Calabar-Itu Road: Groovy Sounds From South Eastern Nigeria (1972-1982)
"When most people think about Nigerian music, the first thing that comes to mind is Lagos -- the country's main commercial center, the glittering mega-city that spawned Yoruba-speaking music luminaries such as Fela Kuti, King Sunny Ade, Sir Shina Peters and Wizkid. But Nigeria is a country of rich diversity, especially in its music: From the Igbo highlife and rock bands of east-central region, to the deep Edo roots rhythms from the mid-west, to the keening, ornamented Fulani melodies of the north. But one region whose music has remained largely under-explored is the south eastern land of the Efik and Ibibio ethnic groups in Cross River and Akwa Ibom State -- the region colloquially referred to as 'Calabar.' A cradle of culture, this region was one of the earliest outposts of Nigerian popular music. Its primordial rhythms traveled across the Atlantic during the slave trade to provide the part of the foundation for Afro-Cuban grooves that would go on to influence the development of jazz, rock & roll, R&B and funk. With the new Calabar-Itu Road compilation, Comb & Razor Sound presents 15 heavy tracks recorded in the decade between 1972 and 1982, spotlighting rare music from 'Calabar' superstars such as Etubom Rex Williams, Cross River Nationale, Charles 'Effi' Duke, The Doves and Mary Afi Usuah. The package features a magazine-style booklet containing a wealth of information about the milieu with rare photographs and illustrations. The Calabar-Itu Road is the major artery linking modern-day Cross River and Akwa Ibom States. And Calabar-Itu Road: Groovy Sounds From South Eastern Nigeria (1972-1982) will link the region's music to the rest of the world!"
LP version. Housed in a gatefold, Stoughton tip-on jacket. "13 was never supposed to be a Lee Hazlewood album. It is perhaps the strangest record in one of the most varied discographies in music. The bombastic brass-heavy funk, deep blues and soul paired with Hazlewood's subterranean baritone would be best enjoyed with a tall Chivas in an off-strip seedy Vegas lounge. It also features one of Hazlewood's greatest lines ever 'One week in San Francisco, existing on Nabisco, cookies and bad dreams, sad scenes and dodging paranoia.' By 1972 Lee Hazlewood had settled in his new homeland of Sweden. His days were spent carousing, making movies with Torbjörn Axelman and releasing albums. To keep up his prolific recorded output, Lee began to mine the recently defunct LHI Records archives for material. One such gem, was an unreleased album by Larry Marks. In what became the final days of LHI, staff producer Larry Marks's sonic fingerprints were on nearly everything; songwriting, producing, arranging, and singing. His most profound contribution was steering the creative direction of the label towards soul and R&B, arranging the downright funky LHI singles by Barbara Randolph and Jon Christian. Larry's concept was to take Hazlewood's strongest compositions and arrange them in a soul vibe. An album was completed, but with no distribution in America and no funding, Lee had no vehicle to release Larry's record. The tapes were taken to Sweden, Larry's voice was wiped and Hazlewood's was dubbed... 13 was born. Includes a Lee Hazlewood comic strip, the story of 13 told through original artwork by Jess Rotter; Includes previously unreleased session outtake of 'Cold Hard Times' plus never before heard Hazlewood compositions 'Drums' and 'Susie'; Download card for complete 13 sessions including Larry Marks unreleased album, session outtakes and acoustic demos, 29 tracks total. Liner notes by Hunter Lea including interviews with Larry Marks, Joe Cannon, Torbjörn Axelman and Suzi Jane Hokom."
"Rock music and revolution in '70s Zimbabwe. Just as the hippie era came to an end in America, a second '60s was beginning. In what is now Zimbabwe, young people created a rock and roll counterculture that drew inspiration from hippie ideals and the sounds of Hendrix and Deep Purple. The kids in the scene called their music 'heavy,' because they could feel its impact, and it resonated from Zambia to Nigeria. At its peak in the mid-70s, the heavy rock scene united tens of thousands of young progressives of all racial and social backgrounds. The country was called Rhodesia then, one of the last bastions of white rule in Africa, and heavy rockers defied segregation laws and secret police to make a stand for democratic change. Wells Fargo was at the forefront of the scene, and the title track of this album, 'Watch Out,' was the anthem of the counterculture. This is the first time their music has been issued outside of Zimbabwe. Matthew Shechmeister tells the story of Wells Fargo drawing on interviews with the band's remaining members and numerous trips to Zimbabwe to investigate the genesis of the heavy rock scene under Ian Smith's oppressive government, and its dissipation after Zimbabwe's liberation. CD comes packaged in a 72 page hardcover book detailing the the history of Zimbabwe's heavy rock scene and the trajectory of Wells Fargo. Never before seen photographs and ephemera color a story so hard to believe that it has to be true. The book is printed on acid-free paper."
Bang! Records present a reissue of Lydia Lunch's masterpiece, Honeymoon In Red, originally recorded in 1982 and released in 1987. Lydia Lunch, the worldwide recognized artist from New York, recorded this album with The Birthday Party as well as other friends and mixed it at legendary B.C. Studio in Brooklyn. This album features: Lydia Lunch on vocals, Rowland S. Howard (The Birthday Party, These Immortal Souls) on vocals, guitar, Nick Cave (The Birthday Party, Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds) on vocals, Tracy Pew (The Birthday Party) on bass, Mick Harvey on drums, Genevieve McGuckin (These Immortal Souls) on piano, Thurston Moore (Sonic Youth) on guitar, Barry Adamson (Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds, Magazine) on double bass. This LP has been remastered for higher sound quality and comes in a deluxe gatefold sleeve. Includes a cover of Lee Hazlewood & Nancy Sinatra's "Some Velvet Morning", which was not included in the original release.
LP version. Comes in a die cut sleeve. Playing their first gig supporting Goat at what was only the latter's second ever show, Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs have gigged relentlessly with kindred spirits including The Cosmic Dead and Luminous Bodies, not to mention gracing festivals like Supernormal and Portugal's Reverence with their feral attack. Yet the time has come for this band to transcend the realm of word-of-mouth phenomenon and be judged on their feverish and demented collision of psych-drone dementia and riff-driven salvation alone. The inarguable proof is Feed The Rats, the overwhelming first album the band have created - equal parts righteous repetition, bludgeoning brute force and Sabbathian squalor, its alchemical charge has the power to transform bleary-eyed abandon into small-hours revelation. This three-track, forty-minute monument of chaotic catharsis captures the everything-on-eleven spirit of the band's live manifestation whilst adding a level of finesse and texture often less easily accessible in a dangerous haze of flying hair, discarded clothes and spilt premium lager. Channeling the grimy trip hazards of Monster Magnet's Spine Of God (1991) through a prism of kraut-derived repetition and Part Chimp style bloody-mindedness, the resulting hallucinatory vortex appears constantly on the realm of breaking point. Yet for Matthew Baty, the porcine realm is less about a nihilistic quest for fiery oblivion than one might imagine: "You know, I think we've experienced it, many times. It's those gigs where we can almost sense that everyone in the room is engaged. The energy created is so thick you can almost bite down on it and it feels like there's no longer any barrier between band and audience. Those are the special shows, where there's a solidarity and a very visceral bond. That, and being able to smell our amps melting." Amps and brains alike, as these psychic omnivores bring seven times the joy, seven times the pain, seven times the dementia and deliverance.
Groove Is In The Heart is the first of three singles from the forthcoming Brian Jonestown Massacre album, Don't Get Lost. Both tracks ("Groove Is In The Heart" and "Throbbing Gristle") feature heavy hypnotic beating drums and smoky vocals by Tess Parks. these tracks give an idea of the changing rhythms of the Brian Jonestown Massacre for the new album. In 2016, the band released two singles and the critically acclaimed Third World Pyramid (AUK 036CD/LP). The band have been touring the world since November 2015, playing Australia and New Zealand, and in 2016, USA, Canada, Europe, Chile and Argentina.
Analog Africa present a reissue of Shadow's (aka Winston Bailey) Sweet Sweet Dreams, originally released in 1984. The far-out album by Trinidad and Tobago's Shadow was panned by critics and unable to reach markets, disappearing into the dusty record collections of a few music aficionados. A truly enigmatic artist, Shadow first emerged in Trinidad and Tobago during the 1970s and became a part of the tapestry of Caribbean music, reinvigorating calypso. Calypso, the indigenous folk music of Trinidad and Tobago, led to several other music genres, including soca, which has up-tempo beats and is played in a festival context. Shadow effortlessly moves between both calypso and soca. Coming from a humble but musical family, Shadow started writing songs at a young age while tending cattle in the fields. To his family's initial chagrin, he eventually chose calypso over church music. In the early days of his career, Shadow's style was cramped due to conservative music arrangers who felt that calypso and soca should fit into a mold. But after a while, Shadow teamed up with more innovative arrangers, including Arthur DeCoteau. Shadow's inert creativeness culminated in Sweet Sweet Dreams, which deals with burning and ever-relevant themes like love and the ups-and-downs of relationships - a surprising fact for someone mainly known for his satirical and political lyrics. It prompted his manager to wonder if Shadow had written the lyrics while in a state of "tabanca" (a word used in Trinidad and Tobago to describe lovesickness). Sweet Sweet Dreams was recorded at the legendary SHARC studios, located on a hill in Chaguaramas (near Port of Spain). Sweet Sweet Dreams delivers a fantastic sound with monster soca-boogie tunes, fusing a range of rhythms and new sounds, primarily heavy synth riffs. What Shadow didn't realize was that the proto-electronic cocktail he mixed in 1984 would find the recognition it deserved three decades later. Sweet Sweet Dreams has come true and been elevated to holy-grail status, becoming one of the most sought-after Caribbean disco records in existence. For this reissue, Analog Africa carried out extensive interviews with Shadow and the musicians. It includes liners notes featuring exclusive photos from Shadow's personal collection and the dancefloor filler tune "D'Hardest" as a bonus track. Remastered and cut by Frank Meritt at The Carvery.
"Ace four-tracker. 'Caves' was created in the aftermath of a devastating set by DJ Stingray, and sounds like it: storming but funky, infused with the spirit of classic Detroit techno. 'Spacetown' marries Arpanet and John Carpenter, with a saturnine melody which sticks in the mind. Flip it for a deadly 'Caves' remix by man-of-the-year Convextion, inimitably sci-fi but banging; and the elemental, ambient accomplishment of 'The Strips,' consolidating the promise on show throughout."
Triple LP version. Biosphere is the main recording name of Geir Jenssen - a Norwegian musician who has released a notable catalog of ambient electronic music. He is well known for his works on ambient techno and arctic-themed pieces, his use of music loops, and peculiar samples from sci-fi sources. His 1997 album Substrata (TO 050CD/BIO 005LP) was voted by the users of the Hyperreal website in 2001 as the best all-time classic ambient album. Cirque - originally released in 2000 - was Biosphere's first album for the UK label Touch. This reissue comes with six bonus tracks and new artwork.
Jon Savage in Mojo (UK): "Fourth full album from ambient pioneer. Coming to prominence with 1992's Microgravity (BIO 003CD/LP) - which along with the first couple of Aphex/Polygon Window CDs, defined the genre ambient - Geir Jenssen as Biosphere has made three of the '90s best albums, culminating with last year's near beat-less Substrata. The idea - as it always was thanks to Eno's On Land (1982) - is music as environment (reflecting, creating): working from his base in Tromso, Arctic Norway, Jenssen offers a polar, Apollonian exploration of the human psyche. Cirque is a perfectly constructed 47-minute sequence: cold clarity up against real depth of field, synth cycles dissolving into sudden moments of sonic revelation that sound like a waking dream - try the first 20 seconds of 'Black Lamb & Grey Falcon'. (And if you think that's pretentious - your loss). Inspired by the story of a young American, Chris McCandless, who walked alone into the Alaskan wilderness and perished, Cirque balances the tightrope between warmth and unease, resolving into a moon melody that leaves you a peace. What a good record!."
LP version. Includes CD. Richard Pinhas, leader of French space-rock pioneers Heldon in the '70s, has been prolific since returning to the form in the '90s. He has collaborate with Merzbow, Yoshida Tatsuya, Oren Ambarchi, Barry Cleveland, and Wolf Eyes. "Changes in my life really influenced this record," Richard Pinhas tells of his new album Reverse. "The wife of a friend of mine offered to read my Tarot cards... I don't believe in it - I am very materialist, not financially but in my philosophy - so it was very strange that in the year that followed I lost my two parents, broke up with my girlfriend, lost my flat, and moved to Nantes. So the album was done in this confusion, in this chaotic state of having lost all these things." Reverse's dark experimental noise and long repetitive tracks have an intimidating first impression. But listening to the whole 50 minutes leaves one feeling purified. Pinhas even says this album "fixed" and "resurrected" him: "It was a healing process for me to make this album. To get rid of all the negativity that occupied my brain." The main process of the album production was one of construction, with Pinhas and Oren Ambarchi (guitars, "dronz") forming the skeleton. After the initial sessions in Paris, they threw out everything except their own parts and then started searching for "the right parts. Not a drummer, but the drummer, not a bass guitarist, but the bass guitarist." He enlisted the talents of Arthur Narcy (drums), Florian Tatar (bass) along with Masami Akita (analog synths), his son Duncan Nilson-Pinhas (digital synths), and William Winant (percussion). Reverse reflects Pinhas's keen interest in Kabbalah. "Ketter" is an unknowable realm and the music reflects this. We catch traces of elements traversing the spectrum while the whole retains its own mystery. Pinhas's immediately recognizable tone is tempered by Narcy's unique drumming style. "End" reflects the "reverse" of the album title, as sounds double back in on themselves whilst Narcy, frantic on the cymbals, pounds the drums themselves with military precision. "Nefesh" is the first level of the soul, the track's percolating sounds depicting such a pneumatic birth. "V2" brings to mind both Thomas Pynchon's Gravity's Rainbow (1973) and David Bowie. It sounds like the aftermath of an enormous futuristic electrical malfunction still lingering over a vast cityscape. Cover art by Yann LeGendre.
Hypnagogia is a word that describes the experience of transitioning from wakefulness into deep sleep. Mental phenomena that occur during this "threshold consciousness phase" include lucid thought, lucid dreaming, hallucinations, and sleep paralysis. A601-2's Shibuya Hypnagogia is a 61-minute generative-music composition designed to induce the shift from full awareness into a state of deep delta. It's an alien transmission from the threshold of perception - a tool for introducing shifting gradients of consciousness. Trans-dimensional voices drift in-and-out over an ocean of gentle sonic-cascades, sonic lifeforms hover weightlessly in your listening space with sounds of ghosts in the wires. Nocturnal field recordings from Tokyo (Shibuya/Shinjuku) combined with prototype generative-music composition software to form this otherworldly audio landscape. Mastering curves optimized for low-level playback. Tokyo recordings captured via Sound Devices 702 and Core Sound High End Binaural Microphones (DPA 4060 capsules). Mixed in real-time to a Tandberg TD20A recorder.
Editions Mego present the first full length release from Oto Hiax. Comprised of Mark Clifford (Seefeel) and Scott Gordon (Loops Haunt), Oto Hiax follows 2015's acclaimed EP, One. Embracing a series of sonic opposites, Oto Hiax employs electronic and concrete sound to construct a labyrinth of moods, sliding from basic repetition to complex audio suites. The mood is such that the listener is advised to embrace the unexpected as unusual elements gently drift across the audio plane. Exquisitely executed, this is no foray into generic sound design but a rich and complex ruse whereby seemingly jarring sonic elements play out a subtle and harmonious bridge between a variety of musical styles and genres. "Insh" carries the kind of hallowed kraut comfort that only seasoned professionals can harness, whereas "Eses Mitre" disorientates in the most enticing fashion. Oto Hiax have produced an album of exquisite detail and beauty. Now is their time. Cut and mastered at Dubplates & Mastering, Berlin by Rashad Becker. Artwork by Joseph Haesche.
Empty Editions present Eli Keszler's Last Signs Of Speed as their inaugural release. This release has represented a labor of love for both Eli and the label. Last Signs is Eli's first solo release since 2012's Catching Net (PAN 032CD) and explores a very different side of his unique acoustic universe. One in which the macro-cosmic percussive collisions of his earlier work give way to a gradual unfolding of dub-influenced rhythmic constellations. Eli has described Last Signs as his response to playing in club environments over the last few years; an attempt to negotiate a delicate balance between the materiality of his acoustic instrument and the hyper-mediated sonic ecosystem of the club sound system. Coming off like an inspired synthesis between Scientist and Xenakis, Last Signs Of Speed is a truly unique work by an artist at the height of his power.
"Austin instrumental electronic quartet S U R V I V E return with their long awaited second full length, HD037 (aka RR7349 on LP and CD via Relapse). Since the release of their 2012 debut LP (originally released as MQR026 on Berlin-based imprint Mannequin), the popularity of the band's mood driven tone-scapes has been self-perpetuating. The signature shape and sound on HD037 is unmistakable, with the band's production style drawing character and personality out of every song element on the record. Deep, growling bass lines rhythmically interplay with rapidly evolving sequences on tracks like 'Copter' and 'Highrise' with a discerningly thorough depth of thought and detail. Songs like 'A.H.B' and 'Wardenclyffe' utilize gritty, tape delayed percussion to punctuate the lavish string patches and beautifully constructed lead melodies that move each piece forward with a narrative precision. Although S U R V I V E is electronic music, the project maintains the fullness of an ensemble production. This is embodied in the band's infamous live act consisting of towering stacks of hardware synthesizers, drum machines, effects, and amps supported by an amazing custom light show and thick, industrial amounts of fog. Recorded and produced by the band's own Michael Stein out of Omniverse Studios in Austin, HD037 continues to enhance the haunting crux of S U R V I V E while honing their ability to orchestrate meaningful, ominous emotion from sound."
Live At The Stone was intended to be Pauline Oliveros's tribute to the life and work of pianist Connie Crothers who passed away on August 13, 2016. Sadly, Pauline Oliveros passed away on November 25, 2016. This CD, Pauline's memorial for Connie, is now a memorial for both women. Pauline's original dedication: "This recording resulted from my one and only performance with Connie Crothers at her invitation during her amazing residency at The Stone in August 2014. I was honored to play with Connie and did not realize that this would be a memorial recording. We have lost an extraordinarily original musician too soon on August 13, 2016. Here is her statement about her week-long residency: 'I will be performing in every set with these great musicians - from Tuesday, August 19 through Sunday, the 24th. I am very happy about this, especially since every set will be very different from the other sets. Not only are the musicians different, the way they approach improvisation is different. A friend, noting this, said, 'You like a challenge.' I responded, 'Yes, I thrive from a challenge. That is where the fun is.' That's also where the surprises are, and the joy.' I certainly was challenged by the energy and power of Connie's performance during our set. Like Connie, I thrive with challenges. The concert felt remarkable and very satisfying for me. I am grateful that Connie had the foresight to arrange for this excellent recording. She was looking forward to this release. May this recording be a tribute to Connie Crothers. Her spirit will always be present in the wonderful community of musicians in New York and around the world and most certainly in my heart.
Cynthia Gooding was a folk singer best known for her radio show, which was broadcast on New York's WBAI. It was on this show in early 1962 that she recorded an interview and performance with the then unknown Bob Dylan, whose first album had yet been released. Folksinger's Choice Radio Broadcast is a stunning and clear, early performance from the 2016 Nobel Prize winner.
Jeanne Dielman present a reissue of The Archie Shepp & Bill Dixon Quartet, originally released in 1962. The debut as a leader for both Archie Shepp and Bill Dixon, two formidable members of the free jazz and avant-garde elite. Rounding out the quartet are bassists Reggie Workman and Don Moore, and drummers Paul Cohen and Howard McRae, each on various tracks. While the album undoubtedly swings, this piano-less quartet definitely prefigures the trailblazing free jazz work the two leaders would be involved in for the remainder of the decade, and beyond. An essential piece of early free jazz.
LP version. Housed in a gatefold, Stoughton tip-on jacket. "Erasmo Carlos has no counterpart in the universe of Anglophone pop music that could begin to hint at his relevance, popularity and his complex relationship with the only Brazilian pop star more universally recognized than himself, Roberto Carlos. He may be a beloved pop star and household name in Brazil, but hardly because of the music found on the three albums reissued by Light In The Attic. While in retrospect they can be appreciated as some of his most creative, consistent and personal albums, they were also some of the least commercially successful and underappreciated of his long career, at least until recently. Embracing the artistic freedom of the global counterculture of the late sixties and early seventies, over the course of these three albums, Erasmo evolved from his bubblegum beginnings into a sophisticated seventies singer-songwriter. Erasmo Carlos E Os Tremendões (1970), Carlos, Erasmo... (1971) and Sonhos E Memórias 1941-1972 (1972) collectively find this maturing teeny-bopper delivering a mix of world class psychedelic rock, traditional rock n' roll, soul, funk, folk, bossa nova, and samba-rock to an unsuspecting Brazilian audience. Collectively, the songs on Erasmo Carlos E Tremendões sound like an attempt to appeal to nearly every relevant genre of Brazilian popular music at the turn of the decade. From the cover tunes alone there's a Caetano song 'Saudosismo' (Tropicália), an Antônio Adolfo song 'Teletema' (Pilantragem/art-pop), and not just any Ary Barroso song, but the unofficial Brazilian national anthem 'Aquarela Do Brasil'. Of the new songs, 'Menina' is a soul ballad and 'Jeep' brings the funk. Maybe it was exactly that, a chance for Erasmo to stretch his creative muscles in a lot of different directions as it became clear his Jovem Guarda character and sound had run its course, along with the TV show of the same name. Erasmo Carlos E Os Tremendões is greater than the sum of its pop-rock spitballs. It's a creative, and at times experimental and groundbreaking album that remains a thrilling listen. First time available outside of Brazil; Newly remastered from the original master tapes; Liner notes by Allen Thayer with lyrics (Portuguese/English)."
Mono-Tone Records present a reissue of Les Rallizes Dénudés's historic performance from 1977 in Tachikawa. This double LP has everything Les Rallizes Dénudés are known for - ear piercing feedback, languid guitar strumming, wild reverberated solos, lurid volume, blasé vocals, and unbelievable intensity, combined for a total sensory assault. Revolutionary and psychedelic, the unlikely meeting of The Velvet Underground and the Japanese Red Army, Les Rallizes Dénudés are among the earliest and most outer Japanese psyche/noise rock'n'roll bands who existed.
Monster Melodies present the legendary album Satan, an absolute must-have in terms of French progressive music, recorded in 1973 and never before released. In 1968, in Le Mans (a town in the west of France in Les pays de la Loire), some young students, planning to become teachers, started a band under the name The New Rainbow. Like many young musicians at the time, they enjoyed English blues and were fans of Pink Floyd, Soft Machine and Led Zeppelin. Quickly, they changed their name to Heaven Road and started to become famous west of France, playing live frequently. After playing covers, they wrote their own compositions and delivered a very good show at the same level of any professional band. In Paris, they won three contests in Le Golf Drouot (the mecca of the French rock at the time) and were declared the best non-professional French band of 1972. Playing at the festival, the band started to hang out with big names from the French rock scene, like Variations, Magma, Il Etait Une Fois, Catharsis, Ange and Dynastie Crisis. In 1973, they decided to be a professional band and change their name to Satan. They produced a unique music between hard rock and progressive and delivered intense shows, inspired by the world of sci-fi and literature, with musicians wearing make-up and strange costumes. But despite the fact that they played before the English band Caravan in 1974 and had an appearance in local TV show, the band always suffered from financial difficulties. For this reason, they created the more commercial band Ciel D'été with the intention of playing exclusively in the ballroom circuit. With the financial proceeds from Ciel D'été performances, they went to a studio in Angers twice - the first time to record two commercial tracks for Ciel D'été, and the second time to record tracks for the future album by Satan which had been performing for more than three years at that point. But at the time, they couldn't find a record company to publish their record. Satan collapsed in the middle of 1976, joining the cohort of musical project killed by the French musical industry - an industry which was preoccupied with making easy money by already successful English and American music and producing very dispensable French music, marketed commercially. Comes as colored vinyl; Includes a poster and inserts; Edition of 1000 (numbered).
2017 repress. "Definitive reissue of the legendary late '60s Los Angeles psychedelic masterpiece: restored/remastered transfer, pitch/speed corrected for the first time ever. Extensive booklet contains dozens of unpublished photos and images, a thorough investigation into this landmark album, and an extensive interview with Damon. Damon's Song of a Gypsy is generally regarded as one of the finest privately-pressed psychedelic rock records and has, for over twenty years, been one of the most sought after late '60s American rock artifacts in the world, with the scant original copies that exist exchanging hands for thousands of dollars. Song of a Gypsy has remained high on its own plateau: out of reach and indescribable. It seemed that this homespun, funky psychedelic monument borrowed from nothing and sprung from nowhere. Damon's unique, introspective songwriting and nuanced voice, the interplay between he and lead guitarist Charlie Carey and an atmosphere that so perfectly captured the last bloom of the flower power era as it decayed into the dark haze of the '70s underground could only have arisen from a spark of auspicious genius. But did it? Over the past seven years, we at Now-Again have been obsessed with Song of a Gypsy and have researched the album, and Damon's life-arch. This anthology is our attempt to put forth a convincing argument for the overwhelming importance of this album, a unique high point from within but also outside of America's psychedelic movement. We follow Damon on his 'predestined life as a gypsy' from his birth into a tight knit Italian American family in Rochester, New York, through the various Los Angeles communities that he would call home. We analyze the entirety of his oeuvre, from his first surf-rock single in 1960, through schmaltzy pop, convincing doo-wop, blued eyed soul and garage rock in the mid '60s. And we focus on the year 1967, the founding of his label Ankh, and his transformation from a pop hopeful to the tortured soul who would create Song of a Gypsy. We attempt to make sense of the seminal moments that made this transformation possible in a crucial moment in America's psychedelic high water mark in this, the definitive reissue of this album."
Double LP version. Comes in a gatefold jacket. Pias present a reissue of the 2005 album from Germany's doom jazz cult band Bohren & Der Club Of Gore, Geisterfaust. Geisterfaust, featuring the slowest band on earth in an even more reduced and slow motion style, is back in full glory, with 58 minutes of playtime over five astonishing tracks. "Geisterfaust" might be translated as "the fist of a ghost" and the individual tracks are "trigger finger", "ring finger", "middle finger", "thumb" and "little finger". The group, who are much loved by musicians like Mike Patton (of Faith No More and who releases their albums on the Ipecac label) or Stephen O'Malley (SunnO), deliver outstanding music. For fans of SunnO, OM, Max Richter, Fennesz and David Lynch/Angelo Badalamenti. This is instrumental music of the highest caliber.
2016 repress of the 2014 debut album by Croatian Amor, which followed a long row of limited tapes on Posh Isolation. The World runs like a soundtrack on which the actors's voices were never cut from the score, field recordings and synth blends together in a beautiful yet nauseating audio pool - Transit, plastic interior, insomnia, pornography and being alone. Being alone in large groups of people, being alone in thousands of years of civilization, being alone in a lover's bed copulating. Euro magic, bubble-gum industrial, 1989.
LP version. 180 gram vinyl; Comes with a download card and a printed inner sleeve. Stirred up from deep within, from an abstract spiral of sound and movement, from a sensation of time and space absolving and converging at once, the Black Flower musicians have molded a tangible matter: the album Artifacts. Their second full album sounds international and ageless; Eastern influences, Ethio-dub, and jazz effortlessly merge producing psyche-delicious and accessible 21st century Ethio-dub-jazz. As if John Zorn put on Fela Kuti's shoes and imbibed Mulatu Astatke's whirls. Piloted by saxophonist/flutist/composer Nathan Daems (Ragini Trio, Dijf Sanders, Antwerp Gipsy-Ska Orkestra), this instrumental band aims for originality. Fellow musicians and "brothers down the road" are Jon Birdsong (dEUS, Beck, Calexico) on cornet, Simon Segers (Absynthe Minded, De Beren Gieren, Stadt) at the drums, Filip Vandebril (Lady Linn, The Valerie Solanas, Antwerp Gipsy-Ska Orkestra) on the bass, and Wouter Haest (Los Callejeros, Voodoo Boogie) playing keys. For many, the Ethiopian aspect once made known to the world by Mulatu Astatke will stand out. Still, Black Flower further adds oriental scales, Afrobeat à la Fela Kuti, jazz in a John Zorn way and varied western music traditions such as rock and dub. The resulting melting pot is undoubtedly inspired by Nathan's distant travels and the multifariously colorful city of Brussels. After their well-received debut album Abyssinia Afterlife (2014) which created an atmosphere of mythical figures and psychedelia, Black Flower now reflect on ancient and modern cultures. The album title Artifacts refers to centuries-old fragile objects or tools that empowered the development of human culture. The musicians' personal musical backgrounds and the result is an album with an ageless mystique. Artifacts is the synthesis of different cultures, of the past and present, and personal and collective memories. It is the soundtrack to modern reality, based on the elements that connect everybody. Uncomplicated originality, plenty of space for fantasy and an organic tone: those are the ingredients for Black Flower to lay claim to an age-old human ritual: dancing! Also features: Tcha Limberger plays violin on "Lunar Eclipse"; Gernas Shekhmous plays daf on "Realm And Era".
In the summer of 1986, Adrian Sherwood (On-U Sound) went to Florence, Italy for a different kind of vacation: to make a record with noise-funk band Rinf. The sweaty sessions stretched for weeks, resuming in London - to whip these loose tracks into shape. The record label Lacerba released the final mixes on two 12" EPs, Bang Bang (1987) and Rubber On Rider (1988), that have long been out of print. For the first time, Der Westen Ist Am Ende compiles the fully remastered complete sessions in a new package that cheekily references the testosterone-driven porn-obsessed lyrics. Comes in a beautiful three-color silkscreen and custom die-cut jacket.
The second twin in Unrock's sub-series of actively anti-western music is an ultra-heavyweight. In the worlds of contemporary global avant-art, composition and improvisation, it reaches new heights. Eyvind Kang (from "Ghost Ghat Tresspass/Sussmeier" Sun City Girls 330,003 Crossdressers From Beyond The Rig Veda among many other collaborations) employs a rarely-heard viola technique. Some may call it plucking art. The viola is played not with a bow, but plucked with the fingers of the right hand, resulting in a completely distinct sound. Eyvind Kang is a master and has reinvented this special technique. Two solo viola tracks (one a cover of an Albert Ayler piece) with melodies of outstanding beauty and fragility develop into perfection. Two additional tracks also feature Indonesian cello player Krusnedi Sukarwanto from Surakarta, and Ghanaian percussionist Yah Amponsah, performing koncrong style. Tashi Dorji, an exceptional guitar playing soul from Bhutan, came through the lower Rhine area and stopped for a recording at Ivory Tower. A soulful afternoon and evening resulted in a relaxed, playful recording showing the skills and talents of Tashi in full. Like its sister release, Sam Shalabi/Alan Bishop & Sam Shalabi's Mother Of All Sinners (UNROCK 007LP, 2016), Mother Of All Saints will be released as a one-time limited run pressing on 140 gram vinyl. Comes in an extra heavy deluxe cover with a solid printed inlay.
Macondo Revisitado: The Roots Of Subtropical Music Uruguay 1975-1979
Macondo Revisitado features a selection of some of the best recordings from Uruguayan independent label Macondo between 1975 and 1979. Artists emulated tropical music styles popular in Caribbean and Central American countries like Cuba (guaguancó, guaracha), Puerto Rico, Panama (bomba, plena, merengue) and Colombia (porro, vallenato, cumbia), but within this process of adaptation and hybridization, elements, procedures and codes spawned a music that possesses its own post-territorial identity and universe. At the end of the '50s, big bands like Cortijo Y Su Combo or Sonora Matancera reached the Southern Cone for the first time. Local pioneer Pedro Ferreira and his orchestra, the Cubanacan, worked to lay the foundations of the candombe songbook, as well as performing Afro-Cuban and Brazilian repertoires. Meanwhile, the records of César Concepción, Moncho Leña, Mon Rivera and others were adopted and covered; re-appropriated by this new generation with complete naturalness. There was a strong cultural impact and as a result a new generation of groups emerged from the melting pot of all these different influences, the names and repertoires of these groups pointing straight back to their heritage, while embarking on their respective recording journeys on labels like Clave, Orfeo and Mallarini. Set up in the port area of Montevideo, Macondo Discos was founded by the Chilean entrepreneur Luis Onel and named after the town from García Márquez's fictional universe. Initially, the label produced a catalog comprising folk, tango, murga and rock. 1975 onwards, after the release of Sonora Cienfuegos's Tropical Caliente and Sonora Borinquen's Exclusivo!, marked the "golden age of tropical music in our country" according to Carlos Goberna, founder of Sonora Borinquen. One of the most important figures from this era is Mario Maldonado. He started his career in the mid-60s in Sonora Veracruz where he met vocalist Chico Ferry. They both coincided again in the Conjunto Casino. Maldonado would then go on to join Grupo Cubano, Borinquen and direct the musical production of records by Grupo Antillano, Grupo Maracaibo and others. He was one of the outstanding performers and musicians on the label, with more meticulous and orchestrated arrangements presenting a more challenging repertoire in pursuit of a more contemporary and electric sound. Compilation and notes by Nandy Cabrera, aka Selectorchico. Features: Sonido Cotopaxi, Grupo Electrónico Keguay, Las Estrellas De Macondo, Tropicana 70, Conjunto Casino, Sonora Borinquen, Grupo Manatí, Combo Camagüey, Sonora Cienfuegos, Grupo Latino, Anakaona, Grupo Cubano, Grupo Maracaibo and Grupo Antillano.
"'In the late '70s and early '80s everyone had very fluid art identities. One day you were a filmmaker, the next day a musician, and Y Pants was very much a part of it... The lyrics are ironic without being callous, the voices are sultry, the music is repetitive and trance-like... [with] a sense of urgency - like something being driven out.' --Kiki Smith. Y PANTS were a three-woman New York band: Barbara Ess, Virginia (Verge) Piersol and Gail Vachon, all visual artists. They played in clubs, galleries and performance spaces between 1979 and 1982. They were 'as idiosyncratic, edgy, minimal, wry and literate as post-punk no wave got. Furthermore, the fact that these were three ferocious and formidable females was not to be overlooked.' --Wolfgang Staehle, thing.net. Gail found a toy piano on the street and started jamming with Barbara on the ukulele. When they were invited to play a few weeks later at TR3 (the short-lived but influential downtown NY music club), they electrified their instruments and recruited the neophyte drummer Verge for percussion on a children's drum set. Their first gig met with an unexpected wildly enthusiastic reception. The instrumentation was then rounded out with Barbara's bass (former bands Daily Life and The Static), an African thumb drum, and a Casio keyboard for Gail. Verge's initial Mickey Mouse toy kit soon fell apart and she cobbled together a modest trap set. They gained a following and soon recorded a four song EP produced by Glenn Branca for 99 Records. They often shared the stage with label mates the Bush Tetras, ESG, Liquid Liquid, Branca and other NYC 'downtown' bands. This release includes their four-song debut EP and two songs never before available on vinyl: 'Magnetic Attraction' (previously released on Tellus Audio Cassette), and the mysterious 'Kung Fu'. In a NY Times review, John Rockwell wrote"... what really makes Y Pants a success is the actual sound of the instrumentals -- raw and driving yet exotic and imaginative in terms of timbre and minimalist structure.' "
2017 repress. Beat Generation presents a reissue of Pure Hell sole full-length album, recorded in 1978 but not released until 2006. In 1974, on the streets of Philadelphia, a band unlike any other was formed. They called themselves Pretty Poison. They had a sound so ahead of its time that the music industry was not yet ready for it. They coupled the punk sound of the New York bands of the time with a harder, faster heavy metal edge unheard before. Their unique sound was a result of Kenny Gordon's berserk choreography and Preston Morris's needling guitar riffs, while Steel and Spider added synchronized barrage with no nonsense execution to the arsenal. Inspired by the famous fuel-altered dragster, they changed their name to Pure Hell in 1975. Soon after, they moved to New York City where they played with bands like the New York Dolls, Sid Vicious, Wayne County and the Electric Chairs, The Dead Boys, The Stimulators, Richard Hell, The Germs, The Nuns, The Cramps and more. In 1978 Pure Hell headlined a tour of the UK, with bands like the UK Subs, Wilko Johnson, Vermilion & the Aces and more opening for them. While in the UK, their only original record was released. It was a single released by their manager Curtis Knight on his label, Golden Sphinx Records. The songs on the single were "These Boots Were Made for Walking" and "No Rules." The single charted in the top 40 charts in the UK. During the same year, a full length album was recorded but was never released. It did not surface again for 28 years.
Dieter Moebius (1944-2015) was one of the most important protagonists of avant-garde electronic music in Germany. He was a founding member of Kluster/Cluster (with Conrad Schnitzer and Hans-Joachim Roedelius) and Harmonia (with Michael Rother and Hans-Joachim Roedelius) and worked with several artists such as Brian Eno, Conny Plank, Mayo Thompson, Hellmut Hattler, Asmus Tietchens, Mani Neumeier, Arno Steffen, Jürgen Engler, Jean Hervé Peron, Zappi Diermaier, and Chris Karrer. In 2012, Dieter Moebius was invited to perform music to Fritz Lang's legendary silent film Metropolis (1927). For this purpose, he produced pre-arranged tracks and samples to be treated with effects and combined during live improvisation according to the dramaturgical setting of the film. His impressive work reveals its full power and depth in combination with the images from the film. It was his plan to create an album-length version of this music for release. Unfortunately, Dieter Moebius passed away on July 20, 2015 and was not able to complete the project. With the help and support of Dieter Moebius's widow Irene and two longtime musical partners, Tim Story and Jon Leidecker, the Berlin musician Jonas Förster finished the remaining work and completed the production.
LP version. 2015 release. Fifth Dimension present a reissue of Marcello Giombini's Astromusic Synthesizer, originally released in 1981. Another great synthesizer artist and pioneer, this time from Italy, Giombini's work date back to the early '60s and maybe even beyond considering he was born in 1928. In the mid-to-late '60s, he became quite active in the field of western movie soundtracks. Astromusic Synthesizer is a concept album on the zodiac signs and the music it contains could not be more diverse. The elements that unite all the tunes are the entirely synthetic, yet warm analog sound and the surreal, spaced-out atmosphere. Several different basic genres deliver the inspiration from which Marcello Giombini forms his melodies, harmony patterns, and rhythm structures. There are tunes you will easily recognize as pop songs with a typical '60s approach, concerning the melody writing, there are baroque elements, and even pure soundscapes that make you feel like being trapped in the interior of a thinking machine. The synthetic sound adds a futuristic shine to each composition. The mood changes are dramatic: You will float down a peaceful river of dreams at one point and then become swallowed by a vortex of musical fury that projects a galactic battle before your third eye. Indeed, the whole album could work as a soundtrack for an epic science fiction movie whose story drags you far out into space. If you love movies such as The Black Hole (1979) and enjoy the compositions of other synthesizer heroes such as Mort Garson, you will treat Astromusic Synthesizer as a precious musical treasure. Fans of '70s synthesizer music should give this a listen.
2017 black vinyl repress. "According to legend, when the Wu-Tang Clan formed like Voltron on their debut album in 1993, GZA happened to be the head--an appropriate place for a man also called 'The Genius.' Yet at the time few could have predicted that his 1995 masterpiece Liquid Swords would be considered 'one of the most substantial lyrical journeys in hip-hop history' (Chicago Tribune). At the peak of his powers as a producer, Wu-Tang mastermind RZA crafted the album's distinctive soundtrack at his basement studio in Staten Island; a haunting landscape of dusty samples, sharp snares and menacing urban gloom, with frequent interludes of dialogue from the classic Samurai flick Shogun Assassin. Cerebral, strategic and precise with his words, GZA crystallizes a range of influences--from chess to kung-fu films to mob flicks and Eastern philosophy--into sharply delivered rhymes. The album features appearances by the entire Wu-Tang Clan, and includes the auspicious debut of Killah Priest on 'B.I.B.L.E.' Acknowledged as one of the '100 Best Rap Albums' (The Source) and 'Top 100 Records of the 1990s' (Pitchfork.com), Get On Down is proud to present Liquid Swords as it was intended to be experienced, on double vinyl with audio remastered from the original source tapes and the original iconic cover artwork from DC Comics artist Denys Cowan." Includes poster insert.
Picaro Vol.2: Calypso-Rock Pastis, Oriental Flavored Jazz, Colombian Fox, Tipsy Gin-Twist & the Spanish Cowboy Kid
From the basement of small, secluded shops selling electrical appliances in the provinces and exquisite albums of singles from the select discotheque of piano bars and top-class singles bars, Grumete Records serves up a cocktail of versions that have never been heard before, with Picaro Vol.2. Mysterious instrumental tracks and bizarre, inexplicable pieces performed by disheveled orchestras and forgotten or half-forgotten soloists. The Argentinian trumpeter Tulio Gallo performs a Russian classic to a twist beat luring listeners irresistibly onto the dancefloor. Pantaleón Perez Prado emigrated from Cuba to Italy and recorded material for European labels. Eclipsed by his brother's huge success, his work went unnoticed until Grumete rescued this magnificent version of "Guaglione". Many Italians travelled to the USA to try to get their talent recognized but Nino Rienzi alone managed to unite the elegance of the popcorn sound with an exotic and oriental rhythmic base. The French pastis moment comes with the frenzied saxophones, intoxicating sound and more oriental rhythm on "When", written by Paul Evans in 1958 with Francis Linel on vocals. This track is followed by Armand Canfora conducting a composition by Jacques Dutronc and Roger Morris et Son Orchestre performing "Oriental Express", a rare moorish jazz number. The orchestras on the first side of the record give way to wilder and more unusual performances on the second side - Renderings of rock, twist, fox and beat, all sung in Spanish. Long-forgotten soloists like Juan Ramón, the Mexican Hermanas Montoya or Angelito. The flawless version of "Bang Bang" by Kinita stands out on the album; a little known track that was released, with different orchestral arrangements, as a promo record for Fundador. The priceless "Escóndete" by a youthful Angelito Pachín dressed as a cowboy also stands out. And to top it all, Los Tarahumaras provides the best beat version of "Taboo", the composition written by Margarita Lecuona: a hard-to-find track taken from an EP released by Orfeón in Mexico. Also features: Peter Hinnen, Mr. Sax, Juan Ramón, Los Golden Boys, Dave Dacosta, and Los Risueño. Edition of 500.
Pharaway Sounds present a reissue of Lindo Amorcito by Los Dandy's, originally released in 1985 on Bambú. Los Dandy's were a Peruvian cumbia band formed in the '70s by the great Héctor Farfán (Los Beta 5, Los Destellos) featuring the superb vocals of the legendary Oswaldo "Guajiro" Ortega (Los Guajiros, Los Destellos). Their rare album is a great mix of cumbias, guarachas and tropical rhythms with cool Atari-styled electronic effects, reverb-drenched electric guitars, infectious vocals and incredible lyrics. RIYL: Los Destellos, Los Beta 5, Los Shapis, chacalón, chicha, electronic cumbia. Remastered sound; New cover design; Includes insert with photos and liner notes.
Radiation Deluxe Series present a reissue of The Telescopes's self-titled second album, originally released on Creation in 1992. Formed in 1987, these British shoegaze/space-rock mainstays drew inspiration from the '60s psych and rock scene, particularly The Velvet Underground, The 13th Floor Elevators, Love, and The Byrds, as well as contemporaries such as My Bloody Valentine, and The Jesus & Mary Chain. Their second LP is where they truly took off and found their original voice with a tight batch of hook-laden tunes. An essential piece of UK shoegaze and psychedelia, The Telescopes is back in print on vinyl for the first time since 2009.
Iron Curtain Innocence LP
Calabar-Itu Road: Groovy Sounds From South Eastern Nigeria (1972-1982) CD
Nicola Conte Presents Viagem 3: A Collection Of 60s Brazilian Bossa Nova And Jazz Samba CD
They Reminisce Over You (T.R.O.Y.) 7"
Beneath The Mirrored Surface CD