SC Distributon

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Artist
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2015-02-17
A Place To Bury Strangers: Transfixiation
MP3  $9.99     CD  $12.99     LP  $16.99    

"That's the most intense fear and feeling - when you go to a show and you're actually scared," says Oliver Ackermann, guitarist and frontman of Brooklyn trio A Place To Bury Strangers.

"Or you can palpably feel the danger in the music," adds bassit Dion Lunadon, "Like it's going to fall apart at any moment and the players doing it are so in the moment they don't give a shit about anything else. They're just going for it. It's a gutter kinda vibe; everything about it is icky and evil and dangerous."

The same could be said the band's fourth album, Transfixiation. Rather than fixate on the minute details like they may have done in the past, the group, rounded out by drummer Robi Gonzalez, trust their instincts and try to keep things as pure as possible. Music is much more exhilarating when it's unpredictable even on repeat plays, and this is very much an unpredictable record. Gonzalez makes his recording debut with the band here, and it's obvious that he's helped pushed the band's recordings closer to the level of their infamous live shows.

"The one thing we have in common is this fire when we're playing," adds Gonzalez. "I don't know; it's real intense."

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2015-02-17
Alan Watts: This Is It!
MP3  $9.99     LP  $17.99    

Psychedelic music all began with the tiniest possible bang: a minuscule pressing of a self-produced LP by Zen Buddhist scholar Alan Watts. In one cosmic flash of inspiration and group improvisation, the next two decades of musical innovation was pre-supposed: psychedelic rock, spiritual jazz, and even new age. As this micro pressing barely made it out of the ashram, it was his writings that actually spread his ideas, usually through osmosis: he was profoundly influential on the beat poets and the subsequent counter-culture. He became the forebear of '60s counter-culture's spirituality, much as William Burroughs was the forebear of its hedonism.

Released in 1962, This Is It is an imaginative cacophony of percussion, non-verbal chanting, and free-flowing expression, punctuated occasionally by leisurely passes at a terrestrial piano, marimba, or french horn. It is at once, experimental, intellectual, and experiential. Three years before Ken Kesey's inaugural Acid Test, This Is It! constitutes the first transmission for a tuned-in counterculture of hippies, beats, and psychedelic revolutionaries of all stripes.

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2015-02-17
Bunny Lion: Red
MP3  $9.90     CD  $13.99    

Although his lack of touring kept him from being established as a major figure in overground reggae circles, Linval Thompson's work as a singer, songwriter and producer is essential to Jamaican music. Between 1977 and 1979, he released five solo albums and produced countless artists on the side. Thompson acted as a mentor to many up-and-comers, including Junjo Lawes, Scientist, and Eek-AMouse.

As dancehall became more prominent in the late 1970s, Thompson began to offer up his rhythms to sound system deejays. The mysterious deejay LP, Bunny Lion Red was originally released on London's Starlight records in 1979. Little was written about the album at the time; however, we have uncovered that Bunny Lion is in fact the legendary Puddy Roots of Killamanjaro Soundsystem fame.

Red features ten grooving Thompson Sound rhythms voiced by Puddy. This is the earliest documented work of the criminally under-recorded Puddy Roots. It's also the perfect gateway record for anyone curious about dub, roots reggae, or dancehall.

Title
Artist
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Release Date
2015-02-17
Bunny Lion: Red
LP  $19.99    

Although his lack of touring kept him from being established as a major figure in overground reggae circles, Linval Thompson's work as a singer, songwriter and producer is essential to Jamaican music. Between 1977 and 1979, he released five solo albums and produced countless artists on the side. Thompson acted as a mentor to many up-and-comers, including Junjo Lawes, Scientist, and Eek-AMouse.

As dancehall became more prominent in the late 1970s, Thompson began to offer up his rhythms to sound system deejays. The mysterious deejay LP, Bunny Lion Red was originally released on London's Starlight records in 1979. Little was written about the album at the time; however, we have uncovered that Bunny Lion is in fact the legendary Puddy Roots of Killamanjaro Soundsystem fame.

Red features ten grooving Thompson Sound rhythms voiced by Puddy. This is the earliest documented work of the criminally under-recorded Puddy Roots. It's also the perfect gateway record for anyone curious about dub, roots reggae, or dancehall.

Title
Artist
Label
Release Date
2015-02-17
Eric Chenaux: Skullsplitter

Eric Chenaux has emerged as one of the most distinctive, innovative and original voices in what might be called avant-garde balladry, juxtaposing his gorgeously pure and open singing against a guitar sound and style that truly stands alone. Skullsplitter is the impressive new album that confirms Chenaux's singular aesthetic: genuine, natural, unaffected vocals gliding through slow, smoky melodies while electric and nylon-string guitars are deployed with adventurously experimental, dextrous, semi-improvisational technique and texture. Skullsplitter stands as a welcome evolution from Chenaux's previous song-based album Guitar & Voice (2012), which was widely celebrated as his best work to date, championed by The Wire, Said The Gramophone, Stereophile and others for its unique sensibility and sensitivity. Skullsplitter builds on these strengths, with Chenaux working his concise array of signal-bending devices (volume, wah and freeze pedals) with a remarkable and idiosyncratic fluidity that's integral to the expressivity he brings to the guitar, and his voice at the calm center of this stormy micro-climate of bodily kinetics and woozy playing. On Skullsplitter, Chenaux's vocals are like a high pressure system, riding on clear bright air, stabilizing the roiling, changeable atmosphere of the guitars underneath; a gem of an album in an increasingly luminous discography.

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2015-02-17
Grooms: Comb The Feelings Through Your Hair
MP3  $9.99     CD  $9.99     LP  $14.99    

Having lived, worked, and created in Brooklyn's Williamsburg neighborhood for over a decade, native Texan Travis Johnson has felt the direct impact of the growth and dissolution that comes with rapid gentrification. His band Grooms practiced, and recorded at Brooklyn's Death By Audio for seven years before they were forced out of their spiritual and literal home in November 2014 when DBA shut its doors. With the band's income not providing enough money to support any of it's members, bass player and co-writer Emily Ambruso went on hiatus from the band, leaving Johnson as the only original member. Despite these unfortunate blows, Johnson soldiered on, soon recruiting Jay Heiselmann on bass, and actor/comedian Steve Levine on drums.

Unlike their previous album Infinity Caller (which Speedy Ortiz's Sadie Dupuis called "...an exercise in explosion and restraint hallmarked by sweeping guitars, stuttery drums, and cryptic, airy vocals...") Comb... brings the band's rhythm section to the fore, and Johnson's trademark guitar stylings often take a backseat to his psychedelic sample-collages and ambient electronics. Fortunately the new approach works, balancing pop structures with masterful experimental production that shifts in tone and color in harmony with Johnson's tales of acceptance, loneliness, and impotent violence.

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2015-02-17
In Tall Buildings: Driver
MP3  $9.99     CD  $9.99     LP  $14.99    

Erik Hall worked patiently and solitarily for four years to craft Driver, his sophomore album as In Tall Buildings. The album comes twenty years after Hall originally fell in love with home recording at age 13 - the year he got his hands on his first multi-track recorder. As a multi-instrumentalist and producer Hall eventually went on to record and tour with several groups, including old friends His Name is Alive and, more recently, dream-pop duo Wild Belle, performing the rhythm section tracks and lending an engineering hand to their Columbia Records debut.

In stark contrast to the dense polyrhythms echoed by his former group NOMO's albums, Driver uses a relatively simple palette to create spacious pop songs, leaving plenty of room for Hall's often Peter Gabriel-esque vocals to shine. The music is powerful in it's restrained simplicity, and a compelling foil to the haunting gravity of his vocal performance. Never rushed, his melodies deliver elliptical lyrics that manage to feel intimate, while retaining a sense of mystery. Fortunately, the album's melancholic vibe is relatable, rather than moping or histrionic, and ultimately these songs are incredibly inviting and comforting.

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2015-02-17
Mourn: Mourn
CD  $12.99     LP  $18.99     MP3  $9.99    

MOURN is a very young quartet formed from the friendship of Jazz Rodríguez Bueno and Carla Pérez Vas - both born in 1996 in El Maresme, Catalonia, Spain. The duo armed themselves with inspiration from PJ Harvey, Patti Smith, Sebadoh and Sleater Kinney and began writing material, which they quickly released, raw and acoustic, on their YouTube channel. These recordings caught the attention of their homeland's Sones Records. Despite being teenagers, earlier this year they came out of the studio (along with drummer Antonio Postius and bassist Leia Rodríguez) with a brilliant treatise of indie rock that has stunned those who have had the opportunity to listen to it. Jazz (18), Carla (18), Leia (15) and Antonio (18) came together to present these tracks with authenticity and self-awareness beyond their age. With the confidence only residing in youth, the Mourn debut was recorded live in the studio in two days, proof of which is in their live-in-the-studio videos for singles "Otitis" and "Your Brain is Made of Candy." Both tracks perfectly capture the bands' affinity for the brevity of The Ramones with the lyrical and melodic sophistication of The Pixies.

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2015-02-17
Phosphorescent: Live at the Music Hall

Recorded over four nights at The Music Hall of Williamsburg, this triple LP is a veritable best-of from a band at the height of their performative powers. Featuring scorching renditions of the best-loved songs of the Phosphorescent catalog, from Los Angeles to Song for Zula, Phosphorescent delivers a live album for all-time. Comes with album download.

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2015-02-17
S. Carey: Supermoon

Recorded primarily during the perigee-syzygy (also known as the super moon) of August 2014, the Supermoon EP from S. Carey is a study in scale, space, and proximity. These songs are a new and closer look into existing works from both S. Carey's renowned full-lengths, 2010's All We Grow and 2014's Range of Light. With Supermoon, Carey has broken these songs down to their essential, acoustic parts with his forever humming vocals laid over top, lilting yet percussive piano, and a subtle swath of harmonic strings. You can hear Carey's breath between words and the pat of his fingers on the keys; you can hear the living room in which his family's baby grand piano sits. These songs are beautiful, intimate and so potently personal. This collection is a stark presentation of S. Carey laid bare, an open invitation for the listener to climb into his world.

One particularly poignant piece is the re-imagined Range of Light closer, "Neverending Fountain," perhaps an apt metaphor for the life of the songs themselves. Says Carey, "The longer you spend with a song, the more you can see it in its pure form." Supermoon also features a heartrending cover of "Bullet Proof.. I Wish I Was" from Radiohead's classic album The Bends, and a new song, the EP's namesake, "Supermoon," which takes its inspiration, like much of Carey's work, from the natural world around him.

Another source of inspiration quoted by Carey is the excitement of working out arrangements for pre-existing songs on the spot, for various sessions on tour. He brought that spirit to the recording of Supermoon, which took place over the course of a single weekend. Already known as an artist of impeccable craft, S. Carey worked with long-time friends and collaborators (Mike Noyce played viola, Zach Hanson engineered, mixed, and mastered) to add a chapter to the still unfolding story of Sean Carey as an artist. We can hear the songwriting, singing and performance for what it truly is; understated, true and pure beauty.

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2015-02-03
John Carpenter: Lost Themes
MP3  $11.99     CD  $12.99     LP  $19.99    

John Carpenter has been responsible for much of the horror genre's most striking soundtrack work in the fifteen movies he's both directed and scored. The themes can instantly flood his fans' musical memory with imagery of a menacing shape stalking a babysitter, a relentless wall of ghost-filled fog, lightning-fisted kung fu fighters, or a mirror holding the gateway to hell. The all-new music on Lost Themes asks Carpenter's acolytes to visualize their own nightmares.

As is Carpenter's style, repetition is the key to the thundering power of these tracks, their energy swirling with shredding chords, soaring organs, unnerving pianos and captivating percussion. Horror fans will be reminded of Carpenter's past works, as well as ancestors like Mike Oldfeld's Tubular Bells and Goblin's Suspiria.

"They're little moments of score from movies made in our imaginations," Carpenter says. "Now I hope it inspires people to create films that could be scored with this music."

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2015-02-03
Matana Roberts: Coin Coin Chapter Three: river run thee

Matana Roberts is one of the most acclaimed, socio-politically conscious and aesthetically intrepid avant-jazz practitioners of the 21st century. The critical accolades for her multi-chapter Coin Coin work place her at the vanguard of stylistic innovation and radicalization, while confirming the deep substance and soul that guides her compositional agenda. Roberts has long employed the phrase "panoramic sound quilting" to describe Coin Coin, and with this third chapter in the series she implements this metaphor most overtly, creating a sound art tapestry from field recordings, loop and effects pedals, and spoken word recitations, alongside her saxophone and singing voices. Coin Coin Chapter Three: river run thee unfolds as an uninterrupted album-length flow, in what Roberts calls "a fever dream" of sonic material, inspired by a solitary research-based road trip Roberts took through the American South in early 2014. Fragments of traditional song are the album's main touchstones, with Roberts' singing voice riding atop waves of radiophonic texture, layered spoken word, and an often dislocated, wandering horn. It is the first explicitly solo work in the Coin Coin series, and a fascinating extension of the cycle; yet another adventurous, socially engaged definition of what Jazz can mean in this day and age.