Margaret Chardiet was born and raised in New York City. She has been making power electronics / death-industrial music under the name Pharmakon for five years. As a founding member of the Red Light District collective in Far Rockaway, NY she has been a figurehead in the underground experimental scene since the age of seventeen. She describes her drive to make noise music as something akin to exorcism where she is able to express, her ?deep-seated need/drive/urge/possession to reach other people and make them FEEL something [specifically] in uncomfortable/ confrontational ways.? Engineered by Sean Ragon of Cult of Youth at his self-built recording studio Heaven Street, Abandon is Pharmakon?s 1st proper studio album and also her first widely distributed release.
Vår: No One Dances Quite Like My Brothers
What began as the extremely lo-fi two-piece of Elias Rønnenfelt (Iceage) and Loke Rahbek recording on 4-track has evolved into an experimental noise/ industrial/ techno pop quartet. On this album Vår utilize everything from acoustic guitar, power electronics, bass, trumpet, multi-tracked vocals, and various percussive instruments, to broken glass & sheet metal samples. No One Dances Quite Like My Brothers is a remarkable debut, an emotional rollercoaster of sorts which at times is profoundly uplifting, at times decidedly morose but remains unfailingly moving throughout.
The Men: New Moon
With their fourth full-length album to be released in as many years, The Men proudly present the sweeping New Moon, the most intensely personal and immersive installment yet. Never content to draw on the same methods twice, nor to recline under the heel of expectation, The Men quit the city in early 2012 to head for Big Indian, NY - transforming a remote Catskills locale into a full-fledged stray dog studio home. Entering with only the most skeletal sketches, the house was selected as an incubator for its technical limitations. Familiar faces remain, the core of guitarists Nick Chiericozzi and Mark Perro, with drummer Rich Samis all returning from last year?s much-acclaimed Open Your Heart. However, inroads have since been made to previously unreachable trails, as close friend and producer Ben Greenberg (Pygmy Shrews, Hubble, Zs) officially joins the ranks as bassist on paper, and full-bore compositional partner in practice. In tandem, wayward brother Kevin Faulkner occupies his most substantial sphere to date, dreaming aloud on lap steel guitar. New Moon is simultaneously an expansion of palette and a contraction of focus, hedged with as much leaden dirge and ecstatic abandon, as it is genuine saccharine steel-string levity and an ever-tightening, no apologies pop concision. Summarily, it is a love letter devoted in bowed humility to the grand continuum, exposing the hoax of the great divide
Lust For Youth: Chasing the Light
Swedish electronic producer, Hannes Norrvide (aka Lust For Youth) has been inconspicuously hinting at his brighter side throughout his last couple of releases. What began as a lo-fi, atonal, bedroom drone-synth project in 2009 has slowly but surely been evolving into a full frontal synth-pop assault. The Quietus quite aptly caught on to these genres? overlapping breeding ground in his review of Growing Seeds for The Quiteus, ?If you take the two musical genres of noise and synth pop and trace them back, back through Wolf Eyes and La Roux, all the way back to Throbbing Gristle and Cabaret Voltaire and The Normal, you reach a point where the two lines wind together and fuse?..In the last few years, a number of groups have emerged who, whether by intention or not, are working to reconcile these two paths of noise and synth-pop.?
Psychic Ills: One Track Mind
When it comes to following the beat of their own drum, New York's Psychic Ills have exemplified the phrase since their beginnings in 2003. The early years saw several releases for Social Registry, tons of time on the road, and collaborations with artists as diverse as Gibby Haynes (Butthole Surfers) and Sonic Boom (Spacemen Three/ Spectrum). In 2011, their 1st effort for Sacred Bones, Hazed Dream traded in the synthesizer space-outs and raga rumbles, and delivered a record of sunburned psych pop, awash in warm tones and blues damaged songwriting.
In 2012 they did two full US tours including a stop at Austin Psych Fest, and had their first trip to China. They recorded One Track Mind, their fourth full length, this fall. The album features collaborations with and production by Neil Michael Hagerty of Royal Trux/The Howling Hex. There will be a limited value-add covers 7" containing the Ills takes on The Godz' Radar Eyes and private press psych pop obscurity Cosmic Michaels' Cosmic Michael Theme. One Track Mind is perhaps the most straight-forward rock record the Ills have ever made. They will be touring in support of it heavily in both Europe and the US.
Föllakzoid began in Santiago, Chile from what they describe as the result of “a product of a trance experience between friends, sort of a soul abduction in which they’ve been living since 2008.” The band is made up of multi-faceted artists: Juan Pablo (bass, vocals) is a producer of the Sangre Fresca Music Festival in Santiago, Diego (drums) is a photographer, Alfredo (synth) is an architect and Domingo (guitar) is also a filmmaker who just premiered his first long length movie “Partir to Live”. They believe that there is some sort of gravitational force that makes South America able to dialogue directly with other places, times and dimensions. They have all known each other from childhood in Santiago. This album shows the band growing an enormous amount as songwriters, focusing on more developed songs and structures. Throughout these five songs, Föllakzoid craft one of the finest kraut-rock record in years.
Moon Duo: Ich Werde Sehen
The Holydrug Couple: Noctuary
The Holydrug Couple have done a lot of growing since their first release with Sacred Bones Records in 2011. The ?couple?, consisting of Ives Sepúlveda and Manuel Parra recorded Noctuary in Santiago, Chile. They put together a home studio and recorded the entire album themselves, from start to finish. After four months of obsessively working and barely leaving the house, Ives emerged with a final product of which he band is truly proud. While Awe and their Ancient Land EP had a bluesier, woodsy sound, Noctuary plays out like a slow motion 60?s beach party dream that you never want to wake from. This is not your typical motorik beat kraut album; rather it sounds more like a breezy take on Love or Beau Brummels.
The Men: Electric b/w Water Babies
Never content to draw on the same methods twice, nor to recline under the heel of expectation, The Men quit the city in early 2012 to head for Big Indian, NY - transforming a remote Catskills locale into a full-fledged stray dog studio home. Taking complete advantage of dry eyes and clear mountain mornings, the band has never before so thoroughly surrendered their writing process, or themselves for that matter, to the recording environment. "Electric" b/w "Water Babies" is the perfect introductory glimpse into the panoramic full-length and companion EP, forthcoming March 5 and late 2013, respectively. Swelling their captivation with smudged Americana to untried new peaks, as a whole The Men's Big Indian sessions come down as reaffirmation that they truly are that rare restless force, which pulses on regardless of era, affiliation or blessing. Come dance if you want to.
Jim Jarmusch & Jozef Van Wissem: The Mystery of Heaven
Jim Jarmusch and Jozef Van Wissem met on the streets of New York in 2006. They shared a lot of interest and background: Blake and Swedenborg, new wave and early music, avant-garde art and history, so a collaboration and a friendship was born. Jarmusch was looking to have Van Wissem compose a score for a film he had been trying to make for years, what he described as a ?crypto-vampire film? about two lovers, outsider types who have been in love for hundreds of years. Van Wissem's work comes from a tradition of avant-garde minimalism and lends itself well to the director?s stark cinematic works. Jarmusch has played guitar in bands on and off since the late '70?s. Van Wissem?s compositional style involves hypnotic circular musical phrases that allow for a lot of contemplative space between the notes.
Their first live performance was in Issue Project Room in Brooklyn in October 2011, where they appeared together for a Van Wissem curated concert program called ?New Music for Early Instruments?. The idea for their first album, Concerning the Entrance Into Eternity (Important Records) developed from their live performance. Jarmusch has said that he considers these songs as Van Wissem?s compositions, and sees himself as someone filling in the background to Jozef?s foreground, like the ?scenic? on a film shoot, the one who paints the backdrops. "The sound of the lute is as bright as the sun, a beautiful red color and my stuff sounds sort of like the moon, more like blue, like mercury.? This newest album, The Mystery of Heaven was recorded in New York with help from hypnotic Tilda Swinton on guest vocals.
Lust For Youth: Growing Seeds
Lust For Youth is the solo moniker of Swedish electronic musician, Hannes Norrvide. He began the project in 2009, in Gothenburg, Sweden at Utmarken (a rehearsal space, record shop, and venue). He was inspired by friends of his who were starting a post-punk band but at the time he only had an old toy keyboard. Therefore, the earliest incarnation of the band manifested as sort of primitive drone versions of synth-pop.
Some of the original versions of the songs on Growing Seeds were written during the summer of 2011, recorded in Hannes? bedroom on his computer and using borrowed equipment from his roommate. He did everything himself except the mastering which was handled by Viktor Ottosson (Street Drinkers, Looks of Love, Järtecknet). Four of the songs ended up on a cassette on Posh Isolation released in 2011. Shortly after that he began writing new songs and re-working some of the pieces during last fall and then recorded them in January/February 2012. He also made the move from Gothenburg to Copenhagen this year and eloquently points out the main difference between Lust For Youth and the power-electronics, noise scene of Posh Isolation/ Copenhagen is Lust For Youth is ?less noise and more drums.? Loke Rahbek of the Posh label, Sexdrome and Vår is now a collaborator of Hannes? on this project and has been playing live with him in Europe throughout the last year. The album itself Hannes describes as having the theme of a new life; coming out of an unhealthy relationship and being inspired by new love and the energy that creates. Originally released in Europe by the Italian label Avant!, Growing Seeds is now widely available on CD and LP for the 1st time. Sacred Bones will be releasing Lust For Youth?s follow up LP in the first half of next year. Hannes and Loke will be touring the US this December for the 1st time including stops in LA and NY and before that playing Incubate Festival in Tilburg for the Sacred Bones/ Posh Isolation co-curated evening. The CD version of this album also contains three bonus tracks which originally appeared on the Saluting Rome EP (Posh Isolation cassette, Avant 12?).
Moon Duo: Circles
After releasing Mazes, one of Sacred Bones? best selling albums of 2011, and the accompanying limited edition lP of remixes, Mazes Remixed, Moon Duo are set to release Circles with Sacred Bones this fall. The band will also set off on a worldwide tour in support of the album, after living and playing in Europe for most of this year.
Moon Duo?s new material was birthed from a long period of winter isola- tion in the Rocky Mountains. The album was primarily recorded at home in Blue River, Colorado in February 2012, with additional recording taking place at Lucky Cat Recordings in San Francisco in April. Like it?s predecessor, the album was mixed at Kaiku Studios in Berlin. Inspira- tion for many of the songs? themes, as well as the album title, came from Ralph Waldo Emerson?s 1841 essay ?Circles? on the symbol and nature of ?the flying Perfect.? From the opening lines: ?The eye is the first circle; the horizon which it forms is the second; and throughout nature this primary figure is repeated without end.? And so it goes. Rust never sleeps.
Trop Tard: Photodrame
?Trop Tard? is a French term translating to ?too late?. It is also the name of one of the darkest and most elusive bands to come out of Europe. For nearly a quarter century the music of Trop Tard has been lost to the world, trapped in the icy expanse of mid-80s provincial France. The trio self released Photodrame K7(1987) and Ils Etaient 9 Dans L'Obscurité LP(1988) in extremely limited editions that likely saw little if any distribution outside of their native France. Yet these are two of the true coveted jewels in the crown of the French Cold Wave. Also known as La Vague Froide, the movement was inspired by inspired by British post-punk and legendary producer Martin Hannett, creator of Manchester?s Factory Records sound. Looking back now, 25 years later, Trop Tard stands as one of the purest embodiments of its Romantic spirit. Of all languages, French may be the most musically suited to convey the emotion of melancholy. And as the prickly landscape of Photodrame unfolds, the yearning lyrical baritone plays out as a sardonic disgust and surrender to the sorry state of things. Armed with a stripped-down gear set-up of bass, guitar and a single drum machine, the band recorded this at home direct to tape. Sacred Bones is excited to be making this album available to the world in a limited edition of 700 deluxe LP format.
Trop Tard: Ils Etaient 9 Dans L'Obscurité
?Trop Tard? is a French term translating to ?too late?. It is also the name of one of the darkest and most elusive bands to come out of Europe. For nearly a quarter century the music of Trop Tard has been lost to the world, trapped in the icy expanse of mid-80s provincial France. The trio self released Photodrame K7(1987) and Ils Etaient 9 Dans L'Obscurité LP(1988) in extremely limited editions that likely saw little if any distribution outside of their native France. Yet these are two of the true coveted jewels in the crown of the French Cold Wave. Also known as La Vague Froide, the movement was inspired by inspired by British post-punk and legendary producer Martin Hannett, creator of Manchester?s Factory Records sound. Looking back now, 25 years later, Trop Tard stands as one of the purest embodiments of its Romantic spirit.
The second Trop Tard release, Ils Etaient 9 Dans L'Obscurité, continues in the same sorrowful vein as its predecessor, Photodrome, but with a much clearer sound, having been recorded in a small studio. The piercing shards of the simplistic guitar and wicked bursts of electronics complement the ennui of the vocals on this rare record. Sacred Bones is excited to be making this album available to the world in a limited edition of 700 deluxe LP format.
Cult of Youth: Love Will Prevail
Sean Ragon has been active in the DIY punk, industrial and experimental music communities on the east coast for over 15 years while also runing a record store and label in Brooklyn (Heaven Street and Blind Prophet Records, respectively). He has been recording under the moniker of Cult of Youth for the last five years.
For this album, Ragon built his own recording studio from scratch in the back of his record store. This allowed him to control every aspect of the album and to take his time recording; he plays five different instruments on LWP and also engineered and mixed the album by himself. The record features contributions from Glenn Maryansky on drums and Christiana Key on violin as well as percussion from the enigmatic ning nong and female vocals from former Battletorn vocalist Beverly Hames. For long time fans of the project, Love Will Prevail sees the marriage of the spontaneity of the earlier releases with the better recording quality of the more recent eponymous lP. This album expands on the psychedelic neofolk foundation of the early work and adds lush atmospheres not dissimilar from Austrian post- industrial futurists Nový Sve?t (or even the more haunting side of late-60s Miles Davis). There is also an intentional nod to the Crass Records bands that influenced Ragon as a teenager and a tasteful hint of Velvet Underground worship. The lyrical content is also fairly politically charged this time around, and serves as a plea for peace in a world gone mad.
David Lynch & Alan R. Splet: Eraserhead Soundtrack
It is with great pride that Sacred Bones Records announces its official, expanded, re-release of the soundtrack to David Lynch's landmark 1977 film, Eraserhead. This limited deluxe edition of 1500 includes: a 16 page booklet, three 11"x11" prints, digital download, and a limited edition Peter Ivers 7". A-side of the single is "In Heaven" and the b-side unearths a newly discovered original Ivers recording entitled, "Pete's Boogie"taken from the original audio tapes and mixed by Lynch himself. To lay in the dark and listen to this dizzying succession of blissful noise is a different way to get "lost" in the vast space of then the visuals of the film itself. It's no stretch to consider this soundtrack an experimental, early industrial masterpiece. Eraserhead's individual passion and personal tone shines through even in the thickest moments of fierce static, an audio undertaking that took Lynch and sound designer Alan Splet years to perfect.
Psychic Ills / Moon Duo: Zoned b/w Take Me With You
To commemorate the impending new Moon Duo LP due in October we are previewing a new track which was recorded at their home studio in Colorado as an outtake during the Circles sessions and then mixed in Berlin. ?Zoned? is hard charging burner which clearly indicates how much this band ups the ante with every new release. ?Take Me With You? finds Psychic Ills locked into a deep repetitive choogle put through the same fried VU meter displayed on their recent Hazed Dream LP, yet clearly moving toward a more straight ahead approach to song writing. The upfront vocals make this easily one of their most catchy songs to date and the right soundtrack for your travels; whether by subway, highway or other means.
Anasazi: I Saw The Witch Cry b/w Nuclear Paradise
Anasazi are somewhat of an alumni band for Sacred Bones. SBR-001 a long out of print 7? by NY?s The Hunt which was fronted by Jasper McGandy who plays bass in this new outfit. Incubating in the dark corners and dusty basements of Nuke York's underground, the four piece unleashed themselves to an unprepared public in the summer of 2011 debuting at the label?s curated showcase for Northside Fest. Chi (Zombie Vandals), Keegan (Thriller), Jasper (The Hunt, Cult of Youth) and Brett (Vultures) came together to form a group that both embraces and rejects the best sounds of the 80's. Too tribal for punk, too angry for deathrock, the only phrase that adequately describes this melding is ?Attic Noise?.
Slug Guts: Playin' In Time With the Deadbeat
Playing In Time with the Deadbeat is Slug Guts? third LP and the follow up to last years critically acclaimed Howlin Gang (SBR-046). Playing In Time sounds menacingly desperate, ugly and malnourished. This album draws on Australia's rough and agitated pub rock history, taking dregs from Australian cult icons Feedtime and Venom P Stinger. Playin' In Time With the Deadbeat was written during a year which saw members of this seven piece endure trips to the mental hospital, jail, court trials, death, rehab, and bouts of violence following thousands of kilometers spent in a van. From the cacophonous gallop of opening track Scum, to the ?hit single? potential of Adult Living it is clear the band, have grown heaps here as both writers and players. Despite personal setbacks and numerous tragedies, Playin' In Time With The Deadbeat is the definitive Slug Guts album to date; it is a focused, damaged and unique opus.
Wymond Miles: Under the Pale Moon
Wymond's previous EP, Earth Has Doors was about intangible and esoteric concepts; the music drifted beautifully in somewhat of an oceanic, boundless state. For the LP, it was very important for him to make the songs be felt somatically. Feeling very raw and alive, he wrote the basic structure for most of the record within a few weeks. Miles creates a big romantic pop record reminiscent of Roxy Music at the height of their power. Under the Pale Moon is a gorgeously dramatic and romantic debut; a focused departure from his work in the Fresh & Onlys, he emerges as innovative songwriter with limitless pop potential.
Led Er Est: The Diver
Led Er Est emerged from a series of jam sessions that core members Shawn O'Sullivan and Sam De La Rosa started having in early 07, using bass guitar and some cheap drum machines and synths. They were inspired to record music largely by 70's synth prog, and 80's lo-fi electronics and industrial music. Owen Hutchinson joined the band for their first live show, at the Wierd party that December. In November of 09' Wierd Records released their debut full length. In spring of 2010, they toured Europe with Xeno and Oaklander, playing shows in the UK, Belgium, Germany, the Czech Republic, and Italy. Subsequently they released a 7" and then the May EP on Captured Tracks. Led Er Est did a brief west coast run with Soft Moon last fall and just played SXSW. On stage and in the studio Led Er Est create a thick wall of atmospheric soundscapes using vintage analog recording devices, samplers and synths using sci-fi soundtracks and cold wave as reference points.
Moon Duo: Mazes Remixed
Remix guests include: Cave, Purling Hiss, current Sacred Bones roster artist Gary War, future Sacred Bones' recording artists Psychic Ills, and two tracks by Sonic Boom (aka Pete of Spaceman 3).
UV PØP: No Songs Tomorrow
UV PØP were an early 80's post-punk group from the South Yorkshire region of England. Their sound was regionally bleak and they used staccato, angular guitars lines, with vocals ranged from spoken repeated mantras to whispered and shouted political poetics. The Rough Trade charts for one week in 1982 tell a very interesting story. Alongside acts of the caliber of Sisters of Mercy, Robert Wyatt, Sex Gang Children and Virgin Prunes are UV PØP, their place well-earned.
We are honored to offer this reissue of their classic 1981 album and we look forward to bringing the band over to play some key shows in NY, LA, and Austin around this release.
The Men: Open Your Heart
Ironically referred to by Timeout NY as "Thurston Moore & the E Street Band," The Men have never been a band to play by categorical punk subgenre rules. Instead, over the last three years, this band has dabbled in everything from hardcore punk to psych to shoegaze to black metal; and they have done all of it effortlessly, and for the most part, flawlessly. Totally removed from the current climate of a.d.d-youtube-blog-hyped generation of musicians under 21, The Men stand out from the pack as both scene elders and actual record collectors. What makes this band so unique is their ability to synthesize their influences rather than just regurgitate them.
War: At War For Youth
An ongoing collaboration between two of Copenhagen's most active musicians in its burgeoning punk scene. Loke Rahbek co-runs the Danish label Posh Isolation, sings for the band Sexdrome, and records with Skurv and Damien Dubrovnik while also performing under the solo moniker of LR. Elias Bender Rønnenfelt sings and plays guitar in Iceage and is a member of Marching Church and Pagan Youth. Between the two of them a rich lineage of musical history and influences can be traced, but within the context of SB releases, War is a band who falls somewhere between Daily Void and Trust.
Zola Jesus: In Your Nature
It is our honor to present the "first and only official authorized Zola Jesus remix", In Your Nature, as heard through the ears of David Lynch. We gave Mr. Lynch a copy of her album Conatus and let him pick which track he wanted to work with. He chose a track that we felt already had single potential and replaced the tension building string patches with intricately crafted guitar parts orchestrated and performed by himself and music assistant Dean Hurley. What was once a dance track becomes a lurching cinematic masterpiece. The beat is slowed to a crawl, drum and synth patches removed entirely, and what is left is something perhaps closer to the nature of Zola Jesus than we ever could have hoped for.
Wymond Miles: Earth Has Doors
Four years ago Wymond Miles, guitar player and chief songwriter in San Francisco's The Fresh & Onlys, began writing solo material thematically based on the concepts of eschatology, anthroposophy, and Gnostic and Hermetic symbolism. Drawing from a vast musical pool of inspiration, including Scott Walker, Robert Wyatt, Arvo Part, and Nikki Sudden amongst others, Earth Has Doors is Miles' first solo release. Since begin¬ning Miles had basically shelved these songs to attend school, focus on fatherhood, and commit to the demanding schedule of the F&O's. He earned a degree in humanities with an emphasis on the philosophical implications of the ecological/economic crisis of our times, and that subject matter can be traced throughout his first EP. These songs concisely yet esoterically document the existential crisis of our current epoch -- moving from the nothingness of modern materialism, fragmented reductionist thought, and drug escapism to a world imbued with subjectivity and meaning through a new relationship with the Earth and cosmos as alive and full of inherent intelligence.
Pop. 1280: The Horror
New York's Pop.1280 are back with their debut full length for Sacred Bones -- The Horror. This record comes almost one year after their highly praised EP The Grid, and it finds the band exploring new territory and perversions. Chief songwriters Chris Bug and Ivan Lip are now joined by drummer Zach Ziemann (ex-Twin Stumps) and bassist/sonic manipulator Pascal Ludet. Recording for The Horror took place at the Python Patrol basement studios in Brooklyn with engineer Ben Greenberg (Z's, Pygmy Shrews). The Horror showcases a lot more improvisation and in-studio writing, giving the album a darker, more unhinged organic feeling. This new approach let the band stretch out more, and while they haven't lost the synth-punk skronk that has gotten them compared to Pussy Galore, D.A.F. and Cop Shoot Cop, The Horror adds longer songwriting explorations and psychedelic-scapes that reference bands like Cabaret Voltaire, Chrome, and early Sonic Youth. Thematically, The Horror finds Pop. 1280 stepping out of the cyberspace of the Grid and into the deserted beaches, highways and plains of a surreal hell. It's the road album for the post-apocalypse.
Crystal Stilts: Radiant Door
Sacred Bones is elated to present a new EP from a NY band that has been very near and dear to our hearts for many years now-- Crystal Stilts. Recorded in early 2011 by Gary Olson, with the band's guitarist JB Townsend producing, Radiant Door unveils some of the Stilts' most dynamic recordings to date, and features the beguiling blend of romanticism and mystery that one expects from singer and lyricist Brad Hargett.
This has been a remarkable year for the band, including the release of their sophomore full-length, In Love With Oblivion, to rave reviews, and almost continual touring since. Fall plans consist mostly of staying close to home and working on new material, with some additional US and European touring scheduled for November.
Opening track "Dark Eyes" may be their strongest song to date, unshackling them from their fuzzy reputation, which even at its heaviest could never obscure one from this bands dexterous song-craft.
Psychic Ills: Hazed Dream
Sacred Bones Records is proud to present Hazed Dream, the new long-player from fellow New Yorkers, Psychic Ills. Since their formation in 2003 as a home-recording experiment, the Ills have evolved into a live band, in their element playing the extended jam. Musically, it also marks a departure from some of the band's more recent sonic explorations. The raga rumbles and synthesizer space-outs aren't gone all together; the singular blasted musical perspective of the Ills remains.
Zola Jesus: Conatus
In the last three years Nika Roza Danilova has gone from being an outsider experimental teenage noise-maker to a full fledged internationally celebrated electronic pop musician. It was a huge feat to accomplish, and despite her age (young), her geography (mid-western, desolate), her accelerated scholastic requirements (high school and college were completed in three years each) and her diminutive physical size (4"11, 90 lbs) she has triumphed. She has emerged as a figurehead-- a self-produced, self-designed, self-taught independent woman.
Conatus is a huge leap forward in production, instrumentation and song structure. It says it all in the definition of the title: the will to keep on, to move forward. From thumping ballads to electronic glitch, no sound goes unexplored on her new record. It is an icy exploration in refined chaos and controlled madness, an effort to break through capability and access a sonic world that crumbles as it shines.
Trust: Bulbform 12"
On the heels of the deeply well received 7" single Candy Walls which Sacred Bones released this spring, Toronto's Trust are back with a four-on-the-floor dance floor anthem. Cashing in on the promises delivered by the KLF, Bulbform is the next in line to define a genre and a generation. The B-side, FTF is an epic masterpiece in its own right about the trials and tribulations of love affairs and will most certainly appeal to fans of their slower, darker work.
Formed in late 2009, Trust have made a lasting mark on the electronic music scene in Toronto. Their music has been described as a "poppy dream sequence soundtrack from dark hearts". They have played shows with the likes of Crystal Castles, Hercules and Love Affair, Washed Out, and Zola Jesus. Trust made their SXSW debut last March, their NYC debut in April, and supported Austra on an East Coast US tour in May. They will be touring the US and UK throughout the fall.
UV PØP: Just a Game / No Songs Tomorrow
This 7" is part of the Sacred Bones reissue series that has so far covered albums from 13th Chime, Carl Simmons and The Cultural Decay. UV PØP were from North Country UK, Sheffield to be exact. They crafted morose, jagged punk songs about the political climate of their country at the time. This single was originally released in 1982 on the legendary PAX Records in an edition of 1000 individually designed silk-screened covers. It was produced by Cabaret Voltaire and charted on Rough Trade but in America the band remained largely obscure. They have recently reformed and we also look forward to bringing to light their original full length, No Songs Tomorrow early next year.
Amen Dunes: Through Donkey Jaw
Amen Dunes is the solo project of Damon McMahon along with the occasional collaborator. After playing in New York and touring in the US and Europe from 2009-2010, McMahon released the recordings he had made in his former apartment in Beijing as the Murder Dull Mind EP on Sacred Bones in the summer of 2010. This past January he began the recordings for his second full length, Through Donkey Jaw. These are his first proper recordings in almost five years. Where Murder Dull Mind was sparse and mostly acoustic and almost all first take improvisation, this new work, while still including a number of improvised recordings, contains many more fully realized sounds and songs; very much the winter to Murder Dull Mind's summer.
Case Studies: The World is Just a Shape to Fill the Night
Statement from the artist, Jesse Lortz:Most of these songs were recorded were recorded with friends during Feb. 2011 by Greg Ashley (Gris Gris) in a secluded cabin in Sequim, WA. Milana, Julia, Nicolas, Keegan, Greg, Suzie, Lisa, and Andrew came to the Washington cabin to contribute to the album and take photographs and video. I wanted friends to join me because making records had always been a lonely process for me and I was ready to change that dynamic. Because this project is not a "band" the focus has shifted so that I can play shows alone, or with other people. I started writing the songs for this record when I was still married and the most recent song was written on my 32nd birthday. This project also incorporates drawing, jewelry making, non-musical creative writing and a host of disciplines that I never got the chance to explore in previous bands. I am genuinely excited to be making music for probably the first time in my life.
Woods: Find Them Empty
As a companion piece to their new full length, Sun and Shade, this single was recorded in the winter of 2011 at Buttermilk Falls in Warwick, NY. Woods have gracefully risen to the top of their class by crafting intricate nostalgic, experimental pop songs that are unforgettable. A-side, Find Them Empty is far less falsetto and way more Bob Trimble than any of their previous work. B-side, Be There is a more jam-friendly number reminiscent of their legendary live shows. Woods will be touring the US all summer and have a UK tour planned for September. The cover of this single features a young Caleb Braaten, his father, and a gigantic marijuana plant. Enjoy!
Christmas Island / Meth Teeth: Christmas Island / Meth Teeth
On the heels of singles for HoZac and Sweet Rot and debut full-lengths for Woodsist and In The Red respectively, we're finally ready to roll out the long awaited double 7" EP from Meth Teeth and Christmas Island. These two West Coast bands offer opposing sides of the same coin. San Diego's Christmas Island don't play holiday music, but they do offer two sides of shambling melodic guitar-and-xylophone driven bubblegummy garage. The poppy vibes of the A-side "Ex-Beach" coupled with "Drawing Skulls", a revved up slide-driven stomper serve as a counterpoint to Portland's downer folk stalwarts Meth Teeth. Their dirge-like "Don't Come Home" is coupled with "Control" a song whose loner vibes might be the last thing you'd want to hear while jacked outta your mind on amphetamines.
Human Eye: They Came From the Sky
After twelve years of churning out record after record of perfect garage freak-out, Vulgar and crew are finally getting a bit of the mainstream recognition they deserve; they recently participated in the Scion Garage Fest and were also heavily featured in the Vice produced garage documentary, "New Garage Explosion." Vulgar was also awarded the prestigious Kresge fellowship from the city of Detroit last year for his unparalleled skill as a multi-media artist.
On this their 3rd full length as Human Eye, Timmy is joined by his main- stays Johnny Lzr on keys, Hurricane William on sax and percussion and Brad Hales on bass. On It Came From the Sky the band continue to explore the themes of inter-planetary life and travel, aliens/ human relationships and horror films while filtered through an unhinged psychedelic punk juggernaut. If you have been sleeping on this band be prepared to re-learn everything you thought you knew about garage human life.
The Men: Leave Home
The Men yes, "The", are a four-piece post punk outfit from Brooklyn, NY. Their catalog which began in 2008 with a hand-dubbed self- released demo cassette has grown to include two LP's- We Are the Men and Immaculada- two more tapes, and a 7". The buzz in their hometown has grown so fervent that the Village Voice debuted this album's first single, "Bataille," a full six months before the record was scheduled to street. Named for the famed French pornographic writer the track review expounds it, "rides a pug-ugly joy-punk riff into almost krautrock oblivion--complete with gorgeous voice cracks and face-mooshing distortion."Having three songwriters in the band allows them to pull from innumerable post punk sources, referencing drone, metal, shoegaze, and even Suicide lyrics on Leave Home. Recording to tape for the first time here, using elements of distortion, feedback, pop hooks, and a couple of beautifully destructive instrumental passages, The Men have been described by Mishka as, "more composers than musicians." They have breathed new life into the genre of hardcore and created a seminal album that is truly for punks of all ages.
Fresh & Onlys: Secret Walls
The Fresh & Onlys have had an unusually prolific past couple of years. On the heels of their critically acclaimed album Play It Strange, the band returns with a bold creative leap forward on their new EP Secret Walls. The cavernous opening sounds of Secret Walls reveal the strong threads of hazy post-punk melancholy that have been woven throughout the band's catalog and have now fully matured. It is the next logical step for the F&O's and their moody and jangly guitar pop.
Last year's Play It Strange was received with wide acclaim from an enormous amount of press outlets including Spin Magazine. It was also #29 on Pitchfork's top 50 albums of the year. The Fresh & Onlys toured with Deerhunter and Clinic, and performed at the Matt Groening curated ATP in Minehead England. Heralded as "one of rock's hardest working bands," they head out on tour this Spring, playing a handful of shows at SXSW and then embarking on a North American tour in April, and a full European tour in May, culminating with a performance at the Primavera Festival in Barcelona.
Religious Knives: Smokescreen
The core duo of Michael Bernstein (gtr, synth, vox) and Maya Miller (organ, vox) began their careers together as the extreme noise act, Double Leopards. By 2005, they had left the industrial noise realm for the somewhat mellower pastures of Kraut explorations. Their last album on Ecstatic Peace was highly acclaimed and co-produced by label owner Thurston Moore. This new long-player is in a similar vein--long, drawn out and sprawling--the shortest song is just shy of the five minute mark. Pulse-like repetition and reed-organ oscillations are the main framework as the duo are joined here by Todd Cavallo on bass and Ryan Nadieau on drums. Like SB label-mates Moon Duo, or the recent Chilean signings of Follakzoid and The Holydrug Couple, Religious Knives draw from a well of pounding rhythmic drums and psychedelic drones with heavy organ and synth landscapes which envelope the listener fully. The Knives also have previous releases on No Fun and Troubleman Unlimited.
Moon Duo: Mazes
We are thrilled to present the newest long-player from psych prodigies Moon Duo. For just over two years now Ripley Johnson (Wooden Shjips) and Sanae Yamada have been burning up the scene with their propulsive beats and compelling acid washed shows. Formed in San Francisco, the duo recently relocated to the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. This record, however, was cut in Berlin. Certainly the most pop-oriented batch of songs the band has ever delivered, Mazes, reveals a more accessible vocal delivery and song structure that is sure to appeal to a wide audience not necessarily well-versed in the psych underground. The concepts of minimalism, expansion through repetition and sensory distortion are all still here and the dynamic interplay between Ripley's guitar and Sanae's keyboard continue to push this band and genre into uncharted territory. An unexpected and deadly follow-up to their critically acclaimed EP, Killing Time and prior release for Woodsist. The Duo will be doing a full US tour beginning mid-March.
Naked on the Vague: Twelve Dark Noons
Having expanded from the no-wave two piece of Lucy Cliche and Matthew Hopkins to a fully fleshed out four piece including drummer Lachlan Vercoe and bassist Nic De Jong, our favorite Australian outcasts return with a stunning EP as their follow-up to last year's full length on Siltbreeze. This EP is a bit lighter in mood and delivery; in the words of the band's own Hopkins it's a bit like, "Dracula fronting the B-52's". While this is certainly Hopkins taking the piss, opening track, "The Gift" is a perfectly modern homage to past dark lords such as Bauhaus and Christian Death.
Twelve Dark Noons serves as a companion piece to the short experimental film of the same name directed by Jacqueline Castel and produced by Caleb Braaten of Sacred Bones and Night People Records. The film has had several premiers worldwide including SXSW and ZedeBois Gallery in Lisbon, it stars the band's core duo Lucy & Matthew in a horrific mental unraveling set in the Australian outback. NOTV have already toured the US and EU extensively playing shows with Blank Dogs, Wolf Eyes, Times New Viking, Om, Jandek and Thee Oh Sees amongst others. They are set to embark on a US tour supporting this release with Zola Jesus in mid-April.
Cult of Youth: Cult of Youth
Born out of a love for the post-industrial music and culture that had inspired him ever since he had first discovered music as a teenager, Cult of Youth began as a series of home recordings by founder Sean Ragon. Last year Ragon added three permanent members to the line-up: performance artist/ director/ painter/ occult scholar Micki Pellerano on bass, machinist drummer Glenn Maryanski, and the violin virtuoso/ goddess Christiana Key. (Key's brilliant string arrangements were recently featured on new Zola Jesus single "Poor Animal"). This album, their first as a proper band, produced by Chris Coady and mixed by Kevin Mcmahon (Swans producer) is an amazing representation of how ideal this new full band line-up is. It is a neo-folk masterpiece, perhaps the first of its kind from an American band. Although still rooted in the acoustic guitar driven Teutonic chants of the early material, the focus has changed and the scope is broader. Cult of Youth shifts from delicate pagan folk music reminiscent of Paul Giovanni's landmark soundtrack to The Wicker Man, to hazy Turkish psychedelic passages, and even to the rugged Americana of traditional country music. This debut is an unapologetic and unabashed search for a spiritual identity in an increasingly homogenized world. It serves as a clear and thorough introduction for all the burgeoning dark punks out there who wanna go a bit deeper but haven't yet figured out where to start.
Medication: Judgement Day EP
Mike Hyde has been cultivating private press style recordings since high school, for the past few years under the handle Medication. What initially was a private endeavor went public in 2007 when a friend of his in Germany asked that he write music for a short film he was working on. The Medication recordings have all been a solo affair except for a side on a four tape comp, Judges Cave: The Hidden Sounds of New Haven, that came out in early 2010. The live band features Stefan Christensen who's been in a bunch of Connecticut bands, most notably Estrogen Highs, and another a good friend of Hyde's, Jon Vanduzee. In 2009 Medication released his debut full length on Hozac and then went on to tour in this incarnation of the band opening for The Duchess and the Duke in early 2010. This new EP has songs Hyde has been working on for the last two years. They were all recorded on cassette four track (read: tape, not Logic) in his apartment in New Milford, CT.
Slug Guts: Howlin' Gang
Slug Guts hail from the baron, heat stricken confines of Brisbane, Australia, a town as desolate as it is depressing and suburban. Slug Guts began when four degenerates had little else to do but form a band in the tradition of Pussy Galore, X (Australia not LA), and Birthday Party. In the first four months of the band Slug Guts recorded their first LP Down on the Meat which was released on Stained Circles Records (Jay Reatard, Eddy Current Suppression Ring, Dirtbombs).
After numerous Australian tours and one Japanese tour playing alongside Lightning Bolt, Dead Meadow, Primitive Calculators, Flipper, and Eddy Current amongst others, the band went back into the studio and recorded this thirteen-song sophomore album, Howlin' Gang. The LP was recorded in a railway carriage on the outskirts of Ipswich. Taking partial influence from Christian Death, The Scientists and The Triffids, this new LP sought to take a different direction than the harsh swamp rock which characterized their firstrelease. Howlin' Gang' LP features a duet with Angela Bermuda (Circle Pit) and guest appearances by Sarah Spencer (Blank Realm). Slug Guts will embark on their first US tour in March of 2011 including the Sacred Bones showcase at SXSW.
Gary War: Police Water
On the heels of the recently released 7", Reality Protest, New York City's mastermind Gary War delivers a new six song EP. Recorded just this summer (2010), Police Water sees War's audio explorations breaking new ground in electronic prog and pop other-worlds. These new pieces reveal new experiments in song-approach, structure, sampling, and tightly synced synthesization. Meanwhile War delves further into tape manipulation and post-future digital recording techniques.
Pop. 1280: The Grid
Pop. 1280 are a cyberpunk band from New York City. The Grid is their first 12" release. Members include: Chris Bug, Ivan Lip, John Skultrane, and Andrew S. They got together in 2099 and have released two 7" records, the most recent being a self-released single and split 7" with Philadelphia's Hot Guts. As dark and sinister as the Jim Thompson novel from which the band borrows their name, these nine dirges of skronky noir are the logical successor to the brand of scree practiced by forebearers the Chrome Cranks, Honeymoon Killers, and Pussy Galore, and along with contemporaries Twin Stumps, White Suns, Woman, and York Factory Complaint are ushering in a new era of punk. Their music is all about the future that has already happened. Think Videodrome-era David Cronenberg mixed with Escape From New York-era John Carpenter. The Grid was recorded in April of 2010 in the basement of a closed Catholic School. On it are six songs using synthesizers, scrap metal, racoon-screech guitar, and samples about the freaks that inhabit The Grid. Step into it.
Timmy's Organism: Rise of the Green Gorilla
The debut solo on Sacred Bones Records, Timmy's Organism is Timmy Vulgar's organism of sound. Vulgar is of course the Human Eye front-man, erstwhile Clone Defect, and most recently a 2010 Kresge Artist Fellow which he was awarded for a "creative vision and commitment to excellence within a wide range of artistic disciplines." Exploring a wide spectrum of the tree of rock n' roll, heavy nuclear guitar rock, quick punk space glam, drunken late night white-man blues, instrumental joys of sadness, and don't forget a little comedy rock. The lyrics are interesting and colorful, painting a picture, or a silent film in the listeners cerebellum. What is a gorilla symbolically? A peaceful creature living in a thick green jungle. He is king in his layer. Roaring like an angry guitar pounding on his chest like a primal drum. Chewing vegetation and leading his furry family to free- dom! This is the Rise of the Green Gorilla!
Zola Jesus: Valusia
Saying the last six months have been a whirlwind for our brightest young artist would certainly be a bit of an understatement. In addition to turning 21 successfully, by the time you read this, she will have also graduated college with a double major, and left her home of Wisconsin for the significantly less flat pavement of Los Angeles. But beyond the collegiate and personal milestones, Zola Jesus has attained some crucial career milestones since her last EP as well. She will be heading out on her first proper tours this fall, (three of them back-to-back, actually) supporting Fever Ray and Xiu Xiu abroad and The xx stateside. Don't worry there will be plenty of headline shows sprinkled throughout as well, and yes, most of the shows will be with the full band.
She has also worked with a producer (Chris Coady) for the first time, the fruits of which labor appear here on the first track, "Poor Animal." Gone are the morose, gothic lo-vibes and in their place is an airy almost dance track that still sounds as true to form as other endeavor Danilova has ever undertaken. An old hit and recent show-stopper live track, "Seatalk" has been re-recorded as well and this new well mic'd version is breathtakingly good. There will be a video coming for that soon too. Closer, "Lightsick" is a straight piano ballad. Not synth, real piano. And for her darker fans, "Tower" still has that Mad Maxian apocalypse creep we know and love. To top it all off, we've gone ahead and completely 180'd the harsh chocolate artwork of Stridulum to present you with a softer, gentler, blonder ZJ as photographed by her mother in the woods near their home.