Glossy Mistakes present a reissue of Tito’s Quetzalcóatl, originally released in 1977. Proto-electronics psychedelic Mexican holy grail. Inspired by Vangelis, Tomita, or Kraftwerk, this unknown rarity gets a second life sounding fresh and pioneering today, Tito was born in 1946 in Ciudad de México, the son of two Spaniards. Since he was a youngster, he had felt the passion for music and instruments. In the meantime, he started a career as architect. Since his early years, he joined various teen rock bands, where he played bass and guitar. Slowly but surely, his interest in synthesizers started to grow. And the rest is history. Tito defines himself as an “electronic sounds fanatic”. Quetzalcóatl is a truly authentic cornerstone in those terms: an inspired and eclectic artist gives shape to a unique sound through legendary synthesizers such as the MiniMoog or the Arp Odyssey. His passion was so embedded that he even built his own guitars and equalizers; some of which appear on this LP. Quetzalcóatl, his debut solo album, was originally recorded in 1977 (now remastered) in his bedroom using a four-channel Sony recorder in a truly DIY way. This album could be considered as a rarity. But if you listen hard enough, you find a pioneering treasure. Somehow, Quetzalcoátl anticipated the sounds of future decades with simple but inspired compositions. It is a mythological trip to the Pre-Hispanic México. This album is an allegory of the Aztec world. Quetzalcoátl is the most important God for Mesoamerican cultures: it represents the inherent human dualism between the body (represented by the snake) and soul (the feathers). In the song “Profecía”, Quetzalcoátl emerges, announcing the end of the world at the hand Spanish colonialism. Remastered in Amsterdam by Wouter Brandenburg. Comes with insert; edition of 600.
Doctor Fluorescent’s debut album opens a door to a world of seductive, fresh electronic pop music, where things aren’t always what they seem: sophisticated musical clockworks often lie under the dreamy surface.
Although he is primarily a scientist and explorer, Doctor Fluorescent also plays musical instruments and uses electronic gadgets to express his ideas to the world. He is assisted by musicians Scott Gilmore and Eddie Ruscha, who sit back and merely facilitate what the doctor commands. Plug in a patch cable here, turn a dial there… whatever it takes to get the proper result recorded and keep the good doctor happy.
Back when Scott and Eddie began to create this music with Doctor Fluorescent, they utilized all manner of electronic and acoustic devices with no worries or concerns regarding their discoveries. They allowed the explorations to lead themselves where they may. Their experiments began to solidify into songs, and shortly after, stories began to take shape and the Doctor’s voice emerged (to be perfectly honest, the Doctor was born out of Scott and Eddie’s minds, but soon turned into an actual human being in every sense)
The music of Doctor Fluorescent almost reminds one of a private press electronic voyage album discovered in a stack of records next to Supersempft, Roger Powell and Wally Badarou. The album explores a wide range of sound, it’s experimental in many ways, yet each track still retains the semblance of a song. Each song is its own journey, often ending in a completely new place from where it began.
Scott and Eddie have already made many records themselves using old synthesizers and drum machines, making them the perfect helpers to bring Doctor Fluorescent’s musical visions to life.
After Baths’ genre-bending ‘Cerulean’, the LA producer’s stock went through the roof as he found himself saddled, for better or for worse, with the chillwave moniker and a hell of a lot of interest on top of that. His blend of crushed Brainfeeder beats and the kind of whimsical pop crooning we might otherwise associate with Ben Gibbard was surprisingly affective, and this follow-up release, whilst made up of odds-and-ends, is even more proof that Will Wiesenfeld is a kid to watch very closely in the next few years. The tracks are collected from various CDrs Wiesenfeld made for live shows, and while this might not make it the ‘regular’ B-Sides compilation (as hinted at in the title) it still surprises me how well the album fits together as a whole. For the most part the tracks explore even further the neon-blasted pop experiments of ‘Cerulean’, taking the songwriting to the point where you could almost imagine hearing a few of these tracks on the radio (internet radio, of course…), but Wiesenfeld hasn’t abandoned the drones totally and peppers the record with experiments to keep the sour faced oldies like myself happy. ‘Pop Songs / False B-Sides’ is a confident record, and whilst the songs are scratchy and quickly produced, this only adds to the charm (remember Khonnor? Exactly), and makes me whet with anticipation for what the next ‘proper’ album might bring. Lovely stuff, and perfect for balmy afternoons by the grill. Not that we get any of that in the North of England, but hey…
In 2019, back from traveling the world for the I Am Begging You To Come To These Shows tour, Jerry Paper hung up his flowing dress and sandals, glided into the studio, and began giving material form to his new musical manifestation: Abracadabra.
Over thirteen songs, he serves up a blend of jazzy instrumentation with soft-rock stylings and some seriously catchy earworms, forging a style that hints at the avant-pop of Scott Walker, the sweet enchantment of Paul McCartney, and the cryptic, smooth grooves of Steely Dan.
Like all good stories, Abracadabra boasts unforgettable characters: someone with a victim complex (“Cholla”); an alien captive surveilled by a mysterious presence (“Puppeteer”), and a buff man whose life is thrown into shambles when he is caught smoking methamphetamine at his child’s birthday party (“Body Builder on the Shore”). Nathan’s interest in talk therapy led to “Spit It Out”, a song about the health-inducing qualities of improvised speech; “Memorial Highway” is about existence after death in other people’s memories, and “Apologist” and “All I Need” affirm the value — and occasional futility — of recognizing one’s wrongs. Building new realities out of words and sounds is no easy task, and on “Trash Can”, Nathan mourns the frustrations of the creative process.
Abracadabra is many things at once: arch and sincere, bizarre and all too real, funny and melancholic — the work of an artist living in a world when despair so often tips over into ridiculousness, sometimes the only thing left to do is laugh.
Nathan worked with longtime visual collaborator Steve Smith and avant-comedian Alan Resnick to create the album art, which depicts an alien outsider spotting someone he recognizes. Who could it be? Don’t worry. Sit back, relax, and let Abracadabra cast its spell.
It’s been 30 years since Public Enemy thundered that the “B-Side wins again.” A winking nod to the notion that songs initially considered an afterthought are often superior to those considered “keepers.” It’s a proverb long confirmed by classic odds and sods compilations like Nas’ Lost Tapes, Kendrick Lamar’s Untitled, Unmastered, The Smiths Louder Than Bombs, too much Aphex Twin to count, and yes, The Who’s Odds and Sods.
But what to make of the “False B-Side,” an ascription coined by Baths to anthologize the uncut gems that didn’t fit into his previous albums as Baths or Geotic. Herein pulses Pop Music/False B-Sides II, a dozen renewed ideas and sketches finally colorized. Emotional pop hymns and ambient bliss instrumentals resurrected, refined, and polished until they’re blinding. Jewel boxes with a trap door. Over the last decade, the Los Angeles-raised singer, producer, and songwriter, Will Wiesenfeld has constructed a spellbinding canon of private secrets publicly released, glittering emerald sutras that you can dance to, as lovely as bloodletting gets.
There have been three revered studio albums as Baths (plus the first volume of Pop Music/False B-Sides), an entire catalog as Geotic, and nearly two dozen remixes and guest appearances. By the terms of conventional logic, there should not be this many good songs left. The fact that there are is testament to not just the prolificacy and indefatigable work ethic of Wiesenfeld, but the emotional depths that he’s capable of processing. To use the parlance of our times, a Baths song is a big mood. His work incisively tunnels into the uncomfortable realities that all of us wrestle with: love, regret, heartbreak, sexuality, death, the desire for comfort and the impulse to escape. Credit his subtle-but-sticky melodies, his ability to blend a seraphic falsetto with a calming tenor, and clever turns of phrases that allow for such well-trodden themes to seem brand new.
The songs on this compilation are culled from a much wider timeframe than the first Pop Music / False B-Sides that was recorded around the time of Cerulean, Wiesenfeld’s 2010 debut under the Baths moniker. Some of these tracks were considered for the final tracklists of Obsidian (2013) and Romaplasm (2017). Others started their creative life as collaborative efforts and Geotic tracks, but somehow became Baths songs. Yet if their genesis began as outliers, in their final form they seem created specifically for this collection — which isn’t far from the truth considering that the desire to complete another PM/FBS drove Wiesenfeld to finish more than half of them.
While the skeletons of the music were written over the course of the last decade, the lyrics were constructed only relatively recently. One of the most poignant and personal to Wiesenfeld is the finale, “The Stones.” Shortly before his father passed away earlier this year, his dad had pointed out a bit in the lyrics that made him proud of his son — the line “I still trust that men can be lovely/do what you like/but do it to me.” What’s more, the entire record is suffused with similarly poetic couplets that gently mesh with the imaginative chord progressions, soft cloud-like drums, and endless summer glitch.
The sense of irony is embedded into the title. There is nothing false to be found: the emotions contained are walloping and visceral, full of tenderness and vulnerability. A soundtrack to the Zoetrope flickering inside your weary head. Symphonies to fallen ideas, gilded requiems, and unerring realness that refuses to hide behind a mask — unless that’s the point. Pop Songs/False B-Sides II is the rarest of things, a sequel that defies repetition, a B-Side collection of all A-list material. And if you disagree, you can go argue with Chuck D.
Everything But The Girl’s ninth and final studio album Temperamental was first released in September 1999, and is reissued on May 8 2020 on double vinyl complete with half-speed mastering by Miles Showell at Abbey Road Studios.
The album debuted at #16 on the UK Album Chart and peaked at #3 in Australia and #65 on the US Billboard 200, and went on to sell over 500,000 copies worldwide. Often seen as a companion piece to its million-selling predecessor Walking Wounded, it once again skilfully merged worlds contemporary electronic dance music and smart singer-songwriting, but was not without its production difficulties.
Working from the same template as before, the album was largely recorded at home by Ben Watt and Tracey Thorn in the summer of 1998 in familiar surroundings – synths, samplers, simple computer software, a microphone – with two tracks ending up as production collaborations: Blame, made with drum ‘n’ bass DJ-producer Jamie Spratling (J Majik) at his home studio in Hertfordshire; and The Future of the Future, which began life as an instrumental by Washington DC deep house producers, Deep Dish before Ben wrote a melody and lyrics for Tracey to sing.
Yet if the propulsive beats are undercut by a melancholy edge to the lyrics and sounds, it perhaps reflects the circumstances behind the album’s evolution.
“It was on reflection, a difficult album to make,” says Watt. “With the recent birth of our twin girls in 1998, I found myself constructing much of the album in isolation, with Tracey inevitably more pre-occupied with family life. It was much less collaborative than it should have been. I guess we were just moving in different mental spaces a lot of the time.”
In spite of the strained recording process and a lukewarm reaction from a rock press tiring of electronica, the album was acclaimed in many quarters on its release. “Triumphant after-hours club pop” said Spin in an effusive full-page 9/10 lead review. “Entirely natural, wholly wonderful” said the Sunday Times. “The definitive dance album steeped in all things pop. Sublime and essential” commented Billboard, while Time Out offered, “If EBTG discovered nightlife late, it is one of their greatest strengths. Wide-eyed and wondrous.”
Offering a longer view in 2019 – in a lengthy 20th year anniversary retrospective feature in The Quietus – Michael White said, “After 20 years it has aged very well … I’ve explored the length and breadth of dance music as if it were my job, and I can’t point to another album of its kind that so effectively bridges the divide between the deeply communal sound of the dance floor and the deeply private vocabulary of a mind in trouble.”
Temperamental is re-issued on 180gm double vinyl with half-speed mastering on Buzzin’ Fly Records/Chrysalis Recordings on May 8 2020
A limited edition tenth anniversary reissue of Bon Iver’s seminal EP Blood Bank will be released via Jagjaguwar with brand new live renditions of all of the EP’s tracks. The reissue will also feature new artwork and an in-depth essay written by longtime Bon Iver friend Ryan Matteson.
LP: 33 1/3 RPM 12″ vinyl LP inside a matte finished gatefold jacket with spot gloss inks, wrapped in a clear plastic printed sleeve, and contains a full-color 4 page insert. Contains digital download code, redeemable on or after release day.
Limited vinyl LP pressing. Cosmic Thing is the fifth studio album by new wave band The B-52’s, released in 1989. It contains the singles “Love Shack” and “Roam”. The success of the album served as a comeback after the death of guitarist Ricky Wilson in 1985. Six of the album’s songs were produced by Nile Rodgers in New York City, and the remaining four by Don Was in upstate New York. The band embarked on the Cosmic Tour to promote the album.
After a few years out to perfect their jaw-dropping new album 100% YES, Melt Yourself Down are back. Thanks to collaborations with production legends Youth and Ben Hillier, the band have reimagined themselves and created a bruising re-up of their signature sound with added synths, lyrics, anthems and epic joyrides. They took their sweet time crafting this new sound and it was worth it – 100% YES is the band at their finest.
Set My Heart On Fire Immediately is the fifth studio album from Perfume Genius on Matador Records. It sees artist and musician Mike Hadreas re-teaming with Grammy-nominated producer Blake Mills and features contributions from musicians Jim Keltner, Pino Palladino and Matt Chamberlin. It was recorded in Los Angeles, where Perfume Genius settled in 2017 with longtime partner and musical collaborator Alan Wyffels.
The album explores and subverts concepts of masculinity and traditional roles, and introduces decidedly American musical influences. Throughout Hadreas plays with themes of love, sex, memory and the body, channeling popular music mythologies while irreverently authoring its own – from the delirious, Cyndi Lauper-nodding celebratory pop of On The Floor, specters of Elvis on haunted tremolo waltz One More Try, to the harpsichord- punctuated baroque pop of Jason, and gliding steel guitar and Balearic rhythm of Without You.
Making A Door Les Open, the new album from Car Seat Headrest and the first set of brand new songs since 2016’s Teens Of Denial. Created over the course of four years, it is the result of a fruitful collaboration between Car Seat Headrest, led by Will Toledo, and 1 Trait Danger, a CSH electronic side project consisting of drummer Andrew Katz and Toledo’s alternative persona “Trait”.
In this way, Making A Door Less Open sees Toledo embarking on new and imaginative roads to songwriting and recording, placing emphasis on the individual songs, each with its own special energy, rather than attempting to draw a coherent storyteller narrative through the album as he has in the past, resulting in his most dynamic and open-ended work to date.
I first heard Daniel in 1985. Half Japanese had a show in Austin and Daniel’s manager Jeff Tartakov gave me a tape of “Hi How Are You?”. I loved it and began corresponding with Jeff and Daniel. A few years later I was in NYC to take part in a recording session of Moe Tucker at Kramer’s studio Noise New York. Daniel was at the studio and he and I became friends. Daniel recorded two songs with lyrics I wrote. He recorded “Do It Right” for Moe’s album, and “Some Things Last A Long Time” for his album “1990”. Soon after his time in NYC I invited him to my home and we had a week to record the songs for “It’s Spooky”. I considered Daniel to be a genius. I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to work with him. I’m so grateful to have it released again and it’s sounding better than ever thanks to an amazing mastering job by Kramer.
It was in winter 18/19 – I flew to Montreal to meet with Tim Kingsbury, Richard Reed Parry, Craig Silvey and Teddy Impakt at Le Studio Du Arcade Fire. It was a fine time with a dream team in a city I love. Winter in beautiful Quebec. Les semaines les plus froides de ma vie. I had a bunch of demos that were inspired by migration stories I had heard from friends or read in newspapers while on tour in Europe and North America. I remember being struck by the similarities of the stories I heard from both continents and how really only the names of the powerful and the powerless had changed – thinking, “Is this the future? Is this our future?”Some time went by, the stories wove together and I remember them now closer to characters in a dream of how people could treat each other than any kind of front-page news realism. I think music subconsciously – whether writing or listening – is a filter for me – helping to process all the bad news into something new to build from – some records to me are like self-fulfilling prophecies – visualizing change to wish something into being – those records inspired this one.
From the warped mind of Primus’ frontman comes the release of Colonel Les Claypool’s Fearless Flying Frog Brigade’s Live at the Great American Music Hall. This two set, 12-track collection was recorded live over two nights in San Francisco. Set 1 includes five Claypool originals bookended by superb King Crimson and Pink Floyd covers, while Set 2 is comprised of an unabridged performance of Pink Floyd’s legendary 1977 concept album, Animals.
‘Earth’ is an album of rediscovery and adventure by Radiohead’s Ed O’Brien, being released under the moniker EOB. Written and recorded over five years during any possible break from the making and touring of Radiohead’s ‘A Moon Shaped Pool’, the album deftly veers from moments of delicate folk to euphoric house, its songs seamlessly pinned together by unswerving melodic hooks and candid lyricism. A spirit of collaboration runs through ‘Earth’ from the production team of Flood, Catherine Marks, Alan Moulder and Adam ‘Cecil’ Bartlett to the extraordinary musicians O’Brien assembled to bring these tracks to life; bassist Nathan East, drummers Omar Hakim and Glenn Kotche, and The Invisible’s multi-instrumentalist leader David Okumu. Portishead’s Adrian Utley appears on two tracks, whilst Laura Marling duets with O’Brien on stirring closer “Cloak of The Night.” But every group of collaborators needs a leader, and Earth is all O’Brien’s vision. “I wanted to make a record from the heart,” he says. “I wanted to make something direct. I wanted to talk about love, your family in the immediate and the wider sense, where we are on the planet, the bigger picture, life and death. I wanted to make a big hearted, warm and colorful album… something hopeful and full of love.” Featuring the singles “Shangri-La”, which sways between syncopated beats and twisted rock, and “Brasil”, a track that morphs from a tender opening into a heightened-state rhythmic banger, ‘Earth’ marks a new beginning for Ed O’Brien.
Third Man Records reissue of two of Redd Kross’ beloved 1990s albums, Phaseshifter (1993) and Show World (1997).
Phaseshifter line-up intact (Gene Fennelly would soon move on, but plays all the keyboards on the recording), Redd Kross came back at us with amps turned up and smiles on their faces on 1997’s Show World. The album starts off with a spot on cover of The Quick’s L.A. power pop classic, Pretty Please Me, and sets the tone for yet another killer album by the thinking person’s good time band. Like all Redd Kross albums before and since, this one is all killer, no filler, with special highlights Stoned, Vanity Mirror, One Chord Progression and the absolutely sublime Follow The Leader.
Jason Williamson and Andrew Fearn stepped out of 2019 with a Top Ten album under their belt, Eton Alive, their biggest sold out tour to date and the swagger of a band that have never been more relevant, topically challenging and downright entertaining. Sleaford Mods continue their onslaught into 2020 with the release of All That Glue, a collection of songs spanning the last seven years of the bands career; an array of crowd pleasers, B sides, unheard tracks and rarities for fans and the curious, released via Rough Trade. Over the past few years Sleaford Mods have become one of the most intractable British pop stories. One of its best. Their music is drawn at a flawless fault-line of anger, tenderness and humour, a triumvirate of raw energy which frequently jostles in the space of a cadence for supremacy.
The 12” features 4 different covers, customers will get lucky dip on which one they get
“We first performed this at the All Points East festival in Victoria Park in May 2019. The crowd reaction was so positive that I was inspired to do my first-ever bit of crowd-surfing (which I enjoyed so much that I have repeated it a couple of times since). We played the song throughout the summer & eventually recorded it after our final performance of the year at the End of the Road festival on September 4th.
It’s a straightforward love song about someone stuck alone in the house whilst the object of their affections is out dancing to House music at a rave.
“Everybody in the Place” is the title of a Jeremy Deller 2019 documentary on Rave Culture.”
After more than five years, Purity Ring release their third album. Womb released via 4AD, is entirely produced and recorded by the duo of Megan James and Corin Roddick.
Womb chronicles a quest for comfort, the search for a resting place in a world where so much is beyond our control. The striking vulnerability of “ruby insides” – “If I could, I would let you see through me” – charts a course that’s both intensely personal and deeply connected to those close to us, our kin whether by nature or nurture. As the ground shifts beneath their feet, Womb’s characters help one another face death, despair, and world-altering discovery with resilience and grace. For all the terrain it encompasses, Womb’s quest culminates in “stardew”, a glittering, transcendent invitation to “just be where you are” – to experience the kind of powerful peace that can only be found by truly coming home.
Hamilton Leithauser has proven himself as a master collaborator and solo artist throughout his nearly 20 year career. Following his time as the frontman of the Walkmen, Leithauser released the critically acclaimed collaboration with Rostam I Had a Dream That You Were Mine in 2016. The album debuted at #1 on Billboard’s Heatseekers Chart, #1 New Artist Album, and was named one of the Year’s Best by Pitchfork, Esquire, NPR, and more. His latest work and second solo record The Loves of Your Life was written and produced by Hamilton in his home studio and is a collection of stories about real people he’s met over his years living in New York City.
“Will This Make Me Good?” is a question Nick Hakim has asked himself since he was young and struggling in school. It is a reflection of what’s happening in his head as he sorts through his life and the tumult around the globe. His new album WILL THIS MAKE ME GOOD articulates a sense of confusion alongside a desire for hope and clarity. It was produced by his longtime collaborator Andrew Sarlo (Big Thief, Bon Iver), who also produced Hakim’s breakthrough debut “Green Twins”.
Magic Box presents a reissue of Pirana’s self-titled album, originally released in 1971. Pirana’s heavily percussive brand of progressive rock was a huge hit with audiences in Australia in the early ’70s. Although often compared to Santana, they brought their own biting style to a superb selection of original material, with Tony Hamilton’s superb lead guitar to the fore. Their classic debut album was originally released in early 1971, and is reissued here in its original gatefold sleeve, together with background notes and rare images.