Tag Archives: jazz

…..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
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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
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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
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…..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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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

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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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

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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
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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
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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
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…..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

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…..news letter #764 – disco disco dj…..

This might be a tad last minute for some of y’all, but I’m not one for a lot of self promotion, but…. I’m heading to the Black Dog to DJ tonight after I close up the shop. I’ll be upstairs spinning records with Yuri for the final installment of Dig It! Thursdays. If you find yourself bored and on the southside, you should come hang out and have a beer while I play some wild and wonderful things!

…..pick of the week…..

deuter

Deuter: Kundalini Meditation (Deuter) LP
New age masterpiece from krautrock mystic Deuter, this album contains the music for the first two stages of an hour long kundalini meditation developed for westerners by Rajneesh (later known as Osho). The stages involve listening to the music and “Shaking” (stage one), “Dancing” (stage two), and “Witnessing” (stage three). These stages are not really meditations but a sort of preparation to facilitate meditation. Rajneesh had been trying to teach the practice of direct meditation for ten years before he realized his effort was futile: “I would say, ‘Relax’, to those I was teaching. They would appear to understand the meaning of the word, but they could not relax.” He developed a technique that would activate the body with intense movement, creating tension in order to allow for the stillness of the meditation. Deuter and Rajneesh (along with a team of disciples that tested and consulted on these methods) collaborated to make music that would (in stage one and two) occupy the mind and compel the body. The music of stage three was designed to relax the body and compel the mind to awareness, acting as a transition to stage four, which is silent, with the person lying down, (actually) meditating. Speaking about music, Rajneesh wrote, “Between sounds of music there are gaps of silence. The authentic music consists not of sounds, but of the gaps. Music can make you aware of those gaps more beautifully than anything else.” While living at the ashram as a disciple of Rajneesh, Deuter produced a series of compositions to be used in these “active” meditations. They were recorded using a multitrack tape machine and an assortment of acoustic and electronic instruments – guitar, tambura, bells, percussion, and synthesizers. The playing style is repetitious yet dynamic, incorporating loops, Indian classical motifs, musique concrète, and pastoral acoustic passages. Kundalini Meditation, never released on vinyl in the states, is presented here for the first time with the full length tracks. It was originally released in 1979.

File Under: Krautrock, New Age, Kosmische

…..new arrivals…..

allen

Tony Allen: HomeCooking (Comet) LP
Originally released in 2002, Comet presents the legendary album from Tony Allen, HomeCooking, reissued with a remastered version. Tony Allen talks about the album: “After Black Voices and Psyco On Da Bus albums, I came back with HomeCooking which was an album filled with guests. I brought in Ty, who had remixed some of my work previously, to rap on the record, and Damon Albarn, who had already sung about me on ‘Music Is My Radar’. On the first day in the studio, Damon didn’t record anything because we were enjoying ourselves too much. He came with two boxes of champagne and everyone got boozed and he decided he’d take the music back to his own studio and finish it there. That was the beginning of our friendship and since then we’ve done a lot of different things. Since the early days I’ve been trying to find things that everybody will want to listen to. I’ve always been pushing Afrobeat in different directions. Here’s another one again, another style, almost clean but still rough, raggedy and radical.” Also features: Mary & Norman and Eska.

File Under: Afrobeat, Funk, Jazz
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hubris

Oren Ambarchi: Hubris (Editions Mego) LP
“Hubris continues the exploration of relentless, driving rhythms heard on Oren Ambarchi’s Sagittarian Domain and Quixotism. Where those records looked to krautrock and techno for their starting points, the side-long opening track on Hubris begins from the perhaps unlikely inspirations of disco and new wave, drawing particularly from Ambarchi’s love of Wang Chung’s soundtrack to William Friedkin’s To Live and Die in L.A. (1985). Leaving behind the song-forms of these reference points, Ambarchi weaves a sustained and pulsating web of layered palm-muted guitars from which individual voices rise up and recede, eventually setting the stage for some lush guitar synth from Jim O’Rourke. Arnold Dreyblatt collaborator Konrad Sprenger contributes overtone-rich motorized guitar, pushing the piece into a satisfying intersection of shimmering minimalism and rhythmic drive that smoothly builds up until the entrance of Mark Fell’s electronic percussion in its final section. After a short second part, in which Ambarchi, O’Rourke and Crys Cole pay tribute to the skewed harmonic sense of Albert Marcoeur with a track built from layered bass guitar figures and abstracted speech, the long final piece pushes the concept of the first side into darker and denser areas. Joined by electronic rhythms from Ricardo Villalobos and the twin drums of Joe Talia and Will Guthrie, the layered guitars of the first piece are transformed into a raw and tumbling fusion-funk groove that calls to mind early Weather Report or even the first Golden Palominos LP (1983). As this stellar rhythm section rides a single repeated chord change into oblivion, a series of spectacular events emerge in the foreground: first, aleatoric synthesizer burbles from Keith Fullerton Whitman, then slashing skronk guitar from Arto Lindsay, until finally Ambarchi’s own fuzzed-out guitar harmonics take center stage as the piece builds to an ecstatic frenzy. Few artists could hope to include such an incredible variety of collaborators on one record and still hope for it to have a unique identity, but Ambarchi manages to do just that, crafting three pieces that emerge directly out of his previous work while also pushing ahead into new dimensions.” — Francis Plagne. Mastered and cut by Rashad Becker at D&M, Berlin, April 2016. Photography by Estelle Hanania. Sculptures by Daniel Druet. Design by Stephen O’Malley.

File Under: Electronic, Krautrock, Minimal
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aycockDylan Golden Aycock: Church of Level Tracks (Scissor Tail) LP
“Dylan Golden Aycock is part of the new generation of guitar pickers young enough to first have been influenced by early volumes of Tompkins Square Records’ Imaginational Anthem series and then to be anthologized on a later one. The Oklahoma native is on Volume 7, should you feel like looking, playing an early version of ‘Red Bud Valley,’ which sits in the middle of the B-side of the LP under consideration here. Aycock’s composing on Church Of Level Track offers evidence that he’s well studied in a lineage of American Primitive pickers that stretches back decades before he was born. ‘Lord It Over’ puts it right out there by opening with a double-thumbed bass line right out of John Fahey’s bag of tricks. But this quotation is merely an opening gambit, and one that is quickly followed by moves that prove Aycock is no parrot but a bird with his own song to sing. The steel guitar that sails in over his picking evokes first the bucolic playfulness of Jim O’Rourke’s Bad Timing and then keeps going back into the deep back shelves of country-rock lyricism. At the same time a virtual band (Aycock plays everything on the track and nearly everything on the LP) sets up a subtle undertow of entropic drumming and echo-laden feedback. . . .” –Bill Meyer (Dusted Magazine, Chicago Reader)

File Under: Folk, Blues, Guitar Soli
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bitori

Bitori: Legend of Funana (Analog Africa) LP
In 1997, an unassuming 59-year-old man named Victor Tavares — better known since the late 1950s as Bitori — walked into a studio for the very first time to record a work that many Cabo Verdeans consider to be the best funaná album ever made. Analog Africa’s Legend Of Funaná marks the first time that these recordings, originally issued as Bitori Nha Bibinha & Chando Graciosa in 1998, have been available outside of Cape Verde, bringing Bitori’s beloved accordion-based sound to the world. In 1954, Bitori embarked on a journey across the seas to the island nation of São Tomé and Príncipe with the hopes of returning with an accordion. Following two years of hard labor, Bitori had saved enough money to acquire what was to become his most valued possession. The two-month journey back to Cape Verde provided time enough for him to master the instrument. Self-taught, Bitori developed his own style, an infectious blaze that quickly caught the attention of the older generation. Before long Bitori was asked to perform at local festivities around Praia, the capital of Cape Verde. But not everybody welcomed the rural accordion-based sound of the funaná. Perceived as a symbol of the struggle for Cabo Verdean independence and frowned upon as music of uneducated peasants, the funaná was prohibited by Portuguese colonial rulers. Performing it in public or in urban centers had serious consequences — often jail time and torture. As a result, the funaná began to slowly disappear. In 1975, Cape Verde achieved independence from Portuguese colonial rule, and the ban on the funaná was lifted. Many artists embraced the funaná, translating and adapting its musical form in new ways. It was not until the mid-1990s, however, that the funaná in its traditional form was actually recorded. A young singer from the Cabo Verdean town of Tarrafal, Chando Graciosa, heard Bitori and immediately felt drawn to his playing style — a raw, passionate sound accompanied by honest lyrics that reflected the harsh reality of the Cabo Verdean working class. He approached Bitori suggesting they join forces and travel overseas to take the funaná beyond its rural roots. After introducing a receptive European audience to the vibrant energy of the funaná, Bitori eventually returned to his beloved Cape Verde, while Graciosa settled in Rotterdam. Graciosa vowed, however, to bring Bitori to Holland to eventually record an album. In 1997, the time was ripe to immortalize the sound Bitori had shaped over four decades. Drummer Grace Evora and bassist Danilo Tavares helped record “Bitori Nha Bibinha,” which catapulted Graciosa to stardom, establishing him Cape Verde’s foremost interpreter of the funaná. Bitori’s songs quickly became standards — classics known and loved throughout the country.

File Under: African, Latin, Funk
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darkthrone

Darkthrone: Arctic Thunder (Peaceville) LP
Norwegian duo, Darkthrone, return with their first new studio material since 2013’s triumphant The Underground Resistance; the album becoming the band’s most successful release in recent years. Darkthrone’s new album Arctic Thunder is due for release in October 2016 through Peaceville. A new heavy metal odyssey now awaits fans as Fenriz and Nocturno Culto once more show their mastery of “the riff,” demonstrating why Darkthrone remain one of the most respected and enduring acts in the history of extreme metal. An eclectic mix of free-spirited 80’s fueled blackened heavy metal, all executed in Darkthrone’s trademark raw and organic style, Arctic Thunder was recorded and produced by the band themselves, with the sessions conducted at Darkthrone’s old rehearsal unit, The Bomb Shelter, which they had originally used during 1988-1990. With themes based around hate, contempt, and the inner mind and soul, and with the notable presence of Nocturno Culto on vocal duties across all songs for the first time in recent years, Arctic Thunder retains a grim atmosphere throughout the album’s 8 tracks, with mastering once again handled by Jack Control at Enormous Door.

File Under: Black Metal
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detroit

Eddy Detroit: Black Crow Gazebo (Assophon) LP
Eddy Detroit returns with a brand-new LP! The legend refuses to diminish. Eddy Detroit crafts eight new songs full of his trademark twisted folk, satanic Americana, and trance voodoo magic. This album ventures into the deranged psychosis of the Phoenix AZ characters that inhibit Eddy’s world. Multiple-personality girlfriends, twisted and rouge hanger-goners, and life as a street musician in the infernal Arizona summer heat. Another cast of local musicians are on board for this record that features cello, ocean drum, piano, guitar, bongos, and violin. This is all capped off by the B-side, a deep, trance-inducing descent into Dante’s Inferno that features Alan Bishop (Sun City Girls) on vocals, Doug Clark (Victory Acres/Feederz) on synthesizer, and Eddy Detroit on bongos — overlaid with a recording of Eddy Detroit waxing on about his extraordinary life. “Toe Sucker Beach” is meant as an homage to The Velvet Underground’s “The Gift” — a track that can be listened to as a whole or as a hard pan, with the demented instrumental in one channel and Eddy’s reminiscences in the other channel. This record is another swan dive into the brilliant mind of one of the most original outsider musicians out there. Limited edition of 400. Released to coincide with Eddy’s Detroit’s first European tour in the fall of 2016.

File Under: Outsider, Exotica
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stranger-things

Kyle Dixon & Michael Stein: Stranger Things OST (Lakeshore) LP
We’ve got a bunch en route, either they’ll all show up tomorrow, or a few tomorrow and the rest early next week… A love letter to the ’80s classics that captivated a generation, Stranger Things is set in 1983 Indiana, where a young boy vanishes into thin air. As friends, family and local police search for answers, they are drawn into an extraordinary mystery involving top-secret government experiments, terrifying supernatural forces and one very strange little girl. Lakeshore Records has partnered with UK’s Invada Records founded by Geoff Barrow to press and release Stranger Things Vol. 1 Soundtrack (composed by S U R V I V E’s Kyle Dixon and Michael Stein) on vinyl for a release date in October 2016 just in time for Halloween. The release will be a double disc gatefold package with a printed insert featuring album credits and additional art. Michael Stein explained to Noisey: “We discussed having a classic tone and feel to the music for the show but being reserved enough that it wasn’t ’80s cheese, while offering a refreshing quality so that felt modern as well – which is one of the qualities that drew them to our music in the first place. Having a familiarity with classic synths works but with an overall modern and forward thinking approach.”

File Under: OST, Electronic, Synth
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harris

Betty Harris: Lost Queen of New Orleans Soul (Soul Jazz) LP
Betty Harris’ The Lost Queen of New Orleans Soul collects together the steady stream of amazing soul and funk singles she issued from 1964 to 1969, under the musical guidance of legendary composer, musician and producer extraordinaire Allen Toussaint, a collection which truly captures the heart and soul of the city of New Orleans during this era. Harris’ powerful, fiery soulful vocals found a perfect accompaniment with the New Orleans’ players that Toussaint put together to back her, which by the time of her funk classic “There’s A Break In The Road” were the legendary supertight, super-funk New Orleans group The Meters. With the extraordinary song-writing skills of Toussaint alongside the powerful, soaring, confident and emotive singer and the groove of The Meters, you have an unbeatable combination. That Harris never in fact lived in New Orleans (she flew in from Florida for all her sessions with Toussaint’s local in-house players) seems almost an irrelevance, a geographical aside to the defining New Orleans sound captured on the recordings featured here. All of the singles featured here were released on Toussaint and his business partner Marshal Sehorn’s local New Orleans label Sansu, widely distributed in the southern city but in only limited quantities elsewhere. As a consequence, Harris’ music failed to achieve the commercial success of other New Orleans artists such as Lee Dorsey (who she recorded with) and The Meters (who backed her). And so at the end of the decade she stopped recording, retired from the music business to raise her family in Florida. This is no reflection of the stunning musical quality of all these songs which encompass everything from southern soul, heavy funk, deep soul ballads and northern soul. Harris has been a cornerstone of Soul Jazz Records’ New Orleans Funk and New Orleans Soul compilations. Always soulful and always funky, Betty’s music contains the essence of New Orleans music. She is the Lost Soul Queen of New Orleans. This collection is released on heavyweight gatefold double LP vinyl (with download code).

 File Under: Soul
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xharris

Xander Harris: California Chrome (Rock Action) LP
In his 5th album as Xander Harris, the bloke off Buffy The Vampire Slayer continues to pursue a horror disco sound for Mogwai’s Rock Action label, picking up precisely where he left us with the Cry Havoc 7” back in 2014 with a pensively slow suite of EBM and Italo grooves galvanised with cinematic synth mettle. Perhaps not your typical Rock Action fayre, but it’s not difficult to draw lines between Harris’ taste for layered melodic progressions and Mogwai’s post rock architectures and windswept atmospheres, especially in the motorik shift of Basilisk Stare, or the stacked reverbs of Predator State and the album’s panoramic closer, Dirts. But that’s only one half of his sound, and the other is well looked after here with dancefloor-strength EBM in the epic drive of Nervous Serpents and the gritted momentum of The Eye In The Triangle.

File Under: Electronic, Ambient
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jung-an-tagen

Jung An Tagen: Das Fest Der Reichen (Editions Mego) LP
Jung An Tagen, aka Stefan Juster, presents Das Fest Der Reichen. Jung An Tagen is the primary music act operating inside the Virtual Institute Vienna. By using subtractive synthesis and sampling techniques, Jung An Tagen builds aleatoric arrays, repetitive figures and polyrhythmic moirés circulating around distinctive timbres and haptic fragments. This results in a vision of morphing movements between high energy and zero gravity states. Due to the synaesthesian nature of the VIV, Jung An Tagen is bound very closely to a specific visual grammar and is intertwined with video art, even though the performative settings are usually reduced to music only. Previously, Stefan Juster was mainly present with different bands and monikers on labels like Not Not Fun, Blackest Rainbow, 100% Silk or his own imprint SF Broadcasts. “Lässt Los, Jeder Immer” is the remix of the Jung An Tagen soundtrack for Embargo (2014), a video by Johann Lurf. Artwork and layout by Milica Balubdzic and J. Fröhnel. Mastering by Brian Pyle. Features: Raju Arara, Ensemble Economique, Superskin and Miaux.

File Under: Electronic, Synth
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mahjun

Mahjun: s/t (1973) (Souffle Continu) LP
First time vinyl reissue of the eponymous classic debut album by Mahjun, one of the most innovative French prog underground bands, on the productive Saravah label in 1973. Their music, as you can hear on tracks such as “Les Enfants Sauvages” or “Chez Planos”, is a subtle mix of spiritual jazz, pop music, folk and avant-garde reminiscent of Full Moon Ensemble, Brigitte Fontaine or the Thêatre du Chêne Noir. Standard black vinyl LP version is in an edition of 500. Comes in 350 gram, gatefold sleeve with an obi strip and matte printing.

File Under: French, Prog, Avant-garde
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mahjun-2Mahjun: s/t (1974) (Souffle Continu) LP
On Mahjun’s second eponymous album released by Saravah in 1974, percussionist Nana Vasconcellos joined the line up on the nearly 14 minute long track “La Ville Pue” and “Fin Janvier”. Their politico folk-prog sound moved to an ethnic flavored psychedelic fusion. First time reissue of this classic and influential album. Standard black vinyl LP version is in an edition of 500. Comes in 350 gram sleeve with an obi strip, insert and matte printing.

File Under: French, Prog, Avant-garde
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op-doom

MF Doom: Operation: Doomsday (Metal Face) LP
“Back again on vinyl where it belongs, MF DOOM’s 1999 classic Operation: Doomsday is now presented on a premium grade LP, with audio re-mastered from the original Fondle’Em Records release, and a poster of the album cover art! Underneath his mysterious metal mask, MF DOOM hides the cachet underground legends are made of. After KMD (his first group)’s 1994 sophomore album Bl_ck B_st_rds was shelved by Elektra in 1994 and his blood brother Subroc (one half of the sibling rap duo) passed away, surviving front-man Zev Love X mutated into the MC Avenger known as MF DOOM and the rap world is better for it. This 19-cut deep album is ridiculously dope, in a bizarro Ol’ Dirty Bastard kind of way. Doom sounds either high or drunk on most of the tracks, his self-produced beats are gritty, and his rhyme styles are almost indecipherable. On arguably the best track, ‘Rhymes Like Dimes,’ Doom weaves some pointed lyrics through his abstract wordplay, spitting ‘only in America could you find a way to earn a healthy buck / And still keep your attitude on self-destruct.’ ‘Who You Think I Am?’ features DOOM’s crew M.onster I.sland C.zars, while on ‘?’ he trades hot verses with former Columbia artist Kurious Jorge. Doom’s avant-garde ghetto-rhyme philosophies take even more intentionally weird twists on ‘Tick, Tick…’ where he and guest MC MF Grimm’s flows warble over a rhythm track whose tempo speeds up and slows down continually. The comic-book themed skits, will help take you deep into the mind of an MC who is as otherworldly as they come. And in today’s bland commercial rap universe, Operation: Doomsday’s left-of-center beats and rhymes are the perfect remedy.”

File Under: Hip Hop
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music

Roberto Musci: Tower of Silence (Music From Memory) LP
Music From Memory present Tower Of Silence from Roberto Musci. Traveling extensively across Asia and Africa between 1974 and 1985 to study music, Roberto made many field recordings and collected many instruments on his travels which he would then combine with synthesizers and electronics back in Italy.

File Under: Italian, Electronic, World, Field Recording
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notwist

The Notwist: Superheroes, Ghostvillains & Stuff (Alien Transistor) LP
Cover with large spine. Includes three printed inner sleeves. Includes download code. The Notwist release their first ever official live recordings with Superheroes, Ghostvillains + Stuff. “Brothers Markus and Micha Acher have launched various musical vessels, bands and free-floating constellations over the past three decades – and yet: amid all these other speedboats and unlikely sonic barges, The Notwist has always remained the mother ship. This new album documents the latest live incarnation of this very band, which also features Andi Haberl, Max Punktezahl, Karl Ivar Refseth, and Cico Beck. Recorded on December 16, 2015 on the second of three consecutive, sold-out nights at UT Connewitz in Leipzig, Germany, Superheroes, Ghostvillains + Stuff indeed feels like a first-hand live experience. That’s why it’s the definitive album of The Notwist’s career. Although there is one song that points to the early, ‘louder years’ of The Notwist, ‘One Dark Love Poem’ off the album Nook (1992), the rest of the night’s set sees the band perform all the major hits off Neon Golden (2001), The Devil, You + Me (2008), and Close To The Glass (2014). However, these are different, organically enhanced versions, new interpretations and combinations that feel much more alive; thanks to Olaf Opal’s incredible mix, they sometimes even outshine the original studio recordings. Listening to Superheroes, Ghostvillains + Stuff feels like watching these songs evolve and change, moving from one frame to the next, much like a baroque triptych. What starts out like ‘wimmelbook’ imagery, the music soon folds and unfolds like a Moebius strip: Sans bottom or top, sans inside or outside, the inside becomes the outside and vice versa. It’s all about sonic interconnection, about music as entanglement, music as reconciliation. The rather majestic, cinematic (indie) pop and experimental, kraut-infused jazz, the spirit of the enlightenment and baroque playfulness, the traces of modernism and minimal music, dub leanings, hip-hop lessons, and even hints of house music: here is where they all come together, reconciled in a sound that’s both melancholy and romantic. The crew’s back at it, working the instruments, the rigging, with sails a-billow, launching the next voyage of discovery, assuming the east in the west and vice versa. And thus the adventure saga continues.” — Pico Be (Das Weiße Pferd).

File Under: Indie Rock, Electronic
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novo-line

Novo Line: Movements (Ecstatic) LP
Following a limited tape release for Ecstatic, Berlin’s Nat Fowler renders his meticulous Novo Line alias for its second full-length release, a killer marriage of automated EBM and unexpected MIDI disruptions, continuing a life-long quest for esoteric knowledge and a love of archaic computer hardware. Modeled on re-appropriated software, run on two separate Atari ST’s, Movements is the compelling result of obtuse production technique and painstaking trial and error; basically experimentation at the service of discovering a sound that really sounds unlike anything else out there. As he explains: “I like the idea of using restrictions in order to find and push boundaries, from limiting which octaves I use to how many notes at a time. I use the only PC capable of MIDI that had no multitasking, so communication is immediate, a direct mechanical communication from my fingers to the sounds is created. I feel lucky because technology has accelerated so fast since the first digital synthesizers and PCs that nothing since the early 1980s has been really pushed to its limits.” In that sense, he can be placed in a small category of operators – including The Automatics Group, Dave Noyze, Lorenzo Senni and V/VM among them – who persistently gnaw at the boundary between dance-pop and avant-electronics, and with all of whom he shares a capacity for hearing the poetry of singular frequencies, unique pitch combinations and the strange electronic timbres just waiting to be born from overlooked, outmoded equipment. Whilst at times it may recall the saltiest digital tone and gait of early Chicago house and Belgian new-beat, there’s a futuristic funk and idiosyncratic ambiguity to Movements that entirely belongs to Novo Line; whether bubbling up the mutant dembow lacquer of opener, “The Movement 1”, radiating form the tightly-bound, curdled funk of “Hot Piece”, or jabbing like a bag of cyborg slow house cats in “The Movement 2”, it really does make for one of the year’s finest and most addictive dancefloor mutations, bar none. 2016’s most meticulous album of algorithmic body music. Inspired by F.M. Alexander, G.I. Gurdjieff and Pythagoras. Mastered and cut by Matt Colton at Alchemy.

File Under: Electronic, House, Leftfield
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orb

The Orb: COW/Chill Out, World! (Kompakt) LP
The Orb, Alex Paterson and Thomas Fehlmann, have become known for their genre-bending curiosity and surprising sonic detours, exploring experimental soundscapes as well as club-friendly beats. COW / Chill Out, World! is a masterful ambient album that branches out in many directions, but unmistakably sounds like The Orb. In contrast to their much-acclaimed previous full-length Moonbuilding 2703 AD, which took years to prepare and fine-tune, COW / Chill Out, World! was produced over the course of only five sessions in six months, directly following the like-minded Alpine EP. Paterson on recording the album: “It got so spontaneous that a track like ‘9 Elms Over River Eno (Channel 9)’ consisted only of material collected at North Carolina’s Moogfest in May – second-hand records from local stores, field recordings, live samples from gigs that we liked, and of course an excursion to the Eno River, which actually exists. This geographic intimacy and the spontaneity are among the top reasons why we love this album so much.” Fehlmann sees the duo’s relentless gigging schedule as a formative influence on the new album: “the countless performances we’ve played in the last years have brought us closer as a musical unit. The spice of our concerts is improvisation – a fertile process that we’ve brought to the studio, where we operate with very simple rules of engagement and go wherever the flow takes us.” It’s an approach that one might expect from traditional acoustic instrumentation, not necessarily an electronic set-up. Once more, The Orb’s trademark playfulness is on full display on COW / Chill Out, World! and it doesn’t limit itself to the multi-layered sampling and psychedelic sound composites. It’s not so much an obscure trope coming full circle as a perfect example for The Orb’s multi-timbre approach to sound and meaning – a compelling, immersive journey to diverse places and impressions. Each track title is a conceptual work in its own right, playing with multiple references, some of which remain highly personal and mysterious. But the greatest feat of The Orb’s latest outing might just be how all this semantic doodling never gets in the way of the actual listening, at all times directly relating the artists’s sonic vitality and cheerful nosiness.

File Under: Electronic, Ambient
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orcutt

Bill Orcutt & Chris Corsano: Live At Various (Palilalia) LP
“That guitarist Bill Orcutt & drummer Chris Corsano would play as a duo should come as a surprise to no one. As artists, both of them have bent sonic boundaries to the breaking point, especially as regards rock-based music, and they have long flowed through the same international sub-underground arteries. It was only a matter of time. The first fruit of their union was a brain melting LP called The Raw & The Cooked (2013), recorded on tour in 2012. Live at Various / Various Live is made up of the two Palilalia cassettes that followed it. The tracks were recorded between a couple of tours, one in 2013 and one the following year, in Northampton, Mexico City, Brooklyn, Montreal, Cleveland and Rochester. And they demonstrate the ferocity of Orcutt’s return to the electric guitar. Twinned-up with Corsano, Bill goes for the most distorted and bleeding tones available, whether pouring out frenzied clusters, or slow-bending blue-notes in the tradition of Loren Connors, the raunch of the proceedings is a physical presence. And Corsano goes deep into rolls and splashes with an almost perverted intensity. There ain’t much space here for sweetness or subtlety. The music is driven home with mallets, achieving a near-Beefheartian density in spots. Heard as a whole, this album provides a gush of relentless thug-beauty of a sort that has never been in long supply. Grasp it now or hold your sad peace for now and ever.” — Byron Coley. Double LP with gatefold cover. Recorded by Chris Corsano and Bill Orcutt on tour in 2013 and 2014. Reissue of two cassettes originally released on Palilalia as Live At Various and Various Live. Edition of 500.

File Under: Improv, Guitar, Free Rock
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oval

Oval: Popp (UOVOOO) LP
Oval’s album Popp started as a concept album. It was neither meant as a pop record nor as “the Markus Popp signature album”. At first, Popp was all about playing around. And about changing the musical outlook from the earlier hyper-detailed, improvisational Oval style to straight-up sequencing, old-school glitch tricks and beat-making. Popp explains, “Working on these new ‘club tracks’ was like going from cucina povera (my 1990s student-budget glitch style) and hi-tech fusion cuisine (post-2010) to feeling like a vegan who just stumbled into a barbecue seminar.” Popp is a relentless, euphoric love letter to a musical utopia: kaleidoscopic and soulful, optimistic and grandiose. No matter if you choose to trace the many exhilarating, meandering melodies (“RE”, “ID”), or if you prefer to dance to the housy information overload of “AI” and “LO”, Popp is simply a joy to listen to. The newly introduced, intricate “fantasy vocals” are another new through line in Oval’s music: weaving a blissful, sensual, “post-R&B”-narrative beyond words (“KU”, “LO”, “VE”). Ghosts of vintage Oval glitch stylings (“FU”, “MY”, “MO”) are met with swooning strings, dreamy bells, 1990s rave stabs, angular bass lines and polyrhythmic beats. The atmosphere can even border on the solemn (“SA”), cinematic (“CA”) or even hymn-like (“VE”) before dissolving into these unstoppable, multi-layered loop-scapes. Popp explains further, “However complex and insanely technical my tracks may ever be getting, I will always make sure they sound organic, as if they’re running on nothing but sheer imagination.” Popp is released on Uovooo, a new label run by Markus Popp. Markus Popp’s early, now legendary album releases sent shockwaves through the “electronica” landscape in the late 1990’s – introducing a unique, innovative digital sound and production aesthetic. With an undeniable instinct for the pleasantly irritating, the drastic and the dreamy, Popp pioneered “glitch” and “clicks & cuts”, inspiring and provoking an entire generation of musicians to this day. After a long hiatus, Oval returned in 2010, changing the game all over again with a new, groundbreaking “hyperreal” style, blurring the lines between the electronic auteur and (virtual) “band music”. The distinctive, organic appeal of Oval tracks, remixes and albums have brought along several watershed moments for the entire genre.

File Under: Electronic
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painkiller

Painkiller: Execution Ground (Karlrecords) LP
The seminal 1994 double album Execution Ground, by the original Painkiller with the line-up of Bill Laswell, John Zorn and Mick Harris on vinyl for the first time. When Painkiller started in 1991, their first two albums Guts Of A Virgin (1991) and Buried Secrets (1992) (both released on extreme metal label Earache) were heavy attacks blending grindcore and free jazz that brought together the musical backgrounds of the three protagonists: drummer Mick Harris had just left grindcore legend Napalm Death, John Zorn explored new extremities with his Naked City project while Bill Laswell had as a member of roaring free jazz quartet Last Exit (with Peter Brötzmann, Sonny Sharrock, Ronald Shannon Jackson) proven that he was not only a visionary producer but also an accomplished bassist. But it is their 1994 double album Execution Ground remains the opus magnum of the brilliant trio: Zorn’s unmistakable shrieking saxophone, Harris’s pounding drums and Laswell’s growling sub-bass lines were given heavy mixing desk treatment, resulting in extended tracks that are no less intense than their early works but display the full range of the musicians’s skills. Avant-jazz, grindcore, dub and ambient melt into eerie tracks of haunting atmospheres – even more so in the “ambient” versions of the second disc. Mastered and cut by Rashad Becker at D&M Berlin. Available here as a double 180 gram vinyl. Includes a download code and insert. Edition of 500.

File Under: Free Jazz, Grindcore, Ambient
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prurient

Prurient: Pleasure Ground (Hospital) LP
One of Prurient’s most captivating raids on the borderlands of power noise and symphonic doom rears its furious head once again for this gatefold reissue on Hospital Productions, ten years on from its original release on double tape and then as a single vinyl pressing for the legendary Load Records in 2007. Pleasure Ground stands as a key part of Prurient’s golden quadrant alongside The History Of Aids (2002), Black Vase (2005) and Cocaine Death (2008), its immolating rage renders Ian Dominick Fernow at an early crest of his energies, consolidating the hi-pitch intensity and bile of his idols, Whitehouse, with the majestic, meditative inspirations of black metal and a more personalized bloodlust for unheimlich synth tones and pulsating electronic undercurrents. Its four long tracks are riven with the paradoxes that make Prurient’s music so compelling and practically a genre unto itself, meting out a sound in “Earthworks / Buried In Secret” that’s simultaneously nerve-gnawing yet bleakly tender, or weighing up caustic harshness with a melodic vulnerability in “Apple Tree Victim” that appeals far beyond the bombed-out no-man’s land of pure noise to intersect with the entrails of EBM in the raging but poised thunder of “Military Road” – one of his finest moments, bar none – and cold-wave pop and fetishistic synth themes in “Outdoorsman / Indestructible”. If you’re willing to bite down, you will find a depth of bittersweet flavor submerged beneath the tidal waves of white noise filled with nuance and vulnerability, slowly dragging you into the abyss. Ultimately though, there’s no mistaking that in the end Pleasure Ground is just unflinchingly fucking heavy. Housed in a deluxe, reverse-board gatefold sleeve. Mastered and cut by Barry Grint at Alechemy.

File Under: Noise, Industrial
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scorch-tio

Scorch Trio: XXX (Rune Grammofon) LP
XXX is a four LP collection featuring Scorch Trio’s recordings. It includes Scorch Trio (2002), Luggumt (2004), Brolt (2008) and a radio session entitled Oval. In Norway, Scorch Trio was greeted with 6/6 reviews in the two biggest newspapers and The Wire said “the scope of their improvisational ideas is breathtaking”, in spirit comparing the album to The Mahavishnu Orchestra’s The Inner Mounting Flame (1971). Four years after Luggumt, Brolt was to become the final album with Paal Nilssen-Love behind the drums. Following in the tradition of the previous albums, this is a masterful example of passionate improvisation and breathtaking interplay. The joker in this collection is Oval, a radio session done for Yle, the Finnish broadcasting company, two years before their debut album was released. Why this recording has been left on a shelf for so long is anyone’s guess because this is quite a remarkable recording, showing off a new group brimming with energy and new ideas. Paal Nilssen-Love was only 25 at the time, but he and Ingebrigt Håker Flaten already had a reputation as one of the most energetic and creative rhythm sections in Scandinavia. Here the Finnish guitar phenomenon Raoul Björkenheim had found the perfect partners for his new group. Oval is previously unreleased in any form. Scorch Trio has only been available on CD until now, while both Luggumt and Brolt have long been out of print on vinyl.

File Under: Free Jazz, Improv
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she-him

She & Him: Christmas Party (Columbia) LP
She & Him (the sublime duo of Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward) offer up their second holiday themed collection with Christmas Party, the sequel to their acclaimed 2011 release A Very She & Him Christmas. The uplifting 12-track set features guest appearances by Jenny Lewis, The Chapin Sisters, Sonic Youth’s Steve Shelley and Jim Keltner amidst stylized renditions of “Let It Snow,” “Winter Wonderland,” “Run Rudolph Run,” and “Mele Kalikimaka.” Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas Is You,” is also updated wonderfully here with Deschanel noting, “I’ve always loved this song, and I was like, ‘I’d love to hear it without the digital keyboards. I’d love to hear it recorded in a little more of an old school way.”

File Under: Indie Rock, Holiday
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shifted

Shifted: Appropriation Stories (Hospital) LP
Guy Alexander Brewer, aka Shifted, is involved in several projects taking in techno, noise and experimental electronics overlaying a once-hidden past in drum’n’bass. Having shunned his previous work in Commix, more recently Brewer has learned to look back, even making sideways stabs into breakbeat territory with his Covered In Sand alias. The process grows more intricate and subtle on Appropriation Stories for the Hospital Productions imprint helmed by Dominick Fernow (aka Prurient, Vatican Shadow, et al.). On Appropriation Stories, rigorous processing and studio treatments transform classic breaks into deeply hidden components that add new layers of character to his highly-developed techno sound. At first presenting itself as a dense wall-of-sound underpinned by an incessant pulse, Appropriation Stories at length reveals itself to be a much more complex work. In place of the stark minimalism, razor-sharp digital textures and smeared analog surfaces of his previous output, Brewer offers layered tracks with intricate mixes that reveal themselves gradually over time. For long stretches – opener “This Passage”, “For Closure”, “In Respect of Tactics” – the rhythm steps back from insistent to implied, further exposing the careful arrangements of pure sound. As his origins in purist techno grow ever-more distant, Shifted’s sound has progressed from digital clarity to the murky-but-hard middle ground of his sophomore full length on Bed Of Nails, Under A Single Banner, and through a clear evolution on Brewer’s own Avian imprint. Integrating his more searching work as Alexander Lewis and his increasingly introspective work as Shifted while eloquently addressing his past, Appropriation Stories is a comprehensive statement of intent and Brewer’s finest, most mature work to-date. Mastered by Matt Colton at Alchemy.

File Under: Electronic, Techno, Ambient
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cologne

Various: Cologne Curiosities (Mental Experience) LP
The Nuggets (1972) of krautrock, Cologne Curiosities collects for the first time on vinyl, all the otherwise unpublished/un-reissued material that originally appeared on the three Unknown Deutschland – The Krautrock Archive CDs released on Virgin in 1996. These CD only releases were originally compiled by Trevor Manwaring (Paratactile, Impetus, Virgin, Harmonia Mundi) from tapes supplied to him by Toby Robinson. Toby, aka The Mad Twiddler, aka Genius P. Orridge, is well-known to krautrock collectors as one of a number of engineers working at Stockhausen’s WDR and Dierks Studio in Cologne in the mid-1970s, where he assisted on recordings by many famous kraut bands such as Can, Birth Control, Mythos and Dzyan. The recordings included here were made between 1972 and 1976 using studios in and around Cologne, produced by Toby Robinson for his own amusement. Bands would come in for practice sessions, to record demos, and during slack periods, impromptu jams would happen. Most of these sessions were recorded by Toby, and they feature Toby himself plus a revolving cast of friends and musicians (some of them apparently big kraut names under pseudonym). Including lost-in-time bands/studio projects like Astral Army, Fuerrote, Spirulina and Baal among others, the music here ranges from killer proto-new wave kraut psych to wild space rock, proto-ambient electronic, dark psychedelia and raw kosmische sounds with lots of analog synths/Moog. It was during that time in Cologne, that Toby, along with Fluxus artist Robin Page, gave birth to the mysterious and controversial Pyramid label, for which these tracks were originally made for. 24-bit domain remaster from the original master tapes. Insert with detailed liner notes by Alan Freeman (Ultima Thule, The Crack In The Cosmic Egg (2007)). Also features: Chronos, Neil Andersen and Ten To Zen. RIYL: Pink Floyd, Gila, Cluster, Hawkwind, Ash Ra Tempel, Amon Düül II, Popol Vuh, Cosmic Jokers.

File Under: Krautrock, Kosmische

french-dbs

Various: French Disco Boogie Sounds Vol. 2 (Favorite) LP
After an internationally acclaimed first edition, Favorite Recordings and Charles Maurice follow-up their French Disco Boogie Sounds compilation with this second volume. Pursuing his fine work at digging rare music from around the world, DJ and collector Charles Maurice presents another brilliant selection of great music linked to France and French West-Indies: 12 hidden and forgotten titles, all produced between 1978 and 1985, in France, or by French artists abroad. Again, he perfectly browses and defines the great energy and quality of this specific disco/funk scene at that time, both in the underground market, or through bigger labels. On one hand, tracks by Crystal, Jackie Esam, Ideku Dynasty or Marc Ashy, were produced by small artists and labels from the French Caribbean and African community and are filled with a raw spirit and some tropical influences. On the other hand, tracks by Claude Morgan, Greg Smaha, Roots, or Black Bells Group, were released by major labels such as Phonogram, RCA, Derby, or Carrere, thanks to confirmed independent producers, acting not only in France, but also in Canada and the US. Favorite Recordings and Charles Maurice unearth these 12 gems, amongst them some very hard to find and almost unknown titles. Also features: Charms, Neilo Feel,Nel Oliver and Messan.

File Under: Disco, Boogie

…..Restocks…..

Beach Boys: Good Vibrations (Universal) LP
Beastie Boys: Licensed to Ill (Universal) LP
Broadcast: Noise Made By People (Warp) LP
Califone: Roomsound (Dead Oceans) LP
Alice Coltrane: Journey in Satchidananda (Impulse) LP
Converge: You Fail Me Redux (Deathwish) LP
Lana Del Rey: Born To Die (Universal) LP
Michael Farneti: Good Morning (Companion) LP
Guns n Roses: Use Your Illusion 1 (Geffen) LP
Guns n Roses: Use Your Illusion 2 (Geffen) LP
Intersystems: s/t (Alga Margen) Box
Norah Jones: Day Breaks (Blue Note) LP
Fela Kuti: Expensive Shit (Knitting Factory) LP
Medico Doktor Vibes: Liter Dorker (Companion) LP
Mitski: Puberty 2 (Dead Oceans) LP
Naked & Famous: Simple Forms (Sony) LP
New Creation: Troubled (Companion) LP
Angel Olsen: My Woman (Jagjaguwar) LP
OST: Beyond the Black Rainbow (Jagjaguwar) LP
Pearl Jam: Versus (Legacy) LP
Pearl Jam: Ten (Legacy) LP
Pearl Jam: Vitalogy (Legacy) LP
Pharcyde: Bizarre Ride II (Bicycle Music) LP
Pink Floyd: Meddle (Pink Floyd) LP
Daniel Romano: Mosey (New West) LP
Jack Rose: Kensington Blues (VHF) LP
Semi-Colon: Ndia Egbuo (Comb & Razor) LP
Small Faces: First Step (Rhino) LP
Stooges: s/t (Rhino) LP
S U R V I V E: RR7349 (Relapse) LP
Syrinx: Tumblers from the Vault (ReRVNG) LP/CD
T. Rex: s/t (Rhino) LP
Throbbing Gristle: 2nd Annual Report (Industrial) LP
Throbbing Gristle: DOA (Industrial) LP
Tomorrow The Rain Will Fall Upwards: Wreck (Blackest Ever Black) LP
Caetano Veloso: s/t (Lilith) LP
Weezer: Green Album (Universal) LP
Weezer: Red Album (Universal) LP
Various: Brixotica Goes East (Trunk) LP
Various: Psych Funk 101 (World Psych Funk Classics) LP

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…..news letter #710 – atomized…..

Well, I think today is the first day in about a week and a half that I DIDN’T buy any used records for the shop. Probably for the best though, we’ve got a major backlog going on here now. I’ve made a small list below of just SOME of the stuff we’ve put out recently to whet your appetite. Come down this weekend and have a dig.

…..pick of the week…..

bigblack

Big Black: Atomizer
(Touch & Go) LP

So, there’s so much to love about this album. So frantic, so angsty, so abrassive. It’s the auditory equivalent of crashing through the windshield of your car and then skidding on your face for a block and living to tell the tale. “Originally released in 1985, and now remastered by Steve Albini and Bob Weston at Chicago Mastering, Big Black’s first full-length album Atomizer will be re-released in September 2015. To save you having to do the math in your head, yes, that makes this a 30th anniversary reissue. This remastered version of Atomizer also includes the song “Strange Things” which appeared on the first pressing, but was not present on subsequent vinyl pressings nor on The Rich Man’s Eight Track CD. It also comes with a double sided insert and a digital download coupon. To put this release into context for the uninformed: Big Black began in 1982. Steve Albini, then a sophomore at Northwestern University, fanzine writer and loudmouth, released the Lungs EP on the Chicago co-operative label Ruthless (whose other artists at the time included Naked Raygun and the Effigies). Lungs was recorded in his apartment on a borrowed 4-track for the price of one case of beer. After that record’s release, Jeff Pezzati (singer for Naked Raygun) and Santiago Durango (Naked Raygun, Arsenal), both linchpins of the burgeoning Chicago music scene, joined Big Black. During this period, the band established itself as a live act, recorded two more records, the Bulldozer EP and the Racer X EP, toured the U.S., and had -in general – a pretty good time. Pezzati’s other obligations precipitated his departure from the band in 1984, when he was replaced by Dave Riley, bass player for Chicago swing-punk band Savage Beliefs. This lineup persisted until the band’s self-destruction in August of 1987. Big Black toured the U.S., England, Europe, and Austrailia. They recorded a shitload of records: Il Duce 45, Atomizer LP, Headache EP (which bore the heartbreakingly-honest disclaimer “Warning! Not as good as Atomizer. Don’t get your hopes up, Cheese.”), Heartbeat 45, He’s A Whore 45, Songs About Fucking LP, and the Pig Pile LP.” HIGHEST RECOMMENDATION!

File Under: Punk, Albini, Drum Machines
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…..new arrivals…..

born

Born Ruffians: Ruff (Paper Bag) DLX LP
The deluxe edition is loaded with unique surprises! We could tell you what makes it so special, but in the internet age there’s little mystery left in music and Born Ruffians love surprises. Order the deluxe edition and discover all the hidden treasures when you receive the vinyl on release date! The deluxe edition will be signed by the band, but that’s about the only surprise that we can share. *Deluxe Edition comes with limited edition Born Ruffians slip mat! The record is RUFF – simultaneously a return to form and a departure from expectations. Songs of refutation, lamentations of forgotten past lives and ecstatic self-erasures that say “eat shit, we did it!”. RUFF, as an idea, is everything – sound, message, band. If Birthmarks was polished and presentable, RUFF is the ugly innards that hide beneath.

File Under: Indie Rock, CanCon
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chvrches

Chvrches: Every Open Eye (Glassnote) LP
In tomorrow…. A lot has changed for CHVRCHES in the past few years. When the Glaswegian trio wrote and recorded their debut, The Bones Of What You Believe (2013), no one had heard of them. The three members (Iain Cook, Martin Doherty and Lauren Mayberry) came together with the idea of working on a writing project together, unsure of what path that would take other than one which belied their previous musical projects and foregrounded melody and classic songwriting styles before everything else. There were no pre-existing ideas of what the record would or should be like, no pre-conceptions and nothing to live up to – just three people in a basement studio in Glasgow making music they believed in. The album went on to sell over 500,000 copies and earned rave reviews far and wide. Approaching the new album, Every Open Eye, one could argue that everything is different for the band but they tried not to treat it that way. CHVRCHES returned to the same hometown studio that had housed them during the recording of their first LP, their basic goal to shut off the outside world and get back to what they know best: writing. Made in CHVRCHES’ Alucard Studios – a converted three-bedroom flat on the southside of Glasgow – Every Open Eye offers an alternative approach in a climate of music written by committee or the same handful of well-known songwriters, going back to the idea that a band can write, record and produce their work entirely by themselves. Using some ideas the band had recorded in venues during their time on the road as a starting point, the band found riffs, loops and melodies they wanted to develop or started from scratch on the synths, pads and machines they had been gathering in their basement to create the instrumentals of the songs. Vocal melodies were developed as the songs took shape with the lyrics added last, developed from words and sentences from notebooks Lauren Mayberry had kept on tour. Musically, Every Open Eye seeks to do more with less. To make big sounds without racking up endless tracks within Cubase sessions. To make something intense and urgent and visceral, using the basic tools of melody, rhythm and arrangement rather than the mentality that ‘more is more’. Sonically, Every Open Eye develops CHVRCHES’ signature style, juxtaposing the light and the dark, creating their own brand of twisted pop music that uniquely merges the organic with the electronic, molding sounds and ideas forged over two years on the road into an electronic-pop record with a heart. Lyrically, Every Open Eye is not a break up album. It is a record about past heartbreaks and getting over them (“Leave A Trace”). About perspective and the benefit of hindsight. About being unapologetic and not being told what to do or who to be (“Bury It,” “Never Ending Circles,” “Playing Dead”). About moving on to better things, holding on to the good and letting go of the bad (“Down Side Of Me,” “Clearest Blue,” “Afterglow”). Mixed by Spike Stent and mastered by Bob Ludwig.

File Under: Electronic, Synth-Pop
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tron

Daft Punk: Tron Legacy (Disney) LP
In tomorrow… A few years ago this came out, and everyone was like “It’s too expensive…” then it sold out and started selling for 4-5 times as much online. Well, now you can buy it for slightly less than it originally cost, so, maybe waiting paid off… “Continuing to exploit their creative urges to their ends, multi-platinum electronic duo Daft Punk (Guy-Manuel de Homen-Christo and Thomas Bangalter) took on one of their most ambitious projects to date in 2008, when they agreed to score the modern remake of the hugely influential 1982 film, Tron. Daft Punk’s reverence of the original film and the themes that define it (the evolving relationship between humans and technology, specifically) rendered them discontented working within the means of their own studio. “We knew from the start that there was no way we were going to do this film score with two synthesizers and a drum machine,” stated Guy-Manuel. Enlisting a 100-piece orchestra, they emerged from the studio after two years with a work whose importance superseded the editing process of the actual film – the movie was cut to the score, atypically. Tron: Legacy peaked at #4 on the Billboard 200 albums chart and was awarded with a gold certification for 500,000 units sold shortly thereafter.”

File Under: Electronic, OST
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discharge

Discharge: Toronto 83 (Ugly Pop) LP
In tomorrow… Discharge are one of the greatest punk bands of all time, and this 1983 set captures them in ferocious form. Rescued from an old tape, the sound is violent, dirty and powerful, a raw document of a raw band blazing through 14 tracks of relentlessly furious hardcore. Fully legit and authorised, not a bootleg. WARNING: do not expect NOFX CD sound– this is noise not music!

File Under: Punk, Hardcore
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girl band

Girl Band: Holding Hands With Jamie (Rough Trade) LP
Holding Hands with Jamie, Girl Band’s debut album, comes a few years into their tenure; a few years after their first tour, nine days crammed into a Fiat Panda; a few years of stamping 7″ sleeves to sell at merch tables and mail-order; a few years of writing songs and touring and developing a live ferocity unmatched by nearly anyone. Recorded in April 2015 in their home town of Dublin at Bow Lane Studios over two days after returning home from their first-ever US tour, the nine tracks making up Holding Hands with Jamie capture, more than any previous recordings, the tension and abrasive energy of a Girl Band performance. Recalling any number of things but for only milliseconds at a time, Girl Band make a mockery of comparisons, because you can only get as far as “oh this bit sounds like” before a guitar scuff-screams, the bass crunches like a car in a bailing press, or something else visceral and glorious comes from the speakers, and the thought’s erased. But ultimately, anyone who’s paying attention can only conclude, like Noisey did: “The one blindingly obvious thing about Girl Band is that this is fucking great.” “Paint-peelingly vicious” – Toronto Star. “One of the most confident, shit-kicking bands around.” – NME. “You don’t so much listen to a Girl Band song as get strapped into it” – Pitchfork.

File Under: Punk, Noise Rock
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helen

Helen: The Original Faces (Kranky) LP
“When I was a child, I spoke to Helen. “Helen is a pop group from Oregon. Liz Harris (vocals/lead guitar), Jed Bindeman (drums/tambourine), Scott Simmons (bass/guitar), and Helen (backup vocals). Originally started with the intention of being a thrash band, it turned into something else entirely. The Original Faces was recorded over a period of several years in Portland by the band members and their friends Nick, Chris, and, largely, Justin Higgins. Written together, some songs based on Liz and Scott’s demos.”

File Under: LoFi, Shoegaze, Grouper
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lanegan

Mark Lanegan: 2002 Houston Publishing Demos 2002 (Ipecac) LP
In tomorrow… Mark Lanegan first rose to fame with his band the Screaming Trees in the ’90s. Like other noted artists Lanegan has carved out a strong identity of his own as a vocalist and songwriter informed by the blues but willing to take his darkly poetic sensibility wherever his muse was pointing him, from hard rock to electronics. Cut to 2002, The Screaming Trees had just recently disbanded and Lanegan was in the early years of his solo offerings (at this point he had released a mere five solo albums). The songs on Houston Publishing Demos 2002, were written, recorded, then shelved until now, with the release of this 12-song collection of previously unreleased demos on Ipecac Recordings. In addition to familiar tunes like “Has God Seen My Shadow?,” “Halycon Daze” and “Gray Goes Black,” most of the material here is being unveiled for the first time. Houston Publishing Demos 2002 was produced by Justice Records’ Randall Jamail while the artwork for the album was done by The Mekon’s John Langford.

File Under: Indie Rock
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rateliffNathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats: s/t (Fantasy) LP
In tomorrow… BACK IN STOCK! Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats practically explodes with deep, primal and ecstatic soulfulness. This stunning work isn’t just soul stirring, it’s also soul baring, and the combination is absolutely devastating to behold. You don’t just listen to this record – you experience it. So it’s entirely fitting that the self-titled album will bear the iconic logo of Stax Records, because at certain moments Rateliff seems to be channeling soul greats like Otis Redding and Sam & Dave. But as this gifted multi-instrumentalist honors the legacy of the legendary Memphis label, he’s also setting out into audacious new territory. Those who were beguiled by In Memory of Loss, Rateliff’s folky, bittersweet 2010 Rounder album, will be in for an initial shock when they spin Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats. But when you delve beneath the rawboned surface of the new album’s wall-rattling presentation, with its deep-gut grooves, snaky guitars, churning Hammond and irresistible horns, you’ll find that same sensitive, introspective dude, who bravely tells it like it is, breaking through his reticence to expose often harsh truths about the life he’s lived, the people he’s hurt and the despair he’s struggled with. The difference between the two albums is that the Nights Sweats’ funkiness insulates the starkly confessional nature of Rateliff’s songs while at the same time underscoring their emotional extremes. As the band blazes away on the soul-rock rave-up “I Need Never Get Old,” the visceral “Howling at Nothing” and the supercharged “Trying So Hard Not to Know,” which open the album with a sustained outpouring of torrid intensity, Rateliff is opening himself up emotionally as well as physically, the raw grit in his voice conveying anguish and hope in equal measure. The buoyant immediacy of the music makes the hard truths embedded in the songs easier to swallow than it would be in Rateliff’s other primary mode – a solitary guy with a guitar, the brim of his baseball cap pulled down, putting his heart and guts on the line without the protection of his simpatico cohorts. Make no mistake, these songs would stop you in their tracks presented in that naked way as well, but the additional layers of soulfulness provided by the Night Sweats – its core comprising guitarist Joseph Pope III, drummer Patrick Meese and keyboardist Mark Shusterman – bring a convergence of intensities, musical and psychological, to the performances. “S.O.B.” sits at the dead center of the album, between the brutally honest confessionals “I’ve Been Failing” and “Wasted Time.” Thematically, the song is the album’s linchpin – partly a rebuke, partly a cry of defiance, “S.O.B” is the “fuck it all” anthem of a blue-collar kid from the Heartland whose conditioned idea of therapy is a shot and a beer chaser, and then another round, on the way to sweet oblivion. From there Rateliff contemplates some of the sustaining aspects of existence, from redemption by way of the forgiving love of another in “Thank You,” “Look It Here” and “I’d Be Waiting” to sexual heat in the N’awlins-style strutter “Shake.” The album ends on a hopeful note with the relatively laidback “Mellow Out.” When it came time to pick a producer, Rateliff went with Richard Swift, a polymath who has made records under his own name, helmed projects for Damien Jurado, the Mynabirds and others, and has played with The Black Keys and the Shins. Swift’s specialty is summoning (and capturing) inspired performances in the moment, and the synergy in the studio, first with Rateliff and then with his band, was instant and palpable. Rateliff and the Sweats already had the arrangements of the new songs down cold, having shaped them on the road. Swift, knowing a good thing when he heard it, set the mics, honed the sound, giving it plenty of space so that the studio itself served as an integral sonic component. Then he pressed “record” and coaxed it into happening organically.

File Under: Funk, Soul, Blues
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max

Max Richter: From Sleep (Deutsche Grammophon) LP
One of Britain’s leading contemporary composers has written what is thought to be the longest single piece of classical music ever to be recorded. Sleep is eight hours long – and is actually and genuinely intended to send the listener to sleep. “It’s an eight-hour lullaby,” says its composer, Max Richter. The landmark work is scored for piano, strings, electronics and vocals – but no words. “It’s my personal lullaby for a frenetic world,” he says. “A manifesto for a slower pace of existence.” Sleep will receive its world premiere this September in Berlin, in a concert performance lasting from 12 midnight to 8am at which the audience will be given beds instead of seats and programmes. The eight-hour version will be available as a digital album while a one-hour adaptation of the work entitled From Sleep will be released on double vinyl, both from Deutsche Grammophon. “You could say that the short one is meant to be listened to and the long one is meant to be heard while sleeping,” says Richter, who describes the one-hour version as “a series of windows opening into the big piece.” Richter does not expect anyone to sit down and listen to Sleep in its entirety, although some surely will. “It’s really an experiment to try and understand how we experience music in different states of consciousness.” He says he came up with the idea because of a long-standing fascination: “Sleeping is one of the most important things we all do,” he says. “We spend a third of our lives asleep and it’s always been one of my favourite things, ever since I was a child.” Coinciding as it does with the renewed interest in durational works within the fine art community, Richter says: “This isn’t something new in music, it goes back to Cage, Terry Riley, and LaMonte Young, and it’s coming around again partly as a reaction to our speeded-up lives – we are all in need of a pause button.” Richter adds, “I’m perpetually curious about performance conventions in classical music, our rigid rules that dictate how and what music we can appreciate. Somehow in Europe over the last century, as complexity and inaccessibility in music became equated with intelligence and the avant-garde, we lost something along the way. Modernism gave us so many stunning works but we also lost our lullabies. We lost a shared communion in sound. Audiences have dwindled. All my pieces over the last few years have been exploring this, as does Sleep. It’s a very deliberate political statement for me.”

File Under: Classical, Ambient
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telekinesis-ad-infinitum

Telekenesis: Ad Infinitum (Merge) LP
When it came time to make Ad Infinitum, the fourth Telekinesis album, drummer/songwriter/principal architect Michael Lerner found himself in a predicament. In just under five years, he had released three fantastic records—Telekinesis! (2009), 12 Desperate Straight Lines (2011), and Dormarion (2013)—each more ambitious than the last. He had toured all over the world, shared stages with great bands, and enthralled fans of his infectious, ebullient power pop. Newly married and happily ensconced in the home studio he’d assembled in his West Seattle basement, Lerner found himself asking the question that has haunted modestly successful bands down the ages: What do you do after the rock and roll dreams you had when you were 19 have come true? “I went down to the basement,” Lerner recalls, “and started playing the same chords I always play… I just felt like I’d exhausted everything I knew. I was not excited at all. I just could not make another power-pop album.” While many artists have made fruitful use of vintage sounds and production techniques in recent years, Ad Infinitum is a different animal. It feels less like a time capsule and more like a time machine. In the movie version of the story, Lerner would stumble on his way down the stairs, hit his head, and wake up in 1983, and the only way he could get back to the present day would be to make a record using available instruments. Then he’d wake in 2015 to discover he’d been in his basement studio all along. And the record he’d made in that strange dream state would turn out to be Ad Infinitum, the most ambitious and assured Telekinesis release to date.

File Under: Indie Rock
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wand

Wand: 1000 Days (Drag City) LP
Recorded in Los Angeles and San Francisco in between tour days, 1000 Days finds Wand searching in corners. Where have all the people gone? Where have they put them? Panoramas of the body history are viewed through Wand’s spy-glass as it sweeps the horizon. Major mutations blooming and ballooning in the cities. The vault where plans for an invasion gather dust. The latest fables buzzing down the civil wire. All these and more are folded and packed neatly into a traveler’s trunk stuffed with tonal frequencies – sounds that tickle a Pavlovian response, the heartache and the sadness and the anger that we feel, the tug of our highest ideals. All by punching a key or playing a chord – an illusion made of parts representing a sequence or set of steps that, taken together, add up to an exploded diagram of a subject and its perception, meant to be swallowed as a whole. Whether it addresses a way of life, a homebrewed philosophy, a dark part of history or a cacophony of personal desires, the song remains truly a thing, regardless of the angle of affection.

File Under: Psych Rock
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ElyseWeinberg1400-2

Elyse Weinberg: Greasepaint Smile (Numerophone) LP
The unreleased second album by an original lady from the canyon. Recorded and recanted in 1969, Greasepaint Smile is more assured than its self-titled, Tetragrammaton-issued predecessor. Weinberg’s finger-picked acoustic is layered over distant drumming, while her gravel-pit voice evokes life, love, and mortality. Fellow Torontonian Neil Young sears “Houses” with his signature fuzz-tone, casting chaos over the beautiful ballad, while J.D. Souther, Kenny Edwards, and Nils Lofgren, pick up the slack. Masterfully produced by David Briggs, Greasepaint Smile has climbed out of the canyon and is bound for every turntable east of the 405.

File Under: Folk
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young

Neil Young: Monsanto Years (Reprise) LP
In tomorrow… Neil Young + Promise of the Real have joined forces for the new ecologically/environmentally-focused studio album, The Monsanto Years, inspired by the food industry conglomerate Monsanto. For this guitar-centric, full steam-ahead and highly-charged rock album, Young is joined by Promise of the Real, an LA-based rock band fronted by Lukas Nelson (vocals/guitar), along with Micah Nelson (guitar, vocals), Anthony Logerfo (drums), Corey McCormick (bass) and Tato Melgar (percussion). The album’s artwork is a send up of the famous American Gothic painting featuring Young and his girlfriend Daryl Hannah.

File Under: Rock
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lagoon

Youth Lagoon: Savage Hills Ballroom (Fat Possum) LP
In tomorrow… Trevor Powers, the Idaho musician known as Youth Lagoon, has found what used to be destructive is now what gives him life. “I’ve never felt truly comfortable. It’s this feeling of uneasiness that follows me everywhere I go because my thoughts never shut up,” says Powers. “It used to exhaust me, but I’ve learned discomfort is invaluable. Safety makes us numb. It’s when we find ourselves in territories we’re unfamiliar with that we can really grow.” While on tour throughout Europe, Powers received a phone call from home informing him that one of his closest friends had drowned in the local river. After canceling the tour and flying home for the funeral, the following months marked a defining shift in Powers’ approach to songwriting. “Just how entwined we are never truly hit me before that,” claims Powers. “We are all connected. Even strangers. Our existence is one dazzling pattern that repeats itself endlessly. What makes us distinct is our flaws. In our defects lies something great.” Youth Lagoon’s third album Savage Hills Ballroom is rooted in discomfort, rather than avoiding it. Influenced by society’s desire to exude a flawless existence, the album’s musical direction and visual aspects were conceived on Powers’ late-night walks through Idaho’s suburbs. “When I see rows and rows of seemingly ideal houses, I can’t help but think that humanity has an innate craving to look perfect. And usually the better someone’s life seems from the outside, the more they’re hiding,” states Powers. “I’ve had a lot of barriers for a long time that I haven’t let people past, and I’ve gotten really sick of playing pretend.” Shortly after meeting co-producer Ali Chant through a series of webcam chats, Powers relocated to Bristol, UK for two months to record Savage Hills Ballroom at Toybox Studios — an underground recording space in a vaulted Georgian basement.

File Under: Indie Rock
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daptonegoldIIVarious: Daptone Gold 2 (Daptone) LP
In tomorrow…The Daptone Gold II double LP is packaged in a silver foil gatefold sleeve and comes with a poster, liner notes and iron-on. CD is packaged in a deluxe embossed silver foil digipak with liner notes. A collection of fan favorites, 45 only, and exclusive killers soooo good it turns Gold to Platinum. Dig on 21 tracks hand-picked by Daptone Staff, Musicians, and fans. But what’s REALLY special are the exclusive tracks by Naomi Shelton & the Gospel Queens, as well as “The Baddest Band in the Land” The Dap-Kings, who offer up a dance-floor dominator, “Thunderclap.” Still need more convincing?  How about extensive liner notes from the foremost authority on SOUL Music, Mr. Fine Wine – the DJ behind WFMU’s longest running SOUL program, Downtown Soulville. For the vinyl enthusiast, there are a couple special goodies inside each silver foil embossed 2xLP Gatefold: a double-sided FULL-SIZED poster adorning all the album artwork that has made Daptone the world’s #1 source for the modern yet classic aesthetic.  And for you crafty sorts, there’s an iron–on Daptone Logo sporting the mantra “There’s no Business Like Soul Business”, you can put on the back of your favorite white demin jacket. …just saying.  It’s the perfect album for those down with the Daptone Sound, but who also enjoy consolidation. Voila! Daptone Gold Volume II.

File Under: Funk, Soul

…..used goodies…..
Haven’t done one of these in a long while, but we’ve had a flood of great used stuff coming in lately so I figured I’d tease those of you who don’t come dig through the bins on the regular. We probably put at least 100 new used records out every week, be sure to come dig…..

Richard Abrams: Levels and Degrees of Light (Delmark)
Albert Ayler: The Last Album (Impulse)
Blue Cheer: Vincebus Eruptum (Philips)
Arthur Blythe: The Grip (India Navigation)
John Cale: Fear (Island)
Jaki Byard Experience: s/t (Prestige)
Miles Davis: Bitches Brew (Columbia)
Miles Davis: Four and More (Columbia)
Miles Davis: Kind of Blue (Columbia)
Miles Davis: Water Babies (Columbia)
Miles Davis: Get up With It (Columbia)
Miles Davis: Live Evil (Columbia)
Eric Dolphy: Iron Man (Columbia)
Chico Freeman: Kings of Mali (India Navigation)
Marvin Gaye: Live at the London Palladium (Motown)
Buddy Guy: I Was Walking Through The Woods (Chess)
Humble Pie: s/t (A&M)
The Kinks: Kink Kontroversy (Reprise)
JB Lenoir: Natural Man (Chess)
Memphis Slim: Real Folk Blues (Chess)
Charles Mingus: Mingus Ah um (Columbia)
Van Morrison: Astral Weeks (Warner)
Mothers of Invention: Freak Out (Verve)
The Move: Shazam (A&M)
James Newton: Password Del Mar (India Navigation)
Pharoah Sanders: Live at the East (Impulse)
Archie Shepp: Atttica Blues (Impulse)
Sly and the Family Stone: Fresh (Epic)
Spooky Tooth: It’s All About… (Island)
Sun Ra: It’s After The End Of The World (MPS)
Television: Marquee Moon (4 Men With Beards)
Townes Van Zandt: Flying’ Shoes (Tomato)
Velvet Underground: White Light/White Heat (Verve)
Neil Young: Harvest (Reprise)
Various: Blues Piano Orgy (Delmark)
Various: Heavy Heads Voyage 2 (Chess)
Various: Mississippi Moaners 1927-1942 (Yazoo)
Various: The Roots of America’s Music 1 (Arhoolie)
Various: Sanctified Singers Part One (Folkways)

…..Restocks…..

Air: Pocket Symphonies (Parlophone) LP
Air: Talkie Walkie (Parlophone) LP
Air: Virgin Suicides (Parlophone) LP
Animal Collective: Sung Tongs (Fat Cat) LP
Beach House: Depression Cherry (Sub Pop) LP
Black Keys: Brothers (Nonesuch) LP
J Dilla: Donuts (Stones Throw) LP
Nick Drake: Five Leaves Left (Island) LP
John Fahey: Great San Bernardino Birthday Party… (4 Men With Beards) LP
Father John Misty: I Love You, Honeybear (Sub Pop) LP
Fuzz: s/t (In The Red) LP
Half Japanese: Box 2 1987-1989 (Fire) Box
Iron Maiden: Book of Souls (Parlophone) LP
Kinks: Something Else (Sanctuary) LP
Kinks: Village Green Preservation… (Sanctuary) LP
Kinks: Arthur of The Decline.. (Sanctuary) LP
Kraftwerk: Autobaun (EMI) LP
Kraftwerk: Man Machine (EMI) LP
Kraftwerk: Tour de France (EMI) LP
Fela Kuti: He Miss Road (Knitting Factory) LP
LCD Soundsystem: 45:33 (DFA) LP
Led Zeppelin: III (Warner) LP
Led Zeppelin: In Through The Out Door (Warner) LP
Led Zeppelin: Physical Graffiti (Warner) LP
Lootpack: Soundpieces: Da Antidote (Stones Throw) LP
Lumineers: s/t (Universal) LP
Melvins: Eggnog/Lice-All (Boner) LP
MF Doom: Mmm… Food (Rhymesayers) LP
Neu!: 2 (Gronland) LP
Neu!: 75 (Gronland) LP
Neurosis: Times of Grace (Relapse) LP
Night Beats: s/t (Trouble In Mind) LP
Nine Inch Nails: Ghosts I-IV (Null) LP
Nine Inch Nails: The Slip (Null) LP
Quasimoto: The Unseen (Stones Throw) LP
Roxy Music: s/t (Capitol) LP
Roxy Music: Country Life (Capitol) LP
Shannon & The Clams: Gone By The Dawn (Hardly Art) LP
Silver Jews: Natural Bridge (Drag City) LP
Sturgill Simpson: Metamodern Sounds in Country Music (Thirty Tigers) LP
Sinoia Caves: Beyond The Black Rainbow OST (Jagjaguwar) LP
Spoon: Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga (Merge) LP
Sufjan Stevens: Carrie & Lowell (Asthmatic Kitty) LP
Viet Cong: s/t (Flemish Eye) LP

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…..news letter #677 – empyrean…..

Well, a relatively light week for shipments this week. That storm in the US hasn’t helped any. But we should have piles of new stuff next week. In the meantime I’ll be putting out another stack of jazz LPs tonight! Come get your dig on!

…..pick of the week…..

6ooa

Six Organs of Admittance: Hexadic (Drag City) LP/CD
“THE SYSTEM builds all of the tonal fields, chord changes, scales, and lyrics on this record, creating the framework for the songs with which the musicians engage. Yet THE SYSTEM is open; within the framework, Chasny’s own personal aesthetics — such as the production mode of loud guitars, the order of songs, the editing of length — were all conscious decisions made to communicate the pieces. The exact same combinatorial patterns used on this record can create infinite results, depending on the choices of the individual. Ben’s years of study have produced an operational agent that has not only built all the songs on Hexadic but is also a system anyone can use to restructure their ways of habit. The first thing one notices when listening to Hexadic is how unhinged it all sounds. The album brews and boils with an ominously dark tone in a desolate space, somehow dense with energy, guitar overdriven past the point of sanity, slamming drum accents, vocals cutting through in what seems to be comprised of another, as yet unheard, language. Yet, inside the apparent wild abandon and destruction is a strict internal logic of construction that unveils itself upon listening. This is the majestic dialectic of Hexadic.”

File Under: Rock, Psych, Comets on Fire
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…..new arrivals…..

father john

Father John Misty: I Love You, Honeybear (Sub Pop) LP
“I Love You, Honeybear was recorded intermittently from 2013 to 2014 in Echo Park, Los Angeles and produced with Jonathan Wilson, whom I also recorded and produced 2012’s Fairly Fun with. There’s a case to be made that it sounds and acts a bit like solo-era John Lennon, Scott Walker, Randy Newman, Harry Nilsson, and Dory Previn, while taking more than a few cues from Woody Allen, Kurt Vonnegut, Alejandro Jodorowsky and Muhammad Ali. “It has a decidedly more soulful presence than Fear Fun, due in no small part to the fact that I am truly singing my ass off all over this motherfucker. The album is really characterized by the scope and ambition of the arrangements. Nearly every tune is augmented by something special, be it orchestral strings, a mariachi band, questionable electronic drum solos, ragtime jazz combos, soul singers, or what have you. I’m pretty sure there’s a sitar in there somewhere. “My ambition, aside from making an indulgent, soulful, and epic sound worthy of the subject matter, was to address the sensuality of fear, the terrifying force of love, the unutterable pleasures of true intimacy, and the destruction of emotional and intellectual prisons in my own voice. This material demanded a new way of being made, and it took a lot of time before the process revealed itself. “The massive, deranged shmaltz I heard in my head, and knew had to be the sound of this record, originated a few years ago while Emma and I were hallucinating in Joshua Tree; the same week I wrote the title track. I chased that sound for the entire year and half we were recording. The means by which it was achieved bore a striking resemblance to the travails, abandon and transformation of loving someone. There: I said it.” – Josh Tillman aka Father John Misty I Love You, Honeybear was produced by Josh Tillman and Jonathan Wilson, mixed by Phil Ek, and mastered by Greg Calbi. This standard black vinyl edition comes housed in gatefold jacket and includes a fold out poster, listening instructions and an accompanying MP3 download coupon.

File Under: Folk, Indie, Fleet Foxes
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half jap

Half Japanese: Volume 2 1987-1989 (Fire) LP
Formed in 1975, this US group has undergone numerous personnel changes since its inception. Despite an erratic history, the unit remains an important outlet for the considerable but anachronistic talents of Jad Fair, who has also pursued a musically indistinguishable solo career. Half Japanese performances were events in the truest sense, often featuring two sets of drums, brass bands, magicians and up to four guitars. Half Japanese’s body of work taken as a whole represents an almost inconceivable playground of diversity and experimentation. However, it should not be a roll-call of distinguished colleagues that provides Jad Fair and Half Japanesewith their notoriety, but the stature of their music and lyrics, which have played a large part in shaping the development of the American underground rock scene (influencing artists such as Beck, Sebadoh and Nirvana.) The Fire Records Half Japanese reissue series continues with the second volume – covering the three releases of Music to Strip By, Charmed Life and The Band That Would Be King – issued one a year from 1987 to 1989. Following the 2014 release of Volume 1: 1981-1985, the next three Half Japanese records come in their original release form, with the additional tracks that were later added to the CD releases over the years available via download code. The LPs are wrapped together in a heavy wide spine outer sleeve with a specially designed paper cut image by Jad Fair, who also provides more illustrations throughout the booklet, with words by David Fair. “Half Japanese assumed it was the greatest Rock and Roll band on the planet. It was often right.” – SPIN

File Under: Punk, Rock, LoFi
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para one

Para One: Girlhood (Because) LP+CD
French producer Jean-Baptiste de Laubier aka Para One (TTC) has loyally composed all of the original soundtracks for French screenwriter and director Céline Sciamma’s films. Para One now presents his soundtrack to Sciamma’s acclaimed 2014 film Bande de filles (Girlhood), featuring an appearance by Frida Sundemo. Presented on LP with CD included.

File Under: OST, Electronic
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sigur ros

Sigur Ros: Agaetis Byrjun (XL) LP
A lot of people have one album that changes their lives, something that in some way alters everything after the first moment the hear it. 1999’s Agaetis Byrjun is that album for a lot of people. Agaetis Byrjun (a good beginning), is actually Sigur Ros’ second beginning. Three years previously they released their debut album, Von. After that the trio became a quartet and they evolved into something astounding. As suggested by a lyric from Agaetis Byrjun’s title track, Sigur Ros had bigger ambitions after releasing Von. Agaetis Byrjun gradually grew into a huge commercial success in Iceland, remaining in the top of the charts for over 2 years. Dave and Alex from Fat Cat Records had had their eye on Sigur Ros since 1998 and quickly signed the band to their label following Agaetis Byrjun’s release. The first indication of the critical acclaim the album would receive abroad came with the release of the Svefn-g-englar EP in September 1999. Ecstatic reviews began emerging and gushes like “the last great band of the twentieth century” and “like god weeping tears of gold in heaven” were not uncommon. Agaetis Byrjun became available to the rest of the world in 2000 when Fat Cat released the album in the UK, and in 2001 when PIAS Recordings released the album in North America. Agaetis Byrjun was an album that came literally out of nowhere and seemed to tug at the heartstrings of those who least expected it. No one thought an album by an unknown band of four shy Icelandic men in their early-20s, singing in Icelandic, would become the worldwide music phenomenon it became. The record label projected the album to sell 1500 copies – it has to date sold several million copies.

File Under: Ambient, Pop, Iceland
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Modern-Surf-ClassicsSwami John Reis & The Blind Shake: Modern Surf Classics (Swami) LP
Death by kowabunga bunga! Swami John Reis and The Blind Shake pay tribute to the classic surf and rock ’n’ roll instrumentals of the 1960s and update the genre for today’s more extreme, modern surfer. Thirteen original modern surf compositions create this tidal wave of booming tom toms, skronking saxophones and a chaotic surge of guitars. Let this south swell topple you, and may you be pinned in its undertow of reverb. Swami John Reis uses a similar aggro guitar approach to his playing in Hot Snakes and Night Marchers but allows the influences of Omar Khorshid, The Ventures, Link Wray, Randy Holden’s Fender IV and forgotten instro combos rise to the surface for air. Joining Swami is Minneapolis’s The Blind Shake (Goner Records, Castle Face), a bombastic power trio consisting of guitar, baritone guitar and drums whose sound has been described as “muscular psych punk.” This collaboration generates a symphonic wall of twang, amplifying the cinematic sense of drama and tension with the addition of saxophone, doumbek, piano, riq, vibraphone and piano. To capture the essence of this vibe, some of the initial tracking was recorded under Crystal Pier (San Diego) by Ben Moore utilizing a mobile recording VW van. Because of the intense rhythmic velocity achieved on many of these tracks, Modern Surf Classics can also be recommended to those interested in BMX, roller skateboarding, snowboarding / toboggan, fighting, yoga, car racing, military and most other water activities (with the exception of SUP).

File Under: Surf, Hot Snakes, Drive Like Jehu, RFTC
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switches

Switches: I Just Wanna (Switches) LP/CD/CS
Better late than never, these Edmo garage punk’s full length album is finally available! “If you’re going to cover an artist’s career-defining hit, you might want to take a few lessons from Edmonton’s Switches. Their version of Tracy Chapman’s wistful acoustic ditty, Fast Car, is one of the best covers of ANY song EVER — because the Edmonton garage-punks render it almost unrecognizable.  “I had a feeling I could be someone,” Tara McMahon snarls triumphantly as a gritty guitar and an NHL-style organ tussle in the back seat.  Even better, their rendition doesn’t stick out like a Mustang in a fleet of jalopies on the foursome’s new album, I Just Wanna. Their Fast Car sounds like just another one of the gang — you might need a few spins before you even realize it’s a cover — fitting in with tunes about beers, babes and bad-assery. “I just wanna shake it up / My way,” McMahon warns on the title track, a fast ’n’ ferocious number. “I just want her now,” she howls on Ma Cherie, a ’50s-style ballad punctuated with disheveled back-up vocals.  “I don’t need you by my side / But I still want you by my side,” she weighs her options on Stole All My Stuff. There’s no doubt about it: McMahon and her pals — Marlaena Moore, Tamar Dinner and Stefan Opryshko — will steal your heart.” – Edmonton Journal

File Under: Garage, Punk, Local
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two gallants

Two Gallants: We Are Undone (ATO) LP
San Francisco based guitar-drum duo Two Gallants return with their fifth studio album, We Are Undone, on ATO Records. While singer and guitarist Adam Stephens and drummer Tyson Vogel have stayed true to the two-person format since their acclaimed 2004 debut, The Throes, their sound has evolved considerably over the intervening years. Following 2012’s The Bloom and the Blight, We Are Undone is the band’s second release on ATO. Thematically, the album ranges from songs that attempt to make sense of the dramatically shifting social landscape of their home town, to the illusion of authenticity, impending environmental collapse, and romantic estrangement. Sonically, the thrash blues of songs such as “We Are Undone” and “Some Trouble” is balanced by the austerity of ballads such as “My Man Go” and “There Is So Much I Don’t Know.” Vogel notes, “I think that with this album, in reference to the albums previous, I think it steps in line with this other sort of expansion of both our personal lives, and our relationships personally. We’re both growing together and in different ways, and learning how to find that balance.”

File Under: Indie Rock
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…..restocks…..

Death From Above: You’re A Woman, I’m A Machine (Last Gang) LP
Earth: Primative & Deadly (Southern Lord) LP
El Michel’s Affair: Kiddy Ditty (Truth & Soul) 10″
Madvillain: Madvillainy (Stones Throw) LP
MF Doom: Mm… Food (Rhyme Sayers) LP
Obliterations: Poison Everything (Southern Lord) LP
Arthur Russell: Love is Overtaking Me (Audika) LP
Slint: Spiderland (Touch & Go) LP
Total Control: Henge Beats (Iron Lung) LP
White Noise: An Electric Storm (Island) LP

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…..news letter #676 – invisible roots…..

I’m glad to see winter is back with a vengeance. I really wanted to be able to get out on my skis more than twice this year. Not that I will, but I certainly would like at least the option. Anywho… loads of stuff this week, if not new there’s a whack of used stuff hitting the bins as usual, oh, and that jazz stuff is starting to hit the shelves, see below….

…..pick of the week…..

data planDada Plan: A Dada Plan is Free (Kingfisher Bluez) LP
“Dada Plan emerge from the picturesque Great Bear Rainforest in Vancouver with their blend of trip hop, orchestral noise polluted, synth storm rock.”—Creem Magazine. “A Dada Plan Is Free sounds like ’80s outsider pop, with retro drum-machine programming and synth sounds from [Matt] Krysko’s Roland Juno-60, but it’s no pale homage. There is a deeper meaning at work here, a haunting, dystopian tinge to its chill metropolitan grooves inspired by Brian Eno and Robert Wyatt.”—The Georgia Straight. Recorded to tape by Josh Wells (Black Mountain, Lightning Dust). Limited to 250 copies on black vinyl.

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

amt

Acid Mothers Temple: Have You Seen The Other Side… (Nod & Smile) LP

“First time on vinyl for this Acid Mothers classic from 2006! Featuring the core group along with reed player Ono Ryoko and vocalist Nao, this one mixes psychedelic overload freakout with pastoral acoustic drone glossed with a jazz/jam sensibility. Double LP on red vinyl in a hand numbered edition of 500.”

File Under: Psych, Japanese Psych
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decemberists

Decemberists: What A Terrible World… (Capitol) LP
Produced by the band and long-time collaborator Tucker Martine (My Morning Jacket, Neko Case), it is The Decemberists’ first full-length studio album since 2011’s The King Is Dead, which debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and contained the Grammy-nominated single “Down By The Water.” While officially on hiatus for the past few years, The Decemberists – comprising Colin Meloy, Chris Funk, Jenny Conlee, Nate Query and John Moen – nonetheless remained visible. The band released a live album, We All Raise Our Voices to the Air, contributed a song to The Hunger Games soundtrack, appeared in animated form on The Simpsons and performed on the season six finale of Parks and Recreation. What a Terrible World, What a Beautiful World is The Decemberists’ most varied and dynamic work, both musically and emotionally. With their two most recent albums, The Hazards of Love and The King is Dead, the songs flowed out of an overall theme. Entering the studio in May 2013, The Decemberists reversed that approach. “Typically we book four or five weeks in the studio and bang out the whole record,” explains Meloy. “This time, we started by just booking three days, and didn’t know what we would record. There was no direction or focus; we wanted to just see what would come out. We recorded ‘Lake Song’ on the first day, live, and then two more songs in those three days. And the spirit of that session informed everything that came after.” The first songs were highly personal, a change from the strong narrative thrust that has characterized much of The Decemberists’ work. “Having a family, having kids, having this career, getting older – all of these things have made me look more inward,” says Meloy. These reflections come to the foreground in “12/17/12,” a song he wrote after watching President Obama address the nation following the Newtown school shootings. “I was hit by a sense of helplessness, but also the message of ‘Hold your family close,'” recalls Meloy. This bewildering, conflicted feeling came out in a phrase near the end of the song – “what a terrible world, what a beautiful world” – that gave the album its title. The sound of the album is also fuller and richer, inspired in part by Leonard Cohen’s 1977 collaboration with Phil Spector, Death of a Ladies’ Man. As The Decemberists remained committed to “letting the songs become themselves,” What a Terrible World, What a Beautiful World found its final form, a distillation of the best things about this remarkable band.

File Under: Pop, Folk, Indie
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dylan

Bob Dylan: Shadows in the Night (Columbia) LP
Columbia Records has announced a February 2015 release for Bob Dylan’s newest studio endeavor, Shadows In The Night. Featuring ten covers of songs and standards once sung by Frank Sinatra, the Jack Frost-produced album is the 36th studio set from Dylan and marks the first new music from the acclaimed artist since 2012’s worldwide hit Tempest. The legendary singer/songwriter’s take on Ol’ Blue Eyes’ 1945 hit, “Full Moon and Empty Arms” was premiered on his website in May 2014. Dylan commented, “It was a real privilege to make this album. I’ve wanted to do something like this for a long time but was never brave enough to approach 30-piece complicated arrangements and refine them down for a 5-piece band. That’s the key to all these performances. We knew these songs extremely well. It was all done live. Maybe one or two takes. No overdubbing. No vocal booths. No headphones. No separate tracking, and, for the most part, mixed as it was recorded. I don’t see myself as covering these songs in any way. They’ve been covered enough. Buried, as a matter a fact. What me and my band are basically doing is uncovering them. Lifting them out of the grave and bringing them into the light of day.” Columbia Records Chairman Rob Stringer adds, “There are no strings, obvious horns, background vocals or other such devices often found on albums that feature standard ballads. Instead, Bob has managed to find a way to infuse these songs with new life and contemporary relevance. It is a brilliant record and we are extremely excited to be presenting it to the world very soon.” Bob Dylan’s five previous studio albums have been universally hailed as among the best of his storied career, achieving new levels of commercial success and critical acclaim for the artist. The platinum-selling Time Out Of Mind from 1997 earned multiple Grammy Awards, including Album Of The Year, while Love and Theft continued Dylan’s platinum streak and earned several Grammy nominations and a statue for Best Contemporary Folk album.

File Under: Dylan, Sinatra, Folk
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blaze

 Blaze Foley: Sittin’ By The Road (Elite) LP
On January 16, 2015 eliterecords will release Sittin’ By The Road, the first ever vinyl-edition of the earliest recordings by the exceptional Texan Folk artist Blaze Foley. Recorded on reel-to-reel in the late 70s by the artist himself, the songs show the raw talent of his straight and genuine songwriting. Born in Arkansas, Foley was shot to death way before his time, under circumstances still to be fully clarified. As a homeless, he traveled the streets of the Texan cities to share his music with people in nightclubs and bars. The companion and close friend of Townes Van Zandt always stood up for the weak, which eventually cost his life. “He’s only gone crazy once. Decided to stay. […] I am proud to call Blaze my friend.” – Townes Van Zandt “The song I wish I’d written: ‘Clay Pigeons’ by Blaze Foley. It paints a picture search did listen to it when you finish, you hope that’s you he’s singing about. “- Caleb Followill, Kings Of Leon “Blaze Foley was a genius and a beautiful loose.” – Lucinda Williams

File Under: Folk
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resa

Ennio Morricone: La Resa Dei Conti (Contempo) 2LP
Ennino Morricone delivered more of the same dramatic conflict on his score for the 1968 Western ‘La Resa Dei Conti’, this time mixing in a bit of atmospheric formlessness among his more romantic and orchestral sounds. There’s some vampiric-sounding organs as well as one of those ascending, judgement day tunes that’s expected of a Western: the strings come into play and the choir gets heavy with the tension.

File Under: OST, Maestro, Westerns
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morrcone

Ennio Morricone: L’Istruttoria E’Chiusa Dimentichi (Contempo) LP
Ennio Morricone’s atmospheric and avant garde soundtrack to 1971 Italian crime drama L’Istruttoria E’ Chiusa: Dimentichi. Morricone’s prolific output has included the soundtracks to The Thing, Once Upon a Time in America, The Untouchables and Mission to Mars and, more recently, Tarantino blockbusters Kill Bill, Inglorious Basterds and Django Unchained. Gatefold sleeve featuring the original movie poster.

File Under: OST, Maestro
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cat in the brain

OST: A Cat in the Brain (Mondo) LP
For those who don’t know, A Cat in the Brain (Un Gatto Nel Cervello) is horror master Lucio Fulci’s take on the Director in turmoil sub-genre made popular by Frederico Fellini’s 8 1/2. Composed by frequent collaborator Fabio Frizzi (The Beyond), the soundtrack is everything you want out of an Italian horror score: bizarre, haunting and fun. Fabio Frizzi’s work is a huge part of the reason we got into the soundtrack business in the first place. MONDO is proud to release this soundtrack for the first time ever on vinyl.

File Under: OST, Frizzi, Horror, Mondo
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ironOST: The Iron Giant (Mondo) LP
MONDO is pleased to present Michael Kamen’s Original Score for the animated cult classic THE IRON GIANT for the first time on Vinyl.

File Under: OST, Mondo, Animation
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pet

OST: Pet Sematary (Mondo) LP
Mondo is pleased to present Elliot Goldenthal’s original soundtrack to Pet Sematary. Featuring over a dozen cues never before released on vinyl, as well as two tracks by The Ramones (Pet Sematary & Sheena Is A Punk Rocker) and featuring original artwork by Mike Saputo.

File Under: OST, Horror, Mondo, Ramones
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sleater box

Sleater-Kinney: Start Together (Sub Pop) 7LP Box
BACK IN STOCK! The wildly acclaimed and influential band Sleater-Kinney – formed in Olympia, Washington in 1994 – consisted of a core line-up of Corin Tucker (vocals and guitar), Carrie Brownstein (guitar and vocals) and Janet Weiss (drums). Over the course of a breakneck seven albums in ten years, Sleater-Kinney took rock music in a new direction combining raw punk energy and an unabashedly political stance. Time magazine’s Greil Marcus called Sleater-Kinney “America’s best rock band” while Rob Sheffield went a step further hailing them as “America’s best punk band ever” in Rolling Stone. Start Together is a deluxe box set compiling all seven of Sleater-Kinney’s critically-acclaimed albums spanning 1995 to 2005, plus a 44-page hardcover book.  Each album has been freshly remastered from the original analog tapes by Greg Calbi (Bruce Springsteen, John Lennon, Talking Heads) at Sterling Sound. Greg Calbi: “For such ferocious music, it was actually a very delicate process. I found, in dealing with one of the earlier albums, that my signal path and compression, including my Burl B2 convertor, gave me a more resonant, deeper sound on the guitars than the originals. Because the band rarely, if ever, used bass, I felt that this added to the aggressiveness and power of the band overall. I believe this treatment added a subtle, yet important, dimension to the band, and I explored each of the other albums with the same intention. Above all, their music, from inception, stands the test of time for the cleverness and emotional impact they brought to their genre.” This box set coincides with Sub Pop’s October 2014 release of remastered versions of Sleater-Kinney’s seven individual albums: Sleater-Kinney (1995), Call the Doctor (1996), Dig Me Out (1997), The Hot Rock (1999), All Hands On the Bad One (2000), One Beat (2002) and The Woods (2005).

File Under: Indie, Punk, Boxsets
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sparks

Sparks: Kimono My House (Universal) LP
Remastered for its 40th Anniversary and packaged in a thick spined outer sleeve with original inner bag plus notes from Russell Mael and a new essay, this new 2LP version of Sparks’ 1974 commercial breakthrough Kimono My House really is the definite version of a true landmark. Not only is the original album – containing the all-time classic singles “This Town Ain’t Big Enough For Both Of Us” and “Amateur Hour” – sounding better than ever, its second disc is truly special, containing the first release anywhere for seven demo recordings Sparks made in 1973 prior to signing with Island Records. Although a handful of the tracks were later re-recorded by the band, all seven have never seen the light of day…until now.

File Under: Pop, Rock, Reissues
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supreme

Supreme Jubilees: It’ll All Be Over (Light in the Attic) LP
If God had a disco, the DJ would be playing California gospel-soul group The Supreme Jubilees. “We won’t have to cry no more,” the tuxedo-clad group would sing, in high, angelic vocals over smooth grooves. “It’ll all be over.” Prepare to dance and contemplate death all at the same time. A band of brothers and cousins, the group was founded from two families: brothers Joe and Dave Kingsby plus Dave’s son David Kingsby Jr., and keyboardist Leonard Sanders plus his brothers Phillips (drummer), Tim (bassist), and Melvin (tenor). The Sanders clan grew up singing together in the Witness of Jesus Christ church in Fresno CA, where dad Marion was pastor. Guitarist Larry Price–who belonged to neither family–completed the line-up that recorded the group’s first–and, prophetically, only–album, It’ll All Be Over. Released in 1980 on the group’s own S&K (Sanders & Kingsby) label, It’ll All Be Over pinpoints a fatalistic mood exemplified by the title. Its lyrics drawn from the Old Testament, its sound from the church by way of the disco, and it’s a feel captured by the album cover–a low, orange sun setting over the Pacific ocean. It is, as Jessica Hundley observes in the brand new liner notes, “both apocalyptic and seductive.” Making the album was not easy. Sessions began in Trac Record Co, a country and western studio in Fresno, CA, where the engineer was so put out by the group’s requests for heavier bass in the mix, he stopped the session and kicked them out. They left with four songs–one side of the album–and the record was completed at Sierra Recording Studio in Visalia, CA. Leonard Sanders reported having a spiritual encounter in his sleep while in Visalia; the next day he recorded his part of the album’s title track in a single take. After the LP was pressed, the group took their music on tour, first in California, where they played with acts including the Gospel Keynotes, The Jackson Southernaires, and the Mighty Clouds of Joy, and then on an ill-fated trip to Texas. A follow-up album was planned for 1981, but it never materialized; having slept sometimes a dozen to a room in Texas, the men in the band were reluctant to leave jobs, wives, and kids for the hardship of the road. The group simply fizzled out, even if the friendships never did. A copy of the album sold to a fan on that Texan tour made its way to a San Antonio record store, where it was discovered nearly three decades later by collector David Haffner (Friends of Sound). He managed to track down the Kingsby-Sanders clan at a Fourth Of July barbecue in Fresno in 2004. And he eventually introduced the group to Light In The Attic Records, which now presents the album, restored, remastered, and available to the public for the first time.

File Under: Funk, Soul, Disco, Gospel
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thin blue

Thin Lizzy: Shades of a Blue Orphanage (Future Days) LP
Thin Lizzy’s second album is a nod to the past: Shades Of A Blue Orphanage were former outfits of two of the band’s members, their names combined to create an oddly evocative image–especially when combined with a sepia-tinted image cover of three small, shoeless children intended to represent vocalist Phil Lynott, guitarist Eric Bell, and drummer Brian Downey. Looking back is a common theme of the LP. The soft, sensitive “Sarah” was written for Phil Lynott’s grandmother who raised him in lieu of his absent mother. It’s an album that challenges your perceptions about a group you think you have nailed down through future singles “Jailbreak,” “The Boys Are Back In Town,” and “Whisky In The Jar.” Here, “I Don’t Want To Forget How To Jive” sees the band try their hand at rockabilly, and “Chatting Today” evokes the emotive performances of Richie Havens. As a whole, Shades Of A Blue Orphanage presents a version of the band that places its foundations beyond the hard rock for which the group are famous. The preposterously titled “The Rise And Dear Demise Of The Funky Nomadic Tribes,” which opens the LP, epitomizes this, including tribal beats, funky guitars, and Lynott singing in full soul-power mode. It’s begging to be sampled, like the group’s contemporary–but incognito–work as Funky Junction, under which name they released Funky Junction Play A Tribute To Deep Purple the same year. Those who prefer Thin Lizzy in more recognizable form will find things to love, too: “Buffalo Gal” is as restrained as a song with an insistent, descending riff could ever be, and “Call The Police” is a bluesy swagger that shows off Lynott’s talent for describing life on the gritty streets of the Republic Of Ireland’s much-romanticized capital city. The record culminates in the world-weary title track with a chorus that cuts straight to the bone: “It’s true blue, Irish blue.” Released in 1972, just three years after the band formed in Dublin, it’s fair to say that Shades Of A Blue Orphanage represents a group on the move, still finding their feet, and possibly bending to the will of a record label who didn’t quite know what to do with a multiracial, multi-faith rock band from a sectarian country. Sales of the their debut album, Thin Lizzy, had been poor, and Shades Of A Blue Orphanage wasn’t the one to turn their fortunes around. Still, it’s fascinating listening for even those with a passing interest in their history.

File Under: Rock, Classic Rock
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thin vaga

Thin Lizzy: Vagabonds of the Western World (Future Days) LP
Seismic shifts happened between the previous year’s Shades Of A Blue Orphanage and 1973’s Vagabonds Of The Western World. Frontman Phil Lynott was still documenting working class life in the group’s native Dublin, and the band still featured guitarist Eric Bell and drummer Brian Downey, even if Bell was soon to leave; the shift was in the feel of the album. Between Jim Fitzpatrick’s lurid album cover which depicted the band in space, the new, hot-rod-like Thin Lizzy logo, and Lynott’s newly throaty howl, it’s possibly the first Thin Lizzy album on which they truly could be described as a hard rock band. Vagabonds presented a swaggering confidence, a band buoyed by the success of semi-accidental smash hit “Whisky In The Jar,” and carved out a moody, dark sound by borrowing bits from the blues, folk, psych, and Celtic music. Check out “Slow Blues” for proof, and decide whether Lynott or the guitars win the wail-off that begins the track. “Whisky In The Jar” had been a bone of contention for the band who felt it didn’t represent them. Pushed out due to their presence on package tours with rockers Slade and Suzi Quatro, it seemed to seal their fate, and their Vagabonds single, “The Rocker,” set out their stall for good. The weirdness and idiosyncracies of Phil Lynott’s early songwriting hadn’t been ironed out completely: “The Hero And The Madman” saw them try their hand at acid-fried cowboy rock–if such a thing ever existed. After the album, and after Bell’s departure due to ill health and disillusionment with the music industry, Thin Lizzy were reinvented once again. Lynott recruited two guitarists and the band left Decca to record Nightlife for Phonogram. Their big hits and glory years–beginning with 1976’s Jailbreak–were still ahead of them, but, with Vagabonds as a centerpiece, Thin Lizzy’s early years left behind a cabinet of curiosities.

File Under: Rock, Classic Rock
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west

Willie West: Lost Soul (Timmon) LP
Open your mind and be propelled to the deep outer rims of your soul with this new album by the New Orleans legend Willie West. The man might be best known for his work with Allen Toussaint and The Meters in the 60’s and 70’s, but more recently his underground hit “The Devil Gives Me Everything” has became popular among lowrider soulies and younger generation beatheads. On the “Lost Soul” album Willie is backed by the same gut wrenching always in the back pocket rhythms of The High Society Brothers Band, the same soul investigating force, that supplied the beat for the successful Nicole Willis and Myron & E albums.

File Under: Soul
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BFTG-vol-9-CD

Various: Back from the Grave 9 (Crypt) LP
18 years after Grave 8, and at last it is here! Monstrous, gatefold, thick color inner jacket – all crammed with liner notes, band photos, label scans. The ulimate in 60s punk insanity!!!! Balls-out, cruder-than-hell, RARER than hens teeth rawness – 7 of which are the ONLY copy in existence, 3 of which there are only 2 copies in existence! 15 cuts from: Warlocks, Raevins, Emeralds, Why-Nots, Turncoats, Shakles, Knoll Allen & The Noble Savages, etc!

File Under: Punk, Garage, Comps

…..used jazz…..

PLEASE READ THIS…. Alright folks! The moment we’ve been teasing you with, well sort of. The first batch of our massive jazz collection is hitting the shelves today at 6 pm! Now, this is only a tiny portion of the collection, less than 10% of it! We intend to trickle this stuff out over the next 6 months or so, maybe 50-100 records per week. Not only is there spacial issues, but just the amount of time it takes to clean and price this much stuff. Now in the sake of fairness, we will NOT be taking special requests for records that may be in the collection. We also will not be doing holds on these records. If you want it come and get it. This is likely the only list of stuff we will post to our news letter/site for the time being. If you want to see what’s hitting the shelves, you’ve gotta come down and see it for yourself. Keep in mind, this is top notch stuff. Largely original pressings. Most often mono. Lots of stuff that hasn’t been reissued for decades, if ever. And with that said, here’s a list of about HALF of what is going out today…

Art Ensemble of Chicago: People In Sorrow (Nessa N-3) LP
Albert Ayler: Bells (ESP-Disk 1010) LP
Chet Baker: Peace (Enja 4016) LP
Gary Bartz: Another Earth (Milestone MSP 9018) LP
Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers: s/t (Impulse A-7) LP
Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers: Kyoto (Riverside RS3303) LP
Anthony Braxton: New York, Fall 1974 (Arista AL-4032) LP
Marion Brown: Geechee Recollections (Impulse AS-9252) LP
Kenny Burrell: Asphalt Canyon Suite (Verve V6-8773) LP
Centipede: Septober Energy (Neon NE.9) LP
Paul Chambers/John Coltrane: High Step (Blue Note BN-LP451-H2) LP
Don Cherry/Gato Barbieri: Togetherness (Durium ms A 77127) LP
Alice Coltrane: Universal Consciousness (Impulse AS-9210) LP
Johnny Coles Quartet: New Morning (Criss Cross Jazz 1005) LP
John Coltrane: African Brass Sessions Vol. 2 (Impulse AS-9273) LP
John Coltrane Featuring Pharoah Sanders: Live in Seatle (Impulse AS-9202-2) LP
John Coltrane: Giant Steps (Atlantic 1311) LP
Miles Davis: At Plugged Nickel, Chicago (CBS 25AP 1) LP
Miles Davis Quintet: Relaxin’ (Prestige 7129) LP
Eric Dolphy: Iron Man (Columbia KZ 30873) LP
Eric Dolphy: Far Cry with Booker Little (New Jazz NJ 8270) LP
Ella Fitzgerald/Joe Pass: Take Love Easy (Pablo 2310 702) LP
Dizzy Gillespie: The New Continent (Limelight LM 82022) LP
Dexter Gordon: Go (Blue Note BST84112) LP
Joe Harriott: Indo-Jazz Fusions (Atlantic SD1482) LP
Roy Haynes Quartet: Out of the Afternoon (Impulse A-23) LP
Andrew Hill: Smoke Stack (Blue Note BLP4160) LP
Freddie Hubbard: Sing Me A Song of Songmy (Atlantic SD1576) LP
Bobby Hutcherson: Components (Blue Note BLP4213) LP
Elvin Jones: And Then Again (Atlantic 1443) LP
Rolank Kirk: I Talk With The Spirits (Limelight LM82008) LP
Steve Lacy/Don Cherry: Evidence (New Jazz NJ8271) LP
Art Lande/Jan Garbarek: Red Lanta (ECM 1038 ST) LP
Charles Lloyd: Forest Flower (Atlantic 1473) LP
London Experimental Jazz Quartet: Invisible Roots (Scratch SR-10) LP
Jackie McLean: It’s Time! (Blue Note BLP4179) LP
Charles Mingus: Jazz Portraits (United Artists UAL4078) LP
Billy Mitchell Quintet: A Little Juicy (Smash MGS 27042) LP
Lee Morgan: The Cooker (Blue Note BLP1578) LP
The Music Improvisation Company: s/t (ECM 1005ST) LP
Teruo Nakamura: Unicorn (Three Blind Mice TBM-18) LP
Al Neil: Boot & Fog (Music Gallery Editions MGE 33) LP
Charlie Parker: The Essential Charlie Parker (Verve V-8409) LP
Sam Rivers: Fushscia Swing Song (Blue Note BST84184) LP
Max Roach/Clifford Brown: Daahound (Mainstream MRL386) LP
Sonny Rollins: Tenor Titan (Verve VSPS-32) LP
George Russell: The Esoteric Circle (Flying Dutchman FD-10125) LP
Pharoah Sanders: Tauhid (Impulse A-9138) LP
Archie Shepp Quartet: Live in Tokyo (Denon YX-7538) LP
Wayne Shorter: Night Dreamer (Blue Note BLP4173) LP
Sun Ra and the Arkestra: Sound of Joy (Delmark DS-414) LP
Cecil Taylor Unit: Akisakila – In Japan (Trio PA-3004~5) LP
Leon Thomas: Spirits Known And Unknown (Polydor 2424 003) LP
Mtume Umoja Ensemble: Alkebu-Lan Land of the Blacks (Strata-East SES-19724) LP
Sarah Vaughan: Sweet, Sultry & Swinging (Spin-o-rama M-73) LP
Harold Vick: Don’t Look Back (Strata-East SES-7431) LP
Kenny Wheeler: Around 6 (ECM 1156) LP
Joe Williams w/ Thad Jones & Mel Lewis: s/t (Solid State SS18008) LP

…..restocks…..

Alt-J: This Is All Yours (Atlantic) LP
Aphex Twin: Selected Ambient Works 85-92 (Apollo) LP
Arcade Fire: Funeral (Merge) LP
Arcade Fire: Neon Bible (Merge) LP
Arcade Fire: Suburbs (Merge) LP
Black Angels: Passover (Light in the Attic) LP
Black Angels: Directions to See A Ghost (Light in the Attic) LP
Black Keys: El Camino (Nonesuch) LP
Boris w/ Merzbow: Sun Baked Snow Cave (Hydrahead) LP
Buzzcocks: Singles Going Steady (Music on Vinyl) LP
Alice Coltrane: Journey in Satchidananda (Impulse) LP
Karen Dalton: 1966 (Delmore) LP
Doors: s/t (Elektra) LP
Electric Wizard: Dopethrone (Rise Above) LP
Flipper: Generic Flipper (4 Men With Beards) LP
Goblin: Susperia (AMS) LP
Goblin: Tenebre (AMS) LP
Goblin: Profondo Rosso (AMS) LP
Grouper: Ruins (Kranky) LP
Lee Hazlewood: LHI Years (Light in the Attic) LP
Jimi Hendrix: Electric Ladyland (Reprise) LP
Joy Division: Unknown Pleasures (Rhino) LP
Kyuss: Blues For The Red Sun (Elektra) LP
Kyuss: Welcome to Sky Valley (Elektra) LP
Kyuss: And the Circus Leaves Town (Elektra) LP
LCD Soundsystem: s/t (DFA) LP
Led Zeppelin: Houses of the Holy (Warner) LP
Led Zeppelin: I (Warner) DLX LP
Neutral Milk Hotel: In An Aeroplane Over The Sea (Merge) LP
Neutral Milk Hotel: On Avery Island (Merge) LP
Parquet Courts: Light Up Gold (What’s Your Rupture) LP
Pink Floyd: Dark Side of the Moon (EMI) LP
Django Reinhardt: Anthology (Not Now) LP
Django Reinhardt: Djangology (Cleopatra) LP
Ty Segall: Manipulator (Drag City) LP
Sensational Saints: You Won’t Believe (Numero) LP
Sex Pistols: Never Mind The Bullocks (Warner) LP
Shooting Guns: Brotherhood of the Ram (Easy Rider) LP
Sleater-Kinney: No Cities To Love (Sub Pop) LP
Slow Season: Mountains (Easy Rider) LP
Dusty Springfield: Dusty in Memphis (4 Men With Beards) LP
The Stooges: Fun House (Rhino) LP
The Stooges: s/t (Rhino) LP
Tom Waits: Small Change (Rhino) LP
Woo: Into the Heart of Love (Emotional Rescue) LP
Neil Young: Harvest (Reprise) LP
Various: Country Funk II (Light in the Attic) LP
Various: Eccentric Soul: Capsoul Label (Numero) LP
Various: Eccentric Soul: Big Mack Label (Numero) LP
Various: Eccentric Soul: Deep City Label (Numero) LP
Various: Eccentric Soul: Prix Label (Numero) LP
Various: Eccentric Soul: Dynamic Label (Numero) LP
Various: Eccentric Soul: Forte Label (Numero) LP
Various: Sly Stone’s Flower (Light in the Attic) LP
Various: WTNG 89.9 FM Solid Bronze (Numero) LP

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