Holy Grail territory here from Andy Votel and Demdike Stare's mighty Dead-Cert imprint, who finally bring you this incredible album of previously unreleased industrial-themed recordings made in 1976 by experimental pioneer and Ennio Morricone cohort Alessandro Alessandroni. The concept itself is riveting enough -- the guy who provided that infamous guitar riff for The Good, The Bad and The Ugly (1966) delivering utterly bent and synth-heavy recordings previously unheard by the wider world -- but the material and execution is just nothing short of a revelation, unlocking an uncannily prescient suite of rhythmik pieces that sound completely dissimilar to much library music of the same era. Industrial perfectly encapsulates the heightened state of creativity in the mid '70s surrounding Alessandroni and his close peers Giuliano Sorgini -- together known as Braen Raskovich -- and Morricone, for whom Alessandro also famously whistled the theme to A Fistful of Dollars (1964). Recorded at Piero Umiliani's Sound Workshop in Rome, and made with an arsenal of EMS Synthi VCS3 modular systems, tape loops, and a treated Petrof grand piano, plus a bundle of string instruments, the industrial results (coincidentally issued the same year as Throbbing Gristle's debut release) present a pulsating take on this kind of music, breaching tightly-coiled motorik systems and mood percolators with atonal strings and viral oscillations. Most importantly, the sense of minimalist efficiency and the clarity of the recordings are shocking, pushing the envelope of electro-acoustic music and pre-empting the early notions of an entire genre movement. Artwork by Anthony Shallcross. Liner notes by Shallcross, Jr., aka Andy Votel. Limited to 500 copies.
Despite having independently released the first punk rock single on the US west coast, Crime's legend has never spread beyond a comparatively small but extremely adamant cult. The fact that they only released three singles during their existence is certainly a factor in the lack of recognition afforded them. Probably more significant is the fact that Crime's music and image set them apart from what soon became discernable as the typical punk rock scene. The amphetamine blues lead guitar bursts that responded to the vocal lines in nearly every song, as well as the frequently dispassionate vocals, set them apart from the bandwagon-jumping art-schoolers (who were all too often devoid of rock and roll attitude), as did their carefully cultivated look and their anti-social attitude. Crime compiles the complete recorded legacy of the band fans have come to refer to as San Francisco's first and only rock and roll band. It includes three facsimile reproductions of Crime's original singles and four more 7"s featuring ten tracks recorded from 1977 through '79 and unreleased at the time, among them a "Be Bop a Lula/Peggy Sue" medley unavailable elsewhere until now. The records are accompanied by a 20-page booklet with an extensive band interview by Michael Lucas, photos and memorabilia, plus a special text written by film director and Crime fan Jeff Feuerzeig (The Devil and Daniel Johnston). Includes a CD with all 16 tracks.
2015 repress. LP version, purple vinyl. Originally released in 2001. Bravery, Repetition and Noise is a dark, dreamy album, rich in atmosphere, layered in waves of sound. The album's antecedents are clear, inspired by psychedelia as they were by punk's nihilism, pulling both strands into a doom-laden, experimental sound quite distinct from anything that had come before or since. Brian Jonestown Massacre uses this as their touchstone, lovingly re-creating the moods and atmospheres of the past.
Born and raised in east Detroit, Jimmy Edgar played raves in the city alongside techno's founding fathers during his mid-teens. By age 18, after conducting ambitious recording experiments, he'd signed to Warp Records. Edgar later established the Ultramajic imprint with fellow electronic auteur Aden. Fresh material from the label provides the backbone for FabricLive 79, and selections from Patrice Scott, DJ Godfather & DJ Starski, and Kris Wadsworth thread the music of Detroit through the mix like a seam. Also includes tracks by Edgar (including a collaboration with Truncate and a track featuring DJ Rashad), Terrence Dixon, POL Style, Vin Sol & Matrixxman, L-Vis 1990, Danny Daze, and Crystal Bandito. Packaged in bespoke slipcase containing die-embossed tin.
After an intense one-on-one dialogue with Heather Leigh regarding Golden Lab Records' mission to present beautiful records that showcase styles of guitar in all their extremities, Golden Lab is delighted to deliver what is, without question, an absolutely blinding example of just such a record. Leigh recorded Nightingale direct to cassette, delivering one of those performances in which the pedal steel rages so hard that the vocals never have the opportunity to even make an appearance. Recorded in glorious mono and mastered to really bring out the harshness of those insane tones, Nightingale captures an almost tape-like quality in the pedal steel itself, and its transfer to vinyl only warms it up further into a new zone of somehow cozy metallicism. This is an absolute joy -- a real tear-yr-face-off record that sort of acts as a companion piece to Leigh's 2014 performances with Stefan Jaworzyn as Annihilating Light. 140-gram vinyl presented in a black and silver matte sleeve and limited to 250 copies.
LP version. "Irreal, the fifth long player from Chicago's Disappears, is another trip down the rabbit hole. The album plays out as a dream sequence -- hazed dub landscapes give way to the group's most experimental and open music yet. If their last album Era confirmed the fact that Disappears are on their own trip, then Irreal is where it kicks in. Eternalism, roboethics, identity -- it's a Ballardian mix of imperfect melodies, half thoughts and good ol' dystopian modernity. It's a master class in texture, pace, and control. Produced by John Congleton at famed Chicago recording institution Electrical Audio, Irreal sits in the negative space where art rock and post punk collapse onto each other. It's the sound of Disappears reporting back from The Void."
"Over the course of several months, Áine O'Dwyer was given access to the pipe organ in St Mark's Church, Islington, while the cleaners were at work. Primarily a harpist, this was a rare opportunity to grapple with the 'king of instruments' and apply her sense of melodic, structured improvisation in a new context. Since it's impossible to exert complete control over such a recording environment, she entered into the sessions with a Cagean mindset, embracing extra-musical sounds. This gave the recordings a unique character and concept. With the door left open to serendipity, it can seem that the sonic environment coalesces in sympathetic harmony. Here, the synth-like whoosh of the vacuum cleaner, a child's laughter, various echoed clatters and chatter become part of the music. Improvised music is inevitably influenced by the presence and expectations of an audience... Áine capitulates to the 'request from the ladies' by not staying 'on one note for a long time,' but already did 'bring music' -- that is, the graphic score reproduced in the gatefold. At the end, we can hear that even the recording device itself is subjected to the relentless advance of church cleaning. The album is multifaceted and conceptually satisfying in many ways. It's simultaneously a series of solo improvisations, a site-specific piece of performance art, rich in chance elements, and even qualifies as a field recording, where the transcendent and menial meet. Despite the absence of cheers and applause, it's also a live album. In this new extended incarnation, it becomes almost a kind of minimalist opera, with a subtle plot of polite contention softening amid curiosity about the trumpet that takes us out of this most concrete of recordings with a single psychedelicized blast. Metaphysical themes are hard to avoid using an imposing instrument traditionally intended to inspire them. The titles hint at Áine's meditative concerns while playing. Here is an Irish lapsed Catholic mind (as Cranley told Dedalus) 'supersaturated' with the religion it rejects: the double meaning implicit in 'church cleaning,' the forbidden 'deep sounds,' the pensive, often brooding hue of the music itself, heavy in every sense. Throughout I hear the dark depths of thoughtfulness, warmth, and mischievous wit that is quintessentially Áine. Originally released as a cassette on Fort Evil Fruit [in 2012], this expanded vinyl edition features new artwork and doubles the album's length, making for a truly immersive experience" --Paul Condon. Includes download code; housed in a gatefold sleeve.
2015 limited vinyl repress. Double LP version.
LP version on 180 gram vinyl. Bureau B presents Cluster's USA Live, a 1996 recording of Cluster's first tour of the USA. This release consists of tracks from Purple Pyramid's 1997 CD First Encounter Tour 1996, reworked and reselected in collaboration with the musicians and presented on vinyl (for the first time) and on CD. Includes new artwork. "The US recordings are loud and impassioned. Some tracks are really loud, the mood is frankly disquieting. Tonal differences aside, this takes us back to Cluster's musical frame of mind in the early 1970s. Given the vast expressive repertoire on which Moebius and Roedelius could draw from almost twenty years of relentless experimentation, perhaps this ought not to surprise us. Furthermore, as artists of the moment, they are able to respond flexibly and immediately to the ambience, the situation, their own condition. Something in the USA was fundamentally different to Japan. On the evidence of the US live recordings we can surmise that the USA tour was anything but introspective. As if Cluster were intent on proving that they were neither purveyors of cozy ambient electronica nor producers of new age muzak. The way they played America was completely unpredictable, sometimes even chaotic. Expansive passages switch abruptly with rhythmic stretches, raw noise erupts in quiet places -- Moebius and Roedelius pull out all the stops. It all amounts to quite an ordeal for the audience, possibly even disappointing one or two listeners in the process. But Cluster's music was always multifaceted, so surprises were never far away. The USA live album does not escort the listener to bright, mellifluous swaths, but to rugged, karstic regions, no less a part of Cluster's world. It is an uncomfortable album with rough edges. Still, it is a good thing that Moebius and Roedelius used these forceful improvisations to conclude their journey together for the foreseeable future. Cluster bid farewell to their listeners twice in 1996: softly and almost lost in reverie on Japan Live (BB 174CD/LP), then not long afterwards they went out with a bang on First Encounter Tour/USA Live. Once again the two musicians had shared the full spectrum of their artistic visions. Alas, a double goodbye does not make the split any easier. Fast-forwarding into the next millennium, however, we are happy to hear the cry: Cluster ahoy!" --Asmus Tietchens.
Gatefold LP version on 180 gram vinyl with download code. Samba Touré's previous album Albala (GB 004CD/LP) was recorded during the fear-laden atmosphere of 2012, when northern Mali (including his ancestral village of Diré) had succumbed to sharia law and radical Islamist control and Bamako, his adopted home, still reeled in the chaos of the recent military coup. Albala received widespread acclaim and was rightfully recognized not only as the best album of Samba's career but also as an undeniable musical statement about the human toll of war and political crisis. Samba had spent years honing his artistry (including stints playing with Malian blues master Ali Farka Touré and Kora genius Toumani Diabate) and Albala signposted a mature artist, full of sonic imagination and narrative fire. Gandadiko, the title of Samba's potent, diverse and ambitious new album, translates from his native language Songhai as: "Land of Drought" or "Burning Land." The title seems to indicate a return to the dark textures that marked Albala but in fact Gandadiko is a more complex story than that. Touré is known to search for the seeds of his musical ideas in the assorted stack of CDs he listens to while driving through the chaotic streets of Bamako. The out-of-the-box musical inspirations he has picked up for his new album range from Serge Gainsbourg to Bo Diddley via Tom Petty to funky psychedelia, though of course, all the raw material is instinctually filtered through the traditional melodies and rhythms of his Songhai musical heritage. The songs on Gandadiko are in fact framed by a restless eclecticism. Samba's guitar-playing has never been so anxious, exploratory and rock and roll and his voice has never been as smooth and relaxed.
Phil Julian is a UK-based sound artist, composer, and improviser active since the late 1990s, with a prolific output under both his Cheapmachines alias and his own name. His work encompasses sonic textures ranging from harsh squalls of noise to hyper-minimalistic timbres and drones. Studio recordings and live performances within Europe and North America have focused on the use of electronics, particularly unstable and/or chaotic systems, e.g. modular synthesizers, feedback, contact microphones, objects and surfaces, and computer-based works. Julian recorded TRACE at Elektronmusikstudion in Stockholm during his Guest Composer residency in 2013. Using a combination of EMS's vintage analog equipment and various computer processes, Julian recorded and mixed the material on TRACE specifically for diffusion over the Audiorama 17.4 surround sound system, custom built and installed inside the decommissioned torpedo workshop on Stockholm's island of Skeppsholmen. "Open Form," which takes up the A side of the release, is made up of much shorter pieces recorded over the two week residency. "Corona" is an improvised piece using only analog electronics and "Arrival" uses a custom computer patch alongside a complex set of processes running on the huge EMS Buchla synthesizer. The recordings combine the dynamics and space associated with modern composition and electroacoustic works with the density and abrasive qualities more often encountered in noise and contemporary computer music. Sleeve photography by Eddie Nuttall. Mastered by Joe Panzner.
Formerly known as Al'Tourettes and one half of R&S's ALSO (alongside Appleblim), Alec Storey unveiled his Second Storey project in 2013. "One Sound" is the second single from his 2014 debut LP Double Divide (HTH 031CD/LP), and intertwines Second Storey's electro and bass music influences over six restless, bouncy minutes. Exclusive track "Layer Lock" is equally frenetic, but echoes IDM in its micro-melodies and unconventional structure. Luke Vibert provides a sampladelic version of "One Sound," adding splashes of color in the finest cut 'n' paste style. Cristian Vogel transforms "Layer Lock" into a delightful and confounding shape-shifting head-nodder.
...The Dub Album They Didn't Want You to Hear!
"Totally killer previously unreleased dub companion LP to Flick Wilson's School Days LP. Jah Life was no slacker when it came to mixing dubs, and sat in with Scientist at King Tubby's for the mixing of many of the classic Junjo/Radics/Scientist albums. But more importantly, they also mixed a ton load of dubs for Jah Life himself, many of which, like this album, remain unreleased... until now! Nine out of ten tracks from the Flick Wilson album are dubbed here, and one track from the Wayne Jarrett's What's Wrong With the Youths album. Classic Scientist 1980-style mixing, nothing else like it, hard stuff. Cover features a fantastic previously unseen photo from Beth Lesser."
"Known for occupying the fringe of the Takoma roster alongside Craig Leon and Charlie Nothing, multi instrumentalist Phil Yost recorded two classic albums, Bent City & Fog-Hat Ramble, for the label before releasing his third, Touchwood's Dream, on his own. Using Soprano Sax, Flute, Bass, Guitar and Percussion, Yost creates a unique form of Psychedelic Folk-Jazz that reflects the natural beauty of the San Francisco Bay Area he called home. Euro Import with Paste-on covers."
Ontario Hospital is a collaboration between Dave Foster (Huren, Teste, etc.) and Rich Oddie (Orphx, Oureboros, etc.). Future Ready is a four-track EP that conflates their histories in noise, power electronics, industrial techno, and rhythmic noise and marries all methods together into a ritual assault. There are lots of adjectives to describe this music and you've heard them all before so just skip the bullshit and listen. Each record ships with a vial of bull hormones.* *This is a lie.
The second part of Thomas Melchior's Meditations series.
"On 36 Seasons Ghostface once again delivers exactly what the hardcore Wu-fans crave: desperate tales from the dark side over soulful boom-bap tracks. The soundscape is provided The Revelations [Brooklyn's acclaimed soul band/production team]. Their hard-hitting tracks match the intensity of Ghost's violent narrative. His co-stars on 36 Seasons are legendary lyricists and storytellers in their own right, 3 of the greatest of all-time: AZ, Kool G Rap and Pharoahe Monch. The album also features vocal contributions from Blue Note Records' rising star Kandace Springs and gritty soul singers Rell and Tre Williams."
LP version. For 18 years now, the electronic duo Klangwart have self-confidently occupied their very own niche between avant-garde and pop. Markus Detmer and Timo Reuber, the two "elder statesmen" of neo-Krautrock, have since become regarded as the most authentic heirs to the psychedelic sound gurus of the '70s. Titled Transit, their new album after Sommer (STAUB 099CD) is a real masterpiece: nine tracks of otherworldly beauty -- energetic, organic, unpredictable. Thousands of sound-snippets are assembled into a kind of vegetative music. Pulsing beats interact with weightless, floating sounds. Everything is in a constant flow -- sometimes in slow-motion, other times at a tearing pace. Transit stays at any time highly concentrated and dense. The longest track clocks in at only five minutes -- unusual for Klangwart. The production by sound guru Joseph Suchy appears almost three-dimensional, whereupon space is an equal element of composition. That's cosmic music for the 21st century.
"On the cover: Mica Levi (From underground pop star to acclaimed film composer, the artist also known as Micachu is a modern polymath); inside this issue: Invisible Jukebox: John Carpenter (The veteran film maker and composer is spooked by The Wire's mystery record selection); The Primer: Hiphop mixtapes (A user's guide to the major playas in rap's underground economy, from 50 Cent to Lil B); Inside the Red Bull Music Academy (In Tokyo, Derek Walmsley investigates the utopian ideals of the global music brand's banner event); Global Ear: Florence; Ohio punk 1975-80 (The Rust Belt's weirdest, compiled by Edwin Pouncey); Matana Roberts; The Pop Group; D'Angelo and the Vanguard."
Trunk Records presents the first reissue of Tam... Tam... Tam...!, an incredibly rare Brazilian LP by José Prates and Miecio Askanasy. In August of 2014, London-based DJ and record collector Gilles Peterson, who had been offered an original copy for $4,700, sent out a request for someone to reissue this extraordinary album. Originally issued in a one-time 1958 pressing as part of Askanasy's 1950s touring Braziliana show, Tam... Tam... Tam...! is a landmark in the development of the Brazilian sound that would explode around the world in the decade to follow. It's stunning both as a historical touchstone and as a standalone musical triumph. The solid blueprint of 1960s Brazilian music runs through it; for example, "Nānā Imborô" clearly prefigures Sérgio Mendes's 1966 hit "Mas Que Nada." The infectious rhythms, melodies, and exotic sounds that fill this album are deep, raw, and totally engaging. And the more one listens to Tam... Tam... Tam...! the more one hears its importance and future influence. This reissue comes at a time when, in a world saturated with information, few important things have escaped attention and reappraisal. Finding anything new and genuinely incredible is a rare feat. This is a prime example of amazing, influential music that until now has remained hidden. In producing this reissue, spurred on by Peterson's request, Trunk Records found that no master recordings could be located. The original 1950s label showed no interest in a reissue, but Ed Motta, the renowned artist, producer, and record collector, agreed to transcribe his original copy on his EMT deck and send the files from Brazil to the UK. The sound was not in the best condition, and the original 1950s vinyl pressing has several musical inconsistencies. Trunk Records painstakingly worked toward a suitable sonic balance, making sure to maintain the bright and driving original sound without cleaning it up so much that the life of the music was diminished. Accordingly, the vinyl edition of reissue was pressed with some very slight surface noise -- any more cleaning would interfere with the true wax sound. The CD edition, however, was pressed with more digital enhancement. Vinyl edition includes original full color LP sleeve. CD edition includes four-page booklet.
"At this point, it can justifiably be said that Keiji Haino, Jim O'Rourke and Oren Ambarchi have become one of the leading groups in experimental music. This, their sixth release, presents the entire second set of the trio's March 2013 concert at SuperDeluxe (the first set is available on Black Truffle as Only Wanting to Melt Beautifully Away Is It a Lack of Contentment That Stirs Affection for Those Things Said to Be as of Yet Unseen). While the first set of the evening saw the trio branching out into new instrumental configurations, here they return to their signature line-up of guitar, bass and drums. The LP begins abruptly, with one of the finest performances by the trio captured on record thus far already in full swing. Throughout the course of this 12-minute piece, O'Rourke and Ambarchi lay down a thudding, meterless pulse, the impossible midway point of Milford Graves and motorik Krautrock, over which Haino unfurls a number of distinct strategies developed in his work since the 1980s: formless blurs of reverb-drenched guitar noise, looped pointillist fragments and wandering, dissonant lines obscured in clouds of distortion. Continuing Haino's habit of naming albums with phrases that seem to obliquely comment on the music they contain, it could definitely be said that this is music made by three people 'determined to completely exhaust every bit of this body they've been given.' Showing the trio at new heights, this track carries on in the spirit of some of Haino's greatest work: music made with the ingredients of rock that somehow manages to sidestep all of its forms and traditions while retaining and amplifying its fundamental power. If this track alone lays to rest concerns about whether the trio has exhausted the guitar/bass/drums format, the remainder of the record serves as a demonstration of the multitude of possibilities still available for their continued exploration. The three are now so in-tune with one another that almost anything can be integrated into their improvisations: in the slow-burning second piece, O'Rourke's heavily effected bass wanders from anti-music thuds to an almost funky passage with Ambarchi sounding not unlike Buddy Miles circa Hendrix's Band of Gypsys -- it bespeaks the hours of listening to fusion and classic rock that continue to form an important part of O'Rourke and Ambarchi's musical personalities. The final piece is a continuous side-long performance that moves through a number of discrete episodes, from vocal and flute solos by Haino delicately accompanied by O'Rourke's sparse bass and Ambarchi's sizzling cymbals, to a final stumbling dirge over which Haino unleashes a stunning torrent of in-the-red guitar skree." --Francis Plagne; Design by Stephen O'Malley with high quality live shots by Ujin Matsuo and stunning artwork by Norwegian noise legend Lasse Marhaug.
Apologia is the first solo guitar recording by James Blackshaw, which he self-released in 2003 on CD-R in an edition of 30. Bladud Flies! now presents a limited vinyl edition of 500 copies. "Apologia was written on a cheap Yamaha guitar with a ridiculously high action over the course a couple of months in 2002 and recorded in February 2003, a few months before I picked up a 12-string guitar for the first time and wrote and recorded my first release, Celeste. I'd just started fingerpicking and had gotten comfortable enough with some techniques to experiment with open tunings of my own devising and write my own compositions, which were at that time very inspired by the musicians I adored -- John Fahey, Robbie Basho, and lots of old country blues players like Mississippi John Hurt, Blind Blake, and Reverend Gary Davis. I burned about 30 CD-Rs with homemade covers in jewel cases, gave most to friends and family and sold a few in the record shop I used to work in Soho. I felt for some time afterward like I was only just starting to find my own voice with Apologia -- the songs are shorter and more straightforward and the cyclical structures and appreciation of drones and overtones really came to the fore later on, as did my appreciation of adding other instrumentation and experimenting with sounds generally. Plus, I wasn't entirely happy with the sound of the recording (some small EQ changes and reverb was added for this edition) and let's just say the situation in the studio was far from ideal, but that's another story. For that reason, I never chose to reissue Apologia. Now, almost 12 years later, I'm hearing them in a different way, realizing the songs' charms rather than simply concentrating on the flaws. It doesn't sound quite like anything I've ever done since and there's a simplicity and raw energy about them that I've grown to appreciate. It's an interesting snapshot of where I was then and how things have changed. It is an absolute pleasure for me to work with Bladud Flies! to release Apologia as a limited edition LP now -- something I would never have dreamed of back in 2003." --James Blackshaw
Hot Casa Records presents Dans le Tchink Système, an Afro-soul treasure by Stanislas Tohon, the soul brother of Benin. Tohon was born in 1955 in Abomey, Benin, and, at the age of nine, began a musical career that would produce over thirty albums and many collaborations with such greats as Africando vocalist Gnonnas Pedro. Influenced by traditional tchinkoumé music, Tohon developed his own musical style called "Tchink Système," a mix of modern soul and Beninese traditional rhythms. Tohon recorded Dans le Tchink Système in Kumasi, Ghana, in 1979, with the incredible Vis-à-Vis Band of Ghana. The album is presented here in full, along with "Africa," the B-side of Tohon's rare debut 7", recorded the year before with Ghanaian band Les Satelites. Sung in Fon, Tohon's native language, this album is a soulful call for peace and unity in Africa and an exemplary collection of Afro-soul music. This incredibly hard-to-find record is now available again, remastered and limited to 1000 copies.
Originally released in 1986, Italian pianist and composer Roberto Cacciapaglia's Generazioni del Cielo is a contemporary musical work in the form of oratory; it is born from a development of matured musical language across polyvalent experiences, ranging from classical to pop composition. The subject originates from the will to tell an unusual story, a story without events but with real emotions, drawing from contemporary literature and sacred texts. In the production, the music, which was classically conceived, is projected into an environment of technological media, where the ancient and the modern interact. Presented on double LP with CD included. Remastered at Glance Studio.
Realized over a four-year period, Sean McCann's Ten Impressions for Piano & Springs is a document of transition and maturation. Slow-moving cloud forms over corporeal landscapes, these impressions whisper of McCann's decisive lean toward classical and avant-garde musics, culminating in 2013's Music for Private Ensemble, released on his own imprint, Recital. Less a final statement on ambient music, more a meditation on change, discovery and process. LP includes download code.
The Best Arizona Garage Bands (1967-1970) CD
The Best Arizona Garage Bands (1967-1970) LP
...The Dub Album They Didn't Want You to Hear! CD
V: Five Years of Artefacts - Chapter Four 12"
Bravery, Repetition And Noise LP
...And They Have Escaped The Weight Of Darkness LP
Life At the Water's Edge/Dogface 7"
Kerberos/Styx (The Synthapellas) 7"
Music for Church Cleaners Vol. I and II 2LP
Cm (Chloé Remix)/Angel 12"
Totally Useless/Horror Stories #5 7"
Perfect Wait EP + Biome Remix 12"