[ aquarius records new arrivals list #352 ]
SEARCH by:


view shopping cart


new arrivals
about the store
about mailorder
gift certificates
t-shirts 'n undies
staff
customer photos
customer comments
old new arrivals list archive
film series about AQ
2007 CUSTOMER faves
2007 STAFF faves

2008 CUSTOMER faves NEW!
2008 STAFF faves NEW!

aQ blOg NEW!

A B C D E F G H I JK L M N O
P Q R S TU V W X Y Z Other

20th century composers
compilation / split
country/folk/blues
country/folk/blues ("no depression")
dvd / video / film
electronic
exotica / novelty
experimental
found sounds, field recordings, oddities
hiphop
hiphop (turntablism)
international
international (africa)
international (asia)
international (central / south america)
international (cuba)
international (europe)
international (french pop)
international (latin american psych/tropicalia)
japan
japan (noise/free/psych)
japan (pop)
jazz
local
metal
metal (black metal)
metal (stoner rock)
print
reggae/dub
rock/pop
rock/pop ('60s psych/garage)
rock/pop (goth/industrial/darkwave)
rock/pop (krautrock)
rock/pop (prog rock)
rock/pop (punk/hardcore)
soul/funk
soundtracks
spoken word & comedy

Past Records of the Week
Allan's Favorites
Andee's Favorites
Antaeus's Favorites
Cameron's Favorites
Cup's Favorites
Irwin's Favorites
Jim's Favorites
Jon's Favorites
Lauren's Favorites
Matt's Favorites
Pam's Favorites
Sally's Favorites
Scott's Favorites



Disclaimer:
Some items in our catalogs may be out of print or currently unavailable. All prices subject to change (we only change our prices when our costs change). We will always try to inform you of updated prices. Email our mailorder department for availability status. If you have general non-mailorder questions, email the store.



aQuarius recOrds
New Arrivals #352
13th August 2010



Beloved Customers and Friends:

Greetings lovely people... OMG, it's Friday the 13th! Oh boy. Now, on account of how we always do our lists on Fridays, we've grown accustomed to the occasional Friday the 13th list day, it's inevitable. Actually, we kinda welcome it, as the superstitious amongst us can use it as an excuse for any mistakes or screwups that occur... But still, fingers crossed, there'll be none of those.

And, suitably for a Friday the 13th list, we've got a bunch of great scary metal relases this week, including one of the Records Of The Week, but that one's also kinda pop too, and we have plenty of that sort of thing (pop) as well, along with all our other usual specialties, from Turkish psych to New Zealand experimental rock to Fantastic Finnish Forest Folk...

Here's our two Records Of The Week, both essential, seriously:

CLAIR CASSIS: The long awaited debut of this post Velvet Cacoon combo, the buzz and blur of VC, jammed into shorter 'pop' songs, with super melodic basslines, transforming black metal buzz into something much more gloomy and melodic and catchy and weirdly fucked up and brilliant! Limited vinyl release (but we WILL be getting a cd version soon too). Oh, and look below for a VC vinyl reissue with bonus material as well!

FABULOUS DIAMONDS: Second full length record from these Aussies, quasi-mystical post-Terry Riley time-lag accumulation and proto-electronica guitar riffs over stripped down slinky percussive grooves and motorik krautrock beats resulting in some seriously hypno-zoner bliss out; vinyl via Siltbreeze, cd on Chapter.

And here's all the Highlights, many of them quite essential too:

ANGEL FACE: Extremely expensive but extremely AMAZING triple disc reissue of everything ever recorded by these French Stooges worshipping rockers...
GILLES AUBREY: Stellar manipulated field recordings from the Swiss-born / Berlin-based sound artist, gorgeous packaging.
BITCHIN BAJAS: Blissed out kosmische synth drift dreaminess from this Cave side project!
BOTTOMLESS PIT: Brand new record of dour but rocking classic sounding indie rock from this post Silkworm combo.
BUSHMAN'S REVENGE: Avant rock/jazz instrumental rippage from Norway, on Rune G, includes a Motorhead cover!
JEFRE CANTU-LEDESMA: SUper limited tape of blissed out electronic drift from Mr. Cantu (Alps, Tarentel, Root Strata, etc.)
MIRA COOK: Brand new cd-r of lush looped vocal driven avant pop from this local fave.
COSMETICS: Dark synthy sexy dark wave sounds from these mysterious purveyors of seductive sonics.
CROCODILES: Killer new blast of Britpop infused sunshiney garage rock, featuring a killer mashed up Dee-lite / Beach Boys cover...
THE CURE: This classic disc of dour pop genius, reissued with TWO extra discs, including some amazing raw demos.
DETRITIVORE: From Norway, a dense layered blackened sound that's a dizzying hybrid of blacknoize, dark hypnotic dronemusic, and funereal doom. So awesome.
DZJENGHIS KHAN: Latest blast of groovy heaviness from these local, long haired, lost-in-time rockers, includes a Rodriguez cover!
EVERYTHING BUT THE GARGOYLE: Oblique and gothic sonic mysteries from this local duo.
ALASTAIR GALBRAITH: A brand new album of gloriously skewed minimal experimental bedroom folk and avant pop from this NZ legend.
GATE: The Dead C's Michael Morely resurrects his Gate project with this disc of lush guitar textures, Jeckian turntable loops, crooned lo-fi bedroom pop, and skittery IDM weirdness.
GET CARTER OST: One of our fave '60s sountracks, reissued!
GODFLESH: The all time industrial metal classic Streetcleaner reissued with a bonus disc of demos, versions and live tracks.
GRASSLUNG: First proper cd release of ethereal and ephemeral, hushed, minimal and slightly ominous, utterly beautiful dronemusic on Root Strata.
GRAVELAND x 2: Two early demos reissued from this classic Polish black metal Viking black metal horde!
HAMMERS OF MISFORTUNE x 4: Four classic albums from these Bay Area prog metal faves reissued, including finally THE BASTARD!!! Their stunning tUMULt debut... now on Metal Blade!
HOLY SHIT: A brand new 7" of twisted pop from this weirdo duo (featuring Ariel Pink!)
HORSEBACK: Reissue of this big time aQ fave: super intense, and super heavy psychedelic twang flecked metallic post rock...
HTRK: The awesome 2007 debut from these Aussie new wave miserablists, all swampy guitars, minimalist electronic programming and huge swaths of reverb!
MICHAEL HURLEY: Another fantastic reissue of an early sixties album from this legendary folky.
BOBBY JACKSON: Incredible lost jazz gem, with an equally incredible backstory, on the kick ass reissue label Jazzman.
SEU JORGE: A fantastic collection of covers from this amazing Brazilian vocalist, including covers of Michael Jackson and Kraftwerk!
K-X-P: Synth-laden '80s inspired "New Wave" from Finland, featuring the drummer from Circle/Aavikko, and thus some similar hypnorock sounds...
KEBOB: Killer eighties post punk / new wave reissue from these Belgian punks, who sound a bit like the Raincoats or the Slits. Awesome packaging.
KEMIALLISET YSTAVAT: Fantastic new record from these long time Finnish faves!
KNUT: Crushing gnarled heaviness from these Swiss heavies.
THOMAS KONER: All three of the recent vinyl reissues now available as a 3cd set. Bleak minimalism, breathtaking, and bone-chillingly beautiful.
LABYRINTHINE: Awesomely epic spaced out buzz drenched cosmic atmospheric symphonic black metal from the East Coast...
LONESUMMER: Brand new record of blissed out super distorted outsider blackness from this Philly one man black metal band.
MADLIB: Medicine Show number 7, featuting Madlib and co. exploring all sorts of different classic jazz sounds, incredible!
MONARCH: Latest disc of extreme glacial heaviness, ultra black beauty, these French crushers now augmented by an Australian drummer (from the Grey Daturas!).
JELLY ROLL MORTON: Another killer jazz/blues reissue from Monk!
NEON JUDGEMENT: Another awesome collection from Dark Entries, this one some early recording from Belgian new wave outfit The Neon Judgement.
BJ NILSEN & STULLUPPSTEYPA: An out of print cassette, now on vinyl, analog synthesis, captured, spliced, and cut, laced with vintage synth blips, sustained tones, and dark drones.
NO BALLS: A new 4 song blast of looped noise rock heaviness from this Brainbombs offshoot, SUPER limited, and SUPER kick ass...
ONEOHTRIX POINT NEVER: The title track from the most recent full length gets reinterpreted by Antony and then remixed by Fennesz!
DOLLY PARTON: Two classic country albums reissued on Omni, both super rare, one featuring all songs by maverick singwer songwriter Porter Wagoner!
PROCER VENEFICUS: Brand new double lp of celestial darkness and buzzing black ambient drift from this black metal / black ambient master.
PROCESSION: Majestic, cult old school true doom from Chile!
PURE ECSTASY: Super limited tour tape, the band experimenting with slow motion grooves and hazy psych dub... only a tiny handful of these in stock. 
PURE ECSTASY / SLEEP OVER: Total dream pop heaven, slow, hazy, woozy, and so pretty, new druggy jams from these two Texas dream pop combos.
MAX RICHTER: Fragile, subdued sonic miniatures, originally composed for a ballet, hushed and lovely.
RUSKO: Super eclectic and super fun collection of summery dubstep jams!
SCOTT PILGRIM VS THE WORLD: Soundtrack to the movie we're most dying to see right now, new music from Beck, Broken Social Scene and more...
SONNY & THE SUNSETS: A brand new 7" of stripped down perfect pop from these Bay Area faves.
SO PERCUSSION & MATMOS: Our favorite electronic weirdos collaborate again, this time with the awesome So Percussion Ensemble.
GABOR SZABO: Now also reissued on vinyl, this classic "Jazz Raga" album!
TAARMA: Insanely limited lathe cut 7" of murky black metal weirdness from this Pakistani one man band.
TEKHTON: Heavy dirge/doom metal plus post rock from the Netherlands, record number two.
TONSTRTSSBANDHT: Heavy blown out psych pop from the band responsible for that awesome tape of seventies Swedish psych folk from a few lists back. 
TOPAZ RAGS: Brand new 7" of murky muddy mysterious psych rock that RULES.
TWINSISTERMOON: Ultra limited lp of dreamy raga like drones and haunting otherworldly dark folke from one half of Natural Snow Buildings.
V/A TURKISH FREAKOUT: What more do you need to know, another awesome compilation of freaked out vintage Turkish psychedelia!
VELVET CACOON: The final record from Northwestern drugged out buzzdrone black metal duo (sometimes trio), finally available on vinyl, with a bonus track!
VERSUS: One of our favorite nineties indie rock bands returns with a brand new record, and it's a doozy!
VERTICAL SLIT: Early recordings of seventies acid prog, experimental home recorded garage psych avant art rock weirdness from Ohio! Pre V-3!
VIRULENCE: Crushing sludgy metal punk reissue, a band that surprisingly would later morph into stoner rock icons Fu Manchu!
MORITZ VON OSWALD TRIO: Incredible live set from this electronic minimal dub supergroup, presented as a super deluxe double lp and cd combo.
MATTHEW YOUNG: Medieval electronic folk music from the mid-eighties, drum machines and hammered dulcimer!!
ZUUL: Rad raging eighties style metal from the Midwest!

Plenty more, besides, so keep reading past the highlights, you find a new issue of The Wire, and many more now on vinyl goodness, etc. etc.

Also, a note to local folks, and anyone who might be visiting SF this fall, we're planning our fortieth anniversary party, that's right, Aquarius did turn 40 this year, and we've got something in the works, so please mark your calendars to "save the dates" of both October 24th and 25th... more details to follow, stay tuned!

---------------------------------------------------------------

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!

---------------------------------------------

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

---------------------------------------------

----*
----* Records of the Week :
----*

album cover CLAIR CASSIS s/t (Starlight Temple Society) lp 14.98
When we first discovered mysterious Northwestern black metal outfit Velvet Cacoon, it wasn't just their blown out buzz that had us enraptured, it was all the rumors and weird stories about the band itself, that they were some sort of eco-fascists, who had built a huge gasoline-driven HARP which was responsible for their massive buzz. We later discovered that the whole eco-fascist / droneharp thing was a ruse, a put on, the band intentionally fucking with what they considered to be a contemptible black metal scene. It was then revealed that Velvet Cacoon were in fact a couple of drug obsessed dandies, who when they weren't crafting some of the most stunning black metal weirdness, were waxing about the various drugs they took, and their decadent lifestyle. But all that stuff only made them more interesting, and gave the sound a certain twisted cachet, coming as it did from these unlikely creators.
As it happened, the band got fed up with the drama and the internet message board bullshit, and decided to scrap Velvet Cacoon entirely and start fresh. A new band, a new name and a new sound. Thus we have Clair Cassis, whose sound really is not all that far removed from the washed out black buzz of VC, but does distinguish itself in some important ways. The first being the song length. The band described CC in an interview as being a more pop Velvet Cacoon, and so it is, the shortest song is under 3 minutes, the longest just less than 7, the band forcing themselves to be more succinct, to move through their musical ideas in a more structured and less unhindered way, instead of letting songs and parts drone on and on. Not that we minded before, in fact, we like it when our black metal drones and buzzes endlessly, but there's something to be said for the opposite approach, which tends to force the write to craft SONGS more than SOUNDS. The other big difference is the bass. And with that the above mentioned pop element. The lack of bass in black metal is practically a running joke, the brittle buzz and furious blasting of most black metal generally relegating bass to a barely there buzz, so when a black metal band takes the bass, and makes it as much a part of the sound as the guitar, it changes the whole shape of the sound, in the case of Clair Cassis, gives it a sort of woozy, gothic, cold wave vibe, black metal is dour and depressive by its very nature, but here it's gloomy and haunting, an emotional sort of darkness and depression.
This new sound/direction is immediately noticeable on opener "Ambercandle" which begins all warped and woozy, the riffs twisted and seemingly melting over the pounding doomy drums, when the track finally kicks into gear, the bass drives the songs, thick and dense, the notes slippery, haunting gloomy low end swells that add some pathos to the already loping minor key dirge, besides that it makes the sound so much heavier. Even on the next track, "The Feathered Fog" which begins with a somewhat standard burst of blackness, droney and relentless, still the bass is there adding heft, and a melodic counterpoint to the frenzied riffage, and then when the song switches gear, lurches into halftime, the bass swoops right to the front and the song transforms into a woozy seasick dirge.
And as you listen, the record definitely reveals itself as more than buzzing black metal, and knowing what we do about the folks behind it, it's not hard to imagine them creating this otherworldly pop music, and simply choosing to cloak it in black metal finery, which definitely explains the catchiness, the heavy bass and buried grooves, but it's probably best to not analyze it too much. A casual glancing listen will definitely provide plenty of black metal pleasure, the guitars are thick and gnarled, the drumming (real this time it sounds like) heavy and blasting, the arrangements trancelike and hypnotic, with long stretches of deep shimmering drone music, as well as plenty of pounding doomic dirgery, Velvet Cacoon fans won't be disappointed, but digging deeper reveals all the other subtle sonic alterations that make Clair Cassis simultaneously much more accessible, but also even weirder than VC. The songs may be shorter, but they're no less complex and convoluted, in fact in some ways, they're even more, considering parts don't drone on, the band flits from part to part, from blast to plod to drift to blast again.
"Pearls & Pinesmoke" is another standout, a soaring blasting droner, thick with bass rumble and throb, grim enough, the drums a little loose and chaotic, the vocals a creepy croak, and then the breakdown comes, and it's total melodic black nirvana, half tempo, the guitar still buzzy, but the bass unfurling an insanely melodic and ridiculously catchy part, that totally transforms the song, and then the sound shifts again back to blasting buzz, somehow the bass remains, adding unlikely melody to even the blackest bits, and fear not, a part that good comes back again, fans of Alcest and Amesoeurs will be in heaven. And after a strange interlude, the track shifts again, into another woozy, differently melodic dirge, laced with more melodic bass, but this time wrapped around spidery acoustic guitars, all still wreathed in crumbling buzz.
Finally the record finishes with the awesomely titled "Hazelhearted In The Seaparlour", which explodes immediately into a dense churning blast, heavy and harsh and layered, with a strange midtempo bridge/chorus, that features a strangely bouncy, and again surprisingly melodic bassline, way up in the mix, changing the focus of the song, before dropping out again and letting the guitars take over, before the track finally fades out, leaving nothing but the wheezing strains of what almost sounds like elevator music, or the music they play in the middle of the night at outside malls, the sound here replete with random bits of found sound, footsteps and other curious ambience.
And just leave it to the fickle folks who disbanded Velvet Cacoon at the height of their popularity to nip their new band in the bud as well, which apparently is exactly what happened. Clair Cassis is no more. But what a way to go. There is a second record floating around, who knows if it will ever get properly released, but for now, this one is not surprisingly shaping up to be a serious contender for black metal record of the year!
MPEG Stream: "Ambercandle"
MPEG Stream: "The Feathered Fog"
MPEG Stream: "Kir Royale"
MPEG Stream: "Our Overwinter In The Ivories"

album cover FABULOUS DIAMONDS Fabulous Diamonds II (Chapter Music) cd 16.98
Much has been made about the Dual 7"+ cd set that Fabulous Diamonds released a few years back through Nervous Jerk, a small Australian imprint which had the good fortune of also releasing an Animal Collective single. Dual did make an appearance here at Aquarius, although it arrived rather mysteriously (perhaps from the band, perhaps not) and vanished after just a single play of the disc on a busy Saturday afternoon. Yes, that's always a good sign when we don't have to ballyhoo the merits of a record, and the strength of the tunes speak for themselves. Woozy hypnosis from organ, sax, drums, monotone female vocals, and lots of delay patterning is what we can remember from back in 2007. The arrival of Fabulous Diamonds' II (whoops, somehow we missed their self-titled Siltbreeze LP in '08) jogged that memory to the forefront of our collective mind, and we're happy that at least we got hear those early tracks at least once. BUT, damn if Fabulous Diamonds haven't made a stellar album here with II.
This Melbourne duo - Nisa Venerosa (drums, voice) and Jarrod Zlatic (organ, effects) - channels a quasi-mystical hybrid of post-Terry Riley time-lag accumulation and the proto-electronica riffs of the Silver Apples through deliriously simple means. Venerosa lays down a slinky percussive groove without much in the way of variation what so ever, much like finest of motorik krautrock drummers (e.g. Jaki Liebezeit, Zappi Diermaier, etc.), and pairs it with Zlatic's spellbinding layers of interwoven phases, loops and moire patterns snatched from his arpeggiating mantras on organ and synthesizer. Venerosa's stoned lullabies are well suited in their simplicity and echoplex ooze to the Diamonds' hypnotic arrangements. On this album, three short tracks about three and half minutes each are bracketed by two lengthy hypno-zoner jams. Those untitled shorts are great on their own, with curiously catchy phrases of repetitive pop minimalism, but Fabulous Diamonds are clearly at their best when sprawling their rhythms and sounds over longer durations, when Zlatic's organs, electronics, and loops have plenty of time for a lunar trajectory around the dark side and back. Anyone with a passing fancy for the likes of Stereolab, Can, Pocahaunted, Aavikko, Shogun Kunitoki, and of course The Silver Apples would be well served with these Fabulous Diamonds. Excellent!
MPEG Stream: "1"
MPEG Stream: "3"
MPEG Stream: "4"

album cover FABULOUS DIAMONDS Fabulous Diamonds II (Siltbreeze) lp 15.98
Much has been made about the Dual 7"+ cd set that Fabulous Diamonds released a few years back through Nervous Jerk, a small Australian imprint which had the good fortune of also releasing an Animal Collective single. Dual did make an appearance here at Aquarius, although it arrived rather mysteriously (perhaps from the band, perhaps not) and vanished after just a single play of the disc on a busy Saturday afternoon. Yes, that's always a good sign when we don't have to ballyhoo the merits of a record, and the strength of the tunes speak for themselves. Woozy hypnosis from organ, sax, drums, monotone female vocals, and lots of delay patterning is what we can remember from back in 2007. The arrival of Fabulous Diamonds' II (whoops, somehow we missed their self-titled Siltbreeze LP in '08) jogged that memory to the forefront of our collective mind, and we're happy that at least we got hear those early tracks at least once. BUT, damn if Fabulous Diamonds haven't made a stellar album here with II.
This Melbourne duo - Nisa Venerosa (drums, voice) and Jarrod Zlatic (organ, effects) - channels a quasi-mystical hybrid of post-Terry Riley time-lag accumulation and the proto-electronica riffs of the Silver Apples through deliriously simple means. Venerosa lays down a slinky percussive groove without much in the way of variation what so ever, much like finest of motorik krautrock drummers (e.g. Jaki Liebezeit, Zappi Diermaier, etc.), and pairs it with Zlatic's spellbinding layers of interwoven phases, loops and moire patterns snatched from his arpeggiating mantras on organ and synthesizer. Venerosa's stoned lullabies are well suited in their simplicity and echoplex ooze to the Diamonds' hypnotic arrangements. On this album, three short tracks about three and half minutes each are bracketed by two lengthy hypno-zoner jams. Those untitled shorts are great on their own, with curiously catchy phrases of repetitive pop minimalism, but Fabulous Diamonds are clearly at their best when sprawling their rhythms and sounds over longer durations, when Zlatic's organs, electronics, and loops have plenty of time for a lunar trajectory around the dark side and back. Anyone with a passing fancy for the likes of Stereolab, Can, Pocahaunted, Aavikko, Shogun Kunitoki, and of course The Silver Apples would be well served with these Fabulous Diamonds. Excellent!
MPEG Stream: "1"
MPEG Stream: "3"
MPEG Stream: "4"

----*
----* Highlights :
----*

album cover ANGEL FACE Wolf City Blues (ApacheFilm / TransLoveEnergy) 3cd 49.00
Woah. Just when you thought all the "long lost" bands have already been unearthed, something like this comes along and knocks you flat on your ass. Most of us first read about Angel Face in a great article in Ugly Things a few issues back. Other than that and a piece on the band on Julian Cope's Head Heritage site, the only other meager info that we could find about these guys was in French. Which makes sense, as Angel Face were indeed French. The band's confusing history began in 1974 with the core lineup of the Regoli brothers, Pascal (bass) and Julian (guitar), as well as one Riton Angel Face on guitar. Their biggest inspiration is undoubtedly the Stooges, but unlike every other band to rip off Ann Arbor's finest, Angel Face were in fact swimming in the same primordial waters as their heroes. It makes sense to assume that these guys probably dug "L.A. Blues" and "We Will Fall" as much as any of the Stooges' tunes, because Angel Face clearly understood that "heavy" isn't just about volume and power chords (not that those aren't here in spades), but also about pure noise and total chaos. In addition to this, one can detect a considerable Hawkwind influence, as well as heavy doses of krautrock. While other bands at this time were more likely to incorporate the latest sounds of punk's first wave, Angel Face kept things sounding firmly pre-1977. The end results are pretty mindblowing, tense and aggressive pieces that lock into a groove and pound the hell out of it for the entirety of the song with guitars that sound like sonic flamethrowers. Trying to piece together a timeline here is quite difficult (the liner notes are in French), and the band never even released anything in their lifetime, so what you have here on the first disc are demos and live tracks from sometime between 1975 and 1978 (originally released in 1984 on lp as A Wild Odyssey), strung together to form one surprisingly cohesive whole. We're pretty sure the first tracks feature the singer named Eric Tendz, who was described by the other band members as nothing more than a disreputable Iggy clone. And yes, there will be no mistaking Iggy's influence, but Tendz delivers things so perfectly and frantically that we can't complain one bit. His vocals are often punctuated by shrill little shrieks which seem humanly impossible, and his drunk sounding delivery makes it impossible to tell what language he's singing in (though we think it's English). Other tracks on the first disc are comprised of live recordings which predate the Tendz songs, pieced together in a very Faust-ian way with the band's preferred vocalist Henri Flesh (again, we think). These songs are more loose and unhinged, no doubt due to the guitar prowess of Julian Regoli, whose early presence in the band kept things psychedelic to the highest order. There are also a few tracks that feature just Riton Angel Face and Pascal, on guitar/vocals and synth, respectively. While stripped to their bare essence, these songs come off as strangely powerful and complete sounding. One can only wonder what possibilities might have existed for this amazing band. Unfortunately, there was little working in their favor, and it is easy to imagine scores of idiot punk rockers not knowing what to make of a band of long haired guys with aviator sunglasses.
The story didn't end there, however, and in the '80s Angel Face reformed under the leadership of Riton and Pascal. The biggest change was the decision to add a female vocalist, Kim Nguyen. Truthfully, these songs are a bit of a letdown after the pure rock n' roll fury of the first disc, but mainly in comparison. The songs are pretty good, but just a little more straightforward, and the '80s production certainly doesn't help anything. Likewise, disc 3 is made up of some shoddily recorded live tracks and radio stuff from different eras. Some of this stuff appears to be from the first era and is quite good, but the songs don't benefit from the unfortunate sound quality.
So, you have no doubt noticed the hefty price tag on this beast, and we realize the above paragraph may hold some people back.... BUT we seriously can't recommend the stuff on disc 1 enough, for folks into the likes of Soggy (anther long lost French band of Stooges worshippers) and of course The Stooges themselves. Check out the first four sound clips to see what we mean, and just keep in mind only 1,000 of these were pressed up - and of the dozen we ordered, we've already sold 10 on account of "tweeting" about it, so right now we've got 2, yes TWO - and we may not be seeing them again any time soon...
MPEG Stream: "Wolf City Blues"
MPEG Stream: "12 1/2"
MPEG Stream: "Endless Road (Cut Up Songs)"
MPEG Stream: "I Don't Care"
MPEG Stream: "Secret Town"
MPEG Stream: "Precious Urban Nasty Kid"

album cover AUBRY, GILLES s6t8r (Winds Measure Recordings) cd 11.98
We've never carried anything from Winds Measure Recordings before now; but that will certainly be changing, as this is a label with an excellent ear for the finer points of dronesmear sound-art and an equally excellent eye for letterpressed packaging. And we'll start with the stellar manipulated field recording work from the Swiss-born / Berlin-based sound artist Gilles Aubry, who seems to have run a space in Berlin dedicated to experimental music called Stralau 68. The space had unfortunately closed in 2007, but it seemed to have been a nexus of activity for noise, aktionism, avant-rock, live-wire electronics, and whatnot. Perhaps as a final act within the emptied space, Aubry recorded the resonance of the room, capturing all sorts of resonant drones, tones, hums, and buzzes intrinsic to the space outside of its former use as a performance venue. The first of three pieces on this album centers on the rasping frequencies from the industrial air vents matching wind-blown recordings from within what sounds like a huge concrete structure. Here Aubry's work attains the acousmatic aesthetic that the finest Francisco Lopez pieces of minimalism seek. The second piece is far more dynamic, with thrumming rumble grounding an interwoven drone of pierced frequencies and jarring movements from creaking metal doors, bellowing hisses of infernal air, and scrabbling textures. It's unsettled and ominous, something of a hybrid between the end-times collages of Tarab and the late period bleakness of Lustmord. The final piece continues with the scraped abrasions and elongated drones of toxic environmental frequencies. Absolutely brilliant stuff!
As we mentioned, Winds Measure's packaging is a thing of beauty, here with an elegant folio of letterpressed text on thick white paper with a set of abstracted smears printed precisely in a pale pale grey. Some of the finer letterpressed work we've seen! Put it all together in a small edition of just about 300 copies. Highly recommended!

album cover BITCHIN BAJAS Tones / Zones (Important) lp 19.98
With a name like Bitchin Bajas you would expect some bratty lo-fi garage pop or ironic washed out rock, but sometimes the name and the sound can exist in two entirely different worlds, and with Bitchin Bajas that's probably for the best. The solo project of Cooper Crane from Cave, we first got a glimpse of Bitchin Bajas on their split 7" with Moon Duo, but it's on this full length that he really pushes his sound to such spaced out cosmic outer limits. While Cave have become masterful at their ability to create rhythmic and propulsive kraut like jams, with Bitchin Bajas, Cooper is taking his aim at the more spaced out side of kosmische bliss. Evoking the kraut-drone / kraut-age of Klaus Schulze, Tangerine Dream, Deutsche Wertarbeit, Cluster as well as Terry Riley's A Rainbow In Curved Air, this is such a perfect early morning sunrise salute of a record. Tones / Zones also reaches the level to which modern day cosmic travelers like Arp, White Rainbow, Emeralds and Oneohtrix Point Never have ascended. The sounds here get locked in the most celestial grooves and you find yourself floating into the sky losing any sense of gravity or the mundane reality of everyday life. This is perfect music for dreaming, drifting and softly coming down. Majestic and so satisfying.

album cover BOTTOMLESS PIT Blood Under The Bridge (Comedy Minus One) cd 13.98
We were hugely obsessed with Silkworm back in the day. Their sound was dark and mysterious, a twisted and bitter take on indie rock, that somehow managed to evoke an impossible hopefulness at the same time. Super melodic, 3 of the 4 members sang, each with a distinctive style and sound, which only helped make their music more interesting. Joel Phelps, perhaps our favorite voice of the bunch, left, and the band sadly seemed to flounder. Then tragically, their drummer was killed in an automobile accident, and Silkworm was over.
Tim Midgett and Andy Cohen, the core of the original Silkworm lineup, reunited and returned with Bottomless Pit, which to our ears sounded like a return to the classic Silkworm sound, still dark, and depressive, brooding and melancholy, but the songs were so good, tense and dramatic and crazy catchy, with the spirit and feel of classic nineties indie rock, but dragged into the now. That first record was on seriously heavy rotation around here, spacey and spare, warm and lush, totally fantastic and a surprising return to form.
And now we have Blood Under The Bridge, which offers more of the same, dark and haunting stripped down indie rock. Someone here thought it sounded like Belle And Sebastian, but to our ears it sounds like a heavier My Dad Is Dead, the same sort of world weary, minor key, broken hearted indie rock. The first few tracks slither and creep, hushed and minimal and way moody, but then comes "Summerwind" that is surprisingly rocking, and sounds like it could have been yanked off one of the classic old Silkworm records, and the vibe and the energy stays relatively charged after that. "Late is another slow burning rocker, with some gorgeous vocal melodies, and some awesome psych guitar, "Dixon" alternately pounds and broods, with an almost surfy sounding main riff, but then "Kiss Them All" brings it back down again, a gorgeous low slung pretty indie pop drifter, that sounds as good as anything these guys have done.
The last three tracks bounce back and forth between energetic crunch, spacey contemplative drift, and driving grooves, finishing off with the epic emotional catharsis of "38 Souls" that feels just like the old days.
Along with the Versus record reviewed elsewhere on this week's list, a sweet dose of classic indie rock, the kind they don't really make anymore (except when it's made by the guys and gals who were making it the first time around anyway!)...
MPEG Stream: "Winterwind"
MPEG Stream: "Rhinelander"
MPEG Stream: "38 Souls"

album cover BUSHMAN'S REVENGE Jitterbug (Rune Grammofon) cd 17.98
Hadn't heard this jitterbuggin' Norwegian bunch before, though they have a previous album on Rune Grammofon and one before that as well. Definitely gonna have to track down those too, 'cause this one is pretty great, if you're into avant rock/jazz instrumental rippage. At peak power, they're QUITE energetic and frenzied, but unfailingly musical too, and the disc has much in the way of moodier, mellower moments as well.
Bushman's Revenge are a trio of electric guitar, bass, and drums, with a cameo appearance on two tracks here by organist Stale Storlokken of Supersilent. The guitarist is also a member of the proggy and metallic "blackjazz" group Shining. Which maybe explains why this is often so much heavier and rockier than most quote unquote fusion, and also why they do a Motorhead cover ("Damage Case" from Overkill done as an instrumental, or what they call a "Happy Go Lucky Karaoke Version", which stomps along exuberantly with a full-on freakout in the mid-section). Elsewhere, they veer from tangled and distorted guitar onslaughts to stately melodic reveries... and even play some deviant blues ("While My Guitar Gently Breaks"). Bushman's Revenge are for fans of other Rune G "fusion" like Scorch Trio for sure, and also we'd recommend 'em folks partial to Nels Cline.
MPEG Stream: "Kill Your Jitterbug Darlings"
MPEG Stream: "Wind And Fire"
MPEG Stream: "Professor Chaos"

album cover BUSHMAN'S REVENGE Jitterbug (Rune Grammofon) lp 24.00
Hadn't heard this jitterbuggin' Norwegian bunch before, though they have a previous album on Rune Grammofon and one before that as well. Definitely gonna have to track down those too, 'cause this one is pretty great, if you're into avant rock/jazz instrumental rippage. At peak power, they're QUITE energetic and frenzied, but unfailingly musical too, and the disc has much in the way of moodier, mellower moments as well.
Bushman's Revenge are a trio of electric guitar, bass, and drums, with a cameo appearance on two tracks here by organist Stale Storlokken of Supersilent. The guitarist is also a member of the proggy and metallic "blackjazz" group Shining. Which maybe explains why this is often so much heavier and rockier than most quote unquote fusion, and also why they do a Motorhead cover ("Damage Case" from Overkill done as an instrumental, or what they call a "Happy Go Lucky Karaoke Version", which stomps along exuberantly with a full-on freakout in the mid-section). Elsewhere, they veer from tangled and distorted guitar onslaughts to stately melodic reveries... and even play some deviant blues ("While My Guitar Gently Breaks"). Bushman's Revenge are for fans of other Rune G "fusion" like Scorch Trio for sure, and also we'd recommend 'em folks partial to Nels Cline.
MPEG Stream: "Kill Your Jitterbug Darlings"
MPEG Stream: "Wind And Fire"
MPEG Stream: "Professor Chaos"

album cover CANTU-LEDESMA, JEFRE Bloodsteam Sermon (Arbor Infinity) cassette 8.98
Only got a little handful of these. 150 copies total, already out of print and we have less than 10. Latest bit of ultra minimal bliss out dronemusic from Cantu, he of Tarentel, the Alps and the mighty Root Strata label. On Bloodstream Sermon, Cantu creates softly billowing stretches of lush shimmer, using only a Roland Juno 60 synth, a pure wave oscillator and a handful of electronics, each of the two tracks gorgeous and hazy and warm, soft swells of dreamlike sound, constantly shifting tones and overtones, utterly tranquil and hypnotic, the first side much more dense and layered, a thick undulating sprawl of deeeeeep tones. While the second side/track is more abstract, a bit more whir and glitch, ambient and almost industrial sounding. A blurred symphony of muted machine-like buzz and rumble, peppered with little glimmers of glitch, all wrapped in a gauzy patina of washed out thrum. So lovely.

album cover CLOACA Lassitude (Lone Vigil Recordings) cd 13.98
Lassitude is the very first release from the just launched UK label Lone Vigil, and is the debut of black industrial post metal doomlords Cloaca. Both the label and the band are fronted by Chris Naughton, he of doomsludge masters Atavist and neo pagan black metallers Winterfylleth, but Cloaca is a whole different beast than either of those two outfits, and while most descriptions peg Cloaca as 'experimental industrial doom', that might be a bit misleading. It might have you picturing a churning avant Godflesh or some sort of machinelike downtuned Swans, when in fact, the sound of Cloaca is much more organic, and much closer to the slow build post metal of groups like Pelican, Neurosis, Cult Of Luna, Snowblood, and Isis, the guitars lush and warm, the songs sprawling epics, with spiralling melodies, and dense tribal drumming, brooding and majestic, like a blackened Godspeed, building to explosive howled churning ultra metal blow outs, that transform into roiling chugging grooves, heavy and motorik and mesmerizing.
The songs spend much of their time drifting dreamily, spidery guitar melodies draped over loping post rock rhythms, and when they do get heavy, it's not always explosive crescendos, the band can lock into a riff and ride it out like some sort of black doom post metal Hawkwind, extended psychedelic cosmic metal jams that destroy, heaving hypnotically, thick sonic swells that churn and roil and eventually do explode into some serious heaviness, but it's not just big chords there either, the band get super dense and complex, start stop rhythms, mathy arrangements, thick and convoluted and so so heavy.
Throughout the record, Cloaca deftly flit from moody drift to soaring majesty, to metallic crush, wrapping impossibly hooky melodies and strange disembodied sampled voices around thick slabs of metallic hypnorock, a sound that's definitely hard to make your own, but these guys have definitely staked their claim on this chunk of epic brooding heaviness, that we would imagine few would be able to challenge.
Definitely essential listening for fans of Rosetta, Baroness, the Body, Grails, The Ocean, Angel Eyes, Tides, Souvenir's Young America, Mouth Of The Architect, Irepress, Indian, Conifer and other post metal alchemists...
MPEG Stream: "The Golden Path"
MPEG Stream: "Ghost Town"

album cover COOK, MIRA Signs (self-released) cd-r 9.98
With only a single cassette release to her name, Mira Cook has already become one of our favorite delicate, hypnotic and entrancing music makers of the last few years. We've been lucky to get to see her play around town so much, each time watching as she adds a new self taught instrument to the mix, as she creates songs that are really like these miniature fairy tales of the everyday. Her cassette only release, was one of our best selling tapes of 2009, and for good reason. It introduced us to her unique, inviting and warm sensual world of sound. Signs contains some reworked versions of songs that appeared on the cassette along with a bunch of brand new tracks. Using loops as a way to create endless entrancing melody, and taking so sweetly to everything from dulcimer, to drum machines, to piano, to organ, etc., it's Mira's assured and captivating voice that transports us so utterly and completely. It's hard not to think about people like Joanna Newsom, Juana Molina and Bjork, as there is that same kind of unique vision, charm and golden presence in Cook's songs. We're also reminded a lot of that a capella record that Petra Haden made covering The Who's Sell Out. Like the musical equivalent of a Joseph Cornell box, every song on Signs is filled with such unique treasures!
MPEG Stream: "Going to Sleep"
MPEG Stream: "Drum Machine"
MPEG Stream: "Dulcimer Song"

album cover COSMETICS Sleepwalking / The Cries (Captured Tracks) 7" 6.98
The second we lay the needle on the clear vinyl of this 45, it's like the most sensual, seductive steam just comes pouring out of the speakers and takes us to a dark lit, after hours nightclub made for coming down softly, a sonic soundtrack for chilling out in the most striking and sexy way imaginable. We fell so hard for the first Cosmetics 7" and it's been impossible to get it back in stock so we're happy to have two brand new songs to get hooked on all over again. As hot and seductive as the Chromatics are, somehow Cosmetics roam in a very similar territory but turn up the heat, with a dark dripping potency that washes through our bodies with a sound so pleasing and yet still slightly sinister. Taking cues from synth wave seducers like Ruth, Dark Day, and Liaisons Dangereuses. Not sure how fast we will be able to get more of these so best act fast on this one!

album cover CROCODILES Sleep Forever (Fat Possum) 7" 5.98
It's the middle of summer (although it doesn't feel like it here) and it seems like everyone is still trying to come up with THEE Summer Jam of the year. Wavves, with their recent King Of The Beach record, had been battling it out with Best Coast, and their hazy girl group fuzz drenched Crazy For You, for the top spot, but now here come Crocodiles, with two songs that could definitely give both a run for their money.
Unlike the rest of the current crop of garage poppers, Crocodiles haven't been churning out a 7" a month, instead, laying pretty low since their awesome Summer Of Hate record a while back (minus a recent 4 way split), but "Sleep Forever" immediately reminds us why we dug them so much in the first place, with a big fuzzy slab of sunshiney pop, that owes as much to their current fuzz pop brethren as it does to classic Britpop, a perfect fusion of earnest buzzing jangle, and soaring psychedelic classic pop. "Sleep Forever" could easily be some long lost gem from the golden era of Britpop, maybe some rare unsung B-side, if it weren't for the fact that had this been from back in the day, it would have been anything but a B-side. And as if one blast of perfect psychpop bliss wasn't enough, the flipside finds the band tackling a VERY unlikely cover, Dee-lite's "Groove Is In The Heart", starting with that immediately recognizable bassline, but before you know it, the song is transformed into a total drugged out Spacemen 3 style blowout, complete with squalls of wild tangled psych guitar crunch and fuzzgarage organs, and then before you know it, the song transforms into the Beach Boys' "California Girls", THAT classic melody wrapped around that buzzing Dee-lite bassline, and the swirling blown out organ. AWESOME.

album cover CURE, THE Disintegration (Deluxe Edition) (Rhino / Fiction) 3cd 36.00
Disintegration is one of those albums, that pretty much all of us can distinctly remember when it first entered our lives and how much it impacted us then. Some of us were in college, some in high school, some in junior high, and it was one of those records that became such an integral part of our existence. It was yearning, and heartbreak, and sadness, and the most romantic kind of doom and gloom. It still stands as one of our favorite Cure albums, so we were super excited for it to get a deluxe expanded reissue, complete with two extra discs of music.
We probably don't need to talk much about the proper album itself as it's a classic, but the bonus stuff totally makes this worth buying again! The second disc is a collection of instrumental demos and rehearsal takes and the third disc is the 1989 live record Entreat Plus. But it's that second disc that really does it for us, the raw demos are just so damn good and beyond relevant to the current avalanche of lo-fi '80s-obsessed warped music makers. You could just imagine folks like John Maus, Blank Dogs, Gary War, etc. drooling with envy at the sound of those way stripped down untouched bedroom demos. And ultimately that's what they are, many of them recordings of just Robert Smith alone in his bedroom putting to tape the earliest incarnations of these classic songs.
Feels so nice to get to have a new moment with Disintegration, as it will always be one of those records that takes each of us to a special moment in our lives, when it was our soundtrack, one of many records that would play a huge part in determining out musical tastes, even to this day, and the demos are just further proof of what a lasting legacy and impact The Cure at their prime has had on us and so much of the music we love.
MPEG Stream: "Pictures Of You"
MPEG Stream: "Fascination Street - RS Home Instrumental Demo"
MPEG Stream: "Pirate Ships - [Robert Smith Solo] - Rough Mix"
MPEG Stream: "Lovesong - Entreat Plus - Live 1989"

album cover DETRITIVORE Pakt (Lyderhorn) cd 10.98
Pakt is a harrowing, abject experiment in doom-ed blackness, the debut from this Norwegian duo, who weave a suffocating expanse of dense layered blackness, a dizzying hybrid of blacknoize, dark hypnotic dronemusic, and funereal doom. But even as a strange hybridized bit of sonic experimentalism, Pakt still stands out as one of the coolest, weirdest records we've heard.
The opening track lays it all out, the dark chaotic crunch, the pulsing throbbing blackness, the strange, seemingly out of place melodicism, from the first few minutes, a strange sound like an approaching train, distant reverbed vocals, a slow build to a sort of post industrial black drift, the chug of the 'train', overtaken by another layer of buzz, that sounds more like a helicopter than any sort of instrument, then in comes some achingly mournful minimal minor key melodies, while that helicopter sound, becomes an almost riff-like pulse, and coalesces into thick syrupy SUNN-y sludge, before slipping right back into that pulsing chug, this time accompanied by crooned clean, high vocals, almost like a pop song set amidst all the roiling blackness, a strange mix for sure, but it works, creating a sort of dour black industrial pop.
The rest of the record is equally as striking, spreading out swaths of coruscating feedback, over deep tectonic rumbles, letting the sounds build into undulating sheets of doomgaze, before becoming a proper slabs of glacial doom, tamping down thick buzzing riffage into hushed, blurred downtuned shimmer, laced with field recordings, disembodied processed voices, buried melodies, creaking machinelike percussion, simple strummed acoustic guitars, butted up against massive squalls of blackpsych guitarnoise, 16 rpm riffage gradually slowing down and easing into brooding Godspeed style slow build post rock, or exploding into brief flares of Nadja like doomdronedirge, but seemingly always settling back into something darker and hauntingly tranquil. Awesome stuff. Most definitely for fans of Nadja, SUNNO))), Troum, Skullflower, To Blacken The Pages, Robedoor, Bong, Have A Nice Life, Fear Falls Burning, Marzuraan, Snowblood and other purveyors of avant blackness, brooding post metal, and all things slow, low, heavy and blackened.
Features super striking red and black Justin Bartlett artwork...
MPEG Stream: "Postludium"
MPEG Stream: "Lutring"
MPEG Stream: "Messe"

album cover DETRITIVORE Pakt (Lyderhorn) lp 16.98
Pakt is a harrowing, abject experiment in doom-ed blackness, the debut from this Norwegian duo, who weave a suffocating expanse of dense layered blackness, a dizzying hybrid of blacknoize, dark hypnotic dronemusic, and funereal doom. But even as a strange hybridized bit of sonic experimentalism, Pakt still stands out as one of the coolest, weirdest records we've heard.
The opening track lays it all out, the dark chaotic crunch, the pulsing throbbing blackness, the strange, seemingly out of place melodicism, from the first few minutes, a strange sound like an approaching train, distant reverbed vocals, a slow build to a sort of post industrial black drift, the chug of the 'train', overtaken by another layer of buzz, that sounds more like a helicopter than any sort of instrument, then in comes some achingly mournful minimal minor key melodies, while that helicopter sound, becomes an almost riff-like pulse, and coalesces into thick syrupy SUNN-y sludge, before slipping right back into that pulsing chug, this time accompanied by crooned clean, high vocals, almost like a pop song set amidst all the roiling blackness, a strange mix for sure, but it works, creating a sort of dour black industrial pop.
The rest of the record is equally as striking, spreading out swaths of coruscating feedback, over deep tectonic rumbles, letting the sounds build into undulating sheets of doomgaze, before becoming a proper slabs of glacial doom, tamping down thick buzzing riffage into hushed, blurred downtuned shimmer, laced with field recordings, disembodied processed voices, buried melodies, creaking machinelike percussion, simple strummed acoustic guitars, butted up against massive squalls of blackpsych guitarnoise, 16 rpm riffage gradually slowing down and easing into brooding Godspeed style slow build post rock, or exploding into brief flares of Nadja like doomdronedirge, but seemingly always settling back into something darker and hauntingly tranquil. Awesome stuff. Most definitely for fans of Nadja, SUNNO))), Troum, Skullflower, To Blacken The Pages, Robedoor, Bong, Have A Nice Life, Fear Falls Burning, Marzuraan, Snowblood and other purveyors of avant blackness, brooding post metal, and all things slow, low, heavy and blackened.
Features super striking red and black Justin Bartlett artwork...
MPEG Stream: "Postludium"
MPEG Stream: "Lutring"
MPEG Stream: "Messe"

album cover DZJENGHIS KHAN Hey You (Motorwolf) lp + cd-r 22.00
Hey all right!! We hadn't heard much from these local, long haired, lost-in-time rockers for far too long, 'cause their singing drummer moved away for a while, but is back in town, and now they have a new album out, however only released on limited edition vinyl, a European import (which by the way comes with a cd-r burn of the album as well). We just got some of the last few copies there are direct from the band. If we weren't already familiar with 'em, and didn't deal with these guys in person, though, we'd coulda been fooled into thinking it was a reissue of something from the early '70s proto-metal era, or ever earlier, as they so convincingly channel the likes of Sir Lord Baltimore, Blue Cheer, Highway Robbery, Speed Glue & Shinki, James Gang, Dust, and other inspirations of that ilk in their badass heavy psych groove, totally authentic circa 1969-'72 sounding (well, except that we think we hear 'em head 'em make an anachronistic reference to Beyonce in the lyrics to "Nasty Girl"). And amidst the lumbering riff-rock, they also get into what's simply fuzzed-up '60s garage, Nuggets style, so bands like The Seeds are probably big influences too. Plus, most of the lyrics pertain to girl trouble, a traditional, very garagey subject.
So if you're into heavy fuzz rockin', this is quite recommended. Furthermore, we were delighted to discover that side one contains a Rodriguez cover!! They do "Only Good For Conversation", the fuzziest one from the Detroit Dylan's cult classic 1970 debut Cold Fact, a track we described in our review of the Cold Fact reissue as a "stone(d) cold classic when it comes to heavy duty fuzz guitar crunch" so it's a natural for the Dzjenghis Khan boys. Very cool. Also very cool is that side two starts off with a recording of Dzjenghis Khan's best song ever, or at least our favorite, called "God Damn", we remember it from probably the first time we ever saw 'em play, always a show stopper, encapsulating everything rad about this band.
By the way, we still have a couple (literally, two) copies of their self-titled cd debut from a few years back, on the the now defunct Japanese stoner metal label Leaf Hound, otherwise totally out of print.
MPEG Stream: "Shameless"
MPEG Stream: "Only Good For Conversation"
MPEG Stream: "God Damn"

album cover EVERYTHING BUT THE GARGOYLE Four Flies On Grey Velvet (Panaxis) cd-r 9.98
Everything But The Gargoyle is a new project spearheaded by San Francisco's Ferrara Brain Pan and fellow Californian Kyra Pixy. Working under the guise of Forms Of Things Unknown, Ferrara has previously mustered occult atmospheres with plenty of nods to Nurse With Wound, Coil, and even some Ryoji Ikeda through an ever intriguing mixture of bass clarinet, electronics, bowed psaltry, and then some. His uneasy and evocative sound design pairs with the breathy cooing of Kyra Pixy, who's reciting the poetry of one G. James Wyrick. The nature of the lyrics is somewhat obscured by the breathy nature of Pixy's delivery, although a pretty good guess would land this somewhere in the supernatural horror and the oblique gothic. The arrangements are well suited to these themes, with martial overtures of slow motion drums lumbering behind eerie reeds that hold the apocalyptic mysticism that Coil achieved on Horse Rotovator many years ago. On other tracks, a slinky noir approach is taken, with the clarinets matching a smokey Barry Adamson / Angelo Badalamenti vibe, making for a brief 4 track ep that's well done and certainly a teaser for a future full-length recording.
MPEG Stream: "Susto"
MPEG Stream: "The Hum Of Blood"

album cover GALBRAITH, ALASTAIR Mass (Siltbreeze) lp 15.98
The return of long time fave Alastair Galbraith, and when we say long time, we mean like 20 YEARS long time! Back in the nineties, when aQuarius was in its old, tiny, under the stairs previous Noe Valley location, we were one of the few places in the US to get weird music from New Zealand. Labels like Flying Nun, Xpressway, groups like the Dead C, the 3Ds, Tall Dwarfs, This Kind Of Punishment, Bailter Space, Wreck Small Speakers On Expensive Stereos, The Chills, Pin Group, etc... and of course Galbraith, solo, and in his 'band' Handful Of Dust with Bruce Russell of the Dead C and Peter Stapleton. When we helped set up the Terrastock West festival back in 1998, Galbraith performed an incredible set, but is probably more remembered for buying an inflatable dinghy, and going rowing in the San Francisco Bay!
It's only been a few years since Galbraith's last solo album, the gorgeous Orb, which was his first in years, but we're pleased he seems to be on a more consistent release schedule, cuz as much as we love his various collaborations over the last few years (especially his Long Wires In Dark Museums series with Matt De Gennaro), it's his solo records that really hit the spot for us. Dark and mysterious, intimate and abstract, playful and bizarre, moody and melodic, flitting from perfect pop to what the fuck experimentation and back again. And on Mass it's no different. Another ultra varied collection of fracture home brewed pop experimentation, that for all it's mysterious digressions and clashing styles, somehow flows perfectly as a sprawling and gloriously confusional and cohesive album.
Backwards guitars swoop and flutter, beneath wheezing organs, mumbled vocals drift on smoldering streaks of muted feedback, abstract percussion, plucked folky melodies, field recordings and fractured effects all intersect in some weird sort of lo-fi Morricone soundtrack styled minimalism, Galbraith's beautiful croon slips dreamily around reversed steel string guitars, multitracked into lovely harmonies, thick swaths of buzz pulse and throb almost like a 4-tracked SUNNO))), pump organs groan beneath sweet sing songy vocals, before the vocals flip backwards and are draped over skeletal acoustic guitars, the layered voices creating impossibly pretty backwards harmonies, simple percussion, detuned bass buzz, tinkling lullaby like melodies, stumbling Dead C like noise rock, bleating horns, soundtracky drifts, thick undulating guitardrones, symphonies of high pitched chimes, tolling bells, constantly shifting production, most of the songs barely cracking a minute, only 7 breaking 2 minutes, little perfectly imperfect abstract pop fragments, that assembled manage to sound not at all fragmented. We're of course reminded of Finnish groups like Kemialliset, and Avarus, and Anaksimandros, a similarly ramshackle DIY vibe, but Galbraith takes that vibe, infuses it with a distinctly pop element, creating these gorgeous little sonic gems, that manage to be both pretty and poppy, mysterious and minimal at the same time. Totally beguiling and utterly irresistible.
Includes a download card as well!

album cover GATE A Republic Of Sadness (Ba Da Bing) lp 14.98
The first new Gate music in over a decade! Michael Morely aka Gate, may be more well known for his work in legendary New Zealand noiserockers the Dead C, but he's been making Gate records just as long, and they've all been pretty much stone cold classics, The Dew Line is one of THE most unsung, underappreciated weirdo outsider pop records EVER, Golden is ostensibly a noise record, but manages to harness noise into something much more beautiful and listenable and lovely. And now we have A Republic Of Sadness, that like all Gate records, is tough to describe, but impossible to resist. A strange swirling assemblage of lush guitar textures, of Jeckian turntable loops, of crooned lo-fi bedroom pop, of skittery IDM style beats, all woven into dark, woozy, abstract electronic drone pop, or minimal dreamfolk electronica.
The opener "Forever" is totally gorgeous, built atop a scratchy turntable loop, that Basinski like backdrop repeats endlessly, drifting in its cloud of crackle and pop, while all around it other loops sway and swell, a simple stripped down beat, shuffles and skitters, and Morely unfurls a distorted dreamy croon, it's like Gas meets Jeck meets Basinski meets The Caretaker meets Sentridoh. When the vocals drop out, and the loop just repeats endlessly, it's utterly trancelike and mesmerizing. "All" starts out with soft swaths of synth, before a weird clattery lo-fi distorted beat lurches into action, thick rumbling bass underpins the sound, and in come Morely's creepy distorted mumbled vocals, a bit like a Strotter Inst / Gas remix fronted by Jandek, mysterious, mournful, intimate, part way through, a strange lumbering low end wheeze adds a strange counterpoint, and like the track before, the non essentials are jettisoned, and the layered loopscape plays out hypnotically.
The rest of the record constructs similarly twisted bits of lo-fi electronica, woven into skittery dreamscapes, and muted minimal grooves, slipping from the almost funky wah wah guitars and low slung depressive basslines of "Desert", sounding like some home brewed DIY Interpol, to the almost M83 bliss out of "Wilderness" with its fuzzy shoegaze guitardrone, and creaking almost industrial sounding rhythms, all beneath some sun dappled buzzy synths and twisted mush mouthed crooning, to the deconstructed trip hop of "Freak", a stuttery effects drenched rhythm shuffles beneath some super distorted looped guitar crunch, and finally to the nearly 10 minute closer "Trees", with its blown out metalgaze guitar smolder, its booming skeletal big beat rhythm, more moaning vox, a throbbing synth bassline, a sort of lo-fi bedroom brewed cold wave, until about halfway through, when the drums drop out, and all that's left is a gorgeous pulsing synthscape, that will have fans of Oneohtrix and Emeralds and other outer spacesynth krautdrone explorers frothing for sure.
Includes a download card.

album cover GET CARTER OST (Silva Screen) cd 13.98
Finally one of our favorite soundtracks, from one of our favorite movies, available again, this time without the crazy steep import price. For those in the know, Roy Budd's soundtrack to Get Carter has always been a sonic holy grail of sorts, kind of like the Wicker Man. British dance artists (Stereolab among others) have been borrowing heavily from and flat out covering the theme from Get Carter for years, and the original has always been tough to track down or crazy expensive, or both, until now.
Just like the import, this version is pretty sweet too, with loads of photos, tons of liner notes, interviews, ruminations on the music, the composer, the director, as well as notes on the making of the film.
But it's the music that counts, and the music is incredible, from sixties spy jazz to loungey Bond-ish exotica to hippyish folk rock to groovy seventies funk, the main Get Carter theme is immediately recognizable, that repeating motif, haunting and sexy and mysterious. The rest of the record manages to be super catchy, yet weirdly confounding, super eclectic and peculiar, flitting from jangly pop song to soundtracky string laden shimmer to woozy druggy groove to over the top showtune style croon to crunchy almost hard rock to classical piano to gorgeous cinematic ambience. If that wasn't enough, all the tracks are separated by short snippets of dialogue, super intense, Michael Caine is a monster, if you've seen the move you know, he's so intense, freaking out, violent and scary, brooding and BAD ASS.
Needless to say, SO recommended. By the soundtrack, and if you haven't already, see the movie!
MPEG Stream: "Main Theme - Carter Takes A Train"
MPEG Stream: "Looking For Someone"
MPEG Stream: "Hallucinations"

album cover GODFLESH Streetcleaner (Earache) 2cd 15.98
It really doesn't take much for us to find an excuse to gush about this, one of our favorite metal records EVER, the industrial metal juggernaut that is Streetcleaner, a crushing sonic milestone by which all other heaviness must be measured, and we're not exaggerating (as we're prone to do) when we say that Streetcleaner still sounds better than 90 percent of the heavy records we hear today, which is incredible considering that it was recorded more than 20 years ago! If for some insane reason you don't own this already, this deluxe double disc reissue is the perfect reason to finally get it, and for the rest of you, if as obsessed with Streetcleaner as we are, a whole disc of demos and unreleased versions should definitely be enough to get you to buy it again. More on the bonus disc down below, but first, let's get to the record itself, the mighty Streetcleaner...
It's weird to think that amongst the legions of fans out there who LOVE Jesu, there are probably loads of folks who don't realize that Jesu was born out of the mighty behemoth that was Godflesh. Justin Broadrick, who started off in grind pioneers Napalm Death, made a quick pitstop in Head Of David, and eventually struck out on his own in Godflesh. These days, drum machines and metal are not strange bedfellows, but back in the day, this was some seriously what-the-fuck action. Metalheads and punk rockers alike were confused, but got over it pretty quick once they realized that Godflesh might just be the heaviest, fiercest thing they had ever heard. And Godflesh at their heaviest was to be found right here, on Streetcleaner, adorned with the now iconic image of crucified men on crossed in front of a cascade of burning lava (a frame from the genius movie Altered States), this record, originally releases in 1989, still sounds as fearsome as ever. And now that we have a handful of Jesu records to reference, it's easy to hear that some of the seeds that would eventually blossom into the dreamy shoegazy metallic bliss of Jesu, were present even back then, albeint buried beneath a black hole crush of churning downtuned riffage and blistering skull rattling programmed beats. Our old three sentence / 14 word review still says it best:
"One of the heaviest, scariest "metal" albums EVER. Drum machine doom death. Godflesh's best."
And as if that weren't enough (which it most definitely IS!!), this new version comes with a second disc, overflowing with awesome rarities, including a whole mess of previously unreleased original mixes, which definitely sound different enough to be worth your while, as do a handful of 1990 live tracks, some rehearsal tracks from 1989, and coolest of all, a couple demos, just Broadrick with guitar and drum machine!
As if the above didn't already make it abundantly clear, Streetcleaner gets the absolute highest aQ recommendation. And remains one of THEE most essential metal records EVER.
MPEG Stream: "Christbait Rising"
MPEG Stream: "Mighty Trust Krusher"

album cover GRASSLUNG Sincere Void (Root Strata) cd 12.98
After a whole bunch of super limited cd-r's and tapes, dronelord Grasslung, aka Jonas Asher, finally releases his first proper cd full length, on Root Strata, which is seemingly right where it belongs, as sonically, it definitely falls right in line along side Barn Owl, Pulse Emitter, William Fowler Collins, Grouper, Keith Whitman, Duane Pitre, Le Revelateur, and the like, and much like many of the Root Strata crew, Grasslung's approach to the drone is similarly abstract, something much more ethereal and ephemeral, almost new agey, hushed and minimal and slightly ominous, haunting even, long tones, layers and textures, fragmented melodies left to drift in soft expanses of hushed hum and burnished shimmer, the sound both lush and spare, some tracks dense and dark, others seemingly lit from within, glowing softly, from gorgeous contemplative piano driven minimalism, the notes allowed to ring out and gradually fade, the overtones subtle and the low end rumbling way below, to something more glimmery and reflective, soft billowy synthscapes, the melodies stretched way out, allowed to sweetly swell, and to drift dreamily through fields of blurred organ chords and washed out streaks of windswept muted thrum, to a Caretaker like victrola-ed haze, all looped warble and sepiatoned thrum, to smoldering distorted dronedreamdrift, thick swaths of softly churning out of focus buzz, blissed out dronedoom loops, layered and left to gradually melt into one another, creating gauzy swirls of softly colored sound. So totally lovely.
LIMITED TO 500 COPIES.
MPEG Stream: "Scarred Hands We Drift"
MPEG Stream: "Roland Park Noose"
MPEG Stream: "Tired Of Remembering"

album cover GRAVELAND In The Glare Of Burning Churches (Forever Plagued Records) cd 14.98
Ahhh Graveland, Viking black metal from Poland! One of the most infamous groups in the BM scene, reviled by many, hated by many more, dismissed as a poseur by still more, politically abhorrent, but musically, it's tough to argue with the last nearly twenty years of iconic and legendary black metal classics: Carpathian Wolves, Thousand Swords, Immortal Pride, Creed Of Iron, Memory And Destiny, The Fire Of Awakening, Dawn Of Iron Blades, Will Stronger Than Death, Spears Of Heaven, we've raved about most of these on the aQ site, from the twisted almost industrial blackness of the first few releases, to the epic folk flecked pagan blackness that defined most of the rest, we love this stuff, and yet two of our favorites we never got to list, as they were reissued and went out of print before the aQ list, so now, thanks to Forever Plagued, these two slabs of grim black hate are available again. For more on Graveland, the music, the politics and all that stuff, check out any of the many other reviews on the aQ site, otherwise, prepare to enter the hellish buzzing black soundworld of the legendary Graveland...
In The Glare Of Burning Churches, is Graveland's legendary 1993 demo, and begins as you would hope, with what sounds like the recording of a burning church, the smoldering crackle of fire consuming wood, all set to hysterical female shrieks and some sort of folk music, a truly strange into, but then Graveland was always a fairly strange proposition, it doesn't take long before the song proper explodes in a harsh blast of hellish hateful blackness, the guitars buzzy and buried underneath the wild shrieking croaked vokills, and the stumbling blasts, the soaring synths, this is total old school epic blackness, which barring some darksynth interludes, and some stretches of droned out ambience, is how the rest of the record plays out, and this version, is apparently an alternate version of the original, which features way harsher vocals, and more intense and harrowing sonics. Lo-fi and raw, but seriously fierce and feral and fucked up and about as scary and intense as black metal gets. This reissue also includes the bonus ep that was tacked on to the now out of print No Colours version, featuring way more keyboards and a weirdly lush sound, as well as a handful of bonus tracks. For the black of heart, and the black of soul...
MPEG Stream: "In The Glare Of Burning Churches (Alt Version)"
MPEG Stream: "The Night Of Fullmoon (Alt Version)"
MPEG Stream: "The Gates To The Kingdom Of Darkness"

album cover GRAVELAND The Celtic Winter (Forever Plagued Records) cd 14.98
Ahhh Graveland, Viking black metal from Poland! One of the most infamous groups in the BM scene, reviled by many, hated by many more, dismissed as a poseur by still more, politically abhorrent, but musically, it's tough to argue with the last nearly twenty years of iconic and legendary black metal classics: Carpathian Wolves, Thousand Swords, Immortal Pride, Creed Of Iron, Memory And Destiny, The Fire Of Awakening, Dawn Of Iron Blades, Will Stronger Than Death, Spears Of Heaven, we've raved about most of these on the aQ site, from the twisted almost industrial blackness of the first few releases, to the epic folk flecked pagan blackness that defined most of the rest, we love this stuff, and yet two of our favorites we never got to list, as they were reissued and went out of print before the aQ list, so now, thanks to Forever Plagued, these two slabs of grim black hate are available again. For more on Graveland, the music, the politics and all that stuff, check out any of the many other reviews on the aQ site, otherwise, prepare to enter the hellish buzzing black soundworld of the legendary Graveland...
The Celtic Winter was originally released in 1994, and is another blast of Early Graveland, when they were still raw and primitive, like In The Glare Of Burning Churches, this one also starts out with an intro to set the mood, thick swaths of ominous synthesizer, buzz and rumble beneath the sounds of a village in the midst of some sort of battle, horses and footsteps, the clank of armor and chainmail, shouts and shrieks, all underpinned by haunting minor key melodies, very dramatic and intense, which leads directly into "Call Of The Black Forest" which immediately reveals a subtly changed sound since In The Glare..., the shrieks are dialed way back, the guitars are less jagged and harsh, the whole sound is more 'metal'. less frenzied raw blackness, more churning chugging classic old school metal, still rife with epic soaring synth swells, majestic melodies, the sound surprisingly thick and full, and unlike the records that came before (In The Glare Of Burning Churches, Drunemeton, Necromanteion), this is the first one to hint at the Graveland sound to come, more epic, more Viking, the sound here still raw and buzzy, but definitely reaching toward something much more sweeping and lush. Not to say this isn't grim, or hateful, it most certainly is, but it also just so happens to wrap that hateful grimnity in lots of keyboard, and way more melody, which is not a bad thing at all...
MPEG Stream: "Call Of The Black Forest"
MPEG Stream: "Hordes Of Empire"
MPEG Stream: "The Night Of Fullmoon"

album cover HAMMERS OF MISFORTUNE The Bastard (Metal Blade) cd 14.98
With their move to big time mega metal label Metal Blade, local long running epic blackened progressive true metal outfit Hammers of Misfortune finally see their back catalog reissued via their new label, and of all the reissues, none was more anticipated than this, their amazing debut, The Bastard, originally released on our very own Andee's tUMULt label, but out of print for the last few years, The Bastard is easily one of the most original and totally genius metal records of the last decade (Terrorizer magazine even voted it one of the best 40 metal records of 2001!), here's our review of The Bastard when the tUMULt version was first released...
Our own Andee proves himself, and his tUMULt label, to be truly dedicated to the Heaviest of Metal with this new release! Following on from prior tUMULt metal-oriented releases (the grim and trancelike black metal genius of Weakling, the blackened grind of free-jazz fans Hatewave, the noisecore assault of Burmese...), the debut full-length album from San Francisco's Hammers of Misfortune takes the Metal to an entirely new level. It's a full-on metal opera, stirring everything into the cauldron, majestic male and female vocals, acoustic guitar breaks, Maidenesque harmonies, black metal vocal rasps, headbanging riffs and classical motifs. Next to seeing them live (where the leather-clad band, a mere four-piece, belts all this out and more), "The Bastard" is serious metal fun. Black, death, power, prog, epic: it seems like almost all styles of metal are represented in Hammers' songs, which flow non-stop from one to the next in a complex 3-act saga telling a crazy fantasy tale about a cursed bastard child raised by forest-spirits, who travels into the Underworld to find the Blood-Axe and slay his father, an evil tyrant, in the name of the Chaos Godess...or something like that. If you need help figuring it out, the 24-page booklet includes the "liberetto" as well as some excellent wood-cut style illustrations -- indeed the whole thing (a digipack) is a very handsome package.
Formerly known as Unholy Cadaver, Hammers of Misfortune is the demented brainchild of local metal master John Cobbett, who also played guitar in the cult SF "Celtic epic metal" outfit The Lord Weird Slough Feg. Mike from Slough Feg also sings on The Bastard, playing guitar and providing the "clean" male vox. And we must mention the contribution of Janis Tanaka (ex-Stone Fox) on bass and the excellent female vocals. "The Bastard" comes across like a mixture of Cradle of Filth and Blind Guardian, or Slough Feg and Opeth, or Satyricon and Mercyful Fate: it's that eclectic, that classic, that amazing.
MPEG Stream: "The Dragon Is Summoned"
MPEG Stream: "The Bastard Sapling"
MPEG Stream: "You Should Have Slain Me"
MPEG Stream: "Sacrifice / The End"

album cover HAMMERS OF MISFORTUNE The August Engine (Metal Blade) cd 14.98
With their move to big time mega metal label Metal Blade, local long running epic blackened progressive true metal outfit Hammers of Misfortune finally see their back catalog reissued via their new label, including of course, their second album, The August Engine, originally released on Italian label Cruz Del Sur. Here's what we had to say about the August Engine when we first reviewed it...
Ready for some harmonies and heaviness? Pure, prog-tastic METAL for the long, dark winter? We know you are, 'cause it's been a long while. But now, it's here. The Hammers come down for the second time with this long-awaited new album, the follow-up to their acclaimed (and already out-of-print, for now) debut The Bastard released on our own Andee's tUMUlt label back in 2001. Whereas The Bastard was a full-on rock opera, The August Engine only *sounds* like a rock opera, it isn't actually one. There's no narrative, unifying concept to the songs this time, which puts HoM's eclectic metal mixture in danger of losing focus, being too unpredictably psychedelic and epic for their own good. Wait, what are we saying? That's no problem! As diverse as their songwriting and sonic palette can be, everything here sounds like Hammers and nothing else (well, except Slough Feg), which can only be the mark of a brilliant band.
Bursting out of the gates with an adrenalized instrumental opener that thrashes like Megadeth while remaining as gloriously 'classical' and over the top as anything on The Bastard, we can't say The August Engine never lets up. It does, but only in the sense that some decidedly unusual, and sometimes mellow avenues are explored. But for every non-metallic moment of sweet singing and pleasant acoustic guitars, you get plenty of shredding electric ones, with pounding drums, dramatic male and female vocals on a grand scale, and headbanging riffage. Advanced metal mastery here folks. Pretentious? Indulgent? Arrogant? No, simply mighty. The 10-out-of-10 review this album has already garnered from veteran metal scribe Martin Popoff likened them to a psychedelic version of the best of Iron Maiden, who are we to argue?
Hammers still consist of John and Mike from The Lord Weird Slough Feg, plus drummer Chewy. On this recording, Janis Tanaka plays bass and sings like an angel, though when you go see Hammers live now, they have a new lineup including not only a foxy new bassist/singer but another female vocalist who plays Hammond organ as well!
The jacket sports cool Voivod-ish line art by mastermind John Cobbett himself. Of course, recommended.
MPEG Stream: "The August Engine pt. 1"
MPEG Stream: "A Room And A Riddle"
MPEG Stream: "Insect"

album cover HAMMERS OF MISFORTUNE The Locust Years (Metal Blade) cd 14.98
With their move to big time mega metal label Metal Blade, local long running epic blackened progressive true metal outfit Hammers of Misfortune finally see their back catalog reissued via their new label, including of course, their third record, The Locust Years, which like The August Engine before it, was originally released on Italian label Cruz Del Sur. Here's our review from when we first got The Locust Years, a while back...
We've been waiting a long time for this, the third opus from SF's own Hammers Of Misfortune, one of the most ambitious, audacious, bodacious, bombastic, maybe even slightly ludicrous bands in the metal realm...and metal this is, through and through, even as it pushes the envelope right over the edge into, I don't know, musical theater... 2003's The August Engine was pretty amazing, as was (our favorite) their year 2001 debut, The Bastard (released by Andee's tUMULt label we should note). The Locust Years has a lot to live up to.
And live it up they do here. Just check out the band photos for evidence of that (funnier if you know these folks). There's a shocking formal portrait on the back cover, everybody dressed up in tuxedos and evening gowns, hair pulled back. And then inside the cd booklet, you see 'em letting their hair down in a glammy, rock n' roll fantasy shot. It's nice to see that they don't take themselves too seriously, that should keep people guessing about this band. Not so pretentious as some might think, joking but no joke.
Quick intro first for those just tuning in/turning on to this band: Hammers is a rock-operatic heavy metal juggernaut with harmonizing lead guitars, pounding Hammond organ (new!), and majestic male and female vocal lines. The band features members of The Lord Weird Slough Feg past and present, and mainman John Cobbett is busy too with his other band black metallers Ludicra plus he's been playing with the likes of Amber Asylum and even Jarboe of late... As you might imagine from all of this, Hammers is an especially eclectic mix of '70s prog, '80s metal, black metal (without the black metal vocals), classical music, avant-chamber-rock, Mary Poppinsy musical showtuneage, Opethian loud/soft, fast/slow dynamics...
Basically, everything (and more) that already earned mucho plaudits for the Hammers' first two albums is present here: the sweeping melodic grandeur, metallic excitement, complex arrangements, virtuoso playing, intelligent lyrics, many moods, and attention to idiosyncratic detail -- which is evident from the packaging, with its Thomas Woodruff cover painting and aforementioned photography, to the music, for instance the track "War Anthem" that features a whole hired drum line arranged by Hammers drummer Chewy. Or it's actually Chewy multitracking his own one man drum line. Either way, it's pretty darn Tusk!!
And lyrically, while it's not a storytelling narrative like The Bastard, it's somewhat more of a cohesive "concept album" than was August Engine... the concept being, near as we can tell, a very allegorical, cryptic protest against the awful person and policies of our president, George W. Bush!! Or at least that's what we get from lyrics like "Death - death to the infidels / sons of our servants shall serve and serve us well / and gifted with endless war / flags and fanatics forevermore" (from "War Anthem") or, "If people wonder at the suffering you cause / and your massive avarice has left them at a loss / if by chance they notice your bloody, snapping jaws / the blood upon your claws / your shifty eyes and laws / the nauseating flaws in all you've said / trot out the dead" (from "Trot Out The Dead") -- no that's not Satan they're singing about, not exactly. We're pretty sure that makes The Locust Years the world's first POLITICAL epic fantasy prog power metal album!!
Recommended of course.
MPEG Stream: "The Locust Years"
MPEG Stream: "We Are The Widows"
MPEG Stream: "War Anthem"

album cover HAMMERS OF MISFORTUNE Fields / Church Of Broken Glass (Profound Lore) 2cd 14.98
With their move to big time mega metal label Metal Blade, local long running epic blackened progressive true metal outfit Hammers of Misfortune finally see their back catalog reissued via their new label, which in the case of Fields / Church Of Broken Glass is a bit odd, considering that the original is still available from the label that released it in the first place, Profound Lore, so like all the other Hammers reissues, this one is definitely worth revisiting, and buying if you missed out on it the first time around, but we figured it made more sense to re-list the Profound Lore version... so here's our review of Fields / Church Of Broken Glass from when we first listed it not that long ago...
First, there was The Bastard. The ultimate over the top power metal/black metal rock opera, as far as we're concerned. Ok, so Andee here at AQ put it out on his tUMULt label... but that simply proves that he/we really like it (not that that's WHY we like it). Still Hammers' best, we think. But their follow up The August Engine was pretty killer too. And the same with their third album Locust Years, which we hailed as the first ever fantasy metal album that was also a contemporary political allegory (about Bush and the Iraq War). With that record, Hammers settled with regal grace into a new phase, with the significant addition of '70s styled Hammond organ, taking their prog leanings to ever proggier heights, the raspy black metal aspects of their sound discarded long ago. And this new release from the acclaimed San Francisco metallers is definitely a continuation of that, despite some major lineup changes in the Hammers camp since Locust Years came out in 2006.
Of course, mainman guitarist John Cobbett (Ludicra, ex-Slough Feg) is still the with the band. Also drummer Chewy Marzolo, and keyboardist Sigrid Sheie. But now there's a new set of singers. Hammers, as you may know, have always flaunted operatic/theatrical, male and female vocals, intertwining in their compositions. There's been a few different female singers (who also played bass) over the years, but the clean male vocals until now had been handled solely by Mike Scalzi of Slough Feg, who has a distinctive voice to say the least. Taking over the female role is Jesse Quattro, a trained singer who definitely holds her own in the tradition of Hammers' female vocalists. You won't notice much difference there, though she may well be the best they've had. She doesn't play bass, however, so they've got Ron Nichols in to handle that task. More difficult, perhaps, for Hammers, was replacing Scalzi, who left to concentrate entirely on Slough Feg. Patrick Goodwin (of Dirty Power and Pansy Division) stepped up into Scalzi's shoes and while his voice is definitely different, not having the weird presence or booming depth Scalzi's, he's a capable melodic singer, yearning and emotive, and maybe his less idiosyncratic style fits better with Hammers' current direction. Long time fans will definitely notice a difference, though, and some will roll with it, some won't. Certainly the Hammers of The Bastard aren't the Hammers here.
So, now Hammers Of Misfortune obviously have a lot to prove on this new album - or, actually, albums. That's right, as if to really rise to the occasion and make a statement, they've released a double album, or what they'd have us believe is two separate albums, Fields and Church Of Broken Glass, packaged together. Each one gets its own cover art, you flip the gatefold digipack over to see each one, in the style of an old Ace Double paperback (the cover shown here is that of Fields). Though we were a bit bemused to discover that since the seven cuts on Fields clock in at just over 37 minutes, and the five songs on CoBG total about 35, it actually would have been possible to fit 'em both on a single disc! At least Profound Lore isn't making you pay any extra for this two-cd concept. And, since HoM's music can be so exhaustively epic, full of complex arrangements and keyboard busy-ness and cryptic lyrics, it's actually easier on the listener to have two shorter cds to digest than one exceedingly lengthy one, really!
As well, each disc has its own theme, a rural/urban dichotomy between Fields and Church Of Broken Glass. The best example of the latter being the moody 10 minute epic "Butchertown", painting this very city's streets in sinister fairytale shades. (Urban decay, blight and fright being territory previously explored by Cobbett's black metal outfit Ludicra, as well.) If we know Cobbett, there's probably a clever narrative or allegory at play here, encompassing both discs, leading from song to song and one disc to the next, but Hammers lyrics are poetically vague enough that we haven't puzzled it all out yet exactly. You could look at their recent interview on the Pitchfork website for more insight if you wish. We again get a political vibe from some of this, and do have the idea that Fields starts off about the plight of peasant farmers in Afghanistan, beginning with the three-part, 16-minute suite of "Agriculture", "Fields", and "Motorcade". See what you make of these lines, from the latter: "Escorting friendlies, a walk in the park/Unlock the cages as soon as it's dark/Motorcade motorcade easy to mark/Send in the snipers to swim with the sharks/Breadline is burning, the headcount's a joke/Soon they'll be feasting on mirrors and smoke/Motorcade motorcade horses to show/Fish in a barrel and ducks in a row". Hmm. And Hammers manages to turn that into singalong catchiness!
Fortunately, even with the ambitious scale of this latest project, and all the new members in the band, fans will find that Hammers hasn't changed too much, still full of blazing guitar solos and stop on a dime dynamics, memorable riffs and melodies and exquisite harmonies, musical theater moments and multilayered vocals - all the over the top-ness we love about 'em. Perhaps though the progginess has gotten even proggier, more flowery... We're reminded of Kansas, actually! Well, Kansas mixed with Megadeth, maybe. With a healthy helping of that rollicking, Deep Purplish Hammond organ first introduced on previous opus the Locust Years, as we said. And if you're into 'em for the female vocals, you won't be disappointed at all.
So, what should be Hammers' sales slogan for this album - New and Improved? Well, no, we can't quite go there, what with our feelings about the The Bastard. Well, how about Two For The Price Of One! Sure. And how about Thinking Man's (and Woman's) Metal? Definitely. But we get the idea that slogans and soundbites and all those mass media manipulative aspects of modern commercial culture are exactly what Hammers Of Misfortune stands against, so we'll just leave it with, well worth checking out.
MPEG Stream: "Agriculture"
MPEG Stream: "Rats Assembly"
MPEG Stream: "Butchertown"
MPEG Stream: "Train"

album cover HOLY SHIT Rough And Tumble (Porous) 7" 6.98
We have been craving some Holy Shit so bad for so long! The last time we got a record from these guys it was the mind blowing 2006 album Standing At Two Harbours, a brilliant washed out pop record that predated the onslaught of lo-fi pop that's exploded in the last few years. The band is Matt Fishbeck and Ariel Pink, and together they are able to create music that rings with a stronger emotional quality then many of Ariel's other great projects. Fishbeck really has such a great understanding of songcraft, and Ariel brings his innovative and recognizable sun baked aura to these two warm and woozy songs. The B-side "Priest Fucks Nin In The No-No" might even steal the show, a long and hypnotizing instrumental that we could hear go on for infinity. But the A-side "Rough And Tumble" ain't no slouch either, total understated gem of a warbly pop nugget. A pretty damn perfect 7", now maybe just maybe, could there be a new full length on the horizon!?

album cover HORSEBACK Invisible Mountain (Relapse) cd 13.98
It's not just us that thought Horseback's latest album was so awesome. A blurb taken from the following review of ours does appear on this Relapse-reissued and repackaged top obi, alongside similarly enthusiastic quotes from both The Wire magazine and Invisible Oranges blog.
Originally released by the amazing Utech label, this album garnered the attention of the corporate metal overlords (just kidding) at Relapse, who obviously thought it could, and should, find a wider audience. Good for Horseback! Definitely pick this one up if you missed the Utech edition. Here's what we said about it before:
Something very strange must have transpired since the last Horseback disc. Something traumatic maybe? Some spiritual crisis of sonic faith? Where that record was a glistening, glimmering, dreamy, drifty drone record, this one is, well, much heavier, and more rocking, and WAY more intense and EVIL sounding. So much so that it almost sounds like a different band. That said, we dig it. A LOT.
Super intense, and super heavy psychedelic twang flecked metallic post rock. The guitars buzz, and drone, and occasionally twang, the drums are powerful, tight, the instruments locked into slow burning build ups, some strange hybrid of newer Earth, Godspeed, Circle, the Necks and maybe a little Scenic. There's a sort of krautrock vibe going on too. Sun baked, a little lysergic, space-y hypnotic, repetitive, the tracks looooooong, with mostly a single part, that gradually builds and builds. The cool thing is it never explodes into a metal coda, a la Isis or Neurosis or a million other bands, it's all about the journey not the destination, and the journey is riveting enough without tacking on an explosive blow out.
But then there's the vocals, a harsh demonic rasp totally at odds with the music beneath, which in some ways makes the combination sound that much more intense and evil. Especially when the rasps are locked in a sort of call and response with the guitars, really strange but definitely compelling.
The first three tracks are variations on a theme, each an incredible slab of brooding, mesmerizing hypno-rock, lush and layered, with tons of cool little extra guitar flourishes, the drums busy enough to be interesting, but still locked tight into the groove, those vocals, adding menace for sure, but also a strange element that as mentioned above changes the whole feel. A track will be moody and woozy and will suddenly sound a bit evil, or at least a little ominous, before slipping back into the loping, pounding crush of the main riffs.
The strangest thing about this record is that the track with the most overtly evil title, the closer "Hatecloud Dissolving Into Nothing", is the least heavy or evil of the bunch, and the only track that sounds like the first Horseback record. A 16+ minute drift of soft focus new age-y ambience, of dreamy drift, sun dappled guitars draped over long stretches of gauzy whir, the sound delicate and crystalline, definitely dreamy and blissed out, the only remnant of the tracks that came before, are some barely audible harsh vokills, way way way down in the mix, that almost sound like a slow shifting layer of hiss or buzz, beneath the kaleidoscopic shimmer of blurred guitar hum and melancholic melody, another strange combination, but similar to the vocals on the first three tracks, they lend a very subtle hint of menace to the otherwise tranquil proceedings.
The new jewelcase packaging is still quite nice, though not as gorgeous as the original Utech sleeve.
MPEG Stream: "Invokation"
MPEG Stream: "Tyrant Symmetry"

album cover HTRK Nostalgia (Fire) cd 15.98
Once known as the Hate Rock Trio, this Australian-born / London-based ensemble shortened their name down to HTRK (which the band still insists on pronouncing Hate Rock). Unfortunately, in the spring of 2010, the bassist Sean Stewart committed suicide. The remaining members - Jonnine Standish and Nigel Lee-Yang - look to continue making music, although that may seem a difficult proposition given that Stewart's low-slung basslines really drove HTRK's doom and dirge songwriting approach. The Birthday Party, Sisters Of Mercy, and PJ Harvey came together within HTRK's very impressive 2009 album Marry Me Tonight, produced by Roland S. Howard who really emphasized the skeletal, haunted aspect of HTRK's sound. That's quite different from what you'll hear on their 2007 debut Nostalgia, which still had a very strong Birthday Party sound especially with Stewart's recapitulation of Tracy Pew basslines, but the band has buried Standish's exhausted / exasperated vocals, Lee-Yang's swampy guitars, and the minimalist electronic programming in a huge bath of reverb. The spectral morass of all of the reverb really casts as a abjectly narcotic to the feel of these songs. Where on Marry Me Tonight which pushed Standish's vocals to the foreground to dramatic effect, she's lurking around the corners of these songs, howling and yelping deep into the night. It should be noted that a couple of songs from Nostalgia do reappear on Marry Me Tonight, although the difference in production really does change the the outcome. "Look What's Been Done" has become "Ha". "Look At That Girl" reappeared as "Rent Boy" and "I'm All Broke Up" turned into "Disco." Really fantastic.
MPEG Stream: "Look What's Been Done"
MPEG Stream: "Look At Her"
MPEG Stream: "I'm All Broke Up"

album cover HURLEY, MIKE First Songs (Smithsonian Folkways) lp 16.98
The consummate "folksinger's folksinger" Michael Hurley has had a long strange life on the influential fringe of American folk music. And as most marginal artists from the fifties and sixties folk revival, just like their early progenitors, Hurley has had much more influence and success in the latter half of his life than in the beginnings. Why, we know much more about Hurley's influence on and involvement with the freak-folk movement of the past decade, than his early beginnings as an East Village folkie in New York or his symbolic connection to Woody Guthrie (Hurley too was once a patient at the same Bellvue convalescent ward where Guthrie spent his last days). In fact, this first record from 1964 on Smithsonian Folkways when Hurley was just 23 years old was released just after he left Bellvue, and one can hear the strains of Guthrie's roaming influence on these ramshackle backporch ballads that sound much older than they are. Hurley's music wasn't politically motivated, but championed a rugged individualism well in tune with bouts of desperation, wry wit and visionary mythical brilliance. This insight has only made him grow as an artist who just keeps getting better and better. Highly Recommended!

album cover JACKSON, BOBBY The Cafe Extra-Ordinaire Story (Jazzman) cd 17.98
Another incredible unsung jazz gem rescued from obscurity by the awesome Jazzman label, this one comes from Bobby Jackson, a name even the most seasoned jazz obsessives might not recognize. He was a Minneapolis bassist and big time jazz booster, having put on shows for Roland Kirk, Elvin Jones, Freddie Hubbard and more, at his Cafe Extra-Ordinaire, a small coffee bar jazz bistro he started as a place for live jazz. A place he worked at serving coffee, booking bands, and somehow still finding time to play. His story is incredible, trials and tribulations, drugs, cops, crazy jazzheads, and a record, this record, that was recorded in 1970 but took 8 years to be released, and even then, outside of their tiny circle, no one heard it, until now.
Which is a shame, cuz like most of the other holy grail reissues on Jazzman, if things went a little differently, if the right people in the right places found out about these jams, all of these folks could have, SHOULD have been huge. Which is precisely the case with Jackson, this is an incredible collection of deep spiritual modal jazz, opener "Paul's Ark" is an instant classic, the horn melodies recalling Roland Kirk, Jackson's bass busy and melodic, the drumming skittery and smooth, so so good. And from there on out, it remains total spiritual cosmic jazz bliss, the piano playing is incredible, flurries of notes swirling over insanely busy drumming, Jackson't bass holding it all together, the songs slipping from sweet jazzy coffee house grooves to frantic frenetic hard bop workouts, the sort of wild frenzied playing that would have most jazz crowds on the edge of their seats on on their feet!
Huge booklet packed with liner notes, interviews, photos, the story of the record, of Jackson, of the club, including some funny stuff about Sun Ra, Prince (it is Minneapolis after all) and more...
MPEG Stream: "Paul's Ark"
MPEG Stream: "Ya Kum Ba"
MPEG Stream: "Bobby's Blues"

album cover JACKSON, BOBBY The Cafe Extra-Ordinaire Story (Jazzman) lp 28.00
Another incredible unsung jazz gem rescued from obscurity by the awesome Jazzman label, this one comes from Bobby Jackson, a name even the most seasoned jazz obsessives might not recognize. He was a Minneapolis bassist and big time jazz booster, having put on shows for Roland Kirk, Elvin Jones, Freddie Hubbard and more, at his Cafe Extra-Ordinaire, a small coffee bar jazz bistro he started as a place for live jazz. A place he worked at serving coffee, booking bands, and somehow still finding time to play. His story is incredible, trials and tribulations, drugs, cops, crazy jazzheads, and a record, this record, that was recorded in 1970 but took 8 years to be released, and even then, outside of their tiny circle, no one heard it, until now.
Which is a shame, cuz like most of the other holy grail reissues on Jazzman, if things went a little differently, if the right people in the right places found out about these jams, all of these folks could have, SHOULD have been huge. Which is precisely the case with Jackson, this is an incredible collection of deep spiritual modal jazz, opener "Paul's Ark" is an instant classic, the horn melodies recalling Roland Kirk, Jackson's bass busy and melodic, the drumming skittery and smooth, so so good. And from there on out, it remains total spiritual cosmic jazz bliss, the piano playing is incredible, flurries of notes swirling over insanely busy drumming, Jackson't bass holding it all together, the songs slipping from sweet jazzy coffee house grooves to frantic frenetic hard bop workouts, the sort of wild frenzied playing that would have most jazz crowds on the edge of their seats on on their feet!
Huge booklet packed with liner notes, interviews, photos, the story of the record, of Jackson, of the club, including some funny stuff about Sun Ra, Prince (it is Minneapolis after all) and more...
MPEG Stream: "Paul's Ark"
MPEG Stream: "Ya Kum Ba"
MPEG Stream: "Bobby's Blues"

album cover JORGE, SEU AND ALMAZ s/t (Now-Again) cd 16.98
This is the best Seu Jorge record we've heard since we were first turned on to his stripped down bossa interpretations of David Bowie songs for The Life Aquatic Soundtrack. And it's not just because all the songs featured here are covers. Backing him up this time around is a trio of Brazilian rock musicians (Almaz) who originally joined the singer to record one song for a soundtrack and the chemistry was so right that they ended up doing a full record and are currently touring together. We were never too keen on Jorge's previous records of original songs, because they carried too much of a global fusion vibe that held little of the magic of his pared-down reinterpretations. But Almaz hit the musical tone just right, keeping the grooves sleek and prominent with a tight focus on rich atmosphere with psych and dub flourishes and economic arrangements. The covers are mostly of classic and obscure Brazilian songs by Tim Maia, Jorge Ben, Noriel Vilela and Nelson Cavaquinho but Jorge also throws in English-sung covers by Michael Jackson ("Rock With You"), Kraftwerk ("The Model") and Roy Ayers ("Everybody Loves The Sunshine"). The Ayers track works best, adding a layer of sultry coolness with Jorge's rich deep voice, but keeping the rare groove of the original completely in tact. All in all, a direction we're happy to see the Brazilian singer headed towards and hope future releases are just as promising.
MPEG Stream: "Cristina"
MPEG Stream: "Everyone Loves The Sunshine"
MPEG Stream: "The Model"
MPEG Stream: "Tempo De Amor"

album cover JORGE, SEU AND ALMAZ s/t (Now-Again) 2lp 21.00
This is the best Seu Jorge record we've heard since we were first turned on to his stripped down bossa interpretations of David Bowie songs for The Life Aquatic Soundtrack. And it's not just because all the songs featured here are covers. Backing him up this time around is a trio of Brazilian rock musicians (Almaz) who originally joined the singer to record one song for a soundtrack and the chemistry was so right that they ended up doing a full record and are currently touring together. We were never too keen on Jorge's previous records of original songs, because they carried too much of a global fusion vibe that held little of the magic of his pared-down reinterpretations. But Almaz hit the musical tone just right, keeping the grooves sleek and prominent with a tight focus on rich atmosphere with psych and dub flourishes and economic arrangements. The covers are mostly of classic and obscure Brazilian songs by Tim Maia, Jorge Ben, Noriel Vilela and Nelson Cavaquinho but Jorge also throws in English-sung covers by Michael Jackson ("Rock With You"), Kraftwerk ("The Model") and Roy Ayers ("Everybody Loves The Sunshine"). The Ayers track works best, adding a layer of sultry coolness with Jorge's rich deep voice, but keeping the rare groove of the original completely in tact. All in all, a direction we're happy to see the Brazilian singer headed towards and hope future releases are just as promising.
MPEG Stream: "Cristina"
MPEG Stream: "Everyone Loves The Sunshine"
MPEG Stream: "The Model"
MPEG Stream: "Tempo De Amor"

album cover K-X-P s/t (Smalltown Supersound) cd 18.98
Ok, so AQ customers are likely well aware of the "New Wave Of Finnish Heavy Metal" movement popularized by Circle and cohorts, an alleged genre that's usually more krautrock than metal anyway, but is certainly Finnish. Well, drop the heavy metal part and you've got Finnish New Wave, eh? And that's what new Smalltown Supersound act K-X-P are up to. Synth-laden '80s inspired "New Wave" from Finland, played on drums, bass, and keys (no guitar), with plenty of that motorik krautrock groove Circle and Co. are known for as well. One of their two, rotating drummers (they switch off on this recording) is in fact Tomi from Circle and Aavikko so that certainly makes sense.
Consisting largely of instrumental grooves, these eight tracks are heavy on the electronics, and driving hypnotic rhythms, with some vocals here and there, that at times remind us of Adam & The Ants, or what we think we remember Adam Ant sounding like, though the vocals in "Pockets" are weirdly effected in a way that makes 'em sound almost like Mika Ratto from Circle, singing over Gary Numan-like throbbing synth pop. K-X-P doesn't lack variety, "Mehu Moments" actually reminds us of a krauty version of that Charanjit Singh Ten Ragas To A Disco Beat reissue, it's got that "exotic" vibe with synth squiggle freaking out over steady pulsations, and "18 Hours (Of Love)" has a bit of a glammy Gary Glitter shuffle-time Fred Bigot feel to it, with the singer chanting anthemically over rhythmically spaced electronic distortion-detonations. Elsewhere, K-X-P offer up moodier, dubbier excursions. And yeah, with our love of Finland, and Circle, and krautrock, and coldwave, and noise, and disco, and dub, this pushes plenty of buttons. So this disc has been getting a lot of instore play here at AQ, as word passes from one staffer to another...
We'd happily recommend this to you if you enjoy some/most/any/all of the following: Jonas Reinhardt, Aavikko, Neu!, Suicide, Circle, Cold Cave, Salvatore, Bronze, even Rah Bras.
MPEG Stream: "Mehu Moments"
MPEG Stream: "18 Hours (Of Love)"
MPEG Stream: "Aibal Dub"

album cover KEBAB s/t (Softspot) lp 14.98
Another awesome unearthed post punk gem, this one from a young Belgian combo of crusty anarcho DIY youths, heavily influenced by Crass, but sounding way more like the Slits or the Raincoats. Early eighties art punk / post punk / new wave, this gorgeous reissue collects their entire recorded output, including some seriously rare stuff, including their original demo tape, which was released in 1981 in a run of 30 copies.
The record begins with some crunchy jagged guitars, a simple drum plod, spoken female vocals and a woozy tangled bassline, before exploding into an awesomely lowslung post punk groove, all Joy Divisiony bass, clanging echo drenched guitars, swirls of effects, the vocals leaping from melodic croon, to feral yelp to strident sloganeering to sing songy and anthemic, the lyrics simple and heartfelt, punk and political, the songs laced with lullaby like keyboard melodies, the drums frenetic and propulsive, the sound gloomy, but simultaneously wild and celebratory, bits of strange electronic percussion here and there, mysterious synth blurts, raw and a little bit primitive and totally DIY, anyone who's been digging the recent spate of cold/new wave reissues, will for sure dig this too.
Killer packaging, a massive fold out poster sleeve, with photos and a vintage interview on one side, a huge blurry band photo on the other, with a little hand stamped envelope affixed to the inside containing a folded up lyric sheet.

album cover KEMIALLISET YSTAVAT Ullakkopalo (Fonal) cd 17.98
The last week or two of our so-called "summer" here in San Francisco, has been pretty darn gray. Cold, overcast, gray, a bummer. But, getting the long-awaited new album from Finland's Kemialliset Ystavat (aka Jan Anderzen and friends) has made a big difference! You know how we love love love all things Finland, and Fonal. That magic hasn't abated. Lively, lovely, colorful; woozy and wonderful, this Kemialliset is just what the doctor ordered. Have you heard 'em before? Kemialliset, and their fellow Fonal artists, have been referred to by us (and others) as "Finnish Forest Folk". Fairly accurate... as long as you're ok with folk music made using computers. From a forest that's full of brightly colored trees and plants whose pharmacological uses are probably entirely recreational and specifically hallucinatory. Populated by strange creatures like gibbering gnomes and tittering trolls. And of course, they ARE from Finland. Of course of course.
Carefully constructed by Jan in his forest laboratory, a collage of contributions from folks like Roope Eronen (Avarus, Maniacs Dream, Pylon), Kevin Regan (Fricara Pacchu, Anaksimandros, Avarus), Jussi Lehtisalo (Circle, Pharaoh Overlord), C. Spencer Yeh (Burning Star Core), Neil Campbell (Astral Social Club), Markus Maki (Anaksimandros, Avarus, Kiila), Pekko Kappi (Kiila), Hitoshi Kojo (Juppala Kaapio), Joshua Stevenson (Jackie-O Motherfucker) and others, this is, as you might expect, a delirious and dense tapestry of seamlessly flowing, ever-changing, psychedelic soundz. 14 tracks total to delight the ear with such teeter-tottering elements as lilting layered female vox, bleepy glitchy background electronix (track six sounds like they've wandered into an '80s video arcade to record), wheezing harmonium drones, rattling ritual percussion, cartoon SFX, snippets of synth melody seemingly snatched from a '70s Bo Hansson record, and much much more, from krauty rhythmics to lullaby babble, and hybrids thereof. It's part Incredible String Band, part Raymond Scott or Bruce Haack. Or imagine a completely dosed and demented Black Moth Super Rainbow making a cd-r for Jewelled Antler, maybe.
Truly a phantasmagorical tour-de-force, utterly what we needed to brighten these grey days and/or make 'em cosier. The compact disc version is packaged in a tri-fold digi with a thick booklet packed with beautiful full-color photographs and some very interesting text in both Finnish and English, and the vinyl is nice too.
MPEG Stream: "Kivikasan Rauhassa"
MPEG Stream: "Maksaruohoja"
MPEG Stream: "Ystavalliset Miekat"

album cover KEMIALLISET YSTAVAT Ullakkopalo (Fonal) lp 17.98
The last week or two of our so-called "summer" here in San Francisco, has been pretty darn gray. Cold, overcast, gray, a bummer. But, getting the long-awaited new album from Finland's Kemialliset Ystavat (aka Jan Anderzen and friends) has made a big difference! You know how we love love love all things Finland, and Fonal. That magic hasn't abated. Lively, lovely, colorful; woozy and wonderful, this Kemialliset is just what the doctor ordered. Have you heard 'em before? Kemialliset, and their fellow Fonal artists, have been referred to by us (and others) as "Finnish Forest Folk". Fairly accurate... as long as you're ok with folk music made using computers. From a forest that's full of brightly colored trees and plants whose pharmacological uses are probably entirely recreational and specifically hallucinatory. Populated by strange creatures like gibbering gnomes and tittering trolls. And of course, they ARE from Finland. Of course of course.
Carefully constructed by Jan in his forest laboratory, a collage of contributions from folks like Roope Eronen (Avarus, Maniacs Dream, Pylon), Kevin Regan (Fricara Pacchu, Anaksimandros, Avarus), Jussi Lehtisalo (Circle, Pharaoh Overlord), C. Spencer Yeh (Burning Star Core), Neil Campbell (Astral Social Club), Markus Maki (Anaksimandros, Avarus, Kiila), Pekko Kappi (Kiila), Hitoshi Kojo (Juppala Kaapio), Joshua Stevenson (Jackie-O Motherfucker) and others, this is, as you might expect, a delirious and dense tapestry of seamlessly flowing, ever-changing, psychedelic soundz. 14 tracks total to delight the ear with such teeter-tottering elements as lilting layered female vox, bleepy glitchy background electronix (track six sounds like they've wandered into an '80s video arcade to record), wheezing harmonium drones, rattling ritual percussion, cartoon SFX, snippets of synth melody seemingly snatched from a '70s Bo Hansson record, and much much more, from krauty rhythmics to lullaby babble, and hybrids thereof. It's part Incredible String Band, part Raymond Scott or Bruce Haack. Or imagine a completely dosed and demented Black Moth Super Rainbow making a cd-r for Jewelled Antler, maybe.
Truly a phantasmagorical tour-de-force, utterly what we needed to brighten these grey days and/or make 'em cosier. The compact disc version is packaged in a tri-fold digi with a thick booklet packed with beautiful full-color photographs and some very interesting text in both Finnish and English, and the vinyl is nice too.
MPEG Stream: "Kivikasan Rauhassa"
MPEG Stream: "Maksaruohoja"
MPEG Stream: "Ystavalliset Miekat"

album cover KNUT Wonder (Hydra Head) cd 14.98
It's been a while since we've heard from Swiss heavies Knut, who we've always loved, their sound a head caving hybrid of mathy crush and epic post metal majesty, they were exploring Neurosis / Isis slow burn big blowout metallic post rock territory long before it became the flavor du jour. But the real appeal was that they could craft these expansive dirgescapes and then explode into noise rock freakouts, or super complex mathy grooves, and if anything, on Wonder, it sounds like Knut have moved way further into mathy noise rock territory, which we're actually pretty psyched about, heck, the world has enough long songs that build slowly into epic metallic heaviness, and yeah, okay, maybe the world has enough gnarled grinding math metal juggernauts, but we think not.
And Knut are indeed masters, putting most other heavies to shame, really in the space of a single song. "Leet" explodes in a frenzy of churning riffage and pounding chaotic drumming, bellowed vox, a deft chugging stuttering lurching start stop convoluted mathy workout, but infused with little bits of melody, some super cool, weirdly obtuse breakdowns, a relentless math metal freeforall that practically out-Don-Caballero-s Don Cab themselves.
There are a few tracks, where the bands reel in their insane time signatures and frenzied riffing, letting their sound ooze and sprawl, droning and buzzing, where they unfurl epic brooding heaviness, much like the above mentioned post metal, but even those moments are peppered with little mathy bursts, little gnarled and convoluted twists, there are a few interludes too, more sort of droned out guitar ambience, before they finish off with the 8+ minute "Wonder/Daily Grind", the first half of which is a gorgeously lysergic dronescape of layered slow motion chords and thick psychedelic guitar smolder, it does eventually lurch into some lumbering chug and pound, but just as quickly it slips back into some minimal ambient buzz and drone.
Some seriously awesome heaviness.
MPEG Stream: "Leet"
MPEG Stream: "Damned Extroverts"
MPEG Stream: "Ultralight Backpacking"

album cover KONER, THOMAS Nunatak / Teimo / Permafrost (Type) 3cd 26.00
With the three key albums of Thomas Koner's work having recently been reissued individually on vinyl, Type has now collected those records - Nunatak, Teimo, and Permafrost - in a handsome oversized folio for presenting those albums on compact disc. Here's a recap of our reviews of these stunning pieces of glacial minimalism:
Thomas Koner's debut album Nunatak Gongamur (now truncated as Nunatak) was a record that quietly emerged on the Dutch label Barooni in 1990. Almost all of Koner's recordings (at least his solo recordings), speak to the tundra of the Northern environs, with a lot of allusions to the expanses of Greenland in particular. Nuuk was the name of one Koner record, which happens to the capital and largest city of that frigid island; and Nunatak is an Inuit word describing any rocky outcropping not covered in snow. And of course, Koner excels in the producing of cold cold music. There is a considerable difference between this album and the rest of his catalogue, as Nunatak is an electro-acoustic album entirely sourced from huge gongs. His other records definitely obliterated the source material (some of which was cited as being the sound channel on blank 16mm film stock) into deep space shadow and blackened noise. Here on Nunatak, Koner leaves the resonance of his metal gongs alone, occasionally catching them in languid loops but always focusing on vast deep rumbling overtones and the vast subharmonic frequencies. Given the rasping textures from the gongs, this one is less the all-consuming isolationism and more of an adventurous dronescrape as if extracted from the hull of a cargo ship.
Teimo is an album that was originally released as a cd on Barooni in 1992. Like its predecessor Nunatak Gongamur, Koner had sourced much of Teimo from recordings of gongs, using contact microphones and hydrophones to capture an unusual assortment of resonance, timbre, and decaying frequencies from his gongs. In these recordings, Koner was investigating what he qualified as an 'aesthetic of decline' shaped by the processes of decay, thermal cooling, and any gradual event that will achieve stasis. Water seeking its own level. Glaciers amassing in frozen landscapes. The metal fatigue of submarines, cracking under the pressure of an entire ocean. The long sustained metallic resonances of the gong is an apt tool for his conceptual framework, with Koner further manipulating his sources into elegant passages of subharmonic rumblings that utter subtle melodic phrases whilst shaking the bottom of the seafloor. Amidst the low-end drones and allusions to barren landscapes, Koner takes great care to keep the sounds immersive without imbuing them with terror. Yes, this is 'dark' ambient music, but his aesthetic of decline is far more clinical than say the theatrical drama that Lustmord can muster through his deadly recordings. Koner's quest is for the sublime, filled with awe and beauty simultaneously; and he has effortlessly achieved that quest throughout his career, certainly including this masterful record.
In Permafrost, we have the third and final chapter of this series of reissues from Type, documenting the long out-of-print isolationist composition from Thomas Koner. As with the previous recordings - Nunatak and Teimo - the German sound artist has masterfully captured the frigid atmospheres of the most northern ecosystems, and the title Permafrost leaves little to the imagination as to where this one will be travelling. Cold. Barren. Black. Sublime. The sounds are thoroughly abstracted into shifting blocks of grey noises slipping above seismic rumblings of infinitely bellowing low-end frequencies. By doing so, Koner eschews the use of the gong scrapes and metallic glistenings which graced those early records, adopting the bleak ethos which he continued to master on such albums as Kaamos and Daikan (the latter of which is probably the pinnacle of his career).
All of Koner's work is required listening for anyone who has been interested in drone-based recordings from any time period (e.g. Eno, Lustmord, Chalk, Hafler Trio, Roland Kayn, Alan Splet, Bernhard Gunter, BJ Nilsen, Kevin Drumm, etc.). His subtle use of movement and half-melodic phrasing in his arctic-driven ambience has warranted him quite a reputation, and fortunately none of his reissues fail to sound timeless, breathtaking, and bone-chillingly beautiful. Highly recommended.
MPEG Stream: "Untitled (Nunatak)"
MPEG Stream: "Untitled (Nunatak)"
MPEG Stream: "Untitled (Nunatak)"
MPEG Stream: "Andenes"
MPEG Stream: "Teimo"
MPEG Stream: "Nieve Penitentes 1"
MPEG Stream: "Permafrost 1"
MPEG Stream: "Permafrost 3"
MPEG Stream: "Permafrost 4"

album cover LABYRINTHINE Evoking The Multiverse (self released) cd 10.98
First full length from this East Coast one man black metal band, who trafficks in some awesomely epic spaced out buzz drenched cosmic atmospheric symphonic blackness, a sound that falls somewhere between Velvet Cacoon, Wolves In The Throne Room, and Paysage D'Hiver. Six looooong buzzscapes, that drift from midtempo lope, to blurred black blast, the programmed drums skeletal and buried in the mix, a murky throb in a swirling sea of dizzying layered woozy riffage, washed out and psychedelic, the guitar parts spidery and minor key, the sound super atmospheric and depressive, haunting and otherworldly.
Much of Evoking The Multiverse is spent drifting through the sonic aether, the black metal barely black at all, instead, the sound seems to manifest itself as a streaked field of kosmische shimmer, lush layers of warm whirring buzz and smeared soft focus dreambuzz, "The Planetary Dream Of Infinity" most notably, seems to eschew the traditional tropes of black metal entirely (minus the vocals) offering up slow smoldering streaks of prismatic doomic drift, unfurling long burnished tones, sprawling chordal streaks, the entire track, bathed in some sort of soft celestial light, so melodic, and drifty and soft focus, if it weren't for the vocals, it could almost be some sort of blissed out blackened psychedelia, and much of the record exists in this black metal limbo, slipping just as easily into the heaven of warm otherworldly melodicism, as the hell of grim blasting black buzz, but more often then not, situating itself somewhere right in between, the heavy fast black metal parts rife with strange psychedelic filigree and subtle melodic shadings, and the pretty parts occasionally swallowed up by harrowing bursts of pounding frantic heaviness.
MPEG Stream: "The Eldritch Voyage"
MPEG Stream: "Telepathic Vengeance"
MPEG Stream: "Arcane Orbiter"

album cover LONESUMMER Satisfaction Feels Like A Tomb (Starlight Temple Society) cd-r 7.98
Latest demo from Philly one man black metal band Lonesummer, and it's a doozy. Like on the last record, What We Were, Lonesummer's sound continues to confound and baffle, only black metal on the surface, there's way more going on that just blast and buzz. On what We Were it was sampled jazz records, female vocals, all kinds of backwards effects, a serious heaping helping of noise, not to mention some shoegazey poppiness, all wound up into a swirling tripped out chunk of psychedelic blackness. On this latest, if anything, both the poppiness AND the noisiness have been cranked way up, for yet another amazing blackened slab of heavy/pretty whatthefuck.
The record opens with a crumbling wall of feedback and buzz, before the song erupts in a total blast of in-the-red metalgaze, all pretty pop drift buried beneath an avalanche of distortion and Merzbowian buzz, which leads right into a track that is WAY at the other end of the spectrum, softly buzzing guitars, simple skeletal drum machine, a bit like a lo-fi bedroom brewed Cure, but with harsh demonic vox, and a weird almost new age sounding synth solo. Sounds weird, and it is, but if you didn't want weird, you would most definitely have bailed out of this review about ten sentences back.
From there on out, it's a series of schizophrenic sonic freakouts, from ultra lo-fi grim garage style raw primitive black buzz, to washed out woozy blackened melancholy drift, brittle guitars, trash can drums, shrieked vokills, but all drifting on a dreamy pure pop melody, to super blown out chaotic noise rock, but even then, shot through with some sort of unlikely melody, the entire sound threatening to collapse beneath the weight of so much distorted buzz and amp shredding crunch.
"Hyalophagia" is a blast of almost pure white noise, with some sort of thrashing blackness going on underneath, finishing off with a bizarre collage of foreign language samples and elevator music melodies. "9-25" is all dour spidery slowcore guitars, unfurling crystalline melodies in a wide open expanse of reverbed shimmer, peppered with sizzling cymbals, and chiming swaths of almost lush sounding harmonies. "Watch The Walls Instead" sounds like Casio black metal, a skittery programmed beat shuffles beneath sheets of warm muted buzz, as if there was a depressive black metal shoe gaze demo preset on those little keyboards. The final three tracks are variations on extreme black noisiness, flitting from raw primitive blast, to in the red pounding crunch, and finally back to loping minor key lo-fi blissed out blackened pop.
LIMITED TO 125 COPIES. Nicely packaged in printed envelopes with cardstock gatefold inserts...
MPEG Stream: "Mundane Dreams About Flash Floods "
MPEG Stream: "Demerol Smile"
MPEG Stream: "I'm Sorry/It's Ok"

album cover MADLIB Medicine Show No.7 - High Jazz (Madlib) cd 17.98
On first listen it's practically impossible to even consider that this isn't some awesome live DJ set of rare jazz grooves, spiritual, modal, post bop, funky, soulful, don't really recognize most of the names, but then they're just crazy obscure right? Well, in fact, this is not so much a Madlib DJ set, spinning mad jazz, as it is a collection of groups featuring Madlib PLAYING real jazz. Every band here is a different permutation/alias of Madlib and his extended jazz crew, and as if it wasn't enough that he was an amazing producer and DJ, he is also apparently some sort of jazz master, as he and his bandmates conjure up every variation of classic jazz under the sun, whether it be psychedelic soul jazz, funky far out jazz fusion, classic bop, Latin jazz, sitar tinged Eastern jazz, the playing and composition is impeccable, but also far out and psychedelic, woozy organs, wah guitars, soulful female vox, shuffling drum skitter, amazing horns, lush piano, tinkling chimes, tribal percussion, all woven into an ever shifting array of sounds, funky blaxploitation style wah wah jazz funk, smooth laid back coffee house smoulder, wild psychedelic free jazz freakout, brooding dark ballads, soaring spiritual jazz shimmer, old school big band jazz, and it's not just the music, not only is the record named for a legendary seventies jazz fusion jam, the booklet features spot on fake Blue Note style album covers for the records from each of these groups that these tracks were supposedly taken from. So genius!
MPEG Stream: GENERATION MATCH "Electric Dimensions"
MPEG Stream: JAHARI MASSAMBA UNIT "Pretty Eyes"
MPEG Stream: THE KENNY COOK OCTET "High Jazz"
MPEG Stream: THE BIG BLACK FOOT BAND FEAT. THE BLACK SPIRITS "Reality Or Dream"

album cover MONARCH Sabbat Noir (Heathen Skulls) lp 32.00
Latest from these French ultra doom sludgelords and sludgelady, a single song spread out over two lp sides, a sprawling, lugubrious, blackened slow motion tarpit crawl, and if it was even possible, Sabbat Noir sounds and feels even more abstract and spaced out than any of the other Monarchs, which is saying a lot. Sabbat Noir is also the band's first proper full length to feature their new drummer, Robert from the Grey Daturas, who makes himself right at home, his spare hard hitting style perfectly suited to Monarch's weirdly dreamy doomic drift.
The record/song begins with a dense cloud of rumbles and whirs, a slow motion sub-SUNN guitar crawl, wrapped in shimmery cymbal sizzle, an epic, smoldering, slow building low end creep. Thick, almost liquid guitars ooze beneath abstract drumming, the hits ages apart, long stretches of layered guitardrone, a nearly stalled doom, that hovers and floats more than crushes or pummels. The vocals exist way off in the distance, haunting and spectral, just another layer of slow shifting sound, which gives way here and there to hushed ambience, it's not so much a song as a sound, drifty and shimmery, and nearly ambient, it's not until near the end of the first side that things get a little mathy and metal, the riffs coalescing into black hole crunch, the drums pounding out an almost-rhythm. The side ends, and the song picks right back up on the flipside a la Lynyrd Skynyrd, more tarpit creep, streaked with feedback, the vocals moving gradually to the fore, their presence more intense, the riffs coalescing into a more traditional doom, mournful and melancholy, like Paradise Lost or My Dying Bride, but slowed waaaaaay down, the now shrieked vox drifting over this lumbering swoonsome dour doomic miserablism, a gorgeous, desolate, somber dronedoom, that slowly sheds the doom, eventually blissing back out into some more blackened guitardrone dreaminess.
The packaging is incredible, super glossy, metallic prismatic jackets, you have to see them to believe them, easily one of the coolest looking covers ever, the front cover the Monarch logo all shiny and metallic over what appears to be hair, but follow that hair to the other side of the sleeve where you'll find a sexy evil pic of Monarch's vocalist Emilie all corpsepainted and hoTT, the records are pressed on 180 gram vinyl, and of course LIMITED TO ONLY 400 COPIES!!!

album cover MORTON, JELLY ROLL The Chant (Monk) lp 22.00
Ferdinand "Jelly Roll" Morton (1885-1941) is one of the most important musical figures of the twentieth century, a jazz pioneer and a gifted composer during the days of Vaudeville and one of the first musicians to take part in the new revolution in recorded music. A jack of all trades, Morton began his career in show business as a teenager in New Orleans, playing brothels and touring the American South, with later stints in major cities like New York, Chicago, Vancouver, and Washington DC. Along the way, he also racked up experience as a comedian and supposedly even as a pimp. He was also apparently pretty handy with a gun. But moreso with a piano!
These recordings were captured in Chicago in 1926 and 1927, showcasing Morton's staggering talents as a pianist, composer, and bandleader. The songs show off a style of "Hot" jazz that will be instantly familiar to many of you, with lots of blaring reed instruments and Morton's rhythmic piano serving as the anchor. The songs are fun, easy going romps with lots of humor thrown in and the occasional raspy Morton vocal. Things flow with a nice drunken sort of feel while still maintaining a high level of energy, with the instruments loping about constantly within the busy arrangements. Fortunately, Morton was given access to recording facilities that had the fidelity to match the complexity of his songs, and things sound great here. A few songs even make use of sound effects like old klaxon horns, which is certainly interesting considering that these may represent some of the earliest uses of non-musical sounds incorporated into commercial recordings. This winner comes to us courtesy of the good folks at Monk and serves as a great introduction to Morton's vast catalog.

album cover NEON JUDGEMENT Early Tapes (Dark Entries) lp 17.98
One of the more eccentric acts to emerge from the Belgian EMB scene in the late '80s, The Neon Judgement developed a stylized sound of electronics melded to an Americana swagger with patinas of country-fried twang working into leather-clad industrialisms. At times, Neon Judgement were brilliant in this approach, other times it was a contrived dud. Yet, this sound was one that was developed over time, as their earliest recordings took on the more of synth punk idioms that were held by contemporaries in Cabaret Voltaire, Absolute Body Control, Siglo XX, Suicide, and even bits of Gary Numan. This LP contains all the tracks from the two cassettes that Neon Judgement released in 1981-1982 (TV Treated and Suffering), and it makes perfect sense that the exceptional ears at Dark Entries would seek out the finest moments from Neon Judgement's beginnings. At this time, the band was considerably more raw, with jagged guitar riffs coupled to the overdriven synth chords and jabbing arppegiations. It sounds like Neon Judgement had been listening to that first Suicide record, and wanted to try to figure out how to reinterpret the zombified rockabilly through electronics as well, without resorting to a pure homage. The minimalist spiralling of Neon Judgement's electronics holds some of Suicide's simplicity, although Neon Judgement's rock sensibility is purely showcased through the guitar and not the songwriting, which is much more tuned (at least here) to the European approaches of coldwave detachment. A couple of the tracks (e.g. "Factory Walk" and "TV Treated") had made appearances on later albums with more polish on the production, but there's something better suited to the stilted gait and agitated guitar pluckings on "Factory Walk" that make these recordings more expressive. As with all Dark Entries titles, limited to 500 copies.

album cover NILSEN, BJ & STILLUPPESTEYPA Space Finale (Editions Mego) lp 27.00
This out of print cassette, now available on vinyl!
At the end of the 'alcohol trilogy' that BJ Nilsen & Stilluppsteypa released via Helen Scarsdale, the dark isolationist rumble which dominated the previous two and half records was shattered by a robotic sequence of bleeping analog synth tones which spiralled deep into the void of the arctic night sky. Such a dramatic juxtaposition is not uncommon within the realm of Stilluppsteypa, but less so for Mr. Nilsen. And those Derbyshire / Dockstader / Oneohtrix like tones found on Passing Out (the finale mentioned above) is clearly the jumping off point for Space Finale - an epic 90 minute double lp of analog synthesis, captured, spliced, and cut, all on a Revox 2-channel tape machine. Amidst the vintage synth blips and sustained tones, Nilsen & Stilluppsteypa offer another narrative composition that moves from the vacant space station overrun by some unknown alien virus into the lair of the mad scientist who meanders dabbles on his Wurlizter (or some kind of organ, if it's not an actual Wurlizter) in minor key melancholy when not toiling away on an abomination that will somehow destroy the world. Shadowy ambience, fuzzed out tape hiss aggregation, weird dropouts and glitches on the tape that would make Leif Elggren proud, and much much more.
As mentioned above, Space Finale originally came out as a limited edition cassette earlier in 2010, but it was pretty clear that Nilsen & Stilluppsteypa intended this to be a 2lp, as both sides of the cassette were neatly broken into two suites a piece, perfectly suited for vinyl! This too is limited - just 500 - and highly recommend, as with all from this ongoing collaborative project.

album cover NO BALLS Problems That Will Solve Themselves (Diskad) 7" 9.98
Four more short sharp blasts of grinding, cyclical, mesmerizing, crusty, repetitive blown out, in the red hypnorock heaviness from No Balls, a minimally maximalist offshoot of the mighty Brainbombs, taking single parts, and locking them and looping them into (im)proper songs, pounding away relentlessly, total caveman headbanger post punk sludge rock, and some of the raddest shit we've ever heard. Obviously if you love the Brainbombs, you're probably gonna dig this too. The same gnarled filthy riffage, the same sort of Neanderthal drum pound, but No Balls are definitely their own demented beast, howled vocals buried in the mix, occasional damaged psychedelic guitar leads, the sound thick and dense and powerful, heavy and punk as fuck, but also weirdly metallic, and super trancelike, most songs a single riff, pounded out over and over, while all around it guitar lines tangle, the low end throbs and pulses, vocals yelp, this record is more songy than the rest of the Brainbombs catalog, but only just barely. Like old school Finnish punk rock, super charged and stripped down, furious and fierce and frantic, but dirgey and doomy and sludgey at the same time, a tangled superfuzz blowout, tightly wound, and unravelling before your ears, glorious ramshackle, totally loose and swaggery and druggy, but tight in that way only bands on the verge of total collapse are capable of. It's way too short, these are the kinds of songs that could go on forever, stretch any of these jams into double digits and you'd have some seriously transcendental ur-dirge drone bliss crust wave nirvana, but if you're like us, you'll find yourself playing this over and over and over and over anyway...
LIMITED TO 306 COPIES. In hand screened sleeves, each one hand numbered. We got a bunch, but most likely these are the last copies we'll ever get...

album cover ONEOHTRIX POINT NEVER Antony / Fennesz Returnal (Editions Mego) 7" 11.98
On this 7", the title track from the most recent Oneohtrix Point Never full length gets two radically different reworkings, one from Antony (of & The Johnsons), the other by Christian Fennesz.
The original "Returnal" was a dizzying slab of robotic future funk, all pulsing synths, processed machinelike vox, a tripped out hybrid of Gary Numan, Kraftwerk and M83, all fuzzy, and swirly and psychedelic and spaced out, but these two reimaginings couldn't be further from the original. First up, Antony strips away all the synths, and reinterprets it as a torch song, played entirely on an acoustic piano (by Daniel Lopatin, aka Oneohtrix, himself), the sound lush and elegiac, Antony's vocals moving and emotional, intense and so dramatic, the new version a haunting dark ballad, that even to fans of the Oneohtrix original, will most likely sound like a completely different beast.
Fennesz takes the Antony version from the A-side, and pulls it apart, blurs and softens the sounds into softly spinning clouds, taking various tones and stretching them way out, letting the piano drift in and out, the vocals slipping from gently reverbed to layered heavily effected, looped and repeated mantra like, occasionally disappearing into a squall of dubbed out effects, other times suspended in a field of pixilated piano and thick streaks of chordal clusters, eventually building to a warm lush psychedelic climax, before settling back to earth, fading out completely, leaving just shadowy traces and slowly decaying sonic contrails...
Probably quite limited, as these things most often are, features some sleek minimal Mego style cover art/design by none other than Stephen O'Malley.

album cover PARTON, DOLLY The Fairest Of Them All / My Favorite Songwriter, Porter Wagoner (Omni) cd 16.98
Another fantastic reissue from Omni, focusing on one of our favorite country singer songwriters, the legendary Dolly Parton. But c'mon, this is Omni, so this isn't just some sort of greatest hits, this is some waaaay more obscure stuff, including one of the best, and strangest Parton records you've never heard, The Fairest Of Them All, recorded in the lates sixties during the height of her popularity, yet inexplicably never reissued until now. The sound is classic country, classic Parton in fact, slippery lap steel, stately piano, lush minor key melodies, weeping fiddles, soaring strings and Parton's voice, so distinctive, and the songs are incredible, the opener, "Daddy Come And Get Me" (also heard on Omni's Troubled Troubadours comp) is sung from the perspective of a young girl in a mental institution begging for her Daddy to come and rescue her. "Chas" is all about forbidden love, but a twisted take, a sister caring for her invalid brother and longing for her husband. "Down From Dover" is the tale of an unwed pregnant teen waiting for the father of her child to return as promised. Strange stuff for sure. It's not all that far out though, but it is all fantastic.
As if that weren't enough, this 2-on-1 collection includes a second album, one we were even more excited about, My Favorite Songwriter, where Parton covers a collection of tracks by the incomparable Porter Wagoner, who besides being an incredible songwriter, played a huge part in Parton's career, having produced her, written songs for her, given her a big break by hiring her for his television show, there were even rumors that they were romantically involved, regardless, theirs was a long running partnership, and the combination of Parton's voice, and Wagoner's songs and arrangements are pretty tough to beat. That said, this is definitely not Wagoner at his weirdest, no "Rubber Room" here, instead, it's simply some of his best songwriting, classic country, heartfelt and emotional, the arrangements beautiful, Parton's voice perfect. SO recommended.
And as with all Omni reissues, this includes a massive booklet, packed with extensive liner notes and tons of photos.
MPEG Stream: "Daddy Come And Get Me"
MPEG Stream: "Chas"
MPEG Stream: "Just The Way I Am"
MPEG Stream: "Down From Dover"
MPEG Stream: "Robert"

album cover PROCER VENEFICUS How The Heather Moonlit Shivers (Just Another Winter) 2lp 29.00
A brand new, sprawling collection of celestial darkness and buzzing black ambient drift from this black metal / black ambient master. As we've mentioned in the past, more often than not, PV will dedicate a whole record to either side of his sonic personality, sometimes it's a disc of swirling and dense blackened black metal buzz, other times it's gorgeously bleak and minimal ambient dronemusic, but in both cases, the man behind Procer Veneficus is able to conjure up gorgeously sinister sounds and nightmarish atmospheres, be they buzz or drift, blast or shimmer.
How The Heather Moonlit Shivers, is, as the legend on the back of the record makes clear, "Dedicated to Her", and judging from the black sonic mystery within, the 'Her' in question either broke his heart, or is the object of a seriously grim obsession, or both. Extended stretches of layered black drift, Philip Jeck style crackly loopscapes, muted subterranean pulses, thick swaths of distorted crumble, processed ghostly vox, swirling soft focus effects, minor key steel string folk dirges, keening streaks of fragmented melody underpinning slowed down voices, haunting reverb drenched avant Appalachia gives way to abject post industrial black ambience, which gives way to dense clouds of low end bellow, laced with melancholic finger picked acoustic guitars.
Elsewhere thick walls of guitarbuzz dirge lumber and throb, but are infused with subtle bits of melody, transformed from brute force crush into something moody and soothing and beautiful, while spidery guitars wrap their tendrils around long stretches of layered voices and alien harmonies, while here and there, fragments of voice, or a bit of guitar, will be doused in reverb and echo and delay and sent spinning into the aether, creating a dizzying looped out dronescape.
The record closes with a 10+ minute interpretation of an Amber Asylum song, complete with strings, the strings along with languid steel string guitars, and swirling ambient background shimmer create a sort of droney, depressive otherworldly chamber music. There's also an Espers cover (a cover of a cover oddly enough), which is equally beautiful, but a bit more tripped out, a sort of druggy heavily effected space folk, but both covers fit perfectly amidst the equally evocative and hauntingly beautiful PV originals.
Folks who ONLY like the black metal side of Procer Veneficus, may be disappointed, but anyone into mysterious dark soundscapes, cinematic blackened drone music, and creepy sinister black folk, will be immediately and inexorably ensorcelled.
Packaged in a super swank and thick matte finish gatefold jacket, pressed on thick red vinyl, LIMITED TO 406 COPIES, each one hand numbered.
MPEG Stream: "Orchidblood"
MPEG Stream: "Crimsonblack Bordeaux"
MPEG Stream: "Amaranthine Aura"

album cover PROCESSION The Cult Of Disease (Iron Kodex) cd 13.98
Are you feeling doomed? Play some Procession and you will! And you'll dig the doomed feeling too, if you're like us. Hailing from South America, Chile to be precise, this obscure trio dish out the ever-lovin' doom metal on this their debut full-length (technically, they call it an ep, 'cause three of its six songs are taken from an earlier demo tape, but it's 48 minutes long and works as one coherent album). The band's logo and the cover art may make this look like a black metal release, and IS quite dark and serious and Satanic, but it's definitely slo-mo true doom in the old school vein of Reverend Bizarre and The Gates Of Slumber and of course Saint Vitus and Black Sabbath, with lyrics about such abysmal subjects as plagues, gravegardens, and dying ancient empires. The inevitability of disease, death and decay, and loss of faith, are what Procession acknowledge and embrace. They do so sincerely, with much grace and majesty - and sheer heaviness, the guitars dragging you down with their lugubrious riffs and insalubrious tones. There's weird atmospheres, occasional uptempo surges, and no lack of morose melody. Freakin' EPIC. The band's guitarist/vocalist Felipe Plaza Kutzbach sings with all the grandiose power of classic Candlemass, but in a lower register, and with more of a rough, anguished edge. He's definitely Procession's biggest draw, both his vocals and guitar playing - not just churning riffage, there's also some really interestingly effected leads heard here, strangely psychedelic and melancholically beautiful, and his doomy talents are ably supported by the solid bass and drums. Procession (great name, by the way, we imagine doomed souls marching into the underworld, or cloaked monks in some ceremonial, uh, procession) prove themselves a force to be reckoned with. We've listed some excellent doom debuts lately, Garden Of Worm, Crowned In Earth, Griftegard, but THIS one is possibly the best. Certainly the troo doom minded here have been listening to this A LOT. And considering how much cool new music (doom and otherwise) we are inundated with here every week at AQ, that's saying something. Can't wait for the new one we hear is in the works...
MPEG Stream: "The Funeral Of An Age"
MPEG Stream: "Down The River Of Corpses"
MPEG Stream: "The Road To The Gravegarden"

album cover PURE ECSTASY / SLEEP OVER split (Light Lodge) 7" 8.98
Welcome to dream pop heaven! The boys of Austin, TX trio Pure Ecstasy come together with their all-female equivalent Sleep Over (featuring Stephanie from Silver Pines) on this exquisite split single. We managed to get some of the last copies while they were both here on tour, so don't miss out on this one as once they're gone, they're gone!
The Pure Ecstasy track "Dream Over" is like Galaxie 500 on cough syrup, a super slow and hazy lament, waking up to the painful realization that your love is gone for good. The rhythm plods along with melancholic Beach Boys harmonies and distorted guitar swells panging with heartbreak and regret. These guys nail that sound so perfectly.
This is the first time we've heard all female trio, Sleep Over and hopefully it won't be the last. Two girl harmonies with organ, guitar, bass and drum machine, their track "Your World Is Night" is a blurry wash of woozy organ pop, hazy and pretty like Kate Bush on downers. So gooood!
We don't want to talk it up too much, because we only have a few of these. Amazing!

album cover PURE ECSTASY Tour Tape (self-released) cassette 8.98
Along with the Sleep Over split, we managed to pick up a few copies of Pure Ecstasy's latest tape which shows off the bands more experimental side, a side we haven't seen as much on their pop singles. The bands slow motion grooves are in tact, but the overall effect is more collage-like, chopped in a blender style. Sometimes veering into hazy dub experimentations a la Sun Araw, or lo-fi distortion squalls, murmured voices, and pretty ambiance. Two ten minute sides. Super limited!

album cover RICHTER, MAX Infra (Fat Cat) cd 14.98
Not many musicians and composers are able to create music as beautiful and elegant as Max Richter. Whether it be his stunning albums, soundtracks or arrangements for folks like Vashti Bunyan, Richter has proven to be one of the most restrained and versatile composers of the last decade. Infra was a work originally created as a score for a Ballet called The Waste Land. These fragile, subdued miniatures create such a dislocated and gray musical mood. Allowing your mind to wander or stay frozen in a numbing disbelief. Our only complaint regarding some of his previous work was the incorporation of unneeded and heavy handed spoken word/voices which tended to ruin the flow of the music, but luckily on Infra he smartly keeps that out of the mix and allows the haunting, cloudy sounds he's created to speak for themselves. While this may have been made for a ballet we are finding it the perfect soundtrack to those foggy/cold days we've been having in July (oh San Francisco summer) and those early mornings you find yourself awake but bleary headed and needing a musical companion to your clouded vision and foggy mind. So nice!
MPEG Stream: "Infra 1"
MPEG Stream: "Journey 2"
MPEG Stream: "Infra 5"

album cover RUSKO O.M.G (Mad Decent / Downtown) cd 14.98
Not to be confused with the similarly-minded Roska, Rusko, aka Christopher Mercer, seems destined to be the next hardest working producer in dubstep. Taking the dark serious side of the genre into more uproarious and exuberant blends of house, soul, rave and dancehall, Rusko strives to fit so many genre-busting ideas in one record that it makes for a rather head-spinning listen. But each delirious track stands out on its own. Much like the Major Lazer debut, they're a lot of guests including Gucci Mane and The Dirty Projector's Amber Coffman (whose track "Hold On" is one of our favorite tracks this year!) There's lots of hip hop autotune vocal hooks, eighties synth washes, rave sirens, donks, sped-up yelps, 8-bit woots, but Rusko weaves them into sublimely energetic and soulful motifs. It's more than a pastiche of previously explored sounds, Rusko creates a winning dance combination that we'll be listening to all summer long!
MPEG Stream: "Hold On"
MPEG Stream: "Kumon Kumon"
MPEG Stream: "You're On My Mind"
MPEG Stream: "District Line"

album cover RUSKO O.M.G. (Mad Decent Protocol) 2lp 22.00
Not to be confused with the similarly-minded Roska, Rusko, aka Christopher Mercer, seems destined to be the next hardest working producer in dubstep. Taking the dark serious side of the genre into more uproarious and exuberant blends of house, soul, rave and dancehall, Rusko strives to fit so many genre-busting ideas in one record that it makes for a rather head-spinning listen. But each delirious track stands out on its own. Much like the Major Lazer debut, they're a lot of guests including Gucci Mane and The Dirty Projector's Amber Coffman (whose track "Hold On" is one of our favorite tracks this year!) There's lots of hip hop autotune vocal hooks, eighties synth washes, rave sirens, donks, sped-up yelps, 8-bit woots, but Rusko weaves them into sublimely energetic and soulful motifs. It's more than a pastiche of previously explored sounds, Rusko creates a winning dance combination that we'll be listening to all summer long!
MPEG Stream: "Hold On"
MPEG Stream: "Kumon Kumon"
MPEG Stream: "You're On My Mind"
MPEG Stream: "District Line"

album cover SCOTT PILGRIM VS THE WORLD OST (Universal) cd 16.98
We can't remember a movie we've wanted to see this bad in ages. Sure we're a little sick of Michael Cera, and his one dimensional / one character bag of tricks, but somehow he seemed MADE to be in this movie. More importantly, it's directed by Edgar Wright, the man responsible for not only the amazing RomZomCom Shaun Of The Dead, but the equally awesome buddy cop parody Hot Fuzz, not to mention the fake grind house trailer for Don't (and hey, if they can make a real movie out of one of the OTHER fake Grindhouse trailers, Machete, then come on, why not an actual movie of Don't?). Plus if you've seen the trailer, it's total eye candy, like a tween rock band version of Fight Club, with all sorts of random CGI filligree, not to mention some awesome over the top battles, and the whole concept of this indie rock nebbish having to battle a league of super evil exboyfriends (AND girlfriends) to win the punk rock love of his life, c'mon! We haven't seen it, but we KNOW it's gonna rule. And the soundtrack is pretty bad ass too. People are psyched about it for new music from Beck, but what some might not realize is that while he wrote the music for the 'fake' band in the movie Sex Bob-Omb, he doesn't actually perform those tracks, instead, the band, including Cera, actually tackle Beck's songs, which are fuzzy and garage-y and snotty and GREAT. Broken Social Scene show up too, as the fictional band Crash And The Boys, whose sound is fast and furious and hardcore, one of the tracks, "I'm So Sad, So Very Very Sad" clocking in at about all of 5 seconds! But fear not, there's a new Beck song proper, a new Broken Social Scene song, new music from Metric, as well as some classic jams from Frank Black, T-Rex, The Rolling Stones, and some others. The soundtrack finishes off with a rad 8-bit jam, that's all Nintendo-y and groovy and pretty much sounds like it should be the theme for the movie. Killer soundtrack, and we're betting killer movie too (we'll know for sure this weekend!!!)...
MPEG Stream: SEX BOB-OMB "We Are Sex Bob-Omb"
MPEG Stream: SEX BOB-OMB "Garbage Truck"
MPEG Stream: SEX BOB-OMB "Summertime"

album cover SO PERCUSSION & MATMOS Treasure State (Cantaloup) cd 21.00
Like the best of improv musicians, Matmos have proven to be such mindful and masterful collaborators over the years. Teaming up with everyone from The Kronos Quarter to J Lesser, David Pajo to Marshal Allen of the Sun Ra Arkestra, Wobbly to Rachel's, Terry Riley to Bjork, the list goes on and on! What's always exciting about these collaborations is that Matmos really do shed their skin and mutate into something totally different as they play off the blueprints of the folks they are collaborating with, and help bring that sound to entirely new places, stretching the bounds of outer sound possibilities. This time they're working with So Percussion, the percussive based collective whose sound exists somewhere between Steve Reich and Tortoise, but with Matmos thrown into the mix the sound becomes much more stretched out with unexpected twists, turns and nuanced vibrations. From a Penguin Cafe Orchestra vibe to postmodern gamelan rhythms, this is a record that really encapsulates what it means to be sound artists feeding off of each other. These are all musicians who you can tell are stretching way out, using their imaginations and having fun while they create something together that they wouldn't have come up with on their own. Highly recommended!
MPEG Stream: "Shard"
MPEG Stream: "Water"
MPEG Stream: "Aluminum"

album cover SONNY & THE SUNSETS The Hypnotist (Future Stress) 7" 6.50
Sonny Smith is one of those tireless local songwriters and musicians that afters years of dedicated self-promotion is finally getting his due. This year alone saw the culmination of his ambitious project, 100 Records, where he recorded 200 songs in multiple genres (reggae, soul, country, punk, power-pop, etc.) for singles by fictitious bands with record cover art provided by 100 local artists. When it showed at Gallery 16 in the Spring, the opening was a packed house of local luminaries cheering Sonny on as his band performed a raucous set of the best songs he made. We quickly sold out of his latest band's debut, Tomorrow Is Alright, but we managed to get this 4 song 7" to tide us over between pressings of that lp.
Sounding like Jonathan Richman recording an ep for the Woodsist label, the songs here are on the lo-fi folky side, sometimes with girl group back-up singers, a bit of jangle-pop, or some retro cool balladry. His lyrics discernible without his voice being too in the front of the mix like some of Jonathan Richman's work can be. All in all a very nice capsule of what Smith is exploring at the moment. The first few we had of these sold out in an instant, and it took us awhile to get more. The batch we have now is on yellow and blue swirl vinyl, but after these are gone, we'll probably only be able to get black vinyl so act fast!

album cover SZABO, GABOR Jazz Raga (Light In The Attic) lp 19.98
Also now reissued on vinyl!
We're so happy that Light in The Attic reissued this, a stellar, newly remastered entry from 1967 in the amazing back catalog of one of our all-time favorite jazz guitarists from the sixties and seventies, Gabor Szabo. As a matter of fact, he was the first true guitar hero for Scott here at AQ, the reason Scott started playing guitar - thus Szabo is indirectly responsible for The Alps!
Releasing an amazing string of albums on Impulse, Skye, Blue Thumb and CTI, Szabo's masterful blending of eastern raga, gypsy and flamenco influences from his native Hungary with western jazz, mod, pop and rock influences created some of the most psych-inflected jazz grooves of the sixties. We suppose if you were only to get one of his records, Jazz Raga is arguably the best albeit strangest of the bunch. Featuring eight originals and three covers (including a version of the Rolling Stones "Paint It Black"), Szabo recorded the whole album with a group, including the funkiest of session drummers, Bernard "Pretty" Purdie, then overdubbed sitar on all but two of the tracks. Of course by this time, the sitar was becoming THE instrument of choice in western popular music to channel a mystical spellbinding sound, but the manner in which Szabo employs it in the overall compositions of the tracks here is at times, lyrical, dizzying and truly wacked out. For one thing, the sitar is never quite in tune with the actual songs, making some of the melodies seem a bit warped in a way which is difficult to pinpoint. It's not an off-putting effect, quite the opposite. The slightly off interweaving of tonal shades and melody lines actually enhances the otherwordly mystical vibe on what might otherwise be perceived as a psychsploitative gimmick. Of course Szabo's meticulously intricate but seemingly simple guitar phrasings don't need much help from the sitar (he wasn't called The Spellbinder for nothing!). The sitar just provides an elemental coloring allowing a deeper immersion into whatever Szabo is seeking out, whether it be a quiet call to focus ("Walking on Nails"), a monster mod groover ("Sophisticated Wheels"), or the introduction of one of his signature tunes ("Mizrab"), a driving mantra-like tune of tablas and hypnotic droning open-tuned guitars that never tires. It's a song he would return to a few more times in his relatively short career (he died in 1982). Highest Recommendation!
MPEG Stream: "Walking On Nails"
MPEG Stream: "Mizrab"
MPEG Stream: "Sophisticated Wheels"
MPEG Stream: "Caravan"

album cover TAARMA The Cursed Journey (Qiyamah) 7" lathe cut 16.98
The first in a series of ultra limited lathe cut 7"s from obscure black metal bands, this first installment comes from the mysterious Taarma, who hails from the equally mysterious Balochistan (which is in Pakistan), not exactly a hotbed of black metal, which is perhaps what makes Taarma's music so wonderfully strange and unlike most of the other black metal we hear.
Taarma's music is less about buzz and blast, and more about creep and rumble, the sounds warped and warbly, twisted and lugubrious, that sound enhanced by the medium, lathe cuts are inherently noisy, and degrade with every play, so after about 50 plays we can only assume, Taarma will sound even more fucked up and otherworldly.
The A-side begins with a weird, creeping, buzzy ambient intro, that slowly builds to a woozy midtempo lumber, the buzz muted and muddy, the drums distant thud, the whole thing washed out and weirdly melodic, almost like some sort of Jeckian black metal, everything wreathed in a strange echo-y swirl, the riffs gnarled and tangled, the vox a reverb drenched shriek.
The B-side is even creepier and slower and more dismal and depressive, like Striborg crossed with Abruptum, warped melodies, melting in thick black rivulets over a funereal plod, the vocals a swirling black fog, the riffs soporific and blurred, almost like someone spinning a black metal 45 manually with their finger as slow as they possibly can.
Weirdly psychedelic, tripped out, lysergic, a totally abstract chunk of outsider depressive blackness.
LIMITED TO ONLY 45 COPIES!! Each one cut in real time BY HAND on a record lathe, in New Zealand, by Peter King, the master of the lathe cut. And as mentioned above, with every play, the record degrades just a little, so it sounds slightly different every time, and grows more and more noisy and twisted, which is pretty much ideal for already noisy and twisted blackness like this.
Packaged in nice printed thick cardstock sleeves, these are the only copies we'll have, so grab one before they're gone.

album cover TEKHTON Alluvial (The Church Within Records) cd 16.98
Tectonic, Teutonic, yeah Tekhton is a good name for this heavy dirge/doom metal plus post rock (?) band from the Netherlands. This is their second opus, and it's a doozy of FUZZ laden riffage slamming repeatedly into your head, alternating now and again with much quieter, prettier parts, even acoustic strum and spacey synth. There's gruff, emotive singing, sometimes verging on melody, that works with both sides of the loud/soft equation. Tekhton make some allusions to geologic processes, and while a lot of this is subterreanean and slow-mo (and thus massively heavy) they speed up too for the occasional earthquake... their songwriting full of interesting complexities that keep the listener's ear engaged, along with one's emotions, that are already probably firmly in the grip of this intensely doomful music.
We mentioned pretty parts, well the prettiest here might be the indeed glorious "All Is Glory", that track being a mostly gentle, sorta spaced out psychedelic ramble, that's mesmerically mathy too, repetitive in a nicely Circle-ular way. Didn't Om and Six Organs do a record together? Did it sound like this song? Probably not but maybe it should have! (Oh, right, that was a split not a collaboration.)
Call it post-rock or not (maybe doom-prog would work as well?) this does remind us of post-rock stuff, but keeps it doooooooooom too, old school even, with any tendencies towards fancypants artsy-fartsiness utterly bludgeoned by the likes of, ferinstance, the crushing creepycrawl that is the appropriately titled "Tectonic Mass".
Super recommended, in particular to fans of a specific variety of AQ-beloved bands from Harvey Milk to Khanate to Pharoah Overlord to The Body to Boris. And we're detecting a definite Melvins influence on tracks like "Tooth And Nail", also a good thing.
MPEG Stream: "Clove Hitch"
MPEG Stream: "Tooth And Nail"
MPEG Stream: "All Is Glory"

album cover TONSTARTSSBANDHT Midnite Cobras (Psychic Handshake) 7" 8.98
Everybody went crazy for Tonstartssbandht band's recent cassette, titled Parson Sounds, which was in fact covers of legendary Swedish psychfolk jams from Parson Sounds, Harvester and International Harvester, it was the first we had heard from these guys, but it's tough to go wrong, covering stone cold classics like that. Of course when we got this 7" in, we realized that because that first tape was all covers, and pretty faithful ones at that, we didn't actually know what these guys sounded like. And the weird thing was, we didn't actually imagine they'd sound like THIS, but we're digging it anyway, big time.
A bit of that Swedish psychfolk from the tape makes its way onto this here 7", but it's woven into a sort of heavy blown out psych pop, big booming drums, echo drenched vocals, thick, muddy, murky riffs, super catchy and still pretty psychedelic, totally ramshackle, super distorted, fuzzy, warped and lysergic, big hooky choruses, a little bit Animal Collective, a little bit Japandroids, a little bit Lightning Bolt (especially in the frantic tangled bass harmony breakdowns) all tangled up into a heavy, hooky freaked out blast of in-the-red mini noise pop gems, the sort of stuff that sounds like it would be amazing live, a heaving sweaty crowd spilling onto the stage, the band loose and on the edge of collapse, loud as fuck and totally on fire. And the 7" does a pretty great job of capturing that normally-quite-difficult-to-capture rock energy!

album cover TOPAZ RAGS Crown Center (Not Not Fun) 7" 6.98
Don't know too much about these guys, they've had a bunch of records out, but somehow this is the first one we've heard, and it didn't take long for us to realize we had really missing out. Haunting, creepy, dirge-y psychedelia, thick undulating bass buzz, effects drenched guitar shimmer, spidery sitar like melodies, abstract bits of drum skitter and sizzle, processed ghostlike vox, all wrapped in a muddy murky production, blurred into a swirling cloud of dronepsych bliss out. The flipside is even dirgier, with the bass run through a wah wah pedal, the spectral voices wilder and more witchy, a lurching, lumbering dirge, a washed out and woozy soft noise lysergic drift, the guitars jagged and fragmented, notes and bits of melody draped over that grinding buzzing groove, totally dark and ominous and hypnotic.
LIMITED TO 345 COPIES!!!

album cover TWINSISTERMOON Then Fell The Ashes... (Blackest Rainbow) lp 21.00
The latest criminally limited release from this Natural Snow Buildings offshoot, the work of one half of the NSB duo, Mehdi Amaziane, he of the impossibly high and surprisingly feminine voice, which is in full effect here, soaring and lovely, sounding like some lost seventies folk songstress, while the music underneath definitely touches on classic folk and Appalachia, but quickly moves beyond, culminating in the 25 minute folkdrone epic that takes up all of side two, but more on that in a second.
The first half is a collection of shorter songs, beginning with a smoldering prismatic buzz, a layered raga like drone, slow building and subtly epic, which gives way to something much more stripped down, tinkling folk melodies and Amaziane's sweetly crooned vocals. The sound so dreamy and sun dappled and washed out. The record switches gears and suddenly our ears are treated to thick swaths of soft noise drift, swirling voices, a little bit noisy, but it gradually grows more and more orchestral and melodic, before settling down into some tranquil new age shimmer, eventually slipping into delicate Appalachian dreamfolk, crystalline guitar figures, and that voice again, so dreamy and divine.
Then the flipside, and the aforementioned epic 25 minute sidelong dreamdrone, a constantly shifting dronescape rife with swirls of warm whirring buzz, shimmery streaks of fuzzed out melody, soft focus chordal smears, layers and overtones, woozy and softly psychedelic, flecked with fragments of steel string guitar, disembodied voices, a gloriously dense and ultra lovely ur-drone that sounds like a folkier, prettier, more delicate Birchville Cat Motel, droney and dreamy and divine.
Pressed on incredibly heavy vinyl, in a tip on style sleeve so thick, it's almost impossible to get the vinyl out, LIMITED TO 979 COPIES this time around, we got a whole bunch, but 979 is still apparently not nearly enough as once our copies go, this record will most likely be sold out at the label...

album cover V/A Turkish Freakout (Bouzouki Joe) cd 17.98
Three little words guaranteed to get us all excited: Turkish psych comp. That's all it takes. (A fourth word, used in the title here, "Freakout", doesn't hurt either.) Compilations like Turkish Delights, Hava Narghile, and the Turkish installment of Love Peace & Poetry have all been staples here at AQ, and have turned us on to so many amazing bands like Mogollar, Ersen, and 3 Hur-el. Our only worry with a new Turkish psych comp is that it will redundantly duplicate tracks we've already got, but fortunately that's not the case with this one, only a few of the 18 tracks here had we heard before, with some of the artists being completely new to us. And, also, awesome!
Focusing solely on selected rare 45 rpm 7" singles releases, dating from the late '60s to 1980, this comp is evidence that it was a groovy decade in Istanbul for sure. Funky -and- folky (yes, often at the same time), these tracks incorporate all the fuzz guitar, ethnic instrumentation, percolating percussion, exciting rhythms, and soulful vocals we've come to expect from the Turkish psych scene. It's a mesmerizing mix, there's a lot of highlights here, we can't really mention 'em all, but just to give you an idea, the first track, by Okay Temiz, sounds almost like it could come from that soundtrack by Rockford Kabine we made Record Of The Week recently, a sultry and "exotic" instrumental groove with some wild whoopin' elements that remind us of a Jean-Claude Vannier production. Then there's the cinematic strings and quasi doomy-riffing of Erkin Koray's dramatic "Sev Digim". And Alpay's "Seni Dilenyorum" is one we'd play for a friend wondering what all the vintage Turkish psych fuss is about. If they didn't dig that, we'd feel real sorry for them.
In addition to those, the line-up of artists here includes Kardaslar, Cem Karaka, Apaslar, Beyaz Kelebekler, Ajda Pekkan, Sevil & Ayla, Baris Manco, Rifat Oncel, Ersen, Onder Bali, and Arif Sag. And fortunately, the deluxe digipack includes a thick 40 page booklet, full of liner notes about 'em all, along with original 45 sleeve art. Nicely done, as comps/reissues go. And on top of that, most of the other Turkish psych collections we mentioned at the top of this review are now out of print, so this will become a go-to comp for us in one of our favorite genres.
MPEG Stream: BEYAZ KELEBEKLER "Esmerim"
MPEG Stream: ALPAY "Ah Berelim"
MPEG Stream: ERKIN KORAY "Estarabim"
MPEG Stream: AJDA PEKKAN "Kaderimin Oyunu"

album cover VELVET CACOON P aa opal poere pr.33 (Starlight Temple Society) 2x10" 14.98
The final record from Northwestern drugged out buzzdrone black metal duo (sometimes trio) Velvet Cacoon, finally available on vinyl, as a deluxe double 10", housed in a cool metallic silver silkscreened black envelope, with two full color inserts/posters, and best of all, a bonus track, "Vanoria", which was NOT on the cd version. LIMITED TO 500 COPIES, already almost sold out...
While Atropine may have baffled some fans of this already baffling band with its total ambience and a complete absence of the blown out black metal they made their name on, it also managed to perfectly convey the drugged out isolation and dissociative bliss that has always been central to their music. Atropine is an intense piece of work, very rewarding when listened to with patience, BUT... we'd be lying if we said we didn't miss the metal. Thankfully, P aa opal poere pr.33 (good grief, what a title!) arrives right on the heels of Atropine, and more than anything, it seems to be the perfect companion piece to that previous album, delivering almost 40 minutes of murky, blissful as fuck METAL, heavy on the nautical themes that have commonly been part of Velvet Cacoon's M.O. Yet even as we write the word "METAL," we are faced with the already obvious realization that Velvet Cacoon pretty much defies any simple classification. Call it shoegaze, ambient, metal, hell, even pop... their sound is unique, and even though scores of imitators have popped up in recent years, the second we put this on we knew who we were listening to (unless they completely stole these recordings like some of their other albums supposedly...) While it does share some certain sonic similarities to the band's previous work, it would be lazy to write off P aa opal poere pr.33 as merely the successor to the band's now classic Genevieve, and here Velvet Cacoon seem to have arrived at the most realized encapsulation of their sound to date. So yes, it's REALLY fucking good. And thus also a Record Of The Week!
According to the notes, vocals here are handled by one Cain of a band called Snowfall. His style falls into a more traditional style of black metal shrieking, acting as the perfect foil to Velvet Cacoon's melodic fuzzed out dirges, but we are also fairly certain that VC mainman SGL (or "Josh" if you want to demystify things) is handling a lot of the vocal duties here. What the fuck? Whatever. The album opens with "2.", with the trademark Velvet Cacoon "dieselharp" guitar sound accompanied by a lumbering drum machine rhythm and a sound that gains momentum as it appears to bubble up from the bottom of the sea. "Claverie" is huge sounding with a nice lazy groove and a hazy narcotic feel, sort of like sleepwalking. As distant drones swirl about, the riff remains steady until changing at the 6 minute mark, with a guitar that is so sustained it almost sounds like a keyboard. The standout track here is "Marylux", with an awesome and unique riff that pretty much sounds like a psychedelic black metal sea shanty. At the same time, it gives off a sort of a '90s indie vibe. What doesn't make sense on paper, however, KILLS in reality. It's catchy, amazing, and dreamy in the sense that a band like, say, Windy and Carl is dreamy... but also "dreamy" in the way that being fucked out of your mind of psychotropic drugs is dreamy, so you really get the best of all kinds of different worlds with this song. With "Grevona", the melodies lie hidden below layers of murky guitar fuzz, everything is so hazy and distant sounding, like a slow moving ship going nowhere while the vocals float around helplessly. On "Oviamoire," a soothing riff wraps you up in its fuzzy majesty while the abject vocals croak below the surface. There is a certain spectral quality to it, all gauzy and whatnot, with krauty keyboard drones adding even more ambience to the affair. The last song on the album, "Sovarine" sways rhythmically back and forth with the vocals sounding like some sort of nefarious bottom dwelling ocean minion. Or something. While the guitars are all warm and fuzzy, the overall vibe here is of coldness and isolation. Not to belabor the point, but it's kind of like being lost at sea, though no one could have predicted it would sound this awesome. The album closes with a brief piece entitled "Flouvonne," with two voices, one male and the other female, speaking in French as the wind blows amid crackling sounds, a weird and somehow totally appropriate end to the journey.
In a music world where few mysteries truly exist, it's always nice to know that Velvet Cacoon will never be making things easy for us. Whether or not they are "true", some sort of pseudo-intellectual performance art, or maybe even a complete fucking joke, their music is never anything less than amazing. If you hated them before, it's unlikely that this album will change any of that. But for those of us who have patiently waited for the last five years wondering if P aa opal poere pr.33 would ever become a reality, you will find much to look forward to.
MPEG Stream: "2"
MPEG Stream: "Claverie"
MPEG Stream: "Marylux"

album cover VERSUS On The Ones And Threes (Merge) cd 14.98
For a few years, we'd frequently see our pal, Versus guitarist Richard Balayut, across the street at Lost Weekend Video where he worked with his then-Whysall Lane bandmate Adam Pfahler (also of Jawbreaker). Great guy, great bands. We were super sad when he decided to move back East to New York about a year or so ago, but we were overjoyed to hear that it brought him back into the fold of this beloved NYC band. Yes, after a long long hiatus they got back together last year, and we couldn't be happier. They were one of the best purveyors of that '90s college radio classic indie rock sound because they not only nailed the driving loud/quiet/loud dynamics, but also delivered fantastic pop hooks and intelligent lyrics... not to mention many a heartstring was plucked by Ms Fontaine Toups' lovely voice.
It's been a decade since they've released an album, but On The Ones And Threes makes it feel like it was just yesterday, as their classic sound is still so vibrant and fresh sounding. The record really shows all the great sides of the band from the more rocking moments to the bittersweet melancholy they've always been able to capture so perfectly. We're reminded a bit of the Low record, The Great Destroyer as it has a similar punchy and up front feel, and there are even some moments that make us think of The Breeders doing X covers. While we tend to be a bit reticent about bands we loved from the past reforming after so many years, there is something so organic, unforced and free flowing about this new Versus record that just makes us so happy they are back!
MPEG Stream: "Nu Skin"
MPEG Stream: "Scientists"
MPEG Stream: "Invincible Hero"

album cover VERSUS On The Ones And Threes (Merge) 2lp 24.00
For a few years, we'd frequently see our pal, Versus guitarist Richard Balayut, across the street at Lost Weekend Video where he worked with his then-Whysall Lane bandmate Adam Pfahler (also of Jawbreaker). Great guy, great bands. We were super sad when he decided to move back East to New York about a year or so ago, but we were overjoyed to hear that it brought him back into the fold of this beloved NYC band. Yes, after a long long hiatus they got back together last year, and we couldn't be happier. They were one of the best purveyors of that '90s college radio classic indie rock sound because they not only nailed the driving loud/quiet/loud dynamics, but also delivered fantastic pop hooks and intelligent lyrics... not to mention many a heartstring was plucked by Ms Fontaine Toups' lovely voice.
It's been a decade since they've released an album, but On The Ones And Threes makes it feel like it was just yesterday, as their classic sound is still so vibrant and fresh sounding. The record really shows all the great sides of the band from the more rocking moments to the bittersweet melancholy they've always been able to capture so perfectly. We're reminded a bit of the Low record, The Great Destroyer as it has a similar punchy and up front feel, and there are even some moments that make us think of The Breeders doing X covers. While we tend to be a bit reticent about bands we loved from the past reforming after so many years, there is something so organic, unforced and free flowing about this new Versus record that just makes us so happy they are back!
MPEG Stream: "Nu Skin"
MPEG Stream: "Scientists"
MPEG Stream: "Invincible Hero"

album cover VERTICAL SLIT Slit And Pre-Slit (Smudge) lp 19.98
Some freaked out acid prog, experimental home recorded garage psych avant art rock weirdness from seventies Ohio outsider noisemaker Jim Shepard, who would go on to front the group V-3, before killing himself in 1988.
Slit And Pre-Slit is the very earliest documentation of Shepard's primordial sonic madness, falling somewhere between fellow sonic outsiders Destroy All Monsters and classic Pere Ubu, a dizzying swirl of thumping garage rock, spaced out kraut prog, and audio collages and tape experiments, a free flowing stream of consciousness jam veering wildly from crunchy Stooges style buzz to proggy classic rock, to bar band blues, all tangled up with looped answering machine messages, squalls of processed and layered psychguitar freakout, buzzing siren like analog synths, mangled cut up tape experiments, loads of primitive effects, delay and echo and reverb, little bits of classical steel string fingerpicking, short stretches of dreamy droney fuzz guitar, stumbling detuned anti-folk digressions, whistled melodies, dark brooding sort of ballads (sounding quite a bit like old home recorded Sebadoh/Sentridoh), very fragmented and ADD, barring the occasional jam, where the songs could finally sprawl, the band locked in and spaced out, unfurling multiple variations on the late night / early morning, drug addled psychedelic drift, with some of the tracks randomly truncated, others transforming into garbled sonic weirdness, and still others seeming to stretch out endlessly.
The original vanity pressing was limited to a mere 100 copies, with many of those, rumor has it, ending up in the collections of folks like Todd Rundgren, John Cale, Robert Fripp and Peter Hamill! This version is limited to 350 copies! And should most definitely end up in YOUR collection.

album cover VIRULENCE If This Isn't A Dream...1985-1989 (Southern Lord) cd 13.98
Listening to Virulence, you'd never guess that these guys would eventually become the stoner rock outfit Fu Manchu, cuz this stuff is pretty far removed from what we think of as stoner rock, twisted furious metallic punk rock, equal parts Melvins sludge, Black Flag gnarl and old school hardcore punk. Not to mention other varied heaviness like Swans, Bl'ast, Neurosis, Posion Idea... The riffs are Greg Ginn-ish for sure, tangled and angular, the songs lurching and lumbering, the bass fuzzy and distorted, vocalist Ken Pucci howling and yowling over start stop churning metallic crunch, shrieking feedback, sludgey grungy low slung punkmetal thud, with the band occasionally digressing into those awesome sort of late period Black Flag jazzy metal dirge meanders, the stuff that alienated the punks, but totally hit the spot for a lot of us. Serpentine melodies, wrapped around grinding angular riffage and chaotic drummage, bursts of old school punk pound butted up against woozy dirgey heaviness, fucking awesome stuff for sure.
This disc collects their debut album, along with a handful of live tracks, and their original demo, which is way more punk, but sounds as heavy and kick ass as ever.
Includes a massive booklet with tons of liner notes, reflections for the various band members, photos, old flyers and more...
MPEG Stream: "Dead Weight"
MPEG Stream: "Wrapped Up"
MPEG Stream: "Worse Than Misery"
MPEG Stream: "Spilling It Out"

album cover VON OSWALD, MORITZ TRIO Live In New York (Honest Jons) 2lp+cd 30.00
We were pretty into Vertical Ascent, the debut release from the trio Moritz Von Oswald, a sort of abstract electronic dub minimal techno super group, featuring the group's namesake Moritz Von Oswald, he of Basic Channel and Rhythm & Sound, Vladislav Delay and Max Loderbauer of Sun Electric. And it sounds basically how you might imagine. Dubbed out, abstract, a pulsing minimalism, and while the full length was intriguing, it wasn't until this live record that we were totally smitten. Not sure if it's more loose, or if the vibe that night was just right on, but it manages to be dark and hypnotic, but also strangely effervescent and dreamy. The beats are total Chain Reaction, muted, wreathed in effects, suspended in spacious fields of hushed shimmer, of distant rumbles, that would be enough, but here, the beats drift through hazy landscapes of dubbed out ripples, drifting clouds of abstract effects, brief sonic squalls, swaths of synthy shimmer, streaks of glitch and skree, all of which makes the music sound more improvised, more 'jammed' and more LIVE, you can also hear low level conversation once in a while, when the music is at its most skeletal, but instead of distracting, it sounds almost like just another sound one of the players is adding to the mix, a mumbly textural low end rumble. The tracks are long, and all 4 seem to flow into one another (at least on the accompanying cd, not on the 4 sided vinyl of course). Unlike the more abstract leanings of the record proper, the trio keep things beat oriented here, letting the sound and sounds get seriously far out, but always anchored by some gorgeously hypnotic beat. The 15 minute opener is the most Chain Reaction of the bunch, while the closer is the funkiest, managing to create some sort of impossible minimal abstract funk out of crunchy synths, swirling buzz, stuttering skeletal beats, thick swaths of noisy psychedelic electronics, the crowd reacts in kind, whooping and going a little bit nuts, while the two songs in between, sound a bit more Kompakt, ultra minimal, cool and late night, still laced with unlikely sounds and twisted arrangements (again, some of the weirdest parts getting big reactions from the crowd), but all wrapped around super stripped down muted thumps and skitters.
This is the rare electronica / electronic music that works both on the dancefloor and in the headphones, a mesmerizing after hours body moving slow burn groove, or a blissed out, come down, late night chill soundtrack for drifting off and dropping out...
Incredible packaging. Insanely thick gatefold jacket, with super stunning cover art, includes a cd version (NOT a cd-r, an actual cd) in a hand screened sleeve. Already out of print, these are the last copies EVER!

album cover YOUNGS, MATTHEW Traveler's Advisory (Drag City / Yoga) lp 15.98
Sometimes records get lumped in the "New Age" category because they just don't quite fit anywhere else, even if they have noting to do with meditation, relaxation or spiritual transcendence. Many times it's because the music inside is so out of step with what's happening at the current moment, not necessarily ahead of its time but rather a seemingly latent arrival to a currently unfashionable style that no one knows quite what to make of it. Medieval electronic folk music from the mid-eighties? Sounds awful on paper, but we'd most likely feel differently if it was say, from the early seventies and from Germany, right? Well then, thank goodness for the cyclical nature of musical taste to see this unusual record see the light of day again, sounding better than ever. And thanks to Yoga records who in a bold move over the years have bought up the rights to many private pressings of leftfield "new age folk" music (they brought us the Collie Ryan reissues a while back), foreseeing that these eccentric gems would soon have a new much more appreciative audience.
Matthew Young's Traveler's Advisory hails from 1986 and its opening track, "Objects In Mirror", of delayed hammer dulcimer, casio and drum machine with hazy lyrics taken from found phrases and instruction manuals may sound like a song you might hear from any one of the current crop of bedroom pop practitioners such as Ariel Pink or Washed Out. Except Young's mellow voice, inspired more by Michael Hurley (Young covers Hurley's "Werewolf") and Medieval folksong, than OMD and New Order, speaks to a much more world-weary experience than any sincere/ironic hybridizing of past and present styles. Recorded at home, Young only sings on a few cuts here, most of the tracks are long atmospheric instrumentals of delayed dulcimer and banjo, sounding closer to that Edward Larry Gordon (aka Laraaji) reissue we listed awhile back. Beautifully dreamy, hypnotic and strange, we think folks who dug the past few Drag City reissues from Gary Higgins to The George-Edwards Group, or other latent new-agers like J. D. Emmanuel and Iasos will really dig this. Recommended!

album cover ZUUL Out Of Time (Planet Metal) cd 10.98
Alphabetically, at the back of the pack, but in fact Zuul is definitely high up on our list of new n' true heavy metal bands that totally kick ass. Hailing from the very metal middle American town of Carbondale, Illinois, the young (but old school) heshers of Zuul deliver the goods with soaring melodic vocals (that sound rough n' ready too), raging riffing, and fleet-fingered leads. The album cover artwork features an axewielding headsman, which is always a sign of quality metal (and quality artwork). Or, at the very least, it'll give you an idea of the '80s inspired metal on offer here, making us think of Omen, although musically they probably owe the most to Iron Maiden, and various other NWOBHM greats, big and small. While death and warfare are Zuul's typical lyrical themes, they're really all about rockin' and having a good time, Zuul's heavy and speedy songwriting also possessing a definite "pop" edge, with "whoah-ohh-ohh-ohh!" bits, catchy choruses that stick in your head, and so forth (though they stay far away from ballads). And at least once on this album, they even sing about girls, that'd be the song "Ride Ride", with lines like "lipstick and lightning / standing there by the record machine / so enticing / know what I mean", that's classic, the term "record machine" probably ONLY ever used in song lyrics, are we right?
So if you're into the current crop of retro headbangers a la Enforcer, Cauldron, Wolf, Hot Fog, and these dudes' labelmates Harbinger, Zuul get the horns up from us. Good fun. And while they play it shreddingly straight (non-ironic) in their songs, it's not like they don't have a sense of humor. We like how the credits in the cd booklet helpfully note that "this album was recorded", full stop. And heck their name Zuul comes from the demon in the movie Ghostbusters!! Another nod to the '80s we guess. We want you on our team on trivia night if you already knew that. (By the way, while our website scripting doesn't support umlauts, Zuul of course have got 'em above each u in their name, depicted in their logo as little skulls.)
MPEG Stream: "Executioner"
MPEG Stream: "Backstreet Crawler"
MPEG Stream: "Ride Ride"

----*
----* Selected New Arrivals :
----*

album cover ARCADE FIRE The Suburbs (Merge) cd 15.98
We've heard tell that legions of Arcade Fire fans new and old have already been gobbling up this release whole, and it's easy to hear why. It's a fantastic follow-up to 2007's Neon Bible, and such an eagerly anticipated album that it probably doesn't even need any announcement!
Get behind the wheel of this ride through The Arcade Fire's Suburbs, and you'll find it starts out in relatively sedate fashion, gently warming up the musical engines with the lush baroque pop we all know and love, but it doesn't take the band long to rev things up 'til they're cruising at full speed with the top down! As always, these Canadians are a bit difficult to define, still drawing plenty of influence from familiar (and often oddly mainstream) pop elements of the '80s and '90s, and integrating them into their own presentation. It's a strangely cohesive coming together of varied sounds, personalities and inspirations that glints with shades of such eclectic, clever and dramatic forefathers as David Bowie, Pulp, Meatloaf, My Bloody Valentine, and Robyn Hitchcock. At times they're a bit brainy, at others more than a bit bombastic. Add some shoegazin', cabaret melodrama and art school chin scratching, and you might think you have a recipe for disaster. However, they seldom falter, always delivering epically arranged and gloriously produced songs to our ears. A few of them in particular stood out on our first few listens... "Suburban War" has gently swooping melodies that totally push the wistful sentimental buttons; "Modern Man" takes a few jaunty twists and subdued yearning tones that bring to mind their contemporaries Spoon (actually fans of that band might find themselves diggin' a lot more than just this one tune!); while the surprisingly almost punky edgy oomph of "Month Of May" will surely get you on your feet doing the same dance that Molly Ringwald does in Breakfast Club to Karla DeVito's "We Are Not Alone". Alrighty, are you with us?! (Not sure why the vinyl version has to be so pricey, it seems like a trend these days...)
MPEG Stream: "Modern Man"
MPEG Stream: "Month Of May"
MPEG Stream: "Deep Blue"

album cover ARCADE FIRE The Suburbs (Merge) 2lp 30.00
We've heard tell that legions of Arcade Fire fans new and old have already been gobbling up this release whole, and it's easy to hear why. It's a fantastic follow-up to 2007's Neon Bible, and such an eagerly anticipated album that it probably doesn't even need any announcement!
Get behind the wheel of this ride through The Arcade Fire's Suburbs, and you'll find it starts out in relatively sedate fashion, gently warming up the musical engines with the lush baroque pop we all know and love, but it doesn't take the band long to rev things up 'til they're cruising at full speed with the top down! As always, these Canadians are a bit difficult to define, still drawing plenty of influence from familiar (and often oddly mainstream) pop elements of the '80s and '90s, and integrating them into their own presentation. It's a strangely cohesive coming together of varied sounds, personalities and inspirations that glints with shades of such eclectic, clever and dramatic forefathers as David Bowie, Pulp, Meatloaf, My Bloody Valentine, and Robyn Hitchcock. At times they're a bit brainy, at others more than a bit bombastic. Add some shoegazin', cabaret melodrama and art school chin scratching, and you might think you have a recipe for disaster. However, they seldom falter, always delivering epically arranged and gloriously produced songs to our ears. A few of them in particular stood out on our first few listens... "Suburban War" has gently swooping melodies that totally push the wistful sentimental buttons; "Modern Man" takes a few jaunty twists and subdued yearning tones that bring to mind their contemporaries Spoon (actually fans of that band might find themselves diggin' a lot more than just this one tune!); while the surprisingly almost punky edgy oomph of "Month Of May" will surely get you on your feet doing the same dance that Molly Ringwald does in Breakfast Club to Karla DeVito's "We Are Not Alone". Alrighty, are you with us?! (Not sure why the vinyl version has to be so pricey, it seems like a trend these days...)
MPEG Stream: "Modern Man"
MPEG Stream: "Month Of May"
MPEG Stream: "Deep Blue"

album cover BEAK> s/t (Invada) 2lp 40.00
NOW ON (EXPENSIVE) VINYL!
It's tough to ignore talk of a 'Portishead side project', and it's even tougher to imagine what that project might sound like. Thankfully no need to wonder, it's called Beak> (and yeah, that little beak shape is part of the name), and it's a trio fronted by Portishead mastermind Geoff Barrow, but don't be expecting Portishead 2, there are some similarities, but it's mostly tone and vibe, the music is something else entirely, more krautrock, minimal, space-y, hints of Stereolab (which is basically krautrock when you think about it). Recorded live, with no overdubs, the arrangements were created using edits, so one can imagine these guys jamming out on single parts, and then later chopping them up and assembling them into songs. Which helps explain why the sound of Beak> is so hypnotic and looped and cyclical sounding. Stereolab obviously, but also Circle, Cave, a definite hypnorock / krautrock thing going on. The drumming super simple and motorik, the bass driving the whole thing, and the synths offering up the melody, usually locking into whirling swirling loops over the top. The band get into long stretches of hushed almost nothing, whispery drifts of softly pulsing drone, but invariably the shift gears and launch into another loping hypnotic dubby rhythm, and with all this talk of rhythm, you can bet there are lots of moments that reminds us of This Heat, which is NEVER a bad thing. There are vocals too, but they're minimal, and are often in the background, wordless croons, adding just another layer of texture to the proceedings. Fourtet, Tortoise, Add N To (X), Fridge, Necks, even some of the modern spacerock stuff like Wooden Shjips, that sort of endlessly looping dronerock, Beak> would definitely hit the spot if you dig any or all of that.
MPEG Stream: "Backwell"
MPEG Stream: "Pill"
MPEG Stream: "Ham Green"

album cover BORGES, LO s/t (4 Men With Beards) lp 16.98
Now available, reissued on vinyl!
We first heard Lo Borges as singer and songwriter on the mighty Clube Da Esquina, Milton Nascimento's 1972 epic double record, we listed awhile back. That record has been a consistently steady seller since we listed it, and with good reason, it's incredible! But while Nascimento and Borges actually collaborated together on much of it, it's mostly regarded as a Nascimento record. So it's great to see Lo Borge's self titled debut solo album from the same year finally reissued by the Water label, to shine a much deserved spotlight on this underrated artist. And we have to say, it's equally as incredible and essential as Clube De Esquina, Eduardo Mateo's Mateo Solo Bien Se Lame, Caetano Veloso's Transa, or Gilberto Gil's Cerebro Electronico! With a nod to the cover art, those are big shoes indeed!
Recorded when he was just entering his twenties, the scope of artistry on display seems to be by someone so much more experienced. Not only is Borges at the top of his game as a singer and songwriter, but the arrangements and musicianship are just as dazzling. Most of the songs barely squeak over the two minute mark, but he packs so many ideas into a song without losing its central focus and at the same time giving everything lots of space. Here and there a string section drops in and out, a flurry of baroque piano, soaring flutes, a jazzy organ swell, searing electric guitar, hints of electronic psychedelic washes. At times romantic and mysterious, other times more urgent with rhythms picking up and slowing down in tempo to evoke a wide range of emotive qualities. This is a record we'll probably be playing all summer long. We can't recommend it enough!
MPEG Stream: "Voce Fica Melhor Assim"
MPEG Stream: "Como O Machado"
MPEG Stream: "Nao Se Apague Esta Noite"
MPEG Stream: "Aos Baroes"

album cover BOSNIA Nazarene Hallucinations (Paradigms) cd 12.98
BACK IN STOCK!
Paradigms continues to expand their sonic scope, while continuing to champion awesome and obscure heaviness. A look at past Paradigms releases reads like a list of aQ faves: The Angelic Process, Decrepit Spectre, Fog In The Shell, Gnaw Their Tongues, Hjarnidaudi, Wraiths, Woburn House, Ondo, Titan, Throne Of Katarsis, Utlagr and more, and the oddly monickered Bosnia fit right in. Hailing from Denver Colorado, this trio specialize in filthy, downtuned blackened doom crust, equal parts, Neurosis, His Hero Is Gone and other purveyors of gritty doomic filth, but these guys also inject some serious blackness into their crush and pummel. Woozy clean guitar parts wrap around tribal drumming, before launching into a lurching sprawl of blown out doom-ed black buzz, the vocals a monstrous guttural howl, the arrangements complex and a bit mathy, with stretches of lumbering chug bookending chunks of funereal slow motion crawl, leading straight into awesomely tangled obtuse melodic breakdowns, before exploding into raw feral bursts of punkish blackened pound.
Bosnia might be a bit too punk for the more troo grim metal hordes, but folks who dig shit like Kylesa, Baroness, Minsk, Damad and even sludgier shit like Eyehategod and the like, will probably dig this BIG time.
LIMITED TO 500 COPIES!
MPEG Stream: "A Flood"
MPEG Stream: "Assemblies Of God"

album cover CANDY CLAWS Hidden Lands (Two Syllable) lp 17.98
NOW ON VINYL!!
We first discovered Colorado drone bliss pop-gaze duo Candy Claws via their last record, In The Dream Of Sea Life, a gorgeous collection of sounds and songs composed and recorded to sound as if they were in fact at the bottom of the ocean, warped and woozy, dark and aquatic, but for this new record, Hidden Lands brings the sounds of CC to the surface, lets them breathe, sprawl and blossom. Apparently based on a book called The Secret Life Of The Forest, these songs are meant to evoke all manner of 'secret lands', the worlds inside living creatures, the Earth millions of years before humans, all of the things that have gone on and still go on that we don't yet understand or can't yet observe. Pretty heavy, but fear not, the music is light in comparison, a washed out psychedelic dream pop, a little orchestral, a lot Elephant 6, chiming guitars, buried angelic voices, simple percussion, lush synths and singing strings, a sort of power pop blurred into something much more ambient and ethereal, there are hints of Neutral Milk Hotel, Beach Boys, Jellyfish, but in keeping with the science angle, it's like CC took scrapings from those bands and grew Hidden Lands in a petri dish, only to then plant the resulting lifeforms in the garden outside, in the shade of big oak trees, at the foot of some snow capped mountains, and then recorded the various growths, a hazy, slowly expanding sun dappled shimmer drenched fragmented pop. In some ways, the underwater element of the last record still feels present, it's like listening to jangly indie pop, broadcast through a hydrophone, the vibrations traveling through the water, and arriving at our ears, bent and twisted and beautifully warped. A little carnivalesque, a little psychedelic, a little shoegazey, this is some sort of otherworldly impressionistic pop, there may be hooks, and verses and choruses, but they're blurred and smeared and muted and mixed, the song structures seems to have come unglued at a fundamental level, allowing this dreampop to become even dreamier. So fantastic. And totally recommended for anyone into woozy, hazy, droney, dreamy blisspop.
MPEG Stream: "In The Deep Time"
MPEG Stream: "Warm Forest Floor"
MPEG Stream: "A Strange Land Discovered"

album cover DECIBEL #71 September 2010 magazine 4.95
This issue's cover belongs to The Refused, whose hardcore masterpiece The Shape Of Punk To Come is inducted into Decibel's album hall of fame. Kinda cool to see a glossy magazine put something on the cover that isn't a new release a label is trying to hype or whatever - The Refused broke up years ago, that record is from 1998. Also inside, this ish: The Sword, Decrepit Birth, Zoroaster, Kylesa, Sigh's Dr. Mikannnibal (talking about her day job as an experimental physicist!), Xasthur, Aaron Turner discussing the end of Isis, and more. Including the usual funny columns and lots of reviews. And one other feature that ought to have been really cool, but now is super sad, the "Streetwise San Francisco" article wherein Cosmo Lee from the Invisible Oranges blog is shown around SF by some local metal folks, members of Ludicra and Hammers Of Misfortune among others, they visit such landmarks as Vesuvio bar in North Beach, El Farolito taqueria here in the Mission, The Hemlock Tavern, and yes Aquarius Records! Which is neat, except for the sad part - one of the tour guides, pictured looking through the bins here at AQ in the article, was Makh Daniels from the band Early Graves, whom you may have heard was tragically was killed in a van accident on tour, not long after these photos were taken. R.I.P.

album cover DUCKTAILS s/t (Not Not Fun) lp 14.98
SECOND PRESSING!! Yay, repressed and back in stock and even a bit cheaper than before...
Here's some seriously warm, wobbly, surfy, tropical sounding lo-fi gems that have totally captured our attention! Dripping with such melty, melodic yet slightly tripped out perfection. Ducktails had a lot going for it before we even heard the music, the name obviously (!), the great cover art by Jan Anderzen (Kemialliset Ystavat) and the fact that it was mastered by Graham Lambkin of The Shadow Ring already lead us to believe there might be some kind of magic being brewed under the colorful, inviting cover, so we threw this on the stereo right away and it's been beyond the perfect soundtrack for the bright and sizzling sunshine days we've been baking in for the last couple weeks. Ducktails is the work of one person, Matt Mondanile who has found such a unique sound, melding elements of the lo-fi pop movement that came out of New Zealand in the '80s with a tropical undertone and wandering spirit that sounds like bits and pieces from some gem of a find on a Sublime Frequencies compilation, the kind of rare multidimensional sound that Pumice is able to achieve, or the more pastoral side of prog that folks like Bo Hannson explored, or a sun-soaked instrumental passage from an Ariel Pink record (actually this actually reminds us a lot of the great Holy Shit record Ariel Pink made with Matt Fishbeck a while back), or maybe White Rainbow shining their hypnotic rays through the bodies of a band on Woodsist. The album's closer "Surf's Up" is almost like a new generation's version of Terry Riley's A Rainbow In Curved Air!
This record is like a soft edged maze that leads in a million different directions and takes you around on a sonic adventure that isn't as concerned with destination as it is in creating a totally and wholly encapsulating journey. While many in the new wave of one-man-band lo-fi noise pop combos have been focusing their sonic scope more on the fuzz, and burn, and rocked out side of things, Ducktails have a much more languid, dreamy and enchanting approach to finding lo-fi bliss through conjuring up so much warm sun soaked color in their hypnotizing sounds. Highly Recommended!
MPEG Stream: "Beach Point Pleasant"
MPEG Stream: "Surf's Up"
MPEG Stream: "Horizon"

album cover JAMESON RAID Just As The Dust Has Settled (Shadow Kingdom) lp + 7" 25.00
NOW REISSUED ON VINYL, TOO! Gatefold sleeve, one side containing the 12" vinyl, and in the other, the 7" along with a large booklet and another full-color insert.
Ah, the glory that was NWOBHM! (Do we need to spell it out? The New Wave Of British Heavy Metal, a wondrous musical phenomenon of the late '70s/early '80s, yeah, you know.) A couple lists back, in our review of the killer Wolfbane disc released by Shadow Kingdom, we mentioned there were several other cool recent NWOBHM reissues we'd be listing soon, here's one of 'em, also on Shadow Kingdom, an archival collection of material by this fairly obscure Birmingham band (named for a historical incident from the Boer War) who never made proper full-length record but nonetheless did put out some cult classic tracks, including a contribution to the Metal for Muthas II compilation. For some reason, that one's not here, but you do get 14 tracks taken from various eps and demos, etc., among them the three songs from Jameson Raid's 1979 debut single, starting off with the triumphant "Seven Days Of Splendour" (a positive story about a UFO encounter, which, for those of you who were paying attention to our Roxxcalibur review a while back, was one of the songs covered by that NWOBHM tribute band on their highly enjoyable album). The other two are the punky "It's A Crime" (which reminds us of Crushed Butler!), and "Catcher In The Rye" (that's right, inspired by the J.D. Salinger novel). While this band boogied hard for sure, they also apparently liked to have their songs be -about- something, it's thinking man's NWOBHM in a way, quite melodic too, and a bit garagey, really more '70s hard rock proto-metal than anything '80s metallic, harking back to early UFO and Thin Lizzy. Good stuff, and all the tracks here share these charms, some of the songs with sad and weary vibe derived perhaps from Lizzy, others rockin' out like greasy AC/DC...
MPEG Stream: "Seven Days Of Splendour"
MPEG Stream: "It's A Crime"
MPEG Stream: "Do It The Hard Way"

album cover JIMMY CASTOR BUNCH, THE It's Just Begun (RCA Victor) lp 12.98
Picked this album up at a garage sale as a kid, just 'cause of the crazy cover art, and have been a big fan ever since. Here it is reissued on vinyl, a definite '70s funk classic (from '72 to be precise), Jimmy's freakiest by far, stuff that could have made Funkadelic proud, both fuzzy and funky and a little Latin too. Or as we've said before about a Castor comp, "for fans of early Kool & the Gang, Parliament, B.T. Express, that sort of thing, but the best stuff here's got a dosed and primordial edge unlike anything else excavated from the early '70s era." And that "best stuff" is mostly all here on It's Just Begun. The title track is a heavy acid funk freakout, then there's the cave man classic "Troglodyte", and the trippy vibes of "L.T.D. (Life, Truth, Death)", and more... And it's all wrapped in that awesome, astrologically symbolic cover painting (featuring a slum building, in a wasteland, with not one but two giant Jimmy Castors looming over it, alongside a floating armored egg, tubes and troglodytes). There's an explanation of all the images' significance to be found on the back cover, dig it.
MPEG Stream: "It's Just Begun"
MPEG Stream: "Troglodyte (Cave Man)"

album cover MAJOR LAZER Lazers Never Die (Interscope) cd ep 4.98
Most of us were big fans of the Major Lazer full length from last year, but even those of us who didn't totally fall in love with with it are going crazy about this new ep of remixes especially the banging new track with M.I.A. that leads it all off. Major Lazer is the blasting, dance inducing, dancehall influenced project of master producers Diplo and Switch and with folks like Buraka Som Sistema and Thom Yorke giving them the remix treatment this is start to finish adrenaline pumping, body moving blasts of ecstasy. If we were hired as party planners for someone looking to put on a rager that we would want to lose our minds at we would urge them to blast this so loud loud followed by other smoking new releases from M.I.A., Omar Souleyman, and maybe that Shangaan Electro compilation of killer new South African dance jams. Maybe part of the magic is that it's an ep which makes this so perfect, there is no overkill or filler or duds. Every single second hits so damn right. And as cheap as it's priced this one is a no brainer!
MPEG Stream: "Sound Of Siren (Feat. M.I.A. & Busy Signal)"
MPEG Stream: "Jump Up (Thom Yorke Remix)"
MPEG Stream: "Bruk Out (Buraka Som Sistema Mix)"

album cover MOJO August 2010 magazine + cd 9.99
The Boss is on the cover, as is a bonus cd comp of some of Springsteen's favorite songs (by the likes of Calexico, Neko Case, Jimmy Reed, Alan Vega, and others). Also, inside: Joanna Newsom, Devo, Ozzy, Ian Hunter, and lots more including the usual news, reviews, etc. that makes this British magazine a must for most music fans...

album cover NEGURA BUNGET Virstele Pamintului (Aural Music / Code 666) cd 16.98
BACK IN STOCK!
First record in more than 4 years from these Romanian black metallers, and longtime aQ faves, Negura Bunget. We had almost given up hope at one point of ever hearing new music from NB, as the band had broken up, only to recently reform with just one original member, and yet instead of recording a new record, they chose to RE-record some of their old music with the new lineup. But this, this IS in fact the first new music from the newly reformed Negura Bunget, and considering such a dramatic personnel shift, the sound is relatively consistent with recent NB records, although in many ways, Virstele Pamintului is in fact quite different than OM, the last proper full length.
The band do continue to move further away from their early sound which was a very Weakling-like blasting black Norwegian style metal, growing more and more atmospheric, more folky, more proggy, and at the same time somehow more simple. This is most definitely the folkiest record yet, as the first half of the record is mostly not metal, and the folk element definitely takes center stage here.
The record begins with a nearly 6 minute intro, performed on all traditional Romanian folk instruments, flutes and hand drums, wooden percussion, and buzzing strings, creating a lush, mysterious, foresty feel, until finally the band launch into some proper metal, but it's not blasting or fierce, instead, it's washed out and almost atmospheric, with thick swaths of synthesizer underpinning the melancholy buzz, soaring majestic guitar melodies, the vocals bellowed dramatically, and after less than two minutes, the band shifts back, and unveils a shimmery landscape of long glimmering tones, layered soft focus drones, choir like vocals, acoustic guitars weaving crystalline lattices of subtly tense melody, that had they been swathed in buzz, would make for some serious blackness, but instead here, they just help evoke a haunting dreamscape, finally the drums thunder in, the vocals too, spoken dramatically, but still, it's mostly folky and acoustic, until finally the metal erupts again, and instead of blackness, it's almost a sort of depressive doom pop, very melodic, and emotional and intense, still heavy, just more moody, and it suits them for sure.
After another stretch of dark Romanian folk flecked ambience, track four, again beginning with a dark folk intro, slowly mutates and intensifies, until it too explodes into some black metal, but even here, about as fierce and heavy as the record has gotten, the blackness is rife with acoustic guitars, fluttering flutes, swirling synths, all wrapped around a very Maiden-y melody, woozy serpentine guitars, chugging riffage, all still softened by those folk underpinnings.
And while there are indeed moments of blackened aggression, and bits of blasting fury, that doesn't seem to be what NB are really about anymore, the group seem to be more concerned with evoking emotion, creating a landscape of sound that reflects their philosophy and mythology, the black metal more just an element of the whole, and really not even that prominent of one at this point, instead the modern sound of Negura Bunget is some sort of blackened dark folk prog metal, epic and sprawling, intricate and intimate, not concerned with heaviness or kvltness or any false scene idea of 'true', because when it gets right down to it, the music of Negura Bunget is indeed as true as it gets, true to the self, and to their vision, and that sort of truth is the only thing that can create musical art like Virstele Pamintului.
MPEG Stream: "Pamint"
MPEG Stream: "Dacia Hiperboreana"
MPEG Stream: "Umbra"
MPEG Stream: "Ochiul Inimii"

album cover NJIQAHDDA Yrg Alms (Pagan Flames) cd 13.98
This awesome UNblack metal favorite finally back in stock!!
It's been a while since we've listed any UNblack metal, the twisted Christian variant of the more traditionally heathen black strain of metal that we hold so near and dear to our black withered hearts. But as longtime readers of the aQ list no doubt know by now, we LOVE unblack metal, not necessarily for the message (we don't love black metal for its message either), but instead, the sound of unblack metal is so far out, so far removed from the tired tropes of BM, not sure if it's divine inspiration, or just the particular group of unblack metallers we tend to be drawn to, but it seems like the unblack tends to be weirder and more warped than the black in most cases, and thus, we've found ourselves looking to the UNdark side for that which our musical soul yearns for.
This latest slab of abstract experimental UNblackness, comes courtesy of aQ faves Njiqahdda, which just so happens to be the work of the man behind a bunch of other aQ unblack faves including Light Shall Prevail, Agathothodion, Glaciial and others. Which already meant this was gonna be some seriously experimental, evocative buzzing brilliance. Which it is, we're happy to report, but much has changed, the sound here is much prettier, much more stripped down, with less of an emphasis on buzz and blast, and more on mood and texture, ambience and emotion.
The epic 15 minute opener, is all jangly clean guitar, and wild drumming, at least in the beginning, the song soon explodes into something much more black, but after the initial burst, it sort of smoothes out, and instead of being crushing and punishing, it's hypnotic and mesmerizing, there are still harsh vocals, but the buzz is smoothed out, and the melody is lilting and melancholic, not hard to imagine this song could be stripped down to a gorgeous hazy drone, without losing to much of it's actual form and structure. The follow up skips the buzz entirely, and offers up a bit of dreamy, slightly gothic indie jangle, a sort of sweetly minor key post rock, wrapped in a light haze of shimmery ambience.
The next two tracks look back to the opener, both lengthy drone drenched black metal jams, with that muted buzz, tangled guitar harmonies, and super catchy melodies, both, even at their heaviest, manage to remain poppy and melodic, that blend, and the push and pull between light and dark, is what makes those tracks so emotional and powerful.
The closing track is an extended dronescape of whirling haze, shimmering high end, and deep cavernous rumbles, it almost sounds like a field recording set to music, one can almost visualize, the epic forests, the moon reflecting off the water, the glimmer of starlight on the frost covered branches, quite beautiful, and a fitting finish to a strangely beautiful batch of buzzing washed out unblack post metal.
MPEG Stream: "Ingratuu Maate Lagentii"
MPEG Stream: "Sombre Fortu"
MPEG Stream: "Abyssii Iiortuu Liomaatiin"

album cover OVENS Beau Goes To The Hospital EP (Riisk) cd ep 8.98
Found a stash of these in the classic, might be the last copies we see for a while...
We were super psyched how crazy people went for the Ovens, whose debut full length (which crammed together 44 songs and THREE actual albums onto one disc) released earlier this year on tUMULt was easily the pop record of the year, if not EVER. These guys are total geniuses, spitting out song after song, usually a minute or less, often MUCH less, each jammed with hooks and melodies and goofy lyrics and shredding leads and pounding drums that most bands would kill for. We compared them to some impossible mix of Weezer, the Beatles, the Melvins, the Fucking Champs and Guided By Voices, and while that might capture their essence, what they do is so much more than the sum of their influences.
This 10 song 15 minute ep, recorded way back in 2003 (when they were still called the Peels), is raw and rough around the edges, much punker, but is still rife with incredible songwriting, some kick ass guitar shreddery, ridiculously catchy hooks, and those same gorgeous instrumental interludes, lyrics about how the songs sound better in their heads, getting wasted, sleeping, dying, puking and all sorts of gloriously mundane stuff. They're definitely still a pop band, but back then, their punkishness really shone through, with some of the punkest jams reminding us of the Dwarves at their poppiest, balancing their more strummy Beatles-esque moments, the two sides of the band constantly battling for supremacy, neither winning, more often than not resulting in a wild ultra chaotic falling apart draw.
The band hate this record, but fuck it, there are some awesome jams here, and anyone who bought the tUMULt full length will most likely dig this one too.
We can definitely get all hyperbolic and gushing when we're super into something, nothing wrong with that, so with that disclaimer out of the way, we can once again proclaim that these guys just might be one of our favorite local bands. Here's hoping the rest of the country, the world and the universe catch on soon.
MPEG Stream: "Hypocrites"
MPEG Stream: "Puke In The Sink"
MPEG Stream: "Mooch"
MPEG Stream: "Peels Get Wasted In Bruno"

album cover RADIO BIRDMAN Radios Appear (4 Men With Beards) lp 16.98
We've been lucky, with the resurgence of vinyl, there's been lots of "essentials" reissued on lp lately, and this is one of 'em!! As we've noted before (we're cribbing a bit from our own review of their 'best of' cd on Sub Pop), Radio Birdman were the mid-'70s Australian re-incarnation of the MC5 and The Stooges, lead by Detroit-transplant Deniz Tek (guitarist, songwriter, and later a fighter pilot and doctor!), and damn were they good. Being half a world away and several years removed from Detroit ground zero, Birdman's homage to their proto-punk Grande Ballroom heroes was no rip-off, their penchant for surf-guitar licks being but one point of departure. Other influences include VU, BOC, and Alice Cooper. Legends in Australia, they're more like an obscure rock footnote over here, but once you're into 'em, you'll be really into 'em!
This 1977 album was their first full-length, and a total classic (whichever edition you get, there were actually two with slightly different tracklists, this is the '78 overseas one). It includes their cover version of The 13th Floor Elevators' "You're Gonna Miss Me" along with Birdman classics like "Aloha Steve & Danno", "Murder City Nights", "Do The Pop", "New Race", and "Man With The Golden Helmet". Apparently the 4 Men With Beards who put this out like a little rock action now and then, not just beard-stroking jazz, folk and kraut...

album cover SPEED, GLUE & SHINKI s/t (Phoenix) 2lp 34.00
Now also available on vinyl!! Gatefold cover, and not quite as expensive as the earlier lp reish on Shadoks...
Another Japanese seventies psych classic reissued! This is an old fave, in part 'cause of the appealing tiger cover painting and in part 'cause of, well, how ridiculously badass and bad-acidly ridiculous it is. Here's some of what we said about this the last time we had a cd reissue...
Sniffin & Snortin (parts 1 and 2!), Run & Hide, Bad Woman, Don't Say No, Wanna Take You Home...sound good? Those are some of the song titles on this classic women-and-drugs obsessed dumbo-rock Japanese psych album. It stars guitar whiz and massive stoner Shinki Chen (also of Foodbrain and oodles of other obscure Japanese psych outfits), bassist Masayoshi Kabe (from Food Brain too), and singing drummer Joey 'Pepe' Smith - a Vietnam vet whom you might know from the Filipino band Juan De La Cruz, one of the few outfits ever whose outputs maybe tops this for sheer truly stoned rock retardation (a good thing).
Actually, you'll hear at least one tune, "Wanna Take You Home", also recorded by Juan De La Cruz on this, the second SG&S album, originally released as a double LP in 1972. Speed, Glue & Shinki, as you might imagine from their name, were a goddamn weird, messed up, completely wacked heavy psych/blues/prog band. So messed up that this time out, guest musicians wrote (and performed?) most of it! But it doesn't matter. And even when Joey plugs in a Moog synth to do a whole solo LP side devoted to the Sun, Planets, Life, Moon, and Angels (really, he does!), this never ever remotely gets pretentious and proggy (not that we don't like proggy). It just can't. Speed Glue & Shinki are primal, so primal, too primal. At least one track hints at the Stooges, some others Zeppelin, while the rest approximates a brain-damaged James Gang. Record collector types might recall the fancy, expensive Shadoks lp reissue that was available several years ago for about two seconds. We were enthralled with the lovely tiger cover art and the ridiculous rock and have been hoping ever since to bring in a cd version...
Julian Cope's Japrocksampler Top 50 ranking: #15! (He puts their debut, Eve, at #1, tied with Flower Travellin' Band's Satori, but actually we prefer this to Eve... though both Speed Glue & Shinki records are way cool, even if neither we'd put quite in the company of Satori).
MPEG Stream: "Red Doll"
MPEG Stream: "Song For An Angel"
MPEG Stream: "Search For Love"
MPEG Stream: "Life"

album cover SPIN August 2010 magazine 4.99
Eminem on the cover, inside everything from M.I.A. to The Sword, Die Antwoord to Wavves, and more including "The Secret History Of Devo".

album cover TIMES, THE E For Edward / Pure / Et Dieu Crea La Femme (Artpop!) 2cd 16.98
IN STOCK AGAIN!!
Ed Ball, the mastermind behind the headfuck shoegaze genius that is Teenage Filmstars, is not just a master of sonic manipulation and avant audio alchemy, no he's also a POP genius, which in some ways is precisely why Teenage Filmstars was so compelling, for every whatthefuck collage of bizarre sounds, or the dizzying spinout of backwards drums and warped reverse guitars, was some perfect melody, some kernel of absolute classic pop tunesmithery, even at its most obtuse and impenetrable, it was always weirdly poppy, or subtly melodic.
The long running classic British pop combo The Times is the groop in which Ball let his otherwise sublimated pop demons loose, gobbling up every trope of classic pop music from the sixties, seventies, and especially the eighties and the nineties, and spitting them back out as his own brand of primo pop, which sounds quite a bit like some ever shifting, and slightly tweaked fusion of Oasis, Ride, the Happy Mondays, the Style Council, Depeche Mode, Tears For Fears, Pop Will Eat Itself, and the like. But only slightly tweaked. Don't be expecting any freaked out sonic fuckery, or some fractured meta-pop, the Times were never meant to be experimental, they're more like a musical time capsule, for Ball and his cohorts to go skipping through the history of pop music. And to bring back bits and bobs that he then assembles into the Times museum of classic pop. And classic it is. From mod jangle, to new wave synthy groove, to big guitar power pop, to strummy slow jam, to string soaked balladry, to glimmering soft focus shoegaze, no quirky prog-pop, and pretty much every stop in between. And it's not just the sounds, it's the songs, lush and jangly and melodic, hooks galore, catchy as all get out, total retro pop bliss, every song a gem. Another glorious chapter in Ball's long and storied sonic history, or chapters, this double disc reissue consisting of 3 different The Times records, originally released in 1989 and 1990...
Like all Artpop! releases, comes with a huge, somewhat confusional booklet, packed with liner notes and pics, and also includes a bunch of killer bonus tracks!
MPEG Stream: "Manchester"
MPEG Stream: "Catherine Wheel"
MPEG Stream: "Acid Angel Of Ecstasy"
MPEG Stream: "Life"

album cover TURZI B (Record Makers) lp 30.00
Also on vinyl!
The thing about being a modern-day "psych" or "prog" rock band, is that you have 40+ years of rock n' roll (and other) musical history to draw upon, you don't need to just pretend it's 1969 or 1971 or 1978 all over again (though that can be cool too). French band Turzi are definitely open to mixing things up in interesting ways, with no regard to whether it sounds "authentic" or not for the duration, their kitchen sink psych aesthetic pushing many and various buttons for us here in ways that maybe no single other band manages to do! At one moment bringing us blissed-out Frippertronics, at another heavy stoner riffage, sometimes in combination. If we didn't know they were a band, we'd think they were an excellent psych-digging DJ! We thought the mantric synth-rock of their debut, entitled A, was pretty Awesome and now here's their second album, B, and it's even Better (with more of what we liked about A, and nice surprises too). It follows the same track-titling convention of A, where on that album all the songs started with the letter A, here they all start with the letter B, and now for some reason they're all place names as well. Also as with A, much of B is instrumental, but when there are vocals, they've got some famous friends helping out.
We said they mix a lot of different elements into their music - for example, to pick a sequence of songs in near the middle of the disc, "Bombay" begins like a Bomb Squad cut, with a sample from a civil rights era speech, that's mashed up into a hard charging, distorted metallic gallop with urgent organ chords, over which they then crank a killer 'exotic' Eastern sounding riff like something by the Flower Travellin Band, or from the most intense Turkish psych single ever, Turzi really kicking out the jams on this one! But that soon mellows out into the next track, "Bethlehem", a hushed mystic ceremonial trudge akin to The Stooges' most John Cale inspired moment, "We Will Fall" or something by Acid Mothers Temple. But then the next thing you know, next up is "Baltimore", a techno-delic ravey raver, kinda '70s glam too, which we were already gonna say reminded us of Primal Scream, before we realized yes indeed it features guest vocalist Bobby Gillespie, of Primal Scream. Elsewhere, a lot of the songs pulsate immensely with kosmische synth delights, 'cause Turzi are French of course making us think of their countrymen Heldon (and also Air), but also naturally Harmonia and other '70s electronic krautrock brigades...
Wow. Whatever this is, psych or prog or whatever, looking forwards futuristically or backwards retrowise, or sideways even, Turzi has succeeded in synthesizing (with synthesizers!) a whole lot of what we like about both similiar -and- dissimilar artists such as Heldon and Zombi and Diagonal and Astra and AMT and Maserati and Etienne Jaumet and Witch and Circle and Oneohtrix Point Never and Itavayla and GR & The Full Blown Expansion... the icing on the cake is the nearly 10-minute finale "Bamako", all dreamy and droney, made all the more Beautiful by another guest vocalist - Brigitte Fontaine! Sweet.
MPEG Stream: "Beijing"
MPEG Stream: "Buenos Aires"
MPEG Stream: "Bombay"
MPEG Stream: "Bogata"

album cover VAN WISSEM, JOZEF Ex Patris (Important) cd 14.98
Now on cd with 2 extra tracks!!
A few of us were very lucky to catch Jozef Van Wissem's recent AQ instore where he played his new 13 Course Swan Neck Baroque Lute, a super long and intricately exquisite variation of the lute we've never seen before, that he wielded mightily, rocking out heavy metal guitar style, and also played whilst walking around the store like a medieval troubadour (check our blog for pictures!). While unfortunately it wasn't our best attended instore, Van Wissem played like it was, and we were graciously rewarded with an intimate and beautifully hypnotizing performance. NEXT time, don't miss him!
And that is what you will find with his latest release on Important. Ex Patris (The Fathers) gives us six new tracks of gorgeous plucked string majesty. Building upon his repertoire of mirrored palindromic compositions, he focuses this release on layered and repeating melodies rather than sparse reductions of past releases. Like harp or kora music, the repetitions beautifully spiral in on themselves creating mesmerizing patterns with a melancholic resonance. At times, we wonder if he might be using overdubs, something we haven't noticed before in his recordings or if it is just that his new lute offers more depth and range than the ones he used in the past. Hard to tell, but oh so easy to become seduced by its magnificent spell!
MPEG Stream: "The Day Is Coming"
MPEG Stream: "Amor Fati (Love Is A Religion)"
MPEG Stream: "Afte The Fire Has Devoured All, It Will Consume Itself"

album cover WIRE, THE #319 September 2010 magazine 9.98
The cover feature, "Retro-activity", is about "how the past percolates through the music of now", a collection of pieces by various writers about such things as the cold wave of the Wierd label, Mississippi's vinyl reissues, Creel Pone's musique concrete cd-r series, hiphop in the current crop of "hypnagogic pop", and much more. Also this ish: LA Vampires, Mordant Music, Roxy Music's Graham Simpson, Cindytalk, and plenty more, including the usual plethora of reviews and news, and a scene report on experimental music in Boise Idaho!

album cover WOLF PARADE Expo 86 (Sub Pop) cd 13.98
After the dour affair that was 2008's At Mount Zoomer, Wolf Parade seem to have gotten a shot of adrenaline for their peculiarly titled latest full length. Much more immediately engaging, the first song grabs you by the scruff of the neck and fires up the pop engines! It bristles with an almost punky rawness. The loopy whoopy warbled vocals are still present, and continue to be an acquired taste around the aQ camp. Some find it to be grating, others find it to be impassioned. What do you think? S'pose it sorta depends on your feelings about the throaty pipes of veterans David Byrne and Adrian Belew, as well as Interpol's Paul Banks to which WP's Dan Boeckner and Spencer Krug bear more than a passing resemblance. As for the head-scratcher album title, we're really puzzled as to what these songs have to do with the world's fair which took place in Vancouver a quarter decade ago, but there's definitely an '80s feel goin' on. Lots of gooey new wave synthiness and rubbery energy drive Expo 86, plus simple 1-2-3-4 beats that are super easy to dance or nod your head to. A no-brainer for popping in the car stereo for a sunny summer day!
MPEG Stream: "Cloud Shadow On The Mountain"
MPEG Stream: "Little Golden Age"

album cover WOLF PARADE Expo 86 (Sub Pop) lp 17.98
After the dour affair that was 2008's At Mount Zoomer, Wolf Parade seem to have gotten a shot of adrenaline for their peculiarly titled latest full length. Much more immediately engaging, the first song grabs you by the scruff of the neck and fires up the pop engines! It bristles with an almost punky rawness. The loopy whoopy warbled vocals are still present, and continue to be an acquired taste around the aQ camp. Some find it to be grating, others find it to be impassioned. What do you think? S'pose it sorta depends on your feelings about the throaty pipes of veterans David Byrne and Adrian Belew, as well as Interpol's Paul Banks to which WP's Dan Boeckner and Spencer Krug bear more than a passing resemblance. As for the head-scratcher album title, we're really puzzled as to what these songs have to do with the world's fair which took place in Vancouver a quarter decade ago, but there's definitely an '80s feel goin' on. Lots of gooey new wave synthiness and rubbery energy drive Expo 86, plus simple 1-2-3-4 beats that are super easy to dance or nod your head to. A no-brainer for popping in the car stereo for a sunny summer day!
MPEG Stream: "Cloud Shadow On The Mountain"
MPEG Stream: "Little Golden Age"

album cover ZYGADLO, RUDI Great Western Laymen (Planet Mu) cd 14.98
BACK IN STOCK!
We tend to check out most new stuff on Planet Mu, and we dig most of it, our recent Record Of The Week from Vex'd was on Planet Mu, the recent Starkey, Milanese, Distance, Legion Of Two, another Record Of The Week, there's also Boxcutter, Shitmat, Venetian Snares, Pinch, Virus Syndicate, we could go on, but the last thing we would have expected on Planet Mu was a POP record, but that's pretty much what this is. Sort of. It's definitely poppy, with hooks, and verses and choruses, vocals, the whole pop song nine yards, but it's all wrapped up in stuttery synths, thick warbling bass buzz, streaks of squelch and glitch, the opening track has all the makings of a killer dubstep jam, but then the vocals come in, and BAM, it's some sort of glorious new wave prismatic synth pop.
And that's pretty much how the whole record works, stripped of vocals, this would be some kick ass avant electro dubstep record, but the vocals transform it, allowing for strange arrangements, long stretches of tinkling piano and hushed vox, bumped up against, thick dubstep bass warble and lurching stuttering fuzz synth grooves, the vocals too are all over the map, pitched up into weird helium-ed falsettos, unfurled in dramatic breathy croons, or totally belted out, and the music reacts, slipping from slithery minimal drift to angular jagged electro crunch, to lumbering lowslung bass groove, to strangely orchestral abstract weirdness, to total eighties synth rock, to twisted lysergic synth-psych pop, and beyond.
And it's not just a case of throwing in some vocals, these are SONGS, POP songs, vocal driven in most cases, composed to be POP music, just strangely assembled into unlikely shapes and sounds, the hooks impossible to resist, the catchiness impossible to deny, this is easily one of the weirdest and coolest electronic pop records we've heard, a dizzying mishmash of various tropes from genres we love, dubstep, new wave, electro, synth pop, woven into a twisted sort of quirky dub-buzz-electro-synth-stutter-fuzz-pop that we just can't stop listening to...
MPEG Stream: "Manuscripts Don't Burn"
MPEG Stream: "Something About Faith"
MPEG Stream: "Layman's Requiem"
MPEG Stream: "A Room To Sing"

----*
----* Compilations :
----*

album cover V/A High All The Time Vol. 1 (Past & Present) lp 24.00
Also now reissued on 180 gram vinyl, limited, numbered, with liner notes insert included.
We've said it before and we'll say it again. It never ceases to amaze us how there can be such an endless supply of killer '60s garage-psych songs to fill up compilation after compilation. Sure, once in a while there's some overlap, but really, it's incredible how many obscure bands managed to release a completely charming 7" single or two and then vanished - but their music lives on, thanks to comps like this one! The appropriately named High All The Time features a whole bunch of turned-on, drugged-out sounds circa 1966-69, all of it fuzzy and freaky and sometimes beautifully melodic.
14 tracks, 11 bands, mostly from the US of A, though two bands are Dutch and one Swedish (The Shakers, doing "Who Will Buy (These Wonderful Evils)", a classic acid-guitar drenched track we know from another comp that took that for its title. But that Shakers song is the only thing here we'd heard before.
Opening the proceedings, Mammoth takes a Kinks "You Really Got Me" type riff and fuzzes it up big time, hinting at Blue Cheer style heaviness. Then, getting even freakier, The Hobbit tosses some musique concrete sound FX into their exotic "Author's Message". Next up, Dragonfly's "Celestial Dream" is indeed pretty dreamy, coming from a band who wore wild dragonfly-wing facepaint.... so, we won't describe all the tracks, but suffice to say they're all quite groovy, and varied, and definitely high all the time, yeah! No bummers here. Bad trips, yes, well, there's The Darelyck's track "Bad Trip", a propulsive sorta-rockabilly garage beat number with the vocalist mainly chanting "It was a bad trip, it was a bad trip" over and over, way cool... From start to finish, this is comp is our idea of a good trip. And the finish is a strong one, tracks 13 and 14 being both sides of The Beautiful Daze's "City Jungle Parts 1 & 2", with Part 2 being a particularly dense, droning, throbbing piece of work.
This edition (the comp itself is a reissue, apparently originally released on LP back in the late '70s or '80s we'd guess) includes liner notes providing what meager information they were able to dig up about each band...
MPEG Stream: MAMMOTH "The Mammoth"
MPEG Stream: THE TOWER "Slow Motion Mind"
MPEG Stream: THE BUZZARDS "Burned"

----*
----* In Stock, Not Yet Reviewed :
----*


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!

ANDERSON, LAURIE "Homeland" (Nonesuch) cd 24.00
AUTOMELODI "s/t" (Wierd) cd 11.98
AYERS, ROY "Lots Of Love" (Universal Sound) cd/2lp 19.98/24.00
BXI (AKA BORIS AND IAN ASTBURY) "Boris & Ian Astbury" (Southern Lord) cd 12.98
CAROLINER "Toodoos" (self-released) cd-r 11.98
CURE, THE "Disintegration" (Atlantic) 2lp 27.00
CUT CHEMIST "Sound Of The Police" (Stable Sound) cd/lp 17.98/21.00
DDAMAGE "Aeroplanes" (Ascetic) cd 19.98
DIVORCE "s/t" (Optimo) 10" 13.98
DUKES, THE "s/t" (Red Lounge) cd 23.00
EAST BAY GREASE "Just Head" (Classic Bar Music) 7" 5.50
ELECTRIC EELS "(I'm So) Agitated" (IMSO) 7" 8.98
ETRAN FINATAWA "Tarkat Tajje / Let's Go" (Riverboat / World Music Network) cd 16.98
FOOD "Quiet Inlet" (ECM) cd 17.98
FUCK BUTTONS "Olympians" (ATP) 12" 12.98
GUITAR MAGAZINE / LEADERS "split" (Classic Bar Music) 7" 5.50
HIGH WOLF "Ascension" (Not Not Fun) lp 14.98
INTERNATIONAL HELLO "s/t" (Holy Mountain) lp 14.98
JARNOW, AL "Celestial Navigations: The Short Films Of Al Jarnow" (Numero) dvd 28.00
MAN FOREVER "s/t" (St. Ives) lp 16.98
MAX PLANCK "Kill The Pain" (Buried By Time And Dust) lp 32.00
MCBEE, HAMPER "The Good Old-Fashioned Way" (Twos & Fews) lp 16.98
MOEBIUS & BEERBOHM "Double Cut" (Bureau B) cd 17.98
MOEBIUS & BEERBOHM "Strange Music" (Bureau B) cd 17.98
OHO "Okinawa" (Vintage / Rockadrome) cd 14.98
PEEESSEYE "Pestilence & Joy" (Evolving Ear) lp 20.00
PERSEUS NOBLE "s/t" (Plus Tapes) cassette 5.98
PERSONAL AND THE PIZZAS "Raw Pie" (1-2-3 Go!) lp 14.98
PURO INSTINCT (PEARL HARBOR) "s/t" (Gloriette) 12" 12.98
PURPLE RHINESTONE EAGLE "The Great Return" (Stank House) lp 14.98
RABELAIS, AKIRA "Caduceus" (Samadhisound) cd 16.98
RATTO JA LEHTISALO "UU Mama" (Ektro) cd 14.98
SANDWITCHES "Makes Me Sick" (South Paw) 7" 7.98
SCHNITZLER, CONRAD "Zug" (M=Minimal) lp 16.98
SEDIMENT CLUB, THE "The Hughes Affair" (Softspot) 7" 6.98
SOUNDCARRIERS, THE "Celeste" (Melodic) cd 16.98
SPECIAL INTERESTS "Volume 2" magazine 3.98
SPLINTERS "Blood On My Hands" (Southpaw) 7" 6.50
STEREOLAB "The Groop Play Space Age Bachelor Pad Music" (Too Pure) lp 14.98
SUN RA "Egypt Strut" (Vinyl Lovers) lp 23.00
SUN RA AND HIS OMNIVERSE JET-SET ARKESTRA "Beyond Purple Star Zone / Oblique Parallax" (Art Yard) cd 21.00
V/A "Absolute Belter" (Finders Keepers) 2lp 27.00
V/A "Afro-Beat Airways: West African Shock Waves 1972-1979" (Analog Africa) cd 24.00
V/A "Boddie Recordings" (Numero Group) 3 x 7" box 15.98
V/A "Diggin' Down Argentina: Nuggets From The Rioplatense Scene, 1969-1975" (Crazy Apple Boutique) cd 24.00
V/A "Milano New Wave 1980-83" (Spittle) cd 21.00
V/A "Rough Guide To Desert Blues" (Rough Guides / World Music) 2cd 14.98
V/A "Total 11" (Kompakt) 3lp 24.00
WOVEN BONES "I've Gotta Get / Hey Kid" (Hardly Art) 7" 5.98
YAHOWHA 13 "2013" (Prophase Music) 2cd+dvd 38.00
YOB "The Great Cessation" (Southern Lord) lp 14.98
YOUNGS, RICHARD AND SIMON WICKHAM-SMITH "20 Years" (VHF) lp + 3cd 35.00
ZOROASTER "Matador" (E1) cd 15.98

_______________________________________________________________________

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.


NEW DOMESTIC SHIPPING RATES :
--------------------------------
STANDARD (DEFAULT):

    1 CD (or cassette or DVD or 7") : $2.95 USPS First Class                                                                                               

    1-3 CD (or cassette or DVD, but not 7"s) : $4.95 USPS Priority Mail via flat rate box                                                          

    4+ CD, or any package with LPs in it (also books & box sets), any number of items: $9.95 UPS Ground    
     
Also, please note that UPS will not ship to PO Boxes, so those packages that would have gone UPS will be sent USPS Priority for $9.95,
or you may select  USPS Media Mail instead, see below.

UPS shipments are automatically trackable and include insurance up to $100.        
USPS shipments (First Class, Priority, and Media Mail) are all automatically trackable.

OR, you can choose instead to have your order shipped by MEDIA MAIL:

    1-3 items (i.e. w/ LPs) : $5.95 USPS Media Mail 

    4+ items : $7.95 USPS Media Mail


Special shipping needs (e.g. UPS Next Day) are also doable, just ask for a quote.
Also, if you are just getting 1 item that would therefore ship USPS First Class, and for some reason you would rather have it sent Priority, then you could say so in the comments field. (Note: however, 7"s are too big for the Priority flat rate boxes.)

NOTE: UPS permits their drivers to determine if there is a secure location at the shipping address to leave the package if no one is there to receive it (unfortunately some are less cautious than others!). If you'd prefer that they not do this or if you have specific instructions for the driver, please include a note in the comments section of your weborder form.

PLEASE DOUBLE CHECK SHIPPING ADDRESSES BEFORE SUBMITTING YOUR ORDER. Aquarius is not responsible for orders delayed or returned due to incorrect or undeliverable addresses provided by the customer. Returned packages will be reshipped at the customer's expense.

Shipping rates are charged per shipment.


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, but only in $USD. International customers please note that they must be international postal money orders purchased at a post office. Additional processing fees may apply. 

If you wish to pay by money order, you must confirm the order with us through email or phone BEFORE you send any payment. It's best to just use the secure order form on the website, and when checking out mark money order as your payment choice. We will then process your order and respond with all the crucial payment info.

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.

Unfortunately, we cannot take personal checks for mailorder, sorry!


QUESTION?
-------------------------------- Email the mailorder department: mailorder@aquariusrecords.org
______________________________________________________________________

SOME SELECTED UPCOMING RELEASES

----} August 17
Walter Gibbons "Jungle Music" cd on Strut
Iron Maiden "Final Frontier" cd on Sony
Core Of The Coleman "Box Of The Last Help" cd on Zum Audio

----} August 24th
The Heads "Relaxing With The Heads" 2cd reissue on Rooster
Christian Mistress "Agony And Opium" cd/lp on 20 Buck Spin
James Blackshaw "All Is Falling" cd/lp on Young God
Mogwai "Special Moves" cd
Venetian Snares "My So-called Life" 2lp on Timesig
The Sword "Warp Riders" cd on Kemado
Blind Guardian "At The Edge Of Time" cd on Nuclear Blast
Apocalyptica "7th Symphony" cd on Jive
Stargazer "Great Work Of Ages" cd on Profound Lore

----} August 31st
Cephalic Carnage "Misled By Certainty" cd on Relapse

----} September 7th
Dawnbringer "Nucleus" cd on Profound Lore
Cloudland Canyon "Fin Eaves" cd/lp on Holy Mountain
Arp "Soft Wave" cd on Smalltown Supersound
Venetian Snares "My So-called Life" cd on Timesig
Boston Spaceships "Our Cubehouse Still Rocks" cd/lp on Gbv Inc
Circle Pit "Bruise Constellation" lp on Siltbreeze
Gnaw Their Tongues "L¹arrivee De La Terne Mort" cd on Crucial Blast
Intelligence "Males" lp on In The Red
Nadja/Ovo "Life And Death Of A Wasp" lp version on Vendetta
Neurosis "Enemy Of The Sun" cd reissue on Neurot
Neurosis "Live At Roadburn 2007" cd on Neurot
Nurse With Wound "Second Pirate Session" cd on United Jnana

----} September 7th
Of Montreal "False Priest" cd/2lp on Polyvinyl

----} September 21st
Nekrasov "Extinction" cd on Crucial Blast
Outsiders "CQ" vinyl reissue on Jackpot
Swans "My Father Will Guide Me Up A Rope" cd/lp on Young God
U.S. Christmas "Run Thick In The Night" cd on Neurot

----} October 5th
Slim Cessna's Auto Club "Jesus Let Me Down" 2lp on Alternative Tentacles
Lords Of Falconry "s/t" cd/lp on Holy Mountain
Royal Baths "Litanies" cd/lp on Woodsist
Sun Araw "Off Duty + Boat Trip" cd/12" on Woodsist
Wolvserpent "Blood Seed" lp on 20 Buck Spin
Susumu Yokota "Kaleidoscope" cd on Lo Recordings

----} October 12th
Dead C "Patience" cd/lp on Ba Da Bing
Fresh And Onlys "Play It Strange" cd/lp on In The Red
Purling Hiss "Public Service Announcement" lp on Woodsist

----} October 26th
Slough Feg "The Animal Spirits" cd on Profound Lore
The Psychedelic Aliens "Psycho African Beat" cd/lp/4x7"box reissue on Academy
Crystal Stilts "Shake The Shackles" 7" on Slumberland
Evolution Control Committee "All Rights Reserved" 2cd/lp on Seeland
Excepter "Late" 12" on Woodsist
Salome "Terminal" cd on Profound Lore
Wooden Wand "Death Seat" cd/lp on Young God

----} also upcoming sooner or later or sooner or later or whenever
v/a ³I'll Be So Glad When The Sun Goes Down² lp on Mississippi
v/a ³I'll Meet You On That Other Shore² lp on Mississippi
v/a ³I'm Gonna Live Anyhow Until I Die² lp on Mississippi
v/a ³Wave The Ocean, Wave The Sea² lp on Mississippi
v/a ³Worried Now, Won't Be Worried Long² lp on Mississippi
David Cross "Bigger & Blackerer" vinyl version on Sub Pop
Blizaro "Nightmare City" cd on Razorback
Xasthur "Portal" vinyl on Hydra Head
Randy Barracuda "On The Low" 12" on Harmonia
Limonious "House Of Usher" lp on Flogsta Danshall
Expo 70 "Sonic Messenger" and "Black Ohms" vinyl editions on Beta-lactam Ring
The Sticks "s/t" cd/2x7" on Upset The Rhythm
Harvey Milk "s/t" vinyl edition on Hydra Head
Pyramids w/ Nadja "Lustmord / Ulver Remix" 12" on Hydra Head
Jim Haynes "Rocks. Hills. Plains" on Root Strata
Nurse With Wound "Skrag" cd on United Dairies
Jonathan Coleclough "Flutter" 2cd-r on October
Johann Johannsson "And In The Endless Pause" lp on Type
Jay Reatard "Blood Visions" lp on Fat Possum
King Khan & BBQ Show "Invisible Girl" cd/lp on In The Red
Felix "You Are The One I Pick" cd on Kranky
Papercuts "Where Are The Waves" cd on Gnomonsong
Grumbling Fur (Guapo + Jussi from Circle) cd
Anton Batagov "Passionate Desire To Be An Angel" cd on Long Arms Records
Japancakes "If I Could See Dallas"
Jazzfinger "The Sun's Golden Blood" cd on Beta-Lactam Ring
v/a "Noise Room" cd on Soniq
Country Teasers / Ezee Tiger split lp on Holy Mountain
Erase Errata TBA cd on Kill Rock Stars
Rodan TBA cd/lp on Quarterstick
Swell Maps "International Rescue" clear vinyl LP reissue on Alive
Loss "Despond" cd on Profound Lore
Boduf Songs "Strait Gait" cd/lp on Latitudes
The Fall "Future Our Clutter"
Panda Bear "Tomboy"
Sloath s/t lp on Riot Season
Ken Camden "Lethargy & Repercussions" cd/lp on Kranky
LCD Sound System / Wooden Shjips "Drunk Girls" 7" on DFA


_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________

FYF FEST
Saturday September 4th
Labor Day Weekend 2010
Los Angeles State Historic Park
1245 N. Spring Street Los Angeles, Ca 90012

$27 tickets at aQ

FYF Fest Sept 4th @ LA State Historic Park...it's our 2nd year at the park and our 7th Fest.

SLEEP
THE RAPTURE
PANDA BEAR
TED LEO
THEE OH SEES
ARIEL PINK'S HAUNTED GRAFFITI
WASHED OUT
WAVVES
VETIVER
THE SOFT PACK
BEST COAST
COLD CAVE
THE MOUNTAIN GOATS
!!!
DEAD MAN"S BONES
7 SECONDS
SCHOOL OF THE SEVEN BELLS
ABE VIGODA
WARPAINT
and more more more

_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________

ON LAND

September 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th - 2010
Café DuNord / Swedish American Hall - San Francisco
Sponsored by: Aquarius Records / Stumptown Printers / KUSF / The Wire
Advance tickets on sale now!

September 2nd
Barn Owl
Starving Weirdos
Pulse Emitter
Danny Paul Grody
Rene Hell
En

September 3rd
Oneohtrix Point Never
White Rainbow
Pete Swanson
Operative
Golden Retriever
Aster (Eli Keszler & Ashley Paul)
Robert A.A. Lowe

September 4th
The Alps
Zelienople
Xela
Date Palms
Grasslung
Metal Rouge
Le Révélateur

September 5th
Charalambides
Grouper
Dan Higgs
Bill Orcutt
Ilyas Ahmed
Common Eider, King Eider
Higuma

http://www.onlandfestival.com/


_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________


Lots of love from your devoted AQ staff

Andee Cup Jim AllanIrwinScottNickJonandAndrew


top of page