Bump & the Soul Stompers: 'I Can Remember' b/w 'Standing On The Outside'
At the core of Kansas City?s vibrant classic-era soul scene was no record label or studio, but America?s Best Attractions, run by booking agent Allen Bell. America?s Best, and the exceedingly above-board Bell, kept countless local acts roadweary and comfortably paid. Bump & the Soul Stompers, ledby Jerald ?Bump? Scott, was among several Bell-related acts that bounced through enviable careers without ever having to enter a recording studio. Even so, ?Bump? Scott did lead his band into one of the region?s best-known facilities: Damon Studios (deeded to Victor Damon, inventor of thespring reverb, and not to be confused with big band great Vic Damone). Bump and company?s first single, had ever been released, ?I Can Remember? momentarily recalls The Delfonics? ?Do You Remember? before flipping its melody the other way around. On the B-side, ?Standing On The Outside? makes further appeals to the lowrider set, brakepedaling the tempo a notch or two.
Calvin Harris: 'Love's Recipe' b/w 'Wives Get Lonely Too'
Previously unreleased, this 1972 pair of Calvin Harris? masterfully crafted Earl Wiley-produced sweet soul demos might?ve stayed totally unknown, if it weren?t for Ed Cody?s devious forethought. An engineer at Chicago?s Stereosonic facility, Cody duped himself a submaster reference copy of thecomplete session. In ?73, Wiley heard ?Love Won?t Pay The Bills? on 45?credited to a group called Elevation?and instantly recognized the Cody-engineered track as his own. Nearly 40 years later, through Numero Group research into Stereosonic, Cody, and Wiley, a cache of Cody masters presented themselves for new evaluation. The alternately buoyant and sobering odes to domesticity reproduced here finally grant honey-voicedHarris and the talented Wiley their long-deserved due.
Eating Out: Burn
Eating Out is the crunchy, distorted, pop-oriented project of Nü Sensae drummer Daniel Pitout. The big distorted guitar riffs and heartfelt melodies of Pitout?s brainchild are a notable departure from Nü Sensae?s roaring assault. But Eating Out also has the proud distinction of being a Vancouver supergroup of sorts. While Pitout assumes the songwriting duties and the accompanying positions of guitarist and vocalist, fellow Sensae Brody McKnight rounds out the guitar department, White Lung vocalist Mish Way lends her bass skills, and Peace?s Geoff Dembicki fills in on drums. While vestiges of Nü Sensae?s brash tonalities, White Lung?s melodic treatment of hardcore, and Peace?s bold anglophile pop can all be heard in Eating Out, Pitout?s songs owe more to girl-grunge groups of the early nineties than to any of his co-conspirators? primary projects.
?Preparations’ is the first record to be released on Tri Angle by Fis. Based in Wellington, New Zealand, Fis has steadily been building a name for himself on the underground as a producer to keep an eye on. Having already put out a number of very limited edition and very well received releases through a handful of drum and bass oriented labels, ?Preparations’ finds Fis at a point in his music making career where he’s ready to be introduced to a wider audience and confirm why websites like Resident Advisor have had things like this to say about him in the past; ?A producer that has suddenly appeared, rather fully-formed, doing something completely individual, sounding like absolutely no one else.’ It’s pretty difficult to explain exactly what Fis sounds like. Drawing upon a rich history of New Zealand customs and periods of heavy meditation for inspiration, Fis’s tracks have the ability to completely disorientate and absorb the listener, creating rhythms that constantly seem to be cannibalizing one another. ?Preparations’ feels forward thinking in the extreme and yet entirely elemental and strangely ancient.
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.
Ghost Wave: Ages
Auckland, New Zealand based rock band whose sound finds itself somewhere between the Flying Nun bands of the ?80s, the British explosion of the ?60s and the wayfaring dubs of Lee "Scratch" Perry. ?Ages’ is the bands debut record recorded and self-produced in various studios around Auckland, New Zealand in six days.
Hella: Santa's Little Hella
The November installment of the Joyful Noise 2013 Flexi Disc Series a new unreleased recording from Hella!
The limited edition flexi-disc single features a never before heard outtake from Hella’s 2007 album “There’s No 666 in Outer Space” (Ipecac Records). As Hella fans will probably remember, 2007 was an expansive period for the band in which they explored new sounds and branched out from the stripped-down guitar/drums duo. Though no less chaotic than early Hella, “Santa’s Little Hella” contains organs & electronics coupled with Zach Hill’s insane spastic drumming.
“Santa’s Little Hella” is limited to just 1000 copies on 7” Flexi-Disc. This exclusive track will not be released digitally or in any other format.
Jorma Whittaker: Jorma
Jorma Whittaker?s first solo release since his 2001 debut on Secretly Canadian. With the help of his backup band Heavy Hometown, the Marmoset front man has produced the most accomplished, soulful, and downright menacing album of his career.
Master Plan Inc.: 'Try It (You'll Like It)' b/w 'Master Plan Intro'
This pair of Minneapolis-by-way-of-Chicago tracks masterfully capture Master Plan Inc.?s silky vocal moves and break-heavy, horn-laden funk riffs. Led out of the early ?70s by vocalist Doug Shorts?alongside guitarist Joe Stevenson, drummer Dean Knox, and bassist Eddie Manning?Master Plan Inc.?s brief 1975 furlough in Minneapolis came at an opportune moment, as rising studio wiz David ?Z? Rivkin scoured his Twin City environs for black talent. A year shy of his contract-fetching demo for local prodigy Prince Rogers Nelson, Rivkin mapped out the Sound 80 facility for Master Plan, who put down four tracks. Shorts cracked his piggy bank, paid Rivkin for the Sound 80 tapes, and brought them to Chicago, where he paired up at Stereosonic with engineer Ed Cody, for mixing and finishing touches. Plans for a pressing fell through, and Master Plan Inc. sketched out several new lineups before folding in 1980.
Mind & Matter: 1514 Oliver Avenue (Basement)
Jimmy Jam Harris was just 16 when he began writing and arranging for Minneapolis 11-piece Mind & Matter. Boasting a perfectly calibrated vocal quartet, an aggressive rhythm section, and stacks of Rhodes, Rolands, and Hammonds, the danceable act failed to win favor with frigid Midwest audiences. Tracked in 1977, this bundle of never-before-released basement demos throw Harris? beloved Philadelphia Sound into an unfinished root cellar, pelting it with Clavinet attacks, disco skats, and infectious hooks. Named for the street address of its underground uptown genesis, 1514 Oliver Avenue (Basement) is James ?Jimmy Jam? Harris? first foray into songcraft and an organic Minneapolis-vintage alternative to a late ?70s Prince songbook gone increasingly synthetic.
Natural Child / Guantanamo Baywatch: Surf ?N? Turf
There couldn?t be a better title than Surf N Turf for a split 7? between Portland, Oregon?s Guantanamo Baywatch and Nashville, Tennessee?s Natural Child. While Guantanamo Baywatch bask in the coastal traditions of surf rock, Natural Child deliver the backwoods boogie of the landlocked Southern interior. To be fair, there?s much more to GB than vibrato-soaked Mosrite guitars. The recent Suicide Squeeze signees offset their Dick Dale-styled twang with the trashy hybrid of garage punk and surf rock spewed out by The Mummies. Sure, ?Raunch Stomp? is in step with the Ventures? tremolo-picking tradition, but a song like ?Love This Time? explains why the band spent time on the boisterous Dirtnap Records roster. Neither is Natural Child to be mistaken for mere good ol? boy sons of Skynyrd. Though they?ve certainly got a knack for a country-fried ballad (as evidenced on ?Don?t Wake The Baby?) or a sweetly stoned fuzzed-out lead on guitar, the trio are better suited for sharing a beer-soaked bar stage with fellow Nashevillians JEFF the Brotherhood and Heavy Cream than headlining the mainstage at the state fair.
Pattern Is Movement: Suckling / Untitled (How Does It Feel?)
Founded in Philadelphia by Andrew Thiboldeaux and Christopher Ward, Pattern Is Movement map a vast territory of internal exploration and external output. As the band recorded a series of albums over the past decade — The (Im)possibility of Longing, Stowaway, and All Together — they also shifted in membership and in stylistic focus, eventually solidifying into a powerful duo: Thiboldeaux on Rhodes, synth, bass, and vocals, and Ward on drums. Deeply soulful and natively genre-defying, Pattern Is Movement toured extensively, joining bands like St. Vincent, The Roots, and Shudder to Think, before delving into their fourth album and, along with it, the brightest and darkest corners of composition, orchestration, and collaboration. Their first reveal is a limited edition 12” featuring the new song "Suckling" backed with the long-awaited studio recording of fan favorite "Untitled (How Does It Feel?)," Pattern Is Movement's sweltering cover of D'Angelo. The 12” is limited to 500 hand-numbered copies on transparent green vinyl, packaged in full-color jackets that include a download coupon
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!
The Verlaines: Hallelujah All The Way Home
The Verlaines: Juvenilia
The Verlaines: Hallelujah All The Way Home
After a series of singles and an EP, the band released their first full-length album Hallelujah - All the Way Home in 1985. Just like their early releases, at the heart of these songs were tales of drunkards and romantics all punctuated by guitar blasts and instrumental flourishes. It was the perfect debut for a band that would continue on for over 30-years to a career, filled with constantly building intensity, all the while refusing to stick to one pitch or tone. Even the more straightforward songs can’t help but take unexpected turns, and it is no wonder that tracks such as “The Ballad of Harry Noryb” and “Phil Too?” rapidly became highlights of any Verlaines’ show.
The Verlaines: Juvenilia
Juvenilia is a compilation of The Verlaines’ brilliant early singles and EPs. First released on vinyl in 1987 and later reissued on CD with bonus tracks in 1993, it documents their early history and is the perfect introduction to one of New Zealand’s greatest bands. Opening with the irrepressible “Death and the Maiden,” a song that for many is archetypal of the group’s deft ability to wield a pop hook, Juvenilia is a constant display of the unstoppable songwriting skills of vocalist/guitarist Graeme Downes.
Tim Kinsella: Tim Kinsella Sings The Songs of Marvin Tate By Leroy Bach Featuring Angel Olsen
Featuring an array of Chicago heavyweights, this limited edition release is not your average solo album. As the album title suggests, this is a uniquely collaborative effort from a diverse group of individuals: prolific poet Marvin Tate, multi-instrumentalist (& longtime Wilco member) LeRoy Bach, Angel Olsen (Jagjaguwar Records), and Tim Kinsella (the eccentric voice behind Joan of Arc, Cap'n Jazz, Owls, & Make Believe).
Tycho: Past Is Prologue
Tycho’s Past Is Prologue, pressed on vinyl for the first time, has a storied history. The tracks began as Sunrise Projector, Tycho’s 2004 full-length debut on Gammaphone records; the record was then expanded and reissued in 2006 as Past Is Prologue on Merck Records; and now, Ghostly International is reissuing Tycho’s original masterwork, re-introducing graphic designer / producer Scott Hansen’s musical universe: a lush, expansive imaginary landscape of sepia-toned keyboards, warm downtempo beats, and mile after mile of sun-dappled beauty.
Unnatural Funk Band: 'Strange Happenings' b/w 'Living In The Past'
A few years removed from their 1970 Damon Studios session in Kansas City, Bump & The Soul Stompers, led by Jerald ?Bump? Scott, responded to their era?s off-kilter naming conventions to become Unnatural Funk Band. After failing to find a label home for ?I Can Remember,? they made the descent into neighboring Independence, Missouri?s fabled subterranean Cavern Studios, erected inside the mouth of an actual limestone fissure. ?Living in the Past? is a nostalgic drift through wistful falsetto and low-riding narration, while ?Strange Happenings? is truly exceptional: an unnaturally good funk workout from a virtually undocumented Kansas City soul act. This previously unreleased pairing was unearthed, with assistance from ?Bump? Scott himself, during the Numero Group?s KC-focused research for 2013?s Eccentric Soul: The Forte Label collection.
Various Artists: Music from Drinking Buddies, a film by Joe Swanberg
Various Artists: Purple Snow: Forecasting The Minneapolis Sound
In the late 1970s, a peculiar sound began bubbling up from the land of 10,000 lakes. Buried beneath 50 solid inches of annual snow, Minneapolis made a Sound quite different than what the pop world foresaw. It issued forth as a slick, black, technologically advanced fusion, poised to storm the charts. Never known for sizable African-American populations, the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul in fact harbored a tight-knit community of musiciansworking feverishly through the late ?70s and early ?80s toward a radical manipulation of American dance music, coating futuristic funk with the glamorous sheen of guitar rock. Synthetic ebony and ivory met electricity, with sexed-up results sent shockingly across the pop heavens like violet lightning.
Wolf People: When The Fire Is Dead in the Grate
Following Wolf People's critically acclaimed 2013 release, ?Fain,? comes this 4-track 12" featuring two of the album?s most accomplished songs and two brand new tracks. "When the Fire is Dead in the Grate" has quickly been established as a fan-favorite throughout venues during their European tour. Stewart Lee described the song as ".... the album?s first stone classic, a funky folk-metal workout that trails off into a compellingly extended coda, both guitarists circling and dovetailing and spiraling." A brand new track, "Become the Ground," breaks new ground for the band, being, perhaps, their most obviously folk-influenced song to date. It?s a beautiful duet between lead singer Jack Sharp and guest vocalist Nicola Keary before the song breaks into a swirling psychedelic jam. The B-side of the 12? is made up of the first track fans heard on Fain, "All Returns", but now coupled with "All Returns Part II", the song?s original extended outro. It?s Wolf People at their best, locking into a masterful groove, razor-sharp guitars lines interlocking and intertwining.
Cian Nugent & The Cosmos: Born With The Caul
Cian Nugent is a guitar player from Dublin, Ireland whose music combines personal passions, such as suburban/coastal blues, traditional music, 1960s & ?70s singer-songwriters, psychedelic rock,critically jazz ambitions and 20th century composition. Born With The Caul is his first full length with 4 piece-band The Cosmos and follows his acclaimed 2011 solo effort Doubles. Like that album, Caul is comprised of a few expansive, developed pieces (three, to be exact). Led by Nugent?s guitar playing ? always inviting, subdued and unpredictable ? the band takes these songs into darker, richer territories opening a whole new galaxy for this young guitar player to explore.
David Lynch: Bad The John Boy
On the heels of David Lynch’s hugely successful sophomore full length, The Big Dream, comes a very limited edition 12”, Bad The John Boy. While technically this track qualifies as a non-album or bonus track, this song was made around the same time as the track, We Rolled Together. Producer Dean Hurley elaborates, “In the bridge of that song, David was trying to do this thing where he was shuffling around lyric-based sentences: "Street the up, going girl little crazy..." Bad The John Boy has this shared idea...instead of 'John the Bad Boy,' it's Bad The John Boy..."good to up no" (up to no good. This track is more left of center than the songs on the full length, with vocals being processed straight into the spirit realm, sounding deeply non-human.
Complimenting this sci-fi dirge, on the B-side is a Venetian Snares remix of the album’s title track. Despite the fact that Canadian electronic musician Aaron Funk has been known for reinventing breakcore, in this remix he breathes completely new life into this song, turning it into something far from your typical dance remix.
David Van Tieghem x Ten: Fits & Starts
For the tenth installment in RVNG?s FRWKYS series, an inanimate bulletin board becomes an instrument and the core of the collaboration. NYC composer and percussionist David Van Tieghem reassembles his own live performances as reimagined by a vanguard of ten musicians over two sides of audio collaging at its most expressive and experimental.
Sinuous ecometric rhythms and dense rain-blown tone sculptures shine and wind between electrified cotton-nodes, all careening, sliding, colliding across and through a synaptic panorama. Peninsula-based KILN are Kevin Hayes on pulse, tump, tick with Kirk Marrison and Clark Rehberg IIIon hue, shape and spark. After a decade of genre spinning and attention spent fusing live organikas with binary tumbleweeds, KILN settles into a newneurologic with their upcoming release this spring on Ghostly. Not only for the headphone set, KILN?s recent intent has been on finding the intuitivefulcrum of gentle momentum invigoration and hyperacoustic digi-texture chromatics as suited for a wider listening environment. Kiln?s latest humanist gallery will appeal to any and all who lust for fine sound form.
Leverage Models: Leverage Models
Shannon Fields (Stars Like Fleas founder/producer) has spent the better part of the past three years recording new, unhinged, narratively-oblique, club-centric, dark kitchen-sink pop music under the name Leverage Models. Following the release of three EPs (digitally, as well as on limited edition cassettes), Leverage Models will release its self-titled debut album on Hometapes this fall. The album features contributions from members of Yeasayer, Sinkane, and LCD Soundsystem, as well as Sharon Van Etten. The Brooklyn-based live band inhabits the warped echoes of ABC, Scritti Politti, The Associates, Happy Mondays, Japan, A Certain Ratio, Lisa Lisa & The Cult Jam, Throbbing Gristle, etc. Leverage Models has performed recently with Sinkane and Escort, and has upcoming shows with Medicine and Indians, plus soon to be announced performances at CMJ and Hopscotch Festival.
Majeure: Romance Language
Since he began moonlighting from his main gig as one-half of sci-fi prog powerhouse Zombi, multi-instrumentalist A.E. Paterra has become increasingly renowned as the mastermind behind Majeure. Following the assured debut epic, Timespan, his second album, Solar Maximum,delivered on the promise of a retro-futurist ambient synth-rock masterpiece. Romance Language continues this journey with two sprawling, side-long tracks that marry the sci-fi disco of Timespan with the celestial Mars-scapes of Solar Maximum. It is both a nod to Majeure's prior accomplishments, and a peek into his sunspot-bright future ? fitting for an artist whose entire career has been devoted to fluidly melding the past and the future to create a transcendent present.
This vinyl-only release is strictly limited to 1,000 copies, and includes a free MP3 downloadcoupon.
Nat Baldwin: Dome Branches: The MVP Demos
In 2008 double bassist/singer-songwriter Nat Baldwin released Most Valuable Player, an album that led Pitchfork to say "?he brings fierce performances to these polished compositions." Now 5 years later, Western Vinyl is proud to be releasing the original demos from Most Valuable Player, which were recorded in 2005 and 2006.
After studying avant-garde jazz and improvisation with jazz legend Anthony Braxton, Nat Baldwin started writing songs featuring double bass and vocals. In 2005 he joined Dirty Projectors. In addition to his work with Dirty Projectors, he has performed on Grizzly Bear's Sheilds, Vampire Weekend's Contra, and Department of Eagles' In Ear Park. In between touring and recording with Dirty Projectors, Nat made time to record his 2011 album People Changes, an album that led Pitchfork to say "?whether Baldwin is singing with his throat or his bow, there's a thrilling felling of freedom to it all." More recently, he's been writing, recording, and arranging songs for a new album to be released in 2014. You can hear some of the new material live this September when Nat tours in the US and Canada.
Penny Penny: Shaka Bundu
The story of South African singer and dancer Penny Penny is fit for Hollywood. A nearly homeless janitor with no education gets a record deal, becomes a multi-platinum-selling pop star, plays stadiums across Africa, then builds a career as a politician for Mandela's African National Congress party. Penny Penny's debut recording Shaka Bundu, recorded in 1994, is the album that took a 34-year-old Giyani Kulani Kobane from the streets of Johannesburg to the chambers of power. After a chance meeting with Tsonga disco producer Joe Shirimani, just six months after apartheid was lifted, Penny Penny's Shaka Bundu was released and entered the consciousness of the entire country. Penny Penny became an immediate sensation, against the expectations of everyone involved. The album went on to sell more than 250,000 copies in South Africa and Penny Penny has played to thousands on stadium stages from Liberia and Sierra Leone to Namibia and Mozambique. The music was something new for Tsonga disco. Slow house music rhythms became the foundation for Penny's anthemic exultations. Using Atari computers, Korg M1 synthesizer and reel-to-reel tape for vocals, Penny and Shirimani cut the entire record in just seven days. Their signature bass sound combined richness and sharpness with the root tones of an organ. Penny's rap-like delivery became his calling card: a husky, playful vocal performance heavy on vibes. Nearly 20 years since Shaka Bundu blasted from speakers across a newly free South Africa, the music still sounds big and worldly. And, despite shifting his energies from stadium shows to municipal matters, Penny Penny still sports his signature top-bun hairstyle.
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.
Hinterland is another step forward in Berlin-based producer Recondite's progression, maintaining a style all his own and acknowledging the finest moments in his previous releases. It's no small feat to incorporate one's observations of human nature against nature, and to lay it out in such a way that is cohesive, linear and sonically beautiful both up close and from a distance. "Characteristics of people's minds," he says. "Such as satisfied, frightened, calm, melancholic, sad, stoic, frustrated, strong, deep?they are captured in the sounds."
Recondite's production career has only spanned a handful of years, but his versatility with electronic music as an expressive medium puts him beyond others with discographies twice as long. Lush, gorgeous, and vibrant are three words that can often describe his original productions, whether it's floating in a beatless ambience or driving a hard rhythm through the soundsystem of a nightclub or warehouse.
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.
Songs: Ohia: Magnolia Electric Co. (10th Anniversary Deluxe Edition)
The hallmark of Jason Molina's career, Magnolia Electric Co., is both a confluence of all he would create and a line in the sand to mark a shift in his songwriting approach. It was the last statement under his iconic Songs: Ohia moniker, and the moment before he began making new legends as Magnolia Electric Co. for the next 10 years. Now? here at the end of that decade ? with Molina gone, his work gathers more weight and meaning. This expanded 10-year anniversary edition of Magnolia Electric Co. features one never-before-released track plus many rarities. The full-band studio outtake of fan favorite "Whip Poor Will" is a sweet and spare version that ended up being played far differently on Magnolia Electric Co.'s final album Josephine (2009). Also included is the studio version of "The Big Game Is Every Night." Previously only available on the Japanese version of the album, this opus serves as Molina's thesis statement, its poetry weaving through the 20th Century, through art and sporting culture ? ultimately questioning what it means to be an American in the autumn of the American Era. The edition also gathers Molina's gutting demos for the record, including those two outtakes. Nearly each begins with audible sound of the RECORD button being pressed down on the tape player. They are so close and intimate, it's hard to look them right in the eyes. But you should.
The Books: Freedom From Expression
The Books were one of modern music?s most vital players of this still-young millennium. Over the course of four albums in ten years? time, they eschewed genres and pigeonholes so effortlessly and earnestly that they ultimately pioneered a new genre (or three) in the process. And for all thespeechlessness their recordings inspired, their videos were every bit as beguiling: a surreal mix of bizarre found footage, home movies, and psychedelic animated imagery that fit their music so well that the two became virtually inseparable in their live performances. Freedom FromExpression collects every video ever made by the Books, compiled in chronological order. It?s enormously satisfying and fulfilling to map the progression from humble bedroom curiosities through to hilariously warped experimental art films masquerading as music videos. At over twohours in length across 21 videos, it is an invaluable piece of the Books? universe, one that demands constant replays, and delivers as many emotional and cerebral twists and turns as anything else in their absurdly unique and forward-thinking catalog.
The Hunt: The Hunt Begins
2007. The cover art for 1st record Sacred Bones released depicted an androgynous wild banshee wearing warpaint, clad all in leather and animal bones, holding a sacrificial knife pointed at the sky. Our debut single was The Hunt's lone statement. The songs were a visceral pulsation, etched in echo. London, structure fires and mental institutions all played a part in the downfall of the originators of 21st century redskin darkwave.
2009. After multiple tumultuous attempts at recording a full length The Hunt decamped to their collective hometown, Boston, to record the ultimate document of their time on earth. This document sat for years, untouched by human hands.
2013. The Hunt lives on. In honor of both the first and one hundredth release, we will finally see and hear the toils of New York's most enigmatic post punk band of recent. Ian Danger, percussive wunderkind, Mike O'Brien, whose four strings drew blood nightly, Christian Kount, master of negative space and Jasper McGandy, the man who's hopes for a darker future led them towards a reality we only now have the honor of witnessing. After all these years the time has come. The Hunt Begins.
William Basinski: The Disintegration Loops 5xCD+DVD
For a collection of music built around the poignant inevitability of decay, there has been a great many hopeful and inspired words devoted to William Basinski's The Disintegration Loops: stunning, ethereal, majestic, transfixing, life-affirming? and for good reason. From its 20-year gestation period to its infamously fateful completion, The Disintegration Loops is one of the most powerful manifestations of the inevitable cycle of life ever committed to tape, even as it documents the inevitable decay of all that is committed to tape. The very passage of time is its most effective instrument. To mark the 10-year anniversary of its original release ? and its forthcoming induction into the 9/11 Memorial Museum this year ? Temporary Residence Ltd. ishonored to collaborate with William Basinski in presenting The Disintegration Loops in a fashion truly befitting a library of music with such a lasting legacy. This breathtaking limited-edition, numbered box set contains all four historic volumes, plus a pair of stunning live orchestral performances from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the 54th Venice Biennale, both previously unreleased. Remastered from the original recordings, this exquisite box set also includes the extremely rare 63-minute The Disintegration Loops film on DVD, and a 148-page fullcolor book featuring rare photos taken during the making of The Disintegration Loops, and liner notes by Basinski, Antony, David Tibet of Current 93, Ronen Givony of the Wordless MusicSeries, and Michael Shulan, Creative Director of the National September 11 Memorial Museum.
Audacity: Butter Knife
Audacity?s latest full-length Butter Knife is still, at its core, a garage rock record. The economic instrumentation, grit-tinged guitar jangle, pogo-prompting tempos, and sing-along choruses can all be traced back to the seminal Nuggets collections. But ultimately, Butter Knife doesn?t sound so much like an homage to The Sonics as it sounds like a young band striving to make the most ebullient and jubilant noise possible. Album opener ?Couldn?t Hold A Candle? is a perfect introduction to Audacity?s battle plan?a balanced blend of pop sensibility and ribald power. ?Hole In The Sky? showcases the band?s gift for the on-the-dime changes, sophisticated melodies, and clever instrumental interplay. ?Red Wine? demonstrates a Robert Pollard-like knack for turning an unexpected chord combination into a remarkably punchy chorus. And album closer ?Autumn? harkens back to the balladry of power pop kings Big Star. All of which is to say, Audacity are tighter and more clever than your average suburban band, and consequently they?re one of the strongest acts in the Southern Californian garage rock scene.
Botany: Lava Diviner (True Story)
When our human experiences defy articulation, music and film can sometimes be the only languages we have to communicate with. In 1975, Peter Weir directed Picnic at Hanging Rock, a haunting film in which a group of schoolgirls disappear while exploring a volcanic rock in the Australian outback. Through the film, Weir explores landscapes of intense memory, and the mysterious forces that bend, mold, and erode the core of our psyches. Similarly, Lava Diviner (Truestory), the debut full-length from Texas native, Spencer Stephenson, gives voice to those ancient transformative forces within ourselves, amplified to the point of distortion by the dry Texas heat.
Though texturally inspired by early new age records like Iasos? Inter-Dimensional Music, and sample-based collage ventures like Colleen?s Everyone Alive Wants Answers, Lava Diviner (Truestory) is reinforced with a robust percussive backbone. Still, Stephenson never resorts to shallow MPC trickery or contrived mixtape clumsiness. Instead, his proto-new age textures float elegantly atop a primal boom-bap pulse to paint a detailed, rhythmic mural that has the scope of a ?70s prog rock epic. ?On Lava Diviner, I wanted to conjure that same headspace that artists like Roger Dean, and even Zdzislaw Beksinski project in their iconic paintings,? says Stephenson. ?I tried to evoke those grand, colorful, surreal landscapes that are mind-bending yet oddly comforting - sci-fi and epic and holy, all at the same time.?
Brad Laner: Nearest Suns
You can't get away from the sun. Brad Laner returns with his third solo album, created in the winds swirling around the reuniting of his cult noise-pop band and American shoegaze pioneers, Medicine. Like Neighbor Singing and Natural Selections before it, Nearest Suns was composed, played, and recorded entirely in Laner's Granada Hills, California home by Laner himself. It's an old new universe in twelve songs, shattering what it means to be called a singer-songwriter, messing around with the noticion of getting older, and soundtracking the infinite distortion and infinite harmony of falling in and out of love.
Diane Coffee: My Friend Fish
Joseph Campbell describes a shaman as "person, male or female, who?has an overwhelming psychological experience that turns him totally inward. It's a kind of schizophrenic crack-up. The whole unconscious opens up, and the shaman falls into it." We'll never know the whole truth about what happened when (Foxyen drummer and former Disney child actor) Shaun Fleming moved from the West Coast suburbs to New York, but whatever it was fractured his psyche, opened it up, and gave birth to Diane Coffee.
In 2013, after joining the band Foxygen, Shaun Fleming left the green and golden fields of his hometown of Agoura Hills, CA to become the third roommate in a 700 square-foot, pre-war, closet-free Manhattan apartment. He was welcomed to The Big Apple by a nasty flu virus that drained the last bit of California sunshine out of the skinny, Macaulay Culken-looking 26-year-old's body. As he recovered, cabin fever supplanted the flu, and his relentless creative drive took over. Low on funds and bored out of his gourd, he spent the next two weeks alone in his bedroom writing and recording what would become the debut Diane Coffee LP My Friend Fish.
DMA: Pheel Phree
Formerly the man behind Jookabox, DMA (aka David Moose Adamson) began his career as a one-man-band in the grand old tradition of the 'one-man-band' (re: man with a bass-drum on his back and a monkey clapping symbols, collecting change from the crowd etc.). Growing away from the outright-spectacle that was Jookabox, DMA gives us a more meditative, and ultimately deeper sound, perhaps best enjoyed in a sensory deprivation chamber.
Gardland: Syndrome Syndrome
Syndrome Syndrome, the debut album from Gardland, fuses human flaw and scattershot intuition with volatile machinery and chance-based composition. The double LP explores the rugged tropes of wasted ?outsider? techno while exhibiting a stark emotive core, eliciting timbral intensity and questing pathos in equal measure. Imposing and muscular yet marked by frenetic finesse, Syndrome Syndrome is born from a dyslexic dialogue between man and machine.
Lily & Madeleine: Lily & Madeleine
Like truth, beauty resides in simplicity. When it manifests itself, it doesn?t require elaborate arguments or proofs; you can?t debate someone into apprehending it. It?s apparent and all it requires is appreciation, or perhaps even love. Such are the songs of Lily & Madeleine.
Understandably, when their debut EP, The Weight of the Globe, came out earlier this year, much was made of the fact that Lily and Madeleine Jurkiewicz are teenagers: Madeleine is eighteen and her sister is sixteen. Surely, that?s important given the impressive talent on display. On that release as well as on Lily & Madeleine, their debut album, these two young women sing with a spare elegance that?s all the more breathtaking for seeming to come to them so naturally. Both Lily and Madeleine can sing powerfully, but you will find no show-off pyrotechnics here. They are not afraid of fragility or vulnerability.
The songs on Lily & Madeleine trigger profound emotional effects. The shimmering recollections of that summer, that girl, that kiss, the scent of that evening air, the heat of those afternoons, all float in and out of consciousness as these songs play, transporting you to the world inside you that knows everywhere you have been, but that does not know time, or its passage, or its end.
Phosphorescent: Muchacho De Lujo (Deluxe Edition)
Muchacho de Lujo is the deluxe edition of one of 2013's most renowned albums, Muchacho, which garnered the coveted Best New Music (Pitchfork) tag as well as the adoration of The New York Times and Time Magazine. The bonus material is from an intimate pre-release live show, recorded at St. Pancras Church in London. The set, performed as a two-piece of guitar and piano, features standout tracks from across the Phosphorescent catalog including "Song For Zula," "Mrs. Juliette Low," "Wolves," and a cover of Waylon Jennings' "Storms Never Last."
Son Lux: Lanterns
Meditative but heaving with energy, Son Lux?s third full-length weaves disparate elements into songs both strange and welcoming. On the heals of being named NPR?s ?Best New Artist of the Year?, Son Lux has created an album that sits as comfortably next to the compositions of Stravinsky, John Adams, David Lang and Ben Frost, as it does to those of Jamie Lidell, Björk, Flying Lotus, and Radiohead.
Various Artists: SMM: Opiate
SMM: Opiate is the second release in Ghostly's SMM series, which is an ongoing exploration of the evocative possibilities of sound, with a focus classical minimalism, electronic and drone composition, film soundtracks, and fragile imaginary landscapes. Opiate is the follow-up to 2011's SMM: Context, and as with that record, it's a carefully chosen selection of music, compiled over some two years from around the world. As a whole, the experience is certainly evocative of the opiated sensation evoked by the record's title ? but really, it's a compilation that invites you to find your own meaning in it, or simply to appreciate the beauty of its music and escape the world for a while.
SMM: Opiate features original tracks from Simon Scott, A Winged Victory for the Sullen, Celer, Black Swan, Jim Haynes, EN, Pjusk, Fieldhead, and Noveller.
Past praise on the series has come from the likes of Pitchfork, Exclaim!, Boomkat, Resident Advisor, and CMJ.
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.
YAMANTAKA // SONIC TITAN: UZU
It is safe to say there is no other band like YAMANTAKA // SONIC TITAN on the planet. In a world that is increasingly homogenized, a record like UZU is all the more important for demonstrating how disparate cultural perspectives can merge into something entirely new while retaining their individual sovereign character. This meeting of East and West is perhaps most visible in UZU?s lead single ?One?. As the first YAMANTAKA // SONIC TITAN song to extend the songwriting credits beyond the core duo, ?One? incorporates the indigenous upbringings of the extended group by leading off with a traditional Iroquois song. The introductory chant is a social song calling all people together, and is performed by people of the Mohawk tribe. From there, the band kicks into a driving guitar line and a vocal hook as sweet as any J-pop hit. Metal riffing, free-jazz cacophony, and meditative Eastern percussion patterns accentuate the song. The hybridization is evident throughout UZU--you can hear it in the operatic piano-and-vocal opener ?Atalanta? segueing into the dynamic prog of ?Whalesong?, the Eastern melodies seamlessly melding into the synth arpeggio and guitar dirge of ?Windflower?, the musical storytelling tradition of ?Seasickness Pt. 1? juxtaposing with the Heart-like classic rock gallop of ?Seasickness Pt. 2?, and the closing choir passage of ?Saturn?s Return? descending into Merzbow-esque white noise.