From the opening lullaby of “A Perfect Miracle” through to the Morse Code fadeout at the close of “Sail on Through,” Spiritualized wrap layer upon layer of gloriously transcendent sound together to create a mesmerizing and cinematic collection of songs. There are points where the waves of blissful noise are almost overwhelming – the thunderous climax of “On the Sunshine”; the spectral waltz of “The Prize”; the towering guitar solo on “I’m Your Man” – where one can imagine the studio’s speakers vibrating themselves off of the walls. Which is an incredible feat when you discover that the album was conceived and recorded almost entirely by one man – Jason Pierce, AKA J.Spaceman – in an upstairs room in his east London home. Sat in an edit suite in Whitechapel a month or so after finishing recording, Jason talks honestly about the painstaking, frustrating process of creating And Nothing Hurt.
Even if he’s not Mood Hut’s most recognizable name, Ian Wyatt has always been an integral part of the crew. He’s a cofounder who was instrumental in developing Vancouver’s chilled, dubbed-out house sound with his records and mixes. After two years of inactivity, Wyatt returns with his long-awaited Local Artist debut on Mood Hut, following an ambient EP as Slow Riffs in 2015. The two tracks on MH020 sound like they could’ve come from that same year, a bumper crop of laidback, groovy house with basslines for days. “Dancer” holds disco and dub in perfect suspension. It rides a walking bassline—think Jack J’s landmark “Looking Forward To You“—under a repeating chord and the occasional wispy synth line slathered in delay. Like the best Mood Hut tracks, it’s dazed and driving, the kind of thing you dance to on hot afternoons. “Dreamer” is made from the same stuff, but it’s a little more rollicking thanks to dubbed-out drum fills, jabbing chords and funky vocal gasps. Both tracks sound like something that could have wafted out of the top-floor windows of the Mood Hut studio on Pender & Main any time in the last few years. This comforting and dreamy sound probably wouldn’t exist without Ian Wyatt.
Ahrpe Records Co-founder Amandra Navigates A Unique Space Between Droning Ambience And Polyrhythmic Funk On Dame De Bahia. His First Release To Emerge On Italian Imprint Obscura. This Is The French. Warsaw-based Producers Second Album And Followsa String Of Acclaimed Eps On Ahrpe. Semantica. Tikita And Silent Season.
Geography 008 presents Jayda G on a tripp! One original. one vocal version. one DJ Dog Remix! Strictly for everyone. With previous outings on Butter Sessions and her own (and DJ Fett Burger’s) label Freakout Cult. Jayda G now turns to the somewhat highly acclaimed but in no way award winning label Geography for some Canadian-Swedish bilateral abracadabra. Swirl Shake Mix features three hit tracks for every occasion. starting out with two different versions of the stripped back track Shake It All Down. and ending with the funk affair Feel It. featuring the mysterious but fast food loving DJ Dog on remix duties.
Arts Gallery was born from the collaboration of two very talented minds. Asmar & Gëinst 2×12” package is unique. each of the two artist present themself in their own space. this space is also shared in another bigger territory. Arts Gallery. Alchemy is a kind of philosophy: a kind of thinking that leads to a way of understanding. This Duchamp quote describe really well this record.
You have to be step-on-glass cautious in throwing the word “progressive” around in dance circles, but Extrawelt have a tendency to craft within the brainier elements of the term while slimming its bloat. With a background in trance as Midi Miliz and also Spirallianz, Extrawelt’s Arne Schauffhausen and Wayan Raabe are certainly not strangers to thick, blitzkrieg techno music. While Extrawelt’s past singles for labels like Border Community and Traum have seen the duo use the Extrawelt name for more refined tech-house creations, the duo’s never completely shed the dark-corridor depths of their past. A welcome balance of those strains, Extrawelt’s debut album, Schöne Neue Extrawelt, ain’t Sunday Breakfast fare, flirting with the psychedelic ends of the spectrum without ever resorting to the lobotomizing or cheap libido typically associated with “trance” techno.
Evergreen innovators Giegling tickle the triple-G machine once more with this delicious double A from Konstantin. “Shadow” is a timeless ballad to the stars with a brisk breakbeat, delicate vocals and emotional tautness that whisks you back with a strong sense of northern exposure. Its beauty is cleverly balanced with a much wilier, slice of jazz theory as a sax lick rises, twists and eventually melts over a steady broken rhythm.
Fluxion & Deepchord present: Transformations. will appear on Fluxion s Vibrant Music label. Accumulate is the first ep in a series of releases from the projects duo. Electronic techno music that shift shapes and maneuvers in uncharted sonic territories. by two known figures in the electronic music scene.
“Ive never met Rod Modell (Deepchord) in person. but we have met through music. He found an obscure cassette of Chi music (from 86). sent it to Astral Industries and paved the way for the release (30 years later) of The Original Recordings in 2016. Since then. weve exchanged ideas and good music. I sent Rod a preview of The Kallikatsou Recordings – he really liked it – and here came the idea for a remix of Lanterns. I started working on some random. lo-fi samples from Youtube. using Audacity. perhaps the simplest way of producing loops and samples. It’s the only computer based system that feels like the tape recorders I used to work with. I sent the first sketches to Rod on Facebook. but they ended up in the wrong inbox. I forgot about them. but months later he came back saying he loved them. I decided to go back to working on them. maintaining the lo-fi approach. I began manipulating the samples: time-stretching. tempo and pitch-shifting. mixing different layers and adding old-school monophonic old speaker effects. delays and loops. I used a few field recordings. voices and samples from my early ambient cassettes. and they matched. Ario from Astral Industries got involved and the experiment turned into a plan a vinyl release — Red Lantern at the Kallkatsou.”
Ltd Repress! S.A.M.’s Debut album on his own Delaphine consisting of 3×12” heavy weight vinyl in the finest gatefold artwork designed by Max Binski. Mutantexture and S.A.M. himself. Scandinavian sound resonating with love.
Few producers in Detroit (or anywhere else in the world) can rival the pure levels of soul that genius Kenny Dixon, Jr. has committed to vinyl. This might make Silence in the Secret Garden somewhat of a surprise or letdown for fans of his earlier works. Most obsessive fans of the KDJ gospel will already have many of these songs on vinyl, either from his own imprints or other labels. The first thing immediately noticeable is the lack of trademark banter that opens a Moodymann record — no insults to anyone from the Detroit suburbs, no answering-machine message from a destitute relative, and no seven-minute searches through the Detroit radio dial. Instead it’s replaced by an intro jam session that leads into a rework of his Innerzone Orchestra remix of the classic “People Make the World Go Round,” originally issued on Planet E. The album tends to drift and meander for a bit until it hits a bit of a stride with a beautiful hi-tech funk track allegedly from a live recording back in 1998. The shuffle-laden and polyrhythmic “Yesterday’s Party” also makes for a bright moment in the Dixon catalog, sounding a bit like “Shades of Jae” had it been reworked by Akufen. The rest of the album drives to a climax with the minimal tech/acid house title track and the brief Detroit electro-techno “On My Way Home” and ends curiously with Pitch Black City’s soulful “Sweet Yesterday,” which could have easily been on any of his earlier full-length projects, and the trademark field recordings of conversation. The album’s not as groundbreaking as Silent Introduction or Mahogany Brown, but to hold anyone to accomplish that feat consistently is a bit unfair. Silence in the Secret Garden may show more versatility in songwriting style, but that doesn’t necessarily result in startling work, and levels of enjoyment will vary from listener to listener, depending on what your reasons are for liking Moodymann in the first place.
“Tokimonsta is not content with standard 4/4 time signatures and versechorus-verse-style track construction — her instrumental compositions are a mind-melting mix of intricately layered samples, exotic percussion, and live instrumentation. Her songs take a strange approach to mellow —both cosmic and off-kilter. The seven tracks on Creature Dreams are all distinct, but still work well together, from the breezy vocals of “Little Pleasures” (with Gavin Turek), to the freaky, panned sound effects of “Stigmatizing Sex,” to the neck-breaking stomp of the closer “Day Job.” Akin to artists like Daedelus and Flying Lotus this is modern-day head music for listeners bored with simple genres.” – Apple Music
In early 2017, CSC Funk Band deliver their most ambitious undertaking yet with “Above The Starrs,” an all-instrumental homage to the seminal East Coast hip-hop duo, Gang Starr, that consisted of MC Guru and the DJ/producer DJ Premier. In the three years since their last full-length “Funkincense,” was selected for SPIN’s “Record Store Day Shopping Guide: 42 Essential Releases,” CSC’s 10 band members have poured hundreds of hours of studio experimentation into this highly anticipated follow-up album, resurrected from the Fat Beats vaults and originally inspired by a live collaboration with rapper Masta Ace at a Guru tribute concert. “Above the Starrs” offers an instant rap-geek curio for anyone who likes hearing bands cross the bounds of sample-based and live hiphop instrumentation.
There are certain things that, when held too close, distort our perspective. Emotions and ego can clutter the mind’s eye. Apatheia, which should not be confused with apathy, involves moving these things to a safe distance. This is not about a loss of feeling or disengaging with the world. The goal is to gain understanding through a disentangling from the chaos that litters the landscape. Unfettered, unburdened, and unobstructed… one can experience freedom of the soul and see the way forward with absolute clarity. We’ve charted a course for you. There are nine sonic signposts to soundtrack your journey. So, immerse yourself in the music and allow it to rinse away the distractions that have been preventing you from experiencing your own apatheia. Soul Khan: “Apatheia reaffirms that DJ Brace’s work belongs in the same tier as DJ Shadow or RJD2, but with a style and trajectory all his own. Every track’s a genre-leaping symphony of surgically chopped breaks, live and electronic instrumentation, and possibly the most musically rich turntablism anyone has achieved on record. You don’t want to be late to such a legendary ascent.”
Cold Busted has navigated the smooth seas to unearth Sailing, the new album from Moroccan guitarist and beat-flinger saib. The Casablanca based producer has steered his sound into warmer waters. Mixing tempered hip-hop beats with jazzy vibes and a lounge sensibility, saib. touches on a style that’s both chill and opulent. The album’s opener, “Archipelago,” sets the scene with gentle piano, swirling strings, and beachside sounds that would make Martin Denny proud. “Tropics” pushes the agenda further, featuring delightful vibraphone lines, standup bass, and boom bap beats, providing the perfect soundtrack for poolside cocktails. The sleepy crooning of “Blue Memories,” the future retro sing-a-long of “Mermaid Dreams,” and the guitar/vibes interplay of “Pastel” provide other highlights. Sailing’s twelve songs show saib. as an artist capable of bringing a sunny climate to any listening environment.
Emapea, the renowned beat-maker from Poland, burst upon the scene with multiple compilation appearances on Cold Busted, an inclusion on Mark Farina’s Mushroom Jazz 8, and his stunning debut album Seeds, Roots & Fruits. Fans and headz worldwide have been clamoring for a follow-up, but all Emapea wanted to do was just ‘zone out.’ And that’s what happened, with the release of Emapea’s twenty song album Zoning Out, Volume 1. Emapea’s cuts are meant for the listener to get lost in – but they’re not only for chilling, or when deep in thought, but also for getting in that crucial head-nod zone, like when the DJ drops the dopest beat. Expertly crafted and sequenced, the album presents a boom-bap journey that’s dreamy and spacey while remaining tough and jazzy. “Check It Out” exemplifies the mood with its smooth drums, chiming keys, subtle sax riffs, and hip hop shout-outs. The vibe expands on “Motion”, adding an exotic, worldly flavor to the seductively loping rhythm. And “Classy” features a smokey saloon piano melody that cruises smugly out of jeep-beat speakers.
Didaflo has returned after a year hiatus since his release “Doodooloops” with Urban Waves/Radio Juicy. His new LP “Rachel’s Suffering At The Hands Of The Sentinels…” showcases Didaflos’ cut and paste collage style of sampling from soul, jazz, & funk records to tell an aural story about the birth of Rachel’s daughter Isabella Rose. Captivated by the mysterious bearded afroman, she begins to realize her purpose in the world. Bella’s overprotective father tries to do all he can to keep them apart but in the end realizes the future of the world depends on her becoming the third eye monster. Accepting her destiny, Bella is able to save us all from the Sentinels master plan. Didaflo brings back on board the uncanny comic collage artist Sir Froderick to produce the whole project. In return, Froderick invited longtime collaborator and friend Swarvy (Leaving Records/Street Corner Music) to handle mix and mastering. Didaflo adds “Playing this album loud will attract the sentinels.”
Advancing the unfolding legacy of instrumental hip-hop at Stones Throw is Samiyam’s Pizza Party: 24 minutes of off-kilter mobster music mixed with a warm soul sound that is unmistakably L.A. producer and beatmaker Samiyam. Praised by his collaborators Action Bronson, Earl Sweatshirt, The Alchemist, and Flying Lotus, Sam’s independent beat tape ventures and instrumental albums are revered by rappers, respected by producers. Pizza Party is free of samples from the characteristically dusty vinyl grooves and warped tapes of past recordings. Instead, we have originallyplayed synthesizer and FX in unison with the off-the-grid drum patterns and aesthetic sonic swagger that Samiyam owns. The last track, “What Can I Do,” features co-production with Jonwayne.
Taking influences from the Norwegian traditional school of black metal, adding bits from Austrasian folklore and overwhelming its concept with the right amount of atmosphere, LOTH is now giving birth to its second album called Apocryphe. With three original songs and a Guillaume De Machaut cover, the band goes straight for the throat and deliver its most aggressive recording yet. Featuring FLORE and the AUSTRASIAN GOAT on the cut “Douce Dame Jolie.”
“For a scene which was once so reviled, the US black metal movement is a treasure trove of creativity. From sea to boiling sea, there are countless bands who either add a tremendous weight to black metal or whet its ever-dulling blade. Two younger bands, HAUNTER and SOVREIGN, represent this pummeling power and sharp ferocity, respectively. Together on this split, they write a greater truth concerning the creative spirit of American Black Metal in the new century.”—Invisible Oranges
Black Metal done the old, bloody way. ABKEHR’s debut LP is the first breath into this world of a swelling and pulsating black metal shadow-feeding frenzy. The recluse Northern Germany-based duo creates ominous and ravaging songs that explore the many manifestations of darkness, hopelessness, evil, and annihilation – condensing them into heathen sonic form to distill their very own expression of actual hell. Hideously and relentlessly crawling across four vast movements of pure incarnated darkness, Abkehr’s In Asche is a towering and commanding work in the current underground black metal panorama, which has managed to harness the primordial savagery of bands like Craft and Judas Iscariot, the vast and enveloping hopelessness of bands like Weakling, Ash Borer and Mgła, and the visionary wretchedness of brilliant black metal anomalies like Twilight and Leviathan, to create their own personal passageway into a tormented and shadow-torn world.
IMA (Intense Molecular Activity) is the duo of Don Hunerberg (synthesizers) and Andy Blinx (drums and percussion). Based in New York City and active between 1979 and 1982. Don, a studio Sound / music engineer and musician, Andy an electronic clothing designer, drummer and sound reinforcement engineer at downtown clubs like Max’s Kansas City, Mudd Club and CBGB. In between doing sessions at Radio City Music Hall Studios for groups such as Ramones, Richard Hell, Sonic Youth, Liquid Liquid, John Zorn, Glenn Branca and many others, IMA took advantage of off hours to create their own music. As far as influences go, Don’s background was in electronic music and Andy’s in prog rock. To produce the songs, Don used his own method of creating patterns from 2-track tape loops and then edited them together on to a 24-track recorder adding more tracks of overdubs, In a very similar way that sequencers are used today. By 1980 the duo honed their own unique sound and version of Post Punk and No-Wave with the tools of the trade of the early 80s. Situated above the proscenium of the Radio City Music Hall stage, the studio was outfitted with a variety of orchestral instruments (timpani, bells, xylophone, etc). They self-released a 4-song EP titled “IMA” on an 8” flexi-disc which was distributed by Ed Bahlman of 99 Records. The music bridges the wild psychedelic-rock of the 60s, the synth-punk of the late-70s and the elaborate constructions of progressive-rock. There are nods to the freak-outs of Chrome and the super neurosis of Suicide, but IMA takes a more clinical approach which also takes notice of Hawkwind and Pink Floyd’s interstellar overdrive. We’ve added 4 bonus tracks recorded during the same studio sessions and included them here for the first time on vinyl. DJ Hell lifted elements of IMA’s song “Blurb” virtually intact and uncredited for his electroclash club hit “Keep On Waiting” 20 years later. All songs have been remastered by George Horn at Fantasy Studios in Berkeley. The record is housed in an exact replica of the original jacket featuring a spray painted IMA tag a top a red dashed “Do Not Enter” sign. Each copy includes a double-sided postcard with notes. This Album Is dedicated to the memory of Andy (Blinx) George.
In 1982 they released their debut single “Perfect Hideaway/Perfect Hideaway Dub” on 7”. Guitarist David Knowles joined them as they toured the UK and recorded and released their follow up EP “Listen in to the Heart” in 1985. A reviewer at the time called Calendar Crowd “A Moody Merseyside trio with strong atmospheric tunes and haunting lyrics.” For this reissue we’ve compiled both singles on one EP featuring all four songs. Perfect Hideway is a evocative and dreamy, the music escorts you on a tour of icy landscapes, with Terrance’s deep, rich vocals guiding the way accented by bright brass stabs. Meanwhile the Dub has stripped back the vocals, added delayed samples and heavy pounding drums. On the B-side “Listen in to the Heart” and “Questions Answers” are darker electronic rhythm tracks with layers of ethereal keyboards and guitar melodies. All songs have been remastered by George Horn at Fantasy Studios in Berkeley. The record is housed in an exact replica of the original Perfect Hideaway jacket featuring black and white October 1982 calendar with the tile hand written in red pen. Each copy includes a double-sided 8×11” insert with lyrics, notes and photos.
REISSUED ON VINYL!!! VOID OMNIA’s debut album originally released digital only in 2014. Void Omnia is a five-member black metal outfit from Oakland, USA, created in 2013 and bringing together former members of APOCRYPHON, MUTILATION RITES and TOMBS among others.
In the fertile terrain of New Zealand’s 1980s post-punk scene, few figures loom as large as the Jefferies brothers. Graeme Jefferies and Peter Jefferies—the primary forces behind This Kind Of Punishment—wrote some of the best music to come out on Flying Nun, Xpressway or elsewhere. A dizzying mix of pastoral ballads and DIY experimentation, TKP’s songwriting was at once classic and acutely raw. On their self-titled debut, the Jefferies brothers and Chris Matthews eschew the punk-informed modes of their contemporaries for a sound that is decidedly more deliberate / intimate. Rooted in a marriage between simplistic, classically-influenced piano, alternating guitar chime and sparse, subtle violin drone, This Kind Of Punishment is a contemplative, inventive collection of ideas corralled via economic 4-track recordings, minimal instrumentation and an austere performance style entirely of the Jefferies’ own making. Songs like “After The Fact,” “In View Of The Circumstances” and “Two Minutes Drowning” boast a living quality whereby the listener can act as bystander to these moments of creation—a trait that the band would expand upon throughout the course of their brief tenure. First-time vinyl reissue since its initial release in 1983.
“A new breed of maniacal Italian hardcore. Short, drippy, seething and nasty as hell. The fuzz fucked intro of last song, side A (“Scouts” -ed.) had me shermed up and ready to bust through a brick wall. As a whole ‘Worship’ brings to mind a broken pugilist pissing in an exhaust stained fountain and then fighting the cops with knuckles full of busted teeth. Not sure why, but that is the image this music evokes. It’s ugly, nihilistic and mean. I like that. I hate everything else. For fans of S.H.I.T., Deformity and Warthog.”—MK. 350 on black vinyl housed in a heavy reverse board jacket with insert and download code included. Recorded in Rome. Art by Francesco Goats.
17 tracks of pure D-Beat noise punk insanity culled from the ridiculously limited west coast tour tape, the Out of Order ep and the Rip UP ep collected on to one perfect platter, resequenced, remixed and remastered with new artwork. This is how Scumraid should have been presented in the first place, on a proper LP. 350 copies on black, housed in a tipon style jacket stuffed with a lyric insert and full download code. Recorded in Seoul, S. Korea. Mixed and mastered at LM Studio in Japan.
The first ever vinyl release of ROTTING SKY’s 2014 long lost and absolute magnum opus—Sedation—a colossal and swarming masterpiece of obsidian black droney industrial black noise. T. MESSING (guitarist of crust punk legends NUX VOMICA) brings you this mind-shattering and incredibly introspective solo work, incarnated into one of the most accomplished, devastating, and visionary masterpieces to have been conceived within the realm of black metal and noise crossover genres in the last five-six years at least. Originally released in 2014 as a limited run of 100 tapes by now defunct tape label Grimoire Cassette Cvlture—Sedation was one of the tail end releases for the label, with the cassette being released close to the label’s final demise and as such going nearly completely unnoticed, as all available copies soon vanished from the public eye with the label shutting down its online store and online operations. Sentient Ruin however did not fail to notice this astonishing album, and it eventually took us a good three years to track down Messing and bring him on board for a proper (re)release.
Jon Brion’s previous films include the Grammy nominated Magnolia, Punch-Drunk Love, Eternal Sunshine Of A Spotless Mind and I Heart Huckabees. Known for his songwriting with The Grays and Jellyfish, Jon Brion has also produced records for Kanye West, Fiona Apple, Rufus Wainwright, Robyn Hitchcock, Sky Ferreira and is a well known collaborator with Evan Dando and Elliot Smith.
Digable Planets “Reachin’ (A New Refutation of Time and Space) 25th anniversary etd.” (Modern Classics)
At a time when hip-hop was determined to snap your neck, a young, hip trio from Brooklyn (by way of Seattle, Philly, and Brazil) conspired on an uncommonly smooth new sound and freaky way of speak, a titanically chill expression of Black bohemia loaded with jazz idiom and a subversive Marxist bent—and pushed it worldwide via an undeniable crossover hit.
Digable Planets’ 1993 debut, Reachin’ (A New Refutation of Time and Space), unexpected to all involved, produced a massive radio hit in “Rebirth Of Slick (Cool Like Dat)”, which won the 1994 Grammy for Best Rap Performance by Duo or Group. Unduly lumped into an “alternative rap” subgenre they chafed at, the Dig Plans were dismissed by some as one-hit wonders, coming out of nowhere; but the Digable Planets concept, and what became Reachin’, had been in the works for close to five years, as group leader Ishmael “Butterfly” Butler wrote music and soaked up game in multiple cities, navigating the industry of hip-hop’s golden age.
In the end, Butler, Mary Anne “Ladybug Mecca” Vieira, and Craig “Doodlebug” Irving came together to create a seamlessly articulated vision of urbane hiphop cool with an uncommonly literary bent that subtly pushed the hip-hop genre’s frames of reference and added breadth to rap music’s burgeoning political philosophy. Drawing on inspiration from Butler’s jazzbo father, the Black Panthers, Jose Luis-Borges, the Last Poets, and Jimi Hendrix, Reachin’ posited a theory of “universal beats”, narrated by three unearthly MC’s that had “split to Earth to resurrect the funk”, assuming curious, arthropodic aliases—a nod to the natural collective action of the insect world. In just four years the crew would record two beloved and ambitious LPs before disbanding.
Out of print on wax domestically since 1993, Reachin’ captures one of the last gasps of rap music’s jazzy, upbeat adolescence in the early 90’s—those warm, blissed-out grooves every bit as slick as when they were laid way back when. Put this on, roll up with your crew and bug out again with the insect tribe.
Klaus Schulze is a German electronic music pioneer, composer and musician that needs very little introduction. In the late sixties & early seventies he was a member of several iconic bands such as ‘Tangerine Dream’, ‘The Cosmic Jokers’ & ‘Ash Ra Tempel’ before launching a solo career consisting of more than 60 albums released across five decades. Collaborations were numerous and highlights include working with Steve Winwood, Brian Eno & Alphaville… just to name a few. Klaus Schulze’s proto moog-synthesizer work is regarded as a milestone in electronic music & during the decades he released landmark albums in genres catalogued as ‘Ambient’, ‘Electronic’, ‘New Age’, ‘Berlin School’, ‘Experimental’, ‘Kosmische Musik’ & ‘Krautrock’. Mr. Schulze had a more organic sound than most electronic artists of the time, often he would throw in decidedly non-electronic sounds such as acoustic guitar and a male operatic voice. Schulze is also known for developing a Minimoog technique that sounds uncannily like an electric guitar, which is quite impressive in concert.
Beverly Glenn-Copeland is already known amongst collectors and music heads for two sought-after albums of folky jazz in the key of Joni. But it was this album, originally self-released on cassette in 1986 that really caught our attention. The album, entirely recorded on DX-7 and TR-707, lies somewhere between digital new-age and (accidentally) early Detroit techno experiments. The inimitable style of BGC here is both peaceful and meditative while simultaneously rhythmic and bass heavy. The album was recorded in the northern Canadian town of Huntsville where BGC was living at the time and is a beautiful fusion of personal vision, technology and place.
Commented TESTAMENT guitarist Eric Peterson: “I’m super stoked that Nuclear Blast, ‘the best metal label on earth,’ is re-releasing the rebirth of TESTAMENT era featuring ‘Demonic’and ‘The Gathering’. These two albums brought us back to life with ultra-heavy and unrelenting fury and melody. Also ’87’s live classic in full, ‘Live In Eindhoven’, and re-recordings of our classics, ‘First Strike Still Deadly’. These classic records feature revamped art to boot that are unapologetic to their themes as they were.”
.Bodies and Minds is the second full-length album from Toronto native Tony Dekker. While the first album, Great Lake Swimmers, was met with critical acclaim and laid the groundwork for what was to come, it is this sophomore effort that should demand the absolute attention of the music community. It isn’t that the Great Lake Swimmers are doing anything earth-shattering on this album. To be sure, they are working entirely within the framework established by generations of North American singer-songwriters. What makes this album so special is the near-perfect execution. Bodies and Minds breathes with the emotion of Dekker’s voice and pulses with the subtle beauty of his sparse acoustic arrangements.
Produced by Richard Swift (Foxygen, The Shins), Uncle, Duke & The Chief is a record less concerned with what sounds hip than what feels good. In the Ruffians’ case that meant shedding some of their more arty influences (the Pixies, Talking Heads) and reconnecting with the sounds they first heard on their parents’ turntables as kids: Buddy Holly, The Everly Brothers, and pre-psychedelic Beatles. “It’s about going back to the deepest, most satisfying itch to scratch,” says lead singer Luke Lalonde. And in doing so, the album takes you back to a time when the Ruffians sounded less like a band and more like a gang, raising a wild ruckus and speaking in telepathic tongues.
On 2Pac‘s debut album, 2Pacalypse Now, the rapper showed himself to be a supremely passionate man, brimming over with ideas and anger and ready to voice his political and social opinions, call things like he saw them. This same kind of energy and lyrical acumen is found on his sophomore release, Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z., a record that, while it begins exploring the MC’s more gangsta side (“Last Wordz,” for example, which features verses from Ice Cube and Ice-T), still includes the provocative, reflective lines on which he first made his name as a solo artist, and which he continued even as he became more and more popular (and, for some, more and more frightening). “Keep Ya Head Up,” one of his biggest hits, and his tribute to black women, especially single mothers, is deeply thoughtful and poignant (“And since we all came from a woman, got our name from a woman, and our game from a woman/I wonder why we take from our women, why we rape our women, do we hate our women?”), expressing opinions that aren’t often equated with hardcore rappers, while tracks like “I Get Around” brags about his sexual conquests. But this was what 2Pac was, anyway, a juxtaposition between tough and sensitive, social consciousness and misogynistic boasting, and Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z. shows this.
Django Django, a London four-piece often decked out in matching sci-fi T-shirts like a krautrock beach volleyball team, are masters of merging flesh and diode. Earlier albums have sounded like a bunch of twitchy cyborgs playing rootsy rock’n’roll tunes, or a load of ’50s Link Wray licks and ’90s Beta Band albums. Plenty of this kind of febrile retro-futurism still abounds on third album ‘Marble Skies’: ‘Further’, ‘Champagne’ and the irrepressible ‘Tic Tac Toe’ could be The Bees on whatever synthetic drug the dark web will come up with in 2056. But Django also indulge their synth side more than ever here, and it’s then that they feel most Ai-proof, exposing the wounded heart pumping within their exoskeleton.
Digital B became the ruling production house in the musical revolution that swept through Jamaica from the mid-80’s onwards with a le-thal selection of dancehall weapons and chartbusting reggae hits. X-Tra Wicked gathers many of his best-ever productions from those heady times when specialist stores were awash with 7″ singles, freshly arrived from Jamaica, and reggae music was once more on the rise.
The 40 track 2CD set comes with a bonus DVD telling the Bobby Digital story from the perspective of people who were there; King Jammy, Bunny Lee, Cleveland ‘Clevie’ Browne, Dean Fraser, Sizzla and others. Directed by Sherkan, the documentary runs 55 minutes.
Originally released in 1975, “None A Jah Jah Children” joins two classic albums “Rastafari” and “Kibir-Am-Lak” together. Produced by Tommy Cowan in the 1970’s, the two-disc 2018 release includes bonus vocal tracks and four dubs re-mastered by Kevin Metcalfe. Including title track “None a Jah Jah Children’, Birds in the Treetop’, ‘Glory Dawn’ and more the album is made sound system ready by Tommy Cowan’s Talent Corporation with the heavyweight musical back-up of Peter Tosh, Earl “Chinna” Smith, Robbie Shakespeare, Robbie Lyn, Tommy McCook, Carlton “Santa” Davis and the Sons Of Negus featuring various drums such as the 1st, 2nd and 3rd funde, akete bass drum, repeater, bass funde and trap with band The Sons of Negus’s traditional Nyabinghi drumming and chanting.
Honored with the Order of Distinction award for his contribution to the development of Jamaica’s music, Ras Michael, once considered an outcast from mainstream Jamaican society, proved to be a top seller in his Rastafarian culture and beyond. His humble beginnings began in the community of St Mary when he graduated as a master drummer before relocating to Kingston where he began to occasionally play on sessions at the Brentford Road studio of Clement ‘Coxone’ Dodd as an uncredited member of Jackie Mitto and the Soul Vendors. His contribution was essential to a number of classic Studio One recordings of the period including ‘Darker Shade of Black’ and ‘Drum Song’. He and his band The Sons of Negus soon became known as legitimate drummers that top Jamaican producers would call to add vigor to their roots tracks.
Underground extreme metal trio MAMMOTH GRINDER return after five long years with their fourth full-length Cosmic Crypt, a non-stop, meteoric force of aggression and mayhem. Self-recorded by the band at Trax East in South River, NJ, mixed by Arthur Rizk (Power Trip, Sepultura, Inquisition) and mastered by Toxic Holocaust’s Joel Grind, Cosmic Crypt is an 11 track slab of primitive, punk-inflected death metal. Frontman Chris Ulsh (Power Trip, Impalers) recruited Mark Bronzino (Iron Reagan) and Ryan Parrish (Iron Reagan, ex-Darkest Hour) to take MAMMOTH GRINDER to new heights of misanthropic rage and blazing songcraft! Features stunning cover art from the legendary Joe Petagno (Motorhead, Autopsy, Angelcorpse, Pink Floyd).
Hailing from the city of Leipzig, Germany, the site of one of black metal’s most storied live performances, Lihhamon arose unceremoniously in 2013 and set to work in relative anonymity, crafting its bludgeoning weapon of aural terrorism over the course of the ensuing two years before making its presence known to the masses. In 2015, without any prior recordings in their name, the trio entered Ariditas Studio and committed ten hymns of contemptuous, vehement scorn to tape, which resulted in the band’s first release and debut album, “Doctrine.” Although Lihhamon had yet to firmly establish its reputation among the wider audience of misanthropes who tend to gravitate to such works, it did catch the ear of Auto de Fe Productions, who admired the album enough to make it the label’s inaugural release in March of 2016 on CD format. “Doctrine” is clearly influenced by the most violent strains of black metal espoused by the likes of Conqueror and Revenge, which is why Auto de Fe’s primary role in the CD release is unsurprising, considering the label owner’s involvement in another prominent band of similar ilk, Proclamation. The most obvious nod to such inspirations would likely be the relentless, highly-regimented, percussive attack present throughout, which is often sadistically reminiscent of J. Read’s violent style. This similarity aside, Lihhamon is not just another faint attempt at mimicry of bands who have already pushed the envelope so far in a direction that is difficult to reach, let alone surpass. Instead, the band also successfully adopts other elements further along down the death metal spectrum to create its very own auditory manifesto of total disdain for the meek. The vocals, in particular, are often layered with a cutting, higher-pitched vocal scourge that intersects with and complements the more pervasive low-register growl, the combination of which serves to beckon the mass annihilation of our species. The guitars churn out grinding riffs that tend to accompany the bass in the lower frequencies, but then suddenly emerge from the abyss with more distinctive flourishes that threaten to pull the song apart at the seams before settling back into their primary, bulldozing role. In solidarity with Lihhamon, and in the name of the label’s continuing goal of hastening the demise of the plague of humankind, Nuclear War Now! is pleased to hereby offer the first LP version of this document of unspeakable atrocities.
After nearly three decades of activity and dozens of releases, the influence of Singapore’s Impiety is undeniable. The band began in 1988, operating under the name Sexfago, an obvious nod to the Brazilian progenitors of the style. At the time, Sexfago was a duo consisting of Goatlord Cunt-Shredder & Goatvulva Lacerator (aka Shyaithan) on guitars and vocals and a drummer known as The Third Fallen Necro-Angelfornicator, who was also a founding member of Abhorer. In 1990, Sexfago assumed the name Impiety, signaling a shift away from playing predominantly covers and toward establishing their own sound. With the same two-man lineup, Impiety recorded and self-released their first rehearsal demo in 1991, which was limited to just 30 copies. This recording, reissued here for the first time, shows the band in its primordial state, foreshadowing what was to come. The following year, having recruited a second guitarist, known as Xul. Desolated Demon of Plutonic Lust (who later played in Itnos), Impiety recorded the now legendary “Ceremonial Necrochrist Redesecration” demo, which along with Abhorer’s earliest recordings, remains among the most bestial emanations of death worship Asia has ever produced. Blasphemy’s influence is apparent from the outset with the use of a keyboard introduction that calls to mind the intros and interludes on “Fallen Angel of Doom.” It is important to recognize, however, that Impiety were not merely fans of Blasphemy; they were comrades and contemporaries of the Ross Bay Desecraters. Indeed, Cunt-Shredder was in regular contact with Black Winds in that early era, and Blasphemy thanked Cunt-Shredder on the “Gods of War” LP. Most importantly, like Blasphemy, Sarcofago, and the other early Black/Death pioneers, Impiety understood the craft of songwriting. Amid the recklessness and chaos of the sound are melodies and structure. With the release of the “Salve the Goat…Iblis Exelsi” EP on the Dutch label Shivadarshana Records, Impiety perfected their early sound. With the recruitment of new guitarist, Leprophiliac Rex, the band’s riffs and song structures became more intricate, but the production remained coarse and sadistic. Thus, the “Salve the Goat…Iblis Exelsi” EP represents the apex of the early Impiety sound. With this collection of recordings, all newly mastered from the original tapes, one hears, for the first time, the band’s stylistic evolution, and these recordings demonstrate the furious force of Impiety in their most intensely bestial phase.
For the past two years, Nils Frahm has been building a brand new studio in Berlin to make his 7th studio album titled All Melody, which will be released on January 26th, 2018 via Erased Tapes, before Nils embarks on his first world tour since 2015.
Prior to the release of its 2013 debut album, “Throne of Demonic Proselytism,” Demonomancy recorded and released two demos, “Bearers of Black Arts” and “The Premonition,” as well as its intervening “Rites of Barbaric Demons” MLP. Whereas the MLP was made widely available through its release by Nuclear War Now!, the two demos were circulated in a more limited fashion, as tends to be the case. “Bearers of Black Arts” was originally self-released in 2010 and then soon after reissued by Rawblackult Productions, both on cassette format. “The Premonition” was also first released on a relatively limited number of cassettes by NWN! in November of 2012, in celebration of the band’s appearance at the label’s fest in Berlin that same month and as a precursor to the ensuing debut full-length. These two demos are now compiled and hereby offered on twelve-inch vinyl format by Nuclear War Now! under the title of “Burnt Vitriol – A Relics Compendium.” The first six tracks on this compilation were restored from the original “Bearers…” reels by the band itself, thus ensuring a substantial improvement in sound quality while still maintaining the intended low-fi, primeval spirit of the demo. The remaining two tracks are preserved in the same form which they took on the “Premonition” demo, as they were properly recorded in a professional studio with the appropriate equipment, which resulted in the dense and full production that continues to please the band to this day. “Burnt Vitriol – A Relics Compendium” thus once again presents the death-infused black metal of Demonomancy’s formative years and serves to make it more readily accessible to audiences both old and new.
In 2002, Black Witchery were just beginning to establish themselves in the underground. Likewise, NWN! had just completed its first two vinyl LP releases (Blasphemy’s “Live Ritual” and Morbosidad’s self-titled debut) and was still in its embryonic stages. It was in this context that NWN! released the vinyl version of Black Witchery’s “Desecration of the Holy Kingdom.” (Although licensed from Full Moon Productions, the vinyl version of the album was conceived and executed by NWN!.) At the time, “Desecration of the Holy Kingdom” represented the most morbid necromantic invocation of Blasphemy and Sarcofago and others like them that had yet been summoned forth. No other band fully captured these bands’ intense and ritualistic sound with the same violence and dedication to chaos. And yet, while the influence of these bands is undoubtedly found within their work, Black Witchery defined their own sound relying upon their mentors merely to establish a stream in which to create their own dark current. Black Witchery’s sound on “Desecration of the Holy Kingdom” is furious and focused. The instruments are so carefully connected to one another that the sound is an almost mechanical. And yet the songs are not driven so much by the frenetic riffs and blast beats but by Impurath’s maniacal vocal performance. These characteristics made Black Witchery’s sound distinctive, and in this way, the band’s purpose was immediately clear. Black Witchery was not out to emulate the bands by which they were influenced; instead, they embodied the very essence of the genre. As such, Black Witchery helped to usher in what may be convincingly characterized as the second wave of bestial black/death metal. Much like Conqueror and Revenge, Black Witchery established their own identity while simultaneously paying tribute to their predecessors. It should be recalled that, at the time “Desecration of the Holy Kingdom” was released, the underground was not flooded with hundreds of second and third-rate bands playing so called “bestial black death” much as it is today. Indeed, Black Witchery sought to maintain a tradition that was waning amid the onslaught of “raw black metal” acts overrunning the scene at that time. Black Witchery represented a return to the strength and ferocity of form that was being forgotten in underground metal, and with “Desecration of the Holy Kingdom,” Black Witchery ushered in a new era of Satanic hatred. Over 15 years after its release, the import and power of Black Witchery’s debut LP has not subsided at all. In this new era, where metal genres and subgenres rise and fall in the duration of a single season, it’s important to approach the classic albums with appropriate reverence and to maintain the collective appreciation of the foundational albums. “Desecration of the Holy Kingdom” undoubtedly is such an album. For that reason, NWN! and Black Witchery decided that it is once again time to resurrect this ancient entity. Additionally, with last year’s passing of Tragenda, Black Witchery’s guitarist at the time of this album, it is all the more important to make this album available once more to preserve his legacy.
While it would be incorrect to say that all of Black Rebel Motorcycle Club‘s albums are borne out of tragedy and trial, it often feels that way. In 2010, lead singer/bassist Robert Levon Been lost his father, the Call singer (and BRMC sound engineer) Michael Been, to a heart attack, mere months after the release of Beat the Devil’s Tattoo. Subsequently, a sense of loss and mourning colored all of the band’s moody 2013 follow-up Specter at the Feast. In 2014, drummer Leah Shapiro underwent brain surgery to treat a neurological disease. Though she had recovered by the time the band began work on their eighth studio album, 2018’s eerie and menacing Wrong Creatures, a sense of spiritual peril pervades much of the album. As Been sings on “A Question of Faith,” “I’m a question of faith/I’m a faded mind/I’m what calls you away/I’m what leaves you in Time.” It’s just this sort of doomed reflection that permeates much of Wrong Creatures. However, rather than simply being a dark and cynical glimpse into a metaphysical void, the album actually feels lighter than recent releases. It’s even somewhat of a return to the group’s fiery, punk-influenced early work with songs like the sneering “Spook” and the brain-pounding “King of Bones” built with swaggering simplicity around chugging electric guitar riffs and metallic drum beats. Cuts like the woozy, psychedelic “Calling Them All Away” and the laconically bluesy “Haunt” are as spine tingling as anything on Specter, but feel looser, more improvised, as if the band jammed them into being. There’s also a sense of post-punk grandeur here with tracks like “Ninth Configuration” and the sparkling “Echo” bringing to mind a mix of late-’80s U2 and early-’90s Swervedriver. Still, the band’s emotions remain as vaporous and ectoplasmic as ever. On “Haunt,” Been sings “Dead flag, ship of fools you command/I’m trying not to wither away/And I’m wondering if I’ll feel the grace/I’m Trying to unlove this world/But it has no other place.” On Wrong Creatures, it’s refreshing to hear a band so wrought with spiritual and emotional demons find their rock & roll grace and let it rip.
The Mississippi MC’s ambitious third album is split between his stage persona and private life—the first half opens with “Big K.R.I.T.”; the second, “Justin Scott.” Fittingly, K.R.I.T.’s Southern rap purism is at its most personal here: “Price of Fame” explores the disconnect between success and true happiness. But the mood lifts on trunk-rattlers like the T.I.-featuring “Big Bank” and space-funk slow-burner “Aux Cord,” an homage to soul legends from Parliament to B.B. King.
PHILIP H. ANSELMO is an iconic artist – maybe a little bruised, scarred, singed, and solo somewhat battered by time, himself, and others. But the Texan remains proudly standing, unbent, and still angry. Loved and hated, attacked and praised, Phil is not ready to go down into the archives of musical history without a fight. After the crushing ‘Walk Through Exits Only’ (2013), the second full-length album recorded with his band The Illegals takes the mega-heavy, angry monster born out of mating the visceral aggression and power of PANTERA with the devastating thrash and Southern sludge that Phil and the New Orleans scene pioneered. ‘Choosing Mental Illness As A Virtue’ stands as a new benchmark for extreme heaviness.
Spanning the past thirty years and counting, the Agathocles discography is one of the most extensive in all of grindcore and, more broadly, the entire extreme music underground. With fourteen full-length albums and several hundred EPs, split releases, and live albums, the band is rivaled by few others in terms of the sheer volume of its output. Such a prolific catalog can prove daunting to those interested in an initial sampling of an artist’s work, since there is not always an obvious point of departure from which to begin the process of familiarization. Then again, one could always argue that the only logical launching pad would be from where the band itself started. In this spirit, Nuclear War Now! is proud to release “If This Is Gore, What’s Meat Then?,” a compilation of Agathocles’s first two proper studio demos from 1988, as well its tracks from the 1990 split LP with Drudge. These recordings provide the most direct window into the birth of “mincecore,” a term coined and adopted by the band to describe its raw and minimalistic form of grindcore, which stands in stark contrast to some of the more modern, polished, and technical varieties that have since arisen and to some extent drawn the genre away from its roots. Comprised of thirty-one tracks, each under two minutes in duration, this collection embodies all that made grindcore one of the most extreme forms of music during the period of its inception. Defined by percussive frenzies that can often shift tempos by a hundred beats per minute at the drop of a hat, in conjunction with a barrage of unintelligibly grunted vocals, these songs are reflective of a “society” that, in reality, has not progressed a measurable amount beyond its cave-dwelling days. In addition to all tracks originally released on the “If This Is Gore,…” and “Cabbalic Gnosticism” demos, as well as the aforementioned split tracks, this LP also includes two outtakes from the “Cabbalic Gnosticism” recording session, in the form of covers of Napalm Death’s “Deceiver” and Majesty’s (pre-Terrorizer) “Enemy Alliance.” The high pedigree of these inspirations is matched by that of those who Agathocles themselves later influenced, as they have been mentioned in countless “thanks lists” through the years, including on Blasphemy’s “Fallen Angel of Doom.” In short, this compilation serves both as the perfect introduction to one of grindcore’s most influential bands and as a reminder to its widespread, pre-existing fanbase of how it all began three decades ago.
|Groove Dis Exclusive. The 3rd of three albums representing a snapshot of the Icelandic producer’s archive, as selected by TRIP label head NINA KRAVIZ. This 12-track album consists of more cinematic electronics and restrained instrumentation, with the occasional foray into more upbeat techno tracks. (TRIP)|