Before the actualization of Bing & Ruth's halcyonic opus Tomorrow Was the Golden Age, there was City Lake. This newly remastered version of the 2010 limited edition album features David Moore leading an eleven piece ensemble through a greater gamut of rhythmic materials while tracing the ambient tract that appeared in tomorrow's horizon.
Double album includes printed inner sleeves and a multi-format download code featuring three bonus tracks. CD version includes three bonus tracks.
Where does one start with Chris Knox?
Musician, artist, cartoonist, director and much more, he is the godfather of alternative New Zealand music. A true renaissance bloke from down under.While, Seizure, originally released in 1988, is certainly not the start for Chris Knox it is often considered his first 'proper' solo album.
Though in fairness there is nothing proper about it, exploring the surreal, the political, the satirical and sometimes simply the crazy, all of which would never been seen on the hit parade. Yet, musically they should have been, packed with brilliantly skewered hooks and humorously scathing lyrics, Seizure is a lo-fi mix of punk, indie rock and pop that works perfectly.
With it's DIY recording, wit and melody, Seizure highlights why Knox is considered one of New Zealand's finest songwriters. From fronting early NZ punk band The Enemy to Toy Love and then the Tall Dwarfs through to helping launch Flying Nun Records recording the likes of The Clean, the Dunedin Double and more. It's also near impossible to fit his bio into this space.
And, his influence has reached out well beyond these shores inspiring generations of musicians - no better shown than on the benefit album (Stroke: Songs of Chris Knox) released as a fundraiser following his stroke in 2009, which featured the likes of Bill Callahan, Yo La Tengo, Lou Barlow, Stephin Merritt and many more.
From the simple pop of "The Face of Fashion", through to the driving force of "Wanna!!" and the strangely uplifting brood of "My Dumb Luck" - all that without even mentioning "Not Given Lightly" , the love song to end all love songs - Seizure, despite our dislike of the word, is a legendary release in the Flying Nun catalogue.
Now, re-issued again on LP and CD, with the audio taken direct from the original master tape to vinyl lacquer, the releases also features the original cover art from it's first pressing.
Barren train stations, Polish factories at night, and silent hotels where lonely travelers meet. These are the images and suggested narratives that pervade the spirit of Polish Night Music, the musical collaboration between American filmmaker David Lynch and Polish concert pianist and composer Marek Zebrowski.
Zebrowski and Lynch first met during the Camerimage Film Festival in Lodz, Poland and started to work together during the organic evolution of Lynch's Inland Empire. Originally, Zebrowski served as a translator for the shooting of several Lodz-based Polish scenes in Empire, but upon discovering their shared interest in musical experimentation and improvisation, Lynch invited Zebrowski to his Los Angeles studio to participate in a series of musical experiments. From these initial collaborations, inspired by their unique and distinct connections to Poland, emerged a tangible mood and distinctly modern texture that became Polish Night Music.
Though he may not be a household name, Kenniff's evocative, distinctly American music has become quietly ubiquitous in the past few years, often appearing on NPR, in films, on TV, and in ads for Apple, Facebook, and Google among others. Recorded over the course of three years, the material on his new album Sometimes functions as a journal, documenting brief moments in Kenniff's day when he could turn to the piano as a source of solace and unending creative possibilities. Kenniff wrote and recorded everything on the album with the exception of the track "A Word I Give", which is a collaboration with preeminent Japanese pianist Ryuichi Sakamoto, who once described Goldmund's music as "...so, so, so beautiful."
In an interview with NPR's Weekend Edition Keith Kenniff discussed his appreciation of Civil War era music, and it's ability to covey "...so much story in so few notes." Similarly, these improvisations manage to be richly evocative despite their technical and compositional simplicity, using subtle details and dynamics to express what might otherwise be inexpressible.
From NE Portland, via Seattle, and San Jose, hails the guitar-centric, weirdo pop outfit Helvetia. From the ocean to endless brown hills and then the very green trees, comes a music that evokes the simplicity of 70's Kinks with a good dose of Captain Beefheart and the randomness of The Residents. Third-wave hardcore influences (see "The Rubber Maids") morph into Neu-like trance-rock. Meat Puppets and Elevator to Hell assemble to make little baby spiders ("Bermuda" and "Radio Shower"). These are the likes that crawl through Helvetia's dense forestry. Albertini's voice is lulling and dry, in tone and manner, with a story to be told. It's up to the listener to piece the content together.
Dromomania is a condition of wandering with no notice of intent or memory of travel - a dissociative fugue. Where, wherever, instant creations are forgotten and re-created with only a muscle memory of awareness. Before getting too comfortable, suddenly you're in a different place with different sets of ideals. And in between, the holes between the holes, no one can really forget or remember.
Helvetia consists of guitarists Jason Albertini and Jim Roth (both recent additions to Built To Spill), Zeke Howard (Love As Laughter) on drums, Samantha Stidham on bass guitar, and Canaan Dove Amber (Duster) on noise machines and percussion.
We Are Not The First features the interstellar ensemble of Marshall Allen, Daniel Carter, Greg Fox, Shelley Hirsch, Shahzad Ismaily, Elliott Levin, Rafael Sanchez, and Ben Vida directed in deep dialogue through humans' hidden sound history by Jamal Moss aka Hieroglyphic Being. Hieroglyphic Being & the J.I.T.U. Ahn-Sahm-Bul demonstrate that vitality lives in its collectivity and a sonic-consciousness exists somewhere in the primordial ooze.
The four members of The Invisible Astro Healing Rhythm Quartet formed in 2010 while studying music at Bakersfield College in sunny Bakersfield, California; a region known (musically) for the twangy, steel-guitar sound popularized by hometown heroes Buck Owens & Merle Haggard. IAHRQ take a decidedly different approach, reaching skyward toward the cosmos & the outer reaches of cosmic, spiritual jazz & Ethio-centric long-form jams. "2" is the aptly named second album from the quartet (the first was released in late 2013 on noted composer & trumpet player Kris Tiner's Epigraph Records) was recorded & produced by Chris Schlarb (Psychic Temple). "2" finds the ensemble digging deeper and reaching further out than before, honing their mixture of Ethiopian funk, spiritual jazz & cosmic psychedelia to a finer point. "2" was mastered by Matthew David McQueen (Leaving Records/Dublab), with psychedelic artwork by Bruno Borges. This is an LP-only release, pressed on black vinyl & includes a download code.
Yr City's a Sucker was originally released as a 12" single way back in 2004, and is the fourth single by LCD Soundsystem. It was lated included on the bonus disc of the compact disc version of 2005's acclaimed LCD Soundsystem LP. It is now back in print for the first time in 10 years, with a brand new 45 RPM cut.
Mark McGuire's albums are, amongst many other things, strong arguments for the album and for the stereo system. They're not just music; they're statements, and they demand to be experienced by the best sonic means available. They're throwbacks, not in style, but intent and effect. Put another way -- they don't make them like this anymore.
The wall of sounds contained therein constitute a degree of ambition uncommon since the 70s heyday of McGuire's forebears -- Gottsching, Eno, Fripp. This is not laptop music.
Beyond Belief, his second full-length for Dead Oceans, finds McGuire now well on the way of his own trip. Fantastical liner note tales written to accompany and set the stage for his mostly-wordless songs delight and confound. Throughout nine tracks we find an unrelenting drive to refine, build upon, focus and maximize the effect of an already remarkably prolific body of work. Though deservedly known for his virtuosic multitracked guitar playing, McGuire in fact plays every bass / synth / piano note, and every beat on the album himself, his vocals more prominent than ever before. 26 months in the making, the passion going into Beyond Belief is self-evident, and the effect is overwhelming.
Like many before him, McGuire isn't entirely comfortable with the critically-bestowed 'new age' tag, but the resonance is there particularly in McGuire's prose, and it's not unreasonable that he appeared alongside venerated new age masters Iasos and Laraaji in The New York Times' appraisal of the new age music renaissance ('For New Age, the Next Generation', Mike Rubin, February 16, 2014).
Running nearly 80 minutes, the bold and fearless Beyond Belief is McGuire's magnum opus to date, but in truth, there is no end in sight for McGuire's vision, making any such assessment wholly premature.
As the opening liner notes proclaim, Weeville is; "the first straightforward LP by Tall Dwarfs - uh... in terms of having the same number of tracks on each side - both of which play at the same speed and which ain't a compilation."
Nonetheless, their 1990 release is filled with the Tall Dwarfs' eclectic mix of homespun psychedelia, densely textured pop songs and a wallop of hard nosed punk.
The Tall Dwarfs are a partnership between New Zealand home-recording pioneers Chris Knox and Alec Bathgate. A duo, who have been making music together since 1977, first in New Zealand's early punk band, The Enemy, followed by Toy Love. In 1981 Chris and Alec returned as the Tall Dwarfs, they purchased a four track, and over the next 30 plus years would release wonderfully demented records and go on to influence bands such as Pavement, Yo La Tengo, Neutral Milk Hotel and countless more.
Now, re-issued again on LP and CD, Weeville is wired with hypnotic tunes, weird and wonderful instruments and brilliant songwriting. Whether that be the raw spookiness and two guitar harmony of Breath and Crawl or the oddly compelling Skin Of My Teeth and Bodies all brushed with a scent of the macabre.
Along with a 20 page booklet featuring the duo's individual art and design, Weeville is a fantasy land built on tape loops, feedback and distortion. It's pop music just how they like it.
Following the success of their debut album release, TRAAMS have spent the last couple of years bringing their frantic, high-energy performances to various festivals and venues across Europe and the U.S., opening for the likes of Wire, Fucked Up, Parquet Courts, Royal Blood and more.
Their second album Modern Dancing captures the energy of their live performances and draws a wealth of brooding aggression and krautrock-infused-post punk. They have adapted the charisma of White Denim's experimentalism and early Modest Mouse' indie guitar pop to fit their own generation's drowsy indie ethos.
"Mul.apin" is the fourth album from Chicago psychedelic warriors Verma. Since their formation in 2010, they have been a stalwart presence on the Chicago psych scene. Their ability to move from skyward-arching jams to howling, epic ragers to heady, experimental synth-concrete pieces and back again has proven to be their greatest asset. "Mul.apin" finds them floating in the dense fog of nebulous space - a territory familiar to them since their TiM debut, "Coltan" back in 2012, moving instrumentally between intense cosmic burners and mellow synth meditiations. "Mul.apin" is an album to occupy your innerspace - drones for the places between your molecules.