[ aquarius records new arrivals list #357 ]
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aQuarius recOrds
New Arrivals #357
22nd October 2010



Beloved Customers and Friends:

Greetings nice people! We're feeling pretty good here at aQ, got a great list for you tonight, we're looking forward to our big 40th birthday celebration/show on Monday, and all still smiling from the fantastic Superchunk instore last Saturday. Thanks again to Mac and Jim for serenading us and the assembled enthused crowd acoustically with their indie-rock awesomeness!

That aQ40 show, if you haven't heard, has completely sold out! Holy cow. We're so gratified. Sure it's in part 'cause of our "special secret headliner" (BEST COAST, yay!), but actually we'd already sold tons of tickets before we even announced 'em. We really appreciate the support, folks! Sorry to those of you who want to go but didn't get tickets. There's a good chance we'll try to do something similar (but bigger) next year, so hopefully you can be at our 41st.

Those of you who are coming out Monday, be sure to get there on time (early) if you can, the first band, Pigs, really will start at 8pm sharp, you don't want to miss them (or the birthday cake we'll be serving), and things should zip right along, the show will be over by about 12:30 but if you wanna stay out late on a school night and keep partying, we'll be heading over to the Lucky 13 afterwards, down the street from the DuNord. Which is also a good chance for folks who couldn't get tickets to come down, hang out, and help us keep celebrating! Again, thanks to all the great bands who agreed to play, thanks also to the labels that provided us with some cool "party favors" and goodies to raffle off (LOTS of killer stuff!), thanks to the DuNord for hosting, and thanks especially to all of you who bought tickets! It's gonna be great, we're really excited!!

All right, better get on with the business at hand. The list! Picked 4 Records Of The Week this time, here they are:

PURLING HISS: Incredible collection of ramshackle ultra lo-fi perfect pop, tripped out druggy psychedelic drift, GBV like home brewed hookiness, and fractured tape experimentation, all woven into a warped and warbly, hiss drenched masterpiece, lp-only on Woodsist.
SOLAR BEARS: Amazing debut from this difficult to describe Irish outfit, whose sound is futuristic, but also pastoral, droney and a little sci-fi, blissed out and a little new agey, organic and poppy, jangly and dreamy, sci fi synth wave meets fuzzy dream folk meets ambient glimmering drift. So gorgeous.
UMBERTO: Once again, from the Expo 70 orbit comes this second dark disc of faux giallo soundtrack music / Goblin worship, this one way more Italo disco infused, some seriously funky and freaky haunted soundtracky grooviness. Vinyl-only.
SUN CITY GIRLS: Now on cd! The final record from these weird genius sonic mystics, the last to be recorded before the untimely death of their drummer, an expansive, soundtracky epic, rife with Morricone influences. Introspective, haunting, and at times quite beautiful.

And then hella highlights, among them a new album from Circle, a ton of rad tapes, plenty of black metal, African psych reissues, witch house action, and other good things:

AIAS: One of our new faves, naive charming garage pop from Spain, warm and minimal and smart and so good!
ANTONY AND THE JOHNSONS: The most emotional and personal record yet from these aQ faves, darkly intimate yet suffused with hope and love, totally stunning...
BALAM ACAB: First proper vinyl release from this 'witch house' produce, and it's gorgeous, a fantastically dreamy chunk of electronic ghostly minimal dream pop.
BEFORE, AFTER: Limited cassette of post-noise dronescaping, cold oscillations of electrical hum and arcs of dual-tone ambience. Nice!
BELLE AND SEBASTIAN: Brand new record of exquisitely constructed bittersweet pop from these twee Scot popsmiths. 
BLUES CREATION: Finally reissued, this proto-metal essential, from Japan's answer to Black Sabbath, total '70s Japanese heavy psych hard rock radness!
BOHEMIAN GROVE: Brand new ep of frenzied avant black metal madness, furious gnarled riffage, incredibly dense, complex drumming and gorgeous epic twisted melodies from these Greek BM masters.
ADAM BUGAJ: Blissful, bedroom-recorded Casio-dub instrumental music, tape hiss, simple melodies, mechanical rhythms and dubby reverb...
THOMAS CARNACKI: Awesome audio surrealism from this sometime member of irr.app.(ext.) and Nurse With Wound.
CIRCLE: Latest masterpiece from our favorite Finnish hypnorockers....
JOE COLLEY: Available again, this stunning disc of harsh digital noises, piercing arpeggiations, and noxious jump-cuts.
COMMON EIDER, KING EIDER: A cd-r reissue of the recent 12" ep of splendidly dark and somber, atmospheric folk from this SF outfit, limited to 300 copies, and like the 12", super nice packaging.
CURVED BLADE: Stumbling, death obsessed keyboard laced black metal primitivism, warbly and warped, loose and chaotic, twisted and droned out and seriously damaged...
DIE ANTWOORD: Finally a full length from this YouTube famous weirdo redneck South African rap, and it's just as amazing as we'd hoped. 
DWARR: Just reissued on Drag City, this past ROTW of eccentric outsider "doom metal" from the '80s, psychedelic and strange, like DIY Black Sabbath meets Todd Tamanend Clark...
ENSEMBLE ECONOMIQUE: Latest lp from Brian Pyle of RV Paintings and Starving Weirdos, channeling '70s and '80s progressive electronics through modern dark trip synthiness.
DYLAN ETTINGER: A fantastic collection of synth driven sc-fi new age/wave atmospherics for fans of Majeure, Zombi, Umberto and similarly minded retro futurists...
GAMES: Super limited 7" of loops of muffled robot-speak vocals, dopey-eyed slow-jam rhythms, and '80s computer skipped disc jitter from this Oneohtrix side project.
GLASSER: Colorful, swirly pop, organic and lush and a little witch house-y like Zola Jesus or Islaja fused with Kate Bush or Bjork, another new fave.
GONJASUFI: Awesome remix record of one of our recent electronic faves, featuring versions by Oneohtrix Point Never, Bear In Heaven, Broadcast & The Focus Group and more!
GUINEA WORMS: Epic double lp from this drunken and damaged, drugged out and demented, super noisy, stumbling, chaotic, metallic, garage rock combo, fucked up and awesome!
HALLO GALLO 2010: New 7" from this new group made up of Michael Rother of Neu!, Steve Shelley of Sonic Youth, and Aaron Mullen from Tall Firs, amazing modern krautrock.
HAPPY DAYS / EINDIG: Split lp of depressive black metal, buzzy and black, but weirdly poppy and melodic, great stuff from both bands.
HELL MILITIA: Record number two from this French black metal super group, a dark and grimy, grim and filthy, harrowing and heavy, a seriously scary collection of hellish black art.
KOWLOON WALLED CITY: Now on cd, this crushing slab of AmRep style noiserock sludge from these locals.
LARSEN & NURSE WITH WOUND: A serious aQ dream team collaboration, audio surrealists NWW joined up with Italian avant post rockers Larsen!
CHERYL E. LEONARD: Incredible collection of field recordings from Antarctica, animals, whipping wind, cracking crumbling glaciers, definitely for fans of Douglas Quin.
LORDS OF FALCONRY: ULTRA fuzzed, freaked out, high energy, heavy psychedelic guitar jams with some warped and weirdo vocals. 
MARSFIELD: Ultra limited deluxe lp from Andrew Chalk and Brendan Walls, smeared texturesm, elongated drones, shimmering resonant tones and lush hypnotic thrum.
MOON UNIT: A twisted blown out psychedelic hybrid of Vibracathedral Orchestra and Fushitsusha, sprawling space/psych jams, that slip from dark and droney to explosive and in-the-red...
PALACE OF WORMS: Brand new blast of avant post rock flecked black metal buzz from this local horde, featuring members of Elk and Dead As Dreams, cassette only!
PEDESTRIAN DEPOSIT: A fantastic collection of frightening, haunting recordings for cello and electronics, thick with echoing drones and ghostly shadowy shimmer.
PHANTOM PAINS: Ultra limited cassette from this SF noisemaker, electroid-psychedelic smears of guitar/synth/pedal fuzz and hiss.
PIGEONS: Latest 7" of woozy, dreamlike downtempo psychedelic folk from this husband and wife duo, Portishead style trip hop meets seventies style acid folk.
SAILORS WITH WAX WINGS: One of two new Pyramids offshoots, this one a lush atmospheric expanse of blackened metallic slowcore dreampop bliss.
CHRISTINE SHIELDS: An amazing record of hauntingly atmospheric chamber folk, organic vocal harmonies, intricate guitar work, melodica, piano, percussion and bells, On Awesome Vistas.
SKY LARKIN: Brand new disc of smart noise pop radness from this UK band, crunchy, propulsive, mathy, with amazing choruses, and incredible vocals, darker and moodier but still catchy like crazy.
SLOUGH FEG: A kick ass new record from San Francisco's idiosyncratic old school metal masters, heavy, ripping, raw and majestically melodic, not to mention sorta '70s rock too!
SNAILFACE: This Kowloon Walled City sideproject offers up two whole albums of blown out fuzzy stoner pop, hooks galore, and packaged in a cardboard box with a pin and some Yeti fur!
MARNIE STERN: Absolutely shredding melodic full throttle, fast and loud, tempo changing proggy punk radness!
SWANOX: Limited cassette of stellar, drugged-out, cosmic-pop from this awesome local one man band.
TIMMY'S ORGANISM: A blurry blast of noise-rock-space-garage-what-the-fuck distorto rock from this Michigan weirdo! On Sacred Bones.
TIROGO: Rad reissue of badass obscure African '70s garage fuzz rock from this amazing Nigerian outfit...
TITAN: Brand new blast of spaced out prog-tastic heaviness from this Brooklyn quartet, proggier and heavier and radder than ever! 
TREY TOLD 'EM: A super rad DJ mix assembled entirely from the Thrill Jockey catalog, includes three megamixes too, Tortoise, Trans Am, and an Oval mix that supposedly features every Oval song EVER.
SCOTT TUMA: Super limited cassette from this master of ethereal folk ambience, 5 new songs, and a reinterpretation/homage on the flipside, already out print, last copies!
V/A F*>K DANCE, LET'S ART: Incredible comp of 'witch house' and other related electronic dreaminess, featuring oOoOO, Balam Acab, Animal Collective, Washed Out, Bear In Heaven and loads more.
V/A ROOTS OF CHICHA 2: A fantastic second volume of fuzzy and psychedelic, washed out and surfy Peruvian Chicha, soulful and groovy and a unanimous store fave.
V/A RUSSKIE WIG-OUT!: A twisted over the top, ultra fun and far out collection of "Demented Surf / Electro / Exotica From Behind The Iron Curtain". On the Omni label of course...
V/A SECRET MUSEUM VOL III: Third incredible volume of outerworld music from lands and peoples past and lost, fantastic packaging and extensive liner notes! 
V/A THE WORLD IS A MONSTER: Killer compilation of forties and fifties hillbilly music from The Columbia Record Vaults, on the always amazing Omni label...
VEGAS MARTYRS: Unreleased second album from these East Coast purveyors of pop flecked black metal weirdness, only on cassette, featuring members of Cold Cave, Prurient, Ash Pool and others.
TOSHI WADA: A vinyl only release of this stellar set of classical minimalism from San Francisco based composer Wada, incredible and intense rasping, singing violin drones in the spirit of the '60s minimalists.
WATER BORDERS: Latest from these SF based electronic alchemists, glimmering high end, lush synth swells, looped percussion, haunting 'witchy' ambience, and deep crooned vocals, one of our new favorite records for sure!
WHITE MOTH: One of two new Pyramids offshoots, this one a twisted shoegazey, blissy chunk of black metal flecked drill and bass electronica, with guest vocals from John Gossard of Weakling!
WINTERFYLLETH: Record number two from these British neo-pagan black metallers, buzzing majestic blackened epics, even better than their first.
WITCH: Finally a reissue of this Zambian band's 1973 debut, fuzzed out wah wah'd guitars, infectious rhythms, unrestrained organ playing, awesome '70s African garage psych action!
WOE: Brand new batch of black metal brilliance from this East Coast one man band, insanely fast, furious buzzing blackness, infused with amazing and distinctly not black melodies and harmonies.
YOSHIDA, TATSUYA: Warehouse find! A killer compilation released in 1994 of a decade's worth of tracks by various and sundry bands featuring Ruins mastermind drummer/vocalist Tatsuya Yoshida.
ZOLA JESUS: Latest from this long time aQ fave, darkly dramatic, lush and layered, a cleaner sound, but still plenty rough and raw, and so so beautiful.

And more, more, more. Including a new issue of The Wire, some other now-on-vinyl treats, and other worthy items. Oh, and the limited edition posters from the Superchunk instore.

_____________

And be sure to check out this amazing performance / opening next week for a new exhibition at the Berkeley Art Museum, called Hauntology, and curated by our very own Scott Hewicker, and featuring performances by two other aQ-er's, Jim Haynes and Jon Porras(with Barn Owl!), here are the details:

Hauntology: a L@te event at BAM/PFA

Indignant Senility
Barn Owl
Jim Haynes

and a special performance by Marielle Jakobsons

featuring multiple projections and films from the PFA

programmed in conjunction with the exhibition Hauntology, curated by Scott Hewicker and Larry Rinder
on view until Dec. 5th, 2010

Berkeley Art Museum/ Pacific Film Archive
Friday Oct. 29th 7:30 sharp! $7.00

2626 Bancroft Way
2621 Durant Avenue
Berkeley, CA 

http://www.bampfa.berkeley.edu/exhibition/late102910

_____________

And just a reminder, we've got two pairs of tix to give away to this amazing upcoming show:

aQuarius recOrds and Lido Starr present

An evening of psychedelic-folk-drone music featuring:

Expo 70
Numinous Eye
Waldteufel
Lumen (of Lux Interna)*

November 4th
at The Red Devil Lounge in SF

$5 advance/$8 door
doors: 8pm
show: 9pm

*Just added!

For a chance to win, email store@aquariusrecords.org with the subject EXPO 70 TIX!

_____________


All right, once again, as always, thanks for your attention (and orders)...

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

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 PURLING HISS Public Service Announcement (Woodsist) lp 14.98
WOW, did this record pretty much immediately blow us away! We had never actually heard these guys (this guy actually, he also plays in Birds Of Maya), but had always thought Purling Hiss was a pretty awesome name, so not expecting too much, we threw this on and then BAM, we were sold, smitten, obsessed even, finding ourselves playing this to death, getting these songs stuck in our heads, and not just the songs proper, but even the weird little recording anomalies and random bits of musical glitchery. For a record that sounds, and is maybe meant to sound, so lo-fi and tossed off and just sort of half assed, a druggy murky muddy home brewed pop record, it's impossibly catchy and well crafted and AMAZING.
A heady mix of classic pop songsmithery, blown out psychedelic drift, abstract tape experiment fuckery and fragmented bedroom 4 track alchemy, Public Service Announcement plays at times like some classic rock record that's been dubbed a million times and then played back in your crappy car stereo, the one with only one speaker and no bass knob, and at other times like some inspired Guided By Voices mini pop epic, and occasionally like some super baked, basement psych jam blowout, wasted and lazy and drifty and divine.
The record opens with "Run From The City", which within 5 seconds establishes itself as some impossible instant classic, with a totally killer guitar lick that IS the song's hook, the track sounding like some lost punky pop gem from the seventies or eighties that somehow got left off of every compilation since, the verses crunchy and muddy and melodic, those guitar leads just sealing the deal. In fact, we could barely get to the rest of the record cuz we just wanted to keep playing the first track.
"Porch Dude/Slight Return" offers up our first glimpse of Purling Hiss as wasted and stoned psych jam drifters, shuffling drums, swirling flanged guitars, everything hazy and wreathed in pot smoke, little spidery leads surfacing here and there, bit otherwise a blurred and bleary drift, the slight return of the title being the revisited melody from the album opener.
And then there's "Don't Even Try It", the other song we can't seem to keep from just playing on repeat, with it's folky guitar and vocal intro, the tape speed constantly shifting, the sound warped and warbly, like someone with their finger on the record as it spins, and then the chorus comes in, with it's "woo ooo ooo" refrain, and the song suddenly reveals itself as some pretty perfect pop. Lo-fi yet lush, vocal harmonies, guitar melodies, a hook to die for, all hazy and sun dappled and catchy as all get out.
After a brief (but AWESOME) minute long Van Halen loop, that manages to be totally twisted yet totally catchy, the record slips right back into fuzzy lo-fi pop, more oooh's and aaah's, summery steel string strum, dreamy harmonies, and sweet pop hooks, before unfurling some serious psychedelia in the form of "Gypsy", a sprawling droned out chunk of druggy spaciness, and at that point if you're not already under the record's spell, you bliss out and drift off and let the record carry you wherever it will, whether it be to "Zor" a thick buzzing, swirling, yet still dreamily melodic bit of dark drone, or to "Beautiful Earth Creature" which is another perfect chunk of jangly pop, replete with those warped speed fluctuations that end up becoming irrevocably part of the song, or to the heady spacepsychjam freakout of "Malice In Wonderland" or to the twisted Ariel Pink-ish warbly fuzzy FM radio pop of album close "1976".
Warped and wonderful and definitely one of our new favorite records.
MPEG Stream: "Run From The City"
MPEG Stream: "Don't Even Try It"
MPEG Stream: "Beautiful Earth Creature"
MPEG Stream: "Bedroom"
MPEG Stream: "Gypsy"

album cover SOLAR BEARS She Was Coloured In (Planet Mu) cd 14.98
When we first heard Ireland's Solar Bears, for whatever reason we sort of pegged them as another eighties style retro Carpenter / Goblin worshipper, and while there is an element of that in what they do, and we of course LOVE that stuff, there's so much more going on, their sound at once futuristic, but also pastoral, droney and a little sci-fi, but also blissed out and a little new agey, organic and poppy, jangly and dreamy, an incredible mix of so many different sounds we love, which perhaps seem like they wouldn't work together, but somehow, She Was Coloured In ends up sounding practically perfect.
Beginning with a reverbed sample, laid over a murky lo-fi loop, and a skeletal bit of rhythmic skitter, the track blossoms with prismatic synth swirls, fuzzed out swells of distorted chordal shimmer, it's like some sort of shoegazey dreampop, before the track shifts into something almost funky, with fat fuzzy stuttery bass and some sci-fi soundtracky synth, which gives way to gorgeously hazy folky steel guitar strum, which in turn leads into some almost Ariel Pink sounding FM radio retro pop, all warm chiming melodies, vocodered vocals, low slung basslines and little flurries of guitar jangle.
As if it wasn't already good, starting with the third track, "Twin Stars", it gets even better, deep fuzzed out low end drones, thrum and throb, darkly melodic, then some programmed beats swoop in, looped and stuttery, some melancholy synth melodies surface, all very soundtracky, still more melodies, a counterpoint to the original melodies, all very emotional and intense and dramatic, until that gives way to swirly bit of Reichian synth loop shimmer that could go on forever. The title track begins with stately cellos, or cello-like synths, some woozy bass, lush melodic swells, and then the song transforms into some sort of post rock lope, chiming guitars simple drums, swoonsome strings, a little twang, a little psychedelic crunch, so lush and subtly epic, which leads directly into two minutes of glimmering new agey bliss in the form of "Head Supernova", which gradually transforms from muted murky thrum, to weirdly majestic pomp.
"Crystalline (Be Again)" is another strange hybrid, beginning as a minimal bit of subtle synth drift, before crunchy psychedelic guitars transport the track into the realm of propulsive space kraut drift, and then into tripped out new wave, more loping bass, swirling space age synths, looped riffs, building to a seriously soundtracky bit of retro futurism.
The record is so varied, and the sound so ever shifting, that it's difficult to describe without going track by track, yet for all of the record's varied sounds and songs, it all flows so perfectly, like the score for some lost sixties psychedelic film, or the soundtrack to some super strange European television show, so evocative and ethereal and atmospheric, but with moments of spaced out rocking, or blissy shoegazey drift, or hypnotic krautrock throb. Fluttering flutes intertwine with delicate Appalachian folk, strings soar and sing, tinkling chimes drift over sixties Stereolab style Europop, synths distort and crunch, and weave pulsing science fiction electronic groovescapes, with moments definitely reminding us of Zombi and Majeure, but then as quickly as those bits explode into action, they recede leaving gently lilting drifts of hushed new age folky ambience, or layered droney buzz, or even minimal soundtracky groovepop that reminds us of Rockford Kabine's audio experiments, elsewhere looped sixties vocals are layered over warped fuzz bass and shuffling percussion, strings slip and slide, house-y rhythms sink into thick swaths of sun dappled chordal crunch, and super sweet melodies swoop and soar above handclaps and clipped drum machine, a weirdly propulsive sunshiney electro space pop, and then finally, there's a gorgeously lush and somber closer, with reverbed piano, more flutes, simple strummed acoustic guitars, warm soft swells, building to a lush tangle of guitar melody and dark piano chord drift, eventually leaving just a bit of flute flecked layered and distorted dronemusic, finishing with the ka-chunk of the stop button being pressed on an old tape player, as if we were listening to some old tape, or even better, like we were listening to this very record, only in some alternate future, the future as envisioned by pretty much every eighties movie and TV show, one where where cassette tape technology was still the preferred method of audio playback, even in our flying cars, and automated houses.
We love this record.
MPEG Stream: "Forest Of Fountains"
MPEG Stream: "Children Of The Times"
MPEG Stream: "Twin Stars"
MPEG Stream: "Crystalline (Be Again)"

album cover SOLAR BEARS She Was Coloured In (Planet Mu) lp 17.98
When we first heard Ireland's Solar Bears, for whatever reason we sort of pegged them as another eighties style retro Carpenter / Goblin worshipper, and while there is an element of that in what they do, and we of course LOVE that stuff, there's so much more going on, their sound at once futuristic, but also pastoral, droney and a little sci-fi, but also blissed out and a little new agey, organic and poppy, jangly and dreamy, an incredible mix of so many different sounds we love, which perhaps seem like they wouldn't work together, but somehow, She Was Coloured In ends up sounding practically perfect.
Beginning with a reverbed sample, laid over a murky lo-fi loop, and a skeletal bit of rhythmic skitter, the track blossoms with prismatic synth swirls, fuzzed out swells of distorted chordal shimmer, it's like some sort of shoegazey dreampop, before the track shifts into something almost funky, with fat fuzzy stuttery bass and some sci-fi soundtracky synth, which gives way to gorgeously hazy folky steel guitar strum, which in turn leads into some almost Ariel Pink sounding FM radio retro pop, all warm chiming melodies, vocodered vocals, low slung basslines and little flurries of guitar jangle.
As if it wasn't already good, starting with the third track, "Twin Stars", it gets even better, deep fuzzed out low end drones, thrum and throb, darkly melodic, then some programmed beats swoop in, looped and stuttery, some melancholy synth melodies surface, all very soundtracky, still more melodies, a counterpoint to the original melodies, all very emotional and intense and dramatic, until that gives way to swirly bit of Reichian synth loop shimmer that could go on forever. The title track begins with stately cellos, or cello-like synths, some woozy bass, lush melodic swells, and then the song transforms into some sort of post rock lope, chiming guitars simple drums, swoonsome strings, a little twang, a little psychedelic crunch, so lush and subtly epic, which leads directly into two minutes of glimmering new agey bliss in the form of "Head Supernova", which gradually transforms from muted murky thrum, to weirdly majestic pomp.
"Crystalline (Be Again)" is another strange hybrid, beginning as a minimal bit of subtle synth drift, before crunchy psychedelic guitars transport the track into the realm of propulsive space kraut drift, and then into tripped out new wave, more loping bass, swirling space age synths, looped riffs, building to a seriously soundtracky bit of retro futurism.
The record is so varied, and the sound so ever shifting, that it's difficult to describe without going track by track, yet for all of the record's varied sounds and songs, it all flows so perfectly, like the score for some lost sixties psychedelic film, or the soundtrack to some super strange European television show, so evocative and ethereal and atmospheric, but with moments of spaced out rocking, or blissy shoegazey drift, or hypnotic krautrock throb. Fluttering flutes intertwine with delicate Appalachian folk, strings soar and sing, tinkling chimes drift over sixties Stereolab style Europop, synths distort and crunch, and weave pulsing science fiction electronic groovescapes, with moments definitely reminding us of Zombi and Majeure, but then as quickly as those bits explode into action, they recede leaving gently lilting drifts of hushed new age folky ambience, or layered droney buzz, or even minimal soundtracky groovepop that reminds us of Rockford Kabine's audio experiments, elsewhere looped sixties vocals are layered over warped fuzz bass and shuffling percussion, strings slip and slide, house-y rhythms sink into thick swaths of sun dappled chordal crunch, and super sweet melodies swoop and soar above handclaps and clipped drum machine, a weirdly propulsive sunshiney electro space pop, and then finally, there's a gorgeously lush and somber closer, with reverbed piano, more flutes, simple strummed acoustic guitars, warm soft swells, building to a lush tangle of guitar melody and dark piano chord drift, eventually leaving just a bit of flute flecked layered and distorted dronemusic, finishing with the ka-chunk of the stop button being pressed on an old tape player, as if we were listening to some old tape, or even better, like we were listening to this very record, only in some alternate future, the future as envisioned by pretty much every eighties movie and TV show, one where where cassette tape technology was still the preferred method of audio playback, even in our flying cars, and automated houses.
We love this record.
MPEG Stream: "Forest Of Fountains"
MPEG Stream: "Children Of The Times"
MPEG Stream: "Twin Stars"
MPEG Stream: "Crystalline (Be Again)"

album cover UMBERTO Prophecy Of The Black Widow (Not Not Fun) lp 14.98
We LOVED the previous Umberto album, From The Grave, and are stoked that he/they/it have finally returned with another full length packed with oodles of Goblin-y goodness, just in time for Halloween!!
But the sound of the Expo 70-associated Umberto is not strictly that scary, at least not all the time, in fact, like Goblin and other '80s Italian fright-film soundtrackers, most of the scary stuff here is really just an *underlying* un-ease, a sinister suspenseful undercurrent over which more "groovy" stuff gets down. And way more groovy this one most definitely is, some serious haunted dancefloor action, or horror movie disco, or whatever you want to call it, but Umberto has for sure upped the funk/groove quotient, lacing the usual cocktail of thick, tense, pulsing synth throb, minimal motorik rhythms and heavy ominous drones with plenty of funky basslines, crunchy modulated keyboard buzz, soaring synths, chanted voices and propulsive grooves... Here and there, the sound gets all stripped down leaving just gurgly, crumbly distorted low end peppered with spaced out booming rhythms, or creepy ambient atmospheres, but the songs tend to slip quickly back into haunted shuffly rhythms, woozy horror movie atmospherics, ominous strings laced funky grooves and dark descending bass blarp.
The second side begins with one of those tracks that sounds like the music that always introduces us to the main character in all those seventies thrillers, the little girl playing with her dollies, the old woman in the garden, the sound is tranquil but subtly sinister, here it's a music box like melody, plinking dreamily beneath haunting strings, and soft swirls of creepy voice like synth, total horror movie soundtrack shivers for sure.
After that it's back to wah guitars, chiming bells, groovy Italo funk haunted dancefloor grooviness, but this time with some cool washed out M83 style female vocal textures, a shoegazey gauze over that propulsive Goblin-y groove.
If we had to pick a single song that was THE ONE here, it would probably be "Someone Chasing Someone Through A House" which sounds exactly LIKE THAT, pulsing throbbing synths, electronic squelches, deep ominous drones, dark swells, foreboding and creepy and tense and SCARY!
The album ends with an upbeat track entitled "Everything Is Going To Be Ok", all sun-coming-up, yay we survived the zombie onslaught good cheer & cheesiness. The sort of music that plays over the closing credits, or even better, over the final shot which lulls you into a sense of false security, before a decaying hand bursts through the ground, or a beast explodes from the water and drag our heroine out of the boar, some sort of shock to let you know that evil won't stay buried... which of course usually leads to a sequel, and we are definitely looking forward to the next installment of groovy Gobliny sonic scares from Umberto!

album cover SUN CITY GIRLS Funeral Mariachi (Abduction) cd 17.98
This recent Record Of The Week, NOW AVAILABLE ON CD!!! And thus a Record Of The Week, again. Packaged in a mini-lp style sleeve.
We had long heard rumors that the Sun City Girls had been working on a cinematic album as something of a follow-up to Torch Of The Mystics and 330,003 Crossdressers From Beyond The Rig Veda, two of our all-time favorite, classic albums from the Girls' idiosyncratic catalogue of punky psychedelia dissolved through Southeast Asian pop, free jazz, and Ennio Morricone soundtracks. But with the tragic death of drummer, poet, and polyglot savant Charles Goucher in 2007, it seemed that the Girls would end their career with the grand tease of an album of this sort never to be released. Fortunately, those recordings were not the stuff of urban legend or of unfounded fantasy, and the Sun City Girls' Alan Bishop has finally completed the album with the help of long time SCG cohort Scott Colburn! So here it is, the final SCGs album, and it's a worthy (and really quite accessible) capstone to their idiosyncratic discography.
Morricone has long been an influence and inspiration for the Sun City Girls, and especially Alan Bishop. In fact, he's been responsible for some of the best Morricone compilations issued over the years (i.e. Morricone 2000 and the Crime & Dissonance 2cd on Ipecac). As much as Bishop had been infatuated with Morricone, the homages to Morricone had been heavily disfigured and mutilated within the playfully murderous aesthetic of the Sun City Girls, where nothing is sacred and everything is fair game with the Girls' crosscultural appropriation. But for Funeral Mariachi, the Morricone riffs are situated in beguiling songs wholly devoid of the Sun City Girls' curmudgeonly fuck-you stances. In other words, Funeral Marachi is a damn good record. So good that it will probably invite a lot more people to investigate the wonderfully frustrating and woefully inaccessible back catalogue of the Sun City Girls.
Introspective, haunting, and at times beautiful, Funeral Mariachi opens with "Ben's Radio" where the Bishop brothers breakthrough a mid-tempo spy thriller number with a staccato duet of call and response avant-weirdness coupled with blurting atonal horns. Unmistakably Sun City Girls. In "Black Orchid", the group turns in the first of many Morricone references, where the Girls' are equally enamored by the incidental vocal melodies that worked throughout all of his scores. Here the Girls' offer a sad ballad for Richard Bishop's always stunning acoustic guitar and Alan's falsetto vocals bellowing his polyglot language. "Blue West," with its high-lonesome chorales, bad-ass guitar licks, and a mournful arrangements, could have been straight out of a John Ford movie. "Holy Ground" might as well be the Girls' answer to Pink Floyd's "Set The Controls to the Heart of the Sun" with Alan's caterwauling voice droning behind the diabolically chanted vocals, beautiful guitar leads, shadowy atmospherics, and weirdly playful calliope melodies. "Mineral Wells" and "El Solo" turn towards the more saccharine moments of the Morricone oeuvre with loungy piano, reverb whistled melodies, and actual female vocals (and not Alan mimicking a woman's voice). "Come Maddalena" is in fact a Morricone cover, from the 1971 Italian film Maddalena, perhaps known only for its soundtrack. Again, a rather moody atmosphere is set for plaintive, yet fuzzed out guitar melody. So fucking good!
MPEG Stream: "Ben's Radio"
MPEG Stream: "Black Orchid"
MPEG Stream: "Blue West"
MPEG Stream: "Come Maddalena"
MPEG Stream: "Funeral Mariachi"

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album cover AIAS A La Piscina (Captured Tracks) cd 13.98
While there is no shortage of rad girl group inspired garage pop coming out right now, Aias add some totally unique and spirited energy to the mix, definitely helping them stand out from the garage girl crowd: Vivian Girls, Dum Dum Girls, Best Coast, Slumber Party, etc. Singing in their native Catalan, these three women from Spain show that it's still possible to breathe fresh life into a sound that's been around the block, a sound that can always sound so damn good when done so totally right. And Aias do it so right. With a naive charming quality that sounds a little like Shonen Knife covering the Ramones and The Ronettes, with every single song perfectly hitting the spot. The recording is so warm and minimal in the best way, like our favorite early recordings that came out on K, this is such a smart pop record that understands that stripping away the fat leaves you with just the good stuff. A new favorite pop record for sure!
MPEG Stream: "Tu Manes"
MPEG Stream: "Una Setmana Sencera"
MPEG Stream: "Moto"

album cover ANTONY AND THE JOHNSONS Swanlights (Secretly Canadian) cd 15.98
Swanlights might be the most giving, emotional and personal record yet from Antony & The Johnsons. Right from the get go, you've got "Everything Is New" which builds to a triumphant climax and captures the same kind of intensity that "I Hope There Is Someone" conjured, the opener to the 2005 release I Am Bird Now, which so strongly reeled us in to the world of Antony at the time. The follow up to that record, The Crying Light, was much more stark and insular, distant even, yet was still so haunting and intense. But with Swanlights it feels like Antony is coming to these songs from a much more personal and intimate point of view, and as always his voice and the song structures just totally make us melt and give us chills and the effects of these songs linger and linger...
Besides having a song called "I'm In Love" we get the exciting feeling that Antony may very well in fact be in love in a way we haven't heard from him before. There are several tracks with a much more wide eyed and under-the-influence, blood-rushing-love sound then on any of his past recordings. So while there is a more hopeful and uplifting tone to Swanlights, there are still lots of great somber and haunting moments, including a truly chilling duet with Bjork. Once again another stunning set of songs from Antony that we'll be listening to for a long time to come.
MPEG Stream: "Everything Is New"
MPEG Stream: "I'm In Love"
MPEG Stream: "Flétta (featuring Bjork)"

album cover ANTONY AND THE JOHNSONS Swanlights (Secretly Canadian) lp 18.98
Swanlights might be the most giving, emotional and personal record yet from Antony & The Johnsons. Right from the get go, you've got "Everything Is New" which builds to a triumphant climax and captures the same kind of intensity that "I Hope There Is Someone" conjured, the opener to the 2005 release I Am Bird Now, which so strongly reeled us in to the world of Antony at the time. The follow up to that record, The Crying Light, was much more stark and insular, distant even, yet was still so haunting and intense. But with Swanlights it feels like Antony is coming to these songs from a much more personal and intimate point of view, and as always his voice and the song structures just totally make us melt and give us chills and the effects of these songs linger and linger...
Besides having a song called "I'm In Love" we get the exciting feeling that Antony may very well in fact be in love in a way we haven't heard from him before. There are several tracks with a much more wide eyed and under-the-influence, blood-rushing-love sound then on any of his past recordings. So while there is a more hopeful and uplifting tone to Swanlights, there are still lots of great somber and haunting moments, including a truly chilling duet with Bjork. Once again another stunning set of songs from Antony that we'll be listening to for a long time to come.
MPEG Stream: "Everything Is New"
MPEG Stream: "I'm In Love"
MPEG Stream: "Flétta (featuring Bjork)"

album cover BALAM ACAB See Birds (Triangle) 12" 13.98
Another 'witch house' luminary gets their first proper (non cd-r or download) release in the form of this gorgeous 5 song ep. For those who have somehow missed out on the whole witch house thing, it's sort of hard to describe, a new self proclaimed genre that seems to mix electronic music with dark creepy samples, everything slowed down and murky and witchy, ethereal vocals, distorted production, there's already a serious backlash because of the ridiculous witch house hype, which is pretty funny, considering probably all but the very hippest folks have barely even heard any witch house.
We reviewed the debut 12" from oOoOO a few lists back (all the witch house bands tend to have names that borrow heavily from the zapf dingbats font and the special keys on your keyboard), a fantastically dreamy chunk of electronic ghostly minimal dream pop, we also made Salem's King Night our Record of the Week, with its bombastic shoegaze bliss meets chopped and screwed Southern style crunk, but Balam Acab definitely tends toward the former, the two part title track a fuzzy, almost dubsteppy bit of gently glitchy gauziness, angelic vocals, wreathed in reverb, drifting over swirling industrial loops and shimmering synths, the second part totally blissed out and otherworldly, the beats spare and skeletal, the vocals floating on clouds of whirling effects and blurred melody, while in between, basslines buzz ominously, beats careen in slow motion, voices loop and hover, melodies fragment and drift apart, the sound like some eighties MTV pop slowed way down and dipped in drugs and left in the afternoon sun to warm, fuzzy streaks of sound wrapped around stuttery glacial beats, "Big Boy" offering up a hook on par with "See Birds", while "Dream Out" sounds like a warped Kate Bush record playing at 16rpm, while kids play video games in the next room.
Awesome stuff. And we could care less really if the hipster intelligentsia has decided witch house is dead, cuz we're definitely dying to hear more...
MPEG Stream: "See Birds"

album cover BEFORE, AFTER s/t (Monorail Trespassing) cassette 6.98
Before, After is a collaboration between Mike Pollard (Pale Blue Sky, Treetops, the owner of Arbor Records), and Jon Borges (Pedestrian Deposit, Emaciator, the owner of Monorail Trespassing), the two working together bring to the table their mutual aesthetic appreciation for a world of post-noise dronescaping. In the cold oscillations of electrical hum and arcs of dual-tone ambience from all sorts of synths, pedals, and whatnot, it's easy to put these sounds in the orbit of Emeralds / Outer Space / Mist / etc.
Pollard and Borges affix a fluctuating halo of electricity to all of their subtle oscillations, and all of this voltage, wattage, and ampage is somewhat threatening, but presented at a relatively safe distance. Sort of like a live wire that's been dropped into a pool of water. The thrum and glow is seductive, but deadly to the touch. This isn't to say these tones are the stuff of death ambient engineers, more just to marvel at the amount of electricity that has been wrangled, harnessed, and turned inward to provide a radiance that's somewhat beautiful, as captured in emergent, ethereal fluctuations and accretive drones swarming into a series of Jeck / Basinski loops. Another exceptional tape from what has become the preeminent cassette label in the US.

album cover BELLE AND SEBASTIAN Write About Love (Matador) cd 13.98
For some of us, Belle And Sebastian are one of the only bands that have been a constant in our lives for the last fifteen years. So listening to them always takes on extra weight as we immediately are flooded with so many memories when we hear their delicate and exquisitely constructed bittersweet pop songs. Seeing them live just a couple weeks ago we were reminded just how many life defining and moment-capturing songs they've created over the years with an ease and breeze that so many have tried to emulate but always seem to come up short. During that live set we got to hear several of the songs that are on Write About Love for the first time and it made us very excited for the album.
Like all Belle And Sebastian albums, it's hard to write about this new one without spending tons of time with it as they really are a band who make records for the long haul. As all their records have left a mark on us even if at first we didn't think we were as in love with it as the one before.
Write About Love is a nice mixture of the slower side of the band as well as a few totally sugary and catchy songs that we have been humming non stop since we got this in. The record does make us miss Isobel Campbell, as a couple of the female led tracks just aren't as special as when they were being sung by her. But we know that so many of these songs will become totally ingrained in helping cue so many future memories of romance, friendships, lazy rainy days, and sun soaked adventures. (FYI, vinyl being repressed, probably back in stock next week.)
MPEG Stream: "I Want The World To Stop"
MPEG Stream: "I Didn't See It Coming"
MPEG Stream: "I'm Not Living In The Real World"
MPEG Stream: "Write About Love"

album cover BLUES CREATION Demon & Eleven Children (Bamboo) cd 17.98
When we listed a previous edition of this some years ago, it was back when our reviews were, um, a lot shorter. So all's we said then was that it was a proto-metal essential, from Japan's answer to Black Sabbath. And maybe that's enough, but since we dig this album so much, and it has at long last been reissued again, let's go for something a bit more expansive...
First off, Blues Creation's Demon & Eleven Children, their second and most classic album, dates from 1971. That's right, 1971!!! Of course it does. They'd started off in '69 with a record of all blues covers, but by '71 they'd heavied-up, and were ready with an album of originals, obviously influenced by the likes of Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, and Deep Purple's In Rock. And dig that cover art. If you're one of our many proto-metal lovin' customers, you NEED this.
Among early '70s Japanese heavy psych hard rock bands, THESE guys (next to, arguably, Flower Travellin' Band) were indeed the heaviest we've heard. And definitely the most Sabbathy (though FTB did cover Sabbath... and Flied Egg came close too, even putting albums out on Vertigo). But really, just listen to the opening track here, "Atomic Bombs Away". No question. Sounds like a song Sabbath wrote for their first album, but let Blues Creation have instead. Heck if you didn't know better, it really sounds like Iommi's playing the guitar riffs and solos, and Geezer's on the swinging, lumbering bass! Obviously, it's heavy, gotta be when it's called "Atomic Bombs Away" (we wonder if it was was weird for a Japanese band to title a song that, only about 25 years after Hiroshima and Nagasaki). The song ain't actually about atomic bombs, actually, like most of the tracks on Demon & Eleven Children, it's about lovin' and leavin' (or being left). Which can be heavy stuff too. Sample lyrics from "Atomic Bombs Away": "First time I lay you in the rusty shack / Black night keep fallin' in your gypsy eyes / Keep on movin' till the end of time / Lord have mercy for my sin / Set me free from my destiny".
The next track is called "Mississippi Mountain Blues", complete with harmonica... but it's urgent and rollicking, and in any case about as conventionally blues rock as they ever get here. We call this proto-METAL for a reason. Just check out the rockin' riff-fest of an instrumental, entitled "Brane Baster" (aka "Brain Buster"), to see what we mean. It's not all about Sabbath emulation, either. They're proto-Priest in parts, too, or at least, they've got tight twin guitar action on here that'll impress the Wishbone Ash and Thin Lizzy fans. Definitely pretty badass for when and where they were from. Tracks like "Sorrow" do the slow and sad thing pretty well too. It's not all heavy - there's the gentle "One Summer Day", as lovely as its title suggests. But if you want heavy, '71 style, this album won't disappoint you at all, indeed, you'll be be freaking out. It concludes with the epic, and ripping, 9+ minute title track, and if you're not bowing down to Blues Creation by then, your name had better be, like, Ritchie Blackmore.
Julian Cope ranked this as #17 in his Japrocksampler top 50, not bad. From a proto-metal point of view, though, it's top ten material, and we're not just talking Japan. Up there with Bang and Dust and Buffalo and Leaf Hound and all the rest.
Reissued in one of those wallet-digi packages, numbered.
MPEG Stream: "Atomic Bombs Away"
MPEG Stream: "Just I Was Born"
MPEG Stream: "Brane Baster"

album cover BOHEMIAN GROVE s/t (Hyperblasted) cd ep 10.98
Named for the mysterious Northern California glade where old white male dignitaries gather to perform strange and bizarre rituals, hold costumed orgies and who knows what else. Members include a who's who of world leaders, businessmen and various other wielders of power. These Greek black metallers wield their own brand of power, manifested in these blasts of frenzied avant black metal madness, furious gnarled riffage, colliding with incredibly dense and complex drumming, gorgeous epic and twisted melodies and gruff demonic vokills, the awesomely titled opener "Star Wimpled Dome" combines all of those elements into some seriously classic black metal, only to switch gears with "The Tree Ravens", more of a Buzumic lope, with some surprising vocals, deep bellows, super operatic croons, but those bits are nestled between bursts of furious blast, and pounding doomic trudge. Two more chunks of twisted epic black metal lead to the 11+ minute finale, a sprawling epic titled "When The North Winds Blow Fair", that like much of the record channels a bit of Deathspell through classic Norwegian style blackness, guitars here soar and howl, the track flitting from grinding black gnarl to frenzied insectoid buzz to lumbering midtempo crush, some incredibly catchy Khold-like riffing, some killer classic metal leads, more surprising almost operatic vocals, all wound around an awesomely intricate and convoluted arrangement.
Packaged in a super striking black and gold digipak, with some seriously bad ass bare-breasted goatgod / pagan ritual / mysterious monk cover art, not to mention a nicely printed booklet/lyric sheet.
MPEG Stream: "Star Wimpled Dome"
MPEG Stream: "The Three Ravens"

album cover BUGAJ, ADAM Telegraphed (Deep Water) cd-r 6.98
Tape hiss, simple melodies, mechanical rhythms, dubby reverb... Nice! We're diggin' on the 16 tracks, 33 minutes of blissful, bedroom-recorded Casio-dub instrumental music here, this cd-r being the second solo joint from Oakland's Adam Bugaj, a Pennsylvania transplant who played "lysergic barn rock" with underground psych acts Peacefeather and Clear Spots back in PA. Rather than rockin' out, though, this is lazy Sunday stoned music from the man, lo-fi DIY mesmerism, like a Jewelled Antler production of home-brewed Kompakt techno, shimmering with hiss and distortion. 'Tis spacey and mellow, sometimes subverted by sudden manual tape edits... Throw in a bit of Fahey folky guitar ramble here or there, and broken electronics that get accidentally cosmic and Cluster-like, with echoey keys, heartbeat drum machine pulses, minimal drones, fractured rhythms... Imagine, maybe, a more outsider version of Pantha Du Prince, recorded on, like, $15 worth of yard sale equipment and cheap cassette tapes. Yes it's pretty nice!
MPEG Stream: "The New Nod"
MPEG Stream: "Hawthorne Blues"
MPEG Stream: "No Lavender"
MPEG Stream: "Play It Pretty"

album cover CARNACKI, THOMAS The Disappearance Of This Terrible Spool (Alethiometer) cd ep 6.98
Greg Scharpen is an artist who's never without a project at hand. While the bulk of his artistic career has been spent in the sound design realm of East Bay theater and dance troupes, he also dons the Thomas Carnacki pseudonym to conduct various exercises in audio surrealism. Over the years, Scharpen has been a noted contributor to the irr.app.(ext.) live presentations and has even made appearances in the Nurse With Wound's rotating cast. These two figureheads of paratactic collage and bizarro-world atmospherics loom large in the audio vocabulary of Mr. Scharpen, and that of course is a very good thing! The Disappearance Of This Terrible Spool is just the second release by Carnacki / Scharpen, following the 2006 album Far Voyage From A Placid Island. Thus it begins with deep swells of thick reverberations that ascend towards a clatter of indeterminant gizmos, only to collapse into a maudlin half-melody of vibrato drone and lost-at-sea undulation. Think Nurse With Wound circa Shipwreck Radio, and you would not be all that far off. The somber tone of this first track continues through the second, due in part to the central role of a mournful violin performed by Gregory Hagan also of Common Eider, King Eider. The final two tracks embrace the disjointed, disembodied, discombobulated cut-n-paste collage techniques with spluttering electronics and truncated gaspings for air - again NWW, irr.app.(ext.) or HNAS comes to mind. A tad brief at 24 minutes, but not a minute is wasted within!
MPEG Stream: "The Angela Carter Museum"
MPEG Stream: "The Fall Of Wappinger"
MPEG Stream: "Gansevoort Two-Step"

album cover CIRCLE Rautatie (Ektro) cd 14.98
Our favorite predictably unpredictable, hypnotically rockin' Finnish band, Circle, have made so many amazing albums (dozens of 'em!) that they're essentially an institution now, an integral part of our lives, an eternal manifestation of the creative energy of the universe. In other words, we can count on 'em to come up with something wonderful on a regular basis. They're kinda like Christmas, or your birthday, or something, except sometimes Circle gift us with more than one album per year. Sure, some Circle albums (like some Christmases) are better than others, of course, but we've yet to be disappointed. Though their last one, 2008's Hollywood, was a bit of an odd duck, what with featuring special guest Bruce "Jesters Of Destiny" Duff on vocals... This new one, however, we can recommend without any warnings about unexpected vocalists, though you do have to be into Mika's trademark faux-operatic excesses, which Circle fans should certainly be used to by now. And in fact, while he croons in his usual over-the-top manner some of the time, there are also songs here where the singing is much more "normal", making for some of Circle's most conventionally melodic pop moments ever, relatively speaking. Well, make that prog-pop. Rautatie is an EPIC effort from Circle indeed. Or maybe "effort" isn't the right word. 'Cause they make it seem effortless. So natural, the unique Circle sound just surging through 'em as soon as they enter the studio. In any case, it's epic, especially grand finale "Kaasukello", 8 minutes 18 seconds long, which builds from a sheen of shimmering rhythmic patterning in the style of Circle's possibly prettiest album, Miljard, into soaring waves of massive majestic choral prog triumph, causing all within earshot to raise their fists in the air, and look to the skies with a shared sense of exaltation. Wow. We kept putting that one on repeat, but the whole album is compelling, worthy of, like, infinite spins too.
And it's a varied experience, lots to grok... the opening, title track starts off with some heavy "NWOFHM" riffage, immediately making us think this is gonna be one of Circle's "metal-ly" efforts, perhaps like Katapult or Sunrise. But then that song suddenly switches to a repetitive (natch) '70s prog sounding section, adorned with weird wordless vocal outbursts from a (seizure-suffering?) Mika, before the guitars get kinda punk, and then return to the metal majesty with which it began... all that in under 5 minutes. And it's catchy, too. As is a lot of this, such as the rousing "Vaellus", sure to be a hit, that is if they'd play a 7:58 song on the radio, with lyrics in Finnish (or is it their own language "Meronian"?), some of 'em sung in a chipmunk-metal shriek. The synths are laid on thick on that one, and elsewhere, ferinstance on the equally epic "Kohtalon Sormi", from which we're getting a nice Ennio Morricone-ish vibe. Propulsive rhythms, incongruously placid piano parts, atmospheric interludes, and distorted guitar wailings are also all part of the proceedings on Rautatie. Especially those propulsive rhythms, of course.
It's definitely a proggy album, in more of an overt classic '70s prog style than some Circle albums have been, though of course they're ALL quite proggy and krautrocky. Plus those metal moments crop up more than once too, so those into Circle's heavier, leather and spikes side will get their fix as well. (However tongue in cheek that "NWOFHM" aspect of Circle is, it cannot be argued that they don't rock hard, and we know 'em to be true metal fans for sure.) And, as we said, it's practically pop at points too. And experimental. And... well, lots of things, as only Circle can do.
Furthermore, with a week's exposure to Rautatie so far, we feel it's been getting better and better with every listen, always the sign of a great album. Yay, go Circle! Heck, hyperbolically speaking, if they ever stop, it'll be like the end of the world...
MPEG Stream: "Rautatie"
MPEG Stream: "Kohtalon Sormi"
MPEG Stream: "Tahet"

album cover COLLEY, JOE Desperate Attempts At Beauty (Auscultare) cd 12.98
Back in stock! Here's one of the finest albums from one of California's best sound+noise artists. Since the album came out in 2003, Colley's only released a handful of releases, including one that was awarded a Grand Prix at Ars Electronica. He's also the proprietor of the Issues magazine shop in Oakland, which you should check out if you're in the neighborhood or even if you're not. Anyway, Colley's recorded works and performances continue to amaze even after many years. Here's what we had to say about this one, way back when.
If you hold the cover at just the right angle, a misanthropic and self-loathing text emerges from what might appear at first to be simply just another austere, all white package housing another austere album of micro-glitch minimalism. This well-executed design strategy (courtesy of Randy Yau) works to complement Joe Colley's transgressive agenda, which might even end up undermining his own intentions. For all of the macho posturing of the text (e.g. "REMEMBER HOW WE DESTROYED THE THINGS THAT MADE US HAPPY AND HOW WE STILL DO? LETS DAMAGE EACH OTHER BEYOND REPAIR..." and so on) and the opening 8 second jolt of unnecessary noise, Colley's sound constructions speak of an inquisitive spirit. Throughout this record, Colley pokes and prods various sonic-making situations that often hold fascinating textural detailings. The most obvious example of this is found in his recordings of water being absorbed by modeling clay, which results in a dense chorus of tiny squeaks and squiggles. Colley almost allows himself to be seduced by these sounds; but just before he does, that misanthropic urge deep within his being instructs him to obliterate those curious textures though harsh digital noises, piercing arpeggiations, and noxious jump-cuts. This strategic hammering of sound certainly keeps the listener alert to what may be coming next; thus making the intricate detail work far more enjoyable... if "enjoyable" can in fact be a description attributed to Colley's solo output or his earlier, bruitist work as Crawl Unit.
MPEG Stream: "January Broken Statis"
MPEG Stream: "Claysound 07.02"
MPEG Stream: "Headache (Diagnostic Testpulse For Blown PA)"

album cover COMMON EIDER, KING EIDER Worn (self-released) cd-r 14.98
NOW ON CD-R!!! We'd thought it was gonna be a cd, but still cool for the turntable-impaired, as this was previously a vinyl-only release.
Another gorgeous outing of hushed acoustic sprawl and hauntingly grey ambience from San Francisco's Common Eider, King Eider. It's record number three from this mysteriously monikered band of outsiders, now expanded into a four-piece, still led by Rob Fisk, former member of both Badgerlore and Deerhoof.
We've always been impressed with the ghostly decay that seems to be so effortlessly flowing through CEKE's sound, a perfect balance of organic drone and instrumental songwriting, all bundled together into a seamless journey into the coldest, deepest woods. We must say that Worn immediately appears more melancholic and somber than past CEKE releases, whether it's the doom laden vocal drawls of Grouper on "Ennui" or George Chen's heaaaaavy buzzing guitar riff on "They Want To Dig For Gold But All They Will Find Is Blood", we're totally blown away!
Swells of gorgeously shimmering vocal melodies weave in and out of the rumbling distorted guitars like some shoegazing doom opera, an ocean of distortion buzzing under a glowing sky, so serene and moving. What we really love about Worn is while there are defiantly heavy moments of sheer epicness, there are also moments of precise composition and gently guided ambience. "The Rabbits Will Come Again" unfolds with gracefully bowed notes ringing out into the moonlit sky, while distant bells and shimmering feedback melt into the mournful piano. Vocal sighs and whispers set the mood for a deep forest seance, super chilling and super amazing. In addition to the special appearance made by Miss Grouper, don't miss out on Tom Carter's whirlwind cameo on "Earth Liver"! And don't forget, this one is limited to 300 copies, complete with oversized cover that folds out into a full size poster, lovely packaging for this ice cold, psychedelic epic!
MPEG Stream: "The Rabbits Will Come Again"
MPEG Stream: "Ennui"
MPEG Stream: "They Want To Dig For Gold..."

album cover CURVED BLADE Be Like Death (Hospital Productions) cassette 8.98
Dom Fernow (Ash Pool, Vegas Martyrs, Prurient, Cold Cave) of Hospital Productions insisted that this record from mysterious USBM outfit Curved Blade was totally aQ worthy, and boy was he right. A stumbling damaged chunk of plodding, lumbering outsider death-obsessed doom flecked black metal grimnity.
The guitars are warbly and warped, the drums are loose and chaotic, the keyboards add a twisted droned out vibe, the vocals are barely vocals, more an inhuman moan, the tracks plod along, always seemingly on the verge of total collapse, constantly shifting tempos, giving the record a seriously twisted seasick feel, and when the band do attempt to blast, or even just up the tempo, they sound like they're struggling desperately to keep it together, only making it sound that much more primitive and raw and fucked up.
It's super short, one track split over two sides, but it's everything you could want in some mysterious weirdo black metal record, it's twisted and damaged, repetitive and droney, murky and atmospheric, buzz drenched and grim, and totally and brilliantly bizarre.

album cover DIE ANTWOORD $O$ (Interscope) cd 13.98
As we mentioned in our review of the teaser ep that preceded this full length, unless you are seriously disconnected, you no doubt have seen or heard Die Antwoord (which means THE ANSWER), who are one of the most baffling, brilliant, raddest, silliest, goofiest, most exciting rap trios we've heard in ages. South African rednecks, one a tall gangly track suit wearing rapper called Ninja, covered in homemade tattoos and prone to performing in just boxers and sneakers, his 'hypeman', an ultra cute diminutive helium voiced elfin pixie called Yo-Landi, and finally DJ Hi-Tek, whose inclusion in the group was based on the fact that he "owned a PC computer" and made "next level" beats. And the best part about DJ Hi-Tek, a chubby baby faced dude, is that if you see them now, DJ Hi-Tek is inexplicably a tall skinny good looking guy, which is the first clue that everything is maybe not on the up and up.
When we first saw one of their videos, besides being totally blown away, and immediately crushed out on Yo-Landi, all we could think was "please be real, please be real" cuz, c'mon, it seemed way too weird and awesomely fucked up to be genuine. Some research revealed that Ninja and Yo-Landi are long time partners, who supposedly have a kid together, but more importantly, have been performing for years, in various permutations, different groups, on TV shows, art collectives, there are some amazing videos you can dig up if you know what to look for, but the bottom line was sadly, that Die Antwoord was all an elaborate prank, but which somehow really actually just made them that much cooler.
There was only two ways it could go after all, it was impossibly real, or it was the most perfectly executed art project / prank ever. And to be honest, either way, we were gonna be totally into it. But really, none of it would work if the music didn't rule, they are a band after all, and $O$ seals the deal, regardless of who they are, and where they come from, these jams slay, "Enter The Ninja" is the video that launched their career, having been viewed about a gazillion times, and with bands like this, the videos are so good, and so over the top, and they're such characters, that sometimes none of that translates to the music, but that definitely is NOT the case here, and the "Enter The Ninja" song sans visuals still slays, and yet it's not even the best jam here.
And actually, to pick the best jam would be a tough one, so much good stuff here, there's the Diplo produced "Evil Boy", which also has a head spinning over the top video, but the song itself is all over the place, featuring a young South African guest rapper and Ninja and Yo-Landi on fire, rapping about penises and underpants and whatever other weirdness they can whip up, and besides Yo-Landi's chorus refrain, her closing rap is KILLER, sexy and sinister, all delivered in her strange squeaky chirp.
There's also "Rich B***h", an awesomely stripped down synth driven groover, woozy and low slung, "Beat Boy", most notable for the 'swinging Dark Side Of The Moon boxers' video, but which features an awesomely twisted off kilter production, some robotic electro shimmer, and another killer Yo-Landi chorus, or the heavy synth raver "Wat Kyk Jy?" with a crazy anthemic chorus and cool brooding minimal verses, fuck, they're all so good. The closer, is some sort of wheezing accordion driven chunk of sea shanty cabaret, which leads into a few minutes of silence, which hides a secret bonus track that's killer and sounds like Zombi, all super sci-fi Carpenter / Goblin synth disco.
Believe the hype. Overdose on the videos, and play this record to death.
BTW: Allan and Andee saw them play an instore at another record store in SF, and they DESTROYED, whipping a crowd of hundreds into a near riot-ready frenzy, A + A included!!
MPEG Stream: "Evil Boy"
MPEG Stream: "Rich B***h"
MPEG Stream: "Enter The Ninja"
MPEG Stream: "Fish Paste"

album cover DWARR Animals (Drag City) cd 14.98
A lot of you should already be familiar with this amazing "outsider" psych/metal obscurity, as we made the previous, self-released reissue of it a Record Of The Week back in February, and sold a ton of them. Recently, we contacted Dwarr to order more, and were told it was being re-reissued, on DRAG CITY! How 'bout that?! So, if you missed it when we ROTW'd it, here it is again, now on vinyl as well as compact disc! And the packaging has been upgraded considerably. The same unbelievable cover painting of course, but the cd now comes in jewel case instead of a no-frills sleeve, so there's a booklet full of more bizarre artwork, photos, and new liner notes from Dwarr himself, etc. Nice. Drag City even did a vinyl version too - which, unfortunately, we've already pretty much run out of, but should be able to list next time. Here's what we wrote about this this first time 'round:
Eccentric outsider doom metal from the '80s, from waaaaaay down underground. Now hold up, if the words "doom" or "metal" make you think, not for me, think again (maybe). This isn't like any metal you've ever heard, really. More like spaced out '60s heavy psychedelic guitar rock (one song's called "Heavy Vibrations", man), overloaded also with shrill synth symphonics and trippy effects... That's where the "outsider" tag comes in, Dwarr being a one-man band, all the work of South Carolina multi-instrumentalist (but especially guitar!) Duane Warr (hence the name Dwarr), whom we get the impression is quite a character. It's so DIY that the cds have his phone number on 'em, in case you want to get in touch. His privately pressed music comes off like a cough-syrup dosed mixture of Black Sabbath and Todd Tamanend Clark (whom you should know from the double cd anthology we raved about a few years ago). Or, The Happy Dragon Band playing Pink Floyd, from beyond the grave. Maybe a lo-fi Captain Beyond, on even more drugs than Captain Beyond were ever on. Or imagine if Bobb Trimble was an '80s metaller, perhaps (and worked out in the gym a lot more?). Sorry to use so many almost equally obscure references, but it's hard to compare this confusional beast to anything else.
Look at that insane cover painting, a surreal post-apocalyptic landscape (that's a malevolent-looking Statue of Liberty sunken in polluted looking water next to a cave populated by long-haired, skull-faced cannibalistic mutants, with an avatar of Dwarr himself, we're guessing, striking a heroic he-man pose in the upper right hand corner). The music itself is as surreal and apocalyptic and ridiculous as that image, matching up to it much more than most other "metal" albums ever match up to their cover art, both in subject matter and, ah, execution.
Just from the cover painting, let alone the music, this Dwarr album is SO perfectly Aquarius, you'd almost think we made it up. But no, Dwarr's for real, something we'd vaguely heard tell of and been curious about for years, and finally went to the trouble of tracking down (not so hard, thanks to the Internet, now that everybody and their grandmother's bands are on MySpace). And lo and behold, it turned out Dwarr had issued ALL four of his albums (two from the '80s, two from the '00s, believe it or not!) on compact disc. So we had to get a bunch of this one, his second, from 1986, probably his best and "heaviest". A Record Of The Week, easy.
There's 13 tracks, each one incredible (or incredibly strange). There's nothing that's NOT freaked out about this. Even the poppiest songs (like the title track "Animals") are full of sluggish grooves, druggy lyrics, buzzing electronics, melodic stoned vocals, acid rock guitar (and acid WTF synth). Elsewhere it gets away from rock/metal song structure entirely, with interludes of eerie atmospherics, spacey soundscapes overlaid with ominous whispered declamations, and weirdass instrumentals, like the squirrelly, proggy bombast of "Chocolate Mescalyne", a track that if you sped it up a lot would almost fit in on a Orthrelm album.
And then there's the DOOM. Oh yeah, while it's not "normal" doom it IS doom. Sludgy, Sabbath-riffed doom indeed, despite the trebly production. "Ghost Lover", for instance, gives us the feel of both the Sabs' "Iron Man" and "Electric Funeral", and Duane's vocals are particularly Ozzy-ish on the uber-heavy "Evil Lures" too... Great stuff if you really really appreciate the stranger, more psychedelic aspects of true doom artistry, the spirit is HERE.
Three cheers for avant garde new wave downer rock hippie heavy metal weirdness! That gives special thanks "to the Columbia High School Band for the use of their percussion instruments". We are so pleased to play a role in sharing this culter than cult classic with you...
And Drag City is pleased to do so now too, obviously!
MPEG Stream: "Animals"
MPEG Stream: "Cannabinol: The Function"
MPEG Stream: "Ghost Lovers"
MPEG Stream: "Evil Lures"
MPEG Stream: "Heavy Vibrations"

album cover ENSEMBLE ECONOMIQUE Psychical (Not Not Fun) lp 14.98
The Italian horror artwork that graces Psychical is something of a red herring, as Brian Pyle guides his Ensemble Economique into the orbit of Conny Plank and Moebius in his use of electronics rather than one of Goblin or Zombi. Pyle is an artist who should need no introduction as one of principals in the Starving Weirdos as well as RV Paintings, with records on pretty much every cool label under the sun (Root Strata, Blackest Rainbow, Weird Forest, Olde English Spelling Bee, Digitalis, and now Not Not Fun). While the debut Ensemble Economique record was very much dialed into what Pyle was conjuring in RV Paintings through a superb stoner-zoner-drone vibe of gorgeous guitar shimmer and suspended harmonic intonations, his solo EE recordings have been carving out a separate identity other than the Starving Weirdos or RV Paintings. Beginning with the Standing Still, Facing Forward LP released earlier in 2010, Pyle's Ensemble Economique has been mining references from '70s and '80s progressive electronics, mostly looking back to those seminal Germans. Certainly, Holger Czukay, Plank, and Moebius come to mind; hell, even Cranioclast and Stockhausen wouldn't be that much of a stretch.
Psychical is wholly dark-trip cast upon waves of two note synth melodies that bounce back and forth against a backdrop of hand percussion and heavily looped drone-shadow. Snippets of dubbed voice and radio transmission crackle ooze a fourth-world, rhythmicist eeriness somewhere between Muslimgauze and that Zero Set record from Moebius and Plank, furthered along by bloodshot guitar snarls. Tom Carter makes a guest appearance on one of the track, bringing a rather incendiary prolonged solo to Pyle's raga-drone rhythms. All in all, another great record from Brian Pyle!

album cover ETTINGER, DYLAN New Age Outlaws (Not Not Fun) lp 14.98
Originally released on cassette, this chunk of psychedelic atmospheric synth-fi futurism has been gussied up, the original tracks, remixed and/or re-recorded with more parts, more music, subtle alterations here and there, not so subtle changes as well, but since we missed out on the cassette completely, it hardly matters, and according to the label, this is indeed the definitive version.
So who the heck is Dylan Ettinger? We have no idea, but what we do know, is that New Age Outlaws is a fantastic collection of synth driven sc-fi new age/wave atmospherics. Fans of Majeure, Zombi, Umberto and similarly minded retro futurists will definitely dig.
Just check out the sprawling nearly 12 minute opener, "City Lights, City Streets", that ends up sounding like Expo 70 covering Zombi, droned out and mesmerizing, thick layered synths, slowly unfurling melodies, a simple robotic rhythm, bits of psychedelic wah guitar, thick swells of rumbling crumbling low end, a slow burning epic, that only really shifts gears _ of the way through, when some of the low end drops out leaving the high end to shimmer and soar and glisten, infused with some swirling minor key melodies, only to build to a Sunroof!-like climax, with synth melodies that sound weirdly like sun baked steel drums, everything hazy and washed out and gorgeously blissy.
The rest of the record explores similarly spacey and psychedelic territory, the sound raw and buzzy, "Rico's Pawn Shop" loops a strange stuttery bit of melody, beneath warm whirring chords, and some rubbery synth bass, that man loop never letting up, while the various other synths tangle and intertwine. "Gordon's Theme" is more mellow, more muted and minimal, but again, anchored to a simple synth loop that entrances while the various surrounding sounds paint in the rest of the picture, adding warm lustrous ambience, deep layered textures, a gorgeous hazy sonic drift.
Imagine James Ferraro trying his hand at this sort of Carpenter/Goblin style synth wave, primitive loops, strange hypnogogic melodies, not sleek and polished, more home brewed, which is precisely what makes New Age Outlaws so unique, so strange and so good.
LIMITED TO 490 COPIES!!

album cover GAMES Everything Is Working (Hippos In Tanks) 7" 5.50
We heard about this single back at the On Land festival, where Daniel Lopatin awed the packed house with his polygon planes of synth as Oneohtrix Point Never. Lopatin brought a handful of the Games single, which was being rumored to be his hip-hop excursion. Well, now that we've gotten a hold of this; it's not quite hip-hop, and not even the abstracted witch-house / chillwave variant of screwed hip-hop from the likes of Salem and oOoOO. Lopatin and his Games partner Joel Ford apply loops of muffled robot-speak vocals, dopey-eyed slow-jam rhythms, and Lopatin's trademarked '80s computer as utopian object iconography. The Ariel Pink-ish false starts through the sampled guitar jangle, and the Max Headroom skipped disc jitter make this unmistakably Lopatin (especially from those hard to find KGB Man tapes) and strangely believable as a wintery mixtape staple for beleaguered COBOL programmers and the robots who love them.

album cover GLASSER Ring (True Panther Sounds) cd 14.98
We missed out on Glasser's debut ep which came out last year and quickly went out of print. But everyone we knew who heard it kept telling us we had to check out Glasser, and with the release of her first full length we can now officially proclaim ourselves bigtime fans, as this is proving to be one of the most satisfying, colorful, swirling and flowing pop records of the year. Glasser reminds us a lot of a more sparkling, bright and rhythmic version of Zola Jesus or Islaja. There is a tinge of darkness in her string tones and electronics but there is also so much life and moving energy in her songs which gives the record such an amazing fluidity. Instead of just mimicking Kate Bush, Bjork and Laurie Anderson, she instead takes cues from different elements of their brilliance in helping to create a sound that is both hypnotic and inviting. While she may soon be tagged under the new 'it' genre of 'witch-house' there is something much more singular and organic happening in these songs that can't be written off as any sort of passing fad. This is a record that we think will definitely stand the test of time.
MPEG Stream: "Home"
MPEG Stream: "Treasure Of We"
MPEG Stream: "Apply"

album cover GLASSER Ring (True Panther Sounds) lp 14.98
We missed out on Glasser's debut ep which came out last year and quickly went out of print. But everyone we knew who heard it kept telling us we had to check out Glasser, and with the release of her first full length we can now officially proclaim ourselves bigtime fans, as this is proving to be one of the most satisfying, colorful, swirling and flowing pop records of the year. Glasser reminds us a lot of a more sparkling, bright and rhythmic version of Zola Jesus or Islaja. There is a tinge of darkness in her string tones and electronics but there is also so much life and moving energy in her songs which gives the record such an amazing fluidity. Instead of just mimicking Kate Bush, Bjork and Laurie Anderson, she instead takes cues from different elements of their brilliance in helping to create a sound that is both hypnotic and inviting. While she may soon be tagged under the new 'it' genre of 'witch-house' there is something much more singular and organic happening in these songs that can't be written off as any sort of passing fad. This is a record that we think will definitely stand the test of time.
MPEG Stream: "Home"
MPEG Stream: "Treasure Of We"
MPEG Stream: "Apply"

album cover GONJASUFI The Caliph's Tea Party (Warp) cd 16.98
Remix albums are tricky affairs. Often times there are only one or two truly notable tracks, or there are too many disparate remixers that cramp the flow of the listening experience from beginning to end. While this reworking of Gonjasufi's amazing debut, A Sufi and A Killer, doesn't trump the original (really, what remix album has ever done that?), this is surprisingly one of the best remix albums we have heard in a long while. Why that is, is rather curious because it's not that there is just one or two really drop-dead standout tracks, or they're trying to make it more friendly for the dance floor. Rather it's because all the remixes work together in an interesting way that make the overall flow a really nice listen. It offers a ghostly alternate universe to the sound-world Flying Lotus, Mainframe and Gaslamp Killer brought to Gonjasufi's debut.
Beginning with Mark Pritchard's (Harmonia 313, Afrika Hi-tech) spookier take on "Ancestors", Bibio's low-key groove on "Candylane" and Dam Mantle's dub-hop reworking of "Ageing", the unusual choice of Broadcast & The Focus Group to remix "DedND" with a chopped up collage of middle eastern strings harps, flutes and sampled vocal snippets adds to the otherworldly proceedings by removing it from the original almost entirely. Jeremiah Jae and Shlomo add a smeary dreamy dubstep twist to "Kobwebz" and "Change" , while Bear in Heaven, have the most minimal electro rework with "Love Of Reign". Another unusual choice of Oneohtrix Point Never to remix the Tom Waits-ish "She's Gone" results in a chopped and screwed rework pitching Gonjasufi's vocals up and down over a syrupy layer of noise. The last remix by Dem Hunger Bowel Blood of "SuzieQ" is the darkest and strangest taking the punkish quality of the original and smearing it slowly across a bleak queasy landscape. The restraint from upping the tempos too much from the originals was a smart choice, as the sound of Gonjasufi works best on the more stoned, slowed and ambient level. There's just enough variety not to get too stuck in a similar sound, while at the same time complimenting each other really well. We wish more remix records were this consistent!
MPEG Stream: "Ancestors (Mark Pritchard Remix)"
MPEG Stream: "Ageing (Dam Mantle Remix)"
MPEG Stream: "Caliph's Tea Party (Broadcast & The Focus Group Remix)"
MPEG Stream: "Love of Reign (Bear In Heaven Remix)"
MPEG Stream: "SuzieQ (Dem Hunger Bowel Blood Remix)"

album cover GONJASUFI The Caliph's Tea Party (Warp) lp 25.00
Remix albums are tricky affairs. Often times there are only one or two truly notable tracks, or there are too many disparate remixers that cramp the flow of the listening experience from beginning to end. While this reworking of Gonjasufi's amazing debut, A Sufi and A Killer, doesn't trump the original (really, what remix album has ever done that?), this is surprisingly one of the best remix albums we have heard in a long while. Why that is, is rather curious because it's not that there is just one or two really drop-dead standout tracks, or they're trying to make it more friendly for the dance floor. Rather it's because all the remixes work together in an interesting way that make the overall flow a really nice listen. It offers a ghostly alternate universe to the sound-world Flying Lotus, Mainframe and Gaslamp Killer brought to Gonjasufi's debut.
Beginning with Mark Pritchard's (Harmonia 313, Afrika Hi-tech) spookier take on "Ancestors", Bibio's low-key groove on "Candylane" and Dam Mantle's dub-hop reworking of "Ageing", the unusual choice of Broadcast & The Focus Group to remix "DedND" with a chopped up collage of middle eastern strings harps, flutes and sampled vocal snippets adds to the otherworldly proceedings by removing it from the original almost entirely. Jeremiah Jae and Shlomo add a smeary dreamy dubstep twist to "Kobwebz" and "Change" , while Bear in Heaven, have the most minimal electro rework with "Love Of Reign". Another unusual choice of Oneohtrix Point Never to remix the Tom Waits-ish "She's Gone" results in a chopped and screwed rework pitching Gonjasufi's vocals up and down over a syrupy layer of noise. The last remix by Dem Hunger Bowel Blood of "SuzieQ" is the darkest and strangest taking the punkish quality of the original and smearing it slowly across a bleak queasy landscape. The restraint from upping the tempos too much from the originals was a smart choice, as the sound of Gonjasufi works best on the more stoned, slowed and ambient level. There's just enough variety not to get too stuck in a similar sound, while at the same time complimenting each other really well. We wish more remix records were this consistent!
MPEG Stream: "Ancestors (Mark Pritchard Remix)"
MPEG Stream: "Ageing (Dam Mantle Remix)"
MPEG Stream: "Caliph's Tea Party (Broadcast & The Focus Group Remix)"
MPEG Stream: "Love of Reign (Bear In Heaven Remix)"
MPEG Stream: "SuzieQ (Dem Hunger Bowel Blood Remix)"

album cover GUINEA WORMS Sorcererers Of Madness (4rd Year In A Row!) (Columbus Discount) 2lp 28.00
We had never heard of these guys, which kinda makes sense seeing as up until now they've flown pretty far under the radar, having released a bunch of cd-r's and only one proper 7", but hell they're called the Guinea Worms, the record is brilliantly titled "Sorcererers Of Madness (4rd Year In A Row!), and yeah, you read that right, SORCERERERS, multiple 'er's, and 4RD, not 4th, plus they came highly recommended by a loyal longtime customer, who besides being a great guy with impeccable taste, also used to play in a certain band of spacelord motherfuckers, which makes any recommendation of his even more worthy of serious consideration. Plus c'mon, they're from Ohio and their first record is a massive 22 song double lp!! Did we mention they totally rule too???
But what do they sound like you're probably wondering by now? Well, sort of like a drunken and damaged, drugged out and demented, super noisy, stumbling, chaotic, metallic, garage rock combo, with awesomely ridiculous lyrics, delivered in a super distorted howl, over blown out fuzz drenched Stooges style riffery, pounding brickbat drumming and some wild psychedelic flourishes, but that's only part of their sound. These fuckers are seriously far out, goofy, ridiculous, and as likely to bust out with some heavy crunch and chug as some silly fuzzed out sing along, or some twisted drugged out blues dirge, the lyrics are totally and brilliantly dumb, reminding us just a bit of Breathilizor, but the sounds here are all over the map, every song totally different, "Drunk In Yr Uggs" is a "Hey Mickey" style call and response, but with a killer woozy bluesy main riff, and some awesome female vocal harmonies on the chorus, "Accidental Space Tourist" is all low slung drunken garage blues, "Lounge Waltz" is angular and twisted, as it lurches and lumbers, "Kick In The Door" is a fuzz drenched garage rockified country hoedown, "Come Here Baby" is a thick slab of psychedelic dirgery, "Afternoon Party" is total Hawkwind worship, but way more damaged and dumb, "Never Giving Up" is a killer slithery jam that gradually erupts into something much heavier and darker, the vocals definitely reminiscent of Nomeansno, but the music much more like some bastard mix of Liquorball and Warlock Pinchers (minus the hip hop), or Bunny Brains crossed with Brainbombs as reimagined by fellow Ohioans Guided By Voices? Tough to describe for sure, but then the coolest weirdest things usually are.
You definitely need to have a pretty high tolerance for goofball dumbshittery, cuz there's lots of that, all over the place, and yeah, normally that stuff might drive us nuts, but it just suits these guys, they're funny as fuck, and can thankfully back up their goofy puerile sense of humor with some serious chops. Our favorite jams are the fuzzy distorted psychedelic numbers, which do make up a pretty good chunk of the tracks here, but somehow, if you took those tracks on their own, it wouldn't be the same, the dumb songs would be more dumb, and the killer songs would be way less killer, but together, it's pretty goddamn perfect. Absolutely recommended. Especially if you dig stuff like Liquorball, Breathilizor, Bunny Brains, Faxed Head, Half Japanese, Happy Flowers and other purveyors of ridiculous and brilliant whatthefuck weirdness.
We're pretty sure we've got the last few copies they had a the label, so when they're gone, they're gone.
MPEG Stream: "Bugged"
MPEG Stream: "Drunk In Yr Uggs"
MPEG Stream: "Accidental Space Tourist"

album cover HALLO GALLO 2010 Blinkgurtel / Drone (Vampire Blues) 7" 6.50
Does that name sound familiar to you? It should. After all, "Hallo Gallo" was the opening track on Neu!'s legendary debut album. So who would have the gall to name their band after a Neu! track (besides Negativland we mean), well, Hallo Gallo 2010 just so happens to be the new band of Neu!'s Michael Rother, who is joined by Sonic Youth's Steve Shelley (whose Vampire Blues label released this) and Aaron Mullen from Tall Firs, for some modern day krautrocking, Neu! style, and somehow it does manage to channel the classic sound and spirit of the original with something more dense and psychedelic. Motorik and rhythmic (of course), "Blinkgurtel" is gorgeous and hazy and washed out and mesmerizing, Shelley's simple solid drumming perfectly locked in with Mullen's warm fluid basslines, and Rothers's incendiary guitars, thick thrumming riffs, soaring psychedelic melodies, all gently phased and flanged into something gorgeously trippy and otherworldly, getting downright rocking near the end.
"Drone Schlager" is much more muted and restrained, a simple pulse like groove, with little rhythmic flurries here and there, the bass a deep throb, the guitars, cyclical and looped, strange production has the guitars dropping out and swooping into the foreground, totally stripped down and utterly mesmerizing, another one of those tracks that could go on forever, but instead, winds down after 5 minutes, pretty much ensuring you'll have to play it again. So good, and not just past laurels good, this is as dark and mesmerizing and hypnotic as anything out today. Circle fans especially will probably go nuts for this.
LIMITED TO 1000 COPIES, housed in hand screened covers, comes with a download card too!

album cover HAPPY DAYS / EINDIG The First Step Towards Suicide (Self Mutilation Services / Funeral Industries) cd 9.98
By now, most aQ metalheads know all about our undying love for oddly monickered Happy Days, and most likely feel the same. But for those who might be confused by a metal band called Happy Days, let's examine this, their latest, a split with Dutch outfit Eindig. The record is called The First Step Towards Suicide, there's a photo of an oven on the cover. The Happy Days tracks have names like "Clinging Onto A Chance Of Happiness" and A Bleak Future That Awaits Us" and "Too Sick To Speak", the booklet is full of blurred photos of people hunched over, seemingly in misery, so yeah, the name Happy Days is meant ironically, cuz these sounds are the soundtrack for the unhappiest days you can imagine.
Happy Days offer up a new batch of abject audial depression, beginning with a mournful jangly guitar accompanied by an appropriately dark and hopeless sample, before launching into some buzzing midtempo depressive black metal, melodic and melancholy, after a burst of furious buzz, the record settles into a loping melodic gloom and doom, gorgeously sorrowful guitar melodies draped over pounding drums, raspy vokills and churning riffage. More dark and atmospheric than blasting and buzzing, but there's still plenty of that lurking within these tracks. Some killer riffs, some awesome hooks, buried amidst all the miserable buzz. But every time the second guitar line comes in, with some totally heartbreaking melody, it's then that Happy Days reveals itself as more than just some grim black horde. This is the best sounding Happy Days record yet, the music exuding that same dark pathos, but perfectly suited to the duo's slightly more polished black melancholic buzz.
Dutch depressive metallers Eindig are a subtly different beast, their sound thicker and more full, a bit more poppy too, their opening track, strangely melodic and 'happy' sounding, a sunshiney melody strapped to some pounding beats and some howling vox, balanced we'd imagine by some seriously bleak lyrics (can't tell for sure, as they're not in English), but the song slips from super melodic jangle to more grim minor key miserablism. Which seems to be their M.O., their music a strange mix of melody and aggression, but with a sound that shifts dramatically, from that sunshiney opener, to a more anguished and dejected traditional depressive black metal, to a downright lovely bit of big drum / clean guitar post rocky drift, the vox WAY down in the mix, super spare and skeletal and really quite pretty, to the final 9 minute epic that is similarly melodic, no distorted guitars, just drums and clean jangle, this time though the vocals a ghastly and tortured presence, jarring over the comparatively lovely melodic drift underneath, and some super intense, yet still undistorted crescendos. Incredible stuff from both bands.
MPEG Stream: HAPPY DAYS "Clinging Onto A Chance Of Happiness"
MPEG Stream: HAPPY DAYS "A Bleak Future That Awaits Us"
MPEG Stream: EINDIG "De Nacht"
MPEG Stream: EINDIG "Ter Aarde"

album cover HELL MILITIA Last Station On The Road To Death (Debemur Morti) cd 15.98
The long awaited second album (it's been FIVE years since their debut) from this French black metal super group, featuring members of Mutiilation, Vorkreist, Antaeus, Merrimack, Malicious Secrets, Vagezaryavtre Secrets Of The Moon, we could go on, but odds are most metalheads were already dying for this, and if not, just that list of bands should have most folks reaching for the buy button. Much like the first record, Last Station On The Road To Death, is dark and grimy, grim and filthy, harrowing and heavy, a seriously scary collection of hellish black art, beginning with a short stretch of swirling black ambience, accompanied by a sample about drug addiction and the fate of addicts (which is most likely a not so subtle fuck you to the Black Legions, since Hell Militia mainman Meyhnach was purportedly kicked out for becoming a drug addict), the record lumbers into a stumbling bit of doomy filth, before exploding into frenzied blasting blackness, and over the next 45 minutes HM's sound delves into all sorts of varied directions, many of them not all the black metal, which is what makes this record so cool and weird. It spends most of its time trudging along gloomily, dark and depressive, the melodies minor key and dismal, the mood abject and melancholy, more often a sort of plodding doom than black metal, but loads of sonic surprises lurk all over the place, plenty of which will no doubt not please the true grim hordes, the strange stuttering glitched out guitars on "Unshakable Faith", the slow motion Deathspell-isms of "The Ultimate Deception", the almost industrial lumber of "Fili Diaboli", the weirdly poppy sing along punk rock feel of "Shoot Knife Strangle Beat & Crucify", the mathy, stop start riffage of "The Pig That Became A God", and the bizarre barroom cabaret of the title track, the gruff vocals delivered more like Nick Cave or the Young Gods or even the Pogues, laced over long droned out chords, but peppered with cool jagged gnarled mathy blackness, it's definitely a super weird record, but it all works, and the weird bits are definitely balanced by a true grim blackness that seems to infuse everything here. The various elements woven into a blood soaked black stained sonic tapestry, filthy and crusty, heavy and twisted, grim and black.
Comes in a cool hardcover book like digipack, and like the first record, gorgeously laid out with tons of super creepy imagery.
MPEG Stream: "Born Without Light"
MPEG Stream: "Unshakable Faith"
MPEG Stream: "Last Station On The Road To Death"

album cover KOWLOON WALLED CITY Gambling On The Richter Scale (The Perpetual Motion Machine) cd 8.98
Now on cd! Packaged in super sweet, hand screened origami style sleeves...
More and more every day we miss that brief period in the nineties when rock music was heavy, and noisy, and LOUD. Not necessarily metal, although to some ears it probably sounded like metal. It was more about BIG riffs, lumbering tempos, huge pounding drums, throat shredding vox. Think: Unsane, Halo Of Flies, Today Is The Day, Tad, Killdozer, Tar, Helmet, Lubricated Goat, Karp, Unwound, we could go on and on, but you understand what we're talking about.
There are very few modern bands who can channel the same sort of sonic energy without being retro, and typically, the heavier they are, the more they get lumped in with some metal subsect. But goddamn if there doesn't seem to be a bit of a modern noise rock scene brewing, bands popping up here and there, pushing all those noise rock buttons, and totally hitting the spot.
Which brings us to local boys Kowloon Walled City, whose recent Turk Street ep knocked us on our asses with it's noise rock / doom sludge hybrid. Weirdly enough, with this here debut full length, Gambling On The Richter Scale, the band somehow sound WAY heavier, but at the same time way less metal. Tapping into the rich noise rock history, and creating a disc that's both intense and punishing, melodic and heavy, and yeah, still a bit metallic here and there..
Opener "Annandale" is a churning hook filled noise rock jam, with big guitars, some killer melodies, harsh vox, wild dense drumming, some awesomely soaring high guitar parts, as well as the occasional burst of super melodic almost indie rock, before lurching back into the chug and crush. The sound definitely veers closer to a band like Torche or Floor than Neurosis or Eyehategod.
The second track though totally reminds us of the Unsane, with its roiling distorted bass, looped churning riffage, and weirdly mathy arrangement, some cool dynamics and some stop / starts that definitely had us in math rock heaven. But even here, the band inject some clean guitars, and some downright pretty melody before getting all aggro again.
It's a pretty relentless record, but thankfully KWC mix it up, changing up tempos, letting the drums breath here and there, giving riffs space to ring out and decay once in a while, stretching out into spaced out slowmo ambient drifts, pulling tracks apart into almost groovy sounding doomy dirges, slipping in plenty of subtle pop, heavy hooks galore. The title track is a monster, beginning with some clean guitar strum, minor key and tense, before lurching into a fierce chugging plod, with some Maideny guitar harmonies, plenty of palm muted guitar throb, an impossibly heavy downtuned chorus, and subtle melody mixed in throughout.
The record finishes off with the 6+ minute "More Like The Shit Factory", a sprawling slowjam, the guitars droning out in long streaks, peppered with bursts of downtuned crunch, the drums never really kicking in, the guitars all intertwined and layered, beating against each other, a cloud of swirling overtones, while the vocals howl, the drums sporadically pound, eventually everything dropping out entirely, leaving just a blown out psychedelic dual guitar drone, which crumbles and gradually fades out over the last minute, although. we'd have been perfectly happy had they let those guitars drone endlessly and fill up the rest of the record. Next time maybe.
So yeah, if you're in the market for some heavy, catchy as fuck, NOISE ROCK, okay, maybe call it metal, then Gambling On The Richter Scale is IT, and by the sounds of this record, they probably destroy live. On that same label that that brought us Catalyst, another bad ass noise rock band well worth checking out.
MPEG Stream: "Annandale"
MPEG Stream: "Diabetic Feet"
MPEG Stream: "More Like The Shit Factory"

album cover LARSEN & NURSE WITH WOUND Erroneous: A Selection Of Errors (Important Records) cd 14.98
There's actually a third entity who makes an appearance on this collaborative record, certainly at the behest of Steven Stapleton. That would be Eberhard Kranemann (aka Fritz Muller) who had been an early member of both Neu! and Kraftwerk way back when, but had taken much more of a damaged freeform experimental approach during the next three decades. Nurse With Wound is represented by the longstanding coupling of Stapleton and Colin Potter, spinning a psychotropic cloud of disfigured tones and mangled rhythms. Larsen is the Italian occultish-leaning post-rock outfit with quite an interesting history behind them of Autechre covers and an odd and hardly believable story of once working with Michael Gira. That said, it's hard to really qualify this as a collaborative album, since the tracks at the front-end of the record really sound like Nurse With Wound and those in the latter half like Larsen.
The album opens with a Kranemann penned song of guitar scribbling very much on par with the NWW classic Chance Meeting On An Operating Table with an almost 23 Skidoo / Hula groove of electronic-bhangra with all of the distant screams and weirdo sounds you would expect from a wacked NWW tune. A more introspective, but kaleidoscopically dark ambient track follows. Again, this is a signature NWW production, harkening to A Sadness Of Things or Thunder Perfect Mind. As the tables turn towards Larsen's end of the spectrum, elliptical basslines, melodic bells, and propulsive drums move to the foreground, proceeding toward their trademarked layered builds and soaring crescendos.
MPEG Stream: "Tickety-Boo"
MPEG Stream: "Driftin' By"
MPEG Stream: "Call Me. Tell Me"

album cover LEONARD, CHERYL E. Chattermarks (All Ways North) cd 13.98
In January 2009, the Bay Area sound-artist and composer Cheryl Leonard embarked on a residency program at the Palmer Station in Antarctica. There, she took every opportunity to venture out into the summer's perpetual daylight to make as many field recordings as possible and to collect an array of penguin bones (with the permission of the Palmer Station, of course) to use in her rather elegant, beguiling compositions. In the past, Leonard had used a variety of branches, rocks, and other natural elements in these beautifully textured compositions whereby she would bow and clink those objects into masses of textures that came across somewhere between the work of Loren Chasse, Jeph Jerman, and Small Cruel Party. So, it shouldn't come as a surprise that she actually released a split 7" with SMC's Key Ransome some 15 years ago.
While Chattermarks is a collection of pure field recordings, the use of those abraded sounds within a composed swarm points to what she was listening for in Antarctica. In hearing Leonard talk about her Antarctic adventure, she is quick to describe the brutality of the wind and the intensity of the cold, all of which wreaked havoc upon her binaural mics and hydraphones. Many of her recordings feature the noises of Antarctic animal life: adelie penguins, elephant seals, skuas, and gulls. The slumbering snore from a couple of the elephant seals is particularly striking as are their bellowing barks and guttural thrumbings. But the sounds of ice are probably the most intriguing recordings on Chattermarks, from the huge rumbles of a glacier that crumbles into the ocean with smaller tinklings of ice racing down an embankment to the searing hiss of millions of shards of ice clattering together next to a disintegrating wall of packed snow. The only document of the Antarctic wind was captured in a haunting recording of wind whipping around an antenna punctuated by the booms of a glacier splitting in two somewhere in the distance. An obvious treat for anyone keen on Douglas Quin's polar recordings, but Leonard has an excellent flair for subtle drama that's also heard in those impeccable Chris Watson field recordings. Highly recommended!
MPEG Stream: "Beach Adelie Penguins"
MPEG Stream: "Shore Brash Ice"
MPEG Stream: "Elephant Seal Nap"
MPEG Stream: "Storm At Gamage Point"

album cover LORDS OF FALCONRY s/t (Holy Mountain) cd 13.98
This has a lot going for it. First off, they're called Lords Of Falconry, which is kinda cool. Lordly, even. And this, their debut full-length, comes to us via the also quite lordly Holy Mountain label, who have a pretty stellar track record as far as we're concerned. In fact, Holy Mountain probably has had a higher number of AQ Records Of The Week per capita than almost any other label. Furthermore, our discerning pal JW who runs Holy Mountain tells us that THIS is precisely the sort of thing he's always wanted to release on his label. So far, so good. Our appetites are whetted. And then, there's the music. ULTRA fuzzed, freaked out, high energy, heavy psychedelic guitar jams, to put it plainly. Can't complain about that, no siree. But (you knew there had to be a but), we do have one minor caveat for you potential emptors... it concerns the vocals. If this was all-instrumental, there'd be no hemming and hawing. But, some of the vocal stylings struck some of us as, well, a little bit goofy. Self-consciously "rawk" or something. You may not mind a bit, and we actually don't much either.
Anyway, it's hard to be picky about the vocals when Lords Of Falconry's guitars are blasting jet-engine like, turning the air into cottage cheese they way they used to do back in Blue Cheer's daze, the wild FX and throbbing distortion turning yr head inside out so your brain is being caressed and cudgeled by these riffs and rhythms without any help from your ears.
Recommended to folks who get off on bands like Julian Cope's Braindonor, DMBQ, Midnite Snake, The Heads, Hawkwind, High Rise, and other fuzz-laden, pedal-stomping, heavy-duty psychedelic throwbacks. And by the way, though Holy Mountain didn't tell us this, we're pretty sure that one of these Lords Of Falconry is in fact none other than guitarist Steven Wray Lobdell of Davis Redford Triad, Sufi Mind Game, and Faust fame! If true (it is), that explains a lot about this. The other dude in the band we believe to be one Sammy Adams, formerly the drummer for Fireballs Of Freedom. Talk about a power duo. So, despite a slight case of what we might call the Scissorfight syndrome, this gets a solid recommendation from us!
MPEG Stream: "Doomsday Legislation"
MPEG Stream: "Osirion"
MPEG Stream: "Scottish Chords"

album cover LORDS OF FALCONRY s/t (Holy Mountain) lp 14.98
This has a lot going for it. First off, they're called Lords Of Falconry, which is kinda cool. Lordly, even. And this, their debut full-length, comes to us via the also quite lordly Holy Mountain label, who have a pretty stellar track record as far as we're concerned. In fact, Holy Mountain probably has had a higher number of AQ Records Of The Week per capita than almost any other label. Furthermore, our discerning pal JW who runs Holy Mountain tells us that THIS is precisely the sort of thing he's always wanted to release on his label. So far, so good. Our appetites are whetted. And then, there's the music. ULTRA fuzzed, freaked out, high energy, heavy psychedelic guitar jams, to put it plainly. Can't complain about that, no siree. But (you knew there had to be a but), we do have one minor caveat for you potential emptors... it concerns the vocals. If this was all-instrumental, there'd be no hemming and hawing. But, some of the vocal stylings struck some of us as, well, a little bit goofy. Self-consciously "rawk" or something. You may not mind a bit, and we actually don't much either.
Anyway, it's hard to be picky about the vocals when Lords Of Falconry's guitars are blasting jet-engine like, turning the air into cottage cheese they way they used to do back in Blue Cheer's daze, the wild FX and throbbing distortion turning yr head inside out so your brain is being caressed and cudgeled by these riffs and rhythms without any help from your ears.
Recommended to folks who get off on bands like Julian Cope's Braindonor, DMBQ, Midnite Snake, The Heads, Hawkwind, High Rise, and other fuzz-laden, pedal-stomping, heavy-duty psychedelic throwbacks. And by the way, though Holy Mountain didn't tell us this, we're pretty sure that one of these Lords Of Falconry is in fact none other than guitarist Steven Wray Lobdell of Davis Redford Triad, Sufi Mind Game, and Faust fame! If true (it is), that explains a lot about this. The other dude in the band we believe to be one Sammy Adams, formerly the drummer for Fireballs Of Freedom. Talk about a power duo. So, despite a slight case of what we might call the Scissorfight syndrome, this gets a solid recommendation from us!
MPEG Stream: "Doomsday Legislation"
MPEG Stream: "Osirion"
MPEG Stream: "Scottish Chords"

album cover MARSFIELD (ANDREW CHALK) Three Sunsets Over Marsfield (Faraway Press) lp 33.00
Here's the second release from Andrew Chalk's Marsfield project, even though these recordings date back to 2002 well before the 2010 release of The Towering Sky. At that time, Chalk was still engaged with the sublime Mirror collaboration with Christoph Heemann, producing a vast collection of impressionist drones that certainly set a gold standard for anyone looking to dive into the dronemuzik category. Enter Brendan Walls, an Australian ambient practitioner who also moonlights in the slugfuck-noise outfit the Menstruation Sisters (although there's nothing of the Sisters' scattered noise that enters any of the Marsfield recordings). Walls had released a few albums through Heemann's labels of vaporized hum and oceanic tonefloat, including a 2004 collaboration with Mr. Chalk on Three Poplars. Whatever the relationship of the collaboration between Chalk and Walls might have been, Three Sunsets Over Marsfield has the fingerprints of Andrew Chalk all over it: smeared texture into elongated drone and shimmering resonant tones coalescing into thrumming hypnosis. What is unique to Three Sunsets in relation to the Chalk catalogue, is that there is a peculiar backstory about a retired British soldier who had been able to receive and amplify radio transmissions through a metal plate in his skull. It's easy to imagine that Chalk and Walls set out to create a sublime piece of music, best suited for playback within the skull of an old soldier, sick of listening into whatever the BBC might be broadcasting. Chalk and Walls compact and compress numerous layers of psychedelically-bent guitar drones into a gorgeous, mid-frequency stream of flutter, shimmer, and mirage, not unlike what Chalk would later reprise on Shadows From The Album Skies. To say that this album is mesmerizing is undoubtedly an understatement!
Andrew Chalk vinyl is a rare commodity indeed, and Three Sunsets Over Marsfield is no exception, being printed in an edition of 300 copies in an extraordinary package of embossed metallic paper with an obi sporting the title in Japanese.

album cover MOON UNIT Hell Horse (Blackest Rainbow) lp 21.00
Imagine some twisted blown out psychedelic hybrid of Vibracathedral Orchestra and Fushitsusha, and you'd probably come up with something very much like this latest lp from a Scottish power trio called Moon Unit. Five sprawling space/psych jams, that slip from dark and droney to explosive and in-the-red and everywhere in between.
The record begins with some washed out shimmery free form krautfolk drift, psychedelic and kosmische, like Vibracathedral or Avarus or Sylvester Anfang, gauzy clouds of softly tangled melody drift and swirl over spare percussion, fuzzy tendrils of guitar woven into lush landscapes of blurred beauty, but it's a smoldering slow build to something much more intense and aggressive, subtly explosive crescendos surface throughout, guitars growing ever more frenzied and distorted, the drums slip from skitter to pound, long keening tones are laid over choppy seas of rhythmic churn, until finally, the band unleash full on space psych blowouts, crumbling and explosive and fierce and fiery and so intense.
The sound is not so easily classified though, this is not just a psychedelic Godspeed, the sound veers wildly from face melting almost metallic fury, to full on Japanese style white heavenly noise, to distorted krautrock grooves, the drums chaotic on second, locked tight the next, everything wreathed in some sort of incandescent shimmer, that somehow makes the heaviest noisiest bits beautiful, and makes the beautiful bits mysterious and otherworldly.
The record closes with a murky effects heavy free psych workout, disembodied melodies collide with rhythmic shards, swirling swooping effects and crumbling riffage, glimmery and shimmery but still damaged and dark and distorted and totally intense. So good.
LIMITED TO 500 COPIES!

album cover PALACE OF WORMS Lifting The Veil (Flenser) cassette 5.98
Latest blast of black filth from right here in SF, from one man band Palace of Worms, aka Balan, who also does time in Elk, and in Weakling worshipping outfit Dead As Dreams. The first PoW record was a huge hit around aQ land, a killer mix of grim black buzz, and avant post rock weirdness, everything we had read about this new record talked about how all the post rock and other stuff had been ditched in favor of a sound more raw and old school, but to these ears, this is anything but, the weirdness that made The Forgotten so good, still pretty much in full effect.
The opening intro eases us back into PoW's black underworld, a sprawling smoldering melodic drift, all serpentine guitars, minimal tribal drum pound, buried vokills, which leads directly into a lumbering chunk of midtempo dirgery, laced with some serious melody, and finally some raw blasting blackness, and the rest of the tape seems like a push and pull between those two influence, the melody and intricacy, the raw blast and primitive buzz, but it's that constant tension that gives Lifting The Veil its energy, even when songs are in full on blast mode, the sound is still weirdly textured and melodic, check out the first half of "No Exit", appropriately grim and frantic, but the chords are lush, and there seems to be all sorts of melodic shading going on, not taking away from the grimnity of the sound, just adding texture and depth.
"The Scroll Of Kimiris" is similarly crafted, on the surface, a frenzied blackened buzz, but the guitars soar, the melodies epic, the sound weirdly spacious and spare. "Wounded Pride" also begins all mathy and melodic, a doomy trudge, a lurching arrangement that ends up sounding noise rocky and majestic, before eventually crumbling into buzz and blast, but it's "Hellish Journey" that's the record's focal point, easily the heaviest, most sonically dense track, and its longest at nearly 10 minutes, the melodic aspect is downplayed a bit, but still surfaces all over the place, especially in the dreamy clean voiced outro, but those parts are well balanced by the sheer black force of the surrounding sonics.
Packaged with super nice, printed, heavy-stock fold-out full color inserts, and of course, SUPER LIMITED!
MPEG Stream: "No Exit"
MPEG Stream: "The Scroll Of Kimiris"

album cover PEDESTRIAN DEPOSIT East Fork North Fork (Monorail Trespassing) cd 11.98
Pedestrian Deposit have relentlessly toured the United States for as long as we can remember; if your hometown has some shithole warehouse space or a couple of dudes who host noise shows in their house, chances are that PD have been there. Given their constant touring in a car with a tape player, it makes perfect sense that the cassette would be the preferred media for PD; in fact, PD's Jon Borges has released a shitload of noise and drone tapes over the years through his Monorail Trespassing imprint. East Fork North Fork did in fact come out as a cassette earlier in 2010, only to disappear before anybody really got to get a hold of it; but the tape has been usurped by the cd for the reissue of this pretty fucking awesome record, with two new unreleased tracks as a nice bonus.
The days of Pedestrian Deposit abusing soundsystems with deleterious feedback and earscraping noise are pretty much gone. Nowadays, Borges is working with his partner Shannon Kennedy in constructed a frightening, haunting set of recordings for cello and electronics, thick with echoing drones and ghostly shadows that creep out of the woodwork. The amount of empty space on East Fork North Fork is notable, with Borges and Kennedy layering backish abrasions of rusted objects on contact microphones, distant pluckings of cello looped into seasick passages, heartbeat thumps coupled with subterranean scrapings, and hauntological half-melodies pushing to the foreground. Everything appears tuned as to announce the possibility of a huge surge of punishing noise, much like the atmosphere that Michael Gira built on Children Of God; and Pedestrian Deposit does allow for one such explosion on the album. But for the most part, it's the post-noise threat of audio holocaust that gives East Fork North Fork its sense of drama.
This is easily the best thing that Borges has released either through Pedestrian Deposit or through his solo Emaciator project.
MPEG Stream: "A Blessing"
MPEG Stream: "Strife/Meridian"
MPEG Stream: "Cycle Of Combustion"

album cover PHANTOM PAINS Obelisk (Monorail Trespassing) cassette 6.98
San Francisco's Eric Haney is the man behind the powerdrone project Phantom Pains, which has been popping up in a few gritty warehouses around the Bay Area with a few cassettes under his belt as well. Obelisk is the first tape we've been able to check out, but it's definitely piqued our interested for more. The fuzzy droneshot of guitar/synth/pedals/whatever comes across at first like unkempt variations of the electroid-psychedelic smears of Grasslung or Pulse Emitter; but Phantom Pains stratifies such toneshift with a good chunk of muffled distortion and puretone feedback suspended above a deep and distant roar of jet-engine noise. Despite all of fuzz, hiss, and crunch, Obelisk is quite placid, glacial in movements in and out of the these chunks of activity that slide past each other like stealthy icebergs at midnight. Elsewhere, bell tones coagulate around tape noise into a glistening track not all that far from Peter Wright's guitar drones accelerating through the layers of murk, ash, and grit only to be engulfed by a gasping drone of flanging reverb and Maeror Tri industrialized shadow.
Monorail Trespassing continues to release amazing cassettes of unknown and obscure acts from the US underground of floorcore noise and gnarled drone, and this one from Phantom Pains is certainly one of their best.

album cover PIGEONS Visions Of The Valley (Soft Abuse) 7" 10.98
Latest batch of woozy, dreamlike downtempo psychedelic folk from this husband and wife duo, and like their previous efforts, they subtly hybridize Portishead style trip hop with seventies style acid folk, the results are sublime, spidery guitars, hand claps (!), thick almost synthy sounding low end, skeletal rhythms and angelic reverbed vocals. The tracks drift and hover and shimmer, but occasionally are peppered with bits of psych rock fuzz and crunch, that sounds like it could have been lifted from the Latin American installment of those Love, Peace & Poetry comps, but the fuzz is fleeting, slipping quickly back into more dreamy drift.
The B side is even more melodic and melancholy, ditching the handclaps and more overtly programmed drums, introducing subtle wah guitars, and adding even more haze to the mix, the vocals positively dripping with space-y echo, both tracks here, haunting and lovely, and way recommended.

album cover SAILORS WITH WAX WINGS s/t (Angel Oven) cd 13.98
Not one, but TWO brand new records, brand new BANDS in fact, from the man behind avant black metal weirdos Pyramids, Sailors With Wax Wings and White Moth, both heavy and weird in their own way, and both featuring incredible ensemble casts, not so much guests and collaborators. In some ways it does both of these records/groups a bit of a disservice to lump them together, as most reviewers (including this one) do, but it's sort of unavoidable, for as different as these two records may sound, there are quite a few similarities conceptually and even sonically.
For those unfamiliar with Pyramids, we've been pretty smitten with these guys ever since we first heard their double disc debut on Hydra Head, a dizzying sonic concoction that infused black metal blasts with washed out shoegaze glimmer, swirling dreamy ambience, blurred slowcore drift, actually it might be more accurate to describe Pyramids as some sort of blissed out shoegaze slowcore outfit that flecked their dreamy sound with bits of black metal buzz, but either way, the sound these guys cooked up was heady and psychedelic and pushed our buttons BIG TIME. Everything we could want in a weird heavy band seemed to be all smeared into this gorgeously indistinct entity called Pyramids. And the interesting thing about that debut, is that it already sort of foreshadowed the genesis of these two new projects, by including a discs of remixes/reworkings featuring Swans drummer Ted Parsons, Toby Driver of Kay Dot, Colin Marston of Behold the Arctopus, James Plotkin of OLD and Khanate, Justin Broadrick of Jesu / Godflesh and French industrial black metal crushers Blut Aus Nord. And the recent 5 cassette box seemed to be another sign pointing at Pyramids' mainman R Loren's restlessness, and need to keep creating and collaborating, featuring hours and hours of interpretations and reimaginings. Which brings us to Loren's latest projects, a simultaneous release of two different record, by two different groups, each sonically disparate, yet inexorably linked, Sailors With Wax Wings, whose sound is like a more abstracted shoegazey Pyramids, and White Moth, whose sound has been described by Loren as "digital hardcore", but also infuses its drill and bass and industrial crunch with plenty of Pyramidal blissed out black metalisms (including vocals from John Gossard of Weakling and Asunder!).
Sailors With Wax Wings, is the one that will most immediately appeal to fans of Pyramids, or fans of blissy avant black metal and experimental heaviness, and as mentioned above, White Moth is Loren with a pretty incredible collection of collaborators, which we might as well just list: Ted Parsons (Swans, Prong), Colin Marston (Krallice, BeholdŠThe Arctopus), Aidan Baker (Nadja), Simon Scott (Slowdive), Dominick Fernow (Ash Pool, Vegas Martyrs, Prurient, Cold Cave), cellist Hildur Gudnadottir Vern Rumsey of Unwound (!), Aaron Stainthorpe (My Dying Bride), Jonas Renkse (Katatonia) Marissa Nadler, James Blackshaw, and the cover art should look familiar too, courtesy of David Tibet (Current 93). Phew! If there was ever the potential for too-many-cooks, but somehow, Loren and crew pull it off, crafting a slow burning world of soaring dreamlike buzz, thick black shimmer, epic explosive energy and brooding mystery, right away, with "Soft Gardens Near The Sun, Keep Your Distant Beauty", we're transported to some otherworld, where sound is light, and gorgeous chords come cascading from on high like some sonic waterfall, thick swaths of sound whirling and swirling, peppered with delicate piano melodies and powerful drumming, shoegazey for sure, but also intense and urgent and emotional, which is spotlighted even more on the second track "There Came A Drooping Maid With Violets", with the introduction of sorrowful crooned clean male / female vocals, buried in the mix, nestled amidst warm glimmering guitars and lumbering drum plod, like a more crystalline and dreamily doomy Nadja or a softer more spare My Bloody Valentine. Which is the sound that seeps into all the other tracks, like a continuous song suite, a single multi part epic, slipping smoothly from barely there hushed drift, to blackened sheets of soaring high end, to minimal whispery creep, to bleary pop ambient shimmer, to hazy, utterly lush sweet fuzz flecked dream pop, a song like "There Was One Who Sought A New Road" should have fans of groups like Beach House in a tizzy, with its delicate gauzy atmosphere and warm languid melodies. In fact, the more we listen, the more the black metal elements seem to recede, sure there's buzzing and fast picking, and maybe even some blasting beats, but here. those elements are reimagined as parts of some otherworldly abstract blurscape, wreathed in whir and crackle and buried under billows of layered drones, soft swaths of angelic drift, everything rendered in slow motion, slightly out of focus, a lush atmospheric expanse of blackened slowcore dreampop bliss. So gorgeous!
MPEG Stream: "Soft Gardens Near The Sun, Keep Your Distant Beauty"
MPEG Stream: "There Came A Drooping Maid With Violets"
MPEG Stream: "There Was One Who Sought A New Road"
MPEG Stream: "Strange That I Should Have Grown So Suddenly Blind"

album cover SENKING Pong (Raster-Noton) 2cd 23.00
If the archetypal Raster-Noton style of pixel-point rhythms and clinical data-streams represent "Ping", then Senking's far more sensual approach here to the click-n-groove would indeed be "Pong". It's the deeper, weightier side of the equation, but undeniably linked to that equation. The Cologne based sound engineer Jens Massel is more interested in a thickened low-end with rumbling basslines more indebted to a slowmotion techstep cruise or more of a Demdike Stare / Ghost Box electro-haunt than the post-techno shuffle ingrained in most every Raster-Noton artist's DNA. The Raster sounds of sonar blip echo, small rhythmic points, and slashing post-acid squelches do surface as the skeletal grid of rhythm guiding the throbbing bassbin rattle, yet Massel is not averse to coupling these sounds with moody, almost noirish melodic phrases for piano, Rhodes organ, and even some vibraphone. Pong is quite an evocative downtempo record that effectively comes across as something like a Pole / Bohren & Der Club Of Gore collaboration!
The second disc is a CD-ROM with a re-engineered version of the old-school Atari game Pong as a 3-D game, that looks and feels a lot like another old-school Atari video game Tempest. We haven't played around that much with it, but at least it looks really cool!
MPEG Stream: "Luma"
MPEG Stream: "Painbug In My Eye"
MPEG Stream: "Breathing Trouble"

album cover SHIELDS, CHRISTINE In The Sun (Awesome Vistas) lp 16.98
Wow! Awesome Vistas brings us another stunner with the debut musical release from Sacramento-based artist Christine Shields. Shields, known in the Bay Area for her portraits and ghostly paintings of child spirits, trees and landscapes that evoke a lost Victorian past, has been making and performing music with various groups for awhile, but this is the first time we've heard a full recording and we must say we're quite blown away! Reminding us a bit of Opal or White Magic, Shields and her group have created an amazing record of hauntingly atmospheric chamber folk. Organic vocal harmonies, intricate guitar work, melodica, piano, percussion and bells, evoke a world of beauty and loss, shipwrecks and spirits, dark and light, that is gentle and melancholic but not at all fragile. The songwriting and production are breathtaking and creates the pitch-perfect mood to draw us in and never lets us go. With gorgeous hand-screened covers. Highest Recommendation!

album cover SKY LARKIN Kaleide (Wichita) cd 12.98
Sky Larkin's The Golden Spike had to be one of our favorite pop records of the last few years, crunchy propulsive noise pop of the highest order, cool complex stop start arrangements, killer choruses, incredible vocals (like PJ Harvey crossed with Bjork, sort of), mathy and occasionally dissonant, loud and rambunctious, not really super weird or twisted, just super innovative and inventive and original with hooks galore, totally rocking, and packed with a clutch of all time pop classics ("Beeline", "Fossil, I").
Record number two from this trio is turning out to be just as good, a bit darker, a bit more subdued, not nearly as wild and wooly, but the songs might end up being even better. They're the sort of songs that take a few listens, but only a few, and then you're smitten, already we find ourselves returning to record opener "Still Windmills" again and again, a gorgeously intricate and super catchy chunk of minimal pop, with a cool stripped down verse, and a soaring sing along chorus, not to mention some incredible riffing, and some great drumming, and the vocals sound better than ever.
The title track is a slow burning builder, with some weird mathy arrangements that somehow do nothing to take way from the song's catchiness. "Tiny Heist" is equal parts twee pop, and fuzzy distorted noise pop, a delicate balance that perfectly suits the song, "Guitars And Antarctica" sounds like classic nineties girl pop, big guitars, moody vocals, gorgeous melodies, while "Smarts" is a cool lo-fi pop experiment, all guitar harmonics, buried drum thump, and some of the sweetest vocals on the record. "Landlocked" sounds like it could have been a B side from The Golden Spike, fuzzy guitar and wild loose distorted crunch, "Spooktacular" does too in fact, and actually, the more we listen to Kaleide, the less far removed it actually sounds from The Golden Spike, just maybe a better balance between brooding melodic introspection and crashing punked out noisy poppiness, which is most definitely a good thing.
Super smart classic pop, that's definitely a contender for pop record of the year, and WAY recommended like The Golden Spike, for fans of K Records, Kill Rock Stars, Helium, Slant 6, Jale, Quixotic as well as Grass Widow, the Sandwitches, Brilliant Colors, Yellow Fever, Wet Dog and the like...
MPEG Stream: "Still Windmills"
MPEG Stream: "Kaleide"
MPEG Stream: "Spooktacular"
MPEG Stream: "Smarts (Shh Version)"

album cover SLOUGH FEG The Animal Spirits (Profound Lore) cd 13.98
Huzzah! San Francisco's idiosyncratic old school metal masters Slough Feg are back with a new record, already! We made their previous album, 2009's Ape Uprising, a Record Of The Week, and wrote, like, thousands of words about it. So we'll be a bit briefer here, whilst still giving this our highest recommendation. If you liked it when they Aped it Up, then you know what you're in for on The Animal Spirits. Kinda...
Slough Feg already did an album called Atavism, but THIS is their most atavistic yet. Their most '70s rock. (Heck, most Broadway too.) In part, heavy, ripping, raw. In part, majestically melodic. So very melodic, and often major-key, almost pop instead of metal. But not "pop-metal", no not that. And always, always, eccentric. Also epic, can't forget epic, though none of the songs are even over 5 minutes long. Speaking of epics, what metal band would do a song about somebody named Thor, on an ocean voyage, and have it NOT be about Vikings? Slough Feg, naturally, with this album's "Kon-Tiki", about Norwegian explorer Thor Heyerdahl's daring raft expedition across the Pacific in 1947. Another unusual, historical number is "The 95 Thesis", about Martin Luther and the Reformation, maybe the only metal song on that subject and certainly the only one to features the lines "Some hide in sophistry but you had the balls / to nail your thesis to the cathedral wall", as it's not so much about religious history as it is about someone being a badass.
So, perhaps even moreso than on other Slough Feg albums, expect the unexpected. Like the crude but cool b&w artwork, for instance, drawn by the band's vocalist/guitarist/mastermind Mike Scalzi himself. Or the Alan Parsons Project (!) cover they do, "The Tell-Tale Heart", which utterly sounds like a Slough Feg tune, Scalzi totally owning the vocal part originally sung by none other than Arthur "I Am The God Of Hellfire" Brown on the 1976 original.
It's also perhaps unexpected that this record would be released on cult avant blackened doom label Profound Lore (though they've lately been signing a lot of the Bay Area underground's best, it seems). Sure, PL has put out some somewhat "trad" metal before, like the last Hammers Of Misfortune double disc and the recent, recommended Dawnbringer opus, but this still has to be the weirdest release on Profound Lore ever... who, by the way, claim that Slough Feg are America's most important heavy metal band of the past 20 years!
Over those years, especially with their current lineup, Slough Feg certainly have earned a reputation as an incredible live act, really you won't see too many more impressive or entertaining performances from a metal band, or any band, these days. They're a band that rejoices in being on stage, that revels in the skill they possess and the power they wield, and they capture that spirit and energy and showmanship and sense of abandon with these new songs for sure. The Animal Spirits is lively, dare we say playful. Sometimes cryptically, cleverly humorous. Bold and brash and totally unselfconscious. So they can do rockin' tracks like the frantic boogie of opener "Trick The Vicar", or the thrashy closer "Tactical Air-War" (which features special guest vocalist, Bobbie Wright of another San Fran metal cult, Brocas Helm!!), and in between find room for a few numbers that are closer to musical theater, though still quite heavy.
We've talked about the unexpected, the other hand, you CAN of course expect plenty of guitar harmonies, shredding leads, bombastic vocals, and memorable riffs... they still sound 100 percent like Slough Feg (and thus a bit like Maiden, a bit like Priest, a bit like Sabbath, and a bit like Thin Lizzy). If you've ever said, nobody makes music like that anymore, well Slough Feg do. But they're original about it too.
Oh, and good thing they released this in time for Halloween, as there's songs about both vampires and werewolves on here. The latter, live stand out "Lycanthropic Fantasies", is a show stopper on stage, and one of this disc's best as well. The former, "Ask The Casket", is a ridiculously melodic dirge inspired by the cult '60s TV gothic horror soap opera Dark Shadows.
Another of our favorite tracks is "Second Coming", which starts off acoustically, and features one of Scalzi's most emotive and heartfelt vocal performances, as well as (more) gorgeous twin lead guitarwork... like Slough Feg's earlier "The Sea Wolf", it's a song inspired by writer Jack London, but maybe 'cause the lyrics make reference to San Francisco, it seems like Scalzi's really singing about himself here, somehow.
Finally, by the way, unlike Ape Uprising, which did have a song or two about apes, The Animal Spirits is NOT about animals (or spirits). The title refers to an archaic philosophical concept that Scalzi finds amusing, and we don't think pertains to the content of any of the songs on here.
MPEG Stream: "The 95 Thesis"
MPEG Stream: "Lycanthropic Fantasies"
MPEG Stream: "Ask The Casket"
MPEG Stream: "Free Market Barbarian"

album cover SNAILFACE s/t (I + II) (Wordclock) 2 cassettes + box + pin + fur 11.98
So what's a band to do when they're not playing their particular brand of crushing metal flecked noise rock brutality? Well, take on new identities of course. Offer up their masked visages and craft a whole new set of songs, under a different name, with an ostensibly different sound, but one that really is just a way poppier, stonier, spacier version of their band proper. Which is fine with us.
So the mysterious Snailface, who hail from right here in SF, are in fact, the alter ego of aQ faves Kowloon Walled City, and traffic in a sound that has more in common with Kyuss and Queens Of The Stoneage and Torche and other heavy pop combos than the AmRep-y sludge that KWC specializes in. And the funny thing, which happens with lots of side projects / one offs / joke bands, is that the band is super relaxed, having fun, no pressure, none of the big band worries that come with a 'real' band, so whether they mean to or not, they end up ruling, and writing killer songs, and coming up with songs that are not just fun and funny, but that totally rock and are catchy as fuck, and if that band was their actual main focus band, it might even end up being super popular.
Which is the case with Snailface. Sure, the songs have goofy titles, and silly lyrics, they're called Snailface, they wear costumes in the band photos, but you sort of forget all about it when you throw it on, big stonery riffs, super melodic vocals, catchy choruses, the sound epic and heavy and hooky, psychedelic and spacey, some killer leads, plenty of weirdness too, fucked up production, backwards vocals and guitars, field recordings, bizarre samples, but all that stuff just sort of decorates the songs proper, which RULE. The first record is way more blown out and desert rock, stonery and drug-poppy, while the second record, a concept record about Yetis. is way more classic rock / big production epic heaviness, with shades of Thin Lizzy, Blue Oyster Cult and Kiss added to the mix. But together, this doubleshot two-fer is fucking awesome. Fans of any of the above mentioned bands, as well as anyone into catchy groovy heaviness, this stuff will definitely hit the spot.
Comes packaged in a hand screen printed cardboard box, the tapes both with full color printed inserts, one of 8 different buttons, all nestled on a nice bed of Yeti fur (3 different kinds!). LIMITED TO ONLY 100 COPIES!!!
MPEG Stream: "Dancing On Landmines"
MPEG Stream: "Drug School"
MPEG Stream: "Toxic City Of The Sea"
MPEG Stream: "Yowie Wants A Piece"
MPEG Stream: "The Almasty (Kelermes Mirror)"
MPEG Stream: "Triangle Visage Of The Hibagon / Skunk Ape"

album cover STERN, MARNIE s/t (Kill Rock Stars) cd 15.98
As hard as we tried, there is just no way to talk about Marnie Stern's music without using various forms of the word SHREDDING multiple times. Her guitar playing just rips and SHREDS so powerfully, and while this might have the most melodic moments of any of her records yet, it's still totally full throttle, fast and loud, tempo changing proggy punk radness. Like some awesome combination of the impassioned anthems of Erase Errata and the mathy wizardry of Hella and Don Caballero. And like the latter, Stern shows an awesome sense of humor and playfulness in her song titles, including "Female Guitar Players Are The New Black" and "Transparency Is The New Mystery." Once again Zach Hill of Hella fame is behind the drums and what an explosive combination that is. What we always love about Marnie Stern's records is that how once they begin you are just immediately tossed into this charged velocity of sound that really never lets up until the album ends and then you can finally exhale and take a few breaths before you want to go on the ride all over again. This SHREDS!
MPEG Stream: "For Ash"
MPEG Stream: "Female Guitar Players Are the New Black"
MPEG Stream: "Risky Biz"

album cover SWANOX Dawnrunner (Not Not Fun) cassette 6.98
Brand new tape from LA's  indie headquarters, Not Not Fun, this time a debut cassette from SF's own Swanox.  We've seen a couple live sets from Anthony Bourch, aka Swanox, and he's also a regular here at aQ, so we're happy to finally give this stellar, drugged-out, cosmic-pop opus a home in our humble tape case.
Dawnrunner unfolds with deep, distorted guitar ringing out into a wash of cavernous reverb, crumbling minor leads luring you further into utter darkness, sporadic riffs and low-end sizzle offer up the perfect dose of atmospheric haze.  A dash of light leaks from the cavern's end as a shimmering guitar line fades in, the piece shifts from dark to light as the sounds gradually grow into a dense cloud of Popul Vuh-ish bliss. Just when we thought Dawnrunner was solely instrumental, "Through the Alders" rolls along with looong, Daniel Higgs-type vocal chants, slightly discernible lyrics buried in layers of distorted organ (sort of reminds us of the organ on the recent German Oak album we featured last list), moments of spritely flute and layers of murky droning build into a wall of weirdness until a quickly picked, uplifting guitar lead lifts over the psychedelic wash, the perfect summit to this monolithic track. While there's a hefty dose of washed out weirdness and droning decay, there's also a catchy, pop undercurrent flowing throughout, each song perfectly crafted with just the right amount of structure, falling somewhere between Night Control and Flying Saucer Attack, definitely not your run-of-the-mill home spun tape.  Noisy, psychedelic and super distinct, this will no doubt satisfy your fill for far out, loner bedroom weirdness. Limited to an edition of 100, you know these will be gone in no time, so don't miss out!

album cover TIROGO Float (QDK / Normal) cd 16.98
Two new reissues of badass obscure African '70s garage fuzz rock on this list, hot damn! One from Witch (whose album Lazy Bones!! we were already big fans of) and this record from Nigeria's Tirogo, one of the bands who appeared on that rad Lagos Disco Inferno comp. Tirogo were labelmates with the band Blo, and ought to appeal to folks into Blo, Ofege, Sjob, and others from the Nigerian scene, as well as "Zam Rockers" like Witch, Amanaz, and the Ngozi Family from down in Zambia. Originally released in 1977, Tirogo's Float, their debut, is a stoned masterpiece of psychedelic garage groove with authentic African vibes. Seriously, at this point, can't we just say, if you like those others, you'll like this? 'Cause you will. Stinging fuzz guitar leads swirl and sizzle over seriously funky, energetic rhythms, as the vocalists chant about girls and the devil... yeah! The sort of thing that when you're listening to it, you can't help but think, "this is the best shit ever!"... and it's kinda true!!
Dunno how many more records like this they can dig up, it's hard to imagine, but we're grateful for what's been reissued thus far, winners like Tirogo and Witch, wow. And they do it right, the cd booklet includes an extensive, interesting interview with original Tirogo lead vocalist and bassist Wilfred Ekanem, conducted by African music collector and Now-Again head honcho Egon, who coordinated these reissues.
MPEG Stream: "Devil's Gonna Get You"
MPEG Stream: "Ajufo"

album cover TITAN Sweet Dreams (Relapse) cd 15.98
Brand new blast of spaced out prog-tastic heaviness from this Brooklyn quartet, and holy shit, everything we loved about their last one, A Raining Sun Of Light & Love For You & You & You, is even MORE this time around, more heavy, more proggy, more keyboards, the songs way more epic, total cosmic super distorted loud as fuck space prog metal bliss out, like ELP crossed with the Fucking Champs, stir in some Comets On Fire, Tarantula Hawk, Crime In Choir, La Otracina (with whom they share members), and of course some Yes and Osanna and New Trolls and loads more of that sort of '70s stuff, cuz this time it's definitely the prog that has been cranked way up, synths all over the place, every song like a non stop synth / guitar / drum battle to the death, totally exhausting and exhilarating and over the top, epic and majestic and complex and intricate and melodic and somehow catchy as hell.
Barring the 3 minute synth interlude "Synthasaurs", which sounds more like some sort of Goblin / Tangerine Dream / John Carpenter hybrid, the other 4 tracks are total progged out super jams, almost entirely instrumental, the melodies constantly mutating and intertwining, the keyboards unleashing wild flurries of notes, the bass and drums holding it all together, dense and thick and powerful, the guitars wailing and flailing and howling, constantly parrying with the keyboards, there are organs too, thick and fuzzy and gloriously distorted, like a supercharged Deep Purple, Titan are like the prog version of all those Hawkwind worshipping space rock groups, who take the psychedelic tripped out outros and stretch them into whole songs, Titan seem to do the same thing with prog, taking short bursts of classic prog, adding all sorts of metallic chug and modern psych rock crunch and stretching them out into gloriously endless sprawling epics, this stuff is so fierce and frantic and the pace so relentless and dizzying.
This stuff RULES. Heavy and spacey and proggy and mathy and fucking incredible, pretty much everything we could possibly want in a band. Comes in a swank diecut digipak too!
MPEG Stream: "Sweet Dreams"
MPEG Stream: "Synthasaurs"
MPEG Stream: "Maximum Soberdrive"

album cover TIMMY'S ORGANISM Rise Of The Green Gorilla (Sacred Bones) cd 13.98
A blurry blast of noise-rock-space-garage-what-the-fuck distorto rock from this Michigan weirdo, the opening track is an in-the-red chunk of amp melting blown out Stooges style riff rock swagger, the vocals in your face, snarling and mewling, while the drums pound, and the guitars swirl and smolder, run through an arsenal of pedals, flanger, phaser, wah wah and DISTORTION, captured on a busted 4 track, totally psychedelic and maniacal and awesome!
That's only one facet of Timmy's twisted sonic Organism, a schizophrenic sound that flits from off kilter garage rock groove to damaged glam trash blooz, to gorgeously tripped out lo-fi dream pop ambience, to crusty ramshackle fuzzed out indie rock, to full on abstract pop experimentation, the whole thing constantly on the verge of collapse, little bits of perfect melody emerging from fierce squalls of noise drenched heaviness, Joe Meek like production wrapped around full on noise psych brutality, Chrome-like sci-fi space rock gives way, to drawled Jandekian reverb bedroom folk, which transforms into some sort of synthwave weirdness, before finishing off with a gorgeous bit of lush epic and majestic indie pop mood music. Weird as fuck, and all over the map, but definitely total bliss for anyone with a sweet tooth for totally cracked pop and unhinged lo-fi noise rock weirdness.
MPEG Stream: "Ugly Dream"
MPEG Stream: "Pretty Stare"
MPEG Stream: "Oafeus Clods"

album cover TREY TOLD 'EM Super Epic Thrill Jockey Mega Massive Anniversary Mix (Thrill Jockey) cd 9.98
Originally released way back in 2007, and available only to attendees of the two Thrill Jockey 15th Anniversary shows in Chicago and London, we're listing this now 'cause one of our distributors got a handful of these killer mixes, a collaborative DJ mix from Girl Talk and Trey Told 'Em, constructed exclusively of tracks culled from the Thrill Jockey archives, and including a couple of mega mixes which make the whole thing kind of essential.
The proper mix includes tracks from Bobby Conn, Gaunt, Pit Er Pat, Eleventh Dream Day, Giant Sand, Dolomite, Trapist, John Parish, Nobuzaku Tekemura, The Fiery Furnaces, Califone, Chicago Underground Duo, Mouse On Mars, Freakwater, Frequency, Sam Prekop, The National Trust, Extra Golden, Arbouretum, Radian, The Sea And Cake, Fred Anderson & Hamid Drake, Lithops, Directions In Music, Aki Tsuyuko, Howe Gelb, Tunng, Isotope 217, Archer Prewitt, The Zincs, Sue Garner & Rick Brown, Adult., Exploding Star Orchestra, Brokeback, Town And Country and Microstoria (what, no A Minor Forest?!). And it's not just the song selection, the way they're mixed, results in an awesome, ever shifting soundscape, that is so good, we found ourselves even digging the tracks that we didn't think we liked. Out of context, some of the songs here have us all fired up to revisit some of the groups we may have ignored or just missed.
But if that wasn't enough, there are three megamixes, the record opens with a killer Trans Am mix that reminds us why we love those guys so much, and then finishes with a Tortoise megamix, and then an Oval megamix, that purports to contain EVERY single Oval song ever recorded. Pretty cool. And crazy limited. Only 4000 copies made way back in 2007, and we only got a tiny handful, so act fast if you want one.
MPEG Stream: "Trans Am Megamix"
MPEG Stream: "Oval Megamix"

album cover TUMA, SCOTT Peeper (Bathetic) cassette 5.50
We first discovered Scott Tuma when he was playing guitar for stoned Chicago slowcore country cosmonauts Souled American, his distinctive sound helping to shape SA's totally idiosyncratic music. And after Tuma parted ways with Souled American, he seemed to mark the event by jettisoning traditional songs completely, instead crafting a series of gorgeously gauzy country dronescapes, like an organic folk version of Tim Hecker, his lush landscapes, blurred and gauzy, washed out smears of impressionistic country music, evoking lost loves and bygone eras, his music utterly timeless and totally unlike anything we'd heard.
So every new Tuma releases is definitely worth celebrating, and Peeper is no different. A five song suite that captures everything we love about Tuma's music. The opener is a barely there stretch of gauzy sun dappled shimmer, which gives way to a stretch of slow motion Appalachia, the notes left to float weightless in wide open stretches of warm whirring ambience, a creaky, glacial bit of old timey drift, like a broadcast from some other time, playing through a busted old radio on a rickety old porch, the sunlight glimmering through the branches of the trees, the summer fading ever so slowly. Like on past records, Tuma is joined by members of Zelienople, and as the record progresses, the trio begin to unfurl fuzzy stretches of soft noise, of industrial creak, and layered grey drones, peppered with bits of percussion, clatter and whir, growing noisier and more propulsive, more like some murky psychedelic outfit, a haunting melody laced noise drenched creep, that's both caustic and lovely, eventually dissipating and leaving more hazy hushed dreaminess, what sounds like harmonium, piano, lazy and warm and languid and so sweetly beautiful.
The flipside of the tape, as far as we can tell, features a reinterpretation of Tuma's music, or maybe Tuma's sounds are sampled, or perhaps it's simply an homage, but the oddly named Brothers Pus (aka Johnny Kember & James Provencher), weave a thick sea of layered bass rumbles, of keening distant high end streaks, of tolling bells, a dark industrial dronescape, infused with bits of melody, that gradually fades out and gives way to something more folky, the industrial whir dialed back, while guitars pluck out melancholy melodies over the top, a dark droning country drift, that had we not known better, would have assumed it was Tuma himself.
LIMITED TO 100 COPIES! Already sold out, we have less than 20 copies and that's IT.

album cover V/A F*>k Dance, Let's Art: Sounds From A New American Underground (K7) cd 14.98
This is a super strange compilation, seemingly curated to document a scene, it's just hard to say which scene that might be. Witch house, nu-gaze, chill wave, there are lots of micro genres happening these days, and lots of these bands fit in more than one, while some, seem to us, to not fit in any of them. But unless you're overly concerned with how to label a certain band or sound, then the important thing is the music, and while this comp is most definitely crazy varied, it's also crazy good, with lots of faves, and even more new discoveries.
Balam Acab, ostensibly witch housers, offer up their awesomely haunted minimal electro workout "See Birds", a fuzz bass drone ambient groovescape, that has to be one of the best tracks we've heard from the witch house scene; Washed Out offer up some of their hazy retro chill out pop, all hazy and dreamlike, and well, washed out, laid back and summery; Animal Collective should need no introduction, and their "My Girls" is already sort of an indie anthem, but definitely represents the more popular / commercial side of this scene's (or these scene's) sound; Crystal Castles team up with Health for some awesome electro new wave, fuzzy and a little bit 8-bit-y; oOoOO deliver more witchy mystery, looped and murky and glacial and chopped and screwed, a buzzing electro chill wave ghostly ballad; Bear In Heaven inject some electro pop shoegaze into the proceedings, and that's pretty much for the bands we've heard before.
But like all good comps, it's the unknowns that definitely impress and surprise, Baghdaddy's track sounds like an outtake from recent Record Of The Weekers Salem, which is in no way a bad thing, thick and warped and synthy and tripped out; Small Black reimagine eighties new wave as some buzzy lo fi electronic pop; Truman Peyote take house music and wrap it in hypnogogic loops, and a swirly shoegazey gauze; Raw Moans offer up some twisted hazy pop flecked electronics, dreamy and blurred and blissy; Pictureplane get all M83 with their fuzz drenched dream pop; Hideous Men craft a head spinning bit of smeared pop psychedelia, with lots of fuzzy synth and angelic ethereal vocodered vox, and so it goes, on and on. It's pretty much all good, and even though the sounds do vary quite a bit, they somehow manage to flow nicely as a whole, which does in a way speak to the pointlessness of all these super specific microgenres, but f*>k it, like we said, it's all about the music, and this is a killer comp, and there's definitely some amazing stuff here that merits further investigation.
MPEG Stream: BALAM ACAB "See Birds"
MPEG Stream: BEAR IN HEAVEN "Lovesick Teenagers"
MPEG Stream: OOOOO "Sedsomething"
MPEG Stream: SMALL BLACK "Despicable Dogs"
MPEG Stream: WASHED OUT "Feel It All Around"

album cover V/A Roots Of Chicha 2: Psychedelic Cumbias From Peru (Barbes) cd 15.98
We know we aren't the only ones crazy for the sounds of Chicha, at least judging by the number of copies we sold of the first Roots Of volume, not to mention the amazing collection of songs by Juaneco Y Su Combo. It's pretty much impossible to be into a wide range of music and not be floored by the rad sounds of Chicha. Fuzzy and psychedelic, washed out and surfy, all wrapped in the sounds of cumbia, carimbo and Peruvian traditional music. Barbes is doing such a great job with this series helping expose the truly amazing music coming from this scene in Peru from 1968-1981. It not only has such a cool sound that tons of bands today wish they could recreate, but the songs also have such a sense of soul that makes this one of those records that gets everyone in the store shaking gently back and forth and tapping their toes and we have lost count with how many times we get asked what is playing when this is on as its a record that appeals to such a wide range of tastes.
It shows how rich this scene was that Juaneco Y Su Columbo aren't even on this volume, yet all the other bands included we would kill to hear more from. We know if this was on Sublime Frequencies we would sell even more of these, so c'mon if you love amazing sounds from different parts of the globe you've got to get on the Chicha train!
MPEG Stream: LOS DESTELLOS "Constelacion"
MPEG Stream: MANZANITA Y SU CONJUNTO "Paga la Cuenta Sinverguenza"
MPEG Stream: LOS WALKERS "Siboney"

album cover V/A Russkie Wig-Out! Surf / Electro / Exotica From Behind The Iron Curtain (The Omni Recording Corporation) cd 16.98
One of two new comps from one of our favorite reissue labels, the Omni Recording Corporation, and while the other one, The World Is A Monster fits squarely within Omni's country/folk/bluegrass focus, this one does NOT. Instead of lost recordings, rescued from plundered record label vaults or transferred from scratchy old records, instead of Dolly Parton or Porter Wagoner, instead of twisted country or bizarre bluegrass, Russkie Wig-Out! finds Omni collecting various recordings from the last ten years of "Demented Surf / Electro / Exotica From Behind The Iron Curtain". Which is as good as it sounds.
Some folks are probably familiar with Messer Chups, whose records have been issued stateside, and who we remembered as being more a sort of modern rockabilly outfit, but this comp kind of knocked our socks off, and not only features a handful of Messer Chups tracks, but also the various post Messer groups, offshoots and solo records. And the sound here is not at all rockabilly really. Instead it's crazed sample driven Joe Meek like exotica surf rock weirdness.
Twangy guitars, wild fluttery Theremins, lots of synths, groovy percussion, haunting Halloween melodies, and loads of samples, like some twisted hybrid of Les Baxter, Joe Meek, Perrey & Kingsley, Tipsy and Aavikko, this comp is like the ultimate party record. Just check out "Gitarkin Fast Food Empire", with its groovy horn riff, its counted off "1,2,3,4" vocal sample, culminating with a hurl like "BLEEEARGHHHH", not to mention the cool weirdo sort of scatting, the exotic female vocals, so good.
Or check out "Bukva F" which is essentially a Perry & Kingsley cover, right down to the weird animal calls, but here it's revved up a little and given some extra vibe melodies and strange vocals.
The whole record is totally fun and wild and ridiculous and catchy, it's sort of the music we'd imagine the house band on the Flintstones would play, or some fifties version of Pee Wee's Playhouse, or an alternate reality version of Gilligans Island, if Gilligan ran a seedy bar on the island. Totally far out, and totally recommended.
MPEG Stream: MESSER CHUPS "Cannibal Twist"
MPEG Stream: MESSER FUR FRAU MULLER "Gitarkin Fast Food Empire"
MPEG Stream: OLEG KOSTROW "Bukva F"
MPEG Stream: MESSER FUR FRAU MULLER "The Best Girl In USSR"
MPEG Stream: OLEG KOSTROW "Lego-Marsch"

album cover V/A The Secret Museum Of Mankind Vol.III Ethnic Music Classics: 1925-48 (Outernational) 2lp 28.00
The third incredible volume of outerworld music from lands and peoples past and lost. Twenty-four tracks from Matabaleland (once Southern Rhodesia), Samarcand (central Asia), Poland, Spain, China, Epirus, Angola, India, Russia, Turkey, Arizona (Navajo), Mongolia, Dominica, Congo, Nyasaland, Burma, Tuscany, Persia, England, Albania, Laos, Tunisia, and Kiwai Island. Brought to us as always in a nice gatefold package with plenty of notes and information about the traditions and tribes of the people who made this incredible music. A must have!

album cover V/A The World Is A Monster: Columbia Hillbilly 1948-1958 (The Omni Recording Corporation) cd 16.98
Another fantastic compilation from the seemingly infallible Omni Recording Corporation, this one focusing on hillbilly music, specifically from the vaults of Columbia Records, between 1948 and 1959, and all focused around a Dallas recording studio run by a man named Jim Beck, and had the winds of fortune blown a little bit differently, and had Beck not died prematurely, then perhaps the recording industry in Nashville would have actually ended up based in Dallas. It's an interesting story, told in great detail in the copious liner notes, as are the stories of all the artists and their songs, and oh, what an awesome collection of singers and players, most of which we'd never before heard or even heard of.
A selection of some of the best hillbilly sides recorded for Columbia in the forties and fifties, lots of songs about drinking, and about women, and of course drinking AND women: "Beer Bottle Momma", "Drinking All My Troubles Away", "Red Hot Momma And An Ice Cold Beer", "There's A Bottle Where She Used To Be", "The Barroom Girl", "I'm The Devil Who Made Her That Way", and like all Omni comps, there's plenty of weirdness, howsabout "Ugly And Slouchy", a track about the joys of having a less than attractive lady friend cuz there'll "never be no fear of her loving someone else", or the darkly creepy cabaret of the title track, with it's refrain "The world is a monster, its food is man's heart".
And then of course there's just a stunning array of incredible unsung country classics, from heartfelt tales of loneliness, to bittersweet ballads, super rambunctious bluegrass hoedowns, rife with wild fiddling, earnest crooning, boasting and bragging, begging for forgiveness, wondering where it all went wrong, even some yodeling, fantastic stuff.
And as with all Omni stuff, there's a massive booklet with tons of rare photos and ephemera, and extensive liner notes.
MPEG Stream: ROCKY PORTER "The World Is A Monster"
MPEG Stream: NEAL JONES "I'm Playing It Cool"
MPEG Stream: BOBBY LORD "I'm The Devil Who Made Her That Way"
MPEG Stream: SMILEY MAXEDON "Red Hot Mama And An Ice Cold Beer"
MPEG Stream: CARL SMITH "There's A Bottle Where She Used To Be"

album cover VEGAS MARTYRS Vancouver Missing Women (Hospital Productions) cassette 8.98
Finally available, only on cassette, the second, and final, unreleased record from East Coast black metal merchants Vegas Martyrs, featuring Dominick Fernow, he of Ash Pool, Cold Cave, Prurient and Hospital Productions.
We dug the first VM record a lot, a twisted chunk of buzz drenched heaviness that to our ears straddled the line between noise rock and black metal. Raw and pulverizing, but still weirdly melodic and subtly poppy, and while record number two seems, at least on the surface, to be a bit more grim and harsh, those elements still loom large. The opener sets the stage with some serious hateful lo-fi blackness, definitely for fans of Bone Awl, Ash Pool, Ancestors and the like, it's the next track that reveals the group's soft white underbelly, with a long sprawling bit of looped melody, wreathed in electronic crackle and laced with minimal bits of percussion, a stretch of brooding hypnorock that could have been some weird Circle outtake, that is until the song explodes in a flurry of heaving riffage, crashing drums and bellowed vokills, but that looped melody still drives the song, giving it an AmRep noise rock vibe, albeit a few shades blacker.
And so it goes, the whole record a blurred dizzying barrage of tangled melodies, of mathy rhythms, of looped riffage, of fragmented shards of pop music buried under a continuous avalanche of crumbling electronics and feedback, wreathed in reverb and echo, tense and intense, all wound into tight yet, sprawling blasts of pop flecked avant math/noise/black metal weirdness. Awesome.

album cover WADA, TASHI Alignment (Yik Yak) lp 14.98
Here's a pretty stellar set of classical minimalism from the San Francisco based composer Tashi Wada. "Direct" repeats a series of five detuned notes on a violin, and with each repetition, Wada interjects incremental steps of harmonic overtones and dissonance. The rasping, singing drones build into an incredibly complex, yet wholly acoustic swarm that eagerly applies the classic strategies of the '60s minimalists (e.g. LaMonte Young, Tony Conrad, Alvin Lucier, and of course, Tashi Wada's father Yoshi Wada). The B-side contains "Retrograde" an exact reversal of the "Direct" composition, and through the act of flipping the record over and over again, there's an infinity loop / Moebius strip of harmonic drones that begins to evolve through the speakers.
Yik Yak pressed-up Alignment to be spun at 45 rpm. So, of course, we spun this at 33 rpm and fucking loved it! The raga-drones crawl slower, the overtones ring a little longer, and the whole mood of the composition is all the more ominous. Wada may not care for this bit of instruction on our part, but it's gotta be mentioned as it just sounds so good at that speed!

album cover WATER BORDERS Akko ep (Hungry For Power) 12" 12.98
Featuring members of now defunct SF outfit New Thrill Parade, and loosely affiliated with the now seemingly hyped to death 'witch house' movement (due mostly to their cd-r on witch house flagship label Disaro), Water Borders have evolved into one of the strangest and most fascinating bands in the bay area. On their last record they sounded a bit like Coil, but on this 4 song ep, they sound, well, like pretty much nobody else.
The title track is a thick miasma of glimmering high end, lush synth swells, looped percussion, haunting 'witchy' ambience, and deep crooned vocals, and a sound that grows more caustic and corrosive as it goes, the vocals following suit, getting more manic and maniacal, the sound suffocatingly intense and explosively freaked out. "Rome" features Glasser guesting, a creepy post industrial dronescape laced with fuzzy synths and crumbling melodies, Glasser's ethereal vocals locked in a doom-ed duet with those creepy bellowed WB vox, a gorgeously twisted electro-doom-cabaret ballad, melodic but also mesmerizingly damaged. That same track gets remixed and blossoms into something simultaneously more washed out and psychedelic, and more driving and propulsive, whirring loops, repetitive melodies, a low slung dubstep beat, some thick fuzzed out bass, some weirdo processed vox, all very spacey and groovy, sounding like a jam that some enterprising DJ might use to confuse the fuck out of a dancefloor.
And finally, the title track gets remixed by Petals, which just so happens to be former aQer Cameron, and whose mostly unheard recordings rule, it's only a matter of time before some big label catches on and so does the rest of the world, but for now, revel in this grim, freaked out, darkly psychedelic reworking, all low end thrum and pulse, some feral grunts and growls, everything gauzy and blurred and even more haunting that the original, a black ambient electro gloom creep, that builds to a thick industrial pound the whole thing held together by a fragmented melodic loop, that will stick in your head like crazy.
SO recommended. We definitely need to hear more Water Borders, and heck, more Petals while we're at it...
MPEG Stream: "Akko"
MPEG Stream: "Rome Ft. Glasser (Nero's Day At Disneyland Rmx)"
MPEG Stream: "Akko (Petals Rmx)"

album cover WHITE MOTH s/t (Angel Oven) cd 13.98
Not one, but TWO brand new records, brand new BANDS in fact, from the man behind avant black metal weirdos Pyramids, Sailors With Wax Wings and White Moth, both heavy and weird in their own way, and both featuring incredible ensemble casts, not so much guests and collaborators. In some ways it does both of these records/groups a bit of a disservice to lump them together, as most reviewers (including this one) do, but it's sort of unavoidable, for as different as these two records may sound, there are quite a few similarities conceptually and even sonically.
For those unfamiliar with Pyramids, we've been pretty smitten with these guys ever since we first heard their double disc debut on Hydra Head, a dizzying sonic concoction that infused black metal blasts with washed out shoegaze glimmer, swirling dreamy ambience, blurred slowcore drift, actually it might be more accurate to describe Pyramids as some sort of blissed out shoegaze slowcore outfit that flecked their dreamy sound with bits of black metal buzz, but either way, the sound these guys cooked up was heady and psychedelic and pushed our buttons BIG TIME. Everything we could want in a weird heavy band seemed to be all smeared into this gorgeously indistinct entity called Pyramids. And the interesting thing about that debut, is that it already sort of foreshadowed the genesis of these two new projects, by including a discs of remixes/reworkings featuring Swans drummer Ted Parsons, Toby Driver of Kay Dot, Colin Marston of Behold the Arctopus, James Plotkin of OLD and Khanate, Justin Broadrick of Jesu / Godflesh and French industrial black metal crushers Blut Aus Nord. And the recent 5 cassette box seemed to be another sign pointing at Pyramids' mainman R Loren's restlessness, and need to keep creating and collaborating, featuring hours and hours of interpretations and reimaginings. Which brings us to Loren's latest projects, a simultaneous release of two different record, by two different groups, each sonically disparate, yet inexorably linked, Sailors With Wax Wings, whose sound is like a more abstracted shoegazey Pyramids, and White Moth, whose sound has been described by Loren as "digital hardcore", but also infuses its drill and bass and industrial crunch with plenty of Pyramidal blissed out black metalisms (including vocals from John Gossard of Weakling and Asunder!).
White Moth is just as awesomely tripped out and confusional as Pyramids, with a lineup of collaborators as similarly expansive and eclectic as Sailors With Wax Wings: Alec Empire (Atari Teenage Riot), Shelby Cinca of Frodus (!), Lydia Lunch, Ashley Scott Jones (Treasure Fingers, Evol Intent), Sam Hillmer (the Zs), Jacob Kirkegaard, Christoph Heeman (H.N.A.S.), Colin Marston (Krallice, BeholdŠThe Arctopus), Dalek and of course John Gossard (Weakling, Asunder)...
White Moth splits its focus between textures/atmospheres/ambience, and beats, BIG gnarled drill and bass beats, mean hard heavy, self described 'digital hardcore' beats, but the opening track is surprisingly lovely, with its shimmery dreamy droney intro, its lush cascading guitars, a blissed out beat-heavy chunk of electronic pop, which is pretty much how the next few tracks play out, and to a certain extent the whole record, for all its purported black metal and digital hardcore elements, the resulting sound is electronic, and shoegazey, lots of buzzing guitars, but the buzz is muted and dreamy, giving the songs a more sort of washed out hazy glow, a surface of prismatic shimmer under which, beats and riffs churn and roil. It's not until the third track, that things get HEAVY, and even then, it sounds less like digital hardcore, and more like some sort of electronic flecked noise rock, howled almost emo vocals, soaring guitars, all on a bed of relentlessly stuttering squalls of sputter and crunch, occasionally slowing down to a doomy lumber, before smoothing out into a thick stretch of droned out guitars, and then finally some hushed ambient shimmer. "Shoot The Clock" features Dalek, and is a thick noisy swirl of guitar heavy hip hop skitter, that's definitely a perfect match, but then after all, it's the guy from Pyramids making this record, so he throws in some blown out saxophone, and layer after layer of throbbing psychedelic guitar buzz. The next three tracks are all cut from the same cloth, soaring swirling squalls of epic black metal guitar, over frantic frenetic beats, hovering somewhere right between blissed out prettiness and blown out electronic chaos, definitely leaning toward the former, even at its most extreme and punishing, it's like Loren has some pop gene, that no matter how hard he tries to subvert it, manages to worm its way into everything he does, but hell we're not complaining, it's precisely what makes this stuff so compelling, and listenable. We're all for a blackened wall of grinding beats and buzzing guitars, but when they're deftly assembled into something laced with melody and texture, even better!
The final track "To The Cathedral" is the one that features something you probably never thought you'd hear, the vocalist from Weakling, shrieking and howling over a bed of spastic electronic beats, all wrapped in gauzy streaks of blurred melody. and laced with dreamy crooned clean vocals, all tangled and chaotic and wonderfully blown out, the guitars here again are sort of black metal, but the buzz is more dreamy than grim, and you gotta listen close, cuz Gossard's vocals are buried WAY down in the mix, almost just another layer of buzz, and then it's all over in 3 minutes, a gorgeous blown out blast of hazy blackened metallic bliss pop electronica, which dissipates leaving a softly shimmering cloud of soft whirring ambient dronemusic to finish things off.
On first listen, White Moth sounds like a huge departure from Pyramids, and well removed from sister project Sailors With Wax Wings, but it only takes a few more plays to reveal that perhaps the differences are not as great as they seem, both White Moth and SWWW are buzzy and blissy, freaky and far out, psychedelic and atmospheric, brutal and beautiful, and while like Pyramids, both are probably WAY too far out to appeal to the true grim hordes, for everyone else, this is some bafflingly brilliant and abstract heaviness.
MPEG Stream: "There Was A Man With Tongue Of Wood"
MPEG Stream: "Two Women, Knitting"
MPEG Stream: "Blood And Torn Grass"
MPEG Stream: "Smiles Warm Red Light"

album cover WINTERFYLLETH The Mercian Sphere (Candlelight) cd 14.98
Record number two from these British neo-pagan black metallers, who along with Fen, Wodensthrone and a few others are fronting a new wave of British black metal, one that is lyrically concerned with nature and Anglo Saxon history, but that sonically is mostly concerned with crafting buzzing majestic blackened epics, which they do here big time.
Even more fully realized than their debut, The Mercian Sphere offers up sprawling epic after sprawling epic, right out of the gate, a brief bit of chanting leads into some furious heaviness, soaring melodies, buzzing guitars and some intense and complex drum pound, the arrangements are serpentine and intricate, the band swerving from lighting speed blast, to loping midtempo march and back again, melodies spiraling skyward, the vocals powerful and gruff, not screechy like most black metal, and as this is pagan BM after all, eventually, the clean vocals come in, which can be embarrassing in many cases, but here it's masterful, moving and emotional, not that far removed from Enslaved or the like, but maybe even better and more melodic here. In fact, the sound of Winterfylleth is a bit like some strange melding of Enslaved, Negura Bunget, Ulver and Drudkh, but with their own Decidedly British bent.
There are plenty of interludes, folky breakdowns, acoustic guitars, strings, haunting ambience, but unlike lots of bands, the atmosphere doesn't reside exclusively in the interludes, the songs themselves ooze atmosphere, the clean vocals, the chanting, over churning downtuned chug and crashing bombast, as moody and epic as anything. And beyond the blast and the buzz, Winterfylleth are capable of crafting some supremely sublime and melodic metal, "Defending The Realm" offers up what has to be the catchiest bit of black metal we've heard in ages, butted right up against some blazing flurries of insectoid buzz, "The Ruin" on the surface is all blackness and fury, but it's infused with all manner of melody and texture, pathos and anguish, the vocals especially tortured and intense, more like Neurosis or a band like that then typical black metal, the closing track perfectly encapsulating the power and energy of the band, beginning with a long stretch of warm folk strum, before a stretch of grim blasting blackness, only to slip smoothly into another impossibly catchy and melodic part, that is groovy and hooky, without losing any of its brutality or intensity, only to finally wind down with a mix of the two acoustic guitars, chugging riffage, and more of those gorgeous clean vocals.
Epic, majestic and fucking great.
MPEG Stream: "Gateway To The Dark Peak / The Solitary One Waits For Grace (The Wayfarer Pt I)"
MPEG Stream: "Awakens He, Bereft Of Kinsmen (The Wayfarer Pt II)"
MPEG Stream: "Defending The Realm"

album cover WITCH Introduction (QDK / Normal) cd 16.98
Been waiting for this one. Shadoks (or Normal, or Q.D.K. Media, or whatever they're called) reissued Witch's awesome Lazy Bones!! album a while back, then did this one on (crazy expensive limited) vinyl, now here at last is the much more reasonably priced cd, yay! Along with a reissue of Tirogo's Float, also reviewed this list, both of which should make all fans of '70s African garage psych action super extra ultra happy...
Witch's Introduction was, as the title suggests, this Zambian band's debut, originally released in 1973, and it's such a damn delight, living up to the high hopes we had for it. "Zam Rock" at its best - not that we've ever heard any Zam Rock we didn't like, so far the reissues have been uniformly rad! As with Witch's later Lazy Bones!!, the fuzzed out wah wah'd guitars run rampant, the rhythms are infectious, the organ playing unrestrained, the English language lyrics charming (song titles include "Feeling High", "Like A Chicken" and "See Your Mama"... how could this record NOT be good?). Need we go on? If Lazy Bones!! rocked your world, this should be enough of an introduction to Introduction! While '75's Lazy Bones!! is a bit heavier, any fan will dig this too.
The cd booklet includes vintage photos, plus liner notes by Now-Again / Stones Throw's Egon, who was instrumental in making these legit Witch reissues happen. From those liner notes, we learn that the name Witch was actually an acronym, standing for We Intend To Cause Havoc! How cool is that?
MPEG Stream: "Introduction"
MPEG Stream: "You Better Know"

album cover WOE Quietly, Undramatically (Candlelight) cd 14.98
We were so obsessed with the first Woe record, A Spell For The Death Of Man, a black metal record that was strangely melodic, and peppered its blast and buzz with post rock melodies, and referenced Husker Du and Bastro as much as it did black metal. So not only were we thrilled that this one man band got signed to Candlelight, but that there was a new record on the horizon, which was revealed to be this, the enigmatically titled Quietly, Undramatically, which as you might imagine is neither.
Much like the first record, Quietly begins about as unblack metal as one could imagine, keening guitars, pounding tribal drums, definitely way more math or post than black, but the slow building tension was gradually ratcheted up, some guttural vocal bellows, the whole thing so melodic and epic, and then POW, a classic metal break and the record explodes into some of the fastest most furious black buzz we've heard, constantly shifting into something almost punkish, or slipping in little bits of classic metal, but barreling along ferociously, peppering the blasting buzz with some incredible drumming and some twisted gnarled riffage.
The title track is 8 minutes of pure melodic black bliss, exactly what we loved so much about the first record, sure it's heavy and the drums are blasting, but the melodies soar, and the harmonies are gorgeous, reimagined, this could have been some sort of indie pop song, but here it's something totally other, epic and majestic and so heavy, slipping into midtempo breakdowns that are just as melodic as the main body of the song, relentless but so catchy, 8 minutes is way too short.
The rest of the record is also melodic, but not so obviously so, although "A Treatise On Control" definitely comes close, with its soaring melodies, and super intense crescendos, sounding almost emo at times, super passionate and emotional, a noise rock / screamo / black metal hybrid that totally slays, and while still definitely black metal, manages to elevate the usual tropes and create something distinctly unique.
Lest the true black hordes be discouraged, the final two tracks are way more more furious and frenzied, but even at their most frantic, those songs remain infused with Woe's masterful melodic sense, and a pop element that seems to underpin the otherwise grim proceedings, although perhaps it's not so noticeable that it would distract the casual black metaller. But for us, it only further cements the fact that Woe is making some of the coolest, most distinctive and innovative black metal around, and thus this comes totally and unequivocally recommended to anyone who likes their black metal to not necessarily sound like all the other black metal out there.
MPEG Stream: "The Road From Recovery"
MPEG Stream: "Quietly, Undramatically"
MPEG Stream: "Hatred Is Our Heart"

album cover YOSHIDA, TATSUYA (AND VARIOUS ARTISTS) Devil From The East: A Decade Of Yoshida Tatsuya (Bloody Butterfly) cd 16.98
Another literal warehouse find, from the same place where we found the (now all gone) Leningrad Blues Machine cds listed last time, and it's another one for you Japanophiles, being a compilation released in 1994 of tracks by various and sundry bands that Ruins mastermind drummer/vocalist Tatsuya Yoshida had played in, up 'til then. Since Yoshida was (& still is!) such a crucial part of the Japanese psych/prog/noise underground, the list of bands is kinda nuts. Here's the entire lineup: Ruins, YBO2, Dissecting Table, High Rise, ZOA, Torture Garden (John Zorn's Japanese version of Naked City, also featuring Eye Yamatsuka), Gerogerigegege, Vasilisk, Malinconia, Phaidia, Aburadako, Tairikuotoko vs. Sanmyakuonna, Koenjihyakkei, Zeni Geva, and one more we couldn't figure out the English name of, plus two solo tracks by Yoshida in one-man-band mode (including the very first track, home-recorded by Yoshida way back in '83). Wow. So as well as being a Yoshida collection, it's also pretty good sampler of the Japanese underground circa '83-'93.
Obviously, in many cases, these weren't all HIS projects, the way Ruins are. Yoshida's just such an amazing drummer, that lots of bands wanted him to play with them - even the infamous masturbating Gerogerigegege! Yoshida's mock-operatic vocal stylings also come into play upon occasion (and he plays bass in one band, instead of drums). Although as you might expect, technical prog stuff is a big element of this, the range of styles is surprising, and hard to define, it includes avant-punk, gothic cabaret music, screaming hardcore skronk, industrial noise, garage doom-psych, chaotic RIO funk, and alt-alt-alt-J-pop... We're pretty sure almost all the tracks are exclusive to this comp, almost all of 'em recorded live, not taken from albums. In many cases, they may be the only recorded documentation of Yoshida playing with a particular unit. The songs we did recognize (whether live or the actual studio versions) are all from pretty rare discs anyways. And of course this out of print cd itself is rare too. We checked online, and there's places selling used copies for around $50!! So, Ruins/Yoshida/Japanese music nerds, you'd best act fast! We only found a few... And yes, we'll keep digging at that warehouse and see what else interestin' we might get lucky and discover.
MPEG Stream: ZOA "Disillusive"
MPEG Stream: DISSECTING TABLE "I Get My Slogan"
MPEG Stream: TATSUYA YOSHIDA "First Flight"

album cover ZOLA JESUS Valusia (Sacred Bones) cd 11.98
Crescendo. That's the word that most aptly fits Valusia, the latest ep by wunderkind Nika Rosa Danilova, aka Zola Jesus. Building layer upon layer upon layer of synths and drums and vocals, Valusia, honestly, gets better the more times we spin it. Her career is on the upswing as well, with no signs of a de-crescendo: tours with Fever Ray, Wolf Parade, among other big names. The four songs on this 18 minute record stand with the best Zola Jesus has released. The "cleaner" sound of the Stridulum ep carries over into this new recording, with some slight throwbacks into the dirtier drum machine sounds of The Spoils. "Poor Animal" opens the ep with swishy synths that jump straight into a pulsing four-on-the-floor kick drum beat. This expands into something a bit bouncier, and the layers of synths and vocals just keep coming until it's almost overwhelming. Just when your head rolls back in sonic ecstasy, however, she pulls back a bit, only to punch back in with a perfectly timed and executed outro. The sounds on "Tower," the synths especially, sound closer akin to The Spoils: a bit gothier, crunchier, less poppy, her voice drenched in reverb. A slow dirge dedicated to gothic loneliness. The chorus of "Sea Talk" is so catchy and sad it hurts to listen to it, but it hurts more NOT to listen to it. Finishing out the four songs is "Lightstick", what one aQ-er has affectionately dubbed "goth girl piano recital." Almost droney, it bangs out the same basic piano riff for four minutes, with layers of synths and vocals fading in and out to provide the landscape. Any fan of Zola Jesus' work to date needs this record. Any of you that haven't heard of her (really?), this release is an excellent introduction to one of the most talented young songwriters working today.
MPEG Stream: "Sea Talk"
MPEG Stream: "Poor Animal"

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album cover AFRICAN MUSIC MACHINE Black Water Gold (Soul Power) lp 12.98
This awesome slice of funk is now available on wax.
This is some seriously smoking vintage funk out of New Orleans from the early '70s. An 8-piece outfit, they were best known as the studio band for the Jewel / Paula Soul Power label, they backed up the likes of Fontella Bass, Little Johnny Taylor and Bobby Paterson. But even without a singer their music sounded exactly the way you want your funk to sound: raw, hot and gritty. While they never received the same acclaim as folks like The Meters or The JB's, this is still some top notch real-deal funk.
MPEG Stream: "Black Water Gold"
MPEG Stream: "Tropical"

album cover BIANCHI, MAURIZIO / M. B. Das Platinzeitalter (Incuna Bulum) cd 14.98
NOW ON CD!!
The mission has been terminated, once again. Without giving any reasons, Maurizio Bianchi has given up producing music. Of course, this is not the first time that Bianchi had ceased operations, as he famously disappeared from sight around 1984 after a frenzy of releases beginning around 1978. Those albums, in particular Symphony For A Genocide and The Plain Truth, as well as William Bennett's antics on two early MB records released on Come Organisation, secured his status as a heavy weight of Industrial Culture alongside Throbbing Gristle, Nurse With Wound, Ramleh, and Whitehouse; and the demonstrative cessation only served to buttress his mythology. But by the late '90s, Bianchi began recording once again, gradually returning to the frenzied pace he set during his earlier peak of activity. Unfortunately, the new work has not always been up to snuff, as he didn't seem to turn down any collaborative offer and didn't seem too interested in the finer points of editing his content. BUT, there have been some real gems amidst the chaff.
Hence, we announce Das Platinzeitalter. A quintessential Bianchi construction, this album meditates upon the minutiae of crumbling systems, returning to a common theme of Bianchi's classic period -- the cancerous body faced with a slow demise through ancillary pathogens. His sounds are blackened ambiences culled from stacked grey-smear loops and elongated ashen drones, some of which have been purported to originate from Jozef Van Wissem's lute recordings, although you'll be hard pressed to find anything lute-like in these shadowing sounds. Ominous. Grim. Foreboding. Oppressive. Neurotic. These are all apt descriptions to Bianchi's best work; and those all apply here, but with the strange twist that this ambience is somewhat contemplative, as if Bianchi's death-obsessed soundtrack is more of an enveloping invitation instead of a scream of horror.
MPEG Stream: "Aurea Aetas"
MPEG Stream: "Die Erbsunde"

album cover CHALARD, JACKY Je Suis Vivant, Mais J'aipeur De Gilbert Deflez (Finders Keepers / B-Music) cd 15.98
Boy, were we looking forward to this: A strange 1974 French sci-fi based concept album that claims comparisons to both Alain Goraguer (La Planete Sauvage) and Jean-Claude Vannier (L'Enfant Assassin Des Mouches, Melody Nelson), by some composer we had never heard of, Jacky Chalard, perhaps originally made under the assumed identity Gilbert Deflez (the booklet has the puzzling backstory). We were blown away by the opening number, "L'Agonie", almost fulfilling the promise of the B-Music folks' claims. But then almost all the following tracks are either spoken word, or strange radio plays in French (sort of in the same wacky spirit as Les Maledictus Sound), which we wouldn't mind normally, except the spoken stuff is on almost every track on the record, and after awhile, we want to just hear the backing music alone, because it IS so good! Occasionally, there is a French woman singing which is nice and there's a couple of Massiera-ish disco pop numbers, but overall, the narrative aspects becomes just a bit tedious. At least it's in French, though, that helps. We're sure this is a must have for some folks who dig the stranger realms of french prog-pop, but we can't recommend it as highly as La Planete Sauvage, Jean-Paul Massiera, or Jean-Claude Vannier.
MPEG Stream: "L'Agonie"
MPEG Stream: "La Collecte Des Couers"
MPEG Stream: "Si Je T'Offrais Une Branche D'Amour"
MPEG Stream: "Pollution"
MPEG Stream: "Super Man - Super Cool"

album cover CLINIC Bubblegum (Domino) cd 14.98
Clinic are a band who hit the scene with such a refreshing splash of perfected art-rock a decade ago and while they haven't really released anything bad, it can be argued that they did make the same record several times and the freshness that we once felt had turned a bit stale. But with Bubblegum the band seems to have injected a bit of new life and explored a broader sound palette to add to their distinctive sound. And while we can't deny that these songs sound cool there's still something that seems to be missing, that keeps us from getting too excited.
MPEG Stream: "I'm Aware"
MPEG Stream: "Freemason Waltz"

album cover COOLIES Master (Chapter Music) lp 17.98
As promised, now available on vinyl!
We do love our lo-fi New Zealand indie rock, and South Auckland's Coolies apparently realize that we like it best really lo-fi... and noisy... 'cause that's what they deliver! We're not surprised we dig 'em so much, 'cause their current drummer happens to be Stefan Neville, of AQ-fave NZ noise-popsters Pumice (and The Futurians, etc.), and he also recorded, mixed and edited the material on Master. Otherwise consisting of girls (Tina and Sjionel), who started the band as teens, Coolies have been around since the late '90s, releasing a 7" back in 2000, and a 10-song tape recorded on a ghetto blaster... but this is their first full-length cd, comprising music made over the past four or so years since Stefan joined the band. Raucous, energetic, poppy, punky, "annoying" (their word), "brilliant" (also theirs, but we tend to agree), the ten tracks on Master, most of 'em short sharp shocks, should appeal to NZ noise nerds, as well as peeps into today's burgeoning garage punk girl-groop soundz like Vivian Girls, Brilliant Colors, Grass Widow... the DIYness of this also brings to mind those Messthetics comps of '80s UK cassette culture. Oh and we're also reminded of Kleenex/Liliput. In short, the Coolies are cool. If you're in the mood for some raw, angular, urgently rhythmic "pop" songs that is! From the same label that brought us recent the Record Of The Week by Fabulous Diamonds, another Down Under fave...
MPEG Stream: "Let's Pretend"
MPEG Stream: "Ghost Baby"
MPEG Stream: "Searching"

album cover FLYING LOTUS Pattern + Grid World (Warp) cd ep 12.98
A frenetic 7 song ep that finds Flying Lotus building more nervous kinetic rhythms and lurching arcade game textures than on past releases (though we got some hint of it on the first half of his last full length Cosmogramma) This reminds us a bit of a Zomby's One Foot Ahead of the Other, but on a more wonky tip than Zomby's 8-bit rave-ups. We're not sure if this is just a moment to release some pent-up anxious energy or a sneak peek into a possible full blown assault on their next outing. Got to give them credit for their exploration and experimentation, but we find ourselves missing the majestic downtempo moments from past releases.
MPEG Stream: "Kill Your Co-workers"
MPEG Stream: "Time Vampires"
MPEG Stream: "Camera Day"

album cover INNERCITY Arupa Travels (Why So Serious) 3 x cassette 22.00
LAST COPIES!!
Ultra limited, sprawling triple cassette collection of murky, mechanical hypnogogic loopscapes, from Belgian soundscaper and synth minimalist Innercity aka Hans Dens. While on his previous cd-r for Ruralfaune, he crafted a sound more in keeping with the current movement of blissed out synthkraut dronemusic makers, on Arupa Travels, Dens' sound falls more in line with the other Innercity releases we've heard. Gloriously tripped out lo-fi blisscapes, rife with decaying loops, streaks of blurred noise, buried rhythms, strange sped up voices, crumbling low end drones, field recordings, Jeck like skipping-record landscapes of dusty crackle and muted melody, ethereal expanses of gorgeous hazy ambience and heaving slabs of rhythmic crunch, lush swells of soft noise, peppered with mechanical creaks and layered whirs, a bleary eyed soft focus drift, rendered in chunks of low fidelity hum, mysterious bits of soundtracky post rock meander, gauzy clouds of sci-fi synth, haunting stretches of ominous cinematic shimmer, and deep dense slabs of otherworldly psychedelic minimalist drift. So fantastic.
ULTRA LIMITED!!! Only 30 copies, we have about a dozen left. Comes in a cool oversized plastic clamshell case (like they use for language tapes), with a printed fold out insert.

album cover JEX THOTH Witness (I Hate Records) 12" 24.00
Now, as it should be, this is here on vinyl, import (and import-priced)...
Yay, we mean uh oh, we mean yay, heck it's a new ep from the controversial ('round here anyway) psychedelic doom chanteuse Jex Thoth and her band of the same name. Controversial? Well, let's just say her trademark theatrical vocal stylings are a subjective, love 'em or hate 'em proposition, though we all pretty much agree the band's heavy, hazy music is awesome. And among the AQ staff, Allan at least has finally succumbed entirely (it was inevitable) and now proudly declares himself a true Jex Thoth fan, which means he was quite happy to see 'em play last week at the Roadburn Festival in Holland. In live performance, Jex's apparent thespian background proved quite effective, she had excellent stage presence not to mention witchy sex appeal, cape-draped and with candles burning. They played to a packed house and it was quite obvious they had lots of fans in the audience!
We also know Jex has plenty of fans out there among the AQ faithful, and they'll be pleased with Witness, comprised of three new recordings, suitably dramatic and lugubrious, clocking in at just over 15 minutes total: "Raven Nor The Spirit", "Slow Rewind", and "Mr. Rainbow", the latter a cover of a song by '70s European art rockers Slapp Happy (a good choice, if you didn't know better you'd think it was a Jex Thoth original). Bearing a dedication to the late Jack Rose, and again graced with cover art by Reverend Bizarre's Sami "Albert Witchfinder" Hynninen, this ep is a fine continuation of the eccentric underground doom-prog sounds heard on Jex Thoth's 2008 self-titled full-length, although apparently there's been another lineup change in the band since that release (for one thing, Silas Paine, aka Jewelled Antler's Glenn Donaldson, is no longer playing guitar). However, they still sound like a bit like Curved Air taking downers with Electric Wizard (or something), totally vintage, bass heavy '70s psych sounds with prominent Hammond organ action, both bombastic and atmospheric, over which Jex's cleanly-sung, clearly enunciated vocals soar. Probably if you're at all interested in this ep, you've already got the earlier full-length, and if you liked that, you'll like this, need we say much more? Uh, how 'bout for fans of Jacula, Blood Ceremony, The Devil's Blood, and Witchcraft (capital 'W' and otherwise)?
MPEG Stream: "Raven Nor The Spirit"
MPEG Stream: "Mr. Rainbow"

album cover LILAC s/t (self-released) cd-r 3.98
Fuzzed-out, jangly garage-pop dreaminess from SF's Lilac, new project from guitarist of local favorites Bridez. Heavy hitting distorted guitars strummed under dual male/female vocals, distant organ haze fluttering about, amp melting leads sailing over bratty lyrics and pure punk rock attitude, all thrown together into a super catchy, blurred-out rock and roll bonanza.
MPEG Stream: "So Young"
MPEG Stream: "Cars"

album cover NADJA + OVO The Life And Death Of A Wasp (Vendetta) lp 15.98
Now on vinyl (and the cd version went out of print already).
Ever wonder what it would sound like if Yoko Ono joined doomdrone duo Nadja? No? Well, we're guessing it would sound a little like this collaboration between Canadian doomgaze two piece Nadja and Italian chaotic weirdo avant punk duo OvO. The overall sound here seems to fall more toward the Nadja end of the sonic spectrum, but OvO definitely add their own twisted vibe, the result something dark, and creepy, and abstract, and occasionally very heavy and very fucked up and awesome. Separated into four movements and based on some strange concept about killing a wasp in a cup of coffee, the record begins with some loping heavy slowcore, big drums, lush clean guitar chords, and all sorts of swirling weirdness, detuned melodies, harmonics, strange FX, long stretches of ambience, buried guttural vocals, streaks of feedback, it's not until nearly the end when OvO vocalist Stefania lets loose, with her childlike Ono-ish trill, operatic and creepy as hell, sometimes slipping into a monstrous gurgle, but just as often wailing like a banshee, while the music churns underneath. Can't help but be reminded of Bloody Panda too, the same sort of weird vocal / heaviness hybrid.
The second and third movements are shorter, and continue on in the same vein as the opener, with loping post rock rhythms, swirling blackened ambience, haunting chiming melodies, thick guitar thrum, more FX, Stefania's vocals never quite getting to the maniacal shriek stage, instead, slipping from hushed whisper, to almost black metal rasp, to cookie monster gurgle, the vibe almost Goblin-ish, heavy and dark, but cinematic and really creepy, the third movement the heaviest so far, a lurching doom, trudging grimly beneath wild drumming, and even wilder vocals, until finally, the 13 minute denouement, the final movement, which begins like some horror movie soundtrack, all fragmented melancholy melody, and deep heaving low end, droney and so ominous, gradually building to a strange industrial style drone-plod, which eventually explodes into something primal and tribal, pounding drums, those trilled super dramatic vox, an intense cathartic climax, which eases back into that ominous drift, this time with the vocals in full effect, the result, dark, bizarre, intense and fantastically out there!
MPEG Stream: "Movement 1: A Wasp Flying Around The Sugar Jar"
MPEG Stream: "Movement 4: Drowned In Coffee"

album cover PROCER VENEFICUS How The Heather Moonlit Shivers (Just Another Winter) 2lp 29.00
BACK IN STOCK!
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 SALEM King Night (IAMSOUND) lp 14.98
One of last week's Records Of The Week, NOW ON LP!!!
Before we get into our usual wordy meandering, hyperbolic gushing and tangential ruminating, we oughta come right out and say it first thing, this record is fucking incredible. One of the coolest weirdest records we've heard in ages. Twisted and blown out, weirdly melodic and groovy, dense and washed out and otherworldly and fucking bizarre, equal parts blissed out hypnogogic shoegazey drift, lurching, chopped and screwed style Southern crunk, majestic choral dreaminess, blurred beat heavy collaged electronica, and sample heavy blown out synthbuzz epicness. In some alternate universe alien world, THIS is the music that comes blasting out of booming systems in tricked out lowriders, some sort of glorious, blindingly blissy club music that fuses stuttery stumbly beats, to crumbling distorted low end, and thick swaths of synths so blown out the whole record sounds like it might collapse, mix in soaring operatic vocal samples, low slung bass buzz, jittery drum skitter, and mush mouthed slowed down 'rapping', smear and blur it all into one glorious, warped and warbly cough syrup fever dream epic, and that's basically Salem's King Night.
By now, most folks have at lest heard of 'witch house' a new 'genre' that Salem seem to represent, willingly or not, it's hard to say, but alongside other groups like oOoOO, witch house has received the sort of blog hype (and mainstream press) that immediately turns us off, and made us want to hate it, but so far, everything we've heard, we've dug, big time, but nothing has kicked out ass as much as this Salem record. It's so weird, and twisted and bizarre, it's sort of hard to believe that THIS is the record people are talking about, it makes sense that we'd love it, and that it would be an aQuarius Record Of The Week, but the New York Times? John Q. Public? Fuck it, like we always say, we'd way rather here stuff like this on the radio anyway. But regardless of the hype, or the backlash, or any of the nonmusical stuff, it all boils down to how ingenious and utterly OUT THERE this is. Just check out the title track, some weird garbled voices, some skittery drum machine, some ravey synths, choral voices, and then BAM, the song explodes, the bass a throbbing slab of rumbling crunch, the drum machine weirdly awkward, but the perfect compliment to the tangled melodies, and those soaring distorted operatic voices, the track a total epic, building and building, like the score for some insane alien sci-fi slow motion dancefloor martial arts battle, you can almost visualize fishtanks exploding into galaxies of exploding glass shards, while bodies fly threw the clouds of glistening sparkle, everything seemingly floating weightless. So good. We could listen to this track FOREVER (and pretty much have since we got it). But then comes "Asia" with its fat stuttery beat, and girlish vocals buried beneath a miasma of crumbling distorted crunch, and woozy synth melodies and confusional drum programming, sounding a bit like some over the top M83 jam gone haywire, or maybe some lost Cocteau Twins B-side remixed by Alec Empire and Black Moth Super Rainbow, everything fuzzy and washed out and gauzy, murky and dark, but still suffused with a weird sort of sunshininess. "Frost" is more of the same, even prettier and blissier, taking Sigur Ros and dipping it in a vat of gristly distortion and Carpenter sci-fi synths, and then stretching it out into a billowing sheet of diaphanous dream pop.
It's not until "Sick" that we get a glimpse of Salem's other side, their chopped and screwed, sippin' sizurp, alien slow motion shoegaze hip hop side, the music remains essentially the same, maybe not quite as dense, still swirls of female vocals, a strange otherworldly chorale, but over the top of this sonic cotton candy , a 'rapper' delivers his mutated pitch shifted flow, mouthful of marbles, finger on the record slowing it do a crawl, creating a weirdly dreamy draggy druggy hip hop / dream pop hybrid. And the rest of the record seems to drift lazily between those two sounds, "Release Da Boar" finds Salem offering up another cloud of dopesmoke dreaminess, fuzz drenched dirge pop bliss, which gives way to "Trapdoor", another slow motion, DJ Screw style cough syrup remix, laid over a warm warped and warbly bit of lysergic ambience and buzzing rave synth swirl. "Hound" is like the title track redux, so thick and crumblingly distorted, but so blown out and beautiful, "Tair" is a gloriously weird spaced out, handclapped chunk of shoegaze rap, and "Killer" sounds like Joy Division or Interpol run through a million distortion pedals, and set to a Casio keyboard drum machine beat, only to shrug off some of the crunch and warble, leaving a gorgeous stretch of plaintive low slung doom pop, that hints at the poppiness that lurks beneath the surface on King Night, only to finish the record in a squall of synth buzz, mumbled vox and drum machine chaos.
Wow. What else can we say. This sounded so good in the store, and even better in headphones, but it wasn't until we got in the car, and cranked this as loud as it would go, that it finally sunk in, and suddenly, we were bouncing up and down in a tricked out lowrider on some alien planet in some alternate universe, our booming system BOOMING, getting totally lost in these twisted and gorgeously damaged sounds. WAY WAY recommended.
MPEG Stream: "King Night"
MPEG Stream: "Asia"
MPEG Stream: "Trapdoor"
MPEG Stream: "Redlights"
MPEG Stream: "Killer"

album cover SUN CITY GIRLS Dante's Disneyland Inferno (Get Back) 3lp 56.00
Get Back recently reissued the Sun City Girls' fabulous 330,003 Crossdressers From Beyond The Rig Veda opus on (triple) vinyl, to the delight of many (despite the high price tag). Now they've also just reissued Dante's Disneyland Inferno as well. Both albums had been done in the vinyl format before, by Locust, but went out of print ages ago. As did the original cd versions, which date from 1996. Of these two releases, though, Dante's Disneyland inferno is less likely to appear on anyone's "Sun City Girls album to own if you had to pick only one" choice. As we said when it originally came out, DDI is pretty much the Girls "spoken word" album, one of 'em anyway (though not without its share of singing, of which there is much on here too), and as such is generally only good for one or two listens... Dominated primarily by the voice of the late Charley Gocher and accompanied by himself, the Bishop Bros., Scott Colburn + some special guests, the album isn't necessarily bad, it just doesn't lend itself to many repeat listens. The musical accompaniment to Gocher's sordid and seedy tales run the gamut of the SCG musical experience: off kilter beat jazz, improv skronkery, world music tomfoolery and gloomy-folk freakout. And the poetics / songs themselves are two parts Grimm's Fairy Tales, one part Current 93 and 1.666 parts Ethel Merman on PCP. The end result of which is like a seriously disillusioned Tom Waits or a Satanically possessed Violent Femmes, take your pick.
That said, we know some folks are gonna HAVE to have this, so here it is, in a nice box package like 330,003. Definitely worth a spin or two at least. And who knows, maybe it's better than we remember. At the time, we thought Godspeed You Black Emperor featured too much "spoken word" too!

album cover SUPERCHUNK Double Live On Valencia poster 25.00
As most of you know, last week we were lucky enough to have the mighty Superchunk, perform a super intimate, and totally amazing instore, playing new songs, which sounded amazing acoustic, and old gems that were so great to hear (including their incredible version of Stephen Merritt's "100,000 Fireflies"). After the instore, they went across the street to Lost Weekend Video, where they screened the Superchunk tour movie Quest For Sleep, and then had a Q+A afterwards.
In honor of the Valencia Street Superchunk doubleshot, aQuarius and Lost Weekend had some super swank posters printed up, total classic old school rock posters, eye popping and colorful, art by Reuben Rude, screen printed on nice thick paper, blue and red, that sort of almost 3-D feel, they were limited to just 89 copies, each one numbered and signed, we sold most of them the day of the instore, but we have a handful left, and figured some folks who don't live in SF or couldn't make it, might still want one of these. They're pretty nice, and as they say "suitable for framing", we have 8 or 10 left, and that's all we'll ever have.
Also, if you order one of these with other stuff, they'll have to ship separately, in a tube (they're too nice to fold!), which means another separate shipping charge...

album cover SUPERCHUNK No Pocky For Kitty (Merge) lp 17.98
It's pretty much impossible to overestimate the importance of North Carolina's Superchunk on the indie rock landscape, by now most folks, even those with just the most fleeting interest in popular music, are probably familair with these scrappy punk pop indie rockers, heck, Superchunk frontman Mac McCaughan was recently a special guest on NPR's Wait Wait Don't Tell Me, which is about as mainstream as it gets. Yet even now, playing festivals, headlining huge shows, showing up on NPR, selling thousands and thousands of records, the band still SOUNDS the way they did when they were a little DIY rock band from Chapel Hill, and the music is just as energetic and fun and crazy catchy, which makes sense really, Superchunk definitely did it their way, 20 years and still going strong, van tour after van tour, sweaty club shows, lots of 7"s that many of us still treasure, and let's not forget, launching, and to this day still running, one of the coolest (and one of the most important) indie labels around, Merge Records.
But as they say, it's all about the music, and holy crap, does Superchunk make some of the catchiest, hookiest, most rocking, supercharged indie rock around. STILL. But if there was a pantheon for greatest indie rock records of all time, up there alongside Slint's Spiderland, Pavement's Slanted And Enchanted, Sunny Day Real Estate's Diary, Guided By Voices ' Bee Thousand, etc, we would most definitely have to include Superchunk's second and third albums, No Pocky For Kitty and On The Mouth.
While their 1990 self titled debut included the ALL TIME indie rock anthem "Slack Motherfucker", the band's first single and perhaps defining moment, everything great about Superchunk got even greater with No Pocky For Kitty. The sound tighter, more rocking, the songs EVEN CATCHIER. Every single track on No Pocky is an indie rock classic. The opening salvo of "Skip Steps 1 & 3", Seed Toss" and "Cast Iron" is pretty impossible to beat, the crunchy LOUD guitars, the pounding drums, Mac's high emotive vocals, and hooks, all over the goddamn place, so catchy it plays like a greatest hits more than an album proper. Jangly and bittersweet, gorgeous melodies, incredible lyrics, all of these songs destined for mixtapes for sure.
And remember when we said those first three songs were tough to beat? Well, that's only if you don't consider the rest of the record. Highlights include "Punch Me Harder" is a driving distorted rocker, with ridiculously hooky guitars, and a chorus that kills, and a verse that's just as catchy, and record closer "Throwing Things", which is just so perfect, midtempo and dreamy, with a keening main melody that will get stuck in your head forEVER.
Easily one of our favorite records ever, indie rock or otherwise!
MPEG Stream: "Skip Steps 1 & 3"
MPEG Stream: "Seed Toss"
MPEG Stream: "Cast Iron"
MPEG Stream: "Throwing Things"

album cover SUPERCHUNK On The Mouth (Merge) lp 17.98
It's pretty much impossible to overestimate the importance of North Carolina's Superchunk on the indie rock landscape, by now most folks, even those with just the most fleeting interest in popular music, are probably familair with these scrappy punk pop indie rockers, heck, Superchunk frontman Mac McCaughan was recently a special guest on NPR's Wait Wait Don't Tell Me, which is about as mainstream as it gets. Yet even now, playing festivals, headlining huge shows, showing up on NPR, selling thousands and thousands of records, the band still SOUNDS the way they did when they were a little DIY rock band from Chapel Hill, and the music is just as energetic and fun and crazy catchy, which makes sense really, Superchunk definitely did it their way, 20 years and still going strong, van tour after van tour, sweaty club shows, lots of 7"s that many of us still treasure, and let's not forget, launching, and to this day still running, one of the coolest (and one of the most important) indie labels around, Merge Records.
But as they say, it's all about the music, and holy crap, does Superchunk make some of the catchiest, hookiest, most rocking, supercharged indie rock around. STILL. But if there was a pantheon for greatest indie rock records of all time, up there alongside Slint's Spiderland, Pavement's Slanted And Enchanted, Sunny Day Real Estate's Diary, Guided By Voices ' Bee Thousand, etc, we would most definitely have to include Superchunk's second and third albums, No Pocky For Kitty and On The Mouth.
On the Mouth was Superchunk's third record, originally released in 1993, and was in the unenviable task of following up the near perfect and crazy iconic No Pocky For Kitty, but it's like the band was already totally prepared to wipe that skeptical smirk of the faces of all non bleievers, cuz right out of the gate comes "Precision Auto", maybe one of their raddest jams yet, fast and furious, with those immediately recognizable intertwining crunchy guitar harmonies, and then yeah, another chorus any other band would sell their souls for. And like No Pocky before it, the band basically dares themselves to keep the rest of the record as kick as and cartchy as the opener, and damn if they don't toally pull it off. Some of our other all time Superchunk faves are here, "Mower", a loping hook filled churn, with thick buzzing bass, crashing guitars a verse and a chorus both competing for the catchiness crown. And then there's "The Question Is How Fast", a ridiculously anthemic jam, as supercharged as anything they've written, but also subtly moody, with woozy serpentine melodies, more kick ass drumming, and a cool halftime lead-in straight into another killer chorus, and at the risk of getting way too repetitive, just more hooks and more catchiness...
Seventeen years later, and On The Mouth could have come out yesterday, and somehow still sounds better than about 99 percent of the the other indie rock out there...
MPEG Stream: "Precision Auto"
MPEG Stream: "Mower"
MPEG Stream: "The Question Is How Fast"

album cover TAMARYN The Waves (Mexican Summer) lp 24.00
Now here on vinyl. Sorry, not cheap.
Sometimes a record can hit you in the face like a punch, other times the music can pierce you like a needle, sinking deep into a sensitive place without you even realizing it's still in your flesh. Tamaryn's debut album, The Waves, is like the latter. It's so light, pain and tension melt away while you listen, but also so sharp and brilliant, you can't get it out of your head. Strongly evoking the slowcore brilliance of My Bloody Valentine, the layered reverb on the guitars give the effect of distance while at the same time the dreamy vocals keep the listener close. A veteran of many outstanding bands (Vue, The Audience), Rex John Shelverton's guitar playing is tempered perfectly throughout the record, never seeking to override the vocals, filling in gaps and expanding outwards in huge planes of reverb wash. At times, like the song "Haze Interior," the atmosphere is hazy and slightly chilled, a frustrated plea for understading from a loved one whose language you can't quite understand. The next song "Sandstone" builds from a punctuated guitar riff into a driving bass and drum beat that manages to make you nod your head while still leaving plenty of room in the mix for layers of vocals. If Beach House's Devotion and Mazzy Star's So Tonight That I Might See were to have some sort of precocious offspring, the result might very well be The Waves. Highly recommended.
MPEG Stream: "The Waves"
MPEG Stream: "Choirs of Winter"
MPEG Stream: "Haze Interior"

album cover TERRORIZER #201 magazine + 2cd 9.99
Killing Joke on the cover. Inside, also, for your extreme metal reading pleasure: Enslaved, Swans, Hammers Of Misfortune, Dimmu Borgir, The Sword, Death Angel, Moonsorrow, Gama Bomb, and plenty more. And not one but two free cd samplers included inside the shrinkwrap.

album cover TOTAL CONTROL s/t (Aussie Label Aarght!) 7" 6.98
For whatever reason, we could just never get into Aussie garage rockers Eddy Current Suppression Ring. And we wanted to, really, lots of folks we know swear by em, but they just never hit the spot for us. THIS, however DOES, big time. Featuring members of ECSR, Total Control is a modern version of classic synth punk, think Screamers, Units, Nervous Gender, that sort of thing, short sharp furious blasts of pounding angular synth driven punk rock, distorted and snotty and snarky, raw and in-the-red, hooky as hell, the songs averaging about 90 seconds, the verses chuggy and new wavey, the choruses explosive and heavy, shards of synth pop punk crush that totally kick ass. Every time we throw this on we end up playing it like 10 times in a row. Definitely a new favorite. So good that it has us thinking we might have to give the Eddy Current Suppression Ring another chance. But until then, we'll just go ahead and listen to this again. And again. And again...

album cover WIRE, THE Issue #321 magazine 9.98
Cryptic composer Jennifer Walshe is this issue's striking cover star. Inside, you'll also find a Primer on "techno enigma" Drexciya, AMM pianist John Tilbury doing the Invisible Jukebox, interviews with Bjorn Torske, Wim Mertens, and more... there's a scene report from Beirut, lots of reviews as usual, and Stereolab's Laetitia Sadier writing about the cover art of one of her favorite Jorge Ben albums...





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album cover V/A Afro-Beat Airways (Analog Africa) 2lp 27.00
Now on vinyl!
Analog Africa does it again! The hardest working Afro-beat reissue label brings us another amazing comp of psych-tinged, long-lost Afro-beat, this time from Ghana and Togo recorded between 1972-1979. Raw, sultry, and totally ass-shaking, pretty much all of the tracks have never been released outside the region. Funky Latin rhythms, organ-driven psych, and cosmic soulful percussive trance-outs by 11 bands. Comes with amazing 44 page booklet with pictures and histories. Wow, deluxe package, incredible music. We can go on, but do we really need to? Analog Africa hasn't let us down yet. 100 percent Solid! Trust.
MPEG Stream: K. FRIMPONG & HIS CUBANO FIESTAS "Me Yee Owu Den"
MPEG Stream: MARIJATA "Break Through"
MPEG Stream: ITADI "Live In Other World"
MPEG Stream: DE FRANK PROFESSIONALS "Afe Ato Yen Bio"

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A SUNNY DAY IN GLASSGOW "Autumn, Again" (self-released) lp 15.98
ANBB (ALVA NOTO & BLIXA BARGELD) "Mimikry" (Raster-Noton) 2x12" 25.00
ARIEL PINK'S HAUNTED GRAFFITI "Fast Forward" (Gloriette) lp 22.00
ASHBY, DOROTHY "Hip Harp" (Prestige) lp 12.98
ASSS "August 2010" (self-released) cassette 5.00
BIRKIN, JANE "Di Doo Dah" (Light In The Attic) cd 16.98
BLACK ANGELS "Phosphene Dream" (Blue Horizon) cd 13.98
BLACK HEART PROCESSION, THE "Blood Bunny / Black Rabbit" (Temporary Residence) cd/lp 12.98/14.98
BRAINBOMBS "Singles Compilation" (Load) lp 14.98
BRAINBOMBS "Urge To Kill" (Load) lp 14.98
CALL BACK THE GIANTS "s/t" (Kye) lp 16.98
CANTU-LEDESMA, JEFRE "Love Is A Stream" (Type) lp+cd 22.00
CARISSA'S WIERD "Songs About Leaving" (Hardly Art) lp 13.98
CARISSA'S WIERD "Ugly But Honest: 1996-1999" (Hardly Art) 2lp 14.98
CARISSA'S WIERD "You Should Be At Home Here" (Hardly Art) 2lp 14.98
CHROMATICS "In The City 2" (Italians Do It Better) 12" 9.98
CROSSTOPS "The Ego That Ate The World" (Rock Star) lp 14.98
CRYSTAL STILTS "Shake The Shackles" (Slumberland) 7" 4.50
DAUNER, WOLFGANG "Changes / Zeitlaufe" (Inakustik) 2cd 17.98
DRUIDS OF STONEHENGE "Creation" (Axis) cd 17.98
DUNES "Old Souls" (Art Fag) 7" 8.98
EARTH "A Bureaucratic Desire For Extra-Capsular Extraction" (Southern Lord) cd/2lp 15.98/23.00
EXCEPTER "Late" (Woodsist) 12" 14.98
EXTRA LENS "Undercard" (Merge) cd 14.98
FLYING LIZARDS "The Secret Dub Life Of Flying Lizards" (Staubgold) lp 17.98
FORGETTERS "s/t" (TSTF) 2x7" 9.98
FUCKED UP "Year Of The Ox" (Merge) 12" 10.98
GORGON "The Lady Rides A Black Horse" (Todestrieb) cd 14.98
HANDGJORT "s/t" (Silence) cd 34.00
HENNIX, CATHERINE CHRISTER "The Electric Harpsichord" (Die Schachtel) cd + book 32.00
HOWELL, PETER & JOHN FERDINANDO "Tomorrow Come Someday" (Acme) cd+dvd 17.98
INTERNATIONAL HELLO "s/t" (Holy Mountain) lp 14.98
INVADERS "There's A Light There's A Way" (Fresh) cd 17.98
IRON BUTTERFLY "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida" (Atco) lp 12.98
JARNOW, AL "Celestial Navigations: The Short Films Of Al Jarnow" (Numero) dvd 28.00
JEFFERTITTI'S NILE "Hypnotic Rivers Of Sound" (Jnile) lp 9.98
LAZER SWORD "Batman" (Innovative Leisure) 12" 9.98
LAZER ZEPPELIN "American Derivative" (People In A Position To Know) lp 14.98
LESSER / MATMOS / WOBBLY "Simultaneous Quodlibet" (Important Records) lp 17.98
LUNGFISH "Pass And Stow" (Dischord) cd/lp 12.98/14.98
MALKAUNS "Electric / Sunshine" (Native Plane) 7" 5.98
MAN OR ASTROMAN "Is It..." (Estrus) lp 14.98
MASERATI "Pyramid of the Moon" (Temporary Residence) 12" 13.98
MAX PLANCK "Kill The Pain" (Buried By Time And Dust) lp 32.00
MUELLER, JON "The Whole" (Type) cd/lp + cd 15.98/22.00
NEON INDIAN "Mind Ctrl: Psychic Chasms Possessed" (Lefse / Fader / Static Tongues) 2lp 21.00
NEUROSIS "Live At Roadburn" (Neurot) cd 14.98
OLYMPUS "Bob Mould" (Soft Abuse) lp 14.98
PALESTINE, CHARLEMAGNE "Strumming Music" (Sub Rosa) 3cd 22.00
PANTHA DU PRINCE "Lay In A Shimmer" (Rough Trade) 12" 8.98
PHANTOM PAYN DAYS "s/t" (De Stiijl) lp 17.98
PISSED JEANS "Your Life Is Worth" (Sub Pop) 7" 5.50
REZILLOS "Can't Stand The Rezillos" (Sire) lp 14.98
RV PAINTINGS "Samoa Highway" (The Helen Scarsdale Agency) lp 15.98
SEEFEEL "Faults" (Warp) 10" 11.98
SEELAND "How To Live" (Loaf) cd 14.98
STEVENS, SUFJAN "The Age of Adz" (Asthmatic Kitty) cd 14.98
STOLTZ, KELLEY "To Dreamers" (Sub Pop) cd/lp 14.98/14.98
SUPER WILD HORSES "Fifteen" (Hozac) lp 14.98
SUPERSILENT "11" (Rune Grammofon) lp 24.00
UNEARTHLY TRANCE "V" (Relapse) cd 14.98
V/A "Club Foot" (Subterranean) lp 12.98
V/A "Flipper Psychout: Original Italian Library Music From The Vaults Of Flipper" (Vampisoul) cd 19.98
V/A "Great Googly Moo" (Ace) cd 16.98
VEGETABLE ORCHESTRA, THE "Onionoise" (Rough Trade) cd 16.98
VENOM "Black Metal" (Back On Black) 2lp 32.00
WHITE CAR "No Better" (Hippos In Tanks) 12" 9.98
YOUNGS, RICHARD AND SIMON WICKHAM-SMITH "20 Years" (VHF) lp + 3cd 35.00

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Please place your order via our website.

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

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

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


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
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SOME SELECTED UPCOMING RELEASES

----} October 26th or thereabouts
The Psychedelic Aliens "Psycho African Beat" cd/lp/4x7"box reissue on Academy
Evolution Control Committee "All Rights Reserved" 2cd/lp on Seeland
Wooden Wand "Death Seat" cd/lp on Young God
Krieg "The Isolationist" cd on Candlelight
Giant Sand "Blurry Blue Mountain" cd on Fire
T.R.Mahalingam "Mali : Essential Recordings of Carnatic Bamboo Flute, 1969-70" cd/lp on EM
Blank Dogs "Land and Fixed" on Captured Tracks
Dam-Funk "Adolescent Funk" on Stones Throw
Kylesea "Spiral Shadow" cd on Season of Mist
Lesbian "Stratospheria Cubensis" on Important
Wooden Wand "Death Seat" cd on Young God
Warpaint "The Fool" on Rough Trade
Bridget St. John "Ask Me No Questions" 180 gram lp reissue on 4 Men With Beards
Bridget St. John "Songs For The Gentle Man" 180 gram lp reissue on 4 Men With Beards
Bridget St. John "Thank You For..." 180 gram lp reissue on 4 Men With Beards
Pastels "Up For A Bit With The Pastels" lp reissue on Fire
Teenage Fanclub "A Catholic Education" lp reissue on Fire
Mount Eerie "Song Islands Vol.2" on P.W. Everum & Sun, Ltd.
Liars "Proud Evolution" ep on Mute

----} November 2nd
Lazer Sword "s/t" lp on Innovative Leisure
Barn Owl "Ancestral Star" cd/lp on Thrill Jockey
Brian Eno "Small Craft on a Milk Sea" on Warp
Koen Holtkamp "Gravity/Bees" on Thrill Jockey
Elliott Smith "Introduction to...Elliott Smith" on Kill Rock Stars
Games (Daniel Lopatin) "That We Can Play" on Hippos in Tanks
Diplo "Blow Your Head Volume 1: Diplo Presents Dubstep" cd on Mad Decent

----} November 9th
Former Ghosts "New Love" cd on Upset the Rhythm
Supersilent "10" cd/lp on Rune Grammofon
Maserati "Pyramid Of The Sun" cd/lp on Temporary Residence Ltd.
Soft Circle "Shore Obsessed" cd/lp
Hisato Higuchi "Henzai" lp on Family Vineyard
Sufjan Stevens "The Age Of Adz" 2lp version on Asthmatic Kitty
Gary War "Police Water" cdep/12"
The Big Pink "Tapes" cd on Studio K7

----} November 16th
Stereolab "Not Music" on Drag City
Faun Fables "Light of a Vaster Dark" on Drag City]
The Bug "Infected EP" ep on Ninja Tune

----} also upcoming sooner or later or sooner or later or whenever
Seijaku (Keiji Haino's new band!) "Mail From FUSHITSUSHA" cd on Doubtmusic
Seijaku (Keiji Haino's new band!) "You Should Prepare To Survive Through Even Anything Happens" cd on Doubtmusic
Hirose Junji "The elements, tenor saxophone solos" cd on Doubtmusic
Wildildlife "Give In To Live" limited edition lp on Volcom
Salome "Terminal" cd on Profound Lore
Blizaro "Nightmare City" cd on Razorback
Merzbow "Merzbient" 12cd box on Solielmoon
Xasthur "Portal" vinyl on Hydra Head
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
White Hills "tba" on Thrill Jockey
Outsiders "CQ" vinyl reissue on Jackpot
Boston Spaceships "Our Cubehouse Still Rocks" cd/lp on Gbv Inc
Nurse With Wound "Second Pirate Session" cd on United Jnana
The Meads Of Asphodel "The Murder Of Jesus The Jew" cd
Aguaturbia "s/t" deluxe lp reissue on Lion/Record Runner
Aguaturbia "Volumen 2" deluxe lp reissue on Lion/Record Runner
Dug Dugs "s/t aka Lost in the World" mini-lp sleeve cd reissue on Lion/Get On Down
Dug Dugs "Smog" mini-lp sleeve cd reissue on Lion/Get On Down
Truth & Janey "No Rest for the Wicked" limited edition lp reissue on Lion/Rockadrome
v/a "Groove Club Vol. 2: Cambodia Rock Spectacular!" cd/2lp on Lion/Get On Down
v/a "Groove Club Vol. 3: Cambodia Rock Intensified!" cd/2lp on Lion/Get On Down

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Lots of love from your devoted AQ staff

Andee Cup Jim AllanIrwinScottNickJonandAndrew


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