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Aquarius Records
New Arrivals #320
05th Jun 2009



Beloved Customers and Friends:

Hello again everybody, thanks for tuning in. Hope you've had a good two weeks since our last update... Nobody did any parachute jumping like last time, more the usual stuff around here with the AQ crew. Scott did get to play the Mark E. Smith role in a Fall cover band, Oranges, for an art show the other day, though. Cup DJed a wedding. Jim went off on a trip back home. And earlier today, we got some fancy cupcakes sent to us by our swell friend Lynda from England! Delicious, fresh and VEGAN (!). GO here and order some for yourself: SUGAR BEATS SWEETS
And thanks Lynda! You rule!

And we also were deluged with a TON of awesome new music over the last week or two, much of which you'll find reviewed below. Pretty happy with this week's list, we are. Hopefully you'll agree. 

There's 3 Records Of The Week, from France, Chicago, and right here in SF, all of 'em bands who have been longtime aQ faves. They are...

Aluk Todolo: The 2nd album from this hypnotic French krautrocky outrock trio, also their 2nd Record Of The Week. Featuring members of black metallers Diamatregon and garagepsych combo Gunslingers.
Cave: 2nd ROTW from these guys too, the very Circular, rhythmic, colorful, mesmeric, psyched out, energetically grooving. Can't get enough!
Slough Feg: Never made an album by these weirdo atavistic heavy metal rifflords a ROTW before, but probably should have. This new album is one of their best, heaviest, poppiest, most exuberant and eccentric! 

And then there's a huge load of Highlights you need to pay close attention to (though we'll say up front: WHITE HILLS, LIMITED VINYL; WOODEN SHJIPS, LIMITED VINYL), as follows...

Bardo Pond: Two new extended blissed out instrumental jams from these stoned masters, on two sides of a limited LP.
Black Hell: Crushing cosmic stoner rock from Arizona, on cd-r.
Black Meteoric Star: DFA dance floor jams of mesmeric motorik techno from Gavin Russom.
Blacula: Killer reissued Blaxploitation soundtrack, with fangs.
Blue Sabbath Black Cheer / Dried Up Corpse: Limited split 10" from these two noiseniks.
Buraka Som Sistema: Energetic international Kuduro groove incorporating the sounds of hip-hop, Baile funk and electronica, with an M.I.A. vocal cameo.
Candlemass: Epic old school doom from these (mostly) Swedish stalwarts.
Castevet: 7" of gnarled angular black metal from NY.
Cave: If a ROTW wasn't enough, there's also a limited 7" single of the album's number one 1 jam, with exclusive, heavy psych b-side.
Clues: An excellent indie pop oddity from a new Montreal outfit, cousins to Arcade Fire and Unicorns.
Cold Cave: Limited, hard to find 12" documenting the poppier, less noisy side of these new minimal wave faves.
Cromagnon: Reissued again, this ESP-Disk classic of freaked out '60s hippy folk caveman rock/pop weirdness!!
D.A.F.: Mute label 'best of' of this seminal German band's 1980-'82 dance music output.
Deerhunter: New 5-song ep from this prolific indie pop act, yay!
J Dilla: A 'Dillanthology' of some of the late rap producer's work circa 1996-2005.
Dimmer: Double lp collaboration between electro-acoustic improviser Thomas Dimuzio and LAFMS reel-to-reel tape manipulator Joseph Hammer.
Echtra: Two highly meditative, blackened, stretched out tracks from this solo project by a member of Cascadian black metallers Fauna.
The Field: Pop Ambient techno bliss from this Swedish artist, a good follow up to his amazing album a couple years back.
The Free Pop Electronic Concept: Reissued space age '60s groovadelic gem, utterly overrun with far out electronic soundz, zounds! 
Fridge: Post rocky electronica from the late '90s, collected and reissued, still great stuff.
Genghis Tron: 5th installment in 12" remix series, first we've listed 'cause it's got Tim Hecker and Nadja on it!
The George-Edwards Group: Obscure 1977 masterpiece of spacey folk-pop reissued! Vinyl only so far.
Glorior Belli: Unbelievably excellent new effort from this solid French black metal band, not weird in a weird way.
Grizzly Bear: Andee, who was never even that keen on this band, was immediately smitten by the track "Two Weeks". If that song doesn't convince you, then maybe you just don't like pop music...
Grouper: Her super beautiful & mysterious Root Strata album Cover The Windows And The Walls gets a cd release!!
Heavy Winged & Inca Ore: These two weird psych powerhouses team up on this Not Not Fun lp.
Heavy Winged / Windy & Carl: Super limited "adjustable collaboration" on lp+cd from the droneduo W&C and distorto psych band HW.
Ian Holloway: Subterranean dronology on this limited cd-r.
Imai Kazuo Trio: Cd+dvd by Japanese jazz/noise trio of guitar, electronics and florescent light fixture...
I Shalt Become: New cd of one-man black metal blurscapes for fans of Xasthur... and Jeck.
Koenjihyakkei: Reissued and revamped, the 3rd album of heavy duty hyper active technical prog mania from this Japanese Ruins-related outfit.
Gregg Kowalsky: Kranky label release heavy electronic / cassette wizardry from this gentleman, entrancing!
L'Acephale: Beautifully packaged, ltd. edition 7" from this Northwestern apocalyptic folk / black metal horde.
Lazer Crystal: Super limited, 2nd lp of twisted, buzzy dance music from this Cave side project! Each copy packaged differently!!
Liechenstein: Cd and 10" of vintage sounding twee pop / girl garage new on Slumberland!
Lindstrom & Prins Thomas: Another great cosmic disco collab from these two.
Martyn: Dubstep and more on this great new record from Dutch producer and DJ.
Master Musicians Of Bukkake: Very Sun City Girls-ish faux ethnic psych with dronedoom elements from members of Earth, Burning Witch, and... Sun City Girls!
Moss: Utter dooooooooooom sludge from the UK, new 3 song, super long "ep" + bonus Discharge cover.
Nachtmystium: Brand new ep of post black metal mastery from this idiosyncratic, spacerocking band.
Our Love Will Destroy The World: Incredibly limited 40 minute, one track cd-r from this post Birchville Cat Motel outfit!!
Pisces: Numero Group digs up forgotten West Coast psychrock record, quite rad.
Poccolus: More lo-fi Lithuanian black metal from these pagans, raw but melodic.
Riechmann: Reissued LP of forgotten Cosmic-kraut masterpiece from '78, for fans of Cluster, Kraftwerk and Tangerine Dream.
Mike Patton: Wild soundtrack to equally wild movie (Crank 2), very impressive, definitely for Fantomas fans!!
The Present: Beautiful and unsettling textural second album from Rusty Santos & band.
Silversun Pickups: Smashing Pumpkins.
Nina Simone: Vinyl reissue of the jazz/soul singer's Vietnam protest record.
Six Finger Satellite: Circa-2001 6FS recordings finally released by the Load label, one of our favorite unsung old Sub Pop acts!
Skullflower: Limited new LP-only release from Matthew Bower & Co., some black metal influence coming through!
Spectrum: New ep from Sonic Boom, reliving some of the druggy, punky glory of Spacemen 3, including a Red Krayola cover.
Striborg: As always, the ultimate in fucked up one-man black metal, all the way from Tasmania. WE LOVE STRIBORG!
Nicholas Szczepanik: First proper non cd-r release of goreous blissed out dronemuisic. 
1349: New record, new sound, slow and slithery and gloomy and not at all blazing or blasting but so great!
T.I.T.S.: Finally available on cd, the punishing full length from these SF noisemakers.
Traditional Fools: More kick ass fuzzy lo-fi garage pop!
V/A Electric Asylum: A second killer comp of bubble gum Black Sabbath, twisted psych pop gems galore.
V/A Milky Disco 2: Second volume of far out tripped out dancefloor excursions.
V/A Skwee Tooth: A new collection of that special Scandinavian damaged DIY electro we love so much! SKWEEE!
V/A Sound Of Wonder: Lollywood! Film music from Pakistan on Finder's Keepers!
Kurt Vile: Masterful disc of lo-fi, but perfectly crafted classic fuzzy garage rock!
White Hills: The last full length, finally available on vinyl!
Wicked King Wicker: Latest disc of ultra slow serpentine heaviness from htese NY drone sludge titans.
Windy And Carl: Ultra limited, tour only, hand painted instrumental lp, VERY few copies!
Wooden Shjips: Two song, ultra limited 12", Shjips cover Gainsbourg!!
Wormsblood: Now on vinyl, previously cd-r only black metal weirdness including a rehearsal-space Manilla Road cover!
Xasthur: Finally, the latest full length, on cd, with a whole bonus disc of unreleased extras.
Yeti: New issue, packed with amazing stuff, and a cd with exclusive tracks from Wooden Shjips, Fresh & Onlys, Woods and more...

Plus a lots and lots more worth checking out, a whole bunch of rad stuff now in on vinyl (from Children to Tape to Omar Souleyman to Kung Fu Super Sounds), a new Isis, new Biosphere, new Liquorball, all sorts of cool things, so read on!

Normally we'd have tons of announcements, but we're beat. It's ben a super long day. SO we'll just sign off and get right to the music. Thanks for reading the list, you can also keep up on various aQ happenings, as well as all sortf o new arrivals and limited releases by checking out blog (there's a link on the front page of the aQ site) and by singing up for our Twitter.

Okay. As always, enjoy, thanks a million. Another big ol' batch of far out sounds in two weeks and counting...


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And as always, thanks for reading the list, passing it on to all your friends who love weird music, shopping at our store, turning -us- on to all sort of great stuff, and helping us spread the word and get all this great music to the people who love it. YOU!! And as always, please realize that we work really hard on the list, so if you find out about stuff through us, please try to buy your records from us. That way we can keep on doing what we do, and we'll always be here with our ears to the ground, and with cds full of metalcore pitbulls, death metal parrots, gamelan playing elephants, recordings of glaciers cracking, ice melting, zamboni's, life support systems, drag races, audience applause, and of course self flagellating Norwegian dwarves, moaning telephone wires, recorded exorcisms, acapella straight edge metalcore, high school battles of the bands, movie theater organ music, Christian psychedelic folk, Bhangra Black Sabbath as well as all the metal, indie rock, electronica, punk rock, reggae, dub, sixties psych, krautrock, classic rock, country and anything else your heart may desire. So thanks. A bunch!

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Remember, give our STREAMING NEW ARRIVALS RADIO THING a try! (mp3 stream)

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----* Records of the Week :
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album cover ALUK TODOLO Finsternis (Utech Records) cd 14.98
It's been two long years we've been waiting for this, another mysterious rhythmic communique from French blackened post krautrock alchemists Aluk Todolo. But it's not like they've been idle. Since 2007's Descension, two thirds of Aluk Todolo have recorded a record and toured the world as Gunslingers, and all of Aluk Todolo do double duty in French black metallers Diamatregon, who recently released a new full length on tUMULt called Crossroad.
But as much as we love those other two bands, and we do, there will always be something magical about the strange sonic world Aluk Todolo are able to conjure up. Especially considering they're a three piece, a power trio, drums, guitar, bass. Nothing else, no synths, no strings, just the basic rock band instruments. It's testament to the power these three wield, that they can do so much with so little. Or more accurately, so little with so little. As the music of Aluk Todolo, is disarmingly simple, subtle and minimal, but in its minimalism, lies its power. The power of rhythm, of texture, of mood, these five long pieces are so evocative, so expressive and strangely emotional. Even at its most spare and skeletal, the sound is palpable, almost a physical presence, which is surprising again considering just how stripped down Finsternis actually is.
Descension, Aluk Todolo's debut, was heavy and space-y and rhythmic, we described it as a buzz-less black metal, some of the songs were thick and caustic, others were loping and motorik, but on Finsternis, it's as if the band decided to strip away all the extraneous sounds, leaving just the core, the root, the heart of the music, and that heart beats out a simple, hypnotic rhythm.
The record is split into 4 parts, with a brief interlude, but those four parts are split into two distinct movements. The first, which comprises the first two parts, is much of what we described above, simple skeletal rhythms, surrounded by minimal guitar whir, bursts of grinding distortion, fragmented jangle, keening feedback, but it's all about the rhythm. After a brief burst of mathy chaos, the track reverts to its initial rhythm, this time the bass more prominent, fuzzy, distorted, woozy and mesmerizing, the band locked in tight, the bass and drums solid and unwavering, while the guitar sings in the background, moaning and keening and howling, giving the track an ominous otherworldly vibe, a trudge across some hostile alien landscape, a weary, washed out deathmarch.
Then the interlude, a haunting abstract percussive sprawl, simple percussive thuds set amidst a sea of warped distorted low end, bits of glitch and hiss, and grinding shards of industrial clatter, which gives way to the second, noisier movement, the drums transformed into a simple machinelike pound, snare and cymbal crashing over and over and over, the guitars whipped into a frenzy of blurred buzz and warped swirling blackened chaos, what at first sounds noisy and harsh, soon reveals itself as strangely textural, and as hypnotic as the more stripped down first movement, the guitars slip from monochromatic whir, to insectoid black metal riffing, constantly swirling around the motorik pound and pummel, the final track finds the guitars slipping into ever higher registers, blissing out, laced with feedback, smoothing out into warm smears and blurs, before a brief deconstruction, and a surprisingly tranquil last few minutes, the drums back to a woozy lope, the guitar offering up warm swells and shimmering thrum, the bass throbbing beneath, eventually stumbling to a halt in a cloud of creaking metals and static-like tape hiss. Woah.
Just like Descension, Finsternis is an intense and emotional journey through sound, a haunting and hard to describe exploration of rhythm, mood and texture, a slow shifting otherworld defined by This Heat, Geronimo, Laddio Bolocko, Can, Faust, accessible only via the three shadowy figures that make up Aluk Todolo, whose magic and mystery has been rendered in these glorious black rhythms.
Housed in a multi panel jacket with super striking original artwork by Stephen Kasner, on the always impressive Utech label (whose other two new releases, from Gog and Olivier Dumont, we'll review on the next list, although we do have both in stock if you want 'em, and we're fairly sure you do!).
MPEG Stream: "Premier Contact"
MPEG Stream: "Deuxieme Contact"
MPEG Stream: "Totalite"

album cover CAVE Psychic Psummer (Important) cd 15.98
Not one but TWO repeat Record Of The Week honorees, elsewhere, the latest from French alchemical post rockers Aluk Todolo, and this, the latest from Cave, whose recent instore performance totally blew us away. It says a lot about a band that can put together a totally improvised set, with limited gear and various members changing up instruments, and still sound better and tighter and catchier and more rocking than most bands playing their own songs on their proper gear NOT in a record store.
Born from the space drone psych outfit Warhammer 48K, these guys left Missouri, ended up in Chicago, added a whole bunch of new members and became Cave, a kick ass spaced out kraut-drone hypno rock collective, equal parts Circle, Can, Lightning Bolt, Wooden Shjips, and Hawkwind, but so much more. Their first record, Hunt Like Devil, was a glorious cacophony of circular riffage, frenetic drumming, woozy basslines, wild synths, and killer hooks, groovy, hypnotic, space-y, and while this record is more of the same, it's somehow transcends, taking everything we loved about the first record, and making it, well, MORE. We'd have probably loved it even if it was Hunt Like Devil part 2, but thankfully, Psychic Summer finds the band exploring some new territory, but dragging that old sound with them.
The opener begins with just a stripped down guitar, and some subtly noodly synth, before exploding in a sun dappled burst of super distorted, in-the-red psychedelia, before shifting again into a muted sunshiney krautrock groove, laced with some cool synths, and electronic filigree. The song locks into the groove and slowly builds to a triumphant climax, eventually slowing down to a sort of chiming jangly groove, which leads right into "Made In Malaysia" which might be the jam of the disc. Stuttering synths, stop start dynamics, chugging guitars, which gives way to a wild woozy twisted riffy bridge, with shouted vocals, and warble bended guitar notes, and an irresistable staccato groove, first just the synth, but then the drums, motorik and relentless, live it's not hard to imagine this track being stretched into a whole set. A single song, so hooky and loopy and mesmerizing. But it's Cave, so two seconds later, they're locked into a different kind of groove, a tribal rhythm, warm organ chords, underneath blooping effects, buried vocals, it's almost danceable, definitely groovy, like they just took one measure from some classic old school dance track and looped it into some space aged kraut disco space jam.
The other three tracks are just as mesmerizing, the muted space-y throb of "High, I Am", wrapped in a slithery bit of warped synthage, to the dense drum heavy "Requiem For John Sex", with some grinding mathy guitar and a bit of indie jangle all wound up in the tracks summery drift, before a wild super sped up free for all psych out finish, and "Machines And Muscles", which was originally released on the now out of print Butthash single, this seems to be a slightly different version, and is definitely another of the record's highlights, total hynorock bliss, little bits of keyboard pepper the stuttery rhythm, the main riff staying solid and unwavering, while all around it various other sounds swoop and shimmer, a Circle-like guitar groove, shuffling drums, very tribal and looped sounding, suspended in a field of space streakings, warm organ whir and smears of soft effects in the background, that main riff stays LOCKED in, until it begins to get a bit more tripped out, a little distorted, more effects, the synths skitter and stutter, and then finally, the song fades out in a blinding kaleidoscopic burst of warm sunshine-y synth.
And that's really the magic of Cave, we're all so partial to the dark and doomy, the buzzy and droney, that it's so exciting for a record to sound so heavy and tripped out and hypnotic, but at the same time so sunshiney, so Summery, so FUN. These guys totally rule, this record is fantastic, and if you can believe it, live they might be even better.
MPEG Stream: "Made In Malaysia"
MPEG Stream: "Gamm"
MPEG Stream: "Encino Men"

album cover CAVE Psychic Psummer (Important) lp 16.98
Not one but TWO repeat Record Of The Week honorees, elsewhere, the latest from French alchemical post rockers Aluk Todolo, and this, the latest from Cave, whose recent instore performance totally blew us away. It says a lot about a band that can put together a totally improvised set, with limited gear and various members changing up instruments, and still sound better and tighter and catchier and more rocking than most bands playing their own songs on their proper gear NOT in a record store.
Born from the space drone psych outfit Warhammer 48K, these guys left Missouri, ended up in Chicago, added a whole bunch of new members and became Cave, a kick ass spaced out kraut-drone hypno rock collective, equal parts Circle, Can, Lightning Bolt, Wooden Shjips, and Hawkwind, but so much more. Their first record, Hunt Like Devil, was a glorious cacophony of circular riffage, frenetic drumming, woozy basslines, wild synths, and killer hooks, groovy, hypnotic, space-y, and while this record is more of the same, it's somehow transcends, taking everything we loved about the first record, and making it, well, MORE. We'd have probably loved it even if it was Hunt Like Devil part 2, but thankfully, Psychic Summer finds the band exploring some new territory, but dragging that old sound with them.
The opener begins with just a stripped down guitar, and some subtly noodly synth, before exploding in a sun dappled burst of super distorted, in-the-red psychedelia, before shifting again into a muted sunshiney krautrock groove, laced with some cool synths, and electronic filigree. The song locks into the groove and slowly builds to a triumphant climax, eventually slowing down to a sort of chiming jangly groove, which leads right into "Made In Malaysia" which might be the jam of the disc. Stuttering synths, stop start dynamics, chugging guitars, which gives way to a wild woozy twisted riffy bridge, with shouted vocals, and warble bended guitar notes, and an irresistable staccato groove, first just the synth, but then the drums, motorik and relentless, live it's not hard to imagine this track being stretched into a whole set. A single song, so hooky and loopy and mesmerizing. But it's Cave, so two seconds later, they're locked into a different kind of groove, a tribal rhythm, warm organ chords, underneath blooping effects, buried vocals, it's almost danceable, definitely groovy, like they just took one measure from some classic old school dance track and looped it into some space aged kraut disco space jam.
The other three tracks are just as mesmerizing, the muted space-y throb of "High, I Am", wrapped in a slithery bit of warped synthage, to the dense drum heavy "Requiem For John Sex", with some grinding mathy guitar and a bit of indie jangle all wound up in the tracks summery drift, before a wild super sped up free for all psych out finish, and "Machines And Muscles", which was originally released on the now out of print Butthash single, this seems to be a slightly different version, and is definitely another of the record's highlights, total hynorock bliss, little bits of keyboard pepper the stuttery rhythm, the main riff staying solid and unwavering, while all around it various other sounds swoop and shimmer, a Circle-like guitar groove, shuffling drums, very tribal and looped sounding, suspended in a field of space streakings, warm organ whir and smears of soft effects in the background, that main riff stays LOCKED in, until it begins to get a bit more tripped out, a little distorted, more effects, the synths skitter and stutter, and then finally, the song fades out in a blinding kaleidoscopic burst of warm sunshine-y synth.
And that's really the magic of Cave, we're all so partial to the dark and doomy, the buzzy and droney, that it's so exciting for a record to sound so heavy and tripped out and hypnotic, but at the same time so sunshiney, so Summery, so FUN. These guys totally rule, this record is fantastic, and if you can believe it, live they might be even better.
MPEG Stream: "Made In Malaysia"
MPEG Stream: "Gamm"
MPEG Stream: "Encino Men"

album cover SLOUGH FEG Ape Uprising! (Cruz Del Sur) cd 15.98
Underground hometown heavy metal heroes Slough Feg, aka The Lord Weird Slough Feg are back on the attack with this new album, their seventh (not counting their most recent release, the demos/live collection The Slay Stack Grows, reviewed here not long ago). You may recall us raving about several (all!) of their previous efforts, though in our review of Slay Stack, we did say that one was pretty much intended for fans only, not the place to start if you were new to the band. But, if you're someone who still hasn't checked out a proper Slough Feg album, well THIS one would certainly be recommended. And Slough Feg fans who loved their last studio record, Hardworlder, will find Ape Uprising! takes that sound and, well, goes a bit ape with it. Some have called this their heaviest album yet. We'd say, yes, maybe, due to certain doom elements and the thick, '70s sounding production with prominent bass. But it's also perhaps their poppiest! At a tight 37 and a half minutes it brilliantly synthesizes all the best of the band's '70s and '80s classic metal and hard rock influences (Black Sabbath and Iron Maiden, Thin Lizzy, etc. - nothing past, say, 1982) whilst also sounding like something only THIS eccentric band of nerd barbarians could or would ever record. Utter heavy metal zeal unleashed via massively heavy, awesome riffage, triumphant vocals, memorable melodies, and twin guitar shred EVERYWHERE ALL THE TIME. Yes! For an example of said awesome riffage, look no further than the start of the 10-minute-plus title track. And for an example of the latter, try the dazzling midpoint of "Ape Outro". Or just drop the needle (well, laser for now) on this anyplace! All that plus intelligent, ironic lyrics that make mention of opposable thumbs.
It's not exactly a Planet Of The Apes concept album, but it's close... half of the eight songs here have to do with the apes vs. humans theme (as ridiculously depicted in the wonderfully comic book-y cover art, that kinda makes this look like a punk rock album). And those four songs make it pretty clear that Slough Feg are on the side of the apes. Charleton Heston would not approve. In the progtastic "Simian Manifesto", a song full of over the top Queen-like drama, sudden stoner rock groove, and even some jangly placid pop parts, Mike says it best with the immortal lines: "Never coming down from the trees / Never bending down on my knees!"
So, we've made it pretty plain we dig Slough Feg and always do our utmost to spread the word - we even had 'em play and slay our SXSW showcase this year. It used to be that Allan here considered himself to be probably the world's #1 Slough Feg fan, but now that honor might go to the guy in Idaho who got a portrait of Mike Scalzi tattooed on his leg! (Seriously, we've seen a photo.) Yep, these days the band has made enough of a name for themselves, that it's not just Aquarius going apeshit for 'em anymore, when we used to be the only place that cared. On the internet, you'll find quite a few reviews of Ape Uprising! already out there in advance of ours, almost all of 'em insanely positive ('cause when you like this band, you really like this band). Even All Music Guide, not exactly a bastion of heavy metal fandom, beat us to it, giving Ape Uprising! a four-and-a-half out of 5 star rating.
So, while quite obviously we're always excited when Mike and the gang have a new album out, we're also always a bit apprehensive about being able to do their weird genius justice in our reviews. So this time around, we asked AQ customer Glenn Simpson, a known Slough Feg fan, and also the guy who first turned us on to those '70s heavies Jerusalem that we later made Record Of The Week when it was reissued, to shoulder a bit of the burden and write some more for us about Slough Feg's new album. He was nice enough to give it a shot, so let's turn this over to him:
"I want to start by saying that I'm not sure what this review can really accomplish. If you're a fan of Slough Feg, you automatically want their new album, right? If you're not a fan, I don't know what to say to change your mind that Aquarius hasn't already said in reviews of previous albums. But here goes. Ape Uprising! is more of everything that makes Slough Feg one of the best metal bands on the planet. At once familiar and fresh, this new album carries on musical and lyrical motifs that are distinctly Feg-ian, while simultaneously developing its own clear identity. This trait runs throughout the band's discography. There is an unmistakable Slough Feg sound, yet a song from one album would seem out of place on any other album. One of this album's compositional quirks: in the past, Slough Feg records have usually included a few instrumentals. This one doesn't, but several of the songs basically turn into instrumentals halfway through. Scalzi gets the singing out of the way, and then he and fellow guitarist Don Angelo Tringali go to town on their Les Pauls. Maybe that's by way of indicating that the (non-verbal) apes have taken over? Though it happens in several of the non-apey songs as well.
Some early reviews of Ape Uprising have deemed it one of the band's heavier albums. With the acknowledgment that "heavy" means different things to different people, I would say instead, I was struck by overall how energetic and frenetic much of this is, displaying attitude which maybe makes sense given the concept implied by the album's title. About half of the tracks on Ape Uprising! share a sort of punk aggressiveness. You'll hear a little more chug in the guitars, a little more gruffness in the singing, and a little more thud in the drums than on the band's galloping and epic sci-fi opus Traveller (2003), for instance. While I would not come anywhere near calling this Slough Feg's "punk" album, I would say they've scaled back the Thin Lizzy a wee bit and inserted some Stiff Little Fingers - or at least some Motorhead. But maybe that's just me. Also, a few parts of Ape Uprising! expand on the near boogie rock element that cropped up first on Atavism (2005) and then on Hardworlder (2007). This album's "Frankfurt-Hahn Airport Blues" is I guess the NWOBHMish hot rocking ripper "Shakedown At The Six", complete with brief drum solo breakdown. However, Slough Feg also haven't lost their Celtic folk touch, which you'll most prominently in the majestically stirring "White Cousin", with lovely acoustic guitars woven in. Really, its mishmash of influences from the 1970s makes Ape Uprising! sound somewhat timeless.
I'll say a little bit about my two favorite songs. (So far.) The biggest surprise on the new album is the first track. Where the previous three Slough Feg albums began with short fast instrumentals, Ape Uprising! throws fans for a loop by opening with a straight-up old-school doom track, a blown out, slowed down, heavier-than-thou dirge entitled, either cleverly or not, "The Hunchback of Notre Doom"! It turns out Slough Feg does doom that is both traditional AND original as well as they do 'true metal' that is both of those things. It also turns out that Mike Scalzi's rich, expressive vocals are surprisingly well suited to doom. Stunning. (This track alone could account for the heaviness ascribed to the entire album by some reviewers.) Slough Feg have dabbled in doom before, in parts (such as Traveller's "Vargr Moon") but never taken it to this extreme. It sounds like Saint Vitus, if Vitus were more influenced by Dio-era than Ozzy-era Black Sabbath [although, we are reliably informed that the other, equally bad pun the band thought up to call this song was "Ozzymodo"]. Doom freaks would probably be happy if the whole album sounded like this, but Mike Scalzi (who admittedly suffers from attention deficit disorder) sure wouldn't. Thus the rest of Ape Uprising! surges with a variety of Slough Feg songwriting stratagems. For example, my other favorite song is the final track, the surprisingly poppy but also totally rockin' "Nasty Hero", which sounds so authentically traditional metal that I was certain it was a cover and spent more than a few minutes trying to figure out what brilliant, obscure '70s metal band wrote and recorded it. To my amazement, it's a Slough Feg original. If a young Iron Maiden jammed with a veteran UFO in 1979, they could not do better than this!
I wish I didn't have to wait two years between Slough Feg albums."
Us too!
By the way, this IS gonna be coming out on vinyl, there's an slightly-delayed, limited edition European import of which we'll be getting a just a few, so let us know if you want the wax and we'll try to reserve a copy for you.
MPEG Stream: "Ape Uprising"
MPEG Stream: "Simian Manifesto"
MPEG Stream: "Shakedown At The Six"
MPEG Stream: "Nasty Hero"

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album cover 1349 Revelations Of The Black Flame + Works Of Fire Live (Deluxe) (Candlelight) 2cd 13.98
A quick look online reveals a crazy amount of negative feedback and terrible reviews for this, the newest record from Norwegian black metal supergroup 1349. Most of that negativity stems from the fact that everyone seemed to be hoping for a Hellfire Part 2. Hellfire being their last record, a frenetic non stop blast of frenzied lightning speed berserk blackened buzz. Which is strange, because we were actually hoping for something different. Hellfire was SO fast, and SO relentless, so much so that in many places it just became a furious black blur, which is fine, and we do love that record, but where does a band go from there? Certainly not faster, but somehow, faster seemed to be what most folks expected. What we can tell you is no one expected THIS. Slower. Weirder. Even a Pink Floyd cover. Could this really be 1349? It is, and it's awesome. Dark and lurching doom-ed blackness, shades of Celtic Frost for sure (whose Tom G. Warrior did some production work here). So fuck the haters, we already have a Hellfire, this is something way more interesting and original.
The record opens with some anguished screams, which give way to a long drifting dronescape, deep rumbling dark ambience, thick and layered, caustic and ominous, before finally lurching into song, but not in a black blast, more of a chugging pound, a little bit of tangled blackness, and then woozy, midtempo meander, atonal chords, off kilter rhythms, lots of start and stop, the tempo sort of sea sick, the vibe still WAY sinister, but much more abstract and avant, and way doomier, and it suits them. At first it seemed like maybe drummer Frost was wasted here, but finally, he has the opportunity to do something other than blast maniacally.
The second track is more of the same, a lumbering doomy bit of avant blackness, with gnarled riffs, simple pounding percussion, the arrangement mathy and convoluted, sounding more like Thorns or Khold or Tulus, which is a very good thing.
The record does offer up some blasting black metal, but not a whole lot, as one disgruntled reviewer put it "there's like maybe 10 minutes of ACTUAL black metal on the whole record!", which is true, the majority of the record is still 'black', but much weirder, slower, atmospheric, with a few straight up ambient tracks, long snarling dronescapes, spaced out stretches of gauzy piano wrapped in streaks of feedback, and bits of glitchy buzz, drifty chunks of guitar flecked rumble and whir, all butted up against awesomely twisted bits of black doom weirdness.
One of the best tracks sounds like a Deathspell Omega jam slowed way down, "Uncreation" is all woozy and tangled and almost gothy at points, but with cool bursts of staccato almost industrial sounding chug, and those dense black riffs, pulled apart and wrapped around the pounding rhythms.
The record closes with the haunting "At The Gate..." which begins like some doomdrone record, all downtuned guitar drone, thickening and sprawling like some noxious black cloud, it eventually splinters into a song, but all that means is the wall of guitar buzz and grinding low end is peppered with occasional drum pound, distant guitar leads, and super creepy processed vocals, before eventually blissing out and drifting off.
And let's not forget the Pink Floyd cover. It's almost unrecognizable, but for THAT bass line, super fuzzy and distorted, drifting through swirling layers of effects, the vocals whispered and doused in delay, the drums a machinelike pound, the guitars unfurling all manner of strange sounds, drones and whirs and shrieks and buzzes, no proper riffs, it's the bass and drums that drive this track, the guitars left to fill in the surrounding space with all manner of blurred black ambience. Haunting and spaced out but still plenty black.
As if that weren't enough, while we have 'em, Revelations comes housed in a slipcover, with a bonus disc, a live recording, from in Sweden in 2005, raw and lo-fi and fierce and furious, perfect for folks still hankering for some Hellfire, this should definitely satisfy, meanwhile, the rest of us can revel in 1349's strange new direction. WAY recommended.
MPEG Stream: "Invocation"
MPEG Stream: "Serpentine Sibilance"
MPEG Stream: "Uncreation"
MPEG Stream: "Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun"

album cover BARDO POND Gazing At Shilla (Important) lp 17.98
No one does stoned and blissed out deep-in-the-forest jams better than Bardo Pond. For over fifteen years now this Philly outfit have been kicking out some of the most gorgeous organic spaced out rock EVER. Bardo Pond have so many different sides to their sound, from more song based tracks, to full on psychedelia, to dirgey space rock, and of course there's the sprawling tripped out and totally dreamy epic jams.
Gazing At Shilla finds the Pond in the latter mode, which is just fine as we can't get enough of that sound, when the band somehow bring earth and sky together in gloriously cataclysmic ways, allowing us to get so totally and fantastically lost in their sound. Recorded between 2003-2006, each side is a single, fantastic, sprawling twenty minute instrumental. "Eight - Thousanders" finds the band soaring and floating and gliding with such ease and fluidity. While "Kali" gets a little buzzier and darker, gritty space-y sonics transmitted from another dimension. Imagine if Roy Montgomery and Sonic Youth joined forces, or those special moments when Kawabata Makoto and his Acid Mothers Temple set their trajectory for cosmic spheres unknown. Ultimately though, it sounds like Bardo Pond (albeit only one of their many sides), a band who continue to grow, evolve and rule!
This the first of a new four part Bardo Pond related series of limited edition vinyl only releases on Important, we also just got the others in, one each by Bardo side projects Alaeshir, Alumbrados, and Moon Phantoms - the latter a collaboration with Japan's Suishu No Fune!

album cover BLACK HELL How The Rest Was Lost (Sounds Of Battle And Souvenir Collecting) cd-r 9.98
Upon first hearing the name "Black Hell", you can get at least a vague of idea of where this quartet lies on the sonic spectrum. Then you see the wordless album cover, a beautiful and clear image of a mighty desert rock formation haloed by a shock of pink light and surrounded by a series of optical cubes. Nice cover, for sure, but for some reason it conjures what you might expect from some experimental album or what have you. They say you can't always judge a book by its cover. And maybe that means something, somewhere... Because a few seconds into How The Rest Was Lost, everything clicks and it all makes sense: Oh, this is heavy as fuck cosmic STONER ROCK! From the deserts of Arizona, no less. So you can totally judge a book by its cover.
Black Hell deal in, like we said, heavy as fuck cosmic stoner rock, emphasizing the groove and looking way beyond the stars. There is a good deal of melody too, sort of melancholy, and totally catchy, with absolutely huge sounding production to give you a nice dose of mountainous drumming and totally rifftastic guitars that sound loud enough to fill all the open space on the album cover. The vocals are cool, and somewhat atypical of the genre, maybe higher than what you sometimes get with heavier groups, but definitely not in a bad way. It's actually quite similar to the guy in The Sword. Not quite as high as the dude in Mammatus, and not as whiney as the guy in Kyuss - the singer's voice is clean and expressive, not guttural or booming or anything. With song titles like "Lunar Procession", "Storms of Jupiter", "Lycanthropy", "Planet Maker", and "Celestial Conquest" (that was all of them, they're just pretty fucking cool), you should know whether or not this is for you. We say bring it on.
MPEG Stream: "Lunar Procession"
MPEG Stream: "Lycanthropy"

album cover BLACK METEORIC STAR s/t (DFA) cd 14.98
We hadn't heard anything really about this new release on DFA but when we first put it on we immediately thought "this sort of sounds like a way more dancey version of a Gavin Russom & Delia Gonzalez record." And whattayaknow? After actually checking the liner notes, we discovered that this is indeed the work of one half of that duo, Gavin Russom.
Setting out to make a much more blatantly dancefloor-centric record, this finds Russom channeling the ghosts of Acid House and for sure the influence of his time spent in late night dance clubs while living in Berlin. While some of the record is very fast paced and strobe light ready, it's the more slow burning moments that really push the album into the stratosphere. Russom has such a way with those dark and drifty tones and melodies, so hypnotic and trancelike. No doubt that Russom is drawing from not only his love of dance music culture but also his other more eclectic influences like horror-prog (Goblin) and the repetition and motorik quality of classic krautrock. But make no mistake, this is for sure a full on techno record, and a damn good one! Some of these songs are so long and stretched out, providing the perfect soundtrack to some mind altering k-hole that can't be escaped.
MPEG Stream: "Death Tunnel"
MPEG Stream: "Dreamcatcher"
MPEG Stream: "Dawn"

album cover BLACULA OST (Rev-Ola) cd 16.98
Arguably the definitive blaxploitation horror film (though William Girdler's Abby from1974 is definitely a close second!), the soundtrack to William Crain's Blacula (1972) finally gets the reissue treatment.
Scored by Gene Page who arranged many hits for Barry White as well as being the pop genius behind Syd and Marty Kroft's Puff N'Stuff and The Banana Splits, you know this is gonna be all kinds of cheesy awesomeness! From the disco funk of the opening title "Blacula (The Stalkwalk)" to the pensive creepiness of the finale "Wakeeli (Swahili Farewell)", this is the sordid tale of an 18th century African Prince, cursed and held captive for centuries by Dracula, seeking his revenge on 1970's Los Angeles. Page has all the classic blaxploitation musical cues down: the lilting love theme, the frenetically groovy chase theme, spine-tingling harpsichords and noirish horns. With vocal help from his brother, Billy Page (who sings the sexy/sleazy "Main Chance" which for some reason reminds us of "Dracula The Rock Opera" from Forgetting Sarah Marshall) and The Hues Corporation, years before their hit "Rock The Boat", Blacula is a highly thrilling and amusingly nutty soundtrack, but what else would you possibly expect?
MPEG Stream: "Firebombs"
MPEG Stream: "Main Chance"
MPEG Stream: "Wakeeli (Swahili Farewell)"

album cover BLUE SABBATH BLACK CHEER / DRIED UP CORPSE split (Gnarled Forest) 10" 14.98
Originally released as a super limited cassette (only 50 copies), this 10" (also way too limited at 300 copies) teams up our favorite demonic duo, with the awesomely monickered Dried Up Corpse for some deep dire noise drenched heaviness.
The BSBC side is about the prettiest thing they've ever done, which means it's still vile and sick and murky and ominous and fucked up, it's just that it's not so harsh, more muted and blurred and black ambient, than some of their other outings. A sprawling deeeeeeeeep doomscape, creeping black rumbles, demonic gurgles, distant foghorn like melodies, bits of muted percussion, plenty of buzzing grit and distorted feedback, but all smeared and woozy and subterranean sounding, a darkly demonic drift, that infuses what might otherwise be warm shimmering blackened ambience, with some seriously abject miserablism and gloom.
Dried Up Corpse counter BSBC's sensitive side with a caustic chunk of chaotic crunch. Beginning with some deep whirring rumbles, the track soon splinters into full on blunted white noise, skittery and fractured and totally blown out, all the while underpinned by that initial rumbling whir, eventually the noise peels back leaving a long stretch of deep softened buzz to play us out.
LIMITED TO 300 COPIES!!!! Gorgeous super thick hand screened sleeves, with nice two sided printed inserts.

album cover BURAKA SOM SISTEMA Black Diamond (Fabric) cd 16.98
Oh shit! These are some intensely sweaty and dancey jammers that are sure to be the soundtrack of any truly down and dirty party this summer, and probably for a long time to come. Hailing from Portugal, Buraka Som Sistema have become international ambassadors for the Kuduro scene, bringing this unique sound to people throughout the world. It makes perfect sense that M.I.A. lends her voice to the record's standout track, as the sounds on Black Diamond make a great companion to her latest record Kala. Incorporating elements of hip-hop, Baile funk and electronica, Black Diamond is all about being uptempo and making bodies sweat, move and shake and groove. This is one of those records that should appeal to all sots of music lovers, from fans of Konono No.1 seeking that same sort of intense all out energy to fans of Missy Elliott who want something pulsating and creative to move them on the dance floor. So damn good!
MPEG Stream: "Sound of Kuduro (feat. DJ Znobia, MIA, Saborosa, & Puto Prata)"
MPEG Stream: "Aqui Para Vocês (feat. Deize Tigrona)"
MPEG Stream: "IC19"

album cover BURAKA SOM SISTEMA Black Diamond (Fabric) lp 24.00
Oh shit! These are some intensely sweaty and dancey jammers that are sure to be the soundtrack of any truly down and dirty party this summer, and probably for a long time to come. Hailing from Portugal, Buraka Som Sistema have become international ambassadors for the Kuduro scene, bringing this unique sound to people throughout the world. It makes perfect sense that M.I.A. lends her voice to the record's standout track, as the sounds on Black Diamond make a great companion to her latest record Kala. Incorporating elements of hip-hop, Baile funk and electronica, Black Diamond is all about being uptempo and making bodies sweat, move and shake and groove. This is one of those records that should appeal to all sots of music lovers, from fans of Konono No.1 seeking that same sort of intense all out energy to fans of Missy Elliott who want something pulsating and creative to move them on the dance floor. So damn good!
MPEG Stream: "Sound of Kuduro (feat. DJ Znobia, MIA, Saborosa, & Puto Prata)"
MPEG Stream: "Aqui Para Vocês (feat. Deize Tigrona)"
MPEG Stream: "IC19"

album cover CANDLEMASS Death Magic Doom (Nuclear Blast) cd 15.98
They certainly aren't, y'know, lowering expectations with a title like that (unless you were looking for twee indie pop or something else non-metallic). And if anyone could call a record Death Magic Doom it's Candlemass bassist/mastermind Leif Edling and his not-so-merry band of spooky Swedes (and one Texan). Last list we highlighted The Devil You Know, the magnificent reunion album of Ronnie James Dio and Black Sabbath under the Heaven & Hell name, and mentioned in our review that we didn't think any other attempts at epic doom this year could compete. However, a decent runner up has to be this latest slab of heaviosity from Swedish doom veterans Candlemass! They offer up their tenth studio album, also their second full-length with vocalist Robert Lowe (of Texas doomsters Solitude Aeturnus), who has already proved himself to be the best (and maybe only) choice to replace Candlemass's iconic '80s singer Messiah Marcolin at the mic. If you liked Lowe's 2007 Candlemass debut King Of The Grey Islands, you'll like this one too!
More classic soaring vocals, chugging guitars, Sabbathy riffs, depressive atmosphere, frantic soloing... this is heavy, heavy (but melodic) metal! The album starts off fairly uptempo with the storming "If I Ever Die"... but if that's too fast for you, you'll be relieved to be crushed by the lumbering next track, "Hammer Of Doom" in all its bell-tolling glory. It's as if the first track saw the second one coming and just wanted to hurry up and get the heck out of the way. Other faves here include "The Bleeding Baroness" (with a catchy refrain that's a bit bizarre to have stuck in your head), and "House Of 1000 Voices" (the album's longest track at 7:50, and thus most epic epic). We should also mention "Demon Of The Deep" which is a song about a sea monster. Somehow Lowe's dramatic, fist-clenched vocals combine with the subject matter to transcend from the ridiculous to, if not the sublime, at least the quite doomfully entertaining!
In some ways, this review is superfluous. I mean, what doomfan isn't gonna want a record called Death Magic Doom by freakin' Candlemass in their collection??
NB. this version includes "Lucifer Rising" as a bonus track.
MPEG Stream: "Hammer Of Doom"
MPEG Stream: "The Bleeding Baroness"

album cover CASTEVET Stones / Salt (Paragon) 7" 5.50
The two members of NY black metal duo Castevet may have a pedigree heavy in grind and death metal, but their gnarled angular take on black metal owes way more to post rock and noise rock, these two songs sounding like two parts of the same song, that song an alternately pounding, loping chunk of Voivodian chug and primitive old school blast.
Angular and off kilter, tangled blackened riffs over relentless muscled pound, all wrapped around tortured anguished howls, the rhythm lurches and stutters, ferocious and heavy, but also weirdly moody and atmospheric, almost more like noise rock with a hint of blackness, flurries of double kick, some classic BM guitar buzz, eventually breaking down into some pounding old school black metal. The second side sounds like a part two, but the second part is much more melodic, with some woozy, spidery minor key guitar melodies and short stretches of muted post rockiness, even some Black Flaggy guitars here and there, but this side too gets more black as it goes, slipping into serious Darkthrone territory, before a dense mathy breakdown/outro that revisits that opening minor key melody.
Really awesome stuff. Can't wait for a full length. Cool packaging too, milky clear vinyl, no label, in a sleeve with a very spare insert, visible through the record, and one weird thing, the center hole is slightly too big, so be careful placing the record on the turntable, it's easy to get it off center, which makes the whole record sound even woozier than normal, which is actually kind of cool.

album cover CAVE Made In Malaysia (Important) 7" 8.98
Along with the new Cave full length, which is one of this week's Records Of The Week, comes this super limited 7", which features maybe our favorite jam from Psychic Psummer, but more importantly, an exclusive and unreleased track on the flipside! And it's a doozy. Hard to figure out why the heck they left it off the record. Could be that it's a bit darker and heavier, which is always a good thing in our book.
Fuzzy, spaced out, murky, krautrocky, lysergic, druggy, lots of trippy effects laden psych guitar, a propulsive garagey groove, pounding metronomic drumming, WAY more Hawkwind and Monster Magnet and especially Loop than the full length proper. Think Heads and White Hills and other purveyors of hypno space rock, and this track will definitely push those very same buttons. Bad ass artwork too.
LIMITED TO 500 COPIES!!!

album cover CLUES s/t (Constellation) cd 16.98
The debut from Clues, cousins to Montreal's The Arcade Fire and Unicorns, might best be described as an amalgamation of those two bands, with a definite leaning towards the strange pop sensibilities of Unicorns. The record opens with an eclectic track that starts slow and noisy, with jangly guitars and Alden Penner's breathy and nasal (yet never annoying) Wayne Coyne-esque voice, building into an unexpected freak-out ending that lasts less than a minute. There's a lot of great stops and starts on this record. For example on the second track "Remember Severed Head", there's a few times when the drums all of a sudden disappear, replaced by a bit of noisy screeching and a deft guitar line, only to come back a few seconds later backed by a lot of distortion and Penner's vocals. On "Cave Mouth", a xylophone line in the left channel compliments the guitar and synth leads, flushing out the more traditional rock instrumentation of the rest of the record. There's a few anthem-like Arcade Fire elements - a bit of a sing-along chorus on the penultimate track "Ledmonton" and some horns here and there spice up the songwriting nicely. The slower/softer moments on the record, "In the Dream" and "Let's Get Strong" aren't quite as powerful as the more rocking tracks, though the shoegazey second half of "You Have My Eyes Now" blows us away every time the guitars punch in. A must have for fans of strange pop music.
MPEG Stream: "Haarp"
MPEG Stream: "Remember Severed Head"
MPEG Stream: "Cave Mouth"

album cover CLUES s/t (Constellation) lp 17.98
The debut from Clues, cousins to Montreal's The Arcade Fire and Unicorns, might best be described as an amalgamation of those two bands, with a definite leaning towards the strange pop sensibilities of Unicorns. The record opens with an eclectic track that starts slow and noisy, with jangly guitars and Alden Penner's breathy and nasal (yet never annoying) Wayne Coyne-esque voice, building into an unexpected freak-out ending that lasts less than a minute. There's a lot of great stops and starts on this record. For example on the second track "Remember Severed Head", there's a few times when the drums all of a sudden disappear, replaced by a bit of noisy screeching and a deft guitar line, only to come back a few seconds later backed by a lot of distortion and Penner's vocals. On "Cave Mouth", a xylophone line in the left channel compliments the guitar and synth leads, flushing out the more traditional rock instrumentation of the rest of the record. There's a few anthem-like Arcade Fire elements - a bit of a sing-along chorus on the penultimate track "Ledmonton" and some horns here and there spice up the songwriting nicely. The slower/softer moments on the record, "In the Dream" and "Let's Get Strong" aren't quite as powerful as the more rocking tracks, though the shoegazey second half of "You Have My Eyes Now" blows us away every time the guitars punch in. A must have for fans of strange pop music.

album cover COLD CAVE Etsel And Ruby (What's Your Rupture?) 12" 11.98
On one end of the Cold Cave spectrum, there is the blistering terror of low-fi electronics with sparse hints of new wave flecked through a sound better suited to Wolf Eyes; and on the other, Cold Cave can effortlessly toss out a darkly pop-eyed, minimal wave gem that wouldn't out of place next to Depeche Mode or Gary Numan. So far, Cold Cave (aka Wes Eisold) has not done us wrong no matter what he ends up producing. The hyper limited Etsel And Ruby 12" is of the latter, poppier sensibility, in the footsteps of the terminally catchy single The Trees Grew Emotions And Died from 2008. The production values here are a little higher than the gutter-punk scratchiness found on the Cremations collection; and while punchier drum machines and upfront vocals give Cold Cave a gloss with a broader appeal, we seriously hope that he doesn't leave the nastier sound behind.
The A side "Love Comes Close" is a jangly, jaunty number that could very well be a lost track from The Cure's The Head On The Door, with Eisold's croon almost sounding like Stephin Merritt. The first of two B sides finds Eisold handing over the vocal duties to an unknown female singer, whose detached, cold vocals fit perfectly with the Cure / Joy Division basslines laced around the darkened electronics. The cut is like the best Fad Gadget song you've never heard before, with an insistent electroid melody that builds and builds throughout the track. Great stuff. Limited to 300 copies!!! Available only from the label and right here at aQ!

album cover CROMAGNON Cave Rock (aka Orgasm) (ESP-Disk) cd 14.98
Reissued once more (like many ESP-Disks, constantly going out of and then thankfully back into print), and we are glad to have it back in our racks for sure, since this album is an all-time AQ fave and it's been gone too long. This time around, it's in a digpack with the original black & white version of the cover art, and it's been given its original title of Cave Rock instead of Orgasm. But a freaked out masterpiece by any other name...
Here's the review we first wrote about this when a previous reissued entered our collective Aquarius consciousness some years ago:
Yet another gem we somehow managed to miss, thankfully newly reissued to give us a second chance. (Well, not all of us missed it. Allan had the previously reissued version at one point, and got rid of it somehow. He just wasn't ready for it back then. Now he owns it again!) And a few of our customers have responded with the customary "Oh that record! I love that record. I've had that record for years." So for those of you, like us, managed to somehow miss it, we present to you Cromagnon.
An anomaly, even on the always far out ESP label, Cromagnon was the result of two top 40 songwriters (accustomed to producing bubblegum pop) who seemed to have completely lost their minds. I mean they must have, to produce something as wacked as this record. Austin Grasmere, Brian Elliot, and their mysterious 'Connecticut Tribe' spewed forth 50 minutes of primitive dada-ist folk psych.
Chanting, tribal percussion, short wave radio, maniacal, almost black metal vocals, hysterical laughter, bagpipes all coalesce into something ridiculous and amazing.
Track one "Caledonia" sounds like a strange hybrid of Comus and In Extremo, with bagpipes, jaw harp, crickets, raspy chants and teutonic percussion ("Caledonia" was even covered later by industrialists Test Department, and more recently by Japan's Ghost!). Later on in the record is an alternate version of "Caledonia" from the b-side of the original lp, slowed down to a third of the speed, producing an impenetratable swampy murk. "Ritual Feast of The Libido" features a groaning and moaning vocal over whirring and rumbling machinery. Then comes "Fantasy", where a faux Beach Boys intro almost convinces us that Grasmere and Elliot have returned to their bubblegum roots, that is until it devolves into a messy seven minutes of garbled laughter and clattering percussion. Today this all still seems pretty damn crazy, so back in 1968 when it was recorded it must have really freaked people out, even despite the pervasive drug culture of the time...
So for those of you who aren't already veterans of the Cromagnon experience, and definitely for those of you who were blown away by the Comus, and for everyone who is in need of a new favorite fucked record, this is it. Now, and always, a unanimous AQ fave.
MPEG Stream: "Caledonia"
MPEG Stream: "Crow Of The Black Tree"

album cover D.A.F. (DEUTSCH AMERIKANSICHE FREUNDSCHAFT) Das Beste Von D.A.F. (Mute / Grey Area) cd 14.98
Deutsch Amerikansiche Freundschaft (German American Friendship) or better known as D.A.F. were one of those key early electronic groups that provided the missing link between Cold Wave Minimalism and German Industrial Techno. They, themselves called it EBM or Electronic Body Music. Formed in 1977, out of weirdo art music outfit, Der Plan, D.A.F. started out as a five piece group pioneering the new wave of German Industrial music two years before Einsturzende Neubauten. But after their first two albums, the group quickly slimmed themselves down into the efficient two man sequencer team of Robert Gorl and Gabi Delgado. Playing up themes of Nazi fetishization and hardcore homosexual sex, with the spare and sometimes brutal production of krautrock pioneer, Conny Plank, D.A.F.'s songs were massive underground club hits in the early eighties. If anyone remembers John Dwyer's shortlived "fauxmosexual" industrial-electro joke band, Zeigenbock Kopf, he pretty much ripped D.A.F. off wholesale, if somewhat poorly! This "best of" covers the three records D.A.F. made for Virgin between 1980-1982, Alles Ist Gut, Gold Und Liebe, and Fur Immer, altogether ignoring their Industrial beginnings (sadly), as well as their later 2006 incarnation (thankfully). But it is this fertile period that D.A.F. became famous for, and it's probably a more consistent listen as a whole than if all periods of the group were represented. Fans of groups like Cold Cave, Cut Copy or any of the coldwave / post-punk comps from Belgium, France and Germany, should definitely check this out!
MPEG Stream: "Was Ziehst Du An Heute Nacht"
MPEG Stream: "Der Räuber Und Der Prinz"
MPEG Stream: "Prinzessin"

album cover DEERHUNTER Rainwater Cassette Exchange (Kranky) cd ep 9.98
If two albums released at the same time (Microcastle/Weird Era Continued) wasn't enough Deerhunter for you, then here are five more hazy gliding pop gems for your pleasure! More rocking with less sheen, Bradford Cox and the boys seem to be channeling classic-era Breeders with sharp songwriting and satisfyingly shimmering pop hooks. Perfect Summer Listening!
MPEG Stream: "Rainwater Cassette Exchange"
MPEG Stream: "Circulation"

album cover DIMMER Remissions (Isounderscore) 2lp 23.00
Not to be confused with the Dimmer that was born from NZ's Straightjacket Fits, this Dimmer brings together two stalwarts of the California experimental community: Thomas Dimuzio and Joseph Hammer. The former skirts the boundaries between electro-acoustic technologies and improvisational abstraction, having collaborated with the likes of Chris Cutler, Matmos, Wobbly, Scott Arford, Illusion Of Safety and countless others. Mr. Hammer is one of the prominent members of the willfully oblique Los Angeles Free Music Society, having participated in such projects as Solid Eye, Points Of Friction, and Steaming Coils. Hammer's instrument of choice is the reel-to-reel tape deck, through which he can muster an uncanny palette of sound, noise, and drone. The two have worked together off and on for a good part of the last decade, with a handful of performances throughout California and a couple of releases - Remissions being their second and collecting some of the best moments from those live gigs.
"Sky Wire" builds insectoid buzzes and creepily harmonic drones out of the interplay between Hammer's rough-hewn tape manipulation and Dimuzio's deftly rendered swells, somewhere between Machinefabriek and Christoph Heemann. "Sun Dog" grafts blackened noise onto an electrocutioner's hum, with Hammer's start 'n' stop tapes popping into view like a detached Burroughs cut-up. Both "Gases That Emit Light" and "Giant Eagle" continue along these same strategies with eerie clouds of drones that fold and collapse between harmonic resonance and dissonance with unsettled bursts of soft focus noise. This is really exceptional stuff, and certainly some of the best that we've encountered from either artists individually.

album cover ECHTRA A War For Wonder (20 Buck Spin) cd 13.98
From deep within the Cascadian forests comes this beautiful piece of heavily atmospheric blackened bliss, the solo project of Echtra from black metal duo Fauna, whose awesome Rain album/song we reviewed a few lists back. As with Rain, listening to A War For Wonder requires patience and time, with two highly meditative tracks stretching out to 23 minutes each. Unlike Fauna, however, Echtra's solo work is a much more subdued affair, but no less gorgeous or awesome. It never quite ventures into full on black metal territory, and even when the relentless double bass drums and Darkthrone style blast beats enter the mix the sounds are still much more gentle, with highly melodic acoustic guitars and plenty of 4AD soft squall going on in the background. Sure, there are plenty of bands that incorporate post rock grandeur into their blackened attack, but this is something removed from furious metal almost entirely. It's actually quite strange, and totally mesmerizing, to hear such beautiful, dreamy melodies played out over the relentless, nonstop drumming. Strange as it may sound, the results are actually life affirming, or at least affirmative of something worthwhile... probably not human life, you know, this is still no doubt black as fuck in its peculiar way. Just looking at the four quotes in the album's gatefold, one is able to detect Echtra's take on mysticism, where man's insignificance is laid bare within the glory of the unknown. Such a realization of truth is comforting in itself, and the sounds within A War For Wonder perfectly mirror this knowledge.
MPEG Stream: "A War For Wonder I"
MPEG Stream: "A War For Wonder II"

album cover FIELD, THE Yesterday And Today (Anti / Kompakt) cd 15.98
The Field's 2007 album From Here We Go Sublime caught many people by surprise, and we were happy to find ourselves included in that crowd of Field supporters. This was a minimal techno record playing the part of a pop album, through sleights of hand that extracted the sappiest moments of the '80s without appearing the part of the ironist. In pixel-painted blurs of entrancing melodies and soothing ambient warmth, The Field offered nostalgia without having a damn Lionel Richie song stuck in your head. Yup, one of the more memorable samples from From Here We Go Sublime was a wistful guitar lead from Richie's "Hello." In a lot of ways, The Field reached a pinnacle for Kompakt's Pop Ambient strategies, easily surpassing perhaps the album that started it all: Gas' Pop.
Jump two years down the line and several trips around the world, The Field returns with a second album that shouldn't disappoint those who were held rapt by the debut. Yesterday and Today has much of the restrained crescendos of velvety hypnosis grafted onto the steel girds of German engineered techno. Yes, we do know that The Field's Axel Willner is from Sweden, but the heart and soul of the motorik pulse is firmly rooted in Germany. Neu!, Kraftwerk, Cluster, Basic Channel, and of course, Kompakt are the obvious references in the formal structures of The Field, with his source material being those misty-eyed remembrances of music's past. If there are specific samples to be recognized in Yesterday and Today, they are not overt and obvious; but the sentiment is still the same. Nice.
The vinyl version includes a cd of the album as well!
MPEG Stream: "Leave It"
MPEG Stream: "I Have The Moon, You Have The Internet"
MPEG Stream: "Yesterday & Today"

album cover FIELD, THE Yesterday And Today (Anti / Kompakt) 2lp+cd 19.98
The Field's 2007 album From Here We Go Sublime caught many people by surprise, and we were happy to find ourselves included in that crowd of Field supporters. This was a minimal techno record playing the part of a pop album, through sleights of hand that extracted the sappiest moments of the '80s without appearing the part of the ironist. In pixel-painted blurs of entrancing melodies and soothing ambient warmth, The Field offered nostalgia without having a damn Lionel Richie song stuck in your head. Yup, one of the more memorable samples from From Here We Go Sublime was a wistful guitar lead from Richie's "Hello." In a lot of ways, The Field reached a pinnacle for Kompakt's Pop Ambient strategies, easily surpassing perhaps the album that started it all: Gas' Pop.
Jump two years down the line and several trips around the world, The Field returns with a second album that shouldn't disappoint those who were held rapt by the debut. Yesterday and Today has much of the restrained crescendos of velvety hypnosis grafted onto the steel girds of German engineered techno. Yes, we do know that The Field's Axel Willner is from Sweden, but the heart and soul of the motorik pulse is firmly rooted in Germany. Neu!, Kraftwerk, Cluster, Basic Channel, and of course, Kompakt are the obvious references in the formal structures of The Field, with his source material being those misty-eyed remembrances of music's past. If there are specific samples to be recognized in Yesterday and Today, they are not overt and obvious; but the sentiment is still the same. Nice.
The vinyl version includes a cd of the album as well!
MPEG Stream: "Leave It"
MPEG Stream: "I Have The Moon, You Have The Internet"
MPEG Stream: "Yesterday & Today"

album cover FREE POP ELECTRONIC CONCEPT, THE A New Exciting Experience (Vampisoul) cd 23.00
We bet Japan's Christine 23 Onna digs this album! Only in the '60s... a far out, indulgent artifact of the era, an album of instrumental oh-so-psychedelic groovers with titles like "Chewing Gum Delirium" and "Cosmos Rhythms", full of wild organ jamming, funky chicken scratch guitar, and a whole lotta primitive analog synth bubbling burbling bleeping, culminating in the 14:52 tour de force of "F.P.E.T. No.1". It's a lot like the music from one of those cool "Instro-hipsters" comps, overrun with an absurd excess of electronic experimentation, that approach Hawkwindy levels of whooshing and swooshing, swirling FX. Originally released in 1969, it was a one-off project, "a new exciting experience" as it says on the cover, that today while not so new is still quite an experience.
Imagine freaked out electronics amidst go-go dancing grooves that would have both Pierre Henry and Austin Powers saying yeah baby! Or if Comets On Fire were a funky '60s soul group... which is what the core of this band is, Portuguese brothers Jess and James, who were joined by a free jazz drummer from NYC, a Latin percussionist, and most crucially a Moog madman from Belgium, the fellow responsible for all the crazy "free pop" electronics, one Arsene Souffriau. Yes, if you like Christine 23 Onna, Staff Carpenborg, or Les Maledictus Sound, check this out!
MPEG Stream: "Chewing Gum Delirium"
MPEG Stream: "Planetary Gospel"
MPEG Stream: "F.P.E.T. No.1"

album cover FRIDGE Early Output 1996-1998 (Temporary Residence) cd 14.98
Fridge have been an all time aQ fave for more than a decade now, every record a joy to behold, their sound constantly evolving, but still so unique and all their own. But as much as we love pretty much everything we've heard, for some of us, the old stuff will always hold a special place in our hearts. The record Eph remains one of our favorites, an endlessly classic collection of post rocky electronica, but before Eph, the band released a clutch of killer singles and eps, which were even more raw and innovative and home brewed than Eph. This disc collects all those tracks, a glorious assemblage of infectious jams, of wild experiments, of dark brooding grooves, from fuzzy brooding wah wah flecked post rock jangle, to Funky Tortoise-y grooviness, from crunchy super distorted math rock rife with odd samples, to smoldering Stereolab-like modern krautrock, from abstract folky shimmer, to warbly lo-fi electro, from almost-jungle to blissed out late night smoke-y jazziness, it's all warm and smooth and raw and groovy and spacey and super catchy, and be sure to check your iTunes, the last handful of strange sonic fragments spell out the band name phonetically. Cool!
MPEG Stream: "EH4-800 Phase Shifter"
MPEG Stream: "Lojen"
MPEG Stream: "Zedex Ay Ti Wan"
MPEG Stream: "Astrozero"

album cover GENGHIS TRON Board Up The House Remixes Vol. 5: Remixed By Nadja + Tim Hecker + Dudes You Can Trust (Crucial Blast / Relapse) 12" 11.98
Now this is the one we've been waiting for!! The final installment in the 5 part Genghis Tron remix 12" series. For some reason we only ever reviewed the Temporary Residence 12" (each was on a different label), but there were other volumes on Lovepump United, Relapse and Anticon. We're predicting (hoping for) an eventual cd compilation release, but for now, this is the GT remix record not to miss. Nadja. Tim Hecker. Not sure who Dudes You Can Trust are, but they had us at Nadja and Tim Hecker.
Hecker's mix obliterates the original, in fact, if we didn't already know it was a remix, we probably would assume it was a proper new TH track. All warm and washed out and glistening and gauzy and sun dappled and woozy and blissy and dreamy, organic and shimmery, it's the sound that everyone shoots for, but only Tim Hecker seems to have perfected. The fact that there's a Genghis Tron track in there somewhere only makes it even cooler.
Dudes You Can Trust, which we just learned is actually one of the Genghis Tron guys, most definitely have a Nadja / Jesu vibe happening, the original track is stripped down and then bathed in dense shimmer, until most of the extraneous sounds peel back, leaving just a super minimal rumbly buzz, over a looped drum fill, before slipping into a brief stretch of lo-fi Ariel Pink like FM radio drift, and then finally a bit of glitchy minimal electro (!). Weird, but cool.
Nadja's remix takes up the whole of side 2, the first half of which is all minimal and drifty, with muted electronic bloops and bleeps, subtle effects, all very abstract and ambient, barring some barely there glitchy skitter.
Eventually, bits of the original jam burst through, a pounding howling metallic crunch, that sounds like it could have been looped or processed, but there's no time to figure it out for sure, as it quickly blisses out again into a haunting swirling whoosh of blissed out almost new wave shimmer, draped delicately over the remnants of the original track. So cool.
Needless to say, essential. LIMITED as all of the volumes are, this one is pressed on wicked red and green splatter vinyl!

album cover GEORGE-EDWARDS GROUP, THE 38:38 (Galactic Zoo / Drag City) lp 16.98
We're always amazed that so much awesome and little known music from the sixties and seventies continues to be resurrected, and remain very worthy of its cult status. Case in point, this anachronistic synth-heavy psych gem from 1977 by the George-Edwards Group. While punk, disco, glam, bland FM radio, and heavy metal ruled the musical zeitgeist of the era, two multi-instrumentalist friends with a love of synthesizers, home-taping and melancholic spacey folk-pop made a mini-masterpiece in their Detroit, Michigan basement. Briefly mentioned in the Acid Archives book, it doesn't feel so much a late hippie-psych artifact, as it does a sublime and moody soft-rock epic that would have been huge on '70s AM radio in a parallel universe of our fantasies. Where instead of Bread, Chicago, and Seals & Croft, being played ad nauseum, music by Dreamies, Shuggie Otis, Fresh Maggots, Roger Rodier, Emmanuelle Parrenin, Collie Ryan, Biff Rose, Big Star, Scott Walker, Warlus, and of course, the George-Edwards Group would have scored our parallel universe childhood. Yet even that said though, 38:38 is much stranger than we can describe. Often the tracks with their multilayered Arp, Moog, and Mellotron drones and harmonies often sung in falsetto, sound like the less musically-damaged touchstones of what Ariel Pink recorded on his Doldrums album. And though the synthesizers are most prevalent, especially in sci-fi themed instrumental tracks like "Solar Flare" and "Magnetic Variation", other instrumentation like xylophones, autoharps, bells, piano and acoustic guitar play a big part in the compositions. One of our favorite tracks is "Floating Away", a druggy ballad with just acoustic guitar and what is purported to be recordings of ocean sounds, but sound like huge sheets of metal crashing in the background. Even the longest track, the instrumental "Hypertrain" is a kraut-y fuzzed electric guitar raga over drums that reminds a bit of Circle and Cave, while the second to the last track called "Some Fun" features maniacal laughter over a repetitive groove that adds an element of bad trip creepiness to the proceedings. One of the headiest records from the seventies we've heard in a while; those into druggy cyber-space folk-pop weirdness will be very satisfied with this. Solid!
Vinyl only, not sure if there's plans for a cd reissue too.

album cover GLORIOR BELLI Meet Us At The Southern Sign (Candlelight) cd 12.98
What is it about France? For years now, this unsuspecting nation has been churning out some of the most vile, merciless, and best black metal on the planet. Groups like Deathspell Omega and Blut Aus Nord have set a new standard that expertly blends bizarre, progressive experimentation with a blackened attack that only a fool would criticize for not being "true". The results are undeniable, and it should be clear that among those redefining black metal for a new age, the French are at the top of the heap. For some reason, Glorior Belli has yet to receive the attention bestowed on many of their countrymen, but, Satan willing, things will definitely change with the arrival of Meet Us At The Southern Sign, the band's third album.
Glorior Belli may not be the weirdest of the bunch, but FUCK do these guys know how to conjure up the perfect blend of crushing brutality with a well defined sense of off kilter, seasick melodies and an overall approach that simply rocks. With that said, this album does come across as something different, but not in a "listen to my oscillator" kind of way. Maybe the weirdness here is relative, since we're talking about a band that is relentlessly metal at the heart of it all, but Glorior Belli's more lumbering numbers, such as opener "Once In A Blood Red Moon" almost come across as what present day Earth might sound like if they gave it all up to the dark side. It's hard to come out and say this, surely many will disagree, but some of this *almost* moves with the flow of the blues. It's doomy. It's dirgey. It sounds like the black metal version of waking up in your trailer with a horrible hangover after a night of intense drinking at the local shithole. Mainman Infestvvs's guttural croak is surprisingly similar to the legendary bark of John Brannon, most famous for his work with hardcore gods Negative Approach, but ALSO revered as the crooner for bluesy post-punk crew the Laughing Hyenas. Of course, the artwork could also confirm this bluesy presence, as could the song titles themselves. And then, holy shit, without even looking beforehand, we notice a peculiar song title... "In Every Grief Stricken Blues", another behemoth of mid-tempo, down and out goodness. Fuck, first Diamatragon's Crossroad, now this. Maybe we're in the early stages of a new sub-genre?
With all that said, it is certainly impossible to ignore how insanely, overwhelmingly METAL this is. Fear not, for there are plenty of lightspeed blast beats, grinding dual guitars, and heavy as fuck winding bass grooves, which add a weird mathy element to the maelstrom. All contribute equally to the potent, concentrated assault of Glorior Belli, making this one of the best metal albums of the year. So unbelievably, incomprehensibly awesome, we're stilll trying to wrap our heads around it all...
MPEG Stream: "Once In A Blood Red Moon"
MPEG Stream: "The Forbidden Words"
MPEG Stream: "Meet Us At The Southern Sign"

album cover GRIZZLY BEAR Veckatimest (Warp) cd 13.98
Looks like this is gonna be the album that establishes Grizzly Bear and brings them to the next level, and for good reason, as it's their most ambitious and assured outing yet. Filled with such lush deep harmonies, these are songs that create such lovely states of brooding, dramatic pop both smart and emotional. Imagine sprinkling Van Dyke Parks arrangements on top of the songs Elliott Smith was creating near the end of his life as well as a healthy dose of inspiration from Nina Simone and you start to get an idea for the kind of intense orchestral baroque pop Grizzly Bear have created with Veckatimest. They enlisted Nico Muhly to create arrangements on a few of the tracks, but even the songs without Muhly's touch are are still impossibly lush and rich sounding. Veckatimest almost makes us want it to be gray and wet outside forever as these are the kind of sounds to keep you warm in the darkest and coldest of times. So nice! And even Andee, who was never that keen on Grizzly Bear, was immediately smitten by the track "Two Weeks". If that track doesn't convince you, then maybe you just don't like pop music...
MPEG Stream: "Two Weeks"
MPEG Stream: "Cheerleader"
MPEG Stream: "I Live With You"

album cover GRIZZLY BEAR Veckatimest (Warp) 2lp 25.00
Looks like this is gonna be the album that establishes Grizzly Bear and brings them to the next level, and for good reason, as it's their most ambitious and assured outing yet. Filled with such lush deep harmonies, these are songs that create such lovely states of brooding, dramatic pop both smart and emotional. Imagine sprinkling Van Dyke Parks arrangements on top of the songs Elliott Smith was creating near the end of his life as well as a healthy dose of inspiration from Nina Simone and you start to get an idea for the kind of intense orchestral baroque pop Grizzly Bear have created with Veckatimest. They enlisted Nico Muhly to create arrangements on a few of the tracks, but even the songs without Muhly's touch are are still impossibly lush and rich sounding. Veckatimest almost makes us want it to be gray and wet outside forever as these are the kind of sounds to keep you warm in the darkest and coldest of times. So nice! And even Andee, who was never that keen on Grizzly Bear, was immediately smitten by the track "Two Weeks". If that track doesn't convince you, then maybe you just don't like pop music...
MPEG Stream: "Two Weeks"
MPEG Stream: "Cheerleader"
MPEG Stream: "I Live With You"

album cover GROUPER Cover The Windows And The Walls (Root Strata) cd 12.98
Finally available on cd!
It doesn't really seem possible that the music of Grouper could get any more beautiful, any more majestic and epic, or any more mysterious and dreamlike. No, but what it can do is change, and grow, expand, and subtly alter its shape and timbre, it's coloring and shading, which is what it has been doing, on every single outing, but never so much as on Cover The Windows And Walls. The core of Grouper's sound remains unchanged, dense bleary eyed fields of druggy reverb, thick swirls of blurred vocals, smeared into indistinct melodies, all abstract and shimmery, soft focus and billowy, the musical version of those soft fuzzy grey clouds that fill the sky at twilight. It's still an impossible blend of Arvo Part, Morton Feldman and Skullflower, but the new record sounds a little bit more, well, folky maybe, or perhaps slightly less tripped out. A lot of it has to do with the vocals, which have attained an until now unheard of clarity. Which in no way means you can actually hear the vocals, they are still another gauzy layer in Grouper's blown out soundscape, but, sometimes, they -are- a bit clearer, you can actually pick out words here and there, sometimes even whole lines. Before, if we hadn't been told, we wouldn't necessarily have even known that the main element of Grouper's sound was in fact vocals. They were that indistinct and that drenched in FX. But here, it actually sounds like a singer, singing songs, but just barely, it's almost like listening to some super lonesome stripped down folk, recorded onto a wax cylinder, and then broadcast through a huge speaker mounted at the very bottom of an elaborate cave system, the songs careening back and forth and picking up more and more reverb and echo with every bounce, until they become this blissed out beautiful blur. Thick buzzing single guitar notes spread out into wavery fields of murky muted twang, which wrap themselves serpent like around the equally disembodied vocals. Imagine a field recording of ghosts performing ancient folk songs, a whispery thrum, so barely audible, that it's nearly impossible to capture, but once it is, and the sound is turned up enough to be audible to the human ear, it becomes this gorgeously distorted smear of sound.
What else can we say about Liz Harris and her Grouper project? We've hardly heard anything this beautiful and mysterious ever. EVER!
Absolutely and emphatically recommended.
MPEG Stream: "Cover The Windows And Walls"
MPEG Stream: "Opened Space"
MPEG Stream: "Down To The Ocean"

album cover HEAVY WINGED & INCA ORE Ring Mining (Not Not Fun) lp 16.98
Seems like these days, the devastating improv trio Heavy Winged is abandoning their more metal roots, and heading into a more harsh psych realm, not unlike Japanese noise-rockers Mainliner. And here they team up with West-coast, one woman band Inca Ore for two sides of free-psych meltdown. So side A is thick and crushing, mostly weighed down by Heavy Winged's relentless fury. Little glimpses of keyboard haze and distant vocals trail in and out, just in case you forgot Inca Ore was floating somewhere in the sea of chaos. Side B is an actual live recording of the two outfits playing together at the late North Six in Brooklyn. Here's were Inca Ore's vocals are very prominent in a lead singer type of way, sounding like Damo Suzuki possessed by a muppet demon. A blistering, somehow awesome document of what these two psych powerhouses can do as a team, not to be missed by fans of crushing psych bliss or the Not Not Fun label. Dig it, now!

album cover HEAVY WINGED / WINDY & CARL Monolith: Earth (Music Fellowship) lp + cd 24.00
Less a split, than a sort of adjustable collaboration, Monolith: Earth is the first in a series of single sided lps, where two bands are paired together, and each contributes a single mono track, one track stereo left, the other stereo right, so depending on how the listener dials it in, he or she can listen to just one of the bands' tracks, or some easily adjusted blend of the two. Thankfully, the lp comes with a cd featuring stereo version of both the tracks, as well as an extra track or two.
For the first volume, the to bands are pretty stellar choices, dreamdrone duo Windy & Carl, and distorto psych rock trio Heavy Winged. For this experiment to really work, without turning into a sonic clusterfuck, one or both of the bands has to be the ambient half, and Windy & Carl are more than happy to take on that role, their track being a slow burning shimmer, all processed and effected guitars, smeared and blurred into long smeary streaks, layered and woven into subtle soft melodies and warm gauzy expanses, there's some buzz buried way down in the mix, but for the most part it's all glorious drone and drift.
Heavy Winged take on the other role, which is not that different from their usual sound, super blown out distorted guitars, pounding drums, super lo-fi and high end, the guitars not riffing so much as offering up thick sheets of sound and dense squalls of feedback and psychdrone freakout. Which suits the concept perfectly, as it's basically like two drones wrapped around each other, leaving the drums to meander and skitter and do what they will. Perfectly happy to listen to each track on its own, but they do sound pretty badass together, and the picture disc image spinning round and round is quite mesmerizing.
The extra track on the cd is an actual collaboration, or seems to be as far as we can tell, but ends up sounding more like a Heavy Winged track with some extra texture and ambience, as HW's super blown out distorted heaviness overwhelms the Windy & Carl's shimmery sounds, but with the picture disc, you can control the levels, creating quite possibly one of the few instances where Windy & Carl sonically overwhelm Heavy Winged!
We only have a dozen of these, the label was sold out, we got all the copies the band had too, so once these are gone, that's probably it...

album cover HOLLOWAY, IAN She Loves Looking At The Sky (Quiet World) cd-r 13.98
From the onset of this choice release, British drone-centrist Ian Holloway engages in a long-staring contest upon the horizon. Through his undulating sustained tones that gradually contort and shift in timbre and clarity, Holloway sets his attention on sun-flecked hazes upon faraway vistas, watery mirages, and sunblind hallucinations. These tones are more on par with the best work from the Ora / Monos axis, which is not surprising considering that Holloway has worked with Darren Tate on a number of occasions in the past. But not before long, he plunges this piece deep into the center of the earth, with cavernous reverberations of actionist gestures that have some of the acoustic doom properties that we have come to expect from Svarte Greiner and Xela. The sinewy tones give way to these heavy clanks and jarring noises swaddled in the long-decay reverb of what we could imagine to be a subterranean sewer, or perhaps a massive cave chamber, or some abandoned industrial warehouse. As Holloway puts aside his bricks and chunks of metal, the earlier gilded tones make their reprise amidst a distant set of bird songs and softly struck hand bells. One of the better pieces to emerge from Holloway's own Quiet World imprint, and this one is limited to just 80 copies.
MPEG Stream: "excerpt 1"
MPEG Stream: "excerpt 2"

album cover I SHALT BECOME The Pendle Witch Trials (No Colours) cd 16.98
A new disc from one man black metal outfit I Shalt Become is always welcome around these parts. The washed out weary blackened blurscapes are for us, the black metal equivalent of Tim Hecker or Philip Jeck, a sort of black metal Pop Ambience, the various sounds distinctly black metal, but in ISB's strange otherworldly drift, rendered in shades of grey instead of black, the guitars warm whirring smears, the drums murky pulses, the vocals a croak barely audible over the heaving swells of soft buzz. The melodies mournful and miserable, the tempos lugubrious, the vibe grim and forsaken, depressive black metal nirvana for sure.
Sonically, ISB probably has the most in common with Xasthur, but where Xasthur's sound is distinctly lo-fi, almost stumbling at times, the music of ISB manages to be both lo-fi and incredible lush, the sheets of dreamlike buzz spun into lush expanses of warm shimmer, traditional blast and buzz has no place in ISB's windswept sonic wasteland, instead, the buzz is worn smooth, and spread out like gauzy low hanging clouds, there is no blast, only plod and pound, lope and lumber, there are keyboards everywhere, but they are at one with the guitars, adding dense texture, creating soft shadows, occasionally manifesting as super dramatic streaks of sonic melancholia.
The songs tend toward one, maybe two parts, hypnotic and so mesmerizing, almost looped sounding, repeating over and over, totally trancelike, blackly blissful and dismally dreamy.
Near the end of the record, several of the tracks grow fairly aggressive and get about as heavy as any ISB gets, but even then, the sound is infused with the strange choral sounding atmosphere, the instruments wreathed in delay and reverb, everything slowly melting together into one gorgeously bleary and blown slow motion sprawl, culminating in the two chord, storm drenched bliss drone outro.
Some seriously gorgeous depressive black metal for sure, that like past releases, is so blurred and blissy, that it might possibly appeal to folks into stuff like Nadja, Jesu, Fear Falls Burning and other dronedirgedoom outfits as well.
MPEG Stream: "Enstasy (The Theory Of Maxwell's Demon)"
MPEG Stream: "The Serpent Song"
MPEG Stream: "A Ritual Killing"

album cover IMAI KAZUO TRIO Blood (Doubtmusic) cd + dvd 29.00
Maybe not your typical jazz trio, this Japanese group. Not that we'd expect anything typical from the Doubtmusic label. Bandleader Imai Kazuo (of Marginal Consort) plays amplified acoustic guitar, Suzuki Manabu is credited with electronics, and the third member of the trio, Ito Atsuhiro, performs on something called an "optron". As near as we can tell, that unusual instrument is a homebuilt device resembling a florescent tube light fixture. In fact, it IS a florescent light fixture, with some modifications.
Kazuo's "controllable instrument" the guitar handles the orthodox musical content here, playing some lovely, recognizable melodies and jazzy chords, though he switches to sudden atonal outbursts of frantic skronk sometimes too. But it's the other two members of the trio who really bring the noise and nothing but, the "uncontrollable" electronics and optron outputting a varied, often quite cacophonous improvised barrage of buzzings and cracklings and feedback, all fritzed and glitched like malfunctioning mad scientist laboratory equipment! It can be calm, as with their version of avant composer/vocalist Annette Peacock's "Nothing Ever Was, Anyway" that features Imai picking out slow, sparse notes on his guitar amidst near-ambient hum and static from Ito's optron and what sounds a lot like video-arcade machine sounds emulated by Suzuki's electronics.
But at (many) points, this gets pretty intensely dense with distortion and noisiness. Definitely a crossover from straight jazz into full-on, Hijokaidan or Merzbow style Japanese noise territory, as on the totally freaked out title track, another composition by Annette Peacock. These guys are REALLY into Peacock, there's in fact four of her pieces on the cd, alongside tunes originally by Cole Porter, Thelonious Monk, Lee Konitz, Georges Brassens, and even J.S. Bach! The inclusion of several well-known standards serves to make this seem even noisier, yet also more accessible at the same time. For instance, Cole Porter's "So In Love" sounds like you're hearing it via a shortwave radio transmission, with heavy hissing atmospheric interference.
Not surprisingly, it turns out that the 54 year old Imai had been a student of the late great guitarist Masayuki Takayanagi, who pioneered some of the noisiest jazz ever but also performed traditional stuff too. (In the '70s, Imai briefly played with Takayanagi's New Directions Unit - and also the Taj Mahal Travellers and East Bionic Symphonia too!). So if Imai were to "play pretty" it makes sense he would do so in a context such as this.
And, packaged along with the cd in the thick, gatefold miniature LP style sleeve, there's also a 40-minute dvd disc included here too, wherein you can see the optron in action, intermittently blinking brightly in Ito's lap as it makes its strange sounds. In close up shots, it's as if the trio is performing amidst flashes of lightning. The dvd features alternate takes of a couple of the tracks from the cd, as well as three Imai originals and yet another composition by Annette Peacock. As with the cd, this material was recorded live in the GOK Sound studio... some of the tracks in front of a studio audience, all of whom are politely acknowledged by name on the sleeve.
MPEG Stream: "Sarabande"
MPEG Stream: "Blood"
MPEG Stream: "Well You Needn't"

album cover J DILLA Dillanthology 1 (Rapster) cd 14.98
With all the posthumous releases (and their questionable quality control) of the late rap producer still in the works, it's nice to know someone's keeping tabs on all the amazing production work he did for other artists while he was still alive. Covering the last ten years of his life, 1995-2006, plenty of the cream of hiphop acts are represented here, including killer cuts by The Roots, Slum Village, Pharcyde, De LA Soul, Busta Rhymes, Frank N Dank and Common. But for us the best examples of his production are evident in the R&B tracks by Erykah Badu, Amp Fiddler and Steve Spacek. The soft echo-y sheen on these warped beats just makes us ache for more. Like a hiphop Arthur Russell, we're pretty sure there is more Dilla just waiting to be discovered and unearthed.
MPEG Stream: ERYKAH BADU "Didn't Cha Know"
MPEG Stream: THE ROOTS "Dynamite"
MPEG Stream: THE PHARCYDE "Drop"
MPEG Stream: STEVE SPACEK "Dollar"

album cover KOENJIHYAKKEI Nivraym (Skin Graft) cd 14.98
Skin Graft has been domestically reissuing some crucial discs from the discography of Japan's Koenjihyakkei, the other EVEN MORE insane technical prog band led by drummer/vocalist Tatsuya Yoshida of Ruins fame. This one is their third album, originally from 2001. Here's a bit of what we said about the original, and now out of print, import version:
Tatsuya Yoshida takes his '70s prog obsession to extremes with this one, and that's saying a lot, since almost everything Yoshida does is 1) extreme and 2) '70s prog infused! Perhaps this is not quite as hyper and heavy as the first two Koenjihyakkei albums, but it comes close, and that's pretty damn crazed! For those unfamiliar with the wonders of Koenjihyakkei, well, imagine the Ruins with extra stuff: soprano female vocals, over-the-top keyboard madness, guitar soloing! The line-up has changed a bit since their previous disc, now someone named High Rider Jin plays guitar, and the keyboards and female vocals are no longer handled by the same person. But it's still total maniac prog, with perhaps even more emphasis on sizzling synth flourishes and witchy vocal babble than before.
Speaking of extra stuff, well, ever the prog perfectionist, of course mastermind Yoshida couldn't leave it alone when Skin Graft asked to re-release this, tinkering with it much like he did with their reissue of this band's first album (for which Yoshida apparently re-recorded all his drum tracks!). We're not sure if he did that here, but this is definitely remixed, some instruments seem more or less prominent than before, or simply sound different. For instance, the intro to the first track (the only one we did a direct back-to-back comparison) has less bass. Other portions seem untouched, though. The cd booklet does indicate that there was additional recording done in 2009 for this reissue, adding parts from Komori Keiko (sax, clarinet), Yabuki Taku (keys), and Ah (vocals), all presumably members of the current Koenjihyakkei lineup. Too much is never enough with this sort of over the top prog, after all! Yet, this Skin Graft disc is 20 seconds shorter than the 1st version on Magaibutsu, for whatever reason.
Without further analysis, we can't really say if this is any better (or worse), it's just slightly different... if you already have the album, you probably don't need to "upgrade" to Nirvaym version 2.0, but if you don't already have it, this one should do quite well, if you're got a need for more unhinged Magmoid prog action in your collection! Don't you?
MPEG Stream: "Blecttem Pollt"
MPEG Stream: "Axall Hasck"
MPEG Stream: "Maschtervoz"

album cover KOWALSKY, GREGG Tape Chants (Kranky) cd 14.98
Finally, a second release from Mr. Kowalsky, with all his heavy electronic /cassette wizardry, he has been a long time favorite for us at aQ, and we couldn't be more impressed with Tape Chants. After spending several years working and reworking these aptly named tape and oscillator compositions, Gregg offers up his opus, a beautifully sculpted expanse of midnight meditations and thick, buzzing walls of analog radiance. Working with digital composition and software, and becoming frustrated with the seemingly unlimited possibilities of digital music-making, Gregg challenged himself to work with more organic, analog-rich source material. The result was a live performance that involved placing 6 to 10 cassette recorders around a space, and playing them simultaneously to create an experiment in live mixing and psychoacoustics. While Tape Chants is not meant to be a document of these live performances, it attempts to channel the mood and aesthetic of these live invocations. And take it from us, the result is an extremely deep and entrancing listen, beaming with melodic overtones and hypnotic pulsing, Tape Chants is like being at the center of a gong or inside a bell tower. Long tones ringing out through a low-lit cavern or cathedral, slow creeping layers of shruti box and mixer feedback thicken the mix to an overwhelming, otherworldly bliss. And unlike most minimalist composition, this record is super engaging, lots of subtle details and deliberate movements that keep you fully immersed. Not that dissimilar from recent releases on Root Strata or Miasma. If you couldn't tell by now, this is highly recommended and a must have!
MPEG Stream: "I-IV"
MPEG Stream: "V"

album cover L'ACEPHALE The Book Of Lies (Parasitic) 7" 4.50
Yet another new (to us at least) release from Northwestern apocalyptic folk / black metal horde L'Acephale, whose new record Stahlhartes we raved about on the last list. These two tracks were recorded back in 2005, when this record was actually released, predating even their first demo / full length Mord Und Totsclag.
And anyone who dug either or both L'Acephale's records will probably need this too. Both tracks unreleased, exclusive to this single, not so much folk here, instead, barring some creepy choral intros and a haunting ambient hymn like outro, this is full on raw and harsh old school black metal, furious and frenetic, pounding and thrashing and blasting, the vocals chaotic and off kilter, the riffage brittle and buzzy, the drums dense and often buried in the mix. There are some strange arrangements, some almost militaristic breakdowns, a bit of post rocky mathiness here and there, but those moments are subtle and barely discernible within L'Acephale's blown out sonic squall, a furious and relentless, grim and blackened two part plague delivered from the depths... glorious, soul shearing pestilence in sound.
Beautiful packaging, a black and red gatefold sleeve, with lyrics, credits, some amazing black and white photos of skulls and catacombs, also a printed insert, pressed on red vinyl, and limited to 1000 copies, each one hand numbered (and the numbers are getting up there, so odds are these are almost gone).

album cover LAZER CRYSTAL EP1 (HBSP - 2X) lp 21.00
Record number two from this Cave side project, and while the name Lazer Crystal certainly evokes thoughts of pretty much every Myspace band in the land, since those two words have been used in various combinations over and over and over, these guys in fact have most definitely forged their own unique sound, and have been doing so for a while now. Fans of Cave's tribal spaced out drone-y krautrock, should be prepared for something entirely different. This is most definitely dance music, but seeing as it's the work of Cave men (and by extension, members of Warhammer 48k), you can expect something a bit more twisted and home brewed than your typical dancefloor fodder.
Right out of the gate, it sounds like (Daft) punk rock kids doing their own lo-fi sort of Justice dance rock, all stuttery synths, woozy spaced out melodramatic melodies, thick swaths of warm buzz, and some gothy dramatic crooning a la Human League or Depeche Mode. Propulsive and hypnotic, but also groovy, fun, funky and a wee bit goofy.
The second track takes that goofiness a little further, twisting the sounds of the opening track into bleeping blooping malfunctioning glitchery, swirling effects, still more buzzy synths, letting the track get way more abstract and space-y and almost ambient at times.
The flipside starts off with what sounds like some Nintendo 64 8-bit video game music, but fused into some primitive electro jam, still a distinct krautrocky undercurrent, and those croony Human League vocals all tangled up with the warm buzz, giving it an almost M83 vibe. The last track might be our favorite, definitely the darkest and the buzziest, ominous and sinister, but just a bit, still groovy and funky, and those vocals still crooning oddly throughout.
Incredible packaging, we talk about things being 'handmade' all the time, but these sleeves are WAY handmade, all done by different artists, some are collages, others are painted, some are 3-D and very tactile, some are eye poppingly colorful, everyone totally different. Includes a full color insert as well. And as you might imagine, SUPER LIMITED, TO ONLY 300 COPIES.

album cover LIECHTENSTEIN Survival Strategies In A Modern World (Slumberland) cd 10.98
If someone would have played this for us all 'invisible jukebox' style we would have sworn it was some '80s/early '90s lost gem in the same league as AQ favorites like Young Marble Giants, Vaselines, Shop Assistants, Talulah Gosh, Heavenly, etc. There is such a cool sound and energy to these songs, the vocals do really remind us of Amelia Fletcher (Talulah Gosh, Heavenly) which is a great thing, but the band does have a freshness to them which has kept this record on heavy rotation since it arrived in the store.
The way they draw from twee pop, garage rock, and girl groups to create such breezy and catchy delights is a wonder to behold. Lots of Survival Strategies reminds us of how much we loved the Aisler Set and how the time is ripe for them to reunite! Liechtenstein would make great tourmates for folks like Brilliant Colors or Vivian Girls or heck a reformed Aislers Set. We don't want to sound like a broken record, but man are we happy that Slumberland is back and putting out such great pop gems!
The 10" comes on colored vinyl and with a code for a free download of the album.
MPEG Stream: "Postcard"
MPEG Stream: "Reflections"
MPEG Stream: "White Dress"

album cover LIECHTENSTEIN Survival Strategies In A Modern World (Slumberland) 10" 10.98
If someone would have played this for us all 'invisible jukebox' style we would have sworn it was some '80s/early '90s lost gem in the same league as AQ favorites like Young Marble Giants, Vaselines, Shop Assistants, Talulah Gosh, Heavenly, etc. There is such a cool sound and energy to these songs, the vocals do really remind us of Amelia Fletcher (Talulah Gosh, Heavenly) which is a great thing, but the band does have a freshness to them which has kept this record on heavy rotation since it arrived in the store.
The way they draw from twee pop, garage rock, and girl groups to create such breezy and catchy delights is a wonder to behold. Lots of Survival Strategies reminds us of how much we loved the Aisler Set and how the time is ripe for them to reunite! Liechtenstein would make great tourmates for folks like Brilliant Colors or Vivian Girls or heck a reformed Aislers Set. We don't want to sound like a broken record, but man are we happy that Slumberland is back and putting out such great pop gems!
The 10" comes on colored vinyl and with a code for a free download of the album.
MPEG Stream: "Postcard"
MPEG Stream: "Reflections"
MPEG Stream: "White Dress"

album cover LINDSTROM & PRINS THOMAS II (Eskimo) cd 17.98
Lindstrom & Prins Thomas have become the go-to guys for modern cosmic disco journeys in sound. On their latest collaboration it sounds like they've been listening to a whole lot of Michael Rother's '70s solo records as II really taps into that airy, lightly spaced out and oh-so-breezy vibe. The cascading rhythms and stretched out breeziness also reminds us a lot of the great Sorcerer album from a couple years ago. While it might make for a perfect coming down record the morning after a night full of debauchery in Ibiza, truth is, this is a record that will definitely appeal to many folks who don't usually think of themselves as dance music minded, as these two Norwegians understand how to craft such lush and pleasing sounds with a surprisingly wide range of musical appeal. New age disco? A cosmic beach party? Rolling so smoothly and going down so nice, we don't care what it's called, the fact is it's damn good.
MPEG Stream: "Cisco"
MPEG Stream: "Flue Pa Veggen"
MPEG Stream: "Gudene Vet + Snutt"

album cover LINDSTROM & PRINS THOMAS II (Eskimo) 4x12" + CD 34.00
Lindstrom & Prins Thomas have become the go-to guys for modern cosmic disco journeys in sound. On their latest collaboration it sounds like they've been listening to a whole lot of Michael Rother's '70s solo records as II really taps into that airy, lightly spaced out and oh-so-breezy vibe. The cascading rhythms and stretched out breeziness also reminds us a lot of the great Sorcerer album from a couple years ago. While it might make for a perfect coming down record the morning after a night full of debauchery in Ibiza, truth is, this is a record that will definitely appeal to many folks who don't usually think of themselves as dance music minded, as these two Norwegians understand how to craft such lush and pleasing sounds with a surprisingly wide range of musical appeal. New age disco? A cosmic beach party? Rolling so smoothly and going down so nice, we don't care what it's called, the fact is it's damn good.
MPEG Stream: "Cisco"
MPEG Stream: "Flue Pa Veggen"
MPEG Stream: "Gudene Vet + Snutt"

album cover MARTYN Great Lengths (3024) cd 16.98
We're constantly amazed how dubstep keeps getting tweaked and pushed outside its seemingly limited conventions. Individual touches and uniquely inventive flourishes, including nods to elements of dance music's recent past, keep getting added to the skeletal structure of cavernous bass and dark stripped down rhythms. Either by pushing the expansively deep dark edginess like Shackleton or Kode 9 or augmenting the rhythmic textures and movement for more dance floor-friendliness like Burial and Benga, we never get tired of it! Zomby was the last wunderkind we got excited over as he brought in a playful acid-house rave vibe to the standard skitters, creaks and froggy wubbles. Today, we're getting worked up over Dutch producer / DJ, Martyn, and his debut Great Lengths! Coming from the same fertile scene as 2562 (whose dark and amazing record, Aerial, we have yet to list!), Martyn has been at it since the genre's beginnings releasing a string of singles notable for their use of techno and drum and bass elements alongside and within dubstep's fledgling sounds. Great Lengths ups the ante even more by adding plenty of vibrant colors and textures: Warped hiphop, Detroit Techno, Chicago House, and hints of reggae pushing the rhythmic movement forward while the melodies retain dubstep's darker allure. This is a good crossover record for those new to the genre or for those looking for the next essential release in dubstep's expanding evolution! Definitely, one of our favorite records so far this year!
MPEG Stream: "The Only Choice"
MPEG Stream: "Right? Star!"
MPEG Stream: "These Words"
MPEG Stream: "Is This Insanity?"

album cover MASTER MUSICIANS OF BUKKAKE Totem One (Conspiracy) cd 15.98
Sun City Girls fans! Drone-doom freaks! Here's your unlikely crossover dream come true, kind of. A psychedelically heavy (sometimes) and always eerily exotic new album on the Conspiracy label from this band with the wiseass faux-ethnic name (if you don't know what Bukkake is, don't ask, and definitely don't Google it - if you do, be aware it's NSFW). Now including members of Earth and Burning Witch amongst their ranks, and once again boasting cameo appearances from folks belonging to the Sun City Girls and Secret Chiefs 3, this is exactly (and excellently) what we might have expected from this project. Acoustic ethnic instrument buzz and drone meets guitars-leaning-on-amps buzz and drone. There's electronic FX and analog synths alongside field recordings, bells and chimes and gamelan percussion mixed with Tibetan monkish low-end drone-chant, and let's not forget the flute and Mellotron... The seven tracks of Totem One span a wild, wide range of (moody) moods, from the heavy throbbing maelstrom that is "Schism Prism / Adamatios" to the spacey, spooky folk ramble of "Cascade Cathedral". The most Sun City Girlish moment here is probably "People Of The Drifting Houses", not surprisingly the track which features guest vocals provided by Alan Bishop of SCGs and Sublime Frequencies fame.
"In The Lightness Of The Sonoran" could be the recently reviewed Harappian Night Recordings attempting to channel SUNNO))), whilst other tracks (simultaneously) bring to mind such not-entirely-disparate artists as Angus MacLise, Blood Of The Black Owl, Six Organs Of Admittance, Ghost, and Acid Mothers Temple. The latter especially, for instance on the most freaked out parts of the aforementioned "Schism Prism / Adamatios" or during the blissful ceremony of the album-ending nine minute long "Eaglewolf". Fantastic. We're now eagerly looking forward to further Totem installments! (Totem Two is due out later this year on the SCG-related Abduction label, that released MMOB's prior album as well.)
NB. The vinyl version of this comes with a coupon for free mp3 download of the whole album.
MPEG Stream: "A Mist Of Illness"
MPEG Stream: "In The Lightness Of the Sonoran"
MPEG Stream: "Cascade Cathedral"

album cover MASTER MUSICIANS OF BUKKAKE Totem One (Conspiracy) lp 15.98
Sun City Girls fans! Drone-doom freaks! Here's your unlikely crossover dream come true, kind of. A psychedelically heavy (sometimes) and always eerily exotic new album on the Conspiracy label from this band with the wiseass faux-ethnic name (if you don't know what Bukkake is, don't ask, and definitely don't Google it - if you do, be aware it's NSFW). Now including members of Earth and Burning Witch amongst their ranks, and once again boasting cameo appearances from folks belonging to the Sun City Girls and Secret Chiefs 3, this is exactly (and excellently) what we might have expected from this project. Acoustic ethnic instrument buzz and drone meets guitars-leaning-on-amps buzz and drone. There's electronic FX and analog synths alongside field recordings, bells and chimes and gamelan percussion mixed with Tibetan monkish low-end drone-chant, and let's not forget the flute and Mellotron... The seven tracks of Totem One span a wild, wide range of (moody) moods, from the heavy throbbing maelstrom that is "Schism Prism / Adamatios" to the spacey, spooky folk ramble of "Cascade Cathedral". The most Sun City Girlish moment here is probably "People Of The Drifting Houses", not surprisingly the track which features guest vocals provided by Alan Bishop of SCGs and Sublime Frequencies fame.
"In The Lightness Of The Sonoran" could be the recently reviewed Harappian Night Recordings attempting to channel SUNNO))), whilst other tracks (simultaneously) bring to mind such not-entirely-disparate artists as Angus MacLise, Blood Of The Black Owl, Six Organs Of Admittance, Ghost, and Acid Mothers Temple. The latter especially, for instance on the most freaked out parts of the aforementioned "Schism Prism / Adamatios" or during the blissful ceremony of the album-ending nine minute long "Eaglewolf". Fantastic. We're now eagerly looking forward to further Totem installments! (Totem Two is due out later this year on the SCG-related Abduction label, that released MMOB's prior album as well.)
NB. The vinyl version of this comes with a coupon for free mp3 download of the whole album.
MPEG Stream: "A Mist Of Illness"
MPEG Stream: "In The Lightness Of the Sonoran"
MPEG Stream: "Cascade Cathedral"

album cover MOSS Tombs Of The Blind Drugged (Candlelight) cd ep 11.98
If we had to come up with a four-letter word for doom, that wasn't d-o-o-m, it would be m-o-s-s. MOSS! These UK sludgelords, whose previous full-length Sub Templum was a record of The Week last year, are about as heavy as it gets, Moss sinking to the bottom of the black tarpit of doom below almost all others. Of course, playing so slow, the mere three songs here manage to stretch this way beyond ordinary ep length, each of 'em upwards of ten minutes... and then there's a fourth, hidden bonus track that gets this up to about 40 minutes total, so it's actually almost a full album really. And it's the usual grief we get from Moss: these tracks all anguished and distorted, with distended guitar and bass strings hanging loose and low, vokillizations of sheer misery and madness torn from the singer's throat like a still beating bloody heart ripped from the sacrifice, and bits of bent and battered drum kit scattered across the rancid tundra that is Moss's metallic soundspace... sometimes it eventually all congeals into one massive, melancholic drone, a true thing of beauty, heard for instance towards the end of the title track, upon which Moss employ Hammond organ. What else would you expect from something titled Tombs Of The Blind Drugged?? Tombs to which Moss have the "Skeletal Keys" and plan an "Eternal Return"...
We mentioned a bonus track, it's the Discharge cover Moss did that originally appeared on their split 7" with Monarch. "Maimed And Slaughtered" is slowed from a 45rpm blitz to an unrecognizable 16rpm bludgeon... Here's what we said about it in our review of that now out-of-print 7": Moss transform Discharge's punky stomp into a barely moving morass of sludgy pound. Sounding very much like Eyehategod, with simple pummeling drums, howled vocals, and of course guitars tuned as low as they can go before the strings drop off like wet noodles. On top of all the murk, drift weird high end streaks of surprisingly melodic feedback, giving the whole track a haunting and ominous vibe.
FYI, Tomb Of The Blind Drugged is also coming out on vinyl, as a limited double 10" record, minus the Discharge cover we think. Also minus track three, "Eternal Return", which apparently appears on a separate 12" we've yet to track down. We DO have a bunch of the 10" preordered, but the ltd. digipack cd version got here first.
MPEG Stream: "Skeletal Keys"
MPEG Stream: "Tombs Of The Blind Drugged"

album cover NACHTMYSTIUM Doomsday Derelicts (Battle Kommand / Century Media) cd ep 8.98
Hell YEAH! Chicago's reigning lords of spaced out, immensely psychedelic black metal return with this 4 song rager, and if for some reason you needed more proof that Nachtmystium was at the top of their game, look no further. Few metal bands, black or otherwise, could pull this kind of thing off without looking like the half assed amateurs they undoubtedly are. Nachtmystium, on the other hand, expertly utilize buzzing Moogs (and even piano!), tons of atmospheric FX, Blake Judd's throat-shredding vocals, and enough thrashy riffs to keep this thing going on repeat all night. It's not that any of these elements in themselves are so unique, but Nachtmystium's approach is just so classy, and while the results reveal plenty of impeccable influences throughout metal's long and glorious history, the only band they sound like at this point is Nachtmystium. They've got balls, and they aren't afraid to go against the accepted "rules" of a genre that, in its own way, is just as regimented as anything else. Unlike many metal bands, Nachtmystium possess a strong sense of actual songcraft, which ultimately makes them that much more potent, and in the end, it can't be denied that Nachtmystium are one hell of a rock n' roll band. There is just such a perfect understanding of how to groove. These riffs are going to stay in your head for days, while the outstanding production, courtesy of the band's new synth wrangler, Sanford Parker (Minsk, Buried At Sea) clearly put these dudes multiple steps beyond the competition - if there is any competition.
MPEG Stream: "Life Of Fire"
MPEG Stream: "Hellish Overdose"

album cover OUR LOVE WILL DESTROY THE WORLD Goddess Of Ten (DONTFUCKWITHMAGIC) cd-r 13.98
Finally, a full length (sort of) from Campbell Kneale's post Birchville Cat Motel outfit Our Love Will Destroy The World. Limited to 50 copies, exclusively available direct from Kneale, or right here at aQ.
A single 40 minute jam, it's been a bit hard to figure out just where Birchville ended and Our Love began, there was after all a kick as Birchville disc TITLED Our Love Will Destroy The World. The biggest difference seems to be rhythm, where as BCM was loose and free and amorphous, so far everything we've heard from Our Love, while still plenty free, has featured some sort of rhythm. Verging on the dance-able, but not regular old dance-able, we're talking twisted psychedelic alien disco sort of dance music, imagine only droning tones, undulating and pulsing and wrapped around strange motorik grooves and some fractured anti-funk, that's basically how this disc starts off, it's gorgeously blissed out and mesmerizing, but then right when you lock into the groove, losing yourself in Kneale's looped noisescape, the song explodes in a cacophony of ACTUAL explosions, breaking glass, barking dogs, total and utter chaos, it's like a field recording of the end of the world, but then you notice some tablas surfacing from beneath this crazy disasterscape, then some jagged shards of feedback, the whole sound growing more caustic and abrasive by the second, the tablas eventually buried beneath a million pounds of hiss and buzz and rumble and skree, a weirdly rhythmic slab of pink noise psychedelia, relentless and nearly overpowering.
As the track progresses though, the sound begins to smooth out, gradually, until all the noise drops out, leaving just the drums, surrounded by all sorts of haunting sounds, a bit like a more out-there Muslimgauze. Then things shift back to more familiar territory, roiling warm buzzing shimmer, over strange lopped and stuttering rhythms, barely audible through the woozy swirling heaviness, various buzzes and glitches coalescing into still more layers of sound, everything getting louder and heavier and more chaotic, a sort of Total / BCM / Skullflower mashup, soaring epic ur-drone majesty, before all the low end drops out suddenly, leaving just some brittle shimmer, some buried riffage, and some looped melody buried in the mix, a gorgeously hypnotic tangle that ends way too soon, even though it goes on for 5 minutes or so, wouldn't have minded an hour of just that one part, but then it finally fades out, and it's over.
Pretty intense, and epic, a multi movement soft noise symphony, which besides filling our ears with honey, has us hankering for more more MORE!
LIMITED TO 50 COPIES, we got 30, grab 'em while you can.
MPEG Stream: "Excerpt 1"
MPEG Stream: "Excerpt 2"
MPEG Stream: "Excerpt 3"

album cover PATTON, MIKE Crank High Voltage OST (Lakeshore) cd 17.98
We could go on and on and on about our undying love for the first Crank movie, easily THE most deliriously over the top action movie EVER. Filmed super stylistically as well, so the high (low) concept is reflected by the film stock and speed and angles. For those living under a rock, the movie revolves around a hitman, who is drugged and left for dead, the drug slows down his heart, eventually causing his death, but hellbent on revenge, our 'hero' manages to finds unique and inventive ways of keeping his adrenaline up and thus stay alive, in order to exact his revenge. He does lots of drugs, risks life and limb, fucks with cops, picks fights with gangs, fucks his girlfriend in the middle of Chinatown, but eventually SPOILER WARNING! He falls from a helicopter calling his girlfriend on the way down.
Fast forward to Crank High Voltage, only to discover, somehow he did not die, instead, he was spirited off by Asian gangsters, who remove his heart, replacing it with an artificial heart hooked up to a battery, with an hour's worth of charge. The hook this time around is, he needs to continually charge himself up, while he tries to track down his heart and have it put back in. Far fetched? For sure. But that's the joy of these movies. And who better to score a movie like this than Mr. Mike Patton. But instead of doing crazy voices, and wild shrieking weirdness, Patton has crafted a super weird, ultra varied, practically perfect soundtrack, alternately heavy, freaky, skittery, metallic, jazzy, it is a soundtrack after all, so removed from the images, a little is lost, but this soundtrack stands up pretty well. In fact, besides being blown away by the movie, the first thing we all thought afterwards was "we need to get this soundtrack". So here it is.
The best part is our hero's theme, a simple 6 note melody, that resurfaces throughout the movie in different forms, it's catchy as all get out, appropriately ominous and minor key, and definitely suits the spirit of the character. Beyond that, Patton has cooked up a wild imaginative hodge podge of sonic cues, mini jams, micro epics, dark mood music, and everything in between. Which is important since in the film, the action is all over the place, flitting from extreme violence, to dying-heart stupor, beaten to a pulp wooziness, to recently recharged hyperactivity, and Patton comes whips up the perfect killer jams to accompany the various moods and scenes.
Skittery industrial weirdness wrapped around that main theme, and peppered with circusy synths and spacey effects giving way to pounding punk rock, a creeping moody crawl, chugging muted guitar, chiming melodies, interrupted by bursts of pounding drums, string swells, and thick metallic guitars, groovy sunshine-y almost jungle beneath twangy Summertime guitar and crooned female vox and handclaps, moody Morricone-ish twang and drift, funky retro porno grooves, mysterious Old West style flute flecked accordion weirdness that transforms into a creepy polka, grinding digital metal, with lots of stops and starts, warped and warbly sound effects draped over super haunting vocals whirs and whoops, Jew's harp jams and glitchy electronics, plenty of glitchy stuttery abstract hip hop, tolling bells over distant rumbles and on and on and on. Fans of Fantomas, especially the soundtrackier stuff will probably dig, and folks who are sometimes put off by Patton's wild vocalizing, might just dig this big time.
Needless to say, you should definitely buy this, but you should also see both movies, they're puerile, over the top, hyper violent, and funny as fuck. And they look AMAZING. Be warned though, the first film is much more 'cute', it definitely has a heart of (tarnished) gold, while the second one is much more meanspirited and harsh, but hell, as far as outrageous super stylized ridiculously impossible and hilariously brutal action movies go, you can't beat Crank. And Patton's soundtrack is pretty much the aural equivalent. Which means, ABSOLUTELY recommended.
MPEG Stream: "Chelios"
MPEG Stream: "Sweet Cream (Redux)"
MPEG Stream: "Organ Donor"
MPEG Stream: "Juice Me"
MPEG Stream: "Surgery"
MPEG Stream: "Car Park Throwdown"

album cover PISCES A Lovely Sight (Numero Group) cd 14.98
Numero Group strikes again! Why Pisces never made it into the canon of classic American psychedelic groups of the sixties like Jefferson Airplane, The Doors and The Grateful Dead is not so much a mystery as it is a latent lament. It's pretty clear why, since none of their music ever got released during their lifetime, but hearing this now, and it sounding so much more fresh and relevant compared to the overrated dinosaurs mentioned above, we sometimes wish the past could get a do-over, or at the very least we wish nostalgia could get a better soundtrack. Pisces would be at the top of our Summer of Love facelift!
Not just a curio from what might have been, the songs that this Rockford, Illinois group conjured could have made a classic album, had the core members overcame the obstacles of being an unknown band in the Midwest, perhaps toured or promoted themselves better, or at least hired themselves a decent manager. Focused so much on their sound, they were tireless studio workhorses, constantly augmenting their pop songs with innovative studio effects: delay, phasing, and layers of overdubs. Working with such blinders on is always a difficult proposition to long term success, plus having a sexy female guest vocalist that was never quite a core member of the band, steal most of the spotlight, only to be whisked away to start a failed solo career doesn't bode well for a band in dire need of a solid foundation.
But we think if they managed their image better, they could have been as big as Jefferson Airplane. Their songs are definitely better. Pisces were perhaps more influenced by British psych than the stuff that was happening on the west coast, but their darkly tinged lyrics full of creepy wonder and kaleidoscopic imagery are more chilling and beautiful, yet evoking the male and female harmonies of that more famous group. At times, it also reminds us of other obscure weirdo sixties soft-psych groups like Fifty Foot Hose, Neighborhood Children, Peanut Butter Conspiracy and H.P. Lovecraft, yet with a consistent sonic vision unclouded by annoying record label interventions and dated cliches. A Lovely Sight indeed!
MPEG Stream: "Dear One"
MPEG Stream: "Children, Kiss Your Mother Goodnight"
MPEG Stream: "Motley Mary Ann"
MPEG Stream: "Elephant Eyes"

album cover POCCOLUS Ragana (Inferna Profundus) cd 14.98
The return of Lithuanian black metallers Poccolus! Well, not so much a return, as these guys split up a while back, but we're super psyched to hear more from these guys. Their Supernal label full length was a huge hit with the metalheads around here, gloriously thrashy keyboard drenched, post rock flecked Pagan blackness, originally released in 1996, but reissued a couple years ago. The tracks on Ragana date even further back than that, 1993 and 1994, with a couple live tracks tacked on as a bonus, originally released as a super limited cassette in 1997.
Here, Poccolus sound even more raw, and strangely more melodic. The guitars offering up classic metal sounding harmonies, locked in with the drums, pounding way down in the mix. Shades of Iron Maiden, and at least one of the tracks musically is a dead ringer for Slough Feg, that is until it slips into grim blackness, the bellowy reverb drenched croon, switching to harsh hellish shriek, but even then, the music continues to lope along all mournful and minor key, with plenty of keyboards, although here they're buried under the buzz and lo fidelity hiss. The opening track is so melancholy and catchy it's almost not even black metal. More like some gloomy gothy slightly blackened hard rock, but whatever it is, it's pretty excellent.
In fact, as we dig deeper, all the tracks here are barely black metal, although they're buzzy and heavy enough to keep metalheads' attention, the sound is much more raw and old school and classic sounding, the vocals are the blackest element, but even those shrieks and howls just as often revert to clean-ish croons. And it sound like this was mastered from a cassette, so it's all a little warped and warbly, giving it a haunting woozy off kilter vibe, which only adds to the band's unique sound. One track does actually get super grim and blasty, but that's after about 6 minutes of super minimal rumbling drones. The record closes with another strange only sort of black metal jam, lurching, mid tempo, the guitars warbly and minor key, the keyboard drifting like a haze in the background, the melodies getting more and more grand and epic, the band whipping their lo-fi stumble and buzz into something truly majestic sounding.
The live tracks are way more raw and fierce, lo-fi, but still plenty blown out and brutal, but even then, the weird melodicism of the proper tracks still creeps into the bands grim buzz. The Pagan element is also more present on these later tracks, the overall sound sitting somewhere right between the more polished Pagan crush of the full length, and the warped lo-fi classic metal of the demo tracks included here.
MPEG Stream: "I Pagoniu Zeme"
MPEG Stream: "Ragana"

album cover PRESENT, THE The Way We Are (Loaf) cd 14.98
Sophomore effort for Rusty Santos' expanding head band, The Present, and this one is even weirder and farther out then their first album, World I See. Constantly morphing textures and tempos radiate through each of the tracks so it's hard to tell where one piece begins and ends. Mechanized loops and repetitive whirrs, woozy tones, sparkly drones, watery robotic bleeps and bloops, cascading nebulas of metallic and magnetic drift, lots of dreamy floating and translucent shimmer, other times the sounds are dark, murky, wallowing and opaque. Murmurs of vocal melodies processed through multiple electronic filters and effects pedals can be heard buried under a doomy kaleidoscopic rainbow of pink and blue noise that swells from gorgeous to creepy and back again. Heady, alien and strange, this is like depressed robots taking a hit of acid with their prozac. Beautiful and deeply unsettling!
MPEG Stream: "Medman"
MPEG Stream: "Space Meadow"
MPEG Stream: "Press Play"

album cover RIECHMANN Wunderbar (Bureau B) lp 17.98
Cosmic-kraut lost masterpiece! We knew we would get your attention with that, and for good reason because this is a record that any fan of spaced out kosmiche needs to own. Released in 1978, Wunderbar was the only solo album by Wolfgang Riechmann, as he was tragically murdered just a few weeks before this record originally came out.
Influenced by the sounds around him in Germany you can hear bits of Tangerine Dream, Klaus Schulze, Neu!, Kraftwerk, etc. The record has a fluidity to it that just soars and flows with such a shimmering grace. Makes a lot of sense that he was in a band in the early '70s with Michael Rother (Neu!, Harmonia) and Wolfgang Flur (Kraftwerk) called Spirits Of Sound. Recorded over thirty years ago, you can definitely hear Wunderbar's possible influence in the music of folks like Lindstrom, Prins Thomas, Arp, Jonas Reinhardt, Delia Gonzalez & Gavin Russom, Growing, Emeralds, etc. Riechmann would have sounded right at home on the Pilooski curated Dirty Space Disco compilation we love so much, which connected the dots between the spaced out electronic sounds of '70s Germany and cosmic disco dancefloors. We wouldn't be surprised if Matmos was listening to this as inspiration before they made Supreme Balloon. Wunderbar is that rare kind of album that allows you to get lost in space while never losing its keen melodic sense, a sound that is fresh and alive, never stagnant or pointlessly self absorbed. Mind boggling to think how his music would have evolved over the years if his life wasn't ended so abruptly, but here's hoping that Wunderbar finally gets the recognition and respect is so rightfully deserves! And you non vinyl inclined folks hold tight, a cd reissue is on its way in July.

album cover SILVERSUN PICKUPS Swoon (Dangerbird) cd 15.98
It's so easy to hate on these guys (and gal), they went from indie darlings to next big thing, to actual big thing in the blink of an eye. Plus they sound dangerously and criminally like Smashing Pumpkins, but, and this is a very very big BUT, they actually kind of rule.
If you haven't heard their big first single "Lazy Eye", look it up on YouTube. It's like the best Smashing Pumpkins song Billy Corgan never wrote. Or more accurately, it's like THAT Smashing Pumpkins song, you know the one, the only really great late period SP song, but made heavier and blissier and a little noisier. That whole first record was packed with similar jams, My Bloody Valentine meets the Smashing Pumpkins is the most obvious (and oft mentioned comparison), but heck if it isn't sort of accurate. And for what they lacks in originality, they make up for in sheer rad rockingness, hooks everywhere, the singer's Corgan-esque croon, some kick ass drumming, and guitars everywhere, supecharged, distorted, heavy, buzzy, blown out, but still warm and thick and billowy.
We never reviewed the first record, but for some of us, it was definitely a (not so) guilty pleasure. While Swoon doesn't have a hit quite as unbeatable as "Lazy Eye", it does manage to be more lush and expansive, a bit heavier, and after a few listens, some of these songs will be lodged in your head FOREVER. And the sad thing is, this stuff sounds so much better than 90 percent of the rock happening these days, and it's sad to realize they just don't make music like this so much anymore, so when someone does, and does it so well, we just have to sit back and let ourselves be transported right back to the good old days, those days being the nineties, so c'mon, close your eyes, let your hair down, turn up the stereo and rock the fuck out. Pop fiends, especially ones who grew up in the nineties, will go nuts for this. And if you can ignore all the hype and the bullshit and just enjoy the music for what it is, even the most jaded of hipsters might just find themselves unable to resist the blissy crunchy pop spell of Silversun Pickups.
MPEG Stream: "Panic Switch"
MPEG Stream: "There's No Secrets This Year"
MPEG Stream: "The Royal We"

album cover SIMONE, NINA Emergency Ward! (Sony) lp 15.98
Nina Simone's vast and varied back catalog never ceases to thrill and amaze us. As we dig and dig into the deep vaults of her recorded material we keep running into records that demand full attention and grab us by our vitals and throw us right into the world she was inhabiting at that moment. This 1973 album, now reissued on vinyl, found Nina full of a crazy kind of energy, empowerment, rage, urgency and intensity. As the Vietnam War continued to linger, Emergency Ward! was Nina Simone's most pointed protest against the war, as well as one of her most fiery and commanding records, period. With arrangements by the great Weldon Irvine and a church junior choir from South Jamaica, New York backing her up, a strong foundation was laid for Nina to take those elements and bring them to life as only she could. Recorded live in a few different locations the record finds Simone at her most epic and emotionally charged. The first side is one long track that merges an adaptation of George Harrison's "My Sweet Lord" with "Today Is A Killer", a poem by David Nelson, that Nina Simone transforms into an unforgettable gospel burner! The second side starts off with an irresistible version of "Poppies" and then the grand finale is an eleven minute emotionally poignant take on another George Harrison song, "Isn't It A Pity", that rings with so much truth and timeliness all these years later. Nina Simone fans, you must have this! Totally engaging and essential!

album cover SIX FINGER SATELLITE Half Control (Load) cd 15.98
In the '90s, there were two bands on the Sub Pop roster that, to anyone looking for their grunge or indie fix, made absolutely zero sense. One of those bands was the mighty Earth, who in the past few years have thankfully been reevaluated and recognized as the pioneers they were and are. Then there was Six Finger Satellite, spoken of with godlike reverence by their small but rabid fanbase, but still unjustly neglected by the majority of the human population. The big question here: WHY?!?! Six Finger Satellite was one of the great nihilistic rock bands of the '90s, the strange and unholy union of the Stooges, the Birthday Party, and Kraftwerk that turned into something else entirely. Their sound was hateful, tense, and disturbingly druggy, but most of all, they fucking ROCKED. While the synthesizer at this point in indie history seemed relegated to making cute little bleeping noises, 6FS wielded their Moogs like weapons of mass chaos, releasing 4 ESSENTIAL full lengths and a slew of equally awesome eps and singles before vanishing. Their provocative themes included a sinister but smartass referencing of, shall we say, "recent" German history, primates, and a Kraftwerkian synthesis of man and machine tailored to better suit a bunch of guys from Rhode Island. Their history is long, confusing, and even tragic (original bassist Kurt Niemand died of a drug overdose), eventually culminating in the departure of guitarist John Maclean - along with the band's synth arsenal - and his transformation into electro-dance act the Juan Maclean. Though they apparently soldiered on after their final full length, Law Of Ruins, that was pretty much it for Six Finger Satellite...
UNTIL NOW!!!
While the band has reconvened on a few occasions and are currently active, Half Control actually dates back to 2001. Surprisingly, the band's unstoppable drummer Rick Pelletier switched to bass for the reformed 6FS (and now he's playing guitar!), while the rhythm section was reconstituted from members of fellow Rhode Island noise rockers Landed. The resultant sound emphasizes the group's more pissed off, punkish edge - try to imagine the four-headed bastard offspring of Black Flag and the Jesus Lizard beating the shit out of itself - while downplaying their more meditative (relatively speaking for this band, of course) electro-kraut influences. For this reason, the initial reaction of many aQ staffers was that Half Control doesn't really sound like the Six Finger Satellite we all knew - remember that part about John Maclean and the band's collection of vintage synthesizers? Closer inspection, however, reveals otherwise, at least to the nerds in possession of the band's entire discography. While synths were and continue to remain integral to the 6FS sound, many people tend to overlook how guitar-centric they always were. Slashing and densely hypnotic riffing, throbbing basslines, and ridiculously tight drumming were just as important as their quirky but ominous synthlines. Singer/Moogist J. Ryan's feral vocals are as mean-spirited and distorted as they always were and the band still throbs and pulsates like a merciless machine that refuses to shut down. 6FS's sound was frantic but controlled, often verging on complete chaos, yet they managed to keep things together in a way only they could. With that in mind, it's clear to see that things are really just as great as they always were. The reality is that little has changed, it's just pretty mindblowing to think that we are hearing new sounds from a band that sadly *seemed* to drop off the map.
It should go without saying for anyone familiar with this fantastic band, that Load Records (who released their obscure but awe inspiring Clone Theory ep waaaaay back), is a much better home for them. It's not coincidental that much of that label's lineup and a great deal of the current noise rock scene is heavily indebted to 6FS, and while some of today's indie rockers may have unknowingly tapped into what these guys were about in the form of other bands, Six Finger Satellite has yet to be surpassed in ferocity, dark humor, and overall rockingness. Longtime fans should find plenty of reasons to rejoice, while newbies will freak out and have to accept mp3 versions of their out of print Sub Pop albums. To the rest of the world: WAKE THE FUCK UP. Six Finger Satellite is immortal, and even if this is their final statement (we sure hope not), it's more than we could have ever hoped for.
MPEG Stream: "Thrown Out"
MPEG Stream: "Artificial Light"
MPEG Stream: "Bored Oracle"

album cover SKULLFLOWER Vile Veil (Noiseville) lp 14.98
Latest burst of glorious guitar noise from Matthew Bower and his ever evolving Skullflower, not sure who plays on this one, pretty sure they're back up to a full band, 3 piece? 4 piece? What we do know, is on Vile Veil, you can finally hear Bower's burgeoning interest in black metal seeping into the Skullflower sound. The title track sounds like it could have been listed from some lost nineties Nordic demo, all tinny buzzy riffage, buried howls, drums? Maybe, but if they're there, they're well buried under the muted murk and buzz drenched skree. Weirdly propulsive and frenetic, Bower and Co. kick out the grim frostbitten jam, infusing it with their own particular brand of blown out sheen, layered with sheets of feedback, and more noise than any self respecting black metal horde has ever had to contend with, the result though it pretty stellar, the sort of buzzing black noise that should hit the spot for metalheads and noiseniks alike.
The second track is more of the same, but a bit less brittle, subtly more melodic, with the vocals creeping up in the mix, but not sounding like vocals so much as like hissy bursts of white noise static, draped over the moaning deconstructed riffage and layered high end dronescape.
The final track, a side long crusher called "Vinum Sabbati", harkens back to Bower's noisier Total project, all high end and hiss and skree and screech, soaring upper register tones and loads of feedback, but the sound is sculpted into something almost orchestral sounding, strangely listenable (it's all relative!), even a bit melodic, but all wrapped in a constantly swirling cloud of caustic sonic abrasion, intense, and dense, thick and nearly overwhelming, fantastically and punishingly epic and brutal.
LIMITED TO 300 COPIES. We got a bunch, but odds are these will be gone before you know it.

album cover SPECTRUM War Sucks (Mind Expansion) cd ep 11.98
War Sucks is a four song ep from Sonic Boom's Spectrum, reliving more of the heyday of the hallowed Spacemen 3 project many moons ago, whose occasionally awesome hypno-space-rock psychedelia was equal parts druggy and punky. The title track is a cover of a Red Krayola tune, penned back in the day about Vietnam, although the sentiment rings as true today. The lyrical content of the song is a bit of an anomaly for Sonic Boom, who had previously pretty much sung of drugs if he weren't rehashing some old blues number; but this doesn't detract from the fuzzed-out buzz that harkens to that occasionally awesome period of Spacemen 3 (e.g. Taking Drugs To Make Music To Take Drugs To and Playing With Fire) in which the Stooges and 13th Floor Elevators were the godheads of the Spacemen 3 pantheon. And rightly so. Spectrum marches on with a Neu! inspired motorik tune in "Razzle Dazzle Mind" before offering another cover, Laurie Anderson's "Walking & Falling." The final track "Over and Over" is one of those Spectrum / Spacemen 3 tracks that could go on for 25 minutes, and it probably should given the brevity of this ep. Even so, this is pretty darn good, in fact.
MPEG Stream: "War Sucks"
MPEG Stream: "Razzle-Dazzle Mind"

album cover STIELAS STORHETT / LIHOLESIE / MOR Death Comes From The North (ASSAVLT) cd 13.98
We went pretty crazy for Stielas Storhett's Vandrer... record, reviewed way back in 2007, unabashedly proclaiming it BLACK METAL RECORD OF THE YEAR. We recently revisited it, and fuck, it still destroys, so much so that it's hard to imagine it wouldn't be black metal of the record of the year no matter what year it came out and no matter what records it was up against. We've been hankering for more ever since. And finally, the Dark Lord has answered out prayers.
Two tracks, both unreleased, both completely amazing and like the full length before, pretty fucked up and freaky. The weirdness here though is more the strange almost major key melodies that swirl around the loping blackened dirge. The guitars are angular, buzzy, the drums pounding, the vocals more a sort of drawled howl, but here they're set amidst some strangely poppy and melodic guitar leads, the two parts mesh seamlessly. but still it's hard to wrap our ears around it. Like a Stielas Storhett pop jam, a Khold like groove, still black, but damn is it catchy and poppy. Later the track gets a little darker, and chuggier, but still the sound is strangely epic and majestic, and black hearts be damned, weirdly happy sounding. Which in itself is bizarre, but beyond that, it's a pretty stellar slab of melodic blackness.
The other Stielas track is more buzzy and frenetic, but still strangely major key, even some bad ass almost Iron Maiden sounding guitar harmonies. The track veers back and forth between more traditionally grim blasts, and as if SS mainman Damian T.G. is struggling sonically, a musical battle between good and evil, pop and metal, depression and misery, effusive positivity and happiness, who knows, maybe he got a girlfriend since last time we heard from SS. Either way, it's a strange development but, man do we like it. Been listening to these two tracks nonstop!
While two new tracks from Stielas Storhett is more than enough reason to pick this up, this three way split does actually feature two other Russian bands we had never heard before. Liholesie, whose sound is a sort of Pagan folk, percussive and dramatic and a bit Renn Faire sounding, but pretty intense and emotional nonetheless, and Mor, whose sound is a strange blend of melodic post rock, and abstract black metal, leaning more toward the former most of the time, we hear bits of Katatonia's epic doom pop. maybe a little Lifelover (although nowhere near as strange), heavy, super well produced, darkly dramatic, even at it's blastiest and buzziest, their sound is still rife with pop and gloom and a gloriously dark tension, although their final track manages to be pretty black metal indeed.
A truly weird comp, but a winner for sure, more Stielas Storhett obviously, and two more cool obscure Russian bands to quite possibly obsess over....
MPEG Stream: STIELAS STORHETT "Taedium Vitae"
MPEG Stream: MOR "Kola Cross"
MPEG Stream: LIHOLESLE "Barbarians (Hosts Of The North)"

album cover STRIBORG Perceiving The World With Hate (Displeased) cd 14.98
What more can we say about Tasmanian black metal one man band Striborg that we haven't already? This is the 15th or 16th record we've reviewed by the mysterious and prolific Sin-Nanna, whose tortured doomic black buzz has remained relatively unchanged for the last 12 years. But hell why fix what ain't broke right? And nothing's broke here, or maybe EVERYTHING is broke, but that's precisely why we're still so smitten with Striborg's creepy underproduced outsider black metal. Guitars that seem to buzz, without ever actually coalescing into riffs, more often a sheet of white noise, a wall of hiss, the sound of a rainstorm or a thousand showers, the near constant buzz is one of the hallmarks of Striborg's sound, and it's what turns stumbling depressive black metal into tranced out almost blissy black dronemusic. Then there's the entropic, seemingly abstract drumming, the rhythms simply skeletal frameworks around which to erect huge undulating clouds of buzz, Sin-Nanna's beastly croak, adding a certain bit of pathos to the slow motion monochromatic crawl that is most Striborg.
This stuff is most definitely an acquired taste, but once it's acquired, it takes over, you find yourself needing more, wanting more, and wanting it to be more raw, more feral, more lo-fi, and Striborg is more than happy to oblige. Every record another fragmented yet strangely beautiful black missive, that in its own way does seem to evoke the rainforest he calls home, the sound is expansive and thick, humid even, the all encompassing buzz the sonic equivalent of unceasing rainfall, the sad organs and mournful synths like thick black clouds blotting out the sky, the tangled branches of the forest an abstract skeleton huddling beneath the whirling winds, but with every record, Sin-Nanna is still capable of surprising us, of taking his sound someplace new, but equally perplexing and fascinating. Here, it's "When The Moon And The Earth Collide Into The Sun", a caustic burst of corrosive blacknoise, blown out and abrasive, which is quickly followed by one of the prettiest and most mysterious Striborg tracks ever, the 10+ minute title track, whose background is a warm hissy bed of lo-fi buss and sizzling cymbals, the guitars mere hints of melodies, the drums, loping clumsily but dramatically though the hazy soundfield, the vocals metallic, as if sung from the bottom of a well, the music weirdly warm and melodic, sans vocals, it's almost like some insanely lo-fi slab of pop ambient short wave interference, or perhaps like listening to some moody doom pop, but with the radio station between stations. Strange, but truly wonderful, as only Striborg can be.
As we mentioned before, you either already love Striborg, in which case odds are you're probably a bit obsessed and will most definitely want this, or you can't stand it, and this will in no way change your mind, or this is your very first exposure to Striborg's mad musical genius, in which case, you might just have found lo-fi outsider black buzz nirvana. We're sort of jealous too, we can remember how exciting it is to discover something this fucked up, this gloriously idiosyncratic, this gorgeously damaged for the first time. You just might have to overhaul completely your understanding of black metal. Of metal. Of music. It's magical. And mysterious. And utterly confounding. Enjoy!
Housed in a DVD case, printed covers inside and out, with a nice oversized, full color insert filled with photos and drawings of the Tasmanian rainforest.
MPEG Stream: "The Dark Forest's Embrace"
MPEG Stream: "Trails Of Desolation"
MPEG Stream: "Call Of The Redwood Forest"

album cover SZCZEPANIK, NICHOLAS The Chiasmus (Basses Frequences / Sentient Recognition Archive) cd 14.98
A split release between bad ass French microlabel Basses Frequencies, and Szczepanik's own Sentient Recognition Archive label, The Chiasmus is Szczepanik's latest collection of dronology, and the first proper cd we've had (quite possible his first proper cd release entirely). We've long been fans, being the dronelords and ladies we are around these parts, and past Szczepanik joints have demonstrated a mastery of the drone, creating surprisingly lush and lustrous expanses of low end minimalism. On The Chiasmus, Szczepanik continues to move ever deeper, ever darker, five long tracks, each a different variation of drone, drifting from minimal black shift, to near Pop Ambient bliss.
Record opener is cavernous, epic, Teutonic and slow shifting, peppered at the beginning with bits of glitch and hiss, the song soon settles into an uneasy sprawl, ominous and dangerously grim, but still somehow warm and expansive and enveloping. The second track shifts gears completely, unfurling a gauzy bit of chordal shimmer, all warm and sun dappled and delicate and gauzy, gentle tranquil melodies played out over minutes instead of seconds, a little Eno for sure, as the song drifts and flutters and hovers dreamily in midair. The final three tracks hover somewhere in between, deep moaning post industrial whirs laid over dense metallic buzz, the two layers slowly seeping into one another like some blackened sonic spill, deep bell like tones ring out, their tones frozen in time and stretched out into softly undulating sheets of sound, slightly reflective and iridescent and kaleidoscopic, glimmering and glistening underneath some alien black sun, and finally, a loooooooong stretch of grinding muted buzz, spreading out in slow motion, it's black shimmer infused with streaks of melody, as if some strange black seas was slowly growing warmer and coming to life before our ears.
Fantastic, gorgeous stuff. Essential listening for the drone obsessed...
MPEG Stream: "Another End Of New"
MPEG Stream: "Temporary Inundation Of Sleep By Open Windows"

album cover T.I.T.S. Second Base (self released) cd-r 11.98
NOW AVAILABLE ON CD!!
Get to second base with these ladies if you dare, you might find yourself an appendage short!
After a killer split with UK based Leopard Leg, Second Base marks the full length debut of these local San Francisco spitfires. Huge mean walls of cavey no-wave pummel and monolithic molten guitar swells steep these doom-laden garage rock stompers in layers of simmering and pulsating sonics, while the vocals sung in group chant style highlight the buried melodies deep within. It's a bit easy to describe the vocals and overall sound of an all-girl experimental band, especially one that dwells toward the extreme side of the sonic spectrum, as "witchy", but there's no real other way to describe the vocals here. Although they're not shrieked or sung in a detuned arty sort of way, the flat but clear group-intoned vocal delivery heightens the spell-binding doomy power of the songs, reminding us of the modern-day women in George Romero's Season of the Witch, rather than the nature-worshiping fairytale kind.
We're still not sure what T.I.T.S. stands for. Their MySpace page suggests Technicolor Inner Troll Syndrome(?!). We've got a better one: This Is The Shit!!!!
MPEG Stream: "Void"
MPEG Stream: "Octopus"
MPEG Stream: "Echoes"

album cover TRADITIONAL FOOLS s/t (Make A Mess / Wizard Mountain) lp 7.98
We're pretty picky when it comes to garage rock/punk, it's really got to be raw, impassioned and at least a little fucked to truly catch our full attention. Traditional Fools blast out the kind of reckless garage rock jams we can totally get behind. Should be no surprise as one of the members of the band is Ty Segall whose solo debut last year was one of our favorite records of the year! Traditional Fools are a bit more on the traditional side of punk/garage rock, but still way blown out, lo-fi and way fun. They cover Red Kross and Billy Childish which gives you a pretty good idea where they're coming from, and this full length really is full of drunken garage rock delights that could have been at home on Crypt or Rip-Off Records back in the hey day of classic garage. Fun and irreverent and totally raw and rocked out.
A co-release by two great San Francisco labels Make A Mess (home to Nodzz, Brilliant Colors) and Wizard Mountain who put out Ty Segall's first cassette. Comes on nice white vinyl and for so cheap. It's a no brainer!

album cover TYVEK s/t (Siltbreeze) cd 13.98
Here's a surprise from the Siltbreeze camp. Not that Siltbreeze hasn't dabbled in pop in the past, but it's been a while since they've released something this catchy. Lo-fi, but not like the current crop of shit gazers, punk rock, but not like PUNK, and pop, but not sugary sweet, Tyvek are twisted, slightly damaged, off kilter, fractured punk pop. Or something like that. The label name drops Mekons, Urinals, Feelies, Velvet Underground, and yeah, those bands are obviously influences, we also hear some Strapping Fieldhands (also once on Siltbreeze) as well as various New Zealand combos. For all it's fucked up weirdness, and willful stumble, these are some incredibly catchy songs, simple spare drumming, guitars that clang and chime and crunch, and vocals that strain to hit the high notes, sounding earnest and emotional, and fuck, hooks galore, some of these songs will stick in your head like CRAZY.
And even though it's not quite the same sort of thing, all of you into Blank Dogs, Psychedelic Horseshit, Times New Viking, The Intelligence, Gary War and all that garage-y shit-fi might just dig this too...
MPEG Stream: "Circular Ruins"
MPEG Stream: "Summer Things"
MPEG Stream: "Hey Una"
MPEG Stream: "Frustration Rock"

album cover TYVEK s/t (Siltbreeze) lp 14.98
Here's a surprise from the Siltbreeze camp. Not that Siltbreeze hasn't dabbled in pop in the past, but it's been a while since they've released something this catchy. Lo-fi, but not like the current crop of shit gazers, punk rock, but not like PUNK, and pop, but not sugary sweet, Tyvek are twisted, slightly damaged, off kilter, fractured punk pop. Or something like that. The label name drops Mekons, Urinals, Feelies, Velvet Underground, and yeah, those bands are obviously influences, we also hear some Strapping Fieldhands (also once on Siltbreeze) as well as various New Zealand combos. For all it's fucked up weirdness, and willful stumble, these are some incredibly catchy songs, simple spare drumming, guitars that clang and chime and crunch, and vocals that strain to hit the high notes, sounding earnest and emotional, and fuck, hooks galore, some of these songs will stick in your head like CRAZY.
And even though it's not quite the same sort of thing, all of you into Blank Dogs, Psychedelic Horseshit, Times New Viking, The Intelligence, Gary War and all that garage-y shit-fi might just dig this too...
MPEG Stream: "Circular Ruins"
MPEG Stream: "Summer Things"
MPEG Stream: "Hey Una"
MPEG Stream: "Frustration Rock"

album cover V/A Milky Disco 2: Let's Go Freak Out (Lo Recordings) 2cd 14.98
The first volume of Milky Disco came out a couple years ago, right when disco was really getting discovered by a whole new generation of electronic music makers, using cosmic disco as the launching point for their soaring, silky slow burning sound odysseys. That record proved be a serious grower as we still listen to it a LOT, and the sequencing from start to finish really makes for a great coherent late night album.
Round two finds Milky Disco upping the ante even more, with a really impressive collection of sound makers, both folks we already dig a lot and new names that we'll for sure be on the lookout for in the future. Hatchback (one half of Windsurf) start things off so nicely with a rolling jam that would be right at home on the new Lindstrom & Prins Thomas record. Soft Circle show off their new focus on dance floor delights, Glass Candy sound as cold and sultry as ever, Nite Jewel have a track from their Italians Do It Better 12" that we could listen to on repeat for ever, Expanded Head Band make their recorded debut (it's a new project featuring Alexis from Arp and The Alps) and it's so good! Other stand out tracks come from CFCF, Black Devil Disco Club and Secret Circuit. But what makes the Milky Disco comps so pleasing is how they really do flow as a proper record, one you would actually want to listen to from start to finish. And there isn't just one reference point for all these tracks, we hear the influence of not only early disco's cosmic voyages but also early '90s house, ambient techno, and a healthy dose of prog(!). Long drives, blurry late nights, foggy morning afters, slightly buzzed and cloudy dance floor moments... this is your perfect soundtrack!
MPEG Stream: SECRET CIRCUIT "Roll"
MPEG Stream: CFCF "Raining Patterns"
MPEG Stream: EXPANDING HEAD BAND "Sound Of Breaking Glass"

album cover V/A Skweee Tooth (Ramp Recordings) cd 14.98
Pretty soon it won't be so skweeeasy to come up with good skweee-puns... As you may know, we definitely do have a sweet tooth (or, rather, ear) for skweee and thus are super stoked about this new compilation, which is totally in the tradition of the Museum Of Future Sound Vol. 1 and 2 comps we freaked out about last year and the year before... in fact, this may as well be Museum Of Future Sound Volume 3 (Volume Skweee?), 'cause the same Skweeedish, we mean Swedish label that brought us those, Flogsta Danshall, teamed up with the UK's Ramp Recordings to release this new collection, featuring tracks selected by Flogsta boss and skweee artist Pavan.
The vitality and variety of the cheeky skweee scene is certainly on display here. Some tracks are more dancey, some more minimal, some more chaotic. But it's all within the skweee realm of (mostly) instrumental, wacked out, synth damaged, chiptune-y, sometimes silly, glitchy grooves inspired by '80s electro, hiphop and video games. There's 13 cuts of that special Scandinavian DIY retrofuturefunk here, quite a few by names we already knew (Mesak, Liminous, Daniel Savio, Rigas Den Andre, Joraxen, Spartan Lover, Wankers United, Mrs. Queda) plus a few others we didn't (Beatbully, V.C., Easy & Center Of The Universe, Melkevlen, Slow Hand Motem). These skweee-boys bring it. Squelchy sizzly synths, 8-bit action, plenty of distortion, and fractured funk beats. It's the playfulness and fuckedupedness of skweee that made us love it so (plus that fact that the shit's so darn catchy), and you get plenty of all that on Skweee Tooth.
The compilation gets off to a surefire start with Easy & Center Of The Universe's cleverly titled "Legend Of Selda". Geddit, computer game geeks? That's right, the track takes the melody from a song we know we've heard before by '70s Turkish folkpsych singer Selda, one of the AQ crew's faves, and turns into skweee! ALL the tracks here are cool, though, ranging from the shuffle of "Frisco Bum" by Liminous, to the very video-gamey "Liikutuksla" by Mrs.Queda, to "Distordelle", a thick, woozy one from Rigas Den Andre. One of the more manic, glitched out grooves is "Sex With A Woman" by Spartan Lover, with Joraxen's frantic "Fel I Facit" running a close second. Much moodier (skweee can be that too, actually) and more abstract is "Melkevlen" by Melkevlen Ft. Sagtann. And then at the very end of the disc, the crackly "Idea" by Slow Hand Motem surprises by including some mellow male vocals, alongside a synth lick that echoes the Middle Eastern psych element of Skweee Tooth's opening track. Heck we could go on about 'em all. There's never a dull moment, it's always wonderfully off-kilter, definitely fun stuff.
In a world where electronic music can sometimes take itself too seriously, all academic and IDM and Ars Electronica and everything, the unpretentious pun-loving skweee is a breath of fresh air, just what was skweeeded. More, please!
(And we promise, no puns next time, we couldn't possibly think of too many others anyway....ok one more: if one of these artists came over and did a tour of the States, we could say they were cross-country skweeeing!).
MPEG Stream: EASY & CENTER OF THE UNIVERSE "Legend Of Selda"
MPEG Stream: BEATBULLY "Rek Johnny Rek"
MPEG Stream: LIMINOUS "Frisco Bum"

album cover V/A Skweee Tooth (Ramp Recordings) 2lp 25.00
Pretty soon it won't be so skweeeasy to come up with good skweee-puns... As you may know, we definitely do have a sweet tooth (or, rather, ear) for skweee and thus are super stoked about this new compilation, which is totally in the tradition of the Museum Of Future Sound Vol. 1 and 2 comps we freaked out about last year and the year before... in fact, this may as well be Museum Of Future Sound Volume 3 (Volume Skweee?), 'cause the same Skweeedish, we mean Swedish label that brought us those, Flogsta Danshall, teamed up with the UK's Ramp Recordings to release this new collection, featuring tracks selected by Flogsta boss and skweee artist Pavan.
The vitality and variety of the cheeky skweee scene is certainly on display here. Some tracks are more dancey, some more minimal, some more chaotic. But it's all within the skweee realm of (mostly) instrumental, wacked out, synth damaged, chiptune-y, sometimes silly, glitchy grooves inspired by '80s electro, hiphop and video games. There's 13 cuts of that special Scandinavian DIY retrofuturefunk here, quite a few by names we already knew (Mesak, Liminous, Daniel Savio, Rigas Den Andre, Joraxen, Spartan Lover, Wankers United, Mrs. Queda) plus a few others we didn't (Beatbully, V.C., Easy & Center Of The Universe, Melkevlen, Slow Hand Motem). These skweee-boys bring it. Squelchy sizzly synths, 8-bit action, plenty of distortion, and fractured funk beats. It's the playfulness and fuckedupedness of skweee that made us love it so (plus that fact that the shit's so darn catchy), and you get plenty of all that on Skweee Tooth.
The compilation gets off to a surefire start with Easy & Center Of The Universe's cleverly titled "Legend Of Selda". Geddit, computer game geeks? That's right, the track takes the melody from a song we know we've heard before by '70s Turkish folkpsych singer Selda, one of the AQ crew's faves, and turns into skweee! ALL the tracks here are cool, though, ranging from the shuffle of "Frisco Bum" by Liminous, to the very video-gamey "Liikutuksla" by Mrs.Queda, to "Distordelle", a thick, woozy one from Rigas Den Andre. One of the more manic, glitched out grooves is "Sex With A Woman" by Spartan Lover, with Joraxen's frantic "Fel I Facit" running a close second. Much moodier (skweee can be that too, actually) and more abstract is "Melkevlen" by Melkevlen Ft. Sagtann. And then at the very end of the disc, the crackly "Idea" by Slow Hand Motem surprises by including some mellow male vocals, alongside a synth lick that echoes the Middle Eastern psych element of Skweee Tooth's opening track. Heck we could go on about 'em all. There's never a dull moment, it's always wonderfully off-kilter, definitely fun stuff.
In a world where electronic music can sometimes take itself too seriously, all academic and IDM and Ars Electronica and everything, the unpretentious pun-loving skweee is a breath of fresh air, just what was skweeeded. More, please!
(And we promise, no puns next time, we couldn't possibly think of too many others anyway....ok one more: if one of these artists came over and did a tour of the States, we could say they were cross-country skweeeing!).
MPEG Stream: EASY & CENTER OF THE UNIVERSE "Legend Of Selda"
MPEG Stream: BEATBULLY "Rek Johnny Rek"
MPEG Stream: LIMINOUS "Frisco Bum"

album cover V/A The Electric Asylum Volume 2: Rare British Acid Freakrock (Past & Present) cd 17.98
It's back to the Electric Asylum for more of their specialized shock (and schlock?) treatment! A follow up to the excellent first volume, compiling more "bubblegum Black Sabbath" (our term) songs, a lot of 'em one-off singles, examples of obscure psychedelic-pop-prog from England, circa 1969-1974. We knew this one would be good just from the tracklist. Not that we'd heard of most of the bands, they just had cool names, evocative of the sort of eccentric, druggy, creepy-kitsch we loved about volume one: Wolfrilla! Humbug! Iron Cross! Lost Dog! Cats Eyes! Buster Jangles Flying Mattress! (Ok, so maybe that last one's not cool, but it's funny.) The bands we HAD heard of include Steamhammer, whose recently reissued album Speech is an AQ fave. And there's not one, but another two cuts by the female-fronted (Janis-ish) J.C. Heavy who appeared on the first Electric Asylum. Choc's here again too. Furthermore this includes the excellent Wishbone Ash-alike "Falling" by Iron Maiden - not THE Iron Maiden, but an earlier band of the same name, who also appeared with this same track on the proto-metal comp Downer Rock Genocide we listed last year.
There's 20 tracks here, lots of fuzzed out "freakrock" to pick favorites from. Humbug's track "Ebeneezer" (natch) is a good heavy groover. J.C. Heavy's "Mr. Deal" is all about their "pusher man". Steamhammer's "Windmill" is super flute-y, with a bit of a Doors vibe too. Gentry's "Attempted Contact" is a fine one for freaky swirling organ and occult seance themes. We could go on... but you'll find your own wilted flower power faves amongst the many charming efforts of hippie-glam "heaviness" committed to this asylum, bands who thought themselves possible alternate universe versions of the likes of Cream, Iron Butterfly, The Who, Steppenwolf, and/or the aforementioned Black Sabbath...
The illustrated cd booklet includes, extensive notes on each band/track, except for the most mysterious ones, often explaining the whys and wherefores of how each group of hopefuls never quite "made it" in the end, though some individuals from among these promising and/or peculiar acts went on to success in other outfits.
MPEG Stream: CATS EYES "The Wizard"
MPEG Stream: THE MONTANAS "Doctor Nero"
MPEG Stream: WOLFRILLA "Song For Jimmi"
MPEG Stream: IRON CROSS "All Of The Time"

album cover V/A The Sound of Wonder: Rare Electronic Pop From The Lollywood Vaults 1973-1980 (Finders Keepers) cd 23.00
Yay! It's been awhile since we've had a new Finder's Keepers release, and this one is amazing!
By now we're all too familiar with the Eastern cinematic pop splendor and sitar funk of Bollywood. But what about Lollywood? Yes, just to the north in Pakistan, the city of Lahore had their own cottage film industry. Perhaps not as well known outside Pakistan, Lollywood was highly profitable in the seventies and eighties, housing a unique music division with its own equivalent of Bollywood's R.D. Burman and Asha Bhole in M. Ashraf and his female collaborator, Nahid Akhtar. With the help of EMI, Pakistani musicians were able to create ambitious music in a world class studio, using far-out instrumentation like Moogs and other synthesizers, accordions, surf-guitars, and tons of traditional hand percussion instruments instead of a proper drum set. It's definitely a far more electric and electronic pop sound , than what we're used to hearing in classic Bollywood music. Having an almost retro-futurist bent in its explosive collision of Eastern and Western musical touchstones: Freak-Beat and Surf Rock meets Space-Age Moog Pop and Urdu Groove! Originally released on 7" mini-lps (a curious marketing scheme was to release one soundtrack on 3 separate 7"s!), this is the first time these wild and delightful cinematic obscurities have been collected. Let's hope more get discovered. This IS the Sound of Wonder!
MPEG Stream: M. ASHRAF "Dama Dam Mast Qalander"
MPEG Stream: TAFO "Karye Pyar"
MPEG Stream: NAZIR ALI "Society Girl"

album cover VILE, KURT Constant Hitmaker (Gulcher) cd 11.98
We've been meaning to list this one for a while now, not sure if it had to do with the glut of purposefully lo-fi garage rock that's making the rounds these days, but it just sort of slipped under the radar. Too bad for us, because once we got around to actually listening to Constant Hitmaker, it became quite clear that not only is Kurt Vile NOT about half-assed garage rock, but he is in fact a very skilled and sincere songwriter whose talents will hopefully outlive the frenzied hype surrounding the genre he seems to have been lumped into.
Perhaps the best thing about this album is how effortless but totally genuine it all feels. Sure, "lo-fi" is an appropriate descriptor for the music within, but this should not be equated with "sounds like shit". On the contrary, Kurt has taken his decidedly non-professional recording situation and produced a set of songs that are lush, shimmering, and densely layered. At the heart of it all is a classy style of songwriting that appears, to us anyway, to have more to do with rootsy mid-'80s bands like the Embarrassment or even the Replacements, than it does with the Nuggets boxset or snotty '70s punk. With a primitive drum machine providing most of the rhythm, these songs come across as delightfully off kilter and less straightforward than they really are (this is not meant as a slight, by the way), and will probably be one of the reasons Kurt's records will not be filed in the Americana bin. There is also plenty of murky ambience and spaced out synths to add a slightly exotic touch, but never at the expense of the songs themselves. An air of experimentation permeates Constant Hitmaker, but only out of a love for pure sound, not as some stale academic bullshit. Kurt's vocals are delivered in a cool, slow drawl with a Dylan-esque cadence, and he's also a pretty damn fine guitarist, as evidenced on "Slow Talkers". Elsewhere on the record, slightly pastoral acoustic guitars and layered vocals create a nice ethereal mood, while other songs follow a more bouncing groove. The lyrics are cool and often quite endearing, like on "Classic Rock In Spring", where Kurt talks about ditching class to listen to Bob Seger and take acid. How can you argue with that? And if everything else on the album has not convinced you of this guy's natural talent, then the beautiful acoustic reprise of "Freeway" certainly should do the trick. Even the skeptics had to admit that it's pretty fucking great, perfectly exhibiting Kurt's natural melodic sense and the excellent transitions within his songs. It just can't be denied, this guy is good.
MPEG Stream: "Freeway"
MPEG Stream: "Slow Talkers"
MPEG Stream: "Best Love"

album cover VILE, KURT Constant Hitmaker (Woodsist) lp 14.98
We've been meaning to list this one for a while now, not sure if it had to do with the glut of purposefully lo-fi garage rock that's making the rounds these days, but it just sort of slipped under the radar. Too bad for us, because once we got around to actually listening to Constant Hitmaker, it became quite clear that not only is Kurt Vile NOT about half-assed garage rock, but he is in fact a very skilled and sincere songwriter whose talents will hopefully outlive the frenzied hype surrounding the genre he seems to have been lumped into.
Perhaps the best thing about this album is how effortless but totally genuine it all feels. Sure, "lo-fi" is an appropriate descriptor for the music within, but this should not be equated with "sounds like shit". On the contrary, Kurt has taken his decidedly non-professional recording situation and produced a set of songs that are lush, shimmering, and densely layered. At the heart of it all is a classy style of songwriting that appears, to us anyway, to have more to do with rootsy mid-'80s bands like the Embarrassment or even the Replacements, than it does with the Nuggets boxset or snotty '70s punk. With a primitive drum machine providing most of the rhythm, these songs come across as delightfully off kilter and less straightforward than they really are (this is not meant as a slight, by the way), and will probably be one of the reasons Kurt's records will not be filed in the Americana bin. There is also plenty of murky ambience and spaced out synths to add a slightly exotic touch, but never at the expense of the songs themselves. An air of experimentation permeates Constant Hitmaker, but only out of a love for pure sound, not as some stale academic bullshit. Kurt's vocals are delivered in a cool, slow drawl with a Dylan-esque cadence, and he's also a pretty damn fine guitarist, as evidenced on "Slow Talkers". Elsewhere on the record, slightly pastoral acoustic guitars and layered vocals create a nice ethereal mood, while other songs follow a more bouncing groove. The lyrics are cool and often quite endearing, like on "Classic Rock In Spring", where Kurt talks about ditching class to listen to Bob Seger and take acid. How can you argue with that? And if everything else on the album has not convinced you of this guy's natural talent, then the beautiful acoustic reprise of "Freeway" certainly should do the trick. Even the skeptics had to admit that it's pretty fucking great, perfectly exhibiting Kurt's natural melodic sense and the excellent transitions within his songs. It just can't be denied, this guy is good.
MPEG Stream: "Freeway"
MPEG Stream: "Slow Talkers"
MPEG Stream: "Best Love"

album cover WHITE HILLS Heads On Fire (Thrill Jockey) lp 14.98
FINALLY AVAILABLE ON VINYL!!! Includes a download code, so you can grab a digital version too. Here's what we had to say about the record when we first got it in:
After a whole mess of crazy limited cd-r releases, this was only the 2nd proper release from these East Coast blown out garage psych space rockers. Avid readers of the list will no doubt by now, be hip to these guys, their wall of guitar, Hawkwind meets the Stooges meets Monster Magnet meets the Heads is tough to beat, every song drenched in wild outer space FX, the drums pounding beneath an avalanche of psychedelic guitar, the vocals, shadows flitting across the molten surface of these tracks, barely audible just another layer of dense fuzz.
So how does this record stack up to the rest? We mentioned that the last release, the tour only Abstractions And Mutations, was the band's fiercest yet, but Heads On Fire might have us reassessing. Cuz this has to be exactly what it would sound like if your head was indeed on fire.
The opener is a heavy as fuck space rock romp, right out of the gate, a wall of buzzing wah wah guitar is loosed, and all you can do is hang on for the ride, it's like Spacemen 3 on speed, that same sort of billowy tripped out warm guitar buzz, but souped WAY up, supercharged, a blinding supernova of freaked out garage rock psychedelia. But the track right after that is way riffier, a serious Stooges-y stomp, plenty of guitar crunch and psychedelic squalls, but the vocals are more present, a sort of Wyndorf style lord mother fucker drawl, wrapped in reverb and draped over the jagged riffing and pounding drums.
Then there's "Don't Be Afraid", which begins with whipping wind and distant foghorns, ominous and mysterious, a phone being dialed, ringing and ringing, the band gradually coming in, a slow lope, simple tribal drums, a laid back guitar line, soft fuzzy swells of sound in the background, a lugubrious slow build, the vocals howled and spacey, reverbed and dripping with delay, the guitar getting gradually more and more jagged and distorted, until everything drops out, just wind, and muted electronics, muffled FX, the bass line creeping along steadily, bits of melody drifting by, the vocals come back in and BAM the band takes off, the guitar spitting flames, the drums falling down a mineshaft, a huge tangle of psychedelic space rock chaos, and then nothing, a weird, barely there, 5 minute outro, bits of guitar, creaking and buzzing, more wind, and finally silence.
And in case that last 30 minutes, and those last 5 in particular, had you forgetting just where you were, the band shuts things down with 4+ minutes of furious fuzz and pummeling pound, thick and corrosive, and so distorted the riffs seem to melt into each other, the vocals sung from the bottom of a well, a bit of start stop dynamics, replete with creepy giggling children, and then the perfect send off, a sky full of psychedelic fireworks, multicolored streaks of white hot guitar, a blinding ear full of sonic pyrotechnics like staring straight into the sun.
For those of you who don't want the vinyl OR the cd (also in stock), but still would like to iPod this, we promised Thrill Jockey we'd mention that you can buy this as a download-only at their online mp3 storefront, here: http://fina-music.com/catalog/index.html?id=103962.
MPEG Stream: "Radiate"
MPEG Stream: "Ocean Sound"

album cover WICKED KING WICKER The Serpent's Psalm (Magnetica Nocturnus) lp 14.98
Brand new slab of extreme ultra low end slow motion doom-ed brutality from this NY outfit, whose last few records have left us beaten and bloodied and jonesing for more.
These guys have been around for a while apparently, but we only discovered their beautifully caustic downtuned din last year, with two records, their s/t debut (re-listed elsewhere on this week's update) and their second record Flydust. Both pushed all the right buttons, SUNNO))), Skullflower, Blue Sabbath Black Cheer, Khanate, Bunkur, Moss, just unbelievable heavy and sludgy, blackened and glacial, dripping and oozing with atmosphere, textures and drones, not just run of the mill sludge, or boring, lean-the-guitar-against-the-amp guitardrones, no, this was a band, rocking out full force, albeit insanely slow, and crushingly intense. So here comes record number three, another super limited lp only release, two sidelong tracks, and hell, if it doesn't leave the other two in the dust.
We're listening to it at 33, which sounds perfect, but it sounds pretty bad ass at 45 too, and still slow and sludgey, EVEN at 45, but slower is better, and this is slow and thick and viscous and so so so heavy. All built on a super stripped down bass riff, the bass super distorted and crumbling, unfurling an impossibly slow doom-ic anti-groove, over and over and over, cyclical and hypnotic and trance like, ultra minimal, but in no way boring or simple, just mesmerizing, while all around that riff, the rest of the band fills up whatever empty space is left with, massive sheets of buzz and whir, distorted effects everywhere, layers upon layers, drones and textures, feedback and incidental melodies, all being dragged along in the wake of that main bass riff behemoth. Not sure how they do it, but the sound, beyond heavy, and drone-y, is super musical, and while not quite melodic, there is some melody buried under all that murk and grime, it's like super blown out space rock, slowed down to 3 or 4 rpm, still retaining some of it's blissed out spaciness, but setting it amidst a roiling sea of black sonic tar and creeping, lurching, lumbering heaviness.
The flipside, another side long black drone sludge doom epic, seems to have been birthed out of the same grim black sound hole that produced the first side, the same lugubrious creep, the same grim blackened atmosphere, but here that riff has been pulled apart, whatever black beasts lurk in the shadows has torn it to pieces, leaving just shards and fragments, a swirling churning chaos of dense processed low end, crumbling distortion, deep fractured drones, more atmospheric and ambient than the first side, but just as harsh and hellish and heavy. Imagine building a massive roaring fire, then taking a load of guitars and amps, all plugged in, cranked, and howling and moaning and feeding back, and tossing them into the fire, letting them twist and ooze and smoke, recording the sound of the guitars and amps dying, melting, slowly fusing into one charred blackened heap of blistered and blown out buzz. It's kind of like that.
Awesome packaging too, thick clear plastic sleeves, silkscreened in white, over a red slab of vinyl with no labels, and a printed single panel insert, with three tiny Dore woodcut cards bearing the band's initials. LIMITED TO 300 COPIES!!

album cover WINDY & CARL Instrumentals For The Broken Hearted - 2009 Tour LP (Blue Flea) lp 14.98
So Windy and Carl just rolled through our neck of the woods (we had the pleasure of sponsoring their show here in SF!!) and aside from unleashing an absolutely gorgeous set of dreamy pop-ambience, they dropped off a few hand painted, special edition tour lps for our lucky aQ W&C worshipers. This cool little lp comes complete with unreleased instrumental versions of songs from their latest Kranky full length, Songs For the Broken Hearted. There's even one track we've never heard or seen before called "I Won't", that could be one of our favorite instrumental tracks from this Michigan husband and wife dream duo.
These tracks are so spacious and beautiful in the usual Windy and Carl way, it's easy to tell they've been perfecting their dreamy sound long before the drone was even in style. Daydream inducing and wondrous, the album immediately provides a distant, cloudy headspace to get lost in. Housed in hand-painted, hand-stenciled, hand-numbered recycled LP sleeves, each with it's own unique design and look, these will be gone super super quick, so act fast if you want one. Limited to an edition of 500 on translucent green vinyl, so nice and so essential!!

album cover WOODEN SHJIPS Contact (Mexican Summer) 12" 16.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
The first sighting on anything Wooden Shjips related is usually all it takes to induce mass hysteria around these parts. Apparently, you, our loyal customers, feel the same, because man, we have sold a fuckload of Shjips records. We just can't get enough, and these guys deliver without fail every time. And now, right after their amazing Dos record, comes yet another offering, a two song 12" single featuring a Serge Gainsbourg composition, originally written for and performed by Brigitte Bardot, and a new version of "I Hear The Vibrations", which first appeared on the group's insanely limited Vampire Blues tour 7".
It's doubtful that anyone expected Wooden Shjips to go all French pop on us here. They don't. Instead, "Contact" sounds like the Wooden Shjips we all know and love, with warm bass grooves holding the foundation over a cool, midtempo drum beat with a nice tambourine accent. Bursts of filtered fuzz and wah guitar bubble and whoosh about as the organ pulses rhythmically, and the vocals, sung in French, add the perfect amount of mystery to this hazy rocker.
As awesome as "Contact" is, it's the flipside that really has everyone here going crazy. Why? Because "I Hear The Vibrations" is simply one of the coolest Wooden Ships songs to date, that's why. The song somehow manages to be both mellow and cosmically heavy, not in a typical "heavy" way, just... huge. It's a lumbering behemoth of hazed out stoner majesty that would go on forever if we had our way. To anyone - "anyone" being pretty much the majority of the human race - who hasn't heard this one yet, you'll just have to trust us. It's fucking essential. The few of you who actually got a hold of the 7" will also find a reason to snap up this son-a-bitch, because the version presented here (the "E-Z Version" according to the credits) is definitely the way to go. To quote the Mexican Summer website, it is " slower, grander, heavier, and dreamier, and takes full advantage of the 12" format for better fidelity and a truly blissful listening experience." Yep, pretty much. It's everything that was great about the song to begin with, but MORE of it in every conceivable way. Sooooooooooo so awesome.
But, like most things of this nature, and like everything on Mexican Summer, this is super limited, with only a scant 550 copies to be distributed throughout the globe (though we're told there will be second, equally limited pressing done soon). It also comes with a download card, but really, the best way to listen to this is stoned in your room with the lights on low and the stereo cranked all the way, not on your iPod on a crowded bus. The record itself, pressed on asskicking white vinyl, comes housed in a cool disco sleeve that was printed on a variety of colors. We just hope everybody likes green.
Once again, we can't recommend this band highly enough. When you listen, you'll realize that Wooden Shjips have done all the thinking for you and given you exactly what you wanted. Did we mention this was limited? Ready. Set. GO!!!!

album cover WORMSBLOOD In The Stars (Aurora Borealis) lp 14.98
The cd-r is long out of print, but for a limited time we've got a super deluxe vinyl version of this bizarre bit of grim, fractured blackness...
It doesn't really get any more METAL than this. Wormsblood. Killer name. Wicked illegible logo, the band name written out in the black roots of some hellish plant. Over a black and white photocopied canyonscape. Epic and windswept, snow covered and GRIM. The man behind Wormsblood is Wyrdskull, and to the black cause he contributes "common ritual tools, heavy-handed electro-overblood, vibrations of the unsilent dark tomes and the crossing of song and siege." Guests include Crimson Maaritkitaka who delivers "cryptwyrm bloodlet and akashic magnet", Vragknacht The Two-Handed, who offers up "battle-ready bloodsong", then the song titles: "Thundercall", "The First Dim Shinings (Of Those About To Awaken", "Ritual Of Bone And Horn", "Tolling Beyond Our Lunar Trance", plus they do a Manilla Road cover, "Street Jammer" and they even offer up a hearty "Hails to the fucking Mad Street Hammers".
But for all the pure troo metal action, the sound is anything but, which is most likely due to the fact that Wormsblood is very likely made up of folks from the free noise / freak folk scene, who in Wormsblood finally get the opportunity to indulge in their darker musical side, to touch that blackened part of their music soul, to unleash all those pent up demonic forces, and the result is a dizzying confusional blast of chaotic, lo-fi, muddled and muddy, freaked out and blown out, damaged what-the-fuck blackened METAL.
The closest comparison we could come up with is probably a black metal Faxed Head, which is pretty much all we'd need to hear. The vibe is definitely similar, the riffs a garbled buzzing mess, thick swaths of weird keyboard, the drums splattery and stumbling and blasting, the tape hiss, and random instrument buzz as much a part of the sound as the bands damaged black roar, then there are the vocals, hysterical shrieks, rumbling grunting moans, haunted howling, the tracks often crumbling into utter disarray, or coalescing into epic doomy pound, everything drenched in malfunctioning electronics and fried FX.
An absolutely dementedly genius fucked up black metal noiserock melt down....

album cover XASTHUR All Reflections Drained (Hydra Head) 2cd 14.98
Originally released on cassette, then on vinyl, now finally available on cd, including a bonus disc of unreleased tracks and sonic experiments. Packaged in a cool dvd style digibook. Here's what we had to say about the album proper, skip to the end for more on the bonus disc...
FINALLY, a new record from Xasthur, aka Malefic, a one man doom-ed depressive black metal machine, whose last release, Defective Epitaph was a huge hit around these parts, due in no small part to the shift from drum machine to actual drums, no programmed beats, actual kit bashing rhythms courtesy of Malefic himself, and the result was pretty stellar, creating a sound even more raw and murky and lo-fi than past efforts, but no less bleak or introspective or amazing. So now comes All Reflections Drained, and it's very much a continuation of Defective Epitaph, from moment one, the sound boomy and reverb drenched, echoey and WAY lo-fi, loping doomy guitars, stumbling midtempo drums, and then WOAH, the sound shifts, and the drums double time it under a layer of thick low end dramatic piano, creating some strange Skepticismy drift, over the relentlessly buzzing blackness below. The mix is REALLY weird, fractured and gloriously fucked up, the sounds shifting and merging into one another, the songs too, woozy and warped and seasick sounding and a bit waltzy, the drum sound super raw and distant and for the most part buried in the mix, minus some flurries of kick drum that practically explode. The guitars are washed out and melancholic, lumbering doomily through hazy clouds of muted buzz and soft focus hiss, lots of creeped out ambience, and dark soundscaping, way less of a focus on vocals, in fact several songs in, and we barely noticed any, minus some far off clean crooning and some rumbled mutterings, the usual blackened harsh rasps seemingly lost in the swirling off kilter mix.
If anything this record is a logical extension of the direction Malefic had been taking the sound of Xasthur, like a Defective Epitaph part two maybe, but somehow quite a bit doomier, and WAY weirder, more spaced out and experimental, with a serious focus on dark brooding non-metal parts, hints of slowcore and drone abound, some parts are downright orchestral, and the sound is definitely even murkier and mysterious than ever, dripping with buzz and tape hiss, blown out low end (that sounds like a tuba or something similar) and thick crumbling distortion, but fear not troo grim hordes, it's still plenty depressive and dolorous, minor key and epic, miserable and moody, gorgeously buzzy and bafflingly brilliant.
It's unclear exactly what the material on the bonus disc actually is, or where it came from. The booklet only offers these cryptic words: "This is simply a bonus disc. Nothing more. It has very little to do with the album 'All Reflections Drained.' Experimenting in between the chapters... that's what these songs are. Sme are literally exclusive. Some are not." Okay then. To our ears, it sounds like the perfect addendum to All Reflections Drained. Still murky and muddy and buzzy and blurry and doomy, a few of the tracks are weridly crunchy and gritty, one has what sounds like strings, making it sound like some weird black metal Sigur Ros or something, but then of course quickly crumbles back into filthy blackness. There's some cool acoustic ambience, very cinematic and soundtracky (this stuff would make a KILLER soundtrack for some avant horror thriller!), there's a bit of practice space pound, all stumbling lurching minimalism, some seriously creeped out guitarscapery, and more of that blackened post rock that has been creeping into more and more Xasthur jams. It almost plays like a proper disc 2, as in, not a bonus disc of odds and ends, and more a second half of All Refelctions Drained, and there are at least a couple of songs here that sound as good as if not better than anything on the first disc. Which means, everyone who bought the tape, or the 2lp, are probably gonna have to buy this too...
MPEG Stream: "Dirge Forsaken"
MPEG Stream: "Maze Of Oppression"
MPEG Stream: "Concealed Barren Thoughts (Bonus)"

album cover YETI #7 magazine + cd 11.95
Like an eclipse, or that comet that only passes by the Earth every eon or so, the long awaited arrival of the latest issue of the the kick ass music and arts magazine Yeti. Number seven for those keeping track. And as always, it's massive, packed with all sorts of good stuff, and it comes with a cd filled with rare and exclusive tracks from all sorts of bad ass bands.
In the magazine this time around there's new artwork from Mingering Mike (get his book, he designed his own record covers and sleeves for his imaginary bands, it's pretty fantastic), Grouper interviews Ilyas Ahmed, an interview with artist Jim Woodring, a rare manuscript from Abner Jay, an interview with author Lynne Tillman, noise poppers The Nodzzz, an interview with writer Rudy Wurlitzer, a selection of book covers from the '60s and '70s by Joe Brainard, a feature on artist/teacher/activist Nancy Dupree, awesme comics by developmentally disabled adults in the Full Life program in Portland Oregon, a feature on Jack Rose and The Black Twig Pickers, drawings by artist Bradley Earl (who also plays in Woods!), a conversation with Ripley from SF's own Wooden Shjips and loads of illustrations, photos, artwork, some fiction, and as always all the ads are crammed together in the back.
And as if that weren't twelve bucks worth already, there's that accompanying cd, with rare and exclusive tracks from Abner Jay, Dum Dum Girls, The Dutchess And The Duke, Eternal Tapestry, Crystal Stilts, Grouper, Woods, Fresh & Onlys, WOODEN SHJIPS and more!!

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album cover 3 HUR-EL s/t (Guerssen) lp 26.00
NOW BACK IN PRINT ON VINYL!!! Turkish psych fans! The first album from the Hur-el brothers, a self-titled longplayer from 1972. It's just as 'exotic' as Hurel Arsivi, but less overtly rock n' roll, being even more ethnic in flavor - though it's very far from a purely traditional Turkish music recording! There's definitely Western '60s rock influences, but don't expect much in the way of heavy guitar fuzz-fests. Rather, you'll groove to a infectious rhythmic feast with melodious singing that's rooted in 'old school' Middle Eastern music but has a cool sixties pop-era vibe as well.
The sonorous vocals (all in Turkish) are highlighted, backed by every hipster's 'oriental' beat fantasy. 3 Hur-el are equally effective when playing uptempo dances, or much slower, moodier numbers, so the whole disc's a treat.
MPEG Stream: "Ve Olum"
MPEG Stream: "Lazoglu"

album cover BAT FOR LASHES Two Suns (The Echo Label) lp 24.00
Also now on vinyl! Natasha Khan, the artist behind Bat for Lashes, is a one-woman wonder. Though assisted by numerous musicians (including Scott Walker (!) on "The Big Sleep"), Bat for Lashes is obviously Natasha's heart and soul project. When one person is the primary songwriter/musician, there's an almost undefinable connectivity and synergy in the instrumentation that is difficult to achieve with a "real" band. The interplay between vocals and synths, how one will flow into another and then back, just as the koto-inspired drum programming kicks in, it's brilliant. There's pretty, tinny piano synths, brooding gothic synths, and sweeping orchestral synths, with just enough violin or guitar or live percussion to keep it from sounding completely electronic. Honestly, the artist that comes to mind more than anyone else while listening to "Two Suns" is Kate Bush, and while that may be a turn-off for some, it's a huge freakin' compliment as far as we're concerned. Like Kate Bush, Bat for Lashes can turn what would otherwise be semi-cheesy instrumentation into interesting, beautiful songs. Highlights include the opening song "Glass" (a little bit Bjork, a little bit of the Creatures), the second song "Sleep Alone" (a whole lot of Kate Bush), and the Scott Walker duet "The Big Sleep".
MPEG Stream: "Glass"
MPEG Stream: "Siren Song"
MPEG Stream: "The Big Sleep (Featuring Scott Walker)"

album cover BECK One Foot In The Grave (Geffen / K) 2lp 32.00
Now available on nice heavyweight 180 gram vinyl!
Through all the genre's he's dabbled in, all the concepts he's fucked with, all the hits he's had, for many of us the story of Beck begins and ends with One Foot In The Grave. Recorded months before Mellow Gold, which ended up being released before it and turned Beck into a poster boy for the '90s alternative-nation, One Foot In The Grave is Beck's most stripped down, raw and impacting album. And a long time favorite of most folks around here.
Recorded by Calvin Johnson at Dub Narcotic Studios and released on K, this record shared much more in common with the humble raw sounds of the underground then it did videos on MTV, glossy photos shoots and all that would follow. The whole world seemed focused on "Loser" and and all the bullshit that came with Beck's sudden ascent to superstar status, but this record was proof that beneath it all was an amazing songwriter and a fantastic singer. While a stripped down lo-fi folksy/bluesy record sounds like such an ordinary thing now, back in the early '90s there really wasn't much of this going on. This was a decade before indie-folk would blow up big, it was the same year that Elliott Smith released his first solo album, the beginnings of a new burst of indie minded souls making folk music in a truly unique way. One Foot In The Grave was one of those records that kicked our asses, a record we could totally connect to, a record that we listened to ENDLESSLY. There weren't many singer songwriters around at the time who seemed to bring real grit to their sound, or who had any sort of unique perspective. Beck then was someone who you could tell loved Sonic Youth, Beat Happening and Neil Young, and was just sort of making real heartfelt songs, songs that sounded like they were being performed around a campfire, just us and beck, making s'mores, telling ghost stories and singing songs.
Rustic and haunting, simple and strong, One Foot In The Grave still sounds so great after all these years, and still manages to be the best sounding Beck record, even considering everything that came after!!
This reissue comes with sixteen bonus tracks (thirteen of which have never been released!)
MPEG Stream: "He's A Mighty Good Leader"
MPEG Stream: "I Get Lonesome"
MPEG Stream: "Teenage Wastebasket"

album cover BIOSPHERE Wireless Live (Touch) cd 15.98
Wireless is a pristinely recorded live album from Biosphere, the Norwegian pioneer of silken ambient techno, who has released a handful of stellar albums over the past two decades now. The set is a seamless interweave of various tracks from his previous records including the jazz inflected rhythms extracted from his Dropsonde album back in 2005 to the locomotive digital breakbeats on track "Kobresia" from his 1997 Substrata album, and sampling from Cirque dotted amongst the tracks. There are three cuts which hadn't appeared previously including a interlude of soft-focus static with field recordings and the book-ending "Pneuma" tracks that feature Biosphere recontextualizing the maudlin bellows of a trombone amidst his ambient wash and drift. For better or for worse, Biosphere leaves behind all of the Apollo recordings from the early '90s; after all, this was performed for a Touch Festival and released on Touch. So why not 'play' all of the hits from his ongoing Touch years?
MPEG Stream: "Birds Fly By Flapping Their Wings"
MPEG Stream: "When I Leave"

album cover CHILDREN Hard Times Hangin' At The End Of The World (Kemado) lp 14.98
NOW ON VINYL, all the better to appreciate the colorful cover art!
First encountered this NYC trio opening for The Sword and Slough Feg on tour out here last year. And it was an excellent match, if you like either of those bands, there's a good chance you'll dig Children too. Featuring ex-members of Early Man and S.T.R.E.E.T.S., these hipster longhairs have got some of that currently cool psychedelic indie ironic image stuff happening (they claim they play "peace metal" ferinstance, and probably wear more American Apparel than black leather)... but then when you press play, blam, the headbanging is ON. With abundant energy, galloping beats, raging riffs, rapidfire thrash technology, and a weensy bit of left field (for metal) artsiness! Plus, most crucially, plenty of Champsy guitar harmonies - and like the Fucking Champs, there's no bass, just two guitars and drums. Though, the band these kids remind us the most of is their labelmates SF's Saviours, with similarly badass blazing leads and gruff, not-so-melodic singing/screaming.
Yeah, there's some SWEET guitar action here, from the one mellow quasi-classical instrumental "H.T.H.A.T.E.O.T.W." to the extended dual guitar widdly-ness that makes the epic (nearly 10 minute) album-ender "Time Is The Living" so magnificent. Actually, these guys love to stretch out jamming on their axes all over this disc, with the likes of "Nuclear Bummer" over 7 minutes long, and opener "Advanced Mind Control" clocking in at 9:41. Inveterate air guitarists will wish they were even longer. Heck we'll take our ripping, indulgent metal where we can get it. If it's a so-called "hipster" metal band on Kemado, that's just fine if they shred like these guys do! We like their style.
MPEG Stream: "Subterranean Cities"
MPEG Stream: "Advanced Mind Control"
MPEG Stream: "Power Spirit"

album cover DOOM Born Like This (Lex) lp 17.98
Now also on vinyl...
It's been a few years since we'd heard from MF Doom, but he's finally back and has apparently dropped the MF part of his moniker. Thankfully, he still sounds as charged and bumpin' as ever. Featuring production by Madlib and even some by the late great J Dilla this should please fans of sample heavy beat driven hip-hop. No doubt, Doom has seriously great taste as the sample list on this record reads like an AQ favorites collection (ESG, Raymond Scott, Charles Bukowski, Giorgio Moroder). Born Like This won't let down fans of past Doom joints and once again, Doom continues to be a musical force to be reckoned with!
MPEG Stream: "Gazzillion Ear"
MPEG Stream: "Yessir!"

album cover ENIGK, JEREMY OK Bear (Lewis Hollow) cd 13.98
Jeremy Enigk has made some pretty remarkable records over the years, with his band Sunny Day Real Estate he pretty much created the EMO blueprint, one that would be copied by so many bands over the years, none of which could ever hope to evvoke the true emotion and melodicism of Enigk's songs. One of his best, and sadly most overlooked records was his first solo album, Return Of The Frog Queen, which found him once again drawing up blueprints, this time for orchestral and shimmering, immaculate songcraft realized into a sound that would later make folks like Arcade Fire, Rufus Wainwright, and The Decemberists household names. We've always had a HUGE soft spot for Enigk's voice and songs, but we have to admit his last few outings have left us a bit underwhelmed. Luckily, OK Bear finds him sounding better than ever. Not quite as precious or ambitious as that first breathtaking solo outing and not as full throttle and intense as Sunny Day Real Estate at their prime (though a few of these tracks definitely go there!), but for sure finding a really nice happy medium between those two worlds.
MPEG Stream: "Mind Idea"
MPEG Stream: "Sandwich Time"

album cover GREEN DAY 21st Century Breakdown (Reprise) cd 17.98
Some of us still remember seeing Green Day play at Gilman St. or small $5 all-ages shows in our hometowns (Phoenix, San Diego, etc.) and what a crazy evolution: from bratty, catchy pop-punk band on Lookout! to one of the most famous rock 'n' roll bands on the planet. We have to say mainstream rock could do a lot worse then Green Day, whose sound has adapted to fit the large arenas they now find themselves rocking all across the globe. For their latest you can tell they looked to the big guns of arena rock for inspiration, plenty of huge Who and Queen moments busting out on 21st Century Breakdown as well as a healthy dose of The Clash (of course). It does go on a bit longer then we think it needs to but we guess that's what all that arena rock excess is all about, right? There are definitely songs here that are already somehow stuck in our heads, and hell, for polished commercial radio rock Green Day still stand far above the rest.
MPEG Stream: "21st Century Breakdown"
MPEG Stream: "Know Your Enemy"

album cover HECKER, TIM Harmony In Ultraviolet (Kranky) 2lp 17.98
Finally available on vinyl again! Now domestically on Kranky, properly mastered across four (instead of just 2) vinyl lp sides!
Imagine the most beautiful music in the world. Then with an old thrift store camera, take a super grainy snapshot of that music. Fold up the photo and place it in an envelope and mail it to an address that no longer exists. 20 years later, happen upon an old abandoned post office, and discover that letter unopened, but browned with age, remove the photo and place it in your pocket. Lose those pants on a camping trip, only to discover them the next summer, all wadded up in a corner, sprinkled with a years worth of dust and cobwebs. Wash the pants, and only afterwards discover the photo. Prop in up in the window of the cabin to dry, where it sits soaking up the sun for the whole summer. Right before you leave, grab the photo of the most beautiful music in the world and place it in your book to mark your place. Place the book back on your shelf and forget all about it. Move several times over the course of the next several years, finally unpacking a dusty old trunk filled with books. Leaf through several of them, when suddenly the most beautiful music in the world flutters to the floor, dusty and tattered, worn and nearly transparent. Finally, tear it up into tiny pieces and drop them one by one into the speaker of an antique victrola, wind it up and what comes out will be Tim Hecker's Harmony In Ultraviolet.
We often reference Hecker when reviewing records by other practitioners of a similar soundmaking process, but there's something so pure and organic about the way Hecker composes and creates, how he deftly assembles and degrades his sounds and songs and melodies. Managing to sound modern but antiquated at the same time, viewing the world through sleep filled eyes, everything soft and fuzzy, sometimes intense and ominous, sometimes even dark and downright scary, but always suffused with a shimmering radiant warmth, making all of his sounds glow from within. Each song a weather worn snapshot, frayed and dusty, comfortable and lived in sounding. It's a music that requires close listening, a subtly immersive sound, but once inside it, once the sound is all around you, only then can you pick out all of the details, hear the hidden melodies, only then can you let go, and get completely lost in Hecker's gorgeous world of mysterious sound. Some of the most beautiful music in the world indeed.
MPEG Stream: "Rainbow Blood"
MPEG Stream: "Stags, Aircraft, Kings And Secrataries"
MPEG Stream: "Dungeoneering"

album cover I SHALT BECOME In The Falling Snow (No Colours) lp 16.98
We managed to get FIVE copies on VINYL of this grim depressive classic, direct from the band. WAY out of print. It was crazy limited. These are the only copies we'll ever be able to get, so grab one quick...
Yet another archival release from grim suicidal one man black metal outfit I Shalt Become, aka S. Holliman, who hails from Illinois of all grim places, and who, as far as we can tell, has been pretty much inactive for the last decade. This release was recorded way back in 1998 and was originally released as a demo credited to Birkenau, the name Holliman used before fortunately switching to I Shalt Become.
Like Wanderings before it, In The Falling Snow is a fantastic, and fantastically twisted chunk of sorrowful black misery. As doomy as it is black, heavily indebted to Burzum of course, but I Shalt Become shares much in common with other more modern practitioners of this sort of ultra grim, plodding midtempo blackness, Xasthur, Krohm, Nortt, Make A Change Kill Yourself, the riffs buzzing and crumbling, the temps loping and dirgey, the mood grim and dour, super atmospheric, not lo-fi necessarily, but murky and muddy and washed out sounding, dreary and drone-y, sweeping swaths of epic keyboard, and the vocals, an exhausted miserable sounding croak, as if most of the lifeforce has already drained away, not leaving enough vitriol to howl or shriek, just enough energy to barely get out these last words from a moldering old deathbed, the wasted, dead quality of the vocals perfectly matching the depressive mood of the music.
But even as miserable and despondent and depressive as these sounds are, they're also hauntingly and harrowingly beautiful, soaring strings, minor key melodies, super dramatic and ultra personal, everything weirdly soft focus and dreamlike, the buzz and plod blurred into gauzy dronemetal soundscapes, the double kick, a pulse buried beneath thick layers of billowing fuzz, the riffs looped and repeated into black buzzing mantras. Way recommended of course, for the miserable and the black hearted.
MPEG Stream: "Burning"
MPEG Stream: "In The Falling Snow"

album cover ISIS Wavering Radiant (Ipecac) cd 15.98
After flirting with mainstream success, and a more mainstream sound, it sounds like Isis have finally gone and done it. Which is not at all a bad thing, they've slowly been drifting that direction since day one, doing their best to shrug off the 'Neur-Isis' stigma that has dogged them since the beginning, and like any band, gradually expanding their sonic scope, looking for new sounds, new directions, trying to find a way to make music exciting and fresh, while still keeping true to the vision of the band, no matter how much that vision has changed.
Thus comes Wavering Radiant, easily their most fully realized record yet. Tighter. More concise. More about songs than sounds and textures. Lots more clean singing. Overall less heavy and more, well, poppy for lack of a better word.
Isis have finally made the transition from rulers of the underground, now existing in a strange place, for them at least, the mainstream. Playing arenas, getting written up in Rolling Stone and Spin, playing shows with HUGE bands, rockstars even, and the sound sort of reflects that. Or maybe more accurately, their shifting sound pushed them in that direction. It's not at all hard to imagine these songs in an arena setting, or even hearing them on modern rock radio, we're reminded of Tool a lot of the time, epic, sprawling, chugging churning minimal metallic grooves, hooks everywhere, but often draped over obtuse riffage or brooding post rock pound, but thankfully, Isis are not nearly as dark as Tool, they're still heavy, but the heaviness is more measured, more controlled. In fact, the bellowing 'metal' vocals are almost a distraction a lot of the time, and we never thought we'd say this, but we almost wish they would ditch them entirely, and pursue their pop muse, continue to create well crafted metallic post rock, but push even further, they are well adept at creating heaviness out of un-heavy elements, just check out album closer "Threshold Of Transformation", an epic slow burning build, that just keeps ratcheting up the tension, layered guitars, crooned clean vocals, might be the best jam on the record.
If you've been with Isis since the beginning, nothing on Wavering Radiant should surprise you, it's more like a distillation of what they'd been aiming for all along. It's probably not heavy enough for the Isis fans who still count Celestial or Oceanic as their favorites, the crushing chugs are few and far between, but for the rest of us, it's a pretty great balance between the Isis of old, and whatever it is they're poised to become. And the more we do listen to Wavering, the more it reveals a band at the top of their game, and the more it reveals ITSELF, as a record that will most likely grow on even the most jaded of ears....
MPEG Stream: "Hall Of The Dead"
MPEG Stream: "Ghost Key"

album cover ISIS Wavering Radiant (Ipecac) 2lp 28.00
After flirting with mainstream success, and a more mainstream sound, it sounds like Isis have finally gone and done it. Which is not at all a bad thing, they've slowly been drifting that direction since day one, doing their best to shrug off the 'Neur-Isis' stigma that has dogged them since the beginning, and like any band, gradually expanding their sonic scope, looking for new sounds, new directions, trying to find a way to make music exciting and fresh, while still keeping true to the vision of the band, no matter how much that vision has changed.
Thus comes Wavering Radiant, easily their most fully realized record yet. Tighter. More concise. More about songs than sounds and textures. Lots more clean singing. Overall less heavy and more, well, poppy for lack of a better word.
Isis have finally made the transition from rulers of the underground, now existing in a strange place, for them at least, the mainstream. Playing arenas, getting written up in Rolling Stone and Spin, playing shows with HUGE bands, rockstars even, and the sound sort of reflects that. Or maybe more accurately, their shifting sound pushed them in that direction. It's not at all hard to imagine these songs in an arena setting, or even hearing them on modern rock radio, we're reminded of Tool a lot of the time, epic, sprawling, chugging churning minimal metallic grooves, hooks everywhere, but often draped over obtuse riffage or brooding post rock pound, but thankfully, Isis are not nearly as dark as Tool, they're still heavy, but the heaviness is more measured, more controlled. In fact, the bellowing 'metal' vocals are almost a distraction a lot of the time, and we never thought we'd say this, but we almost wish they would ditch them entirely, and pursue their pop muse, continue to create well crafted metallic post rock, but push even further, they are well adept at creating heaviness out of un-heavy elements, just check out album closer "Threshold Of Transformation", an epic slow burning build, that just keeps ratcheting up the tension, layered guitars, crooned clean vocals, might be the best jam on the record.
If you've been with Isis since the beginning, nothing on Wavering Radiant should surprise you, it's more like a distillation of what they'd been aiming for all along. It's probably not heavy enough for the Isis fans who still count Celestial or Oceanic as their favorites, the crushing chugs are few and far between, but for the rest of us, it's a pretty great balance between the Isis of old, and whatever it is they're poised to become. And the more we do listen to Wavering, the more it reveals a band at the top of their game, and the more it reveals ITSELF, as a record that will most likely grow on even the most jaded of ears....
MPEG Stream: "Hall Of The Dead"
MPEG Stream: "Ghost Key"

album cover LIQUORBALL W/ STEVE MACKAY Evolutionary Squalor (Rocketship Records) lp 15.98
We LOVE Liquorball. Distorted, drugged out, off kilter, noisy, space-y, dirgey, seriously fucked up and freaked out sludgey garage rock genius. Someone needs to do a cd reissue of all the old out of print lps (there have been rumors, tUMULt? Holy Mountain?), but these guys keep plugging away, this latest vinyl-only sonic behemoth finds the newly expanded Liquorball mixing it up with legendary saxophonist Steve Mackay (Stooges' Funhouse!) as well as another horn player and a viola player. Definitely sounds intriguing. And the horns definitely add a strange vibe to the proceedings, but we're not so sure it's for the better.
Where the sound of LB of old was transcendent, fucked up and blown out in a way that was difficult to understand, and hell, why even bother, all we knew was it sounded insane and amazing, the sound on this new record is weirdly tame, partially the horns, but also the recording, lo-fi for sure, but not as scuzzy and BURNT sounding as old recordings, they sound more like a bar band (which granted, they sort of always were, albeit a seriously demented and damaged bar band), the sort of band you might stumble across on a regular Saturday night, in a regular bar. A bit subdued, still space-y and a bit freaky, but not nearly as far out. The B-side though does get a little wilder, the effects nearly taking over, finally melting into an oozing sprawl of lysergic sonic weirdness, easy to get gloriously lost in, until the last couple minutes, where the band slip back into a sort of woozy, last call blues jam, which has us thinking that maybe they're taking the piss, since seconds earlier they were soaring through scorched landscapes of psychedelic space guitar freakery.
It might be that we're a little hard on this record, it's only cuz the other records kicked out asses so utterly and completely, that said, this is still a cool record, and the majority of side 2 should definitely hit the spot for folks looking for some spaced out psychedelia, but it's no Fucks The Sky, but then that was probably too much to hope for. By the way, Julian Cope just picked this as his Record Of The Month, so that's somethin'!

album cover MISS LANA REBEL All I Need (Wantage USA) cd 13.98
This dusty country gem, now available on cd!
Not sure how many of you remember Last Of The Juanitas, but they were a super bad ass, noisy and sloppy, wild and heavy post rock / math rock band from San Diego, who were legendary for their raucous live shows, and who put out a handful of awesome records, with a sound falling somewhere between Don Caballero, Drive Like Jesu, the Champs, June Of 44, that sort of thing. they never really got their due, but those records are definitely worth tracking down.
Also notable was their bass player, Lana, who besides being a bass ass bassist, was also pretty much everybody's inde rock crush, ourselves included. But here we are years later, and Miss Lana Rebel is a genuine country music chanteuse. And we're not talking No Depression, or alt country, this is genuine, minor key, twangy, heartbreak country music and it's so good. If there's any justice, everyone who loves Jolie Holland and Patsy Cline and everyone in between, will discover Miss Rebel and shower her with the love and affection that was denied her in Last Of The Juanitas.
Her voice is sweet and soulful, but just appropriately rough and raw, plenty of slippery lap steel, dobro, upright bass, even musical saw, the songs simple and striking, melancholy melodies, plenty of twang, so so so gorgeous. Country music fans, new and old, should definitely check this out.
Includes a song book complete with liner notes, lyrics and chords so you can play along.
MPEG Stream: "When I'm Gone"
MPEG Stream: "Loneliest Love Song"
MPEG Stream: "Dreaming Of You"

album cover PARKER, EVAN & JOHN WIESE C-Section (Second Layer) cd 15.98
Evan Parker - the venerable saxophonist and avant-jazz icon of the UK, known for his mastery of circular breathing - and John Wiese - the Californian noisenik with a vast array of lo-fi meets hi-tech strategies in gnarled sound - set forth on a series of collaborative concerts in 2008 throughout the UK. On an off day from performing, the two found themselves in the studio where they recorded these real-time improvisations. Parker's looping glissandos and continuous streamed notes result from his circular breathing techniques; and Weise musters a static-laced cacophony, cable buzz splutter, and start-stop tape mechanications given over to MSP control systems. Wiese doesn't succumb to any ill-informed desire to dress-up his noise constructs, if anything his abrasions with all of their soft and loud dynamics are as guttural and gurgling as ever. Well, they never hit the full-on sustained explosion of some of Weise's Sissy Spacek recordings; but what good would that do for Parker? If anything, this is a solid redux of the British improv ethos that Parker helped pioneer in the '70s.
MPEG Stream: "No Shoes"
MPEG Stream: "The Jist"

album cover REIGNS The House On The Causeway (Monotreme) lp 28.00
NOW ON VINYL! A few years ago, they surveyed a drowned, underwater village in a dammed up valley, and on the album before that, they lowered a microphone deep into a hole in the ground, making some unusual discoveries... well, not REALLY, but in their musical imaginations. Now, enter with Reigns into the 'house on the causeway'. That's right, it's the return of our favorite moody, mysteriously conceptual site-based post rockish indie gloom pop electronica act from England! Again they're exploring/evoking an imaginary locale, and what creepy things may or may not have happened there, through their mostly dreamy, little bit nightmarish music... They've got something in common with a lot of the artists on Miasmah and Type labels, though less soundscapey, more actually song oriented. They also are reminding us a lot of Tarwater this time around. Maybe that's accentuated by the inclusion of more in the way of vocals (usually quite processed, however) on some of the tracks here, while in the past they'd been primarily instrumental, with textual information (or disinformation) presented in the cd or 7" booklet...
The House On The Causeway seems to feature two (related) modes of song - the purely instrumental, slowly unfolding ones; and the slightly more uptempo ones with singing/rhyming and skittering drum beats... It's all quite lovely as always with Reigns, their looping piano notes and ambient electronics a blissful reverie, but also as always an eerily lurking menace persists, both sonically (minor key ominousness that emotionally suggests horrors but shocks only sparingly, as with the distorted noisy outburst at the end of "Crex, Crex, Crex") and intellectually via the accumulation of sinister signifiers in the cryptic lyrics, songtitles ("Everything Beyond These Walls Has Been Razed", "Mirrors At Night", "Your Tiny Hand Is Frozen") and artwork that the listener can't quite square with the seemingly sweet music, music that seems to conceal whispers and weepings.
MPEG Stream: "Bad Slate"
MPEG Stream: "Vaulted"
MPEG Stream: "The Black Cramp"

album cover SOULEYMAN, OMAR Highway To Hassake: Folk & Pop Sounds Of Syria (Sublime Frequencies) 2lp 30.00
FINALLY AVAILABLE ON VINYL, and super limited, bound to sell out and go out of print before you know it...
The ever-reliable Sublime Frequencies label opens our ears to new frontiers of amazing sounds, AGAIN. "World music" isn't just what Putumayo puts out, y'know. Any adventurous music-fan should by now know to pick up each and every Sublime Frequencies release as they appear, you won't be disappointed. This latest release presents some "Folk And Pop Sounds Of Syria" in the form of a "best-of" collection of tunes by one Omar Souleyman, selected (and explicated in the liner notes) by AQ pal Mark Gergis (of Porest, Neung Phak, Mono Pause). Mark was the compiler of previous Sublime Freq faves like Choubi Choubi, Molam: Thai Country Groove, and Cambodian Cassette Archives. Already we hope you're eager to hear this disc, which features a variety of traditional folk forms from Souleyman's homeland and nearby countries supercharged with synth, the rapid fire results sounding something like a Middle Eastern version of Aavikko, almost. It'll make you sweat just listening to it. This stuff simply shreds. And when it's more mellowed-out, Souleyman's music is gorgeous too.
Now, we don't usually like to quote label press-releases whole-hog, but Sublime Frequencies has provided a lot of factual info on Souleyman and his music that any potential purchaser will find of interest, and so rather than paraphrase, here's what they said about this, it should certainly pique your curiosity all the more (though we'll tell you right now without further ado, GET THIS):
"Omar Souleyman is a Syrian musical legend. Since 1994, he and his musicians have emerged as a staple of folk-pop throughout Syria, but until now they have remained little known outside of the country. To date, they have issued more than five-hundred studio and live-recorded cassette albums which are easily spotted in the shops of any Syrian city. Born in rural northeastern Syria, he began his musical career in 1994 with a small group of local collaborators that remain with him today. The myriad musical traditions of the region are evident in their music. Here, classical Arabic mawal-style vocalization gives way to high-octane Syrian dabke (the regional folkloric dance and party music), Iraqi choubi and a host of Arabic, Kurdish and Turkish styles, among others. This amalgamation is truly the sound of Syria. The music often has an overdriven sound consisting of phase-shifted Arabic keyboard solos and frantic rhythms. At breakneck speeds, these shrill Syrian electronics play out like forbidden Morse-code, but the moods swing from coarse and urgent to dirgy and contemplative in the rugged anthems that comprise Souleyman's repertoire. Oud, reeds, baglama saz, accompanying vocals and percussion fill out the sound from track to track. Mahmoud Harbi is a long-time collaborator and the man responsible for much of the poetry sung by Souleyman. Together, they commonly perform the "Ataba," a traditional form of folk poetry used in Dabke. On stage, Harbi chain smokes cigarettes while standing shoulder to shoulder with Souleyman, periodically leaning over to whisper the material into his ear. Acting as a conduit, Souleyman struts into the audience with urgency, vocalizing the prose in song before returning for the next verse. Souleyman's first hit in Syria was "Jani" (1996) which gained cassette-kiosk infamy and brought him recognition throughout the country. Sublime Frequencies is honored to present the Western debut of Omar Souleyman with this retrospective disc of studio and live recordings spanning 12 years of his career, culled from cassettes recorded between 1994 and 2006. This collection offers a rare glimpse into Syrian street-level folk-pop and Dabke - a phenomena seldom heard in the West, not previously deemed serious enough for export by the Syrians and rarely, if ever, included on the import agenda of worldwide academic musical committees."
Got it? Get it. Recommended!
MPEG Stream: "Leh Jani"
MPEG Stream: "Atabat"
MPEG Stream: "Don't Wear Black, Green Suits You Better"

album cover TAPE Luminarium (Immune) lp 14.98
NOW AVAILABLE ON VINYL!!! Some folks try really hard to create pretty sounds, but there are those special folks who just naturally have some preternatural ability to create majestic beauty without it ever sounding forced or contrived. The Swedish trio Tape are shining examples of just such a group, able to make lush and textured sounds that are as engaging as they are pleasing. After a couple recent reissues of older Tape recordings, we were really excited to find what their new record would sound like. And with the opener "Beams" we were greeted with what might be a contender for our favorite song of the year! A song that invites you in with warm swirling analog synths and takes you on such a dreamy ride that it feels like being on a tranquil slide up in the clouds as it takes delicious soft turns and dips through the sky. Luckily the rest of the record follows and flows with equal beauty and such a delicate touch. Tape really put to shame just about everyone else who try their hand at dreamy instrumental post-rock. Their songs aren't as simple as just being moody or melancholic instead they truly create their own world, one that glows with a cascading and illuminating vision. Highly recommended!
MPEG Stream: "Beams"
MPEG Stream: "Reperto"
MPEG Stream: "Mystery Mutiny"

album cover YO LA TENGO I Can Hear The Heart Beating As One (Matador) lp 26.00
Back print on vinyl!! Now all heavy duty 180 gram. Here's what we had to say the first time around..
Yo La Tengo put a lot of lovin' into each of their albums and over the years have moved further and further away from the raw electric guitar feedback outbursts of their early songs in favor of warm, pretty organ drone lines -- leaning towards a more overall mellow grooviness. But they've done so without sacrificing any of their ultra catchy pop hooks, and for that we are ever so happy and grateful!





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----* Compilations :
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album cover V/A Eccentric Soul: Smart's Palace (Numero Group) 2lp 21.00
Now On Double Vinyl!
This time out the mighty Eccentric Soul series focuses on the dingy and delightful venue Smart's Palace, located in Witchita, Kansas which during the years of 1963-1975 was ground zero for all the best sweaty, sensual and romping soul being played around that town. While the club did get a few big names in their time, both James Brown and Aretha Franklin once played there, its bread and butter were the nationally unknown but completely talented soul artists located in the tragically underrated scene going on down in Kansas.
The man behind Smart's Palace was Dick Smart who not only ran the club but also played music himself, promoted most of the shows AND ran his own label. In true DIY fashion he helped cultivate one of the richest soul scenes around, totally overflowing with true but untapped talent. This has got to be the sexiest, sweatiest, most romantic, sultry and sexual set of songs that has come out of the Eccentric Soul series yet. So many amazing voices on here, some as smooth as butter, others as commanding as a drill sergeant of love. Fans of folks like Eddie Kendricks, Al Green, and Curtis Mayfield will find so much to dig as as the new to us artists here like Baby Neal, Fred Williams and Kenneth Car offer up songs that we could listen to over and over and still get down and dirty with their raw yet flawless true soul grooves.
MPEG Stream: BABY NEAL & THE SMART BROTHERS "I'm Not Ashamed"
MPEG Stream: THERON & DARRELL "It's Your Love"
MPEG Stream: TIM JACOB "Mercy Baby"

album cover V/A Kung Fu Super Sounds (De Wolfe) lp 21.00
NOW AVAILABLE ON VINYL!!! Soon after heaping tons of praise on the mighty Enter The Dragon Soundtrack, we're thrilled to also see this killer compilation of unreleased De Wolfe library tracks drawn from the legendary Shaw Brothers martial arts films circa 1976-1984. If you've seen a Hong Kong Ku Fu flick of that vintage, chances are good you've seen a Shaw Bros. movie. Influencing everyone from The Wu-Tang Clan to Quentin Tarantino, these low-budget "bashers" with insanely impossible story lines have fed the fertile imaginations of midnight movie geeks for years. These 43 movie cues hand-picked by Gareth "Cherrystones" Goddard, Joel Martin and Jon Jigoku, display quite a sweeping emotional range of sounds: moody spy themes, old west-style standoffs, funky Moog passages, ritual drums, suspicious flutes and percussion, tense orchestrations, haunting siren song. The best part is the names the De Wolfe library gave the cues: "Electro Beat 5", "Nerve Stretch 2", "Tension Trip", "Moonbird", "Bitter Lemons", "Dogarnit". For the library music fan or martial arts geek in your life!
MPEG Stream: "Perceptions In Rhythm"
MPEG Stream: "Moonbird"
MPEG Stream: "Dr. Witch-Wot"
MPEG Stream: "Crime Club"
MPEG Stream: "For and Against"
MPEG Stream: "Dogarnit"
MPEG Stream: "Moog Shot 25"

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----* In Stock, Not Yet Reviewed :
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If you want to order one of these, just search for the item, then click on the buy button and it will be added to your cart!

ACID WITCH "Witchtantic Hellucinations" (Razorback) cd 13.98
ADA "Mixtape #1 / Adaptions" (Kompakt) cd 15.98
AKRON / FAMILY "Set 'Em Wild, Set 'Em Free" (Dead Oceans) cd/2lp 14.98/17.98
ALASEHIR "Tormenting The Metals" (Important Records) lp 22.00
ALTAR OF OBLIVION "Sinews Of Anguish" (Shadow Kingdom) cd 16.98
ALUMBRADOS "Monochord" (Important Records) lp 22.00
AMBER ASYLUM "Bitter River" (Profound Lore) cd 13.98
BARDOT, BRIGITTE "Love Is My Profession" (El Records) cd 15.98
BLACK METEORIC STAR "Death Tunnel" (DFA) 12" 8.98
BLACKOUT BEACH "Skin Of Evil" (Soft Abuse) cd 14.98
BLOODHORSE "Horizoner" (Translation Loss) cd 14.98
BOXCUTTER "Arecibo Message" (Planet-Mu) cd/2lp 14.98/17.98
BRITISH SEA POWER "Man Of Aran" (Rough Trade) cd+dvd 14.98
BROUGHTON BAND, EDGAR "Demons At The Beeb" (Hux) cd 19.98
BROWN, JAMES "The Singles: Volume Seven 1970-1972" (Hip-O-Select / Polydor) 2cd 31.00
BUTTHOLE SURFERS "Brown Reason To Live" (Alternative Tentacles) lp 9.98
COHEN, LEONARD "Live Songs" (Sundazed) lp 21.00
COHEN, LEONARD "New Skin For The Old Ceremony" (Sundazed) lp 21.00
COHEN, LEONARD "Songs From A Room" (Sundazed) lp 21.00
CRIPPLED BLACK PHOENIX "200 Tons Of Back Luck" (Invada) cd 15.98
DARK FOREST "s/t" (Eyes Like Snow) cd 13.98
DAWN OF WINTER "The Peaceful Dead" (Massacre) cd 15.98
DOUBLE DAGGER "More" (Thrill Jockey) cd/lp 14.98/15.98
DUKES OF STRATOSPHEAR "25 O'Clock" (Ape House) cd 21.00
DUKES OF STRATOSPHEAR "Psonic Psunspot" (Ape House) cd 19.98
DUMONT, OLIVIER "Living In Holes And Disused Shafts" (Utech Records) cd 16.98
EBTEKAR, ATA AND THE IRANIAN ORCHESTRA FOR NEW MUSIC "Performing Works Of Alireza Mashayekhi" (Sub Rosa) cd 16.98
EDLING, LEIF "Songs Of Torment Songs Of Joy" (Candlelight) cd 14.98
EL MICHELS AFFAIR "Enter The 37th Chamber" (Fat Beats) cd 15.98
EMTIDI "Saat" (Lion Productions) cd 14.98
FENNESZ / DAFELDECKER / BRANDLMAYR "Till The Old World's Blown Up And A New One Is Created" (Mosz) 2cd 16.98
FENRIZ' RED PLANT / NATTEFROST "Engansgrill" (Indie Recordings) cd 17.98
FLAMIN' GROOVIES "Flamingo & Teenage Head" (Rev-Ola) cd 16.98
FRANZ FERDINAND "Blood" (Domino) cd 13.98
GALACTIC RAMBLE "A Peregrination Through British Rock, Pop, Folk, And Jazz Of The 1960's And 1970's" (Fox Cote Books) book 57.00
GANGLIANS "Monster Head Room" (Weird Forest) lp+7" 18.98
GOG "Mist From The Random More" (Utech Records) cd 14.98
GREY WOLVES, THE "Judgement" (Hospital) cd 14.98
HAMPSON, ROBERT "Vectors" (Touch) cd 15.98
HAWKWIND "P.X.R.5" (Atomhenge / Cherry Red) cd 23.00
HAWKWIND "Quark, Strangeness, And Charm" (Atomhenge / Cherry Red) 2cd 25.00
HAZLEWOOD, LEE "Movin' On" (Ace) cd 13.98
HEADDRESS "Lunes" (No Quarter) cd/lp 13.98/13.98
HENRIKSEN, ARVE "Cartography" (ECM) cd 16.98
HIGH RISE "Psychedelic Speed Freaks Live 1986" (PSF) dvd 27.00
HYPNOTIC BRASS ENSEMBLE "s/t" (Honest Jon's) cd/2lp 17.98/22.00
IBRAHIM, ABDULLAH "Senzo" (Sunnyside) cd 16.98
IRON MAN "I Have Returned" (Shadow Kingdom) cd 12.98
IRONSWORD "Overlords Of Chaos" (Shadow Kingdom) cd 12.98
KHANATE "Clean Hands Go Foul" (Hydra Head) cd 14.98
KRENG "L'Autopsie Pheneomenale De Dieu" (Miasmah) lp 19.98
LADY SOVEREIGN "Jigsaw" (Midget Records) cd 11.98
LAZARUS "Trickster" (St. Ives) lp 14.98
LOS NATAS "El Nuevo Orden De La Libertad" (Small Stone) cd 14.98
MAHIKARI "s/t" (Birdman) lp 14.98
MASSIERA, JEAN-PIERRE "Midnight Massiera" (Finders Keepers) cd 23.00
MOON PHANTOMS "s/t" (Important Records) lp 22.00
MORDANT MUSIC / SHACKLETON / VINDICATRIX "Picking O'er The Bones" (Mordant Music) cd 16.98
MT. EGYPT "III" (Secret Seven) lp 14.98
MUELLER, JON "Physical Changes" (Radium) lp+cd+dvd 25.00
NADJA "Belles Betes" (Beta-Lactum Ring) lp 24.00
NITE-LITERS "A-nal-y-sis" (Dusty Groove America) cd 13.98
OFEGE "Try And Love" (Acadamy) cd 15.98
OGRE "Plague Of The Planet" (Shadow Kingdom) cd 13.98
OLD MAN'S CHILD "Slaves Of The World" (Century Media) cd 15.98
PALAIS SCHAUMBURG "Lupa" (Phonogram / Tapete) cd 17.98
PALAIS SCHAUMBURG "s/t" (Phonogram / Tapete) cd 17.98
PARLIAMENT FUNKADELIC "1976 Live Mothership Connection" (Mojo Working / Shout Factory) dvd 14.98
PHOENIX "Wolfgang Amadeus" (Glass Note) cd 11.98
POP, IGGY "Preliminaires" (EMI France / Astralwerks) cd 13.98
PRETTY THINGS, THE "S.F. Sorrow" (Sundazed) lp 17.98
PRINCE BUSTER "Sings His Hit Song "Ten Commandments"" (Reel Music) cd 14.98
PUBLIC IMAGE LTD. "The Flowers Of Romance" (4 Men With Beards) lp 16.98
RACEBANNON "IV: Acid Or Blood" (Southern) cd 14.98
RUBY THROAT "s/t" (Sleep Like Wolves) cd 14.98
SAMAEL "Above" (Nuclear Blast) cd 13.98
SCOTT, GLORIA "What Am I Gonna Do" (Reel / Universal) cd 14.98
SECRET CHIEFS 3 "Le Mani Destre Recise Degli Ultimi Uomini" (Web Of Mimicry) cd/lp 13.98/14.98
SIMONES, AL "Corridor Of Dreams / Enchanted Forest" (South Side) cd 24.00
SONIC YOUTH "The Eternal" (Matador) cd/2lp 13.98/32.00
SPIRAL JOY BAND "Little Sparrow" (VHF) cd 13.98
SPIRAL JOY BAND "Pleasure Is The Headlight" (Uzu Audio) 2lp 29.00
STONE GARDEN "s/t" (Shadow Kingdom) cd 12.98
SUN CITY GIRLS "Napoleon & Josephine: Singles Volume 2" (Abducted) cd 16.98
TOURE, VIEUX FARKA "Fondo" (Six Degrees) cd 15.98
TRAD GRAS OCH STENAR "Hemlosa Katter (Homeless Cats)" (Gashud / Subliminal Sounds) cd/2lp 17.98/34.00
TREMBLING BELLS "Carbeth" (Honest Jons) cd/lp 17.98/17.98
V/A "100% Dynamite NYC!" (Soul Jazz) 2cd 25.00
V/A "Acid Dreams - Testament" (Past & Present) cd 17.98
V/A "Dub Echoes" (Soul Jazz) 2cd 25.00
V/A "Not Given Lightly: A Tribute To The Giant Golden Book Of New Zealands Alternative Music Scene" (Morr) 2cd/3lp 21.00/29.00
V/A "Open Strings" (Honest Jon's) 2cd/4lp 22.00/55.00
V/A "Panama! 2 : Latin Sounds, Cumbia Tropical, & Calypso Funk On The Isthmus 1967-77" (Soundway) cd 16.98
V/A "Rocky Mountain Low: The Colorado Musical Undergeround Of The Late 1970's" (Hyperpycnal) 2lp+cd 29.00
V/A "Roll Your Moneymaker (Early Black Rock 'N Roll)" (Trikont) cd 24.00
V/A "School Me! Vol. 1 (1968-1975)" (Stage Band Research) lp 21.00
V/A "Take Me To The Water: Immersion Baptism In Vintage Music And Photography 1890-1950" (Dust-To-Digital) book + cd 34.00
V/A "Thai Funk ZudRangMa" (ZRM) cd 23.00
V/A "This Is Happening Without Your Permission" (Teardrops) lp 14.98
VAN DER GRAAF GENERATOR "Time Vaults" (Abstract Sounds) cd 13.98
VANDERSLICE, JOHN "Romanian Names" (Dead Oceans) cd/lp 14.98/14.98
VILE, KURT "God Is Saying This To You" (Mexican Summer) lp 15.98
WEIRD OWL "Ever The Silver Cord Be Loosed" (Tee Pee) cd 14.98
WITTHUSSER, BERND "Lieder von vampiren / nonnen und toten" (Wah Wah) lp 29.00
WOLF "Ravenous" (Century Media) cd 12.98
YELLOWBEARD "s/t" (Ultra Eczema) lp 30.00
ZEITKRATZER "Volksmusik" (Zeitkratzer) cd 17.98

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Please place your order via our website.

[1] We will contact you to verify your order and let you know when it will be shipped. Please note that occasionally it may take a day or two for us to reply. We are not a faceless bunch of computers replying to your order -- we are human beings!

[2] If we are out of some of your items and we think we will get them within the same week, we can wait to ship. Or... If it's going to be more than a few days to complete your order, we will ship what we have and then will contact you as the remainders arrive.

[ note ] Due to the everchanging nature of the independent record business, we are not responsible for listed price changes (due to supplier price changes) and often cannot update our site fast enough to reflect these changes, but we will always try to let you know of any differences.


DOMESTIC SHIPPING :
--------------------------------

1-2 items    $4.75 USPS Priority Mail
3+ items    $6.50 UPS Ground

Further Explanation (Please Read!):
Within the USA, an order of 3 or more items will be shipped via UPS ground for a flat fee of $6.50. These packages are automatically insured and trackable.

However, if your package contains just 1 or 2 items, we will ship your order via USPS Priority Mail, and charge you $4.75 for shipping. These packages are NOT insured or trackable, sorry. So if you desire those safeguards, please request UPS delivery at the $6.50 rate. You must mention this in the comments field of our online order form.

Also, please note that UPS will not ship to PO Boxes. If you only have a PO Box, we can ship packages of 3+ items via US Postal Service at the $6.50 rate. Special shipping needs (e.g. UPS Next Day) are also do-able, just ask.

Another important note: box sets DON'T (usually) count as one item. Sorry. A box set will generally bump you up into the "three or more items" category. Y'know, they're big. Boxes.


INTERNATIONAL SHIPPING :
-------------------------------- For foreign customers we ship via US AIRMAIL ("First Class International"). Your price is based on the actual cost of shipping plus $1. You can check the US Postal Service international rate calculator: http://ircalc.usps.gov/. (Use the "Package" category and see the price for "First Class International". 1-3 cds is usually 1 pound.)

We highly recommend insurance for your international package, but it is very expensive! You can check the US Postal Service international rate calculator: http://ircalc.usps.gov/. (Use the "Package" category and see the price for "Priority Mail International". 1-3 cds is usually 1 pound. 1 lp is usually a little over 1.5 pounds.)


INTERNATIONAL INSURANCE :
-------------------------------- You are hereby forewarned that Aquarius is not responsible if your international package gets lost in the mail. Insurance is your only recourse if your records never show up. Since the terrible events of 9/11, mail service has been slow and undependable... and while we haven't experienced any *confirmed* permanently lost mail, insurance might provide some additional piece of mind in this time of upheaval. We strongly recommend it. But yes, it is very expensive. It's your choice. Again: Aquarius is not responsible for lost mail, so if you aren't willing to take a (slight but real) risk, please buy the insurance.

International insurance is very expensive! In fact often the insurance costs more than the value of your package, in which case it obviously does not make sense to insure it. You can check the US Postal Service international rate calculator: http://ircalc.usps.gov/. (Use the "Package" category and see the price for "Priority Mail International", which is the way insured packages are sent. 1-3 cds is usually 1 pound. 1 lp is usually a little over 1.5 pounds.)

For example: for a one-pound package worth $18 going to England, shipping without insurance is about $11.00. But with insurance, the shipping / insurance total is over $26.00!

It is your reponsibility to check the international rate calculator in order to determine whether or not you want international insurance. If you tell us you want international insurance, we will add it to your order no matter how much it costs!


PAYMENT :
-------------------------------- We accept the following credit cards: Visa, MC, Discover, and Amex. We will not charge your credit card until your order is ready to ship.
Money orders are accepted only from customers within the USA. If you must pay by money order, you have to confirm the order with us through email or phone BEFORE you send any payment.
We also accept payment by Paypal. If you opt for this payment method, we will send you a paypal total and payment instructions as soon as we've confirmed your order with you. Please do not send payment until you have received human contact from our mailorder department. We cannot take personal checks for mailorder, sorry!


QUESTION?
-------------------------------- Email the mailorder department: mailorder@aquariusrecords.org
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SOME SELECTED UPCOMING RELEASES

----} sometime soon
Om "Live Conference" lp on Important
Loop "World In Your Eyes" cd reissue on Reactor
Loop "Gilded Eternity" cd reissue on Reactor
Slough Feg "Ape Uprising" lp on Iron Kodex
Acid Mothers Temple "Are We Experimental" cd
Bible Of The Devil "Freedom Rock" lp version
Bible Of The Devil / Blade Of The Ripper split 7"

----} June 9th
Sonic Youth "Eternal" cd/lp on Matador
Coalesce "Ox" cd on Relapse
Mos Def "Ecstatic" cd

----} June 23rd
Voivod "Infini" cd on Relapse
Tortoise "Beacons Of Ancestorship" cd/lp on Thrill Jockey
The Fiery Furnaces "The End Is Near" ltd. 12" on Thrill Jockey

----} July 21st
The Fiery Furnaces "I'm Going Away" cd/lp on Thrill Jockey

----} August 18th
Steven R. Smith "Cities" lp on Immune
Final "Reading All The Right Signals Wrong" cd on No Quarter

----} also upcoming sooner or later or sooner or later
Moss "Tombs Of The Blind Drugged" 2x10"
Der TPK "s/t" 12" on Captured Tracks
v/a "The World Is Shaking: Cubanismo From The Congo, 1954-55" cd/2lp on Honest Jon's
P.H.O.B.O.S. "Anoedipal" cd
Ocean "Pantheon Of The Lesser" 2lp version on Important
Moondog "s/t", "More Moondog", and "The Story Of Moondog" lp reissues on 4 Men With Beards
Bunkur "Nullify" cd on Displeased
Tortoise "Beacons Of Ancestorship" cd/lp on Thrill Jockey
Grumbling Fur (Guapo + Jussi from Circle) cd
Der TPK (Teenage Panzerkorps) "Games For Slaves" lp on Siltbreeze
Oxbow "Fuckfest" cd reissue on Hydrahead
Combat Astronomy "Earth Divided by Zero" cd
Rosetta "Wake/Lift" vinyl version
Anton Batagov "Passionate Desire To Be An Angel" cd on Long Arms Records
Black Boned Angel / Nadja collaboration cd/lp on 20 Buck Spin
Japancakes "If I Could See Dallas"
Wolfgang Voigt "Freiland - Klaviermusik" 12" on Profan
When "Are You Silent" cd on Jester/The End???
Sean Smith "Eternal" cd on Ultra Hard Gel
Jazzfinger "The Sun's Golden Blood" cd on Beta-Lactam Ring
Bohren & Der Club Of Gore "Mitleid Lady" cd/lp on Latitudes
v/a "Noise Room" cd on Soniq
Country Teasers / Ezee Tiger split lp on Holy Mountain
Erase Errata TBA cd on Kill Rock Stars
Xiu Xiu TBA cd on Kill Rock Stars
The Black Heart Procession TBA cd/lp on Touch And Go
Ted Leo and the Pharmacists TBA cd/lp on Touch And Go
Rodan TBA cd/lp on Quarterstick
Deftones "Eros" cd on Warner Bros.
Swell Maps "International Rescue" clear vinyl LP reissue on Alive
Black Lips "We Didn't Know..." green vinyl LP on Bomp!
Mikami Kan "-1" cd on PSF
Loss "Despond" cd on Profound Lore


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Lots of love from your devoted AQ staff

Andee Cup Jim AllanIrwinScottNickSallyJonandAndrew


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