Black Voices is truly fantastic, it is clear that the genius behind the album lies within the mind of Tony Allen. With the absolutely mesmerizing, funky grooves that Allen creates, it comes as little surprise that the vocal collaborations are handled by members of one of the funkiest bands in history: Parliament-Funkadelic. For almost two decades, Black Voices has remained a stunning example of the fantastic results that can occur when seemingly unrelated genres clash.

File Under: Afrobeat, Funk
Listen Here

baker davis

Aidan Baker & Gareth Davis: Invisible Cities (Karlrecords) LP
Invisible Cities, the first collaboration between Aidan Baker (Nadja, B/B/S) and bass clarinetist Gareth Davis (Oiseaux-Tempête), offers the finest ambient/chamber jazz/subtle drones of a highly meditative quality. Be it solo, as member of the drone duo Nadja or B/B/S (his trio with Andrea Belfi and Erik Skodvin, aka Svarte Greiner) or in various collaborations with artists like Tim Hecker or Thisquietarmy, the Berlin-based Canadian is one of the most productive and versatile artists when it’s about post rock, drone, or ambient and without doubt a true master on the guitar. In recent years Baker also starting exploring new grounds as a composer of contemporary/ensemble music — e.g. his composition “An Instance Of Rising” was commissioned by Spółdzielnia Muzyczna Contemporary Ensemble and Sacrum Profanum Festival for their 2017 edition. Invisible Cities marks Baker’s first collaboration with Gareth Davis whose eclectic oeuvre spans contemporary classical, free improvisation, and orchestral music through to rock, noise, and electronica. The bass clarinetist is a steady member of the critically acclaimed post-rock formation Oiseaux-Tempête and A-Sun Amissa, interpreted compositions by Alvin Lucier with Machinefabriek, worked with Bernhard Lang and Peter Ablinger, performed with musicians like New York downtown veteran Elliott Sharp, Merzbow, or Robin Rimbaud (aka Scanner) and realized multimedia work with artists including Christian Marclay and Peter Greenaway. Recorded in November 2016 at Muziekhuis, Utrecht, the four tracks create a calm, even meditative atmosphere in their reduced manner that gives much room to the individual instruments/sounds, occasionally spiced up by field recordings that intensify the overall chamber jazz/ambient moods. 180 gram vinyl; includes download code.

File Under: Ambient, Jazz, Drone
Listen Here

bola

Bola: D.E.G. (Skam) LP
Skam Records present the return of Bola. After ten long years hidden away in the hills, huddled in the Bolamachine — at long last Bola awakens, delivering an album of power, elegance, and beauty… All tracks composed and performed by Bola. “Kappafects” was co-composed and performed by Dennis Bourne. No humans were harmed during the making of “Evensong”. While every care was taken, slight but unavoidable human abuse was endured in the making of “Kappafects”. Art and design by Michael England.

 File Under: Electronic, IDM
Listen Here

whirled

Max Eastley/Steve Beresford/Paul Burwell/David Toop: Whirled Music (Black Truffle) LPBlack Truffle present a reissue of a landmark UK release, Max Eastley, Steve Beresford, Paul Burwell, and David Toop’s Whirled Music, originally released on Quartz in 1980. Remastered and cut at 45RPM by Rashad Becker at Dubplates & Mastering Berlin. Includes a 24-page booklet with archival materials and notes from David Toop, alongside contemporary reviews, flyers, notes on the instruments and performance documentation; Gatefold sleeve. “[Whirled Music is] one of the key documents of the inventive and energetic scene around the London Musicians Collective in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Originally released on Toop’s own Quartz label in 1980, the LP features a remarkable series of performances made entirely with whirled and swung instruments and objects. Part of the second generations of British free improvising musicians, the prolific scene centered around the performers heard here chafed at the limitations present within the music and ideology of improvising legends such as Derek Bailey, Evan Parker, Tony Oxley, and John Stevens. Where the first generations of British free improvisers often demonstrated a rigorous commitment to non-idiomatic free improvisation and instrumental virtuosity, musicians like Beresford reconnected with the dada antics of figures like Han Bennink and surrendered to joyful musical promiscuity, gleefully disrupting expectations around ‘serious’ improvised music through quotations (of anything from Beethoven to reggae) and deliberate amateurism. . . . Beginning in 1979, Whirled Music was the title given to a series of performances in which a variety of instruments and objects, both home-made and store bought, traditional and invented, would be whirled to produce sound. In addition to variations on traditional instruments such as the bullroarer, Whirled Music also made use of whirled whistles, hand drums, radios, and microphones. Due to the danger this represented for both performers and audiences, the performers wore protective masks and were separated from the audience by a net. . . . Presented in glorious cassette-recorded room fidelity, the LP’s first side features a single extended live performance in which percussive chattering, resonant gong-like tones, mysterious wind tones, and swells of delirious noise join together to create a sonic landscape as reminiscent of an environmental recording (wind in the trees, the squawking of birds) as of an ethnographic recording of the music of an unknown civilization. Although purely acoustic, the music has an unstable, dispersed quality reminiscent of the pioneering live electronics of the Sonic Art Union or even early Voice Crack. The LP’s second side presents a series of shorter excerpts, including some beautifully sparse outdoor recordings where the sounds of the whirled instruments blend indistinguishably into the backdrop of environmental sounds.” –Francis Plagne

File Under: Improvised Music, Experimental
Listen Here

nadah

Nadah El Shazly: Ahwar (Nawa) LP
Clear vinyl version. Nawa Recordings present Ahwar, the debut album by Nadah El Shazly. Starting out singing Misfits covers in a local punk band, then moving on to producing her own electronic tracks and making a name for herself in Cairo’s underground scene, Nadah El Shazly’s backstory is not that unusual. Her debut album on the other hand, is an entirely unexpected story. Two years in the making, Ahwar (Arabic for “marshlands”) is an otherworldly record, not unlike an abstract mythological story-tale. Opening with the mangled and filtered vocals of “Afqid Adh-Dhakira (I Lose Memory)”, like an alien dream, the drones of a bowed double bass lead the listener into a drum groove that lays the groundwork for El Shazly’s sultry and captivating presence. The Arabic prose lingers over interjections of slap-back delayed guitar twangs and an avant-garde arrangement of dissonant winds, horns, and seemingly random drum fills, ending with an eerie soundscape that wouldn’t feel out of place in a giallo classic. Composed, written, and produced by El Shazly herself in collaboration with The Dwarfs Of East Agouza’s Maurice Louca and Sam Shalabi on co-composition and arrangement duties, the album was crafted across two continents, between Canada and Egypt, and features the crème of Montreal’s contemporary-classical and improvised music scene, most of whom are members of Shalabi’s own Land Of Kush ensemble. In between El Shazly’s five original tracks, the listener is treated to an abstract conversion of Sayyid Darwish’s classic “Ana ‘Ishiqt (I Once Loved)”. El Shazly’s haunting vocal floats over broken kalimba and harp arpeggios which slowly intertwine with a free, bowed double bass improv to nestle within the breaks between Younes Al-Qadhi’s early 20th century verses of love and betrayal. More than that, it is difficult to really describe, but imagine the worlds of Nico, Björk, and Annette Peacock with the Arabic language as their mother tongue, re-approached through acoustic avant-jazz harmony and re-constructed with a dash of Kamilya Jubran’s modern styling of Arabic maqam and you may be somewhere close. Recorded and delicately mixed through miles of analog cabling by Thierry Amar and mastered by Harris Newman, the album is adorned with the surrealist artwork of Egyptian artist Marwan El-Gamal and designed with custom typography by Egyptian designer Valerie Arif. Includes booklet featuring the lyrics in Arabic and English.

File Under: Electronic, World
Listen Here

heldon

Heldon: II: Allez-Teia (Bureau B) LP
Bureau B present a reissue of Heldon’s second album Allez-Teia, originally released on Disjuncta in 1975. Before making his own music in the early ’70s, Richard Pinhas was a King Crimson fan. The British group has buzzed in Pinhas’s mind for decades, but their greatest impact came early. When he first saw them play, Pinhas was struck by music played during intermission. “When I saw (King Crimson guitarist) Robert Fripp and Brian Eno perform in Paris later, I realized that the intermission music was their work,” Pinhas said. “I didn’t know that when I first heard it, but I was very impressed by it. It was the most important influence on Heldon.” That influence is clear on Allez- Teia, originally released in 1975 on Pinhas’s own Disjuncta label. “In The Wake Of King Fripp” is a soaring mix of string-like electronics and smeared guitar, a reference both to the guitarist and King Crimson’s second album In The Wake Of Poseidon (1970). The meditative “Omar Diop Blondin”, in which free tones float above a repetitive guitar figure, is dedicated to Fripp and Eno. A strong influence also comes from The Soft Machine’s Robert Wyatt, who was slated to record some tracks with Pinhas for Allez-Teia until the expense of his travel from London to Paris proved prohibitive. Yet Allez-Teia — the title a nod to the ancient Greek term for philosophical truth, “aletheia” — is hardly a tribute album. The pieces Pinhas crafts with partner Georges Grunblatt — guitar, Mellotron, ARP synths — are beatific on the surface but infused with undercurrents of tension. Over four decades after he made Allez-Teia, Pinhas’s admiration for King Crimson remains profound. He actually met Fripp in 1974, and the two still stay in touch. “We have a great friendship; he has been very helpful,” says Pinhas. “Fripp has always been my Hendrix.” Some artists might balk at admitting such strong influence over their own work, but for Pinhas it’s all about respect. “In the academic world in France, you list your sources,” says Pinhas, who received a PhD in philosophy before launching his music career. “So I thought it was good to say, ‘Yes, we are influenced by this, and we are proud of it, and people have to know it.’ The work of King Crimson at that time was very important. It’s not a secret.” 2018 remaster by Willem Makkee.

File Under: Psych, Prog, Electronic
Listen Here

hunger

Hunger: Strictly From Hunger (Now Again) LP
“The latest release in Now-Again’s Reserve Series is Hunger — Strictly From Hunger: the band’s preferred version of the album, unedited, fuzz-guitar heavy late 60s psych-rock, restored and remastered from a rare test press. Hunger arrived in L.A. from Portland in late 1967 as the Outcasts, a teenage cover band, but within six months they had signed with a connected manager, played all over Los Angeles, embraced psychedelia and signed on to record an album of original music for the label their manager founded for them: Public! Records. They showed tremendous promise — and their producers invested heavily into a band that was going to be the next marquee act at the Whiskey A Go-Go, bringing in members of Strawberry Alarm Clock, including future Lynyrd Skynyrd star Ed King, to produce an album. But Hunger broke up before their album’s release and their entry in rock’s canon was shadowed for years. This is the definitive Reserve Edition reissue of a late ’60s psych-rock classic, overseen by Hunger’s band members John Morton, Steve Hansen and Mike Lane: the band’s preferred, unedited, fuzz-guitar heavy version of the album, restored and remastered from a rare test press. This is the first time that band’s vision for the album has been issued in full on vinyl. Contains an extensive booklet by Jim Cherry, Eothen Alapatt and Clark Faville that corrects many factual inaccuracies told over the record’s celebrated past three decades as one of rock’s holy grails. The booklet is filled with never-published photos from lead guitarist John Morton’s archive. Here’s an example of what’s in store ? the full version of ‘Open Your Eyes’ featuring Ed King’s lead guitar lines — all but absent on the Public! Records issue — and nearly double the length of the issued version!”

File Under: Psych, Garage
Listen Here

jung

Jung an Tagen: Agent Im Objek (Edition Mego) LP
Jung An Tagen is practicing sonic animism on a molecular level. With Agent Im Objekt he confronts his listeners once more with a form of highly abstracted electronic music — puristic club sounds for an accelerated future. Kicking off with an accumulation of high-pitched, psychoactive sounds, Agent Im Objekt takes you into a hyperreal sphere reigned by sonic entities. Playing with swarm-dynamics and singular signals, moments of distance and proximity and noise textures that stimulate perception, Jung An Tagen transgresses the common syntax of club music. His strategies resemble computer music composition and focus on timbre, texture, and structure in an almost analytical way. The sounds filtered from his synthesizer are polished and bright, but behave in an astonishingly organic way, forming propulsive melodic sketches. Arranged in multiple layers of versatile polyrhythms, the tracks are nurtured by the forceful dialectics of precisely arranged chaos and ecstatic order. With his titles, Jung An Tagen is further adding an enigmatic narrative to his tracks, transcending the actual sphere of the dancefloor towards fictional storytelling. Following the structure of a one-sided chat log, they evoke associations from the X-file series or mystery novels, revealing a brainteaser that is drawn from mysterious coordinates and secret codes. In addition the official video “20:03 [Y] HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE?” underlines Jung An Tagen’s interdisciplinary interest in synesthetic processes. Developed in collaboration with the programmers JeongHo Park and Scott Sinclair the video visualizes particle explosion data from CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research. Inspired by Peter Kubelkas’s Arnulf Rainer (1960), the resulting geometric figures are exposed to a “complimentary stroboscope” that glitches your receptors and stimulate your brainwaves with photo- and EEG-stimulation close to seizure, inducing a hallucinative reality. Agent Im Objekt is playful but analytical, uplifting but mentally disturbed. While the dynamic use of reoccurring motives forces your body to move, cerebral timbres provoke a series of stimuli to massage your brain. It is intellectual body music that might mark a poetic turn in progressive dance music. Composed, recorded, and mixed by Jung An Tagen in the VIV. Titles by Stefan Juster. Artwork and layout by J. Fröhnel. Mastered by Rashad Becker.

File Under: Electronic
Listen Here

liminLiminanas: Shadow People (Because) LP
“What was old is new again” … The old adage is so tired that nobody takes its proper measure: all people hear is the word “old”, when the important one is “new”. Making new things out of old things is an act of alchemy. The proof is in The Limiñanas’s fifth album — no rest for the wicked of Perpignan — which is blown right open here and there by a few very contemporary guests. After the opener, “Ouverture”, with its almost surf-like guitars, comes “Le Premier Jour”, where Lionel Limiñana talks about his rock baptism with the punks, the mods, the skinheads, and the Lambrettas of his youth in the South of France. What comes just after is the seismic shock of “Istanbul Is Sleepy”: the Imprimatur of Anton Newcombe of The Brian Jonestown Massacre is simply enormous. Then comes Emmanuelles Seigner’s super sexy tornado on the title track; and “Dimanche” follows, with Bertrand Belin. Lionel sees him as a “French Nick Cave who writes songs that resemble films.” “The Gift” features Peter Hook who scrapes his bass guitar again here; obviously a song reminiscent of an early period New Order. Finally, the Limiñanas on their own send out an instrumental cavalcade with a furious beat, like a kraut Morricone, “Motorizzati Marie” followed by “Pink Flamingos”, introduced with psych rock pads played backwards forming a vaporous song bathed in acoustic arpeggios. A respite in the album… before the fuzz and the abyssal bass of “Trois Bancs” violently shakes the ghost of Gainsbourg: an electroshock in talk over. And to close the scene, a love message: “De La Part Des Copains”; its organ, its tambourine, its quaver, and its brass place it in the classic soundtrack category revered by the band. An ideal conclusion for this incredible, faultless record. The rock n’ roll epiphany thus continues. It belongs to those who will listen — full blast — to Shadow People and will doubtless feel the urge to plug a guitar into an amp. A valve amp, of course.

File Under: Garage, Psych
Listen Here

mcclellenRandall Mclellan: Healing Music of Rana Vol 2 (Aguirre) LP
Aguirre Records present the first vinyl reissue of Randall McCellan’s The Healing Music Of Rana Vol. 2, originally released on cassette in 1983. Exceptional recordings by this new age maestro, only recently re-discovered by his friend JD Emmanuel and the band Sun Araw. Randall McClellan was a founding member of the electronic music studio at the Eastman School of Music in 1967 where he later received a Ph.D. in Composition, Theory and Musicology. A growing interest in North Indian music and vocal technique prompted him to develop his personal compositional practice into an active platform for inducing altered states of mind. He constructed his concerts to be spaces for harmonization of mind and body through a musical practice informed by his esoteric studies of ancient mystery schools and sacred geometry, believing these to be primarily teachings on intentional resonance. These performances were given between 1977 and 1983 in semi-darkened spaces that allowed listeners to relax on carpeting while being enveloped by sound. Each improvisation lasts from 25 to 45 minutes. An entire performance is up to three hours and is designed to provide an environment of meditative sound. His final live performance took place at New York City’s Alternative Museum in October, 1983. The Music Of Rana Enviromental Series uses synthesizers, drone box, tamboura, voice, and tape delay to create an environment of continuously evolving multi-layered melody. Described as subtle, graceful, and of other worlds. The name Rana (“Sunbreath”) has its origin in ancient philosophical concepts that recognized vibration as the fundamental creative force and central principle of the many esoteric mystery schools of the ancient world. In the broadest sense, the practice of music for its healing ability may well stand as our oldest continuous musical tradition. This album is the second volume in the series, and part of the cassette box set published by Sun Ark in 2013. This music is based on principles outlined in Randall’s book, The Healing Forces of Music: History, Theory and Practice (1988). These compositions are selected for their meditational and healing abilities. EQ settings of treble and bass levels determine the music’s effect upon you. Please explore until the most comfortable settings are found. Instrumentation includes the Moog Prodigy and MicroMoog synthesizer. RIYL: Joanna Brouk, JD Emmanuel, Iasos. 180 gram vinyl; Edition of 500.

File Under: Ambient, New Age
Listen Here

napeyesNap Eyes: I’m Bad Now (You’ve Changed) LP
Acclaimed Canadians Nap Eyes return with I’m Bad Now, an ambitious, allusive third album that achieves a new sonic clarity, depth, and range to match their effortless melodies and extraordinary writing. It’s the band’s most transparent and personal set of songs to date, in which singer Nigel Chapman interrogates social, psychological, and spiritual milieus for clues about the elusive nature of knowledge. I’m Bad Now constitutes the third chapter of an implicit, informal trilogy that includes Whine of the Mystic (2015) and Thought Rock Fish Scale (2016). Colored vinyl LP features heavy-duty reverse board jacket, color inner sleeve with band photos and lyrics, and high-res Bandcamp download code. RIYL The Only Ones/England’s Glory, The Modern Lovers, Felt, The Clean, The Verlaines, The Go-Betweens, Bedhead, Kurt Vile, Courtney Barnett, Nikki Sudden, Belle & Sebastian, and all things Lou Reed.

File Under: Indie Rock
Listen Here

of montrealOf Montreal: White is Relic/Irrealis Mood (Polyvinyl) LP
“Two important events occurred during the making of White Is Relic/Irrealis Mood. I became “Simulated Reality” paranoid and I fell in love. Well a lot more happened during the process of writing and recording, but those are the two big ones. I also reached a healthy point of self-forgiveness for my failed marriage and became deeply educated in the lies of America the Great. I feel like a switch was recently turned on in my brain and now I’m beginning to see through the lies that have been fed to me my whole life by the masters of media and by those who control and manipulate the narrative of our cultural identity and social order. “My paranoia began during the presidential election cycle and reached a dangerous peak shortly after the inauguration. In the meantime I watched and read countless works of art in a mad effort to be reminded of how many truly brilliant people there are living/struggling among us and to try to maintain a positive outlook. The works of Angela Davis, Noam Chomsky, Chris Kraus, Ta-Nehisi Coates, and the autobiographies of Malcolm X and Mark E Smith were all great inspirations, to name a few. Musically, I was very inspired by the extended dance mixes that people used to make for pop singles back in the ‘80s. It’s so cool how a lot of the 80’s hits had these really intricate and interesting longer versions that wouldn’t get played on the radio and could only be heard in the clubs. I used that template with these tracks, I wanted them all to feel like the extended “club edit” of album tracks. “I also decided to abandon the “live band in a room” approach that I had been using on the recent albums and work more on my own or remotely with collaborators. I used the same drum sample packs throughout because I wanted the album to have a rhythmic continuity to it. I wanted the drums to have a strong and consistent identity, similar to how Prince’s Linn Electronics LM-1 drum machine played such an important role on his classic albums. Zac Colwell also played a huge role on this album, adding saxophones and synths to most of the songs. I also got a lot of help from long time collaborators, and of Montreal touring members, Clayton Rychlik and JoJo Glidewell. “The two title concept came to me when I was thinking about how difficult it is to frame the message of a song with just one title, because so often the songs are about so many different subjects. ‘White Is Relic’ was inspired by James Baldwin’s writings regarding the creation and propagation of a toxic American White identity. I’ve come to learn how it’s just a tool wielded by the 1% to give poor white people a false sense of superiority in an effort to keep the masses placated and numb to how deeply we’re all getting fucked by our capitalist rulers. An ‘Irrealis Mood’ is a linguistic indicator that something isn’t yet reality but does have the potential to become so.”  – Kevin Barnes

File Under: Indie Rock
Listen Here

oneidaOneida: Romance (Joyful Noise) LP
Six years after the release of A List of the Burning Mountains, Brooklyn, NY”s Oneida release their newest studio creation Romance, their first album for Joyful Noise Recordings and a record marked by wild eclecticism, even for a group known for its shape-shifting nature. Recorded over several years in various locales, the eleven songs on Romance are built around deeply developed long-arc rhythm/phase concepts, noise, yearning, blind guitar rage, longing, the lurch of dying electronics, and a multi-modal embrace of human fallibility and artifice. From the crackling synth-led opener “Economy Travel” to the expansive 18-minute epic “Shepherd’s Axe,” Romance is an album in constant flux. On “Bad Habit” the band employs phasing between organ and guitar to great, disorienting effect, while the primitive riffs of “Cockfight” offer a contrasting vision of rock minimalism. Listen closely on “Lay of the Land” and you will hear constant rhythmic development, with drummer Kid Millions eschewing repetition in favor of morphing patterns of hi-hat and snare. As with all mystery, Romance reveals more through closer attention and multiple listens.

File Under: Indie Rock
Listen Here

primitivePrimitive World: White on White (Ecstatic) LP
White On White is an absorbingly dynamic, multi-layered album of improvisations made on the seminal PPG Wave synth, inspired by the work, life, and theories of the great, if forgotten, British constructivist artist Marlow Moss (1889-1958): a radical, gender-bending British Jewish lesbian and innovator of non-figurative art who was a then-contemporary influence on Piet Mondrian, with whom she worked alongside from the late 1920s as part of the Abstraction-Creation artists association in Paris, until the Nazi’s forced her from mainland Europe back to England, where she settled in the far west of Cornwall. White On White forms a follow-up of sorts to Sam Willis’s Ascention tape (2015), and perhaps more aptly, leads on from his and Alessio Natalizia’s reworks of Daphne Oram — arguably another overlooked, British female pioneer of her field – which are collected on their Walls album, Sound Houses (ELP 005LP, 2014). There’s little doubt that this is some of Willis’s strongest solo work, which can be attributed to the fecund inspiration of Moss’s work, life, and theories, as well as his access to a prized arsenal of rare vintage synths. Titled after the Moss piece which adorns the LP’s front cover, White On White forms a welcome first introduction for many to Moss through a combination of visual representations — photographs of the artist and her work — with text by Lucy Howarth, curator of Moss’s recent exhibitions at Museum Haus Konstruktiv exhibition (2017), the touring Tate display (2013-15), and of course the music itself, which seeks to describe Moss’s mathematically sound geometries and evocative aesthetics through its lattice of unique, free-floating timbres and spatialized rhythm patterns. White On White is thus a direct result of the artist immersing himself in Moss’s oeuvre, or what is left of it (most of her pre-WWII output was destroyed in the war), with results strongly reflective of the austere clarity and modernist structure of her works, from her syncopated line drawings modeled in the helixes of “Double Line”, to the rotating perspectives of her 2D-into-3D metal sculpture manifest in the illusive, Peder Mannerfelt-like designs of “Matrix Of The Visible”, whereas the closing nine minutes of perilous abstraction recalling Wendy Carlos’s Clockwork Orange OST in “Man Guessed At A Spiritual Meaning And Imposed A Moral System” both literally and metaphorically serves a sort of unsentimentally elegiac, enigmatic lament for the artist’s neglected status. RIYL: Oneohtrix Point Never’s Good Time OST, Peder Mannerfelt’s brut ambient, Rashad Becker’s lysergic sound designs.

File Under: Electronic, Ambient
Listen Here

pye cornerPye Corner Audio: Where Things are Hollow (Lapsus) 12″
Martin Jenkins, aka “the artist’s artist”, explores emotive techno in “Resist” and “Northern Safety Route”, two tracks that coast through progressive arpeggios, slow pulsating beats, and soaring pads. Meanwhile, “Mainframe” and “Continental Drift” move through more ambient and melancholic terrains, two cinematic songs perhaps reminiscent of works by John Carpenter or Delia Derbyshire. This special release will also feature the collaboration of two of Spain’s most prestigious independent graphic artists, Alex Trochut and Basora, whose artwork for Where Things Are Hollow is sure to become a collector’s piece.

File Under: Electronic
Listen Here

rateliffNathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats: Tearing at the Seams (Stax) LP
In tomorrow… Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats’ highly-anticipated new record, Tearing at the Seams, follows the band’s critically and commercially lauded self-titled debut, which has now sold over a million records worldwide. Issued through Memphis’ legendary Stax Records, the album was recorded with producer Richard Swift who has helmed records by The Shins and Foxygen in addition to The Night Sweats’ debut, collectively creating a group of songs that capture the band’s emotion and intensity. The group dynamic is pivotal to the Night Sweats; initial writing and recording sessions for Tearing at the Seams took place in Rodeo, New Mexico where Rateliff and the band re-established their writing and recording process. “For the first record, I demo’ed everything up and created most of the parts,” says Rateliff. “This time, I felt like we’ve all spent so much time on the road that we should all go off somewhere together. We should all have that experience together.” This mentality and approach to the record is no more evident than on opener “Shoe Boot” a five minute, funk infused jam and “Intro,” the raucous jam used to open the band’s sets over the last few years. The album closer and title track however is perhaps the most moving, lyrically tackling the huge challenges and sacrifices faced along the way by a band who are constantly away from home on the road. Tearing At The Seams is a deeply personal yet always accessible record for any situation.

File Under: Rock
Listen Here

asyncRyuichi Sakamoto: Async Remodels (Milan) LP
As one-third of Yellow Magic Orchestra and an Academy Award-winning composer for his work on the soundtrack for The Last Emperor, synth pop innovator Ryuichi Sakamoto is among the most groundbreaking artists to have emerged since the late 70s. A musician’s musician, Sakamoto has created intriguing musical unions with artists such as David Sylvian, Iggy Pop, Tony Williams, Bootsy Collins, and Jacques Morelenbaum among many others. Following the massively successful release of the electronic masterpiece Async in 2017, Sakamoto’s first studio album in eight years, Milan is proud to present the remix compilation Async Remodels. It features a dozen remixes of Async’s tracks by a who’s-who of experimental giants – everyone from Icelandic composer Jóhann Jóhannsson (Arrival, Sicario) to Oneohtrix Point Never (composer of Good Time) to Arca (producer of numerous Bjork releases) have gotten their hands dirty remixing Sakamoto’s work. Even reworks by the Canadian synthpop duo Electric Youth and Austin-based synthwave legends S U R V I V E are included. With such a well of talent reinterpreting such a personal album, this is one release Sakamoto fans can’t afford to miss. Pressed on a pair of 180g LPs and housed in a matte coated gatefold jacket.

File Under: Electronic, Ambient
Listen Here

spanish moogAlfonso Santisteban: Spanish Moog (Adarce) LP
Adarce Records present a reissue of Alfonso Santisteban’s Spanish Moog, originally released in 1975. Don Sicalíptico on the recording: “We can think of fewer things more Spanish than the works of Alfonso Carlos Santisteban. . . . A tireless Spanish music workaholic, he made no differences between copla, rumba, pop or soul and didn’t mind if it was for Bambino, La Polaca, Mara Lasso, Calibre 38, Ellas or Mila. . . . Spanish Moog, an album Adarce Records has the pleasure to present, is one of those strange and almost invisible musical milestones that our man portrayed in Italy. Just as he wrote in his autobiography, in 1973 and thanks to the help of José Antonio de La Loma, he met two of the capos of the most important film music publishing empire in Italy, Giuseppe Campi and Giuseppe Giachi. They were about to open a C.A.M. (Creazione Artistiche Musicale) delegation in Madrid so they could start building their business in the most exciting times for Spanish film industry. The company started by signing two Spanish composers: our man, and Waldo de Los Ríos. . . . Apart from a large number of small (or more like embarrassing) film scores, Santisteban published five library albums up until 1975 for C.A.M.: Ambiente E Folklore (1974), Rinascimenti (1974), Night Club (1984), Situazione Per Orchestra (1975) and this one, Spanish Moog. Five of the songs included (‘Jugando Al toro’, ‘Nuestro Ayer’, ‘Gitanos’, ‘Torremolinos Soul’ and ‘Todo Ha Sido Un Sueño’) were originally recorded by Santisteban and Rafael Ferro for the album Flamenco Pop (1969), and three more (‘Zorongo’, ‘Nuestro Ayer’ and ‘Tierra Mojada’) were originally meant for Sabor A Fresa (1971) by La Nueva Banda De Santisteban. Beyond the supposed editorial filibusterism, what is left is a wonderful festival of grooves and beats; an omnipresent Moog, wah-wah and ‘cañi’ soul blend in ‘Torremolinos soul’. Dreamy melancholy, fuzz and southern touch in ‘Tierra Mojada”, impeccable arabesque beats in the steadfast ‘Zorongo’, funk and folklore sown tight in ‘Noche En Marbella’ and pure space Blaxploitation in ‘Tute De Reyes”… Alfonso Carlos Santisteban would collide inevitably with a time already lost in the annals of history. We cannot think of a better way to resume his works and his person than the sentence he used to open his autobiography: ‘… I speak with the authority given to me by failure…'”

File Under: Library, Moog
Listen Here

sunra

Sun Ra: Sun Embassy (Roaratorio) LP
Roaratorio’s survey of the unheard Sun Ra continues with Sun Embassy. Consisting of recordings from Sun Studios (aka Ra’s house in Philadelphia) from 1968-1969, the album features nine tracks: six compositions which have never been heard before in any form, plus fresh coats of paint on such 1950s classics as “Sunology” and “Ancient Aiethiopia”, and an early rendition of “Why Go To The Moon”. Essential listening for Sun Ra devotees. Includes download coupon.

File Under: Jazz

xenakisIannis Xenakis: Persepolis (Karlrecords) LP
After La Légende d’Eer in 2016, the Perihel series presents one of the milestones of electroacoustic music: Iannis Xenakis’s mind-blowing, 54-minutes oeuvre Persepolis. Persepolis is the longest electroacoustic composition by Iannis Xenakis (1922-2001) who ranks among the most influential 20th century avant-garde composers. Commissioned by the Persian Shah, the piece was part of a multimedia performance — Xenakis’s so-called “polytopes” — which premiered in 1971 in Shiraz-Persepolis (Iran) as a performance including light-tracks, laser beams, groups of children walking around with torches, and 59 loudspeakers to project the music in an open-air situation. Xenakis had realized Persepolis on 8-track analog tape in the Studio Acusti in Paris and released a stereo reduction on vinyl in the famous Philips series “Prospective 21e Siècle” in 1972, adding the new subtitle “We bear the light of the earth”, his most hymnal title ever. Out of print for decades now, the LP became — especially the Japanese edition from 1974 — one of the most expensive collector’s item of electroacoustic music. There were some later CD versions with different durations — too long due to a wrong sample rate, others shortened by three minutes due to other reasons. The Perihel series now presents a new version: mixed from the original master 8-track tapes by longtime zeitkratzer sound engineer Martin Wurmnest and mastered and cut by Rashad Becker at Dubplates & Mastering, Berlin — the same experts who had already taken care of the 2016 Karlrecords release of La Légende d’Eer, another milestone composition among the works of the Greek-French avant-garde composer. Previous releases in the Perihel series, curated by Reinhold Friedl: Guy Reibel’s Douze Inventions en Six Modes de Jeu (KR 028LP, 2015); Iannis Xenakis’s La Légende d’Eer (KR 024LP, 2016), John Cage’s Complete Song Books (KR 029LP, 2016). 180 gram vinyl; Includes insert and download code.

File Under: Avant Garde
Listen Here

rumbitaVarious: Rumbita Buena (Pharaway) LP
From the archives of the legendary Belter and Discophon labels, essential to understand the birth of the Catalan rumba and flamenco-pop genre in Spain, Pharaway Sounds have selected 14 dance-friendly tracks taken from overlooked LPs and 45s. This is the real gipsy-funk sound, full of screaming flamenco vocals, funk drums, electric guitars, wah-wah, organ, electric bass, exotic percussions, soulish horns, Latin and even oriental touches… Featuring folkloric ye-yé singers, gipsy princes, teen rumba stars, and groovy rumba-pop bands: Dolores Vargas “La Terremoto”, Chango, Rosa Morena, Rumba Tres, El Príncipe Gitano, El Noi… Also features Lola Flores, Los Candelos, Lola Flores Y Antonio González, Teresiya, Los Candelos, La Marelu, and Dolores Abril. Master tape sound. Includes insert with photos and liner notes by Txarly Brown (Achilifunk).

File Under: Rumba, Funk, Spanish

taniVarious: Tani – Disco Rumba & Flamenco Boogie (Pharaway) LP
Disco music, Philadelphia sound, and Salsoul fever were also present in the rumba-pop and flamenco-funk scene of Spain in the late ’70s/early ’80s. Producers, sound engineers, and studio musicians collaborated closely with flamenco/rumba singers and bands. Among others, Pharaway Sounds offer a compilation highlighting the production/studio work that genius Josep Llobell did for the Belter label in Barcelona. 12 disco-rumba-flamenco-boogie bombs, a time machine to the Spanish boîtes and discotheques of the late ’70s and the perfect soundtrack to an imaginary “Kinki” cinema soundtrack. Features Sangre Gitana, Rumba Tres, Los Gachós, Tobago, La Marelu, Barracuda, Juan Bautista, Las Deblas, El Turronero, and Sangre Gitana. Includes insert with liner notes by Txarly Brown (Achilifunk) and photos.

File Under: Rumba, Disco, Boogie

wavesVarious: Waves of the Future (Mannequin) LP
The modern synth wave scene would be significantly poorer without the keen ear and tireless efforts of Mannequin Records, run by Alessandro Adriani. Geographically situated within the nerve centers of Rome and Berlin, yet with a musical spirit that easily transcends these boundary lines, Mannequin Records’ back catalog has been an important component in electronics-based independent music in the 21st century. Recent accolades and accomplishments — being named Resident Advisor’s “Label Of The Month” in May of 2017, starting the Death Of The Machines 12″ series, and being given the “green light” for bi-monthly parties at the Säule room in Berghain — have been earned through Mannequin Records’ unflagging commitment to sonic diversity and Adriani’s own realization that the anxious and sharp-edged sounds associated with, say, the Cold War of the 1980s can convey a completely different message today. Mannequin Records continues to go on exploratory missions to find the best and most relevant aspects of genres like acid, industrial, EBM, post-punk, cold wave, and still more. Mannequin Records’ 100th release, Waves Of The Future, is a double-LP compilation which is not a conventional retrospective collection. None of the artists appearing on this collection have put out their own releases on Mannequin Records yet, despite acting as Mannequin’s unofficial ambassadors (via DJ sets and other means). The set includes other scene leaders and label owners including Beau Wanzer, Willie Burns, Silent Servant, and Ron Morelli. Waves Of The Future projects a sense of aesthetic resilience and continuity; showcasing just how well the current artists allied with Mannequin Records employ and re-interpret the sonic lexicon of the label’s reissues of “classic'” acts. Each track here pivots around a couple of key sound elements that seem to set the stage for the next track to come: see the sputtering/chopped ghost voices on Morelli’s “Charges Won’t Stick”, which easily informs the slicing drone and authoritarian beat of Shawn O’ Sullivan’s “Ill Fit”, which then lays down the emotional foundation for the sequencer-powered “With You” from An-I and Adriani or the glassy landscape of Illum Sphere’s “Exhaustion”. Elsewhere, the wired mischief of Not Waving intersects easily with the spherical electro-funk and coded commands of Beau Wanzer. When all the disparate parts of Waves Of The Future are soldered together, it perfectly illustrates Mannequin Records’ non-linear philosophy and Adriani’s suggestion that listeners engage with the music rather than try to analyze or dissect it.

File Under: Electronic

…..Restocks…..

Ash Ra: Correlations (MIG) LP
Felicia Atkinson: Hand in Hand (Shelter Press) LP
Bonobo: Dial M For Monkey (Ninja Tune) LP
Carter Tutti Void: Plays Chris & Tutti (CTI) LP
Johnny Cash: Rock Island Line (Charly) LP
Earth: 2 (Sub Pop) LP
Nils Frahm: All Melody (Erased Tapes) LP
Hot Snakes: Automatic Midnight (Sub Pop) LP
Hot Snakes: Suicide Invoice (Sub Pop) LP
John Coltrane: Lush Life (OJC) LP
Jaylib: Champion Sound (Stones Throw) LP
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard: Polygonawanaland (ATO) LP
Terry Riley: Persian Surgery Dervishes (Aguirre) LP
Rolling Stones: Exile on Main Street (Abkco) LP
Shame: Songs of Praise (Dead Oceans) LP
Taj Mahal Travellers: 7/15/72 (B13) LP
Kuniyuki Takahashi: Early Tape Works (Music From Memory) LP
Amon Tobin: Foley Room (Ninja Tune) LP
Cosey Fanni Tutti: Time To Tell (CTI) LP
US Girls: A Poem Unlimited (Royal Mountain) LP
Various: Red Bird Story Volume 1 (Charly) LP
Various: Red Bird Story Volume 2 (Charly) LP
Various: Rock & Roll Pills (Charly) LP
Various: Rockabilly Tunes (Charly) LP
Various: Sunset Special (Charly) LP

Tagged , , , , , ,

…..news letter #832 – maaaarch…..

A new month, new releases… and some much needed restocks. And, records, records,  records, records, RECORDS!!!!

…..pick of the week…..

dedekind

Dedekind Cut: Tahoe (Kranky) LP
In tomorrow… Northern California electronic producer Fred Welton Warmsley III’s solo work as Dedekind Cut (pronounced “dead-da-ken cut”) has evolved from fractured industrial design into increasingly subdued and sublime ambient meditations across two years of dedicated activity. His second full-length collection, Tahoe—so named after the mountain lake town he now calls home—swells with widescreen grandeur, evoking vistas both inner and outer. There are echoes of his earlier, more tempestuous mode in tracks like “MMXIX” and “Spiral” but overall the album skews panoramic and pensive, muted synthetic mists contoured with choral melody, field recordings, and radiant drone. His compositional instincts feel alternately classical, contemporary, and conflicted, befitting an artist whose discography spans labels as divergent as Hospital Productions, Ninja Tune, and NON. Warmsley characterizes Tahoe as a “time peace,” sifting through “the past, the present, future, and fantasy.” Recorded primarily in New York, with additional sessions sourced from Berlin, Cambridge, and Placer County, California.

File Under: Ambient, Electronic
Listen Here

…..new arrivals…..

br

Bad Religion: Stranger than Fiction (Epitaph) LP
2018 Remastered Reissue! (Limited coloured indie-shop-only edition) Bad Religion has become synonymous with intelligent and provocative West Coast punk rock and are considered one of the most influential and important bands in the genre. Over the past three decades the band has continually pushed social boundaries and questioned authority and beliefs armed only with propulsive guitars, charging drumbeats, thoughtful lyrics and an undying will to inspire and provoke anyone who will listen. Stranger Than Fiction is the eighth album from Bad Religion, and one of their most popular. First released in 1994, the album has been certified Gold and features hit singles“ 21st Century Digital Boy”, “Infected” and “Stranger Than Fiction.” Features guest appearances from some of punk’s greatest including Rancid’s Tim Armstrong (vocals on “Television”) , Jim Lindberg of Pennywise (vocals on “Marked” ) and Wayne Kramer of the MC5 ( guitars on “Incomplete”. )

File Under: Punk
Listen Here

breeder

Breeders: All Nerve (4AD) LP
All Nerve, The Breeders first record in a decade, reunites band members Kim and Kelley Deal, Josephine Wiggs and Jim Macpherson – the classic line-up behind the iconic and platinum-selling record, Last Splash. The quartet returned to the stage in 2013 to celebrate the album’s 20th anniversary and have been quietly working on new material ever since. Recording took place with Mike Montgomery at Candyland, Dayton, KY; with Steve Albini and Greg Norman at Electrical Audio, Chicago, IL; and with Tom Rastikis at Fernwood Studios, Dayton, OH. Artwork was conceived by Chris Bigg, who has worked with the Breeders since their first album Pod. Includes the infectious lead single “Wait in the Car.”

File Under: Indie Rock
Listen Here

melton

Carlton Melton: Mind Minerals (Agitation) LP
In tomorrow… This is the new Carlton Melton album, the first full length release since 2015’s widely-lauded Out To Sea, itself a languid drifting of drones and psychedically-enhanced riffmongering. Admittedly, there has been some long EP releases since: Hidden Lights in 2017 (featuring the immeasurable drone-sike-float on “Rememory”) and Aground in 2016 (a companion, the Desert Island weather beaten psych-flow follow up to Out To Sea). Now it’s time to soak up Mind Minerals. This album finds the band in fine fettle: all the songs were recorded and engineered at El Studio in San Francisco by Phil Manley over two days (except “Untimely”), with the studio suiting them—a logical progression from previous weekend recordings out at the Dome. Under Manly’s watchful ear / eye, the band have created a futurescape soundtrack, a 3001 Space Odyssey. The drums are more pounding and direct than ever, the constantly re-assuring bass creates a helping hand of propulsion through the clouds of static and shards of electrifying guitar dazzling the horizon. Synths help soothe the sharp edges and lull one into an out of body experience, while the orchestrated calamitous scree brings one back. This is a breathless, yet deep breathing album. The core trio of Andy Duvall (drums/guitar), Clint Golden (bass guitar), and Rich Millman ( guitar/synth) have some alchemical bond that’s helped them create a post –rock / psychedelic / freeform organic slab of American Primitivism / space drift, unashamed head-music from the melting pot of Northern California. Five decades ago this album would have been released on the ESP Disk Label or even Apple. Carlton Melton provides the aural microdose to reset your mind and psyche!

File Under: Psych, Rock, Drone
Listen Here

cindy lee

Cindy Lee: Act of Tenderness (W.25th) LP
In tomorrow… available again thanks to Superior Viaduct! Cindy Lee is the diva alter-ego of singer / guitarist / drag queen Patrick Flegel, the one-time captain of heralded Canadian experimental guitar pop act, Women. In Flegel’s working on / as Cindy Lee exclusively over recent years, their songwriting makes a move toward high atmospherics, often achieving a mysterious sweetness rooted equally in beauty and ache. As Cindy Lee’s first long-form statement, Act Of Tenderness makes use of antipodal themes to create a living sound: static with grace, distortion and sugar, all masterfully arranged with crooked nods toward pop classicism. The layered vocal on “Power And Possession” creates a palpable haunt, bringing historical girl-group lament to choir-esque heights. The feedback shriek and industrial grind of “Bonsai Garden” provides near-operatic damage, yet never stumbles into the irrevocably grave. These snowy pieces give the album a decidedly cinematic feel, albeit one bent more towards Eraserhead. Originally released in a scant private edition in 2015, Superior Viaduct’s imprint W.25TH is pleased to give Act Of Tenderness its deserving wide release.

 File Under: Indie Rock, LoFi, Women
Listen Here

dacus

Lucy Dacus: Historian (Matador) LP
Historian is a remarkably assured 10-track statement of intent that finds Lucy Dacus unafraid to take on the big questions – the life-or-death reckonings, and the ones that just feel that way. It’s a record full of bracing realizations, tearful declarations and moments of hard-won peace, expressed in lyrics that feel destined for countless yearbook quotes and first tattoos.The album was helmed by No Burden producer Collin Pastore and mixed by John Congleton. The sound Dacus and Co. created, with substantial input from multi-instrumentalist and live guitarist Jacob Blizard, is far richer and fuller than the debut – an outward flowering of dynamic, living, breathing rock and roll. Dacus’ remarkable sense of melody and composition are the driving force throughout, giving Historian the immersive feel of an album made by an artist in full command of her powers, on a new level of truth-telling and melodic grace. The past year, with its electoral disasters and other assorted heartbreaks, has been a rough one for many of us, Dacus included. She found solace in crafting a thoughtful narrative arc for Historian, writing a concept album about cautious optimism in the face of adversity, with thematic links between songs that reveal themselves on repeat listens – touching on everything from systemic racism to creative burnout to the death of her grandmother. “It starts out dark and ends hopeful, but it gets darker in between; it goes to the deepest, darkest, place and then breaks,” she explains. “What I’m trying to say throughout the album is that hope survives, even in the face of the worst stuff.”

File Under: Indie Rock
Listen Here

insect

Insect Ark: Marrow Hymns (Profound Lore) LP
In tomorrow… Combining elements of horror-film soundtracks, psychedelic doom, and atmospheric noise, NYC / Portland-based instrumental duo Insect Ark presents their newest record, Marrow Hymns. Comprised of Dana Schechter (bass, lap steel guitar, synthesizers) and Ashley Spungin (drums, synthesizers), Insect Ark’s intensely visual music weaves interludes of fragile beauty with crushing passages of swirling doom, spinning like a backwards fever dream. This album is a wordless song, a hypnotic voice that screams and whispers from a place deep in the furrows, from the bones, from the blood. Defying easy categorization, their uncommon sound is in part the amalgamation of these two women’s passions: Schechter’s sinister bass lines and unconventional use of lap steel guitar (and her complete omission of electric guitar), and Spungin’s lucid, exacting drumming and synth work with her own hand-built analog noise pedals (Ormus Electronics). With the two halves of the band residing on opposite coasts, the album was largely skeletal in form upon commencement of recording. Overdubs and further writing / arrangements were done after Spungin’s return to Portland in the isolation of Schechter’s home studio. The sense of distance and vast emptiness remained intact in the songs, built out over many long nights. These songs of displacement, loss, and isolation are personal journals of that time period, as both members found themselves simultaneously experiencing existential crises. However, the album also tells a story of strength and determination, made from the marrow of these two women, a song for all things that struggle to survive.

File Under: Metal
Listen Here

king gizz

King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard: Polygonowanaland (Strange World) LP
In tomorrow… More copies.. these ones on the Aussie label Strange World. Crazy colours, and only a few…  “Polygondwanaland is the farthest the seven-piece has strayed from their usual psych sci-fi roots. The band still employ lyrical nerdiness and wigged-out guitar in the album, but whereas King Gizzard’s last records got knee deep in prog rock, Polygondwanaland slinks into those waters until it’s waist high and loses the usual gnarly riffs. Like its mouthful of a title, Polygondwanaland delivers a 10-course meal without dividers between its dishes. Songs seep into one another for an immersive listen. The stirring, quiet percussion of ‘Inner Cell’ tiptoes into ‘Loyalty’ for a slow buildup, before it splashes into the punctuated vocals of ‘Horology,’ a sea of guitar tapping and rich, warm woodwinds. As usual, transitions are key in King Gizzard’s work, but they add a smoothness to Polygondwanaland that makes it particularly digestible, so that every vocal sigh and gaudy synth acts as a complementary flavor.”—Pitchfork

File Under: Psych Rock
Listen Here

seunkuti

Seun Kuti & Egypt 80: Black Times (Strut) LP
Strut presents the new album from the modern day leader of Afrobeat, Seun Kuti. The youngest son of Afrobeat legend Fela Anikulapo Kuti is as incensed by injustice as his father ever was and, with his mighty new album Black Times including features from Carlos Santana and Robert Glasper, he honors the revolutionaries who have gone before and rallies the torch-bearers to come. Black Times is the fourth album by Seun and Egypt 80, the extraordinary dance orchestra created by Fela Kuti as a conduit for the common people. Inherited by the 14-year-old Seun in 1997, the younger Kuti has been building to this, his most accomplished and honest album yet. Here, then, are tracks designed to spark conversation and realign priorities. The elegant “African Dreams” insists that commercial success counts for little. “Black Times,” with its rousing male and female harmonies, furious guitar riffs courtesy of Carlos Santana and Kuti’s soaring tenor sax, gives us truth. “Bad Man Lighter” is a horn-heavy track calling out duplicity and defending the right to smoke the good weed. The politically charged “Corporate Public Control Department (C.P.C.D)” is a roiling protest anthem directed at Muhammadu Bahari’s Nigerian government and deceitful politicians the world over. The frenetic, finger-pointing “Kuku Kee Me” borrows from a Nigerian saying (“When someone is always on your case, you’re like ‘Save yourself the stress and kuku kill me now'”) while “Theory Of Goat And Yam” ridicules a homily invented by former Nigerian president Goodluck Jonathan, who justified corruption by likening politicians to goats tempted by yams. “Last Revolutionary” featuring Robert Glasper’s keys is a paean to authentic leaders past, present and future.

File Under: Afrobeat, Funk
Listen Here

lamarr

Delvon Lamarr Organ Trio: Close But No Cigar (Colemine) LP
Close But No Cigar is the debut album from Seattle’s Delvon Lamarr Organ Trio. The group channels old-school organ combos like The Meters and Booker T & The MGs, but are making it fresh and feel new again. Super in the pocket, tight and dirty drums, everything you want in an organ trio. “DLO3 plays music that speaks to the soul and intellect of the listener,” says the band. “So brace yourselves for a passionate, heartfelt, mind boggling, intense musical experience you will never forget.”

File Under: Funk
Listen Here

luciusLucius: Nudes (Mom + Pop) LP/DLX LP
After releasing an acoustic version of “Until We Get There” in 2017, Lucius offer up a full album of acoustic tacks entitled Nudes. The 10-track collection encompasses acoustic versions of four old songs, three new numbers including charming lead single “Neighbors” and three cover songs plus features by collaborators like Roger Waters and Nels Cline. Recorded over two days at New York’s legendary Electric Lady Studios, Nudes was produced by Lucius, engineered by Joe Visiciano, mixed by Dan Molad and Stephen Kaye, and mastered by Bob Ludwig.

File Under: Indie Rock
Listen Here

menThe Men: Drift (Sacred Bones) LP
Drift is the seventh full-length by New York City rock polymaths The Men. The band’s last album, the self-released Devil Music, was the sound of a band who had been through hell hitting reset and looking to their roots to rediscover themselves. On Drift, The Men return to their longtime label Sacred Bones Records and explore the openness that Devil Music helped them find. The immediately evident result of that exploration is the experimental quality of much of the material on Drift. Songwriters Mark Perro and Nick Chiericozzi chase their muses down a few dozen thrilling rabbit-holes over the course of the album’s nine tracks. The songs on Drift veer in a number of directions, but notably, almost none of them feature a prominent electric guitar. The lone exception, “Killed Someone,” is a rowdy riff-rocker, worthy of the finest moments of the band’s now-classic Leave Home and Open Your Heart albums. The rest of the record drives down stranger highways. “Secret Light” is an improvisation based on an old piano riff of Perro’s. “Maybe I’m Crazy” is a synth-driven dancefloor stomper for long after last call. “Rose on Top of the World” and “When I Held You in My Arms” are paisley-hued, psyched-out jams with big, beating hearts. The album was recorded to 2″ tape with Travis Harrison (Guided by Voices) at Serious Business Studios in Brooklyn. A whole pile of instruments was involved – synths, strings, sax, steel, harmonica, tape loops, on top of the usual guitar, bass, and drums. Unlike recent releases from The Men, there aren’t many overdubs on Drift – a reflection of the personalities of its makers becoming less frantic. In fact, the band removed a lot of the additional parts they tried adding early on, giving the final product a bit of a ghostly feel. The songs on Drift took giant leaps and trips from their beginnings only to find the band returning to the first spark of creation.

File Under: Indie Rock, Punk
Listen Here

mind spidersMind Spiders: Furies (Dirtnap) LP
In tomorrow… “The ‘Furies’ are the ancient Greek Gods of vengeance and violence,” says Mark Ryan of the title of his latest album. “The Furies were tamed,” he continues, “but in my story, they are waking up and the ancient chaotic ways are resurfacing.” Ryan (The Marked Men, High Tension Wires, Radioactivity), alongside Peter Salisbury (Baptist Generals) on synth and Mike Throneberry (The Marked Men) on drums, lead this modernistic, machine-like and cinematic version of the story of the Furies and have churned out something furious in return; this is their most electronic album yet. Gone are any notions of Ryan’s former project the Marked Men and its style of winningly bombastic garage-pop. Since 2012’s Meltdown, Mind Spiders have been perfecting an aggressive, relentless, frenetic and melodic style of punk that is a long, dark shadow of DEVO but carries something much more sinister in its jaws as it slinks its way through the ears, illustrated by their lone, intensified cover of Grauzone’s 1980 hit, “Eisbaer.” It’s a sound for the new dark ages, emboldened by urgency and sped along by some good old fashioned panic.

File Under: Punk
Listen Here

nightcrawlersNightcrawlers: Biophonic Boombox Recordings (Anthology) LP
Deep, diverse, and unheralded, the Philadelphia ambient electronic music scene of the 1980s is explored with The Nightcrawlers’ The Biophonic Boombox Recordings, an expansive archival collection documenting the hard-knuckled kosmische synthesizer trio’s home recordings self-released and distributed over 35 cassettes between 1980 and 1991. Featuring the farthest reaching spacescapes of those cassette releases—improvised straight into the mic of a JVC Biphonic Boombox—none of these performances have been released beyond the original format, and essentially went out of print when Nightcrawler Peter D. Gulch got tired of dubbing them to blank tapes to mail-order through his Synkronos label and sell at live shows. Restored and recalibrated from the original cassettes, The Nightcrawlers’ music has never sounded better or so readily accessible. First pressing limited to 1,000. Vinyl housed in gatefold jacket with 28-page booklet of ephemera and liner notes by journalist and Kosmische expert D. Strauss.

File Under: Ambient, Kosmische
Listen Here

promisePromise Ring: 30 Degrees Everywhere (Epitaph) LP
The Promise Ring were formed in 1995 in Milwaukee, WI by guitarist Jason Gnewikow, drummer Dan Didier and bassist Scott Beschta. The band was eventually rounded out by frontman Davey von Bohlen, who at the time was a new enlistee into Midwest darlings Cap’n Jazz but gave The Promise Ring their crucial missing piece. In 1996, the group signed with Jade Tree and released their debut, 30 Degrees Everywhere, a powerful introduction that distilled the spirit and vigor of some of the members’ punk and hardcore backgrounds and spit-shined it with von Bohlen’s tastefully angsty melodicism. But 30 Degrees Everywhere is deceptively complex, masked by layers of driving guitars and buoyant rhythms. It’s also deceptively dark, as the singer’s heart-on-sleeve lyrics – tackling love, loss, regret and disappointment – and emotive delivery were hallmarks of The Promise Ring’s genre-leading sound. This raw emotion, along with an overall lack of polish, ultimately gives the album an endearing personality. You won’t find perfect performances here; rather, you’re getting real songs about real life played by real people in real time. Boiled down, 30 Degrees Everywhere is the foundation of a musical legacy, a lightning-in-a-bottle musical moment that demands listeners pay attention to its urgency and passion – in the end, what more could you ask for?

File Under: Punk, Emo
Listen Here

simplySimply Saucer: Cyborgs Revisited (In The Red) LP
In tomorrow… Simply Saucer’s Cyborgs Revisited is an explosive time capsule from one of the great Canadian cult rock ‘n’ roll groups. Formed in Hamilton, Ontario, these sci-fried proto-punks created a sound fusing Hawkwind, The Kinks, Pink Fairies, Syd Barrett-era Pink Floyd, and the omnipresent Velvet Underground. Originally recorded from 1974-1975, the album became a critically revered classic when it was finally unearthed in 1989 by Mole Records. Now, In The Red is proud to release the definitive, remastered double album edition featuring new liner notes by band biographer Jesse Locke, unseen images, and the complete live recordings available as a second album for the first time ever. As a means to escape his oppressive experiences while living in a practice space surrounded by biker gangs, singer and fretboard-shredding guitarist Edgar Breau wrote a set of songs filled with dystopian visions of the future, conjuring metalloid thugs, Eva Braun’s cyanide love affair, and “dancing the mutation.” With nimble-fingered bassist Kevin Christoff, clatterwauling drummer Neil DeMerchant, and electronic cosmonaut John “Ping Romany” LaPlante (Breau’s foster brother and answer to Pere Ubu’s Allen Ravenstine), his lyrics were launched into a sonic supernova. Their first recording session took place in the basement of brothers Bob and future superstar producer Daniel Lanois and was initially intended as a demo. Naturally, interest was non-existent for the sneering six-song set. It’s shocking how anyone could have overlooked “Bullet Proof Nothing,” an undeniably catchy VU-swiping anthem for the used, abused, and confused.  Shelving these sessions, the band ascended into the future with 15-year-old drummer Tony Cutaia. This set off a series of gigs before the band touched down on the roof of a local shopping center! Following their 2006 reformation, Simply Saucer continue to tour and perform to ecstatic fans while being celebrated with a belated wave of releases, reissues, and documentation, including a rarities compilation, Jesse Locke’s book Heavy Metalloid Music: The Story of Simply Saucer (Eternal Cavalier Press), and an upcoming 7-inch. At long lost and at the top of this towering stack, In The Red’s expanded reissue of Cyborgs Revisited gives the Canadian cult classic the deluxe treatment it so greatly deserves.

File Under: Garage, Psych
Listen Here

sleepwalkerSleepwalker: 5772 (Sentient Ruin) LP
In tomorrow… The unparalleled 2016 debut album from elusive multinational psychedelic/avantgarde black metal enigma Sleepwalker now officially re-released on cassette and finally also available on 12″ vinyl. A visionary collision of sounds and of different schools of thought in extreme and experimental metal and beyond, that bursts the listener’s synapses open with a mind-shattering alloy of drone, raw black metal, kraut/psychedelic rock, free-jazz, noise rock, and tribal ritualism – a truly unparalleled mind-fuck suspended between the visionary opposites of Voivod, Zeni Jeva, Oxbow, John Zorn, King Crimson, Darkthrone, and Xasthur.

File Under: Metal, Psych
Listen Here

slowSlow: Against the Glass (Artoffact) LP
Finally back in stock, cuz you missed it in November… Slow was a short lived band from Vancouver BC. Somewhere between seventies barroom boogie, punk and high octane rock n roll, the group was around long enough to release one two-song seven inch single and this absolute stunner of an EP. Six songs, around ten minutes each side, but this is frantic, exciting rock that unfortunately seems now to only be a side note in the history of Canadian music, although it deserves so much more. Some have said this band helped kickstart grunge in Seattle. I don’t know if that is true or not, but you can definitely hear that this is one of those “should have” releases that probably influenced more people than ever had the chance to hear it. Opening with the infamous “Have Not Been The Same” – the song that spawned the title for the incredible book that Michael Barclay, Ian Jack and Jason Schneider did on the Canadian independent music scene in the late 80s and early 90s – the song has a bluesy riff to its beginning that, after some Stonesy-backing vocals, becomes an absolute barnburner. Vocalist Thomas Anselmi sings “I’ve been drinking/But drinking doesn’t make me feel alright” in a slight warble that sounds like a precursor to David Yow’s warble in the Jesus Lizard years later and the band ramps up in the second half to a furious feverpitch. Second song “Out of The Cold” features quite possibly the best skronking sax on any Canadian punk rock record from the mid-80s. It sounds like it wouldn’t work, but it totally does. This must be the best Stooges song ever written by a Vancouver band. The side’s final song, “Bad Man”, is no slouch either. It sounds like Rocket From The Crypt nearly a decade before they became a band. Yes, really, this record is that good. The second side of the record is no slouch either. “In Deep” starts off like a windswept Morricone instrumental from a classic spaghetti western but soon enough turns into the most traditionally sounding song here. Wow, this band must have been absolutely stunning live, especially if they could pull this stuff off (I am sure they could!). “Looking For Something Clean” sounds like it could be your favourite Mudhoney song – I am sure those guys had this album on high rotation when they formed their band – and the title track has a “Train Kept A Rollin” feel to it, if that song was done by a bunch of ragged punk rockers that snorted way too much speed for their own good. The band broke up shortly after this twelve-inch came out. A very wild performance at Expo 86 that included throwing two-by-fours into the crowd and getting naked onstage had organizers pulling the plug on both the band and the festival their performance was part of. The band did their only Canadian tour almost immediately afterwards, but broke up before that tour was over. The band members split off into two different bands, Copyright and Tankhog respectively, but neither managed to reach such great heights as they did during their time in Slow. Against The Glass is one of my top five Canadian releases in dire need of a reissue. Apparently both Zulu and Mint Records have approached the band about doing just that, but the band could not agree on it and to this day it still hasn’t happened. It’s a crying shame too, as this album is now selling on Discogs for upwards of $50 US. Hopefully one day this will be able to happen, but until then it will trade hands through record collectors for an inflated price. Snap it up if you can!

File Under: Punk
Listen Here

tkop1This Kind of Punishment: A Beard of Bees (Superior Viaduct) LP
In tomorrow… In the fertile terrain of New Zealand’s 1980s post-punk scene, few figures loom as large as the Jefferies brothers. Graeme Jefferies and Peter Jefferies—the primary forces behind This Kind Of Punishment—wrote some of the best music to come out on Flying Nun, Xpressway or elsewhere. A dizzying mix of pastoral ballads and DIY experimentation, TKP’s songwriting was at once classic and acutely raw. Among This Kind Of Punishment’s myriad recordings, A Beard Of Bees best outlines the collective vision of the Jefferies brothers. Their classic second album feels more meticulous than its predecessor, proffering a grey, near-Mancunian influence that serves as both touchstone and springboard for the proceedings. The unique maneuvering on “Trepidation” is a marvel: guitar sweetness shifting toward melancholic piano and ending with their combined shimmer. Conversely, the augmented VU-inspired noise of “East Meets West” positions itself as the album’s prime moment of severity, creepily building toward horror-show screams that inch to a buried, found-sound resolution. Originally self-released in 1984, A Beard Of Bees has been out of print for almost 25 years.

File Under: DIY, New Zealand, Indie Rock, Flying Nun
Listen Here

tkopThis Kind of Punishment: s/t (Superior Viaduct) LP
In tomorrow… In the fertile terrain of New Zealand’s 1980s post-punk scene, few figures loom as large as the Jefferies brothers. Graeme Jefferies and Peter Jefferies—the primary forces behind This Kind Of Punishment—wrote some of the best music to come out on Flying Nun, Xpressway or elsewhere. A dizzying mix of pastoral ballads and DIY experimentation, TKP’s songwriting was at once classic and acutely raw. On their self-titled debut, the Jefferies brothers and Chris Matthews eschew the punk-informed modes of their contemporaries for a sound that is decidedly more deliberate / intimate. Rooted in a marriage between simplistic, classically-influenced piano, alternating guitar chime and sparse, subtle violin drone, This Kind Of Punishment is a contemplative, inventive collection of ideas corralled via economic 4-track recordings, minimal instrumentation and an austere performance style entirely of the Jefferies’ own making. Songs like “After The Fact,” “In View Of The Circumstances” and “Two Minutes Drowning” boast a living quality whereby the listener can act as bystander to these moments of creation—a trait that the band would expand upon throughout the course of their brief tenure. First-time vinyl reissue since its initial release in 1983.

File Under: DIY, Flying Nun, Indie Rock, New Zealand
Listen Here

titus

Titus Andronicus: A Productive Cough (Merge) LP
Since debuting in 2008, Titus Andronicus (hereafter +@) has been conditioning faithful listeners to expect only the unexpected. With A Productive Cough, +@ has executed the most shocking departure yet—but only if, as ever mercurial singer-songwriter Patrick Stickles insists, “you haven’t been paying attention.” In a move that may infuriate the black-denim-and-PBR set, A Productive Cough sets aside leadfooted punk anthems in favor of a subtler, more spacious approach that pushes Stickles’ soul-baring songwriting to the fore, creating an intimacy between artist and audience with which previous +@ efforts had only flirted. Features guest contributions from veteran pianist Rick Steph (Cat Power, Lucero, Hank Williams Jr.), esteemed cellist Jane Scarpantoni (R.E.M., Bob Mould, Lou Reed), listeners Brooklyn singer Megg Farrell, and many others. Limited edition LP version is pressed on blue-gray swirled vinyl.

File Under: Indie Rock
Listen Here

turboTurbonegro: Rocknroll Machine (Burger) LP
It’s been over six years now since the word got out that the Titans from The Big O (Oslo, Norway) were re-resurrected for a second time since their grimy beginnings back in 1989. November 2015 heralded the unveiling of the first new music from Turbonegro since 2012’s Sexual Harassment. “Hot For Nietzsche” found our boys in full throttle, staring the void right in the face and raising a glass to its honor. May 2016 saw Turbonegro unleash another single “Special Education,” a story of a teenage boy’s fall from academic grace and the cruel and unusual discipline he finds at the very bottom. And so finally, in the wake of the infamous blizzards of the Scandinavian Winter of 2017, the savvy six gathered in the studio in Oslo to record their ninth studio album, Rocknroll Machine. Vocalist Tony Sylvester had this to say about the new material: “We’ve spent the the past years honing our skills. The music we are releasing now is more distilled, more refined, more pointed, more powerful; we traveled to the future and this is what we heard on the radio!”

File Under: Punk
Listen Here

ditaDita Von Teese: s/t (Record Makers) LP 
Dita Von Teese sings about the power of seduction and the ecstasy of letting go in an album bearing her name, written and composed by Sébastien Tellier. “I’ve collaborated with artists I admire that have invited me, such as Monarchy and Die Antwoord,” recalls the Michigan native. “But nothing compares to this project with Sébastien Tellier. When we began recording, he offered to let me to write some lyrics, but I preferred the feeling of letting go, of making a Sébastien Tellier record. I had a fantasy about having a modern Brigitte Bardot and Serge Gainsbourg moment. To describe the album is difficult; perhaps it’s me with less make-up.” Tellier has long dreamt of composing for a woman, but was not inspired by any professional singers. “I was looking for someone both beautiful and unique,” he explains. “When I saw Dita dance to a piece of music I had written for her, I had a feeling that her physical presence and her personality were a perfect fit with my music. My wife, Amandine de La Richardière, wrote some sexy pop lyrics to balance the melodrama of my tragic vision that love always ends – in my songs – in bitterness and regret.” Recorded in Sydney, Los Angeles, and Paris, Dita Von Teese owes much to the talents of Tellier, the singing of Dita Von Teese, and the art of two instrumentalists – programmer/keyboardist John Kirby (Solange, Blood Orange, Money Mark) and drummer Daniel Stricker (Midnight Juggernauts) – who co-produced the album, under the name of Mind Gamers. “Sparkling Rain” is a futuristic calypso shot through with angel choirs and the syncopated rhythms of marimbas; “Rendez-Vous,” a robotic reggae which Grace Jones would not have disdained; and the bewitching “My Lips On Your Lips” and “Bird Of Prey,” despite their air of inoffensive TLC-like silky ballads, promise a thousand erotic raptures. Woven with powerful heartbeats, waves of liquid pianos, guitars cracking like whips, Chinese sounding motifs, and synthetic steel drums, Dita Von Teese asks to be lured into its intoxicating wake, as if the singer who had crossed invisible and tormented worlds had found the path leading to divine ecstasy.

File Under: Electronic, Pop
Listen Here

waits2Tom Waits: Glitter & Doom (Anti) LP
In 2008, Tom Waits launched a sold-out national tour, garnering intense critical praise and thrilling fans across the country and the world, some in cities where he had never performed before. Glitter And Doom Live is the document of those concerts, 17 performances hand-picked by Waits from along the tour. Leaning heavily on songs from his ANTI-releases including a haunting “Trampled Rose” from Real Gone and a roaring “Get Behind the Mule” from Mule Variations, Waits also digs into the vaults for tracks like a re-imagined “Singapore” from 1985’s Rain Dogs. Glitter and Doom Live resides in the Waits catalog alongside earlier live albums like Nighthawks at the Diner and Big Time.

File Under: Rock
Listen Here

waitsTom Waits: Closing Time (Anti) LP
After signing with Asylum Records in the early 1970s, Tom Waits recorded a series of acclaimed albums whose noir tales about the after-midnight underworld transformed the seedy into the sublime in songs laced with both dark humor and profound longing. Decades and several musical evolutions later, Waits’ Asylum years still hold a special place in the hearts of many fans. Waits’ first seven albums on Asylum have been remastered and will be re-released via Anti-Records. All titles – many of which have been long out of print – will be re-issued on high quality 180 gram vinyl throughout 2018. Waits’ time-honored and critically acclaimed 1973 debut Closing Time was released when the singer-songwriter was 23 years old and foreshadowed the distinctly lyrical storytelling and original blending of jazz, blues and folk styles that would become hallmarks of his distinguished career. Home to such enduring career classics as lead single “Ol’ 55,” the heartbreaking “Martha” and the gentle acoustic folk of “I Hope That I Don’t Fall In Love With You,” a number of artists covered songs from the album including Tim Buckley, Bette Midler and the Eagles.

File Under: Rock
Listen Here

zummoPeter Zummo: Frame Loop (Foom) LP
“A few years ago , American composer and trombonist Peter Zummo discovered a 1984 recording of unreleased material from his Six Songs suite in his archive. Six Songs was the basis for Lateral pass , his award winning score for modern-dance choreographer Trisha Brown’s work of the same name. Material taken from Six Songs can also be heard on his seminal Zummo WIth An X (Loris Bend, 1985/Optimo 2012). The work is now being released as this new album, r ecorded live and in single takes, it features a stellar line-up of longtime Zummo collaborators: Arthur Russell on amplified cello, Bill Tuyle on marimba, and Mustafa Ahmed on congas. Zummo plays trombone and euphonium. He describes the recording as ‘an exercise in spontaneous arrangement’. He mainly hews close to the score, while from time to time introducing canonic lines and variations. Arthur Russell, using his signature amplified cello sound, alternates between solos and rhythm playing, while Ruyle vamps on the notation, while Mustafa Ahmed’s improvised percussion drives the forward momentum. Sometimes the music takes its time traversing a sonic landscape; at other points, it jumps from one section to another . Players’ decisions push and pull the downbeat ; rounds emerge, then disappear…”

File Under: Electronic, Experimental
Listen Here

hexadicVarious: Hexadic III (Drag City) LP
In tomorrow… If we subscribe to the current ISO 8601, then 2018 is Hexadic year three—the third annum since we were introduced to a new wave in combinatorial theory with powerful potentialities for music composition. The book, The Hexadic System, was written by Six Organs of Admittance’s Ben Chasny, who demonstrated the possibilities of the system with two albums of Hexadic composition, as well as touring the music and chairing talks on the process and uses of THE SYSTEM around the United States and Great Britain. This third installment of the Hexadic series had been planned from the beginning—inviting others outside of Ben Chasny’s Hexadic headquarters to make music using THE SYSTEM. Features music from Moon Duo, Jenks Miller, Meg Baird & Charlie Saufley, Tashi Dorji, Richard Youngs, Phil Legard, and Stephen O’Malley, Tim Wyskida & Marc Urselli.

File Under: Folk, Experimental
Listen Here

tg3Various: Typical Girls Vol 3 (Emotional Response) LP
In tomorrow… Emotional Response continue their quest to highlight the finest in current female fronted punk, post-punk, hardcore and indie. Following on from the two previous vibrant volumes of Typical Girls, Emotional Response was quickly presented with a wealth of staggeringly high quality material. Rather than sit on tracks, or exclude material that the world needed to hear, it was feverishly decided to release two new breath-taking volumes simultaneously (Volumes 3 & 4). Essential listening. Features tracks from C.H.E.W., Sick Bags, Alice Bag, Daudyflin, Swann Danger, Warm Bodies, Natterers, Rata Negra, Judy And The Jerks, Macho Boys, Crooked Bangs, Scaredy Snake, and more.

File Under: Post Punk, Indie

tg4Various: Typical Girls Vol 4 (Emotional Rescue) LP
In tomorrow… Emotional Response continue their quest to highlight the finest in current female fronted punk, post-punk, hardcore and indie. Following on from the two previous vibrant volumes of Typical Girls, Emotional Response was quickly presented with a wealth of staggeringly high quality material. Rather than sit on tracks, or exclude material that the world needed to hear, it was feverishly decided to release two new breath-taking volumes simultaneously (Volumes 3 & 4). Essential listening. Features tracks from Neon, No Love, French Vanilla, Janitor Scum And The Scums, Couteau Latex, Chroma, The Primitives, Replica, Cruel Summer, C-3’s, and more.

File Under: Post Punk, Indie Rock

warfaring-strangers-acid-nightmares-1Various: Warfaring Strangers: Acid Nightmares (Numero) LP
FINALLY BACK IN STOCK!!! As the hippie movement hurdled towards its emanate demise, bad vibes infiltrated the rock world. Tainted LSD, loud motorcycles, and a series of brutal deaths spawned inspiration for guitar-wielding teenagers across the globe. Implementing deafening fuzz and satanic screams to create their protometal monstrosities, short-lived stoner bands pressed their lysergic experiments in microscopic quantities before blacking out entirely. Lifted from the ashes of the acid rock hell fire are 18 distorted tales of dope fiends, pill poppers, and the baddest of trips. Deluxe 2LP comes housed in a blacklight poster-style jacket, replete with flocking and lysergic neon. 24 pages documenting the creeping existential dread of the hard rock underground are tucked into the gatefold pocket alongside two dead dinosaur-heavy LPs.

File Under: Psych, Hard Rock
Listen Here

…..Restocks…..

A Winged Victory for the Sullen: ATOMOS (Kranky) LP
Adele: 21 (XL) LP
John Bender: Plaster Falling (Superior Viaduct) LP
Drab Majesty: Careless (Dais) LP
Drab Majesty: The Demonstration (Dais) LP
Deux Filles: Silence & Wisdom (Dark Entries) LP
Flesh Eaters: A Minute to Pray A Second to Die (Superior Viaduct) LP
Flesh Eaters: Forever Came Today (Superior Viaduct) LP
Jamie XX: In Colour (Young Turks)
J Dilla: Donuts (Stones Throw) LP
Drive Like Jehu: Yank Crime (Hedhunter) LP
The Fall: Hex Enduction Hour (Superior Viaduct) LP
The Fall: Live at the Witch Trials (Superior Viaduct) LP
Liquid Liquid: Optimo (Superior Viaduct) LP
Liquid Liquid: s/t (Superior Viaduct) LP
Liquid Liquid: Successive Reflexes (Superior Viaduct) LP
Madvillain: Madvillainy (Stones Throw) LP
Melvins: Houdini (Thirdman) LP
Pandit Pran Nath: The Raga Cycle (SMM) LP
No Age: Snares Like A Haircut (Drag City) LP
Klaus Schulze: Irrlicht (Brain) LP
Klaus Schulze: Timewind (Brain) LP
Shellac: 1000 Hurts (Touch & Go) LP
Shellac: Dude Incredible (Touch & Go) LP
Shellac: Excellent Italian Greyhound (Touch & Go) LP
Sigur Ros: ( ) (KrunK) LP
Solid Space: Space Museum (Dark Entries) LP
The Sound: From The Lions Mouth (1972) LP
Stars of the Lid: And Their Refinement of the Decline (Kranky) LP
Suicide: First Rehearsal Tapes (Superior Viaduct) LP
Ebo Taylor: And the Pelikans (Mr. Bongo) LP
Justin Walter: Unseen Forces (Kranky) LP
Yo La Tengo: And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside Out (Matador) LP
Various: Funky 16 Corners (Stones Throw) LP

Tagged , , , , , , ,

…..new letters #831 – lap 42…..

As you can see, we are swimming in new stock this week! Needless to say, I’m swamped, so read on or better still, come down for a dig.

…..picks of the week…..

shimizuYasuaki Shimizu: Music for Commericals (Crammed) LP
In tomorrow… You bought Kakashi (you did right?) now get Shimizu’s version of library music. Killer…. Yasuaki Shimizu’s Music For Commercials [1987] is here given a much needed first ever reissue some 30 years since it appeared on Crammed’s Made To Measure library music series, which also included editions by Tuxedomoon and Hctor Zazou. Very safe to say that if you were enchanted by Visible Cloaks’ Reassemblage LP or their Fairlights, Mallets & Bamboo mixes, this one is a must! In 24 parts Shimizu unfolds a tightly packed lattice of crystalline gems and vignettes crafted for TV commercials, plus the 15 minute Ka-Cho-Fu-Getsu piece for a Computer Animation Video which is practically worth the price of entry alone. Presumably titled after the corporations who employed him, you’ll find stacks of super sweet, pastoral 4th world emulations patched from keys, sax, gamelan, drum machines and electronics for the likes of Seiko, Ricoh, Sharp, Honda, Knorr and Bridgestone, each as exactingly cute and piquant as the last. Known for his numerous albums, soundtracks, and collaborations including with the likes of Ryuichi Sakamoto and Bjork, this is perhaps Shimizu’s most sought-after and influential work and one that perfectly encapsulates our collective yearning for peace and quiet in an increasingly commercialised, chaotic world. Recommended!

File Under: Ambient, Electronic, Jazz, Library
Listen Here

buy corals

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

File Under: Ambient, Electronic
Listen Here

nashJonny Nash/Lindsay Todd: Fauna Mapping (Island of the Gods) LP
Another of my favorites that might not have made the list late last year. Another killer outing from Island of the Gods, tropical Fourth World vibes full of lush found sounds, HIGHLY RECOMMENDED… Jonny Nash (Gaussian Curve, Melody As Truth) and Firecracker’s Lindsay Todd get barefoot and turn out a stunner of an LP with Fauna Mapping. Over the course of twelve compositions, you’ll find the pair utilizing their recordings in a whole host of ways, avoiding the well-trodden clichés of the “exotic” and instead attempting to achieve a personal interpretation of the flora, fauna, and climate of the island. Spending time amidst the insects, rice fields, and scorching sun, the pair gathered a library of found sounds which were then taken back to a studio space to be stretched, mangled, and manipulated alongside a variety of electronic and acoustic instruments. The outdoor studio itself became a living instrument, with the duo setting up multiple microphones for durations of up to 12 hours around the space, layering and processing the results in tracks such as “Fauna Mapping” and “A Series Of Small Frogs”.

File Under: Ambient, Electronic, Field Recordings, Fourth World
Listen Here

…..new arrivals…..

bellwitch

Bell Witch: Mirror Reaper (Profound Lore) LP
In tomorrow… Finally some stock! These might all be gone  before you even read this, but we’ll be getting more next week or so too… With their third full-length album Mirror Reaper, Seattle doom metal duo Bell Witch have created their most enormous and all-encompassing work to date.The band takes their blueprint for minimalistic, mournful, yet massive sound and expands it to a new level, doing the unthinkable in the genre: a continuous 83-minute piece unfolding as a single time-stretching track. Once again engineered and mixed by veteran producer Billy Anderson (who claims this as one of the milestones in his entire producing career) the duo of Dylan Desmond (bass, vocals) and Jesse Shreibman (drums, vocals, organ) push the sound even further beyond their landmark 2015 album, the genre-defining Four Phantoms. With organ adding a new layer, the album also sees honorary member and guest vocalist Erik Moogridge (Aerial Ruin) return once again offering an even more prominent presence with his vocals. On the themes surrounding the concept and lyrics, the band states: “Our original idea for this record was to write a two-song album titled As Above / So Below. These two songs would have been split into seven movements to correlate with the seven Hermetic principals. The process took a life of its own and upon completion we have one song spanning 83 minutes. It is titled in reference to the axiom ‘As Above So Below’. During the writing process we were devastated by the loss of our dear friend and former drummer, Adrian Guerra. Out of love for and in respect to his memory, we reserved an important yet brief section in the song for him that features vocal tracks left over from our previous album. We believe he would be proud of it.”

File Under: Metal
Listen Here

pilia

Alberto Boccardi & Stefano Pilia: Bastet (Nashazphone) LP
Collaboration piece between two major players in the contemporary Italian electro-acoustic music scene. Alberto Boccardi has studied composition and music theory at Milan’s Music Civic Academy and has frequently collaborated with Lawrence English, Nicola Ratti, and Maurizio Abate, among others. Stefano Pilia is a prolific guitarist and electro-acoustic theorist with a massive body of work and compositions. He has collaborated with Mike Watt, Nico Vascellari, David Tibet, and Valerio Tricoli, to name a few. “The sounding worlds of Boccardi and Pilia meet in quasi-narrative paths. Immediately, from the first glance at the tracklist, something seems to thematize the encounter in its two-faced nature: two dedications (‘Bastet’ and ‘Dayira’, the birth), each one in two parts, but also an encounter between electric guitar and percussions. The guitar being itself already an encounter between acoustic and electric sounds. Yet again, organic and electronic soundscapes are coupled down into introspection and vision. While ‘Bastet’ is set to follow an inner voyage along memories and ambiences where Popol Vuh and Robert Rich seem to faintly appear, it is ‘Dayira’ that is given the mission of projecting the inner vision into vast emotional landscapes. And at the very end something new is birthed, a minor chord that apparently has nothing to do with the drones and patterns preceding it, along the sound of the entire album. An intriguing surprise that is driven by an electronic, floating aura to a quasi-interrupted ending. Functioning as a promise that this voyage has yet to be finished.” –Massimilano Viel, Milano, Italy, January 2018 “I love this new album Bastet by Alberto Boccardi and Stefano Pilia right from my first listen I decided I would go to the sea (my pedro town is in the harbor of Los Angeles) to write my thoughts about it cuz the sea is what I first thought of when I heard the first sounds of it coming — I figured it was the sea cuz I had feelings from the music I had these sensations cuz I felt I was in the ocean — on a boat… actually not just on a boat but in the bottom of it — down in the bilge. The musical interaction between Alberto and Stefano is seamless and whole, free of potentially encumbering static structures. I’m drawn into the pitch and yaw, the port and starboard, the heave and ho. The piece is made of two parts (‘Bastet’ and ‘Dayira’) with each of those parts being made of likewise two parts. By the middle I feel lower in the bowels of the boat and in fact, this boat is now feeling like a submarine and so not only am I deep down up in the vessel itself, the world I feel around in is also deep down in it, deep down beneath the waves and so I feel the pushing of currents, the pressure of the depths compressing the bulkheads. On the very bottom of the hull’s inside, over the keel I place my head so the vibrations can pass right the bone of my skull. The last part of the voyage for me is a surprise cuz now the sub feels more like a train. We’re still moving but everything is no longer wet and there are many gifts falling into my eyes and I survey the passing landscapes. The mechanized sounds throughout the piece by now only confirm my suspicion they were only coincidences of chance and not purpose-built reels of barbed-wire to enforce fake borders. Maybe this ‘railroad’ in my head actually was the sea becoming a river and I got confused. Whatever, Alberto and Stefano created and preformed a whole and beautiful work that I feel we are very lucky to get to share with them. Music connected by imagination to let the spirit flow true. No wonder I read somewhere the cat-headed old Egypt deity of past was considered the guardian of the dream world. I am inspired. Grazie, fratelli.” –Mike Watt, San Pedro, California, January 2018

File Under: Electronic, Experimental
Listen Here

heroes

David Bowie: Heroes (Parlophone) LP
In 1976 David Bowie relocated to Berlin, enlisting Brian Eno and Tony Visconti to begin recording the albums that would become known as his “Berlin Trilogy”: Low (1977), Heroes (1977) and Lodger (1979). Most of the music across the three albums wasn’t even recorded in Berlin, the unifying factor actually being Bowie, Visconti and Eno. In fact the only album of the three to literally be recorded in Berlin was the second installment, Heroes. Joining the fold here was King Crimson’s Robert Fripp whose strapping guitar lines proved to be the perfect foil for Bowie and Visconti’s ahead of the curve sonic innovations. Propelled by the spectrum spanning singles “Heroes” and “Beauty And The Beast,” the LP peaked at No. 3 in the UK album chart in November 1977, a year in which it was also named Album Of The Year in both NME and Melody Maker. No mean feat considering the other great music that was released that year, not least of all, both of Iggy Pop’s first solo releases, The Idiot and Lust For Life, two records which Bowie also had a very big hand in. There’s old wave, there’s new wave, and there’s David Bowie!

File Under: Rock
Listen Here

lodger

David Bowie: Lodger (Parlophone) LP
In 1976 David Bowie relocated to Berlin, enlisting Brian Eno and Tony Visconti to begin recording the albums that would become known as his “Berlin Trilogy”: Low (1977), Heroes (1977) and Lodger (1979). Most of the music across the three albums wasn’t even recorded in Berlin, the unifying factor actually being Bowie, Visconti and Eno. The final installment, Lodger features no instrumentals and is the most pop-leaning of the trio of releases. Toeing the line of accessibility and and experimentation is a Bowie hallmark and he does it to perfection on the melodic and multi-layered standouts “DJ,” “Look Back in Anger” and “Boys Keep Swinging.” Frank Zappa guitarist Adrian Belew also replaces Robert Fripp this time around as well and his free-range playing helps define the underrated record. There’s old wave, there’s new wave, and there’s David Bowie!

 File Under: Rock
Listen Here

bowie

David Bowie: Low (Parlophone) LP
This OBVIOUSLY would be a pick of the week had we not been massively shorted on our order, more soon hopefully! January 1977 saw the release of the first installment of what came to be known as David Bowie’s Berlin trilogy. That album was the Bowie/Tony Visconti produced Low and it was followed later the same year by Heroes with the trilogy completed in 1979 by the arrival of Lodger. Most of the music across the three albums wasn’t even recorded in Berlin, the unifying factor actually being Bowie, Visconti and Brian Eno. Much has been written about the brilliance and braveness of the music on Low, and rightly so. It’s probably hard to imagine with the ears of today how absolutely unique the record sounded back in 1977. Apart from the obvious slicing of the album into two distinct sides, Visconti gifted Low that distinctive drum sound, among other things. Though Low was a record purportedly informed by the likes of Kraftwerk and other German musicians of the time, it actually sounded far more organic and not at all mechanized. This was in no small measure due to the nucleus of the band Bowie had favored during this whole period (starting with Station To Station), of Carlos Alomar (guitar), Dennis Davis (drums) and George Murray (bass). The album was a commercial success, peaking at No. 2 on the UK Albums Chart and No. 11 on the US Billboard Pop Albums chart. “Sound and Vision” and “Be My Wife” were released as singles; the former reaching No. 3 on the UK Singles Chart. Low sounds as fresh today as it ever did…thirty nine minutes of untouchable genius. Prepare to be transported by its gloriously uplifting melancholia and majestic musical language from a time and place that has yet to arrive.

File Under: Rock
Listen Here

monsters

David Bowie: Scary Monsters (Parlophone) LP
Berlin Trilogy producer Tony Visconti returned to co-pilot 1980’s Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps) which found David Bowie back at the top of the charts and in more conventional rock & roll territory (by his standards anyway) for the first time in years. Incorporating aspects of his classic ’70s output, glam rock and the avant-garde – and featuring such world class guests as Robert Fripp, Pete Townshend and Roy Bittan – the inspired collection yielded the stylistic hits “Ashes to Ashes” and “Fashion” and is regarded as arguably the musical maverick’s final masterpiece.

File Under: Rock
Listen Here

scarey

S. Carey: Hundred Acres (Jagjaguwar) LP
At its heart, Hundred Acres – the third full-length from Wisconsin singer/songwriter S. Carey – finds him grounded and confident, writing the strongest songs of his career. More direct than ever, there is a wellspring of confidence in this new batch of songs that allow for ideas to remain uncomplicated while laying bare the intricacies of life. Written in between touring schedules and the growth of his family, Carey produced Hundred Acres at April Base in Fall Creek, WI with support from his regular crew and contributions from the likes of Rob Moose (yMusic), Casey Foubert (Sufjan Stevens) and Sophie Payten (Gordi). He employed a smaller, more focused scale of instrumentation than on his previous albums while writing mostly on guitar instead of his go-to piano. Using more traditional song structures instead of the Steve Reich-ian repetitions of his past work, a new balance is struck that creates something unique. The result is a collection of poetic yet clear-eyed songs that both stand brightly on their own and tightly weave together to create a powerful album.

File Under: Indie Rock
Listen Here

cohen

Robert Cohen-Solal: Les Shadoks (WRWTFWW) LP
Comes as a limited edition 12″ + 7″ vinyl album; High glossy gatefold; Includes an exclusive Shadok drawing by Robert Cohen-Solal. WRWTFWW Records announce the release of the complete soundtrack of cult French animated TV series Les Shadoks (1968-1974) by Robert Cohen-Solal, available for the first time ever in its entirety. It’s the right in time to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Jacques Rouxel and René Borg’s legendary television cartoon. Electro-acoustic pioneer and eminent member of the illustrious GRM (Groupe de recherches musicales, the French equivalent of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop), Robert Cohen-Solal has explored music and sound alongside luminaries such as Bernard Parmegiani, Pierre Henry, Luc Ferrari, and Iannis Xenakis, and is responsible for numerous projects in the field of applied music, soundtracks (documentaries, shorts etc.), and experimental recordings. His work on Les Shadoks is simply extraordinary — a fascinating and bizarre collage of wacky electro pop (à la Jean-Jacques Perrey), drones, musique concrète, classical, and dadaist sound experiments seamlessly mixed into a cohesive and cinematic listening experience. The ideal soundtrack for what will remain one of the weirdest animated TV series ever created. A true literary, cultural, and philosophical phenomenon in France, Les Shadoks caused a sensation while airing between 1968 and 1974. Its unique combination of Alfred Jarry-style surrealism, off-centered British humor, and US comic strip inspiration, all brought to life by illustrated bird-like creatures (reminiscent of Paul Klee’s La machine à gazouiller, or Twittering Machine), left a lasting mark, making the term “Shadok” an oft-used satirical expression to describe policies and attitudes considered to be absurd.

File Under: OST, French, Pop, Musique Concrete
Listen Here

conjoint

Conjoint: Earprints (Demdike Stare) LP
Demdike Stare present the first ever reissue of Conjoint’s Earprints, originally released in 2000. After a slew of acclaimed releases by Equiknoxx, Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe, Shinichi Atobe, and Mica Levi in 2017, Demdike Stare start 2018 in typically unexpected style with a remastered reissue of David Moufang (Move D), Karl Berger, Jamie Hodge, Gunter Kraus, and Jonas Grossmann’s gorgeous sophomore Conjoint album, Earprints (2000). Conjoint was the little-known but hugely regarded ensemble founded by David Moufang two decades ago, featuring techno pioneer Jamie Hodge, Deep Space Network’s Jonas Grossmann, acclaimed jazz guitarist Gunter Ruit Kraus and, most intriguingly Karl Berger, the jazz pianist and vibraphone player for Ornette Coleman, Don Cherry, and George Clinton, to name a few. The ensemble are accompanied on Earprints by Andrew Pekler, Anna-Lena Fiedler, Burkhard Höfler, and Kai Kroker, among many others, and flesh out a full frequency spectrum of instrumental and electronic timbres, precisely yet louchely coalescing a timeless and cool blue sound that is entirely respectful to its roots, yet dares to imagine them in an altered context. In that respect it’s an influential, memorable precursor to Jan Jelinek’s acclaimed Loop-Finding-Jazz-Records that was released the following year. Democratic in its construction and flush with pregnant, contemplative space between and around the notes, the lasting impression made by Earprints is indelibly classic, quietly awaiting immersion by a new wave of listeners who will no doubt marvel at its many charms. If you’re into late night listening and have followed the work of Move D, Miles Davis, Tortoise, Detroit Escalator Company, Elodie, Terre Thaemlitz, or Jan Jelinek’s frayed, late night jazz minimalism, this one’s for you. Remastered by Matt Colton.

File Under: Electronic, Jazz, Abstract
Listen Here

demeyYves De Mey: Bleak Comfort (Latency) LP
“Following up Drawn With Shadow Pens on Spectrum Spools, Belgian sound artist Yves De Mey returns with Bleak Comfort, his third solo full-length. Geared towards serving up an intense musical experience, the album deconstructs regular club music to highlight some of its key elements in a transformative way. An album about absence, malfunction and disorientation, Bleak Comfort is equally packed with floor-functional material and left-of-center electronics. By turn sizzling and spherical, convulsive and atmospheric, Yves De Mey ushers his listener in a hypnotic kaleidoscope of sounds, providing a fascinating picture of his ever dynamic grammar at variable scales and tempos.”

File Under: Electronic
Listen Here

felt crumblingFelt: Crumbling the Antiseptic Beauty (Cherry Red) LP
In tomorrow… Anyone who has been living on the grapevine these past few years must have heard the rumours about the coming of the FELT reissues – well they’re here. During the ‘80s Felt produced ten albums and ten singles for the Cherry Red and Creation labels. This beautifully produced series examines the work of one of the greatest underground groups of modern times. These vinyl records, unavailable for many years, have been re-mastered and revisited by Lawrence, and he has fashioned the ultimate definitive collections. They are available in a deluxe gatefold sleeve. Lawrence’s ambition was to release the best debut English album ever! Adrian Borland offered his services, but commitments with his band The Sound prevented this from happening. So Felt began a relationship with Swell Maps producer John A. Rivers. Recorded and mixed over six days, the band got a taste of how bitter reality fares compared to the “mellow fruitfulness” of blind ambition.

File Under: Indie Rock, Post Punk, Ethereal
Listen Here

felt igniteFelt: Ignite the Seven Cannons (Cherry Red) LP 
In tomorrow… Produced by Robin Guthrie of Cocteau Twins and featuring the sky-scraping vocal of Elizabeth Fraser on the mighty Primitive Painters. Felt found themselves at the top of the independent charts. Unhappy with the overall sound though – it was as if some of Lawrence’s best songs were lost in an “ethereal swirl.” John A. Rivers has been given access to the original master tapes and six songs have been remixed. Also – side 2 has been focused, edited and “made symmetrical.” Finally these songs can be heard as intended by Felt. It has become at long last a cohesive whole.

File Under: Indie Rock
Listen Here

felt 17thFelt: The Seventeenth Century (Cherry Red) LP
Previously named Let the Snakes Crinkle Their Heads to Death, this album is now renamed The Seventeenth Century – the original name for the album was changed late in the day. This reversal of misfortune was classed as an awful mistake and Lawrence’s biggest regret. Fast forward to now and this situation can finally be rectified. “You can’t change the title of an album” – they told him – so he said; “if Kraftwerk can and Bowie can then I can too!!”

File Under: Indie Rock
Listen Here

felt splendorFelt: The Splendour of Fear (Cherry Red) LP
In tomorrow… Lawrence escapes the contours of a bland city and retreats into his mind. Felt had risen from the underworld searching for a new horizon but only managed to slip into a desolate obscurity! Dark black slabs of creosote guitar – vast swathes of epic interplay – casting futuristic Shadows – an idiosyncratic and unobtrusively brilliant band, the music Felt made on this album is unlike anything attempted before. This really is a template for an age yet to come. And it pays to know that Maurice Deebank now resides in a monastery in Birmingham!

File Under: Indie Rock
Listen Here

felt strangFelt: The Strange Idols Pattern & Other Short Stories (Cherry Red) LP
In tomorrow… Before the Stone Roses and after Be-Bop Deluxe and Plastic Ono Band, John Leckie worked with Felt. Booked into a metal/reggae studio in Birmingham’s industrial wasteland he sculpted a Michelangelo slice of new rock – exquisite and beautiful guitar odysseys – quite unlike anything the city had experienced before. Merging pop with a classical nuance Felt stood alone as the forerunners of a brand new style. And Gary Ainge was finally allowed to use his high-hat!

File Under: Indie Rock
Listen Here

fever rayFever Ray: Plunge (Mute) LP
Karin Dreijer makes her long awaited return as Fever Ray with the project’s second album Plunge, the first release since 2009’s celebrated Fever Ray. Featuring lead single “To The Moon and Back,” Plunge was largely recorded in Dreijer’s Stockholm studio in collaboration with the producers Paula Temple, Deena Abdelwahed, NÍDIA, Tami T, Peder Mannerfelt and Johannes Berglund. “Fever Ray’s Plunge…is Karin Dreijer at her most vulnerable and powerful, a righteous reclamation of kink that extends a knowing invitation,” writes NPR. “Across 11 tracks of coquettish synth-pop cut with neon, Dreijer is not just frank about her sexual desires, but how she desires them – with consent, with trust, with pain, with love.” Karin Dreijer is one half of the electronic duo The Knife along with her brother, Olof Dreijer. Mixed by Johannes Berglund. Mastered by Mandy Parnell at Black Saloon Studios. Single LP edition with poster and download card.

File Under: Electronic, Synth Pop
Listen Here

fireFire!: The Hands (Rune Grammofon) LP
Very much a tight knit unit with three equal players, Fire! has been likened to powerful guitar led trios such as Cream and The Jimi Hendrix Experience, but with Johan Berthling’s heavy, doom-laden basslines being such a typical identifier, you can’t help but think of Black Sabbath’s debut album (1970) when it comes to hypnotic impact. The Hands is the trio’s sixth album and it once again displays a totally uncompromising and intriguing mix of (mostly) heavy, dark, and intensely burning music whether one decides to call it jazz or rock. The album closes on a quiet and reflective note with the appropriately titled “I Guard Her To Rest. Declaring Silence.” And you might say it’s easily their best so far. Personnel: Mats Gustafsson – tenor, baritone and bass saxophones, live electronics; Johan Berthling – electric and double bass; Andreas Werliin – drums, percussion and feedback.

File Under: Jazz
Listen Here

haino sumacKeiji Haino & Sumac: American Dollar Bill Keep Facing Sideways You’re Too Hideous To Look At Face On (Thrill Jockey) LP
Japan’s fearless multi-instrumentalist and cultural provocateur Keiji Haino has made a career out of his free-form musical improvisations and diverse collaborations. Whether deconstructing American blues to a few rogue notes hanging across chasms of empty space in his solo endeavors, sparring with the nebulous fringes of psychedelia in Fushitsusha, or teaming up with musicians like Faust, Boris, Jim O’Rourke, Stephen O’Malley, John Zorn, and Peter Brötzmann for fleeting aural experiments. Haino’s work is never pre-planned or structured, but rather a completely spontaneous exploration of chemistry, texture, and dynamics. SUMAC’s tenure is much younger than Haino’s, though guitarist/vocalist Aaron Turner has covered a similarly large swath of musical territory across numerous projects and collaborations, from the sedated drones of recent projects with Daniel Menche and William Fowler Collins to the modern compositions of Mamiffer and all the way back to the restless evolutions of post-metal stalwarts ISIS. With his cohorts Nick Yacyshyn (Baptists, Erosion) on drums and Brian Cook (Russian Circles) on bass, Turner has dissolved the rigid forms of heavy music, searching for a balance between disciplined precision and unhinged musical barbarism, crafting music that vacillates between meticulously detailed instrumentation and uninhibited forays into oblique abstraction. For American Dollar Bill – Keep Facing Sideways, You’re Too Hideous To Look At Face On, Keiji Haino and SUMAC met up in Tokyo’s Goksound recording studio to track a series of unrehearsed, completely non-premeditated sessions. Captured across several reels of tape, the collaboration harnessed Haino’s tension-inducing use of empty space on songs like “I’m over 137% a love junkie, and it’s still not enough” while pushing SUMAC’s dissident metal vocabulary on “What have I done (I was reeling in something white…)”. Throughout the course of its hour-plus length, American Dollar Bill pushes and pulls at the strictures of metal and bends the stylistic formalities of improvised music to create a sonic purge unencumbered by convention.

File Under: Metal, Noise
Listen Here

haswellRussell Haswell: Respondent (Diagonal) LP
Russell Haswell returns to Diagonal with a new five-track mini-album called Respondent. Not quite an EP nor long enough for a full album, this record marks a significant shift in direction for Haswell, who collaborates with a vocalist, Sue Tompkins, for the first time in a career defined by its unorthodoxy, Haswell says Respondent is influenced by these formative years when he was exposed to new sounds and ideas but lacked the ability and equipment needed to express himself. “In a way I’m regressing, but I’m not trying to regress with the music,” he says. “What I’m trying to do is think about how I felt and the energy and what this stuff communicated to me.” Respondent’s juiciest cut is “Special Long Version (Demo)” featuring Sue Tompkins. One second shy of ten minutes, this is Haswell’s definition of house music. Taking cues from vintage Chicago tracks such as “Your Love” by Frankie Knuckles, Muff Man’s “Sit On the Face”, and Maurice Joshua’s “I Gotta Big Dick”, Haswell forces their essence through his filters, distilling the sexual energy to a crude groove, while Tompkins, a Glasgow-based artist formerly of the band Life Without Buildings, talks, shouts and sings, her voice distorted and dulcet. “I want your love,” she says at one point. “Let Suffering Become You” is a mangled acid stomp that starts with a sample from the 1980 punk documentary D.O.A.: A Rite of Passage (1980), with Guinness heir Jonathan Guinness haughtily observing: “An awful lot of people who enjoy punk would really like to be back in those days when they could actually see physical people hacking each other to death.” Elsewhere, “First In Man” is a cavernous dub-speckled track, with spasmodic lasers, dedicated to Diagonal co-founder Jaimie Williams. Haswell has chosen to release this material as a mini-album because he considers it an “underused format”, citing as a classic example New Order’s merger of their two early singles “Everything’s Gone Green” and “Temptation” on to one five-track 12-inch, titled 1981-1982 (1982), for the US market. He views this release as a stepping stone to his next project, an album featuring a number of guests. So don’t rule out that Kylie collaboration just yet. RIYL: Fad Gadget, John Bender, Smersh, LCD Soundsystem. Artwork by Guy Featherstone. Mastered and cut by Matt Colton. Clear vinyl; Edition of 500.

File Under: Electronic
Listen Here

imarc4I Marc 4: Nelson Psychout (Vampisoul) LP
Italian library music expert Alessandro Casella on Nelson Psychout: “Welcome to the second release of Vampisoul’s Psychout series. In this album we dig into the record library of Nelson Records, founded in 1970 by the musicians Maurizio Majorana, Antonello Vannucchi and Roberto Podio after establishing the recording studio Telecinesound, right where the New Italian Library Sound was created. This is the sound that many collectors, musicians, record producers and film directors still like, look for, rediscover and re-use for their work. The New Italian Library Sound has the signature of I Marc 4, a quartet that recorded 20 albums from 1970 to 1980 but who also collaborated with the great masters of Italian soundtracks of the ’60s and ’70s, especially with Armando Trovajoli, bringing their own style into this new sound, mixing jazz, pop, rock and psychedelic music. Maurizio Majorana on bass, Antonello Vannucchi on Hammond organ and piano, and Roberto Podio on drums, were the backbone of the quartet, but the real soul was the guitarist Carlo Pes. Although Pes played with the RAI (Italy’s public broadcaster) orchestra together with his three colleagues, he did so as an external musician. He was a virtuoso guitar player with international experience who wrote music for the pop singers of the great RCA Italy label. His biggest hits were ‘Il Mondo’, sung by Jimmy Fontana, and ‘Che Sarà’ by José Feliciano. Thanks to their recording visits to Telecinesound, these four musicians were an experienced and very inspired studio band. Through their rhythmic experimentation they created a warm sound, sweet, most of the time sour-sweet, inspired by pop music of the period, filtered by their great technical execution. Their jazz roots did the rest to create the New Italian Library Sound. Any derivation of the pysch-groove genre is explored in this album. Despite having collaborated with the great artists of pop music, it is only in I Marc 4’s own records that we have the chance to hear a guitar so rough, aggressive and sometimes disturbing, as was required by the composers of the time. Enjoy the Psychout world of I Marc 4.”

File Under: Library, Funk, Psych

makoto

Makoto Kawabata/Richard Pinhas/Tatsua Yoshida: Trax
(Bam Balam) LP
Makoto Kawabata (Acid Mothers Temple), Richard Pinhas (Heldon), and Tatsuya Yoshida (Ruins). What else is there to say? Richard Pinhas is one of the more atypical French musicians of the last 40 years. He has been surprising everyone all these years — Always appearing where you expect him the least. Makoto Kawabata, who has been a big follower of Heldon, has also been a longtime friend and partner of Tatsuya Yoshida. So naturally, these three reunited in 2016 at the Studio Condorcet in Toulouse (France) to record a series of fiery improvisations and experimentations. Free noise, blues, and psychedelia are all intertwined, but there is an uneasiness to it, some anxiety matting the mix. The music is relentlessly broken down: percussive guitars turned bewitching metronome, while other guitars are taken on a sometimes lyrical but always chaotic journey, keeping the listener on edge. Repeat listens will trigger memories of German psychedelia or even the more recent noise rock or no-wave. Every title is named “Trax” followed by a number. The second “Trax” flirts with bands such as Can in their most primary form; that’s to say that it’s obsessivly repetitive. But the trio is so skillful that they turn influences into subliminal messages. Each “Trax” is a sonic outburst, relentlessly following each other. The musicians expose their most expressive and unbridled sides; it’s a free music but without the permanent collapse. Richard Pinhas’s guitar is a bit like Sonny Sharrock’s, but with some sort of Sonic Youth treatment applied to it, and you still can spot those particular effects reminiscent of the Heldon years.

File Under: Experimental

kudoTori Kudo: Gala-Kei (Bruit Direct) LP
Three levels of sound, based on an inspiration by Kudo Tori, with material added from the voicemail of Hashizaka Ai and her family, from a Maher Shalal Hash Baz 30th anniversary show in Shinjuku. Hashizaka’s sounds are full of the highly entropic sadness of northern Wakayama and Maher at Shinjuku sounds like they were a little angry. Kudo says that he picked up a sense of blankness and kindness from these fragments. Something like the feeling you get at an out-of-the-way bookstore that has a nice collection of books, or at a small cheap bar that has fried organ meat, or a bakery, or taking a long trip, or when you’re extremely busy with cooking, cleaning, housework, and child care, or other real experiences that make life worth living. RIYL: Maher Shalal Hash Baz, Tenniscoats, Pastels.

File Under: Folk, Pop, Japanese
Listen Here

damnKendrick Lamar: Damn Collectors Edition (Aftermath) LP
In five whirlwind years, Kendrick Lamar has gone from being hip-hop’s hottest rising star to one of the most important voices of his generation. And as his latest album, DAMN., proves, he shows no signs of stopping. His third No. 1 in a row, the 7x Grammy-nominated release sees Lamar make another about-turn after the fearlessly creative excursions of 2015’s To Pimp A Butterfly. If DAMN. is a more stripped-back, direct album, it’s also another utterly compelling one. With his laidback flow and thought-provoking lyrics, it finds Kendrick at the very top of his game, making the personal political – and vice versa – and ensuring that he leads the charge, at a time when the world very much needs a voice like his. Featuring the hit single “Humble” and guest spots from Rihanna, Zacari and U2, this numbered, colored collector’s edition of Kendrick Lamar’s DAMN. features the track listing in reverse beginning with “Duckworth” and closing with “Blood” plus alternative black and white artwork. “I think like a week after the album came out, [fans] realized you can play the album backwards,” Lamar told MTV News. “It plays as a full story and even a better rhythm…I don’t think the story necessarily changes, I think the feel changes. The initial vibe listening from the top all the way to the bottom is…this aggression and this attitude…You listen from the back end, and it’s almost the duality and the contrast of the intricate Kendrick Lamar. Both of these pieces are who I am.”

File Under: Hip Hop
Listen Here

leviMica Levi: Delete Beach (Demdike Stare) 2×10″
Mica Levi presents her latest, stunning soundtrack, this time to the Phil Collins-directed anime short Delete Beach (2016), on Demdike Stare. Following on from the maverick pop auteur and film composer’s European Film Award-winning score to Under The Skin (2013), and her Jackie soundtrack (2016), this is Mica’s first musical accompaniment for animation, by revered designer Marisuke Eguchi, animated by STUDIO4ºC. Delete Beach is a sci-fi anime set in a near future where carbon-based energy is outlawed. The film supposes a paradoxical scenario, one where fossil fuels — the ostensible accelerator of humanity’s progress and decline — become energy for the toil against state oppression and enforced inequality. In doing so, it resonates with anime’s strong tradition of exploring eco-feminist themes and power dynamics, both socio-political and technological. Using a signature palette of dissonant strings and combustible electronics laced with skeletal percussive treatments, Levi paints a series of sweeping backdrops to the short’s blend of classically-schooled anime and up-to-the-second CGI designs. The central Delete Beach theme, a diaphanous section of airborne synth-string contours and charred guitar distortion carved in pirouetting turns-of-phrase, appears in Japanese and English narrated versions and an Instrumental mix. They are divided by the beat-driven “Interlude 1” and “Interlude 2″ parts, recalling a mix of string slashes mixed with opiated chopped ‘n screwed rhythms comparable to Micachu & The Shapes deconstructions of London Sinfonietta. After her work underlying and exploring complex characters in Jackie, a biopic of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, and the alien-woman metaphors of Jonathan Glazer’s Under The Skin, her Delete Beach soundtrack follows suit with an impendingly tense, viscerally affective sound that reflects and conveys a sense of independence in the face of uncertainty, of a struggle against imposed forces or control systems. It’s another beguiling testament to Levi’s role as one of the most original and eminent composers of her generation. Gatefold jacket printed on reverse board; Includes 10″ x 10” 12-page color booklet of cells from the film. Master and cut by Matt Colton.

File Under: Electronic, OST
Listen Here

magmaMagma: Retrospektiw (Southern Lord) 3LP
The first 10 years of Magma were celebrated on three memorable evenings in June 1980 at the Olympia theatre in Paris. This retrospective, reuniting most of the musicians who had performed in the group, was issued as two albums, Retrospektïẁ 1 / 2 (double) and Retrospektïẁ 3 (single). Issued first, Retrospektïẁ 3 comprises 3 titles Retrovision, a long piece in the style of the album Attahk, in which the vocalists Stella Vander, Guy Khalifa and Maria Popkiewicz turn in a blazing performance over a driving rhythm section; a supercharged version of Hhai, in which the trio Lockwood / Paganotti / Widemann works miracles; and finally La Dawotsin, where, in a more muted register, the voice of Christian Vander triumphs through its mastery and profound sensibility. Recorded, like Retrospektïẁ 3, during the soirees at Olympia in June 1980, Retrospektïẁ 1 & 2 is an absolutely fundamental album in which Theusz Hamtaahk, the first movement of the trilogy of the same name, is presented for the first time. The second and third movements, Wurdah Itah and Mekanik Destruktiw Komandoh, were of course already well known. Although played in concert since 1974, Christian Vander had waited for years before recording it for posterity as he wanted every note to be as beautiful, magical, essential and definitive as possible. It is with the same respect for his music that he releases here the most successful version of Mekanik Destruktiw Komandoh, considered outstanding on account of two incredible improvisations from Bernard Paganotti and Didier Lockwood. Klaus Blasquiz, who did not perform on Retrospektïẁ 3, is the lead vocalist on this version – and justifiably so, since he was indeed the Magma singer who first sang these two masterworks. There’s no doubt about it, Magma have left a legacy of music that defies any of the standard and convenient classifications of rock, operating instead in a realm of their own creation. Southern Lord looks forward to being part of their ever-evolving story… Retrospektïẁ 3LP collection, including Volume I + II and Volume III via Southern Lord on the 24th November. Available as a limited pressing of 1500 hand-numbered copies, remastered by Brad Boatright, including original artwork by Eva Nahon, also including the classic comicstrip by Solé, Dister and Gotlib depicting Magma’s trials and tribulations.  Packaged in a beautiful triple-gatefold PLUS thick cardboard jacket/case.

File Under: Prog
Listen Here

mehannaHany Mehanna: The Miracles of the Seven Dances (Radio Martiko) LP
Radio Martiko present a reissue of Hany Mehanna’s The Miracles Of The Seven Dances, originally released in 1973. A belly dance holy-grail from the organ king of Cairo, combining traditional rhythms with spaced-out modern sounds. Hany Mehanna, beloved musician and composer of the greatest artists from the Arab world, such as Oum Kalthoum and Abdel Halim Hafez, shows himself from a more experimental side on his solo albums. The Miracles Of The Seven Dances is a pure work of genius: hypnotic organ grooves, psychedelic guitars, mystic strings, and haunting percussion. Belly dance as good as it gets! High quality pressing. Artwork and label design by Pieter Heytens. Includes download code.

File Under: Belly Dance, Egyptian, Organ, Psych
Listen Here

nazgulThe Nazgul: s/t (Mental Experience) LP
Lost-in-time kosmische/kraut/avant-garde artifact produced by Toby Robinson, aka The Mad Twiddler, circa 1975 for his private Pyramid label. Tolkien-inspired dark ambient soundscapes with spooky/ritualistic atmosphere, treated percussions, gongs and guitars, trippy Hammond and Mini-Moog, tape loops, weird noises, and drones… File under dark ambient, proto-industrial, kraut, experimental… RIYL: Kluster, Stockhausen, Taj-Mahal Travellers, Nurse With Wound, Throbbing Gristle, Lustmord, Cozmic Corridors. 24-bit domain remaster from the original tapes. Includes insert with detailed liner notes by Alan Freeman. LP version includes download code. “A major work of electronic avant-garde — high quality deep esoterica of the weird and spooky kind.” –Alan Freeman

File Under: Experimental, Ambient, Industrial
Listen Here

oldenyolkOlden Yolk: s/t (Trouble in Mind) LP
Olden Yolk is a New York-based group whose penchant for dystopian folk, abstract poeticism, and motorik rhythms have enveloped them in a sound uniquely of-the-moment yet simultaneously time-tested. The project is led by songwriters, vocalists, and multi-instrumentalists Shane Butler and Caity Shaffer, whose interlaced vocals are found guiding each composition on their enlivening self-titled debut. The project was initially conceived in 2012 by Butler as an outlet for one-off songs and visual art while touring and releasing albums with the band Quilt (Mexican Summer). Following the release of a split-record with Weyes Blood in 2014, Olden Yolk became a collaborative entity. On the album, Butler and Shaffer are joined by drummer Dan Drohan (Tei Shi, Uni Ika Ai) and guitarist Jesse DeFrancesco who round out the studio sessions and live-band. Drohan’s deep passion for jazz, hip-hop, and experimental percussion come to fore while Defrancesco’s minimal yet powerful guitar ambiences are heard swelling in the peripheries of each song. The album was recorded at Gary’s Electric in NYC by Jarvis Taveniere (Woods) with co-production, electronics, and mixing by Jon Nellen (Ginla, Terrible Records). Other guests, such as multi-instrumentalist John Andrews (Woods, Quilt, The Yawns) and violinist Jake Falby (Mutual Benefit, Julie Byrne), add to the mercurial nature of the record, creating a landscape tinged with beatific songwriting and transgressive underpinnings.

File Under: Indie Rock
Listen Here

oughtOught: Room Inside the World (Royal Mountain) LP
In tomorrow… On Room Inside the World—OUGHT’s third album and first for Merge—growing up doesn’t mean mellowing out so much as it means learning to pay attention, listening carefully and openly, staying somewhere long enough to really understand where you are. Recorded at Rare Book Room in Brooklyn with producer NICOLAS VERHES (Deerhunter, Animal Collective, Silver Jews), Room Inside the World explores themes that have always concerned the band—identity, connection, survival in a precarious world—but with a bolder, more nuanced sound palette. Vibraphone, justly intonated synthesizers, drum machines, and a 70-piece choir suffuse the precise post-punk breakdowns that spangled Ought’s first two albums, giving rise to an emotional complexity that pushes their characteristically taut sound to greater depths. Ought approached this record with newfound patience, constructing a (digital) moodboard to set their intentions: Brian Eno and Stereolab synths, the Mekons’ 1985 album Fear and Whiskey, and Gerhard Richter and Kenneth Anger’s sexy, fluorescent hyperreal all made it into the melting pot. CD housed in 4-panel digipaks. LP in gatefold jackets with printed insert. Indie version LP pressed on coloured vinyl.

File Under: Post Punk, Indie Rock
Listen Here

pinhasRichard Pinhas: Rhizophere (Bureau B) LP
Bureau B present a reissue of Richard Pinhas’s Rhizosphere, originally released in 1977. Richard Pinhas is one of the most important French electronic space rock musicians. Following five albums with his band Heldon, he released his first solo record in 1977. Backed by Heldon’s congenial drummer François Auger but no longer bound by the group dynamic, he explores his freshly purchased Moog modular system in search of new sounds. It marked a departure into new realms. “We don’t need new technique: everybody has a technique. We need new sounds. Trying to find new sounds is difficult.” Finding new sounds is the task Pinhas set for himself on Rhizosphere. Not long before, he had acquired a Moog modular synthesizer, then settled into his home studio and began a committed relationship with his new instrument. Rhizosphere wasn’t his first solo recording with the Moog — Chronolyse was made a year earlier and released in 1978 — but it was the first to be released. On four of its five tracks, Rhizosphere presents just the 25-year-old Pinhas and his synth alone together, a melding of man and machine that gradually becomes an expansive, outward-bound journey. Pinhas’s simple approach spawned a galaxy of diverse sounds and ideas. Each track on Rhizosphere inhabits its own mini-universe sonically and emotionally. The range of moods traversed is stunning. The only other human being on Rhizosphere is drummer François Auger, who accompanies Pinhas on the title track. The escalating arc of its 18-minute run plays like a moonbound rocket-trip, with pulsing synth and roaming percussion made all the more otherworldly by the decision to filter Auger’s cymbals through an AKS modular synthesizer. In science, the word “rhizosphere” means the layer of soil that surrounds and is altered by the roots of a plant. Using it as an album title suggests music as a kind of Möbius strip, creating its own nourishment, feeding off of its own discoveries in order to find more. But for Pinhas the choice was philosophically-inspired: he adopted it from a book about arithmetic by his academic mentor Gilles Deleuze. “It’s about no gods, no sentimental things,” he explains. “It means everything is the same until an event appears on a planet … maybe music.” Music as an emerging phenomenon, puncturing the surface of what’s come before: Richard Pinhas certainly found what he was looking for on Rhizosphere. 2018 remaster by Willem Makkee.

File Under: Prog, Electronic, Psych
Listen Here

popoliTiziano Popoli/Marco Dalpane: Scorie (Soave) LP
Soave present an official reissue of Scorie, Tiziano Popoli and Marco Dalpane’s minimal wonder from 1985. Long coveted and hunted by collectors, Scorie falls among the strange and definition resistant artifacts of Italy’s remarkable avant-garde music scene of the ’70s and ’80s. An emblem of sonic diversity rendered through electronic sound, distilling a daunting number of traditions and ideas, while sculpting its own world of creative singularity, standing apart from the rest. While a great many of Italy’s avant-garde and experimental music practitioners began within the spectrums of popular music, slowly pushing into more explicitly ambitious and challenging realms as the years wore on, Tiziano Popoli and Marco Dalpane represent a change in the directional tide. Scorie is a part of movement toward, and the incorporation of, popular forms within avant-garde music which swept across the globe during the 1980s. As challenging and uncomfortable as it is seductive and inviting, Scorie weaves a world without boundary, of collision and harmony. A vision of possible futures, rendered in its present day. A melodic realm, almost entirely constructed through the use of synthesizers, with subtle interventions of electronic rhythm generators, bridging the metronomic territories explored by Terry Riley and Steve Reich and the drifting harmonics of new age, with the moodiness of new wave and the adventurous spirit of the avant-garde. Comes on color vinyl; Includes insert and CD.

File Under: Experimental, Italian
Listen Here

prurientPrurient: Rainbow Mirror (Hospital) LP
Prurient announces Rainbow Mirror, in addition to the vinyl reissue of Buddha Strangled In Vines (1997), released as a four-CD through Profound Lore and as a seven-LP box set here on Hospital Productions, to coincide with 20th anniversary of the project.Rainbow Mirror is a release exceeding three hours in length, consisting of new material that delves into the glacial, meditative, and ambient side of Prurient creating an epic of pure “Doom Electronics”. Rainbow Mirror, which coincides with the 20 year anniversary of Prurient, a project that is steeped in history and origins. The cover art for Rainbow Mirror is the first collage created in the pre-recording era of Prurient. Like the first Prurient live performance 20 years earlier, the Rainbow Mirror lineup consists of three members. For this exhausting work, Dominick Fernow called upon Matt Folden (Dual Action) and Jim Mroz (Lussuria) to form the trio. All of the material was recorded live at Hospital Productions and later meticulously mixed and produced by Shifted in Berlin. Rainbow Mirror stands as another singular work amongst the vast repertoire that Fernow has amassed under the Prurient moniker. While familiar moments from the Frozen Niagara Falls (2015) album can be found within the massive scope of Rainbow Mirror, through the three-plus hour duration of this rural ambient industrial creation, Rainbow Mirror proves to be a monolithic, crawling psychological noisescape of time-stretching electronics, layered counterpoint feedback, machine loops, and maximalist pulsating synth passages. Like the infinite and distorted reflections produced by a hall of mirrors, Rainbow Mirror is a portrait in perpetual tension. Track listing for Rainbow Mirror, which will also include a short story of the same name written by Scott Bryan Wilson and Fernow in the spirit of violent dreams. Expert mastering by Paul Corley. Comes housed in a sturdy black-linen wrapped and pigment-stamped, debossed box with tip-on cover; Each record in its own individual printed jacket; Includes large format two-sided poster; Includes download code.

File Under: Ambient, Noise, Drone
Listen Here

rennerMark Renner: Few Traces (ReRVNG) LP
Few Traces surveys the total chapter of Mark Renner’s scarcely released and unreleased material from 1982 to 1990, embracing and evoking the timelessness of his artistic statement: a wordless translation of the individual’s musical experience, met with the poetic expression of being here. The sum of Renner’s music is one-part literary, one-part painterly. The artist cites the individualism of Herman Hesse as a guiding force, and there are overt references to W. B. Yeats and John Greanleaf Whittier among other authors. Lyrical themes evoke the presence of the ancient past, much like early Felt songs or the spiritual visions of Van Morrison. Compiled three decades after the music was originally put to tape, Few Traces collects Renner’s early music but strives not to simplify or reframe it. The instrumental explorations remain on par with the great ambient adventurers of the period (Brian Eno, Harold Budd, Roedelius), while the vocal and guitar-centric songs crystalize across similar terrains being transversed by Cocteau Twins and The Durutti Column. Few Traces highlights in intuitive sequence gems from Renner’s scarce discography and archive: the self-released debut All Walks of This Life (1986), the aptly titled follow-up Painter’s Joy (1988), plus early singles, compilation tracks, and exemplary songs that saw no original release. Few Traces allows an intimate look at an artist growing into their sound and surroundings, finding the in between echoes and spirituality of the individual. It comes complete with extensive liner notes from Brandon Soderberg and unseen ephemera.

File Under: Electronic, Rock
Listen Here

toopDavid Toop & Paul Burwell: Suttle Sculpture (Sub Rosa) LP
Never before released recordings from Logos Foundation live sessions with David Toop and Paul Burwell in Brussels, on May 7, 1977. David Toop on the recordings: “When Paul Burwell and I started playing together just after Christmas, 1969, we found ourselves wrestling with a new language of sound, listening, actions, objects and space. At first it was music. We studied in the improvisation classes given by John Stevens at Ealing College in 1971-2, and also took classes in African music at London’s Africa Centre. Most of the musicians lasted only one or two sessions so we resigned ourselves to being a duo and worked out an approach to free improvisation that expanded from simple structures and instrument combinations. Decomposition, we called it. We had worked intensively together, searching for techniques through which to decondition ourselves from orthodoxies, devising exercises in listening and instrument building, studying esoteric organology, bioacoustics, environmental sound, raw musics and anthropology. We were both fascinated by phenomena like diffraction, propulsion, resonance, projection, masking and heterodyning, and by shamanism, the symbolically grounded agency of shamanic drums, animal-becoming and noisy costume, the shaman’s capacity to enliven quotidian space with the commotion of discarnate audible entities from the spirit world. This recording is one of the very few that conveys anything of what we were about.” Personnel: Paul Burwell – percussion, whistles; David Toop – flutes, home-made reeds, whistle. Logos Foundation in Belgium is Flanders’s unique professional organization for the promotion of new music and audio-related arts by means of new music production, concerts, performances, composition, technological research, and other activities related to contemporary music. This organization was founded in 1968 by Godfried-Willem Raes.

File Under: Improv, Jazz, World
Listen Here

tuttiCosey Fanni Tutti: Time to Tell (CTI) LP
The long-awaited deluxe special edition reissue of Cosey Fanni Tutti’s Time To Tell, originally recorded and released on cassette in 1982, sees a timely release after the success of Cosey’s recent autobiography Art Sex Music (published by Faber & Faber). Available now for the first time on vinyl, this deluxe special edition has been remastered and edited from the original audio tapes for this exclusive vinyl release. It is presented here on super clear vinyl, in a gatefold sleeve incorporating a foil block title and is accompanied by a 16-page full-color 12″ booklet containing the original cassette transcripts and photos, plus many new and updated statements and color photos.

File Under: Electronic, Industrial, Ambient
Listen Here

flower of sulphurYoshimiO/Susie Ibarra/Robert AA Lowe: Flower of Sulphur (Thrill Jockey) LP
In December of 2016, three improvisational luminaries performed live together for the first time. Multi-instrumentalist YoshimiO (Boredoms, OOIOO, SAICOBAB), avant-garde percussionist Susie Ibarra, and artist Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe (Lichens) met up in New York City for a singular evening of exquisite sound, documenting an exceptional performance and displaying their remarkable talents. YoshimiO is a drummer and member of the revolutionary group Boredoms who also plays guitar, keyboard and trumpet. She is the leader of the experimental band OOIOO, a member of Free Kitten with Kim Gordon (ex. Sonic Youth), and most recently the vocalist in SAICOBAB – a quartet who blend ancient Indian musical traditions and instruments with electronics and modern sounds. Known for her ability to improvise in a variety of contexts, YoshimiO has previously performed and recorded improvisational music with saxophonist Mats Gustafsson, Jim O’Rourke, and recently with Lowe, and then Ibarra during a series of collaborative performances in New York City, late in 2015. Susie Ibarra, is one of the most significant female percussionists and composers of our time, known for her work as a performer within contemporary, avant-garde, jazz, classical, and world music. Ibarra studied with jazz luminaries Earl Buster Smith (of Sun Ra Arkestra), Vernel Fournier and Milford Graves, and Philippine Kulintang gong-chime music with Danongan Kalanduyan. Ibarra has been recognized for her work as a musician and cultural documenter through her work with indigenous tribes in the Philippines, receiving a TED Fellowship, an Asian Cultural Council Rockefeller Fellowship, and an award from New York Foundation for the Arts. She has performed with the likes of: John Zorn, Dave Douglas, Yo La Tengo, Mamadou Kelly, Sylvie Courvoisier, Ikue Mori, Marc Ribot, Yuka Honda, Derek Bailey, Wadada Leo Smith, and many more. Ibarra currently leads her band Dreamtime Ensemble with their new album Perception, blending strings, vocals, electronics and percussion in her compositions. Recent works include Mirrors and Water, a sound installation for Ai Wei Wei’s Circle of Animals at the National Wildlife Museum; Musical Water Routes of Fez, a music and architecture app for the Medina of Fez, Morocco in collaboration with architect Aziza Chaouni; Fragility: An Exploration of Polyrhythms, an interactive game piece commissioned by Asia Society in partnership with the Pioneer Works residency program. Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe is a multidisciplinary artist whose practice is strongly rooted in exploration of moments and the hypnagogic state. Movement and gesture play key factors within this process, and in the performance realm are focused on by voice and modular synthesizer. His most recent work has seen him curating an exhibition at the Museum Of Arts and Design in Manhattan called Subject to Gesture, as well as exhibiting works at the Rubin Museum in a show called the World is Sound as well as at the John Michael Kohler Art Centre in Sheboygan Wisconsin called An Encounter with Presence. Lowe has contributed music to Denis Villeneuve films Sicario and Arrival, and was a fixture of Chicago’s experimental community throughout the 90s and early 2000s prior to relocating to New York. Susie explains the idea: “We had all performed in different configurations before but never together as a trio. I think actually I have met each YoshimiO and Robert at different times when collaborating on larger works with Tarek Atoui. But we had not performed together as trio. I was very happy with the prospect to play a trio concert, as I could imagine the sonic palette could be very interesting, being that we each come from different aesthetic backgrounds but enjoy crossing into various sonic territories.” The resulting recording of their collaboration, Flower of Sulphur, is a transfixing piece of continuous improvisational work which explores the direct relationship between the artists and their individual configurations. The album takes the form of the trio each playing their principal instruments with no specific goal other than the exploration of the space in that moment. This spontaneous composition showcases the freedom and musical immediacy of all three artists’ ability to interplay as well as their individual unique techniques to create engaging experimental sounds. Flower of Sulphur was recorded at Roulette in Brooklyn in front of an audience; the trio are hoping to make additional live performances throughout 2018. The hour long instillation builds to a captivating crescendo elegantly fusing immersive layers, rewarding the listener with a true emotive experience.

File Under: Experimental, Improv
Listen Here

plaenteartVarious: Music From Planet Earth Volume 3 (Stag-O-Lee) 10″
Stag-O-Lee presents the third and final 10″ in a series devoted to space-age sounds from the ’50s and ’60s. Includes a signed and numbered 24×24 cm screenprint of the front cover drawn by well-known artist Marcel Bontempi. Features: Rose DuBats, Dave Diddle Day, Jean-Jacques Perrey, Les Baxter, Russ Garcia, Gale Storm, Butch Paulson, Gene Vincent, Frosty & The Diamonds, Sun Ra Arkestra, Space-Men, and Marty. “It’s a perennial starting point for conspiracy theories, the perfect excuse for lost homework or any kind of irrational behavior. Alien intervention solves everything. Things from other planets are a sustainable reason to many unanswerable questions and, across the music industry in the late ’50s and early ’60s, in the wake of a slew of space-based exploitation movies, a series of 45s and suitably unearthly concept albums emerged to capitalize on this burgeoning, bizarre and mysterious idea. Everyone was viewing far off planets with wonder, amazement and the occasional well-directed sound effect. No-one really knew what aliens could do, so the potential for music to accompany whatever they did was limitless. Over 50 years after these sides were released in a fit of futuristic creativity, we’re still asking about the potential of water on Mars, puzzling of the rings of Saturn and wondering if anything really did happen at Roswell. ‘Aliens stole my dog’ screams the headline in the National Enquirer. Of course they did.” –Dave Henderson, MOJO magazine, 2017

File Under: Space Age, Exotica, Lounge

slasaVarious: Roots of Salsa Volume 2 (Grosso) LP
Pablo Yglesias, aka DJ Bongohead, compiles an amazing series for Grosso Recordings, Roots Of Salsa, with classics tunes from Caribbean music that became great successes of “Salsa”. Yglesias on the compilation: “This is the second volume in our series on the roots of salsa… The main criterion was to pick tracks that sounded adequate for today’s DJs to play at a gig, or were sufficiently interesting (or enough of a surprise to fans of the later version) to merit inclusion. The other measuring stick was that they needed to come from the old-school, before the more modern era (from 1962 on) and all of its recording innovations and marketing strategies… for now, listen to these dozen gems and then go back to their more familiar cousins from recent times and compare and contrast, and we’re sure you’ll be enlightened and entertained.” Features: La Sonora Matancera, Conjunto Colonial de Nelo Sosa, Chappotín y Sus Estrellas, Trío Matamoros, José Curbelo and His Orchestra, Flores Valdéz y Su Conjunto Musical, Tito Rodríguez y Los Lobos Del Mambo, Estrellas de Chocolate, Pacho Alonso con Bebo Valdés y Su Orquesta, Conjunto Kuvabana de Alberto Ruíz, Conjunto Niágara, and La Orquesta Siboney de Pepito Torres. 140 gram vinyl; Includes insert with Spanish/English liner notes by Pablo “Bongohead” Yglesias; Includes CD; Edition of 700.

File Under: Salsa, Latin America

…..Restocks…..

Alabama Shakes: Sound & Color (ATO) LP
Alvvays: Antisocialites  (Royal Mountain) LP
Mulatu Astatke: Mulatu Steps Ahead (Strut) LP
Beatles: Rubber Soul (Apple) LP
Beck: Colors (Universal) LP
Beck: Morning Phase (Universal) LP
Boards of Canada: Trans Canada Highway (Warp) LP
James Brown: Superbad (Polydor) LP
James Brown: Excitement (Mr. Dynamite) (Polydor) LP
Budos Band: s/t (Daptone) LP
Nick Cave: Dig Lazarus Dig (Mute) LP
Childish Gambino: Camp (Glassnote) LP
Cluster: Sowiesoso (Bureau B) LP
John Coltrane: My Favorite Things (Waxtime) LP
John Coltrane: Ole (Rhinio) LP
John Coltrane: Sun Ship (Impulse) LP
D’Angelo: Voodoo (Modern Classics) LP
DAF: Produkt (Bureau B) LP
Daft Punk: Random Access Memories (Columbia) LP
Depeche Mode: Violator (Warner) LP
Dio: Holy Diver (Rhino) LP
Gord Downie: Grand Bounce (Universal) LP
Dr. Octagon: Octagonecologyst (Universal) LP
Marvin Gaye: Trouble Man (Universal) LP
Marvin Gaye: What’s Going On (Universal) LP
Marvin Gaye: When I’m Alone (Universal) LP
John Hassell: Dream Theory In Malaya (Glitterbeat) LP
High Rise: II (Black Editions) LP
Johann Johannsson: Orphee (Deutsche Grammofone) LP
Johann Johannsson: Sicario OST (Universal) LP
Joy Division: Unknown Pleasures (Rhino) LP
Jurassic 5: Power in Numbers (Universal) LP
King Crimson: In The Court of the Crimson King (Pangyric) LP
Kraftwerk: Autobahn (EMI) LP
Kraftwerk: Man-Machine (EMI) LP
Kraftwerk: Tour De France Soundtracks (EMI) LP
Kraftwerk: Trans-Europe Express (EMI) LP
Charles Mingus: Mingus Ah Um (Waxtime) LP
Charles Mingus: Pithecanthropus Erectus (Waxtime) LP
Charles Mingus: Tonight at Noon (Waxtime) LP
Thelonius Monk: Underground (Music on Vinyl) LP
Nightmares on Wax: Shape the Future (Warp) LP
Nine Inch Nails: Pretty Hate Machine (Universal) LP
Psychic TV: Allegory & Self (Sacred Bones) LP
Psychic TV: Force the Hand of Chance (Angry Love) LP
Psychic TV: Pagan Day (Sacred Bones) LP
R.E.M.: Automatic For The People (Universal) LP
Roedelius: Jardin Au Fou (Bureau B) LP
Roedelius: Durch Die Wuste (Bureau B) LP
Slayer: Season in the Abyss (Universal) LP
Sonic Youth: Goo (Geffen) LP
Sonic Youth: Murray Street (Geffen) LP
Steeldrivers: s/t (Rounder) LP
Superchunk: What a Time to Be Alive (Merge) LP
Tragically Hip: s/t (Universal) LP
Townes Van Zandt: Late Great (Omnivore) LP
Velvet Underground: Quine Tapes (Sundazed) Box
Tom Waits: Bad As Me (Anti) LP
Tom Waits: Real Gone (Anti) LP
Tom Waits: Blood Money (Anti) LP
Scott Walker: Scott 3 (Universal) LP
Scott Walker: Scott 4 (Universal) LP
Weezer: Blue (Universal) LP
Various: Duomo Sounds (Livingstone) LP
Various: Tokyo Flashback (Black Editions) LP

Tagged , , , , , ,

…..new letters #830 – finally…..

Loads of sweeeeet jams this week. And lots of real chill grooves to lull you through till spring. The new year drought might be over! I know there’s lots en route for next week too, rejoice!

…..picks of the week…..

takahashi

Kuniyuki Takahashi: Early Tape Works (Music From Memory) LP
The Japanese producer and DJ Kuniyuki Takahashi is the subject of Music From Memory’s latest retrospective compilation with ‘Early Tape Works – 1986-1993’. Composed of two volumes, the compilations gather together a selection of tracks from a tiny run of privately released tape only albums, highlighting a fascinating early period in Kuniyuki’s musical output, one of which little is known. “After discovering the world of nightclubs in Japan around 1986, and the seemingly boundless freedom expressed there through music as well as art, Kuniyuki became inspired to experiment with electronic music. Excited by the possibilities of new music technology, he would begin to gather together a number of, at that time, reasonably accessible and inexpensive local keyboards, drum computers and recording equipment. This became for Kuniyuki a way in which to explore music not as such made for nightclubs, but certainly inspired by them. Setting up a home studio in his hometown of Saporro, Kuniyuki would record extensively during this period with the equipment he had gathered together, equipment such as Roland’s Juno60, TR-606, TB-303, Casio FZ-1, Korg 770, Boss DE-200, Foster A8 and a Yamaha MT44 track cassette recorder. Driven to develop a musical language derived as much by an exploration of music technology and a desire to create new sounds, Kuniyuki was also looking to evolve the possibilities of what he refers to as a ‘new Oriental sound’. Early Tape Works – 1986-1993’ then brings together two albums of material which not only highlights the evolution of Kuniyuki’s own work but also of Japanese electronic music as a whole.”

File Under: Ambient, Electronic
Listen Here

frahm

Nils Frahm: All Melody (Erased Tapes) LP
In tomorrow? For the past two years, Nils Frahm has been building a brand new studio in Berlin to make his seventh studio album All Melody, which will be released in January 2018 via Erased Tapes, before Nils embarks on his first world tour since 2015. Since the day Nils first encountered the impressive studio of a family friend, he had envisioned to create one of his own at such a large scale. Fast forward to the present day and Nils is now the proud host of Saal 3, part of the historical 1950s East German Funkhaus building beside the River Spree. It is here where he has spent most of his time deconstructing and reconstructing the entire space from the cabling and electricity to the woodwork, before moving on to the finer elements; building a pipe organ and creating a mixing desk all from scratch with the help of his friends. This is somewhere music can be nurtured and not neglected, and where he can somewhat fulfill his pursuit of presenting music to the world as close to his imagination as possible. His previous albums have often been accompanied with a story, such as Felt (2011) where he placed felt upon the hammers of the piano out of courtesy to his neighbors when recording late at night in his old bedroom studio, and the following album Screws (2012) when injuring his thumb forced him to play with only nine fingers. His new album is born out of the freedom that his new environment provided, allowing Nils to explore without any restrictions and to keep it all about the melody. Despite being confined within the majestic four walls of the Funkhaus, buried deep in its reverb chambers, or in an old dry well in Mallorca, All Melody is, in fact, proof that music is limitless, timeless, and reflects that of Nils’ own capabilities. From a boy’s dream to resetting the parameters of music itself.

File Under: Ambient, Electronic, Modern Classical
Listen Here

9postcards

Hiroshi Yoshimura: Music from Nine Postcards (Empire of Signs) LP
Not the first time we’ve had this, but last time it didn’t even make it into the news letter, so you probably missed it, so here this minimal masterpiece is… Despite his status as a key figure in the history of Japanese ambient music, Hiroshi Yoshimura remains tragically under-known outside of his home country. Empire of Signs – a new imprint co-helmed by Maxwell August Croy, Spencer Doran and distributed by Light In The Attic – is proud to reissue Yoshimura’s debut Music for Nine Post Cards for the first time outside Japan in collaboration with Hiroshi’s widow Yoko Yoshimura, with more reissues of Hiroshi’s works to follow in the future. Working initially as a conceptual artist, the musical side of Yoshimura’s artistic practice came to prominence in the post-Fluxus scene of late 1970s Tokyo alongside Akio Suzuki and Takehisa Kosugi, taking many subsequent turns within Japan’s bubble economy afterward. His sound works took on many forms – commissioned fashion runway scores, soundtracking perfume, soundscapes for pre-fab houses, train station sound design – all existing not as side work but as logical extensions of his philosophy of sound. His work strived for serenity as an ideal, and this approach can be felt strongly on Music for Nine Post Cards. Home recorded on a minimal setup of keyboard and Fender Rhodes, Music for Nine Post Cards was Yoshimura’s first concrete collection of music, initially a demo recording given to the Hara Museum of Contemporary Art to be played within the building’s architecture. This was not background music in the prior Japanese “BGM” sense of the word, but “environmental music”, the literal translation of the Japanese term kankyō ongaku [環境音楽] given to Brian Eno’s “ambient” music when it arrived in late 70’s Japan. Yoshimura, along with his musical co-traveler Satoshi Ashikawa, searched for a new dialog between sound and space: music not as an external absolute, but as something that interlocks with a physical environment and shifts the listener’s experience within it. Erik Satie’s furniture music, R. Murray Schafer’s concept of the soundscape and Eno’s ambience all greatly informed their work, but the specific form of tranquil stasis presented on releases like Nine Post Cards is still difficult to place within a specific tradition, remaining elusive and idiosyncratic despite the economy of its construction. This record offers the perfect introduction to Hiroshi’s unique and beautiful worldview: it’s one that can be listened to – and lived in – endlessly.

File Under: Ambient, Japanese, Electronic, Classical, Minimal
Listen Here

…..new arrivals…..

alexanderHarold Alexander: Sunshine Man (Tidal Waves) LP
Harold Alexander was a competent saxophonist and dynamic flutist whose early and mid-’70s albums for Flying Dutchman and Atlantic blended originals, soul/jazz and R&B effectively. Alexander recorded three albums (including a live ‘Montreux Jazz Festival’ record in 1972) and contributed to various other recordings during his career. After a very brief period of recording music, from about 1967 to 1974, Alexander disappeared from the music scene. He is alleged to have commented on the music industry by saying: Most people don’t know what happened to me…I guess they think I’m gone. They didn’t kill my spirit, but they killed my desire to share”. Before his removal from the scene of recorded music, Harold Alexander provided the world with some incredibly funky jazz fusion tracks with a distinct otherworldly craziness. His most recognized LP is 1971’s Sunshine Man, on Flying Dutchman Records. On that album, the most sought after groove is the straight up banger “Mama Soul”, which features insane scatting over a delicious funky flute and organ driven beat. An immaculate six minutes of mental vocals and Alexander’s flute doing exactly what the vocals are doing. It comes as no surprise that “Mama Soul” was sampled multiple times by artists from ‘Blackalicious’ to ‘DJ Shadow’. Another highlight (one of the many on this album) is the adept double beat from iconic drummer “Bernard ‘Pretty’ Purdie” (husband to Aretha Franklin & known for his work with Isaac Hayes, Cat Stevens, B.B. King & Joe Cocker) who is delivering some of the most tight and wicked drum-skills known to man. Bass duties here are filled by another icon: the award winning “Richard Davies” (known for his work with Miles Davis, Bruce Springsteen, Van Morrison, Frank Sinatra & Leonard Bernstein). Production of the album was handled by industry veteran “Bob Thiele” who produced & arranged countless albums from the likes of Art Blakey, Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong, Quincy Jones, John (and Alice) Coltrane & Gil Scott-Heron. Harold Alexander’s Sunshine Man is pure bliss, free-form Jazz with hints of soul and P-funk (courtesy of ‘Jimmy Castor’ collaborator Richard Landrum on the congas) to cosmic music with both profoundly spiritual and resolutely physical dimensions. Sunshine Man is that rare record that’s both far-out and funky at the same time. Originally released in 1971, now back available as a limited deluxe vinyl edition featuring the original gatefold artwork. To top all this off, this reissue also comes with extensive liner notes by Harold Alexander himself.

File Under: Jazz, Funk
Listen Here

anderson

Laurie Anderson/Kronos Quartet: Landfall (Nonesuch) LP
Inspired by Laurie Anderson’s experience of Hurricane Sandy, Landfall is the first collaboration between the iconic storyteller/musician and the groundbreaking Kronos Quartet. Landfall juxtaposes lush electronics and strings with Anderson’s powerful descriptions of loss, from water-logged pianos to disappearing animal species to Dutch karaoke bars. “These are stories with tempos,” Anderson says. “I’ve always been fascinated by the complex relationship of words and music whether in song lyrics, supertitles or voice over. In Landfall, instruments initiate language through our new text software, erst. The blend of electronic and acoustic strings is the dominant sound of Landfall. Much of the music in this work is generated from the harmonies and delays of unique software designed for the solo viola and reinterpreted for the quartet. In addition, there were elements of the optigan, a keyboard that uses information stored on optical discs.” Kronos Quartet founder, artistic director, and violinist David Harrington says, “Laurie Anderson is the master magician musician who has always inhabited those secret places where technology has personality, where ‘real time’ is questioned and where all the elements of performance meet and combine into music. Her process is to gather and continue to gather potentially useful aspects as she sculpts a shape. Her sense of play and fun and her continuous experimenting make her the ideal chemist (or is it alchemist?) in the laboratory of music.”

File Under: Electronic, Avant Garde
Listen Here

banabila

Michel Banabila: Trespassing (Séance) LP
Trespassing is a 2LP compilation focusing on Dutch electronic artist Michel Banabila’s incursions into otherworldly and imagined realms. LP1 is a compilation of works spanning over 20 years that acts as a bridge between his earliest work and his contemporary practice. LP2 is a reissue of his early masterpiece Marilli, a highly sough-after album that acts as both an LSD inspired DIY tribute to Byrne and Eno’s Ghosts and a youthful exploration of Banabila’s personal background and his experience as a squatter in Amsterdam in the early 80s.

File Under: Electronic, Ambient, Experimental
Listen Here

cb

Courntey Barnett: Nameless, Faceless (Mom + Pop) 7”
They announced today the upcoming album from Courtney Barnett, out May 18th. Since that’s months away, here’s a super limited (100 copies for Canada) single. Get it while you can.

File Under: Indie Rock
Listen Here

bs

Belle & Sebastian: How to Solve Our Human Problems (Matador) 3×12” Box
The How to Solve Our Human Problems EP project is the latest installment in a career that has always pursued a singular and delightful vision of what pop represents and what it can achieve, a career that has seen them triumph against the odds to win a Brit award, be one of the first bands to curate their own festival, and play at the London residence of the US ambassador. Belle and Sebastian’s new music has the timeless blend of joy and melancholy that has always characterized them. What has changed is how the group want their music to be released, and over the coming months, they will gift the world a double album’s worth of music – richly melodic, deliciously literate, as gentle as a summer stream but as insistent as a river. Harkening back to their 1997 release of three consecutive EPs (Dog On Wheels, Lazy Line Painter Jane and 3.. 6.. 9 Seconds Of Light), Belle and Sebastian issue three new EPs under the umbrella title How To Solve Our Human Problems, with the first EP coming out in December 2017, the second in January 2018, and the third in February 2018. The EP trilogy culminates in this limited 12″ vinyl box set containing all three EPs. Just as those three early EPs are a crucial part of the Belle and Sebastian canon, these three new releases aren’t merely a detour between albums, but as definitive releases in their own right. How To Solve Our Human Problems is both an era of its own, and part of a long, rich history. How To Solve Our Human Problems is, if you like, Belle and Sebastian Redux. When Belle and Sebastian felt new music percolating, they decided to break from the working methods of the recent years and instead stay at home, record the tracks as and when, often producing themselves, working with friends and collaborators to see what emerged. Working in Glasgow gave them the freedom to work without the constraints that making an album can impose: they could take their time honing and experimenting. One thing that has defined Belle and Sebastian has been their relationship with fans, and that’s apparent in the new EPs. For the three sleeves, the group issued a call to fans to come to be photographed by Murdoch at a studio in Belsize Park in North London. 50 were selected, and all those photographed were also recorded answering the question: “How do you solve your human problems?”

File Under: Indie Rock, Pop
Listen Here

carseat

Car Seat Headrest: Twin Fantasy (Matador) LP
Car Seat Headrest fans, new and old alike, will be elated to learn that Will Toledo’s 2011’s Bandcamp masterpiece, Twin Fantasy, has been re-recorded and re-imagined and comes out via Matador Records He has, now, the benefit of a bigger budget, a full band in fine form, and endless time to tinker. According to him, it took eight months of mixing just to get the drums right. But this is no shallow second take, sanitized in studio and scrubbed of feeling. This is the album he always wanted to make. It sounds the way he always wanted it to sound. It’s been hard, stepping into the shoes of his teenage self, walking back to painful places. There are lyrics he wouldn’t write again, an especially sad song he regards as an albatross. But even as he carries the weight of that younger, wounded Will, he moves forward. He grows. He revises, gently, the songs we love so much. 2 LP Includes MP3 download coupon. Dbl CD includes a remastered version of the original 2011 recording, Twin Fantasy (Mirror to Mirror).

File Under: Indie Rock
Listen Here

cowell

Stanley Cowell: Regeneration (Pure Pleasure) LP
Around the time of this recording, Stanley Cowell had achieved a degree of prominence as the pianist for the advanced bop quartet Music Inc., which he co-led with trumpeter Charles Tolliver, as well as for unusual projects like his Piano Choir. With Regeneration he chose another path, essentially trying to produce a jazz-infused pop album with strong African roots, perhaps owing a little bit to Stevie Wonder. He assembled an extremely strong cast of musicians for the venture, including Marion Brown, Billy Higgins, and Ed Blackwell, as well as several African string and percussion masters and, by and large, succeeded conceptually if not commercially. A few songs use vocals in a fairly standard pop framework, and, while they are performed capably enough, the lyrical content leaves something to be desired in typical mid-‘70s fashion. But much of the rest of the music makes up for this with, among other things, a delightful fife and drum piece by Brown and strong bass work by Bill Lee (Spike’s dad). Regeneration is an interesting, often enjoyable album which, aside from its own small pleasures, provides a snapshot of some of the cross-fertilization in genres occurring at the time.

File Under: Jazz
Listen Here

davis

Betty Davis: Nasty Gal (Light in the Attic) LP
Limited coloured wax! Betty Davis was riding high in the 70s. A new record label, a series of high profile relationships, and intensely sexualized live performances made her a rising star. It seemed like everything was aligned to take the music world by storm. So Betty and band got back into the studio where she would act as writer, producer, and performer, creating what she thought would be her definitive release… What emerged was the unapologetically uncompromising, self-referential 1975 album Nasty Gal. Now – over forty years later – Light In The Attic Records is proud to announce the vinyl reissue of this final Island Records-release by unparalleled funkstress Betty Davis. The re-release features liner notes by John Ballon (writer of the Wax Poetics Betty Davis cover story in 2007), original album art, complete lyrics, rare photos, and interviews. Ahead of its time, Nasty Gal shows Betty digging deeper into her musical and cultural expression than ever before, and delivers from every angle. This is Hendrix and Sly Stone inspired funk-rock at its finest. From the title tracks mutant groove and grunt to her onetime husband and jazz legend Miles Davis co-written ballad “You and I”, this lady will tear your heart out! Betty’s time is now…

File Under: Funk
Listen Here

digable

Digable Planets: Reachin’ (Modern Classics) LP
Super limited coloured wax!!! At a time when hip-hop was determined to snap your neck, a young, hip trio from Brooklyn (by way of Seattle, Philly, and Brazil) conspired on an uncommonly smooth new sound and freaky way of speak, a titanically chill expression of Black bohemia loaded with jazz idiom and a subversive Marxist bent—and pushed it worldwide via an undeniable crossover hit. Digable Planets’ 1993 debut, Reachin’ (A New Refutation of Time and Space), unexpected to all involved, produced a massive radio hit in “Rebirth Of Slick (Cool Like Dat)”, which won the 1994 Grammy for Best Rap Performance by Duo or Group. Unduly lumped into an “alternative rap” subgenre they chafed at, the Dig Plans were dismissed by some as one-hit wonders, coming out of nowhere; but the Digable Planets concept, and what became Reachin’, had been in the works for close to five years, as group leader Ishmael “Butterfly” Butler wrote music and soaked up game in multiple cities, navigating the industry of hip-hop’s golden age. In the end, Butler, Mary Anne “Ladybug Mecca” Vieira, and Craig “Doodlebug” Irving came together to create a seamlessly articulated vision of urbane hiphop cool with an uncommonly literary bent that subtly pushed the hip-hop genre’s frames of reference and added breadth to rap music’s burgeoning political philosophy. Drawing on inspiration from Butler’s jazzbo father, the Black Panthers, Jose Luis-Borges, the Last Poets, and Jimi Hendrix, Reachin’ posited a theory of “universal beats”, narrated by three unearthly MC’s that had “split to Earth to resurrect the funk”, assuming curious, arthropodic aliases—a nod to the natural collective action of the insect world. In just four years the crew would record two beloved and ambitious LPs before disbanding. Out of print on wax domestically since 1993, Reachin’ captures one of the last gasps of rap music’s jazzy, upbeat adolescence in the early 90’s—those warm, blissed-out grooves every bit as slick as when they were laid way back when. Put this on, roll up with your crew and bug out again with the insect tribe.

File Under: Hip Hop
Listen Here

lomaLoma: s/t (Sub Pop) LP
In tomorrow… Loma’s enigmatic debut feels beautifully adrift in time and space. It’s an album that takes you to a place you’ve never been, with a rare confidence in the strength of its own vision. Though it was recorded off a dirt road in rural Texas, there’s no hint of country here: from the first airy notes of “Who Is Speaking?” to the decaying choir of “Black Willow,” Loma create a hypnotic world of their own, where rustling leaves, fuzzed-out bass, panting dogs, prepared pianos, and a wilderness of percussion form a backdrop for Emily Cross’ translucent voice. Cross is a steady, clear-eyed presence throughout, even among the heart-pounding pulses of “Relay Runner,” the skittering drums of “Dark Oscillations” and the galloping release of “Joy”; in sparer songs like “Shadow Relief” and the haunting “I Don’t Want Children,” she’s a fearless ally, swimming calmly with you against a powerful undertow. Loma is inviting but also beautifully self-contained, like a dream that stays with you all day. There’s something here for lovers of Nina Nastasia or Broadcast, but also Linda Thompson, or The Silver Apples – even early Pink Floyd. But most of all, this arresting and mysterious album marks the arrival of a band whose first steps already feel timeless. Loma was recorded by the group at Dandy Sounds Studios in Dripping Springs, Texas and mastered by Greg Calbi at Sterling Sound.

File Under: Indie Rock
Listen Here

bronxzOST: Fuga Dal Bronx (Death Waltz) LP
Fuga Dal Bronx (also known as Escape from the Bronx) is one of Director Enzo G. Castellari’s crowning achievements. It’s part of his low budget Mad Max-inspired trilogy that started with 1990: The Bronx Warriors and I Nuovi Barbari. Fuga, though, is the jewel in that particular crown, and is so over the top it makes Mad Max 2 seem like a Disney film. Dispensing with story all together, Casterllari is able to go wild with crazy over-the-top stunts, explosions and gratuitous violence. Francesco De Masi’s score is nothing short of masterful proving why he is one of the greatest (unsung) composers that worked in Italian genre pictures during the exploitation heyday of the ’70s and ’80s. His score veers from tense, smokey, jazz-inspired moodiness to full on rousing funk action, masterfully composed and beautifully orchestrated. It’s another essential Italian score that deserves to be in your collection.

File Under: OST, Italian, Jazz, Funk
Listen Here

iron fistOST: Iron Fist (Mondo) LP
In celebration of the forthcoming Netflix Original Series Marvel’s The Defenders, Mondo is excited to unite the previously released soundtracks to Marvel’s Daredevil – Season One, Marvel’s JEssica Jones – Season One and Marvel’s Luke Cage soundtracks with the fourth Defender, Marvel’s Iron Fist. Composed by Trevor Morris (Castlevania), the score continues the tradition of giving each of The Defender’s their own sound and feel. Marvel’s Iron Fist feels right at home beside the scores to The Raid 1 & 2, delivering moody, ominous synth cues with frantic, pulsating percussion that attack and release in powerful bursts.

File Under: OST, Superheroes
Listen Here

jawsOST: Jaws (Mondo) LP
One of the finest achievements in film music and quite possibly the most iconic score of all time, John Williams’ score to JAWS is absolutely essential for soundtrack collectors. While the Grammy-winning 1975 MCA album was a re-recording, our 2x Vinyl set presents the entire Academy Award-winning score as composed and recorded for the actual film in its first-ever vinyl release. Album co-producer Mike Matessino restored, edited and mixed the music from the original studio elements for the best possible quality, approved by the composer himself. John Williams won a much-deserved Oscar for his work on JAWS, with a score that not only manages to accentuate the terror of the onscreen action without resorting to cheap stingers, but also layers in beautifully understated cues to offset the horror with much needed relief. Quiet and calm one minute, then ratcheting up the tension with screaming strings the next when the great white attacks.

File Under: OST, Sharks
Listen Here

metal slugOST: Metal Slug (Data Discs) LP
The culmination of more than a year’s collaborative work with SNK Corporation, to develop an exclusive soundtrack release for the Japanese publisher’s most iconic franchise and one of the most beloved shooters of all time. The vinyl edition includes the complete music from the first entry in the series (Metal Slug: Super Vehicle-001), composed by Takushi Hiyamuta in 1996. Working in collaboration with the SNK Sound Team, the audio was sourced from a NeoGeo development kit in Japan and then mastered at our in-house studio in London. The release is packaged in a gatefold sleeve with accompanying double-sided lithographic insert, featuring rare artwork from the Japanese archives and a special translucent OBI strip with fluorescent Pantone print.

File Under: OST, Videogames
Listen Here

portalOST: Portal (Mondo) LP
Mondo, in conjunction with Valve software, is proud to present the premiere vinyl release of the soundtrack of the legendary puzzle adventure Portal. The music to Portal by Aperture Science Psychoacoustics Laboratories (Mike Morasky) is incredibly dense, featuring super atmospheric ambient soundscapes that you can literally get lost in, recalling such ambient pioneers as Brian Eno and Tangerine Dream. It also features the incredible ear worm of ‘Still Alive’, an absolutely charming pop song that once heard is never forgotten! This limited edition record is housed in a deluxe, debossed, ‘Magic Wallet’ style jacket designed by design wizard Alan Hynes (Fight Club, Anomolisa).

File Under: OST, Videogames
Listen Here

OST: Portal
(Mondo) LP

Mondo, in conjunction with Valve software, is proud to present the premiere vinyl release of the soundtrack of the legendary puzzle adventure Portal. The music to Portal by Aperture Science Psychoacoustics Laboratories (Mike Morasky) is incredibly dense, featuring super atmospheric ambient soundscapes that you can literally get lost in, recalling such ambient pioneers as Brian Eno and Tangerine Dream. It also features the incredible ear worm of ‘Still Alive’, an absolutely charming pop song that once heard is never forgotten! This limited edition record is housed in a deluxe, debossed, ‘Magic Wallet’ style jacket designed by design wizard Alan Hynes (Fight Club, Anomolisa).

File Under: OST, Videogames

Listen Here

ozkent

Mustafa Ozkent: Funk Anatolian (Hammer) LP
The incredible music of Anadolu Pop’s very own Dr. Frankestein-Maestro Mustafa Özkent. As The Daddy of all Turkish rarities, this record simply has to be heard to be believed and even then it’s still literally UNBELIEVABLE. As an expert in both carpentry and and electronics ,Özkent was keen to combine his skills with his interest in music and science.fuelled by a passion for traditional music values the natural progression was inevitable and as Mustafa’s reputation and repertoire of original compositions mutated so did his instruments. Özkent’s band is funky and loose in the way hyperdiscipilined musicians can be,and it’s no surprise that Özkent is a World-class arranger.But the record transcends mere craftsmanship by fusing Özkent’s Turkish traditions with his contemporary funk musicians across the Atlantic. Mustafa Özkent is a talented guitarist who was known to modify the design of his instruments to create unusual tonal qualities by adding extra frets on his guitar to play traditional Turkish modes. Özkent was a nationalist, but the blends his Turkish folk influences so perfectly into modernity of the psyche-jazz-funk that you might not even notice them unless you knew what you were listening for.

File Under: Funk, Turkey, Anatolian
Listen Here

parkerBilly Parker’s Fourth World: Freedom of Speech (Pure Pleasure) LP
Most of the musicians who gathered to record this fantastic spiritual jazz record for the Strata-East label on May 24th, 1974 had crossed each other’s paths in various musical pairings over the preceding few years. Husband and wife team Dee Dee Bridgewater (vocals) and Cecil Bridgewater (trumpet) had been working together on albums like Frank Foster’s “Loud Minority”, and Roy Ayers’ “Coffy” and “Virgo Red”. Ten weeks before the “Freedom Of Speech” session, the couple had been joined in Tokyo by Cecil’s brother Ronald Bridgewater (tenor saxophone) to record Dee Dee’s debut album, the beautiful “Afro Blue”. Also in the studio on May 24th, 1974 was Donald Smith, (piano, vocals), fresh from recording on his older brother Lonnie Liston Smith’s “Cosmic Funk” – on which Ronald Bridgewater had also played percussion. Cecil McBee (bass) was also there – just two weeks before, he’d completed his own Strata East date “Mutima”, and in February he’d played on Mtume’s “Rebirth Cycle” – with both albums also featuring Dee Dee Bridgewater on vocals. He’d also played on Lonnie Liston Smith’s “Astral Travelling”.

File Under: Jazz
Listen Here

payneCecil Payne: Zodiac (Pure Pleasure) LP
It’s impossible to talk about this album without acknowledging the spectre of death that hangs over it – not only is it the third entry in Strata-East Records’ Dolphy Series, a collection of archival recordings from some of the label’s close associates honoring the recently deceased multi-instrumentalist, but it is actually dedicated to two members of the band, Wynton Kelly and Kenny Dorham, who died in between the recording sessions and its release. The point is driven home even further by the fact that the album begins with a tribute from Payne to the fallen Martin Luther King, Jr., a piece that acts as a de facto solo for Dorham – his playing all rosy elegance and regal warmth – before shifting into the lighter (though equally coolly-paced) “I Know Love,” a showcase for Payne’s sax. While not the most somber jazz track ever recorded, this opening suite is a low-key and mournful way to open the affair, but thankfully the album really picks off and shows these musicians more in their element the rest of the way. “Girl, You Got a Home” is a funky piece, beginning very soulfully with some tight interplay among the rhythm section of Kelly, bassist Wilbur Ware and drummer Albert Heath. Ware is in especially fine form on this track, tying together the disparate passages of the piece by grounding the more ponderous moments in a deep funk, while Kelly’s playing is especially ear catching in the way he stabs at his piano like it’s an organ. After the first two tracks take up nearly twenty minutes, the four-minute “Slide Hampton” feels almost impossibly brief, a feeling that’s enhanced by its quick, jittery, and infectious rhythm, driven by some really dexterous work from Kelly. The final track, “Flying Fish,” may be the album’s highlight, a Caribbean-inspired composition that casts the rhythm section as flighty ground for both Payne and Dorham to vamp on. The track is oddly danceable for something released on Strata-East, maybe the most fun moment ever for the label, and relentlessly uptempo. Though this release may be in part defined by the deaths that preceded it, it’s clear that the recording process was actually a lot of fun for everybody, as their enthusiasm and energy jumps right out of the speakers. This is one of the first Strata East records I really got into and is still one of my favorites, a must-hear for any fans of the flightier moments of Dorham or Kelly’s career, and a fitting tribute for both master musicians.

File Under: Jazz
Listen Here

russell

Richard Russell: Everything is Recorded (XL) LP
Everything Is Recorded is the full-length debut solo album from record producer and XL Recordings co-founder Richard Russell featuring vocal contributions from Sampha, Giggs, Ibeyi, Obongjayar, Infinite and Wiki & Syd plus instrumental contributions from Kamasi Washington, Damon Albarn, Rachel Zeffira, Peter Gabriel and Owen Pallett. The 12-track collection follows up the accomplished Close But Not Quite EP and is ushered in by the raw and emotional lead single “Show Love” with R&B singers Syd and Sampha.

File Under: Electronic, R&B
Listen Here

schulzeKlaus Schulze: La Vie Electronique Volume 1 (One Way Static) LP
Klaus Schulze is a German electronic music pioneer, composer and musician that needs very little introduction. In the late sixties & early seventies he was a member of several iconic bands such as ‘Tangerine Dream’, ‘The Cosmic Jokers’ & ‘Ash Ra Tempel’ before launching a solo career consisting of more than 60 albums released across five decades. Collaborations were numerous and highlights include working with Steve Winwood, Brian Eno & Alphaville… just to name a few. Klaus Schulze’s proto moog-synthesizer work is regarded as a milestone in electronic music & during the decades he released landmark albums in genres catalogued as ‘Ambient’, ‘Electronic’, ‘New Age’, ‘Berlin School’, ‘Experimental’, ‘Kosmische Musik’ & ‘Krautrock’. Mr. Schulze had a more organic sound than most electronic artists of the time, often he would throw in decidedly non-electronic sounds such as acoustic guitar and a male operatic voice. Schulze is also known for developing a Minimoog technique that sounds uncannily like an electric guitar, which is quite impressive in concert. On occasions he would also compose film scores such as Body Love (1977), Barracuda (1978), Next of Kin (1982), & Angst (1983). His best known song ‘Freeze’ has been used in films like Manhunter (1986) and more recently in Sofia Coppola’s ‘The Bling Ring’ from 2013. In 2009, producer Klaus D. Mueller and Schulze began releasing La Vie Electronique (“The Electronic Life”), a series of sets that collected rare sought-after early works & unreleased tracks put in chronological sequence. These sets contain some of the best music Klaus ever created and are early 70’s masterworks that will appeal to both fans and collectors. Now available for the first time on vinyl, One Way Static Records presents the first volume in our new archival series ‘La Vie Electronique’. This volume (1.0) focuses on the years 1968-1971 and is spread over two glorious LP’s containing +78 minutes of Klaus Shulze rarities. This deluxe vinyl set also comes with an insert containing extensive liner notes.

File Under: Electronic, Kosmische, Krautrock
Listen Here

clamsShannon & The Clams: Onion (Nonesuch) LP
Oakland-based, indie garage punk quartet Shannon & the Clams, known for a diverse sound that incorporates elements of doo-wop, early rock & roll, classic R&B, garage psych, and surf rock as influences, releases their fifth album, Onion, this time working with producer Dan Auerbach and Easy Eye Sound. The song “Backstreets” is guitarist Cody Blanchard response to the Ghost Ship fire, and particularly the issues of artist housing and being forced to make your own way in a society that is not arranged to accommodate artists. Album closer “Don’t Close Your Eyes” is Shannon’s response, an inspirational ballad urging those suffering through loss to not give up in the midst of tragedy. “It’s Gonna Go Away,” is the album’s biggest stylistic departure, mixing elements of soul, disco, R&B, psychedelia, the Zombies, chanting and baroque while opener “The Boy” is quintessential Clams, a heavily 60s rock inspired track with a mournful hook.

File Under: Indie Rock, Garage, Punk
Listen Here

songsSongs: Ohia: Travels in Constants (Temporary Residence) LP
In tomorrow… Sometime in 2001 – sandwiched between the release of Ghost Tropic and its follow-up, the cryptic classic, Didn’t It Rain – Songs: Ohia recorded an EP for Temporary Residence’s distance-themed subscription series, Travels In Constants. The untitled EP consisted of a single 18-minute song – performed live by Jason Molina in his living room, recorded directly to 4-track cassette as the sounds of a typical Chicago night bled through the air. Built solely from an acoustic guitar and Molina’s familiar melancholy croon, it’s a hauntingly intimate track. Molina once remarked that it was “probably too out there” for a proper Songs: Ohia album, which is perhaps why it felt right at home in this context. Scarcely available in its original CD-only edition of 1,000 copies, Travels In Constants has finally been remastered and reissued for the vinyl format. Completing this reissue is “Howler,” another unusually lengthy Songs: Ohia track that, like Travels In Constants, was recorded and released in 2001 in an edition of only 1,000. These tracks are amongst the most abstractly beautiful and alarmingly delicate music that Molina ever committed to tape. Temporary Residence is honored to finally make thenm properly available to the world.

File Under: Singer-Songwriter, Folk

skmSun Kil Moon: Ghosts of the Great Highway (Rough Trade) LP
One time only vinyl re-press of Sun Kil Moon’s 2003 cult classic Ghosts of the Great Highway. An album as good as Ghosts of the Great Highway should never go out of print. Ghosts… continues – even fine-tunes – the work Mark Kozelek did with his former band, Red House Painters. These songs are virtuously stoic Americana – all shimmery guitars, measured tempos, malevolent moods, and wandering melodies. His voice sounds like Neil Young’s, especially in the effortlessness with which he hits the high notes then returns to a lower, earthier texture. Ghosts… is a travelogue of sorts, speeding through the Midwest and the West; in this sense, it’s the male equivalent to Lucinda Williams’ Car Wheels on a Gravel Road, especially in the imperfect mirroring of physical terrain and emotional geography. The band Kozelek assembled for Ghosts… – Anthony Koutsos (Red House Painters), Tim Mooney (American Music Club), and Geoff Stanfield (Black Lab), along with a few guests – ably but subtly bolster his lyrics and vocals, generating a steady clip that never flags. The result is an album as hypnotic as highway divider lines whizzing past. Includes original bonus track “Gentle Moon (Acoustic).”

File Under: Indie Rock
Listen Here

Sun Kil Moon: Ghosts of the Great Highway (Rough Trade) LP
One time only vinyl re-press of Sun Kil Moon’s 2003 cult classic Ghosts of the Great Highway. An album as good as Ghosts of the Great Highway should never go out of print. Ghosts… continues – even fine-tunes – the work Mark Kozelek did with his former band, Red House Painters. These songs are virtuously stoic Americana – all shimmery guitars, measured tempos, malevolent moods, and wandering melodies. His voice sounds like Neil Young’s, especially in the effortlessness with which he hits the high notes then returns to a lower, earthier texture. Ghosts… is a travelogue of sorts, speeding through the Midwest and the West; in this sense, it’s the male equivalent to Lucinda Williams’ Car Wheels on a Gravel Road, especially in the imperfect mirroring of physical terrain and emotional geography. The band Kozelek assembled for Ghosts… – Anthony Koutsos (Red House Painters), Tim Mooney (American Music Club), and Geoff Stanfield (Black Lab), along with a few guests – ably but subtly bolster his lyrics and vocals, generating a steady clip that never flags. The result is an album as hypnotic as highway divider lines whizzing past. Includes original bonus track “Gentle Moon (Acoustic).”

File Under: Indie Rock

Listen Here

williams

Marlon Williams: Make Way For Love (Dead Oceans) LP
In tomorrow… Known for his effortlessly distinctive voice, Make Way For Love marks New Zealand singer/songwriter Marlon Williams’ exponential growth as an artist. Throughout 11 originals, he explores new musical terrain and reveals himself in an unprecedented way in the wake of a fractured relationship. While Make Way For Love draws on Marlon’s own story, it captures the vagaries of relationships we’ve all been through: the bliss (opener “Come To Me”); ache (“Love Is a Terrible Thing”); nagging questions (“Can I Call You”); and bitterness (“The Fire Of Love,” whose lyrics Williams says he “agonized over” more than any). Delicate and bold, tender and searing, it’s a mightily personal new step. The album was recorded with producer Noah Georgeson and his backing band, The Yarra Benders, in NC’s Panoramic Studios after several weeks of pre-production in his native Lyttelton with regular collaborator Ben Edwards. The finished result is an expansive record that moves Marlon several paces from “country” – the genre that’s been affixed to him more than any in recent years – with forays into cinematic strings, reverb, rollicking guitar, and at least one quiet piano ballad.

File Under: Indie Rock
Listen Here

windhandWindhand/Satan’s Satyrs: Split (Relapse) LP
Two of Virginia’s finest heavy bands team up for an amp-worshipping, acid trip from hell on Relapse Records! Includes two brand new songs of smoldering gloom and grief from Windhand paired with three tracks of devilish, fuzz-drenched metal/punk from Satan’s Satyrs.

File Under: Metal
Listen Here

hillbilliesVarious: Hillbillies in Hell Volume 5 (Iron Mountain) LP
Obscure Hell-fired Hillbilly laments, forgotten plaintive Gospel pleas, demonic alien visitations, grisly hayseed homicides and crazed inebriates. Originally waxed on microscopic labels and distributed in minuscule amounts, these troubled troubadours sing of infernal monsters and windswept deserts of vice, damnations and tortured final fallen moments. Years in the making – ‘Hillbillies In Hell’ (Volume Five) presents a further 18 timeless testaments of sinners, winners, troubles, tribulations, shallow graves and hot flames. An abandoned catacomb of subterranean 45s, some of these sides are impossibly rare and are reissued here for the very first time. All for your primal listening pleasure.

File Under: Country

la contraVarious: La Contra Ola – Post Punk & Synth Wave from Spain (Bongo Joe) LP
Bongo Joe records is pleased to present La Contra Ola, a compilation recording dedicated to the early 80’s Spanish Synth Wave and Post Punk scene. First to be published outside Spain, this anthology explores the electronic music side of the independent music produced in the days in the Iberian Peninsula: Synthetic pop music with industrial sounds including futurist Art Rock, dancefloor productions and low-fi experiments on cassettes. Classics or true hidden treasures, this selection of nineteen songs is symbolic of the musical dawn that Spain experienced during the decade marked by the return of democracy and by the creative freedom initiated by Punk music.

File Under: Punk, Synth Wave, Electronic
Listen Here

…..Restocks…..

Black Angels: Directions to See A Ghost (Light in the Attic) LP
The Bug vs Earth: Concrete Desert (Ninja Tune) LP
Michael Chapman: Wrecked (Light in the Attic) LP
Michael Chapman: Fully Qualified Survivor (Light in the Attic) LP
D’Angelo: Voodoo (Modern Classics) LP
Serge Gainsbourg: Histore De Melody Nelson (Light in the Attic) LP
Hayden: Place Where We Lived (Hardwood) LP
Mauno: Tuning (Idee Fixe) LP
John Maus: Screen Memories (Domino) LP
Ennio Morricone: The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly (AMS) LP
Neu: s/t (Gronland) LP
Neu: 2 (Gronland) LP
Olympians: s/t (Daptone) LP
OST: The Fog (Silva Screen) LP
OST: Escape From New York (Silva Screen) LP
Pink Floyd: Animals (Pink Floyd) LP
Pink Floyd: Wish You Were Here (Pink Floyd) LP
Terry Reid: Other Side of the River (Future Days) LP
Tom Rogerson/Brian Eno: Finding Shore (Dead Oceans) LP
Rodriguez: Searching for Sugarman OST (Light in the Attic) LP
Super Super Blues Band: s/t (Jackpot) LP
This Heat: s/t (Modern Classics) LP
Tyler the Creator: Flower Boy (Sony) LP
Marcos Valle: Previsao Do Tempo (Light in the Attic) LP
Chelsea Wolfe: Hiss Spun (Sargent House) LP
Link Wray: Mordicai Jones (Tidal Waves) LP
Link Wray: Be What You Want to (Tidal Waves) LP
Various: Microcosm (Light in the Attic) 3LP Box
Various: I am the Center (Light in the Attic) 3LP Box
Various: Even a Tree Can Shed Tears (Light in the Attic) LP

Tagged , , , , , , ,
Advertisements