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Last updated:
27 March 2015


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Some of the Highlights of the week of 49 items on
NEW ARRIVALS List #471 (27 March 2015)
:

album cover LITURGY The Ark Work (Thrill Jockey) lp 22.00
Controversial as always, Brooklyn's Liturgy, the band 'troo' black metallers love to hate, is back. And it's not just purists who have found Liturgy's self-proclaimed 'transcendental black metal' (and accompanying manifesto) to be way too pretentious, arty, overly intellectual and dare we say hipsterish. And yeah, sure, Liturgy ARE intellectual and/or pretentious, but they also make some freaking amazing, weird music. So let's get all that out of the way by saying, they can call it whatever they want, just don't expect us to read the manifesto. To us, ok, maybe we wouldn't really consider them a bonafide black metal band, but the music they make wouldn't exist (probably) if there weren't such a thing as black metal. It's a part of their sound that they, well, have transcended? They're definitely their own 'thing' whatever it might be, a thing that beyond the black metal elements also incorporates math rock and academic new music and IDM electronica and other strange stuff besides. Totally up our alley in other words - although making The Ark Work an aQ Record Of The Week was also was a wee bit controversial here, 'cause we'll admit right off the bat that this isn't an easy album to sit through all at once. It's just so tripped out and CRAZY and exhausting, as you mentally process what you're hearing. But even if you can't take it all in one sitting, it's the sort of thing where we swear you'll be compelled to play individual tracks on repeat, over and over, just to get your head around 'em, and because certain parts can be so intense and mesmerizing, you want to really try to fully absorb/understand the awesomeness of them before experiencing the next draining yet uplifting track. So Record Of The Week it is, none can deny that it's an impressive piece of work and unlike anything else really. It's gonna have you going, what IS this? Very aQ-worthy, indeed.
Liturgy's bandleader, guitarist/vocalist/composer Hunter Hunt-Hendrix (whose name is only slightly less plausible than, say, Guy Mann-Dude, anyone remember that '80s metal shredder?) is one ambitious & talented dude... man... guy. Some pretentiousness may be a side effect of that, but whatever. It's not like we're paying attention to the conceptual lyrics about who knows what (though you might, they could be worthwhile). We're just busy being blown away by all the choppy stop-start arrangements; the symphonic horn parts; the insectoid guitar buzz that sounds like a Glenn Branca guitar orchestra made up of a whole bunch tiny, tiny, pygmy-like black metal guitarists; the mesmeric, trance-inducing drumming by the inhuman Greg Fox (Guardian Alien); the glitchy digital stutter that, seizure-like, grips bits of these tracks occasionally; the post-rocky, sea-saw way these tracks can build and build; the sheer proggy/mathy grandiosity of the whole thing, and all the other surprises, including, despite this music's difficulty-factor, some really beautiful, blissful parts too.
There are bagpipes, too, along with the trumpet and trombone, all played by guest musicians, but in addition there are also synthesized MIDI horns on here, the latter giving a bit of the vibe of an outsider composer realizing his epic opus with DIY bedroom recording technology. Then there are the processed vocals, also kinda melodic, but chant-like, a mantric supplication, sorta sounding like Om, but with the tape sped up perhaps or otherwise manipulated, and still quite emotive.
Yeah, we said they sure came up with something that doesn't sound like anything else, at least not anything that exists, though we can come up with some this-meets-that, hybrid of this-and-that esoteric band math equations to try to describe it, like, um, Orthrelm doing their version of Om (if Om attended the Church Universal and Triumphant), or Phantomsmasher goes to conservatory... or how 'bout this: the track "Vel Valhaal" sounds like a song by outsider epic metallers Realmbuilder, remixed by Venetian Snares, with a gamelan thrown in for good measure, mashed up with a Herman Nitsch aktion. How's that? We're trying.
If all that's not ridiculous enough, oh then there's the fact that Liturgy recently they appeared on an episode of NBC TV show The Blacklist, with freakin' Peter Fonda behind the drum kit. WTF? If haters gonna hate anyway, you might as well cash in with surreal shit like that.
You've got your whole life to listen to this Liturgy album, so don't delay, get it now! While maybe we can't say yet for sure, we think it's one we will be coming back to when some other, more acceptably 'troo black metal' albums are long forgotten.
Oh, and 'cause we told 'em we were making it a Record Of The Week, Thrill Jockey has kindly offered a special BONUS for folks who buy it from us, and only us, this week. While they last, we'll be including a download coupon with each purchase that gets you an mp3 of the crazy remix that Soft Pink Truth (Drew from Matmos) did of the track "Vitriol", which is otherwise is only available on the version of the cd released in Japan. It's not as if Liturgy isn't already insane and fucked up enough sounding, but you can imagine what SPT does to 'em.
FYI the swank gatefold double vinyl version includes a download of the full album, too, while the gatefold cd version has no need of that.
MPEG Stream: "Follow"
MPEG Stream: "Vel Valhaal"
MPEG Stream: "Quetzalcoatl"

album cover PIOULARD, BENOIT Sonnet (Kranky Records) cd 14.98
We've given good reviews to several Benoit Pioulard releases in the past, but if you think you know just what to expect here, think again. Pioulard's fifth album shifts away from those languid dream-pop songs of bedroom folk melancholia sung with a maudlin, reverb-saturated baritone we'd often heard from him before, in favor of thoroughly abstracted numbers. He builds this lush shoegazing wash from field recordings and his responses to them through guitar and tape manipulation, with nothing digital getting in the way of all of this tactile, gossamer haze.
Sonnet is an entirely instrumental album, which is certainly not out of the ordinary for the roster of Kranky Records, the home for A Winged Victory For The Sullen and Tim Hecker, two heavyweights of blearily atmospheric music; but we have to say that the Pioulard (instrumental) voice is especially a thing of beauty. The sibilance of air conditioning vents, summer time lawn sprinklers, washing machines, and the mid-day rasp of a swarm of locusts can become indistinguishable from amplified tape hiss. That's where Pioulard (who sounds French but is actually a Pacific Northwesterner named Thomas Meluch) begins to shape the work of Sonnet. Guitars, loops, and some twinkling synths come into the mix all of which are firmly sympathetic and complementary to the bittersweet coloring from his tapestries of sound. These droning nocturnes reflect the shimmer and feel of a Cocteau Twins instrumental or the ambient interludes found on Boards Of Canada or the even more soaring numbers from Troum. Highly recommended, this gets asked about and purchased by customers nearly every time we play it in the store!
MPEG Stream: "The Gilded Fear That Guides The Flow"
MPEG Stream: "Whose Palms Create"
MPEG Stream: "The Very Edge Of Its Flame"

album cover WAND Golem (In The Red) lp 15.98
Record number two from these distortion wrangling, psychedelic-garage rock groovy ghoulies. We loved their last record, Ganglion Reef (released on Ty Segall's God? label), and now their In The Red debut manages to pretty much up the ante on everything we dug about the first one, not the least of which is the insane catchiness and ridiculously hook heavy songsmithery. The production is huge, the guitars thick and buzzy, the songs peppered with all sorts of twisted glitchery and malfunctioning synth freakouts, but really all that's in service of some of the best songs we've heard from this whole crew in ages (and yeah, we're counting Segall, Cronin, Dwyer et al). Golem sounds like some mutated hybrid of Queen, the Rocky Horror Picture Show, seventies glam, psychedelic metal and weirdo synth punk, bombastic and beautiful, the melodies massively earwormy, and not the least bit less catchy for being swaddled in shredding psych guitar leads and epic sonic majesty, all of that, and a total nod to classic pop of the past too, psychedelic Nuggets style shimmer and buzz, a little bit paisley here and there, and that's not to mention the sort of heaviness you might expect from an outfit like Harvey Milk, but here, recast as just another perfect part of Wand's demented psych-garage noise-pop WTF masterpiece.
MPEG Stream: "The Unexplored Map"
MPEG Stream: "Reaper Invert"
MPEG Stream: "Planet Golem"

album cover ALESSANDRONI, ALESSANDRO Industrial By Alessandroni (Dead Cert) lp 24.00
The latest release from Andy Votel and Demdike Stare's Dead-Cert label comes in the form of a rare industrial oddity from Alessandro Alessandroni, who is either most famous for whistling that iconic melody from Ennio Morricone's "A Fistful Of Dollars" or for playing that oh so memorable riff on Morricone's "The Good, The Bad & The Ugly". We've reviewed some other Alessandroni records before, those more in keeping with the sound of a frequent Morricone collaborator, but this 1976 chunk of experimental weirdness is even more far out than anything you might expect from a guy who we already had pegged as pretty far out. Twisted tape loops and sinister synths are wrangled into pulsing sprawls of spaced out mesmerism, prepared pianos and acoustic guitars are recontextualized into some sort of heady kraut-psych styled avant groovery, and fractured melodies and stuttering rhythms are collaged into strangely pastoral and woozily lysergic stretches of motorik and minimal avant hypno-pop. Fantastic!
And extremely limited, we have less than 10 copies and after that it's apparently out of print and gone for good!
MPEG Stream: "Amperometri"
MPEG Stream: "Collata"
MPEG Stream: "Comitato"
MPEG Stream: "Compressione"

album cover ATKINSON, FELICIA A Readymade Ceremony (Shelter Press) lp 23.00
We've long been enchanted by Felicia Atkinson's smeared electronic abstractions and figurative tone-poems. This Belgian drone-concrete chanteuse has crafted a beautifully liminal body of recordings that equivocate a bedroom downer folk strum with drifting oceanic thrumming and dream-time electronics, alternating her recordings both under her own name and as Je Suis Le Petit Chevalier. There doesn't seem to be much difference as to what name goes with what recording, as all of her work documents her polymorphous arrangements of psychic and emotional residues. Her whispered, intimate vocals (most in French, some in English) that dot these recordings mutter decontextualized quotations from the transgressive / Surrealist writers that brought such her inspiration in her youth - Artaud, Bataille, Rene Char, etc. She frames these vocals through an equally deconstructed form of sound collage, bringing cinematic sequences of forlorn drone passages to twinkling synth melodies and fractured gravity well resonance to an uneasy resolution. While it never sounds like a Nurse With Wound album, she seems to be inhabiting a similar conceptual framework. The second half of the record gets quite bleak, with her whispered utterances cycling around smoldered echoes of overdriven rumbles and controlled infernal noise. Where Stapleton and Luc Ferrari would employ the female voice in psychosexual terms, Atkinson's application as a ritualized intimacy finds a complex and nuanced poetry that furthers her work beyond that of the sexual and into the sublime.
MPEG Stream: "Against Archives"
MPEG Stream: "The Book Is The Territory"
MPEG Stream: "Recherche De La Base Et Du Sommet"

album cover BOURBONESE QUALK s/t (Mannequin Records) 2lp 29.00
Not to be confused with the eponymous Bourbonese Qualk album from 1987, this is an exemplary compendium of the British post-punk industrialists' first five records, including tracks from Laughing Afternoon (1983), Hope (1984), The Spike (1985), Preparing for Power (1986), and that self-titled album. During this time period, Bourbonese Qualk was the trio of Simon Crab, Julian Gilbert, and Steven Tanza. They were a band who were uniquely self-sufficient and autonomous, running their own label and forming an artist co-operative not only for their own use but also for other artists, musicians, writers, and political activists. Their wholly independent stance was also one that avoided dogma, leaving their content of their work to stand as an agent that could lead towards change instead of barking against Thatcher, the Falklands War, or the conditions that lead to the Miner's Strike of 1984.
Thus, the studio in that co-op housed a collection of what could be borrowed, what could be repurposed, and / or what could be stolen. Their sound is very much an extension of the situation they crafted for themselves, warts and all.
Much of Bourbonese Qualk's output during this time period is highly rhythmic in nature, aligning with the spirit (much more so than the sound) of a 23 Skidoo and Clock DVA. Metronomic click tracks thrust to the foreground amidst a clatter of metal bashing, detuned bass fug anti-grooves, tape manipulation, and thrashed vocal cord utterances. It's a further deconstructed abstraction of the mutant disco that Clock DVA presented on their early outlier White Souls In Black Suits. For all of their unkempt angularity and droned disorientation, they could craft numbers of dour-dub beauty akin to very lo-fi versions of The Slits or PIL instrumentals. A well-deserved anthology from this oft-forgotten band. The vinyl sports four additional tracks not found on the cd version!
MPEG Stream: "Dream Decade"
MPEG Stream: "Head Stop"
MPEG Stream: "Shutdown"
MPEG Stream: "Deadbeat"

album cover CARR, KATE Fabulations (Soft Recordings) cd-r 14.98
Ah, this record is bloody gorgeous, introducing us to Kate Carr's wondrously droned-out field recordings and somnolent avant-folk strum. Carr is a peripatetic soul, spending her formative days in Sydney, Australia and currently plunked on the other side of the world in Belfast, Ireland with numerous travels that hardly make a straight line between the two locales. On these travels, she tireless collects field recordings - her soundcloud page sports an ever growing archive of fragments of wind, metal, birdsong, subterranean echo, mechanical purr, and nocturnal street emptiness. In her composed work, she'll find sympathetic textures within this archive, and turn these worldy sounds inward to illuminate a dreamlike radiance and an introverted otherness in these sounds. These hushed lulls and emotional pregnant impressions interweave with the more archetypically musical figures from guitar, synth, and their cohabitating shoegazed wash. The utterly downer track "I Remembered It All Somewhere Near Glasgow" centers on a particularly maudlin ellipsis played on acoustic guitar, dripping with sadness as reverberant pools ripple outward from her treated field recordings and distilled environmental hum. The drone is central to her work, but it is one that meanders as coaxed by the wind striking an Aeolian harp, rather than adhere to the plumb line of microtonal adjustments. That organic quality of her harmonics in conjunction with the sodden field recordings and the rainy-day song fragments make for quite a beautifully sad album. Limited to 70 copies.
MPEG Stream: "I Remembered It All Somewhere Near Glasgow"
MPEG Stream: "In Corridors A Thousand Years Old"
MPEG Stream: "In Sicily I Slept In The Shadow Of A Rock"

album cover CLOAK Succumb (Transylvanian Tapes) cassette 4.98
Slithering slimily forth from our very own San Franciscan tombs comes this arcane analogue artifact of bestial bewitchment, the debut burnt offering from decrepit black/death/punkers Cloak! Indeed their label Transylvanian Tapes (run by none other than Jimmy from East Bay doomlords/aQ faves Swamp Witch) describes Cloak as "pummeling black/death metal executed by punks", but we would go so far as to describe them as "pummeling black/death metal executed by punks WHO ALSO WORK AT AQUARIUS!!!", since Cloak features our very own Kirk wrenching out malignant bass guitar asphyxiations and general low-end terror! Cloak's debut demo is a writhing, twitching leviathan mass of primitive draconian horror, squirming back and forth between glacial doom-vertigo, shadowy crypt-dwelling death metal buzz, and gutter-crawling crusty grooves. The sound is immediately musty, dusty and cemetarial (Is that word?? It is now!), but remarkably catchy and well recorded. The riffs absolutely infectious, the drums a merciless militaristic pummel, the vocals grotesquely dripping with thick droplets of venom - a mid range throaty rasp as opposed to DM's typical low-end gurgle. But for as simple and primal as Cloak's songs can be, there's also a deadly focus and tightness, a sense of sadistic regal purpose. It's a perfect blend of hazy nightmarish atmosphere, hectic energy and genuine fist-pumping metal intoxication free of gimmicks or tricks - organic, pulsing and suffocating! And having had the privilege of catching them live we can say with confidence that it ain't no studio fluke, Cloak is the real dirty deal. Definitely highly recommended for fans of death and black metal's filthiest crevices. Prepare to succumb!
MPEG Stream: "Tank Vs. Tank"

album cover CONSUMER ELECTRONICS Repetition Reinforcement (Diagonal) 12" 17.98
There's a constant monologue uttered on Repetition Reinforcement from Phillip Best, he of the sick mind and the filthy mouth. Even when he steps away from the microphone, you get the sense that he's just whispering epithets and muttering profanities as the default means of existence. So much rage and disapproval he has of the world; and yes, the word 'cunt' gets tossed around as something of a punctuation mark to his rants. Best is, of course, the longstanding pilot of the British power electronics outfit Consumer Electronics as well as one of the longest standing members of Whitehouse alongside fellow malcontent William Bennett. Consumer Electronics is now a fully fledged trio, Best joined by the noted noise agitator Russell Haswell and Sarah Froelich, whose own recited narration pairs with that of Best on one of the two lengthy tracks on this long EP in a duel of churlish misanthropy. The electronic accompaniment is brutishly minimal, with a whumping techno pulse stripped of all groove and movement acting as a gridded architecture for atonal tweaking, teeth-clinching electronic tension, and ghastly noise wash. It's still Best who commands Consumer Electronics with his vitriol, which seems to be a bottomless well of rage and contempt.
MPEG Stream: "Murder The Masters"
MPEG Stream: "Alien Existence"

album cover CONVERSE, CONNIE How Sad, How Lovely (Squirrel Thing) lp 19.98
Back in print on cd, and finally also available on vinyl for the very first time. Here is what we said about this when a cd version first appeared back in 2009:
Wow! What is it about the sudden appearance of a cache of lost amateur folk recordings that just makes us stop everything we're doing and pay attention? Well, in the case of Connie Converse who made these recordings between 1954 and 1961, her sadly beautiful songcraft coupled with her mysterious (and most likely, tragic) disappearance in the early seventies, paints a patina of regret and missed opportunities on the proceedings that make her gentle and deeply personal songs resonate more poignantly. A bookish gal from New Hampshire with academic leanings and no strong musical background, she took to writing poems and songs after leaving college in New York a year before she was to graduate. Her songs attracted the interest of animator and amateur recordist Gene Deitch who taped over 40 songs of hers, before she moved to Michigan to live with her brother and set her mind to other pursuits. In the years since, she still played music for friends and family, but her hopes that her recordings would lead to successful opportunities did not pan out and she became more despondent. Taking a leave of absence from her job, she wrote several farewell letters to family and friends, packed up her Volkswagen and disappeared, her whereabouts still unknown...
Similar in tone to Vashti Bunyan and Sibylle Baier, Converse came from a generation earlier. Her songs have a folk-country revivalist vibe popular during the time but her songs don't seemed to be influenced directly by the folk revival movement. Instead it seems she was orbiting in her own parallel universe, like a folksinger version of Emily Dickinson, focussing on the subtle details of daily life and the lovely and lonely qualities that intertwine throughout. Those qualities are heightened by the raw and intimate feel of the recording with its natural imperfections, and side dialogue left thankfully intact.
Fans of Bunyan and Baier, Molly Drake, Barbara Dane, Ruth Friedman, Karen Dalton and Niela Miller will find lots to love here. How Sad, How Lovely, Indeed!
MPEG Stream: "Talkin' Like You (Two Tall Mountains)"
MPEG Stream: "Roving Woman"
MPEG Stream: "One By One"

album cover CRIME s/t (Munster) 7x7" 81.00
We've had a bunch of different reissues of stuff by Crime, the legendary San Francisco punk band. This is the fanciest one, though, a box set containing seven 7"s and a cd, plus a 20 page booklet. The first three 7"s are facsimile reproductions of Crime's original singles, the other four feature other studio tracks circa '77-'79. And the cd collects 'em all together for convenience. It's basically the same thing as the Murder By Guitar anthology that Kitten Charmer put out on cd, and then Superior Viaduct did on lp, so take a look at our review of that for more information. This box is for the folks who want their Crime on 7", like it was originally!

album cover D'ANGELO AND THE VANGUARD Black Messiah (RCA) lp 23.00
NOW AT LAST ON VINYL!!!
Here's our review from when the cd version dropped by surprise at the end of last year: We thought the last few weeks of 2014 would be spent just compiling our year end best of lists and revisiting our favorite records of the year. Little did we know one of the best records of the year would be released in those final days of the year which grabbed us on first listen and has had us hooked ever since.
It had been 14 years since his last album was released and while we knew he had started to play live again we didn't know when a new record would emerge. The timing for the release of Black Messiah couldn't have been more perfect and much needed. In the aftermath of the grand jury decision in Ferguson, and the choking death of Eric Garner, the nation and our collective psyche were in desperate need of some healing and deeply conscious music that could lift our spirits while being steadfast to its awareness of the reality of the times.
Musically this is the most forward and left-field leaning of D'Angelo's releases. Psychedelic soul drenched in warmth, reverb, and unpredictable twists, turns, and instrumentation. This is one of those records that unites music lovers of all variations. Whether your a soul fanatic or a psych rock lover this is a record that breaks down barriers and digs into the skin with deep impact. There is so much to take in from the dense recording, so repeated listens become ever so rewarding.
There's no doubt with Black Messiah, D'Angelo has created a musical masterpiece that will stand next to legendary works by folks like Marvin Gaye, Curtis Mayfield, Prince, and Sly & The Family Stone.
MPEG Stream: "Ain't That Easy"
MPEG Stream: "Back To The Future (Part I)"
MPEG Stream: "Sugah Daddy"

album cover DANAVA s/t (Riding Easy) 2lp 28.00
Originally released on Kemado back in 2007, the debut album from the mighty Danava has now been reissued on limited edition colored vinyl (we have red) by the fine folks at Riding Easy, who know a thing or two about retro-proto-metal classics. You should get it if you dig that sort of stuff, for sure! Here's more-or-less what we said about this fave back when we first reviewed it years ago:
The debut album from Portland, Oregon's magnificent Danava, is an eagerly awaited release 'round here for sure. We first heard this stoner-garage-prog-metal combo on the Invaders comp of happenin' hipster heavy psych metal. Their track was one of several highlights on that collection. We went to go see 'em when they played in Oakland with Parchman Farm not too long ago, and even more recently in The City when they were supposed to be opening for Witchcraft, and in both instances the Danava boys SLAYED, shredded, and (incidentally to the music) were all really skinny. Awesome band. Basically a rollicking, rippin' power trio with extra psychedelic embellishments from keyboards and electronics. If we were a label, we'd have signed 'em in an instant, and that's what Kemado wisely did some time ago. This resultant product comes close to capturing the excitement of their live show, while revealing other aspects we didn't hear whilst headbanging. It's got a reworking of their killer tune "By The Mark" from the Invaders comp, their epic tune "Quiet Babies Astray In A Manger" from the one-sided 12" of the same name, and three others that are equally masterful, like "Eyes In Disguise" (hearing a hint of Black Sabbath in the vocal line on that one). When the fleet-fingered guitarist gets goin', and when the drummer and bassist lock in, Danava build to pure, amped up, enthused rocka rolla ecstasy and almost could just as well be a totally instrumental band and get away with it, but they have the bonus of actual decent singing capability and vocal hooks as well. Recommended if you like to rock!
MPEG Stream: "Maudie Shook"
MPEG Stream: "Longdance"

album cover DISSOLVE s/t (Painter Man) 12" 11.98
This would be the first release we've reviewed from local dreampoppers Dissolve, but only under that particular name, as both members play in the similarly dreamy Modern Charms, whose record we reviewed in 2014 (and which seriously kicked ass). The influences on this EP are relatively the same as Modern Charms - '90s swirly and ethereal pop a la Swervedriver, Lush, Slowdive, and the like. Beautiful, reverb'd out guitar, a big, pounding rhythm section, and Inna's mesmerizing vocal lines all blur and swirl into a gorgeous haze. Like we said about Modern Charms, you could have TOTALLY fooled us into thinking this was some unearthed '90s gem that we hadn't heard before. Dissolve's songwriting chops are really what takes this EP to the next level though - the songs on this EP could straight up go toe-to-toe with any of the 'gaze all-stars (seriously, listen to "Innocence" and tell us that couldn't be a track off the Loveless demos!). Seriously, these tracks are damn catchy! We're super stoked on this EP and can't wait to hear more from these guys. Do we really need to say dreamy any more in this review? Pick it up quick, these are fairly limited!
MPEG Stream: "Statement"
MPEG Stream: "3"
MPEG Stream: "Innocence"

album cover DRAWING VIRTUAL GARDENS Six Weeks Were Too Long To Wait [Regular] (Time Released Sound) cd 14.98
We've got two new releases from local label Time Released Sound on this week's list, the other is the latest from long time aQ fave Sonmi451, and then there's this, the first we've heard from Drawing Virtual Gardens, an American ex-pat living in Belgium, who sounds right at home on TRS, crafting a moody, lowercase sprawl of isolationist tones and darkdrone textures. Another ultra minimal excursion into some sonic otherworld, not as lovely or pastoral as many of the other TRS releases, instead, much more ominous and sinister sounding, at least from the outset, bell like tones, woozy chordal blurs, an overcast ambience that spreads its delightfully dour pall over the rest of the tracks, a blackened blanked of dreary dreaminess, beneath some of which soft swirls of strings sing, and others, wispy clouds of pointillist piano. For the most part, the sounds get lost in streaks of static, blunted glitches, and wheezing swells of softly crumbling thrum. A disembodied black dub rendered even more disembodied, emerging as a spectre like impression, as if viewed through a rain drenched window, or heard from afar.
As always, two different versions, one of 'em ultra deluxe, that one limited to just 70 copies, a corner hinged booklet of industrial engravings, hole punched pages from vintage children's books along with other antique ephemera. Everything is housed in a hand stamped / hand worked envelope covered with a 120 year old engraving.
There's also the standard version, that one in the usual lovely TRS digipak, and limited to 150 copies.
MPEG Stream: "No Supporter Will Stop Us From Running"
MPEG Stream: "The Floating Hand That Waves And Sleeps"

album cover EARTH JERKS File #06 (Computer Tapes) cd-r 4.98
Missive number six from Chris Dixon's Computer Tapes and his Earth Jerks project, now a fully fledged duo with Noel Harmonson (Comets On Fire, etc.), with the two method acting over overdriven organs, tone generation, feedback guitar harmonics, and a couple of pots of tea - all of which expressing the clarity of a focused mind that then slips down the rabbit hole of innervoid delirium. It's a braindrain, psychedelic fug from Earth Jerks, of sweeping ur-drone filtering along the lines of the mystical fog cast by Pink Floyd on "Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun" minus the hushed liturgy of Syd Barrett. Dixon is quick to point out that any comparisons to Popul Vuh, Tangerine Dream, and Klaus Schulze are missing the mark a bit; so we'll only allude to these in passing even as we drool over these fancifully crunchy drones bringing forth darkly ecstatic melodies that slowly unfurl on the 8 minute "Just Because It Isn't Mine, That Doesn't Make It Yours", followed by the Leslie speaker discombobulation of psychoactive holy minimalism quickly mapped out on three short tracks that have more of a Phill Niblock doing a 7" feel. Yeah, of course, it's great; and limited to just 100 copies, but now pressed on pro-duplicated cd-rs.
MPEG Stream: "Just Because It Isn't Mine"
MPEG Stream: "Stop, Smell, Continue Forward"

album cover ELFMILK Relocation (Independent Recordings) lp 13.98
Record number two from aQ pal and longtime mailorder customer Eddie Harari, aka Elfmilk. The first Elfmilk Extragalactic Distance was a strange mix of decaying atmospheres, distorted dirgery and electronic flecked kraut-psych, all of which are present here, but the sound is more brooding and moody, the opener downright jazzy, adding horns to a swagger twang, and a distorted recording that swaddles everything in gristly crumble. And that jazziness seems to bleed into much of the rest of the record, distant horns drifting over dizzying collaged loops and mysterious sonic squelches, lumbering downtempo grooves again recorded super hot, and transformed into slo-mo, in-the-red minimalism. Elsewhere female vocals soar, sounding like some lost sixties psych jam, or some alien exotic unfurls like the score to some alternate reality James Bond movie, and in this version the funky, groovy theme is pelted by burst of static and shards of white noise crunch, while the drums sound like they were recorded in a different time zone.
The last 'movement' fully embraces Elfmilk's jazzier direction, getting all washed out and smoldery, at one point sounding like a band playing after last call in some shadowy dive bar, at another blossoming into a slow building, languorously lush post rock/out-jazz trip out, and on the final track, getting a bit Portishead-y, the song in constant flux as the speed seems to change constantly, turning the buzzing synths into a woozy melody, that undulates beneath a wasted rhythmic skitter, and more of those melancholic horns.
Killer stuff for sure, and way recommended for fans of dark jazz, and moody, instrumental mystery. Which we're assuming is a whole lot of you...
MPEG Stream: "Obsidian Light Rays Melt The Ocean"
MPEG Stream: "Oblique As One Thousand Candles"
MPEG Stream: "Sound As Destructed Light"

FULL OF HELL + MERZBOW s/t (A389) lp 22.00
We listed this as a double cd on Profound Lore not long ago, now A389 has put it out on vinyl. Well, the first disc from that set, that is, you don't get the even-noisier five tracks that were on the second, bonus disc. Still, it's noisy enough! Here's most of what we said about it originally:
Merzbow, Merzbow, Merzbow. We love the ultra-prolific king of Japanese noise as much as the next person - maybe even more, since several of us here own the 50-cd Merzbox! But, it's almost impossible to keep up - and also, when you've already got at least 50 cds of Merzbow's noise, do you really need any more? However, we do still get intrigued whenever Merzbow goes and collaborates with (or remixes) some other artist, like a rock or metal band. Maybe 'cause we like our Merzbow rhythmic, as in, with drumming. Also a little bit of, uh, music, in the mix tends to make the noise parts even MORE effective and interesting in our opinion. So this new release caught our ears - East Coast metalcore band Full Of Hell teaming up with Masami "Merzbow" Akita. The blasting drum battery, filthy riffage and throat-shredded vokills are all par for the course with Full Of Hell, but the presence of Merzbow's mad noise skillz tips the scales further into the extreme and avantgarde! More "power electronics" feedback, more hellish drone and distortion, more abstract abjection. It sounds as if the pit is feasting upon itself, as FoH's fierce metal core breaks loose from its moorings and plunges into the abyss, accompanied by what sounds like 1,000 vacuum cleaners in a windtunnel, that sort of thing. And if having Merzbow on board weren't enough, there are also some free jazz style horns on a few of the tracks!! Still, this is gonna appeal to avant-metalheads as much or more than it will sheer noiseniks.
MPEG Stream: "Gordian Knot"
MPEG Stream: "High Fells"

album cover LIMINANAS, THE I've Got Trouble In Mind: 7" And Rare Stuff 2009/2014 (Trouble In Mind) lp 17.98
FINALLY NOW WE HAVE THIS ON VINYL!!
We've loved pretty much every single record from this fuzzy, garage-y French dream-pop combo, who fuse buzzy guitar crunch, and simple propulsive rhythmic pound, with classic sixties French pop, swirling psychedelia, and even add a little ukulele! This comp collects, as the title suggests, all the group's various singles and comp tracks (as well as a few unreleased rarities), and really if you've yet to hear the Liminanas, this is as good a place to start as any. Some of the tracks here sound like Brigitte Bardot or France Gall if they recorded for Castle Face, and were backed up by White Fence or Thee Oh Sees, others channel the druggy kraut-psych of outfits like Moon Duo, through that sixties Ye Ye Girls sound we can't seem to ever get enough of.
They do some cool covers too, a dreamily fuzzy and buzzy version of the Beach Boys' "I Know There's An Answer", they tackle Jay Reatard's "An Ugly Death", making it dirgey and breathy, and do a lo-fi, garage pop take on Darlene Love's Phil Spector penned "Christmas". The band make those songs totally their own. Perfectly fitting in with their sexy, sultry, French Garage pop originals, the vocals alternately crooned or purred, both male and female, they're almost like a fuzzier, garagier, modern day version of Serge Gainsbourg and Jane Birkin, which you know is not a bad thing at all!
The vinyl includes a download code as well...
MPEG Stream: "(I've Got) Trouble In Mind"
MPEG Stream: "Tu Es A Moi"
MPEG Stream: "I Know There's An Answer"
MPEG Stream: "Liverpool"

album cover MATTIN & RICHARD FRANCIS Lisa Says (Auf Aubwegen) lp 17.98
"I love the idea of burying sounds beneath layers of noise, things seem to sound better to me." So sayeth the New Zealand sound artist Richard Francis in the transcribed conversation with the Basque conceptualist Mattin that serves as the liner notes here. Over the years, we've championed both of these artists with Mattin being perhaps best known (at least in these parts) for the monstrous Afro-noise / thud-rock of Billy Bao; and Francis being one of the most interesting modern-day minimalists from his island nation. For this project, Francis brings a his array of organically slippery electrical static to Mattin to recompose those sources into a malleable structure of crackling pink noise and swarming sibilance. The A-side builds in stepped ascents to a densely packed morass of texture, sounding like a multi-channel smashjob of one of those amazingly loud Michael Gendreau performances of run-out grooves on very old 78s. If Gendreau is too obtuse a reference, try Marclay or Jeck without any of the musical references or that long-forgotten Loren Chasse album Hedge Of Nerves composed entirely of vinyl crackle, fire, and bristling textures. Where the A-side is a dramatic, swollen tactile violence, the B-side is a contemplative drift of softened white noise caressing itself into near-emptiness and just at the edge of frequency audibility. As different as the two pieces are, the anchor of this buried texture and this buried noise provided by Francis is more than enough to ground this album. A very solid piece of tactile minimalism! Limited to just 300 copies.
MPEG Stream: "Lisa Says"

album cover MELVINS Eggnog / Lice-All (Boner) 2lp 25.00
REPRESSED AND BACK IN STOCK! These went fast the first time we had 'em, back in January, if you missed 'em then grab 'em now...
Well, they're here. Melvins fans, giddyup. Seriously, what to say? The four classic early Melvins records newly reissued on these two double lp sets (why'd they do it like that? dunno) are all ESSENTIALS. Back on (remastered) vinyl for the first time in 15 years, they're too old to have much in the way of reviews from us previously, when originally released, so we figured we'd have to write new ones, and we could, heck we could go on and on about 'em. But really, most folks who are likely to buy these already know what they're all about, right? And if for some reason you are a fan of sheer heaviness, and buy records, and these AREN'T in your collection, then, well, all we can keep it simple and say YOU MUST BUY THESE!
This paring brings together the Melvins' "holiday" record (at least, we always put in in our holiday music section when that time of the year came 'round, and it always sold!!), a four song ep from 1991, originally released on 10" vinyl, that featured three short rippin' tracks on the A-side (including the mighty "Hog Leg"), and an epic sludge drone fest on the B-side, "Charmicarmicat", over 12 minutes long, that sounds more or less like the blueprint for the first Earth album (though that was released the same year, so it can't really be). Meanwhile, 1992's Lysol, excuse us, for legal reason they're now calling it Lice-All, another fucked up Melvins classic, that features, along with several originals, covers of both Flipper (they do "Sacrifice") and Alice Cooper (not one but two songs!) all sounding perfectly Melvins-y.
Includes download!

album cover MELVINS Ozma / Bullhead (Boner) 2lp 25.00
REPRESSED AND BACK IN STOCK! These went fast the first time we had 'em, back in January, if you missed 'em then grab 'em now...
Well, they're here. Melvins fans, giddyup. Seriously, what to say? The four classic early Melvins records newly reissued on these two double lp sets (why'd they do it like that? dunno) are all ESSENTIALS. Back on (remastered) vinyl for the first time in 15 years, they're too old to have much in the way of reviews from us previously, when originally released, so we figured we'd have to write new ones, and we could, heck we could go on and on about 'em. But really, most folks who are likely to buy these already know what they're all about, right? And if for some reason you are a fan of sheer heaviness, and buy records, and these AREN'T in your collection, then, well, all we can keep it simple and say YOU MUST BUY THESE!
Ozma, from 1989, is the one that first turned us on to the genius of this band. Nonsensical lyrics, Black Sabbath meets Black Flag heavosity like nothing heard before (yeah, Flipper, yeah Gore, sure but Melvins took it to another level). Dale's drumming, Buzz's vocals, sheer brilliance. Bullhead, from 1991, was maybe even better, and heavier, really, somehow. Among other great tracks, it's got the song "Boris", which inspired a certain band from Japan. 'Nuff said.
Includes download! Which has a bonus track!

album cover MINGUS, CHARLES Mingus Plays Piano: Spontaneous Compositions And Improvisations (Superior Viaduct) lp 23.00
Wow, when reissue label Superior Viaduct decided to get into the jazz game, they weren't playing around. First Alice Coltrane, now Charles Mingus! Yeah, they're bringing out the heavy hitters (thanks, it would seem, to an arrangement with the Impulse! label).
These two Mingus reissues are certainly nice to have, heck 1963's The Black Saint And The Sinner Lady has long been considered one of the jazz bassist, composer, and bandleader's all time masterpieces, forever appearing on all sorts of best jazz albums ever lists, 5 stars from the All Music Guide, recipient of a literally orgasmic review from legendary rock critic Lester Bangs, etc., etc. And we highly recommend it too, even if our own thumbs up is somewhat superfluous, we know!
A powerful post-bop, partly free jazz 'ballet' orchestrated for an 11-piece ensemble (featuring among others Charlie Mariano on alto sax), with elements of drawn from Ellington and flamenco, and apparently one of the first jazz recordings to utilize of overdubs due to its ambitious complexity, there's no argument it's a true classic.
And then, while not as high up in the Mingus pantheon as Black Saint (but still garnering 4 stars from the AMG), Mingus Plays Piano, also from '63, is pretty great, too - and very different, being a solo set of both standards (like "Body And Soul") and pure improvisations, beautifully performed by Mingus on an instrument that's not the one he's best known for playing (but is what he mostly used for composition). Intimate and revealing.
Both albums are remastered from the original master tapes, and packaged in gatefold jackets.

album cover MINGUS, CHARLES The Black Saint And The Sinner Lady (Superior Viaduct) lp 23.00
Wow, when reissue label Superior Viaduct decided to get into the jazz game, they weren't playing around. First Alice Coltrane, now Charles Mingus! Yeah, they're bringing out the heavy hitters (thanks, it would seem, to an arrangement with the Impulse! label).
These two Mingus reissues are certainly nice to have, heck 1963's The Black Saint And The Sinner Lady has long been considered one of the jazz bassist, composer, and bandleader's all time masterpieces, forever appearing on all sorts of best jazz albums ever lists, 5 stars from the All Music Guide, recipient of a literally orgasmic review from legendary rock critic Lester Bangs, etc., etc. And we highly recommend it too, even if our own thumbs up is somewhat superfluous, we know!
A powerful post-bop, partly free jazz 'ballet' orchestrated for an 11-piece ensemble (featuring among others Charlie Mariano on alto sax), with elements of drawn from Ellington and flamenco, and apparently one of the first jazz recordings to utilize of overdubs due to its ambitious complexity, there's no argument it's a true classic.
And then, while not as high up in the Mingus pantheon as Black Saint (but still garnering 4 stars from the AMG), Mingus Plays Piano, also from '63, is pretty great, too - and very different, being a solo set of both standards (like "Body And Soul") and pure improvisations, beautifully performed by Mingus on an instrument that's not the one he's best known for playing (but is what he mostly used for composition). Intimate and revealing.
Both albums are remastered from the original master tapes, and packaged in gatefold jackets.

album cover NO AGE Weirdo Rippers (Fat Cat) lp 15.98
At last, the first US vinyl pressing of this debut album from those popular punks No Age! Here's what we said when it came out on cd back in 2007...
Remember why you fell in love with punk rock? The fearless spirit, the ethos, the sweat, the youthful energy, the conviction, the elation. Remember why you eventually got bored with punk rock? The predictability, the empty slogans, the forced posturing, the generic delivery. Well lucky for many of us past punkers, No Age are doing an amazing job of reminding us of a time when it felt like punk rock could save lives.
No Age (not to be confused with the nineties musical movement) are a duo from Los Angeles who have gained a cult-following for their totally engaging and sweat filled live shows. Wild performances on their home turf, at the tiny LA club The Smell, are legendary. They've also put out a handful of kick ass, but now impossible to find 7"s. But lucky for those of us who missed the boat on those 45's, Fat Cat has put them all together on this here disc. Now we know why people have been freaking out over this band.
Imagine a youthful exuberance that feels so pure and sincere by guys who love Black Flag and Fugazi as much as they do My Bloody Valentine and Slowdive. In fact there's a lot about No Age that makes us think of prime-era Husker Du, all kinds of great lo-fi feedback and shoegaze moments infused with some serious punk rock spirit. Unpredictable and so immediate, for once the hype is totally right!
Includes download coupon!

album cover ORTOLANI, RIZ Cannibal Holocaust (OST) (Mondo) lp 34.00
The vinyl horror soundtrack reissue phenomenon has finally seen fit to bring us Cannibal Holocaust - for the first time EVER on vinyl. How did it take so long?
Probably some of you have seen this movie. I (Allan) have not (Andee has, and LOVES it)... but I do have an idea of what it's about. Don't think I'll be seeing it anytime soon, although by all accounts Italian director Roggero Deodato's horrific 1979 'mockumentary' (or 'shockumentary' perhaps) Cannibal Holocaust is a classic of '70s Italian horror films, said to be super intense, ultra-violent, and gorily realistic (so much so that it was falsely rumored to be an actual snuff film). But I am enjoying the soundtrack by Riz Ortolani, which by itself is unlikely to give anyone any nightmares, unless kitschy '70s film scores somehow frighten you, mixing (as this one does) maudlin string orchestration for lush romantic themes, wakka-wakka funk vamps, and eerie synths a la Goblin. Check out the porno-groove of "Cameramen's Recreation" or the jazz/disco numbers like the one called "Drinking Coco" that also boasts a pretty wild distorto-guitar solo. Meanwhile, one of the loveliest tracks is entitled "Crucified Woman"! Titles like that (which Andee says is indeed appropriate), and the raw, menacing electronic creep-out soundscapes that filter into the disc amidst the brighter and more melodic material, will remind you that this is music for a horror movie after all.
We're pretty sure this soundtrack is on a lot of fans' wish lists, so it's nice that this has finally been properly reissued on vinyl! 180 gram, gatefold, with nice new art (well maybe not 'nice' nice, but better than a gory still from the film).
MPEG Stream: "Cannibal Holocaust (Main Theme)"
MPEG Stream: "Cameramen's Recreation"
MPEG Stream: "Massacre Of The Troupe"

album cover OVENS s/t (#3) ( Catholic Guilt) 7" 5.98
BACK IN STOCK!
The latest (posthumous?) single from local noise pop geniuses the Ovens, fronted by Tony Molina of the Tony Molina Band, and if you've been digging Tony's recent solo lp, and have yet to hear the Ovens, prepare yourself for some seriously mind blowing pop overload. This single is untitled like the last two (and the cd on tUMULt) and like those records, this new (old) 7" is another dizzying survey of this group's impeccable pop chops. Eight songs in about 6 minutes, equal parts Weezer, Guided By Voices, Teenage Fanclub, the Beatles, the Fastbacks, Dinosaur Jr, plenty of fuzz and crunch and jangle, glorious harmonies, some shredding leads, laid back laconic vox, and as always, hooks galore, oodles of catchiness crammed into seconds. These tracks were recorded back in 2008, and this 7" is meant to be a sort of companion to the last single on Catholic Guilt. The sounds is a bit more lo-fi, but there's no disguising this sort of utter pop mastery. The only frustrating part of these micro-missives is that you'll find yourself flipping this single over and over and over and over and over, every three minutes...
MPEG Stream: "Left Behind"
MPEG Stream: "Talkin' Shit"
MPEG Stream: "Alone Again"
MPEG Stream: "I'm Not Insane"

album cover PALLBEARER Sorrow And Extinction (20 Buck Spin) 2lp 25.00
REPRESSED AND BACK IN STOCK, NOW ON PURPLE/GREEN 'STARBREALER' VINYL!!! The repress is limited, however... Heres our review from when these doom faves debut originally came out in 2012:
With a name like Pallbearer, and a record cover that looks like an illustration from some obscure Dungeons and Dragons monster manual, you might be expecting some grim, oozing blackened slo-mo tarpit creep, or heck maybe even some full on over the top swords and sorcery power metal epic-ry, but what you might not expect, is precisely what this Arkansas doom crew conjures up, a surprisingly melodic, and downright dreamy chunk of true epic, super melodic, classic sounding doom, complete with acoustic guitars and soaring clean vocals, all wound around a sound that's more warm and fuzzy and washed out oftentimes than downtuned and sludgey. Reminding us a bit of aQ faves Megaton Leviathan, the same sort of shoegazey sound and dreamily psychedelic vibe, but Pallbearer sound much more beholden to classic metal, with some of these songs sounding like some lost eighties metal jam, slowed down and blissed out, often slipping into almost slowcore dirgery, that sort of haunting druggy mesmer, still epic and melodic, but more bleary and gauze-y, with the guitars not crunchy and buzzy, so much as thick and dense and lushly layered, the songs slow building and hauntingly brooding. Not that Pallbearer, aren't heavy, they most definitely are, like on "Devoid Of Redemption", a re-recorded track from their demo, the sound is massive, the guitars thick and churning, the drums a muted massive pound, but even then, those clean vocals change the whole vibe, and within the music itself, the melodies almost sound like horns, mournful and funereal, and the sound, even at its heaviest, seems to ooze into something much more dreary and dreamy and druggy. The recording and production too, perfectly suits the sound, vintage and classic, the sound Sabbathy, and Candlemass-y and St. Vitus-y, heavy but spacious, plenty of reverb, and deftly applied effects, but smeared and subtly stretched into something even more crushingly heavy, spaced out and psychedelic, and weirdly hauntingly lovely, a sound that's both murky and mesmerizing, magical and mysterious, which is making this a new favorite with the metalheads around here and a definite contender for doom record of the year...
MPEG Stream: "Foreigner"
MPEG Stream: "Devoid Of Redemption"

album cover RECTAL HYGIENICS Ultimate Purity (Permament) lp 17.98
Not sure what you might expect from a band called Rectal Hygienics, but if you weren't expecting squalls of feedback, downtuned caveman riffage, buried drugged out vox, and blown out wasted heaviness, well then, you might be a bit disappointed. We however got exactly what we were expecting, and hoping for. Falling squarely somewhere between Brainbombs and Rusted Shut, late period Black Flag, and some mutant strain of slo-mo hardcore, these bruisers deliver some fucked up and fierce noise rock that lurches from psychedelic and freaked out jammage to pure Neanderthal churn, more often than not cramming those two together into something beastly and seriously bad ass. Easily one of our new favorite slabs of brain damaged brutality.
MPEG Stream: "Addicted To Filth"
MPEG Stream: "Dirty As Fuck"

album cover SATURNALIA TEMPLE To The Other (Ajna Offensive) cd 9.98
Here comes another slab of tripped out, and fuzzed/fucked up weirdness from The Anja Offensive! This one in the form of the second full-length by Swedish drug-doomsters Saturnalia Temple, which we're of course totally stoked about.
To The Other's foundation is the huge, wall of doom riffs that lumber and lurch a la Sleep records, just on a MUCH worse acid trip. While the bones of this record might be the massive doom riffs, layered around it are all sorts of screeching, barely guitar-like leads, delayed and distorted vocals, and a Hawkwind-esque repetivive psychedelia that you can't help being totally sucked into. Like labelmates Aluk Todolo, these guys have a penchant for holding a groove for as long as they possibly can, making you honestly wonder if the cd might be skipping, or if that windowpane is finally kicking in. Like Candlemass meets Oranssi Pazuzu. Or Electric Wizard meets Aluk Todolo, really. The weird leads and occaisonal synth (maybe? or just weirder sounding guitar) sound pretty damn unique and twisted, sometimes making you wonder if this dude actually plays guitar or he's just making it up. It all somehow works though, all twisting and bubbling into a thick black doomy murk that won't let go. The cover art on here is actually really telling - a huge vortex-like hole absorbing the weird, maze like landscape around it. If that intrigues you, or (Satan help us) makes total sense, then this record is for you.
MPEG Stream: "Crowned With Seven"
MPEG Stream: "March Of Gha'agsheblah"
MPEG Stream: "ZazelSorath"

album cover SLEAFORD MODS Chubbed Up + (Ipecac) cd 15.98
Y'know, it's a fact that is easier for us to write reviews of stuff we just discovered, being all eager to share whatever it is with you guys. Once an artist has gotten a little bit popular, and we've had a few releases in by them, then we sometimes find ourselves slacking off on the reviewing, even though we may still be big fans. Maybe 'cause we figure we'll be repeating ourselves, maybe 'cause chances are folks are gonna wanna buy the artist's new stuff regardless. Which all goes to perhaps explain why we've been tardy in getting this Ipecac disc by English post-punk white rap duo Sleaford Mods written-up for our list. We've been spinning it a lot since it came in, though, 'cause Sleaford Mods rule.
It's actually not a new album proper, but instead a compilation of tracks from a bunch of hard-to-find 7" singles that they've released over the past year or two. Any Sleaford Mods fan will dig it, naturally, it's another dose of their hilariously sardonic stream of consciousness rhymes laid down over the same sort of stripped down, lo-fi grooves as always. The main rapper guy (whose delivery never fails to remind us of Mark E. Smith, though it's a cheap comparison) is brilliant when it comes to non-sequitur witticisms taking down 'wankers' left and right. Half the time we don't even understand what he's on about with his lyrics, in part 'cause of the accent, in part 'cause of the British cultural/political references, but it's still funny and the beats will keep your head nodding and feet tapping. And while funny, they mean it, these rhyming complaints are pointed, some targets more significant than others. Twitter haters will want this for "Tweet Tweet Tweet"...
Anyway we wanted to get this listed so you'd know we had it. Supposedly Ipecac released a vinyl version too but we've never been able to get any in. However, today we DID just get brand new Sleaford Mods vinyl 12", entitled Tiswas, on Invada, just FYI, also, which, further FYI, will have a picture disc Record Store Day release this year, but you can get it now on regular vinyl.
MPEG Stream: "Jolly Fucker"
MPEG Stream: "Bambi"
MPEG Stream: "Pubic Hair Ltd."

album cover SONMI451 The Limbic System [Regular] (Time Released Sound) cd 14.98
The 50th release from beloved local label Time Released Sound heralds the return of Sonmi451, whose two previous releases on TRS were big hits around here. The Limbic System finds Sonmi451, aka Bernard Zwijzen, pushing his already hushed and haunting sound even further into the ether, a soft focus soundscape of treated electronics, muted melody, pizzicato note suspended in billowing clouds of barely there shimmer, a whispery drift that at its most active, sounds a bit like a more pastoral Bohren & Der Club of Gore, but more often seems like some sort of sonic mirage, the sound waves simply microscope vibrations, like ripples in a placid pond, a hazy musical daydream constantly on the verge of blurring into pure empty sound, its shapes and surfaces smooth and glassy, born from new age and shaped into something more modern and yet more minimal.
Like all Time Released Sound releases, there are two different versions, the first, FANCY, in this case, limited to just 70 copies, packaged like a case file, made from an art deco photo folder, each one containing, a unique photo, with a vintage glass brain specimen slide (!) hinged and laid over the top. Included also are some papers, poetry, handwritten sheet music and notes from vintage books on the study of the brain. The whole thing hand stamped, labeled and notated, the cd housed in a cotton sleeve.
Then there's the standard version, which is limited to 150 copies, and comes in a full color digipak, sans all the rest of the above ephemera.
MPEG Stream: "Limbic Cortex"
MPEG Stream: "Hippocampus"

album cover V/A Spiritual Jazz 6: Vocals (Jazzman) 2lp 28.00
Now this is the kind of church we'd attend. Not so much ecstatic gospel choirs and salvation sermons, but rather a deep open meditative environment tapped into an intuitive kinetic and vibrating communal groove carrying angelic voices of universal uplift. Space, form and light.
The sixth installment of Jazzman's great Spiritual Jazz series devotes itself entirely to the spiritual vocal, with excellent contributions from the sixties through the eighties from both obscure and famous jazz musicians around the world. Male and female voices in solo form or groups, these pieces are not necessarily religious, but whether slow and reverent, or kaleidoscopically propulsive, each song shares a gathering intention of cosmic unity, African awareness, and a long-suffering passion for justice and natural beauty. Featuring Max Roach, Charles Mingus, Sadaka, Norman Riley, E.W. Wainwright, Clifford Jordan, Pharoah Sanders, Dr. Haki R. Madhubuti, Eddie Gale, Gary Bartz, Byron Morris & Unity, Washington High School Band and Singers and The Vibration Society, this compilation also features great vocal contributions by Abbey Lincoln, Leon Thomas, Doug Hammond, Andy Bey, and Jane Sims. Fantastic!
MPEG Stream: PHAROAH SANDERS "Prince of Peace"
MPEG Stream: NORMAN RILEY "Colors"
MPEG Stream: E.W. WAINWRIGHT "Imani"
MPEG Stream: EDDIE GALE "African Sunshine"

album cover VANDROOGENBROECK, JOEL Biomechanoid (Aguirre ) lp 28.00
Been wanting to list this for a while, they finally came back in, Aguirre's 180g gram vinyl reissue of this vintage library music lp by cosmic composer Vandroogenbroeck, originally released in 1980. It's kind of a no brainer how cool this is - 'cause it's got striking cover art by H.R. Giger, Vandroogenbroeck was a crucial member of trippy Swiss krautrock psychonauts Brainticket in the early '70s, and weird synth-laden library music is always a good bet too, especially when the tracks are given such descriptors as "mysterious vision, ethereal" and "pathetic, dark, mystic" to pick two from the back cover. To the layman, the music here is not far removed from the electronic work of more recognized 20th century avant gardists. Kind of the hippy version of Subotnick in other words. Eerie sci-fi sounds abound here - the whistling, echoing sounds of the dancing "Asteroids", the abstract unease of "Interstellar Insects", the nervous percussiveness of "Elements", the sweeping intensity of "Lost Planet", the sinister burbling bubbling drones of "Dark Plasma", etc. We could imagine it being used for some outer space, Outer Limits type of suspenseful low budget TV show. Makes for good listening with the lights off, eyes closed, staring into inner space, too.
Oh, and compact disc folks, sorry this hasn't been reissued on cd - not by itself, anyway. But it IS available on the third disc of a 4cd box set of Brainticket albums and related rarities released by Cleopatra in 2011, called Vintage Anthology 1971-1980, if you're interested we can try to order you one, they're like fifty bucks, but does include Brainticket's classic Cottonwood Hill, the Drum Circus album, and a lot of of other cool stuff along with Biomechanoid.

album cover VANIISH Memory Work (Metropolis) lp 19.98
Vaniish emerge in the wake of the demise of San Francisco's goth pop quartet Veil Veil Vanish, whose anthemic album Change In The Neon Light was a dramatic sashay of glam pop ballast and urgent emotional bellowing in equal parts to Interpol and The Cure. Personal loss and tragedy left frontman Keven Tecon needing to re-evaluate where his art needed to be. He rechristened the project Vaniish, recruiting his previous collaborator Amy Rosenoff in Veil Veil Vanish to pick up the bass, along with guitarist Adam Beck and perennial Aquarius staffer Nick Ott on drums. There's certainly a maturing in the songwriting from Tecon that is notable between the two projects, with Vaniish becoming far more introspective, more droned-out, and more texturally complex. The immediate references that jump to the foreground are the very first Dead Can Dance album, which if you were to think of modern day takes medieval chants, let us kindly ask that you refresh your memory on the grimly militant goth-punk album that is the debut Dead Can Dance album. A very taut rhythm section of bass and drum offer metronomic pulses as the ground for Vaniish's proto-shoegazing wash of droned synth and flanged guitar. Tecon tempers his vocals within this archetypally 4AD / Creation production as more existentially circumspect as opposed to the brash hedonism of his former self. This was an album that instantly became a staff favorite here at the shop!
MPEG Stream: "Memory Work"
MPEG Stream: "Kaleidoscoped"
MPEG Stream: "Merge"

album cover VATICAN SHADOW Death & Unity With God (Modern Love) 2lp 26.00
Death & Unity With God was originally one of those tiny edition tape boxsets that Hospital Productions released at some point in 2014. Yes, those six cassettes will be reprised at some point onto a 3cd anthology through Modern Love; but for now, we have this 2lp set which sports 12 of the 20 songs. Missing are a handful of the slug-paced techno torpor tracks from Vatican Shadow; and while the vinyl set is pretty outstanding, the complete package will be found on the triple cd set!
Vatican Shadow is, of course, Dominick Fernow - the man also behind Prurient and the Hospital Productions empire. Over the past three or four years, Fernow has shifted his focus almost entirely to toward Vatican Shadow, using a loose critique of religious indoctrination as the conceptual framework for his spare rhythmic exercises in crunchy Middle Eastern electro dervishes. The precursor this work is obviously Muslimgauze; and the work on Death & Unity With God continues along this same trajectory, linking the distinctly American cult of personality catastrophes (Jim Jones, David Koresh, Timothy McVeigh) with the ideological endgames of Al Qaeda and the Islamic State. The political rhetoric to this work quickly wane in the seductive power of Fernow's rhythms, and that may be the point. But more likely this disconnect recalls a common critique of Fernow's work as being thoroughly surface oriented with a armor-plated facades of masculinity, intellectualism, etc. covering up something that's hollow, missing, or lacking. This however is all thrown out the window when it comes to how good a producer Fernow can be, with Death & Unity With God being one of his most subtly dramatic piece of modern day electronica. Bleak electrical chorales and dread-inducing rumblings haunt these 12 tracks that are girded upon slowly unfurling spare rhythms whose breakbeats slink with an desert-dry Arabic groove alternating with nocturnally muted techno, laced with arid dub echo, gothy whipcrack snares, and motorik noise hypnosis. There's only 300 copies of this pressing; and these will not last long.
MPEG Stream: "Living On And Off At The Shadow Motel"
MPEG Stream: "Small Explosives And Blasting Caps"
MPEG Stream: "McVeigh Figures"

album cover WHIRR Sway (Graveface) cd 14.98
As Friedrich Nietzsche once famously said, the moment he finished his first spin of Loveless, "When you shoegaze too long into the abyss... The abyss also shoegazes into you!" Or something like that anyway. Well, over here at aQ HQ the shoegaze renaissance is well and truly still in full swing, and we're at no risk of tiring of that wonderful hazy abyss any time soon! And from the get-go, on the forefront of that renaissance, has been our very own hometown gaze-greats Whirr. Sway is only album number two from these bleary-eyed swayers, although they have a healthy number of EPs & non-album releases to their name (their most recent being a fantastic split 12" with Nothing which we reviewed earlier this year - whom they also share members with!). This album actually predates that split, but we're getting to it second, and as usual it's a gorgeous enveloping wash of sun-dappled guitar delay, disaffected vocal melancholy, and bittersweet melodic nostalgia. But like that aforementioned split Sway shows Whirr varying up their style a little bit. Sure, it's shoegaze through and through, but there seems to be more of a focus on hookier songwriting - as well as a little more flirtation with up tempo pacing & rhythmic grooves than before, instead of getting bogged in the constant down-tempo mire that so many bands of this style often do. We're guessing most people who've been following this scene of bands are probably already familiar with these fellas, but if not Sway is probably the best place to start - definitely the most accessible outing yet from a band who seem to be going from strength to strength, and for sure recommended for fans of more recent aQ faves like Nothing, Deafheaven (with whom they also share past members), Modern Charms, Alpine Decline and latter-day Alcest, as well as classic Creation Record shoegaze like My Bloody Valentine, Slowdive, Swervedriver, et. al.!
MPEG Stream: "Press "
MPEG Stream: "Mumble"
MPEG Stream: "Heavy"

WIRE, THE #374 April 2015 magazine 9.98
This latest issue of UK music magazine The Wire is full of good stuff - you've got Lightning Bolt being tested by the Invisible Jukebox, you've got a primer on Moondog, you've got sound artist Holly Herndon on the cover, you've also got Liturgy, John Wiese, and plenty more, including another installment in the Wire Tapper free cd sampler series stuck to the cover, yeah.


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