Tag Archives: vinyl

…..news letter #935 – master…..

It really seems like the music industry took the last month or so off. Another lite week for new releases, and a few of these are just late comers as it is! Never mind the fact that my Fed Ex truck hasn’t shown up yet with some of these and many of the restocks. But who knows it could show up any minute. Or tomorrow.

And before you do come down, take a look in your closet for some old sheets, or blankets, or towels, or dry dog food, etc. My daughter and her pals are collecting donations for Scars & Wharf animal rescues. Bring in something for the puppers and get 10% off your purchase!

Oh ya… if you don’t follow us on Instagram, WHY NOT?! And now you know.


…..pick of the week…..

a0572868824_16Jeff Parker & The New Breed: Suite for Max Brown (International Anthem) LP
The label behind Angel Bat Dawit’s amazing debut present a glorious side from persistent jazz innovator Jeff Parker (Tortoise), melding deeply soulful charm with naturally explorative leanings operating at similarly loose but focussed levels of intuition and dextrous freedom across his swirling ‘Suite For Max Brown’, but with plusher recording and production values. Preceded by a 7” that signalled this LP would be special, ‘Suite for Max Brown’ lives up to its promise with a canny mix of supple, live chops and Parker’s own sampling/editing tekkers that makes the LP feel at once fresh and vintage. Manning electric guitar, plus all sorts of percussion (drums, glockenspiel, pandeiro), and electronics (sampler, Korg MS20, Roland JP-08, midi), as well as Mibira and vocals, Jeff is flanked by a hand-picked band of Interantional Anthem regulars on strings, brass, drums and vox for a sophisticated and deeply cool iteration of 2020 jazz music. The smooth fusion of ‘Max Brown’ off the aforementioned 7” single now closes the LP, but before you get there, the album will charm your socks off in 10 ways. On the A-side he puckers up a selection of succinct bewts, stroking MS20 subs under loping drums, guitar vamps and Ruby Parker’s serene, lilting vox on ‘Build a Nest’, and going all J Dilla with the sample/edit cut-up of Otis Redding on ‘C’mon Now’, before lurching into devilish jazz-funk breaks in ‘Fusion Swirl’, then melting the vibe with a gorgeous take on Coltrane’s ‘After The Rain’, alongside dreamy electronic vignette ‘Metamorphoses’. On the B-side however it sounds like they returned from lunch (and perhaps a spicy zoot) with a much more laid-back, woozy appeal explored thru Parker’s signature, quietly joyful electric guitar and spongiform MS20 bass on ‘3 For L’, while ‘Go Away’ simmers on the good foot for classy ‘floors with Makaya McCraven’s drums synched to Parker’s vox, sampler and chiming, almost highlife-esque guitar. As with everything we’ve heard on IARC over the past few months (admittedly since being wowed by that amazing Angel Bat Dawid debut), Jeff Parker’s contributions fall squarely within the label’s focused yet broad appeal and properly rooted styles, offering the sort of Jazz slab that will seduce fence-sitters and light up harder-to-please beret wearers.

File Under: Jazz
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…..new arrivals……


Antibalas: Fu Chronicles (Daptone) LP
Over the years, different members have traded production and composition duties from album to album. On the new album—“Fu Chronicles”—Amayo leads us through a thrilling sonic journey of kung fu meets Afrobeat, weaving together the strands of Edo and Yoruba cultural memory from Nigeria with his training and study in Chinese martial arts. Recorded in the Summer of 2018, over seventeen musicians and singers crammed into the storied Daptone House of Soul in Bushwick to record the massive body of work. With live versions and arrangements stretching up to thirty minutes, Perna, Amayo, and Roth worked tirelessly to preserve the hypnotic power of the long-form live arrangements into six concise and powerful album tracks.

File Under: Funk, Afrobeat
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Black Lips: Sing in a World That’s Falling Apart (Fire) LP
It’s country music but not as we know it which begs the question: Have these bad kids of 21st century rock ‘n’ roll finally grown up on their ninth studio album? Are they at peace with themselves? Have they made a record their parents could listen to? The Black Lips new album Sing In A World That’s Falling Apart and new single “Gentleman” both continue to flick the middle finger to one and all. This ain’t another gaggle of bearded southern sons fleeing their collective suburban upbringings and collegiate music education. There aren’t the usual clichés about drinking, honkytonks, and heartbreak. These are, after all, the same Black Lips who rescued the waning garage punk subgenre by not sounding or dressing their musical predecessors. They also dug contemporary hip-hop and punk and actualized themselves. Like so many dramatic moments in the Black Lips career, Sing In A World That’s Falling Apart was born out of crisis. The band’s stylistic evolution through decades of prolific touring and recording took them where no garage punk band had gone before – huge venues, network television shows, and major music festivals. Here Black Lips are at their grimiest, most dangerous and equipped with the best collection of songs since the aughts. Skidding onto the asphalt in a shower of sparks, they roll on with an unapologetic southern-fried twang, pacing the beast, every now and then dropping a psycho howl into the rubber room madness lurking underneath the truckstop fireworks. This ain’t your granny’s country album. And conversely this ain’t your mama’s Black Lips!

File Under: Country, Punk
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Elkhorn: The Storm Sessions (Beyond Beyond is Beyond) LP
The Storm Sessions is the latest glowing proof that Elkhorn are one of the most durable and adventurous platforms of the new guitar age. Snowed in with their friend Turner Williams (Ramble Tamble, Guardian Alien) on the night of an emotionally important gig, the duo-plus-one turned it into a cathartic blizzard-bound collaboration and rumination — and a new step for Elkhorn. A powerful turn outside the duo’s comfort zone, The Storm Sessions consists of two side-long improvisations by guitarists Jesse Sheppard (12-string acoustic) and Drew Gardner (6-string electric) along with Turner’s rare and lovely vibrations (electric bouzouki on one side, shahi baaja on the flip). No strangers to improvisation or collaboration, The Storm Sessions is their most spontaneous studio work yet, and perhaps their most beautifully flowing. Formed by old friends Jesse Sheppard and Drew Gardner in 2013 and naming themselves ‘Elkhorn’ the following year, it’s the pair’s telepathic bond that has made them so much more than two dudes with guitars. With Sheppard’s rigorous 12-string acting like a meditative rhythm section for Gardner’s textured flights, the duo’s third voice emerges into a space that often borders on soulful cosmic jazz. Committed collaborators and community organizers in their vibrational corner of the world, both members of the band are deep students of the music. In 2018, Sheppard organized The 1000 Incarnations of the Rose, an already historic three-day festival in Takoma Park, Maryland–John Fahey’s hometown–that showcased generations of wide-eared guitarists. Ambassadors to an often-hidden creative lineage as well as an often-hidden network of modern players, Elkhorn have hewn to the most sage advice Timothy Leary ever proclaimed: Find the others. Mark Fosson (who played the 1000 Incarnations of the Rose) was one such Other, forming a cross-generational bond with Sheppard. Scheduled to play a New York show with Elkhorn in late 2018, the 68-year-old Fosson fell ill and passed away. A rescheduled performance featuring Williams (another Other) turned into the extended session in Gardner’s home studio in Harlem. The Storm Sessions is filled with flickering textures that might create warmth on a cold day, or a bubble of human atmosphere inside a dreary dystopian vacuum, no matter the weather outside. Their sixth full-length in five years, Elkhorn are both well into their journey and have only just begun.

File Under: Psych, Guitar
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LP-ERATP-28 (1)

Nils Frahm & Anne Muller: 7fingers (Erased Tapes) LP
Fans of the Berlin based Nils Frahm are by now familiar with his beguiling live shows where more often than not fellow touring artists are encouraged to join Frahm on stage – the likes of Rachel Grimes, Rob Lowe of Balmorhea as well as label colleagues Peter Broderick and Ólafur Arnalds have all obliged with fascinating results. It will come as no surprise then that Nils Frahm, an accomplished composer and producer who signed to Erased Tapes in 2009, has extended his collaborative live musings to encompass the recording studio, working for the first time with noted cellist and fellow Berliner Anne Müller to produce 7fingers. With their first collective release Frahm and Müller have built a world where modern classical and electronica collide creating an ‘intoxicating and delicious’ collection of songs. Primarily a pianist Nils Frahm provides evidence with 7fingers that he can effortlessly turn electric throwing in loops, samples and glitches to accompany and showcase Müller on cello. Anne Müller, a renowned musician noted for her work with the Wolf-Ferrari-Ensemble, Phillip Boa and recent tours with Agnes Obel, proves an amp musical partner for Frahm. As the recognition continues to grow for Nils Frahm’s previous solo piano works Wintermusik and The Bells, 2011 sees a new side to this young talent as he embarks on a detour into strings, symphonies and glitch beats alongside the estimable Anne Müller.

File Under: Ambient, Classical
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Khruangbin & Leon Bridges: Texas Sun (Dead Oceans) LP
Driving anywhere in Texas can cost you half a day, easy. For example, it’ll take you over four hours just to get from R&B singer Leon Bridges’ hometown of Fort Worth down to Houston, where the psychedelic wanderers in Khruangbin hail from. The state is vast, crisscrossed with rugged expanses of road flanked by limestone cliffs and granite mountains, forests of pine and mesquite, miles of desert or acres of sprawling grassland, all depending on what part you’re in. And it’s all baking under the Texas Sun that lends its name to Bridges and Khruangbin’s new collaborative EP. “Big sky country, that’s what they call Texas,” Khruangbin bassist Laura Lee says. “The horizon line goes all the way from one side to another without interruption. There’s something really comforting about that.” On Texas Sun, these two members of the state’s musical vanguard meet up somewhere in the middle of that scene, in the mythical nexus of Texas’ past, present, and future – a dreamy badlands where genres blur as seamlessly as the terrain.

File Under: Psych, Soul, Funk
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Pete La Roca: Basra (Blue Note) LP
In honor of Blue Note Records’ 80th Anniversary, the legendary jazz label is launching the Blue Note 80 Vinyl Reissue Series. Distinct from the Tone Poet Audiophile Vinyl Reissue Series, this second series curated by Don Was and Cem Kurosman features 180g vinyl LP releases in standard packaging with albums spanning the many eras of the label’s history presented by themes: Blue Note Debuts, Blue Grooves, Great Reid Miles Covers, Blue Note Live, and Blue Note Drummer Leaders. Everything that drummer Pete La Roca did before making Basra was a prelude in his career, and all of his later accomplishments are anti-climatic in comparison with this album. In 1965 La Roca, a respected but somewhat obscure drummer gathered together an unbelievable quartet comprised of tenor saxophonist Joe Henderson, pianist Steve Kuhn and bassist Steve Swallow for the Basra album. This was the only time that this group ever played together yet they sound very much like a major band that had been performing this music for years. Henderson is in astounding form, inspiring the other musicians to create famous versions of “Lazy Afternoon,” “Eiderdown” and “Malaguena,” renditions that are not only memorable but became the definitive way to play these songs. La Roca contributed three colorful originals that deserved to become standards while his very stimulating drumming helped to bring out the very best in the players. But it is Henderson who lifts Basra into the cosmos, making the album magical and one of the must-hear recordings of the mid-60s! This Blue Note 80 Vinyl Edition is all-analog, mastered by Kevin Gray from the original master tapes, and pressed on 180g vinyl LP at Optimal.

File Under: Jazz


OST: Parasite (Sacred Bones) LP
Parasite, the seventh feature film by Korean director Bong Joon Ho, premiered at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival, where it took the coveted Palme d’Or for best film in competition. Since then, it has become the most critically acclaimed film of the year. For the film’s bracingly original score, Bong turned to Jung Jae Il, who brings the world of Parasite to life with plaintive piano and stirring strings. “The script for Parasite begins as follows: “Dark and hopeful music plays.” For a long time, I contemplated whether this piece of music could actually exist. Director Bong and I began with a sound that could permeate through the entire film and progress with focus. What is the one singular tone that can accompany emotions ranging from the most trivial humiliation to the extremities of murder, express all sorts of chaos, and embody the exhilaration of speed, or peace, or loneliness, or messy and dirty situations? I thought that a string orchestra could express these various narratives with one consistent tone – the elegant and refined sounds of baroque music, grotesque and neurotic sounds of contemporary music reminiscent of Penderecki or Ligeti, sounds used to heighten emotions in many films, and violin and cello sounds that carry the bleakness of wandering nomads. In terms of the melody, it was structured as a repetition of ascension and descent as the Kim family ascends to the rich house only to descend back to their poor home and further below to the dreadful bunker hidden beneath the Park family’s basement. “The final music that closes the film is “Soju One Glass.” Director Bong said that he wants the audience to crave a shot of soju as they leave the theater after watching the film. Soju, the cheapest Korean liquor, has been with the joys and sorrows of everyday Koreans for decades. I think he wanted the audience to leave the theater feeling bitter after facing the pain and helplessness of reality, woeful from Ki-woo’s impossible dream, and wanting to release the inexplicable frustration and disquiet this movie brings. To paint a picture of Ki-woo drinking soju while mulling over his unattainable dream, sleeping on the streets, and waking up to a lonely morning, the actor Choi Woo-shik sang the song himself and Director Bong wrote the lyrics. I haphazardly recorded the song with my guitar after sleeping on my studio floor, and I couldn’t recreate the rough recording’s sense of misery and shabbiness in the actual recording studio, so we ended up just using the demo version.” – Jung Jae Il

File Under: OST
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Andy Shauf: The Neon Skyline (Arts & Crafts) LP
Few artists are storytellers as deft and disarmingly observational as Andy Shauf. The Toronto-based, Saskatchewan-raised musician’s songs unfold like short fiction: they’re densely layered with colorful characters and a rich emotional depth. On his new album The Neon Skyline he sets a familiar scene of inviting a friend for beers on the opening title track: “I said, ‘Come to the Skyline, I’ll be washing my sins away.’ He just laughed, said ‘I’ll be late, you know how I can be.'” The LP’s eleven interconnected tracks follow a simple plot: the narrator goes to his neighborhood dive, finds out his ex is back in town, and she eventually shows up. While its overarching narrative is riveting, the real thrill of the album comes from how Shauf finds the humanity and humor in a typical night out and the ashes of a past relationship. For The Neon Skyline, Shauf chose to start each composition on guitar instead of his usual piano. Happy accidents like Shauf testing out a new spring reverb pedal and experimenting with tape machines forced him to simplify how he’d arrange the tracks. Over the course of a year-and-a-half, Shauf ended up with almost 50 songs all about the same night at the bar. Though paring down his massive body of work to a single album’s worth of material was a challenge for Shauf, the final tracklist is seamless and fully-formed.

File Under: Indie Rock
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Wolf Parade: Thin Mind (Royal Mountain) LP
Every moment spent gazing at our screens is oversaturated with content, an ever-accelerated news cycle conditioning our ever-decreasing attention spans. The struggle to stay present, and to foresee a clear, sustainable future, feels very real. Wolf Parade address this phenomenon head-on with Thin Mind, the band’s fifth full-length and second to be produced by John Goodmanson (Bikini Kill, Sleater-Kinney, Unwound). Thin Mind marks a return to the original power trio of Dan Boeckner, Spencer Krug, and Arlen Thompson, following multi-instrumentalist Dante DeCaro’s amicable departure from the group in 2018, after the conclusion of their world tour supporting Cry Cry Cry. The band’s decision to forge a future-forward sound using a myriad of synthesizers – from ‘80s synths and ‘90s MiDi to more modern, kitchen sink instruments – recalls the sonics of Wolf Parade’s earliest EPs. Album highlights include “Julia, Take Your Man Home,” “Forest Green” and “Against the Day”, with lyrics split evenly between Dan and Spencer. On “Julia, Take Your Man Home,” Spencer imagines the worst version of himself over a deep groove and an exaggerated, fictitious caricature. “Forest Green” gallops along to a synthetic clip of Arlen’s electronic drum kit while Dan’s lyrics encapsulate the profound beauty, and ugliness, of Vancouver Island – not only where Thin Mind was recorded, but where Arlen and Spencer now live, and Dan grew up. “Against the Day,” which features shared verses from Spencer and Dan, similarly constructs a synthetic shell to examine what’s natural and what is not. John Goodmanson produced Thin Mind at Risque Disque on Vancouver Island, BC, and mixed it at Bogroll Studios in Seattle, WA. It was mastered by Noah Mintz at Lacquer Channel Mastering in Toronto, ON.

File Under: Indie Rock
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Courtney Barnett: Sometimes I Just Sit (Mom + Pop) LP
Beastie Boys: Hello Nasty (EMI) LP
Art Blakey: Buhaina’s Delight (Blue Note) LP
Tina Brooks: Minor Move (Blue Note) LP
Nick Cave: Murder Ballads (Mute) LP
Czarface & Ghostface: Czarface Meets Ghostface (Silver Age) LP
Daktaris: Soul Explosion (Daptone) LP
Death Grips: No Love Deep Web (Harvest) LP
Renaldo Domino: No Laggin’ & Draggin’ (Colemine) 7″
Gil Evans: New Bottle, Old Wine (Blue Note) LP
Goat: Requiem (Sub Pop) LP
Robert Haigh: Black Sarabande (Unseen Worlds) LP
Herbie Hancock: Takin’ Off (Blue Note) LP
Andrew Hill: Black Fire (Blue Note) LP
Kacy & Clayton: Carrying on (New West) LP
Kacy & Clayton: The Siren’s Song (New West) LP
Monophonics: Chances (Colemine) 7″
Nehiyawak: Nipiy (Arts & Crafts) LP
Jeff Parker: New Breed (International Anthem) LP
Parquet Courts: Wide Awake (Rough Trade) LP
Parquet Courts: Human Performance (Rough Trade) LP
Prince: Originals (Warner) LP
Quasimoto: The Unseen (Stones Throw) LP
Queens of the Stone Age: Rated R (Interscope) LP
Queens of the Stone Age: Songs for the Deaf (Interscope) LP
Django Reinhardt: Gypsy Jazz (Not) LP
Daniel Romano: Finally Free (New West) LP
Spoon: Hot Thoughts (Matador) LP
Throbbing Gristle: DOA (Mute) LP
Throbbing Gristle: Second Annual Report (Mute) LP
Throbbing Gristle: Part Two (Mute) LP
Thundercat: Drunk (Brainfeeder) Box
Stevie Wonder: Innervisions (Tamala) LP
Various: Space Echo (Analog Africa) LP

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…..news letter #934 – coco…..

A few more new arrivals than last week, but not a loads. Finally some much needed restocks and loads of nice used stuff going out. Come down for a dig.

And before you do come down, take a look in your closet for some old sheets, or blankets, or towels, or dry dog food, etc. My daughter and her pals are collecting donations for Scars & Wharf animal rescues. Bring in something for the puppers and get 10% off your purchase!

Last chance to bring in a resume and your top ten albums of 2019 and of all time! Gonna hire someone real soon.

Oh ya… if you don’t follow us on Instagram, WHY NOT?! And now you know.


…..picks of the week…..


Sarah Davachi: Dominions (Jaz) LP
Dominions is the second full-length release from Canadian electroacoustic composer SARAH DAVACHI, following 2015’s Barons Court. A slightly more demure approach is at work here, shifting from the brooding textures of her previous work to softer tones and more delicate movements in structure, as in side openers “Feeler” and “Ordinal.” Recorded primarily at her home base in Vancouver, Davachi returns with her typical assembly of electronic equipment, mostly consisting of vintage synthesizers as well as the Orchestron, a rare optical sampler known for its low fidelity charms. The five compositions on this release breathe new life into these obsolete machines, pausing only for the stringed cacophony of the album’s closer. Melodics emerge almost as an after thought, suggesting something farther and more distant, echoed in the disjointed imagery of local artist, Daniel Presnell.  Limited edition new pressing.

File Under: Ambient
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Destroyer: Have We Met (Merge) LP
DESTROYER conceived of Have We Met as a Y2K album. DAN BEJAR assigned producer and bandmate JOHN COLLINS the role of layering synth and rhythm sections over demos with the period-specific Björk, Air, and Massive Attack in mind, but he soon realized the sonic template was too removed from Destroyer’s own, and the idea of a concept was silly anyway. So he abandoned it and gave Collins the most timeless instruction of all: “Make it sound cool.” The result is not a startling departure from 2017’s ken, but unlike that more band-oriented approach, the only actual instruments that appear are bass and electric guitar. MIDI instrumentation will of course invite Your Blues and Kaputt nostalgia, but Have We Met is buoyed by precise, plasticky guitar shredding three-dimensionally across massive percussion—the loudest and dirtiest drums on a Destroyer record to date. Atmosphere and loose approximations of a place or feeling are what we’ve come to expect from any new Destroyer record—certainly not an easily defined and stridently adhered to theme or concept. Have We Met manages to meet somewhere between those disparate Y2K reference points and Destroyer’s own area of expertise, gliding deftly into territory that marries the old strident Destroyer with the new, aged crooning one of late. Limited edition LP version pressed on green vinyl.

File Under: Indie Rock
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…..new arrivals…..


Blood Incantation: Starspawn (Dark Descent) LP
Available again! After signing with the label prior to the August 2015 release of the Interdimensional Extinction EP, Blood Incantation released this 30-minute cerebral whirlwind of powerful atmospheric death metal. The intense and otherworldly technical/ambient/funeral death metal of Starspawn leaves the listener feeling transcendentally disembodied at the end of an unknown dimension. Produced entirely in analog, the energy and magnetism of live Blood Incantation is tangibly melting through the speakers, and the songwriting, production and performance constellations have all fully aligned.

File Under: Metal
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Chromatics: Closer To Grey (Italians Do It Better)  LP
Closer To Grey is the new album from Portland’s Chromatics. Closer To Grey is the first album the band released since 2012. Amongst others, it contains reverent cover versions of Simon and Garfunkel’s The Sound Of Silence or Jesus And Mary Chain’s On The Wall. The minimalistic Synth-Sound of previous albums is not lost though, and singer Ruth Radelet proves once again how tender and at the same time powerful a voice can sound.

File Under: Synth Pop, Indie Rock
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Dark Day: Darkest Before Dawn (Dark Entries) LP
Dark Day is the brainchild of Robin Crutchfield, a New York City based musician, performance artist, and writer. Robin’s musical path began in 1977 when he formed the no wave group DNA with Arto Lindsay and Ikue Mori. In 1979 Crutchfield left DNA to pursue his more synthesizer-based solo project. He released the ‘Hands In The Dark’ 7” followed by two albums, ‘Exterminating Angel’ in 1980 and ‘Window’ in 1982. In 1984 he re-launched Dark Day as an acoustic chamber ensemble performing ethereal soundscapes and self-released two cassette albums “Obsession” and “Beyond The Pale”. ‘Darkest Before Dawn’ is a collection of 13 songs recorded between 1985-86, released on CD in 1989 that have never been pressed to vinyl before. The album is a lost medieval collection of pagan tunes for private ceremonies. Played on echoey pipe organ backed by saw-like rhythmic cello lines and melodic woodwind recorder, driven by the beats of rattles, bells, and drums. These simple, cyclical layered instrumental rounds owe much to the inspiration of Moondog as well as the efforts of the Penguin Cafe Orchestra and Dead Can Dance. The original press release stated, “Serious gothic organ works which cross Captain Nemo’s Nautilus pipe organ with the standing stones of Stonehenge and reminisce Babylonian battle hymns and Egyptian burial ceremonies.” All songs have been remastered for vinyl by George Horn at Fantasy Studios in Berkeley. The vinyl comes housed in jacket featuring illustrations from Thomas Bewick’s ‘Vignettes’ and includes a double sided insert with photos and notes.

File Under: Ambient, Experimental
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Enhet for Fri Musik: Det Finns Ett Hjärta Som (Grapefruit) LP
Enhet För Fri Musik is a free-folk and experimental music collective formed in 2015 in Gothenburg, Sweden. The band features assorted members of the current Swedish underground from bands like Neutral, Makthaverskan, Arv & Miljö, and Blod. A local scene supergroup, the band also runs the labels Förlag För Fri Musik and the Omlott imprint to document their own releases as well as the fertile underground scene surrounding them (much like the Xpressway label founded by artists Bruce Russell, Peter Jefferies, and Alastair Galbraith showcased the early experimental music scene in Dunedin, New Zealand in the late ’80s and early ’90s). Enhet För Fri Musik is the natural extension of a rich lineage going back to legendary Swedish bands from the ’70s, such as Pärson Sound, Trad Gras Och Stenar, International Harvester, and Arbete Och Fritid, whose music pushed boundaries and chose artistic innovation over any commercial concerns. Det Finns Ett Hjärta Som För Dig is the band’s fifth release and it’s a unique masterpiece. The mysteriously hypnotic album, released in July of 2017 in an extremely limited pressing of 300, sold out quickly without receiving distribution to greater Europe or the United States. The atmospheric record features atonal guitar, organ, tape effects, saxophone, and field recordings, in experimental song constructions that defy genre, moving like a river might through different environments, taking and leaving things as it moves, and coalescing around Sofie Herner’s haunting vocals. Grapefruit is extremely proud to be reissuing this rare thing of beauty in a deluxe gatefold jacket and original artwork provided by the band.

File Under: Folk, Psych
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Growlers: Natural Affair (Beach Goth) LP
Led by singer Brooks Nielsen and music director/guitarist Matt Taylor, The Growlers have forged their own twisted path on the global music scene since their founding in 2006 in Dana Point, California. They’re the party band that grew into a traveling circus, spawning their own annual event (Beach Goth) and growing an international fanbase, while releasing six studio records that trace a line from garage psych ballads to edgy radio pop. On their latest, self-produced record “Natural Affair”, The Growlers move their DIY aesthetic into an even sturdier, synthier, dancier sound, bolstered by Nielsen’s finest lyrics to date: social commentary, rhymes, and ruminations on the pleasures (and perils) of modern love.

File Under: Indie Rock
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603111735429_mainHoly Serpent: Endless (Riding Easy) LP
The forthcoming third album by Melbourne, Australia’s Holy Serpent could likely be its defining moment. Seemingly bottomless in its relentless heft, with billowing and suffocating riffs leading glistening melodies, it’s the sound of a band that has locked on to something unique. Endless is fully conceptualized throughout, encapsulating an oceanic theme from the lyrics and art, even to the very structure of the sounds themselves. The six-song, forty-minute album finds vocalist / guitarist Scott Penberthy, guitarist Nick Donoughue, bassist Dave Bartlett and drummer Lance Leembruggen expanding their melodic hooks while simultaneously taking listeners on a rigorous journey. It was written over the course of two months, then recorded in seclusion at Beveridge Road Recording Studios near Australia’s beautiful Dandenong Ranges with head engineer Marc Russo and mixed by Mike Deslandes. Surrounding themselves with nature and no distractions allowed the band to focus on every detail of the album as a coherent whole. In the time since their self-titled Riding Easy debut in mid-2015, Melbourne, Australia’s Holy Serpent have gained a lot of attention for their rather punk version of heavy psych and metal. Their 2016 skate-metal leaning album Temples further defined their more experimental blend of early Soundgarden, Saint Vitus and Kyuss that eschews simplistic ’70s-worship in favor of shimmering sonics and uncommon production techniques. Nonetheless, Endless is like all of the band’s earliest visions fully realized and honed into an album beyond easy classification.

File Under: Electronic
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Mr. Elevator: Goodbye, Blue Sky (Castle Face) LP
“The drum clock is docking and the night tide washes up synthesized environments, woozy and recorded perfectly. In my humble opinion, Mr. Elevator has risen and ascended and risen again, top floor, time and space, he hath bended, and brain cells have been rent and spent, on the wing aloft and buoyant, a perfect rapid eye movement enhancer and neuromancer. “A capsule garden soundtrack, a killer live band, Leslie spinning a yarn through the melodious afternoon. Now its twilight, all is well: the most overweight bass sounds abound, the crystalline organs blanket breaks and backs, the whip crack of the snare is your guide here, its pretty fried and boundless in its approach. “For fans of Tangerine Dream, Air, Donovan (think the Hurdy Gurdy Man LP), The Troggs, Irmin Schmidt, Egg, Stereolab, and even early Mute records.” —John Dwyer

File Under: Electronic, Ambient
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Only Ones: Live In Chicago 1979 – Sunday Morning Nightmare Vol. 1 (Alona’s Dream) LP
Alona’s Dream Records and Regressive Films present: THE ONLY ONES Live in Chicago 1979 – Sunday Morning Nightmare Vol 1. This live release documents Chicago performances of the Only Ones as originally aired on Chicago punk DJ Terry Nelson’s Sunday Morning Nightmare radio show in 1979. This no nonsense set was recorded by legendary mobile recording guru TIMOTHY POWELL of Metro Mobile Recording. This previously unreleased show finds the Only Ones at the peak of their early career. The set features a solid list of future classics drawn from their first three studio albums, deep cuts and influential hit singles. The Only Ones were not a typical UK punk band. They evolved out of the pubrock scene and had a rich history in the UK music scene in general. Members previously played with classic groups including Spooky Tooth and Beatstalkers as well as, Peter Perrett’s now classic ‘Englands Glory’. Their UK chart single ‘Another Girl, Another Planet’, set the Only Ones apart from the new wave of English rock bands swarming out of the late ’70’s. They had the complexity, range, soul, and songwriting skills lacking in most of their punkier peers. They would cut three essential LPs in the late 1970s and are still considered one of the UKs foremost rock acts. Today they are praised by critics and fans alike for their enduring influence. Terry Nelson’s Sunday Morning Nightmare Radio bio (via the Chicago Punk Database): “Sunday Morning Nightmare was (guessing) a weekly show devoted to punk rock on WZRD. Steve Albini said in the liner notes to Naked Raygun’s Basement Screams CD reissue that is was the “one radio program” for Chicago punk in the early 80s.”

File Under: Rock, Power Pop


Pan American : A Son (Kranky) LP
Legacy Chicago craftsman Mark Nelson’s latest offering as Pan•American is less a distillation or divergence than it is a return to his musical and spiritual beginnings. Spare, subdued, and largely acoustic, A Son unfurls like late summer dusk on the edge of town, expansive but intimate. Motivated by notions of “moving backward” and tracing roots—as well as a couple years of hammered dulcimer lessons—the album’s nine songs were written and recorded in his home in Evanston, Illinois, and honed during a recent solo tour in Europe. The emphasis on uncluttered arrangements and the centrality of the guitar and vocals reveal these songs as the most direct and emotional statement of his career. Nelson cites everything from June Tabor, The Carter Family, Suicide and Jimmy Reed as oblique inspirations, though his truest muse was creative self-inquiry: “What does music do, Where does music start? How simple can it be? How honest can it be?” After decades of mining post-rock pathways and latticework electronics in Labradford and early Pan•American, A Son strips away ornament and distraction in favor of a direct gaze into the heart of what is.

File Under: Electronic, Ambient
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Severed Heads: Clean (Dark Entries) LP
Dark Entries’ first release of 2020 is a deluxe 2xLP reissue of Severed Heads’ debut 1981 album Clean. One of the longest surviving bands to emerge from the Australian post-punk independent music scene, they began in Sydney in 1979. Severed Heads is basically a nom- de-plum for Tom Ellard, who incorporates elements of ‘industrial’ noise-generation, tape cutting & looping and electronic sound synthesis. As the project developed song-structures and vocals were employed in a more-or-less recognizable mutant electro pop style. Clean was amongst the first vinyl releases under the Dogfood Productions banner of Terse Tapes, previously a cassette-only label. For this records Tom used an array of synthesizers (Kawai 100F, Casiotone, Roland CR78+SH1+CSQ100), sequencers, tapes and occasional guitar and violin played by Garry Bradbury. Severed Heads have a language of their own, music that juxtaposes all sorts of noise, in all sorts of ways so that a structure evolves, (fragmented) melody and rhythm being almost a by-product. As one reviewer said in 1981, “It is an ugly album that you simply cannot ignore, it thuds and screeches and makes you stare just to wonder what kind of people would procure such an album.” For this deluxe reissue we’ve included a bonus disc featuring 13 songs, 5 of which have never been released before, culled from live performances, the Side 3 cassette and a Clean demo tape that only surfaced last year, plus “Food City” missing from previous reissues. Each copy is housed in a gatefold jacket featuring black and white xeroxed artwork from the first vinyl edition. Inside the gatefold are liner notes by Tom Ellard plus photos and press clippings from the period. 25% of proceeds will be donated to the Australian Fire Relief Fund for First Nations Communities, that offers specific direct support to some of those communities with critical costs to cover expenses.

File Under: Electronic, Post Punk, Industrial
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Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross: Bird Box (Universal) LP
Nine Inch Nails’ Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross continue their prolific scoring career, this time for Netflix’s psychological action thriller Bird Box. The latest in a series of films that focus on sensory deprivation, five years after an ominous unseen presence drives most of society to suicide, a survivor and her two children make a desperate big to reach safety. This 180g vinyl 4LP edition presents extended compositions and explorations created during the Bird Box scoring sessions. Over two hours of music that began recording in Los Angeles and was completed in various hotel rooms before and after Nine Inch Nails’ performances during their 2018 Cold, Black & Infinite US tour. This intense pace coupled with the pressures of nightly performances began to bleed through into the work, what started as a score for a film began to mutate and expand into something else far beyond what you saw and heard on the screen. Reznor and Ross explain, “We created a significant amount of music and conceptual sound for Bird Box, a lot of which never made it to your ears in the final version of the film. We’ve decided to present you with this version of the soundtrack record that represents what Bird Box is to us. We hope you enjoy.”

File Under: Electronic, OST, Nine Inch Nails
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Torres: Silver Tongue (Merge) LP
A person whose words are so potent that they cause the people and beings around them to vibrate is said to have a “silver tongue.” It’s apt, then, that Mackenzie Scott – who has spent the 2010s making boundary-pushing pop music under her Torres moniker – has chosen to call her first release on Merge just that. Recorded at O’Deer in Brooklyn, New York, Silver Tongue is a full-scale realization of the world Scott has created over Torres’ last few albums. Even when singing in more subdued tones, Scott’s voice is fervent, her lyrics stirring and unyielding as she draws from both the divine and the everyday. The album fastidiously chronicles the impulses that make up desire – from the dreamy first blushes of infatuation through the slightly terrifying wonder that accompanies connection with another. In between, Scott wrestles with the highs and lows of what “being in love” might mean over heady guitars and swirling synths. Torres’ music has long navigated the space between the physical and the metaphysical, and Silver Tongue faces that conflict head-on, examining the ways in which the actions of others can stir up deep-seated feelings and seemingly alter the space in which one exists.

File Under: Indie Rock
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Andaleeb M. Wasif: s/t (Little Axe) LP
Andaleeb Wasif was born in a well-known family of Hyderabad, India in 1928. A self-taught singer and harmonium player. He gained recognition early in life, performing for the Nizam (ruler) of Hyderabad when he was only six years old. On this recording Wasif performs six ghazals, a poetic form of couplets focussing on love and longing with mystical and spiritual elements. The lyrics to the ghazals featured on the recording are written by some of the best known Urdu poets of the 20th century including FAIZ AHMAD FAIZ. Never commercially released, the songs have been sourced from private concerts, home recorded cassettes and radio shows. Andaleeb’s renditions are enigmatic, filled with pathos, timeless and ethereal.

File Under: World, India


Blood Incantation: Hidden History of the Human Race (Dark Descent) LP
Bon Iver: For Emma, Forever Ago (Jagjaguwar) LP
Brown, Marion: Three For Shepp (Superior Viaduct) LP
Cold Cave: Love Comes Close (Heartworm Press) LP
John Coltrane: Lush Life (OJC) LP
Country Teasers: Satan Is Real Again (In the Red) LP
Crime: San Francisco’s First And Only Rock & Roll Band (Superior Viaduct) 7″+DVD
Daft Punk: Homework (EMI) LP
Dhaima: Love Lives Forever (Numero) LP
Diat: Positive Disintegration (Iron Lung) LP
Drinks: Hippo Lite (Drag City) LP
Elder: Lore (Armageddon ) LP
Elder: Reflections Of A Floating (Armageddon ) LP
Fuzz: s/t (In the Red) LP
Goraguer, Alain: La Planete Sauvage Ost (Superior Viaduct) LP
Grouper: AIA: Alien Observer (Kranky) LP
Grouper: AIA: Dream Loss (Kranky) LP
Grouper: Ruins (Kranky) LP
Gruppo d’Improvvisazione Nuova Consonanza: s/t (Superior Viaduct) LP
Guided By Voices: Bee Thousand (Scat) LP
Freddie Hubbard: Breaking Point (BlueNote) LP
King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard: Flying Microtonal Banana (ATO) LP
King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard: Murder of the Universe (ATO) LP
Mdou Moctar: Ilana: The Creator (Sahel) LP
Om: Advaitic Songs (Drag City) LP
Orgone: Beyond the Sun (Colemine) LP
OST: Midsommar (Milan) LP
Portishead: PNYC (Polydor) LP
Purple Mountains: s/t (Drag City) LP
Scientist: In The Kingdom Of Dub (Superior Viaduct) LP
Scientist: Introducing Scientist – The (Superior Viaduct) LP
Segall, Ty Band: Slaughterhouse (In The Red) LP
Smiths: Meat is Murder (Rhino) LP
Solid Space: Space Museum (Dark Entries) LP
Sound, The: Jeopardy (1972) LP
Tomb Mold: Manor Of Infinite (20 Buck Spin) LP
Vastum: Orificial Purge (20 Buck Spin) LP
Walker, Scott: Tilt (Drag City) LP
Various: Six Feet Under (Mississippi) LP

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