For Against: For Against 3xLP Set: Echelons, December, In the Marshes
Lincoln, NE is a rather unlikely setting for a band such as For Against to have been birthed from, yet over 25 years ago they emerged with a sound unlike anything else happening this side of the UK. Garnering comparisons to early Factory Records and Joy Division, For Against formed in 1984, finally releasing their first LP, Echelons, in 1987 with Independent Project Records. The album was met with critical acclaim and the band toured behind it to much success. Their second LP, December, was released the following year to equally rave reviews and significant College Radio play. The band quickly lost momentum as key members parted ways to form other projects. As the line up shifted over the next few years, their label released a collection of decidedly more experimental demos, titled In the Marshes. Long out of print, this is the first time that you can purchase all three of the bands earliest and most defining recordings as a complete box set, not to be sold individually.
The Servants: 'Small Time + Hey Hey We're the Manquťs'
: Our second (technically our second and third) reissue of The Servants. The Servants were pioneers in the jangle pop movement in England and were featured on the classic C86 compilation. The Servants featured members who went on to play in Jesus and Mary Chain, Lush, Biff Band Pow, and Primal Scream. For fans of jangle pop everywhere!
Philip Perkins: Drive Time
Philip Perkins (b 1951) studied art and motion graphics with Robert Mullen and David Foster (Univ. of the Pacific and Univ. of Oregon) and was mentored by "Blue" Gene Tyranny in music composition and performance. He played in many rock, country and experimental music bands and was a member of The Residents performance ensemble 1979-84, as well as serving as their cinematographer and lighting designer. DRIVE TIME was composed and originally released in 1985 is a series of pieces composed as an alternative to early morning "drive time" AM radio, and targeted at the same audience: commuters.
Sa‚da Bonaire: Sa‚da Bonaire
Sa‚da Bonaire. The fantastic German disco/world music project from Bremen which never was meant to be. Formed by Bremen DJ Ralf Behrendt in 1982, Sa‚da Bonaire was a unique concept band centered around two sultry female vocalists (Stefanie Lange and Claudia Hossfeld) and dozens of local musicians culled from the local immigration center. Originally signed to EMI in 1982, their first and only single, ?You Could Be More As You Are? was produced by legendary Matumbi, Slits and Pop Group producer Dennis Bovell in Kraftwerk's studio in Cologne. Its fusion of husky female vocals, Eastern instruments, dub and African music aesthetics, drum computers and synthesizers remains unique to this day. EMI cancelled the project upon its release.
Sa‚da Bonaire compiles two songs from the original EMI single plus eleven previously unreleased songs recorded between 1982 and 1985. Also included are never before published photos and in depth interviews with band members and a full gate fold cover for those dedicated vinyl buyers.
Sa‚da Bonaire. A bizarre mix of Kraftwerk, Grace Jones, and Marlene Dietrich. These lost recordings from the early eighties still sound fresh on today's dance floor.
Widowspeak: The Swamps
The Swamps†arrives as a bridge between the duo's sophomore album,†Almanac, and an as yet untitled third studio record. Here the band's characteristic sonic landscapes, haunting harmonies, and layers of delicate guitar-work usher in a new chapter in their dark and dreamy catalog. †Inspired by the light-choked wetlands of its title,†The Swamps†brims with songs about fears of stagnation and the pitfalls of nostalgia, but never relinquishes Widowspeak's melodic optimism.
Heavenly Beat: Prominence
"PROMINENCE" is the 2nd full length in as many years from Texas transplant John Pena. It was recorded/mixed in the same apartment(after a failed attempt to mix in a "real" studio) as last years TALENT over the first few months of 2013 after shelving a full length's worth of songs for not being sonically or emotionally interesting enough.
Using Primitive Radio God's "Standing Outside A Broken Telephone Booth With Money In My Hand" as a sonic touch point John built a new album from the ground up utilizing chopped/sampled drum breaks and, for the first time, some non laptop based keyed instruments(piano, mellotron) along with H.B. main stays classical guitar and steel drums. Live member Christian Barsi and Daniel Schlett of Strange Weather Studio both contributed keys to a few songs but the outcome is still a very solo sounding project.
Arrangements is where PROMINENCE shines. Managing to sound inventive and not quite like anything else with such a limited palette is a rare and commendable feat. From the slide guitar and pulsing nylon string samples of "Honest" to the flamingo call and deep kick combo of the 2nd half of "Complete" Heavenly Beat keeps the whole affair sounding fresh, interesting and natural.
Lyrically, PROMINENCE is not an escapist affair. It's a very direct look into someone dealing with poor body image(Thin), infidelity(Honest) and emotional/physical/sexual recklessness(Prominence). It's not asking or answering any questions. Just existing within itself.
Evolution is a tricky word when discussing current trends in music, especially when it comes to sophomore albums. The critically lauded BLOUSE, the 2011 debut from the Portland band of the same name was a lush, melodic and dreamy affair spiked with whoozy synths and delicate vocals. For Imperium, their 2nd LP for Captured Tracks, Blouse have shed the synths, done away with drum machines and wrote and recorded with ?instruments that don?t plug into the wall,? as enforced by bandmember/producer Jacob Portrait.
Sonically speaking, that comes through on the LP immediately. Perhaps bolstered by the ongoing construction occurring next to the studio while the record was being made, the sense of force and urgency propelling the record is evident. Patrick Adams? driving bass and plodding drums in the title track usher in this new guitar-friendlier Blouse; more direct and clearer of vision, but still mysterious and beautiful.
A year plus on after the release of their debut LP, Sweden?s Holograms have returned with their second full length, Forever. After a year and a half of touring, losing their jobs, parts of their sanity and returning home only with the hope that their hard work will eventually pay off, they embarked on a new record drawing from the experiences that had simultaneously excited and exhausted the members.
Frontmen Andreas Lagerström (vocals/bass) and Anton Strandberg (drums) still live in working class Farsta, 5 miles (8 kilometers) south of urbane and metropolitan Stockholm while the brothers? Spetze (Anton: vocals/guitar, Filip: synth) still live at home. This isolation and boredom after their first international tours led the group to further mature and grow their sound into a record far more cohesive and ?big-sounding? than their debut. The band aimed to capture the feeling of music being played in a church or temple, ?like a mass?procession, or eulogy? as clearly demonstrated on closing track ?Lay Us Down.? Though matured and experienced, the band?s youthful energy and DiY/Punk upbringing is still upfront and in full effect with the caustic ?A Sacred State,? the melodic attack of ?Rush,? or the unbridled mass-of-energy-cut-loose of ?A Blaze on the Hillside.? Clearly, Holograms show no signs of slowing down the excitement and aggression of their original sound, something to delight their growing audience in this current world of arrogant sonic about-faces on sophomore albums.
Forever is more than the next set of songs from Holograms. It?s a fully realized album that fans will relish for years to come. Songwriting and anthemic choruses as classic as the William Bouguereau painting they chose as the basis of their cover, though presented in a new and exciting way. A way perhaps best described with Holograms? own words for the essence of their music ?..energy, honesty, heart and spirit.?
Various Artists: CT5 Sampler: Five Years of Captured Tracks
Free/discounted sampler to celebrate 5 years of Captured Tracks
Medicine: To The Happy Few
Eighteen years after they called it quits as a working band, 2013 finds the original members of Medicine reunited and proudly offering a newly recorded LP on Captured Tracks. "To The Happy Few" is the sound of a highly inspired group reclaiming its creative legacy, thoroughly immersed in the practice of mixing harsh noise with obsessive melodic detail and heavily groovy rocking. "Long As The Sun" is the first song that we're sharing from the new Medicine LP. It simultaneously references the origins of the band and explodes into brand new territory. An exuberant, belligerently pounding carnival of sound and harmony. A joyful acceptance of something that just simply works. Noise for beauty's sake.