Axxa/Abraxas is the music and art project of Ben Asbury, a 23 year old from outside Atlanta, GA. His experiences as a record collector and music obsessive from a very young age are easily evident in his debut release. Going full circle from being introduced to 60's pop as a kid, through his foray into punk rock at an early age, into post-rock and Elephant Six indie, right back into 60's Psychedelia, Ben has honed his influences (Neil Young, Television Personalities), into a cohesive blend to adapt his own take on psych-influenced art-pop.The label enlisted Jarvis Taveniere (Woods) to record and produce what would become Axxa/Abraxas debut. It's the artistic culmination of prodigious young songwriter putting it all together in an erudite way despite his tendency to write lyrics which are "...generally directed at myself, often criticizing my shortcomings..." No matter how he criticizes himself, one need only listen to the record to see he's quite confident in his music.
Juan Wauters: N.A.P. North American Poetry
In his debut solo record, N.A.P. North-American Poetry, Wauters dreams big; coming into his own as a singer. Building on his songwriting, popularized by The Beets, Juan presents introspective tracks, like Water and Sanity, and reflections on humans' relationship with technology in songs like Breathing?which features Carmelle Safdie. The record is completed, as always, by the artwork of dear friend and longtime collaborator Matthew Volz, who has honed the trademark visual aesthetic of Juan's music. This album is a selection of recordings made between the fall of 2010 and the summer of 2012 at Marlborough Farms. N.A.P. delivers a fresh sound and lyrical candor from one of Queens' most idiosyncratic adoptive sons.
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 Manqués'
: 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.
SaÄ?da Bonaire: SaÄ?da Bonaire
Saâda Bonaire. The fantastic German disco/world music project from Bremen which never was meant to be. Formed by Bremen DJ Ralf Behrendt in 1982, Saâda 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.
Saâda 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.
Saâda 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.