Possibly the best known of Strata’s releases, The Lyman Woodard Organization’s ‘Saturday Night Special’ is rightly heralded as a jazz fusion classic. Recorded in 1975, ‘Saturday Night Special’ features organ, electric piano and Mellotron by bandleader Lyman Woodard alongside guitar and bass by Ron English, with drums and percussion by Leonard King, Bud Spangler & Lorenzo “Mr. Rhythm” Brown respectively. Despite the fairly sparse instrumentation, ‘Saturday Night Special’ lays down an impressive wall of sound, powerfully atmospheric in its almost low-fi aesthetic. Hinting at more traditional jazz, rhythm & blues, afro-cuban styles and more, the uniqueness of this album is surely in its feel: summoning up images of a vast industrial landscape, assembly lines and urban decay. In other words, this record sounds like Detroit.
1988 release, reissued. “Once upon a time there were three girls called Alice, Jane and Tracey. The three combined to create the very special sound of ‘The Marine Girls.’ Their debut album Beach Party was originally released on Dan Treacy’s (Television Personalities) Whaam! Records and is included here with the Cherry Red album Lazy Ways. The Marine Girls split amicably in 1983; Tracey concentrating on Everything But The Girl and the Fox Sisters (Jane and Alice), going on to form Grab Grab The Haddock with Lester Noel (later to play in Beats International).”
Thanks to a pair of impressive albums and a string of fine singles on The Lauren Becall, Lobster Theremin and Mork, each new release from dusty deep house explorer Grant is keenly anticipated. Happily, we can confirm that this third full-length excursion contains some of the mysterious West Coast producer’s strongest work to date. Atmospheric, melodious and hazy but with a firm dancefloor focus, it contains a string of impressively rich and bass-heavy concoctions. Highlights include the bustling beats, heavy analogue bass, deep space chords and Motor City techno style cymbals of “My Definition”, the breezier dub house/vintage deep house fusion of “Reflection” and “Get On”, where more intricate, heart-aching melodies gently dance around a typically woozy groove.
Cindy Li is one of the busiest promoters in Toronto. Among other parties, she puts on Work In Progress, an event series and radio show that highlights dance music made by female-identifying artists. Spending years spinning opening slots has allowed her to develop a DJ style that favours dreamy melodies, twitchy drums and exquisite synths. Finding a middle ground between electro and progressive house, she’s taken that style to producing. Her first release, which lands on Shanti Celeste’s Peach Discs label, bursts with the pastel colours and bouncy rhythms of her DJ sets.
“Elevate (Go Off Mix),” which first appeared as an unsigned upload on SoundCloud, is the pick of the litter. If any track gets to the core of Li’s musical tastes, it’s this one. There are snappy drums, rapturous synths and a piano line that almost turns the track into a puddle of schmaltz, but it’s so uplifting that it’s hard not to get carried away. On “Electrical Encounters,” she explores melancholic electro. Li reaches across the country to Vancouver on “Rain Dance,” which takes inspiration from the city with laid-back chords and a humid atmosphere while keeping her sputtering percussive patterns. Electrical Encounters is a stellar debut that shows that, even if Vancouver and Montreal are the dominant Canadian scenes, Toronto has a lot to say.
Proud to offer this superb Superfly reissue of super obscure private pressing by the mighty Bobby Jackson, splendid trippy mellow Jazz Fusion all the way in this very unique Jazz record, check ‘modetique’ – SRLP028, limited to 1000 copies with obi.
Home Age is the first proper Eleh full-length since 2012’s Homage To The Pointed Waveforms. These three new pieces seek to expose the inherent musicality of pure electrical currents via high resolution Serge STS synthesizers. Like early Eleh work, Home Age is inward looking, domestic, and deliberate, but also slowly emotional and revealing as if peering blurry-eyed through a window. Melody, harmony, and counterpoint are suggested but not revealed. Packaged in a deluxe gold-on-black, heavy-duty letterpress jacket made by Studio On Fire in Minneapolis; Edition of 500.
Double LP version. Cut and mastered by Matt Colton at Alchemy. Call Super is back with his album Arpo. Another mesmerizing environment of restless beauty that refuses to conform too much else beyond his own work; it affirms Call Super’s place as one of the most remarkable contemporary musicians working today. The album follows JR Seaton’s highly-acclaimed, 2014 debut album Suzi Ecto. Earlier in February of 2017, Call Super released the mix Fabric 92 as part of the London club Fabric’s series, receiving critical acclaim from Resident Advisor amongst others. Call Super’s highly-anticipated second album Arpo is presented on Houndstooth, the artist-led label from London’s renowned Fabric nightclub and label. Cut and mastered by Matt Colton at Alchemy; Manufactured at Optimal-Media, Germany.
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.
Captain High Records present a reissue of Bill Plummer & The Cosmic Brotherhood, originally released in 1968. Long thought to be lost to only the most industrious of crate diggers, Bill Plummer’s 1968 album Bill Plummer & The Cosmic Brotherhood makes its triumphant return on Captain High Records. Already an accomplished jazz bassist at the time of the album’s release, Bill Plummer turned heads on The Cosmic Brotherhood with heavy Eastern and psychedelic influences that challenged contemporary ideas about jazz. Original compositions like “Journey To The East” and “Arc 294” are colored by striking sitar sounds, rhythmic chanting, and melodic improvisation, while Plummer lends his distinctive touch to songs by The Byrds (“Lady Friend”) and Burt Bacharach (“The Look of Love”). The result is an album that reflects a musician at the peak of his creative powers, unafraid to explore new ideas and sounds that meld into a cohesive, spectacular album.
Ninos Du Brasil is Nico Vascellari and Nicolò Fortuni. Invoking the power of a stampeding herd of mythical beasts, the Animais Soar O Alarme 12″ is a carnivalesque dancefloor exploration that highlights Ninos Du Brasil’s unbridled percussive sound. The A side presents the shadowy duo’s original track — a rollicking and propulsive explosion of beats unified by steady stomping bellows of unknown origin. The B side sees Patrick Russell providing the first ever remix of a Ninos du Brasil track, imbued with the precision, discipline, and restraint, making “Animais Soar O Alarme” seem all the wilder.
Stylistically, the range is broad. Recompiled moves from lush ambience to peak-time intensity, dwelling longest on the cool and cavernous space in between. Some tracks are exemplars of techno at its purest (“Immolare,” “Shift F1”); others would fit comfortably in a house set (“F3”). There are dubby bangers (“F1”), cosmic dramas (“Reykjavik”) and the odd bit of broken beat (“Balance Of Power (Substance),” “Montage”). There’s even a dash of dreamlike euphoria (“Golden Dawn”).
An influential alternative rap quartet from South Central Los Angeles, the Pharcyde was formed by MCs/producers Tre “Slimkid” Hardson, Derrick “Fatlip” Stewart, Imani Wilcox, and Romye “Booty Brown” Robinson. Hardson, Wilcox, and Robinson were all dancers and choreographers who met on the L.A. underground club circuit in the late ’80s, worked together for a while, and served a stint as dancers on In Living Color. Stewart, meanwhile, performed at local clubs and eventually hooked up with the others in 1990. Under the tutelage of Reggie Andrews, a local high-school music teacher, the group learned about the music industry and the process of recording an album. They landed a deal with Delicious Vinyl in 1991, and a year later released their eccentric debut album, Bizarre Ride II the Pharcyde, which went gold. After support slots for De La Soul and A Tribe Called Quest as well as a successful spot on Lollapalooza’s second stage in 1994, the group released its second album, Labcabincalifornia, which was calmer than their first but no less warped.
The commercial and artistic peak of the ambient-house movement, U.F.Orb strides past the debut with more periods of free-form ambience and less reliance on a standard 4/4 beat. From the opening “O.O.B.E.” through the bass-heavy gait of “Blue Room” and “Towers of Dub,” the flow is more natural and ranges farther than most would have expected. The bevy of contributors (including Steve Hillage, Jah Wobble, Youth, Thomas Fehlmann, and Slam) never threatens to overload the proceedings, though the minimalist sampling of Ultraworld is replaced by a production focus much more dense and busy, especially on the “rain forest on Saturn” ethno-ambience of “Close Encounters.” Elsewhere, Paterson maintains his fascination with the earthy dub basslines of Mad Professor and Lee Perry, even while he’s indulging in flights of fancy indebted to Sun Ra.
“On Suicide’s First Rehearsal Tapes, recorded in 1975, Alan Vega and Martin Rev create minimalist aural structures, traces of which would surface on their eponymous debut album, released on the Red Star label in late 1977.
“These songs are not a sketchpad of semi-formed ideas. The First Rehearsal Tapes comprise an audio diary of two men out in the ether, measuring themselves as evolving individual artists and as a unit who would rely on inseparability to realize their unique and often confrontational mass in the decades to come. What the tapes also reveal is that Vega and Rev were compositionally ambitious, capable of melody and form, while resisting definition as they headed further into uncharted territory.
“The First Rehearsal Tapes afford the listener a glimpse into the creative process of two groundbreaking, true art warriors with their swords and shields leaning against the practice room wall. To understand the absolute brilliance of Suicide’s first album as well as their sonic adventures that followed, you have to start here with their earliest recordings.”
—Henry Rollins (excerpt from the liner notes)
Vinyl LP pressing. 1990 release, the first album by alt-rock band Babes in Toyland. Spanking Machine was recorded in Seattle by now legendary Jack Endino at the now equally legendary Reciprocal Recording Studio. Spanking Machine was the record that kicked down many doors for Babes in Toyland. The working title of the album was Swamp Pussy, which later ended up becoming the opening song on the album. The album title was later changed to Spanking Machine, after the “spanking machine” from an episode of Leave It to Beaver titled “The Price of Fame.” “Dust Cake Boy” was the first and only single from the album.
One of the most unique albums on the Strata East label – and that’s saying a heck of a lot, given the creative energies flowing through that legendary jazz outlet! Descendants Of Mike & Phoebe is a righteous little project put together by Spike Lee’s father, Bill Lee, and his brothers and sisters (Cliff Lee, Grace Lee Mims, and Consuela Lee Moorhead) – working here in a group named after their slave ancestors, who are paid tribute in a beautifully flowing batch of tunes! Lee’s round, warm bass tones are firmly at the head of the group on most numbers – recorded at a similar level to his excellent work with Clifford Jordan on Strata East during the same time – and other instrumentation includes piano from Consuela, flugelhorn from Cliff, and percussion from Sonny Brown and Billy Higgins – all used in a wonderfully evocative style that’s even better than some of Lee’s later soundtrack work. A few numbers feature vocals from Grace – singing wordlessly and with a really heavenly sort of quality – and together, the whole group have an undeniable sense of power and majesty, yet also one that’s touched by a really personal sense of poetry too. Titles include a great version of Lee’s “Coltrane”, which was more famously recorded with Clifford Jordan.
Despite his status as a key figure in the history of Japanese ambient music, Hiroshi Yoshimura remains tragically under-known outside of his home country. Empire of Signs – a new imprint co-helmed by Maxwell August Croy, Spencer Doran and distributed by Light In The Attic – is proud to reissue Yoshimura’s debut Music for Nine Post Cards for the first time outside Japan in collaboration with Hiroshi’s widow Yoko Yoshimura, with more reissues of Hiroshi’s works to follow in the future.
Working initially as a conceptual artist, the musical side of Yoshimura’s artistic practice came to prominence in the post-Fluxus scene of late 1970s Tokyo alongside Akio Suzuki and Takehisa Kosugi, taking many subsequent turns within Japan’s bubble economy afterward. His sound works took on many forms – commissioned fashion runway scores, soundtracking perfume, soundscapes for pre-fab houses, train station sound design – all existing not as side work but as logical extensions of his philosophy of sound. His work strived for serenity as an ideal, and this approach can be felt strongly on Music for Nine Post Cards.
Home recorded on a minimal setup of keyboard and Fender Rhodes, Music for Nine Post Cards was Yoshimura’s first concrete collection of music, initially a demo recording given to the Hara Museum of Contemporary Art to be played within the building’s architecture. This was not background music in the prior Japanese “BGM” sense of the word, but “environmental music”, the literal translation of the Japanese term kankyō ongaku [環境音楽] given to Brian Eno’s “ambient” music when it arrived in late 70’s Japan. Yoshimura, along with his musical co-traveler Satoshi Ashikawa, searched for a new dialog between sound and space: music not as an external absolute, but as something that interlocks with a physical environment and shifts the listener’s experience within it. Erik Satie’s furniture music, R. Murray Schafer’s concept of the soundscape and Eno’s ambience all greatly informed their work, but the specific form of tranquil stasis presented on releases like Nine Post Cards is still difficult to place within a specific tradition, remaining elusive and idiosyncratic despite the economy of its construction. This record offers the perfect introduction to Hiroshi’s unique and beautiful worldview: it’s one that can be listened to – and lived in – endlessly.
Aside from a frustratingly hard-to-find cassette of ambient experiments, David “Cloudface” Reynolds hasn’t released much in the last few years. In fact, Super You is his first 12″ for longtime home Mood Hut since 2013. Happily, it shows the producer at his deep, dreamy and dusty best, laying down a series of poignant and moving analogue jams that ripple with melodious intent. Soft-focus, ultra-deep house compositions (the melancholic Larry Heard-isms of “W W I”, the yearning, dub-flecked wonder of “Baby J” and the jazzy ambient house bliss of opener “II”) are joined by diversions into hip-hop style instrumental beats (“Ee N Oh”) and, of course, ambient (the standout “J P”).
Three years on from the release of Edward’s fine sophomore set, Into a Better Future, Giegling has finally decided to deliver a set of remixes. On the A-side you’ll find Thomas Melchior’s interpretation of “At Ease”, a bustling, bass-heavy and slightly rhythmically off-kilter take rich in trippy samples, booming bass and layered percussion hits. While impressive and club-friendly, we’d argue that Kriedler’s flipside remix of “Let’s Go” – a hard-to-pigeonhole fusion of slowly-building broken techno beats, dewy-eyed synthesizer loops and manipulated guitar sounds served with a healthy side order of analogue fuzz – is an altogether more exciting proposition. For those looking for material to play at 8am in a Berlin basement, Kettenkarussell’s gently pulsing, pagan remix of “Yes” should do the trick.
The third artist album on Omena is here, ‘For The Dreamers’ by Saine. An effortless blend of crisp beat-work and delicate textures, the album feels equally suited for playing out loud or for those hazy summer night headphone marathons.
With Hello Ambient Wash’, the first Dub Tractor album since 2009, Remmer explores further the pos-sibilities of Dub Tractor after the more pop-oriented & shoegaze-flavoured approach of his last album “Sorry”. In addition to new material, the second half of Hello Ambient Wash’ presents a retrospective of hand-picked tracks from his first three albums on Flex Records (the label which Music For Dreams founder Kenneth Bager ran with Ole Mortensen from 1994 to 2007). Two “Discrete Recordings” tracks from 1994 highlight the atmospheric dub origins of Remmer’s sound, while the two tracks from the 1996 album “An Evening With..” see Remmer at his most accessible and funky. The four cuts from his seminal 2000 album “Delay” still sound as vibrant and fresh today as they did then, and perfectly add weight to this unique collection.
Aguirre Records present the first official vinyl reissue of Fifty Foot Hose’s Cauldron, originally released on Limelight in 1967. Cauldron is the legendary psychedelic jazzy rock and electronic album by Californian band Fifty Foot Hose. Fifty Foot Hose formed in San Francisco in 1967. Like few other acts of their time, they consciously tried to combine the contemporary sounds of rock with electronic instruments and avant-garde compositional ideas. They were one of the most radical groups of the psychedelic era, and their experimentalism still has the power to shock and surprise even now. What set them apart were the pioneering experiments in electronic music, like the band they are often compared to, The United States of America. Incorporating Theremin, siren, audio generators, and other various electronic effects, as Cork Marcheschi, the band’s original bass player, had developed an acute interest in the dadaist/futurist experiments of composers like John Cage and Edgar Varese. David and Nancy Blossom brought both psychedelic and jazz influences to the band. Cauldron, their only album, was released in December 1967, including “Fantasy”, “Red The Sign Post”, and “God Bless The Child”, a Billie Holiday cover. Their sound experiments differentiated them from their contemporaries and most audiences didn’t quite know what to make of them. Fifty Foot Hose’s music leans more towards White Noise, Silver Apples, and especially United States of America, rather than to flower power movement. After only one album, the proto-cyber psych outfit passed as quickly as they came. Their only mention would be a name-check in Ralph J. Gleason’s 1969 book, The Jefferson Airplane And The San Francisco Sound, published over a year after their demise. Ralph J. Gleason wrote: “I don’t know if they’re immature or premature.” History has proven them to be the latter. Today, the original album is very collectable and considered a touchstone of avant-garde rock music. Cork Marcheschi on the record: “The concept was to expand what contemporary popular music was. I thought the avant-garde could have had a home with this new group of listeners but they turned out to be pretty conservative — intellectually. Drugs were fine — sex was fine — stop the wars was good but when challenged with abstract art., they reacted like conservative people look at a Jackson Pollock painting.” Cover reconstruction by Jeroen Wille. Remastered by Equus. Includes replica of the original insert. 180 gram vinyl; Edition of 1000.
Various Artists “Lysergic Saviours: A Psychedelic Prophecy! The Holy Grail Of Xian Acid Fuzz 1968-1974” (Particles)
Particles present a hallowed collection of psychedelic evangelists, hell-bent on summoning the Lord and armed with the latest fuzz pedals and hallucinogenic. Let us embrace the sound of the heavens with a toxic mix of wild garage punk and prayer recorded between 1968 and 1974. This pious platter delivers 13 lysergic sermons from the depths of revelations on this LP, plus a CD with six bonus tracks. Holy fuzz pedals, let us pray. Features: Our Generation, The New Folk, The New Dawn, The Search Party, Whispers Of Truth, Concrete Rubber Band, Mind Garage, Earthen Vessel, Out Of Darkness, Exkursions, The Sheep, and Azitis. Included CD feature six bonus tracks, featuring Mind Garage, Koinonia, Eden, The Accompany, The Search Party, and Agape. Speckled (gold, blue, purple) 180 gram LP (hand-numbered sleeve); Includes CD; Includes insert with comprehensive liner notes are rare color photographs. Professionally re-mastered original sound recordings.
2×12″ version. Scented gatefold sleeve, relief varnish; 140 gram vinyl. Brainwaltzera’s debut album Poly-Ana follows quickly on the heels of the producer’s Aescoba EP (FILM 006EP, 2017). Across thirteen tracks of both previously released material and fresh excursions into the artist’s world, Brainwaltzera explores sounds ranging from luscious, downtempo grooves and expertly reduced brain-dance cuts with nods to early ’90s experimental IDM to harder, more caustic outings, all bound together by a recurring theme of otherworldly ambience. Taking its name from a variety of sources dear to the artist, including polyphonic analog synthesizers and the Pollyanna principle itself — a theory that suggests individuals recall pleasurable experience more acutely than displeasing ones — the title represents a meeting point in the artistic process between creative method and conceptual choices. Production techniques range from more traditional hardware synthesis to the incorporation of a modified dot matrix printer acting as a modulation source for MIDI parameters. Sample sources include VHS material from the producer’s own childhood and ambient Bullet Train samples from a production session traveling from Tokyo to Kyoto. According to the enigmatic producer, memory and its fundamental role in the human experience is one of the central themes of the record. While the artist’s own experiences shaped the sound of the record, there is no attempt to impose them on the listener through blatant exposition. A particular stimulus, such as sound or scent, can transport an individual back to a particular point in their life. Scent has long been identified as the most efficient agent for this phenomenon, providing perhaps the most visceral form of “brain travel”. With this in mind, a unique fragrance was engineered by creative director Mario Lombardo’s Atelier Oblique brand, exclusively for the album’s physical release. This was designed to act as a vehicle to assist the listener in retaining the first experience of hearing the record and to act as a future trigger, transporting the individual back to that moment. Brainwaltzera’s work has quickly found plaudits amongst a host of industry tastemakers and artists alike — not least Aphex Twin himself, who has appeared sporadically online with comments praising the music via his now infamous user18081971 SoundCloud account. Mature and wonderfully executed, Poly-Ana represents some of the finest recent work within the genre, and yet another noteworthy addition to the FILM discography.
Vinyl Lovers present a reissue of Alex Chilton’s Like Flies On Sherbert, originally released in 1979. A step beyond the pop-perfection of Big Star lay Chilton’s darker side. His 1979 solo effort was a both brilliant and flawed drug-fueled examination of his own country roots in search of a new direction. Through songs by Ernest Tubb, Jimmy C. Newman, Roy Orbison, and K.C. and the Sunshine Band, as well as some originals, Chilton produced a looser album that allowed his new found creativity to flow through the many cracks, simultaneously dividing fans into two camps: the Big Star purists, and the ones who were able to see the genius on the flip side of its demise. Includes four bonus tracks. 180 gram vinyl.
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.
The third of a six album cycle cataloguing 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
“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).
NOW AVAILABLE ON VINYL!!! “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 CHIRSTOPHERSON’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.
“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).
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
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…
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.
Broadly cut from the synth pop cloth, Maus has fashioned the frosty minimalism of its fabric into a cloak of infinite meaning, genuine grace and absurdist humor over the course of three defining albums since 2006. His fourth album Screen Memories, follows six years after 2011’s We Must Become The Pitiless Censors Of Ourselves, which appeared like a thunderbolt of maniacal energy and turned everyone’s heads.
Screen Memories was written, recorded, and engineered by Maus over the last few years in his home in Minnesota. It’s a solitary place situated in the sub-zero winter temperatures creep into the songs as do the buzzing wasps of summer.
The ever-reliant Deepchord kicks off 2014 in his usual stylish way with two deep cuts in the Luxury EP. After last years jaunt into the ambient with 20 Electrostatic Soundfields, Rod Model return to the world of slick beats and even dreamier synths and atmospheres.Luxury 1 ebbs in majestically as beautifully crafted layers of synths glide across field recorded drops of water that instantly play with your senses. Pumping sub bass fills the rest of the spectrum as Rod does what he does best by creating an unending slick groove, pieced together by crisp percussion.Yet more atmospherics come into play in Luxury 2 as otherworldly field recordings are brought to life through the use of Rod’s unique processing and layers of dream state synths. A perfectly worked groove seems to come out of nowhere and glides gently under the atmosphere; again subtle percussion ties everything together seamlessly. The master of Deep Techno strikes again with nothing short of 2 elegant works that typify his skills as a producer.
Straight off the back of 20 Electrostatic Soundfields Deepchord delivers yet again with the double A-side Prana/Tantra. Deepchord leaves the ambient/beatless works of his latest album behind and gets brings his signature deep and dubby sound to these tracks. Prana glistens into existence as ethereal pads drift by, giving way to a subtle, almost deep house beat that pulses nicely, backed by tribal-esq percussion. A gently staccato synth pattern flutters in and out toying with the idea of techno ever so slightly yet keeping well within the realms of his usual sound. Simplicity is the key in this track and Deepchord allows it to evolve slowly and he toys with sweeps of reverb and FX giving the track a lush, organic sound.Tantra gives off a tougher vibe than it predecessor. Gently layered, deeper, edgier synths open the track as percussive elements, swathed in FX form the basis of the groove. Bolstered by a typical Deepchord dubbed out bass line this track once again evolves perfectly almost without the listener noticing the subtle changes that give Tantra a deep and emotive flow.Never one to sit still and be pigeon holed into a genre, Deepchord easily turns his hand once again a brings two beautifully crafted tracks in his own inimitable style
Steffi occupies a unique space in the realm of contemporary electronic music. Although she’s a world renowned DJ, Steffi’s musical interests reach far beyond the dancefloor, and it’s her work as a producer that has established an impressive, hard-won legacy. Soon after moving to Berlin in 2007, Steffi joined Ostgut, becoming a resident at Panorama Bar and releasing on the club’s label. To date she’s released five albums, including two solo for Ostgut Ton, a co-production with Virginia, another with Analogue Cops as Third Side and a collaboration as Doms & Deykers on Martyn’s 3024 label. Her impressive discography features club classics like “Yours feat. Virginia”, carefully chosen remixes and appearances on labels including Permanent Vacation, Underground Quality and mixes for Panorama Bar and fabric. She owns and operates four labels: Klakson (with Dexter), Dolly, Dolly Deluxe and Dolly Dubs.
World Of The Waking State is Steffi’s third solo album for Ostgut Ton and a musical departure for both her and the label. It’s also a serious statement of intent. Over ten tracks she embarks on entirely new electronic terrain for her productions, marking industrial spaces with superlunary warmth while exercising a refined knowledge of polyphony and arrangement. Subdued melodies interact with each other over implied harmonies and microcosmic drum patterns, luring us into a world that is introverted, bewildering and gratifying all at once. “Different Entities” opens with shaded harmonies and glitchy signals, while the pulsing “Continuum Of The Mind” develops with cyclical melodies swaying through staccato percussion. On “All Living Things” complex rhythms take the attention over the restrained melody. “The Meaning Of Memory” pairs low-slung, squidgy percussion with overcast melodic interactions and “Schools Of Thought” flickers through uncharted interplanetary spaces. Title track “World Of The Waking State” pushes pulsing basslines and woeful refrains through an industrial void, while “Kokkie” flickers with acid tones over the languid bass drive. “Mental Events” paints a shadowy aura driven with echoing snares, and “Bounces Of Nature” flaunts meditative pads and expertly layered percussion. Closer “Cease To Exist” brings together the mangled percussion and subtle melodies of the album to full effect.On World Of The Waking State Steffi stretches her wings, having created the album in a period when she found herself free from the past and more comfortable in her own skin. The shift in her mindset led to a new freedom of exploration in her creativity, enabling her to write more experimentally and logically resulting in this new album. Gone are the classic drum sounds and conspicuous melodies of her previous works. Instead, Steffi’s productions unify disparate molecular details to forge a greater whole, reflecting a serious commitment to abstract electronic composition that manifests itself here as a totally inimitable collection of tracks. World Of The Waking State is a confident and mature work of complex rhythms and refined melodies. The overall effect is as subtle, unique and thought provoking as the artist herself.
Joe Armon-Jones & Maxwell Owin are forces to be reckoned with. Both integral parts of the burgeoning South London jazz scene, these young musicians contribute to numerous outfits including Ata Kak, Jamie Isaac, MC Pinty, Moses Boyd Exodus and Ezra Collective, as well as pushing their own solo projects. This is their first combined effort. ‘Idiom’ is the result of multiple collaborations under the direction of Joe and Maxwell. Featuring Nubya Garcia, Oscar Jerome and Jake Long, it is heavily influenced by the hardcore continuum and covers everything from 2-step, broken-beat and house to jazz and dub.Having been compared to artists like 4hero, Floating Points, Harvey Sutherland and Moodymann all in the same breath, and already garnering support from Radio 6 Music’s Gilles Peterson, Musica Macondo’s Tim Garcia and Jazz FM’s Chris Philips, this is an accomplished body of work by some of the most exciting young talent in London right now.
Sven Weisemann has been immersed in the underground House and Techno scene for quite some time now having started DJing in 1997 during the rise of the scene on his home turf of Berlin and going on to release material via the likes of Amsterdam’s Delsin, Mojuba, Telrae and liebe.detail amongst many more
Dauwd Al Hilali has a knack for streamlining all kinds of ideas and influences into effortlessly smooth and airy house music. You could compare his glossy textures to the likes of Dusky or Bwana, but his music is more subtle. Theory Of Colours, his first album, is a case in point. This is easily his quietest record, but what it lacks in oomph it makes up for in the details. You can hear careful refinement in its tranquil disposition and gorgeous sound design. Theory Of Colours is a house record that feels unhurried, unbothered and all the better for it.
For their first ever double 12 Inch outing Razor-N-Tape presents POOLS, with a sun-drenched and laid-back collection of tunes called “Innertubes”.
POOLS, the moniker of Los Angeles duo Thee Mike Bee and DJ Morsecode, craft a sound that conjures up the easy going swagger and soulful grit of the left-most coast.
We are pleased to present the sophomore album from Austin, Texas analogue hardware enthusiast Bill Converse. Immersed in the early days of the 90s midwest rave scene, Bill began DJing at a young age in Lansing, Michigan. Luminaries such as Claude Young, Traxx, and Derrick May were key early influences. Techno, noise, ambient and tape processing are all part of his uncanny sound palette. His debut album ‘Meditations/Industry’ was released on cassette in 2013 and edited for a vinyl release in January 2016 followed by two 12” singles ‘Warehouse Invocation’ and ‘7 of 9’ the same year.‘The Shape Of Things To Come’ is a 70 minute journey spread across two pieces of vinyl. It’s comprised of seven tracks recorded directly to tape with no overdubs, made at Converse’s home studio. At the time of recording, Bill was sending this material to Josh Vance (Josua Dorje Ngodup) for feedback. Most of the time Josh would respond in the form of artwork, and then Bill would create another track inspired by this feedback chain. Converse has dedicated this series of tracks to him. The songs on this album reveal a sublime influence from Detroit techno, early Chicago house, and Acid. For this album Converse slightly bumped up the tempos geared for dancefloor energy. Built around vintage synthesizer lines and gritty drum machine percussion, the tracks evoke “how things have changed and how they have come to be.”
All songs were mastered for vinyl by George Horn at Fantasy Studios in Berkeley. Each LP is housed in a gatefold jacket with a painted photograph portrait by Dietmar Busse and layout design by Eloise Leigh. The gatefold conceals an otherworldly collage made by Josua Dorje Ngodup. Each copy includes a postcard featuring artwork from Bill’s sister with notes.
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.
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.
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.
For the first time reissued – with the great contribution of Miguel de Deus’s family in São Paulo, that supplied the amazing collection of photos for the 4 pages inner, inside the LP. This limited edition is a highly collectable for fans of Brazilian soul, groove and psychedelia. It’s our contribution to pay respect to one of the most important Brazilian musicians of the late 60’s and early 70’s. Main brain of bands like OS BRAZÕES and ASSIM ASSADO, he left us an amazing legacy for new generations. This is a small, but more than deserved homage to him, finally. Miguel de Deus was the protagonist of this amazing Afro-Funk movement, together with a group of “heavy” musicians, as they were called in those days of consolidation of a strong Black Power scene, mainly composed of black youth from the outskirts of the suburbs of São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, where the movement took the name of Black Rio. It’s raw Rock-Funk-Psychedelic-Tropicalia.
Born Matt Cutler and raised in Nottingham, Lone has emerged as
a standout artist over the last decade. Starting out making hip
hop, he has distinctly evolved with each new release. Yet whether
making house, breakbeat or jungle, his music always remains
identifiable thanks to its bright melodic colours. As well as running
his own Magicwire label—home to early albums like Emerald
Fantasy Tracks and recent music from Ross From Friends, who
features here, and Project Pablo—he has also released on Werk
Discs and Dekmantel. Over the course of three full lengths since
2012, though, he has also become an essential artist in the
modern R&S family. Lone’s DJ-kicks very much feels alive, lived-in and authentic. It is
a hugely personal view into his unique musical world and marks
another landmark entry into !K7’s long running series
“This first LP is rock music only by association. Taking British folk as a point of departure, the music twists and oozes as a vile bunch of snakes, pairing gorgeous melodies and expert playing to ecstatically altered vocals and vicious lyrics. Rape, murder, witchcraft and abuse are main ingredients to the menu, which is cooked with raging madness, but still manages to taste delicately composed. One of the very few British folk LP’s that creates a totally new, dangerous and utterly unique atmosphere. Obligatory music!!” – Marcel Koopman (The Tapestry of Delights). Our re-release also contains three hard-to-find bonus tracks recorded during this album’s sessions and released on an extremely rare 7″ in 1971. Gatefold 180 gram 2 LP deluxe edition with revised artwork for extra visual pleasure.
Before Miguel de Deus fell headlong into funk, casting the rather impressive “Black Soul Brothers” (also re-issued on Groovie) there was Assim Assado. The name of the band and the cover of the disc explicitly reveal the main influence: Secos & Molhados. Investing in adrogenia, samba-soul and psychedelic rock, Assim Assado tried to be the response of the small CID label to the massive success Secos & Molhados had amongst the young people of Brazil. Led by Miguel de Deus (formerly of Os Brazões), who penned most of the groups compositions while doubling on both vocals and guitar duties, the group never took off, leaving only this rare pearl of Brazilian Psych/Soul behind.
Earth Trax embarks on the seventh expedition into the exotic lands of palm trees and blue skies with his ambient ‘I Gave You Everything’ EP. Expedition seven features four jams packed full of emotional breakdowns, moody synth lines and dusty drum patterns
Vancouver resident LNRDCROY’s cassette of lightly cosmic electronica has been a while coming, but this hour-long collection of crystalline, memory-drenched tracks couldn’t come at a more perfect time as British Columbia transitions into Spring. “Much Less Normal” is Leon Campbell’s impressions of the city and surrounding natural environs, built with subtle synth pads from a hefty stack of old Roland and Yamaha gear; warm, obliquely contemplative keyboard ambience and ascending, inquisitive Roland JV-1080 and JD-800 melodies backed by Yamaha drum sequences and MPC-driven movements. As much about yearning for a better place as trying to extract the best feeling from a certain scenario, neighborhood or image, LNRDCROY’s encyclopaedic knowledge (and deep YouTube chan) of ambient techno and 90s Euphoria serves as much of a memory bank as the physical British Columbian nostalgia. LNRDCROY’s forum-dwelling, truly fantasist dome is loaded just as much with ultra vivid imagery of cloud-covered islands, overcast Vancouver days, bustling Chinatown streets as ancient Aphex fragments as it is early trance, classic ambient techno and Pacific Northwestern visionaries of decades past (ie. Stellar Sofa, Pilgrims of the Mind, Outersanctum). Major feelings of safety roll off a downbeat track like “Land, Repair, Refuel” and expansive, overcast ambient drifters like “Now I’m In Love” express a similar warmth and skewed sense of aliveness. One things for sure, each moment must be a journey, even the insanely funky, rolling groove of “Sunrise Market” and the jumped up over-shoulder look to dusty, almost there rave signifiers that is “Slam City Jam”. The sensation of space, attention to texture and generally deft abilities to articulate a physical zone suggest this is the work of a true head, though one very much in outside world as much as studio/imagination. The dreamlike borderlands of “Much Less Normal”s cross genre experiences are divided by nowness, naiveity and deep appreciation.
Known for his numerous albums, soundtracks, and collaborations with an impossibly broad array of artists (from Ryuichi Sakamoto and DJ Towa Tei to Van Dyke Parks, Björk, Manu Dibango and Elvin Jones), composer, saxophonist and producer Yasuaki Shimizu also released several electronic music productions during the ’80s, which are currently generating a lot of interest (a.o. his recently reissued Mariah project).“Music For Commercials” is a brilliant and inventive collection of short pieces, initially conceived as soundtracks for Japanese TV commercials (and bearing sweet titles such as “Seiko”, “Sharp”, “Honda” etc). These twenty-three tracks (each clocking in at two minutes or less, except one longer piece composed for a computer-animation short) abound with hit-and-run sound collages, twittering computers, and energetic ricocheting between myriad styles of music. This album has achieved near-mythical status in the last few years, which have seen artists such as Oneohtrix Point Never sing its praise.
Alvin Toffler was overwhelmed. When in the morning of October 4th, 1988 — it was his 60th birthday — he was staring into a bowl of cornflakes, he thought that in the surface structure of the yellowish shimmering milk which was making an emulsion with the maple syrup and slowly, but irreversibly, corroding the crunchy crystals on the flakes, he could see through a window into a timeless dimension. Toffler, who at that time had reached the peak of his fames as a future scientist, was sustainably disturbed from his peek into this extra temporary peephole. In none of his books — Future Shock (1970) had just been released in another edition — did he ever mention this occurrence. The “flake dimension” as Toffler called it in notes, were later shredded remains a secret of opaque, hard-to-grasp, radiant power.
Maybe it’s too simple to describe Pneumatics as a creation coming from this cornflake world? Are there any more precise terms or instruments to determine the multi-facetedness and beyond-timeliness of the Pneumatics soundscape? There are still unknown. Pneumatics is, after releases at Innervisions, Die Orakel, and his own label Sound Mirror, the debut album of Orson Wells(as long as you don’t count in Jupiter, released on cassette in 2014).
Perhaps Wells, known in Frankfurt under his real name Lennard Poschmann and as an employee at the record store Tactile, is only a messenger. Or a psychic. The sound manifesto that he apparently transmits from Toffler’s secret dimension tells of a city of upside-down pyramids (“Tianon”), of passes into the land of the five elements (“Multipass”), and dead straight four-to-the-floor lines which appear bended within the spherical dimension (“Geodesic”). These beats are right on the heels of the ones of Interstellar Fugitives (1998); the strings sound like that at any moment a vocal sample edited by Moodymancould warp over through the cornflake wormhole. Pneumatics is the science of all technological applications powered by condensed and often by quite heated air. It is a matter of mechanics, compression, jackhammer, ramblings, high-pressure levels, valves for blowing of steam. Orson Wells’s album gets to the point of the post-retro futuristic state and of the dancefloors of the house and techno clubs of this planet. It is like a peek into another dimension, right on the golden cut of space-time geometry.
Mörk finally arrives with it’s first album, a super extended 3LP of deep, heady club excursions from long-time LA musician, producer and DJ, Grant. Having become linked to the Lobster family through their distribution arm via his own imprint The Lauren Bacall (a vinyl-based outlet for Grant and his affiliates aquatic, driving house music), a few mysteriously disappearing Soundcloud sets later and 11 tracks finally emerged. Heavily studio crafted, ordered and selected to perfection. A pretty much unmatchable ode to 90’s UK house music blended with a distinctive air of West Coast deep house. All this provides a backbone for wider playfulness in the album’s sound palette; from the filtered breaks of Bend and Outsider, to the soaring diva vocals of Contemporate Reality and Around The Edge, or the pure ecstatic euphoria of Different Ways and The Limit (i.e. what Jimmy calls “the Gatecrasher track”). It’s a stake in the ground for the Mörk label and easily Grant’s biggest release to date. A tour de force in rolling, percussive, nostalgic house that should see Grant finally step out of the shadows and claim his place as one of the most talented and exciting producers in the US right now.
Chris Watson and Chris Coupe are a duo from south east London, using music to make music. This would mark their second release for the esteemed London deep house imprint Church, in addition to tracks for other fine tastemakers such as Rhythm Section Intl and Bristol’s Banoffee Pies. The Home Alone EP is an impressive and consistent effort. Starting out with the emotive title track, fuelled by dusty rhythms, soulful tones and some smooth sax for good measure. Next track “Oort Cloud picks up the pace in style with more energy and attitude particularly: that bassline and skeletal rhythm department allowing for the flute solo to really shine through. On the flip, it’s all about closing track “Courtyard” which is a smokey and slowed down expression in techno, in the vein of L.I.E.S. but without the all the punk attitude, instead going for an evocative feeling: one chugging steam train of a groove!
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