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.
Double LP version. 180 gram vinyl; glossy, 350gsm gatefold sleeve. Cold Spring Records announce the long-awaited reissue of Stolen & Contaminated Songs, Coil’s 1992 album. Stolen & Contaminated Songs was recorded and produced by Coil in 1992. It is comprised of over 60 minutes of outtakes and unreleased songs, evolved during the recording sessions for their prior album, Love’s Secret Domain (1991). A wealth of superb material showcasing the diversity of Coil: dark, violent, vivid, and fractured, yet cohesive and beautiful. Combined with the latest studio technology and Coil’s ever-evolving production skills, S&C Songs walks a fine line between tradition and innovation, continually creating semi-abstract soundscapes with a cinematic quality.
“Beautiful You needs little framing. “No distinct storylines or themes. It’s really just a collection of songs as rudimentary as that sounds,” Khotin-Foote explains. But the title of the album arrives with some lore: in high school, Khotin-Foote found a handwritten note on his windshield that read “Beautiful you, thanks for the smile.” Whoever left the note, they gifted the producer with this anonymous phrase that perfectly suits the work now, here, years later. Paired with the record’s cover, an ASCII-rendered photo of his mother and her parents living temporarily in Italy as refugees in the ’80s, the information graphs a malleable outline for listeners to shape into their own experience. A sensation akin to déjà vu, of misremembered hospitable climes, broadcast via ambiguous transmissions, birdsongs, melody and static.
Songs drift at a leisure; environments and voices pass by, some distinguishable, others pitched down or truncated to single words. In the case of “Vacation,” the message comes into focus over time, beginning in fragments, assembling above a suspended note to sublime effect. On “Merged Host,” a cycle of melodic phrases becomes punctuated by a clipped half-time beat and injected with a sample’s reoccurring comic relief (“I am so happy / how great I am”). On album closer “Planet B,” nostalgia is encountered head-on, with coiling and smooth synth lines twisted and spiraling around a nodding and assured percussion pattern.”
Touched Music and Furthur Electronix two forward thinking labels have merged together to put out exclusive compilations. Putting some of the best music in the electronic genre in one place. This is part 2.
Azzazin is a double standout Muslimgauze album, first LP originally issued in 1996, as a CD (Muslimgauze Subscription 003); the second disc originally as a 10″ of remixes (Muslimgauze Subscription 007). This 2LP adds two unreleased tracks. Tightly focused on a singular palette of monotone drones and swarming electronic buzzes, which arguably sound like a parallel to early Editions Mego. They’re probably the most minimalist Muslimgauze tracks you’ve heard, and even still he manages to express a fine range of abstracted emotions, from aggressive buzz to tender ambient pieces and spectral concrete prisms. Starting with an extremely minimal opening number — it’s no surprise Finnish experimental duo Pan Sonic were Muslimgauze fans, based on this track — Azzazzin has a much more electronic feeling than most of Bryn Jones’s other albums, eschewing the traditional elements used elsewhere for a rough, quietly aggressive, and disturbing feel. The fourth track, with its unpredictable keyboard snarls over a low, quiet pulse, and the sixth and seventh songs, with distorted, high-pitched noise tones mixed with a soft series of bass notes and a slight spoken-word interjection from time to time, are some of the strong points from this intriguing release. Surprisingly this album contains no trace of percussions whatsoever and instead presents a dry and claustrophobic minimal electronics that sounds more like a Warp band or a project by some S.E.T.I.-inspired laptop artist than a Middle Eastern-inspired band. Outer space sci-fi sounds meet with found sounds and human-made noises, isolationist experimental knob tweaking and mostly hi frequency material loops playing at random. Beats are used in an extremely limited way throughout Azzazzin, with rhythm, always a key component of Jones’ work, more suggested at points by the nature of the keyboard lines than anything else. draws a picture of the artist that is different than the one we got to know. Closing with an equally minimal track, Azzazzin won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, but adventuresome listeners will find themselves rewarded. All tracks written, played by Muslimgauze. Edition of 700.
Zauberberg — Wolfgang Voigt’s most fundamental (and foreboding) release under his alias GAS and perhaps of all in his untold discography — finally stands alone once again and is released in the way its original splendor. Originally released in 1997 on the iconic Frankfurt imprint Mille Plateaux, and then reissued in 2016 as a part of GAS Box (KOM 370LP, 2016), Zauberberg is now released on his own label, Kompakt. Though this narcotic symphony is not the first release under the GAS moniker, Zauberberg is the first to disclose the true nature of Wolfgang Voigt’s unified sound and ideology as GAS. Layers of ominous intensity supported by muffled kick drums as classical music loops incessantly swirl with no direction, Zauberberg is the definitive GAS album and a perfect starting point for those not familiar with his music. 180 gram vinyl.
Destroy Erase Improve was unleashed on an unsuspecting world in 1995 and was more of a success than probably anyone was expecting. Merging together progressive and technical thrash/groove metal in a myriad of creative and innovative ways, this was a collection of songs that pounded you down with inhuman, mechanical precision and robotic intensity.
The band’s first post-thrash album was a roaring success and firmly put Meshuggah on the map. Many releases are rather too casually called groundbreaking or landmarks, but Destroy Erase Improve is an album that deserves such appellations.
Plush. Palace. regularfantasy s music is about as plush as it gets, filling your area with bright melodic blankets for which to throw around your bod. Turning it into a plush palace of sorts, if you will. Half of this record seems designed to sooth you while the other half is all about getting you steppin . Our pal dj zozi comes in with an absolute heater of a remix, taking you to planets unknown and raves gone by. Without a doubt, the party is gonna be turned out.
Somewhere between a computer game soundtrack, pulpy sci-fi score, and an armchair accelerant, ‘Time Tourist’ holds a special place in the pantheon of mid-late ‘90s electronica/IDM. Some of it sounds pretty dated now, but the innocent sincerity of of B12’s retro-futurist aesthetics still glow from highlights such as ‘Infinite Lites (Primitives Mix)’ and ‘The Radiophonic Workshop’.
Crack Cloud is a mixed-media collective based out of Vancouver, BC. Modelled around harm reduction philosophy, the collective operates as a rehabilitative outlet for a revolving cast of multi-disciplinary artists across Canada. They sound like no other band going at the moment, delivering rhythmic art / post-punk that could be compared to early Gang Of Four and Wire. This LP compiles both their demos (s/t from 2016, and Anchoring Point from 2017) on one record. This is hands down one of the most interesting bands Canada has to offer at the moment. New album scheduled for 2019.
Queen of Golden Dogs -the third album from Vessel- was conceived, developed and rendered into life over eighteen months of solitude in rural Wales. In essence, it is an exploration of living a life devoted to uncertainty, curiosity and change.
Influenced by a range of writers, the painter Remedios Varo, and a new love, the album is a marked departure from Vessel’s previous work. The world of QoGD is saturated with colour; oscillating between grief, bombast and fierce joy, this is music shot through with both sincerity and irreverence.
Whilst traces of his sonic signature remain, there is much changed since Vessel’s second album, Punish, Honey. An infatuation with chamber music brought about in collaboration with his violinist lover, and a voice given by singer Olivia Chaney leave strong impressions, providing landmarks in a world that is essentially about the joys of difference.
‘Fantasma’, a prologue of sorts, careens from bent cello to blunt force percussion and billowing synthesisers, dispersing into the harmonically restless lament of ‘Good Animal’, providing the album with the first of it’s many purposefully uncomfortable segues. Ideas oftransformation are regularly explored internally within individual pieces, as well as across the album as a whole, dominated by unpredictable shifts in tone. The probing string swells of ‘Argo’ give way to throbbing bass and slippery rhythms, which twist briefly into an almostpop leaning chorus before a barrage of fuzzy drums lead to one of the albums most straightforwardly techno moments. The layered voices of ‘Torno-me eles e nau-eu’ offer the most overt example of Vessel’s move towards classical forms. Using chromaticism, dissonance and sweetness, he explores a space that seemingly refuses to resolve, although eventually revealing itself as an extended reflection of album centrepiece, ‘Paplu’.
We Can’t Be That Far From The Beginning is the inaugural EP by Raime for their own RR. Following from their release Am I Using Content Or Is Content Using Me?, this EP shows the duo exploring non-linear sound into something more challenging. We Can’t Be ? is filled with snippets of conversation and shifting narratives that are at once satisfying and confusing, perhaps a reflection of our bombardment-based online culture. Teetering between the real and the transient, Raime use multiple techniques to create a collage of our collective experience with contemporary concrete, Japanese anime, pointillist tech and spatial futures.
Since the release of their album Wonderland, Demdike Stare have been recording material for this new double album Passion; an asymmetric re-imagining of UK club styles taking in frenzied drum trax, shortwave jungle, pinging dancehall and clipped, post-punk riddims. During this time they’ve been busy curating their DDS label (releases from Shinichi Atobe, Mica Levi, Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe, and Equiknoxx, among others) and have been commissioned by both the Groupe de Recherches Musicales(GRM) and the surviving members of Gruppo di Improvvisazione Nuova Consonanza to mine and rework their archives. Enlisting visual artist Michael England(Autechre, Gescom, Leila), they’ve created a cinematic accompaniment for their collaborative live shows, resulting in the image which adorns this cover – a hybrid/composite portrait exploring/questioning the current use of software in creating hyper reality and the manipulation of the self. The accompanying film includes documentary footage filmed at a Voguing event in NYC, a Blackpool promenade and a Newark, New Jersey roller rink, the end result smudging the lines between live performance, documentary and sonic cinema. It’s an idea that’s echoed on Passion, continuing a process Demdike began on their Testpressing series of dismantling lines between analog and digital realms, between urban realism and fantasy, between experimental, pop and soundsystem cultures. An outlandish configuration of avant-garde and ultimately functional club weapons designed and honed for the weightiest bassbins, it’s also their most direct and fucked up record to date — a raucous, joyful 9-track smash that comes off like a night on a glamorous, neon-lit bender.
Heat is a surprise new double album from Shinichi Atobe for Demdike Stare. It follows on from 2017’s From The Heart, It’s A Start, A Work Of Art (DDS 023LP) and continues a run of highly enigmatic, acclaimed and completely unparalleled productions that follow their own timeless logic. There’s no sonic fiction involved; this material really does just turn up on a CD sent by air mail from Japan to Manchester, sparse info, no messing, pure gold. What’s that cover art about? It’s probaby something to do with the balmy, slightly fucked, sun-stroked material within. “So Good, So Right”, the ten-minute opener, will force you to forget about all the shit around you for a while. There are also several tracks called “Heat”; they’re all killer. This music takes you elsewhere almost immediately; that fan on your desk is basically a summer breeze. In fact, this whole album is absurd, completely effortless, and a total classic. Find a more life-affirming electronic album in 2018, and there’s an ice cream in the offing. Mastered and cut by Matt Colton, cover by Mat Thornton.
Armageddon Shop is proud to announce the long-awaited reissue of the BRAINBOMBS’ fifth album Fucking Mess. Originally released in Sweden in 2008 on the Lystring label, it quickly sold through two pressings. After many years out of print, it will be available for the first time domestically in the USA. It has been freshly re-cut for this vinyl release by CARL SAFF Saff Mastering (Fu Manchu, Elder, The Residents, Pallbearer). Ltd to 600 copies on black vinyl with download. Seven tracks of blown out noise rock from the depths of Sweden’s sub/urban landscape. Blood soaked lurching riffs taking you through a horrific police report. An audio notebook filled with disturbing and murderous events. A serial killer walking down a dark road listening to a blown out cassette on a dying walkman as he wipes the blood off his hands and into the dirt… In their own words: “Brainbombs Fucking Mess as a testament/funeral. BB found previous releases to be too naive, this time it’s for real.”
Armageddon Shop is proud to announce the long-awaited reissue of the BRAINBOMBS’ first album Burning Hell. Originally released in 1992 on the Blackjack label. After many years out of print in the USA, it has been freshly re-cut for this vinyl release by CARL SAFF at Saff Mastering (Fu Manchu, Elder, The Residents, Pallbearer). Ltd to 600 copies on black vinyl with download. Nine tracks of abrasive noise rock that will drill into your skull. Abrasive music that surges with hypnotic Stooges riffs that have been laced with acid and drenched in the sweat of physical fear and danger. Mutated and disorienting songs with lyrics that deliver first person accounts of the most disturbing and darkest events that are part of the human experience… Murder, sex, drugs, blood, and violence.
Scott Morgan’s second Loscil full-length, Submers, took inspiration from salvaged Time Life classical music albums and “the indelible mystery of submarines and the deep sea.” Composed using a custom-built Max / MSP sequencer—with no external samplers, synthesizers, or acoustic instruments involved—the limitations of the process shaped these masterful, minimal compositions. Each piece was produced as a live mix, direct to disk, with no separated tracks. Originally issued in November of 2002 on compact disc, Kranky is now making these timeless recordings available on vinyl for the first time. All of these tracks are named after submarines, the final cut being a requiem for the crew of the ill fated Russian nuclear vessel Kursk. Recorded at home using only samples as sound sources, the album is rife with sourceless echoes, steely surfaces and ominous melodic and rhythmic undertows. The sifted melodies are layered over muffled, clicking and pulsing rhythm tracks with an appropriately aquatic feel to the tracks.
Smalltown Supersound is proud to be releasing YOSHINORI HAYASHI’s debut album, Ambivalence. Previous work by the Tokyo-based producer has been called “a complex patchwork of studio gear, live instruments, dusty jazz records and smartly cut library sounds, whose textures are soft and inviting. But its arrangements are constantly ruffled, squeezed, brushed and pinched—which is to say, nothing stays still for long” (Resident Advisor). Hayashi presents his self-described “collage expression” throughout Ambivalence, which he produced and played in its entirety. Album opener, “Overflow,” is a club track inspired by Cecil Taylor. It’s freeform nature sets the tone for the album’s cosmic, hypnotic, and almost ritualistic approach. Hayashi has studied under Japanese avant-classical composer Mica Nozawa. When not DJing, he works in a record store in Tokyo. Thus far, Hayashi has released a string of 12”s on labels including Going Good Records, Jinn Records, Lovers Rock, Gravity Grafitti and Moscoman’s Disco Halal. Check out his recent mix for Resident Advisor
140 gram vinyl; 350 gram sleeve, with sticker. WRWTFWW Records announces the highly anticipated official reissue of holy grail album MKWAJU by acclaimed Japanese percussionist Midori Takada’s MKWAJU Ensemble, sourced from the original masters and available in two versions: a vinyl LP cut at Emil Berliner Studios (formerly the in-house recording department of Deutsche Grammophon) and a digipack CD. Originally recorded in February and March 1981 and released by fabled Japanese avant-garde label Better Days (home of Ryuichi Sakamato’s debut album, Yasuaki Shimizu’s Kakashi (1982), Colored Music’s self-titled LP (WRWTFWW 024CD/LP, 2018) and many more) MKWAJU is the fruit of the collaboration between Takada’s crew and world-famous composer/musical director Joe Hisaishi, the man behind most of Hayao Miyazaki’s Studio Ghibli anime soundtracks and over 100 other films scores, including Takeshi Kitano’s Sonatine (1993), Hana-Bi (1997), and Kikujiro (1999). The ensemble’s transcendental wonder is, in fact, the first-ever Midori Takada album and the first-ever Joe Hisaishi-produced album: historic. Led by Midori Takada on marimba, gong, vibraphone, and tom tom, MKWAJU is an inventive and riveting take on Eastern and Western minimalist traditions, African rhythms, and early electronica. Drawing from its jazz-rooted polyrhythmic improvisations in the most inventive ways, the album covers a wide spectrum of sounds, from colorful dance floor-ready percussion pieces that stand somewhere between proto-techno and experimental synth-pop, to cinematic ambient landscapes and ethereal drone delicacies. The feverishly sought-after full-length is a stepping-stone in Midori Takada’s career and an all-around pioneering album. Alongside Takada and Hisaishi (who not only produced the album but also played synthesizers), personnel on MKWAJU includes famed Japanese musicians Yoji Sadanari and Hideki Matsutake of KI-Motion (WRWTFWW 026CD/LP, 2018) fame, Junko Arase (heard on Satoshi Ashikawa’s legendary Still Way – Wave Notation 2(1982)), and Pecker (whose stacked resume boasts collaborations with Ryuichi Sakamoto and Jun Fukamachi).
The first experiment into ambient music from eno, envisioned from his sick bed and involving small sections of pachelbel’s ‘canon in d major’ overlayed with others to create new variations. conducted and co-arranged with gavin bryars.
Since his recording debut as CHOIR BOY in 2016, ADAM KLOPP mined a sound swirls 1980s synth noir with captivating, cinematic songs sweeping with pensive sorrow and glowing hope. As a former member of the Mormon faith, Klopp spent his youth both in the pews of his place of worship, but also churning through DIY punk venues, before leaving the sect in the thick of a mission in Tahiti. The duality of faith and fiction are central to the lush explorations on his debut album Passive With Desire. Recorded at Studio Studio Dada, the album’s tracks permuted as bedroom sketches, awash with camp, the sting of loss, and allusions to halcyon days of nocturnal, electronic driven pop. Retaining elements of Klopp’s original demos, Passive With Desire was recorded with a full band and polished with trumpet, strings, as well as archival samples calling back to Klopp’s hazy youth. Engineered by Klopp, BRET MEISENBACH and STEPHEN COPE, Passive With Desire is the entry point to Choir Boy’s world of emotive wit, novella kissed lyricism, and bouncy, synth-forward takes on traditional song writing bound by the universal themes of loss, desire, evolution, and exploration. Now available for the first time in a wide release, Passive With Desire is a proper introduction to Choir Boy’s unique brand of storytelling, orated by Adam Klopp’s full, rangeful vocals. The expanded CD version comes with a 12-page lyric booklet, and combines the album, Passive With Desire, along with seven bonus tracks, including the Sunday Light 7’’ single and live studio session tracks from the limited edition Part Time Punks cassette. The repackaged LP edition comes in a sturdy matte jacket with matte Eurosleeve insert and lyrics.