“Foam Island has some of Darkstar’s best songs, and the tones are varied considering the downcast subject matter. “Go Natural,” a slice of peppy and orchestral electro-pop, is the odd one out, while the acid-tongued “Pin Secure” recalls slinky, post-millennial R&B in its mechanical herky-jerk. With concise, often poetic lyrics, the duo address the grind of daily life in a society moving towards austerity (“Through The Motions”) and the plight of a new generation born into it (“Stoke The Fire,” “Foam Island”). Sung through Whalley’s reedy high register, the words are powerful but ephemeral—at one moment his voice hovers above the electronics, only to dissolve into them the next.” –Resident Advisor 4/5
“The contributions of the late Detroit producer James DeWitt Yancey — better known to the world as J Dilla — to the world of hip-hop can’t be overstated, and nowhere is his legacy more apparent than his work as a member of Slum Village. A founding member of the trio, (Alongside rappers T3 and Baatin) Dilla provided the group’s distinctly esoteric, free-wheeling sound, built around winding basslines, quirky drumbeats, subtle low-end frequencies, and classic jazz & soul samples. Against the backdrop of Dilla’s rich production, T3 and Baatin’s free-flowing style of rhyming would also earn wide critical praise, leading to comparisons as the successors to A Tribe Called Quest. (A label they themselves have rejected.) It’s on Slum Village’s 1997 studio debut, Fan-Tas-Tic Vol. 1, that all these elements come together in the most proficient manner. An instant hit among Detroit’s underground hip-hop scene, the album seemed to combine all the best elements of the reigning alternative and gangsta styles of hip-hop into one cohesive style that was a hit among critics. Fan-Tas-Tic’s influence extended far beyond Detroit, as its sound heavily influenced the sounds of D’Angelo, Erykah Badu, and The Roots just to name a few. (Roots drummer ?uestlove has even declared that: ‘Hands down this album birthed the neo-soul movement.’) Ne’Astra Media Group now presents the album reissued on vinyl, for the first time in several years. Every wobbling bass note of J Dilla’s production has been preserved and every freestyle line of T3 and Baatin has been re-created, to maintain the legacy of a late-90s rap classic, and the legend of one of hip-hop’s greatest beatsmiths.”
“First vinyl release of the classic Whitehouse album Halogen, originally released as a CD on the Susan Lawly label in 1994. Tracks are: “Vulgar” (William Bennett), “Lightning Struck My Dick” (William Bennett/Jim Goodall/Peter Sotos), “Movement 1994” (William Bennett), “Dictator” (William Bennett), “Halogen” (William Bennett/Peter Sotos), and “The Way It Will Be” (William Bennett). Recorded at Electrical Audio in Chicago by Steve Albini and William Bennett, December 1993; remastered and cut by Noel Summerville. Artwork by Trevor Brown. Audiophile 180-gram vinyl in stunning gloss-laminated sleeve. “[Part of] Whitehouse’s most idiosyncratic, and therefore most compelling phase in their 26-plus years of activity… with probably their most musical and understated (in relative terms, of course) works… Once again Bennett is assisted by Peter Sotos lyrically, resulting in some of the more complex vocal themes up to that point, while the synths are just awash in a sort of gauzy reverb that smooths out the cleaner sound, likely due to the Steve Albini production. It is still by no means peaceful, but has a more introspective feel compared to their other work. The almost pleasant synth sounds from Never Forget Death are but gone, replaced by unique analog textures that would reappear splendidly on Quality Time.” –Brainwashed
“Chris Carter, Cosey Fanni Tutti (Chris & Cosey/Throbbing Gristle), and Nik Colk Void (Factory Floor) expand and explore onward from their critically-acclaimed 2012 debut album Transverse with the full-length studio album f (x). Featuring their distinctive metallic guitar sound, distorted vocals, resounding basslines, and electro-industrial rhythms, this music is not for the fainthearted. Released by the legendary Industrial Records label, home of Throbbing Gristle since 1976.”
2LP, 1 picture disc and 1 colored vinyl. Pop-up artwork in a gatefold sleeve
“MF Doom’s first group and their controversial sophmore release Bl_ck B_st_ards is now available in a deluxe double vinyl pressing. One of the LPs is a red vinyl pressing with the second LP being a picture disc featuring the group’s longstanding mascot. The gatefold jacket includes a pop featuring the KMD mascot and the set is rounded out with the inclusion of full liner notes by Brian Coleman. The words ‘lost classic’ get thrown around from time to time, but KMD’s sophomore album, Black Bastards, truly fits the bill. Originally scheduled for release in the spring of 1994, their label unceremoniously shelved it at the eleventh hour due to controversy over the provocative cover art. Surviving group member MF Doom (then known as Zev Love X) — as fans know, his younger brother Subroc was killed in 1993 — tried to release the album on other labels, but met more dead ends. Sadly, it languished in hip-hop purgatory until six years later. Even then, the album had only a limited release via small indie labels. Beyond the fact that the controversy surrounding the cover — featuring the group’s long-standing mascot being hanged by a makeshift gallows — was unfair, the group’s fans being denied access to this album only compounded the injustice. Because musically and lyrically, it was a truly amazing record, full of youthful creativity, tinged with the stress of growing up as black men in urban America. Unlike on the group’s 1991 debut, Mr. Hood, Subroc had fully come into his own as both a producer and an MC on Black Bastards, and his untimely death made the album’s shelving that much more tragic.”
“Reissue of Current 93’s seminal and liminal 1986 album Swastikas for Noddy, including the 1987 re-recording of the album, Crooked Crosses for the Nodding God. Packaged in a full-color gatefold bearing the original artwork plus a previously-unpublished photograph of Current 93 by Ruth Bayer, tinted by Ania Goszczyńska. Includes insert with track listing, group line-up, and a photograph of Current 93 at the time of the recording, again by Ruth Bayer. One record is opaque green; the other is opaque lilac. Swastikas for Noddy has been unavailable on vinyl since 1987. Crooked Crosses for the Nodding God has never been available on vinyl. Both have been beautifully remastered by the bricoleur.”
“Formal reissue of Twilight Peaks, guitarist Robbie Basho’s last recordings. It was originally issued in 1984 on a tape label called The Art of Relaxation, and never got any reviews or attention at the time. For this proper release it was mastered by Glenn Jones (of Cul de Sac fame) and Matt Azevedo, from the original demo tapes, provided to Glenn Jones by Basho himself as he was working on the album.”
“Divertissement is the third collaborative full-length from minimalist composer William Basinski and sound artist Richard Chartier. The duo utilizes electronics, piano, tape loops, and short-wave radio to evoke a dense atmosphere suggesting hundreds of years of history rising up from the depths of a reverberating cathedral. Subtle, buried, and intense murmurs of melody morph through this deeply consuming and slowly evolving composition in two parts.”
“WINDHAND’s third full length, Grief’s Infernal Flower is doom metal’s most anticipated album of 2015. Produced by Jack Endino (Nirvana, High On Fire, Soundgarden, etc) Grief’s Infernal Flower is simultaneously massive, heavy and personal. Front-woman Dorthia Cottrell firmly establishes herself as one of the best vocalists of the genre by perfectly balancing beauty with enormous power. The twin guitars of Garrett Morris and Asechiah Bogdan weave together 9 songs worth of perfect riffs and fuzzed out bliss with the colossal rhythm section of bassist Parker Chandler and drummer Ryan Wolfe. While the first two WINDHAND albums were underground classics, with Grief’s Infernal Flower WINDHAND have cemented themselves as one of the premier bands of our time.”
“The 180g, black vinyl reissue has some really exciting features. The front cover has been re-photographed at high resolution from the original painting by The Moody Painters who created all artwork for the original release and singles. The package has been designed by Nick Bax at Human Studios, who was also responsible for graphic design the first time around. The re-issue is dedicated to David Norland, founder of Backbeat Records, who died at the age of 40 last year from cancer.
The LP includes a special bonus: The original 7 single of Stone Free-Odd? on red vinyl with a reworked red/yellow classic Parlophone 45 label but in its original retro ‘Parlophone’ housebag. Stone Free was originally recorded during a long night at Falconer Studios 12th Apr 1995 just after the band returned home from their first American tour. Odd? was recorded at BBC Maida Vale on 10th Jan 1995, as part of their first John Peel session which was initially broadcast 4th Feb 1995. It was Rob Coombes first appearance on keyboards with the band.”
“This music was recorded in the 1960s and early ’70s soon after Cambodia became an independent nation. It was a period of rapid modernization that not only influenced music, but also architecture, sculpture, painting, dance and cinema. For many, it was Cambodia’s own artistic renaissance, a time pointing to a hopeful future. This golden era came to a sudden end when the Khmer Rouge took control of the country in 1975 and brutally attempted to destroy any trace of modern society. Sadly, while many of the recordings of modern Cambodian rock and roll survived, most of the artists who created it did not. Over the last decade DENGUE FEVER has culled this compilation of their favorite Cambodian rock and roll from many different cassette tapes. The great music you’ll find here is a testament to the spirit of a modern Cambodia that existed not so long ago, and should be remembered today.”
“The group wastes no time or space, as the album packs twelve songs into a tidy 31 minutes. “Clean Dreams” kicks things off with skittering guitar and a vocal lament of high-rises and alienation that keens somewhere between Mark Mothersbaugh and Mark E. Smith. The same estranged flailing fills songs like “Life in Hell” (“Maybe someday we’ll meet again in a different life / Then we’ll both know what to do”), “Alien City”, and “The Dissolving Man.” The tunes veer between deliberate and frantic, as carefully considered songs become embroiled in the group’s simmering frustration. The album’s title track rues the fleeting nature of the things people create, the hard-earned efforts that are intended to last but seldom do.
Temporary Monument also has lovely, tender moments — the melancholy “On Cowardice” has an earworm chorus I haven’t been able to shake, and includes one of my favorite couplets in recent memory (“Spalding Gray, please don’t go away/ tell stories again and again and again”). “After the Flood” brings organ into the mix for a similarly downer vibe of regret and no turning back. The album closer “Walking Out” taps the same wistful vein as the Chill’s “Pink Frost” and the Clean’s “Getting Older,” which is a delight.” –SecretDecoder.net
“The plan, it turns. Some many revolutions in a year, in a life. WAND launch their third album in what can only be called the relative blink of an eye, and it is 1000 Days. This year’s last year: August of 2014 was Ganglion Reef, Wand’s debut album release, on GOD?, reveling in their dark circuits and three-ring modulations. Following that, they ranged from their south-Cali base, towing their sound around this maze of interstates and state routes. Shows of all kinds were playing, plenty of people to meet up with on the way. Hands across the water: Europe got booked. And suddenly, just look over your shoulder—it was March of 2015, with a second album entitled Golem (this time on In the Red) trailing Wand’s sound farther down the road, past the sky, into storm and casino food. No time to spare; more dates to be played across the landmass. And another set of European dates later, 1000 Days. One year in the life of Wand so far: the world—some beyond.”
“If Al Green is heads on the Hi Records coin, ANN PEEBLES is tails. The signature female artist on the legendary Memphis soul and R&B label, Ann Peebles rocked the pre-disco ’70s with songs of love, lost love, and love straight up taken. Released in 1972, Straight From The Heart preceded by just two years Peebles’ über-classic, I Can’t Stand The Rain, proving the young, soon to be American R&B icon didn’t need worldwide fame and record sales for a license to be fierce and provocative (see the album track “I Feel Like Breaking Up Somebody’s Home Tonight”).”
The band was on their third live drummer but the lineup in The Fresh & Onlys’ recording tower was a consistent group of pop soldiers writing, working and whiling away the hours. A beeramid of cheap cans, endless dope smokery and a pretty strong vibe of dudes who would play together into oblivion. 388 rolling, tape spilling over itself, drum kit covered in mufflers, a chest of shitty percussion toys, lots of ideas and multiple secret weapons at their disposal.
“Shayde Sartin: the beast from out east, the thud of a heavy slow bomb…the best bass player in the Bay. Unaccredited infinite times on records that were made better by his finely crafted skills. I can pick him out on records instantly.
“Wymond ‘The Count’: you can almost smell his hair on his hooks. If there was a stage monitor in your living room his fence-climber boot would be on it. Wymond always has the riff that made the jets of the song take off. Listen and you’ll see what I mean.
“Tim Cohen: the man behind the beard. Some would say the leader. In the game as long as Bette Midler. Cohen writes great songs in his sleep, I think. Once referred to by a buddy as ‘like three weirdos in one.’ “Think of these as basement tapes, a companion to the first Fresh & Onlys Castle Face release (which itself deserves another listen). I remember watching some of these tunes get banged out live in a sweat pit in Oakland. The sound guy so gacked out that there was no sound guy, basically.” —John Dwyer, February 16th, 2015
“Steve Hauschildt’s new album is his first since the late 2012 release of “Sequitur.” Although Where All Is Fled sonically harkens back to his earlier albums such as Rapt for Liquid Minister and Tragedy & Geometry, it slowly becomes apparent that it is also a divergence from those recordings. Both the artwork and the music on this new work were heavily inspired by surrealist landscape paintings, early alchemical emblems, and recurring visions Steve had from dreams. The result is a pristine series of cascading melodies, fantastical terrains of layered lattices, and overlapping patterns of synthesizers superimposed with orchestral instrumentation. Hidden in the crevices of the album are processed crowd sounds, re-sampled text-to-speech synthesis, piano, and animal noises which reveal themselves after repeated listens and blur together notions of artificial and natural sound. While slowly unfurling, each sound is given it’s own place and space, never hurried, never cluttered. The album is a modern kosmische milepost, and the most accomplished statement of Steve Hauschildt’s vision yet.”
“Cate Le Bon, born in West Wales, raised under the shadow of a woolen mill, dressed by the field and by the rain. Tim Presley (a.k.a. White Fence), from San Francisco, grew under and over the bridges and streets, combed by corners and by concrete.”
“As consummate musicians and students of pop, Le Bon and Presley aren’t able to revert to Shaggs-like naivete, but they’re able to suspend their aesthetes’ sensibility in order to embrace chaos, even silliness. There’s unmistakable precedent to the sound where they meet, the dub inflections and buzzing guitar welts. Hermits evokes the captivating disconnect of a late-’70s John Peel show, where the Slits and Delta 5 segued into Strictly Personal-era Beefheart’s blues-pop abstractions—you half expect to hear Ivor Cutler pop up to recite a poem in between tracks.” –Pitchfork 7.8/10
“Babes In Toyland made a big noise on the indie circuit for a short period of time. The best part of that big noise was their second album, “Fontanelle”, a brilliantly horrific fairy-tale of noise. The album opens with “Bruise Violet” a two-minute blast of in-your-face grungy punk. The dynamic Kat Bjelland creates with her voice between screaming and singing softly is quite effective – her soft singing is equally as scary as her throat-tearing screams, she carries it off well on “Won’t Tell” and “Pearl” too. The two songs following “Bruise Violet” “Right Now” and “Bluebell” are similarly ferocious balls of energy. The instrumental, “Quiet Room” and the following track “Spun” are both eerie, adding to the album’s creepy, fairy-tale aesthetic. Harrowing ballad “Gone” ends the album and has smashing bottles and screaming in the background which, like much of the album, is quite scary. It’s great album, it takes me right back.” –Norman Records
“Orphaned Deejay Selek is no Analord 12. For one thing, many of the Analord releases sound positively lo-fi compared to the eight tracks here. The separation of the sounds in the mix, and the way they stake out a position in space, is nothing short of spellbinding. He’s also not kidding about the “deejay” part of the title: These really are some of the most straightforward pieces of music that James has put his name to in years. They’re far more focused on rhythm, on that ineffable quality known as the groove, than either of his other recent releases.
James dives right in at 144 BPM on “dmx acid test” and doesn’t let up, tearing through five tracks at the sort of tempos that haven’t often been heard in techno since the ’90s. “acid test” puts twin 303s through their paces while he lays down hissing, snapping electro rhythms; that track seamlessly gives way to “oberheim blacet1b”, a slightly more baroque variation on the same theme that gives free rein to his wild, microtonal tunings. “simple slamming b 2″ is just what the title suggests, right down to the four-to-the-floor kick drums and rolling, 16th-note hi-hats.” –Pitchfork
“Contained within are ten tracks of the type of sonic psyche-frazzling heaviness and blood-drenched pop that have made Uncle Acid & the Deadbeats one of Britain’s great cult bands.
Recorded at Toe Rag studios in early 2015 with engineer Liam Watson (White Stripes, Tame Impala, Electric Wizard), their fourth opus The Night Creeper finds the quartet in full-on death-tripping, third eye-widening mode. Here songs ooze louche evil over flesh-melting riffs that creep like hot magma bubbling up through the earth’s crust at their own malevolent pace. This album is in no hurry to destroy you. But it will. It will.”
“Abyss is meant to have the feeling of when you’re dreaming, and you briefly wake up, but then fall back asleep into the same dream, diving quickly into your own subconscious,” says Wolfe.To conjure this in-between world, Wolfe continued her ongoing collaboration with multi-instrumentalist and co-writer Ben Chisholm and drummer Dylan Fujioka, with Ezra Buchla brought on board to play viola and Mike Sullivan (Russian Circles) enlisted to contribute guitar. The ensemble traveled to Dallas, TX to record with producer John Congleton (Swans, St. Vincent). In the back of her mind burned the words of designer Yohji Yamamoto: “Perfection is ugly. Somewhere in the things humans make, I want to see scars, failure, disorder, distortion.” The resulting eleven songs reflect that philosophy as they smolder with human frailty, intimacy, quiet passio, anxiety, and deep longing.”
Unwound “Empire” (Numero)
“The climactic entry in our four-set Unwound exploration, Empire compiles the final pair of albums by the Olympia, Washington, trio. On 1998’s Challenge For A Civilized Society, the band toyed with conventional verse/chorus form, stacking layers of noise and distraction on top of tightly constructed melodies. They’d abdicate entirely just three years later with 2001’s Leaves Turn Inside You, executing a 14-song masterclass in home recording that observed a crucial band in graceful transition from post-hardcore trio to experimental quintet. The mammoth double album was lost in the chaos of a post-9/11 media, baffling onlookers and exhilirating fans in successive breaths before it fell far out of print. At their reinvention and terminus, Unwound ultimately asked “Who Cares”? The Empire box-set teems with period singles, B-sides, unreleased studio tracks, and demos, alongside a 15,000-word essay exploring the terminal stages of the ’90s, indie rock, Unwound, and civilization as we know it.”
“Running a brisk 29 minutes, High is actually a little longer than Royal Headache’s self-titled 2011 debut — and a bit more varied, too. Sprinkled in among the heads-down rockers are touches of acoustic guitar and slower, more subdued stretches. There’s even a near-ballad called “Carolina” that sounds like a garage-punk take on Neil Diamond; Shogun cops to that influence by singing the words “sweet Caroline” near the song’s end. But the band’s innate momentum makes even its calmest moments feel tense. They can’t help but sprint, even when they’re waltzing.
You could chalk up some of that tension to Royal Headache’s recent hiatus, which included a premature declaration from Shogun that the band had broken up. Really, though, the band’s urgent thrust seems woven into its DNA. The aptly named High pushes that trait up a notch, and suggests that Royal Headache’s charged brand of soulful punk has a longer climb ahead of it.” –NPR
3xLP VINYL ONLY RELEASE back in print for the 1st time in 5 years! “Their relentless commitment to subtlety sets them apart, as does their masterful hand with tone…dissonance is doled out in small portions, perfectly coloring the sculpted fields of sound.” – Pitchfork.
3xLP VINYL ONLY RELEASE back in print for the 1st time in 5 years! “I simply feel that they are making the most important music of the 21st century.” – Ivo Watts Russell (4AD label founder). “Crushingly sad, lightly melancholic, or even uplifting, depending on the state of mind of the hearer…a sound divorced from intention & its ambiguity is its strength.” – Pitchfork.
“The Scientists’ 1981 wild debut bewildered Perth, Australia’s punters with its charging anthems centered on themes of young love and alienation. Obvious in its rebellion yet more pop than punk, the self-titled “Pink Album” deftly embodied the tough-yet-danceable outsider aura of The Ramones, and its unheard of, feverish clip shook the shores of the geographically confined Swan Coastal Plain of down under. Recorded just as the lineup of guitarist-vocalist Kim Salmon (The Cheap Nasties), drummer James Baker (The Victims) and bassist Ian Sharples were breaking up, the album stands as a testament to the contagious chops of Perth’s swelling pool of musical talent, and to the promise of Salmon’s unwavering vision that would become one of the most celebrated acts of the Aussie underground.”
“After trekking east from the suburbs of Perth to take new root in Sydney, in 1983 the Scientists hooked up with producer Chris Logan, who’s credited with the album’s imposing sonic girth and rumbling low end, and premier Aussie punk label Au Go Go for an album that would define their unmistakably swampy, psychotic aura. These six songs revisited band leader Kim Salmon’s interest in the Cramps and the Stooges, while adding in the repetitive dementia of Suicide and elements of cow punk twang, with Salmon’s distinctly unrefined Australian accent snarling tales of lust, confusion and angst.”
“The Original Faces may carry the brisk, shadowy feel of autumn, but the album also functions as a fine soundtrack to 2015’s dwindling, squinty, sweaty dog days, conjuring melted popsicle flies and elusive breezes. The simple beauty of Liz Harris’s sustained, reverb-doused vocals engage with the traditional 90s indie rock arrangements in an overtired-bordering-on-second-wind fashion. Each song (especially the epic “Dying All The Time”) calls to mind an acute yearning tamped down by mental and bodily fatigue. It’s got adorably terrible posture and pouts in a way that feels quietly celebratory. Gravity finds a faint, twitchy play on your limbs, as the emulsified elegiac rock motifs gauze you up. The experience is fleeting, but masterful enough to bear up under countless repeat listens.” –tinymixtapes
“In our 20+ years of writing songs, I’ve learned that no matter how escapist, divergent, or even transcendent the creative process feels, the result is more beholden to what is going on at the moment. It’s hard to admit that one is so influenced by what is in front of us. Doesn’t it come from something magical and far away? No, it comes from here. It comes from now. I’m not going to tell you what this record is about because I have too much respect for that moment when you come to know it for yourself.”
— Alan Sparhawk, Low
Co-produced by Low and engineer BJ Burton at Justin Vernon’s April Base Studios in Eau Claire, WI, Ones and Sixes is the new (and, so far, the best) album from the Duluth-based trio of Alan Sparhawk, Mimi Parker and Steve Garrington.
THE UKIAH DRAG’S newest slab is more like a taped-up scrapyard majesty than a slick-prick showboat. The band volleys harder here, with amphetamine-deranged insults to surf rock, dashboard-to-the-face guitars, primitive yet well arranged rock n’ roll with enormous energy, no pretense or foolery. Features scorching cover of The Stooges immortal classic “Dirt.”
“Over the course of the last ten years 20 Buck Spin has worked with the best of the best in the crowded doom genre—bands as diverse as Samothrace, Graves At Sea, Pallbearer, YOB, Mournful Congregation, Lycus, Atlantean Kodex, etc. In that tradition, the label is proud to present Khemmis from Denver, Colorado, who brings together components of many of the aforementioned label alumni to forge a venerable testament to what heavy doom rock is in 2015. The six meticulously crafted songs on Absolution reveal a level of musicianship and writing skill seldom heard on debut albums. Often within the scope of a single song Khemmis veers effortlessly between the crushing heaviness of Southern sludge and the somber melodicism of traditional doom, cohesively weaving the disparate styles into their own immediately recognizable form. The band incorporates dual vocals, sometimes harsh, but mostly via a stunningly smooth classic doom / heavy rock style that even adamant fans of Pete Stahl and Wino will applaud. The powerfully adept rhythm section perfectly anchors the towering riff mastery and colorful dual guitar harmonies, all brought together by Dave Otero’s (Cobalt, Nightbringer) pitch-perfect production work.”
“It’s useless to try and bullshit you into believing that the stylized no-wave of Glass Candy’s 2003 debut, Love Love Love, has anything more than a perfunctory effect on the band’s current sound, but B/E/A/T/B/O/X does suggest a carryover of certain values: a terse, unflinching attitude and an economy of arrangement, if not track length. Like Alison Goldfrapp, Ida No retains an empowering lack of self-consciousness even as she deploys the tact and patience of a pop singer. Jewel, meanwhile, places No’s instincts in measured relief; tracks boil over with bass sequencers and 4/4 kicks. One stray synth is permitted a melody line, and the ratio of treble to bass is inverted only occasionally. No isn’t sexless or prude, though the echo on her voice suggests that you need not apply. Her star is born through physical inaccessibility and the fact that she’s better friends with the DJ than you; it’s enough.”
“BIKINI KILL is the infamously fierce, riot grrrl band featuring feminist punk pioneers KATHLEEN HANNA, TOBI VAIL, BILLY KARREN and KATHI WILCOX. Bikini Kill’s first collection of work, Revolution Girl Style Now, is now released on vinyl, CD, and digital formats for the first time via the band’s own Bikini Kill Records. The Revolution Girl Style Now reissue features three previously unreleased and mostly unheard tracks: “Ocean Song,” “Just Once,” and “Playground.” These songs feature a decidedly more grunge sound than the rest of the Bikini Kill catalog. Fun fact: the tape actually runs out as they’re recording “Playground.”
Less than a year after COLD BEAT’s debut LP, Over Me, the band is set to release Into The Air on bassist, vocalist, and primary songwriter HANNAH LEW’s label Crime On The Moon. Moving past the themes of grief and loss prevalent on Over Me, Into the Air explores ideas both earthly and celestial. Some songs are attempts at describing complex emotional landscapes, while others playfully wonder about physics and astronomy, often delving off into deep fantasy. But it doesn’t stop with the personal or metaphysical. With the exodus of artists and musicians leaving San Francisco due to increased rent prices and overall cultural changes, Cold Beat has persevered through the city’s metamorphosis into a place less and less hospitable to artists. One can pick up on a sense of discontent in the face of a rapidly growing techie millionaire culture on Into The Air. There is a sense of fighting to survive. One can almost hear the struggle represented on the record as guitars face off against increasingly prevalent synths. The truth is, the formation of a more stable group—including KYLE KING (guitar), JACKSON BLUMGART (guitar), and SUSI LENI (drums)—allowed the group to begin writing more collaboratively, expanding their vocabulary to include lush synths and crisp drum machines. While the record explores a wide swathe of sonic territory—the propulsive rock hooks of “Broken Lines,” the trance electronics of “Cracks,” the ethereal abstraction of “Clouds”—it seamlessly transitions between modes, all anchored by Lew’s distinctive glassy vocals. Into The Air is a compelling and coherent document of a band just beginning to push their limits, unafraid to embrace experimentation in the service of their vision.
“It’s been 18 years since seminal metal-freak weirdos Faith No More have released a proper album, but it’s inaccurate to say that their fourth full-length, Sol Invictus, has been 18 years in the making. The band was once thought completely done until most of them agreed to a string of reunion dates beginning in 2009, and slowly regained the vision of their often bizarre muses. In the time since the original lineup split, Patton has become a ubiquitous experimental renaissance man, establishing further influential credentials in bands like Tomahawk, Fantomas, Peeping Tom and even releasing a solo album of ‘50s and ‘60s Italian pop covers on Mondo Cane.”
“Four tracks lifted from Vancouver via Montreal producer Project Pablo’s blue-tinged walk through Little Italy; chunky disco and hybrid house inspired by ultra-real types of smoothness like George Benson, Sade or Steely Dan (“Aja”, that is) and relocating perceivably dated cafe-culture styles of groove-focused house into a newly sincere context.”
“Ultimate Painting named their first album Ultimate Painting, and opened it with a song called “Ultimate Painting”. Those neutral titles matched the duo’s no-frills music. Centered on the wiry guitar lines of Jack Cooper (Mazes) and James Hoare (Veronica Falls), their economical three-minute songs echoed the patient melodies of the Velvet Underground’s self-titled third album and the workingman’s garage-pop of New Zealand bands like the Chills and the Bats. Ultimate Painting was winningly casual, the sound of two congenial dudes psyched to roll out easygoing melodies. But repeat listens revealed intriguing tensions inside basic templates.”
“Reissue of the 1985 LP by Chicago street musician, bluesman, actor, storyteller and truth seeker known as Little Howlin’ Wolf. Wolf is also a true outsider, whose wrenching soulfulness and fire-brained intensity have been captured in a breadcrumb trail of confounding and intentionally obscure self-released records.”
“Following their debut in 1981, Liquid Liquid wasted no time with their second release the same year. Successive Reflexes picks up where the previous EP leaves off with “Lock Groove,” a slow-paced deconstruction of Fela Kuti and Can that shows how quickly the band was able to capture their stripped-down approach in the studio. “Push” drives forward with unapologetic funk, yet still sounds utterly unique. Like their 99 labelmates ESG, Liquid Liquid created music on their own terms and artfully avoided the trappings of any single genre.”
“Fallen garage punk icon Jay Reatard lives on through his catalogue, which continues to hold its own as an impressive body of work. Plenty of his material has been reissued of late, and now his raucous teen punk band the Reatards are next on the docket.
The Reatards’ fantastic sophomore album Grown Up, Fucked Up was originally issued in 1999. Now out of print, it’s fetching a decent amount of cash on Discogs but less financially motivated fans will soon be able to pay standard prices with a proper repress.”
“Liquid Liquid continued toward dance-floor perfection with their third EP. 1983’s Optimo features the band’s best-known songs and remains a high water mark for post-punk aficionados. The title track positively erupts when the bass enters, forcing even the stiffest person in the room to move. While it would be an understatement to say that “Cavern” may sound familiar (due to its gross sampling in Grandmaster Melle Mel’s “White Lines”), Liquid Liquid were indeed the originators of this iconic New York riff.”
“Liquid Liquid emerged from New York City’s vibrant Downtown scene in 1981. Formed by drummer Scott Hartley, bassist Richard McGuire, vocalist Sal Principato and marimba player Dennis Young, the group cut their teeth in underground clubs and street art circles before solidifying their trailblazing style – a fusion of irresistible basslines, junkyard percussion and urgent, free-flowing lyrics. Their three EPs, all originally released on legendary 99 Records, would heavily influence dance-oriented indie rock of the early aughts (LCD Soundsystem, DFA Records, et al.).
Rarely are bands so completely of their era and, at the same time, truly ahead of it. Superior Viaduct is honored to present these first-time vinyl reissues of Liquid Liquid’s classic records (self-titled, Successive Reflexes, and Optimo) in their original 12-inch format as well as an archival LP of rare recordings by the pre-LL bands, Liquid Idiot and Idiot Orchestra.”
“On August 28, Destroyer returns with a new full-length, Poison Season. In addition, a two-song 12-inch that includes a remix of album track “Forces From Above” and the orchestral version of “Times Square, Poison Season” will be released as a companion to the record.
Poison Season opens with Vancouver native Dan Bejar swathed in Hunky Dory strings. He’s a dashboard Bowie surveying four wracked characters—Jesus, Jacob, Judy, Jack—simultaneously Biblical and musical theatre. This bittersweet, Times Square-set fanfare is reprised twice more on the record—first as swaying, saxophone-stoked “street-rock” and then finally as a curtain-closing reverie.”
“Now-Again Records ongoing African reissue series continues this month with the release of We Intend To Cause Havoc, a four disc box set dedicated to ’70s Zamrockers, Witch. More on that monster in a minute – but first, as a bit of a warm up, here’s a couple I’ve been revisiting of late via Chrissy Zebby Tembo & Ngozi Family. Originally released in Zambia in 1974, while the provenance of ‘the name’ is up for debate (feel free to Google), Zebby’s on drums/vocals and the patented super-fuzzed out, psychedelic guitar work is – of course – courtesy of none other than Paul Ngozi”.
“BY POPULAR DEMAND, our limited reissue series highlighting some of the best and scarcest gems in the Medway reservoir, NOW AVAILABLE INDIVIDUALLY (note: if you want to receive all of the special secret bonus items in store this year, you’ll still need to sign up for a full-on FWOAH membership HERE.
Not just one of the best H’coats sets, this album is a modern classic. Fourteen blistering songs, raw and engaged and dealing exclusively in hard knocks. Out of print since its original issue on Vinyl Japan in ’93 and remastered from the original tapes.”
“Montreal’s established MOR investigator CFCF (aka Mike Silver) has been honing a specifically clear, gentle revisions and updates on the bygone luxuries of pop and new age music for years now. Following up the July-released “Radiance & Submission” on Driftless with the 41-minute long piece “The Colours of Life”, CFCF curves out into a incredibly serene peak of new sincerity, where Phil Collins “Hand in Hand” and once-ironic uplifters from the Windham Hill label serve as much as mantra as contemporary textural entrancers.”
“Compilation of blues and gospel recordings made by George Mitchell between 1962 and 1976! The deep hill country stomps and blues of RL Burnside, Rosa Lee Hill and Jesse Mae Hemphill, The hard driving electric guitar and drum music of James Davis, the haunting gospel ballads of Robert Johnson (not the one your thinking of) and James Shorter, the flowing beautiful blues of Joe Callicott, Furry Lewis and Jesse Lee Vortis, the drum and fife music of Napoleon Strickland and much more. This is the third in the Mississippi series of releases of field recordings by George Mitchell. (the first and second are the “Been Here All My Day’s and “Sticks Over My Shoulder” LP’s.) Some of our favorite songs of all time and not to be missed.”
“Dead Moon played a gnarly form of rock music, bluesy enough to be released on the legendary Mississippi Records. Nervous Sooner Changes almost channels The Rolling Stones at points, quite a compliment for the genre. A good balance between mournful ballads and straight up rockers on this 1995 album, now reissued on LP.”
“A truly unique Gospel stylist – Isaiah Owens plays guitar and sings in his own very distinctive and otherworldly way. Isaiah plays loud and with quite a bit of dissonance, his voice floating above beautifully. This LP features some of his finest performances – captured from his radio broadcasts in Montgomery Alabama and from studio recordings. We are very proud to present this material. Liner notes by Kevin Knutt (of the greatest radio show of all time – Sinners Crossroads, as well as the Case Quarter label)”
“Lum Guffin has been called “The Walking Victrola” – a human depository of many musical styles and songs. This LP features great performances recorded in the early 1970’s of Lum – playing guitar and singing. His style is distinctive and beautiful. A true great of the blues genre who has been seldom heard. We are proud to present this beautiful limited edition of his material with a silk screened cover (4 different color variations have been made – you will get a random selection when ordering). A co-release with the king of blues reissues label – Sutro Park”
“When Deaf Wish found themselves in a room together for the very first time, they agreed on a guiding philosophy: “Let’s not make anything that’s going to last. If we’re together for just two shows, then that’s what it is.”
“Just one year on from their brilliant debut, Red House Painters were back with not one, but two albums. Both eponymously titled and released just months apart in 1993, the first of which was this ambitious double album. With a rollercoaster on the cover to give it it’s unofficial title, it’s now seen as one of Mark’s most realised collections, containing career highlights like ‘Grace Cathedral Park’, ‘Katy Song’ and ‘Mistress’. -4AD
“Matador is finally releasing a series of these shadow albums. The first, naturally, is *The Secret History Vol. 1*, collecting the songs that got away during the era of Slanted and Enchanted, which Stephen Malkmus, Scott Kannberg and Gary Young recorded on the cheaper-than-cheap in January 1991. *Secret Slanted History* collects gems from Peel Sessions (“Kentucky Cocktail,” “Circa 1762”) and seven-inches (“Baptist Blacktick”) as well as live slop from the first European tours, with Mark Ibold and Bob Nastanovich in the fold. Some are outtakes from *Slanted*—imagine leaving these tunes off your first album, when as far as you know or imagine, it’s your *only* album. These tracks (some of which had never been rumored among Pavement freaks) came out on the 2002 *Slanted and Enchanted* reissue. But they’ve never been separately available as an album in their own right, and many of them have never been on vinyl before.”
“VCSR existed between 1978 and 1984. They weren’t a band or a group so much as it was a collective. They never had an official release but recorded over 60 reels of tape from which cassettes were mixed down for their own use or to give to friends. They were to be the first record on the Waxx Traxx label with Al Jourgenson producing but that never came to be. Tape #4 is one of these raw reels recorded in 1979 and 1980. There are overdubs but no edits or redos, it was live onto tape and then maybe a second pass to add leads, etc. Many of the reels are live onto one track only. This was done before they had a mixer. Most of these reels are now in Washington state and some are here in Chicago and some are not accounted for. Instruments used: Arp-2600, Korg MS-20, Rhythm Ace, Yamaha & Farfisa organs, guitar, ElectroComp synthesizers and various other keyboards and effects.” – Bil Vermette
“After issuing two solid critical successes that went nowhere commercially, Mickey Newbury was more determined than ever to get the idea of his music across to the American public. He was also hellbent on challenging Nashville’s stolid, conservative way of recording, producing, marketing and selling music. He failed on both counts but left another stunner of an album along the way. Heaven Help the Child opens with the title track, a wondrously arranged and gorgeously sung three-generational American Odyssey that offers, despite its tragedy, the clearly visible line of hope on a distant yet attainable horizon. Also included here are three definitive interpretations of songs from his very first album, Harlequin Melodies: “Sunshine” “Sweet Memories,” and “Good Morning Dear.”
“When Mutoid Man came crashing into the world at million unexpected miles an hour last year with the Helium Head mini-LP, they did it the old-fashioned way: with breakneck energy, stellar musicianship, a wry sense of humour (check out the cover art) and, most importantly, a pack of well written songs with stadium sized riffs and colossal choruses.”
“In 1974, four teenage kids from the Chicago area formed the rock band Midnight. The boys, Dave Hill (organ, vocals), Frank Anastos (guitar), Scott Marquart (drums), and John Falstrom (bass), met while taking lessons at an area music store. Inspired by the rock titans of the day (including Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, Aerosmith, and Deep Purple), the group developed a raw, heavy sound. By 1975, they were performing at high schools and parties. Fast-forward a year, and they were gigging at colleges and clubs in and around Chicago, even though they were still in high school at the time. Mixed in with covers of tunes by their heroes, Midnight had started working original compositions into their live sets. In the fall of 1977, mere months after they graduated high school, they went in the studio to record the songs that would make up their lone LP.”
“In 2013, 23 years after the band released their third album, Loop were reactivated by leader Robert Hampson. During the dormancy, Hampson built a remarkable discography that went farther out and pushed traditional rock to the margins, first with Main — originally in collaboration with Loop guitarist Scott Dowson — and then under his own name. The Loop lineup heard on A Gilded Eternity was reintroduced at the All Tomorrow’s Parties festival at Camber Sands in East Sussex, England and played some additional dates. By the end of 2014, the band consisted of Hampson and three new members. This is the first in a series of EP-length releases — termed “bulletins” by Hampson — from that lineup. Loop were so efficient with a specific sound and presentation that there was no need to deviate from either. Glancing at familiar astrological allusions in the sleeve design and track titles of Array 1, one familiar with the band’s past work can easily imagine the makeup of these four songs. Indeed, the guitars stab and swarm, the drums tumble and pummel, and the bass alternates between low pulsing and melodic repetition. Hampson’s vocals are ominous if never seething, closer to his approach on past Loop highlights like “From Centre to Wave” than on “This Is Where You End.” The EP leads with a pair of sludgy pysch jams, decelerates for the slightly abrasive “drumless space” of “Coma,” and closes with the side-long “Radial,” which begins and ends with shifting drones that flank seven minutes of searing menace that recall early, “the Can”-era Can.”
“Flying Saucer Attack present Instrumentals 2015, their first album in 15 years on Friday the 17th of July 2015. Comprised of 15 fresh David Pearce solo performances recorded in characteristically lo-fi manner at home, using guitars only on tape and CD-R, Instrumentals 2015 is an album that will appeal both to FSA diehards and those wholly unfamiliar with the outfit’s recorded output.”