SC Distributon

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2015-10-02
Mind & Matter: I'm Under Your Spell b/w Sunshine Lady
7"  $6.49    

In March of 1977, Minneapolis nonet Mind & Matter booked time at Creation Audio on Old Shakopee Road in suburban Bloomington to record "I'm Under Your Spell" and "Sunshine Lady." Written by a teenaged Jimmy "Jam" Harris, these danceable numbers document the prolific songwriter taking baby steps as a budding super producer. A percussionist-turned pianist Harris's playful use of glockenspiel would reappear in subsequent productions for SOS Band, Cherrelle, and Alexander O'Neal.

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2015-09-18
Steven A. Clark: The Lonely Roller
CD  $12.99     LP  $16.99    

Whether it's someone searching or someone who doesn't want to be found, we can't help but be drawn to the drifters. Steven A. Clark is that next stranger to roll into town, a restless artist recasting R&B. He's a straight-talker in a genre filled with wish-fulfillment, whimsy and cliched beats; think the Outlaw Josey Wales raised on N.E.R.D. and 808 & Heartbreak.

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2015-08-21
Briana Marela: All Around Us
CD  $12.99     LP  $16.99    

Briana's lyrics are forceful, and throughout her second album, All Around Us, traditional song structure gives way to plainspoken declarations that pull back the record's shroud. Her first single,"Surrender" is musically delicate at first, with flickering blips and chords that float into earshot like fireflies. "Take Care of Me" is the album's brightest and most immediate song, a buoyant celebration of friendship with a skittering beat and a warm, sweet melody. And title track "All Around Us" is a stark but inspiring beauty, built on the memory of a family member of Briana's who passed away, and the sadness of not being able to say "goodbye" or "I love you" one last time. It is the balance of the abstract and the intimate that makes Briana Marela and All Around Us so special.

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2015-08-21
Gardens & Villa: Music For Dogs
LP  $16.99    

Music For Dogs is a deeply personal album on which Gardens & Villa pokes, prods, and even strangely celebrates the zeitgeist of music commerce, pleasure culture, technological advances and the new home they've found in Los Angeles. The New Age and Eastern Religion sentiments that rippled across their first two albums (2011's Gardens & Villa and 2014's Dunes) have been swapped out with a new sort of zen pop- Nihilsm. What's Nihilism anyway but Buddhism with a fuck-it attitude? They've found a way to live on the firing line, a way to actually harvest creative energy from our sad Internet tendencies, the uncertain future. "My whole life fixation/See if we can make it underneath the radar," goes the respective call and response of primary songwriters Chris Lynch and Adam Rasmussen on "Fixations," a song about the beauty in bottoming out and then finding the false bottom. Lynch could mean living as a creative in the underground or living outside peripheral view of the NSA. Under the stewardship of visionary producer Jacob Portrait and with irreplaceable rhythm section Dusty Ineman (drums) and Shane McKillop (bass), "Fixations" -- and a great deal of Music For Dogs -- is really just Gardens & Villa doing what it has always done best. G&V creates Byzantine melodies and richly interwoven arrangements for synths, guitars and vocals that work incredibly well on a cerebral level, but wouldn't upset a late night Korean karaoke outing either.

The jaunty, jarring piano and bass that begin "Everybody" perfectly frame the song's anxiety-riddled themes of 21st Century voyeurism, surveillance and the turnstile of avatars intended to represent our true selves. "Everybody wants the new you/No one cares who you are," Lynch sings in a repeating chorus before the band collapses into a lovely out of time mall piano breakdown, which itself drops effortlessly back into the jaunty verse section. And the speedball ripper "Maximize Results" that begins the record is perhaps G&V's most ecstatic, vulnerable moment laid to record to date. It alone is worth the price of admission.

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2015-08-21
Gardens & Villa: Music For Dogs (Deluxe Bundle)

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2015-08-07
Heathered Pearls: Body Complex
CD  $12.99    

For Jakub Alexander, the languages of music and visual art are permanently intertwined. And he's always been this way - from his birthplace in communist Poland, to growing up outside of Detroit, to his current home in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. "When music like Gas, early Dial Records, and Mille Plateaux releases in the 2000s popped up in my headphones," Alexander begins, "it was completely visual for me. Something clicked from collecting pages out of old Architectural Digest magazines and being completely overwhelmed with inspiration for my own visions of interior architecture." The concept carries on still, now as an integral part of Body Complex, his second album as Heathered Pearls, which also features contributions from fellow Ghostly artists The Sight Below, Shigeto, and Outerbridge (mem. Beacon). Body Complex represents a new form of Alexander's visually inspired sound creation, but just as it points to changes in direction for the ambient-inclined producer, it also revisits the past experiences that make his music possible.

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2015-08-07
Night Beds: Ivywild
CD  $12.99     LP  $18.99    

Night Beds, the musical project of 26-year-old Colorado Springs native Winston Yellen, received much acclaim for his 2013 debut album, Country Sleep, scoring plaudits for its tortured take on alt country and Yellen's soaring vocals. But after finishing that album and before Country Sleep was even released, Yellen began experimenting with the kind of melancholic, neon-tinged R&B that makes up the mesmerising Ivywild.

The thread that weaves through all of Yellen's music and holds it together is his unmistakable voice - plaintive, yearning, soulful, heartbreaking. Whether it's ascending over the luscious epic-electronics of "Tide Teeth" or aching alone on Country Sleep's opener "Faithful Heights", Yellen's voice has a unique beauty matched by few of his contemporaries.

The second Night Beds album draws on Yellen's original love of Bill Evans through to J Dilla and is made up of what Yellen calls "sad sex jams" and was inspired by a long-term love and a break-up which looms large throughout the albums veiled lyrics. Its genesis can be found in the stoned night in Nashville when Yellen first heard Yeezus. Lying on the floor, Yellen blared the album at top volume.

Ivywild is a truly collaborative effort with a makeshift team of 25 musicians, notably Abe, Yellen's younger brother and closest friend - his credit on the album comes above Winston's own, so much value does he place upon the work Abe put in. Additional vocals come from Heather Hibbard, a singer from Maine who features on over half of the 16 track album, and was contacted by the gregarious Yellen through YouTube, after he found a video of her covering one of his songs. She came out to the studio the very next day.

Finessing the poignant assortment of songs was a sometimes painful task, but dedicated to the core. "I felt at some points we were losing our minds," he says. Initial versions of "Me Liquor and God" band "On High:" were 17 and 33 minutes respectively while "Finished" took four months to record. His editing process though was simple: "If it makes you cry, keep it in." Field recordings also flood the record, offering it a deep textural grain. "It is a luxury record, but it has a worn shirt feel," explains Yellen. "It's lived in. It's like a quilt - but it took forever, cutting up all the vocals and letting it breathe."

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2015-08-07
Titus Andronicus: The Most Lamentable Tragedy

The Most Lamentable Tragedy [hereafter TMLT] is the fourth studio album by Titus Andronicus [hereafter +@] and the band's debut for Merge Records. A rock opera in five acts, it will see release on July 28, 2015, as a digital download, double CD, and triple LP.

The central narrative of TMLT ("a work of fiction," claims singer/songwriter Patrick Stickles) concerns an unnamed protagonist whom we meet in deep despair. Following an encounter with his own doppelganger (an enigmatic stranger, identical in appearance though opposite in disposition), long held secrets are revealed, sending our protagonist on a transformative odyssey, through past lives and new loves, to the shocking revelation that the very thing that sustains him may be the thing to destroy him.

TMLT is both the crown jewel of the band's discography and the legend that contextualizes their entire body of work. It reveals that +@ are what hardcore fans have said they are for years, and what the world must now recognize them to be: not merely the greatest rock and roll band of this era, but one of the greatest rock and roll bands of all time.

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2015-06-23
Angelo Spencer: Love In The Morning
MP3  $5.94     LP  $18.99    

Angelo Spencer's third album is his most danceable work so far. Written and recorded in Chambéry, France, in the heart of the Alps over the course of a week in February 2014.

With the help of old friends and amazing musicians Luc Detraz (Imperial Tiger Orchestra) and Karol Skonitcki (Super Fedor), Love In The Morning (KLP256) is a short, precise, and undeniably groovy love affair! With repurposed autotune and raw, uncompressed sound recorded by Djan (the man behind the Larsen Records sound), the album is minimal yet so full.

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2015-06-23
Ata Kak: Daa Nyinaa b/w Bome Nnwom

Ata Kak's legendary tape Obaa Sima introduced one of the greatest left-field dance floor jammers of all time, "Daa Nyinaa." Now available on 12" single for the first time, the song Ata Kak recorded in his Toronto apartment in 1993 lives on. The artist was cloaked in mystery until very recently; he created a joyously idiosyncratic balancing act of highlife, R&B, rap and house music that resonated with listeners many miles and several years away. The single is backed with the tape's final song, a minimalist electronic instrumental dripping with lo-fi rhythmic soul called "Bome Nnwom."

The journey that lead to this 12" - which also took many miles and many years - shows the extent to which music can inspire and excite, regardless of background or experience. After years of searching, Awesome Tapes From Africa tracked down the artist's family in Canada. His recording was the first to be posted on the ATFA blog back in 2006, and has been an underground obsession for many diehard internet music fans ever since. The singer/producer - whose real name is Yaw Atta-Owusu - became happily aware of the distance his music has traveled since it was quietly released in 1994. Obaa Sima was released worldwide this March after a years-long wait and a brilliant restoration and remastering, by Jessica Thompson at the Magic Shop NYC, of one of the few remaining playable cassette copies in known existence. With this special release, we hone in on the genius elements that make Ata Kak's nearly-forgotten music so remarkable.

Black Mountain: Black Mountain (10th Anniversary Deluxe Edition)

Available in limited edition Grey Vinyl. Black Mountain's self-titled debut album is a new classic rock, with reference points arcane and clear, its sound fresh, unfamiliar and irresistible. Savor the compact, spacey brilliance of this cosmic, heavy and subtle album, expanded now with a raft of delicious bonus tracks scavenged from the Black Mountain Army archives.

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2015-06-23
Cayucas: Dancing at the Blue Lagoon
MP3  $9.99     CD  $12.99     LP  $16.99    

As Zach Yudin and his twin brother and bandmate, Ben, went in to create their new album, what it all came back to was something personal. While they now call Los Angeles home, they drew from the nostalgia of their childhood growing up in Davis, CA; the nostalgia in their music that is as much about a place they've never been as any actual experience. And it was that wandering imagination and a punchy California dream that eventually grew to become Dancing at the Blue Lagoon.

While their sun-drenched, jangly, sometimes melancholic sound is quintessentially Californian, the album very much their California. It's the sound of kids from the suburbs who fantasize in Technicolor, whose view of the Golden State is its own form of idealism. Dancing at the Blue Lagoon is all about a band testing its comfort zone and asking us to do the same. Zach and Ben would "create bands that were more like a musical idea," record a few songs, and then move on. Cayucas grew out of this period of experimentation. Cayucas has taken sound we thought we knew and turned in into something personal and complex.

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2015-06-23
Eric Copeland: Remixes
MP3  $3.99     12"  $12.99    

DFA is proud to release a long-gestating 12" single of wild interpretations of Eric Copeland's 2013 album "Joke In The Hole". The Black Dice member received universal acclaim for the record, "Fringe though Copeland may be, this album is a serious coup for DFA - he walks the line between complete nuttiness and outright accessibility, and ends up with one of his best records to date." (XLR8R) Starting us off is Panda Bear, who adds his trademark falsetto vocals and shuffling percussion, sweetening Eric's black coffee beats. DFA's own sonic collagist Larry Gus blends Eric's mumbled vocals with bright percussion and a vocoded male choir, among many other audio dalliances. Meanwhile, Hyperdub's Fhloston Paradigm (AKA King Britt) takes aim with his laser cannons, firing volleys at unrelenting waves of marching alien armies, before being swallowed up in a solar flare. Finally, Anthony Naples (Text Records, Trilogy Tapes) brings it back to the club with snaps, claps, and hi-hats, but it sounds like you left 'em out in the rear window of your car on a sunny day. You know what we mean.

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2015-06-23
Future Death: Cryptids - EP
MP3  $5.99    

After two years of activity, Austin-based progressive space punk band Future Death has certainly been busy. After they released their first single in July of 2013, their debut self-titled EP was released in October of that year. After many regional tours and countless local shows, they released their debut full-length Special Victim in May of 2014 on Bloodmoss Records to much critical acclaim. The album was followed by extensive national tours in 2014 and 2015 with bands like This Will Destroy You and Boyfrndz. The band and their music was also featured in the upcoming indie slasher movie Night of the Babysitter, which will be released in the near future.

Future Death’s upcoming EP titled Cryptids on Bloodmoss sees the band utilizing the studio more with a heavier and wider element of vocal work and synthesizers from vocalist Angie Kang, as well as a more fluid and cohesive transition from track to track. This element ties in a more linear quality to the record that was less present on Special Victim, but also lent the band to more exploratory approaches to production with engineer Chico Jones (OHM Recording Facility).

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2015-06-23
Juan Wauters: Who Me?
LP  $19.99    

Who Me? is the next chapter in the ongoing story of Juan Wauters. Whereas his debut solo record was recorded casually over the course of one year, his new album was crafted in under two weeks at Future Apple Tree in Rock Island, Illinois. Inspired by both the arrangements of Uruguayan songwriter Jaime Roos and the production of American master Dr. Dre, this collection of songs presents his continued approach to existential questioning through pop music. Tracks like "She Might Get Shot" and "I Was Well," which may seem like wisdom addressed to the listener, are in fact part of Juan's reciprocal process of self-actualization through songwriting and performing. Bringing new sounds to his repertoire, "This Is I" and "Through That Red" add a spiritual tone with ethereal string arrangements. Juan's voice - which has risen to the forefront of his music since his first recordings with The Beets - intensifies with added nuance. This year Juan Wauters will continue to tour the world in support of his second solo record.

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2015-06-23
Martin Newell: Teatime Assortment

Since before he was even able to play an instrument, Martin Newell was messing around with home-recordings. Having grown up in the Far East, Newell returned to his home of England at age 13 with just a little 3-inch spool tape-recorder and his first guitar. At age 14 he wrote his first song, not even knowing any chords. His song writing continued through is teens and into his 20s, when he purchased a Sony reel-to-reel recorder and 12 string guitar. It is this early songwriting that led him working with a wide variety of musicians, recording in beautiful studios and forming his many projects such as Cleaners from Venus and Brotherhood of Lizards. But it was this early songwriting and recording that led him to find that he was happiest when recording by himself, with minimal equipment. As Newell often says, "Actually, I preferred the demos".

Having upgraded himself from reel-to-reel to a Tascam Pocketstudio and digitizing some of his archaic recording knowledge, Newell set out to begin home recording again. The tracks on this collection run from 2010 to mid 2014. Some are recordings loosely based on movie themes and soundtracks for imaginary films. Some are instrumentals from a collection called The Late District, while others are from a recent album Return to Bohemia, which saw a small release in England. This recent resurgence in creative strength, along with the success and newfound popularity of Cleaners from Venus, have all led up to Teatime Assortment. Think of it as a "Best of New Newell". A true wordsmith, Newell himself has put simply why one might be compelled to take a listen here: "If you're the sort of person who likes this kind of thin, then this is the sort of thing you'll probably like."

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2015-06-23
Matchess: Somnaphoria (Mixed Color Vinyl)
MP3  $9.99    

Chicago musician Whitney Johnson (Verma)'s second album as Matchess finds cohesive vision both thematically & sonically, with the album fusing elements of contemporary classical music & modern experimental electronic music with a neo-new age mysticism.

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2015-06-23
Matchess: Somnaphoria (Mixed Color Vinyl)
LP  $16.99    

Chicago musician Whitney Johnson (Verma)'s second album as Matchess finds cohesive vision both thematically & sonically, with the album fusing elements of contemporary classical music & modern experimental electronic music with a neo-new age mysticism.

Psychic Baos: Society's Lien on Peace of Mind/Can't Keep Us Down
MP3  $3.96     7"  $6.99    

Wake up, garbage people, the rooster is crowing! First off, your morning dose: Psychic Baos. Close your eyes and step into the fry-daddy's dream: You're on a muddy BMX track in eastern Tennessee and there's a band playing what sounds like the Chocolate Watch Band melting in hellfire. A man named Will Fist is screaming a fully-blown scream, and zoom goes some wily pfink on a soiled banana bike. That's your daily medicine! The hypnotic rhythms waxed in this stereo resin have a great effect upon the listener. Don't worry about the false prophets of car commercial garage rock. This isn't that, this is Psychic Baos.

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2015-06-23
Royal Jesters: English Oldies

Twenty-eight homespun stunners from the Alamo City's scrappiest souleros. The Royal Jesters were the kings of San Antonio's cross-cultural teen scene in the 1960s, soundtracking lovelorn slow dances with their heart-sick harmonies. For the first time, English Oldies gathers the best early doo-wop, R&B, and blazing Latin rock and soul from these Tex-Mex masterminds - a simmering melting pot of diverse regional flavors, best served hot.

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2015-06-23
Tom Diabo: Dark Star

Tom Diabo was late-70s/early80s punk musician from Wuppertal, Germany. He played in several bands, most notably Western Force and X 112 For Dancing, and also curated a series of legendary local cassettes called "Talfahrt". Diabo passed away from cancer in 1988 shortly after his 30th birthday. He left behind a cache of home-recorded songs that eventually came out posthumously as an LP called "Dark Star" that same year. An expanded edition will be released on Body Double in 2013.

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2015-06-23
Walter TV: Blessed
CD  $12.99    

Having moved all around Canada and settling nowhere, Walter TV are contemporary nomads. They formed their band in the basements and cottage-like houses of a beach town outside Vancouver.

After Joe McMurray and Pierce McGarry moved to Montreal, they shared an apartment with a constant revolving cast of characters. In a space often overpopulated and reeking of cigarettes, they began recording Blessed. Simon Ankenman would come by periodically, and with him they would finish most of the recordings between there and LA. The band's two members, Joe and Pierce, were also busy touring with Mac DeMarco, acting as his backing band. Mixing and recording turned into a thing to do on the road.

Although the group prefers tape recordings to digital, they have never been militant. Always trying to uphold their DIY sensibilities, Walter TV believes the music should speak for itself. It should come from wherever and whatever is available.

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2015-06-09
Boscoe: Boscoe
LP  $17.99    

The private issue answer to Chicago's afrocentric giants Earth Wind & Fire, The Pharaohs, and the Art Ensemble, boasting an unholy conflagration of soul, funk, spiritual jazz, African rhythms, and the politics of Black Power. Come witness the invocation of death, a war for peace that black America must fight, Malcolm X's violent passing, brains already in the grave, God's damning of us all, and a glib parody of "The Star Spangled Banner," all delivered by a crawling funk fusion as eager to blast us awake with harsh words as with insistent horns.

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2015-06-09
Institute: Catharsis
MP3  $9.90     CD  $12.99     LP  $17.99    

After demoing for several weeks at home in Austin, the anarcho punk band Institute tracked and mixed Catharsis in just four days between Christmas and New Year's Eve 2014, in New York City with Ben Greenberg at Brooklyn's Gary’s Electric. "Cheerlessness" carves out the perfect trine foundation to aspect both the anthemic "Cheaptime Morals" and the much looser jam "Christian Right" (the latter featuring fellow Texan Andrew Savage of Parquet Courts). Issues of morality, sexuality and religion are all interwoven seamlessly throughout the 10 tracks as the band explores new sonic astral space.

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2015-06-09
J. Fernandez: Many Levels of Laughter
MP3  $8.91    

"There's a certain, undeniable feeling associated with the songwriting of J. Fernandez. There are plenty of familiar touchstones and influences deep and intricately woven; Marquee Moon guitars, an affectless, Kraftwerk-ian singing style, psychedelic dissonance and melodic structures not entirely unlike The United States of America, and a modern warmth like Chris Cohen's work with The Curtains and Deerhoof. But, dropping these names doesn't adequately sum up what J. Fernandez has captured here. On Many Levels of Laughter, he has invited us into his own, very special, Universe. One that presumably exists only in his head, or at the very least in the Chicago bedroom where he recorded the album, alone.

Giving yourself over to this record for 36-or-so minutes is a bit like agreeing to Gene Wilder's version of The Wondrous Boat Ride, you're going to experience things you don't expect. Some of it will be immediately wonderful, some of it will be confusing and magnificent. Only, instead of a nightmare-fueled, psychotropic freak-out, it feels more like a Brian Wilson daydream, magically stepping into the scraps of tape and interlude left on the cutting room floor once they finally got around to assembling SMiLE." - Mike Adams