Tag Archives: news letter

…..new letters #819 – thuuuursday…..

This is probably getting close to being the last news letter that will have any new releases for the year. From here on out it’s gonna be mostly Christmas music and reissues and boxsets. But everybody loves a good boxset so hip hip hooray!

And as I’m sure you know, next Friday is Black Friday in the US, which really is nothing here, but they have created a little Black Friday Record Store Day, which means, exclusive releases… discounts, aaaaaand.. we’re PROBABLY gonna give away a turntable again, cuz, you know, that’s how we roll. You could always check out the Facebook page for the event here…

…..pick of the week…..

roach

Steven Roach: Structurs from Silence (Telephone Explosion) LP
“Steve Roach is one of the defining American artists of new age music, perpetually on a quest for silence and the suspension of time in his music. Structures From Silence is his third album originally released in 1984, and is his first purely textural album, with a smooth, dark, gentle atmospheres unlike any of his other albums. ‘Full of purring drones and high notes that shimmer and fade. Like a desert mirage, these structures hover forever at the horizon, an oasis from the din surrounding it’ –From Pitchfork’s ‘Best Ambient Albums Of All Time’. ‘Steve Roach’s Structures From Silence remains one of the most important ambient albums ever crafted. It isn’t as high profile as similarly poised records from Brian Eno, but its enduring influence has been unmistakably visible in the three decades since its release.’ –FACT Magazine. Remastered from the original tapes, this is the first vinyl reissue of the album since its initial release in 1984.”

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

askew

Ed Askew: Art & Life (Tin Angel) LP
Ed Askew is a painter and singer-songwriter who resides in New York City. Born in Stamford, Connecticut the Yale-educated hippie painter has hitchhiked, taught at art school and been working on new music in New York City for the past three decades. Following a re-discovery in the early Aughts, releases of classic recordings by De Stijl and Drag City, and tours with Bill Callahan and the Black Swans, Askew is fully on the scene. He released For The World, his first ever non-solo album, in the summer of 2013 to critical acclaim. Pitchfork and many other high-profile music media have praised his work, labeling him as a NY legend. He returns in 2017 on Tin Angel Records with his newest body of work, Art and Life, featuring Josephine Foster and Mary Lattimore.

File Under: Folk
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hex

Bark Psychosis: Hex (Fire) LP
“The Best Post-Rock Album Of All Time” Fact Mag // “Their influence is perva-sive” The Quietus // “Mysterious, haunting, and breathtakingly visionary” Allmusic // Bark Psychosis were one of the most innovative bands of their time and as legend has it, saw the first use of the term ‘post-rock’ by music critic Simon Reynolds. Following several singles and EPs, the avant-garde soundscapes built around drones and samples of 21-minute stand-out track ‘Scum’ arrived just two years before their seminal debut ‘Hex’ (1994). Their sound was born out of their improvisations at makeshift studio within St John’s Church in Stratford. Taking a year to complete ‘Hex’ left the band on the brink of collapse and by the time of its release they had dissolved. Breaking down their songs and rebuilding them in the studio brought distinguishing ambient soundscapes and an atmospheric experimental sound. Last year Fact Magazine deservedly gave the album further recognition with it claiming top spot in their ’30 Best Post-Rock Albums Of All Time’. Newly remastered in 2017 from the original analogue tapes at Metropolis Studios by Graham Sutton and Stuart Hawkes, and reissued officially for the first time.

File Under: Post Rock
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bird

Andrew Bird: Echolocations: River (Wegawan) LP
Recorded under the Hyperion bridge in Los Angeles, California’s Atwater Village, Echolocations: River is the second piece in a series of short films and recordings documenting site specific compositions. Performed by Andrew Bird and filmed by Tyler Manson in remote and acoustically interesting natural and urban environments, the first installment, Echolocations: Canyon, was originally released in 2015.

File Under: Indie Rock
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bajas

Bitchin’ Bajas: Bajas Fresh (Drag City) LP
Bajas Fresh is on the beach here in 2017, existing and thriving in the same wrecked world as you and me. It’s been over three years since the last proper Bitchin Bajas album – a natural paradise of woodwinds, droning organs, analog synths, field recordings, and an ever-expanding sense of more (and less). In between then and now came a series of collaborative LPs, and each time these varied external stimuli came into contact with the Bitchin Bajas’ achromatic process, it left the group with expanded perimeters to traverse. So 2017 – what’s new? Everything and nothing, probably! The pursuit is still the same: a perfect continuous flow. The means to attain it are in full, fluid transition, woven into the strands that unspool so peacefully. The use of percussion and even drumkit is evident for the first time ever. Plus a horn section, a cover song…but before you start thinking that this Bajas Fresh is some kind of whole-cloth change, recall to your mind that the nature of equilibrium around Bitchin Bajas is such that new properties tend to melt into the surrounding texture, providing vivid sonics without uprooting the mindset. And they do. On Bajas Fresh, the cellular system of Bitchin Bajas continues to synthesize amid an external ecosystem also of the Bajas’ making, both growing naturally together into a state maybe not that far removed from its former incarnation, while still essaying refreshing new tones for new zones. Succulent half-speed mastering done at Abbey Road gives the LP pressing greater depth, extension and resonance than all previous Bajas incarnations.

 File Under: Electronic
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body

Body & Full of Hell: Ascending a Mountain (Thrill Jockey) LP
The Body & Full of Hell are both unique and influential forces in heavy music. Both artists welcome challenges and eschew self-promotion. Each artist seems driven to take risks and push boundaries of what is considered heavy. A clear example being that on recent tours The Body have performed without any live guitar or drums. Both artists enjoy the creative growth and music and good times that come out of collaborations. Each has collaborated often with other unique but like-minded musicians such as Thou, The Haxan Cloak, Krieg, Merzbow, The Bug and the list goes on. Despite their obvious differences in songwriting, The Body & Full of Hell are unified by their shared aesthetic, catharsis through the manipulation of emotions transformed by visceral noise and fueled by an inescapable sense of dread. They have returned to collaborate again not because of their commonalities but because of their differences and what those differences yield in performance. With Ascending a Mountain of Heavy Light, The Body & Full of Hell have integrated a love for electronic noisescapes with abrasive, precise sonic assaults into a sound unlike anything either has produced before. Written and recorded in one week at Machines with Magnets in Providence, the music of Ascending… draws from unexpected sources such as reggaetón and jungle (“Master’s Story”). There are some familiar guests to The Body fans, namely vocalist Chrissy Wolpert (Assembly of Light Choir) and Ben Eberle (Sandworm), as well as first-time collaborator drummer Brian Chippendale (Lightning Bolt, Black Pus), whom both bands share a strong aesthetic of individualism. Samples, synth, saxophone, and a drum orchestra all throb, and sputter, coagulating under the weight of the two bands. Programmed drum patterns and loops taking cues from hip hop are bent and twisted throughout, flawlessly emboldening the distortion drenched guitars and howling vocals. Each element, though meticulously crafted, is visceral, as the exhilaration of improvisation has not been curtailed by editing. Ascending a Mountain of Heavy Light casts aside the dogmas of heavy music. Extremity in The Body & Full of Hell’s music is not based on macho musings or competitive trendiness, but rather is an integral tool to exploring the anxieties of modern life and the bridges between personal and political strife. As leading voices in DIY and underground music communities, The Body & Full of Hell, along with peers such as Thou, are expanding the possibilities of extreme music by shaping worlds of sound with a palette of diverse influences seldom seen in “heavy music” today.

File Under: Metal
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escapeism

Escape-ism: Introduction to Escape-ism (Merge) LP
Introduction to Escape-ism is the first “solo” record by Ian Svenonius – of groups The Make-Up, Chain & the Gang, The Nation of Ulysses, XYZ, Weird War, etc. and author of underground bestsellers such as The Psychic Soviet, Supernatural Strategies for Making a Rock ‘n’ Roll Group, and Censorship Now!! – and as such, it’s profound, prophetic, perverse, and poetic. It’s introverted glitter, violence against the state, obsessive desire; it stomps on convention, shreds constitutions, clobbers pre-conceived notions of what a record can be. Yes, that’s right: a single-person performance by I.F. Svenonius – recognized by Performer Magazine as the “greatest performer on the planet” – Introduction to Escape-ism is a bite into a one-banana bunch. A drum box, a guitar, a cassette player, and a single slobbering, sinful voice singing out…for a way out. Live, it’s a new paradigm of performance: raw, gestural, idiotic, sublime, revolutionary, poetic, faux naïf, unknowing, a drainage pipe that leads to who knows where.

File Under: Indie Rock, Experimental
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feathers

Charlie Feathers: Best of the Sun Records (ORG) LP
This newly compiled collection of recordings from rockabilly pioneer Charlie Feathers showcases the influential Memphis performer’s work at Sun Records (and related labels). Feathers started his musical career as a session musician at Sun Studios under Sam Phillips. His theatrical, hiccupping vocal style inspired a later generation of rock vocalists, including Lux Interior of The Cramps and Tav Falco, who contributed extensive liner notes and photos for the insert of this release. Pressed at Pallas Group in Germany.

File Under: Rockabilly
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four tet

Four Tet: New Energy (Text) LP
Four Tet expands on the new age meditations of his recent singles with a freshly focused New Energy. Fully formed within the endlessly possible creative confines of Ableton Live, New Energy follows on from 2015’s Morning / Evening and features contributions from Tom Baker and Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith. Mixing his usual classic trip-hop leanings with a digitized melodic and at times melancholic edge, New Energy neatly pulls together the lighter ends of Beautiful Rewind’s house moves and Morning / Evening’s lush atmospherics. Half-speed mastered and pressed onto 100% virgin audiophile-quality vinyl.

File Under: Electronic
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frightnrs

Frightnrs: More to Say Versions (Daptone) LP
It’s rare for a debut album, especially one in such a polarizing genre like reggae, to garner the kind of universal fanfare The Frightnrs’ 2016 long player Nothing More To Say received. Mainly because it’s a record that transcends genre specific qualifiers and rhetoric that pigeonhole many albums. It is in the truest sense of the phrase, a great record. Shortly after its release a single for “Dispute” (a featured track) was pressed, and like many classic reggae singles, it included a Dub (version) on the B-Side courtesy of famed reggae producer Victor “Ticklah” Axelrod. The single was a smash success which in return inspired Axelrod to produce Dub versions for all the songs on Nothing More To Say. The result is More To Say Versions.

File Under: Dub, Reggae
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jonesSharon Jones & The Dap-Kings: Soul of a Woman (Daptone) LP
Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings’ final studio album, Soul of a Woman is a lush, orchestral masterpiece. A true testament to the life and career of Daptone’s fearless leader and one of the world’s greatest performers. In the year prior to her death from pancreatic cancer in 2016, Sharon Jones toured and performed tirelessly, and was also the subject of Miss Sharon Jones!, an acclaimed documentary by Oscar-Winning director Barbara Kopple. Yet somehow, the beloved and heroic soul singer found time to complete a studio album. Soul of a Woman features eleven songs which reveal that the emotion, dynamics, and drama of Jones’ voice remained at full power until her final days. The songs on Soul of a Woman exemplify two distinct sides of the band’s sound. Side One showcases the grittier, bluesier material like “Matter Of Time” and “Sail On” giving Sharon the room to flex her vocal prowess, creating a “liveness” that few studio albums posses. Side Two takes on a more sophisticated orchestral mood. Tracks like “When I Saw Your Face” and “These Tears (No Longer For You),” capture a soft vulnerability in Sharon’s vocals that draws you deep inside, and yet they remain nuanced with the signature toughness that never allow you to forget she’s steering the ship. The finished product is an album that captures a band and a singer at their peak.

File Under: Soul
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nin

Nine Inch Nails: Add Violence (Nothing) LP
In tomorrow… Nine Inch Nails’ new five-song EP, Add Violence, is the second in a series of three related EPs. The first, Not The Actual Events, was released in December of 2016. Add Violence finds the band (Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross) becoming more accessible and impenetrable at the same time. The sonic palette expands significantly from Not The Actual Events, incorporating elements of beauty into the dark dissonance. The narrative arc linking the three records begins to emerge through the disassociated lyrics and the provocative and clue-filled cover artwork.

File Under: Electronic, Rock
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waits

Tom Waits: Bad As Me (Anti) LP
2011’s Bad As Me served as Tom Waits’ first studio album of all new music in seven years. This pivotal work refines the music that has come before and signals a new direction. Waits, in possibly the finest voice of his career, worked with a veteran team of gifted musicians and longtime co-writer/producer Kathleen Brennan. From the opening horn-fueled chug of “Chicago,” to the closing barroom chorale of “New Year’s Eve,” Bad As Me displays the full career range of Waits’ songwriting, from beautiful ballads like “Last Leaf,” to the avant cinematic soundscape of “Hell Broke Luce,” a battlefront dispatch. On tracks like “Talking at the Same Time,” Waits shows off a supple falsetto, while on blues burners like “Raised Right Men” and the gospel tinged “Satisfied” he spits, stutters and howls. Like a good boxer, these songs are lean and mean, with strong hooks and tight running times. A pervasive sense of players delighting in each other’s musical company brings a feeling of loose joy even to the album’s saddest songs.

File Under: Rock
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dancehall

Various: Dancehall (Soul Jazz) LP
Soul Jazz Records issue a new 2017 edition of their classic compilation album Dancehall: The Rise of Jamaican Dancehall Culture. The long-out-of-print collection is now available on triple-vinyl and offers up a lightning-flash selection of definitive dancehall fare as well as a stellar assortment of more obscure tracks. Featuring Yellowman, Tenor Saw, Sister Nancy, Ini Kamoze, Chaka Demus & Pliers, Michigan & Smiley, Super Cat, Cutty Ranks, Eek-A-Mouse, Gregory Isaacs and more, Dancehall: The Rise of Jamaican Dancehall Culture boasts a treasure trove of non-stop floor-filling party tune rockers!

File Under: Reggae, Dancehall
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mirwood

Various: Mirwood Northern Soul (Kent) LP
Mirwood Records’ second release was Jackie Lee’s ‘The Duck’, an uptempo soul swinger that became a big hit and established the Mirwood sound. The house team of producer Fred Smith, arranger James Carmichael, songwriter and backing voices arranger Sherlie Matthews, along with contributions from veteran singer/songwriters Bobby Relf and Earl Nelson (Bob & Earl), made for uptempo soul perfection and they played that beat throughout 1965 and 1966. Here’s 14 vital mid-60s dance records from acts like Jackie Lee, The Bob & Earl Band, The Olympics, Richard Temple, Bobby Garrett, Jimmy Thomas, The Mirettes and more, which exemplify why Mirwood is a byword for the best of Northern Soul.

File Under: Soul, Northern Soul
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blackmans

Various: Studio One: Black Man’s Pride (Soul Jazz) LP
Black Man’s Pride is the striking new Studio One collection of deep righteous reggae, featuring Horace Andy, Alton Ellis, The Gladiators, Sugar Minott, The Heptones, Freddie McGregor, Cedric Brooks and more. While the righteousness of blackness is at the heart of the Rastafarian faith, this collection illustrates how black pride remained a central theme, if not the defining essence, at the very core of all the music created at Studio One Records under the direction of Clement ‘Sir Coxsone’ Dodd. In order to understand the centrality of black identity in the music created at Studio One, you need look no further than Clement Dodd who created the first black-owned record company in Jamaica. In similar fashion Alton Ellis’s defining “Black Man’s Pride” brings up emotions that are at the heart of many of these uplifting songs. Ellis’ birthplace was the Trench Town ghetto of Kingston, also the birthplace of The Wailers, Ken Boothe and many other Studio One luminaries. Clement Dodd established a musical empire firmly rooted by the core musicians working at Studio One, many of whom came out of the Alpha School for Wayward Boys, essentially an orphanage run by Roman Catholic nuns, whose luminaries include Don Drummond, Johnny Moore, Leroy ‘Horsemouth’ Wallace, Cedric Brooks, Vin Gordon, Tommy McCook and more. Many of the songs featured here come from the transitory phase in reggae at the start of the 1970s, after the exhilaration of ska and following the cooling down of rocksteady. While reggae awaited the arrival of roots, Studio One’s vocalists were already producing some of the moodiest music imaginable. Here are 18 heavyweight tunes, both classic cuts and super-rare.

File Under: Reggae

…..Restocks…..

Badbadnotgood: IV (Arts & Crafts) LP
Can: Singles (Mute) LP
Captain Beefheart: Clear Spot (Reprise) LP
Miles Davis: Kind of Blue (Legacy) LP
Destroyer: Ken (Merge) LP
Destroyer: Streethawk (Merge) LP
Funkadelic: Maggot Brain (Westbound) LP
Loscil: Monument Builders (Kranky) LP
Porcupine Tree: Fear of a Blank Planet (Kscope) LP
Lou Reed: Transformer (Legacy) LP
Joseph Shabason: Aytche (Western Vinyl) LP
Jackie Shane: Any Other Way (Numero) LP
Shooting Guns: Flavor Country (Riding Easy)
Sigur Ros: Takk (KrunK) LP
Weakerthans: Reconstruction Site (Epitaph) LP
Various: World Psychedelic Classics 3: Love’s a Real Thing (Luaka Bop) LP

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…..news letter #818 – stooooooon…..

Not as much in this week as last, but two HEAVY reissues! Both extremely essential in my opinion. Some killer Pharoah Sanders reissues, the much needed Necessaries (Arthur Russell) reissue and the kosmische sounds of Pauline Anna Strom. And that new Wolf Parade finally showed up. All in all a pretty great week for new tunes, so come fill your ears.

…..picks of the week…..

timemachines

Coil: Time Machines (Dais) LP
“4 Tones to facilitate travel through time.” So begins the listeners’ journey into what has become one of the most treasured and revered pieces of Coil history ever released. Each of the four pieces on Time Machines is named after the chemical compound of the hallucinogenic drug that they were composed for, and the album was meticulously crafted to enable what John Balance referred to as “temporal slips” in time and space, allowing both the artist and audience to figuratively “dissolve time”. Inspired by long form ceremonial music of Tibet and other religions, where the intent is to lose oneself in the music—to meditate or achieve a trance state—Time Machines became Drew McDowall, Balance, and Peter Christopherson’s “electronic punk-primitive” answer to this tribal concept. Starting as a rough demo tape recorded solely by Coil member Drew McDowall, Time Machines started to take full form when McDowall enthusiastically delivered these demo recordings to Balance and Christopherson as sketches for a new Coil project with the primary goal of shifting Coil’s sound further into a more conceptually abstract direction. Largely recorded in 1997 using single takes with minimal post production, these four drones contain every intended fluctuation and tone, along with every glitch of the original – “Artifacts generated by your listening environment are an intrinsic part of the experience.” The reissued double vinyl LP features deluxe double pocket gatefold, printed matte with gloss overlay with printed eurosleeves inserts.

File Under: Drone, Ambient, Electronic, Industrial
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kaira

Geinoh Yamashirogumi: Akira (Milan) LP
Set in the year 2019 in Neo-Tokyo, the world is still recovering from the ravages of World War III. One night, teen delinquent Kaneda has his biker gang hurtle through the busy city. Kaneda’s friend, Tetsuo, is seriously injured during an accident and is taken to an army hospital. There the military notice Tetsuo’s potential psychic power, so they transfer Tetsuo to a secret government laboratory to awaken his latent abilities. When Kaneda gets involved in an anti-government guerrilla movement, he encounters Kei, a member of the revolutionaries, and learns that the goal of the fighters is to infiltrate a secret laboratory – the very one where Tetuso is being held. The experiments to awaken Tetsuo’s powers are a terrifying success as he begins to wield psychic energy he cannot control – reminiscent of the emergence of the legendary esper boy Akira, which triggered World War III. The stage set, a fierce battle begins between Kaneda, Kei, the army and Tetsuo with the destiny of Earth at stake. The symphonic music to AKIRA was composed by Dr. Shoji Yamashiro, head of the beloved Japanese musical collective Geinoh Yamashirogumi, and performed by the group. Rerecorded and remastered using the most advanced audio techniques available, this release of the unforgettable score of AKIRA is peerless in quality and audio fidelity. To celebrate the long-awaited release of AKIRA on the vinyl format, Milan has pressed the soundtrack on a pair of 180 gram black vinyl discs for an optimal listening experience. The discs are housed in a pair of high quality eurosleeves displaying artwork from the film which are in turn packaged in a gatefold jacket featuring the beautiful skyline of Neo-Tokyo. A download card including a lengthy commentary by Dr. Yamashiro on topics ranging from AKIRA to Geinoh Yamashirogumi to his work in advanced brain studies is also included.

File Under: Electronic, Classical, Soundtrack
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…..new arrivals…..

baker

Julien Baker: Turn Out The Lights (Matador) LP
Julien Baker’s solo debut, Sprained Ankle, was one of the most widely hailed works of 2015. The album, recorded by an 18-year-old and her friend in only a few days, was a bleak yet hopeful, intimate document of staggering experiences and grace, centered entirely around Baker’s voice, guitar, and unblinking honesty. With Turn Out the Lights, she returns to a much bigger stage, but with the same core of breathtaking vulnerability and resilience. From its opening moments – when her chiming, evocative melody is accompanied by swells of strings – Turn Out the Lights throws open the doors to the world without sacrificing the intimacy that has become a hallmark of her songs. The album was recorded at the legendary Ardent Studios in her hometown of Memphis, TN, and mixed by Craig Silvey (The National, Arcade Fire). This evolution from Sprained Ankle’s intentionally spare production allows Baker – who is still the album’s sole producer and writer – greater scope and freedom. Strings and woodwinds now shade the corners of her compositions, and Baker takes to piano rather than guitar on several tracks, pushing the now 21-year-old’s work to cinematic heights of intensity.
File Under: Indie Rock, Folk
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dirtysongs

Dirty Songs: Play Dirty Songs (Audika) LP
Directed and produced by David Toop, Dirty Songs Play Dirty Songs reacts against our poisonous present, inspired anti-nostalgically by similarly reactive records and live performances from the 20th century: The Soft Machine and Pink Floyd 1967-68, The MC5’s Kick Out the Jams, The Stooges, Sun Ra’s Cosmic Tones For Mental Therapy and The Heat Is On by The Isley Brothers. Dirty Songs Play Dirty Songs is the musical offshoot of a project conceived by artist Maxime Rossi, originating in (among other things) speculations on the (then unreleased) legendary Pink Floyd “John Latham” recordings (1967) and FBI investigations (1964) into subversive and obscene messages supposedly buried within the recorded lyrics of The Kingsmen’s “Louie Louie.” Developed through conversations between Maxime Rossi and David Toop and through support from Fondation Fiminco & MRAC, these ideas metamorphosed into the band and recordings known as Dirty Songs, existing both as audio recordings and audio-visual elements of Maxime Rossi’s installation Christmas On Earth Continued, exhibited at MRAC in November 2017. Dirty Songs is David Toop (bass, guitar, digital electronics, VCS3 synth), Phil Minton (voices), Evan Parker (soprano and tenor saxophones), Steve Beresford (Farfisa organ, VCS3 synth), and Mark Sanders (drums). 16 track vinyl LP. Package designed by Tom Recchion.
File Under: Experimental, Rock
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kllo
Kllo: Backwater (Ghostly) LP
Kllo, an electronic pop collaboration between Melbourne cousins Chloe Kaul and Simon Lam, waded in figurative backwater for much of 2016, amidst an extensive world tour. These were exciting times; the duo’s Well Worn EP furthered the promise of 2014 EP Cusp, receiving millions of streams and landing Kllo on festival stages as well as Artists-to-Watch lists. Nonetheless, the stretch kept them far from home, isolated and vulnerable, treading through perpetual uncharted territory while yearning for the comforts of the familiar. Kllo have officially come out the other end of the stilted estuary with twelve compositions cultivated to feel timeless and crafted, and equally current. The duo’s debut full length – and their most realized work to date – Backwater celebrates the ephemeral and the enduring changes in emotion, the downfalls and the dissolves. It’s an album that parts course with its flow, and flourishes in a lowland. The LP format finds Kllo with more room to breathe and sync their rhythms with emotions. Kaul’s smoky voice emanates with assurance and leisure. Lam’s production invents brooding, steely undercurrents hemmed with charming crescendos. They use these warm-cool dynamics to convey strain; see the bubbling arpeggiated synth lines of the closure-seeking “Last Yearn” or the solace afforded by the tender piano ballad, “Nylon” to experience the bewitching confluences. “Virtue” has it all at once. Slow to arc, the lead single hushes, stutters, and syncopates before locking into a club-ready groove in its second minute. The title track is a transitional drift; a wordless translation of looping in place, free from the forward moving constraints of the current. “Making Distractions” addresses the inaction head-on, with Kaul opting not to lay down until satisfied as Lam surrounds a downtempo beat with low-lit atmospherics and a bedside music box of samples.

File Under: Electronic, Indie Pop
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walker
Bill Mackay & Ryley Walker: Spiderbeetlebee (Drag City) LP
Drag City presents the second volume of Bill MacKay and Riley Walkers’s MacKay and inspired collaboration. It’s been nearly two years since their much-admired 2015 debut, Land of Plenty (Whistler Records), and SpiderBeetleBee more than makes up for lost time with rich, resonant performances that elevate the sound of the guitar duo as they work with an ever-widening panorama of styles. SpiderBeetleBee radiates forth with equal parts austerity and whimsy, opening with an almost-baroque dance before giving way to a Celtic theme, both featuring MacKay and Walker’s acoustics in rambling conversation, picking through intricate passages as though they were exchanges, thoughts and afterthoughts. Adorned with Bill MacKay’s colorful and wilfully primitive cover-art, SpiderBeetleBee wanders through styles, landmasses and hemispheres, capturing the further adventures of MacKay and Walker with spellbinding snapshots that only bloom larger the longer you take them in.
File Under: Folk
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necessariesNecessaries: Event Horizon (Be With) LP

Event Horizon is one of the best Arthur Russell albums you’ve probably never heard. The criminally underrated 1982 debut album by The Necessaries – comprised of Arthur Russell and members of the Modern Lovers and Red Krayola – is finally getting a well-deserved reissue. The Necessaries were made up of lead singer Ed Tomney, the Modern Lovers’ Ernie Brooks on bass and ex-Red Krayola member Jesse Chamberlain on drums. Produced by Bob Blank, their only album, Event Horizon, also features trombone from Peter Zummo – a key fixture in New York’s DownTown Ensemble and one of Russell’s frequent collaborators. Russell contributed keyboards, guitar, cello and some vocals to the power-pop quartet and wrote half of the album, including its two standout tracks – ‘Driving and Talking at the Same Time’ and ‘More Real.’ A one-off, melody-rich gem, Event Horizon has somehow managed to escape the attention of many Arthur Russell fans for decades – hopefully until now.
File Under: Rock, New Wave, Arthur Russell
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olsen

Angel Olsen: Phases (Jagjaguwar) LP
How do you best describe Angel Olsen? From the lo-fi, sparse folk-melancholy of her 2010 EP, Strange Cacti, to the electrified, polished rock ‘n’ roll bursting from 2016’s beloved and acclaimed My Woman, Olsen has refused to succumb to a single genre, expectation, or vision. Impossible to pin down, Olsen navigates the world with her remarkable, symphonic voice and a propensity for narrative, her music growing into whatever shape best fits to tell the story. Phases is a collection of Olsen’s work culled from the past several years, including a number of never-before-released tracks. “Fly On Your Wall,” previously contributed to the Bandcamp-only, anti-Trump fundraiser Our First 100 Days, opens Phases, before seamlessly slipping into “Special,” a brand new song from the My Woman recording sessions. Both “How Many Disasters” and “Sans” are first-time listens: home-recorded demos that have never been released, leaning heavily on Olsen’s arresting croon and lonesome guitar. The B-sides compilation is both a testament to Olsen’s enormous musical range and a tidy compilation of tracks that have previously been elusive in one way or another. Balancing tenacity and tenderness, Phases acts as a deep-dive for longtime fans, as well as a fitting introduction to Olsen’s sprawling sonics for the uninitiated.
File Under: Indie Rock, Folk
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sanders3

Pharoah Sanders: Tauhid (Anthology) LP
“Pharoah Sanders is Spiritual Jazz, is Devotional Music, is the greatest living link between John Coltrane, Kamasi Washington, and the next generation of this great lineage. His Tenor Sound, his Singing Voice, his compositions, and his recordings have already stood the test of time, in his time, endured, ever-aged so finely, and have now (in my opinion) surpassed critique. Pharoah Sanders is a giant, an innovator, colorful, prayerful, and worthy of all our attention, celebration, and enthusiastic, even ecstatic accolades!”—Carlos Niño (Spaceways Radio, Leaving Records, Dublab). Anthology Recordings is honored to announce the reissue of three of Pharoah Sanders’ most significant albums: Tauhid, Jewels of Thought and Summun Bukmun Umyun (Deaf Dumb Blind).
File Under: Jazz, Spiritual Jazz
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sanders1

Pharoah Sanders: Jewels of Thought (Anthology) LP
“Pharoah Sanders is Spiritual Jazz, is Devotional Music, is the greatest living link between John Coltrane, Kamasi Washington, and the next generation of this great lineage. His Tenor Sound, his Singing Voice, his compositions, and his recordings have already stood the test of time, in his time, endured, ever-aged so finely, and have now (in my opinion) surpassed critique. Pharoah Sanders is a giant, an innovator, colorful, prayerful, and worthy of all our attention, celebration, and enthusiastic, even ecstatic accolades!”—Carlos Niño (Spaceways Radio, Leaving Records, Dublab). Anthology Recordings is honored to announce the reissue of three of Pharoah Sanders’ most significant albums: Tauhid, Jewels of Thought and Summun Bukmun Umyun (Deaf Dumb Blind).
File Under: Jazz, Spiritual
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sanders2

Pharoah Sanders: Summun Bukmun Umyun (Anthology) LP
“Pharoah Sanders is Spiritual Jazz, is Devotional Music, is the greatest living link between John Coltrane, Kamasi Washington, and the next generation of this great lineage. His Tenor Sound, his Singing Voice, his compositions, and his recordings have already stood the test of time, in his time, endured, ever-aged so finely, and have now (in my opinion) surpassed critique. Pharoah Sanders is a giant, an innovator, colorful, prayerful, and worthy of all our attention, celebration, and enthusiastic, even ecstatic accolades!”—Carlos Niño (Spaceways Radio, Leaving Records, Dublab). Anthology Recordings is honored to announce the reissue of three of Pharoah Sanders’ most significant albums: Tauhid, Jewels of Thought and Summun Bukmun Umyun (Deaf Dumb Blind).
File Under: Jazz, Spiritual
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savageA. Savage: Thawing Dawn (Dull Tools) LP|
The debut solo album from A. Savage (aka Andrew Savage of Parquet Courts). “The songs on Thawing Dawn form a guided tour through the romantic environs of A. Savage’s mirrored mind. While some were written recently, other tunes were penned over the past decade. For one reason or another, these compositions didn’t land with any of Savage’s other groups, and instead are presented now as a distinct collection… These ten songs were recorded by a cast of friends in Jarvis Taveniere’s Thump Studios in Brooklyn. Members of Woods, Ultimate Painting, PC Worship, EZTV, Sunwatchers and Psychic TV all lend their talents. Savage’s voice, once shouted into mosh pits, now glides confidently above its backing band. Thawing Dawn marks the arrival point for Savage as a sensitive and skilled vocalist. Limited first edition of 500 copies housed in tip-on jackets. Includes a download.

File Under: Indie Rock
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strom

Pauline Anna Strom: Trans-Millenia Music (ReRvng) LP
Otherworldly and anomalous, hushed and hallucinatory, Pauline Anna Strom’s unique style of inner space music reaches across time to futures and pasts far from our own. Trans-Millenia Music compiles eighty minutes of Strom’s most evocative work, composed and recorded between 1982 and 1988, for the first authorized overview of the enigmatic Bay Area composer. Exemplary passages were selected from the three full-lengths originally issued on vinyl in addition to a group of four full-lengths self-released on cassette. This substantive body of work challenges the canonization of new age and ambient music as one-size-fits-all categories. Strom’s music induces a dynamic range of listening that captivates and intrigues, a cinematic experience rather than a meditation for passive listening. An open invitation to earlier worlds and a trans-temporal philosophy for living, Trans-Millenia Music is available here on double LP with original artwork by visionary Karma Moffett, printed inner sleeves and a booklet with extensive liner notes scribed by Britt Brown.
File Under: Electronic, Ambient
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wolfparade

Wolf Parade: Cry Cry Cry (Universal) LP
In tomorrow… The soaring choruses, rousing anthems, sprawling guitars and chaotic keys that make up Wolf Parade are on proud display over the course of Cry Cry Cry, the band’s thunderous first album in seven years. That unique combination of sounds and influences, spearheaded by electric co-frontmen Spencer Krug and Dan Boeckner – a complex yet relatable, energetic brew of glam, prog, synth-rock, and satisfying discomfort – helped define 2000s indie rock with three critically celebrated albums, and propelled a growing Wolf Parade fandom even after the band went on a then-indefinite hiatus in 2010. Their return marks the band’s first to be produced by Pacific Northwest legend John Goodmanson (Bikini Kill, Sleater-Kinney, Unwound) at Robert Lang Studios outside of Seattle, and is accompanied by a renewed focus and the creativity of a group that took their time getting exactly where they needed to be. It’s also a homecoming to Sub Pop, which released all three of the band’s previous albums. In the time apart, the band scattered geographically and focused on family and other work – Spencer on his solo project Moonface, Dan on his bands Handsome Furs, Operators, and Divine Fits (with Spoon’s Britt Daniel), and Dante De Caro on records with Carey Mercer’s Frog Eyes and Blackout Beach. And that time allowed for an even stronger, tighter band to emerge. Wolf Parade have always tended to make albums that react against their previous work. Compared to 2010’s relatively sparse rocker Expo 86, Cry Cry Cry is more deliberate in its arrangements and embrace of the studio process, as evidenced by songs like “Valley Boy,” a Bowie-inflected anthem for which Spencer wrote lyrics after Leonard Cohen died the day before the 2016 election. “You’re Dreaming,” also influenced by the election and the spinning shock that followed, is driving, urgent power pop that draws from artists like Tom Petty and what Dan calls one of his “default languages” for writing music. The swirly, synth-heavy crescendo of “Artificial Life” takes on the struggle of artists and at-risk communities. The album carries a sense of uprising that is not unrelated to Wolf Parade’s renewed determination to drive the band forward in uncertain times. Welcome to Cry Cry Cry.
File Under: Indie Rock
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zappa

Frank Zappa: Zoot Allures (Zappa) LP
In tomorrow… Shattering conventions – musical, social, political – was the life’s work of Frank Zappa, the iconoclastic musical genius, rock legend and intellectual firebrand of the late twentieth century whose work is equally revered by hardcore rockers and serious musical scholars. The more minimalist approach taken on 1976’s Zoot Allures brings old tropes back into the fold: doo-wop and blues-rock in particular. Disco, German culture and sexual stereotypes all crop up in the lyrics, but for dark social commentary lock into “Wind Up Workin’ In A Gas Station,” where the sardonic dismantling of the work ethic manages to be blackly comic.
File Under: Rock
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Various: Brown Acid – The Fifth Trip (Riding Easy) LP
The hits just keep coming—for this fifth lysergic journey, Riding Easy assembles ten heavy slabs of obscure rock the likes of which have never been seen before… not in this form, anyhow. And as usual, the tracks from these impossibly rare records have all been fully cleared through the artists themselves. Great lengths were gone to in order to get the best possible master sources, the worst case scenario being an original 45. The legendary Captain Foam kicks off this trip like an anvil to your skull with a rollicking stomper sounding like The Who with Matt Pike’s thunderous guitar tone. “No Reason” wasn’t easy to find, but lo and behold, the super sleuths located him and got his blessing to include the A-side of his sole single. Good luck finding an original copy of the record. It’s rarer than raw beef—and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. The other nine tracks continue the onslaught in typical Brown Acid form: George Brigman’s charmingly disjointed bedroom-fi production of “Blowin’ Smoke,” Finch’s way out of time and place grungeadelic anthem “Nothing In The Sun,” Cybernaut’s heavy prog, Fargo’s hallucinogenic BBQ-sauce soaked “Abaddon,” Mammoth’s fittingly beefy eponymous riff-monger, Flasher’s “Icky Bicky” boogie, Ohio-based screamers Lance, Zebra’s gritty rendition of “Helter Skelter” and finally, the mysterious and previously unheard Thor appears here exclusively and for the first time ever with their unknown 45 track “Lick It.” – Limited opaque yellow vinyl.
File Under: Rock, Metal, Stoner, Psych
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…..Restocks…..
Afghan Whigs: Uptown Avondale (Sub Pop) LP
Afghan Whigs: Up In It (Sub Pop) LP
Afghan Whigs: Congregation (Sub Pop) LP
Animal Collective: Merriweather Post Pavillion (Domino) LP
Beach House: Depression Cherry (Sub Pop) LP
Beach House: Bloom (Sub Pop) LP
Beach House: Teen Dream (Sub Pop) LP
Beach House: Thank Your Lucky Stars (Sub Pop) LP
John Bender: I Don’t Remember Now (Superior Viaduct) LP
Big Black: Atomizer (Touch & Go) LP
Black Keys: The Big Come Up (Alive) LP
Colleen: A Flame My Love.. (Thrill Jockey) LP
Gal Costa: s/t (4 Men With Beards) LP
The Cure: Pornography (Rhino) LP
Decemberists: Picaresque (Kill Rock Stars) LP
Earth: Earth 2 (Sub Pop) LP
Eric’s Trip: Love Tara (Sub Pop) LP
Father John Misty: Fear Fun (Sub Pop) LP
Father John Misty: I Love You Honey Bear (Sub Pop) LP
Fleet Foxes: s/t (Sub Pop) LP
Fleet Foxes: Helplessness Blues (Sub Pop) LP
Fugazi: Repeater (Discord) LP
Fugazi: The Argument (Discord) LP
Serge Gainsbourg: L’Homme a Tete Du Chou (4 Men With Beards) LP
Liam Gallagher: As You Were (Warner) LP
Goat: Commune (Sub Pop) LP
Goat: Requiem (Sub Pop) LP
Iron & Wine: Creek Drank The Cradle (Sub Pop) LP
Iron & Wine: Endless Numbered Days (Sub Pop) LP
Iron & Wine: Shepherd’s Dog (Sub Pop) LP
Jets To Brazil: Perfecting Loneliness (Jade Tree) LP
Metallica: Master of Puppets (Blackened) LP
Metallica: Woodstock 1994 (Parachute) LP
Mogwai: Hardcore Will Never Die (Sub Pop) LP
Nirvana: Bleach (Sub Pop) LP
OCS: Orc (Castle Face) LP
Os Mutantes: s/t (Lilith) LP
OST: It Follows (Milan) LP
Pack A.D.: Dollhouse (Cadence) LP
Pink Floyd: Dark Side of the Moon (Pink Floyd) LP
Porcupine Tree: Fear of a Blank Planet (Kscope) LP
Postal Service: Give Up (Sub Pop) LP
Scientist: Big Showdown (Mirmur) LP
Scientist: Wins the World Cup (Mirmur) LP
Scientist: Encounters Pac-Man at Channel One (Mirmur) LP
Sebadoh: Bake Sale (Sub Pop) LP
The Shins: Oh, Inverted World (Sub Pop) LP
The Shins: Chutes Too Narrow (Sub Pop) LP
The Shins: Wincing the Night Away (Sub Pop) LP
Gwen Stefani: You Make It Feel (Universal) LP
Sunn/Boris: Alter (Southern Lord) LP
Shooting Guns: Flavour Country (Riding Easy) LP
St. Vincent: Masseduction (Universal) DLX LP
Tragically Hip: Live Between Us (Universal) LP
Scott Walker: Scott (Mercury) LP
Scott Walker: Scott 4 (Mercury) LP
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…..news letter #817 – ugh winter…..

Heavy week here! So many killer things in to stick in your ear, it’s hard to just pick just 2 picks of the week, but it’s only fair. Unlike winter, just sneaking up all of a sudden on us. At least there’s plenty of new tunes to keep you occupied while you bunker down at home now.

…..picks of the week…..

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Various: Even a Tree Can Shed Tears (Light in the Attic) LP
In tomorrow… Super sweet coloured wax in stock for a short while! There was something in the air in the urban corners of late ‘60s Japan. Student protests and a rising youth culture gave way to the angura (short for “underground) movement that thrived on subverting traditions of the post-war years. Rejection of the Beatlemania-inspird Group Sounds and the squeaky clean College Folk movements led the rise of what came to be known in Japan as “New Music,” where authenticity mattered more than replicating the sounds of their idols. Some of the most influential figures in Japanese pop music emerged from this vital period, yet very little of their work has ever been released or heard outside of Japan, until now. Light In The Attic is thrilled to present Even a Tree Can Shed Tears, the inaugural release in the label’s Japan Archival Series. This is the first-ever, fully licensed collection of essential Japanese folk and rock songs from the peak years of the angura movement to reach Western audiences. In mid-to-late 1960s Tokyo, young musicians and college students were drawn to Shibuya’s Dogenzaka district for the jazz and rock kissas, or cafes, that dotted its winding hilly streets. Some of these spaces doubled as performance venues, providing a stage for local regulars like Hachimitsu Pie with their The Band-like ragged Americana, Tetsuo Saito with his spacey philosophical folk, and the influential Happy End, who successfully married the unique cadences of the Japanese language to the rhythms of the American West Coast. For many years Dogenzaka remained a center of the city’s “New Music” scene. Meanwhile a different kind of music subculture was beginning to emerge in the Kansai region around Osaka, Kyoto, and Kobe. Far more political than their eastern counterparts, many of the Kansai-based “underground” artists began in the realm of protest folk music. They include Takashi Nishioka and his progressive folk collective Itsutsu No Akai Fuusen, the “Japanese Joni Mitchell” Sachiko Kanenobu, and The Dylan II, whose members ran The Dylan cafe in Osaka, which became a hub for the scene. Even a Tree Can Shed Tears also includes the bluesy avant-garde stylings of Maki Asakawa, future Sadistic Mika Band founder Kazuhiko Kato with his fuzzy, progressive psychedelia, the beatnik acid folk of Masato Minami, and the intimate living room folk of Kenji Endo. Nearly 50 years on, this “New Music” is born anew.

File Under: Folk, Psych, Japan
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hasselJon Hassell: Dream Theory in Malaya (Tak:Til) LPFirst reissue of Jon Hassell’s “Fourth World” masterpiece, originally released in 1981. Featuring contributions from Brian Eno, Daniel Lanois (U2, Peter Gabriel), and Michael Brook (Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan). Beautifully remastered, with a bonus track (“Ordinary Mind”) and liner notes written by Hassell himself. “Fourth World is a viewpoint out of which evolves guidelines for finding balances between accumulated knowledge and the conditions created by new technologies” –Jon Hassell. From his time studying with Stockhausen in Cologne and a passage through the New York minimalist sphere with Terry Riley, La Monte Young, and Philip Glass to his mentorship with the Indian vocal master Pandit Pran Nath and collaborative excursions with Eno, the Talking Heads, Peter Gabriel, David Sylvian, Björk, and Ry Cooder, Jon Hassell has pursued a continuous questioning of the dichotomies between North and South, sacred and sensual, primitive and futurist. These cross-pollinating influences and pan-cultural musical educations led Hassell to the gradual development of musical concepts and gestures that he grouped under the “Fourth World” umbrella theory. “I wanted the mental and geographical landscapes to be more indeterminate — not Indonesia, not Africa, not this or that. . . . What would music be like if ‘classic’ had not been defined as what happened in Central Europe two hundred years ago. What if the world knew Javanese music and Pygmy music and Aborigine music? What would ‘classical music’ sound like then?” In the late 1970s in New York, Hassell began to produce a series of astonishing albums on which his trumpet explored both non-Western modalities and dramatic sound processing (deftly rendered by nascent digital effects like the AMS Harmonizer). Brian Eno, who was living New York at the time, was thrilled by Hassell’s 1978 debut album, Vernal Equinox, and sought out its creator. Together they produced the classic 1980 album Fourth World Vol. 1: Possible Musics, before Eno charged headlong into “Fourth World”-ish collaborations with a new partner, David Byrne, on Remain in Light (1980) and My Life in The Bush of Ghosts (1981). Hassell began to feel that they were at least borrowing concepts and sounds to which he had introduced them, and at worst, that a full-scale appropriation was taking place. As Hassell undertook the process of recording and finalizing Dream Theory in Malaya: Fourth World Volume Two — the follow-up to Possible Musics — Brian Eno was again present, as both mixer and musician, but this time the back cover credits leave no room for interpretation or confusion: “All compositions by Jon Hassell. Produced by Jon Hassell.”

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

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Alessandro Alessandroni: La Terrificante Notte Del Demonio (Cinedelic) LP
Directed by Patrice Romme, The Devil’s Nightmare (1971) was an Italian-Belgian production and featured main performers Jean Servais alongside a sensual Erika Blanc; also noteworthy is the disturbing presence of the graceful and filiform silhouette of Daniel Emilfork in the role of Satan. The film’s components are typical of the Euro-horror genre of the time: a gothic castle, eroticism, and bloody murders — all in a spectral and dense photograph. It is the music of maestro Alessandro Alessandroni, who needs no introduction, to indelibly mark the listener, starting with the hypnotic, psychedelic opening theme to which the harpsichord and his faithful Fender Stratocaster add the acid and fuzz, overlapping the silly wordless vocals of his companion Giulia De Mutiis. In the ranking of the 100 Best Horror Soundtracks, compiled by FACT Magazine, The Devil’s Nightmare is ranked ninth. First time on vinyl; Edition of 500 (hand-numbered).

File Under: Library, OST, Horror, Psych
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Alessandro Alessandroni: Ritmo Dell’Industria N.2 (Sonor) LP
Sonor Music Editions present a reissue of Alessandro Alessandroni’s Ritmo Dell’Industria N.2, originally released in 1969. An absolute Italian mood music grail and one of the best library music recordings ever. Alessandroni’s Ritmo Dell’Industria N.2 is a true legend in the field. This is the maestro’s most prized and sought-after album, produced in 1969 on the small Grand Prix label. A mind-melting record featuring some of the most killer driven beats ever — dark vibes and haunting atmospheres with constant and moody industrial rhythms, filled with tons of drum breaks, trippy scat vocals, and Eastern inspired obsessive grooves. Music has been remastered from the original stereo master tape. Back sleeve features deluxe liner notes written by Jonny Trunk. Holy grail alert! Edition of 500.

File Under: Library, Italian. Funk, Psych
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ab1

Alvarius B: With a Beaker on the Burner and an Otter in the Oven Vol 1 (Abduction) LP
You know, how can a guy NOT copy and paste a write up that talks about how lazy copy and pasting writes ups is… Alvarius B. on With a Beaker on the Burner and an Otter in the Oven – Vol. 1 Natural Wonder: “Volume One of three new LPs I am releasing simultaneously called Natural Wonder, this is the more melodic, savvy one and you might like it. Maybe I’m lying and it’s the innocent, straight record so maybe you should get Vol 3 instead if you’re in a darker mood. But that’s not really true either. Or maybe it’s one of those records that grows on you the more you continue playing it… like a cancer. The musicians who played on all three albums don’t deserve to be involved in these kamikaze promotional descriptions so don’t blame them for any of this. They played so well on these records, in fact they play much better than you do, and their performances deserve a ‘Whammy,’ which is the awards show where I’m in charge and the winners get to shoot members of the music industry academy dead in their seats. That’s where it’s all headed you know. . . . The modern world of record making has become so fucking dull and obedient that someone has to ram a poison dagger up your asses and since you’re all under hypnosis, I promise you won’t feel a thing. I could pay Dougie Jones to write this piece to match your intellect or hire a publicity company to promote it but who really gives a fuck? I’m still making records for myself and the rest of humanity doesn’t speak my language anyway. By deciding to write my own album promos, I can perform some market research. For example, this album description text will undoubtedly be copy/pasted by most online retailers onto their respective sites because they don’t write their own new album reviews or get too excited about music, they simply want to create the illusion that they’re in business to sell records. So I could put something like: Fuck all website retailers that copy/paste this description onto their site because they are too fucking cheap, lazy or chicken shit to have an opinion to write individual album reviews — and they probably wouldn’t even notice while doing it. Anyway, back to my new album. These songs are pretty good, most likely way better than your songs, and I don’t even have time to be a real songwriter, so what does that say about you? It says that you suck. And most of you do. But you should buy my new three album set because it’s probably as good or better than any other LPs that will be released this year. But if you aren’t ready to go all-in with confidence, then forget it. I don’t want any mudskipper sub-species of the crayfish to buy my records. There are always a few speculators who’ll pick up the extra copies you won’t buy anyway.” One-time pressing; Includes printed inner sleeve with lyrics and credits.

File Under: Folk, World, Psych, Sun City Girls
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ab2

Alvarius B: With a Beaker on the Burner and an Otter in the Oven Vol 2 (Abduction) LP
Alvarius B. on With a Beaker on the Burner and an Otter in the Oven – Vol. 2 A Mark Twain August: “This is Volume Two of my new three LP set, and it’s called A Mark Twain August. Now don’t go asking me what the fuck that title means but I will say that it may be my favorite of the three. My ‘fans’, all 133 of them, are pretty smart. I used to think only 67 people mattered on earth, now it could be far less, but it’s beginning to trouble me how I’ve actually accumulated 133 fans. So if you’re not a moron, I don’t mind if you buy this record. I made more copies than I have fans so I need to expand on the audience a bit but I don’t want fucking idiots buying my albums. A brand new car loses value the moment you drive it home, but my records will always go up in value (like my Dodge Ram Van which tripled in value when I drove it off the lot) so this is also an investment opportunity. If you were to walk slowly on a hot bed of coals you may discover that Don McLean never actually drove his Chevy to the levy and that the singer-songwriter is dead, just like all the poets. What do contemporary poets and the entire Indonesian population have in common? Most of you cannot name even one of them. Homo Sapiens now love to complain and act as if they know how the world works by ‘expressing’ themselves on their social media networks — that’s become the new poetry. And I think there are only nine people writing songs today that I respect, I’d have to check to make sure. And the Thinking Fellars were a great band — I could name a dozen more from the past 30 years that I’d call contemporaries, but that’s about it. . . . And I almost forgot to mention that Mark Twain’s old banjo appears on this record. Oh and this is better than that Wolf King of LA album by Papa John Phillips, for all those who got mesmerized by it 30 years after it came out. There’s only three or four good tracks on that and A Mark Twain August has six great tracks on it, at least. One-time pressing; Includes printed inner sleeve with lyrics and credits.

File Under: Folk, World, Psych, Sun City Girls
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ab3

Alvarius B: With a Beaker on the Burner and an Otter in the Oven Vol 3 (Abduction) LP
Alvarius B. on With a Beaker on the Burner and an Otter in the Oven – Vol. 3 Heathen Folklore: “Serial killing was one of history’s greatest art forms. Now it’s becoming almost impossible to get a skull-drilling startup off the ground unless you murder for the corporations or governments where you have highly organized protection from any enforceable law but at the expense of sacrificing all the glory for the anonymity required to maintain employment. So, unfortunately, the days of any zit topography random commoner being able to string together a few killings to hit the big time before being caught has almost come to an end. Sad. This record, the third and final volume of my new three-LP set called Heathen Folklore, could serve as somewhat of a manual of inspiration on how one could start such a career, as risky and unpopular as it is. It gets much more fucked-up than the previous two LPs, and sometimes I think it’s the best one due to that aspect. I’d have to give it one more listen but I also think this is the LP with coded messages that could trigger an unsuspecting listener to start his/her career in extreme behavior. But killing isn’t everything you know. There are many more ways to express yourself and reach the top of the charts these days. In fact, I saw Burt Bacharach three weeks ago gripping a huge fucking machete while chasing modern dance music architects off his champion ship and into deep water where they hopefully became shark bait. And to set the record straight, Jimi Hendrix did not fake his death and become Morgan Freeman nor was Hunter S. Thompson directing snuff films. But most of that other weird shit you hear about these days is probably true. And I’m working on a film called ‘Being Alvarius B.’ where all of you loser fucks crawl into my brain and see yourselves from my perspective and then commit collective suicide because you finally realize I was right all along. And I am. Can’t wait to make more albums so I can write these album descriptions. Cocksuckers.” One-time pressing; Includes printed inner sleeve with lyrics and credits.

File Under: Folk, World, Psych, Sun City Girls
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barbez

Barbez With Velina Brown: For Those Who Came After (Important) LP
On October 6th, sui generis Brooklyn-based band Barbez, in collaboration with singer Velina Brown, release a remarkable tribute to the International Brigades called For Those Who Came After: Songs Of Resistance From The Spanish Civil War. The album, consisting of inventive and moving new renderings of the indelible protest songs of the International Brigades, was recorded live at the Japan Society, in 2016, at the annual reunion of veterans of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade. The highlight of the reunion has always been the singing of these songs, which were led on several occasions by Pete Seeger, a life-long friend of the Lincoln veterans, who recorded many of them for his iconic 1944 album, Songs Of The Lincoln Battalion. Barbez draws on avant-rock, contemporary classical, and folk music styles such as cumbia and flamenco to reinvent iconic songs for a new generation of listeners. The album features clarinetist Peter Hess (Philip Glass Ensemble), Theremin virtuoso Pamelia Stickney (David Byrne), marimba and vibraphone player Danny Tunick (The Clean), guitarist Dan Kaufman (Rebecca Moore), violinist Catherine McRae (The Quavers), bassist Peter Lettre (Shearwater), and drummer John Bollinger (Sway Machinery); with vocalist Velina Brown (San Francisco Mime Troupe) and special guests Dafna Naphtali on background vocals and Sebastiaan Faber on trumpet. It’s the first Barbez record since 2013’s acclaimed Bella Ciao. Dan Kaufman, the bandleader of Barbez, moonlights as a journalist. Over the course of reporting, he got to know many veterans of the Lincoln Brigade, including the last surviving one, Del Berg, who died at 100 in 2016. “A Las Barricadas” is a fragment of an interview Kaufman conducted with Berg the year before he died. “Viva La Quince Brigade”, the Brigade’s unofficial anthem, features a fragment of an interview with Abe Osheroff, a legendary Lincoln vet and life-long activist. In October 1938, the International Brigades were sent home. Five months later, Madrid, the Republic’s last holdout, fell. Some half million Spanish Republican exiles fled by foot across the border, settling for a time in damp, primitive internment camps on the beaches of southern France. Their plight — and defiance — are captured in the image on this album’s cover, taken by the renowned war photographer Robert Capa in 1939. Mixed by Martin Bisi (Swans, Sonic Youth, John Zorn); Live engineering performed by Damon Whittemore (Paul McCartney, Andrew Bird); Includes extensive liner notes by award-winning author Adam Hochschild.

File Under: Avant Rock, Protest Songs
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caretaker

The Caretaker: Everywhere at the End of Time – Stage 3 (HAFTW) LP
The third of a six album cycle cataloging The Caretaker’s fictional first person account of life with early onset dementia, presenting some of the last coherent memories before confusion fully rolls in and the grey mists fade away. In this crepuscular, autumnal phase, recollections phosphoresce, and wilt in advancing stages of entropic decay, steadily approaching a winter of no return. Continuing to mirror the progression of dementia, using nostalgia for ballroom as an allegory of the disease, The Caretaker’s musical flow in places becomes more disturbed, isolated, broken, and distant. Singular memories, and all their connotations, begin to atrophy and calcify, crumbling away with each rotation of the record — sometimes in curt scene cuts, others in quietly breathtaking reverbed fizzles; like tea lights extinguished, never to flicker again. These are the last stages of awareness before you enter the post awareness stages, where those memories become completely detached from comprehension. On Stage 3, the haunted ballroom’s repertoire becomes increasingly muddled, peeling off in recursive contrails from the gestures of “Back There Benjamin”, to snag on the stylus in starkly reverberant knots on “Hidden Seas Buried Deep”, or worn down to calloused nubs such as “To The Minimal Great Hidden”, and “Sublime Beyond Loss”, all leading up to some of the project’s most uncanny detachments in “Libet Delay” and the coruscating brass shimmer of “Mournful Cameraderie”, which beautifully suggest the mercurial nature of memory and its recollection. Artwork by Ivan Seal. Mastered and cut by Lupo.

File Under: Ambient
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cipriani

Stelvio Cipriani: Ecologia del Delitto/Reazione a Catena (Cinedelic) LP
A Bay Of Blood (1971) is a film directed by Mario Bava, known for explicitly inspiring the Friday The 13th saga as well as for being the forerunner of the slasher genre, is undoubtedly one of the most inspirational masters of horror cinema. His magical use of camera zoom, off-field, and out-of-focus, and cynical and crude death set pieces, make it a masterpiece in which every scene exudes very personal and expressive poetry. Stelvio Cipriani’s score, which develops a rich sequence of different themes and genres, and all accented by the evocative melodies and excellent orchestrations of the maestro, is brilliantly supported by the excellent rhythm performance of Enzo Restuccia on drums and Mandrake Som on the tumba and bongos. It is the voodoo-style percussion and violin that introduces the splendid original theme played by the maestro himself who plays piano, celestial, spinetta, harpsichord, and organ in the arc of the soundtrack. All in all, 21 tracks that make up the score: “Evelyn Theme”, the bossa nova “Due Amanti”, the dramatic and psychedelic “Un Cadavere Nel Lago”, the Italian-style samba of “Giovani e Liberi”, “Shake Giradischi”, whose title is well representative, the tension the pursuit of “Inseguimento E Uccisione”, the abstraction of “Ritrovamento Dei Cadaveri”, and so many others. First time on vinyl; Edition of 500 (hand-numbered).

File Under: Italian, OST, Horror
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dedekindDedekind Cut: The Expanding Domain (Hallow Ground) LP
Trance-derived melodies, murky industrial grooves, and all-consuming harsh noise attacks from Dedekind Cut. Created in transit between New York, Seoul, and Berlin and recorded between the fall of 2016 and the winter of 2017. Over 23 minutes, the release shifts from densely layered textures to subtle piano notes and hard-hammering beats, seemingly mirroring the drastic changes of the times in which they were conceived. With the help of Dirch Heather (modular synths), Elysia Crampton (piano), Mica Levi (dubbed piano), Jesse Osborne-Lanthier (synths), as well as Dominick Fernow alias Prurient and Death Grips drummer Zach Hill on percussion, Fred Welton Warmsley III reminds his listeners that now is not the time to give up. Warmsley left behind a career as Joey Bada$$’s producer and his previous moniker Lee Bannon to pursue a more experimental musical approach as Dedekind Cut. It’s a conceptual entity that draws on creative collaboration and aims at gathering unique artists under a single musical vision. Amidst the cacophony, a distinctive voice can be heard. The Expanding Domain might sound bleak and unforgiving at first, but it also communicates a hope as well as a desire to resist. After all, there is a reason that this record was created as a loop.

File Under: Electronic, Ambient, Drone
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eggleston

William Eggleston: Musik (Secretly Canadian) LP
Native Memphian William Eggleston, 78, is widely regarded to be the most important photographer of the late 20th Century, but there is another side to him that took root in his Sumner, Mississippi childhood, where he discovered the piano in the parlor that ignited in him a lifelong passion for music. It was a passion he carried forth his entire life, playing quite adeptly when a piano was handy: improvised turns on Bach, Handel, gospel, country, and popular selections from the Great American Songbook for friends and family. Though his travels found him rubbing elbows with Andy Warhol’s Factory superstars in New York, where he lived for several years with Viva at the Chelsea Hotel, and observing a music scene in Memphis that included Big Star’s Alex Chilton, and his old friend and owner of Ardent Studios, engineer Jon Fry, his own music went largely unheard by the general public. In the 1980’s, Eggleston, who disdained digital cameras and modernity in general, became surprisingly fascinated with a synthesizer, the Korg O1/W FD, which had 88 piano-like keys, and in addition to being able to emulate the sound of any instrument, also contained a four-track sequencer that allowed him to expand the palette of his music, letting him create improvised symphonic pieces, stored on 49 floppy discs, encompassing some 60 hours of music from which this 13 track recording was assembled. The music, which he refers to as “Musik”, adopting the German spelling of his hero, JS Bach, is highly emotional, whether he’s improvising a Bach-like organ fanfare out of whole cloth, using a Korg patch titled “guitar feedback” to create a dirge, or playing Lerner and Lowe’s “On The Street Where You Live” as a dramatic overture. Eggleston lives today in a small apartment off Memphis’ Overton Park that he shares with a 9-foot Bosendorfer grand piano and an arsenal of ultra-high fidelity audio equipment, some of which was designed by his son, William Eggleston III. The synthesizer, alas, is broken and stubbornly refuses to be repaired, so for the purpose of this project another was purchased in order to be able to play back the floppy discs, which, along with a handful of DATs and other digital media, though frail, were digitized and mastered for this and future releases. Mr. Eggleston often says that he feels that music is his first calling, as much a part of him, at least, as his photography. We take special pride in allowing the world to hear this side of a great artist who may now be rightly called a great musician.

File Under: Electronic, Ambient
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forno

Carla Dal Forno: The Garden (Blackest Ever Black) 12″
Four new, obliquely confessional dispatches from the edge zones of feeling. “You Shouldn’t Have To Wait” is an confrontational companion piece, or response, to her own “Fast Moving Cars”. It’s a forceful, void-chasing drone-rock led by a “Venus In Furs” bassline. “Clusters” is a bright, electronic pop fantasy in the tradition of Stereolab or Saint Etienne. “Make Up Talk” is a tense, awkward unpicking of a dysfunctional relationship. With “The Garden” Dal Forno pays tribute to Einsturzende Neubauten. Emotionally eloquent, “The Garden” is also her most subtly psychedelic production to date.

File Under: Synth Pop, Minimal
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free jazz

Free Jazz Workshop: Inter Frequences (Souffle Continu) LP
Souffle Continu Records present the first ever vinyl reissue of Free Jazz Workshop’s Inter Fréquences, originally released in 1973. The Free Jazz Workshop came into being in 1967 but their first album, Inter Fréquences, only appeared in 1973. Unfortunately there is no recorded trace of the group including the first drummer Pierre Guyon before he was replaced by Christian Rollet in 1970. One of the slogans doing the rounds at the time sets the tone: “Aesthetic liberation is but a prelude to the liberation of humanity.” The trajectory of the Free Jazz Workshop (which became the Workshop De Lyon in 1975 with the arrival of clarinetist-saxophonist Louis Sclavis) is emblematic of the emancipation of the mindset of certain French musicians during this period. It has been an exceptionally long-lived trajectory a “half-century” as the members say, during which the group — in Christian Rollet’s own words — went from being “an exploratory workshop who claimed to take no account of the musical certitudes of the majority” to becoming something of a classic institution. Right from this first album it is clear that the group would function as a collective with no designated leader. The legacy and influence of American free jazz can be heard throughout: Albert and Don Ayler, or Ornette Coleman and Don Cherry for the horns of Maurice Merle and Jean Mereu; Cecil Taylor for the pianist Patrick Vollat, absent from the group after the second album released in 1975 La Chasse De Shirah Sharibad; Gary Peacock and Barre Phillips for the bass; Sunny Murray or Milford Graves for the rhythmic agitation; but also the Art Ensemble Of Chicago for the collective aspect. This lyrical, incandescent album, alongside those released by François Tusques and the Cohelmec Ensemble at the same period, represents one of the high points of free jazz produced by French musicians. Licensed from Bisou. Reverse printing; 12-page booklet; Obi strip; Edition of 700.

File Under: Free Jazz

frost

Ben Frost: The Wasp Factory (Bedroom Community) LP
Following the CD release of Ben Frost’s The Wasp Factory in December of 2016, a limited edition transparent vinyl version is presented here. In advance of new music from Ben Frost in 2017, Bedroom Community present the definitive recorded version of his 2013 opera and directorial stage debut, The Wasp Factory, based on the novel by the late Iain Banks. Setting his unwitting characters against the backdrop of vast, implacable forces of nature — storm, sea, fire, and even their own madness — Frost reaches deep into his formidable arsenal to reveal an unexpected warmth, from the composer of electronic experiments like Aurora (2014) and Theory Of Machines. The focus here is on the live sound of the Reykjavík Sinfonia, recorded in Abbey Road’s Studio II and, for the first time, the human voice. He sets David Pountney’s libretto to tuneful, even soulful vocal lines; an extraordinarily unreliable narrator describing scenes of extreme violence and horror in music of incongruous loveliness. Limited edition transparent vinyl comes in an edition of 1000.

File Under: Ambient, Experimental, Theater
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goat

Goat: Fuzzed Out in Europe (Rocket) LP
When the masked Swedish collective Goat toured Europe in the autumn of 2016 to promote their then recently released third album Requiem, the band came up with the idea to record every show. On returning back to their home town of Korpilombolo, Goat painstakingly went through all the recordings and picked out six tracks to be released on a limited live album presented here, Fuzzed In Europe. Goat picked these six tracks in particular because they are different versions to what is found on their releases. Goat’s live reputation is second to none — since their first public shows in 2012, they have stunned audiences across the globe. The band’s brand of danceable, tribal psychedelia is guaranteed to create mass hysteria from the wanting crowds — Goat know how to create music that is made for the “head” as well as the “body”. There are rumors of Goat disappearing into the hills, that they have hung up their masks now for good and have slipped away as quietly as they arrived on to the scene. Whether this is true or not, it can’t be said, but even if they have or have not disbanded from public view, this is a great document of their immersive power to cherish. It celebrates a band completely at the top of their game. The eye popping beautiful artwork for Fuzzed In Europe was created by the great poster artist Adam Pobiak who has worked with everyone from Soundgarden to Justice and Swans to the Flaming Lips. Green/black splatter; Edition of 2000.

File Under: Psych, Fuzz
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glotman

Yair Elazar Glotman: Compound (Subtext) LP
Under his guises Blessed Initiative and Ketev, as well as his own name, composer and sound artist Yair Elazar Glotman has explored extended techniques and processes to forge new sonic textures and musical forms. Compound picks up where the previous solo work under Glotman’s own name — Études — left off. The acoustic sound palette has now expanded from solo contrabass into a trio including pianist Rieko Okuda and percussionist Marcello Silvio Busato. Glotman guides the trio into utilizing sounds from the edges of their instruments’ abilities — arguably mere byproducts of harmony — and through improvisation, repetition, and post-production, conjures new sonic bodies over two side-long pieces. His guidelines for each improvisation gave the players autonomy to emphasize the microscopic details of certain sounds: the shudder of a piano key, the hum of a cymbal, the incidental click of a plucked contrabass string. The recordings were then layered and reformulated by Glotman into two separate structures to complete the composition process. Both “Veil” and “Revelate” utilize the full spectral potential of each instrument, revealing new rhythmic patterns and harmonic content in the process. Taking Glotman’s microscopic focus on instrument noises, using Études as a starting point, the trio on Compound ultimately bring into question both density and contrast, rhythm itself losing its stricter structures and becoming a purely pattern-based driving force in the music. The resultant unit contradicts and opposes itself, all sorts of clashing rhythms and melodies coexisting within the body of the two compositions of evolving sonic architecture. Based in Berlin, Yair Elazar Glotman is a classically-trained musician and sound artist. Besides previous works on Subtext including Études, a collaborative score with James Ginzburg’s 2014 experimental film Nimbes, and the eponymous debut of his Blessed Initiative project, Glotman has released music via Opal Tapes and others under the nom de plume Ketev.

File Under: Electronic, Minimal, Jazz
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gunn

Gunn-Truscinski Duo: Bay Head (3Lobed) LP
It’s an anomaly to make a record created out of the pleasure and desire of simply making music together. A record with no commercial aspirational location. Bay Head, the new duo record from John Truscinski (drums, synths) and Steve Gunn (guitars), makes it look easy, carving out a space where none existed before with assurance, resonating beautiful along the way. There’s a quality of timelessness to it without being nostalgic that is impossible to manufacture. It comes from their years of playing together based on a formula of chemistry. While Bay Head is the third record the duo has recorded together, John has played drums and helped shape the songs and the sound on all Steve’s more song-configured albums. Their bond is tight, unique, and effective. As an instrumental record Bay Head has no literal voice. It doesn’t need it, as the constant flow between the drums and guitar describe fully and without a narrator. Steve’s guitar leads you along a contemplative path that describes an inner monologue that is more expressive than if there were words. Some of the guitar parts are worked out and then set free, improvised in the playing. But it’s hard to tell. It all sounds deliberate. Bay Head is the accumulation of the duo’s years of playing music together where each can guess where the other is going to go next. The cover collage by their longtime friend Bill Nace reflects what is both abstract and figurative about this unique musical collaboration.

File Under: Folk, Blues, Guitar Soli

ladycowboy

Lee Hazlewood & Ann-Margret: The Cowboy & The Lady
(Light in the Attic) LP
In tomorrow… The “Cowboy” moved slowly out of the booth and into the studio. You could tell by the look in his eyes, that the half-dozen shots of Chivas Regal had put his ego to rest, and he was ready to sing with the “Lady.” They Sang for three nights – the “Cowboy” and the “Lady”, and the Gods were kind, and their album was finished on time. Herein, lie the results…some good, some bad and some more. -Lee Hazlewood “He had that wonderful, raw sense of humor and that good ol’ boy accent. He certainly could turn a phrase.” -Ann-Margret In 1969 Lee Hazlewood’s personal record label LHI Records was flush with major label cash and Lee wanted to make Ann-Margret his next big star. In the quest for a hit, the pair recorded fuzzed out acid rock (“It’s A Nice World To Visit (But Not To Live In)” & “You Turned My Head Around,”) orchestral pop (“Sleep in the Grass” & “Chico”) and a genuine country album cut in Nashville. Light in the Attic Records is proud to continue it’s Lee Hazlewood archival series with an expanded reissue of Lee & Ann-Margret’s The Cowboy & The Lady. The album is Hazlewood’s truest country album and a perfect example of the genre hopping he was afforded at LHI with unlimited creative freedom and money to burn. Recorded over a weekend in Nashville with the help of Charlie McCoy and some Nashville session musicians. “That was 47 years and about 5000 sessions ago.” – Charlie McCoy With improvised lines like “Look at her standing there with chili all over her dress / If I knew her better, I’d give her a puppy,” the sessions were loose and fun, with most tracks cut in one or two takes. “I had done things in Nashville before. I worked with The Jordanaires in ’62 or ’63. We did a lot of things. I had worked with Charlie McCoy, Floyd Cramer, and Chet Atkins. I love the feeling of Nashville.” – Ann-Margret

File Under: Country
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forty

Lee Hazlewood: Forty (Light in the Attic) LP
In tomorrow… “I asked him if he wanted to use any of his songs, and he said, “No.” We had a long chat before we did any of this. He said, ‘No, I want you to do it and I want to just be a singer.’ So I said okay.” -Shel Talmy Originally titled Will The Real Lee Hazlewood Please Stand Up?, Forty was a different kind of Hazlewood album, one in which Lee just focused on being a performer. In 1969 on the eve of his fortieth birthday, Lee flew to England and enlisted Shel Talmy (The Kinks, The Who, Chad & Jeremy, Bert Jansch) to produce an album and hand pick the songs. Shel picked some incredible songs for Lee to sing and even wrote him a song that should’ve been a hit, “Bye Babe.” Recorded at famed IBC recording studio with cream of the crop British session musicians and arrangers, no expense was spared. Nicky Hopkins piano/organ work on “The Bed” and “The Night Before” evoke his then recent work with the Rolling Stones on Beggar’s Banquet and Let It Bleed. Arranger David Whitaker’s (Serge Gainsbourg, Vashti Bunyan, Air, “Bittersweet Symphony”) wizardry creates a lush, sophisticated orchestral sound. “He was one of the more unique arrangers I’ve ever run into. I think “It Was A Very Good Year” is one of the best arrangements of that song ever.” – Shel Talmy Forty begins with the boozy suite “It Was A Very Good Year”, a swingin’ shapeshifter that could’ve been a James Bond theme. The album traverses many styles from melancholy baroque orchestral pop(“What’s More I Don’t Need Her” “Bye Babe” & “The Night Before”) to country funk (“The Bed” & “Let’s Burn Down the Cornfield.”) Light in the Attic Records is proud to continue its Lee Hazlewood Archival series with an expanded reissue of Forty. Every track Shel and Lee recorded for Forty are included here for the first time, including the outtake “For Once in My Life” and the previously unreleased backing track “Send Out Love.” In exchange for piles of money from major labels, Lee and LHI made promises to produce an amount of recorded material that wasn’t humanly possible for one man and a small label. The logistics didn’t matter to Lee; once the check was cashed, he would do his damnedest to deliver the herculean output. Forty was one of those records, but what a beautiful way to meet a quota. Lee liked his work with Shel so much that tracks from Forty were included on subsequent Hazlewood albums Cowboy in Sweden (1970) and Movin’ On (1977). A whirlwind year of lear jet promo tours, magazine photo shoots, television specials and cutting records for LHI wasn’t able to bring the success that Lee and Ann-Margret pushed for. A second LHI album with Ann-Margret was planned but never recorded. Within a year of making the trip to Nashville, Lee would be living in Sweden full-time and Ann-Margret would focus on her acting career for the better part of a decade. Nothing exemplifies Lee’s “throw it against the wall and see if it sticks” record production of the LHI era like his work with Ann-Margret. Though it didn’t stick, and it didn’t sell, Lee’s adventure with Ann-Margret is an extravagant tangent that has since grown a cult following…

File Under: Country
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requiem

Lee Hazlewood: Requiem for an Almost Lady (Light in the Attic) LP
In tomorrow… This is a group of songs about one lady… her name is not important… she knows who she was…What is important is once she loved me very much…These songs are a truthful attempt to show the effect the loss of this love had on me… They are not all sad songs full of self pity and remorse… but more a mixture of good and hard time, old and new thought, lost and found feeling, and near and far places… There was no pleasure (as there usually is) in writing this album… there was only the dull “thud” of realization that something you once took for granted is gone… and those “blue eyes” will never again look through this “old grey curtain”…The lady is dead now and I’m still alive… doing the same things with others I once did with her… and maybe that’s what being alive is all about it… if it isn’t… “to hell with it”. – Lee Hazlewood “He was a storyteller, that’s his music… the storytelling. That’s the thing I fell in love with him for. This final story that we see, the Requiem story, is kind of looking back at a career, I think. Not just a relationship—it’s his story. I think it’s authentic and the most revealing, really, because other things are cloaked, cloaked in romanticism, in a way. When you think of ‘Sand’ and ‘Jose,’ ‘My Autumn’s Done Come’ and ‘Some Velvet Morning’… those are stories, they’re stories you make up… they’re fiction. This is a little closer to home, I think.” -Suzi Jane Hokom. Light in the Attic Records is proud to continue its Lee Hazlewood Archival Series with LHI Records final release. 1971’s Requiem for An Almost Lady is a personal statement and one of the heaviest break-up albums of all time. There are no lilting strings, sweeping choirs, or dancing trumpets. The arrangements are stripped down to the raw nerve; Lee’s emotions are the orchestra here. The listener eavesdrops on a sonic journal of heartbreak. After losing his lady, his record label, and his country, Lee etches his woes to wax.

File Under: Country
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landers

Geoffrey Landers: 1 by 1 (Music from Memory) LP
Music From Memory’s final compilation of 2017 sees the release of the double album 1 By 1, which brings together the works of American experimental musician Geoffrey Landers. During a period spanning from 1979 to 1987, this Denver, Colorado based multi-instrumentalist, composer, record producer, and engineer conceived several solo albums. Only two of these, The Ever Decimal Pulse (1982) and Habitual Features (1983) along with the single Breedlove (1984) were ever released on vinyl. Being heavily involved in the local industrial/punk/new wave scene and wanting to create a recording studio “available to record artists regardless of their financial circumstances” Landers set up The Packing House Studio in 1981. This analog 8-track recording facility was located in a former slaughterhouse in the stockyards of Denver and was a place of significant activity for the next three years with the studio releasing recordings from numerous artists, most notably Allen Ginsberg. It was here that Geoffrey Landers also started his own aptly named Cauhaus label. Indicative of the underground/DIY culture, “Cauhaus” was a subsidiary of a label called Local Anaesthetics which was started as an in-store label by independent Denver record store Wax Trax. Typically Cauhaus releases were only pressed up in small quantities and independently distributed, making Lander’s music essentially elusive to a wide audience. After relocating in 1984 to an art district of Denver Landers opened the “Cauhaus Institute of Recording” studio where he continued to produce music for soundtracks, art, and multi-media projects for the next three years, after which Landers stepped out of the music industry entirely. He currently creates and exhibits mixed-media glass art. Throughout the twenty tracks of 1 By 1, of which six previously appeared on CD only, Music From Memory are submerged into a wide diversity of musical approaches from Geoffrey Landers. From the proto-house track “Logarithms” and the heart breaking new-wave boogie/funk of “Say You’ll Say So”, to the more contemplative pieces such as the oriental-inspired “Nisei” and the drenched in sunshine dub/reggae track “Mack”, Landers shies away from musical expectations again and again; searching continually for innovative and new forms of expression.

File Under: Experimental, Electronic, Minimal
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notwaving

Not Waving: Good Luck (Diagonal) LP
Alessio Natalizia, aka Not Waving, rides the wave of a lifetime on his magnum opus, Good Luck. The London-based Italian artist’s second album for Diagonal is an emotional but fiercely optimistic album of skewed cathartic dance pop written in the midst of these dark and uncertain times (made perhaps more uncertain by the recent birth of his first son). It represents the most ambitious album in his own unique catalogue, a discography that features acclaimed work as part of Banjo Or Freakout and Kompakt techno duo Walls — plus half a decade spent at the axis of underground electronics via his own Ecstatic label and his recent, raved-up output for Diagonal. This latest record sees Natalizia fine-tuning 20 years of recording and rave experience into a vibrant, pop-ready statement that’s never felt so necessary. It abandons the sensitive streak hinted at on Animals, his debut LP for Diagonal, to pursue a creative hunch for concision and social unity. This new perspective drives the album’s flux of emotions and guides what some may find to be a utopian outlook, wrapping his trademark experimental urges, clever song arrangements, and winking edits in a larger narrative. After all, rave ‘floors were conceived for many as a way to forget/abandon the dark undercurrents of late ’80s political turmoil. Good Luck is constructed as an album proper and follows a novel narrative: from the ego-pinching computer punk of “Me Me Me”, which jabs it into action, to the new wave thrust of “Tool [I Don’t Give A Shit]” and the ambient flush of “Roll Along With The Pain Of It All [I’ll Text U]”, Natalizia clearly delights in taking us on a frenzied ride, but he never forgets his fondness for contemporary club culture (see the fulminating iridescent EBM-pop of “Where Are We” — with Montréalais minimal wave chanteuse Marie Davidson guesting on vocals — or the acidic punk jabs of “Watch Yourself”). Good Luck is a thrillingly positive record; it’s delicious, sweet, creamy, and wonderful. And that’s the thing: even the title feels like a much-needed injection of optimism, a return to the utopian ideals of rave. Contemporary politics/culture/life/love/music/media seem to be infected by a feeling of impending dread — of fear, alienation, and division. It feels like there has never been a more important time for a record like this. Artwork by Guy Featherstone. Mastered and cut by Matt Colton.

File Under: Acid, Techno, Industrial
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partch

Harry Partch: And on the Sevent Day Petals Fell in Petaluma (New World) LP
Performed by The Gate 5 Ensemble: Harry Partch (director), Danlee Mitchell, Harry Partch, Michael Ranta, Emil Richards, Wallace Snow, Stephen Tosh. Limited edition LP release (180 gram vinyl) with previously unpublished bonus tracks + free download card. “‘In late 1962 Harry Partch returned to California and began a project that would not only become the bones of a masterwork, Delusion of the Fury, but have a life of its own. In a too-small space within an abandoned Petaluma chick hatchery, Partch gathered the instruments he had designed and built — new and old — eager to once again expand the boundaries of his compositional fabric. He learned each individual part as he composed, establishing that it could be played. And On The Seventh Day Petals Fell In Petaluma (1963-64, rev. 1966) was born of his exploration and assembled with that ‘minimum of players’ over a three-year period. In spite of rough conditions and meager resources Partch’s dogged persistence, along with the efforts of his dedicated assistants, eventually succeeded in realizing the 34 verses of expanded duets. With this album we revisit an important work and turning-point, guided by the original ‘Statement’ Partch wrote for the first commercial release of the piece. Previously only excerpted, it is a voicing of his beliefs that transcends one project to illuminate an entire purpose. We also reprise exquisite notes by the late Bob Gilmore, who distills and explains the story of Petals so clearly and eloquently. No one wants a dead reissue, so by digging into the archives, I am pleased to offer hidden gems. First, The Petals Sessions is an aural glance into the cramped quarters of the recording space, as composer and players labor to bring new notes to life, Harry himself giving direction. The montage ends with a ‘test take’ by Danlee Mitchell and Michael Ranta that could have easily been a keeper! Finally, we present the original Verse 17. In 1964 Partch wrote two duets that used the Adapted Viola; by the time the piece was finished in 1967, he had excised them. The ending track — never before released — brings Harry back to life, playing and recording Adapted Viola for one of the last times. I was completely unaware of this recording until I examined the outtakes and it glows, fifty years on. That Petals ever came to be, like much of Partch’s story, stands somewhere between determination and miracle.’ –Jon Szanto, The Harry Partch Foundation”

File Under: Classical, Avant Garde
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piana

Sestetto Dino Piana & Oscar Valdambrini: 10 Situazioni (Sonor) LP
Sonor Music Editions present a reissue of Sestetto Dino Piana & Oscar Valdambrini’s 10 Situazioni, originally released in 1973. A historical Italian jazz session — An outstanding and magnificent jazz funk jewel and the first album by this killer combo led by Dino Piana and Oscar Valdambrini. An original jazz library recording used for the soundtrack of Rai TV program Serata Al Gatto Nero (1973). A top Italian groovy jazz and mental album — Easily a grail of the genre, featuring some terrific breaks, killer wah-wah guitar and funky Hammond, with a solid backing studio orchestra. Loads of laden stylish grooves with brilliant modal jazz numbers, smooth vibes, and cool jazz influences with different musical themes. Every track is just heaven with several hot club tunes for DJs. Personnel: Oscar Valdambrini – trumpet, flugelhorn; Dino Piana – trombone; Antonello Vannucchi – organ, piano; Giorgio Rosciglione – electric bass; Sergio Conti – drums; Silvano Chimenti – guitar. Music by Franco Piana and Enrico Valdambrini. Edition of 500.

File Under: OST, Library, Italian, Jazz Funk
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rainforest

Rainforest Spiritual Enslavement: Ambient Black Magic
(Hospital Productions) 2LP+10″
Following a still-ongoing series of reissues of the earliest, previously tape-only releases from Dominick Fernow’s Rainforest Spiritual Enslavement, this long-in-the-making new album proper is an epic 80-minute set featuring additional production and “sound on sound processing” from Silent Servant, a remix from Substance, and mastering by Paul Corley. It’s by far the most ambitious and far-reaching Rainforest dispatch, taking that artificial, tropical humidity as a starting point before heading deep into a kind of textured ambience that are reminiscent of everything from Talk Talk’s Laughing Stock (1991) to Carl Craig’s “How The West Was Won” (1996), from Huerco S to classic Chain Reaction. Ambient Black Magic moves away from the extreme saturation of those early cassettes and the industrial environmentalism of his previous album Green Graves (2016) and is described by the label as “Fear Dub” — which is essentially the perfect encapsulation of the deep sense of paranoia contained within. The opening “Jungle Is A Shapeshifter” is a gargantuan 35-minute head-melter that’s split across the first two sides of the vinyl pressing. Co-produced with Silent Servant, it’s an absorbing piece of electronic music — slowly unfurling via chorus pedal guitars that gradually degrade, while a fathoms-deep bass pulse and tape-delay gives the piece its shape. It’s like an updated, tranquilized, fever-dream variant of the kind of ambient dub Vainqueur made his own back in the mid-90s. “Beyond The Yellow-Spotted Bamboo”, another Silent Servant co-production, clocks in at a relatively modest 17 minutes and heads off into more open terrain, this time with submerged percussion providing some propulsion, while shards of colored synth pull you back into the swamp. It’s another humid, breathtaking session — bringing out the best in both Fernow and Silent Servant. “Praying Mantis Black Arts” is another masterclass in sub-bass construction, while “Chile’s Crimson Tide” is the shortest track on the album, a kind of broken coda before Substance ends the set with a remix of “Beyond The Yellow-Spotted Bamboo”, deploying a tribal reduction that references classic Chain Reaction from a producer who was part of it first-hand. It’s a relatively upbeat conclusion to one of the most immersive listening experiences you’ll have in 2017; those of you looking for escape should dive in — you won’t want to re-engage with the world around you for a while. RIYL: Vainqueur, Huerco S, Talk Talk, Carl Craig.

File Under: Ambient, Industrial
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saziso

Saz’iso: At Least Wave Your Handkerchief at Me (Glitterbeat) LP
Brazilian samba, Bosnian Sevdah, New Orleans jazz, Cuban son — and Albanian Saze! The turn of the last century saw mass migrations to the world’s cities with rural people bringing their music with them, adapting their traditions to new circumstances and modern instruments. Of all these great musical forms, the mesmerizing arabesques, joyful dances, and heart-breaking laments of Saze are among the least recorded, and they remain largely unknown outside Albania. At Least Wave Your Handkerchief At Me: The Joys and Sorrows of Southern Albanian Song is the debut of Saz’iso, a group of virtuoso musicians and legendary singers assembled by veteran producer Joe Boyd (Pink Floyd, Nick Drake, ¡Cubanismo!, Songhai) and his co-producers, Edit Pula and Andrea Goertler. The album was recorded live, with no overdubs, by Grammy-winning engineer Jerry Boys (Buena Vista Social Club, Ali Farka Touré, Orchestra Baobab) over three days of October 2016 at the Akademia e Filmit dhe Multimedias Marubi in Tirana, Albania. The music of Southern Albania is iso-polyphonic, which means that it combines at least two melodic vocal lines, a lead (marrës, the “taker”) and a second (prerës, the “cutter”), with a multi-voiced drone or iso. When manufactured “tempered” instruments arrived in the region in the late 19th century, Saze ensembles were born; clarinets and violins took on the roles of the lead and second voices while lutes carried the iso. As Vasil S. Tole, Albania’s leading expert on iso-polyphony — and an inspiring advisor to this project — puts it: “Saze remains to this day the musical language of the cities of Southern Albania, where East and West embraced when European instruments collided with the magic of a cappella iso-polyphony, and where life and death still coexist in a sound that is truly unique.” Donika Pecallari: voice; Adrianna Thanou: voice; Robert Tralo: voice; Aurel Qirjo: violin and voice; Telando Feto: clarinet; Agron Murat: llautë (lute); Agron Nasi: dajre (frame drum); Pëllumb Meta: fyell (flute) and voice.

File Under: Folk, Albanian
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brazil

Hvide Sejl, Varg, & F. Valentin: Brazil (Posh Isolation) LP
Posh Isolation present a much needed reissue of Brazil, a collaborative work by three spearheads of Scandinavian electronic music today: Hvide Sejl, Varg, and F. Valentin. The original edition was presented in a limited run of four cassettes, boxed and with an accompanying book in 2016. This timely reissue comes as a remastered double LP set, inviting a new set of listeners to the work. Four sides of uniquely textured summer ambience, industrial rhythms, synthesizer pieces, and piano works, complete Brazil. The luxuriant melodic drones of Loke Rahbek’s Hvide Sejl project converge with the percussive work of Varg and the largely acoustic work of Frederik Valentin of Kyo, producing a fragile beauty. There is a sense of narrative to Brazil. The work cryptically leads its listeners through a small collection of moving panoramas. Keeping its distance, the storyline remains perpetually obscured. Like a crime unsolved, or a name-less love letter, as greater detail comes into focus the intrigue blooms. A multi-faceted affair for multifaceted affairs. “Things were somehow so good that they were in danger of becoming very bad because what is fully mature is very close to rotting.” –Clarice Lispector, The Hour of the Star (1977)

File Under: Ambient, Classical, Industrial
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tarawangsawelas

Tarawangsawelas: Wanci (Morphine) LP
Tarawangsawelas is a musical duo from Bandung, mainly performing a contemporary version of Tarawangsa, the sacred music from Sundanese West Java. Here they are joined by their teacher and maestro, Pak Pupung Supena, together with, Pak Jaja, on “Sekalipun”. Wanci is a minimalist, cosmic album composed with a careful modern interpretation of one of the most mystical and spiritual genres in Indonesia. A gorgeous and infectious six track album. Producer Rabih Beaini says “Last year, Europalia Festival commissioned me to work on a musical project with local musicians from Indonesia and develop a performance to tour during Europalia 2017. I chose to work with Tarawangsa, the sacred music from Sundanese West Java. Tarawangsa is played on two string instruments: a rababa-like two-stringed bowed instrument itself called Tarawangsa, and the jentreng, a seven-stringed kecapi-like instrument. Typically from Rancakalong village in Sumedang, West Java, Tarawangsa is played as part of a ritual consisting of almost eight hours of music and dance, complete with offerings and prayers. During a performance, a selection from the forty two known Tarawangsa pieces slowly build up from a cosmic slow groove to more repetitive and hypnotic rhythms, inevitably bringing the listener and dancer to a trance state. During the residency I had the great honor to be able to develop new structures and pieces together with Tarawangsawelas, recording them in Bandung, and ultimately having them joined by their teacher and Tarawangsa maestro Pak Pupung Supena together with Pak Jaja on jentreng. This album is a modern description for one of the local Indonesian music scene, but mainly it is an offering for the Tarawangsa ritual, like the food and incense and the prayers, and the messages of the ancestors to the people of Rancakalong.” Composed and performed by Teguh Permana, Wisnu Ridwana, and Rabih Beaini, except “Sekalipun” (traditional) performed by Pupung Supena, Jaja Rohmat, Teguh Permana, and Wisnu Ridwana. Recorded in Bandung, March 2017. Produced, mixed, and arranged by Rabih Beaini. Mastered by Neel at Enisslab. Cover design by George Sowden, curated by M-L-XL.

File Under: World, Java
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trees

Trees Speak: s/t (Cinedelic) LP
Trees Speak is an experimental rock band that transcend mainstream influences by incorporating elements of avant-garde, neo-psychedelic, minimalism, art, and electronic — along with violin-bowed guitar, Theremin, and a glut of effects pedals, and it’s an ear-bending rush of lush soundscape. Trees Speak — as much a sound laboratory as a rock and roll band — is the musical venture of acclaimed visual artist musician Daniel Martin Diaz (formerly of Blind Divine and Crystal Radio). For the debut double-LP, Trees Speak is joined by Michael Glidewell (Black Sun Ensemble), Gabriel Sullivan (XIXA, Giant Sand), Connor Gallaher (Myrrors, Cobra Family Picnic), Damian Diaz (Human Error), and Julius Schlosburg (Jeron White Acoustic Trio). The studio itself should also take top billing, because in the tradition of krautrockers Can and Bitches Brew-era Miles Davis (1970), the band takes its winding, incandescent motoric rock and roll improvisations and edits them into coherent compositions using the mixing desk after recording. And that’s where the sound lab half of the equation appears. The end result is flowing and droning ambient proto-punk reminiscent of fellow travelers NEU!, Stereolab, , and Cluster — translucent jams for a virtual autobahn. Trees Speak on the album: “Our intention is to create music with an unrehearsed minimalist approach performing simple beats, riffs, and sequences that take one inward. We attempt create a sonic environment to set one’s mind free and to become aware of the nuances of tone, melody, and structure. We organize our recording equipment with the same approach, in a transparent manner. Our recorded performances are never rehearsed. Our belief is that a brilliant rehearsal is a lost opportunity to capture a magical moment. We are chasing the mystery of music and tone. We let the musical performance sculpt its own destiny and create imperfect perfection. Our tool of creation is the anxiety one feels when they are unrehearsed or prepared for a performance. We believe this approach brings us closer to the authentic self. The result is genuine music without an agenda that captures the unfiltered spirit.” Recorded live in one room with no overdubs or repairs, only using edits to create arrangements. All tracks were written over a five-day period at Sacred Machine Studio and Dust & Stone Studio. Mastered by LOUD (United Kingdom). Clear vinyl; Includes 12″ double-sided print, 5×5″ postcards, and two stickers. Edition of 250.

File Under: Ambient, Punk, Psych

willisNicole Willis & UMO Jazz Orchestra: My Name is Nicole Willis (Persephone) LP
In tomorrow… Nicole Willis, known for her collaborations with The Soul Investigators & Jimi Tenor produces an album including some of the tracks she composed with the former as well as originals specifically for a fresh collaboration with UMO Jazz Orchestra. Jimi Tenor, who is a multi-faceted artist, has penned all arrangements for the big band and their talented rhythm section. Pete Toikkanen who is a mega-talent guitarist from The Soul Investigators, along with the two, composed those original tracks that highlight their alternative influences. Indie god & personal hero of Ms Willis, Ian Svenonius introduces Ms Willis on the first track and wraps up the LP with a final plea.

File Under: Soul, Jazz, Funk
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workshop

Workshop De Lyon: La Chasse De Shirah Sharibad (Souffle Continu) LP
Souffle Continu Records present the first ever reissue of Workshop De Lyon’s La Chasse De Shirah Sharibad, originally released in 1975. In France, in the years 1960-1970, musicians pondered over how to transpose the political struggle of free jazz onto a completely different political terrain. One of the first to do so was pianist François Tusques (agitator, theorist and militant) who recorded 1965’s Free Jazz, and then continued with Le Nouveau Jazz (1967), French equivalents to the American “New Thing”. The word spread, and was picked up by the Free Jazz Workshop which became the Workshop De Lyon in 1975 with the arrival of clarinetist-saxophonist Louis Sclavis. Still a source of joy, this lyrically feverish second album maintains a narrative dimension however subtle the textures developed through the contrasting collective improvisations. With their ever-inventive melodicism, the Workshop De Lyon invented an imaginary folklore on this album which is unlike any other. It is a knowing mix of the avant-garde and the traditional, collective playing vying, with panache and complexity, with the inspired urgency of the soloists. Even without filmed images the theatricality and humor of the group’s live performances, essential components of their identity can be felt during the long thematic suites which are both expressive and full of joy. What better way to honor their imaginary mentors, Albert Ayler or the Art Ensemble Of Chicago! More, More! Licensed from Bisou. Reverse printing; 12-page booklet; Obi strip; Edition of 700.

File Under: Free Jazz

workshop1

Workshop De Lyon: Tiens! Les Bourgeons Eclatent… (Souffle Continu) LP
Souffle Continu Records present the first ever reissue of Workshop De Lyon’s Tiens! Les Bourgeons Eclatent…, originally released in 1978. The collective methodology of the Workshop De Lyon led to the creation of the Association Searching for an Imaginary Folklore (ARFI) in 1977, their aims were very much a mission statement “encourage improvisation, spread diverse musical styles and provide means of expression to others with similar ideas, establish a folklore…” Their reference was the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (A.A.C.M.) created twelve years previously with the similar idea of providing material assistance to and defending the interests of creative musicians, in order to encourage the emergence of new music. The open-structured ARFI self-produced their music thanks to their own label, on which almost all of the albums of the Workshop De Lyon appeared, from Concert Lave (1980) onwards. Their third album, Tiens! Les Bougeons Éclatent… is a perfect example of how the group sounded when it was released in 1978, about a year after the studio recording. Pianist Patrick Vollat had left but was still very much a part of ARFI (in particular as part of the excellent La Marmite Infernale), so the Workshop De Lyon stabilized to a quartet of Louis Sclavis, Maurice Merle, Jean Bolcato, and Christian Rollet, and already had at the time an unparalleled repertoire. This never ceased to expand, through the meetings and personnel changes, while losing nothing of its generosity, nor showing any signs of aging. This proffers on the Workshop De Lyon a certain universal dignity which honors their original models, Albert Ayler or the Art Ensemble Of Chicago to name but two, transfiguring them into a new, exciting aesthetic approach bursting with openings and exchanges. Irresistible. Licensed from Bisou. Reverse printing; 12-page booklet; Obi strip; Edition of 500.

File Under: Free Jazz

zorn

John Zorn/Eugene Chadbourne: 1977-1981  (Song Cycle) LP+Book
Song Cycle Records present a reissue of 1977-1981, a collection of rare free-jazz pieces performed by John Zorn and selected by the American guitarist and music critic Eugene Chadbourne originally released in 1998. Originally released to accompany the book release of Sonora: John Zorn (Materiali Sonori), the album is presented here for the first time in an exclusive release in limited edition on vinyl. This special issue includes the original book that features exclusive interviews, essays, and photos about the artist’s entire oeuvre up to 1988.

File Under: Free Jazz

buzzsaw3

Various: Buzzsaw Joint: Pavinyl – Cut 3 (Stag-o-Lee) LP
Buzzsaw Joint was born of a club offering Londoners the chance to revel in the sounds of good ol’ trashy rock n’ roll in all its vintage vinyl forms. Club top-cat, Fritz, then took the primitive buzzsaw sounds online with a series of savage Mixcloud mixes created by record fiends from all over the globe. Now, the high-octane energy of Buzzsaw Joint has manifested into the physical form with a run of compilations on Stag-O-Lee. Get your ears around the wild n’ weird sounds of the extraordinary and inimitable Buzzsaw Joint! Cut 3 comes from Pavinyl, a gent whose ride is a decked-out disco-hearse that, in his words, “puts the fun back into funerals”. Vowing to “Keep Music Evil”, his club night, Mockers, has had the British market town of Stroud dancing for a decade. Mockers initially played on the musical blur between mod and rock n’ roll culture, but now ventures further afield. As does the DJ himself — his records have hyped hep clubs from Barcelona to New York. On Cut 3, Pavinyl shares 18 exotic pearls all recorded from 1955-1962. From the jungle to the orient, ancient Egypt to Native America — hold on tight, it’s quite a trip! Features: Phil Campos, Glenn And Christy, Hi-Fives, The Space Men, D.C. Washington, The Fables, Lenny Troy, Honey And The Bees, The New Starts, The Jokers, Big Brown, Jack Franklin And The Rock-Its, Buddy Bow, Eddie Hill, Ronny Goode, Lee Richards, Marc Haven And The Aquarians, and Al Nathan.

File Under: RnR

coolsville

Various: Coolsville Volume 1 (Stag-o-Lee) 10″
First of two 10″s called Coolsville. Watch out for two volumes of its sister compilation Sicksville. Compiled by Stay Sick, a gruesome twosome of deejays from the nightclubs of Brighton, UK. Established in 2008, they continue to spin the best dancing music from surf to soul, oddball R&B to filthy rock n’ roll, garage to punk, 7″s at a time. Their vinyl addiction has meant they have amassed a large collection of sleazy and greasy rock n’ roll from the fifties and sixties, including Tarantino surf, proto-soul stompers, swingin’ rhythm and blues, and twistin’ tittyshakers. Coolsville is a far-out selection of moody Las Vegas grind surf-strumentals and oddball beatnik records from the ’50s and ’60s. The first side of this platter of wax is full of mean instrumentals for wild cats of the urban jungle. On the flipside, brother, are there some solid gone finger clickers for you to swing and sway to. Bongo-laden beats that you’ll dig the most, daddio. This is the righteous stuff for all you jive talkin’ jazzbos and beatniks. Features: Ritchie & The Squires, The Champs, Creed Taylor Orchestra, Les Baxter, Jimmy Van Eaton, The Rockbusters, Dave Saville, Johnny & The Debonaires, Bob McFadden & Dor, Frosty & The Diamonds, Bing Day, and Richard Pine.

File Under: R&B, Surf, Soul, RnR

tokyo

Various: Tokyo Flashback (Black Editions) LP
Black Editions present the first ever vinyl edition of Tokyo Flashback, the legendary 1991 compilation that defined the Tokyo psychedelic movement and first brought it to the outside world. Tokyo Flashback is one of the most iconic compilations in the history of underground music. Originally released by Japan’s P.S.F. Records, Tokyo Flashback defined the breathtakingly unique and previously obscured musical movement that had been developing in Japan since the late 1970s. The compilation features some of the earliest released recordings by Keiji Haino, High Rise, Masaki Batoh’s Ghost, White Heaven, Fushitsusha, Kousokuya, and Marble Sheep. It captures the excitement and energy of a Tokyo awash in Technicolor and deep blacks; the music echoing krautrock, psychedelic freak-outs, garage, and no wave. At the same time it reveals astonishing, totally idiosyncratic expansions of rock music. In time, Tokyo Flashback expanded to a synonymous nine volume series that, over the following two decades, unveiled Japan’s ever evolving soundscapes to the rest of the world. Tokyo Flashback is a defining statement of late 20th century Japanese psychedelic music and an essential primer to the world of P.S.F. All tracks are exclusive, this edition features the first time translation of the original liner notes. Black Editions’ deluxe edition is entirely re-mastered and marks the first release of Tokyo Flashback outside of Japan and it’s first ever vinyl issue. Also features Verzerk. Newly created artwork and design expanding on the original by Rob Carmichael at SEEN Sudio; Housed in custom printed deluxe Stoughton gatefold jacket and slipcase, including full color printed inner sleeves and inserts with soft touch and spot UV gloss finishes; Remastered and cut by Pete Lyman at Infrasonic Sound; Pressed to high quality vinyl at RTI.

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

Roger Tellier Craig: Instantanes (Root Strata) LP
Durutti Column: Paean to Wilson (Kooky) LP
Fiver: Audible Songs From Rockwood (Idee Fixe) LP
Funkadelic: Live (Tidal Wave) LP
Ksiezyc: s/t (Penultimate Press) LP
Ennion Morricone: Space 1999 (Mondo) LP
Of Montreal: Skeletal Lamping (Polyvinyl) LP
OST: Predator (Real Gone) LP
OST: Super Castlevania IV (Mondo) LP
Protomartyr: The Agent Intellect (Hardly Art) LP
Protomartyr: Under Color of Official Right (Hardly Art) LP
Psychic TV: Force the Hand (Angry Love) LP
Nicole Willis: Keep Reachin’ Up (Timmion) LP
Link Wray: Beans & Fatback (Tidal Wave) LP
Link Wray: Mordicai Jones (Tidal Wave) LP
Link Wray: Be What You Want To (Tidal Wave) LP
Various: Miracle Steps (Optimo) LP

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…..new letters #813 – landing…..

Another light week, partly cuz stuff is getting pushed back still, partly cuz, shipping is apparently difficult. That’s alright, that gives you a chance to catch up on all the things that have come out over the last few weeks. Plus there’s a few things that should have been in weeks ago finally here. Rejoice!

…..pick of the week…..

uncle acidUncle Acid & The Deadbeats: Volume 1 (Rise Above) LP
Originally released in 2010, Vol 1 was the first efforts of unknown songwriter, Kevin Starrs. Pressed in small numbers for a non existing fan base, the album took several months to shift all 30 CD-R copies and provided a small platform to fund its follow up, Blood Lust (2011). Recorded on a tight budget of stashed dole money and with little knowledge or regard for conventional recording techniques, the chaotic results speak for themselves. Distorted vocals, out of tune harmonies, ragged musicianship and everything pushed to the red. The clatter of mic stands falling over mid performance, the rustling of lyric papers, the missed key changes and flubbed lines. Everything you would want to avoid is here. Self-funded, self-recorded and self released to a fanfare of silence, Vol 1 was a true D.I.Y. effort from start to finish. No great ambition, no target audience, no press support. Just a collection of songs for anyone who would listen. With it’s mix of budget horror lyrics, Everly Brothers obsessed harmonies, downer rock riffs, overly long guitar solos and bizarre high pitched vocals, Vol 1 had very limited appeal outside a small group of underground fanatics. In the years following, the album became something of a cult curiosity. Despite the shoddy work of bootleggers and impatient collectors, Starrs refused to re-release the album until he could work on its remix and oversee the mastering. “It was a D.I.Y project from the beginning so I wasn’t going to give it up and let someone else mess with it. I also wasn’t going to cash in on something for the sake of it. I wanted it to sound the best that it possibly could. The record deserves my full attention, so with no new album to distract anyone in 2017, it was the perfect time to work on it and release it on vinyl. It can stand on its own… flaws included.” So here it is, Vol 1 in all its ragged glory… finally mastered and mixed for this release.

File Under: Stoner, Psych, Metal
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…..new arrivals…..

beck

Beck: Mutations (Interscope) LP+7″
In tomorrow… Since introducing himself to the world in 1994 with his genre-defying, multi-platinum debut, Beck has blazed a path into the future while simultaneously foraging through the past. Throughout his singular career he has utilized all manners and eras of music, blurring boundaries and shattering expectations with each album. 1998’s Nigel Godrich-produced Mutations and its world-tripping atmospherics won Beck the Grammy for Best Alternative Album in 2000. After some traumatic personal times, including the death of his grandfather during the making of Odelay, Beck returned in a chipper mood for “Tropicalia” but didn’t hide a darker, introverted disposition on “Nobody’s Fault But Mine” (later covered by Marianne Faithfull with Beck producing) and “Cold Brains,” a wondrous power pop work out with Roger Manning, Jr, Joey Waronker and Justin Meldal-Johnsen underpinning the riffs like some new Hollywood royalty.

File Under: Alternative
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beck1

Beck: Modern Guilt (Universal) LP
In tomorrow… Since introducing himself to the world in 1994 with his genre-defying, multi-platinum debut, Beck has blazed a path into the future while simultaneously foraging through the past. Throughout his singular career he has utilized all manners and eras of music, blurring boundaries and shattering expectations with each album. Beck’s Grammy-nominated 2008 release Modern Guilt marked both a spiritual crisis and a creative rebirth for the cosmic chameleon. Co-produced by the always-in-demand Danger Mouse, it’s chock full of off-kilter rhythms and left-field breakdowns, with an overall 1960s British vibe and vocals that float over the music as if the idiosyncratic singer/songwriter is singing in the next room. Beck’s shortest studio effort to date is anchored by the epic, “Chemtrails,” a genre-bending tour de force that showcases Beck and Danger Mouse’s shared affection for late-60s psych-pop and also features a guest appearance by Cat Power on “Walls.” As is always the case with any Beck record, he keeps things musically interesting and fresh while constantly challenging any and all categorization along the way.

File Under: Alternative
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brandnew

Brand New: Science Fiction (Procrastinate) LP
Science Fiction serves as the long-awaited fifth full-length (and potentially final) album from cult Long Island band Brand New and their first since 2009’s Daisy. Produced by frequent collaborator Mike Sapone, the mythical and moody 12-track collection is a distinct chapter in the band’s shape-shifting career complete with compelling interludes, gripping lyrics, textured guitars and rollercoaster loud-soft dynamics. “It’s tough to put Science Fiction in immediate comparison with Brand New’s older LPs, though fans are undoubtedly already trying,” Billboard writes. “It’s better than Daisy, impossible to compare to the pop-punk simplicity of 2001’s Your Favorite Weapon, and once it’s fully sunk in (which could take another eight years), could be argued as 2003’s Deja Entendu and 2006’s The Devil and God Are Ragning Inside Me’s superior.”

 File Under: Pop Punk, Rock
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rey

Lana Del Rey: Lust For Life (Universal) LP
In tomorrow… Lust For Life finds neo-crooner Lana Del Rey shedding the ennui-laced themes of her last two releases and facing the future. While not mired in nostalgia, the album continues the balancing act of viewing retro-references through the prism of modern day tribulations. Her signature languid delivery remains the same, but the album also has Del Rey trying out plenty of new ideas, from studio production to lyrical themes and collaborations. Lust for Life is certainly her most sonically diverse collection yet, implementing hip-hop based percussion and tapping into her folk and jazz roots, with tender piano ballads and some acoustic guitar numbers. The retro references and doo-wop melodies are still there, but the whole album is underpinned by a persistent mid-tempo beat and melancholic streak. Created with her long-time producer and collaborator Rick Nowels, Lust For Life also marks the first time she’s invited others to be featured prominently on her own tracks and includes collaborations with A$AP Rocky, Playboi Carti, Sean Ono Lennon, The Weeknd and Stevie Nicks.

File Under: Pop
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loveless

Lydia Loveless: Boy Crazy & Single(s) (Bloodshot) LP
A new collection of Lydia Loveless’ summery 5-song EP Boy Crazy, on vinyl LP for the first time, plus six non-album singles and B-sides, including original songs in addition to inventive and bare-bones covers of Prince, Elvis Costello, and Kesha. The recordings span from 2012 to 2015; many of which are on LP for the first time. The first pressing is on colored wax. Lydia and her band “rehearsed for about a week and then went into the studio with a couple thirty packs” when they recorded Boy Crazy, after all. Boy Crazy is Loveless’ “rock and roll tribute to baseball pants and youth.” Featuring sun-washed, rebel-powered pop songs presenting a conversation about judgment and loss of innocence, as one transitions from good old American naivete to you-should-knowbetter “wisdom.” These songs see Lydia and her band roping in their signature twangy, pedal steel-laden rock beat-em-ups and tying them tightly with the crisp Southern air of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers’ Damn the Torpedoes and the snarling-but-sweet delivery of Juliana Hatfield’s heyday.

File Under: Folk, Rock
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maus

John Maus: Screen Memories (Ribbon) LP
The inimitable John Maus returns with his fourth full-length album, Screen Memories. It has been six years since We Must Become The Pitiless Censors Of Ourselves appeared like a thunderbolt of maniacal energy and turned everyone’s heads around. Maus’ music is a highly mutable affair. Whilst often described as retro-futurist on behalf of the 80’s drum machines and synth sounds employed, John’s music is more personal than the nostalgic re-tread implied. He’s more interested in seeking cadence, through his love of Renaissance polyphony and the experimentation behind post punk. It’s an amalgamation of musical ideas as radical as its intent. Screen Memories was written, recorded, and engineered by Maus over the last few years in his home in Minnesota, known genially as the Funny Farm. It’s a solitary place situated in the corn plains of the rural American Midwest. The landscape is as majestic as it is austere and inevitably some of the sub-zero winter temperatures creep into the songs, as do the buzzing wasps of summer. Through the whole album Maus has an undeniable talent in grasping the mettle of each song, reaching within and building up a sincere core, before teasing out the edges in acknowledgement to the very ridiculousness of its existence. Rather than creating these songs through an enjoyment of the process Maus considers himself more in the role of someone discovering them buried just beneath the surface. Perhaps the songs presented here are the ones that mask his real intentions, Freud pressing record and turning the TV channel to snow. All we can be certain of now though is that John Maus is back and he sounds gloriously alive. The triumph of the human is upon us and all the false gods and bad jokes will be the first to fall.

File Under: Electronic, Synth Pop
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contagion

OST: Contagion (Cliff Martinez) (Real Gone) LP
Former Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Cliff Martinez’s long-standing collaboration with director Steven Soderbergh ranks right up there with some of the other great composer-director teams in film history, like Bernard Herrmann-Alfred Hitchcock and Ennio Morricone-Sergio Leone, and his 2011 score for the disaster blockbuster Contagion is among his best work. Oddly, it owes some of its uniqueness to the fact that Soderbergh radically recut the film three different times, causing Martinez to adjust the score on the fly. First starting with a more conventional score indebted to thrillers like Marathon Man and The French Connection, then moving in a more dream-like, Tangerine Dream direction, before settling on a sound that incorporated orchestral and electronic timbres into highly propulsive and rhythmic framework. It’s like the most chilling “chill-out” electronica you’ve ever heard, simultaneously hypnotic and horrifying…and for its first-ever vinyl release, Real Gone Music has fashioned a gatefold album cover featuring film production stills housing a colored vinyl edition. Between the look of the package and the disquieting music, this one’s guaranteed to get you to sign up for a flu shot!

File Under: OST
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prop

Propagandhi: Victory Lap (Epitaph) LP
The first thing to know, if you want to know about Propagandhi, is that they came here to rock. Right from the snarling opening riff of their seventh album, Victory Lap, that much is clear. For everything else that swirls around the band now, and for the last 31 years – the politics, the people and, lately, a gnawing sense of despair – the sheer volume of it all hasn’t changed. Frontman Chris Hannah and bassist Todd Kowalski experienced a sea change in the band when after nine years with Propagandhi, guitarist David “The Beaver” Guillas left the fold for a teaching position and they added a new member, Sulynn Hago, a seasoned guitar-slinger from Tampa, Florida. That said, Guillas is still all over Victory Lap, contributing licks to four songs. So what do you do, when you’re an unapologetically political band in a time when political speech seems more fractured than it has been in years? When the darkness looms and the rapacious maws of power seem to devour more by the day? You can’t stop the violence; you can’t save the world. But neither can you stand to sit back, and just watch it all burn. So here’s what you do: you strap up a guitar and get ready to rock.

File Under: Punk
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rakei

Jordan Rakei: Wallflower (Ninja Tune) LP
At only 25, multi-instrumentalist, vocalist and producer Jordan Rakei – born in New Zealand to a Kiwi mother and father from the Cook Islands – is a rare talent whose distinct take on soul captures a sonic and emotional awareness many artists spend their entire careers chasing. He writes with a maturity and flair that belies his years and Wallflower sees Jordan edging beyond the peripheries of the genial, often sun-flecked sound his fans have come to know him for. The easy swing that has been the backbone of his sound from the outset is ever present, harking back to teenage days spent in his bedroom with his beloved MPC trying to emulate 9th Wonder and Pete Rock. On Wallflower the tools and the process have evolved – the focus is on live instrumentation – but the groove and the cadence are unmistakable, framing soul and jazz in a truly vibrant oeuvre that simultaneously recalls his predecessors The Roots and peers The Internet, Nick Hakim and Hiatus Kaiyote. Jordan considers Wallflower his most personal work yet – it’s an emotive opus inspired by his own struggles with introversion and anxiety. Sonically lush and complex, yet lyrically relatable and unguarded, listeners are offered a glimpse into the mind and artistry of a musician who grapples with his own self- image and fears every day. On “Sorceress” the ego is personified as a sinister and controlling spirit figure led by equal parts understated ethereal guitar and Jordan’s superb multi-layered vocals. Single “Nerve,” featuring Dave Okumu of The Invisible on guitar, is upbeat and incites a sense of renewal as its lyrics call out the fallacies within self-constructed paradigms. Elsewhere, the ska-tinged “Clues Blues” is laced with trombone and saxophone by Ahmad Dayes and Wayne Francis II from South London pillars United Vibrations. Jordan’s decision to leave his home in Brisbane for London in 2015 has had a life changing effect on his music, his career and his outlook. In many ways Wallflower is a direct emotional response to his new surroundings and is undoubtedly testament to Jordan’s personal strength, drive and overriding passion for his art as well as a reflection of his openness and eagerness to reach out and explore London’s fertile music underground. It cements not only his importance as a contemporary, and truly exhilarating, soul voice on the international stage, but his stature as a producer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist in total command of his sonic vision.

File Under: Electronic, Neo-Soul
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soul scratch

Soul Scratch: Pushing Fire (Colemine) LP
Soul Scratch is founded on, and rooted in the principle that through the healing power of music, the world may be made into a joyous loving place where all of humanity can come together under the umbrella of love and togetherness. It was founded by Johnny Chou, Joel Givertz and Adam Greenberg originally coming together in various musical projects throughout their young lives and with the addition of Matt Reale’s horn lines started to make its way into the hearts of all who heard their signature sound. At the same time this musical exploration was beginning, another journey was underway on the East coast in the form of Dale Spollett developing the vocal skills and feel that would one day add his distinct interpretation to the west coast soul scene. After moving to Los Angeles, he saw a Soul Scratch show and was duly impressed with the band’s sound, passion, and interpretation of soul music. As fate would have it, the band was looking for a new lead singer at the time and Spollett answered the call. Five years and three albums later Soul Scratch has blossomed into one of the mainstay powerhouses in the SoCal Soul scene. Proud to be releasing their latest work Pushing Fire on Colemine Records, Soul Scratch continues to grow and impress new audiences with their musicianship, drive, and passion for the music they make. From the first few notes, this record grabs you. It’s raw soul and funk music crafted to perfection. Wailing vocals, soaring horns, and a super tight rhythm section. With a dirty production style, Soul Scratch serves up something that’s familiar, fresh, and never more relevant.

File Under: Funk, Soul
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CVG_CD_pak_FINAL

Chad VanGaalen: Diaper Island (Flemish Eye) LP
Every so often, Chad VanGaalen emerges from his bunker in Calgary with a batch of songs, giving us a window into the private world of this reclusive and enigmatic songwriter. With Diaper Island, VanGaalen distills his approach, producing his most sonically cohesive album to date, and the closest thing he has done to a rock album.

File Under: Indie Rock
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feel

Various: Paul Major: Feel the Music (Anthology) LP
Paul Major—pioneering record dealer and frontman of the band Endless Boogie—has spent over a half-century immersed in the weirdest albums cast aside by the music industry, honing a world-renowned knowledge of the most unique, rare, and uncannily strange tunes of the rock and roll era. Feel the Music Vol. 1 compiles the fruits of his hard-won expertise, presenting cuts chosen by Paul from the far reaches of psychedelia, lounge, and loner folk: twelve utterly singular takes on musical expression, yielding a somehow cohesive and sublime whole. Paul is a longtime champion of “Real People” musicians, one-of-a-kind artists operating wholly outside the industry, and this compilation gives us ample evidence of these distinct forms of genius. Though it moves through genres as diverse as the broken-down blues rock of Ray Harlowe & Gyp Fox, the ethereal psych-folk of Justyn Rees, the earnest schmaltz of balladeers Sebastian, and Darius, and the unclassifiable eeriness of Jerry Solomon, Feel the Music is permeated by a genuine feeling of no-holds-barred creativity and an unbridled love of musical expression. Listeners attuning themselves to these twelve parallel universe radio hits will undoubtedly come away feeling the same. Includes 12-track LP and download code, plus a folded obi-style insert featuring Paul Major’s handwritten track descriptions and eye-popping art from his legendary record catalogs. (Deluxe Book+7″ by Paul Major also available CAT# ARC030)

File Under: Psych
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…..Restocks…..

Alvvays: s/t (Royal Mountain Music) LP
Alvvays: Antisocialites (Royal Mountain) LP
Ariel Pink: Dedicated to Bobby Jameson (Mexican Summer) LP
James Brown: Live At The Apollo (Dol) LP
Caravan: If I Could Do It All Over (4 Men With Beards) LP
Car Seat Headrest: Teens of Denial (Matador) LP
Car Seat Headrest: Teens of Style (Matador) LP
Johnny Cash: I Walk the Line (Legacy) LP
EMA: Exile in the Outer Ring (City Slang) LP
Faith Healer: Try 😉 (Mint) LP
Tim Hecker: An Imaginary Country (Kranky) LP
Tim Hecker: Mirages (Kranky) LP
Tim Hecker: Virgins (Kranky) LP
Lauren Hill: Miseducation Of (Sony) LP
Jason Isbell: Something More Than Free (Thirty Tigers) LP
Jason Isbell: Nashville Sound (Thirty Tigers) LP
Jason Isbell: Southeastern (Thiry Tigers) LP
Etta James: At Last! (Dol) LP
Zola Jesus: Okovi (Sacred Bones) LP
Jets To Brazil: Orange Rhyming Dictionary (Jade Tree) LP
Daniel Johnston: Hi How Are You (Eternal Yip) LP
King Krule: The Ooz (True Panther) LP
LCD Soundsystem: American Dream (Columbia) LP
Mazzy Star: So Tonight That I Might See (Plain) LP
The National: Alligator (Beggars) LP
The National: Boxer (Beggars) LP
Pink Floyd: A Momentary Lapse (Pink Floyd) LP
Django Reinhardt: The Legendary Django (Dol) LP
Skinny Puppy: Bites (Nettwerk) LP
Skinny Puppy: Remission (Nettwerk) LP
St. Vincent: Masseduction (Loma Vista) LP
Sufjan Stevens: Carrie & Lowell (Asthmatic Kitty) LP
Weather Station: s/t (Outside) LP
Neil Young: Hitchhiker (Reprise) LP
Various: Doing It In Lagos (Soundways) LP
Various: Ghana Sounds (Soundways) LP

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…..news letter #815 – bites…..

Lots of great new releases again and lots of delayed releases. I thought they had sorted that stuff out, but I guess I was wrong. Hopefully King Gizzard will be in next week. Either way, so many wonder things to come dig through. As always, lots of fresh used wax hitting the bins too.

…..picks of the week…..

fetusFranco Battiato: Fetus (Superior Viaduct) LP
In tomorrow… Franco Battiato is often heralded as Italy’s answer to Brian Eno. A quizzical composer / lyricist, Battiato turned pop music upside down in the early ‘70s with three classic LPs—Fetus, Pollution and Sulle Corde Di Aries—that formed a confluence of avant-folk sensibilities and analog electronics. Originally released in 1971 on Bla Bla, Fetus predated the prodigious Cramps and Multhipla catalogues to become one of the first electronic records produced in Italy. With his trusted VCS3 synthesizer, Battiato created primordial soundscapes that shift between dreamy and delirious. His unsentimental, yet evocative voice—combined with a sublimely detached approach to lyrics—spawned a new breed of divergent songwriting. Fetus, a concept album exploring themes of genetic engineering, is enigmatically sub-titled “Ritorno al Mondo Nuovo” (Return to the New World) and dedicated to Aldous Huxley. While the sleeve design may have raised a few eyebrows upon its initial release, the back cover photograph of Battiato (standing defiant in dark glasses) makes the real iconoclastic statement. Battiato’s infectious melodies and innovative sound-collage techniques remain uniquely spry given that each track averages less than four minutes in length. Pink Floyd’s Meddle, Os Mutantes’ eponymous recordings and Jim O’Rourke’s experimental-pop idiosyncrasies all find parallels to the curious beauty of Fetus. Superior Viaduct is honored to present the first-time domestic release of Fetus on vinyl. Reproducing the original gatefold jacket, this reissue is part of an archival series that chronicles Franco Battiato’s masterful body of work from 1971 to 1978.

File Under: Electronic, Experimental, Prog, Psych
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frostBen Frost: The Centre Cannot Hold (Mute) LP
Composer Ben Frost’s fifth album, The Centre Cannot Hold, was recorded over 10 days by Steve Albini in Chicago. The music exists not in space, but in a space; it’s a document of an event, of a room, and of the composer within it. It’s music that is not fully controlled and appears to be anxiously, often violently competing against its creator. It’s an attempt to materialize a kind of liquid music. Frost – an artist whose command of sound design lies at the heart of his practice – chooses a new kind of raw immediacy and directness in his work. Focusing solely on the performance of his music he hands the reigns of the studio recording process to Albini in relentless pursuit of Theseus’ paradox; the question of whether a ship restored by replacing every single part remains the same ship. The Centre Cannot Hold is not a literal description of the current political climate. But the music has arisen out of a period of global upheaval which the title inevitably alludes to. Taken from W.B. Yeats’ poem The Second Coming, it reads: “Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold/ Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,/ The blooddimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere/ The ceremony of innocence is drowned…” The titles of many of the pieces on the album – “All That You Love Will Be Eviscerated,” “Trauma Theory,” and “Entropy in Blue” – could channel that feeling. “Ionia” wants to pull us directly into the seas of southern Europe and “Eurydice’s Heel” references a Greek myth in which a single event unleashes a sequence of unstoppable tragedies. The Centre Cannot Hold is a probing question as much as a statement of fact. An exercise in limitation and chromatic saturation, it’s an attempt at transcribing a spectrum of glowing ultramarines into sound. It forbids casual engagement, but rather seeks to engulf those who encounter it.

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

acephalix

Acephalix: Decreation (20 Buck Spin) LP
In tomorrow… The rotten corpse of Acephalix, the Bay Area’s beast of barbarism, has been re-animated. Abnormally deceased since the band’s Southern Lord debut Deathless Master, the crushing return of Decreation leaves no bone unbroken and no skull intact. Foul American death metal maggotry eating back to life coagulated remains of hardcore’s guts. Opener “Upon This Altar” rages with d-beat ferocity morphing into a slithering puzzle of pierced flesh. Primitive savagery pervades on “Suffer (Life In Fragments)” through to the cro-magnon battering of “Excremental Offerings.” All the while an obscure weirdness that characterizes the idiosyncratic deformities of certain Cannibal Corpse, Nocturnus and Death moments arises out of the Acephalix tomb. With each release the band’s horde grows more intense, vicious and bestial. This album is the culmination of five years of dormancy, letting loose upon the Earth the calamitous consequence of pent up wrath.

File Under: Metal
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amadou

Amadou & Mariam: La Confusion (Because) LP
La Confusion is the eighth full-length album from Malian musical duo and Grammy-award nominees Amadou & Mariam. The album includes the hit single “Bofou Safou”, which Stereogum calls “the funk, the whole funk, and nothing but the funk.” The term “bofou safou” is a Bambara (Malian national language) nickname given to nonchalant young men who would rather dance than work. Over the span of three decades, Amadou (guitar and vocals) and Mariam (vocals) have developed an international following, recorded eight full-length albums, and toured around the world. Their album Welcome to Mali was nominated for “Best Contemporary World Music Album” at the 52nd Grammy Awards. On the ensuing tour they supported U2 on their U2 360 Tour, performed at the 2010 World Cup for FIFA’s Kick-Off Celebration, and performed alongside a host of major acts. Don’t expect a still frame of African music; Stillness has never been part of their repertoire. The road stretches far behind them as Amadou & Mariam march on, bound by an unbreakable chain in their tireless search for new horizons. Creativity and generosity have never ceased to shine through their eight full-length albums. At their core lies a skillful fusion of heritage and cutting-edge music.

File Under: World
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baird

Laura Baird: I Wish I Were A Sparrow (Ba Da Bing) LP
In tomorrow… “With a musical timeline dating back to her early childhood, Laura Baird is an exceptionally talented multi-instrumentalist and singer-songwriter, best known for her projects with her sister, Meg, as The Baird Sisters, and guitarist Glenn Jones. Baird’s own sound stems from the Appalachian folk tradition, and she connects to it via family lineage — her great-great uncle I.G. Greer’s folk recordings for the Library of Congress are a large influence. Also woven in are classical composers like Bach and Satie, and modern day musicians such as Opal and Yo La Tengo. With this debut solo album, I Wish I Were A Sparrow, Baird plays odes to the traditions from which she learned, combining Appalachian balladry and the roughness of old field recordings, but there is also a dose of dreaminess and solitude that captures sleepy central New Jersey. This is where she departs from tradition, leaving the communal origins of folk music to capture the singular self. The lyrics also present an amalgam of old and new, with half of the songs, including ‘Dreadful Wind and Rain’ and ‘Pretty Polly,’ being passed down from the folk tradition, and the other half, including ‘Wind Wind’ and ‘Love Song From The Earth To The Moon,’ coming from Baird’s own hand. While the most salient part of her previous Baird Sisters project was the melding of familial voices and various instruments, Baird’s solo effort is centered around the combination of her virtuosic banjo playing and prominent but airy vocals.”

 File Under: Folk
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pollution

Franco Battiato: Pollution (Superior Viaduct) LP
In tomorrow… Franco Battiato is often heralded as Italy’s answer to Brian Eno. A quizzical composer / lyricist, Battiato turned pop music upside down in the early ‘70s with three classic LPs—Fetus, Pollution and Sulle Corde Di Aries—that formed a confluence of avant-folk sensibilities and analog electronics. Pollution from 1972 is the captivating follow-up to Fetus. Like its predecessor, the album features Baroque textures, motorik rhythms, weird tape effects and Battiato’s perfectly oblique vocals. Upon hearing Pollution, Frank Zappa joyfully proclaimed it “genius.” While Battiato’s core group of collaborators remains largely the same as on his debut, this phenomenal band (joined by an eighteen-year-old Roberto Cacciapaglia on keys) appears even more in the foreground on Pollution. Out of the Ash Ra Tempel-like riffs and urgent guitar strumming emerge hypnotic grooves and cinematic flourishes, suggesting a futuristic meeting point between Stereolab and Ennio Morricone. Dedicated to the Centro Internazionale Studi Magnetici, Pollution touches on themes of environmental catastrophe. Futurist allusions seep in through eccentric lyrics (at times sung backwards) about hydraulics, magnetic fields, etc., yet listeners don’t need to speak the artist’s language to grasp his melancholy vision. With Pollution, Battiato solidifies not only his cult figure status, but also many of his forward-thinking ideas on rock ‘n’ roll. Superior Viaduct is honored to present the first-time domestic release of Pollution on vinyl. Reproducing the original gatefold jacket, this reissue is part of an archival series that chronicles Franco Battiato’s masterful body of work from 1971 to 1978.

File Under: Electronic, Prog, Psych
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battiato

Franco Battiato: Sulle Corde di Aries (Superior Viaduct) LP
In tomorrow… Franco Battiato is often heralded as Italy’s answer to Brian Eno. A quizzical composer / lyricist, Battiato turned pop music upside down in the early ‘70s with three classic LPs—Fetus, Pollution and Sulle Corde Di Aries—that formed a confluence of avant-folk sensibilities and analog electronics. 1973’s Sulle Corde Di Aries is the third chapter in Battiato’s foray into esoteric pop. While the artist would venture further out into avant-garde terrain on subsequent releases, his early records enjoy a lyrical and playful spirit—eschewing traditional, song-based composition in favor of kosmische voyages. On Sulle Corde Di Aries, Battiato guides the labyrinthine structural changes and majestic tones to evolve gradually over four electroacoustic suites. “Sequenze e Frequenze,” the album’s side-long centerpiece, blooms in a polyphony of organic pulses reminiscent of the vibrant keyboard minimalism of Terry Riley’s A Rainbow In Curved Air and the rhythmic interconnectedness of Can’s Ege Bamyasi. While Fetus and Pollution are often considered his masterpieces, Sulle Corde Di Aries remains a hidden gem in Battiato’s catalogue. With more of a cohesive album-feel than the previous records, Sulle Corde Di Aries slows the pace to take in the sweeping scope of otherworldly sounds and soulful harmonies. Superior Viaduct is honored to present the first-time domestic release of Sulle Corde Di Aries on vinyl. Reproducing the original gatefold jacket, this reissue is part of an archival series that chronicles Franco Battiato’s masterful body of work from 1971 to 1978.

File Under: Electronic, Prog, Psych
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bully

Bully: Losing (Sub Pop) LP
While Bully’s 2013 debut Feels Like tumbled headlong into the precarious nature of Alicia Bognanno’s young adult life, its follow-up Losing is their first for Sub Pop (Bully’s sound is an outgrowth of the bands the label championed in the late ‘80s and ‘90s). Losing is a document of the complexity of growth: navigating breakups with sensitivity, learning not to flee from your troubles but to face them down no matter how messy they may be. Written as the group slowed down from touring constantly and Bognanno attempted to adjust to how different a home schedule is from a road schedule, her songwriting has matured from the quick one-two punches of Feels Like to tracks that contemplate the necessity of space in both song structure and emotion. Bognanno’s gruff yet dynamic voice is allowed to bloom, and it has a tenderness and openness to it here that’s new.  The group returned to Electrical Audio in Chicago, another home for Bognanno, to record Losing. Their core – Bognanno, guitarist Clayton Parker and bassist Reece Lazarus – truly solidified during the process, a detail-oriented push for perfection in which each moving part was labored over and polished. Emily Lazar’s mastering adds the perfect cap to Bognanno’s engineering; this is a record that has both shimmer and heft. There’s power in the guitar attack, delicacy and toughness in the melodic hooks, precision in the drums, and backbone in the bass. While Bognanno wouldn’t call this a political record, she doesn’t deny that the current political atmosphere and its urgency and tension haven’t shaped some of her ideas on this record, too – though she does not want that to be its focus. Mostly, this is an internal record, a universalized diary and an exorcism – not of any one specific demon, but of the host of them that characterize contemporary anxieties. Bully are growing up, sure, but their fire is in no way diminishing.

File Under: Indie Rock, Garage
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carpenter

John Carpenter: Anthology (Sacred Bones) LP
John Carpenter is a legend. As the director and composer behind dozens of classic movies, Carpenter has established a reputation as one of the greatest filmmakers in the history of modern cinema, as well as one of its most influential musicians. The minimal, synthesizer-driven themes to films like Halloween, Escape From New York, and Assault on Precinct 13 are as indelible as their images, and their timelessness was evident as Carpenter performed them live in a string of internationally sold-out concert dates in 2016. Anthology: Movie Themes 1974-1998 collects 13 classic themes from Carpenter’s illustrious career together on one volume for the first time. Each theme has been newly recorded with the same collaborators that Carpenter worked with on his hit Lost Themes studio albums: his son, Cody Carpenter, and godson, Daniel Davies. Anthology is a near-comprehensive survey of Carpenter’s greatest themes, from his very first movie, the no-budget sci-fi film Dark Star, to 1998’s supernatural Western, Vampires. Those sit alongside the driving, Led Zeppelin-influenced Assault on Precinct 13 theme, Halloween’s iconic 5/4 piano riff, and the eerie synth work of The Fog. Carpenter and his band also cover Ennio Morricone’s bleak, minimalist theme for The Thing. We also get vital new recordings of the themes to ’80s classics and fan favorites Big Trouble in Little China, Escape From New York, Christine, and They Live, along with the romantic Starman, which earned Jeff Bridges his first Oscar nomination as a lead actor. The collection is rounded out by the menacing, heavy themes to Prince of Darkness and In the Mouth of Madness, the latter a Metallica-inspired riff originally played for the film by Kinks guitarist Dave Davies, and now played by his son Daniel.

File Under: Electronic, OST
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afternoonersPatrick Cowley: Afternooners (Dark Entries) LP
In tomorrow… Dark Entries and Honey Soundsystem Records have teamed up once more to release the final volume of gay porn soundtracks by San Francisco-based musician and producer, Patrick Cowley. One of the most revolutionary and influential figures in the canon of disco, Cowley created his own brand of Hi-NRG dance music, “The San Francisco Sound.” Born in Buffalo, NY on October 19, 1950, Patrick moved to San Francisco in 1971 to study at the City College of San Francisco. He founded the Electronic Music Lab at the school, where he would make experimental soundtracks by blending various types of music and adapting them to the synthesizer. By the mid-70’s, Patrick’s synthesis techniques landed him a job composing and producing songs for disco superstar Sylvester, including hits like “You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)”, “Dance Disco Heat” and “Stars.” This helped Patrick obtain more work as a remixer and producer. His 18-minute long remix of Donna Summer’s “I Feel Love” and his production work with edgy New Wave band Indoor Life were both of particular note. By 1981, Patrick had released a string of dance 12″ singles, like “Menergy” and “Megatron Man”. He also had founded Megatone Records, the label upon which he released his debut album, “Menergy”. Around this time Patrick was hospitalized and diagnosed with an unknown illness: that which would later be called AIDS. Throughout 1982, he recorded two more Hi-NRG hits, “Do You Wanna Funk” for Sylvester, and “Right On Target” for Paul Parker, as well as a second solo album “Mind Warp”. On November 12, 1982, he passed away. In 1979 Patrick was contacted by John Coletti, owner of famed gay porn company Fox Studio in Los Angeles. Patrick jumped on this offer and sent reels of his college compositions from the 70s to John in LA. Coletti then used a variable speed oscillator to adjust the pitch and speed of Patrick’s songs in-sync with the film scenes. The result was the VHS collections “Muscle Up” and “School Daze” released in 1979 and 1980. “Afternooners” is the third collection of Cowley’s instrumental songs, recorded in May 1982. These recordings were culled from two 23-minute reels in the Fox Studio vaults. All songs were originally untitled, so we’ve used the titles from Fox Studio’s 8mm film loops. This compilation also includes three bonus tracks found in the archives of fellow Megatone Records recording artist Paul Parker and the attic of teenage friend Lily Bartels. Influenced by Tomita, Wendy Carlos, and Giorgio Moroder, Patrick crafted a singular sound from his collection of synthesizers, percussion, modified guitars, and hand-built equipment. The listener enters a world of forbidden vices, evocative of Patrick’s time spent in the bathhouses of San Francisco. The songs on “Afternooners” reflect the advances of the equipment available at the onset of the 1980s. Cowley’s unadulterated electronic forms are stripped down and dubbed up. Lush electronic percussion, soaring synthesizer riffs and low slung funk grooves comingle on these magnificent soundscapes. Featuring 70 minutes of music never before released on vinyl. All songs have been remastered by George Horn at Fantasy Studios in Berkeley, CA. The vinyl is housed in a gatefold jacket designed by Berlin-based artist Gwenael Rattke, featuring black and white photos of Patrick in his studio that opens to a full color array of x-rated scenes from the Fox Studio vaults. Included is a fold-out poster featuring a handmade collage using photography and xeroxed graphics of classic gay porn imagery and an essay from Drew Daniel of Matmos. For Patrick’s 67th birthday, Dark Entries and Honey Soundsystem Records present a glimpse into the futuristic world of a young genius. These recordings shed a new light on the experimental side of a disco legend who was taken too soon.

File Under: Electronic, Hi-NRG, OST
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dav

Death & Vanilla: Vampyr (Fire) LP
“Recalling the eerie, haunt-ed ambience of Angelo Badalamenti/Julee Cruise’s Twin Peaks soundtrack, Stereolab/Broadcast’s experimental vision of ‘50s lounge muzak/exotica and French ‘60s pop, or the narcotic country-noir of Mazzy Star.” The Guardian. It’s 1932 and Danish film director Carl Theodor is making a movie of a grim tale for both French and German audiences. To get over the language barrier he decides to have the majority of dialogue on silent movie title cards. Imagine the scene, you’re sleepy, you’re in a strange house, you doze. Inevitably you’re lured to a castle, you open a package, it’s a book about horrific demons called vampyrs. The castle is manned by servants – there are also two sisters (one with bite wounds, the other in a trance-like stupor), a doctor and an old woman complete the cast.… Some 70 years later, what’s needed is a band to play live on Hallowe’en at the Fantastisk Filmfestival, Lunds Stadsteater. One year to the day later, they release the music in a now super rare limited edition of 150 blood red cassettes. Now re-issued as a double vinyl package.

File Under: Indie Rock, Psych
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destroyer

Destroyer: Ken (Merge) LP+7″
(Special Indie-Store-Only edition LP album on yellow vinyl + black bonus 7” in matte jacket with spot gloss detail & die cut Euro jacket. 11 x 11 insert + full album download included) Of his 12th studio album and its enigmatic title, Destroyer’s Dan Bejar offers the following: Sometime last year, I discovered that the original name for “The Wild Ones” (one of the great English-language ballads of the last 100 years or so) was “Ken.” I had an epiphany, I was physically struck by this information. In an attempt to hold on to this feeling, I decided to lift the original title of that song and use it for my own purposes. It’s unclear to me what that purpose is, or what the connection is. I was not thinking about Suede when making this record. I was thinking about the last few years of the Thatcher era. Those were the years when music first really came at me like a sickness, I had it bad. Maybe “The Wild Ones” speaks to that feeling, probably why Suede made no sense in America. I think “ken” also means “to know.” ken was produced by Josh Wells of Black Mountain, who has been the drummer in Destroyer since 2012. The album was recorded in its entirety in the jam space/studio space that the group calls The Balloon Factory. However, unlike Poison Season, ken was not recorded as a “band” record, though everyone in the band does make an appearance.

File Under: Indie Rock
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frankd

Lt. Frank Dickens: Sour Bubblegum (Jaz) LP
Sour Bubblegum is the sophomore effort on JAZ Records from Vancouver underground balladeer LT. FRANK DICKENS, former singer and songwriter in Vancouver post-punk band PEACE (Suicide Squeeze). It is a concise collection of slanted rock heroics, poems, and yearning serenades bookended by two seasick waltzes and glued together by his signature grizzled croon. This time around, a sense of societal claustrophobia pervades. Ultimately though, optimism wins the day, and perseverance through life’s drearier moments is elevated as the noblest of pursuits, with it’s own inherent beauty. These songs display the wistful sweetness and rush of classic bubblegum pop craft, but replace the teenage frivolity endemic to the genre with a world weary depth that would find camaraderie with the likes of Nikki Sudden and Leonard Cohen. They are the soured disillusionment of adulthood that never gives way to bitterness or cynicism.They are “Sour Bubblegum”.

File Under: Indie Rock
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don cab

Don Caballero: Singles Breaking Up (Touch & Go) LP
By no means a release of new or current Don Cab material (originally issued in 1999), Singles Breaking Up (Vol. 1) offers quite a range of the band’s history to appreciate. The oldest recordings found here are programs 1-6 which became the first two singles and a b-side for the fourth. They were recorded in a 1/2 inch 8 track studio by Lee Hollihan of Valencia, PA for only $25 an hour. The next batch, 7-9, were recorded by Steve Albini in his once home studio and were a part of the For Respect sessions. Program 10 was also recorded in this same studio by colleague engineer Bob Weston. Program 11 was recorded in Detroit by engineer Al Sutton and was a part of the sessions for Don Caballero 2. Lastly, programs 12-13 were recorded again by Albini in the B room portion of this Chicago studio Electrical Audio. With the exception of programs 12-13, these songs were recorded in the early part of the 1990’s. The intention was not to release them in this form, if at all, but to give the record company a rough idea of the songs Don Cab had at the time. The “punky” songs were written with the sole intention of obtaining a record contract. It seemed at the time that contracts flowed like water for this kind of music. The band soon found out that it wasn’t quite that easy, but did, eventually, manage to sign a deal with Touch and Go. It is interesting to see how some of these songs, or parts of them, developed into others that have become well-known. The photographic art concept for the whole anthology is simply this: 7 inch phonograph singles breaking up, in the kind of setting of giving Abby Road back to the people.

File Under: Indie Rock. Math Rock
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emptyset

Emptyset: Skin (Thrill Jockey) LP
Emptyset stand at the vanguard of electronic music. With each release, they stretch boundaries and explore new methods of creating sounds with scientific precision. On their EP Skin, Emptyset (the duo of James Ginzburg and Paul Purgas) bring together techniques they developed through their 2017 LP Borders, exploring structural aspects of ritual music and non-Western composition and combine them with recent performance work examining microtonal vocalization and acoustic qualities of materials. This is the first time Emptyset has presented a body of work using entirely acoustic production methods. The compositions of Skin are all focused around structure, texture, and rhythm captured through recordings of a custom string instrument, drums, and physical granular materials modulated in real-time, alongside tonal vocal elements. Skin was mastered and cut to vinyl by Rashad Becker at Dubplates & Mastering in Berlin.

File Under: Electronic
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esmerine

Esmerine: Mechanics of Dominion (Constellation) LP
Esmerine is the modern chamber ensemble co-founded by former Silver Mt. Zion member Rebecca Foon and Godspeed You! Black Emperor alumnus Bruce Cawdron in the early 2000s, composing two beloved albums of post-rock based around cello and mallet instruments on Madrona Records in 2003 and 2005. The group emerged from a semi-hiatus in 2010 and have made four acclaimed full-length records of uniquely emotive, lyrical, exploratory instrumental music since then (all released by Constellation) – each marked by a distinct collaborative and thematic agenda. Following the Turkish/near-Eastern exchange featured on Dalmak (2014 Juno winner for Instrumental Album Of The Year) and the intense, rock-inflected Lost Voices (2016 Juno winner for Album Package Of The Year and finalist for Instrumental Album), Esmerine embarked on a soundtrack commission for the National Film Board documentary “Freelancer on the Front Lines” (about independent journalism in the Middle East), which also led to a deep dive into archival and previously unreleased recordings from the band’s aforementioned early years. Sessions for the film soundtrack kept rolling organically throughout 2016-2017 (alongside Foon’s own work on her Saltland solo project, whose second album came out in March 2017), informed by anxiety over the reactionary, regressive, seemingly irresolvable disharmony of human oppression/domination, falsifying propaganda and ever-accelerating degradation and denial of nature and social justice. Mechanics Of Dominion is perhaps Esmerine’s most dynamic and narratively-informed work, tracing an arc through Neo-Classical, Minimalist, Modern Contemporary, Folk, Baroque, Jazz and Rock idioms to invoke lamentation, meditation, resolve, resistance and hope. It is a requiem for our intractably suffering planet and a paean to the inscrutable, essential dignity of indigenous ethics and the natural world, and to modern human frailty and ingenuity. Stylistically, Mechanics Of Dominion brings mallet instruments to the fore, with marimba, glockenspiel, piano and amplified music box providing a prominent foundation and through-line on the album’s diverse tracks. Multi-instrumentalist Brian Sanderson’s contributions are also an ever greater part of Esmerine’s songwriting – his stately melodic lines on horns and acoustic strings are formidable elements in the ceremonious lyricism and keening vitality of this song cycle. Mechanics Of Dominion is also another superlative iteration in Esmerine’s dedication to artwork and packaging, this time featuring the work of Montréal artist Jean-Sebastien Denis to beautifully echo the album’s compositional balance of abstraction, tension and emotional colourations.

File Under: Indie Rock
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frusciante

John Frusciante: Niandra LaDes And Usually Just a T-Shirt (Superior Viaduct) LP
In tomorrow… Niandra LaDes And Usually Just A T-Shirt is the first solo record by John Frusciante. Between 1990 and 1992 the guitarist made a series of 4-track recordings, which at the time were not intended for commercial release. After leaving the band Red Hot Chili Peppers in 1992, Frusciante was encouraged by friends to release the material that he wrote in his spare time during the Blood Sugar Sex Magik sessions. Originally released on Rick Rubin’s American Recordings label in 1994, Niandra LaDes is a mystifying work of tortured beauty. Frusciante plays various acoustic and electric guitars, experimenting with layers of vocals, piano and reverse tape effects. Channeling the ghosts of Syd Barrett and Skip Spence, his lyrics are at once utterly personal and willfully opaque. Frusciante’s rapidfire, angular playing shows how key he was in the Chili Peppers’ evolution away from their funk-rock roots. His cover of “Big Takeover” perfectly deconstructs the Bad Brains original with laid-back tempo, twelve-string guitar and a fierce handle on melody. The album’s second part—thirteen untitled tracks that Frusciante defines as one complete piece, “Usually Just A T-Shirt”—contains several instrumentals featuring his signature guitar style. Sparse phrasing, delicate counterpoint and ethereal textures recall Neu/Harmonia’s Michael Rother or The Durutti Column’s Vini Reilly. On the front cover, Frusciante appears in 1920s drag—a nod to Marcel Duchamp’s alter-ego Rrose Sélavy—which comes from Toni Oswald’s film Desert in the Shape. This first-time vinyl release has been carefully remastered and approved by the artist. The double LP set is packaged with old style tip-on gatefold jacket and printed inner sleeves.

File Under: Alt. Rock, Chili Peppers
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gamble

Lee Gamble: Mnestic Pressure (Hyperdub) LP
Mnestic Pressure is Lee Gamble’s first album since 2014 and his first with Hyperdub, a reset that sees a noticeable change in his sound and the concepts that feed into his music. Lee says, “From “Diversions 1994-1996” (2012) through to “Koch” (2014) – my music felt like I was dealing with signals from elsewhere – signals from the unconscious, sub-aqua, hallucinated, dreamt. “Mnestic Pressure” feels like their decoded offspring, a terra interpretation.” The title comes from Lee’s thinking about how our contemporary memory is pressured, individually, but also collectively, “We live in these strobing, visual times, like a constant subliminal advertisement but, also over the last few years the world seems to have become more and more dreamlike, alien, and parodic itself and there was this part of me that wanted to drag my music back from this Shangri-La, but fully drenched and infected by its ghosts.” Mnestic Pressure as a whole is a simulation of this experience; a flow of targeted information, through contrasting and quickly changing terrain, from one track to another you’re dragged into a new space. The pressure to move is intrinsic to the flow of the album, one thing morphologically transforms into another, zooming in and out from wide angle to detail, reshaping into new forms at a speed Lee’s music hasn’t before. The music on Mnestic Pressure has a hardness, with a structure and melody that was sublimated in Lee’s previous LPs. It builds on his more recent experiments with more functional dancefloor forms. Here his hypermodern production and crunchy, dissembled beats feel like they could be malfunctioning holograms projected onto the hallucinated memories of his early work.

File Under: Electronic
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halfjap

Half Japanese: Half Gentlemen/Not Beasts (Fire) LP
In 1974 Jad Fair, along with his brother David, co-founded the lo-fi alternative rock group Half Japanese. Over the ensuing three decades, Half Japanese released fourteen albums and in the process, attracted a solid base of fans passionate about the band’s pure, unbridled enthusiasm for rock and roll. Half Japanese’s first album Half Gentlemen/Not Beasts is a collection of the Fair brothers earliest home recordings, originally released in 1980 as a homemade three LP box set, and now available for the very first time as a double LP. These songs stretch their DIY, lo-fi ethos to the limits featuring sound experiments cobbled together from guitar noise, electronics and odd effects, whilst throwing in some barely recognizable covers (such as tracks by The Temptations, Buddy Holly and Bob Dylan). Over the years Half Gentlemen/Not Beasts became something of a cult legend, partly helped by its scarcity and foreshadowed much of the lo-fi movement of early-90s indie rock. In 1995, Rolling Stone designated the album one of the top 100 most influential Alternative albums while Spin Magazine’s Alternative Record Guide states; “Half Japanese assumed it was the greatest Rock and Roll band on the planet. It was often right.”

File Under: Punk, Lo-Fi, DIY
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jewel

Johnny Jewel: Windswept (Italians Do It Better) LP
In tomorrow… Johnny Jewel’s Windswept featuring music from the new season of Twin Peaks. Housed in gatefold jackets and pressed on 180-GRAM BLOOD RED VINYL.

File Under: Electronic, OST
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nazoranai

Nazoranai: Beginning To Fall In Line Before Me…. (W.25th) LP
In tomorrow… Nazoranai is the supergroup of Keiji Haino, Oren Ambarchi and Stephen O’Malley. For close to four decades, Haino has been a legendary figure in Japan’s avant-garde community through his commanding presence in the band Fushitsusha and numerous solo ventures. Ambarchi, a prolific electro-acoustic composer of heavy ambience and hypno-rock, has long stood at the leading edge of Australia’s experimental music scene, while O’Malley remains a principle architect for the drone / doom metal project Sunn O))) in harnessing extreme sub-harmonic frequencies. Collectively, Nazoranai operates as a live recorded collaboration, although Haino is quick to point out the difference between the words “nazoranai” (which in Japanese calligraphy means “not repeating,” as in developing a distinct, individual style) and “sokkyō” (referring specifically to improvisation). In this parsing of terms, the group separates themselves from the free-music scene, which can be just as convention-bound as the established genres from which improvisers hope to escape. On the trio’s third album, Beginning To Fall In Line Before Me, So Decorously, The Nature Of All That Must Be Transformed, Nazoranai explore two side-long tracks of superb abstraction. Ambarchi and O’Malley provide the perfect brute-rock rhythm section to Haino’s wrecklessly pure expression through instrument and voice. Blurred noise, dark hurdy-gurdy and thunderous harmonics build an accretive mantra of jagged electricity. While Haino’s extensive discography resists easy interpretation, he constantly challenges himself to further his art by channeling the unknown. Shifting from his native Japanese to English, he asks: “Do you still have a mystery?” This existential plea could apply to the artist’s own deep inquisitions or stand to confront his audience about that which eludes their understanding. W.25TH / Superior Viaduct is proud to present Nazoranai’s latest work, recorded at SuperDeluxe in Tokyo, which marks the band’s first release on an American label.

File Under: Experimental, Drone, Rock
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nils

The Nils: s/t (Label Obscura) LP
The Nils’ story has been described as a “Greek rock ‘n’ roll tragedy.” Forging a following in the mid ’80s with their melancholy punk-driven power-pop sound, the Montreal group became casualties of a record label deal gone bad, before spiralling into black holes of drug addiction and death. Despite languishing in legal limbo and quickly going out of print, The Nils’ 1987 debut album has become a Canadian cult classic, influencing members of Green Day, Hüsker Dü, Sloan, and Superchunk. Now, to celebrate the album’s 30th anniversary, Label Obscura is proud to reissue a deluxe remastered LP, available on 180 gram vinyl for the first time in decades. This edition of The Nils’ classic debut features new artwork from Yorodeo (the visual art collective of Dog Day’s Seth Smith), a gatefold jacket with archival photos, and liner notes by Jack Rabid, editor of New York’s influential music zine The Big Takeover. A series of live performances from the reformed Nils will follow throughout October.

File Under:
Punk, Power Pop
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orb

Orb: Naturality (Castle Face) LP
In tomorrow… An exciting development from under strange Australian lab-lights: ORB re-spawn from last year’s Birth with a further mutated slab of paranoid heavy shred, Naturality. They bring the dread with a kinetic muscularity and a pleasantly evolving synthetic strangeness, as if having eaten of the wrong part of the garden, causing familiar things start to seem less so. The effects of these spores on the modern brain, already clogged with a steady drip of zips and zooms, are fresh and confusing. ORB are young and fleet fingered, and certainly know their way around a riff, but bring everything into an almost alien clarity both blunted and futuristic. ORB, you see, have ripened quite radically, and one can only think at an accelerated pace upon their travels with King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard. This album finds them sprouting new appendages and clawing at their enclosures. This is potent stuff—be careful!

File Under: Psych, Garage, Stoner
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paterson

OST: Paterson (Third Man) LP
With their most recent project, the score for Paterson (2016), SQU¨RL (Carter Logan and Jim Jarmusch) took inspiration from their performances live-scoring Man Ray’s surrealist silent films and made a dive into the ocean of ambient electronic music. The poetry of Jarmusch’s latest fiction film offering requested a slightly different approach in texture, timbre and tone than the band’s usual sound, leading them to employ primarily analog synthesizers and leave drums and guitars behind. Feedback gives way to glass harmonica drones, kick drums to sub-bass punctuation marks. “It’s ambient, dreamy stuff,” Jarmusch told IndieWire while promoting the film’s release. While a brighter counterpoint to some of SQU¨RL’s previous work, including their Live at Third Man Records LP, using some new tools, the band’s purpose has remained to create their own variation on ecstatic music.

File Under: OST, Jim Jarmusch
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rra

Rural Alberta Advantage: The Wild (Paper Bag) LP
Late in 2016 the trio of Nils Edenloff, Paul Banwatt and Robin Hatch hit the road for a unique set of shows in some of their favorite venues across North America and Europe. They had been hard at work writing their next album and wanted to work out the new material the way they love best: by bringing it to their fans in person. As Nils put it, “I’ve never been good about focusing on a theme or having a specific plan at the outset of a new record. For me, writing music tends to be more of a constantly evolving process, like following one strange trail after another until a song has come to its general conclusion. This time around, we’re following that natural writing process more and inviting the fans to come along those trails with us.” Over the ensuing months they took the lessons of the road into the studio, laying ten new tracks to tape. Earlier in 2017, fans had their first chance to hear the results with the release of singles “White Lights” and “Beacon Hill.” Now, the full fruit of their labors can be found on The Wild.

File Under: Indie Rock, Folk
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segall

Ty Segall Band: Slaughterhouse (In The Red) LP
In tomorrow… A reissue of the 2012 debut release by the Ty Segall Band on In The Red, featuring a bonus song not on the original release! The Ty Segall Band is Ty Segall (obviously), Mikal Cronin, Charlie Moonheart and Emily Rose Epstein. While Segall has released many incredible solo releases, Slaughterhouse marks the first time he recorded with his touring band. For this mini-album (originally released as a double 10-inch, but now expanded to a double 12-inch) the band recorded with Chris Woodhouse at the Hangar, turned their amps all the way up, set their fuzz pedals on “obliterate” and commenced to kick ass and take names. Seriously, this record will melt your face. All of Segall’s usual psych-pop sensibilities are present but Slaughterhouse adds the full-throttle, go-for-the-throat bombast that the band delivers in the live setting. The fuzz riffs, bratty howl and Cro-Magnon bashing culminate with a feedback freakout that’s clearly the only sensible way to end a workout of this magnitude in shit to announce the debut release by the Ty Segall Band.

File Under: Psych, Punk, Garage, Fuzz
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shane

Jackie Shane: Any Other Way (Numero) LP
Recognized by genre aficionados as one of the greatest singers and most riveting stage presences in soul music, Jackie Shane has remained largely unknown outside Toronto, where her career briefly flowered in the 1960s. Ms. Shane is a star without parallel – a pioneer of transgender rights born in a male body, living her entire life as a woman at a time when to do so seemed unthinkable. Any Other Way is the first artist-approved collection of Ms. Shane’s work, collecting all six of her 45s and every highlight from the legendary 1967 live sessions at the Sapphire Tavern, including three mind blowing, previously-unreleased tracks. Any Other Way marks Jackie Shane’s first communication with the public in nearly half a century. Rob Bowman’s extensive liner notes tell, for the first time ever, Ms. Shane’s story in her own words, copiously illustrated with never-before-seen pictures from a career and life unlike any other.

File Under: Soul
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spoon

Spoon: Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga (Merge) LP
Remastered by Howie Weinberg, the 10th anniversary 2-LP edition of Spoon’s Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga features the studio album on one LP and the 12-track Get Nice! EP – long out of print and previously only released on CD – on the other. Both are pressed on 180-gram vinyl packaged in a gatefold jacket with updated art. Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga was recorded throughout 2006 in Austin, TX, by the band and Mike McCarthy (except “The Underdog” which was recorded in Los Angeles with Jon Brion). With a history of stellar records, Spoon topped themselves with Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga. It kicks off with “Don’t Make Me a Target” a song that builds on Spoon’s familiar minimal rhythmic piano/guitar vamp popularized on earlier hits like “Small Stakes” or “The Way We Get By.” The album quickly moves into uncharted territory with the atmospheric “The Ghost of You Lingers” and moves through several different stylistic changes from the explosive “You Got Yr. Cherry Bomb” to the wall-of-sound horns of radio single “The Underdog.” Upon release, critics and listeners alike praised the record, which subsequently received Best New Music status from Pitchfork and cracked the top 10 of Rolling Stone’s Best Albums of 2007.

File Under: Indie Rock
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ufomammut

UFOmammut: 8 (Neurot) LP
In tomorrow… 8 is UFOmammut’s eighth album, comprised of eight tracks that flow into each other without interruption. This flow can also be seen when you tip 8 horizontally, thus it morphs into the lemniscate from algebraic geometry—∞—a plane curve that meets at central point, or more commonly known as the infinity symbol. A continuous stream of movement reflective of the uninterrupted nature of the album but also the continued togetherness of the essential elements of the band —Urlo, Poia and Vita— since the beginning of the band’s history in 1999. It must be stressed there is no singular pronunciation of the title, 8 is “eight” in English, “otto” in Italian, “acht” in German, “huit” in French, and so on. It is a continuous flux of music, a singular entity, which can be defined in micro-measurements by its eight satellite songs. Each song expands upon the one preceding it, unfolding into an exceedingly dense and malevolent journey, resulting in this being the band’s most extreme venture yet, with no permittance for breathing space in those forty-eight minutes.

File Under: Metal
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wand

Wand: Plum (Drag City) LP
In tomorrow… Plum is Wand’s fourth LP since the band formed in late 2013 but their first new album in two years. After a whirlwind initial phase of writing, recording, and touring at a frenetic clip, their newest document marks a period of relative patience; a refocusing and a push toward a new democratization of both process and musical surface. In late winter of 2016, the band expanded their core membership of Evan Burrows, Cory Hanson and Lee Landey to include two new members—Robbie Cody on guitar and Sofia Arreguin on keys and vocals. From the outset, the new ensemble moved naturally toward a changed working method, as they learned how to listen to each other and trust in this new format. The songwriting process was consciously relocated to the practice space, where for several months, the band spent hours a day freely improvising, while recording as much of the activity as they could manage. This new process demanded more honest communication, more vulnerability, better boundaries, more mercy and persistence during a year that meanwhile delivered a heaping serving of romantic, familial and political heartbreak for everyone involved. They learned more about their instruments and their perceived limitations.

 File Under: Indie Rock, Psych
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manna

White Manna: Bleeding Eyes (Cardinal Fuzz) LP
In tomorrow… Following an incredible one-two brace of releases on Holy Mountain, a release on Valley King, a limited live album (Live Frequencies) and then their last sonic attack (Pan) on Cardinal Fuzz in 2016, White Manna releases their new studio album as part of a joint venture between Cardinal Fuzz and Agitated Records. Unleashed at the end of September in Europe to tie in with a UK / EU tour that features another sure-to-be main-stage-storming appearance at Liverpool Psych Fest, Bleeding Eyes is the sound of the band soaring and searing with riffs and grooves that float their own take on sike rock to a higher plane! Eight tracks deliver serious motorik action along the way, with lo-fi pop glaze over the top of solid rhythmic pummel. Riffs, one asks? Oh yes—great rafts of guitar interplay blitzing the ears in a dronesome scree, ricocheting through space and time to transport all to sonic enlightenment.

File Under: Psych
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wolves

Wolves in the Throne Room: Thrice Woven (Artemisia) LP
In tomorrow… ON LIMITED CLEAR WITH GREY SWIRL VINYL WHILE SUPPLIES LAST!! Wolves In The Throne Room re-imagined black metal as an ode to rain storms, wood smoke and the wild energies of the Pacific Northwest. Their first studio album, Diadem Of 12 Stars (2006), was a genre-dissolving classic that created a melancholy and psychedelic Cascadian atmosphere. Since that time they have become one of the most potent and highly regarded bands in extreme music. The listener encounters crystalline metal riffs that slowly collapse and shift into ritualistic laments, singing of endless rain falling upon ancient cedars. Their music is a doorway into a mythic ethereal heathen landscape entered through music, magic and dreams. Now, a portal into the dreamworld of the band opens again with Thrice Woven. It is a glorious return to the blazing and furious black metal that they alone can create!

 File Under: Black Metal
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supreme

Various: Studio One Supreme (Soul Jazz) LP
By the 1970s Studio One and Clement ‘Sir Coxsone’ Dodd had already proved himself to be the defining force in Reggae for almost two decades. From running the Downbeat sound system on the lawns and yards of Kingston in the late 1950s to opening Studio One at 13 Brentford Road at the start of the 1960s, ushering in Ska and Rocksteady and establishing the careers of most of Jamaica’s artists – everyone from Bob Marley and The Wailers, Ken Boothe, Toots and The Maytals, The Skatalites, Jackie Mittoo and more – Clement Dodd had until this point dominated the Jamaican musical world. And yet, incredibly, Clement Dodd was barely half way through his musical path, maintaining Studio One’s number one position in the Jamaican music scene throughout the 1970s with a combination of musical and creative innovation and an endless capacity to adapt and create new musical fashions. By the end of the 1970s Dancehall had become the defining sound on the island. Dancehall was essentially a tribute by other Jamaican producers and artists to the classic music of Studio One created in the 1960s as young artists across the island created new songs, while musicians recreated these original classic foundation Studio One rhythms. As on other occasions, Clement Dodd rose to this new musical challenge by producing a whole new era of classics for Studio One. The roots of Dancehall begin with the DJs of the early 1970s, who were the first to sing new material over earlier classic rhythms. Early DJ pioneers such as Dillinger and Prince Jazzbo both feature here toasting over classic songs – The Mad Lad’s Ten to One and The Eternals’ Queen of the Minstrel. But it is the new wave of artists who arrived at Studio One at the onset of Dancehall which enabled Studio One to maintain its number one status as the whole of Kingston’s rival music producers – Channel One, Joe Gibbs and many others – attempted to challenge this position. Sugar Minott, Michigan and Smiley, Willie Williams, Lone Ranger had all grown up listening to the classic Studio One music of the 1960s and were able to pay the greatest compliment to the label by creating the defining new music of this new era with songs that combined all the musical and technological developments of the 1970s – dub, deejaying, discomixes, syndrums, synthesizers and more – into the sound of the future: Dancehall. Throughout this era Clement Dodd also continued to work with a number of original and returning artists – such as Alton Ellis, Horace Andy, Freddie McGregor, Johnny Osbourne – updating old rhythms and creating new ones while employing the in-house band variously known as The Brentford All-Stars/Rockers/Disco Set to update these sounds in order to maintain Studio One’s number one position as the defining force in Reggae.

File Under: Reggae, Dancehall

…..Restocks…..

And You Will Know Us By The Trail of Dead: Source Tags & Codes (Interscope) LP
Beatles: Abbey Road (Apple) LP
Beatles: Let It Be (Apple) LP
Beatles: Rubber Soul (Apple) LP
Beatles: White Album (Apple) LP
Beck: Colors (Universal) LP
Beck: Colors (Universal) DLX LP
Beck: Morning Phase (Universal) LP
Blur: Parklife (Parlophone) LP
Bon Iver: For Emma, Forever Ago (Jagjaguwar) LP
R.L. Burnside: Worried Blues (Fat Possum) LP
Alice Coltrane: Journey In Satchidananda (Impulse) LP
Sarah Davachi: All My Circles Run (Students of Decay) LP
Rev. Gary Davis: Worried Blues (Fat Possum) LP
Here Lies Man: s/t (Riding Easy) LP
Hot Snakes: Audit In Progress (Swami) LP
Skip James: Worried Blues (Fat Possum) LP
Kacy & Clayton: Sirens Song (New West) LP
Kendrick Lamar: Damn (Aftermath) LP
Lee Morgan: Sidewinder (Blue Note) LP
Mos Def: Black on Both Sides (Universal) LP
Oliver Nelson: Blues and the Abstract Truth (Jazz Wax) LP
Oh Sees: Orc (Castle Face) LP
Oh Sees: Castlemania (Castle Face) LP
OST: Solaris (Superior Viaduct) LP
Protomartyr: Relatives in Descent (Domino) LP
Replacements: Let It Be (Sire) LP
Replacements: Pleased to Meet Me (Sire) LP
Rostam: Half-Light (Nonesuch) LP
Ty Segall: Manipulator (Drag City) LP
Smiths: Hatful of Hallow (Rhino) LP
Dusty Springfield: OooooWeeee! (Premium Cool) LP
Dusty Springfield: Stay Awhile (Premium Cool) LP
Sufjan Stevens: Carrie & Lowell (Asthmatic Kitty) LP
The Sword: Age of Winters (Kemado) LP
The Sword: Gods of the Earth (Kemado) LP
The Sword: Warp Riders (Kemado) LP
Tragically Hip: Now for Plan A (Universal) LP
Tragically Hip: World Container (Universal) LP

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…..new letters #814 – loadz…..

Lots of big new releases this week, and lots of em bumped until next week too. Nevertheless, loads of killer wax in right now, and I’m sitting here staring at a few hundred records waiting to get priced and off the counter, so… I’ll let you read on.

…..picks of the week…..

coil-trasparent-e1507854798712.jpg

Coil with Black Sun Productions: The Plastic Spider Thing (Rustblade) LP
“This album, featuring Coil’s music literally remixed and re-arranged in ritual form to serve as the soundtrack to the Black Sun Productions extreme performance art spectacle entitled Plastic Spider Things, following the performers’ (among who was counted John Balance himself) every move. Synths, drones, and psychedelic textures lead us on mystical tour of sex and magic, serving as a testament to the undeniable connection between Coil’s music, ritual magic, and performance art. A release that all hardcore Coil and Black Sun Productions fans have long been waiting for. Not to be missed!”
File Under: Electronic, Experimental, Industrial
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miracleVarious: Miracle Steps (Optimo) LP
I keep running out of this before I can rave about it, now restocked and AWESOME…. Miracle Steps (Music from the Fourth World 1983 – 2017) has been on Optimo Music’s to-do list for ages, but it was only when Twitch and Glasgow’s Fergus Clark started crossing swords over what actually constituted “Fourth World” music that the project really got going. Twitch decided that co-compiling the release with someone who had a slightly different take on things might make for a more interesting finished product, and so it came to pass that a cohesively thrilling compilation quickly materialized as each of them drew from a wealth of different artists and eras. For the uninitiated, here’s an extract from Fergus Clark’s sleeve notes honing in on how the term “Fourth World” (an idea conjured up by Jon Hassell in the early ’80s) might be defined: “What we have attempted to gather across this compilation is a body of work which we feel directly resonates with both the literal definition of ‘Fourth World’ music and indeed our own interpretation of this unique sonic vision; from the work of the late Jorge Reyes, a Mexican musician who combined pre-Hispanic instruments with synthesizers and digital sampling, through to the work of organic ambient ensemble O Yuki Conjugate. There are tracks which utilize custom, home-made instruments and there are tracks built from scratch using the latest in digital technology, but the undercurrent tying each piece together is this deeply personal feeling of intrigue and mysterious elation. Strange and unparalleled, this feeling manages to eschew geographic borders and rigid genre movements in favor of something which manages to evoke an inner sanctum, a musical private place for both reflection and assessment. This is music grounded in nor the past nor the present, music which manages to sound futuristic yet remarkably nostalgic.” JD Twitch is one half of Glasgow’s Optimo (Espacio) and runs the Optimo Music and Optimo Trax labels. Fergus Clark is a writer, occasional DJ, and avid music fan. He is a founding member of the music and art collective 12th Isle. Housed in a gatefold sleeve designed by the redoubtable Glasgow based visual artists Al White and Jamie Johnson. Also features: Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe & Ariel Kalma, Iona Fortune, X.Y.R., Jon Keliehor, David Cunningham, Larry Chernicoff, Sussan Deyhim & Richard Horowitz, Jon Hassell, Vulgata, Afro-Disiak, Rapoon, and Javier Segura.

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

childbirth

Amateur Childbirth: Your Afterlife is Cancelled (Blackest Ever Black) LP
This is Amateur Childbirth’s “Christian Rock” album. The previous LP from Ivan Matthew Hick’s solo project, 2013’s Pripyat, concerned itself with the blighted belief systems of UFO worshippers. Your Afterlife Is Cancelled expands this compelling solo project’s field of enquiry to look at a wider array of “religious anomalies”: cults, for want of a better word. Each song is about a different such anomaly. To call Hicks’s vision apocalyptic would be to underplay its cruelty. The Bible’s rampant sadism pales in comparison. This is a world where faith — in a god or gods, in astrology, morality, or any meaning whatsoever — is merely a prelude to punishment. His lyrics are vivid glossaries of pain, abjection and indignity; the songs’ protagonists swim in blood, piss, shit, and ejaculate. Eschatology and scatology are indivisible here. Drugs are rampantly abused, albeit to little benefit. There are scalpel-flashes of humor in David’s wordplay, rhyming and dour Brisbane diction — but this offers scant consolation for the songs’ embattled subjects, who wait, in vein, for salvation, while crows peck out their eyes, blood pours from their ears, and psoriasis ravages their skin. These words, for all their pessimism and body-horror, are cradled in minimalist, folk-rock arrangements that are quite dazzling in their beauty and grievously earned simplicity: Hicks’s monochord strum embellished with subtle violin, synthesizer, and percussion shading. Amateur Childbirth’s caustic end-times worldview inevitably prompts comparisons with Current 93, but also a wider (non-)tradition of caustic and disturbed loner psych that includes Simon Finn, Patrik Fitzgerald, Robyn Hitchcock, Peter Jefferies, and Roy Harper. Your Afterlife Is Cancelled is a depressive tour de force from one of the most crushingly eloquent voices in the Australian underground.

File Under: Electronic, Neo-Folk, Psych
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sea lice

Courtney Barnett & Kurt Vile: Lotta Sea Lice (Matador) LP
Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile, two of the most acclaimed and gifted songwriters of our generation, have joined forces to release a collaboration as unique and unusual as their talents. Lotta Sea Lice is a conversation between friends, documented in raw, unvarnished song, brimming with personal history, crackling with energy and shot through with humor. There’s an unforced ease to the record, helped by the fact that the pair have been not just friends, but hardcore fans of each other’s work for years. They also roped in colleagues such as Mick Turner and Jim White of the Dirty Three, Stella Mozgawa from Warpaint, and Aussie icon Mick Harvey. The shared chemistry is immediately apparent in the album opener and first single “Over Everything”, with dovetailing vocal lines and intricate, shimmering guitar. The lyrics play out as a rambling dialogue as they compare notes about songwriting and inspiration; it was the first song written for this project. While some of the songs on the record are originals, it features some covers. The pair also tackle each other’s tracks on the album, with Vile delivering a delicious, souped-up version of “Outta the Woodwork” backed by Barnett herself, and Barnett taking on Vile’s “Peepin’ Tomboy” completely solo, to spine-tingling result. The overall effect of Lotta Sea Lice is of Barnett and Vile throwing open the doors to their house to listeners – it’s their party, but everyone is invited.

File Under: Indie Rock
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beck

Beck: Colors (Universal) LP
In tomorrow… The last time the mass public got a glimpse of Beck, it was at the end of the 2015 Grammy Awards, when Prince was handing him an Album of the Year award for his meditative, mostly acoustic album Morning Phase. Few people knew, but at that time the artist was already two years into work on the follow-up which has taken two more years to complete. Possibly the most aptly titled work in Beck’s storied discography, Colors unfolds in an intoxicating rainbow of auditory tricks and treats, making it a summery smash for the fall season. In addition to the captivating piano-driven “Dear Life,” Colors includes both Beck singles that preceded it: a new mix of the psych-dance summer jam “Dreams” that NPR hailed as “urgently contemporary and irresistibly vintage” and the retro-futuristic earworm “Wow” that had Stereogum praising its “big, sweet incandescent hook” and Esquire rejoicing, “All hail the return of Party Beck.” Dubbed as a “euphoric blast of experimental pop” by Rolling Stone, Colors was produced by the in demand Greg Kurstin (Adele, Kelly Clarkson, Sia) and Beck, with the exception of “Wow” produced by Beck and Cole M.G.N. and “Fix Me” produced by Beck. The album was mixed by Serban Ghenea, except “Dreams” and “Up All Night,” which were mixed by Kurstin and Beck.

 File Under: Indie Rock
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caminiti

Evan Caminiti: Toxic City Music (Dust Editions) LP
Barn Owl’s Evan Caminiti leaves most any trace of Americana for dust in the rearview of Toxic City, where he fully pursues the distorted, emotive aches and atonal themes that cropped up in Meridian (2015) into more blown-out, sci-fi-tinted headspaces, with Jefre Canta Ledesma helping frame his vision on one of the album’s biggest highlights. That sense of wistful sehsucht is still in the air of Toxic City, but now polluted by a high ppm count of diffused noise and harmonic distortion that feels more angular, choked and firmly up-to-date than the sweeping high plains sound he used to drift around. “Toxic City Music was inspired by the psychic and physical toxicity of life in late capitalism. Conceived throughout 2015 and 2016, Caminiti captured the sounds of NYC’s machinery and voices before weaving them into his studio experiments. This collection of song mutations unravels in hazy plumes and serrated edges; concrète sounds mesh with disembodied strings and corrosive electronics on “Joaquin”, drones ripple under stuttering rhythms and crude synth detritus throughout “NYC Ego”. On “Toxic Tape (Love Canal)”, layers of digital degradation smear guitar clusters, dissolving into a dubby devotional-ambient space.”

File Under: Ambient
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coil1

Coil: Another Brown World/Baby Food (Sub Rosa) LP
Two rare tracks by Coil, never before released on vinyl and commissioned by Sub Rosa. These two pieces were commissioned by Sub Rosa for these two specific projects: Myths 4 – Sinople Twilight In Çatal Hüyük (1989) and Chaos In Expansion (1993). “Another Brown World” was written by John Balance and Peter Christopherson, produced and mixed by Coil, and recorded by Danny Hyde at Threshold House, London in the Summer of 1989. The vocals were recorded at the Animist Monastery situated at the Summit of Mount Popa in Pagan, Burma. “Baby Food” was written and performed by Coil: Danny Hyde (essentials) Peter Christopherson (fundamentals), and John Balance (vibrant rays of spiritual psychosis). This track is the first to utilize the recording process known as “Sidereal Sound”, a continuation and advancement of the deep listening theories as demonstrated on the album Love’s Secret Domain (1991). Recorded in a storm in London in the summer of 1993.

File Under: Electronic, Industrial, Experimental
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ambarchi

Chris Cole & Oren Ambarchi: Hotel Record (Black Truffle) LP
Hotel Record is the second release from the duo/couple of crys cole and Oren Ambarchi, following on from Sonja Henies vei 31. Where their debut recording presented a disquieting portrait of the erotic dimension of romantic intimacy, the follow-up continues to explore the pair’s simultaneously musical and romantic relationship in a more subtle fashion, presenting four long-form pieces that touch on the variety of forms the life of this couple takes: as a musical duo, as a pair of travelers to exotic locations, as opponents in a game of cards… Each of the double LP’s four sides presents a distinct sound-world, yet each manages to attain the same suspended, half-sleeping feeling, outlining a space where improbable combinations of the electronic and the acoustic, of extreme closeness and amorphous distance, occurring with the gentle insistence of a dream. The opening “Call Myself” calmly unfolds a fabric of long tones from electronic organ and guitar, combining the sliding, aleatoric effects of classic David Behrman with a more hands-on feel. Over the top of this slowly shifting tonal bed, cole’s voice mutters unintelligibly into a Buchla synth, teasing the listener by suggesting a meaning that remains always out of the ear’s reach. “Francis Debacle (Uno)” builds on the foundations of a heavily amplified session of the titular card game, overlaying vocal murmurs and exhalations and mysterious room-sounds to create an impossible aural environment. On “Burrata”, a palette of vintage 1980s digital synthesizer sounds combined with guitars create an irregular texture of lush chords and bubbling melodic details, into which cole’s voice processed by a vocoder, is interwoven, reading fragments of romantic correspondence. Finally, on “Pad Phet Gob”, field recordings made in Thailand become an ambiguously acoustic/electronic rainforest, eventually giving way to a mysterious, wavering electronic tone-field punctuated by sibilant, popping mouth-sounds. Carving out an intimate and human sonic space across a diverse array of compositional approaches, sound sources, fidelities, and textures, Hotel Record is the latest dispatch from the continuing explorations of a unique duo. Ambarchi and cole reimagine electro-acoustic music, not simply as “abstract” sound, but as a diary, a love poem, a dream. Comes in deluxe gatefold sleeve with photography by crys cole and LP design via Stephen O’Malley; Mastered and cut by Rashad Becker at Dubplates & Mastering.

File Under: Electronic, Ambient
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daedrider

Dead Rider: Crew Licks (Drag City) LP
Dead Rider are up and rolling again, and Crew Licks is the latest job. After the thousand days and nights since Chills on Glass, Dead Rider had to overcome the creeping suggestion that they multitask themselves to sleep — or to premature brain death — whichever came first. Now they’re ready to get into their Rolling Stones suit and thank you for letting them be themselves again; to extrude rude grooves, shattered r’n’b and/or hip hop and mother’s blues in a priapic triad, tripped-out and overlaid, shedding the old fresh in search of new flesh; a gateway they’ve been dreaming of building in their minds. If you’re lacking for rhythm and imagination in your everyday nine-to-five, Dead Rider got the time for you. The beat is lode-bearing, brick-house solid (courtesy of batterie-man Matt Espy), but flexible, breathing. In through the cracks come stuttered words and whispers, the pealing of a steel drum, a squalling sax or two, barks from the outside. Crew foreman Todd Rittmann twines them with a cabling of acid-base guitar licks, cutting down into the roots for fingerings to invert and extend. The basslines roll and crush, bounce and squish as required (thank you, White Christmas!), bringing synth and synthesis into and away from the framework. Wafting through the room is the float and gloss of eternal rhythm and blues, whether it’s the swelling of soulful choirs, organ chords or the deft tailing of guitar lines designed to relax us in the shades of a dusty, aphrodisiac evening. All done up with wack that Thundercat would get on the one, that would drive D’Angelo or Kendrick back to the notebooks for all the right words. Crew Licks is audio-verite pop music; not created but lived, with parts of life on the run reused to facilitate other parts. A chimera, reflecting man in pieces; not whole or fully animate. But beautiful…

File Under: Rock, Electronic, Experimental
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fingers

F Ingers: Awkwardly Blissing Out (Blackest Ever Black) LP
Recorded in Melbourne and Berlin between 2015-17 by Samuel Karmel, Carla dal Forno and Tarquin Manek, Awkwardly Blissing Out’s title is instructive… the spiky eldritch song-spells of F ingers’ previous album Hide Before Dinner have become more dubwise, immersive, and potently psychedelic; Euphoric even, but paranoid and laden with self-doubt. Projecting onto strangers, watching not participating, turning ever inwards. The cosmos explored from behind closed doors, under the bedclothes, alone. Whereas Hide Before Dinner evoked the thrill, and casual cruelty, of unsupervised childhood summers — a suburban gothic of grazed knees, hide-and-seek, nettle-stings — Awkwardly Blissing Out is an album of more adult anxieties and metamorphoses. The ghouls in your neighbor’s garden are still there, but have come to represent something else, something more mundane and empirically real, but no less terrifying. Struggles with time, distance, isolation, communication, and commitment; your memories have a heaviness now. You can hear aspects of ferric post-punk and hauntological/DIY electronics in Awkwardly Blissing Out’s musical make-up… Flying Lizards’ Secret Dub Life (1995) or Brigitte Fontaine’s Comme À La Radio (1969)… not to mention two generations of Oz/NZ underground experimentation, introspection, and dereliction. Now, more than ever, F ingers’ highly evolved, but naturalistic sound-world is difficult to precisely place or unpick: a mildew-y drug-dazed dub-scape, teeming but minimalism, framed by lonesome guitar strums, Manek’s supple percussive reverberating basslines, and Karmel’s painterly synth washes, over which dal Forno exploits her voice for its pure tonal character — whether diffracting light across the loping, uncanny techno rhythms of “All Rolled Up” and the waterlogged psych-folk of “Off Silently”, or sliced and looped into disorienting patterns of abstract glossolalia on “Time Passes” and the time-dilating nine-minute title track. Awkwardly Blissing Out is a landmark recording from one of the Southern hemisphere’s most extraordinary, visionary freak units; a deep and sensuous trip that nonetheless prompts some uncomfortable — or at any rate, bittersweet — reflection on what we are, what we were, and what we might have been.

File Under: Electronic, Dark Wave, Ambient
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function

Function: Recompiled I/II (A-Ton) LP
First part of a two-part Function retrospective from Ostgut Ton sublabel A-Ton. A mixture of released and previously unreleased tracks, including Function’s remix of “Falling The Same Way” by Sandwell District and “Golden Dawn (feat. Stefanie Parnow) (Version)” by Function. “Once a cathedral, now a mall, Limelight was last in the line of Manhattan clubs whose lineage could be traced back to New York’s fertile club era of the ’70s and ’80s, which included the East Village punk and no wave scenes, the Mudd Club, Danceteria and the Paradise Garage. It’s connected to a storied New York history — sometimes holy, sometimes notorious. . . . ‘A lot of things that were worlds apart met in that deconsecrated Episcopal church,’ recalls David Sumner. ‘I used to practically live in that club, going two or three nights a week for years. I knew this was what I was going to do with the rest of my life.’ In many ways Limelight was America’s rave incubator. On a New Music Seminar night in July of 1992, the revolution was about to take hold. ‘Walking in, I didn’t know what was going on. Then I started to see xeroxed Underground Resistance 8 1/2 x 11s all around the club, like the kind of inserts that came inside their EPs,’ Dave recalls. He would go on to see Mike Banks, Rob ‘Noise’ Hood, and Jeff Mills perform for an electrified crowd as UR. ‘That night straight up changed my life.’ . . . New York itself is a major influence for Dave, as is its history of clubs — from discos and house music, to techno and raves. Think of Todd Terry’s 1988 Black Riot record or Boyd Jarvis’ 1983 release ‘The Music Got Me’ as milestones on this journey. ‘It’s a DJ’s approach to music. I remember in the early ’90s when the music was changing so rapidly and it felt so revolutionary, separating my records into piles and thinking “I need more of this — there needs to be more of this kind of record.”‘ It’s passion that drives this story of a life in music, and it’s a desire to blow your mind the same way his inspirations blew his. Function is always innovating and finding new ways to connect the dots, to continually pursue the art of storytelling through giant slabs of sound.” –Brendan M. Gillen, Interdimensional Transmissions, Detroit, 2017

File Under: Electronic, Techno
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hiss

Hiss Golden Messenger: Hallelujah Anyhow (Merge) LP
Hallelujah Anyhow is the latest studio album from Hiss Golden Messenger. Its 10 new songs, penned by HGM principal M.C. Taylor, were recorded with Brad Cook, Phil Cook, Chris Boerner, Josh Kaufman, Darren Jessee, Michael Lewis, and Scott Hirsch. Alexandra Sauser-Monnig, Tift Merritt, Skylar Gudasz, Tamisha Waden, Mac McCaughan, and John Paul White provided vocal harmonies. LP includes a digital download and is packaged in a gatefold jacket containing full lyrics and photos of the band in the studio. “I see the dark clouds. I was designed to see them. They’re the same clouds of fear and destruction that have darkened the world since Revelations, just different actors. But this music is for hope. That’s the only thing I want to say about it. Love is the only way out. I’ve never been afraid of the darkness; it’s just a different kind of light. And if some days that belief comes harder than others, hallelujah anyhow.” – M.C. Taylor

File Under: Folk, Country
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jabu

Jabu: Sleep Heavy (Blackest Ever Black) LP
Blackest Ever Black presents Sleep Heavy, the debut album of broken-hearted, downtempo R&B/street-soul and supremely atmospheric, introspective electronics from Jabu: a trio comprised of vocalist/lyricists Alex Rendall and Jasmine Butt, and producer Amos Childs. The group was born out of Bristol’s Young Echo collective: an ecosystem unto itself which has birthed and nurtured a number of other notable soundsystem-rooted projects and artists to date, including Kahn & Neek, Sam Kidel, Ishan Sound, Ossia, Asda, Chester Giles, and Killing Sound (Childs with Kidel and Vessel). Jabu’s previous 7″ singles, though arresting, barely hinted at the level of accomplishment and emotional heft that Sleep Heavy delivers. It’s a future Bristol classic with a universal resonance, with songs that are highly personal but deeply relatable, and a tripped-out, time-dissolving sound design that both haunts and consoles. It is, first and foremost, a meditation on grief, loss, making sense of separation, and death; but it also looks forward to what might come after the aftermath: healing, acceptance, the chance to begin again. Childs is one of the most gifted producers of his generation and his work here, grounded in hip-hop but floating free, is a thing of sustained wonder: crepuscular, melancholic, subtly psychedelic, and heavily dubwise, but always concise and purposeful. Stitched together from deep-dug and beautifully repurposed samples, it draws on influences from US R&B to Japanese art-pop minimalism — Mariah to Mariah Carey, if you will — and a rich seam of underground UK soul, boogie, DIY/post-punk, library music, and lovers rock. There is also of course a distant connection to the Bristol blues of Smith & Mighty and the sultry urban gothic of Protection-era Massive Attack (1994), but Jabu’s orchestration of womb-like ambiences, cold synth tones, and brittle beats feel entirely sui generis. They provide the perfect setting for Rendall’s wounded, imploring and carefully weighted vocals, which are no less extraordinary: nodding to giants like Teddy Pendergrass and The Temptations in terms of phrasing and front-and-center vulnerability, with something of The Associates’ Billy MacKenzie in there too; defeated but defiant. Meanwhile, Jas’s heavenly interventions, sometimes leading but more often parsed and layered into tremulous, gossamer abstraction, draw a line between the Catholic choral harmonies of her childhood and the ethereal, oceanic sweep of Cocteau Twins. By its end, Sleep Heavy’s world-weariness is intact and scarcely diminished, but some light has been admitted, and is visible from the sea-floor.

File Under: Electronic, Downtempo, Soul, R&B
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jtb

Jets to Brazil: Orange Rhyming Dictionary (Jade Tree) LP
Three classic LPS from Jets to Brazil – available on 180 gram black vinyl and limited edition (indie-shop-only) clear vinyl. Jets To Brazil vinyl has been out of print since their original pressings and are in high demand. Consisting of ex-Jawbreaker frontman Blake Schwarzenbach, ex-Texas Is the Reason drummer Chris Daly, and ex-Handsome vocalist/guitarist Jeremy Chatelain, Jets to Brazil could be considered an amalgam of their forefathers with a slightly darker and more mature musical perspective. “With the 1998 release of their first LP, Orange Rhyming Dictionary, Jets to Brazil took the expectations of their peers and turned them on their heads, surprising most with their breed of music that is fresh and excitingly powerful. As the band members continue to move away from their namesakes and become more comfortable with their expanding sound, the world could see something quite intriguing evolve. Jets to Brazil followed up with Four Cornered Night in August 2000. Two years later, the band returned with their darkest, most inspirational material to date; Perfecting Loneliness was released in October 2002 and reflected mega-tight musicianship from the band.” – All Music Guide

File Under: Indie Rock, Emo, Punk
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jtb2

Jets to Brazil: Four Cornered Night (Jade Tree) LP
Three classic LPS from Jets to Brazil – available on 180 gram black vinyl and limited edition (indie-shop-only) clear vinyl. Jets To Brazil vinyl has been out of print since their original pressings and are in high demand. Consisting of ex-Jawbreaker frontman Blake Schwarzenbach, ex-Texas Is the Reason drummer Chris Daly, and ex-Handsome vocalist/guitarist Jeremy Chatelain, Jets to Brazil could be considered an amalgam of their forefathers with a slightly darker and more mature musical perspective. “With the 1998 release of their first LP, Orange Rhyming Dictionary, Jets to Brazil took the expectations of their peers and turned them on their heads, surprising most with their breed of music that is fresh and excitingly powerful. As the band members continue to move away from their namesakes and become more comfortable with their expanding sound, the world could see something quite intriguing evolve. Jets to Brazil followed up with Four Cornered Night in August 2000. Two years later, the band returned with their darkest, most inspirational material to date; Perfecting Loneliness was released in October 2002 and reflected mega-tight musicianship from the band.” – All Music Guide

File Under: Indie Rock, Punk, Emo
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king khan

King Khan: Murderburgers (Ernest Jennings) LP
King Khan, master of psychedelic R&B, used all of his magic to reunite one of his all time favourite bands “The Gris Gris” from Oakland, California to back him up on this long player. Produced by Greg Ashley at his Creamery Studio which has since disappeared because of the unfortunate gentrification of Oakland. This album shows a more singer/songwriter side to King Khan, while mixing in his classic garage punk swagger and many more subtle influences here and there. You can taste alot of Stooges, screaming saxes in full Steve Mackay style, pounding pianos, some Bakersfield California Country swing, some haunting desert sunset vibes and most of all the classic rock n’ soul that has become King Khan’s genuine signature sound. The resulting gumbo is as tasty as ever and even has the Oakland Taco King, Oscar “El Tacoban” Michel on Bass and legendary Oakland drummer for hire Garrett “with an A in the O” Goddard bashing the skins. King Khan starts a world tour this month to support.

File Under: Garage Rock, Psych, R&B

king krule

King Krule: The Ooz (True Panther) LP
The Ooz is the second full-length album from London-born 22 year-old polymath King Krule aka Archy Marshall. The sprawling 19-song epic follows his 2013 debut 6 Feet Beneath The Moon. 6FBTM brought King Krule universal acclaim, hundreds of thousands of record sales, worldwide tour dates, and put him on track to becoming a household name. For the last two years, Archy has been holed up in his south-east London neighborhood, shutting out the world, and shuttling between his bedroom recording setup and a small studio walking distance from his home. He has refined his craft; taking dramatic steps as a songwriter, producer and lyricist. This album is seeped with the results of that time spent alone. He has grown into a complete and expressive artist in full mastery of his craft. According to Archy, The Ooz is, “a smear, a mark. The constant sludge pouring out of your crevices. You have ear wax, snot, phlegm, piss, gasses, tears. Look how much you create. You Ooz constantly without even knowing. The record is called that because it’s whatever comes out of you to exist.”

File Under: Indie Rock
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land

Harold Land: A New Shade of Blue (Wewantsounds) LP
Wewantsounds present a reissue of Harold Land’s A New Shade Of Blue, originally released in 1971. Following the highly-acclaimed release of Feeling Good and Inner Peace compilations, Wewantsounds present the reissue of two superb classic albums as the first releases in their Mainstream Records Original Classics series: A New Shade Of Blue, presented here, and Buddy Terry’s 1971 album Awareness. Wewantsounds has gone back to the original negative to reconstruct the original artworks and will add many jaw dropping never-seen photo sessions Recorded in 1971, this beautiful Harold Land record produced by Bob Shad, is nothing but a Harold Land-Bobby Hutcherson quintet album in disguise. The quintet recorded a handful of marvelous albums between 1967 and 1971, mainly under the Bobby Hutcherson name on Blue Note, but they recorded one album on Chess and two for Mainstream Records. A New Shade Of Blue, recorded in Los Angeles where the quintet was based, is one of their best albums and has never been reissued outside of Japan. Featuring a superb line up comprising Buster Williams on bass and Billy Hart on drums — the rhythm section of Herbie Hancock’s Mwandishi (1971) sextet — the session is augmented by Bill Henderson on piano and Fender Rhodes and Mtume on percussion. Together they create a superb soundscape featuring the quintet’s trademark sound, both spiritual and serene, with Land’s unmistakable sax playing and Bobby Hutcherson’s modal touch. The highlight of the album is the long hypnotic track “Mtume”, a deep, slow burner displaying the group’s fantastic interplay. Includes unissued session photos taken by LA photographer Dick Sanders and new liner notes by radio DJ and renowned record digger, Sam Barbatano (Sunday Jazz, KTRU Houston). CD version includes a bonus track, a beautiful eight-minute outtake “Dark Mood” briefly issued in 1974 on a Mainstream compilation.

File Under: Jazz
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lowe

Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe: Kulthan (Latency) LP
Two swinging, hypnotic excursions by the Brooklynite (aka Lichens). Ethereal and melancholic, ‘Magnamite’ ponders ‘the relationship of machine and human’; whilst the wilder pulsations of ‘Heart Of Sogguth’ bear witness to a ‘unified human machine wherein the voice becomes the rhythm — all become one instrument’.”

File Under: Ambient, Electronic, Techno
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major

Paul Major: Feel The Music (Anthology) Book
Paul Major has lived resolutely at the edge of outsider music culture for nearly a half-century. As an early private press and “real people” record collector turned eminent, underground rock ‘n’ roller, his influence is felt if not heard all around us—until now. Feel the Music traces Paul’s trajectory from his formative days in the Midwest, his years in the late ’70s New York punk scene, and into his curious career as a connoisseur and campaigner of the weirdest records of all time. Brought to life with unseen photographs, rare record covers, and cut n’ paste ephemera from Paul’s long running mail order catalog, while animated by Paul’s storytelling, Feel the Music is a fanatical mystery tour through the further, outer reaches of music history. Alongside Paul’s writing, Feel the Music features essays by Johan Kugelberg, Jack Streitman, Michael P. Daley, Rich Haupt, Stefan Kery, Patrick Lundborg, Geoffrey Weiss, Jesper Eklow, and Glenn Terry. Each book also comes with a special Sorcerers and Endless Boogie split 7? vinyl record.

File Under: Books, Psych

miyashita Fumio Miyashita: Live of the Boffomundo Show (Drag City) LP
“By October, 1979, my partner, Aaron Weiner and I had produced a handful of Boffomundo Shows at Los Angeles’ first public access television studio at Theta Cable in Santa Monica. It was our good fortune to meet and partner with Tony Harrington of All Ears Records and we joined forces as The All Ears Boffomundo Show. Up to that point we interviewed King Crimson’s Robert Fripp, PFM singer Bernardo Lanzetti, and Brand X & Phil Collins (before his solo fame). All Ears Records stable of artists concentrated heavily on Japanese bands and musicians. “He introduced us to the already legendary synthesizer master, Fumio Miyashita, founder of The Far East Family Band, who Tony boldly dubbed ‘Japan’s Answer to Pink Floyd.’ While certainly influenced by the Floyd, Fumio, along with fellow band member and award winning synthesist, Kitaro, were more accurately evolving the electronic techo-stylings of Germany’s Tangerine Dream, Ash Ra Temple, Kraftwerk, and other Krautrock innovators from the early 1970s. One-time Dream and Temple member, and a seminal synth innovator in his own right, Klaus Schulze, both produced and mixed several Far East Family Band albums. As Aaron recalls, ‘Fumio was a gentle soul. Soft spoken, thoughtful and intelligent. And on the cutting edge of technology. It was in Fumio’s hands that I first viewed a Sony Walkman. It is mind boggling to think what has transpired technologically since then.’ “Fumio brought multiple keyboards, percussion and incidental sundries to a studio the size of a small garage. Somehow, the staff of Theta Cable Studios managed to capture all the sound pumped through a 12″ bookshelf speaker! A single microphone rested on a wooden stool in front of that speaker. In 1980, a second appearance from Fumio included Far East Family Band members, guitarist Lance Hooks and bass player George Babon. The same lone bookshelf speaker was employed once again! That proud little speaker is no doubt fully decomposed in a landfill somewhere but the music survives…” – Ron Curtiss

File Under: Electronic, Kosmische
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monolord

Monolord: Rust (Riding Easy) LP
Monolord encompasses and transcends genre — a vortex of heavy rock density that consumes all others. Their thunderous, tuneful heft has built a rabid international fanbase since their 2014 debut. But Rust, the band’s third full length, truly justifies why some refer to them as the Nirvana of doom. The band’s enveloping, syrupy sludge is a vibe, a state of mind. Not riffs for riffs’ sake, but a collective buzzing, rattling and rumbling that’s more total environment than collection of songs. Guitarist / vocalist Thomas Jäger, drummer Esben Willems, and bassist Mika Häkki create a massive, dynamic sound with ultra-low frequencies serving as a fourth member. Album opener “Where Death Meets the Sea” perfectly exemplifies their mastery of dynamics and hooks: a driving, infectious buzzsaw riff that lesser bands would ride off into the sunset, but they use to subtly spur the skull rattling core ever onward. This tight rhythmic unit sounds like an early ZZ Top record played at half speed. “Dear Lucifer” squeals and hums with slow deliberation as Willems summons Dale Crover with chasm-like low-tuned toms and syncopated cymbal crashes. The album’s title track is also its centerpiece, opening with a dramatic, shimmering Hammond organ intro followed by the band kicking in with a bellowing line downtuned to B that nosedives as the drums hammer down for the kill.

File Under: Metal
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ngozi

Ngozi Family: Heavy Connection (Shadoks) LP
The Ngozi Family formed in 1975 in Lusaka, Zambia, and shot to stardom. Bandleader Paul Dobson Nyirongo aka Paul Ngozi enlisted former members of his previous band, The Three Years, and gave a popular voice to what later was called “Zamrock,” a cool fusion of older African rhythms and ’70s rockish underground modes — never too polished, but with a tightness that would have made groups up in London take notice. Heavy Connection, recorded in 1978 with drummer Chrissy Zebby Tembo, features razor-sharp guitars, hard rhythms, and a mix of English and Zambian lyrics. Original copies are impossible to find. RIYL: Witch and Amanaz. Fuzz guitars all over with African beats and political lyrics. 180-gram black vinyl. Heavy sleeve. Includes two-page insert. Numbered edition of 500.

File Under: Psych, Zambia, Fuzz
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ninos

Ninos Du Brasil: Vida Eterna (Hospital) LP
Nico Vascellari and Nicolò Fortuni come out to play in the dark on their third and deadliest LP as Ninos Du Brasil, taking their fascinations with ritual musics — from Brazilian Afro-Latin tribal rhythms to library music and freezing Scandinavian BM — deep into the festering undergrowth of their shared, exotic aesthetic. Where the cover of their first album for Hospital Productions, Novos Mistérios, depicted a naked man covered by a leopard pelt, Marvin Gaye Chetwynd’s oil painting of a screeching Chiroptera in flight on the Vida Eterna jacket makes a strong visual allegory for NDB’s finer tuned spatial sensitivities inside, with their churning rhythms now embedded in fathoms of dread space and father shaded in layers of processed vocal chants, both punk, metal, and tribalistic. The big highlight is no doubt the closing cut, “Vagalumes Piralampos”, where Arto Lindsay, the legendary founder of DNA, chimes in on a stygian, moonlit jag between the eyes of bossa nova, batacuda, and the sort of esoteric electronics also charted by Rainforest Spiritual Enslavement or Cienfuegos. But it only really makes sense after you’ve expended your energies along with the band thru monstrous techno shakedowns such as “O Veto Chama Seu Nome”, the soca-like rush of “Condenado Por Un Idioma Desconhecido”, or found yourself lost, without coordinates, in the pitch black breakdown of “No Meio Da Noite” and have been hypnotized by the stalking rhythms and atmospheres of “Em Que O Rio Do Mar Se Toma”. The creation of this album, inspired by vampirism, was born from a collaboration between Vascellari and Fortuni with producer Rocco Rampino, whose love of dense textures and low-end bombast masterfully and cleverly couples with the bands explosive percussive charge, resulting in eight tracks that mimic sharp blades scything through a nocturnal jungle. RIYL: Psychedelic Warriors Of Gaia, Female, Vatican Shadow. Cut at Dubplates & Mastering, Berlin. Comes in a gatefold jacket.

File Under: Electronic, Batucada, Latin, Industrial
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odwyer

Aine O’Dwyer: Gallarais (Mie) LP
David Toop, on hearing Áine O’Dwyer’s Gallarais and the subsequent conversations between November 2016 and January 2017. “Sleep music, the underworld. Twenty-six letters were sent, not far to travel, from Proust, hypersensitive writer to his upstairs neighbour, Marie Williams — ‘I was rather troubled by noise . . . I was trying to sleep off an attack. But at 8am the tapping on the parquet was so distinct that the Veronal didn’t work and I woke with the attack still raging.’ Marie Williams played harp, though it was not the harp that dragged Proust from the fumes of a bedroom armed against asthma attacks, cork-lined to smother noise.. . . Proust spoke of an imperceptible breath, ‘like the wind breathing into the stem of a reed’, mingling with the subdued song of his dying grandmother’s breathing, ‘swift and light . . . gliding like a skater towards the delicious fluid’, the human sighs released at the approach of death . . . ‘Who’s there?’ cries out the old man, stark terror pulled awake at the faintest of noises from pitch black vicinity of an unseen doorway. . . . There is one voice or two, whispers of shaping breath thrown into far obscure and occult recesses of the space as if spirits on the wing whose feathers shriek and keen. They are swans with near-human heads, carrying the lightness of souls, moving between dry land of the living, subterranean rivers of the dead. Sleep music they make, its murmurs written by the method of ‘passive writing’, a transcribing of tongues unknown to all but the most open of listeners. . . . The space was a cave, a tunnel, a room without windows. A skull without eyes, ears, nostrils, mouth, though as Beckett had noticed, the soul turns in this cage as in a lantern, silence ‘beating against the walls and being beaten back by them’; the space was a chapel, upturned boat, perhaps the curragh that carried Maildun and his crew to the Isle of Weeping, the Isle of Speaking Birds, the Palace of Solitude. . . . ‘Within a house described by Mary Butts, in Ashe of Rings (1998), the bronze note of a clock rings, ‘like a body falling bound into deep water’. . . . The body descended into the tunnel, never to return as itself.”

File Under: Electronic, Drone

rainforest

Rainforest Spiritual Enslavement: Jungle Black Magic… (Hospital) LP
Released on vinyl for the time, Jungle Black Magic And Highlands Green Sorcery is the most substantial and disorientating release in the Rainforest Spiritual Enslavement vinyl series yet, clocking in at 40 minutes and deploying some of the most uncomfortably humid productions in Dominick Fernow’s arsenal. Jungle Black Magic marks the third in a series of first-time vinyl editions of early RSE material. It was originally released as a double cassette release in 2012 in an edition of 49. Stalking phantom apparitions and infrasonic illusions from the dankest sectors of his imagination, Fernow plays voodoo tricks on charred opener “The Case Of The Male Witch From Goroka” — a tropical downer underpinned by larger than life sub-bass rumblings and what sound like field recordings of YouTube rainforest nightscapes rendered in abstract, digital form. “The Verdict Handed Down By A Kangaroo Court” furthers trance induction with a more tribal alignment of drums, before “For The Next Three Days There Was An Eerie Silence In The Village” ends the set with a completely bewildering alignment of synthetic sounds designed to play tricks on your senses; somewhere between a dark meditation aid and a reworked soundtrack to Predator (1987) — the vibe exceptionally heatsick and paranoid. These pieces operate in paradoxical dimensions where the calls of exotic birds convey a denseness that’s at odds with acres of negative space. It feels like standing in a deforested land at the edge of thick jungle, the effect is uncannily transportive; your mind constantly grappling with contrasting sensory triggers. How can something this ice cold also convey such suffocating heat? It makes for an incredible, pretty much unique listening experience; like fourth world ambience but in some kind of Lynchian above-the-convenience store dimension. Remastered by Paul Corley; Cut at Dubplates & Mastering. RIYL: Coil, Demdike Stare, Prurient, Brian Eno & Jon Hassell’s 1980 album Fourth World. Edition of 500.

File Under: Ambient, Electronic
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rock town

Rock Town Express: Funky Makossa (Comb & Razor) LP
“In 1973, EMI Records Nigeria released the 45 rpm disc ‘Fuel for Love’ b/w ‘Soundway,’ credited to a mysterious band called Wrinkar Experience. The record was a finely-crafted gem of pop-rock and funky soul as had never before been heard coming out of the country’s nascent rock scene, and it ended up being the biggest selling Nigerian single up until that point. The success of Wrinkar Experience effectively demonstrated that was a market for homegrown pop and rock, and sent record labels scrambling to sign similar bands, kicking off the Nigerian rock revolution that is still being celebrated and discovered by new generations today. But while Wrinkar Experience launched the movement, the group itself would be short-lived: after another hit single in 1973, the band’s frontman Danie Ian split for a solo career. The remaining principal players in the group — Cameroonian musicians Ginger Forcha and Edjo’o Jacques Racine — tried to keep the Wrinkar name going before giving it up and rebranding themselves as Rock Town Express. Rock Town Express’s debut LP Funky Makossa was recorded in 1974 for ARC Records, the cutting-edge studio and label established in Lagos by English drum legend Ginger Baker. The album showcased in long format the qualities that had only been hinted at on the Wrinkar Experience singles: bright, confident pop melodies, articulate lyrics, and darkly potent funk-rock. Comb & Razor Sound is proud to present a new, fully-authorized reissue of Funky Makossa, featuring the seven tracks from the original release, plus ‘I Am A Natural Man’ and ‘I Don’t Want To Know,’ from Wrinkar Experience’s seldom-heard third and final single.”

File Under: Afro Beat, Psych, Funk, Rock
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sanders

Pharoah Sanders: Quintet (ESP) LP
ESP-Disk present a reissue of Pharoah Sanders Quintet, originally released in 1965. Recorded on September 10, 1964, prior to his well-known association with John Coltrane, this eponymous album (later renamed Pharoah’s First) is the debut release of the iconic tenor saxophonist, Pharoah Sanders. (Yes, there are some spelling oddities here: the artist — birth name Ferrell — only later changed the spelling from the standard Pharaoh to the more personalized Pharoah). With one foot in mainstream jazz — pianist Jane Getz had played with Charles Mingus — and the other, tentatively at times, in the avant-garde, this is a fascinating glimpse of Sanders’s style before he wielded the unremitting fierceness of his playing with Coltrane and the modal mysticism of his later solo albums on Impulse. Interestingly, in recent years he has deployed a more polished version of this sort of avant-flavored bop, bringing his career full circle and strongly suggesting that the hybrid heard here was not due to any failure of nerve on his debut but rather was the cornerstone of his conception. ESP-Disk has issued this album under three different covers; for its 21st-century reissue on vinyl, they have chosen to use the second and most beautiful. It is augmented with liner notes by a current ESP-Disk artist, tenor saxophonist Ras Moshe Burnett of The Red Microphone, who can be heard accompanying Amina Baraka on their eponymous release (ESPDISK 5021CD, 2017). Personnel: Pharoah Sanders – tenor saxophone; Stan Foster – trumpet; Jane Getz – piano; William Bennett – bass; Marvin Pattillo – percussion.

File Under: Jazz
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shabason

Joseph Shabason: Aytche (Western Vinyl) LP
When John Coltrane died in 1967 the jazz idiom rapidly shed what purists had distilled it to be, falling from the treetop of the early 20th century and striking every cultural branch of the latter half on its way down. The genre morphed through erratic age-of-Aquarius spiritualism in the 60’s, rubbed commercial shoulders with rock, funk, and disco in the 70’s, took a backseat to pop artists’ studio-sessions in the 80’s, and finally found something of a dignified retirement as a sampling source for countless hip-hop producers in the 90’s. Amidst this apparent life-boating, the dust of the exploded genre settled in some intriguing rifts wherein jazz embraced experimentalism without trading it for integrity. Pat Metheny recorded Steve Reich’s “Electric Counterpoint”, and John Hassell partnered with Terry Riley and Brian Eno to push the textural and compositional confines of the genre to an altogether different realm.  In 2017, with so-called Nu-Jazz in full view, saxophonist Joseph Shabason is solely pulling the thread left hanging by the marriage of minimalism and jazz in the previous century. His debut LP, Aytche, reveals this cross-pollination to be as fertile and captivating as ever, fitting as well– or better– into this decade as any other. Shabason builds a bridge off of the precipice his forbears established, skirting jazz, ambient, and even new age with the same deliberate genre-ambiguity that made their work so interesting. Aytche, however, is not a stoic march toward technological frontiers, but a document of exploration both inward and outward. Every step taken in sound-design mirrors a stride in emotionality, as Shabason employs a variety of effect pedals to coax rich moody textures from his instrument. He explains, “So much sax music is about chops, and being able to solo really fast. I feel like robbing the sax of the ability to shred by effecting it and turning it into a dense chordal instrument really helps the instrument become something that it’s not usually known for.” Aytche deals with themes of degenerative illness and assisted suicide with eloquence that instrumental music rarely achieves regarding any subject, much less such difficult ones. Shabason’s compositions are steeped in a deteriorative quality that seems to melt and glide between peace and confusion, tragedy and resolve, like calm memories and end-of-life fears interrupting each other moment by moment. Opening track “Looking Forward to Something, Dude” introduces the recurrent motif of the album; a warm, downward shifting chorus of effected horns that is at once healing and heartrending, creating a unnameable mood all its own. Flits of dissonant woodwinds punctuate the stillness like the impulse of anxiety arising in deep thought, giving us a reason to catch our breath in a moment of complacency. The title track and its successor “Neil McCauley” urge the procession forward with understated relentlessness before the album’s opening horn motif re-emerges under a layer of serrated distortion on the aptly named “Smokestack.” Further into the experience is “Westmeath” a piece that approaches Aytche’s subject of inspiration head-on. Here, the album’s only verbalization appears in the form of an interview with a man discussing his father’s trauma and eventual suicide after surviving the holocaust. Though we only hear a few obscured words and phrases from the interview, the impact is powerful. For Shabason, whose grandparents survived the holocaust themselves, this selection is anything but frivolous. Shabason intended for this album to be heard with Eno’s “as ignorable as it is interesting” philosophy, but the mood here is far too singular to exist as background. As with so much of the best contemplative music, there is therapy in Aytche, but the flies in the ointment make the moments of peace all the more descriptive and potent by contrast. RIYL: Colin Stetson, Jon Hassell, Arve Henriksen, etc. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

File Under: Electronic, Jazz, Ambient
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siriusmo

Siriusmo: Comic (Monkeytown) LP
Pow, Boom, Splash! You will instantly recognize the rich brush strokes of this musical painter. Monkeytown linchpin Moritz Friedrich, aka Siriusmo, is back with a bang and a pencil. Following up 2013’s Enthusiast, his third full-length recording Comic sounds like its title suggests: colorful, rampant, funny, and hilariously foolish. Siriusmo maintains his very own sound and spot within electronic music, drawing from numerous styles and mashing it all through his personal beat-grinder, constantly understating and exaggerating. He’s the innovator that has no such intentions at all. Here’s what the master himself has to say about his new work: “Comic feels like dilettante kids drawings roughly sketched with a big marker, like abstract layouts as well as finely carved romantic paintings. 14 songs ripped from the pages of a coloring book to be vividly colored by you!” But don’t worry, those pages will fill themselves with life as soon as the mellow and trippy patterns of the opening track set in. There are big and broken beats in “Wrong Password”, extremely easygoing rave tunes like “Dagoberta”, lots of genuine oddities like “Wixn”, and the piano work on “Geilomant” even makes you think of some classic hip-hop track. Comparisons are futile, except for one: From the melodic vintage electro of “Dagoberta” to the sonic assault and whirlwind drum programming of “Bleat”, there’s a strong link to older Squarepusher records. Just replace the former’s jazz and jungle roots with Berlin’s musical history, and you get an idea of what Siriusmo is made of. Siriusmo may be the laziest genius around, though he’s been all but unproductive since Enthusiast: In 2015 he joined forces with Modeselektor and toured Europe under the banner of Siriusmodeselektor, playing festivals from Glastonbury to Sonar. The same year he produced the debut album of Romano, Köpenick’s one-of-a-kind rap phenomenon and close friend of Moritz. He remixed Moderat, collaborated with synth pioneer Jean-Michel Jarre, and contributed to Mr. Oizo’s latest album, who’s also appearing on Comic. So does Romano on standout track “La Bouche”, delivering some tasty German phrases. Having been occupied recently with Roman’s second album, his fans are very lucky that Moritz found the time to pin down a new Siriusmo album as well. He may not be a man of many words, but possesses a bold and singular musical vision. Also features Dana And Romano and Jan Driver.

File Under: Electronic, Synth Pop
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puppy

Skinny Puppy: Bites (Nettwerk) LP
Skinny Puppy exploded onto the electronic industrial music scene with 1984’s Remission EP, fusing elements of new wave, techno dance, film noir, and innovative sampling. Lead by cEvin Key and Nivek Ogre, the band quickly garnered an international fanbase and followed up their new success with 1985’s Bites, which produced their first underground hit, “Assimilate.” Restored to their original track listing and design, Remission and Bites are now available on vinyl for the first time in over 25 years.

File Under: Electronic, EBM
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skinny

Skinny Puppy: Remission (Nettwerk) LP
Skinny Puppy exploded onto the electronic industrial music scene with 1984’s Remission EP, fusing elements of new wave, techno dance, film noir, and innovative sampling. Lead by cEvin Key and Nivek Ogre, the band quickly garnered an international fanbase and followed up their new success with 1985’s Bites, which produced their first underground hit, “Assimilate.” Restored to their original track listing and design, Remission and Bites are now available on vinyl for the first time in over 25 years.

File Under: Electronic, EBM
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vincent

St. Vincent: Masseducation (Loma Vista) LP
In Tomorrow… Themes of power and sex, imperiled relationships and death slice through St. Vincent aka Annie Clark’s highly anticipated new album Masseduction, the enigmatic artist’s first since her Grammy-nominated self-titled 2014 effort. The 13 tracks swirl with guitar and piano, synths and strings, and drum beats that punch with purpose. The album was co-produced by St. Vincent and Jack Antonoff at Electric Lady Studios in Manhattan, with additional recording at Rough Consumer Studio in Brooklyn, and Compound Fracture in Los Angeles. “Every record I make has an archetype,” says Clark. “Strange Mercy was Housewives on Pills. St. Vincent was Near-Future Cult Leader. Masseduction is different, it’s pretty first person. You can’t fact-check it, but if you want to know about my life, listen to this record.” Masseducation is the culmination of years of writing, with songs crafted from voice memos, text messages, and snippets of melodies that came to Clark while traveling the globe. Special guests on the album include Thomas Bartlett on piano, Kamasi Washington on saxophone, Jenny Lewis on vocals, and beat production from Sounwave. Greg Leisz and Rich Hinman add pedal steel, and Tuck and Patti Andress contribute guitar and vocals respectively on select tracks.

File Under: Indie Rock
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stalteri

Arturo Stalteri: …E Il Pavone Parlo alla Luna (Soave) LP
Recorded in 1980 but only issued privately in 1987, Arturo Stàlteri’s …e il pavone parlò alla Luna falls among the last artifacts of Italy’s great wave of musical minimalism. Like the movement to which it belongs, rigorously resistant to categorizations and definition, this overlooked marvel sculpts a startling singularity. A radical and democratic vision in sound, blending elements of new age, the avant-garde, and prog with Western and Indian classical musics. Highly talented pianist Arturo Stàlteri debuted in 1974 with Pierrot Lunaire, one of the most original and innovative groups of the Italian progressive scene. After the dissolution of the band he began an inspirational solo career with the prog opus Andrè Sulla Luna (1979); the following year a two-month trip to India left an important impression on him and inspired …e il pavone parlò alla Luna, which stands as Stàlteri’s true masterwork. A complex and ambitious hybrid, built around organ and piano, with each passage struggling for creative autonomy and dislodging themselves from the whole, yet remaining as accessible as they are challenging, to all those willing to heed the call. Despite its repetitive rhythms and cyclical tones, bound to American minimalism, …e il pavone parlò alla Luna’s complex relationships and breadth of territory locate it as a distinctly European work, a wondrous late breath, and a seminal entry in Italy’s remarkable canon of avant-garde and minimalist music. A rippling oddity, not quite like anything else, reissued here on vinyl for the first time.

File Under: Electronic, Art Rock, Avant Garde
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sunra1

Sun Ra & His Myth Science Solar Arkestra: Lost Arkestra Series Vol 1 & 2 (Art Yard) 2×10″
A double 10″ set featuring Sun Ra recordings. Initially released on two separate 10″s back in 2010/13. Volume 1 features “Along Came Ra”, a previously unissued live track recorded in Paris in 1983. The legendary Disco 3000 concert tapes are on the flip. Volume 2 lifts three fine selections from the Sub-Underground Saturn LPs. “Love Is For Always” and the driving, roots-y “The World Of Africa” come from 1974’s Temple U; while the myth-science poetics of “Space Is The Place/We Roam The Cosmos” comes from the 1975 What’s New set.

File Under: Jazz

space jazz

Sun Ra & His Arkestra: Space Jazz (Not Now) 3LP
3LP, pink vinyl in gatefold sleeve! A solar flare of cosmic sounds heralded the rising star Sun Ra when the pianist, composer and band leader first shone over the musical landscape in the 1950s and 1960s. He caused quite a stir with innovative albums that introduced electronics, special effects and unusual arrangements into a jazz world that sometimes slid into comfortable conservatism, despite its radical roots. This comprehensive collection of the best recordings from the formative stages of his career, enables the listener to hear with fresh ears the legendary Mr. Ra’s unique contribution.

File Under: Jazz

sunra

Sun Ra & His Solar Arkestra: Magic City  (Cosmic Myth) LP
“This landmark album, now being reissued in a definitive stereo edition, marks the debut of the new Cosmic Myth Records label. Cosmic Myth plans to reissue Sun Ra’s Saturn Records catalog titles under official license from Sun Ra LLC, comprised of the heirs of Sun Ra. Sun Ra albums like The Magic City prove the categorical futility of ‘File Under: Jazz.’ When assessing the post-Chicago (1960-on) work of Ra, ‘jazz’ turns out to be less a genre than a journalistic and marketing convenience. Jazz has a glorious tradition. Sun Ra was schooled in it, emerged from it, and grew to transcend it (though he never abandoned it). Even the cheeky term ‘Space Jazz’ cannot frame the extremes to which Ra pushed his art in the mid-1960s. In this regard, The Magic City was a pinnacle. 1965 was a turbulent year for the Arkestra and its leader, and many consider The Magic City a flashpoint for that upheaval. Arkestra drummer Tommy Hunter, quoted in John Szwed’s 1997 Ra bio Space is the Place, describes a typical performance of the period: ‘It was like a fire storm coming off the bandstand.’ On the original 1965 The Magic City LP, issued on Saturn, the monster 27-1/2 minute title track sprawled across side A. The ‘Magic City’ to which Ra refers was his birthplace — Birmingham, Alabama. The term was the town’s motto, emblazoned on a billboard by the train station near Sunny’s childhood home, intended to reflect the city’s explosive growth as a Southern industrial epicenter after the discovery of iron ore, coal, and limestone deposits. Birmingham was a place about which Sun Ra felt and expressed ambivalence: an outpost of racial segregation and grim smokestack-pocked landscapes, yet a city for which he felt twinges of nostalgia and affection. (His heirs still live in the area.) Ra customarily supervised the Arkestra’s improvisational process via keyboard cues or hand signals. He was always in charge — hence critic Simon Adams describing the title track as ’27 minutes of controlled freedom.’ ‘The Magic City’ was never performed in concert; saxophonist John Gilmore said it was ‘unreproducible, a tapestry of sound.’ Although shorter in scope than side A’s magnum opus, the four works on The Magic City’s flip side reflect the same improvisational approach, spatiality, and lack of structure. One session outtake, ‘Other Worlds,’ an alternate version of ‘Shadow World,’ is included as a bonus track on side B. For this definitive edition, historical and technical liner notes are provided by noted jazz historian Ben Young, who restored and remastered the album with his Triple Point Records partner Joe Lizzi. Both men have been recognized for their extensive work on the Grammy Nominated Albert Ayler boxset, released on John Fahey’s Revenant records in 2005.”

File Under: Jazz

hip

Tragically Hip: In Between Evolution (Universal) LP
In tomorrow… Another of the long over due Tragically Hip vinyl reissues!

File Under: Rock
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venosta

Giovanni Venosta: Olympic Signals (Soave) LP
Giovanni Venosta’s 1984 debut album, released when the artist was only 23, is a committed, subversive parody of minimalism, and a truly original work. This is its first reissue. Recorded in Venosta’s living room with a four-track Tascam, this album reveals the young pianist’s profound need for expression, born out of his relationship with the sound of Terry Riley, Michael Nyman, Brian Eno, Steve Reich, Penguin Café Orchestra, and Dollar Brand. The contribution of Roberto Musci results in more esoteric and mystical side of the record and marks the beginning of a long and fruitful collaboration in which the arrangements of Venosta blend perfectly with the electronics and sound treatments by Musci. Forty-seven minutes of inspired Italian minimalism.

File Under: Electronic, Experimental
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winter

Teresa Winter: Untitled Death (Death of Rave) LP
Teresa Winter’s LP debut Untitled Death is a hallucinogenic wormhole of sensuously ambiguous pop and electronic experiments primed for the after-after party and altered states of reception. Realized through a mesh of strategies from live, lo-fi tape recordings of synths, samplers, and vocals to nascent experiments with algorithmic software, Untitled Death is both a divine revelation of new aspects to Teresa’s sound and an expansion of The Death of Rave’s as-yet-unidentified aesthetic. Teresa’s zoomed photos of magic mushrooms spattered in popping fluorescent oils which adorn the cover of Untitled Death hint at a more personalized insight and psycho-activity, a proper, lush trippiness. Just like the putative psilocybic experience, Untitled Death naturally comes on in waves of synaestically-heightened sensuality, from strangely libidinous stirrings to utter, eat-your-heart-out euphoria with a spectrum of hard-to-explain and unexpected sensations between. It’s hard to recall a more seductive album opener than “Oh”, which blossoms from plaintive drum machine and chiming pads to a half- or mis-heard beckon “I really like it/ when you let yourself go/ I really want you inside me/ I want to make you my own”, before curdling into bittersweet partials and deliquescent hooks as ear-worming as anything from AFX’s classic Selected Ambient Works 85-92 (1992). It’s devastating in its simplicity and almost blush-worthy in effect, and is soon enough lopped curtly into the soundtrack-like enchantment of “Untitled Death”, which could almost be a cue from some ’60 Polish or Czech art-house film, serving to neatly set up the prickling, windswept scene of romantic introspection and dereliction in “Pain Of Outside” — perhaps Teresa’s most accomplished and affective pop turn to date; think Grouper awkwardly blissing out at 9am in the corner of a successful sesh/campsite/free party. From that perfectly damaged side closer, the B side opens to a different sort of spine-freezing beauty and sense of abandonment with plangent, dissonant harmonics describing rugged Yorkshire wolds and coast as much as a radiant lightshow on the back of flickering eyelids. RIYL: Grouper, F Ingers, Leyland Kirby, early AFX, Delia Derbyshire. Master and cut by Matt Colton.

File Under: Electronic, Ambient
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gamelan

Various: Gamelan of the Walking Warriors (Akuphone) LP
Includes printed inner sleeve; Includes download card with complete ceremony, extra photographs, and liner note translations (French, Italian, Japanese). A fascinating immersion in the heart of a funeral ceremony live recorded in Bali, where gongs, cymbals, and drums give rhythm to the bewitching atmosphere of this mortuary procession. The international audience’s interest into Balinese music and its gamelan orchestras dates back to the edition of large ethnographic series in the 1950s, ’60s, and ’70s which largely encouraged the discovery of this music beyond Indonesia’s borders. Taking advantage of a more advanced technology, compared to the vinyl golden era, the present field recordings produced in 2011 render, at the closest, the power of gamelans. Gamelan is presented here in two forms. The first one (tracks 1 to 4) offers a display of Beleganjur music out of the ritual context, which can be differentiated by a more melodic form and a more dramatic and hypnotic aspect in the compositions. The second one (tracks 5 to 9) presents the Beleganjur style in the ceremonial context of the Ngaben funerary rite in the village of Peliatan. The utmost vitality of these orchestras springs out throughout the different stages of these funerals, and the sound environment surrounding the musicians immerse the listener in the very heart of the procession following the corpse. With The Gamelan Of The Walking Warriors, Akuphone carries on its exploration of ritual and ceremonial music with those materials of rare intensity. These recordings were collected by Vincenzo Della Ratta, PhD in Ethnomusicology from the Sapienza University (Rome). As a specialist of the gongs music from the Austronesian cultures of Southeast Asia, Della Ratta is the author of numerous articles on the subject. His field researches have already been edited as a vinyl entitled Kwangkay: Funerary Music Of The Dayak Benuaq Of Borneo (SF 106LP, 2016). Tracks 1 to 4 were recorded in the village of Wanagiri, in the district (“kecamatan”) of Sukasada, of the regency of Buleleng. Tracks 5 to 9 were recorded in the village of Peliang, in the district of Ubud, of the regency of Gianyar.

File Under: Gamelan, World, Bali

lostlibrary-etched-render

Various: Lost Library (Fire) LP
Jane Weaver provides vocals for Virginias Wings take on Suzanne Menzel lost pop classic “It Starts Again”, Noveller tackle John Carpenters “The Thing” and Death and Vanilla re-imagine Bert Janschs “Moonshine” on this first edition of the new “Lost Li-brary” series from Fire Records, conceived by the labels James Nicholls and designer Luke Drozd. Featuring 3 new tracks from 4 of Fire Records acclaimed female fronted roster, Jane Weaver, Virginia Wing, Death and Vanilla and Noveller this limited edition one-sided 12”, on transparent vinyl, with symbolic etching, is expected to sell out fast. Artwork and vinyl etching provided by Luke Drozd.

File Under: Electronic, Synth Pop, Ambient

trax

Various: Trax Test (Ecstatic) LP
Trax Test is the first ever survey of Italy’s pioneering, visionary, and influential label and mail art collective Trax, which ran from 1981-1987 as a network for the creation of collaborative projects. The collective included a pre-NWW Colin Potter and some of the earliest work from Masami Akita, aka Merzbow, but also had deep connections with the art world; a few Trax members went on to become famous designers and artists — Ettore Sottsass of hugely influential Memphis Group even guests on vocals on the last track of the compilation. The whole selection here is rare as heck and sorely in-demand by collectors, much of it now making its vinyl premiere some 30-odd years after the fact. With credit due to compilers Vittore Baroni of Trax and Ecstatic’s avowed wave fiend, Alessio Natalizia (Not Waving) — who was also behind the Mutazione (Italian Electronic & New Wave Underground 1980-1988) compilation (2013) — Trax Test is a portal to the international scene which laid the grassroots for a proliferation of electronic music over the proceeding decades — a pioneering part of the infrastructure for independent music distribution which could be said to pre-echo the myriad social networks and platforms today. As Frans De Waard astutely points out in the 16-page booklet, there were no “templates” for this thing back then, meaning artists did everything DIY: from cutting, pasting, and Xeroxing their artwork to experimenting with recording techniques and disseminating their work; all resulting in a wonderfully daring and freeform mosaic of ideas which valued the virtues of ostensibly “unfinished” or open-ended work. Traces of disco, cosmic krautrock, jazz, electro-pop, and industrial noise are all tessellated across the compilation’s 25 tracks, with a number of artists and the same equipment — cheap drum machines, synths, FX and tape — cropping up in various, mutant formations. This set is right up there with the best compilations from Vinyl On Demand, Light Sounds Dark, or Minimal Wave. Features: Cancer, M.A.Phillips, Nausea, Amok, Mecanique Vegetale, Daniele Ciullini, E-Coli, The Cop Killers, Peter Mayer, Rod Summers, Robin Crozier, Capitalist Pig, Biagio D’egidio, Piermario Ciani, Vittore Baroni, Nocturnal Emissions, De Rezke, Ado Scaini, Enrico Piva, Giancarlo Martina, B Sides, Colin Potter, Naif Orchestra, Merzbow (Vacation Of Merzbow Lowest Music & Arts), Monty Cantsin, Die Form, Utopia Production, Spirocheta Pergoli, Nostalgia, Ptose, Ddaa, Zone Verte, and I Nipoti Del Faraone. Mastered by Matt Colton at Alchemy.

File Under: Electronic, Industrial, Experimental
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…..Restocks…..

And You Will Know Us By The Trail of Dead: Source Tags & Codes (Interscope) LP
Arcade Fire: Funeral (Merge) LP
Beyonce: Lemonade (Sony) LP
Black Flag: Damaged (SST) LP
Bon Iver: s/t (Jagjaguwar) LP
Charles Bradley: No Time for Dreaming (Daptone) LP
Brand New: Deja Entendu (Razor & Tie) LP
Miles Davis: Big Fun (Music on Vinyl) LP
Miles Davis: On The Corner (Music on Vinyl) LP
Miles Davis: Round About Midnight (Legacy) LP
DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince: His the DJ (Sony) LP
Lee Fields: Emma Jean (Truth & Soul) LP
Lee Fields: Problems (Truth & Soul) LP
Fleetwood Mac: Rumors (Rhino) LP
Richard Horowitz: Eros in Arabia (Freedom to Spend) LP
Zola Jesus: Okovl (Sacred Bones) LP
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard: Nonagon Infinity (ATO) LP
Laraaji: Ambient 3 (Glitterbeat) LP
Mazzy Star: So Tonight That I Might See (Plain) LP
Minutemen: Double Nickels on the Dime (SST) LP
Thelonious Monk: Misterio (Columbia) LP
OST: Baby Driver (Lakeshore) LP
OST: Drive (Lakeshore) CS
Outkast: ATLiens (Arista) LP
Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith: The Kid (Western Vinyl) LP
Midori Takada/Satoh: Lunar Cruise (WRWTFWW) LP
A Tribe Called Red: We Are the Hallui Nation (Pirates Blend) LP
Weather Station: s/t (Outside) LP
Wu Tang: Iron Flag (Sony) LP
Various: Wayfaring Strangers: Acid Nightmares (Numero) LP/CD

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…..new letters #813 – landing…..

Not a lot in this week, but we will be getting a whole stack of Metz tomorrow. And there are some other sweet ones in this week too. Stands to be a lovely weekend to come down for a dig.

…..pick of the week…..

horowtizRichard Horowitz: Eros in Arabia (Freedom To Spend) LP
This vibration is cast into new dimensions. Liberating Eros, it circles the globe, backwards and forwards, flowing to and through us. It is said the artist has a gift— suited for the erotic life of property. On Eros in Arabia, Richard Horowitz channels this vibration and bends bandit sounds by pairing the ancient ney cane flute with the Prophet-5 synthesizer. Interspersed with other instruments and ideas, like echo delayed Moroccan drumming and self-made magic, these elements deal in duality like the ever-shifting characteristics of the composer: the Hollywood Horowitz who scores films like The Sheltering Sky and Any Given Sunday, and the Morocco Horowitz who founded the Gnaoua Festival in Mogador, attended by 500,000 people every year. Working in natural succession from end to beginning, “Elephant Dance” demonstrates the central synth and ney node to explore energetic sound patterns Horowitz imagined to be played in the 16th century on the island of Java, around the time Sufi’s may have arrived in Indonesia. Delicately trampling the twenty minute mark, the piece offers an immersive climate of microtones that might, with the primordial matter of love, alter DNA. “Baby Elephant Magic” is “Elephant Dance” but sped up— producing digital baubles that sound less like an Indonesian forest, more like an urban hive of mechanical insect interaction. The piano on “23/8 for Conlon Nancarrow,” with John Cage technique at play, is played “as fast as possible by a human.” The sounds are driven to derail from the space time continuum. On “Never Tech No Foreign Answer,” a cheap cassette recorder microphone captures the Prophet-5 left to the devices of its master’s inner clock, taking on a frenzied sound form that vibrates in place before bouncing off the tape case walls. Chaos is concentric. “Queen of Saba” incorporates the vocals of long-time collaborator, Sussan Deyhim. Described as one of Iran’s most potent voices in exile, Deyhim’s work is in both the tradition of Sufis and the late feminist poet, Forough Farrokhzad. Recently Deyhim and Horowitz worked together on a multi-media performance based upon Forrokhzad’s Iranian New Wave film, The House Is Black. Here Deyhim performs a taḥrīr where vocals go low to high without any semantically meaningful words. Horowitz’s associations with great cultural icons of the Middle East, like these women, soften (in)appropriations. Less aggressive than its predecessors, “Eros Never Stops Dreaming” introduces the bendir frame drum, the feathery wind of the ney floating above its bowing rhythm with effortless mathematics. “Bandit Nrah Master of Rajasthan” begins where the album ends, an ode to Shakuhachi flute players known to indulge in both trance-inducing circular breathing and espionage. Horowitz is linked with the worldly sound seeking circles of minimalist and avant-garde New York City musicians, especially Lou Harrison and La Monte Young, with whom Horowitz shared Shandar as a record label momentarily. He recorded and toured with Jon Hassell and collaborated with David Byrne and Brian Eno, Jean-Philippe Rykie, and Bill Laswell. Along his travels he befriended Brion Gysin and Paul Bowles, the latter whom mentored Horowitz over decades of correspondence, some of which documents the making of Eros and comes quite literally with this edition. A record of physical and intellectual love for Arabia, FTS extends this flowing forward and backward – a shimmer that reverses the backward spelling of Ztiworoh. Eros is presented in the ever present. To borrow from a song title, Horowitz remains gainfully employed as an “inter-dimensional travel agent.”

File Under: Electronic, Experimental, Fourth World
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…..new arrivals…..

antibalas

Antibalas: Where The Gods Are In Peace (Daptone) LP
Antibalas’ new studio album, Where The Gods Are In Peace, is an epic Afro-Western Trilogy searching for solace from American political opportunism, greed and vengeance. Through its battle cry of resistance against exploitation and displacement, Antibalas’ long-form compositions investigate oppression in 1800s America that eerily mirror the current state of the country. Three explosive original arrangements cultivate an urgent call to heal a broken system. Ultimately, the sonic excursion lands on an island where love is our first instinct. A new ideology is born opening our hearts to the possibilities of living as one unified people, where all gods are equal and together we prevail. True to traditional form, Where The Gods Are In Peace pays respect to the forefathers of Afrobeat with compositions spanning nine to fifteen minutes in length. With a blessing from the Fela Kuti legacy early in the band’s career, Antibalas has long been revered for re-popularizing the classic Afrobeat sound while adding their distinct New York City grit to the mix. Influences of punk rock, free jazz, and hip-hop seep into their expansive works to define a truly 21st century translation of the Afrobeat genre and beyond. Vinyl comes complete with accompanying download code.

File Under: Afrobeat, Funk
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moonlanding

k.burwash: Moonlanding (Pseudo Laboratories) CS
In tomorrow… “Moonlanding was realized on a Kilpatrick Audio Phenol synthesizer with outboard effects. Like the Buchla, it echews a keyboard in favor of patch cords and rotary controls. Like the Buchla, it is very difficult to create responsible music with. In its length, Moonlanding introduces six composed movements. From a simple melody with simple undertones, it winds through satisfying patterns into complex, moody situations with a bleak gauze, revealing dangerous loose ends. By the fifth movement, long sustained notes with a heavy shifting bottom end welcome well paced rhythmic passages with the odd bomb dropped, revealing an echoing chorus of softer tones. The final music is well introduced and proves a perfect denouement. An excellent and rewarding experience. For further information, watch Stalker.” – Owen Stutt

File Under: Ambient, Electronic
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daf

DAF: Das Ist DAF (Gronland) BOX
Many things have been said about this band…they’ve been called the “godfathers of techno,” the pioneers of EBM and the forefathers of electropunk. Yet they only laugh coolly and remain tight-lipped in the face of any attempt to historicize them. Deutsch Amerikanische Freundschaft – better known as DAF – is a myth. This compilation will allow you to experience the music of DAF; the darkest and hardest driving musical imperative ever to come out of Germany. The Das ist DAF box set gathers their classic four records: Die Kleinen Und Die Bösen, Alles Ist Gut, Gold Und Liebe and Fuer Immer as well as a Reworks LP with remixes by Giorgio Moroder, Westbam and Boys Noize among others, plus a 7-inch containing two brand new, previously unreleased DAF tracks. Plus extras: a lush 36 page booklet including previously unreleased photography documenting the history of DAF, the original DAF autograph card, a slipmat with the DAF logo and a download code for all of the songs in the box set.

 File Under: Electronic, Techno, Industrial
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isotope

Isotope 217: The Unstable Molecule (Thrill Jockey) LP
Short lived Chicago-based eclectic avant funk ensemble Isotope 217 consisted of Dan Bitney (drums, percussion), John Herndon (drums, percussion), Jeff Parker (guitar), Rob Mazurek (cornet), Matt Lux (bass) and Sara P. Smith (trombone). Their music is as complex and varied as the influences and pedigrees of its members. In celebration of Thrill Jockey’s 25th anniversary and the 20th anniversary of the band’s 1997 debut, The Unstable Molecule is being re-issued on vinyl for the first time since its original release. The LP comes pressed on virgin vinyl and is packaged with an accompanying download coupon. The Unstable Molecule is a best seller from Thrill Jockey’s early days and is finally back on vinyl for a whole new generation to experience.

File Under: Post Rock, Jazz, Funk
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METZ_StrangePeace_COVER

Metz: Strange Peace (Royal Mountain) LP
In tomorrow… Since releasing their self-titled debut record in 2012, which The New Yorker called, “One of the year’s best albums…a punishing, noisy, exhilarating thing,” the Toronto-based 3-piece METZ have garnered international acclaim as one of the most electrifying and forceful live acts, touring widely and extensively, playing hundreds of shows each year around the world. Now, Alex Edkins (guitar, vocals), along with Hayden Menzies (drums), and Chris Slorach (bass) are set to unleash their highly-anticipated third full-length album, Strange Peace, an emphatic but artful hammer swing to the status quo. “The best punk isn’t an assault as much as it’s a challenge — to what’s normal, to what’s comfortable, or simply to what’s expected. Teetering on the edge of perpetual implosion,” NPR wrote in their glowing review of METZ’s 2015 second album, II. Strange Peace was recorded in Chicago, live off the floor to tape with Steve Albini. The result is a distinct artistic maturation into new and alarming territory, frantically pushing past where the band has gone before, while capturing the notorious intensity of their live show. The trio continued to assemble the album (including home recordings, additional instrumentation) in their hometown, adding the finishing touches with longtime collaborator, engineer and mixer, Graham Walsh. Strange Peace isn’t merely a collection of eleven uninhibited and urgent songs. It’s also a kind of sonic venting, a truculent social commentary that bludgeons and provokes, excites and unsettles. With all the pleasurable tension and anxiety of a fever dream, Strange Peace is equal parts- challenging and accessible. It is this implausible balancing act, moving from one end of the musical spectrum to the other, that only a band of METZ’s power and capacity can maintain: discordant and melodic, powerful and controlled, meticulous and instinctive, subtle and complex, precise and reckless, wholehearted and merciless, brutal and optimistic, terrifying and fun. “Their whiplash of distortion is made with precision, a contained chaos. But you would never talk about them like that. Because METZ are not something you study or analyze,” wrote Liisa Ladouceur in Exclaim! “They are something you feel: a transfer of energy, pure and simple.” In other words: to feel something, fiercely and intensely, but together, not alone.

File Under: Punk
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protomartyr

Protomartyr: Relatives in Descent (Domino) LP
After a year of extensive touring in support of 2015’s The Agent Intellect, Protomartyr returned to their practice space in a former optician’s office in Southwest Detroit. Guitarist Greg Ahee – inspired by The Raincoats’ Odyshape, Mica Levi’s orchestral compositions, and Protomartyr’s recent collaboration with post-punk legends The Pop Group, for Rough Trade’s 40th anniversary – began writing new music that artfully expanded on everything they’d recorded up until that point. The result is Relatives in Descent, their fourth full-length and Domino debut. Though not a concept album, it presents twelve variations on a theme: the unknowable nature of truth, and the existential dread that often accompanies that unknowing. This, at a moment when disinformation and garbled newspeak have become a daily reality.

File Under: Post Punk
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seacake

Sea & Cake: s/t (Thrill Jockey) LP
The Sea and Cake was formed in the early-to-mid ’90s by Sam Prekop and Eric Claridge formerly of Shrimp Boat, Archer Prewitt of the Cocktails and John McEntire, ex-Bastro and current Tortoise. Their self-titled 1994 debut offers a mix of jazzy rhythms and laid-back grooves perfect for slow days. Recorded by Brad Wood and Casey Rice in September of 1993 at Idful Studios, this record is the band’s most immediate and straight forward…guaranteed to put you in a good spirits. Back in print on vinyl, The Sea And The Cake comes pressed on colored vinyl for the first time and is packaged with a free download card.

File Under: Indie Rock
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nassau

Sea & Cake: Nassau (Thrill Jockey) LP
Recorded by John McEntire at Idful Studios in Chicago, 1995’s Nassau finds The Sea And Cake distancing themselves from the more immediate pop leanings of their self-titled debut and experimenting as a band in production and songwriting. Nassau was featured on many 1995 year end lists, moving the band into the spotlight and out of the shadows. The album not only lived up to the promise of their debut but raised the bar for things to come. Back in print on vinyl, Nassau comes pressed on colored double vinyl for the first time and is packaged with a double sided insert and free download card.

File Under: Indie Rock
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biz

Sea & Cake: The Biz (Thrill Jockey) LP
Following the band’s self-titled debut and second effort Nassau, 1995’s The Biz served as The Sea and Cake’s third record in just over one calendar year. It was recorded at John McEntire’s own Soma Studios with the instruments mostly recorded live in only three days and the vocals recorded by Sam Prekop alone in five. On Nassau the band experimented heavily with signal processing and on The Biz they continued that experimentation using less common forms of processing, more sparingly. They used a Roland Space Echo, EML-101, and ARP 2600 as both instruments as well as manipulators. The Biz continued to showcase the band’s ability to mesh together their unusual blend of pop, soul and jazz into one seamless output. Back in print on vinyl, The Biz comes pressed on colored vinyl for the first time and is packaged with an artworked inner sleeve and free download card.

File Under: Indie Rock
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shigeto

Shigeto: The New Monday (Ghostly) LP
It’s been four years since Zach Saginaw, aka Shigeto, returned home to Michigan from a stint in Brooklyn, NY, and since then, the multi-faceted musician has become a part of the fabric of Detroit’s music scene. While always having a personal approach to his projects, Saginaw’s influences for his third album, The New Monday are more about the community of Detroit than anything else. Named after a weekly DJ event called Monday is the New Monday that Saginaw does at the unassuming Motor City Wine with a group of friends, The New Monday is the result of Saginaw diving into the city’s deep record culture, where the legacy of artists of the past help Saginaw embrace his own contributions. “It’s focused on a couple things and they all kind of come together to represent different things,” explains Saginaw. “My time back in Detroit, back living in Michigan and spending time with a lot of kind of original people who have always been here, learning from them, hearing stories from them, being influenced by them, and inspired by them.” While, in the past, projects like Lineage or No Better Time Than Now were rooted in strong personal messages, family and relationships respectively, The New Monday represents a communal effort where solidarity is the key. Going for a simplified approach of just trying to make good tracks, The New Monday is diverse in its styles leaning more into a dance music direction – new ground for a Shigeto project. A new air of confidence in Saginaw has expanded his horizons since his return to Detroit, but traces of his past work will continue to be present. “I don’t want people to think I’m leaving anything,” says Saginaw. “I’m still me. It’s a result of me being immersed in the culture, and inevitably making music that is influenced by that culture whether it be house, techno, jazz, rap. It doesn’t matter. It’s all coming from what I love about Michigan.” While The New Monday still features the jazz textures long associated with Shigeto projects, the varied elements that make up the album cohesively come together to show the distinct inspiration that Saginaw has drew from since his return home to Detroit. Like on “Barry White”, which features Detroit hip-hop artist ZelooperZ (a member of Danny Brown’s Bruiser Brigade crew who Saginaw also has a side project with called ZGTO), Saginaw captures everything he’s been doing all on one track. As much as it’s hip-hop influenced, it’s a mutant that encompasses elements of dance music, jazz, and ambient sounds. Throughout The New Monday, Saginaw poignantly references the musical influences that have either always been with him or newly discovered. It is Saginaw’s interpretation of Detroit’s rich culture of innovative artistry, but done so with respect for the history and to contribute, not disrupt. “I think over the past four years, I can confidently say that I found my place here,” describes Saginaw. “I’m happy here and I feel that I have the respect from the people I need respect from, that I want respect from. It’s all of the result of embracing it and embracing, not Detroit, but embracing community, embracing family, being closer to my parents, being closer to my oldest friends.”

File Under: Electronic, Downtempo
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kid

Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith: The Kid (Western Vinyl) LP
In 2017, the musical term “electronic” is nearly obsolete given the ubiquity of computerized processes in producing music. Even so, the prevailing assumption is that musicians working under this broad umbrella must be inspired by concepts equally as electrified as their equipment. Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith has demonstrated in her still-blooming discography that this notion couldn’t be further from the truth, and that more often than not, rich worlds of synthesized sound are born from deep reverence of the natural world. Smith (who by no coincidence, cites naturalist David Attenborough as a contemporary muse) has embodied such an appreciation on The Kid in as direct and sincere a way as possible by sonically charting the phases of life itself. The album, which punctually follows up her 2016 breakthrough EARS, chronicles four defining cognitive and emotional stages of the human lifespan across four sides of a double LP. The first side takes us through the confused astonishment of a newborn, unaware of itself, existing in an unwitting nirvana. Smith’s music has always woven a youthful thread befitting of the aforementioned subject. Here she articulates it in signature fashion on the track “An Intention,” which serves not only as a soaring spire on The Kid, but on her entire output. There is playfulness here, but it’s elevated by an undertone of gravity into something compelling and majestic that is fast becoming Smith’s watermark. The emotional focus of side two is the vital but underreported moment in early youth when we cross the threshold into self awareness. The subject is profound enough to fill an entire album, but rarely makes its way into a single track, indicating Smith’s ambition to broach subtler and deeper subjects than the average composer. This side offers up another highlight in the form of “In The World But Not Of The World” which serves its subject well with epiphanic, climbing strings and decidedly noisy textures over a near-Bollywood low end pulse. Side three emphasizes a feeling of being confirmed enough in one’s own identity to begin giving back to the formative forces of one’s upbringing, which is arguably the duty that all great artists aim to fulfill. This side ends with the exploratory album cut “Who I Am & Why I Am Where I Am” recorded in a single take without overdubs on the rare EMS Synthi 100 synthesizer. This humble piece of sound design serves as a contrast to side four’s verdant orchestral moments, all written and arranged for the EU-based Stargaze quartet by Smith herself. This final side represents a return to pure being, the kind of wisdom and peace that eludes most of us until the autumn of life. On “To Feel Your Best” this concept is voiced in the bittersweet refrain “one day I’ll wake up and you won’t be there” which Smith intended to be a grateful acknowledgement of life rather than a melancholy resentment of loss. The song has both effects depending on the mood of the listener, and both interpretations are equally moving. Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith belongs to an ilk of modern musicians who are defined by their commitment to creating experiential albums despite the singles-oriented habits of modern listeners, and here she represents her kind proudly. The subjects on The Kid are not simple to convey, and yet through both emotional tone and lyrical content, Smith does just that. There is a similar gravity to both birth and death, and rarely is that correlation as accurately and enthusiastically mapped as it is here. Alan Watts, another logical inspiration of Smith’s, once expounded that people record themselves to confirm their own existence, and as such, echoes and resonance are reminders that we are alive. “You’re not there unless you’re recorded,” Watts muses, “if you shout, and it doesn’t come back and echo, it didn’t happen.” The Kid speaks to this idea directly. As Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith explores her existence through music, she guides us in gleefully contemplating our own.

File Under: Electronic, Pop
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unblonde

Un Blonde: Good Will Come To You (Flemish Eye) LP
Un Blonde is the solo project of Montreal-based musician, producer, and composer Jean-Sebastian Audet. Over the course of a steady stream of self-produced albums and EPs, Audet has laid down the framework for a constantly mutating series of musical environments, which forge highly unique connections between hints of contemporary r&b, cubist avant-funk, low-key soul, indie pop, and confessional songwriting. This heady mixture spilled over into Good Will Come To You, a brilliant, 21-song widescreen presentation of Audet’s concepts, which landed him a spot on the Long List for that year’s Polaris Music Prize and further cemented his growing reputation as one of the most compellingly original new artists to emerge in recent years. Flemish Eye could not be more thrilled to announce that we will be working with Montreal-based Un Blonde, beginning with the re-release of his brilliant latest album Good Will Come To You. Un Blonde’s acclaimed album was originally issued in a very limited cassette-only run (on Montreal’s Egg Paper Factory)  and sold out immediately. Now newly remixed and remastered, the album will get a full release worldwide digitally and be available everywhere for the first time on vinyl on September 22nd.Un Blonde is the solo project of Montreal-based musician, producer, and composer Jean-Sebastian Audet. Over the course of a steady stream of self-produced albums and EPs, he laid down the framework for a constantly mutating series of musical environments, which forge highly unique connections between hints of contemporary r&b, cubist avant-funk, low-key soul, indie pop, and confessional songwriting. This heady mixture spilled over into Good Will Come To You, a brilliant, 21-song widescreen presentation of Audet’s concepts, which landed him a spot on the Long List for that year’s Polaris Music Prize and further cemented his growing reputation as one of the most compellingly original new artists to emerge in recent years. Upon the album’s initial ultra-limited release, The Fader opined that “Jean-Sebastian Audet’s layered vocal harmonies are transcendent … they seem to guide him from an apartment and into the streets of Montreal, where he finds his own rhythm in the music, as he has always done.” The album artwork – an important facet of Audet’s overarching artistic vision – has been reworked for the LP / CD formats and looks better than ever. And, as a bonus for purchasers of the LP version, we are thrilled to include a bonus download-only album of extra material from the “Good Will Come To You” sessions, including B-sides and alternate versions of album tracks.

File Under: Indie Rock
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weather

The Weather Station: s/t (Outside) LP
The Weather Station is the fourth—and most forthright—album by The Weather Station, the project of Toronto songwriter Tamara Lindeman. Her most fully realized statement to date, it is a work of profound urgency, artistic generosity, and joy. Self-titled and self-produced, the album unearths a vital new energy from Lindeman’s acclaimed songwriting practice, marrying it to a bold new sense of confidence. “I wanted to make a rock and roll record,” Lindeman explains, “but one that sounded how I wanted it to sound, which of course is nothing like rock and roll.” The result is a spirited, frequently topical tour de force that declares its understated feminist politics, and its ambitious new sonic directions, from its first moments. On past records, Lindeman has been a master of economy. Here her precisely detailed prose-poem narratives remain as exquisitely wrought as ever, but they inhabit an idiosyncratic, sometimes disorderly, and often daring album that feels, and reads, like a collection of obliquely gut-punching short stories. Her previous album Loyalty was recorded at La Frette Studios in France in the winter of 2014 with Afie Jurvanen (Bahamas) and Robbie Lackritz (Feist). Nominated for the 2015 Polaris Music Prize, it earned praise from The Guardian, Pitchfork, NPR Music, Uncut, and MOJO, among many others, who celebrated its delicate, carefully worded verse, filled with double meanings, ambiguities, complex metaphors, and rich details of the everyday. Lindeman and her band have toured extensively in North America, Europe, Australia, and Japan, both as a headliner and as support for artists such as The War on Drugs, The Mountain Goats, Damien Jurado, Bahamas, and Basia Bulat.

File Under: Indie Rock
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…..Restocks…..

Alabama Shakes: Boys & Girls (ATO) LP
Baby Huey: The Living Legend (Curtom) LP
Bjork: Vespertine (One Little Indian) LP
Booker T. & The MGs: Green Onions (Rhino) LP
Nick Cave: Skeleton Tree (Bad Seed) LP
CCR: Chronicle Vol 1 (Fantasy) LP
Comus: First Utterance (Getback) LP
Creation: Action Painting (Numero) LP
Miles Davis: On The Corner (Music on Vinyl) LP
J Dilla: Donuts (Stones Throw) LP
Brian Eno: Taking Tiger Mountain (By Strategy) (Astralwerks) LP
Equatics: Doin’ It (Now Again) LP
Funkadelic: s/t (Westbound) LP
Green Day: Dookie (Warner) LP
Billie Holiday: 3 Classic Albums (Real Gone) 3LP
Jason Isbell: Nashville Sound (Thirty Tigers) LP
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard: Flying Microtonal Banana (ATO) LP
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard: Nonagon Infinitey (ATO) LP
Kendrick Lamar: To Pimp A Butterfly (Aftermath) LP
LCD Soundsystem: American Dream (Sony) LP
Melvins: Ozma/Bullhead (Boner) LP
Melvins: Eggnog/Lice-all (Boner) LP
Neutral Milk Hotel: In The Aeroplane Over the Sea (Merge) LP
Lee Scratch Perry: Super Ape (Get on Down) LP
Slowdive: s/t (Dead Oceans) LP
Tragically Hip: Day for Night (UniversAl) LP
Tragically Hip: Live Between Us (Universal) LP
Tragically Hip: Phantom Power (Universal) LP
Tragically Hip: Road Apples (Universal) LP
Townes Van Zandt: Delta Momma Blues (Fat Possum) LP
Townes Van Zandt: s/t (Fat Possum) LP
Colter Wall: s/t (Sony) LP
White Zombie: It Came From NYC (Numero) 5LP Box
Neil Young: Harvest (Reprise) LP

 

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…..new letters #812 – pup…..

Some killer stuff this week! Just LOOK at the cover for that Acid Nightmares comp, just this book by its cover! Finally some Alvvays vinyl. And a fraction of what we ordered of the Metz. Go figure.

…..pick of the week…..

warfaring-strangers-acid-nightmares-1Various: Wayfaring Strangers: Acid Nightmares (Numero) LP/CD
As the hippie movement hurdled towards its emanate demise, bad vibes infiltrated the rock world. Tainted LSD, loud motorcycles, and a series of brutal deaths spawned inspiration for guitar-wielding teenagers across the globe. Implementing deafening fuzz and satanic screams to create their protometal monstrosities, short-lived stoner bands pressed their lysergic experiments in microscopic quantities before blacking out entirely. Lifted from the ashes of the acid rock hell fire are 18 distorted tales of dope fiends, pill poppers, and the baddest of trips. Deluxe 2LP comes housed in a blacklight poster-style jacket, replete with flocking and lysergic neon. 24 pages documenting the creeping existential dread of the hard rock underground are tucked into the gatefold pocket alongside two dead dinosaur-heavy LPs. Compact disc is packaged in standard Numero slipcase, with digipak and 40-page book, limited to 2000 copies.

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

whigs3

Afghan Whigs: Congregation (Sub Pop) LP
Founded in Cincinnati, OH in 1988, The Afghan Whigs have long stood out from their peers, with a savage, rapturous blend of hard rock, classic soul, and frontman Greg Dulli’s searing angst and obsessions. The band’s first three releases on Sub Pop Records – Up In It, Congregation and the Uptown Avondale EP will be reissued on 180g vinyl via the label in September 2017. Both Congregation and Up In It have been out of print on the format for several years and Uptown Avondale has never been available in the U.S. until now. 1992’s Congregation, The Afghan Whigs’ breakthrough third album, finds the band’s soul and psychedelic influences shining through like never before, elements which would help shape their sound for years to come. Congregation has been out of print on vinyl since its original pressing sold out many years ago.

File Under: Indie Rock
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whigs2

Afghan Whigs: Up In It (Sub Pop) LP
Founded in Cincinnati, OH in 1988, The Afghan Whigs have long stood out from their peers, with a savage, rapturous blend of hard rock, classic soul, and frontman Greg Dulli’s searing angst and obsessions. The band’s first three releases on Sub Pop Records – Up In It, Congregation and the Uptown Avondale EP will be reissued on 180g vinyl via the label in September 2017. Both Congregation and Up In It have been out of print on the format for several years and Uptown Avondale has never been available in the U.S. until now. Up In It is The Afghan Whigs’ second full-length and their Sub Pop debut. Featuring the powerful and provoking “Retarded,” “White Trash Party,” and “I Know Your Little Secret,” the 1990 album – recorded by legendary producer Jack Endino – was critically acclaimed and garnered strong college-radio airplay. It’s been out of print on vinyl for over 25 years. Single-LP jacket and custom dust-sleeve.

File Under: Indie Rock
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whigs1

Afghan Whigs: Uptown Avondale (Sub Pop) LP
Founded in Cincinnati, OH in 1988, The Afghan Whigs have long stood out from their peers, with a savage, rapturous blend of hard rock, classic soul, and frontman Greg Dulli’s searing angst and obsessions. The band’s first three releases on Sub Pop Records – Up In It, Congregation and the Uptown Avondale EP will be reissued on 180g vinyl via the label in September 2017. Both Congregation and Up In It have been out of print on the format for several years and Uptown Avondale has never been available in the U.S. until now. The 5-track Uptown Avondale EP, released shortly after Congregation, finds The Afghan Whigs paying tribute to their soul-music influences and performing covers of Stax and Motown classics. Its only previous vinyl pressing was a short European run in 1992.

 File Under: Indie Rock
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alvvays

Alvvays: Antisocialites (Royal Mountain) LP
FINALLY IN TOMORROW! Antisocialites is the much-anticipated follow-up to Alvvays’ 2014 self-titled debut. Across its 10 tracks and 33 minutes the Toronto-based group dive back into the deep end of reckless romance and altered dates. Through thoughtful consideration in basement and abroad, Alvvays has renewed its Scot-pop vows with a powerful new collection of manic emotional collage. The album opens with the excellent strum-‘n-thrummer “In Undertow,” a hi-amp breakup fantasy that is both crushing and charming for its level-headedness. Replete with more songs about drinking (“Forget About Life,” “Hey”), drugging (“Lollipop (Ode To Jim)”), and drowning (“Already Gone”), Antisocialites is a multipolar period piece fueled by isolation and loss. Perversely enjoyable dark drama springs from Molly Rankin’s phonetic twists, quick-sung rhymes and irreverent syllable-play. “So morose for me, seeing ghosts of me, writing oaths to me,” the self-described introvert sings on the Cocteau-pop stunner “Dreams Tonite,” the song from which the album’s name is derived. Antisocialites details a world of ice cream truck jingles and radiophonic workshop noise, where Rankin’s shining wit is refracted through crystalline counterpoint. “Not My Baby” is a centerpiece, a meditation on the rapture of escape following the sadness of separation. Elsewhere, “Plimsoll Punks” is the band’s answer to Television Personalities’ “Part-Time Punks” and a winking surf opus indictment of the self-righteous who intend to condescend. Molly wrote the rapid-fire sugar stream “Lollipop (Ode to Jim)” after singing “Just Like Honey” with Jesus and Mary Chain. “Your Type” is a beautiful primitive stomp about running around Paris with vomit on your feet post-Louvre ejection. The record concludes with a movement that is at once stark and celebratory. On “Forget About Life,” the apartment stands in disarray as undrinkable wine is inhaled: “When the failures of the past multiply and you trivialize the things that keep your hand from mine, did you want to forget about life with me tonite?” The resonant freaks in Rankin’s tales don’t find much resolve, but with equal doses of black humor and heartstring-tugging, Antisocialites rings a truer tone.

File Under: Indie Rock
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pink

Ariel Pink: Dedicated to Bobby James (Mexican Summer) LP
ARIEL PINK’s new album, Dedicated to Bobby Jameson is his first solo album since his highly acclaimed 2014 prog-pop opus pom pom, and first full-length release on Mexican Summer. The new release’s title makes a direct and heartfelt reference to a real-life Los Angeles musician, long presumed dead, who resurfaced online in 2007 after 35 reclusive years to pen his autobiography and tragic life story. Los Angeles’s prodigal songwriting son Ariel Pink offers up his eleventh studio effort, Dedicated to Bobby Jameson. The album’s title makes a direct and heartfelt reference to a real-life L.A. musician, long presumed dead, who resurfaced online in 2007 after 35 reclusive years to pen his autobiography and tragic life story in a series of blogs and YouTube tirades. “His book and life resonated with me to such a degree,” Pink states, “that I felt a need to dedicate my latest record to him.” Dedicated to Bobby Jameson begins at the end and ends at the beginning. “We follow the protagonist through a battery of tests and milestones, the first of which sees him reborn into life out of death,” Pink explains, referencing the opening track “Time To Meet Your God.” “From there, he seesaws his way between the innocent love and the rock-solid edifice of childhood-worn trauma that together constitute his lifelong initiation into the realm of artifice and theatrical disposability.” Building upon his singular vision of pop songcraft, established by such seminal records as The Doldrums, Worn Copy, House Arrest, Loverboy, Before Today, Mature Themes, and Pom Pom, Pink revisits themes that have haunted his sonic cinemascapes since the late 1990s: mismanaged dreams, west coast mythologies, itinerant criminals, haunted boulevards, Hollywood legends, the impermanence of romance, bubblegum artifice, movie stardom, childhood terror, acceptance of self, and narcissism projected through a celluloid filter of controversion. Standout tracks here include “Feels Like Heaven,” a lovelorn insta-classic paying tribute to the promise of romance, “Another Weekend,” which encapsulates the lingering euphoria of a regrettable weekend over the edge, “Dedicated to Bobby Jameson,” a rah-rah psych romp paying homage to L.A.’s punk history, and “Time to Live,” an ironic anti-suicide anthem that promotes survival as a form of resistance before devolving into a grungy, “Video Killed the Radio Star”-style breakdown that supposes life and death as being more or less the same fate and embraces the immortal anarchy of a rock song as an alternative to the prison of reality. Alternately contained and sprawling, Dedicated to Bobby Jameson is a shimmering pop odyssey that represents more astonishing peaks and menacing valleys in the career of a man who, through sheer originality and nerve, has become an American rock and roll institution.

File Under: Indie Rock
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cut copy

Cut Copy: Haiku From Zero (Astralwerks) LP
In tomorrow… first copies include bonus 7″! Cut Copy returns with Haiku From Zero, their first proper studio album in nearly four years and first with Astralwerks. The new record showcases a band in full command of their powers to move people both emotionally and physically. Written and recorded at studios around the world (Melbourne, Copenhagen, Washington, DC, New York, Atlanta), the 9-tracks present a united sonic front, due in no small part to the guiding ear of producer Ben Allen (Deerhunter, Animal Collective, Neon Indian). Songs like “Counting Down” and “Living Upside Down” offer glimpses of beauty in a state of disco-fueled flux. And single “Standing in the Middle of the Field” announces a theme that percolates throughout Haiku From Zero – the need to cut through the noise, a desire to focus. Amid a backdrop of loping kalimbas, cowbells and bubbly synths, lead singer Dan Whitford’s plaintive voice offers some emotional advice in the lyrics, “You gotta give up the things you love to make it better.” “So much of this album is about this mosaic of information, images that we’re surrounded by on a day-to-day basis,” says Whitford. “Sometimes it feels like overload, but there’s a weird random beauty in it. The idea of squeezing poetry from chaos was where the title of the album came from – the idea of finding something poetic in the overload.”

File Under: Electronic, Synth Pop
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light it up

Hot Water Music: Light It Up (Rise) LP
Gainesville, FL’s Hot Water Music return with Light It Up, their second for Rise Records following 2012’s Exister. Ushered in by the anthemic lead single “Never Going Back,” the 12-track album was self-produced and serves as a prime example of a band remaining vital and increasingly relevant throughout a 25-year career. “The most exciting part about this record for us was self-producing and being in control from start to finish,” the band notes. “We haven’t made a record this way since Fuel For The Hate Game. As frightening as it was to not have the safety net and sounding board of a producer, it was just as liberating to make a record that is 100% Hot Water Music, scars and all.”

File Under: Punk
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beyiIbeyi: Ash (XL) LP
Their first album, the eponymous Ibeyi, grappled with the past—the sister’s relationship, origins, loss, and roots. It earned them fans and collaborators in some of the most iconic and crucial artists of today, Beyoncé and the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre included. By contrast, Ash is a more visceral and potent political statement, and while firmly rooted in Afro-Cuban culture and history, it finds itself entirely  concerned with Ibeyi’s present: Who Lisa-Kaindé and Naomi are, what’s important to them, and how they live today, especially given that the spheres, both personally and politically, are entirely different from when the first album was recorded. It’s also a testament to their cathartic live performances, where they’re able to transmute a vast array of emotions—sorrow, anger, sensuality, happiness—to and through their fans. Ash is also a study in deft electronic production. Ibeyi worked once again alongside XL head Richard Russell, a confidante and friend, to produce Ash at his studio. “We absolutely wanted, 100%, to work with him again: It was not even a question,” Lisa-Kaindé says. “Richard is an amazing producer…wherever you want to go, he will guide you there. But it feels like you’re playing with him. You’re sharing ideas together and he has an amazing ear. It’s like a flow, it’s really easy.” To that effect, Naomi adds: “It’s like we produced the album too, actually, and it’s a good feeling.” Along with Russell’s stylized production sensibilities, Ibeyi drew from a host of influences ranging from Kendrick Lamar, Jay Electronica, Meshell Ndegeocello, Erykah Badu and Nina Simone and beyond, to craft the wide-ranging musical landscape of Ash. In a recent cover story for The FADER titled “Ibeyi’s Home” the twins traveled to Cuba to retrace their Afro-Cuban roots. The cover story touched on Ibeyi’s sophomore album which includes appearances from Kamasi Washington, Chilly Gonzales, La Mala Rodriguez and Meshell Ndegeocello. Premiere single “Away Away” pushes forward the unique, cross-cultural sound that Ibeyi have become so widely recognized for. The duo, who split their time between Paris, Cuba and London, explain that the song is about “looking out onto the world’s craziness, which is symbolized by the sirens heard in the track, and wondering if the promises of a better world will be made true?”

File Under: Indie Rock
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kadavar

Kadavar: Rough Times (Nuclear Blast) LP
In the beginning of 2017 German trio Kadavar prepared to start a new album cycle by literally rolling up their sleeves and building a brand new recording studio from scratch. Over 100 square meters inside an industrial complex in the area of Neukölln in Berlin is now their creative haven and workplace alike, and this is where the follow-up to 2015’s Berlin took form. “We have been giving it quite a lot of thought, how we want to continue after the last album,” says drummer Tiger. “Maybe I try not to only be a musician, but to think, write and play like an artist. It sounds corny, but I mean it in the way a brick layer differs from an architecht. Not to only lay brick by brick, but create a nice vision of a house with different rooms.” Intentionally or not, the act of manual labor – like building a house in arrival of a new baby – gives a poetic layer to the album process for Rough Times. “It is a big challenge,” Simon ‘Dragon’ Bouteloup adds. “But also a positive period where we are able to question everything we’ve already established in order to move forward as a band. We would not respect ourselves and our followers by putting out just another Kadavar album. It needs to be different and hopefully better!” They might have eased up on the competitive attitude, but don’t believe for a second the hunger is gone. Take it from Lupus ‘Wolf’ Lindemann himself: “When you realize you have taken it to the next level, where you can live from music and see the world – you work your ass off to keep that. What else should we do? We are useless in the normal world. And maybe it looks harder than it is…” Their secret seems to be boiled down and brewed from three ingredients: an accessible yet personalized brand of classic rock; a no-frills approach to everything they do (“minimal arrangement, maximum effect”); and that undeniable German tenacity, yet again.

File Under: Metal
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leo

Ted Leo: The Hanged Man (Super Ego) LP
The Hanged Man is Ted Leo’s first solo album in nearly a decade, following his 2014 Aimee Mann collaboration The Both and 2010’s The Brutalist Bricks with The Pharmacists. The 14-track collection was recorded at a home studio in Wakefield, Rhode Island with the singer/songwriter manning almost all of the instruments. The streamlined LP features Leo’s familiar sharp bursts of skinny-tie pop-punk offset with an adventurousness in both tone and structure. The Hanged Man features contributions from Chris Wilson (The Pharmacists), Aimee Mann (The Both), Jean Grae and Jonathan Coulton and is ushered in by the urgent lead single “You’re Like Me.”

File Under: Indie Rock
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METZ_StrangePeace_COVER

Metz: Strange Peace (Royal Mountain) LP
Since releasing their self-titled debut record in 2012, which The New Yorker called, “One of the year’s best albums…a punishing, noisy, exhilarating thing,” the Toronto-based 3-piece METZ have garnered international acclaim as one of the most electrifying and forceful live acts, touring widely and extensively, playing hundreds of shows each year around the world. Now, Alex Edkins (guitar, vocals), along with Hayden Menzies (drums), and Chris Slorach (bass) are set to unleash their highly-anticipated third full-length album, Strange Peace, an emphatic but artful hammer swing to the status quo. “The best punk isn’t an assault as much as it’s a challenge — to what’s normal, to what’s comfortable, or simply to what’s expected. Teetering on the edge of perpetual implosion,” NPR wrote in their glowing review of METZ’s 2015 second album, II. Strange Peace was recorded in Chicago, live off the floor to tape with Steve Albini. The result is a distinct artistic maturation into new and alarming territory, frantically pushing past where the band has gone before, while capturing the notorious intensity of their live show. The trio continued to assemble the album (including home recordings, additional instrumentation) in their hometown, adding the finishing touches with longtime collaborator, engineer and mixer, Graham Walsh. Strange Peace isn’t merely a collection of eleven uninhibited and urgent songs. It’s also a kind of sonic venting, a truculent social commentary that bludgeons and provokes, excites and unsettles. With all the pleasurable tension and anxiety of a fever dream, Strange Peace is equal parts- challenging and accessible. It is this implausible balancing act, moving from one end of the musical spectrum to the other, that only a band of METZ’s power and capacity can maintain: discordant and melodic, powerful and controlled, meticulous and instinctive, subtle and complex, precise and reckless, wholehearted and merciless, brutal and optimistic, terrifying and fun. “Their whiplash of distortion is made with precision, a contained chaos. But you would never talk about them like that. Because METZ are not something you study or analyze,” wrote Liisa Ladouceur in Exclaim! “They are something you feel: a transfer of energy, pure and simple.” In other words: to feel something, fiercely and intensely, but together, not alone.

File Under: Punk
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twinpeaks

OST: Twin Peaks 2017 Score (Rhino) LP
Now in stock! The score from the new Twin Peaks series, which includes a lot of highlights from the original series score as well.. coloured vinyl.

File Under: OST
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sakamotoRyuichi Sakamoto: Async (Milan) LP
As one-third of Yellow Magic Orchestra and an Academy Award-winning composer for his work on the soundtrack for The Last Emperor, synth pop innovator Ryuichi Sakamoto is among the most groundbreaking artists to have emerged since the late-70s. A musician’s musician, Sakamoto has created intriguing musical unions with artists such as David Sylvian, Iggy Pop, Tony Williams, Bootsy Collins, Jacques Morelenbaum and many others. Async is Sakamoto’s first studio album in eight years and his most personal release as it follows a long fight against cancer from which Sakamoto emerged with a renewed and passionate creative energy. “What kind of “sounds/music” do I want to listen to?” Async is the answer to this question Ryuichi has asked himself for the past several years. This is the album he is the most proud of which synthesizes all of his musical and sound interests. This is a journey through analog synth, the sounds of things and of places, an imaginary soundtrack to an Andrei Tarkovsky film and many others musical surprises.

File Under: Ambient, Modern Classical
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sannhet

Sannhet: So Numb (Profound Lore) LP
Brooklyn instrumental post-metal power trio Sannhet formed in late 2010 and since then have been recognized as one of the most promising and newer prominent bands within the genre. Their last, sophomore album Revisionist (Flenser Records), was praised across the board, one of the most celebrated albums in this specific genre of that year, and now with their new full-length So Numb they have delivered their most transcendent album to date. For this album the band enlisted respected producer Peter Katis (The National, Interpol, Japandroids, Kurt Vile) who was essential in helping the trio reach a new level with their sound, going beyond the typical trappings of post-metal and expanding it into the realms of electronic, experimental, and ambient, while still upholding their heavy and punishing sound. The trio created songs with a stronger focus on songwriting, with more memorable and evocative melodies permeating the entire album, making it a listening experience like no other.

File Under: Metal
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SHINDIG!-71

Shindig #71 Mag
In this issue: The Rolling Stones – 2,000 light years from home: The making of Their Satanic Majesties Request. Plus; Captain Beefheart – Safe As Milk re-opened. PP Arnord – Lost masterpiece. Also: The Lost / The Clientele / The Solarflares / Trevor Burton / Pentangle / Aussi Psych / Colorama / Coven /Mary Epworth.

File Under: Reading

slits

Slits: Return of the Giant Slits (Real Gone) LP
Labeling The Slits groundbreaking just doesn’t cut it. No other post-punk band was as confrontational – an all-female trio calling themselves The Slits and posing muddily topless on their debut album cover was about as in-your-face as a feminist statement gets – or as determinedly uncommercial. Indeed, after being dropped by their label, Island, despite having made Cut, of the signature albums of the era, Viv Albertine, Tessa Pollitt, and Ari Up treated Sony, their new label, to an even more radical record, 1981’s Return of the Giant Slits. Already far removed from the male-dominated, louder-faster ethos of punk rock, The Slits, with new drummer Bruce Smith of The Pop Group and multi-instrumentalist Steve Beresford in tow, added world music and free jazz to Up’s Ono-esque ululations, Albertine’s skittering guitar, and Pollitt’s dubwise bass riddims. Predictably, Sony dropped the record like a hot potato, not even bothering to release it in the U.S., and it has only been intermittently available on CD in the 35-plus years since. But the reputation of Return of the Giant Slits has continued to grow, with Albertine herself recently commenting, “It’s more experimental than Cut and brings in even wider musical influences. In some ways, I think it’s a better record.” Real Gone Music offers up a colored vinyl pressing (including the original printed inner sleeve) of Return of the Giant Slits complete with a fresh remastering by Maria Triana at Battery Studios in New York. This record demands to be in your collection…you can trace the beginning of the whole “riot grrrl” movement to right here!

File Under: Punk
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torres

Torres:  Three Futures (4AD) LP
4AD will release Three Futures, the third full-length album from TORRES, the creative alter-ego of Brooklyn-based Mackenzie Scott. Three Futures follows 2015’s breakthrough Sprinter, which was lauded across the board – from The Observer who called it “astonishing”, to Pitchfork scoring it 8.0, and the New York Times who claimed “her music can smoulder while she considers exactly where she stands, and roar into feedback-edged howls when her rage or despair boil over.” In describing the album, Scott says it “is entirely about using the body that each of us has been given as a mechanism of joy.” The 10 original tracks on Three Futures embrace ecstasy, desire and indulgence rather than self-denial, and exude this idea via immersive music. Mechanized grooves are placed at the forefront: perforated electro-pop static, gothic industrial’s harsh textures and insistent Kraut rock.

File Under: Indie Rock
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un

Unsane: Sterilize (Southern Lord) LP
Since 1988, legendary NYC-based noise rock outfit Unsane has pounded the planet with their caustic grooves and foundation-crumbling riffs, having released LPs through a wide range of labels including Matador/Atlantic, Amphetamine Reptile, Relapse, Ipecac, Alternative Tentacles, and others, not to mention a wide range of singles, splits, and live albums. The band’s gnarled blend of punk, metal, noise, and hardcore helping to define the “AmRep sound” alongside other forerunners of the style, Today Is The Day, The Jesus Lizard, Helmet, Tad, Cows, Halo Of Flies, Melvins, and others. Closing a five-year gap since the 2012 release of their Wreck LP through Alternative Tentacles, Unsane makes a vicious return on Southern Lord with the pummeling Sterilize, a record that recalls the most defining elements of the band’s seminal Scattered, Smothered, And Covered and Occupational Hazard albums, surging with the band’s unrelenting singular sound created by guitarist/vocalist Chris Spencer, bassist/vocalist Dave Curran, and drummer Vinnie Signorelli. Sterilize was produced by Unsane, recorded by Dave Curran at Gatos Trail Studios in Yucca Valley, CA, mixed by Andrew Schneider at Acre in New York City, and mastered by Carl Saff at Saff Mastering in Chicago. Sterilize showcases Unsane sounding as dense and damaging as ever, and sees them remaining as necessary as ever, nearly three decades since they began.

File Under: Noise Rock, Metal
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washington

Kamasi Washington: Harmony of Difference (Young Turks) 12″
Avant-garde jazz titan Kamasi Washington premiered Harmony of Difference, an original six-movement suite, as part of 2017’s Whitney Biennial. The EP is the first new music from Washington since his universally acclaimed 2015 debut album The Epic. Harmony of Difference explores the philosophical possibilities of the musical technique known as “counterpoint,” which Washington defines as “the art of balancing similarity and difference to create harmony between separate melodies.” Washington’s suite includes visual elements married to the musical works and draws voraciously on jazz for its foundation. Each of the first five movements is its own unique composition. “Truth,” the sixth movement, fuses all five compositions into one simultaneous performance. Beyond the artistic impulse to expand the possibilities within counterpoint, Washington wanted to create something that opened people’s minds to the gift of diversity. In his own words, “my hope is that witnessing the beautiful harmony created by merging different musical melodies will help people realize the beauty in our own differences.”

File Under: Jazz
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erased

Various: Collection VIII (Erased Tapes) LP+Tote Bag
On February 5th 2017 Erased Tapes opened the doors to their new East London home, marking the 10th anniversary by introducing their fans and the public to the new Erased Tapes Sound Gallery. Coinciding with the takeover of London’s Southbank Centre, September 8th sees the release of the latest annual compilation Erased Tapes Collection VIII as a highly limited transparent 2-LP set. Initially founded by German-born Robert Raths in 2007, the London-based label has grown and extended across the world with satellite offices in Los Angeles and Berlin. Spanning over ten years, Erased Tapes has nurtured avant-garde artists from all around the world whilst remaining genre-defying and truly independent. Commencing these celebrations with a new compilation entitled Erased Tapes Collection VIII, they also welcome the iconic Penguin Cafe to the roster amongst tracks from new signing Daniel Brandt (of Brandt Brauer Frick) and Peter Broderick’s duo project Allred & Broderick. It also includes recent compositions by Rival Consoles, A Winged Victory For The Sullen, Ben Lukas Boysen, Douglas Dare and Immix Ensemble & Vessel, as well as a previously unreleased Ryan Davis remix of Erased Tapes stalwarts Ólafur Arnalds & Nils Frahm which was recently favoured by Aphex Twin and an exclusive edit of Woodkid & Nils Frahm’s score for JR’s Ellis, with spoken words by Robert De Niro.

File Under: Ambient
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jesus

Various: Jesus Rocked the Jukebox (Craft) LP
In tomorrow… The triple vinyl Craft Recordings/Concord Music Group compilation Jesus Rocked the Jukebox: Small Group Black Gospel (1951-1965) offers a spirited celebration of some of the most foundational songs in American musical history, tracing the evolution of the modern Soul, R&B, and Rock n’ Roll genres via the likes of The Blind Boys of Alabama, The Swan Silvertones, The Staple Singers, Sam Cooke, and The Chosen Gospel Singers featuring Lou Rawls among many others!

File Under: Gospel, R&B, Soul
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…..Restocks…..

Alabama Shakes: Boys & Girls (ATO) LP
Baby Huey: The Living Legend (Curtom) LP
Bjork: Vespertine (One Little Indian) LP
Booker T. & The MGs: Green Onions (Rhino) LP
Nick Cave: Skeleton Tree (Bad Seed) LP
CCR: Chronicle Vol 1 (Fantasy) LP
Comus: First Utterance (Getback) LP
Creation: Action Painting (Numero) LP
Miles Davis: On The Corner (Music on Vinyl) LP
J Dilla: Donuts (Stones Throw) LP
Brian Eno: Taking Tiger Mountain (By Strategy) (Astralwerks) LP
Equatics: Doin’ It (Now Again) LP
Funkadelic: s/t (Westbound) LP
Green Day: Dookie (Warner) LP
Billie Holiday: 3 Classic Albums (Real Gone) 3LP
Jason Isbell: Nashville Sound (Thirty Tigers) LP
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard: Flying Microtonal Banana (ATO) LP
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard: Nonagon Infinitey (ATO) LP
Kendrick Lamar: To Pimp A Butterfly (Aftermath) LP
LCD Soundsystem: American Dream (Sony) LP
Melvins: Ozma/Bullhead (Boner) LP
Melvins: Eggnog/Lice-all (Boner) LP
Neutral Milk Hotel: In The Aeroplane Over the Sea (Merge) LP
Lee Scratch Perry: Super Ape (Get on Down) LP
Slowdive: s/t (Dead Oceans) LP
Tragically Hip: Day for Night (UniversAl) LP
Tragically Hip: Live Between Us (Universal) LP
Tragically Hip: Phantom Power (Universal) LP
Tragically Hip: Road Apples (Universal) LP
Townes Van Zandt: Delta Momma Blues (Fat Possum) LP
Townes Van Zandt: s/t (Fat Possum) LP
Colter Wall: s/t (Sony) LP
White Zombie: It Came From NYC (Numero) 5LP Box
Neil Young: Harvest (Reprise) LP

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…..new letters #811 – sept showers…..

Yow! Video game soundtrack motherload coming in tomorrow. And the some soothing sounds from Godspeed for these dreary rainy days….

…..pick of the week…..

space1999

Ennio Morricone: Space 1999 (Death Waltz) LP
In tomorrow… Death Waltz Recording Company is ready to whisk you far into the future to the end of the 20th century with the truly out of this world Ennio Morricone score to SPAZIO: 1999, starring the late, great Martin Landau. Produced by the legendary Gerry and Sylvia Anderson, the feature was constructed out of three episodes of the revered SPACE: 1999 television show to introduce Italian audiences to Commander Koenig and his crew, and thrilled audiences with nuclear explosions, parallel universes, and space opera thrills, all coming out of Moonbase Alpha. While the Italian show still featured the brassy sound of Barry Gray, legendary maestro Morricone was employed to bring a decidedly different feel to the theatrical film. From the opening the score launches into wild space jazz with piano and trumpet interspersed with all kinds of noise before it descends into a creepier vibe. Morricone uses unsettling violins and atonal music together with electronics to simulate the void of space and the danger faced by the intrepid heroes, and what emerges is a mix of sci-fi and horror that will not only thrill you, but also scare the living daylights out of you. Human decision required. – Charlie Brigden (Creator, The Sound Of Fear Podcast)

File Under: OST, SciFi, Jazz, Electronic
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…..new arrivals…..

acetone

Acetone: 1992 – 2001 (Light in the Attic) LP
In tomorrow… This fall, the independent literary press All Night Menu will publish Sam Sweet’s Hadley Lee Lightcap, a nonfiction novel that traces the backstories of the three members in Acetone, a band that played in Los Angeles for nine years. Though few heard them, their recordings are time capsules of who they were, how they lived, and where they came from. Light In the Attic has partnered with All Night Menu to present Acetone 1992-2001, the first anthology of the trio’s music. The book and the album will be released concurrently on September 22. Counting their early years in the scuzz-rock band Spinout, whose sole self-titled release came out in 1991 on Delicious Vinyl, guitarist Mark Lightcap, bassist Richie Lee, and drummer Steve Hadley played together for a total of 15 years. They disbanded in July 2001, when Lee committed suicide in the garage next to the house where the trio practiced. Afterwards, Rolling Stone ran a short obituary saying Acetone’s albums were “well received” but “failed to make any waves.” It was the first and only time they were featured in the national music press. Between 1993 and 2001 the trio released two LPs and an EP on Vernon Yard—a Virgin subsidiary—and two LPs on Vapor, the L.A.-based label founded by Neil Young and manager Elliott Roberts. In that span, they were selected to tour with Oasis, Mazzy Star, The Verve, and Spiritualized. Against a rising tide of post-Nirvana grunge and slipshod indie rock, Acetone tapped into a timeless Southern California groove by fusing elements of psychedelia, surf, and country. They rehearsed endlessly in an empty bedroom in northeast Los Angeles, recording hours of music onto cassettes that were subsequently stuffed into shoeboxes and left in a shed behind the drummer’s house. Those tapes are being released for the first time in this anthology, which also includes highlights from Acetone’s official releases. Taken together, the songs form a companion soundtrack to Sam Sweet’s book, which maps the character of Los Angeles as a place through the lens of these three unique characters bonded by music. “I think our music is all about moods and feeling but hopefully it will get as weird as it possibly can,” said Richie Lee in 1997. “We want things to get weird in the way that you could hear an Acetone song and know that no one else in the world could make that kind of music but us.”

File Under: Indie Rock
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behind

Behind The Shadow Drops: Harmonic (Temporary Residence) LP
Behind the Shadow Drops is the new solo endeavor from Takaakira ‘Taka’ Goto, founding guitarist and composer of iconic Japanese experimental rock group, MONO. Established in 2016, Behind the Shadow Drops combines Goto’s disparate but commensurate interests in many different forms of music, most notably ambient, trip-hop, industrial minimalism, and modern classical. Recorded at Goto’s home studio and mixed with esteemed producer and percussionist, John McEntire (Tortoise, The Sea and Cake, Yo La Tengo), H a r m o n i c merges Goto’s dynamic, moody compositions with McEntire’s renowned drum programming and percussive sensibilities. What begins as a passing resemblance to the more melancholy work of Goto’s ensemble, MONO, slowly mutates into something otherworldly, submerging in a symphony of synths, drum machines, noise loops, and mournful strings (courtesy of Los Angeles experimental cellist, Helen Money). Resembling something like waves rippling in the ocean under a cloudy moonlit sky, H a r m o n i c is as eerie as it is beautiful – a vast abyss punctuated by seemingly endless glimmers of light.

File Under: Ambient, Classical, Mono
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bridgers

Phoebe Bridgers: Stranger in the Alps (Dead Oceans) LP
Don’t let the somber tone of her music fool you: the Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter Phoebe Bridgers has a sunny disposition. Stranger in the Alps opens with the one-two punch of “Smoke Signals” and “Motion Sickness,” a pair of songs that highlight Bridgers’ abilities. The former, a gorgeous, ethereal tune guided by sparse electric guitar and sweeping strings, toes the line between weary and wistful, using specific anecdotes from its singer to tell its tale. The style highlights the strengths of Bridgers’ unique lyric writing perspective: there are overt references to lost idols, canonical pop songs and actual incidents, but her stories unfold through specific, evocative imagery sung in her subtle, confessional style. The latter is perhaps the most upbeat moment on the album and was written on her baritone guitar and discusses a problematic relationship from her past. “Scott Street” is a song inspired by East Los Angeles where Bridgers now lives. “Killer” is a song originally appearing on her Adams-produced single but is re-recorded here by the album’s producer, Tony Berg, with John Doe singing alongside Bridgers. That song in particular inspired her to be more honest in her approach. Elsewhere, Conor Oberst joins her for the duet “Would You Rather,” a singer chosen for his unmistakable voice. A Mark Kozelek cover, “You Missed My Heart,” ends the album. As with any singer’s debut, the songs here comprise a wide swath of Bridgers’ life, dating from the oldest, “Georgia,” which she calls the most different-sounding on the LP, to the opening pair, which were written after the recording process had already begun. Berg and co-producer Ethan Gruska worked with Bridgers to record in on-and-off stretches in between tours over 2016 at Berg’s studio in Brentwood. Phoebe went into the studio with the majority of the material written, however “Smoke Signals” and “Motion Sickness” were written in a cabin in Idaho, while Bridgers was waiting for a tour to begin. The pair were the last songs written for the LP.

 File Under: Indie Rock
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dsilva

Armancio D’Silva: Integration (Pheon) LP
In tomorrow… The third Pheon Records LP release is the 1969 debut by Indian jazz guitar legend Amancio D’Silva. A perfect storm of amazing, accessible British jazz and incredible scarcity, an original would cost you well in excess of £1000 today. This album represents a high point in 1960s British jazz, a time of experimentation, integration and joy. This is effortless, unique and very beautiful jazz, exotically tinged with elements from Indian musical tradition. Criminally overlooked when it first came out (hence its rarity today), hopefully this FIRST EVER repress will allow more collectors to appreciate just how harmonious and beautiful music made by supreme, international but impoverished jazz artists can be.

File Under: Jazz
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Layout 1

Rino De Filippi: Arte Marziale (Cometa) LP
In tomorrow… Unreleased amazing funk/beat library LP with tones of jazz-funk and psychedelic beats. Keeping the listener on their toes, the music oscillates between psych-funk, jazz and esoteric movie themes then back again.

File Under: Library, Jazz, Funk, Psych
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fink

Fink: Resurgam (Rcoupd) LP
Resurgam  – meaning “I shall rise again” – is the hotly-anticipated sixth studio album from Fink: UK-born, Berlin-based founding singer-songwriter musician Fin Greenall, alongside long-time bandmates Tim Thornton (drums, guitar) and Guy Whittaker (bass). It continues an acclaimed and distinctly adventurous catalogue, from the sample-splicing debut Fresh Produce (2000), through to the beautifully heady expressions of their last album, Hard Believer (2014). Fink have never been afraid to experiment and on Resurgam, they arguably sound more fearless than ever. Resurgam derives its title from a Latin inscription in a 900-year-old church in Greenall’s native Cornwall. Its vital, insistent spirit pulses through the entire album, which was recorded with ground-breaking producer Flood (PJ Harvey, U2, Foals, Warpaint, The Killers) at his Assault & Battery studios in North London. Its ten new tracks were created over two months, a relatively luxurious stretch of time compared to previous Fink albums, resulting in a collection that is both assertive and richly immersive. “Flood, present and engaged from the first demo, guided me through the process of doing things differently, from writing, to singing, to even thinking about the music I make,” says Greenall. “His combination of ‘deadlines are a good thing’ versus ‘fuck the deadline’, and his mantra of ‘making records to be bought, not sold’ gave us all, in our own individual corner of the studio, the fire and the focus to pull together our firmest, strongest, and most coherent record to date.” On the opening title number, “Resurgam’s” lyrics are deliberately stripped-back, but they also pack a powerful punch, along with a deliciously persuasive deep funk flow. There is revelation and redemption; Fink’s positive conviction pervades even the darkest sentiments here. “Day 22” deals with sobriety and temptation, spiked with Greenall’s characteristic observant wit (“the blood, sweat, tears taste so good”). The lead single, “Cracks Appear” delivers a headrush of melody, with warmth and candor. On the exquisitely bittersweet “Word To The Wise,” Greenall lingers over the final notes of a love affair, tenderly accompanied on the piano by Douglas Dare. “Not Everything Was Better In The Past” feels like a personal awakening, merging sharp reflections and poignant moods. A heavy, resonant bass underpins the production throughout, and a range of new elements are also added to the Fink mix, from Flood’s own vintage analogue synths, to sax (played by guest musician Martin Slattery) layered into the vivid atmospheres and skittering beats of “This Isn’t A Mistake.” The rhythm guitar hook of “Godhead” brings out a West African influence, and lends a mesmerizing backdrop to Greenall’s rousing vocals.

File Under: Rock, Folk, Blues
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copeland

Beverly Glenn-Copeland: …keyboard fantasies… (Séance Center) LP
In tomorrow… Beverly Glenn-Copeland is already known amongst collectors and music heads for two sought-after albums of folky jazz in the key of Joni. But it was this album, originally self-released on cassette in 1986 that really caught our attention. The album, entirely recorded on DX-7 and TR-707, lies somewhere between digital new-age and (accidentally) early Detroit techno experiments. The inimitable style of BGC here is both peaceful and meditative while simultaneously rhythmic and bass heavy. The album was recorded in the northern Canadian town of Huntsville where BGC was living at the time and is a beautiful fusion of personal vision, technology and place.

File Under: New Age, Ambient
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godspeed

Godspeed You Black Emperor: Luciferian Towers (Constellation) LP
This long-playing record, a thing we made in the midst of communal mess, raising dogs and children. Eyes up and filled with dreadful joy – we aimed for wrong notes that explode, a quiet muttering amplified heavenward. We recorded it all in a burning motorboat. 1. UNDOING A LUCIFERIAN TOWERS – Look at that fucking skyline! Big lazy money writ in dull marble obelisks! Imagine all those buildings much later on, hollowed out and stripped bare of wires and glass, listen – the wind is whistling through all 3,000 of its burning window-holes! 2. BOSSES HANG – Labor, alienated from the wealth it creates, so that holy cow, most of us live precariously! Kicking at it, but barely hanging on! also – the proud illuminations of our shortened lives! Also – more of us than them! Also – what we need now is shovels, wells, and barricades! 3. FAM / FAMINE – How they kill us = absentee landlord, burning high-rise. The loud panics of child-policemen and their exploding trigger-hands. With the dull edge of an arbitrary meritocracy. Neglect, cancer maps, drone strike, famine. The forest is burning and soon they’ll hunt us like wolves. 4. ANTHEM FOR NO STATE – Canada, emptied of its minerals and dirty oil. Emptied of its trees and water. A crippled thing, drowning in a puddle, covered in ants. The ocean doesn’t give a shit because it knows it’s dying too. 180g vinyl in a gatefold jacket with printed inner plus 24″ x 24″ art print poster and download.

File Under: Indie Rock, Post Rock
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haines

Emily Haines & The Soft Skeleton: Choir of the Mind (Last Gang) LP
Choir of the Mind is the first release from Metric singer Emily Haines’ Soft Skeleton solo project in a decade. Haines’ vocals are definitely the focal point of Choir of the Mind. She used her voice to create spellbinding orchestrations for an effect that is subtle and ghostly on “Wounded,” lush on “Fatal Gift” and deeply powerful on “Legend of the Wild Horse,” which she calls her “soft anthem.” Haines’ voice is the only audible instrument on “Strangle All Romance,” and she creates mesmerizing layers that drift and swirl through the title track, which includes a spokenword part adapted from a poem by the Indian mystic Sri Aurobindo. Haines recorded Choir of the Mind over several weeks in September and October of 2016, more or less alone in Metric’s Toronto studio with a borrowed 18-foot grand piano built in 1850. Her longtime musical partner/Metric bandmate, James Shaw, helped flesh out the sonics with various instruments and rhythmic elements. Shaw also mixed the album. Sparklehorse drummer Scott Minor, a member of the Soft Skeleton’s first incarnation, returned to perform on “Legend of the Wild Horse.” Haines says, “The writing and recording process was heightened and intensive, the two became one thing.”

File Under: Indie Rock, Metric
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G.O.vol2-COVER FINAL

La Donna Invisibile: Giallo Oscuro 1 & 2 (Bongo Joe) LP
In tomorrow… When the stars begin to fall, darkness rises upon everything and absorbs these little golden teardrops, these mysterious gems shining bright in the obscurity. In dark ages like this one, we have to find out those rare jewels to fight against the mediocrity and mass-absorption generated by things such as the superficiality of the communication and the domination of the all-similar merchandise. One way to find out some enlightenment is to dig deep down and excavate those treasures with a gold shit-digging shovel. On the surface, Giallo Oscuro is a pop-oriented project about 60’s Italian love songs. Giallo Oscuro is the missing link between romance, lightness, recklessness and fear, terror, murder and psychosexual dementia. These strange connexions are created in a dream-like form able to reach out the darkness in a compendium of tension and grace. This is part of the “magic” modus operandi of this project. It’s an homage to the music of those “maestri” who have changed forever as much pop sound as the movie soundtracks genre at that time: Bruno Nicolai, Egisto Macchi, Alessandro Alessandroni, Gruppo di improvvisazione Nuova Consonanza, Ennio Morricone- just to name a few. The sounds that emerges from this golden-age are the combination between splendor, grace, lascivious, eroticism, joy, sadness and pre-psychedelia era. And even more than an homage or a rereading of this beautiful music, Giallo Oscuro is mostly about love, loss, distance, time, heartbreak, falling, “pop star’s” fall and decadence. This project is about death, about the dead: our creations, lives and art are ruled by the dead.

File Under: Library, OST, Giallo
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marc4

Marc 4: Debito Coniugale (Four Flies) LP
In tomorrow… Holy Grail Alert! This is absolutely the rarest, and probably the best MARC 4 album ever, pressed as a library on Ricordi label in 1970 with the title I MARC 4 PER VOI, but composed for the original soundtrack of DEBITO CONIUGALE; a brilliant comedy directed by Franco Prosperi, and starring Barbara Bouchet and Lando Buzzanca. A truly amazing album, ranging from jazz to bossa nova, from funk to rhythm ‘n’ blues and psychedelic – all touched with the unique and distinctive sound of I MARC 4, the premier backing band of soloists in the panorama of Italian soundtracks and library music, here accompanied by the vocal work of Edda Dell’Orso as well as the choir, I Cantori Moderni di Alessandroni. An essential record that resonates with that distinctive Italian sound from beginning to end, and which pays tribute to the incredible work of our finest session musicians and creators, rather than of simple executors of a rustproof groove that is not affected by the passage of time. Go South Italy! Armando Trovajoli. An absolute must-have for any serious soundtrack collector, and reissued here on vinyl for the very first time!

File Under: Library, Jazz, Funk, Bossa

monk

Thelonious Monk: Criss Cross (Pure Pleasure) LP
In tomorrow… Criss-Cross — Thelonious Monk’s second album for Columbia Records –features some of the finest work that Monk ever did in the studio with his ‘60s trio and quartet. Whether revisiting pop standards or reinventing Monk’s own classic compositions, Monk and Charlie Rouse (tenor sax), John Ore (bass), and Frankie Dunlop (drums) exchange powerful musical ideas, as well as provide potent solos throughout the disc. Fittingly, “Hackensack” — a frenetic original composition — opens the disc by demonstrating the bandleader’s strength in a quartet environment. The solid rhythmic support of the trio unfetters Monk into unleashing endless cascades of percussive inflections and intoxicating chord progressions. The title cut also reflects the ability of the four musicians to maintain melodic intricacies that are at times so exigent it seems cruel that Monk would have expected a musician of any caliber to pull them off. “Tea for Two” showcases Monk’s appreciation for the great stride or “walking” piano style of James P. Johnson and Willie “The Lion” Smith. The arrangement here is lighter, and features a trio (minus Rouse) to accent rather than banter with Monk’s splashes of magnificence throughout. Likewise, Monk’s solo on “Don’t Blame Me” is excellent. The extended runs up and down the keyboard can’t help but reiterate the tremendous debt of gratitude owed to the original stride pianists of the early 20th century. This is prime Monk for any degree of listener.

File Under: Jazz
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omni

Omni: Multitask (Trouble In Mind) LP
Atlanta, GA trio Omni charges out of the gate in 2016, stunning everyone within earshot with their debut longplayer, “Deluxe”; a dizzyingly refreshing amalgam of wiry post-punk jitters & a dash of zen cool. “Multi-task” is their latest offering & all signs point to the coveted goal of “next level” Guitarist Frankie Broyles (ex-Balkans/Deerhunter) & bassist/vocalist Philip Frobos (Carnivores) crafted “Deluxe”s eleven tracks in their practice space with friend & engineer Nathaniel Higgins “Nathaniel truly knows us, what we like and what we should sound like” says Frobos. They returned to Higgins for “Multi-task”, recording basic drum tracks at Higgins’ home studio & overdubbing bass, guitar, vocals & more during two separate trips to a remote cabin in the woods near Vienna, Georgia. “It gave a true peace/piece of mind away from the city” Frobos says, “We could work with no distractions or limitations at our own pace.” “Multi-task” is a more musically adventurous step forward for the band, keeping the frantic, fleet-fingered fingerpicking of Broyles’ guitar work & Frobos’ dead-cool delivery while expanding their musical palette & to include whispers of post-Roxy glam & Postcard Records pop. “Multi-task” balances the band’s trademark off-kilter & unconventional jams (Southbound Station”, “Supermoon”) with an elegance not found in many of their contemporaries, songs like “Tuxedo Blues” & “Type”, with their underlying seductive sophistication create an aura of romance that many post-punk bands dare not tread. Omni pulls it off with grace & style, still whirring on their minimalist funk-fused agit-pop while creating an album that is awash in the excitement of new love, or fleeting attraction – a journey from that dizzying buzz of first date pheromones found twirling on the dance floor to the cab ride cool-down to home (or wherever.)

File Under: Post Punk
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beast

OST: Altered Beast (Data Discs) LP
In tomorrow… Originally released in the arcades in 1988, but quickly ported over to SEGA’s new Mega Drive console, where it entered countless homes as a pack-in game, Altered Beast remains memorable for many things over its gameplay, not least its soundtrack. Composed by Tohru “Master” Nakabayashi, the music of Altered Beast moves between intense battle themes and cavernous dirges; the perfect backdrop to traversing the netherworld, punching pigs and powering up. Sourced from original hardware and carefully mastered for vinyl, Altered Beast is presented as a 45RPM cut LP in a 400g matte varnished sleeve and printed inner sleeve, both of which feature hand-painted artwork from the SEGA archives. Also included is a foldout poster of the original painting used for the game’s box art.

File Under: OST
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atomic

OST: Atomic Blonde (Mondo) LP
In tomorrow… A cool film needs a cool soundtrack, right? And none come cooler than ATOMIC BLONDE. A double LP filled to the brim with needle drops of some of the ’80s best known cuts, as well as some under the radar gems, and a smattering of brand new tracks recorded especially for the movie. David Bowie, George Michael, The Clash, Nena, Siouxsie and the Banshees, and A Flock Of Seagulls of course need no introduction, and they all contribute absolutely killer songs here. Rubbing shoulders with these A-listers are lesser known acts such as Re-Flex, whose track ‘The Politics of Dancing’ was a minor hit in the UK and is a pure ’80s synth-pop banger from start to finish. After The Fire went from playing uninspired prog rock to recording the should-have-been classic ‘Der Kommissar,’ full of funky guitar licks and a chorus so hook-laden it should be illegal. ‘Voices Carry’ by American new wave band ’Til Tuesday features Aimee Mann on vocals and is an all-timer everyone needs on vinyl. The record is rounded out by a series of covers of classic ‘80s tracks. Industrial noise pop band HEALTH offering a fresh take on New Order’s ’Blue Monday’ which turns the cold original into a sublime slice of melodic mayhem that breaks down into into electro shoegaze before going full dance floor to finish. LEX recording artists Kaleida supply a moody ethereal version of Nena’s ‘99 Luftballons’. And finally composer Tyler Bates teams up with Marilyn Manson for a cover of Ministry’s ‘Stigmata,’ which sounds like Manson going back to his Spooky Kids roots, and is urgent as all hell. Four sides of killer music wrapped in a beautiful package for one of the best action films this year. It’s a no brainer, really. Buy this, or be prepared to meet Charlize in stairwell and explain why you aren’t adding it to you collection……

File Under: OST
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contrta

OST: Contra (Mondo) LP
In tomorrow… Mondo is proud to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the run-and-gun franchise with the premiere Vinyl release of the classic shooter that started it all: Contra.

File Under: OST, Video Games
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hero

OST: Hero of Time (Music From Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (iam8bit) LP
In tomorrow… Just in time for The Legend of Zelda’s 30th Anniversary Celebration! iam8bit & Materia Collective are ecstatic to present Hero of Time, an officially licensed, one-hour arrangement album based on Koji Kondo’s dynamic, epic and absolutely gorgeous score to The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. Freshly – and exclusively – recorded by the 64-player Slovak National Symphony Orchestra for this very album, Hero of Time breaths new life into classic Ocarina of Time score, previously only available from its Nintendo 64 sound chip origins. The album is arranged & composed by Eric Buchholz, a maestro of video game concert tours across the globe, including The Legend of Zelda 25th Anniversary Symphony (plus the bonus CD that shipped with Skyward Sword!!), The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses, and many more. The stunning album artwork was created by Ryan Brinkerhoff, full of subtle visual detail and interactive pieces, including a die-cut Ocarina window on the jacket’s front, a majestic gatefold featuring both Light or Dark sides, and, of course – the finishing crescendo of a shimmering, gold foil-stamped triforce on the back. This album will be recorded LIVE in January 2017 at Studio 1 in Bratislava by the Slovak National Symphony Orchestra, immediately thereafter mastered and prepared for vinyl.

File Under: OST, Video Games
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master

OST: Master of None (Mondo) LP
In tomorrow…
Mondo in partnership with Lakeshore Records, are proud to present the soundtrack to Aziz Ansari’s critically acclaimed Netflix Original Series: Master Of None – Season Two. Aziz Ansari’s Netflix Original Series Master Of None has been critically acclaimed for various reasons, including its incredible use of music. The music of season one (which Pitchfork called “prolific and distinctive”) set the tone of Aziz’s character Dev, and his initial misadventures in New York. But season two’s narrative launch in Italy takes the soundtrack into equally distinct, if not more diverse musical directions.

File Under: OST
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rewind

OST: Rewind This! (Death Waltz) LP
In tomorrow… REWIND THIS! is a must-see documentary about the home video boom of the 1980s and the tape collectors obsessing, preserving and cataloging the format today. Josh Freda’s incredible synth score perfectly captures all aspects of ‘80s videotape culture; an album full of music recalling cheesy action synth riffs, moody horror stings and neon drenched nighttime radios. This isn’t some hollow retro futuristic re-tread of the ’80s, though, as Freda manages to inject so much personality and playfulness into his music that even through the barrage of synths in play it sounds ultra contemporary and very human indeed. Includes the lo-fi punk gem ‘Head Cleaner’ by Joey Division as a bonus track, and the artwork is by the kickass Hollis Brown Thornton that we have been wanting to work with for an age.

File Under: OST
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streets

OST: Streets of Rage 2 (Data Discs) LP
In tomorrow… Widely regarded as one of the greatest and most influential game soundtracks of all time, STREETS OF RAGE 2 remains a towering achievement of the 16bit era. Data Discs is extremely proud to be releasing this masterpiece of FM synthesis, composed by Yuzo Koshiro and Motohiro Kawashima in 1992 and sounding more relevant today than ever. The audio has been carefully remastered using multiple sources, including the original NEC PC-88 files supplied by Koshiro himself, and packaged in original artwork sourced from the SEGA archives in Japan.

File Under: OST, Video Games
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castlevania4

OST: Super Castlevania IV (Mondo) LP
In tomorrow… Mondo is proud to present the premiere vinyl soundtrack to Simon Belmont’s first 16-Bit adventure, the 1991 SNES classic Super Castlevania IV. Super Castlevania IV, technically a remake of the first Castlevania game, puts you back into boots of vampire hunter Simon Belmont. But if the first Castlevania soundtrack was like a band’s debut garage album, Super Castlevania IV is where they finally got into a major recording studio and fully fleshed out their sonic ambitions. The Super Nintendo’s sound chip brought the franchise into the world of synth for the first time. It allowed Konami’s composers to use audio samples to achieve an instrumentation previously unattainable on earlier systems. From the moment Super Castlevania IV begins you can hear the difference, with synthesized samples of organs and chiming bells, that set a more cinematic tone for Simon’s quest to fell the devil’s castle. But it’s not all graveyards and fog; by the time you arrive at the fourth track on the album, “Simon Belmont’s Theme,” you reach the new gold standard for the music of Castlevania. And when you get to Track 8, “Mechanical Trick Castle,” you are hearing Konami Kukeiha Club at its absolute finest, producing epic, bombastic score with prog rock elements that would remain the backbone of the franchise for years to come.

File Under: OST, Video Games
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peaks

OST: Twin Peaks 2017 (Rhino) LP
This is the music from the show, the score shipped today and will be in early next week… The eagerly awaited revival of Mark Frost and David Lynch’s revolutionary television series Twin Peaks is finally here. The music that appears in the new Showtime series will be part of two upcoming soundtracks to be released by Rhino in September 2017. Twin Peaks: Music From The Limited Event Series and Twin Peaks: Limited Event Series Original Soundtrack will be issued as 2LP-sets and full track listings will be revealed as the season progresses. Music has always played a central role in Lynch’s work and it helped establish the haunting, dreamlike nature of the original Twin Peaks. The same is true for the new series. Much like the plot of the show, the songs that appear on the new soundtracks will be revealed gradually over the course of the season’s 18 episodes. The first track as heard on the debut episode is “Twin Peaks Main Theme” by Grammy-winning composer Angelo Badalamenti, whose music is inextricably linked to the original series and film. The second track is “Shadow” by Chromatics, an electronic band based in Los Angeles, and will be on their new album Dear Tommy. Directed entirely by David Lynch, the new Showtime 18-part limited event series Twin Peaks picks up 25 years after the inhabitants of a quaint northwestern town were stunned when their homecoming queen Laura Palmer was shockingly murdered. Golden Globe-winning and Emmy Award-nominated Kyle MacLachlan stars as FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper. Twin Peaks is written and executive produced by series creators David Lynch and Mark Frost, and is executive produced by Sabrina S. Sutherland.

File Under: OST
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vuh

Popol Vuh: For You And Me (One Way Static) LP
In tomorrow… Born as Florian Fricke’s brainchild, Popol Vuh needs little introduction, the band stayed active between the late 1960s & late 1990s (until Florian’s passing in 2001). Regarded as pioneers in avant-garde German electronic music, their early works practically laid down the foundations for ‘Kosmische Muzik’ (Space Music) with the then new sounds of the Moog synthesizer joined with ethnic percussions. Later the group evolved to include all kinds of instruments (both electric and acoustic alike) shrouding their music in a spiritual & introspective mystical aura. Popol Vuh influenced many other European bands with their uniquely soft but elaborate instrumentation, which took inspiration from the music of Tibet, Africa and pre-Columbian America. With music sometimes described as “ethereal”, they created soundscapes through psychedelic walls of sound, and are regarded as precursors of contemporary ‘world music’, as well as of ‘new age’ and ‘ambient’. Popol Vuh regularly contributed soundtracks to the films of Werner Herzog that include classics like ‘Aguirre’, ‘Nosferatu’, ‘Heart Of Glass’ & ‘Cobra Verde’. ‘For You And Me’ was their 17th album & now 28 years it holds up more than ever. While decidedly new age and world music in sound (with musical elements from the Himalayas, Ireland, Greece and Africa), this album has style and grace, and the updated sonic quality makes it a pleasure to listen to. The light pieces combined with their timeless dramatic signature sound, the majestic piano chords, the profound lyrics and the crescendos of emotions set this album apart from the banal new age mainstream. The authentic Popul Vuh spirituality permeates on every track here, prepare for goose bumps and a divine moment, in For You And Me, they created a more modern day classic, easily their best album of the 90’s. Out of print since 1991 and never released on vinyl outside of Europe, now back available as a gorgeously packaged deluxe vinyl edition. Strictly limited to 700 copies (black vinyl) with spot-varnished details on the jacket. Next to the black vinyl pressing, a color vinyl variant (#300 copies black & clear swirl vinyl) is also available exclusively from Light In The Attic & Mondo in North America and from Transmission Records in Europe.

File Under: Ambient, Krautrock
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red river

Red River Dave: Authentic Hillbilly Ballads & Topical Songs (Iron Mountain) LP
In tomorrow… Notorious for his 1970 song ‘California Hippie Murders!’ – a ghoulish, harrowing, yodelling retelling of the infamous (Charles Manson masterminded) Tate-La-Bianca slayings – Red River Dave was a genuine cowboy singing star turned tabloid balladeer. While ‘California Hippie Murders!’ might seem chilling and bizarre, within the body of ‘Red River Dave’ McEnery epic saga songs (collected here for the very first time), it makes perfect sense. The Moon landings, the kidnapping of heiress Patty Hearst, the Vietnam conflict, the assassination of JFK, the murder of young Emmett Till, Korean War ‘Manchurian Candidate’ brainwashing, patriotic tirades and Cold War dirges – all grist for the great Red River Dave Hillbilly song-mill. Often cut within hours or days of the event and pressed as minuscule edition private 45s: the tall, flamboyant, ’Buffalo Bill’ bearded McEnery cut a dashing figure in his gold-sprayed cowboy boots and cracking lariat – as he hawked these handcrafted cuts from the boot of his steer-horned Cadillac. Some sides presented here are so rare as to be near-mythical – you’ll hear Red River Dave wax about the death of Marilyn Monroe and the Bay of Pigs – in an eccentric and forgotten chronicle of the 20th century experience.

File Under: Country
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reich

Steve Reich: Drumming (Pure Pleasure) LP
In tomorrow… Simply put, Drumming is, along with some of Philip Glass’ Einstein on the Beach, one of the most fascinating pieces of first-generation minimalism. The version recorded for Elektra/Nonesuch in 1987 ranks among Reich’s masterpieces. The 60-minute continuous work features one basic rhythm pattern. Throughout four segued movements it is multiplied, played in canon on various percussion instruments. “Part I” is for four pairs of tuned bongo drums; “Part II” for three marimbas (played by nine players) and two singers mimicking the sound of marimbas; “Part III” for three glockenspiels, piccolo, and whistling (played by Reich himself); “Part IV” for all previous instruments, including voices. Transitions between movements are gradual, the whole piece being built on accumulation and reduction. When it is time to go to the next movement, players are slowly removed, quarter-notes replaced by rests, in order to make room for the new instruments. The piece almost comes to a complete halt at the end of “Part III,” keeping only the most basic pulse before the whole process starts over, building up to the finale. There is a sense of happiness and lightness irradiating from Drumming. It is a perfect example of the paradox of the simple and the complex, the easy and the challenging underlying minimalist music. Both cerebral and vitally tribal or ritualistic, this album is a must-have.

File Under: Avant Garde, Minimalism
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sumney

Moses Sumney: Aromanticism (Jagjaguwar) LP
Since emerging onto the scene in 2014, Moses Sumney has ridden a wave of word-of-mouth praise, hushed recordings, and dynamic live performances. It’s an organic, patient ascent all too rare in today’s musical climate. In a voice both mellifluous and haunting, Sumney makes future music that transmogrifies classic tropes, like moon-colony choir reinterpretations of old jazz gems. His vocals narrate a personal journey through universal loneliness atop otherworldly compositional backdrops. Following the self-release of his debut cassette EP, Mid-City Island, and 2015’s 7″, Seeds/Pleas, Sumney has performed around the world alongside forebears like David Byrne, Karen O, Sufjan Stevens, Solange, James Blake and more. With his 2016 Lamentations EP, The California and Ghana-raised troubadour widened the spectrum of his heretofore “bedroom” music, incorporating songs that feature more elaborate production and evocative songwriting. Now his inspired ascent continues. His proper debut album, Aromanticism is a concept album about lovelessness as a sonic dreamscape. It seeks to interrogate the social constructions around romance. The debut will include the devastating, billowing synths of “Doomed,” which in a way serves as the album’s thesis statement, as well as new versions of standouts “Lonely World” and “Plastic.” It’s a deliberate, jaw-dropping statement that can leave you both enlightened and empty.

File Under: Funk, Soul
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souljazz

Souljazz Orchestra: Under Burning Skies (Strut) LP
Canada’s fastest moving and hardest working collective are back with one of their finest albums to date, a brand new journey into tropical, soul and jazz styles. Turbulent times call for strong voices and The Souljazz Orchestra’s new set packs a suitably heavy lyrical punch, with wry observations and an urge for progressive change. Musically, the band continue to push the limits, dusting off ‘80s vintage synthesizers and early drum machines for the first time, bringing lo fi disco, boogie and electro touches to their trademark horn arrangements and earthy analogue sound. The fruits are a-plenty and the group sound at their confident and versatile best from start to finish. Opener “Dog Eat Dog” powers in with Mabinuori Idowu and Philippe Lafrenière lambasting the powerful and the corrupt over an infectious Afro-disco groove; “Lufunki” takes the group right back to their B-Boy roots, bringing the Afro vibes to Beat Street and “Is Yeelyel” delivers a killer rework of an obscure original by Somalian super-group Dur-Dur Band. The band go on exploring their passion for French Caribbean styles on the beautiful, lilting “Oublier Pour Un Jour” and “Tambour À Deux Peaux” and they take time for reflection on the potent instrumental title track and poignant closer “Aduna Jarul Naawo,” featuring the vocals of Élage Mbaye.

File Under: Funk, Afrobeat
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suarez

Esther Suarez: La Bolognesina (Litle Axe) LP
In tomorrow… Esther Suarez, also known as La Ocrasina De Oro, is a popular Peruvian Huayno singer. La Bolognesina is one of her earlier albums, featuring reverbed vocals over Andean harps supplemented with light percussion and handclaps. The album was recorded in 1981, with the title referring to her roots near the snow-capped Andean mountains of the Bolognesi province in the Ancash region of Peru. Peru experienced waves of mass rural-to-urban migration in the latter half of the twentieth century due to poverty and political instability, but with it also came an explosion in the popularity of the folkloric Huayno tradition. An urban and modernized studio version of ancient indigenous Quechua folk traditions, Huayno became the soundtrack to the migrant’s experience of both hardship and homesickness. Esther Suarez’s clear and yearning vocals soar over galloping huayno rhythms, evoking the highlands of her youth with heartbreak, regret and melancholy, while simultaneously looking to a place where there is always a will to live and an invitation to dance. Truly some of the most beautiful music ever.

File Under: Folk, World, Peru
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vangaalen

Chad VanGaalen: Infiniheart (Flemish Eye) LP
Cultivating a singularly unique voice in the world of songwriting and composition is a difficult prospect for all but the most naturally gifted of artists, and Calgary-based songwriter Chad VanGaalen certainly belongs in that category. 2005’s Infiniheart, an epic tapestry of crunchy guitars, ethereal textures and expressive hooks, exists as a selection of the hundreds upon hundreds of intricate, visionary pop songs VanGaalen has crafted and self-recorded in his bedroom studio since 1994 with a Tascam 4-track, an Akai hard disc recorder and an assortment of analog gadgets. VanGaalen, a skilled animator and illustrator, began his journey busking Canadian streets and art events with a simple setup of drums and guitar before critical acclaim of his recorded material gave way to subsequent opening slots with Stars and the Pixies. As prolific as he is curious about the nature of sound and the mysteries of the heart, VanGaalen’s mystical, highly sympathetic characters thematically explore loss, passion and longing through sonic constructions rich in simplicity and peppered with glitchy beats, plaintive, vulnerable vocals and homemade saxophones and violins whittled by VanGaalen himself. Deeply moving and endlessly surprising, Infiniheart was VanGaalen’s first for Sub Pop.

File Under: Indie Rock
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wolfe

Chelsea Wolfe: Hiss Spun (Sargent House) LP
In tomorrow… While past albums operated on the intimacy of stripped-down folk music (The Grime and the Glow, Unknown Rooms), or the throbbing pulse of supplemental electronics (Pain Is Beauty, Abyss), Chelsea Wolfe’s sixth official album Hiss Spun wrings its exquisiteness out of a palette of groaning bass, pounding drums, and crunching distortion. Recorded by Kurt Ballou (Converge), the album was conceived as an emotional purge, a means of coming to terms with the tumult of the outside world by exploring the complexities of one’s inner unrest. “I’m at odds with myself,” she explains. “I got tired of trying to disappear. The record became very personal in that way. I wanted to open up more, but also create my own reality.” Hiss Spun features contributions by Aaron Turner (Old Man Gloom, SUMAC) and Troy Van Leeuwen (Queens of the Stone Age, Failure).

File Under: Indie Rock, Goth
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yoshimura

Hiroshi Yoshimura: Pier & Loft (17853) LP
In tomorrow… The late Hiroshi Yoshimura, a pioneer of Japanese ambient music. Yoshimura was involved in a wide range of fields, such as sound design for public installations, graphic design, visual poetry, free improvised performance (using his own body) and inventing his own instruments, right up until he passed away in 2003. The seven songs on this album were created for a fashion exhibition held at a warehouse in the Tokyo bay area. He released it on cassette tape on Japanese label ‘Fukusei Gijutsu Kohboh” ran by Yoshio Ojima who produced the album. Referring to the Loft: “As the time goes by, the Loft that was swept away ( forgotten) from the City but it somewhat has a look of a ” City of Ruins” that reminds you of something you have forgotten. Something nostalgic. Sounds from the City and the vast landscape gave me a great opportunity to take a fresh look at Tokyo.” says Yoshimura. Referring To the Pier: His look towards Tokyo bay takes on the shape of sonic particles….tickling down gently while tinged with change. A landscape of Seven Sounds. This is the first-ever vinyl release, 34 years after it’s recording. The sleeve image is the same as on the original cassette release.

File Under: Electronic, Experimental, Ambient
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ztio

Luigi Zito & Vittorio Nadlin: Dinamica Ossessiva (Cometa) LP
In tomorrow… Unreleased amazing funk/beat library LP with tones of jazz-funk and psychedelic beats. Keeping the listener on their toes, the music oscillates between psych-funk, jazz and esoteric movie themes then back again. Songs like “Inseguimento Sul Bosforo”, “Piazza”, “Theme For Two” and “Aggressione”, are timeless and show why Cometa albums are so highly regarded within the library community. This gem has finally be released on HQ 180gr. vinyl, to the delight of audiophiles.

File Under: Library
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hillbillies

Various: Hillbillies In Hell Volume 4 (Iron Mountain) LP
In tomorrow… Be tempted deeper into the depths…a reverberant brimstone labyrinth of tortured souls and redemptive pleas. More Country Gospel diatribes and Hellfired Hillbilly laments originally waxed on microscopic labels and distributed in minuscule amounts. These troubled but largely forgotten Hayseed troubadours sing of damnation and infernal choices, tormented sinners, Devil trains, Luciferian trysts, evil dope schemes and fallow final dreams. Years in the making – ‘Hillbillies In Hell’ (Volume Four) presents a further 16 timeless testaments of sin, tribulation, cold graves and warm temptations. An unholy stash of subterranean 45s, some of these sides are impossibly rare and are reissued here for the very first time. All for your prurient listening pleasure.

File Under: Country

musica

Various: Musica Per L’Immagine (Fly By Night) LP
In tomorrow… With Fly By Night Music now celebrating their fifth year of operation, Lorenzo has marked the occasion by assembling his biggest project to date – an impeccably curated collection of obscure Italian production music circa 1974 – 1985. The project, has been very close to Lorenzo’s heart – beginning unexpectedly in the record fairs of Buenos Aires and leading him on several trips to Rome and Milan, tracking down the original musicians and licensors.

File Under: Library

outro

Various: Outro Tempo (Music From Memory) LP
In tomorrow… FINALLY GOT SOME OF THIS DAMNED RECORD! For their first multi-artist compilation, Music From Memory take us on a trip to the heart of the Amazon rainforest. Outro Tempo: Electronic and Contemporary Music From Brazil, 1978-1992 is a double LP that explores the outer reaches of Brazilian music, where indigenous rhythms mix with synthesizers and where MPB mingles with drum computers. As Brazil faced the last years of its military dictatorship and transition to democracy, a generation of forward-thinking musicians developed an alternative vision of Brazilian music and culture. They embraced traditionally shunned electronic production methods and infused their music with elements of ambient, jazz-fusion, and minimalism. At the same time they referenced the musical forms and spirituality of indigenous tribes from the Amazon. The music they produced was a complex and mesmerising tapestry that vividly evoked Brazilian landscapes and simultaneously reached out to the world beyond its borders. The product of extensive research, this compilation is a unique introduction to this visionary music and features many fresh discoveries in a country well trodden by record diggers. It gathers tracks from obscure albums that have for too long been neglected by even the most avid collectors of Brazilian music. It includes now highly sought after music by Andréa Daltro, Maria Rita, and Fernando Falcão, as well as unknown gems like those of Cinema, Carlinhos Santos, and Anno Luz. This is an essential release that reveals a broader spectrum of Brazilian music, striking a unique sonic signature that is full of innovation, experimentation, and beauty.

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

Roky Erickson: The Evil One (Light in the Attic) LP
Gaussian Curve: Clouds (Music From Memory) LP
Francoise Hardy: L’Amite (Future Days) LP
Francoise Hardy: La Premier Bonheur Du Jour (Future Days) LP
Shin Joong Hyun: Beautiful Rivers & Mountains (Light in the Attic) LP
Os Mutantes: Everything is Possible (LuakaBop) LP
Rodriguez: Cold Fact (Light in the Attic) LP
Link Wray: Be What You Want To Be (Tidal Wave) LP
Link Wray: Mordicai Jones (Tidal Wave) LP
Link Wray: s/t (Future Days) LP

Tagged , , , , , ,

…..news letter #810 – stocked…..

Finally, lots of stock of the War on Drugs this week. And a big restock on The National and Queens of the Stone Age in time for the weekend… Still no more LCD, but there’s a ton of great other new things to satisfy your thirsty ear buds. Lots of great used as always as well. Dig.

…..picks of the week…..

takada

Midori Takada & Masahiko Satoh: Lunar Cruise (WRWTFWW) LP+CD
Marks the title’s first ever vinyl release; Cut at Emil Berliner Studios; Housed in a 350 gsm sleeve; Includes CD with all ten tracks. We Release Whatever The Fuck We Want Records present a reissue of Midori Takada and Masahiko Satoh’s Lunar Cruise, originally released in 1990. Following the successful reissue of Midori Takada’s Through The Looking Glass, WRWTFWW Records present another release from the legendary Japanese percussionist: 1990’s Lunar Cruise, her superb collaboration with jazz pianist, synth master, composer, and arranger Masahiko Satoh. Arguably the best kept secret in Midori Takada’s fascinating discography, Lunar Cruise is an under-the-radar masterpiece that captures Takada (on marimba and minimal percussion set-up) and Satoh (on Korg M1 and Yamaha DX7II synths, Ensoniq EPS sampler, and acoustic piano) vibrantly fusing traditional African and Asian percussion with jazz, ambient, and minimalism. The album also features the great Haruomi Hosono (Yellow Magic Orchestra, Happy End) and Kazutoki Umezu (saxophone, clarinet).

File Under: Electronic, Experimental, Percussion
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kirchin

Basil Kirchin: Basil Kirchin is My Friend (Trunk) LP
An awe-inspiring sampler of the late, great musical polymath’s music. From pop punk pop to field recordings, jazz, horror film music, ambient sounds, experimental ideas and all points in between. Many tracks have not been released before. Basil Kirchin was a unique talent. A man brought up as a drummer in the post-war big band era, he soon shunned the sounds of London ballrooms for world travel, marijuana, and spiritual enlightenment. On his return to London in the mid-1960s, he started work on experimental “sound picture music”, a direction that led him into horror film music, library music, and eventually, to field recordings. He then developed the idea of slowing down the sounds of bird, insects, animals, autistic children — anything he recorded in fact — to reveal the hidden particles of sound that made them up. Mixing this with free jazz improvisation in 1969, he developed a new, peculiar sound that is now known as “ambient”. Here, in this unique Trunk Record’s sampler, the label offers a fascinating musical glimpse into his world, bringing together work from three decades, plus parts of a long conversation between Jonny Trunk and Basil Kirchin, recorded a few months before Kirchin died. There is unreleased film music, field recordings including autistic children from Schurmatt, music for advertising, the opening of Quantum (JBH 003CD), brilliant mixes of jazz and birds (“Charcoal Sketches”), the newly discovered digital post punk classic “Silicon Chip”, plus brilliant and moving homages to his life with Esther, his wife. Together it makes extraordinary listening. All cues mastered and sequenced by Jon Brooks, AKA The Advisory Circle.

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

ebll

Chris Bell: I am the Cosmos (Omnivore) LP
Chris Bell was an immensely gifted songwriter, performer and producer. As a founding member of Big Star and as a solo artist he struggled to have his songs heard. Sadly, the Memphis-born artist did not live long enough to see the enormous impact his music – both with Big Star and as a solo artist – would have on future generations. The beginnings of I Am The Cosmos can be traced back to 1972, when Bell left Big Star, the seminal power-pop outfit he helped found. After helping Big Star write and record a few songs for Radio City, the band’s follow-up, Bell left for France in 1974. While there, he recorded several demos at Hérouville Studios for a planned solo album. Following the sessions, Bell and his brother David took the tracks to a London studio owned by the Beatles’ producer George Martin, where they mixed the songs with Geoff Emerick, who engineered several of the Beatles’ albums. The songs were shelved and Bell returned home to Memphis, where he recorded more songs with a revolving cast of Memphis musicians. In 1978, Car Records released a single featuring Bell’s “I Am The Cosmos” b/w “You And Your Sister.” Encouraged by the positive reaction to the single, Bell was planning a return to music when he was killed in a car accident in 1978, two days after Christmas. His music remained unreleased until 1992, when several of his demos were released posthumously as I Am The Cosmos. The 12 tracks highlight Bell’s ethereal vocals, his uncanny sense of song structure and insightful, melancholy lyrics, all of which illuminate his often-overlooked contribution to Big Star. I Am The Cosmos is a haunting pop masterpiece ripe for discovery.

File Under: Rock, Power Pop, Big Star
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berrocal

Jac Berrocal: La Nuit Est Au Courant (Souffle Continu) LP
Souffle Continu Records present the first vinyl edition of Jac Berrocal’s La Nuit Est Au Courant, originally released on In Situ in 1991. Ornette Coleman’s “Lonely Woman” on the radio, Renaissance motets, his grandfather in a Zouave military band, Syrian deserts… Columns of tanks in the streets, the soundtrack to Robert Bresson’s A Man Escaped (1956), Juan Manuel Fangio’s car, the fall of the Berlin wall: from the first and fantastic Musiq Musik (1973), this is where Jac Berrocal’s trumpet comes from — an indescribable cataclysm to which he constantly returns for inspiration. When he published, at the beginning of the 1990s, La Nuit Est Au Courant, Jac Berrocal had already recorded his famous “Rock’n’Roll Station” and collaborated three times with Nurse With Wound, he figures on their 1979 list as an important avant-garde influence. In Situ, the French label which published this album, produced several other historically important albums in the same year by people like Steve Lacy, François Tusques, Un Drame Musical Instantané, and Daunik Lazro in a duo with Joe McPhee: such were the times. Backed by two bassists (including the jazz critic Francis Marmande) and a drummer, Jacques Thollot (who recorded Jeter La Girafe À La Mer (1971), one of the highlights of the French underground), Jac Berrocal does here what he does best: defy labels and slalom between genres; constructing a strange kaleidoscope of enchanting mish-mash. “What is vulgar… “, he states, “… is to refuse what pleases you”. Jac Berrocal refuses nothing and tries everything he can imagine. With the trumpet multiplied here and there by reverb, the nocturnal perambulations for insomniacs of La Nuit Au Courant make it an ambient album with Prague, Sartrouville, Ivry-sur-Seine or East Berlin amongst the backdrops… An album of what Fernando Arrabal called “panic music”, an elegant term for “no wave”… Listening to it over and again, it sounds like Don Cherry jamming with David Bowie and Brian Eno in Berlin. There is one thing you should know: Jac Berrocal is an intrepid man. He stands exposed — and “sullies his soul”, on the edge of the precipice. The nights are all-knowing. Licensed from In Situ. Obi strip; Reverse printing; Includes four-page booklet; Edition of 700.

File Under: Free Jazz, Improvisation
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beyonce

Beyonce: Lemonade (Columbia) LP
Beyonce’s powerful Grammy-winning 2016 album Lemonade served as her sixth studio effort overall, a bold conceptual project loaded with subtext and based on every woman’s journey of self knowledge and healing. This is the first pressing of the 180g, yellow colored, four-sided LP version of the album, allowing for a higher sound quality. Encompassing a variety of genres including R&B, rock, soul, gospel, hip-hop, pop, and blues plus equally as diverse guest artists like James Blake, Kendrick Lamar, The Weeknd and Jack White, Lemonade debuted at No. 1 on the US Billboard 200 and was one of the biggest selling and acclaimed albums of the year. As artistically ambitious as is it is emotionally raw Lemonade simultaneously set a new standard for the Queen Bee and pop music in general. “Lemonade draws from the prolific literary, musical, cinematic, and aesthetic sensibilities of black cultural producers to create a rich tapestry of poetic innovation. The audacity of its reach and fierceness of its vision challenges our cultural imagination, while crafting a stunning and sublime masterpiece about the lives of women of color and the bonds of friendship seldom seen or heard in American popular culture.” – Peabody Award Winner

File Under: Pop, R&B, Hip Hop
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bley

Paul Bley: Improvisie (Bamboo) LP
Bamboo present the first ever reissue of Paul Bley’s Improvisie, originally released in 1971. Recorded Live March 26th, 1971 at Club B14 in Rotterdam, Netherlands, Improvisie is a part of the 1971 trilogy of Paul Bley and Annette Peacock’s combined experimental recorded work. Together with recent reissues of 1971’s The Bley Synthesizer Show  and 1972’s Dual Unity, Improvisie is taken from a compelling period for two iconic figures of the free jazz movement, and their pioneering use of the first-ever Moog synthesizers. Includes expansive liners with interviews and rare archival photos; Professionally remastered original sound recoring.

File Under: Free Jazz
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foo fighter

Foo Fighters: Concrete & Gold (RCA) LP
“I wanted it to be the biggest sounding Foo Fighters record ever. To make a gigantic rock record but with Greg Kurstin’s sense of melody and arrangement.” So speaks Dave Grohl of the mission statement made manifest in Foo Fighters’ ninth epic, the aptly-titled Concrete and Gold. Just as Foo Fighters’ anthem of the summer “Run” “opens as a dreamy, slow burner then quickly turns heavy as thunder” (Billboard) with its “huge triumphant chorus” (Stereogum), Concrete and Gold marries some of the most insanely heavy Foo Fighters riffs ever with lush harmonic complexities courtesy of a first time team-up with producer Greg Kurstin (Adele, Sia, Pink). “So I think maybe Greg is the guy that we ask to be our producer because he’s never made a heavy rock record before and we’ve never worked with a pop producer,” adds Grohl. Darrel Thorp (Beck, Radiohead) was soon enlisted to mix and engineer. This collective conceived a blueprint of the new record as, “Motorhead’s version of Sgt. Pepper…or something like that,” secretly booking into Hollywood’s esteemed EastWest studios to consummate this marriage of extremes…or as Grohl puts it: “Our noise and Greg’s big brain and all of his sophisticated arrangements and composition.” Months, sounds, stories and so many guitars later, the 11-Grammy-winning, 25+ million-record-selling, last great American stadium rock band completed its most ambitious album to date.

File Under: Rock
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fortune

Iona Fortune: Tao of I (Optimo) LP
Optimo Music present Iona Fortune’s Tao Of I. Iona Fortune is a composer and producer from Glasgow and presents the Tao Of I album as her debut release. Inspired by Eastern Philosophy and slated to be the first in an eight album series exploring all the symbols of the I Ching, her music is influenced by oriental sounds and features a palette of instruments that includes the guzheng, gamelan, and Synthi AKS. The overall effect is a singular and beguiling sound that loosely fits in with the Fourth World concept imagined by Jon Hassell, and indeed Iona Fortune has also contributed a track to Optimo Music’s Fourth World compilation Miracle Steps.

File Under: Electronic, Ambient
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german

German Oak: Down in the Bunker (Now Again) LP
“The 6th entry in the Now-Again Reserve Edition series is the definitive reissue of a lauded and misunderstood Krautrock album as well as the first band-sanctioned reissue in the series. The most mysterious Krautrock album, German Oak’s Down In The Bunker has been fetishized and demonized, lauded and misunderstood for nearly four decades. In this definitive Reserve Edition of the album, the German Oak trio — together again after 30 years apart — have approved the remastering of their 70s music; finally tell the story behind the creation of their dark, brooding album — and the occult-obsessed record collector behind the original album’s release and its myth — and they share previously unreleased music and photos.”

File Under: Krautrock, Psych, Freakout
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jaeger

Kassel Jaeger: Aster  (Editions Mego) LP
The frontier for French electroacoustic mystical music has traversed much ground since Pierre Schaeffer shuffled on the past and laid out a map without borders or designated ground. Seventy years in this land of the fried, there are a plethora of Ideas and ongoing potential coming from all corners of the globe. Inheriting the wisdom of past masters whilst forging a signature style of his own, Kassel Jaeger sits as one of the premier explorers of these unknown worlds today. Comprised recently recorded tracks, Kassel Jaeger presents a work of revisits and re-workings, one which acts as a hinge in both closing this particular chapter, whilst opening up the windows to a new sound world. In Aster, rich deep music is replete with dark ambient sonorities swirling amongst intense buzzing tones. Often chilling and ominous, this is a fearless music with abstracted corners and dynamic leverage. Unafraid to embed itself in the ongoing whirlpool of sonic progress. Jaeger’s output remains a thrilling body of exploration and ongoing transformation. Photos by Ende Wieder; Design by Stephen O’Malley.

File Under: Electronic, Drone, Ambient
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lowe

Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe: Levitation Praxis Pt 4 (Demdike Stare) LP
Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe’s incredible experiments with Harry Bertoia’s sound sculptures are here documented on this beautiful new edition for Demdike Stare’s DDS imprint, coinciding with his appearance on Semtember 2017’s issue of The Wire magazine. Lowe is something of a polymath; having started out as part of math rock outfit 90 Day Men and doom metal trio Om, he progressed to forge his own solo work (often under the Lichens moniker), as well as a whole slew of collaborations, including work with Johann Johannsson on scoring both Arrival (2016) and Sicario (2015), an acclaimed album with Ariel Kalma for RVNG Intl’s FRKWYS series, plus active involvement in site-specific video art and sound installations. His most recent work under his own name has seen him release diverse music for Type, Latency, More Than Human, and, of course, DDS who have, with this album, presented what might just be the most beautiful Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe artefact thus far. In 2016, Lowe was commissioned by New York’s museum of Arts and Design to contribute to a Harry Bertoia exhibition, which he undertook alongside video director Johann Rashid. He was asked to create sound recordings with Sonambient sculptures; metal rods and gongs that produce highly distinct, resonant sounds when struck, brushed, or touched. Beginning in 1968, Bertoia set up an eighteenth-century stone barn on his property in Barto, Pennsylvania, to house these sculptures and from which he would go on to record works for his highly collectable Sonambient label, as recently documented on Important Records’ breathtaking box set and reissue series. Lowe was given full access to the barn, beautifully filmed footage of which can be found on YouTube. Lowe’s work with these sculptures is quite unlike anything you might have heard from those original Bertoia recordings. Instead of serendipitous improvisation, Lowe weaves his way through the sculptures on a path that was mapped out in advance, imbuing them with a more “composed” and arranged feel. As well as that familiar and distinct sound palette, he subtly manipulates and feeds in vocal layers that take proceedings into ever more ethereal and haunting dimensions. Mastered and cut by Matt Colton.

File Under: Ambient, Experimental, Sound Sculptures
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manek

Tarquin Manek/Martina Quake: Locks on Our Doors Not Our Hearts (Blackest Ever Black) LP
Locks On Our Doors Not On Our Hearts utilizes EMS VCS3, Oberheim OB-Xa, and ARP 2600, in combination with cheap, contemporary consumer electronics. It is, in all intents and purposes, a short, cautionary story about love. It is also a folk-tale, a science fiction, a suicide note. Unusually for a long-form spoken word piece, it is immediate in its impact, and lasting in its effect. The narrator is damaged and unreliable: Martina Quake’s voice, digitally processed into a flat, AI affectless-ness, conveys this all too well. Is this the vernacular poetry of the Uncanny Valley, or is it just that loss makes robots — numb and listless not-quite-humans — of us all? Locks revels in the space between the spontaneous and the programmed (what is a poem if not a program?). It’s part Tales Of The Unexpected, part Susan Howe, part Ruth Rendell, part HAL (or Holly). Tarquin Manek’s music is widescreen but understated… A becalmed landscape populated by distant drones, just-out-of-focus field recordings, and phased, minimalistic, Rhodes-style keys — a sort of somber, lunar jazz. Just as Quake’s words are cumulative in their tragedy, the music grows more agitated and turbulent, at certain points harking back to the smoked-out psycho-acoustics of Manek’s 2015 Blackest Ever Black LP, Tarquin Magnet, and his work in F ingers, with Samuel Karmel and Carla dal Forno.

File Under: Experimental, Electronic
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mogwai

Mogwai: Every Country’s Sun (Temporary Residence) LP
Indie coloured vinyl in stock, DLX box coming soon. Every Country’s Sun takes two decades of Mogwai’s signature, contrasting sounds – towering intensity, pastoral introspection, synth-rock minimalism, DNA-detonating volume – and distills it, beautifully, into 56 concise minutes of gracious elegance, hymnal trance-rock, and transcendental euphoria. Produced by psych-rock luminary Dave Fridmann, it’s a structural soundscape built from stark foundations up; from a gentle, twinkling, synth-rock spectre to a solid, blown-out, skyward-thrusting obelisk. There’s percussive, dream-state electronics (“Coolverine”), church organs as chariots of existential fire (“Brain Sweeties”), tremulous, foreboding bleeping – possibly from a dying android (“aka 47”). Their most transportive album yet, it also hosts their most fully realized art-pop sing-along of their storied history, “Party In The Dark,” a head-spinning disco-dream double-helix echoing New Order and The Flaming Lips, featuring Stuart Braithwaite’s seldom-heard melodic vocals declaring he’s “directionless and innocent, searching for another piece of mind.” This is music as a keep-out chrysalis, protective audio armor through exalting organs and portentous, dissonant guitar fuzz warping at the edges, bending the world inside-out into a reality in which you’d much rather live. The last three songs ascend into explosive exorcism, closing with the colossal title cut “Every Country’s Sun,” its searching intensity whooshing towards infinity in a dazzling cosmic crescendo.

File Under: Post Rock
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mount kimbie

Mount Kimbie: Love What Survivies (Warp) LP
In tomorrow… Love What Survives is the long awaited third studio album from Mount Kimbie. It’s the most confident statement of intent from the boundary-pushing duo yet, and an embodiment of their career-long musical progression. The album is the product of three years of intense creative development, continually honed by the duo writing and rewriting their ideas to form something wholly idiosyncratic and personal. It brings together the voices of their close friends and collaborators – who together represent a bright corner of young artistic talent – James Blake, Micachu and King Krule, within the immersive, unique atmosphere of a Mount Kimbie album.

File Under: Electronic, Hip Hop, Left Field
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myrkur

Myrkur: Mareridt (Relapse) LP
Mareridt (translation: Nightmare) is the highly anticipated sophomore full-length from renowned Danish composer and multi-instrumentalist Myrkur. Recorded between Copenhagen and Seattle with producer Randall Dunn (Marissa Nadler, Earth, Sunn O))), Boris, Wolves In The Throne Room), Mareridt is a rich juxtaposition of the dark and the light; the moon and the mother earth; the witch and the saint. Myrkur explores deeper into the mysterious and the feminine with 11 tracks that further progress her visionary blend of metal with gorgeous, stirring melodies, dark folk passages, choral arrangements and superb, horrific beauty. Further taking Myrkur to new artistic heights are lyrics in multiple languages, an unforgettable collaboration with Chelsea Wolfe and an array of special instrumentation including violin, mandola, folk drums, nyckelharpa (an ancient Swedish key harp), and Kulning (an ancient Scandinavian herding call). Mareridt is a profound manifestation of nightmares that demonstrates Myrkur as one of the truly exceptional artists of our time.

File Under: Metal
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noyes

Rob Noyes/Alexander: Split (C/Site) 7″
Fresh off 2016’s The Feudal Spirit LP on Poon Village, Rob Noyes brings a breakneck-paced, attention-demanding number to his side. Noyes’s style and finger work fills space with a density and heaviness that may harken back to his hardcore/punk roots. Alexander has been quietly amassing a catalog of cassettes over the years, many of which are reminiscent of Alan Bishop (as Alvarius B) in their homespun, improvisational style. On this split, Alexander eases into a coy and sentimental tune that unwinds across five-and-a-half minutes, his keen grasp of intricacy and minimalism cementing him as a top player.

File Under: Guitar Soli

ohtrix

Oneohtrix Point Never: Good Time OST (Warp) LP
In tomorrow… Oneohtrix Point Never took home the prestigious Soundtrack Award at 2017’s Cannes Film Festival for his visceral original score for Good Time. Directed by Josh and Benny Safdie and starring Robert Pattinson and Jennifer Jason Leigh, the hypnotic crime thriller follows Pattinson’s Connie in a twisted odyssey through the New York underworld in a desperate attempt to get his brother out of jail. Daniel Lopatin (Oneohtrix Point Never) and Josh Safdie became close friends through a shared love of cult genre movies and music, and their level of collaboration here has a rare depth of symbiosis of picture and score. Mundane events become dramatic, montages become mini operas and Iggy Pop features on the poignant closer “The Pure And The Damned.” 2LP-set with poster insert.

File Under: Electronic, OST
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pauvros1

Jean-Francois Pauvros & Gaby Bizien: No Man’s Land (Souffle Continu) LP
Souffle Continu Records present a reissue of Jean-Francois Pauvros and Gaby Bizien’s No Man’s Land, originally released on Un-Deux-Trois in 1976. Whether it is with the label Palm, or for Un-Deux-Trois, Jef Gilson has produced some of the best albums of French free jazz and improvisation. But that’s not all: he also offered perfect recording conditions enabling some of the fresh young talent to emerge, including Daunik Lazro, André Jaume, and Jean-François Pauvros, all three of whom released their first recordings on one of those labels. Recorded by Jean-François Pauvros (guitar, but not only…) alongside Gaby Bizien (drums, percussion, aquatic trombone, marimba, bird calls), and, of course, produced by the audacious Jef Gilson, the appropriately named No Man’s Land had virtually no equivalent in France (nor worldwide) when it came out in 1976. Radical, free, primitive, timeless: in the image of the musicians, it is not for nothing that it appears in the famous Nurse With Wound list of major influences concocted in 1979. No label can be placed on this vertiginous sensory adventure: an explosive flow of shrapnel and tearing intensity, full of mystery and life. To be clear, No Man’s Land is the key recording of French improvisation. So much so that it is difficult to imagine it coming out of nowhere, the two musicians must surely have been listening to the latest forays of the British Music Improvisation Company and decided to reply in their own way. But not at all! If you believe what the protagonists have to say, these experiments were carried out in secret isolation, and with a total lack of awareness of everything that was going on in the avant-garde of improvised music. Indeed, it was only after the album was published that Jean-François Pauvros and Gaby Bizien learned that there was a movement going on with similar ideas. That tells us something about the level of invention of this album, which comfortably bears comparison to other similar duos such as Derek Bailey and Tony Oxley, Fred Frith and Chris Cutler, John Russell and Roger Turner, or Gary Smith and John Stevens… The Frenchmen were well served by their unbridled variety and poly-instrumentalism. Licensed from Jean-François Pauvros. Obi strip; Reverse printing; Edition of 500.

File Under: Free Jazz, Experimental
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pauvros2

Jean-Francois Pauvros & Gaby Bizien: Pays Noir (Souffle Continu) LP
Previously unreleased, the three tracks on Pays Noir come from recording sessions held at the same time as those for the cult album No Man’s Land (FFL 026LP), produced by Jef Gilson in 1976, and published on vinyl by Souffle Continu Records in 2017. Singled out at the time of its release by Actuel, Rock & Folk, and Melody Maker, the tabula rasa of No Man’s Land is the result of free-flowing experiments born of chance, if the two musicians are to be believed. Indeed, their approach to free improvisation was uninfluenced by those in the know of what was going on in such circles, which makes it even more incredible. To emphasize the point, the saxophonist Evan Parker (already a leader in the field) remarked on the album at the time, surprised by the innovation of the two Frenchmen. Brimming with the same fervor as No Man’s Land, mainly on guitar and drums (but once again, not only…), Jean-François Pauvros and Gaby Bizien invent an amazing unbridled chaos of instinctive combinations, which are the fruit of their immense complicity, born of days on end playing together, trying to transform the rebelliousness of rock into free-form sparks unlike anything heard before, and which are often poetic — ah, that final song! Carried along by the frenzied clatter of Gaby Bizien, Jean-François Pauvros emerges without doubt as one the great French improvising guitarists, alongside Gérard Marais (Dharma Quintet, Stu Martin Trio), Joseph Dejean (Cohelmec Ensemble, The Full Moon Ensemble), Raymond Boni (who, like Pauvros and Bizien, is present on the Nurse With Wound list), Dominique Répécaud, Noël Akchoté, and Jean-Marc Montera. Furthermore, the duo has a crazy intensity heard only on recordings by duos such as Bill Orcutt and Chris Corsano, Arto Lindsay and Paal Nilssen-Love, Thurston Moore and John Moloney, and Mesa Of The Lost Women. A kind of French no wave ahead of its time. Licensed from Jean-François Pauvros. Obi strip; Reverse printing; Edition of 500.

File Under: Free Jazz, Experimental

rabelais

Akira Rabelais: Spellewauerynsherde (Boomkat) LP
Boomkat Editions offers the first-ever vinyl edition of Spellwauerynsherde, a masterpiece from LA-based artist Akira Rabelais, originally released on CD by David Sylvian’s Samadhisound label in 2004. It comprises a suite of seven medieval choral pieces which have been sublimated and recomposed via Rabelais’s self-built Argeïphontes Lyre software. The results arguably stand as one of the 21st century’s greatest musical enigmas and could be said to presage contemporary obsessions with processed vocals in a deeply uncanny manner, enduring to resonate with up-to-the-moment music as much as the record’s distant roots in the seminal works of 12th century German mystic and composer Hildegard von Bingen, and the writings of John Milton, among others. Spellwauerynsherde has always been crying out for a vinyl issue and Rabelais has done the piece proud with this sensitive new version, allowing its seven parts to gently flow in sequence over both sides, with the added shroud of vinyl infidelity lending a beautifully subtle patina of detachment which perhaps only serves to heighten the paradoxical — both temporal, spatial and timbral — nature of the record’s ethereal vestibules and elusive, illusory sonic specters. In remodeling these ancient works of art, Rabelais performs a sort of hypermodern animism on ostensibly dead musical material — dead as in hardly anyone knows or plays them in the modern age — imbuing them with a contemporary relevance through the process of his bespoke software (which is freely available to download) which serves to faithfully render, open-up new dimensions and plasmic aspects from work which is now nearly a millennia old — so old you can’t even call it classical music. Spellwauerynsherde has set a benchmark for experiments with ancient composition and computer music — each immersion in this vinyl is akin to floating through the mists of time and will sends shivers down your spine just even thinking or writing about it, never mind listening. Spellwauerynsherde is one of the most magickal, perplexing, and strangely life-giving records that you’ll ever hear. Photography by Jacqueline Roberts; Design by Michael Worthington. Lacquer cut at Dubplates & Mastering.

File Under: Electronic, Ambient, Classical
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rainforest

Rainforest Spiritual Enslavement: Green Amulet Crafts Supernatural Qualities (Hospital) LP
This is the second in a reissue series of Dominick Fernow’s early work as Rainforest Spiritual Enslavement, casting spells from the Green Amulet Crafts Supernatural Qualities (2011) tape onto vinyl for the first time and steadily closing the gap in your Rainforest Spiritual Enslavement collection. Something like the soundtrack to one of Ballard’s prophetic visions of sunken cities, this second RSE incursion was initially released in an edition of 63 tapes in 2011 and found Fernow dwelling in a dread-fueled, paranoid headspace. Aesthetically, it forms an oblique inversion of Prurient’s saturated noise assaults or a sort of chopped-and-screwed adjunct to Vatican Shadow, perhaps best located closest to his Force Publique Congo output, but with fathoms more negative space and those full sunken sub bass charges. “A Slave Boy That Died An Awful Death For Not Keepng His Owner’s Horses. He Helps People Who Are Looking For Lost Things.” fills the A side, pinpointing a location that could easily be an overgrown traffic island as some Nigerian mangroves in oil country, overrun by local scallies or machete wielding pirates, both scared witless, who could well be the B side’s “An Old Hag That Wears Shoes And Stomps Over People’s Stomachs At Night Making Them Breathless.”, as is common to local legends of Manchester’s southern edgelands and the Niger Delta. Thanks to Paul Corley’s sensitive remaster and Dubplates & Mastering’s lacquer cut, the sub bass has been perfectly translated to the vinyl for total immersion, sounding stronger, wider than the tape or digital versions ever did, and in the process rendering RSE’s magick at its most tangible. Ask many Fernow/Prurient/Vatican Shadow fiends and they’ll likely cosign — this is some of the dankest, most precious work in Fernow’s sprawling catalog. RIYL: Coil, Demdike Stare, Prurient, Brian Eno / Jon Hassell’s Fourth World (1980). Edition of 500.

File Under: Electronic, Ambient, Industrial

ranando

Lee Ranaldo: Electric Trim (Mute) LP
Electric Trim was recorded in New York City and Barcelona in collaboration with producer Raül “Refree” Fernandez and extends the work of Lee Ranaldo’s solo canon, the most recent being his 2013 album, Last Night On Earth. Through his collaboration with Fernandez, Ranaldo moves into some rich new sonic territories and production techniques, experimenting with electronic beats and samples alongside live players. In addition to Fernandez, he worked with several special guests on Electric Trim, including Sharon Van Etten who sings on six of the tracks and duets on “Last Looks” and Kid Millions (aka Man Forever) as well as longtime friend and collaborator Nels Cline (Wilco). In addition, the album features Ranaldo’s band The Dust (fellow Sonic Youth member Steve Shelley, guitarist Alann Licht, and bassist Tim Luntzel). Ranaldo collaborated with award-winning New York author Jonathan Lethem (Motherless Brooklyn, The Fortress of Solitude) for lyrics on six of the songs. The American artist Richard Prince, who previously painted the sleeve for Sonic Youth’s 2004 album Sonic Nurse, created the artwork. The nine-track album marks a return to the Mute family for Ranaldo, who says: “I’m so excited about this record, it represents new developments and directions for me and I can’t wait to hit the road and play this music live. I’m also so pleased to partner with Mute for this release – it’s like a homecoming of sorts as Sonic Youth’s early records were released on Blast First Mute. To me, Mute has always been a true artist’s label, concentrating first and foremost on the music.”

File Under: Indie Rock, Sonic Youth
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raskovich

Raskovich: Science & Technology (Dead Cert) LP
Impossible-to-find Italian library music oddity from semi-mythical producer and Fabio Frizzi collaborator Giuliano Sorgini, aka Raskovich. Best regarded for his groundbreaking electro-acoustic and concrète sound design input to The Living Dead At The Manchester Morgue (1974) and Zoo Folle (1974), Raskovich is also linked to a wealth of impossible-to-find cult LPs with Alessandro Alessandroni’s Braen (SME 038LP), Giulia Alessandrini’s Kema, and their mysterious supergroup The Pawnshop, all amounting to a catalogue which assures his place in the pantheon of library music greats. Going deep into their under-the-counter channels, Dead-Cert have again outdone themselves with this outing, salvaging Science & Technology from total obscurity to reveal an innovator working at the full extent of his avant imagination in a sort of cybernetic symbiosis with his studio-as-instrument. Keening between sounds as much suited to a blood-lusting horror as a psychedelic, drug-fueled thriller or some esoteric sci-fi, he penetrates and opens up vividly magnetizing realms of abstraction that just beg to be explored by listeners who think they’ve heard it all before. Erring closer to the kind of minimalist negative space and fractured dynamic favored by Belgium’s IPEM, or even pre-echoing the atonality of Maurizio Bianchi, for example, as opposed the fluffier lounge tendencies found on many recent reissues from his field, Science & Technology lives up to its title with impressionistic depictions of industry and plugged-in life evocatively animated under titles such as “Fissione Nucleare” and “Biochemica”, or accurately modelling processes in the mutant, polymetric patterning of “Germinazione”. An album like this is a reminder of the prescient collective and individual genius of the Italian library music scene, especially at a time when the quality levels, in terms of musical intrigue and uniqueness, not just presentation, is being called into question by a swell of inferior, or just plain unnecessary library music relics. As Dead-Cert co-curator Andy Votel explains: “this release is quite unlike the many projects that have recently flooded the reissue market and stands up as one of the truly unobtainable and wholly original records to come from this important era of European studio music by a composer whose reputation is slowly approaching monarchical status.”

File Under: Library, Electronic
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rodinia

Rodinia: Ex Anima (Now Again) LP
“Electronic Krautrock in line with Cluster, Harmonia, Neu!, Popul Vuh from Jay Whitefield (Poets of Rhythm/Whitefield Brothers/Karl Hector & The Malcouns). Now-Again Records has enjoyed a long and creative partnership with Munich-based multi-instrumentalist JJ Whitefield, creative force behind the Poets of Rhythm, Whitefield Brothers and Karl Hector & The Malcouns. Rodinia, his latest project, is quite different than anything that’s come from his oeuvre to date, but follows in the line of the Poets of Rhythm’s great Discern/Define, as it reaches back to Krautrock’s experimental heyday but pushes its boundaries with a post-hip-hop approach. Rodinia’s first album, Drumside/Dreamside, featured two, side-long suites, with synthesizers taking the fore on an overarching ambient approach (featuring over-dubbed reeds, drums and guitar, and self-made Moroccan field recordings introducing the project on its Drumside.) For Ex Anima, Rodinia has incorporated more of the mid-70s approach of Krautrock forebears Neu!, Cluster and Harmonia, with shorter, self-contained songs. The result is winsome and exploratory, respectfully distanced from the past’s trappings while celebrating a musical spirit still very much alive and influential. With original artwork by Jason Jagel (DOOM’s MM..Food, Operation: Doomsday).”

File Under: Electronic, Ambient, Kosmische
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saiz

Suso Saiz: Rainworks (Music from Memory) LP
Following 2016’s compilation of archival recordings by Suso Saiz titled Odisea, Music From Memory mark their 20th release with an album of new works by the Spanish electronic music pioneer. Recorded in Madrid between January and February 2016, this is Suso Saiz’s first release of new music in nearly ten years. Titled Rainworks, this double LP release was originally part of a commission from a Canary Islands water company. The first ideas for the compositions developed from a documentary that Suso had seen suggesting the possibility of water molecules having their own memory. As Suso himself explains, he became fascinated with the possibility of an eternal being, changing its cyclical condition from solid to gaseous state, travelling through and between the Earth and the Sky, as a witness and keeper of the true history of Earth and Mankind. Suso, his son Emil Saiz, and pianist Raph Killhertz set out to explore this metaphysical process of cyclical movement through music in Rainworks. Developing from the original commissioned tracks into a much more elaborate project, the album’s process became something of a mystical journey, drawing on aspects of minimalism and modernism. The music is also embedded in textured natural soundscapes and spoken word passages which were recorded and processed by Suso himself. Despite having the immediacy of an improvised piece, Rainworks was in entirely composed by Suso. Whilst on one hand it appears very much as an electronic album there are in fact many acoustic elements to the recording. A resonant piano (a grand piano re-amplified using its resonant box and harp to generate effects) as well as guitars (with simple effects) are played in Suso’s inimitable hypnotic way, slowly drawing the listener into a transportive state or lucid dream.

File Under: Ambient, Electronic
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sky

Sky Music: A Tribute to Terje Rypdal 1 (Rune Grammofon) LP
Guitarist and composer Terje Rypdal (1947) is probably as close as one gets to a living legend in Norwegian music. He has received a number of awards, including three Norwegian Grammies (Spellemannpris), the last being the honorary award in 2005. Sky Music is a heartfelt celebration of an inspirational artist and truly unique guitarist who hasn’t fully received the due credit and recognition he deserves for over 50 years of music making. Initiated by the experimental US guitarist and lifelong Rypdal fan Henry Kaiser, Rune Grammofon put together an all-star band including keyboardist and long-time Rypdal side-kick Ståle Storløkken (Elephant9, Supersilent), bassist Ingebrigt Håker Flaten (Scorch Trio, The Thing), drummer Gard Nilssen (Bushman’s Revenge), guitarists Even H. Hermansen (Bushman´s Revenge) and Hedvig Mollestad, Finnish guitarist Raoul Björkenheim (Scorch Trio), and Swedish guitarist Reine Fiske (Dungen). Kaiser also played and produced while Hans Magnus Ryan (Motorpsycho) added bits and pieces and Jim O’Rourke beamed in his exquisite contributions to “Sunrise” from Tokyo. Bill Frisell, Nels Cline, and David Torn delivered their solo interpretations, Cline with the aid of cellist Erik Friedlander.

File Under: Jazz, Rock
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sky2

Sky Music: A Tribute to Terje Rypdal 2 (Rune Grammofon) LP
A vinyl-only release of two epic outtakes that didn’t make the main album, Sky Music: A Tribute To Terje Rypdal, due to lack of space. Guitarist and composer Terje Rypdal (1947) is probably as close as one gets to a living legend in Norwegian music. Sky Music is a heartfelt celebration of an inspirational artist and truly unique guitarist who hasn’t fully received the due credit and recognition he deserves for over 50 years of music making. Initiated by the experimental US guitarist and lifelong Rypdal fan Henry Kaiser, Rune Grammofon put together an all-star band including keyboardist and long-time Rypdal side-kick Ståle Storløkken (Elephant9, Supersilent), bassist Ingebrigt Håker Flaten (Scorch Trio, The Thing), drummer Gard Nilssen (Bushman’s Revenge), guitarists Even H. Hermansen (Bushman´s Revenge) and Hedvig Mollestad, Finnish guitarist Raoul Björkenheim (Scorch Trio), and Swedish guitarist Reine Fiske (Dungen). Kaiser also played and produced. The Sky Music project also includes additional contributions from Hans Magnus Ryan (Motorpsycho), Jim O’Rourke, Bill Frisell, Nels Cline, David Torn, and Erik Friedlander. Includes CD.

File Under: Jazz, Rock

sapceface

Spaceface: Sun Kids (Friends) LP
Dreamrock outfit Spaceface is led by Jake Ingalls who also plays guitar and synthesizer in The Flaming Lips. Something to behold, Spaceface’s music offers a refreshing approach on psychedelic rock, with transparent ’70s references but also strikingly modern elements. Their new record, Sun Kids is hazy, psychedelic pop music, elegantly composed. They will also be touring nationally in support of the album, bringing their concert grade experience to the club level employing a DIY light rig and other theatrical elements along the way.

File Under: Psych Rock, Flaming Lips
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spoerri

Bruno Spoerri: Voice of Taurus (WRWTFWW) LP
We Release Whatever The Fuck We Want Records present a reissue of the highly sought-after electronic/ sci-fi disco/ proto- techno/ ambient masterpiece Voice Of Taurus by Swiss music pioneer and synth super wizard Bruno Spoerri, available on vinyl for the first time since its original release in 1978. Surrounded with a formidable family of legendary synthesizers, primitive modulators, and audio gear — transformed and customized à la Spoerri –, armed with an extraordinary talent for improvisation, and deeply inspired by the likes of Wendy Carlos, Pierre Schaeffer, and the then freshly released Close Encounter of the Third Kind (1977), Bruno Spoerri envisioned Voice Of Taurus as “electronic pop conceived using an experimental and jazz approach”. The result is an out-of-this-world sonic adventure where early techno sounds blend with synth-based sci-fi soundtrack vibes, krautrock explorations, and retro-futuristic disco madness. It’s unique, catchy, cosmic, and meditative — it’s a must have for all record collectors of the galaxy… welcome to Planet Spoerri. Still very active recording, touring, and collaborating (with Julian Sartorius, Franz Treichler of Young Gods, Marco Repetto of Grauzone, Roger Girod, to name a few), Bruno Spoerri is a multiple award-winning Swiss music icon, whose career started in the 1950s. His works spans jazz, electronic music, film, and TV work, and everything in between. Improvisational maestro and synthesizer mega-connoisseur, Mr. Spoerri has influenced an entire generation of producers and musicians — even Jay-Z sampled him. Housed in a 350 gram jacket; Includes new liner notes.

File Under: Electronic, Ambient, Sci Fi, Disco, Techno
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spoerri ufo

Bruno Spoerri & Reto Weber: Sound of the UFOs (WRWTFWW) LP
We Release Whatever The Fuck We Want Records present a reissue of the extraterrestrial cult classic The Sound Of The UFOs, a collaborative effort between Swiss jazz and electronic music icon Bruno Spoerri and innovative drummer extraordinaire Reto Weber, available on vinyl for the first time since its original release in 1978. Recorded live in Zurich in March 1978, The Sound Of The UFOs finds Bruno and Reto improvising with a vast array of classic and customized synths and percussions from all corners of the globe (and the galaxy). It’s cosmic free jazz in audio gear heaven with a heavy dose of ambient, krautrock, primitive proto-techno vibes, and experimental space disco with a musique concrète mentality — anything’s possible when a jazzman and a percussionist obsessed with finding new sounds collide and explore uncharted sonic territories. This groundbreaking gem is the ideal companion piece to Bruno Spoerri’s highly coveted Voice Of Taurus LP. Still very active recording, touring, and collaborating (with Julian Sartorius, Franz Treichler of Young Gods, Marco Repetto of Grauzone, Roger Girod, to name a few), Bruno Spoerri is a multiple award-winning Swiss music icon, whose career started in the 1950s. His works spans jazz, electronic music, film, and TV work, and everything in between. Improvisational maestro and synthesizer mega-connoisseur, Mr. Spoerri has influenced an entire generation of producers and musicians — even Jay-Z sampled him. Housed in a 350 gram jacket; Includes new liner notes.

File Under: Electronic, Sci Fi, Techno
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ugly things

Ugly Things #45
“On the cover: Q65, The Outsiders and the Dutch Beat Revolution, the stories of two legendary, rebellious bands from the Netherlands in the 1960s. Part 2 of The Uniques — blue-eyed garage and soul from America’s South. Plus The Left Banke, Texas ’60s icons Neal Ford & The Fanatics, occult rocker Geof Crozier, German freakbeat from The Toxic, and demented San Fernando Valley punk rockers Puke, Spit & Guts. There are revealing interviews with Richard Strange of The Doctors Of Madness, and original Rolling Stones and Yardbirds manager Giorgio Gomelsky, and, in his own words, Victor ‘Moulty’ Moulton tells the poignant story of how he lost his hand yet fought on to become the drummer of successful Cape Cod band The Barbarians. We also take a peek at the personal acetate archive of John Entwistle and reveal the story of a New Jersey girl garage group that met and inspired The Stooges. Plus our acclaimed reissue and book review sections, fully-loaded and bursting with insights and information.”

File Under: Reading

valentino

Bro. Valentino: Stay Up Zimbabwe (Analog Africa) LP
Bro. Valentino, Anthony Emrold Phillip, began his illustrious career in 1961 at The Big Bamboo, a minor calypso tent in Port of Spain, Trinidad, before breaking into the professional scene in 1966 at the Lord Kitchener’s Caravan calypso tent. After the Black Power revolution of 1970, he transformed into a calypsonian with a conscience and a consciousness who sang on behalf of the poor and downtrodden and was dubbed “The People’s Calypsonian”. His commitment to lyrics of education, elevation, and African consciousness has been his identifying badge and signature. At the end of the heady decade of the tumultuous 1970s, with the echoes of the Black Power revolution of Trinidad still strongly reverberating, Valentino penned his two most commercially successful calypso songs, 1979’s “Stay Up Zimbabwe” and 1980’s “Ah Wo (Brand New Revolution)” both reflections of the revolutionary spirit which had engulfed the Caribbean in the 1970s. 1979 marked the historic date of the Maurice Bishop-led Grenadian Revolution and as if to herald this auspicious event Valentino would make it all the way to the coveted national calypso monarch finals with this anti-apartheid anthem. The infectious military style rhythm and the lyrical clarion call to arms invaded the carnival/calypso season of 1979 filling the lips and boots of everyone, singing and marching to his chorus. But there was another rhythmic element, the Shango/Orisha blend, which on many an occasion at Valentino’s pubic performances, would make audiences, as Trinidadians say locally, “catch the power”. One year later Valentino again stunned the world with a song which reveled in the new-found fame of the Caribbean, no doubt spurned on by the very Grenadian revolution of one year earlier. “Awo” championed the new mood of the Islands. He called on the people to rally around this cause and spread the fire to the next generation. Both songs, calypso-flavored with the newly introduced soca melody of the mid 1970s, are now given a new lease of life on this record. Voted among the top 50 calypsonians of the 20th century, four of his songs have also been selected in the Top 200 calypsos of that period — “Life Is A Stage” (1972), “Barking Dogs” (1974), “Dis Place Nice” (1975), and “Stay Up Zimbabwe” (1979) — while his 2004 history treatise “Where Calypso Went” was selected as Calypso of the Year. Silk-screen printed cover; 140 gram turquoise vinyl.

File Under: Reggae, Funk, Soul
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vatican

Vatican Shadow: Luxor Necropolitics (Hospital Productions) 2×10″
Dominick Fernow’s Vatican Shadow returns with a new double-pack for his own Hospital Productions imprint following on from the recent Rubbish Of The Floodwaters 12″ for Ostgut Ton. Luxor Necropolitics was once again produced by Joshua Eustis of Telefon Tel Aviv, and it includes a super rare remix from Female of Sandwell District fame. Clocking in at almost 40 minutes, this is the most substantial Vatican Shadow release since 2016’s Media In The Service Of Terror LP and further develops Fernow’s creative collaboration with Eustis, who provides a much more lean and dynamic sheen to those highly atmospheric foundations. The opening, title track provides evocative exposition; this is Vatican Shadow at its most cinematic and unreal; before “Intel War” jolts with increased propulsion and bass pressure and a killer soundsystem focus deployed with precision and depth. “Crown Prince Hamza” is much more squashed and feral, before a new “Red Headband” version of “More Of The Same” takes the original into even more anthemic terrain; this is surely the most memorable, enduring, and club-focused Vatican Shadow track of all. As if to further etch it on your mind, the vinyl edition offers a final exclusive track, a reworking of “More Of The Same” from Female, who takes the original and duffs it up, completely discarding that synth hook and instead intensifying the menace, heading down a Sandwell-shaped cave that will reminds you why you’ve loved pretty much every Female production. Cut by Matt Colton at Alchemy. Edition of 700.

File Under: Electronic, Industrial
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war on drugs

War on Drugs: A Deeper Understanding (Atlantic) LP
Finally we’re well stocked on this one… for now. A Deeper Understanding is The War On Drugs’ highly anticipated follow-up to 2014’s universally acclaimed Lost In The Dream and Atlantic Records debut. For much of the three and a half year period since the release of Lost In The Dream, frontman Adam Granduciel led the charge for his Philadelphia-based sextet as he holed up in studios in New York and Los Angeles to write, record, edit, and tinker – but, above all, to busy himself in work. Teaming up with engineer Shawn Everett (Alabama Shakes, Weezer), Granduciel challenged the notion of what it means to create a fully realized piece of music in today’s modern landscape. Calling on his bandmates – bassist Dave Hartley, keyboardist Robbie Bennett, drummer Charlie Hall and multi-instrumentalists Anthony LaMarca and Jon Natchez – continuously throughout the process, the result is a “band record” in the noblest sense, featuring collaboration, coordination, and confidence at every turn. Through those years of relocation, the revisiting and reexamining of endless hours of recordings, unbridled exploration and exuberance, Granduciel’s gritty love of his craft succeeded in pushing the band to great heights. Pitchfork proclaimed that, “Granduciel’s influence has become omnipresent in the indie world” and NPR has hailed A Deeper Understanding’s crystalline lead singles “Thinking Of A Place” (“epic, mood-shifting guitar jam”) and “Holding On” (“a pulsing jam that sounds deeply inspired by ’80s-era Bruce Springsteen”).

File Under: Indie Rock
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jes

Zwartjes: Tapes 1 (Trunk) LP
Tapes 1 represents the first ever sound recordings to be released from the archive of cult Dutch film director Frans Zwartjes. The sound is unlike anything you may have heard — dream-like, disjointed, disturbing, peculiar, sexy, unexpected, and totally unique. Frans Zwartjes is famous for his art-house films. A Dutch underground auteur, his prolific output dates from 1968. A unique talent, Zwartjes produced, directed, and edited his own films (his last work was in 1991), but more importantly he created and improvised the soundtracks too. Zwartjes is still alive today and his large body of work is only now being recognized by a wider, more international crowd, with screenings at the NFT and other important art-house cinemas across the world. The recordings on Tapes 1 were mixed directly from the Zwartjes soundtrack tape archive. They were assembled directly and in real time by Zwartjes archivist Stanley Schtinter and were originally issued in 2014 on cassette, in an edition of 50. Don’t bother trying to find one of them. The music, sound, and speech have been put together as two long, seamless sequences; they are dreamlike, unsettling, peculiar, plugged-in, prescient, and unlike any other soundtrack. All cues mastered and sequenced by Jon Brooks, AKA The Advisory Circle. Includes download; Edition of 500.

File Under: OST, Jazz, Sound Collage, Experimental
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sicksville

Various: Sicksville Volume 1 (Stag-o-Lee) 10″
First of two 10″s called Sicksville. Watch out for two volumes of its sister compilation Coolsville. Compiled by Stay Sick, a gruesome twosome of deejays from the nightclubs of Brighton, UK. Established in 2008, they continue to spin the best dancing music from surf to soul, oddball R&B to filthy rock n’ roll, garage to punk, 7″s at a time. Their vinyl addiction has meant they have amassed a large collection of sleazy and greasy rock n’ roll from the fifties and sixties, including Tarantino surf, proto-soul stompers, swingin’ rhythm and blues, and twistin’ tittyshakers. Get ready for the DJ to drop some slop. Greasy battered platters of wax, with honkin’ saxes and Hammond organs blasting outta the speakers like there’s no tomorrow. Hit the go-go cage for some tittyshakers to whip, whop, wobble, and grind to. If you like Sicksville, then come and visit its twin town, Coolsville. This sister series is a bit more laid back and strictly for bongo beating beatniks. So cool it’s frozen. It’s solid gone. Sleazy finger-clickers, smoldering sax-laden instrumentals and oddball rock n’ roll play out of every groove. Dig the crazy vibrations, the swingin’ beat. So flip ya wig, snap the whip and make the trip… to Coolsville Features: Phil Campos, Sandy Nelson, The Nite Hawks, The Sentinals, The Idols, The Nightmare, Jimmy Shaw, Robert Parker, Douglas “Jocko” Henderson, Bill Smith Combo, Jessie Hill, and The Metropolitans.

File Under: Exotica, R&B, RnR

satans

Various: Songs from Satan’s Jukebox Volume 1 (Stag-o-Lee) 10″
Who the hell is the devil? As we all know, God (that old slowcoach) is commonly known and allowed to have but one name (or none). As his everlasting archenemy, however, of my names there are plenty: Allow me to introduce myself: Satan from Arabia! Devil, El Diablo, fiend, deuce, Old Nick, the one that bedevils everything — these are only a few of my names in Western cultures! Lucifer — the one who brings the light — or, as seen through the eyes of my grumbling competition, the one who was exiled from the light! Beelzebub, Azrael… Satan on the release: “I am the outlaw, the one nobody likes to talk about but the one that everybody likes to hail, the one that is always to the fore when you need me: You can find me wherever guilty pleasure celebrates its goatish feasts. You can find me at the tables of a gambling den, at the counters of hellish bars, promoting artistic careers at crossroads when the clock strikes midnight. I’m riding the highway to hell in a chromium-black limousine and steam along diabolic train tracks in black locos. I travel as the eerie wanderer or the eldritch hitchhiker. You can meet me in many shapes on the world’s and life’s big stages as the salient seducer in classy, noble twine and pointed leather shoes. I am especially dangerous in shape of a bombshell woman! Thus, it’s no wonder that artists have been erecting memorials in my honor since the beginning of time. I have been idolized in arts, literature, and especially in music. I hereby present you a small selection of satanic songs and maleficent melodies from my infernal jukebox. Let me seduce you!” Features: The Louvin’ Brothers, Sonny Burns, Joe Carson, Gene ‘Bo’ Davis, Jessie Floyd, Anita Carter, Johnny & Dorsey Burnette with The Rock`n´Roll Trio, Marty Robbins, Billy Barton, Johnny Horton, and Harry Choates.

File Under: Country, Rockabilly, Gospel

…..Restocks…..

Alt-J: An Awesome Wave (Warner) LP
Maki Asakawa: s/t (Honest Jon’s) LP
Bjork: Debut (One Little Indian) LP
Bjork: Vespertine (One Little Indian) LP
Bjork: Homogenic (One Little Indian) LP
Boards of Canada: Geogaddi (Warp) LP
Can: Tago Mago (Mute) LP
Nick Cave: Push The Sky Away (Bad Seed) LP
Circle: Terminal (Southern Lord) LP
Daft Punk: Random Access Memories (Columbia) LP
Dinosaur L: 24 > 24 Music (Traffic) LP
Bob Dylan: Nashville Skyline (Columbia) LP
Bob Dylan: Bringing It All Back Home (Columbia) LP
Bob Dylan: Freewheelin’ (Columbia) LP
Brian Eno: Another Green World (Astralwerks) LP
Brian Eno: Here Come The Warm Jets (Astralwerks) LP
Harold Grosskopf: Synthesist (Bureau B) LP
Herbie Hancock: Headhunter (Music on Vinyl) LP
Heath Brothers: Marchin’ On (Everland) LP
Kacy & Clayton: Sirens Song (New West) LP
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard: Nonagon Infinity (ATO) LP
Kendrick Lamar: Good Kid (Aftermath) LP
Kendrick Lamar: To Pimp A Butterfly (Aftermath) LP
Love Theme: s/t (Alter) LP
Metallica: Master of Puppets (Blackened) LP
Metallica: Death Magnetic (Blackened) LP
The National: Sleep Well Beats (4AD) LP
Oiseaux-Tempete: Al-‘An! (Sub Rosa) LP
OST: Baby Driver (Lakeshore) LP
Pink Floyd: Division Bell (Pink Floyd) LP
Queens of the Stone Age: Villains (Matador) LP
Otis Redding: Otis Blue (Rhino) LP
Relatively Clean Rivers: s/t (Phoenix) LP
Sonic Youth: Sonic Nurse (Geffen) LP
Neil Young: Hitchhiker (Reprise) LP

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