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



aQuarius recOrds
New Arrivals #380
26th August 2011



Beloved Customers and Friends:

Hey good to be back with you all again! Hope all's well in your world, no earthquakes or hurricanes messing your stuff up at the moment. Or if they are, hope you can batten down the hatches and then still enjoy perusing this list...

Things are going well here, it's been a week or two of going out to shows (Ovens, Diamond Head among 'em) and missing even more rad shows we should have gone out to as well (Winter!), but what can you do? We gotta write these reviews!

Oh if you're in SF and visiting the shop and see a seemingly new, yet vaguely familiar lookin', long-haired and bearded individual behind the counter, that's Matt (of Wildildlife "fame"), once again an AQ employee, we're glad to have him back after a few years spent up in Seattle. We missed the guy. So welcome him back, ok?

All right, let's get on with the list, here's the rundown on all the great Records Of The Week and Highlights we've got for you this time, including new Missisippi and Sublime Frequencies releases, Japanese psych and '90s indie faves, coldwave weirdness and black metal darkness, among much MUCH else...

Records Of The Week....

PESTE NOIRE: Not for the first time do we make an album by this perplexing French "black metal" band a Record Of The Week, as always they're bafflingly brilliant, totally twisted, part accordion driven French folk, part confusional psychedelia, part post rock, part utter WTF?, completely unique and amazing!!
DATE PALMS: Their out of print Root Strata lp was one of our faves from last year, now via Mexican Summer here's the 2nd vinyl-only (w/ download tho) release from this Bay Area gorgeous raga-drone duo, so good!!

Highlights...

MAHMOUD AHMED: Mississippi Records alert!! Wow, a first time ever reissue of this 1978 album of prime Ethio-groove from a legendary fave!!
AMEN DUNES: From Sacred Bones, the 3rd and poppiest album yet from from this artist ritually channelling '60s psychfolk through outsider bedroom experimentation.
ASHTRAY NAVIGATIONS: This new Trensmat 7" is first we've heard in a long while from this prolific home recordist!
AIDAN BAKER: This item is a PREORDER, for a crazy box set on Essence, possibly essential for any big Baker/Najda fan, read about it below and make the call.
BIPOLAROID: The East Coast acid psych combo, old AQ faves, are back at last with a new, super limited LP!
BLACK GODDESS: Soundway reissue of this cool left-of-center '70s Afro-jazz soundtrack by Remi Kabaka.
BLACK VOMIT: New cd-r from these True Sheffield Black Psychedelia faves!
BLOOD CEREMONY: Now on import gatefold vinyl, the latest from these proggy, pagan female-fronted occult rock heavies!!
BOSEE-DE-NAGE: Second self-titled album, on cd and vinyl, from this mysterious Bay Area black metal meets post rock and beyond combo, quite brilliant indeed!
CASE STUDIES: Another new one from Sacred Bones, 1/2 of The Duchess And The Duke (the Duke), doing dark and dreamy Townes Van Zandt like country!
CLAIR CASSIS: Now on vinyl, and crazy limited, the 3rd album from this drug driven blurwave blackgaze Velvet Cacoon offshoot.
CONGREGACION: Vinyl reissue of this South American '70s psych treat.
CONTAINER: New on Spectrum Spools, a retro-minded reimaginging of '90s darkened acid techno, pretty great!
DEEPCHORD: Murky, swirly minimal techno/dub that evokes some sort of future noir, another great disc from this producer!
DIRTY BEACHES: Now on cd, tripped out home brewed murky rock and roll, like Elvis singing for US Girls, or some lost David Lynch soundtrack.
DMZ / LYRES: One cd, or two separate lps, featuring these related Boston garage greats, DMZ demos from '76 and/or Lyres live in '82!
WILLIAM DUKE: Latest disc of swoonsome songwriting from this new pop fave of ours.
DUKKHA: Another new cd-r from the True Sheffield Black Psychedelia scene!!
EDASI x 2: On cd-r and even more limited cassette, two separate releases of distorted ambient ritualism out of Estonia!
EXPO 70: Now on vinyl too, the reissue of these kosmische dronesters Awakening tape.
FACTORYMEN: Brand new batch of twisted noise pop malfunction from Steve Peffer, the mastermind behind fucked up noisemakers Homostupids, on lp via Richie Records.
REINHOLD FRIEDL: Avant garde "inside piano" manipulations from Zeitkratzer mainman, fancy vinyl import version.
FUNERARY BELL: Weirdo Finnish black metal, need we say more?
FUSIOON: A great new Finders Keepers/B-Music find, freaky psych-prog-jazz fusion from Spain in the '70s!
GANGLIANS: A new one from these Sacramento fuzz poppers, the perfect soundtrack for what's left of Summer!
HABSYLL: Back in stock! Found a few more of this kick-ass tUMULt release from a few years back, one of the heaviest!
HOLLY HERNDON: Brand new cassette release from this local soundscaper / noisemaker, specifically intended for in-car listening!
HEY COLOSSUS: Latest batch of noise rock pummel from these UK crushers, on Riot Season. Like the Melvins vs. Shit and Shine!
HIGH SPIRITS: So stoked on this, the new album from the Dawnbringer dude's old school metal act, full of poppy, classic-sounding songs that you could mistake for NWOBHM gems circa '79.
ISIDORE DUCASSE: Debut lp from this dreamy, deserty twang flecked drone duo, featuring Jefre Cantu-Ledesma (Root Strata) and Trevor Montgomery, both formerly of Tarentel. On Blackest Rainbow.
CAROL KLEYN: Beautiful collection of ethereal hippy harp music, proto-Newsom dreaminess, sunny and eccentric. On Drag City.
ERKIN KORAY: Killer collection of rarities from this Turkish psych legend, on Sublime Frequencies.
KWJAZ: Cosmic, tripped out astral ethno-jazz reissued on vinyl!
LIGHT: Super limited triple cd-r collection of all three out of print releases from this outsider blackened doom duo (a member of which is also in aQ faves Book Of Sand!).
LORD FOUL: This awesome document of raw and primitive American black metal, recently reissued on vinyl, also available on cd!!
STEPHEN MALKMUS AND THE JICKS: Latest collection of classic indie rock from this Pavement frontman and his long running post-Pavement combo.
MAPS & DIAGRAMS: Gorgeous disc of hazy droney ambient bliss out, for fans of Machinefabriek, Jasper TX and the like, on the local Time Released Sound label.
MAVRA: An awesome twisted collection of electronica / drone / ambience, from this Estonian soundscaper, all culled from old record and sampled films.
STEPHIN MERRITT: A collection of odds and ends, comp tracks and singles, Magnetic FIelds and beyond, including maybe our favorite MF song EVER!!
THURSTON MOORE: Limited cd-r of super intense chaotic guitar noise psychedelic freakout action from Mr. Sonic Youth.
MUGSTAR: This past Record Of the Week from these UK space rockers, now on vinyl!
NEON JUDGEMENT: Previously released on Dark Entries, this Belgian electro cold wave classic gets reissued on cd with bonus tracks.
DAVID NEWLYN: An ultra limited, and exceptionally packaged new release from the Time Released Sound label, as much an art object as a sonic document, so gorgeous.
NIG-HEIST: Available again, on vinyl, the only record from infamous very un-PC Black Flag related misanthropic punk rock ne'er do wells, includes a bonus disc with a rare recorded live show.
NOTHING PEOPLE: Latest from these Cali drugged out psychedelic dirge rockers, darker and dirgier and moodier than their debut, a new favorite for sure. Features one of the guys from Monoshock!
THEE OH SEES: Another killer twofer from these SF garage poppers, The Master's Bedroom Is Worth Spending A Night In and Help on one tape!
FABIO ORSI: Another ultra limited, exquisitely packaged release from Time Released Sound, equal parts delicate hand crafted art object, and hushed dreamy drone record.
OVENS: Brand new 8 song seven inch single from these SF grind pop, guitar shred geniuses, more hooks packed into these 7"s than most bands manage in a career.
PAPER RELICS: On local label Time Released Sound, a gorgeous collection of field recording flecked folk, hazy and pastoral, for fans of Scott Tuma, Ilyas Ahmed, Chris Smith, James Blackshaw and other Appalachian soundscapers.
PESTEG DRED / SS-SAY: Another Dark Entries reissue, some crazy Danish New Wave, on cd with bonus tracks!
PICACYU-MAKOTO: Acid Mothers Temple alert!! Afrirampo alert too! AMT guitarist and Afrirampo drummer team up for a wild and playful album of propulsive, krauty, wall-of-sound psych, like Circle meets Deerhoof or something!
BILL PLUMMER & THE COSMIC BROTHERHOOD: Reissue of exotic Impulse label East-meets-West psych-jazz rarity from '68!
PURE X: Now on vinyl too, the Austin TX based dream-pop band's latest.
PUS: Debut ep from some UK sludgelords who live up to their name!
PYRIFLEYETHON / OPHIDIAN FOREST: Greek black metal meets Bay Area black metal on this excellent split.
ELIANE RADIGUE: Documentation of '70s low-end minimalism from this cult composer.
RIDE FOR REVENGE / UNDOR: Split lp of Finnish black metal weirdness, again, what more need we say?
SHLOHMO: Some of the prettier, dreamier 'drag' we've yet heard, for fans of Balam Acab, Clams Casino, etc.
SHUSHA: If Googoosh and Shirley Collins were somehow melded together into one incredible singer, you would have Shusha... 2 albums reissued on 1 cd.
SOLYST: Kreidler's drummer goes solo on this offering, for Kriedler, krautrock and Carpenter fans for sure.
OMAR SOULEYMAN: A collection of kick ass live performances from the recent world tour from this aQ fave, on Sublime Frequencies!
SUN ARAW: Maybe the best record yet from this drugged out space dub, dream drift one man band, contender for record of the year?
SURACHAI: Killer lp of instrumental, electronic flecked, glitched out metal, super fancy, ultra limited clear vinyl lp.
SUTEKH HEXEN: First full length from these SF black metal / blacknoise merchants, less noisy than past outings, more melodic, but still plenty noisy, twisted and blackened and gloriously fucked up. Super limited!
PETE SWANSON: Super limited cdep of surprisingly pretty droned out guitarnoise bliss from this former Yellow Swan, originally part of the mail order version of the recent Three Lobed 4lp box set.
TRANSPARENT ILLUSION: Long sought after reissue of weird 'n' wonderful minimal synth pop circa 1981.
THOMAS JEFFERSON SLAVE APARTMENTS: Pricey single of total lo-fi zoner garage punk scuzz pop from these aQ beloved noisemakers, two rare tracks from 1995.
VALERIO TRICOLI & THOMAS ANKERSMIT: Fantastic disc of sax flecked electronic experimentation from this Niblock acolyte/compatriot.
TURDUS MERULA: Debut full length from this one WOMAN black metal band, a concept record about hallucinogenic and poisonous plants, black and buzzy and heavy and kind of awesome.
YUYA UCHIDA & THE FLOWERS: Reissue of this 1968 psychedelic gem, pre-Flower Travellin' Band, with a bad ass female vocalist.
V/A DUBSTEP ALLSTARS VOL. 8: Latest in this series of dubstep mixes, this one put together by Distance, heavy, dark, with MASSIVE bass, one of the best dubstep comps in recent memory for sure.
V/A GROOVE CLUB VOL. 1: Amazing collection of 60's and 70's Parisian pop-psych, plenty of fuzz and jangle, and lots of new discoveries.
V/A INVASION OF THE MYSTERON KILLER SOUND: Killer compilation of the coolest weirdest dancehall around, curated by the Bug and Soul Jazz, two discs, and a comic book!
V/A OUR LIVES ARE SHAPED BY WHAT WE LOVE: Now on vinyl: Light In The Attic's compilation of early '70s LA Motown (Mowest) sounds, so good!
V/A SANITY MUFFIN LABEL SAMPLER: Awesome sampler from this Oakland label, featuring exclusive tracks from Galena, Torture Corpse (both featured on past lists) and loads more. Nearly 90 minutes. And comes with a guitar pick!
WHITE HILLS: Super limited 7" single of droned our spaciness from these aQ zoner rock space psych faves, out of print at the label, these are the last copies!
WIDOWSPEAK: First full length from this NY pop combo, practically perfect hazy, dreamy, retro pop a la Cat Power, Beach House and Mazzy Star.
KOUROSH YAGHMAEI: Long overdue collection of classic tracks from this legendary Iranian psychedelic rocker, as heard on the Forge Your Own Chains and Pomegranates comps!
ZOMBIE ZOMBIE: An awesome collection of John Carpenter covers from this former aQ Record Of The Weeker Etienne Jaumet's cinematic synth combo.

Plus much more, like the new issue of The Wire, and some other now on vinyl reissues and tapes and whatnot, so keep readin'!!

And don't forget (though we will remind you again), be here 8:30 on September 9th for some Finders Keepers/B-Music DJin' instore action from Doug Shipton and Mahassa Taghinia!!

Also, we're honored to announce the beginning of a partnership between aQuarius recOrds, and local label Time Released Sound, which has fast become a favorite of ours, this label, like our store, is most definitely a labor of love, all strange mysterious ambience and haunting dreamy drone music, and all presented in some of THEE most elaborate and lovingly created packaging we have ever seen, most of the releases are almost more art object that simple cd or cd-r, and all of them have to be seen to be believed. We'll be one of, if not the only, distributors for TRS in the US, and we'll get as many copies of all of the releases as we can, but they are limited for a reason, they take forever to make, and are all made by one person, doing it in his spare time. But if you're like us, and love strange music and get crazy about over-the-top packaging, this might just be your new favorite label. We're listing four releases this time around, they're after the highlights in their own section, two of the art editions, both the last copies we'll be able to get, and two standard editions of records whose limited editions sold out before we had a chance to get any, but whose sounds are well worth checking out anyway. Act fast cuz they'll disappear quick, and we're more than happy to sign people up for every Time Released Sound release from here on out, just ask.

Finally, we're co-presenting a kick ass show coming up next month, HTRK will be playing at Public Works in SF, September 7th, there's lots more info about the show at the end of the list, but we figured it was worth mentioning that we're also giving away two pairs of tickets! For a chance to win, just email store@aquariusrecords.org with the subject HTRK TIX, and will pick two winners at random.

Now on with the list!

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

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

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----* Records Of The Week :
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album cover PESTE NOIRE L'Ordure A L'Etat Pur (Transcendental Creations / De Profundis / Rosenkrantz) cd 14.98
It seems like every time there's a new Peste Noire record we make it Record Of The Week. Which only seems strange until you actually hear it. And hear how fucked up and totally bafflingly brilliant it is. With every record Peste Noire seem to move further and further away from the grim black metal that birthed them, but to be fair, no one in Peste Noire has spent much time playing what anyone might consider 'typical' black metal, especially mainman Famine, now rechristened La Sale Famine De Valfunde, who used to play in Alcest. Though we should note he took extreme umbrage when we suggested that Alcest / Ameseours mainman Neige had anything to do with the music of Peste Noire, which is also surprising considering that one member of Alcest and one member of Ameseours are also members of Peste Noire and we assume do contribute musically. But really, none of that matters as much as the very very strange sounds these folks create, and the fact that metalheads still dig it. In fact, we're constantly perplexed by certain bands that for no good reason remain beloved to even the truest grimmest metalheads. To be fair, Peste Noire, for all their twisted sonic proclivities, are still masterful black metallers, it's just that those blasts of brilliant black metal are often separated by strange accordion driven French folk music or some twisted bit of confusional psychedelia. Which brings us to L'Ordure A L'Etat Pur, the latest, and yes, perhaps greatest from these French misanthropes. And as always, it only takes the first track, a shot across the bow, to reveal their true intentions, as twisted and unlikely as they may be.
The sound of wind and rain, of crashing surf, distant foghorns, underpinning some reverbed clean guitar, riffs ringing out over these sounds of the sea, a second guitar adds some melody, and there seems to be a wolf howling, or a voice imitating a wolf, there are tolling bells too, and the beginning of what sounds like it could be a jig, or some sort of gypsy folk, maniacal rambling vocals surface, the guitars growing more distorted, the sound tense and dramatic and growing moreso, before no not launching into furious black buzz, but instead some sort of shuffling post rocky groove, the vocals unhinged and maniacal, wrapped around a chugging riff, and some simple propulsive drumming, not so much metal as rock, and then the sound does erupt into a kind of blackness, soaring and droney but before full blackness is achieved, it returns to that sort of sea shanty that opened the proceedings, and the howling wolf returns. Some double kick drumming ups the ante, and finally, the song lurches into more metal territory, but again, more sort of blackened rock, like Khold than Darkthrone, with some seriously catchy riffs, and then, HORNS, moaning ominously, adding some cool texture, and giving the song a sort of "Tusk" vibe, until the metal peels away completely, leaving just horns and acoustic guitar, a sort of oompa oompa polka, with a trombone playing the main melody. Oh yeah, and some accordion. We're in full on French street music territory now, and then the metal guitars swoop back in, as do the vokills, but now they're playing a killer metallized version of that polka, with some strange trilled vocal harmonies and some weird droned out guitars, which suddenly stop, leaving just the sounds of what sounds like sword fighting, and the song shifts gears again, bursting into an almost ska sounding punkish sprawl, only to moments later shift again into a gnarled bit of noise rock, and it's right back into the oompa oompa metalized ska, the vocals transforming into a sort of goregrind gurgle, the music stopping briefly to reveal the sounds of a barnyard, all chickens and roosters, then when the music kicks back in, the vocals simulate the sounds of chickens, Famine singing variations of "Ba-kaaaw", before finishing off in a killer mathy tangle of dynamic chug and pound.
And that's just the first song. And fear not, we won't go through every song here part by part, although we could, and reading this without listening would make this new Peste Noire sound like thee most bizarre record EVER, and heck, maybe it is, but impossibly, it also sort of works, in a dizzying, whatthefuck sort of way.
The rest of the record does offer more surprises, as well as some more traditional black metal, but even at its most buzzy and blasty, the sound will splinter into some strange super distorted can-can, guitars will suddenly unfurl wild squiggles of high end, the sound suddenly devolving into a sort of effects heavy progged out swirl that then transforms into a pounding almost industrial crunch, wreathed in more moaning horns, or a fight will seem to break out in the middle of the song, shattering glass, sirens, all while the song continues to chug and churn, the sound slipping easily from dark, gnarled crusty pound to woozy meandery clean guitar post rock and then to glistening soaring sonic majesty, only to have a chorus of weirdly chanted vocals surface and totally change the vibe to more of a stein hoisting sing along. The blasting buzz here tends less toward the grim blur of classic black metal and more toward a sort of goofy gallop, but one that suits the band more than the other ever would, and amidst all this weirdness, PN can whip out a stretch of impossible beauty or extreme blackened bliss, the sort of parts you want to go on forever, but in the ADD world of Peste Noire, those moments are fleeting, and will soon be subsumed by some new, stranger sound. Elements of power metal abound, but like all of the other musics bastardized here, it becomes just another twisted / fractured facet of Peste Noire's bizarre musical universe. All culminating in the beautifully mournful slow core doom of closer "La Condi Hu", a creeping lament, heavy and distorted, but darkly melodic and melancholy, laced with clean hushed vocal harmonies, but then you couldn't have expected that to be all, in swoop some sad sad strings, some chugging guitars, building to a minor key bit of blackened post metal, and unlike the rest of the record, nothing gets super weird, the band remain heavy, the music tense and dramatic and emotional, continuing to build, the sound intense and moving, laced with mysterious proggy sections, cool female vocal harmonies, dense intricate drumming, there's even a cool wild sort-of-drum solo, with the drums spitting our an avalanche of beats, beneath spoken female vox, which leads right into a super gorgeous stretch of minor key, slithery bass driven heaviness, that any band would kill for, but these guys leave for last, letting the sound wind down, and displaying without a doubt, that there is some sort of method to Peste Noire's extreme and utter musical madness.
MPEG Stream: "Casse, Peches, Fractures Et Traditions"
MPEG Stream: "Cochon Carotte Et Les Soeurs Crotte"
MPEG Stream: "J'Avais Reve Du Nord 1"

album cover DATE PALMS Honey Devash (Mexican Summer) lp 21.00
The Date Palms debut lp on Root Strata, Of Psalms (now sadly out of print) was one of our standout favorite records from last year. A blissful combo of Eastern drone classicism and hypnotic psych fluidity. Now the core Oakland-based duo of Gregg Kowalsky and Marielle Jakobsons follow their debut up with this stunning, no doubt limited, vinyl-only release on Mexican Summer (which comes with a download card).
Composed of two side-loooooong tracks, the structure of Honey Devash is set up in the form of two ragas as their basic foundation but open wide enough to allow a number of key compositional elements to play through. The title track is the morning raga stirring softly at first with slowly energizing phase shifts and bowed violin drones setting up the mood before the heavy bass riff bursts forth into a forward moving momentum aided by percussive elements and all sorts of sonic layering: oscillating bloops, arc-ing violin loops and modal electric piano phrases. Slowly-burning upward toward a white hot light, the gorgeously smoldering momentum breaks off into a purifying hypnotic cosmic bliss punctuated by spacy violin figures before a long slow fade.
The second side track, "Honey Dune" is the evening raga and it cools down with a wide drifting expansiveness lke the end of a long desert heat just before twilight. The mood is less propulsive, more contemplative but beautifully rich with added instrumentation of bass clarinet, tampura and cascading piano motifs. Melodically pretty and explorative, the track gives ample room for each instrument to stretch out and play yet remain tethered to a unifying whole by the grounation vibes of Trevor Montgomery's basslines.
Like some heady hybrid of spiritual Eastern jazz and rockish psych extrapolation, fans of Bruce Palmer, Dadawah, L. Shankar, Brightblack Morning Light, and Spacemen 3 should definitely scoop this up.
This is the perfect soundtrack for hot desert nights, staring at the stars. Sooooooo gooooooood!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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album cover AHMED, MAHMOUD Jeguol Naw Betwa (Mississippi) lp 15.98
**MISSISSIPPI RECORDS ALERT** **MISSISSIPPI RECORDS ALERT** **MISSISSIPPI RECORDS ALERT**
You'll want to pay attention to this one, because this rare Mahmoud Ahmed, originally self-released in 1978, has never been reissued before in any form, cd or lp, and it's a KILLER! Recorded with The Ibex band forming funky circular rhythms of bass, guitars, horns, organ, and percussion around Ahmed's soulful and sultry vocals, the songs are upbeat yet heady, hypnotic and serpentine in a way that only Ethio-jazz can be. We've long been fans of Mahmoud Ahmed, waxing rapturously about his many contributions to the long-running Ethiopiques series and we've covered plenty of his back story in past reviews. But just when we thought his entire back catalog must have already been made available, turns out there are apparently new treasures to be found and this record is certainly worthy of that esteem. An awesome find that is truly magical and beguiling. Don't sleep on this one! Highest Recommendation!

album cover AMEN DUNES Through Donkey Jaw (Sacred Bones) cd 14.98
Newest record from Damon McMahon, aka Amen Dunes. His first record, Dia, we made a Record Of The Week, describing it as sounding like some lost psychedelic gem from the Sixties, and the second Amen Dunes record, Murder Dull Mind, was more of the same, gloriously haunting, outsider bedroom psych, channeling the spirit of Syd Barrett and Skip Spence, a mysterious otherworldly folk-pop artifact steeped in druggy atmosphere and loosed from traditional folk music tropes, resulting in haunting sonic ritualism that seemed to exist out of time.
This latest record is a logical extension of its two predecessors, and if anything, it seems to be the poppiest of the bunch. Right from the start, "Baba Yaga" had us expecting something WAY more far out, but instead, it's a gorgeous slab of soaring folk pop, all sun dappled and dreamy, with some surprisingly powerful vocals, all wound up in blurry shimmer, and what sounds like tangled strings or heavily effected harmonicas, either way, it might be the best proper 'song' McMahon has come up with yet. And much of the record follows suit, taking the early Pink Floydisms and mixing those up with some Byrds-y twang, some Grateful Dead jamminess, all blurred into a hazy chunk of lost Sixties folk pop. We can even hear some early Bee Gees, some Zombies, some truly gleefully twisted classic pop moments mixed in (check out "Not A Slave", which sounds like it could have been some alternate universe hit), which makes Through Donkey Jaw a surprisingly catchy record. And we have to say it definitely suits them (him?). Not sure if it was a conscious decision, or a natural progression, but this record is most definitely about songs first, that said, the sounds those songs are created with, are pretty impressive, a dead ringer for records of the era, but here and there some strange synth, or some odd bit of production will give it away as something more modern that it purports to be.
And there's still plenty of experimentalism going on, it's just more subtle, either whole non-song-tracks, or subtly woven in amidst the hooks and weirdly proper verse chorus verse arrangements. The vocals are woozy and laid back, wreathed in soft effects, but still much more of a driving force than on past records, the sound shifting easily from jangle pop to gloom folk, tripped out psychedelia to jammy psych rock without batting an eye, and managing to make it all hang together like a proper record.
The final track (a bonus track) is titled "Tomorrow Never Knows". Is it a cover of THAT song? It's actually hard to tell, but what we do know is that it's one of the most gloriously far out moments on the record, a dark brooding bit of rhythmic propulsive krautrock, laced with pounding piano, swirls of distorted guitar crunch, bleating horns, shards of feedback, wild tribal freakouts, after the otherwise song oriented psychedelic folk pop of the preceding thirteen tracks, it's a pretty unexpected, fantastic, and sonically unhinged finale.
MPEG Stream: "Baba Yaga"
MPEG Stream: "Lower Mind"
MPEG Stream: "Swim Up Behind Me"
MPEG Stream: "Tomorrow Never Knows"

album cover ASHTRAY NAVIGATIONS Three Rockets Thicken (Trensmat) 7" 5.98
First we've heard in a long while from this prolific home recordist, going on 20 years now, and while at one point we may have gotten a wee bit burnt out on AN, we have to say, this new single is definitely reminding us why we liked it so much in the first place.
The A side begins all lo-fi with a spidery melody unwinding over a bed of swirling electronics, laced with some raga like buzz, a little droney psychedelia, would have been perfectly happy to listen to just that for five minutes, but the side shifts dramatically, and the sound is transformed into a sort of cosmic synth swirl, the sort of sound that would be right at home on an Emeralds record, a sun dappled wall of blissy hazy soft focus buzz.
The flipside follows a similar pattern, this time opening with some slow synth creep, sounding a bit like a lost John Carpenter soundtrack, and then it too blossoms into another chunk of kosmische bliss out, this time, a high end raga drone that sounds like Sunroof! crossed with Muslimgauze, driven by a pulsing rhythm, everything wreathed in a blurred shimmer and tangled up with muted psychedelic leads, totally heady and hypnotic, and another one of those tracks that could have stretched out forEVER.
Gorgeous stuff, and again, we're reminded of just how much we may have been missing Ashtray Navigations. Not sure how limited these are, but we're guessing, probably pretty limited, so grab one before they're gone.

album cover BAKER, AIDAN (PREORDER) Noise Of Silence (Essence Music) cd+cd-r+handmade box 52.00
By now, long time readers of the aQ list know how much we dig Aidan Baker and all his various projects, and it seems that you all do too, based on how many of his records we sell. The sad thing is that so many of his most amazing records were released as super limited cd-r's, often so limited that we were never able to get any for the shop at all. Such was the case with 2007's Noise Of Silence. Originally released on Hyperblasted, the amazing Essence Music in Brazil has stepped into re-release it, and as with all their releases, they've pulled out all the stops. This is in fact a PRE-ORDER!! For the super deluxe, boxset version of Baker's reissued Noise Of Silence. We will have the regular single cd non-boxset version, but this right here, this is for the Baker obsessives, like us, like YOU, limited to 122 copies, almost entirely sold out from the label, Essence has graciously set aside about 20 boxes, the LAST 20, for aQ customers, so if you want one, order it now, we'll get them in sometime in the next few weeks, and they can either ship with your current order, or on their own. You will be charged for the box now, but then the shipping will be sorted out when we actually send the box (and it'll ship by weight, not as 1 item).
So what's the big deal about Noise Of Silence. And this fancy box? Well, more on the packaging (and the bonus cd-r) further down, but Noise of Silence, is a doozy, a gorgeous, haunting, 50 minute abstract drone/drift, super cinematic, rife with dark chordal swells, layered shimmer, mysterious disembodied voices, a strange bit of processed sibilance, that could be the vocals processed, but instead becomes weird little shards of soft focus white noise peppering the hushed soundscape, almost like the sonic equivalent of white caps on a blackened sea. It doesn't take long for the track to blossom into something far from tranquil and drifty, the sound growing more agitated, the vibe more noisy, the atmosphere more dense, the voices more strident, a swirling cacophony, that manages to build to an almost white noise squall, but even them the edges are smoothed out, and the sound, while harsh and heavy, still manages to be darkly droney and weirdly hypnotic, the sounds grinding and crunching, the various tones splintering and crumbling, a heady blown out wildly looped collage that gradually settles into something much more mellow, the last 20 minutes a slowly decaying stretch of ambient dronemusic, the whispery shadows of that cacophony still present, hissing and swirling just below the surface, seriously and surprisingly haunting and demonic Baker, we can definitely imaging this as the score for some experimental foreign horror / art film. Gorgeous stuff for sure, but definitely on the dark side of Baker's sound, a side we don't get to her so much any more.
This new version of Noise Of Silence, is presented as a super deluxe, hand made and hand assembled box, painted in blacks and blues, nicely textured, with what appears to be branches or veins, inside the cd is housed in a gorgeous full color digipak, and held in place by black elastic bands, while right next to it, unfold black triangular flaps, and pull out the accordion like set of cards, each one hand painted like the outside of the box, all unique and surprisingly tactile, to reveal the bonus cd-r, a collection of early works and demos, many of which would in fact show up on later releases in altered forms, all culled from the period spanning 1991-1995, and an eclectic collection of early works, that tend toward the raw, the noisy, the aggressive, but still beautiful and lush and droney, some acoustic ballads, some droned out noisescapes, some hushed minimal acoustic drift as well as some darkly psychedelic and dreamy guitar ragas, incredible stuff for sure, and well worth a proper release on their own, but ONLY available as part of this super limited box.
As we mentioned above, we'll be able to get about 20 copies of this box, and that's IT. So if you want one, order it now. We'll charge you and let you know when it arrives. If you're after the normal version, let us know and we can put you down for one of those, but this listing is for folks who want to nab one of these before they are gone for good.

album cover BIPOLAROID Illusion Fields (Surreal But Kind) lp 12.98
It seems like ages since we last heard from East Coast acid psych combo Bipolaroid, but in fact it's been about 4 years, which seems to be about how long it takes these guys between records, but as always, it's well worth the wait.
The first two Bipolaroid records were big hits around here, both E(i)ther Or and Transparent Make Believe took early Pink Floyd as their starting point, but the band took that sound and stretched it way out, weaving woozy, tripped out, psychscapes, all whirring organs, fuzzy guitars, swirling strings, spaced out effects and laid back drawled vox that were at times a dead ringer for Syd Barrett. It was easy to get lost in those records, the sounds hooky and hazy and hypnotic, and even four years on, very little has changed, if anything, the band sound a bit heavier, the production more lush, the songs more propulsive and pounding, but also a bit more warped, almost like classic sounds dosed with some particularly virulent strain of LSD, the guitars a little tweaked and atonal, horns here and there, sounds drone and warble, pure psychedelia for sure, that minus the shiny new production, definitely sounds like it could be some unearthed sixties rarity.
The guitars are wild and wooly, buzzy and fuzzy, squiggly and distorted, slipping from riff to jangle, wild psychedelic lead to wrapped tangled atonal crunch, unfurling melodies wreathed in wah wah, draped over loping waltzes, and swaggery stomps, the vocals still a laid back drawl, settled just so in the mix, lots of acoustic guitars, and swirling keyboards, the vibe is jangly and psychedelic, but also a little dark, and a little bit wasted, the whole record a gloriously twisted sonic funhouse mirror, a wonderfully warped collection of dark twisted modern psychedelia, that should for sure hit the spot for old school psych obsessives, but might also appeal to folks into more modern psychedelic sounds...
LIMITED TO 100 COPIES!!
MPEG Stream: "Vampires On Montegut"
MPEG Stream: "Black Is The New Black"
MPEG Stream: "Dead Horse"
MPEG Stream: "Here Lies Sorrow"

album cover BLACK GODDESS (REMI KABAKA) OST (Soundway) cd 15.98
We'd heard how awesome the soundtrack to this film was for years, so we were so psyched to discover that Soundway was finally giving it a proper reissue. The film was directed by one of Nigeria's most respected directors, Ola Balogun, and was shot on location in Brazil. Balogun recruited the musical mastermind and fellow Nigerian, Remi Kabaka, to score and produce the soundtrack to the film. Kabaka has played with a wide range of folks including Ginger Baker, Hugh Masekela, Paul Simon, and Paul McCartney, and for the soundtrack rounded up some of Nigeria's finest players and crafted a collection of songs filled with such a unique and left-of-center Afro-jazz sound. There's something so raw and mysterious about these tracks evoking all manner of sweat and suspense. We're totally feeling this, late summer, slow burner for sure!
MPEG Stream: "Brothers + Sisters"
MPEG Stream: "Black Goddess"
MPEG Stream: "The Warrior"

album cover BLACK GODDESS (REMI KABAKA) OST (Soundway) lp 16.98
We'd heard how awesome the soundtrack to this film was for years, so we were so psyched to discover that Soundway was finally giving it a proper reissue. The film was directed by one of Nigeria's most respected directors, Ola Balogun, and was shot on location in Brazil. Balogun recruited the musical mastermind and fellow Nigerian, Remi Kabaka, to score and produce the soundtrack to the film. Kabaka has played with a wide range of folks including Ginger Baker, Hugh Masekela, Paul Simon, and Paul McCartney, and for the soundtrack rounded up some of Nigeria's finest players and crafted a collection of songs filled with such a unique and left-of-center Afro-jazz sound. There's something so raw and mysterious about these tracks evoking all manner of sweat and suspense. We're totally feeling this, late summer, slow burner for sure!
MPEG Stream: "Brothers + Sisters"
MPEG Stream: "Black Goddess"
MPEG Stream: "The Warrior"

album cover BLACK VOMIT Let It Come Down (Frequency 13) cd-r 7.98
These oddly monikered aQ faves return with a brand new full length, and return to the True Sheffield Black Psychedelia fold, aka their original label Frequency Thirteen, after a release on aQ beloved and now sadly defunct label Rusty Axe. And what a return! Like past records, Black Vomit's sound is one that's tough to pin down, an ever shifting tangle of blurred and blackened sound collage, blown out super rhythmic noise rock, field recording flecked spaced out psychedelia, they pretty much all apply at one point or another, and impossibly sometimes all at once. It takes a while for things to get rolling, a weird creeping noise drenched into, all strange samples and shimmery layered low end, all glitchy and warbly, then some Sunroof! style high end raga drone, then finally, a thick low slung bassline slithers into action, beneath a black cloud of growling croaked disembodied vox, and then finally, true to the track's title "Forbidden Dub", the various sounds peel off, leaving just a tripped out spaced out dub, everything wreathed in echo and reverb, the drums careening wildly through clouds of cymbal sizzle, more mysterious samples, moaning guitar melodies, it's like a way more grim and blackened version of Sun Araw almost, a bastardized dub, that is teetering on the edge of collapsing into full on doomy dirge.
Which is where things seem to be heading until the next track, "Riding Below A Sky Threatening Snow To The Very End Of An Empty World", explodes into what quickly reveals itself as some sort of fucked up dubstep jam, but Black Vomitized, so the sounds are all blurred and tangled, chaotic and abstract, a thick bass warble holding everything together, while beats stutter and stagger, and all of the other sounds blown out and in the red, before the record switches gears once again, laying down a bit of shimmery abstraction, before an avalanche of super distorted drums come crashing through a field of swirling electronics, the whole thing like an IDM Lightning Bolt. And so it goes, every song something entirely different, yet somehow linked to the song before it, and to the whole, a twisted songsuite of beats and buzz, of low end rumble and caustic crunch, slipping from synth heavy shoegaze blur, to tripped out reverb heavy space rock jangle, from creepy almost John Carpenter-ish soundscapery to bleary minimal low slung creep, and from distorted sun dappled dreambuzz ambience, to a final 20 minute slab of abstract synth-squelch, blur-bliss shimmer. So good.
SUPER DUPER LIMITED too, ONLY 40 COPIES!! we got 20 of those, which won't last long...
MPEG Stream: "Forbidden Dub"
MPEG Stream: "Riding Below A Sky Threatening Snow To The Very End Of An Empty World"
MPEG Stream: "The Loneliness Of A Rainy Dawn Enshrouded Me Quietly"

album cover BLOOD CEREMONY Living With The Ancients (Rise Above) 2lp 36.00
NOW ON VINYL!! Definite best-of-2011 contender as far as pagan prog heaviness goes. Limited gatefold double lp British import...
This Canadian doom-psych-prog-metal band's 2008 debut was a big fave 'round here, we likened their female-fronted n' flutey, Hammond organ driven occult heaviness to "Electric Wizard given a medieval, madrigal makeover" and compared 'em to a hypothetical Atomic Rooster + Jacula + Jex Thoth hybrid. So, stoked are we to announce the arrival of a brand new Blood Ceremony, still damp and crimson, and damn good! There's a few ways, we figure, a band like this could go: get darker and more extreme metal (a la Wooden Stake), or lighten up and develop more in their prog direction (we could imagine 'em sounding something like Curved Air in that case). Or, of course, they could provide more of the same, which would elicit no complaints from us. And that's what Blood Ceremony pretty much opted for, this album coming off like a continuation / perfection of their debut, nine more songs of vintage '70s sounding, witchy rockarolla. With plenty of rollicking Hammond organ and swinging retro riffery, they deliver the progged-out proto-metal goods like it's 1971 and they've just come from getting stoned with their groovy coven. Complete with a flute happy instrumental ("The Hermit"). And definitely, with a lot hinging on the dramatic, stagey, sometimes soft, sometimes soaring, vocals of Alia O'Brien.
Again, VERY much in the vein of Jex Thoth. O'Brien and Blood Ceremony are almost the Burning Saviours to Jex Thoth's Witchcraft, if you follow that doom-nerd analogy. Another would be Black Sabbath with a sex change, and Deep Purple or Uriah Heep's keyboards hired on... as Sabbath's actual keyboardy stuff, courtesy caped wonder Rick Wakeman on Sabbath Bloody Sabbath ferinstance, was a lot more "synthy" sounding than the classic Hammond vibe heard here, played in kick ass fashion by O'Brien by the way, a triple threat talent who's also the band's flautist, flaunting it indeed, what would they do without her?
Not that the guitarist, for one, doesn't get to shine as well, in the riff department, and dueling leads with the organ, like during the swirling, surging tour de force of the epic "Oliver Haddo" (the album's second longest song, not quite beating out the 10 minute plus closer, "Daughter Of The Sun", another extended, involved rite, all right).
This time, produced by Sanford Parker (Pelican, Yob, Zoroaster, Samothrace, The Gates Of Slumber, etc.), which perhaps accounts for some of the added thickness/heaviness we sense here, though the debut was heavy too. He also supplies some Moog.
This album's too-dark cover photo of the band is about the only disappointment, whereas the cover painting for their first album, by fantasy artist George Barr, was something to look at. But for listening, this is indeed the answer to your prayers to the Great God Pan. So good, we simply can't get enough of this, and if you too are truly in the mood for some beauteous and bombastic, rockin' pagan prog heaviness, then it's time to begin Living With The Ancients!
MPEG Stream: "Coven Tree"
MPEG Stream: "My Demon Brother"
MPEG Stream: "Oliver Haddo"

album cover BOSSE-DE-NAGE s/t (II) (The Flenser) cd 9.98
Record number two from this mysterious Bay Area black metal horde, a group whose sound is as heavy on the Louisville math rock is it is on the black buzz, and on record number two, they stretch out even further, exploring their math/post rock tendencies in ways that were only hinted at on the first record. And as one might expect, the mix of black buzz and meandering post rockisms sounds much more organic this time around, where as the first time the separation between the two sounds was more jarring. The production is much improved too.
Just take the opening track, "Volume Two Chapter One", with its darkly dynamic opening, all start stop minor key minimalism, a melancholy minor key melody played out over a series of chords, left to ring out, the drums crashing in time, the only hint of the blackness to come is a howled vocals way way off in the distance, it's two minutes before this crashing moodiness segues fairly smoothly into some frantic blackened blasting, the drums not your typical blastbeat, instead offering up all manner of unlikely fills, the result a little off kilter, and a good balance to the otherwise more traditional back buzz guitar and shrieked vox. And then with about 2 minutes to go, the buzz seems to dissipate leaving just a churning, chuggy chunk of palm muted math rock, that sounds more like Don Cab than Darkthrone, pounding out the final minute in a tangle of mathy rhythms.
The post rockisms are much more subtle in "Marie In A Cage", which plays more like your standard buzzing blackness, but there are those wild chaotic drums, not to mention a killer part midsong where the band switch into a brief bit of proggy mathiness that KILLS, but it's brief and soon the band are galloping along again, never fully shedding that mathiness, but instead incorporating it into the black buzz. "The Lampless Hours" is another track that starts out sounding like some lost mid nineties Touch And Go record (minus the flurries of double kick drum), before launching into a stretch of 'proper' black metal. "The Death Posture" is a churning doomy plod, peppered with burst of blasting black metal, and again here, the band are much more subtle with their deployment of post and math rock elements, which ultimately makes for some truly idiosyncratic black metal. And finally, the record finishes off with the 11+ minute "Why Am I So Lovely? Because My Master Washes Me.", which again sounds on the surface traditionally blackened and buzzy, but the post rock undercurrent seems to seep through every chance it gets, finally shouldering the blackness out of the way at about the midway point for a stretch of gnarled mathiness, that manages to not sound out of place, instead, it's drawn in shades of black, that make it that much easier for the band to slip back into the furious buzz that finishes off the record, until the last minute when the recording seems to go haywire, everything blown out and distorted finishing off in a wild squall of Merzbowian white noise.
Definitely less post rocky than its predecessor, but again, the trade off is that the post rock element doesn't sound as much like a gimmick, instead sounding more an actual intrinsic part of BdN's sound, and while black metal dabblers may not be so inclined this time around (although they should be), true grim metalheads might just find their horizons being expanded, whether they realize it or not.
MPEG Stream: "Volume II Chapter I"
MPEG Stream: "Marie In A Cage"
MPEG Stream: "The Lampless Hours"

album cover BOSSE-DE-NAGE s/t (II) (The Flenser) lp 14.98
Record number two from this mysterious Bay Area black metal horde, a group whose sound is as heavy on the Louisville math rock is it is on the black buzz, and on record number two, they stretch out even further, exploring their math/post rock tendencies in ways that were only hinted at on the first record. And as one might expect, the mix of black buzz and meandering post rockisms sounds much more organic this time around, where as the first time the separation between the two sounds was more jarring. The production is much improved too.
Just take the opening track, "Volume Two Chapter One", with its darkly dynamic opening, all start stop minor key minimalism, a melancholy minor key melody played out over a series of chords, left to ring out, the drums crashing in time, the only hint of the blackness to come is a howled vocals way way off in the distance, it's two minutes before this crashing moodiness segues fairly smoothly into some frantic blackened blasting, the drums not your typical blastbeat, instead offering up all manner of unlikely fills, the result a little off kilter, and a good balance to the otherwise more traditional back buzz guitar and shrieked vox. And then with about 2 minutes to go, the buzz seems to dissipate leaving just a churning, chuggy chunk of palm muted math rock, that sounds more like Don Cab than Darkthrone, pounding out the final minute in a tangle of mathy rhythms.
The post rockisms are much more subtle in "Marie In A Cage", which plays more like your standard buzzing blackness, but there are those wild chaotic drums, not to mention a killer part midsong where the band switch into a brief bit of proggy mathiness that KILLS, but it's brief and soon the band are galloping along again, never fully shedding that mathiness, but instead incorporating it into the black buzz. "The Lampless Hours" is another track that starts out sounding like some lost mid nineties Touch And Go record (minus the flurries of double kick drum), before launching into a stretch of 'proper' black metal. "The Death Posture" is a churning doomy plod, peppered with burst of blasting black metal, and again here, the band are much more subtle with their deployment of post and math rock elements, which ultimately makes for some truly idiosyncratic black metal. And finally, the record finishes off with the 11+ minute "Why Am I So Lovely? Because My Master Washes Me.", which again sounds on the surface traditionally blackened and buzzy, but the post rock undercurrent seems to seep through every chance it gets, finally shouldering the blackness out of the way at about the midway point for a stretch of gnarled mathiness, that manages to not sound out of place, instead, it's drawn in shades of black, that make it that much easier for the band to slip back into the furious buzz that finishes off the record, until the last minute when the recording seems to go haywire, everything blown out and distorted finishing off in a wild squall of Merzbowian white noise.
Definitely less post rocky than its predecessor, but again, the trade off is that the post rock element doesn't sound as much like a gimmick, instead sounding more an actual intrinsic part of BdN's sound, and while black metal dabblers may not be so inclined this time around (although they should be), true grim metalheads might just find their horizons being expanded, whether they realize it or not.
MPEG Stream: "Volume II Chapter I"
MPEG Stream: "Marie In A Cage"
MPEG Stream: "The Lampless Hours"

album cover CASE STUDIES The World Is Just A Shape To Fill The Night (Sacred Bones) cd 14.98
For some reason, we've never reviewed any records by garage folk duo the Dutchess And The Duke, which means that to many folks Case Studies, aka Jesse Lortz, will be an unknown quantity, but sometimes that's the best way to experience a group or a record, especially when it's a new direction and/or a new sound for an established artist, it makes taking the music on its own merits a bit easier. So as you may have surmised, Jesse Lortz is in fact The Duke, one half of the aforementioned group, and fans of that band will definitely find some connections between that groups' songs and the music of Case Studies. But the music of Case Studies is much more stripped down and moody, the songs here apparently based on a year in the life of Lortz, and quite a year it must have been these songs painting lush miniatures of sorrow and loneliness, of bitterness and misery, but also of happiness and hope, or at least the promise of such.
Case Studies is at its core, country music, Lortz' deep croon, a dead ringer for country legend Townes Van Zandt, even his phrasing is eerily similar, the music is minimal but rich, the production spare but lush (produced by Greg Ashley), the songs mostly simple steel string strum, fingerpicked melodies and those deep moody vocals, but the voice and acoustic guitar are sometimes fleshed out with mournful strings, reverbed piano, sweet female harmonies, but for the most part, it's Lortz's voice that drives this record, that and his bittersweet (sometimes just bitter) lyrics and subtle way with melodies.
Dark and dreamy, hushed and melancholy. Opener "From The Blade Of My Love" is a heartbreaker, the melody, the vocals, the lyrics, the perfect start to a harrowing and ultrapersonal dark country missive, a song suite / melancholy missive that culminates in the droney slowcore twang of "California Ghost Story", a dark dreamy depressive creep, that drifts and shimmers, wreathed in the faded haze of forgotten love, and record closer, a surprisingly jaunty stretch of hushed minimal twang, replete with whistled melody, a glimmer of hope, as if finally, the clouds might part and the sun might shine down. Nice!
MPEG Stream: "From The Blade Of My Love"
MPEG Stream: "The Eagle, Or The Serpent"
MPEG Stream: "My Silver Hand"

album cover CLAIR CASSIS Luxury Absolute (Khrysanthoney) 10" 26.00
NOW ON VINYL!!! LIMITED TO 100 COPIES, EACH ONE HAND NUMBERED. AND LUXURIOUSLY PACKAGED!!!
Record number three from this drug driven blurwave blackgaze Velvet Cacoon offshoot. Longtime readers of the aQ list are no doubt already familiar with that Northwestern horde, whose exploits, sonic and otherwise, included a ridiculous band backstory (eco-terrorists?), made up instrumentation (diesel harp?) some purportedly plagiarized sounds (a whole record supposedly stolen and redone as VC), not to mention a whole mess of angry, bitter and confused black metallers in their wake. And while we bought into it all, when the truth was revealed, that VC was in fact, just a guy and a gal, taking lots of drugs and making some blissed out black buzz, we actually thought it was funny. The for some strange reason, VC mainman Josh decided to disband Velvet Cacoon, and immediately created Clair Cassis, a band that was quite sonically similar, the same sort of washed out buzz, droney black mesmer, the biggest difference being that CC trafficked in WAY shorter songs, and those songs were WAY heavy on the bass (infamous for its absence in almost all black metal) and traded in much of the drone and drift for something distinctly more poppy. And we were, and are, pretty into it. Dense thick whirling hazy black metal, formed into dark almost new wavy chunks of blackbuzzpop, sure still black and buzzy on the outside, but strap on some headphones, and the basslines become sinewy and serpentine, the melodies and buried hooks reveal themselves, step back and its a glorious blackened blur.
After two self titled eps, comes this, Luxury Absolute, another short (ish) collection of CC's unique brand of black and buzzy, midtempo dronegaze doompop, the sound here though even more tripped out and psychedelic than on past releases, with the bass MASSIVE, even moreso than usual, with the sound so blown out and in the red, that the sound continually peaks, and clips, the sounds distorting and crumbling, adding a strange sort of bleary, blurry decay vibe to the already woozy minor key proceedings. Just check out opener "Antique Sea Smoke", a warped lumbering almost dirger, with the guitar melodies swirling amidst grey clouds of whir and thrum, the bass thick, and driving, the drums distorting like crazy, all of that overblown sound pushing CC even further into shoegaze territory.
The rest of the record follows suit, barring a few creepy stretches of haunting rumbling black ambience, the rest of Luxury Absolute unfolds as a series of brief dreamlike black blurs, melancholic and mesmerizing, the drums a lurching programmed pound, the vokills a demonic croak, but the guitars, so warm and whirling, thick and layered, the doom vibe is huge here too, partially because of the tendency toward dirgery, but also cuz the sound is so thick and viscous, imagine diSEMBOWELMENT or Skepticism trying their hand and shoegaze cold wave, and you might be getting close. Either way, this is some awesome stuff. Occasionally frustrating, cuz the songs are so short (longest 3:31, shortest 1:51, 19 minutes total), and we would love to hear these jams stretched out into tranced out dronepop blackbuzz epicks, but the brevity seems to reinforce that in their own twisted and fucked up way, these really are just pop songs, albeit, buzzy, and sludgey, and dirgey and BLACK. Might be our favorite CC yet. Hope it's not their last.
MPEG Stream: "Antique Sea Smoke"
MPEG Stream: "Rosewater Take"
MPEG Stream: "The Royal Nocturne"

album cover CONGREGACION Viene... (Disco Es Cultura) lp 22.00
This all time aQ South American psych folk fave, available again, now on vinyl!!
A record we've listened to on so many roadtrips through windy terrain, sun soaked mountains, and pastoral horizons. The sole lp by this Chilean group, but what an absolute magical album they created. Much like his Tropicalia counterparts in Brazil like Caetano Veloso, and Gilberto Gil, the music and lyrics of Antonio Smith, the mastermind of Congregacion, made him a big enemy of the military dictatorship of his country. Ultimately he was forced to flee from Chile. Much like Veloso and Gil, he never let that oppressive regime take away his vision of beauty.
This record is swathed in the natural sounds of birds and wind, with dreamy acoustic textures, flutes, guitars, strings and such gorgeous romantic harmonies. The sounds on Viene ease out with such a soft glow. We can just imagine the band levitating on mountaintops as they commune with the universe. It's a record we're sure many modern day dreamy music makers like Devendra Banhart, Beach House, Samara Lubelski, and Jose Gonzalez either already cite as a major influence or should listen to asap. Simply stunning!
MPEG Stream: "Arrebol"
MPEG Stream: "Sintesis De La Exitancia"
MPEG Stream: "Cuantos Que No Tienen Y Merecen"

album cover CONTAINER LP (Spectrum Spools / Editions Mego) lp 21.00
It all comes around doesn't it? Through his Spectrum Spools imprint (which is manufactured by Editions Mego), John Elliott has presented work that digs into the underground of synth wrangles and electronic cosmologists with some true gems amidst his selection. A lot of these artists had been going back to older templates of experimental electronica and recrafting those sounds through new contexts and maybe a little bit of laptop trickery as well. Bee Mask certainly looks to the sharpened frequencies of Parmegiani and Schnitzler, and Temporal Maurader is a downright fictionalization of a 'lost' album of psychedelic electronica circa 1974. Container's revisionist history is in parallel with Zomby's question "Where Were You In 92?" Where Zomby would look to British hardcore techno the aesthetic for that year zero; Container pegged Detroit techno as object to reconstruct. Container is the work of Nashville's Ren Schofield, who leaps into the darkened acid techno of Richie Hawtin circa 1992 when he was recording as F.U.S.E. The insistent techno grooves march from drum sequencers that have a hand-crafted Dan Deacon type of sound. What ever he's using, it's not a 909; and the washes of toxic bubbling electronics that take their cues from 808 work-outs also have a kit-built irregularity to them. As most techno can give the impression of being so easy with so many digital sequencers that you can run from a smart phone, it's nice to hear something this angular and groovy.

album cover DEEPCHORD Hash-Bar Loops (Soma Recordings) cd 16.98
We want to live in whatever world the music of Deepchord provides the soundtrack to. His murky, swirly minimal techno/dub evokes some sort of future noir, crumbling buildings, rainswept streets, everything lit by the haunting yellow glow of old streetlights, but it also has us imagining modern penthouses, all glass and chrome, overlooking the decrepit city, and the long lit tunnels of some futuristic transport system, not sure why, but Hash-Bar Loops, a record thematically focused on Amsterdam actually, instead has us imagining something like Raymond Chandler crossed with Tron. Which is most definitely a good thing.
We just can't resist the sounds of Deepchord, aka Rod Modell, who seems to have mastered this sound, whatever 'this' sound is. Future dub, ambient cinematic techno, pop ambient futurism, whatever it is, it's a strange hybrid, that to these ears at least, sounds like a mix of late night Detroit techno, Pole style digidub, blissed out pop ambience and that murky washed out heroin house we love so much.
Which pretty much describes Hash-Bar Loops, as does the opening three song suite, perfectly displaying what Modell is so good at, unfurling a hazy bit of warm whirling ambience, wreathed in a layer of static that could be the sound of wind whipping over the hills, rain falling on city streets, or just hissy static... And from there it's a slow build over the three tracks, opener "Spirits" is all ghostly and spectral, "Stars" is where rhtyhmic elements first surface, a muted skitter and pulse mostly obscured by the hiss and hum, all beneath a warm wash of blurred melody and smeared soft focus ambience, until finally, "Sofitel" finds the hiss receding completely, leaving just a skeletal techno groove, the soundtrack to some strange dinner party, on a rooftop in this futuristic city.
The record drifts deamily from beat to drift, from rhythm to ambience, the two sides of the sound constantly fusing and intertwining, the record's finest moments when the balance is just right, the beat buried beneath warm billows of dreamlike sound. And then finally the record ends the way it began, with a three song suite that leads the listener into a blissed out drift, "Crimson" shuffles and swings, surrounded on all sounds by a blurred thrum, on "Black Cavendish" that thrum takes over, and gradually transforms into what sounds like a symphony of crickets, over a murky muted pulse, until finally "Neon And Rain" slips into full on dubbed out shoegaze, a warm whirling shimmer, laced with jagged bits of echoey effects, perfectly evoking as the title suggests, the glow of neon on a dark, rainy night...
MPEG Stream: "Spirits"
MPEG Stream: "Stars"
MPEG Stream: "Sofitel"
MPEG Stream: "Merlot"

album cover DIRTY BEACHES Badlands (Zoo Music) cd 13.98
Yeah! Now on cd!! Here's what we wrote about the vinyl version that came out a few months back:
The first we heard from Dirty Beaches, aka Alex Zhang, was a recent split 7" with US Girls, which found Zhang doing a sort of super grimy lo-fi RnB, we also mentioned Johnny Cash, and that the sound like a murkier and less well produced How To Dress Well, which most definitely still applies on Badlands, but where on that single, we were feeling a sort of RnB vibe, here, it's more a classic rock and roll, as in the fifties, as in more specifically Elvis. Sounds weird, especially when you consider the sort of hype Dirty Beaches has been getting but, these tracks essentially sound like super low fidelity bedroom recorded Elvis jams, doused in murk and grit and grime, or draped over a looped loping churning chunk of crumbling low end.
Like some bedroom noise rocker floor core purveyor was tagged to pack up some classic crooner. Zhang's vocals are total Elvis, maybe there's a bit of a Cramps vibe, but that's essentially a goth Elvis anyway. Some of the tracks take what sounds like a snippet of some fifties rock and roll, and then loops it into a weirdly hypnotic chunk of murky minimalism, over which Zhang snarls and croons, it doesn't seem like it should work, or even sound all that good, but it does, and these songs end up sounding like weirdly timeless classic rock and roll jams from some alternate dimension, or like the perfect soundtrack to the best movie David Lynch never made.
MPEG Stream: "Speedway King"
MPEG Stream: "Horses"
MPEG Stream: "Sweet"

album cover DMZ / LYRES Radio Demos / Live At Cantones (Munster) cd 17.98
Jeff "Monoman" Conolly has gotta be one of rock 'n' roll's awesomest unsung legends. First off, he fronted DMZ, Boston's garage punk answer to the likes of the Stooges and the New York Dolls, in the mid-'70s. Then, out of the ashes of DMZ, he formed Lyres, who traded in some (just some) of DMZ's scuzzed out heaviness for retro Vox organ driven power poppiness in the style of the best '60s Nuggets outfits. This disc brings both bands together. The DMZ half features 12 tracks recorded as demos at a Cambridge radio station in 1976. They rip it up here, doing a ton of rad covers, among 'em "Til The End Of The Day" by the Kinks, "Teenage Head" by the Flamin' Groovies, "Search and Destroy" by the Stooges, "Heart Of Stone" by the Stones, and "Someone's Gonna Get Their Head Kicked In Tonight" by Fleetwood Mac (also memorably covered by the Rezillos). Definitely the sound of a band reveling in their influences, gettin' ready to kick out their own jams, as well as some other covers, on their one and only studio album, which was released in '78 by Sire. (Note: there's no song overlap between this and that.)
Then, on the second half of the disc, there's 15 more tracks from Lyres, recorded live in '82, with a line up featuring 4/5s of DMZ, at an Italian restaurant that doubled as a punk rock venue by night, back in the day. There's lotsa killer covers here as well (The Wailers, The Sonics, The Young Rascals, Kenny and the Kasuals...) and they do a DMZ tune too - but the main attraction might be the raw, raucous versions of Lyres own songs, Conolly compositions that shoulda been big hits, like early single sides "Help You Ann" (Andee's favorite Lyres song EVER) and "I Really Want You Right Now". Considering that reissues of Lyres studio albums are not easy to come by these days (why oh why are they out of print?), the release of this live recording, which makes up for in sheer energy what it might lack in high fidelity, is quite a boon both to fans and folks who, upon hearing it, will immediately become fans!
Basically a double dose of straight up rock 'n' roll radness. Also available as two separate vinyl lps, DMZ on one, Lyres on the other.
MPEG Stream: DMZ "Boy From Nowhere"
MPEG Stream: DMZ "Teenage Head"
MPEG Stream: LYRES "Help You Ann"
MPEG Stream: LYRES "Hang Up"

album cover DUKE, WILLIAM The Sunrise and the Night (Kool Kat) cd 8.98
Hurrah! William Duke has hand-delivered his latest album to our doorstep. You might recall our recent better-late-than-never review of his 2007 full length The Ghost That Would Not Be. Well, we're getting properly up to date now with this, his follow-up to that wonderful debut, and y'know what? It's just as delightful. Carrying on in similar fashion, The Sunrise and the Night is a pop lover's dream. Such a perfect soundtrack to these late summer eves... or really any time you're feeling in a particularly wistful, reflective mood. His songwriting has a luster that echoes the finely crafted west coast rock pop of the '70s. On the surface it initially seems all breezy and honey sweet, but there's a subtle darker melancholic core. The whole album is lovely and downright swoonsome, but standout track "The Canyon" is its crowning jewel, a solid yearning yank on your heartstrings. Duke sings with an earnest, drowsy delivery which fits nicely against the instrumental backdrop, a glistening balance of acoustic guitar and synths that brings to mind Sparklehorse or Grandaddy. Interspersed with the vocal numbers are a handful of plush instrumentals. Recommended!
MPEG Stream: "The Canyon"
MPEG Stream: "The Great Escape"

album cover DUKKHA Grim Disco (Frequency 13) cd-r 7.98
One of two new blasts of "True Sheffield Black Psychedelia" from one of our favorite labels, UK weirdo sound stronghold Frequency 13, the True Sheffield Black Psychedelia descriptor covering a whole lot of sonic territory, from groups as varied as Black Vomit (whose new record is reviewed elsewhere on this week's list), Ice Bound Majesty, Rape Rack, Skultroll, not to mention these guys right here, Dukkha, whose latest, the awesomely titled Grim Disco, is a single, 70 minute sprawl, that merges Butthole Surfers like atonal guitar melodies, with thick swaths of churning low-end, and looped propulsive programmed rhythms, into something heavy, hypnotic and WAY tripped out.
A dirgey, murky, krauty groove, submerged in a sea of chug and buzz and crunch, wound up with all manner of spidery melodies, the 'riff's a sort of blurred black metal, tangled up with something much dirgier and noise rockier, the sound slipping from caustic distorted buzz to weirdly tranced out cyclical churn, but that's only the first 6 or so minutes, the rhythmic pound and chug fading out into a cloud of glitched out digital shimmer, a bit like Oval, hazy and hypnotic, before splintering into something much more ominous, a whirling cinematic stretch of buzzing epic synthscapery, all soaring low end buzz and haunting majestic melody, thick and lush and layered, seriously dark and creepy, before it too fades out, this time into a field of glitch and glimmer, which gives way to some Melvins-y detuned dirge-y pound, the guitars gradually growing more and more chaotic, streaks of feedback, shards of fragmented riffage, moaning melodies, jagged atonal crunch, swirling low end murk, all wound around some tribal rhythmic pound, a doomy, downtuned final sludgey, weirdly groovy coda.
Killer stuff, as always. CRAZY LIMITED too, ONLY 40 COPIES!! we got 20 of those, which are bound to go fast...
MPEG Stream: "Grim Disco (excerpt 1)"
MPEG Stream: "Grim Disco (excerpt 2)"

album cover EDASI Dances In The Cave (KV&GR/Recs) cd-r 5.98
We were first introduced to the mysterious Estonian outfit Edasi by aQ pal, weirdo black metal / noisescaper Cloak Of Displacement. And he did not steer us wrong. Edasi's, goofily titled Freddy Krueger Death Chant was a pretty incredible collection of distorted ambient ritualism. The sort of stuff that appealed to metalheads as much as dronelords. This week we got two new releases from Edasi, both STUPIDLY limited. A cassette, of which we got EIGHT copies, reviewed elsewhere on this list, and this here cd-r, limited to just THIRTY copies, of which we got 20, and then that's it.
And we would recommend grabbing both of these, or at the very least this one, a gorgeous assemblage of super distorted blown out ambience, mournful melodies drifting beneath thick crumbling sheets of superdistorted crunch, it's noisemusic, but here it's surprisingly listenable, a melancholy lament wreathed in squelch and static, the opening track sounds almost like a lo-fi take on that sort of gauzy Hecker / Jeck washed out minimalism.
The sprawling second track is more percussive, and even more lo-fi, the tape hiss in some places as loud as the music itself. A swirling field of buzz and clatter of muted chordal pulses and decayed melodies, a strange bit of rhythmic blur, noisy and a bit blackened, it sounds at times like it might launch into some actual black metal, but instead, much of the noise abates, leaving a strange stumbly rhythm and layers of Eastern sitar like buzz, before collapsing into a final cloud of mysterious percussive detritus and warm whirling static.
The next track fuses a sort of primitive electronica to a woozy warbly bassline, and some spidery guitar melodies, which makes it sound almost like some twisted take on James Ferraro or Ariel Pink, a loping pop rock, wreathed in careening percussive effects, undulating sheets of pink noise, and all manner of crunch and buzz and hiss, but like the other tracks, it too seems to devolve as it goes, eventually the drums transformed into wildly sputtering machinebeats, wrestling with atonal synth buzz creating a dizzying synthscape gone haywire.
The record closes with a brief bit of distorted drone, a warm liquid low end drifting darkly though caustic clouds of staticky hiss and brittle buzz.
LIMITED TO 30 COPIES! Each one hand numbered. Once these are gone, they are gone for good...
MPEG Stream: "Solemn Ritual Dance"
MPEG Stream: "Earth, Wind And Fire Dance"

album cover EDASI Prehistoric Relaxation (KV&GR/Recs) cassette 4.50
We first heard from Estonian ritualistic black metal soundscapers Edasi, from our pal, the weirdo behind black metal outfit Cloak Of Displacement. Edasi's Freddy Krueger Death Chant was a big hit around here, so we were psyched to get TWO new releases from this mysterious outfit: a cd-r, reviewed elsewhere on this week's list, and this, a super limited tape. And we mean crazy limited, as in TEN copies. Total. We got EIGHT of those, odds are these will be gone in a flash, so we won't get into too much detail. Needless to say, if you loved Freddy Krueger Death Chant, you're probably gonna dig this too. Another mysterious sonic ritual, that is less black metal and more abstract forest folk or Wolf Eyes like industrial ambience, a lo-fi sprawl of super distorted sound, streaks of feedback, echo drenched percussion, blurred vocals, all wreathed in murk and mire, swirling effects, thick slabs of buzzing rumbling low end, abstract rhythms, everything smeared into haunting dubbed out blackened ambience, that manages to be fierce and freaky, but also strangely blissed out and listenable. Like a pipe fight in a huge cistern recorded on a tape player with dying batteries, a sort of ephemeral industrial doom drift. Great stuff. And again...
LIMITED TO TEN COPIES. THAT'S IT!! Each one in a hand painted black stickered cassette case, sealed in a stickered plastic bag, the tapes themselves hand painted and hand numbered.

album cover EXPO 70 Awakening (Sonic Meditations) lp 14.98
This long out of print cassette from kosmische explorers Expo 70 is now available on VINYL!!! Here's what we had to say about Awakenings the first time around:
Less heavy than some of the other Expo's, Awakening, features some super stripped down drumming (or drum machine, hard to tell), locked into an endless groove, pulsing over a swirling spacescape of smeared riffs and fragmented melodies, it sounds a bit like Goblin, very soundtracky and otherworldly, space-y and mysterious, and not at all cheesy, more sort of classic new age / krautrock, think Klaus Schultze, scoring some super abstract French sci-fi flick from the sixties, and you'll sort of get the vibe.
Like all Expo 70 stuff, dark and dreamy, warm and warbly, drone-y and hypnotic, but the addition of drums really adds a new dimension, and the soundscapes swirling around the groove seem to be endlessly shifting and transforming. Awesome stuff as always. Total blissed out new age spacey krautiness, as only Expo 70 can do it. WAY recommended.
MPEG Stream: "Prisms Adrift Luminous Sunbeams"
MPEG Stream: "Descending Celestial Moon Odyssey"

album cover FACTORYMEN Yellow Eyes And The Sound Of Vomit (Richie Records) lp 17.98
Brand new batch of twisted noise pop malfunction from Steve Peffer, the mastermind behind fucked up noisemakers Homostupids. Fans of the 'Stupids stumbling lo-fi Neanderthal crush will find much to love here, but Factorymen takes the demented buzz and crunch of Homostupids, and fashions it into something a bit poppier, and weirdly enough, more electronic, creating some sort of knuckle dragging buzz drenched electro-pop, that takes the warped pop of folks like Ariel Pink and James Ferraro, and adds some Stooges-y swagger and some dirge rock guitar buzz, not to mention the whole thing sounds like it was recorded on a cassette that's been sitting the dashboard of a car for the last decade, all hiss and warble and plenty of Faxed Head like sonic drop outs, but all that only adds to the deliriously demented sound.
Tape speeds shift, the fidelity slips from muffled and murky to brittle and blown out, the songs are all over the map from garage-y pound to blurred hypnotic thump, to total eighties style FM radio cheese, to blurred blissy strangely sunshiney Breakfast Club pop, to rhythmic Butthole Surfers like mesmer, to downtuned synth laced space doom dirge, al woven into a druggy and lo-fi, synthy, outsider, electronic, psychedelic warped pop that almost sounds like a drug addled Stephin Merritt record on Not Not Fun or Olde English Spelling Bee, but with just enough crunch to keep the sound at least tangentially noise rocky. Bizarre and sorta brilliant, should most definitely appeal to fans of James Ferraro, Ariel Pink, Rusted Shut, Rangers, Pink Noise and other similarly twisted pop deconstructionists.
Includes a download of the whole record, as well as the previous Factorymen record, 25 tracks in all! The first FM record another batch of even more murky minimalist drug pop...
MPEG Stream: "Calling The Dentist"
MPEG Stream: "S E C"
MPEG Stream: "Our Secret Recipe"
MPEG Stream: "Johnny Is Really Ronnie"

album cover FRIEDL, REINHOLD Inside Piano (Hronir) lp 33.00
Perhaps you're familiar with Zeitkratzer, the classically trained mavericks from Germany who have taken it upon themselves to produce orchestral arrangements of notorious pieces from scabrous noise musicians, notably Whitehouse, John Duncan, Keiji Haino, Zbigniew Karkowski, and Lou Reed's Metal Machine Music. The ensemble has also ventured into arrangements of austere electronica (e.g. Carsten Nicolai and Terre Thaemlitz) and revisiting the classic avant-garde pieces from Alvin Lucier, John Cage, and Xenakis. Zeitkratzer's mastermind is the pianist Reinhold Friedl, who embraces the prepared model for the piano that Cage and company presented more than a half-century ago. In the liner notes here, Friedl offers plenty of examples of techniques developed to produce sound from various objects manipulating the strings inside the piano - e-bows, fishing line, violin bows, rubber balls, and small motors. Through his own exploration of the prepared piano, he really attempts to create a vast orchestra of sounds which can be automated and / or perpepuated through extended passages. Side A is a very dynamic piece with all sorts of sonic activity erupting from within Friedl's piano, described by the man himself as his "full orchestra" with "low vibrations, bottleneck techniques, piping backgrounds, and scratching." It is an intense exploration of dissonant crashes, razor slashed glissandos, and agitated acoustic noise. Side two begins with a rasping acoustic drone slowly building and mutating through multiple strings driven by e-bows and springs. The unholy racket that follows is a variation on the first side with scraped metal and bellowing more in keeping with a Z'ev action of junkyard gamelan follows the drone stasis. All of these demonic howls and squeals answer a whole lot of questions as to how Zeitkratzer was able to render their orchestrations of Metal Machine Music and the Whitehouse pieces in particular! Oh yeah, the album was cut at 45rpm, so you know we played this at 33, where it sounds all the blacker. Thanks, Hronir!
FYI we can also get this on cd, not in stock at the moment though.

album cover FUNERARY BELL The Coven (Undercover) cd 13.98
By now we probably don't need to tell you know nuts we are for Finland. For whatever reason, the music that comes from Finland pretty much always blows our mind. And when it comes to black metal, hell, it's tough to think of a region the produces more bafflingly brilliant blackness. Aanal Beehemoth, Ride For Revenge, Will Over Matter, W.A.I.L., Jumalhamara, Circle Of Ouroborus, Horna, Dead Reptile Shrine, Beherit... Well, you can add Funerary Bell to that list, their debut full length, The Coven, another twisted black missive from Finland, and like many of their Finnish black metal brethren, classifying these guys as black metal, is a bit of a stretch, sure they blast and buzz with the best of them, but they spend just as much time, creeping, jangling, whispering, strumming, they're sorta tough to pin down.
Check out opener "Vision Of The Undead (World)", which is all clean guitar strum, whispered almost melodic vox, simple loping drums, and when the metal does kick in, it's more like classic old school eighties metal, chugging riffs, almost stadium rock sounding, minus the WAY up in the mix blasts of double kick, the song lurching from doomy (yet still melodic) plod to seasick sort-of waltz, back to that double kick laced power metal riffery. Right near the end the band do explode into a brief bit of blackened blasting, but then it's right back into melodic lope. And did we mention the bass, an instrument most often missing from most black metal, but here it's busy, offering up bloopy melodies and add a whole other dimension.
"Detachment" starts out similarly, all melodic and post rocky, then in swoops some Maiden-ish riffing, the vocals a growly grunt, and then there's that double kick again, at least twice as loud as the rest of the drum kit, adding some serious low end oomph.
And so it goes. Folks looking for grim buzz and frenzied blackened blast will be left wanting, but if you like your black metal to flit from crusty d-beat pound to synth laden swirly stumble, from melodic classic metal (via twisted Finnish blackness) to woozy harmonized guitar doom, and from almost indie jangle to melancholia Katatonia-esque melodic blackness, then this might just be your cup of demented druggy blackened Finnish tea!!
MPEG Stream: "Vision Of The Undead (World)"
MPEG Stream: "Detachment"
MPEG Stream: "The Coven Pt II"

album cover FUSIOON Absolute Fusioon (B-Music / Finders Keepers) cd 16.98
Another awesome find from the diggers at Finders Keepers / B-Music! This '70s Spanish (Catalan) band, as their name implies, plays freaky fusion jazz/rock, kinda like a (more) wacked out Return To Forever! It's psychedelically groovy stuff, high on classical gasses, that at times even reminds us a bit of Bollywood, and much else besides (a goofier Goblin, anyone? Le Orme? Wolfgang Dauner?). Fusioon is for sure fun.
Ferinstance, the buzzy, bouncy synth and Spanish-languge chant of the quirky, rhythmic "Farsa Del Buen Vivir" is utterly delightful, deservedly drawing comparisons to old kid-friendly funk fave Stark Reality.
The dozen selections here, drawn from Fusioon's singles and lps for the Belter Progressiva label in the early/mid '70s, are percussively propulsive, sometimes soundtrack-suspenseful, and always packed with surprises, including symphonic-sounding bits and electronic blitzes...
And as always, the Finders Keepers folks fit this cd out with a booklet full of colorful photos, graphics, and extensive, expert liner notes (by Cherrystones and Andy Votel) delving into the details of Fusioon's career, and in general schooling us about the psych/jazz scene in Franco's Spain.
MPEG Stream: "Dialogos"
MPEG Stream: "Farsa Del Buen Vivir"
MPEG Stream: "Contraste"

album cover GANGLIANS Still Living (Lefse) cd 11.98
It's been almost two years since we last heard from these Sacramento fuzz poppers, and we're happy to report that very little has changed. The last record, Monster Head Room, arrived right at the beginning of summer '09, and we reveled in its Beach Boys harmonies, surf rock jangle, and psychedelic garage hooks, but we also pointed out their tendency for experimentation, and their occasional hints of gothic brood. But this time around it's all pop all the time, their sound even more sunshiney and summery, we're hearing way more of groups like the Drums and Soft Pack that the usual garage rock fuzz poppers we compared them to before.
As we've seen pointed out in other reviews, the sound definitely touches on classic NZ Flying Nun pop, and that classic nineties shoegaze slowcore, but where past records felt ramshackle and a little home brewed, this time around, they sound like a real band, with real songs, poised for something bigger than just playing the local dive every Friday night. And while some folks will find that disappointing, we can't help but love the new songs, and the new more polished sound, we actually hear a lot of Fresh & Onlys, that same sort of classic pop songsmithery, songs like "California Cousins" are total sunshine summer beach jams, right down to the chiming melodies and VERY Beach Boys arrangements, while tracks like "Faster" are snarly and swaggery, with fuzzed out guitars and pounding drums, with a nod to the Ganglians of old, but most of the songs here fall somewhere right in between. Which as far as we're concerned is perfect. Hooky, and fuzzy, dreamy and jangly, poppy and pretty dang perfect, maybe their best yet, and quickly becoming our new favorite summer record, even in these waning days of the season.
MPEG Stream: "Drop The Act"
MPEG Stream: "That's What I Want"
MPEG Stream: "Evil Weave"
MPEG Stream: "Sleep"

album cover HABSYLL MMVIII (tUMULt / At War With False Noise / PsycheDOOMelic / Obscure Sombre / Odio Sonoro / Skyr) cd 13.98
BACK IN STOCK!! A distributor found a little stash of these, a kick ass tUMULt release from back in 2009, we got a bunch, but these will likely be the last copies we ever see!
Here's what we had to say about this twisted chunk of abstract avant sludge when we first reviewed it way back in 2009:
It's starting to get seriously tUMULtuous around here. With the arrival of this, the first full length record from French ultra-mega-abstract-doom trio Habsyll, which just so happens to feature one member of the mighty Fantastikol Hole, as well as the former drummer of faerical punk blasters Nuit Noire!
But nothing, and we mean nothing will prepare you for Habsyll's particularly virulent strain of ultradoom. Heavy and slow, yeah obviously, but it's HOW heavy (very) and HOW slow (ummm, so slow the songs seem to have almost zero forward momentum) that makes Habsyll something much more than a metal band or a doom band, it's almost like twentieth century classical played with downtuned guitars and massive drums. So much space, the notes and drum beats miles apart, the drums not so much beats and rhythms (although those do pop up occasionally) as brief explosions or percussive squalls, more for dynamics and texture, or if they are actually engaged in some sort of actual beat, it's mind bendingly abstract and extended and slow to the point of hovering around 2 or 3 bpm. Think Khanate, Monarch, Moss, Bunkur, Fleshpress? You're already thinking too fast, too structured, too riffy. This is some excessive extremist radical dooooooooom, the sort of chug and plod and buzz and bombinate that makes the rest of those bands sound like speed metal.
But in this slow sprawl, and these long stretches of decay, these sudden flurries of drum splatter and downtuned chug, there is a buried beauty, occasionally, these disparate parts mesh into a brief flicker of melody, or a single epic majestic hook filled swell, before slipping back into blackness. And once or twice the band ramps it up, and locks into some serious pounding crushing black hole sludge, but even then, it's a crawl, a glacial black ooze tempo, and before too long, the band abandon any sense of rhythm or tempo, opting instead to drift through some wide open stretch of outerspace ultra doom emptiness.
The guitars go from grinding and sharp, to muddy and massive, the chugs flung into the ether and carried along on streaks of whirring hiss and blackened buzz, spitting out huge jagged shards of feedback, and long smears of blurred anti-riffage, the bass is a massive cloud of low end, throbbing and pulsing, exploding like a brick wall to the side of the head before slipping back into a shadowy rumble, the vocals a caustic demonic shriek, raspy and hellish, slipping into an almost hysterical falsetto, and just as often offering up some alien ululations, and the drums, oh the drums, any drummer can tell you how hard it is to play slow, but they're talking slowcore slow, or even regular doom slow, this is something else entirely, this is doom drumming gone free jazz, pound and skitter in equal measure, meting out beats one at a time, like some sleek black submarine releasing depth charges.
Two lengthy epics, 17 minutes and nearly 29 minutes, neither very traditionally doomlike, but both most definitely doom, maybe more 'doom', than most actual doom we've heard. Like staring into the abyss, or looking up at a black moonless night sky, these sounds are the sounds of emptiness, of bottomless depths, of never ending expanses of space and time, the end of the world, the birth of new universes, the sound of black holes, of exploding stars, the soundtrack to the end of the world, to the end of everything. Slow and heavy and low and spaced out and damaged and fucked up and strangely beautiful and mysterious and abstract and far out and completely kick ass while remaining very very very difficult listening indeed!
This is a split label release, tUMULt of course, along with 5 other kick ass labels: At War With False Noise, Obscure Sombre, PsycheDOOMelic, Skyr and Odio Sonoro.
MPEG Stream: "II"
MPEG Stream: "I"

album cover HERNDON, HOLLY Car (Third Sex) cassette 4.50
Brand new release from local soundscaper / noisemaker Holly Herndon, a tape designed specifically for where most tapes get listened too. Yep, the car! This recent resurgence in tape releases has had most of us scrambling to find tape players, going to the Goodwill looking for tapedecks, buying Walkman's (Walkmen?) at Radio Shack, but one place tapes still seem to be ubiquitous, is of course in CARS. Not new cars, it's all cd players now, soon to be MP3 player docks exclusively we imagine, or who knows, maybe you'll be able to sync up your car stereo to your iTunes, but for now, those of you with a tape player in your car, or anyone with a tape player period, should check out Herndon's Car, which was created with the automobile driver, weird sound enthusiast in mind, starting with experiments using sine wave sweeps of popular car models, not to mention random samplings of FM radio (do we hear "Owner Of A Lonely Heart"?).
Thick swaths of pulsing sound, streaks of static, layered low end swells, the sound of engine rumbles merged with crackling white noise creating hazy fields of static, which occasionally give way to some flipping through the dial, only to slip right back into heaving sheets of soft focus hiss and whir, throbbing and pulsing subtly within clouds of crunchy static, slipping into softly roiling sprawls of low end hum, which in turn pulse rhythmically, the sounds hypnotic and minimal, like some fractured automobile sourced heroin house. Electric windows are rolled down, their sounds processed and looped into weridly mesmerizing mechanical dronescapes, sounding not unlike The User's ink jet printer symphonies.
Killer stuff, and on headphones it sounds amazing, we can only imagine how it sounds cranked in the car.
LIMITD TO 102 COPIES!!

album cover HEY COLOSSUS RRR (Riot Season) cd 16.98
Latest batch of noise rock pummel from these UK crushers, although the first few minutes had us thinking we might have stuck the wrong disc in the player, a cool droned out slithery expanse of dense layered shimmer, of mysterious ritualistic buzz, tribal percussion, disembodied vocals, all hazy and druggy and mesmerizing, but fear not, apparently that was just the intro, as track two comes stumbling in like some downtuned AmRep avalanche, all Melvins-y stomp and swagger, with knuckle dragging drum pound, bellowed processed vox, all beneath squalls of feedback and grinding FX, and let's not forget the guitars, there are after all THREE guitar players (four if you count the bass guitar, and we DO), a thick wall of crumbling blackened slo-mo tarpit riffage, churning and roiling, some sort of sonic mad scientist channeling the Butthole Surfers and Shit And Shine, and sort of like in the movie The Fly the two are fused in some horrible laboratory mishap, but in this case, the result is fantastic, a gloriously sludgy dirgey pound, heady and hypnotic, a looped sounding chunk of metallic mesmer, which is pretty much what these guys specialize in. The rest of the record offers up variations of that theme, "The Drang" slows things down to a swampy crawl, letting synths shimmer and feedback squall beneath a sea of swirling buzz and bellowing howls, while the title track blurs everything into a stretched out sprawl of FX drenched space rock bliss out, that gradually becomes more and more metallic, more and more pounding and propulsive as the track progresses, the last half sounding a bit like the Melvins covering Hawkwind, which is no way a bad thing at all.
"Almeria, Spain" is an epic bit of post-sludge, sounding all majestic and mighty, a bit like Harvey Milk at their most melodic and bombastic, while "Warmer The Belter" gets all sensitive, acoustic guitars, some shuffling drums, dreamy melodies, and the vocals a deep dreamy croon, the whole thing underpinned by a symphony of demonic sounding effects and sinister drones, which finally gives way to the final jam, "I Am Bunga Bunga", which far from the crushing closer we were expecting pairs weird garbled vox with shimmery shuffling almost krautrock sounding thrum, which really only briefly explodes, offering up a final glimpse of these guys' crush and pummel proclivities, before slipping right back into a final minute or two of swirling effects wreathed ambience.
As always incredible stuff, and a pretty awesome document of how these guys drag their noise rock kicking and not always screaming, far beyond the boundaries that define most of their similarly sonically inclined brethren...
MPEG Stream: "Teased From The Nest"
MPEG Stream: "The Drang"
MPEG Stream: "I Am Bunga Bunga"

album cover HIGH SPIRITS Another Night (self-released) cd 11.98
Hot damn, we're in high spirits indeed to be gettin' this new full-length from High Spirits, whose self-titled demos disc we raved about last year, and proved to be a bit of a sleeper hit here at AQ. We've been waiting for their "debut" album proper ever since, and now here it is, High Spirits offering up nine new, completely classic-sounding songs that you could mistake for NWOBHM gems circa '79.
The mastermind behind High Spirits is multi-instrumentalist Chris "Professor" Black, best known for his critically acclaimed one-man-band Dawnbringer on Profound Lore. High Spirits is another one man band, although Chris has recruited a color-coordinated lineup for live performances. Here, however, he handles all the vocals, guitars, drums, songwriting, etc., heck he even self-released the cd. And even moreso than with Dawnbringer, which grew out of a black/death metal basis to incorporate more melody and traditional speed metal shred, with High Spirits he's utterly indulging his love of good ol' fashioned, and downright poppy, metal. And damn is he good at it. Gorgeous guitarwork, catchy tuneage... What's more, these songs rise above being merely ear candy for retro-metal nostalgics (though ear candy it is!), because of his distinctive, dare we say delicate, high voice (often harmonized with himself) and heartfelt, non-ironic lyrics. The melancholic tinge to his singing, juxtaposed with the hot rockin', headbanging riffage, gives this a very special, unique vibe. Compared to a lot of other current "New Wave Of Old School Metal" bands we like (Cauldron, Enforcer, Zuul, Twisted Tower Dire...) there's something about High Spirits' sound and songwriting approach that comes across as particularly honest and uncontrived, whether the songs be about love, or partying. Somehow even the sorta cheesy, "nighttime in the big city" stuff a la the album cover/title track, comes off as innocent and sincere. Listening to High Spirits is like listening to a good friend (or an inner voice) giving you a psychological pep talk, backed by powerful, warmly fuzzed guitars. If we're making comparisons, we'd say this probably comes closest to last year's highly praised debut from Christian Mistress, no foolin'.
Color us quite impressed, anyway, with the good Professor's memorable-metal-making abilities! F'n recommended, yeah!!
MPEG Stream: "Full Power"
MPEG Stream: "Demons At The Door"
MPEG Stream: "I'll Be Back"

album cover ISIDORE DUCASSE s/t (Blackest Rainbow) lp 17.98
Super limited new lp from the duo, Isidore Ducasse, which is Jefre Cantu-Ledesma (Root Strata, Tarentel, etc.) and his ex-Tarentel partner Trevor Montgomery. Named for the 19th century French poet better known by his pen name Comte de Lautreamont, this unit was originally formed to create the soundtrack for a Western, and while the film never materialized, the eventual soundtrack, this record right here, works just fine on its own, being darkly evocative and well able to conjure up visions of some lost West in the minds of the listeners.
Definitely mining territory similar to groups like Earth and Barn Owl, the vibe is dusty and windswept, desolate and dreamlike, opening with chiming melodies, delicate and hushed, over soft swells of tape hiss and amp buzz, the record slowly unfolding as a series of hazy, shimmery drones, all moonlit and washed out, peppered with languorous twang, streaks of warm fuzz and deep low end thrum. Stretched out atmospheres that drift from lush layered buzz, to soaring string like majesty, swoonsome melodies surfacing amidst slow swirling clouds of soft focus distortion. There are moments where the record veers into way more abstract territory, with the duo capable of conjuring up some sweet cosmic dronemusic or more minimal abstract drift, and those moments definitely have their place, and do evoke some fantastic and mysterious tableaus that no doubt play out in whatever imaginary western these sounds now accompany, and there is enough of those sounds that this will no doubt hit the spot for those into drone/drift minimalism, but the core of the record remains a dark twang flecked drift, a dreamy, otherworldly ambience, a slo-mo avant country drift, that will no doubt appeal to fans of Barn Owl, Earth, Scenic, Morricone and the like. So nice.
Pressed on 140 gram vinyl, LIMITED TO 500 COPIES!
MPEG Stream: "Mesmeric And Savage"
MPEG Stream: "Early Thoroughfare"
MPEG Stream: "Here Lies A Youth... Of Consumption"
MPEG Stream: "Irrepressible Shudder"

album cover KLEYN, CAROL Love Has Made Me Stronger (Drag City) cd 14.98
Before there was Joanna Newsom, there was Carol Kleyn, a young hippie spirit with an ethereal songbird voice who wrote rapturous paeans to love and nature on her harp. So it makes sense then that Newsom's label, Drag City, would reissue this lovely private press recording from 1976. Studying at the University of Santa Barbara, Kleyn befriended Bobby Brown (the instrument builder who recorded the amazing old aQ fave The Enlightening Beam of Axonda) and she assisted him with his constructions and live performances. He gifted her the harp, and she began to learn to play and write her own songs, eventually opening for Gregg Allman. Instead of waiting to get a record deal, she decided to make a record on her own and released it on her own label. She recorded two other lps soon after, before devoting herself full time to her family.
Love has Made Me Stronger divides its compositions between harp and electric piano. Her tone is bright and the songs exude a sunny yet eccentric warm energy. Similar to the beautiful Collie Ryan and Connie Converse reissues we listed a while back, Carol Kleyn's debut is a much-needed positive ray of sunshine in these dark days.
MPEG Stream: "Baby Come Close"
MPEG Stream: "Street Song"
MPEG Stream: "Oo Like The Mountain"
MPEG Stream: "You Know I Love You"

album cover KLEYN, CAROL Love Has Made Me Stronger (Drag City) lp 17.98
Before there was Joanna Newsom, there was Carol Kleyn, a young hippie spirit with an ethereal songbird voice who wrote rapturous paeans to love and nature on her harp. So it makes sense then that Newsom's label, Drag City, would reissue this lovely private press recording from 1976. Studying at the University of Santa Barbara, Kleyn befriended Bobby Brown (the instrument builder who recorded the amazing old aQ fave The Enlightening Beam of Axonda) and she assisted him with his constructions and live performances. He gifted her the harp, and she began to learn to play and write her own songs, eventually opening for Gregg Allman. Instead of waiting to get a record deal, she decided to make a record on her own and released it on her own label. She recorded two other lps soon after, before devoting herself full time to her family.
Love has Made Me Stronger divides its compositions between harp and electric piano. Her tone is bright and the songs exude a sunny yet eccentric warm energy. Similar to the beautiful Collie Ryan and Connie Converse reissues we listed a while back, Carol Kleyn's debut is a much-needed positive ray of sunshine in these dark days.
MPEG Stream: "Baby Come Close"
MPEG Stream: "Street Song"
MPEG Stream: "Oo Like The Mountain"
MPEG Stream: "You Know I Love You"

album cover KORAY, ERKIN Mechul: Singles & Rarities (Sublime Frequencies) cd 16.98
Uh, c'mon, how could this NOT be awesome? Sublime Frequencies never fails us, first off. AND we're already fans of vintage Turkish psych in general, guitarist/vocalist Erkin Koray in particular. So this release, with its excellent eyeballs-shooting-purple-rays-from-space-or-whatever cover painting, was eagerly anticipated at AQ. And yeah it's awesome. As the subtitle says, this consists of singles and rarities circa 1970-'77 from this Middle Eastern psych rock master, founder of "the first underground group of the Orient", a living legend whose career stretches back to the '50s. Rarities? Well, compiler Mark Gergis notes in the liners: "This collection features tracks not found on the many unauthorized Erkin compilations and LP reissues that have emerged in the west over the years." And indeed these eleven tracks were provided to Sublime Frequencies by Koray himself, sourced from his personal vinyl collection! So, listen up, 'cause this is the stuff Erkin wants us to hear, and well, if you're any sort of Turkish psych fan like us, you NEED to hear it. Tracks like "Kendim Ettim Kendim Buldum" and "Hadi Hadi Ordan" are going to make you very happy. Swirling and shimmering, twanging surfy electric saz (or is that oud?), melodic deep droning vocals, bellydancing folk motifs, stirring orchestration, and YES some wild blasts of psychrockguitar distortion, it's the exotic East (lots of East) meets West sort of thing we just love! While some of this is wonderfully moody, a lot of it rocks, all right, ferinstance just crank up "Krallar" (a '75 single from whence that striking cover image comes) with its especially dramatic vocals to match its uptempo urgency.
Digipack cd release for now, with a vinyl version due out in a couple of weeks as well. Is it too much to hope that Sublime Frequencies will get Erkin to undertake a Western tour like labelmate Omar Souleyman, one of these days...?
MPEG Stream: "Mechul"
MPEG Stream: "Ve..."
MPEG Stream: "Hadi Hadi Ordan"

album cover KWJAZ s/t (Not Not Fun) lp 14.98
Sold about a billion (really) of these when it came out on cassette via Brunch Groupe, which of course rapidly went out of print, and have been waiting eagerly ever since for the vinyl version, which is now here at last thanks to Not Not Fun, yay!
Wow. We can't get over this incredibly cosmic, tripped-out debut cassette from KWJAZ. SF mastermind Peter Berends decides that space is the place and sets his sights for uncharted musical territory. Falling somewhere between outsider instrumental pop and dubbed-out psychedelic ethno-jazz, Berends leads a colorful excursion into the astral unknown. The two, side-long tracks unfold like some otherworldly mix-tape, deep basslines giving way to sizzling warbling drones, cut-up bits of rhythmic clatter ooze and materialize into slow grooving monuments to the stars. Chopped up samples and distorted swells melt into a lo-fi woozy web. Hazy, primitive beats (picture a slowed down Ethiopiques loop) rock and sway as horns, electric piano and weirdo samples add to the celestial crunk. And keep in mind, though KWJAZ is weird, far-out and strange, this humble cassette is overflowing with musicianship and close attention to layering and detail.
What makes all the tripped-out, genre defying weirdness so satisfying is Berends's ability to form these diverse elements into a propulsive, evocative musical journey through time and genre. Moments of cool jazz tranquility unexpectedly morph into trip-hop fantasy ballads, long-tone new age bliss suddenly shifts into West African romps, and somehow all these tangents seem impossibly and seamlessly linked. We can't recommend this one enough!
Limited to an edition of 121, fans of Hype Williams, Rangers or Ducktails will not want to miss out on this lysergic masterpiece!
MPEG Stream: "Once In Babylon"
MPEG Stream: "Frighteous Wane"

album cover LIGHT s/t (Crucial Blaze) 3xcd-r 17.98
Three out of print cd-r's from this outsider blackened doom duo, A Million Dead Beneath The Ice, Life Is Meaningless & Goes On Forever and Worse Than Anyone Would Have Expected, all available again, now repackaged and offered together as a single triple cd-r boxset, with all new art, additional inserts, and two buttons, released on Crucial Blast sublabel Crucial Blaze. Here's what we had to say about each of the records when we first reviewed them individually:
A Million Dead Beneath The Ice:
From its humble beginnings as a genre, black metal has changed dramatically, transformed into something style and sound based rather than belief based. And where black metal was once strictly the province of the grim and kvlt, and yes, the actual metalheads, it's now gained a certain cache, a definite hip factor, where any band, metal or not, is likely to feature one member with his or her own solo black metal project. We're not complaining, not in the least, it's these fresh injections into black metal's sonic gene pool that keep it interesting, that produce more and more strange and wonderful variations, a great many perpetrated by folks new to metal completely, who were lured to the darkside by black metal specifically, its mystery and unique sound, the sonic possibilities offered by its murky symphony of buzz and blast, rumble and shriek, sounds easily twisted into all manner of shapes. 
We got this particular cd-r in the mail a few weeks ago, and as we've mentioned before we do get quite a few. Our first impression was that it would most likely be some sort of minimal drone record, very stark white packaging, hand made, the band is called Light, with song titles like "When The Green Midwestern Sky Comes Crashing Down", and "When The Flood Waters Come Rushing In", the packaging unfolds to reveal nothing but the song titles, rendered in a flowery script, but on the disc, there was what appears to be a smear of actual blood (which we later discovered was in fact menstrual blood!). The first clue as to what sort of mysterious darkness lurked inside... 
Once we threw it on, we knew this was something else entirely, there is plenty of drone indeed, but the drone is only one element of Light's mysterious lugubrious buzz drenched blackened crawl. Almost like a more lo-fi Skepticism, Light trudge along at tarpit tempos, the guitars not so much riffing as unfurling thick swirls of soft fuzz, the vocals howled and wailed, but way off in the distance, the drums strangely un-drumlike, more like pots and pans, a clattery, skeletal percussion, the whole thing held together by the warm dramatic keyboards, that sound like the Haunted Mansion soundtrack played at 16rpm, all smeared and blurred together into something only barely black metal, only barely doom, a thick lurching slow motion black doomdrone, evocative and cinematic, at once epic and sprawling, lo-fi and ultra personal. Creepy and haunting, but strangely melodic and beautiful. Think Trollmann, Abruptum, Celestiial, Catacombs, Monument of Urns and again Skepticism, but filtered through the cracked lo-fi filter of underground cd-r dronemusic. If one was unfamiliar with black metal, one might be reminded of Lustmord, or some other sort of deathambient, but with the confusional addition of actual riffs, and those hellish vox, and the strange primitive percussion, the end result a sort of metallicized slowcore, or a washed out ultradoom, or a blurred bleary black metal, however you describe it, Light have crafted some truly original, gorgeously bleak, warm and almost dreamy, slow motion buzzing black beauty.
Life Is Meaningless & Goes On Forever:
Earlier this year, we reviewed a super limited avant outsider blackened doom record called A Million Dead Beneath The Ice, by a duo called Light. Which was anything but light, in fact, it was one of the darkest and most harrowing discs we'd heard in a long time, a slow motion drone drenched funereal crawl, with a lush almost orchestrated feel that definitely reminded us of Skepticism. And if anything, record number two, the awesomely titled Life Is Meaningless & Goes On Forever is even more! More black, more doomy, more droney, more beautiful, more harsh and more bizarre. 
One hour long track, which begins with a slowly cycling piano figure, draped over a wash of reverbed tones, distant rumbles, the sound gorgeous, slightly atonal, ominous and sinister, and then there are the vocals, a nearly impossible to describe high pitched shriek, that almost sounds like someone screaming as they breathe in, a twisted strangled howl, totally at odds with the music underneath, reminding us a bit of Tomb Of..., who also paired up piano and black metal vokills, but Light seems borne more of a free noise aesthetic. Minus the vocals, the sound on Life Is Meaningless, is a sort of abstract slowcore crawl, a little post rocky, a little doomy, a bit of black ambient drift, but the vocals are just SOOOO creepy, it definitely pushes it into a whole other realm. And suddenly what could have been something darkly pretty, becomes something fucked up and grimly gorgeous. 
Worse Than Anyone Would Have Expected:
Third and final release from this depressive black doom duo, and it's a fitting epitaph to a short but brilliant streak. Three super limited cd-r's, less than 200 all told, each one overflowing with blackened misery and gorgeous harrowing sonic blackness, the first, titled A Million Dead Beneath The Ice, gave way to the second, titled Life Is Meaningless & Goes On Forever, which brings us to Worse Than Anyone Would Have Expected, which should give you a decent impression of the overall vibe and tone of Light's distinctly UN-light sound. 
Three looooooong tracks, thick caustic layers of buzzing low end drone, sparsely strummed acoustic guitar, shrieked vocals way down in the mix, funereal, glacial, miserable, not even plodding as there seems to be no drums, or if they are there, they're practically inaudible. The melodies are lilting and melancholic, there's some piano, the rumbling buzzing backdrop seems to coalesce into some sort of melody, the whole thing lurching in slow motion, grim, and dense, and miserably and mournfully lovely. Totally hypnotic .
The second track offers up more of the same, another lovely black expanse of pointillist piano, harrowing screams, and slow swells of black buzz, before finally segueing into the epic closing track, a formula similar to the first two, but somehow even slower, more abject, more ambient, so slow and spaced out and minimal, that it nearly ceases being metal or doom and is transformed into some sort of black ambient slowcore, a haunting doomic creep, that to these ears is as pretty as it is grim and harsh. 
This reissue is also limited, only 200 copies, each one hand numbered!
MPEG Stream: "When The Green Midwestern Sky Comes Crashing Down"
MPEG Stream: "When The Flood Waters Come Rushing In"
MPEG Stream: "Life Is Meaningless & Goes On Forever (excerpt 1)"
MPEG Stream: "Life Is Meaningless & Goes On Forever (excerpt 2)"
MPEG Stream: "The City"
MPEG Stream: "Again"

album cover LORD FOUL Killing Raping Burning / The Devil's Advocate (Forever Plagued Records) cd 8.98
This document of raw and primitive American black metal also available on cd!!
This Kentucky one man band recorded only two cassette demos, between 1993 and 1994, only one of which was ever released. Originally thought to be a joke, the liner notes in this new edition state explicitly that "the hatred radiating from these recordings is real!", and while the man behind these sounds was known as Roach back in the day, he now goes by the name James Brown III, and is a member of LA black metallers Harassor (and is responsible for the awesome Moon Knight tape we reviewed a while back)!
Eleven blasts of blasting, pounding blackness, primitive and raw, fierce and feral, the guitars buzz maniacally, the drums super lo-fi, boomy and rehearsal space sounding, the vokills so awesome, a sick demonic croak, all woven into short sharp bursts of true black metal grimnity, the songs slipping from mid-tempo plod to furious blast and back again, the sound fantastically lo-fi, blown out, murky and muddy, buzzy and black.
MPEG Stream: "Rising Beast"
MPEG Stream: "False Messiah"
MPEG Stream: "My King"

album cover MALKMUS, STEPHEN AND THE JICKS Mirror Traffic (Matador) cd 14.98
"What is indie rock?" Perhaps one day that question will win a contestant on Jeopardy a ton of money. And chances are the answer would be, a style and approach to music perfected and exemplified by Stephen Malkmus and his '90s band Pavement. Yes the words 'indie-rock' and 'Malkmus' pretty much go hand in hand, and we've got to say that all these years later the old Pavement records are still sounding so great, and his solo releases have been not half bad either.
This time out, Malkmus teams up with Beck, who was called on to produce Mirror Traffic. After working with Thurston Moore on his latest, Demolished Thoughts, this time around Beck got the opportunity to work with another one of his heroes. We wonder if Matador has Beck on their payroll now, but damn we've been pretty impressed with Beck, the producer. Though, this record is still very much the sound and vision of Stephen Malkmus. While there's no doubt both Beck and Malkmus, have strong, confident egos, we would never expect Malkmus to let go of control of his patented sound. The album is for sure the most peppy and poppy post-Pavement outing yet. While some of his more recent albums have found him striving for a bombastic psych approach, Mirror Traffic finds Malkmus remembering hooks, clever word play and catchy melodies better then almost any other songwriter around. We can imagine this record was a lot of fun to make, as he seems to have let go of any grandiose musical pretension, and got to the core of what he does best. In fact the last few songs on here, had us thinking we were hearing some rad unreleased Pavement tracks. Indie rock is still alive and well in 2011!
MPEG Stream: "Tigers"
MPEG Stream: "Senator"
MPEG Stream: "Forever 28"

album cover MALKMUS, STEPHEN AND THE JICKS Mirror Traffic (Matador) lp 17.98
"What is indie rock?" Perhaps one day that question will win a contestant on Jeopardy a ton of money. And chances are the answer would be, a style and approach to music perfected and exemplified by Stephen Malkmus and his '90s band Pavement. Yes the words 'indie-rock' and 'Malkmus' pretty much go hand in hand, and we've got to say that all these years later the old Pavement records are still sounding so great, and his solo releases have been not half bad either.
This time out, Malkmus teams up with Beck, who was called on to produce Mirror Traffic. After working with Thurston Moore on his latest, Demolished Thoughts, this time around Beck got the opportunity to work with another one of his heroes. We wonder if Matador has Beck on their payroll now, but damn we've been pretty impressed with Beck, the producer. Though, this record is still very much the sound and vision of Stephen Malkmus. While there's no doubt both Beck and Malkmus, have strong, confident egos, we would never expect Malkmus to let go of control of his patented sound. The album is for sure the most peppy and poppy post-Pavement outing yet. While some of his more recent albums have found him striving for a bombastic psych approach, Mirror Traffic finds Malkmus remembering hooks, clever word play and catchy melodies better then almost any other songwriter around. We can imagine this record was a lot of fun to make, as he seems to have let go of any grandiose musical pretension, and got to the core of what he does best. In fact the last few songs on here, had us thinking we were hearing some rad unreleased Pavement tracks. Indie rock is still alive and well in 2011!
MPEG Stream: "Tigers"
MPEG Stream: "Senator"
MPEG Stream: "Forever 28"

album cover MAVRA s/t (KV&GR/Recs) cd-r 5.98
Another discovery via aQ pal / black metal weirdo Cloak Of Displacement, this one a super obscure collection of dark ambient sound collage from the mysterious Estonian soundscaper known as Mavra (who is in fact Veiko Rebane, live vocalist for CoD), all created from audio samples from films, old records and a delay pedal. A very primitive sort of Philip Jeck in a way, the sounds barely recognizable, instead transformed into woozy looped rhythmscapes, or layered into shimmery drones, the vibe is propulsive and a litrle bit krauty, but definitely very primitive and ritualistic, lo-fi and home brewed.
Some of the tracks are downright pretty, and sound a bit like Boards Of Canada, albeit a slightly more abrasive, more evil version, the melodies a bit off kilter, a little atonal, the tracks laced with shards of crunch and glitch, all drifting atop warm sinister swells of chordal thrum, the second track here in different hands could have been a sweet bit of dreamy IDM, but instead is a bit more raw and moody. Elsewhere the sound shifts into almost soundtrack territory, heaving bits of organ swirl underpin tense high end tones, and cascading avalanches of primitive electronics, but all masterfully woven into a strangely mesmerizing sort of lo-fi electronic ambience.
The final three tracks offer up variations on the electronica versus black ambience versus droney drift, the sound flitting between the three, noisy and chaotic one second, swirly and sci-fi the next, and finally, dark and dolorous, haunting and hypnotic, which is how the record unwinds in its final moments. So good.
LIMITED TO 20 COPIES!! That's it. We got 15 and once they are gone we won't be able to get more!
MPEG Stream: "I"
MPEG Stream: "III"

album cover MERRITT, STEPHIN Obscurities (Merge) cd 14.98
Oh the glory days. Remember when all our favorite bands were still sort of our own little secret that the larger mainstream world both didn't know about and could care less about. That's how it was almost two decades ago when The Magnetic Fields first hit the scene. Before getting the attention of NPR and culture vultures far and wide with the release of 69 Love Songs, Stephin Merritt was one of the most unsung songwriters of our generation. Whether it was with The Magnetic Fields or when he recorded under the monikers of The 6ths, Future Bible Heroes, or the Gothic Archies, he carved out a space as one of the most unique and versatile songwriters we had heard in ages.
Obscurities draws from this magical era. Taking rare and unreleased tracks dating back to his days on Merge in the mid-late '90s. And we have to admit, this record is really reminding us why we fell so hard in love with his songs in the first place. The poignant and wicked smart lyrics, the deadpan delivery, the range of song forms from lo-fi C86 inspired blasts to more delicate and introspective twee. And we must mention that this contains one of our favorite songs of all time. "I Don't Believe You" by The Magnetic Fields, and it's not the version that came out on their Nonesuch debut, I, but instead the version from the long out of print Merge 7", that a few of us here have probably played over and over more then any other song in the world. well worth the price of admission for that practically perfect chunk of lo-fi pop bliss!
While we still dig what Merritt has been doing in recent years, in fact we made the 2008 Magnetic Fields album Distortion a Record Of The Week, we have to admit this is the era that will always be most near and dear to our hearts and ears. Absolutely essential!
MPEG Stream: "I Don't Believe You (The Magnetic Fields)"
MPEG Stream: "Yet Another Girl (The 6ths)"
MPEG Stream: "Rats In The Garbage Of The Western World (The Magnetic Fields)"

album cover MERRITT, STEPHIN Obscurities (Merge) lp 17.98
Oh the glory days. Remember when all our favorite bands were still sort of our own little secret that the larger mainstream world both didn't know about and could care less about. That's how it was almost two decades ago when The Magnetic Fields first hit the scene. Before getting the attention of NPR and culture vultures far and wide with the release of 69 Love Songs, Stephin Merritt was one of the most unsung songwriters of our generation. Whether it was with The Magnetic Fields or when he recorded under the monikers of The 6ths, Future Bible Heroes, or the Gothic Archies, he carved out a space as one of the most unique and versatile songwriters we had heard in ages.
Obscurities draws from this magical era. Taking rare and unreleased tracks dating back to his days on Merge in the mid-late '90s. And we have to admit, this record is really reminding us why we fell so hard in love with his songs in the first place. The poignant and wicked smart lyrics, the deadpan delivery, the range of song forms from lo-fi C86 inspired blasts to more delicate and introspective twee. And we must mention that this contains one of our favorite songs of all time. "I Don't Believe You" by The Magnetic Fields, and it's not the version that came out on their Nonesuch debut, I, but instead the version from the long out of print Merge 7", that a few of us here have probably played over and over more then any other song in the world. well worth the price of admission for that practically perfect chunk of lo-fi pop bliss!
While we still dig what Merritt has been doing in recent years, in fact we made the 2008 Magnetic Fields album Distortion a Record Of The Week, we have to admit this is the era that will always be most near and dear to our hearts and ears. Absolutely essential!
MPEG Stream: "I Don't Believe You (The Magnetic Fields)"
MPEG Stream: "Yet Another Girl (The 6ths)"
MPEG Stream: "Rats In The Garbage Of The Western World (The Magnetic Fields)"

album cover MOORE, THURSTON Suicide Notes For Acoustic Guitar (Carbon) cd-r 6.98
Whoa! Thurston sure knows how to keep himself occupied and totally balanced, if not bipolar. After releasing two of his prettiest and acoustic based solo records, the song based Demolished, and the self explanatory Solo Acoustic Vol. 5 - 12 String Meditations For Jack Rose, he goes the exact opposite route and releases one of his most fucked up and noisy solo guitar records ever. Suicide Notes For Acoustic Guitar, is in fact a cd-r filled with relentless blasts of electric guitar way in the red and filled with an urgency that never takes a breath. In fact it's got the same kind of crazy intensity and bleeding guitar sounds that can be found on records from folks like Mainliner, High Rise, Keiji Haino, Wolf Eyes, Skullflower etc. But within all this psychedelic noise you can still totally hear his patented approach to guitar playing lurking there all the time right beneath the crushing pace and voltage that blasts out of these tracks from start to finish. Who else in their early '50s can thrash and destroy with this much energy and passion on one record, while getting so dreamy and beautiful on another. The man is a legend for a reason! And while we found the title confusing, we now realize its true meaning, that these are the sorts of sounds that would drive an acoustic guitar to end it all!
MPEG Stream: "Black Hairs"
MPEG Stream: "Stained Silk"
MPEG Stream: "Soul"

album cover MUGSTAR Lime (Agitated) lp 16.98
This Record Of The Week from last year, previously cd-only, now on vinyl!!!
We said it before, and we might as well say it again, these guys should really be WAY more popular than they are, everything we've heard from them has totally ruled, a few singles, two full lengths, one of which we made a Record Of The Week, and let's not forget their bad ass Hawkwind cover in the Sonic Attack 7" series, so it should come as no surprise that full length number three is just as good, if not better than all the stuff that came before. Not as blown out and super rocking as Sun Broken, Lime is 4 tracks clocking in at 40 minutes, and is a bit more subdued than past efforts. That's not to say there isn't some seriously psychedelic ferocity on display here, it's just judiciously doled out, and set amidst some more minimal psychedelia. Although opener "Sunburnt Impedance Machine" might have you convinced otherwise, exploding right out of the gate with a killer fuzzed out Hawkwindy riff, chanted vocals, some soaring spidery leads, some killer staccato mathy breakdowns, huge squalls of spacepsych freakout, until finally at about the halfway mark, the track shifts gears and locks into a churning chugging krautrock groove, the instruments locked in tight, only the organ let loose, to whir and warble and buzz, laying thick undulating swaths of chordal buzz over everything, intense and hypnotic, and definitely the sort of thing that should appeal to Circle obsessives.
Which becomes even more obvious on the second track, the 13 minute "Serra", which is a dead ringer for our Finnish hypnorock pals, a sprawling motorik groove, you sort of almost keep expecting Mika Ratto to start singing over the top, but instead, synths swirl and shimmer, horns bleat and skronk, effects swoop and sway, organs get all proggy adding melodic counterpoint, but the main groove never wavers, mesmerizingly epic and relentless, 13 minutes is not nearly enough, could/should go on for hours...
"Radar King" returns Mugstar to the realm of the rocking, locked into another hypnokraut groove, this one minor key and mathy, before breaking down into some spaced out psychdrone drift, all clouds of cymbal shimmer, little melodic squiggles, swirling effects and hushed synths, barely there guitar jangle, eventually the build begins, pulsing, throbbing, growing louder, and more intense, the effects more frantic, the drums heavier, finally exploding in a climax of tangled guitar freakout, and splattery drum pound, all wreathed in dense spaced out FX.
Finally, the band finish off with a gorgeously hazy psychedelic dronedrift, that lays a woozy bassline, under a thick droning organ, the drums minimal, skeletal, like the tracks before, the organ takes control, adding all sorts of rhythmic texture to the proceedings, a total drugpsych tripout, all anchored to the seriously solid groove at its core.
Some seriously epic and proggy psychedelic spacekraut to the max, fans of Circle especially should dig these guys if they don't already, and like the last record, absolutely recommended for anyone even remotely into Salvatore, Magyar Posse, White Hills, The Heads, Burnt Hills, Gnod, 3 Leafs, Bardo Pond, Gunslingers, Eternal Tapestry, Heavy Winged, Sleepy Sun, Plastic Crimewave, Titan and the rest of the current crop of modern psych rockers...
MPEG Stream: "Sunburnt Impedance Machine"
MPEG Stream: "Serra"

album cover NEON JUDGEMENT Early Tapes (Onder Stroom) cd 15.98
One of the more eccentric acts to emerge from the Belgian EMB scene in the late '80s, The Neon Judgement developed a stylized sound of electronics melded to an Americana swagger with patinas of country-fried twang working into leather-clad industrialisms. At times, Neon Judgement were brilliant in this approach, other times it was a contrived dud. Yet, this sound was one that was developed over time, as their earliest recordings took on the more synth punk idioms that were held by contemporaries in Cabaret Voltaire, Absolute Body Control, Siglo XX, Suicide, and even bits of Gary Numan. This cd contains all the tracks from the two cassettes that Neon Judgement released in 1981-1982 (TV Treated and Suffering). At this time, the band was considerably more raw, with jagged guitar riffs coupled to the overdriven synth chords and jabbing arppegiations. It sounds like Neon Judgement had been listening to that first Suicide record, and wanted to try to figure out how to reinterpret the zombified rockabilly through electronics as well, without resorting to a pure homage. The minimalist spiralling of Neon Judgement's electronics holds some of Suicide's simplicity, although Neon Judgement's rock sensibility is purely showcased through the guitar and not the songwriting, which is much more tuned (at least here) to the European approaches of coldwave detachment. A couple of the tracks (e.g. "Factory Walk" and "TV Treated") had made appearances on later albums with more polish on the production, but there's something better suited to the stilted gait and agitated guitar pluckings on "Factory Walk" that make these recordings more expressive.
This collection was originally released by Dark Entries on vinyl, with this new cd reissue featuring three bonus tracks, two of which are live recordings from 1982 - both of which are very well recorded. "Concrete (Vegas)" is a particularly good pastiche of vintage Suicide with ominous, montone synth lines. The third bonus track is a solo recording from Neon Judgement's Dirk Da Davo.
MPEG Stream: "Factory Walk"
MPEG Stream: "Schyzophrenic Freddy"
MPEG Stream: "TV Treated"

album cover NIG-HEIST s/t (Drag City) lp + cd 17.98
Nig Heist was punk rock band fronted by Black Flag roadie and SST employee Mugger, a joke band formed specifically to open for Black Flag, with the sole intention of pissing people off, and by all reports, mission accomplished. Big time. Infamous live shows, ridiculous costumes, super antagonistic audience baiting stage banter, stupid songs, over the top sexist and misogynistic lyrics, basically everything Mugger and company could think of to rankle the punk rockers. That crew, typically drawn from members of Black Flag and various bands who happened to be opening for Black Flag, over the years included: Bill Stevenson, Dez Cadena, Chuck Biscuits, Greg Ginn, D. Boon, Tom Trocolli, Spot, and maybe hardest to believe, Ian MacKaye of Minor Threat/Fugazi.
The key to the group's 'sound' being that the members were called on to join Nig-Heist, and play whatever instrument they didn't actually normally play, which is part of why the songs sound a bit warped and warbly. Sonically, NH slip easily from jangly garage pop, sounding uncannily like the Leaving Trains, to Black Flag style gnarled punk rock, to skronky atonal jazz, to dirgey, downtuned heaviness, reminding us a bit of SST metalheads Saint Vitus, they also dabble in Misfits like sing along punk pop, and jokey cock rock that in places definitely sounds like aQ faves Bad News. Black Flagisms abound of course since the core of the band was in fact primarily members of Black Flag, but to dig this, you definitely have to be prepared for songs like "Hot Muff", "Tight Little Pussy", "Surfbroad", "Whore Pleaser" and the like. And yeah, it's silly and stupid and goofy, and the lyrics are cringeworthy (although they are of course meant to be), but fans of punk rock of that era, Black Flag, Circle Jerks, Fear and all that, will find it tough not to love this stuff, and knowing how how nuts the crowds must have gotten back in the day, not knowing these guys were taking the piss, only makes it that much better.
Now reissued on vinyl, also includes a bonus live cd from Henry Rollins' private collection (ahem) and features artwork by Raymond Pettibon (of course).

album cover NOTHING PEOPLE Late Night (S.S.) cd 13.98
Full length number two from these California drugged out psychedelic dirge rockers, who now count a member of late great Monoshock among their membership, which makes sense, as these guys whip up a similarly murky moody protopunk psychrock sound, but where NP's debut was a more noisy garage-kraut sci-fi psych rock blowout, Late Night does seem to sonically fulfill its monicker, crafting a darker dirgier moodier minimalism, the songs sprawling dark brooders, all whirring organs, pulsing processed guitars, swirling FX and reverb drenched vocals, that slip from hushed croon to almost soulful falsetto, all set amidst streaks and swirls, smears and blurs, a druggy late night sonic comedown, the record occasionally exploding into some propulsive crunch, or distorted pound, but spending most of it's time oozing and creeping, electronic rhythms wound around fluttery effected melodies, some sci-fi synths remain, adding a haunting cinematic vibe to the proceedings, pop songs melting and oozing from the speakers, for a super obscure reference, think the organ driven dour pop of the Velvet Monkeys, the same sort of moody meandery moonlit minimalism, dirgey ballads crossed with slo-mo garage rock, indie rock jangle slowed way down and transformed into something more twangy and maudlin, reminding us of times of Aussie post punkers Naked On The Vague.
We loved the first NP record, but we're digging this one even more, a killer collection of murk pop gems, hooks everywhere, but wreathed in gauzy creep and wheezy shimmer, blurred shimmery buzz and hazy spaced out psychedelia. A new favorite for sure!
MPEG Stream: "When I Drink"
MPEG Stream: "It's Not Your Speakers"
MPEG Stream: "Stick In The Mud"
MPEG Stream: "Pushing Buttons"

album cover OH SEES, THEE The Master's Bedroom Is Worth Spending A Night In / Help (Burger) cassette 5.98
Another very affordable, but limited, 2-fer cassette from Thee Oh Sees, this time with both 2008's full band debut The Master's Bedroom Is Worth Spending A Night In, and 2009's Help (an AQ Record Of The Week!). Limited to 250 copies, act fast!!!
Here's our massive original reviews of those two records...
Master's Bedroom: The Oh Sees have changed a lot since they were the OCS. Back then, Oh Sees frontman John Dwyer had his Coachwhips, a wild sweat soaked, garage stomp party, furious and frenzied, throbbing and in-the-red, so OCS was the outlet for Dwyer to explore the other sides of his multiple musical personality. The debut OCS record (released on tUMULt) was two discs, one of mostly solo acoustic guitar, a super intimate bedroom folk, all dusty and crackly, warm and super intimate, bits of damaged Casio, warbly old vinyl, damaged FX, lovingly crafted into some sort of heartfelt lo-fi sonic loveletter. The other disc was more noisy, super abstract, blown out blasts of free jazz weirdness, drones and rumbles, howling feedback, white noise, pink noise, and every color in between. OCS 2, 3 and 4 followed a similar pattern, a sort of lonely lo-fi homebrewed indie folk, off kilter and melancholy, wistful, damaged and dreamy.
But with the dissolution of the Coachwhips, came a name change for OCS, now The Ohsees, or sometimes The Oh Sees, a change in sound, and a transformation into a full band.
While not as freaked out and furious as the Coachwhips, the Oh Sees new record sounds more like the long lost CW's than any of Dwyer's records since. Garage-y jangle, shuffling drums, the vocals distorted, the songs simple and stripped down, but the big difference is that here Dwyer splits the vocals with bandmate Brigid Dawson, the result is truly endearing harmonies, with Dwyer often the wailing counterpoint to Dawson's sweet angelic croon. And songs that sometimes sound like alien versions of that classic Phil Spector girl group sound. But at its heart, the sound is still fuzzy and buzzy and skeletal, groovy and garage rocky, wouldn't be hard to imagine this disc on In The Red, or see these guys on tour with the Dirtbombs or the Country Teasers or the Husbands. (Bonus points for having a song about aQ pal and local artist extraordinaire Maria Forde!)
Help: Listening to Help, it's almost impossible to hear anything but mere traces of the chaotic noise rock path John Dwyer followed to make it to Thee Oh Sees (aka OCS, and Ohsees), but it's that noisy past, and penchant for musical shit stirring, that informs the jangly garage pop on Help, and transforms the band's jangle and shuffle and pound into near perfect buzzy fuzzy catchy retro pop, and makes it easily the best Oh Sees record yet. And a definite contended for (garage) pop record of the year.
Most of us were introduced to Dwyer via his two piece noise rock costume rock combo Pink And Brown (after brief stints in some well known Providence outfits), but unlike most of the costumed joke bands at the time, P&B offered some serious songsmithery along with the unhinged live shows and audience baiting. A brief stint drumming for SF grindlords Burmese led directly into the band that brought Dwyer to worldwide attention, the Coachwhips. Arguably one of the best live bands around, the Coachwhips made up for what they lacked in actual songs with sweat and alcohol soaked performances, utter chaos, and sometimes literally, ultra destructive houseshows. Coachwhips shows were all about the energy, the vibe, jumping around, flailing wildly, getting wrecked and having a blast. Sometimes though, that energy was difficult to translate to home listening. Take away the sweaty throng and the deafening volume and, well why would you want to do that?
And so came the Oh Sees, originally called OCS, and a double cd release on Andee's tUMULt label a few years back, essentially a solo record, one disc of folky fluttery lo-fi twang flecked pop, another of corrosive textured noise experiments, which ended up being, for many of us, one of our favorite post Pink And Brown Dwyer documents. OCS transformed into The Oh Sees and became a real band, and seemed poised to follow in the sonic footsteps of the Coachwhips, stripped down garage rock, super lo-fi, lost of brittle high end, yelped distorted vocals, tribal drumming, but there was definitely something more, more refined, more catchy, more timeless sounding, something much more than garage rock, a sound that reminded us of sixties girl groups, of Phil Spector productions, raw and primal, but lush and expansive and catchy. But that catchy lush side of the Oh Sees remained hidden beneath squalls of tweeter abuse and fractured effects, a wall of fuzz and buzz more than an actual wall of sound. Until now.
Help finds the band making their first record for garage rock stalwarts In The Red, which is ironic as this is Thee Oh Sees' least typically garage rock record yet. Instead, the sound is total pop, plucked fresh from a time capsule buried in the sixties, the guitars jangle as much as crunch, lots of reverb, the vocals wreathed in a haze of delay, lots of female vox, the choruses are lush, the drums are still tribal, but much more measured, often quite spare, the arrangements though are anything but classic, sometimes getting super abstract, but never losing their catchiness, sometimes adding all sorts of extra distorted overload, but just as quickly slipping into something smooth and groovy. Minus the weird moments and the fucked up productions, some of these songs do really sound like they were just transported forward four decades.
"Meat Step Lively" starts off all Cramps-y, with a fuzzy grinding main riff, simple pounding rhythm, but adds some awesome female vocals and background 'ooooohs', some spidery lead guitars, and coolest of all breaks it down with about a minute to go into a swinging sixties smoke-y jazzy flute flecked groove. "The Turn Around" is a minute of blown out drum damage and fractured effects, but wrapped around a sing songy main riff, and some cool distorted and reverbed vox, in total Guided By Voices fashion, they truncate what could have been the jam of the record, and launch into "Can You See", which is all slithery and washed out, with angelic background vocals, shuffling drums, and a cool dreamy bridge, but the whole thing still manages to sound ominous and intense and weirdly sexy.
The record closes with "Peanut Butter Oven", which we first heard on the recent (and sadly now out of print) Awesome Vistas 12", and it's obvious why this was the single, it definitely is THE jam of the record, with it's simple stripped down jangle, workmanlike drum beat, and soaring minor key strings, and let's not forget the gorgeous harmony vocals draped over the singing strings and that irresistible main riff.
And so it goes, every track here is a gem, each one offers up something new, some twisted take on that classic sixties garage rock sound, but it's that sound revved up and filtered through Dwyer's gloriously cracked pop sensibilities, bathed in buzz and fuzz or stripped way down and left shimmery and crystalline, sometimes wrapped in HUGE hooks or allowed to simmer and slither, the catchiness subtle yet so irresistible, and unlike past efforts, even at its noisiest, the noise element seems more an organic part of the sound, and is often shaped into something barely recognizable as noisy.
We knew Dwyer and company had it in them, and now they've proven it, BIG TIME. Dying to see what they come up with next, if they could possibly one up this here disc, but hell, for now, Help has us way satisfied. And records like these are exactly why they invented that repeat button on your cd player. Folks with turntable will just have to get up and flip the record over and over and over, again and again and again.
WAY recommended.
MPEG Stream: "Block Of Ice"
MPEG Stream: "Visit Colonel"
MPEG Stream: "Maria Stacks"
MPEG Stream: "Meat Step Lively"
MPEG Stream: "Ruby Go Home"
MPEG Stream: "Rainbow"

album cover OVENS s/t (8 songs) (Catholic Guilt) 7" 5.98
Ovens just might be the most underappreciated best band in SF. Although that looks like it could maybe be about to change. The various members live in different cities now, and only really play about once a year, but at their most recent show, a few weeks back, HUNDREDS of people showed up, and went NUTS, there was a pit, and crowd surfing, in a tiny little hole in the wall club. Which might have you thinking these guys are some sort of heavy punk rock band, when in fact, they're a pop band. An amazing incredible pop band, whose songs routinely clock in at about the 30 second mark, and whose lyrics are mostly about getting drunk, getting high, getting fired or getting hurt. We joke that if their songs were longer and weren't all about drugs, they would be THEE most popular band in the land. And we believe it. Their sound like some impossible mix of Weezer, Guided By Voices, The Beatles, Thin Lizzy (who they covered at that show), Teenage Fanclub, old Bee Gees (who they also occasionally cover) and the Fucking Champs. Total hook filled pop, with killer dual guitar harmonies, shredding leads, amazing hooks, like the sort of hooks most bands would KILL for, but these guys toss out hooks like that in 20 second songs and simply move on to the NEXT killer hook. Hell, our own Andee loved Ovens so much he put out their debut full length (much more raving about these guys in that review elsewhere on the aQ site, and heck, if you don't have that yet, you should buy it NOW).
This latest blast of perfect pop is just that, perfect. Nine songs in 8 minutes, the longest song 1:59, the shortest :34, the band kicking out feedback drenched fuzzy power pop one second, lilting Beatles-esque ballad the next, a dreamy acoustic guitarscape leads right into a woozy chunk of nineties style indie rock, but with those guitar harmonies, that kill, and then it's right into another perfect chunk of miniature pop, in the amount of time it's taken to write this review, we've listened to the whole single 3 times in a row, and the thing is, now that the review's almost done, doesn't mean we have any intention of stopping.
Easily one of our favorite local bands, heck, local or not, these guys are incredible! And if you get a chance to see one of their rare (and usually brief, not to mention littered with eighties hardcore covers, although at that most recent show, they covered Leeway!!) performances, don't blow it, if there's any justice in the world, these guys will be HUGE, and the world will be humming along to their jams, 30 seconds at a time!!
LIMITED TO 300 COPIES!!
MPEG Stream: "Old Friends"
MPEG Stream: "Let You Down"
MPEG Stream: "Losin' It"
MPEG Stream: "Millbrae Belongs To Me"

album cover PESTEG DRED / SS-SAY 1981-1985 I Have Seen You Through The Years, Worn By Different Faces (Optik) cd 15.98
Martin Hall appears to be the figure who defined the Danish New Wave scene, but there doesn't seem to be a lot of evidence that any of the projects he worked in found much traction outside of Denmark. Ballet Mecanique was one such project, And Then Again was another; of course, there were a couple of solo outings too. Both Pesteg Dred and SS-Say were very short-lived projects in the early '80s. Pesteg Dred was a trio that revolved around Hall in 1981 with electronics wrangler Per Hendrichsen and vocalist Inge Shannon. During one weekend, the three landed in a studio and banged out an album but didn't have the ability to pay the bill. So the tapes sat until Hall could negotiate something with the owners of the studio. A cassette of the material surfaced as a bonus with an art magazine in 1985, but otherwise, the recordings languished while all three members went onto other projects.
The dark storm of post-punk had certainly come to Denmark, with Hall admitting an early infatuation with Cabaret Voltaire and A Certain Ratio (well, he did name one of his later projects And Then Again after an A Certain Ratio tune), but The Pop Group and The Ex must have made a big impact as well. The band is essentially a mutant rhythm section of rumbling, discordant funk basslines and unschooled percussive fills that showcase way more fury than skill, with a series of weirdly skittered electronics flushed between the rhythms with murky modular sweeps, distorted drones, and delay-rippled bloop. Inge's vocals are a cold monotone bellow that aren't too far from Bettina Koster of Malaria, making a perfect fit for the darkly, cacophonous agit-punk of Pesteg Dred. The lengthy "Light, More Light" is very much in the vein of the best A Certain Ratio, with breakneck post-disco rhythm, neck-strangling basslines, jittery guitars, and even some atonal blurts from a trumpet.
SS-Say released only one single in 1985, and that material rounds out the cd. Here, Hall is working again with Inge Shannon, for a more baroque, anthemic number wrought with Siouxsie-esque operatics and wah-wah guitar scratching above the catwalk disco rhythms. With its cocaine strung synths, "Care" is definitely the gem amongst the SS-Say tracks, which showcase much more polish as a Studio 54 / Batcave hybrid than Pesteg Dred, but with just as much post-punk bombast.
The Pesteg Dred material was reissued by Dark Entries on vinyl in 2010, and now it's available on cd for the first time with the SS-Say tracks that didn't appear on the lp reish.
MPEG Stream: PESTEG DRED "Salt"
MPEG Stream: PESTEG DRED "Cold Impressions Of Perhaps"
MPEG Stream: PESTEG DRED "Almost"
MPEG Stream: SS-SAY "Care"

album cover PIKACYU-MAKOTO Om Sweet Home: We Are Shining Stars From The Darkside (Riot Season) cd 16.98
Acid Mothers Temple alert!! Afrirampo alert too! Fans of either/both of those bastions of underground Japanese trippy hippy psych rock weirdness, listen up! This new Riot Season release is one of thee best Acid Mothers Temple related recordings we've heard in a while (and we've heard a lot). AMT's bearded guitar guru Kawabata Makoto teams up here with an old pal, drummer Pikacyu from the avant all-girl group Afrirampo, for a delightfully demented duo session, the two of 'em egging each other on to ever-more ecstatic extremes of cosmic chaos... Frazzled fuzz and reverbed wall of sound guitar from Kawabata accompanies multiple layers of echoing overdubbed vocalizations (chipmunk one minute, chanting monk the next) from Pikacyu, who also moves things along with energetic abandon on the drums.
The 13 tracks here vary from lovely drone-outs to noisy but poppy songs to short, sharp skronkfests - the 25 second "Oscar No Hope" being this disc's shortest and skronkiest, while the likes of "Back To Your House Over The Rainbow" and "Birth Star" are MUCH longer and more epic. The propulsive, rhythmic latter number being a good example of how this disc at its wild and playful best sounds a bit like Circle meets Melt Banana, or Yoko Ono jamming with Faust, or a nuttier, more psychedelic Deerhoof... yeah, far out! Some of the time Pikacyu-Makoto come across like a (two person) "tribe" a la ESP classic Cromagnon, and there's definitely a big krautrock influence at play (as always with Kawabata, right?).
Even if you're not a dedicated AMT fan, we'd say this is one worth checking out!
First pressing limited to 1000 copies in special gatefold sleeve packaging.
MPEG Stream: "Birth Star"
MPEG Stream: "Wild Rise"
MPEG Stream: "OM Marijana FU pt.2"

album cover PLUMMER, BILL & THE COSMIC BROTHERHOOD s/t (Impulse / Get Down) cd 16.98
From the depths of the Impulse label's more "psychsploitaton" side of jazz comes this exotic East-meets-West rarity from 1968. And if you dug Gabor Szabo's Jazz Raga, any of the John Berberian electric oud albums, the Indo-jazz of Joe Harriott, or the even more authentically "Indo" Indo-jazz of T.K. Ramamoorthy recently reissued by EM, this will be right up your alley.
You might have second thoughts seeing the buttoned-down suit and tie wearing bass player Plummer seemingly taking the piss out of the sitar jazz craze of the mid-to-late Sixties, but this record's musical qualities far outweigh any trendy novelty or gimmicks. The opening track, "Journey to The East", is a groovy pop number with spoken singing (the only track with vocals) but the flute, tabla and sitar interplay is pretty far out. Things get further out on the sinewy free jazz of "Arc 294" and the quiet intensity of "Antares". Even covers like "The Look of Love" and The Byrds' "Lady Friend" have charms beyond what those songs normally have to offer. A cultish obscurity for years, it's awesome to see this one-off album reissued again!
MPEG Stream: "Journey To The East"
MPEG Stream: "Arc 294"
MPEG Stream: "Antares"

album cover PURE X Pleasure (Acephale / Light Lodge) lp 25.00
Now on vinyl!
After a long string of now out of print 7" singles, cassettes, 12" eps, and a name change from what was Pure Ecstasy, The Austin, TX trio Pure X finally deliver their debut full length, aptly titled Pleasure. In previous reviews we recommended all the hip boutique labels such as Woodsist, Captured Tracks, Sacred Bones, Mexican Summer that were signing all the real good lo-fi murk-pop bands to sign these guys quick. But true to their nature, the band stayed loyal and stuck with the local Austin labels Light Lodge and Acephale who released their previous singles as well as releases by connected bands in their circle, Silver Pines, Sleep Over and Survive. That was a smart move, because instead of feeling pressure to polish their songs with better recording equipment or add more complicated arrangements, the band was really able to stretch out their already established dreamy and hazy pop sound. Pleasure does see some of the songs from their 7"s, such as "Dream Over", "Voices", and "Easy", re-recorded, but not necessarily all that different, perhaps with a new layer of hazy feedback and slo-mo guitar fuzz, as these songs were all recorded live with no overdubs. A bold move for sure, but Pure X has long nailed their economic sound into something so wonderfully self-sufficient and unique. And besides those 7"s are so far out of print, that most folks are lucky to get any versions of these songs at all. Imagine Friends-era Beach Boys way slowed down to a molasses pace with crashing lo-fi waves of shoe-gaze guitar strums, buttery rhythms and space walking basslines with sleepy but impassioned vocals. Pleasure is a beautifully dirty dream-pop heaven! Highly Recommended! Limited Vinyl edition with heavy vinyl and foil embossed cover hence the hefty price!
MPEG Stream: "Heavy Air"
MPEG Stream: "Dream Over"
MPEG Stream: "Surface"

album cover PUS s/t (Universal Tongue) cd ep 10.98
From the same label that gave us records from Alkerdeel, Aidan Baker, Bongripper, Expo 70, Caina, Gorgontongue and Persistence In Mourning, comes this, the debut ep from UK sludgelords Pus, whose sound is a lurching, lumbering downtuned heaviness, that owes as much to Electric Wizard as it does Moss. The guitars are thick and oozy and blackened, downtuned and tarpit groovy, the drums simple and solid, the vocals a reverb drenched bellow that sounds a bit like Mike Williams from Eyehategod crossed with Justin Broadrick circa the good ol' Godflesh days, each song mostly a single riff, pounded at relentlessly, laced with occasional gouts of wah drenched psychedelic leads, the songs once in a while oozing into something more blackened and dirgey, or something more propulsive and downright rocking, but for the most part, it's a relentlessly tranced out black dirge, doomy and psychedelic, mesmerizing and hypnotic, culminating in the extra noisy title track, which substitutes the bellowing vox for a weird droned out monk like chant, the guitars a big muddier and murkier, the result something weirdly dreamy and trippy.
Definitely recommended for fans of all things slow and low, doomy and sludgey. LIMITED TO 500 COPIES!!
MPEG Stream: "The Black Swordsman"
MPEG Stream: "Pus"

album cover PYRIFLEYETHON / OPHIDIAN FOREST Summoning Of The Igneous (Victory By Fire / Le Crepuscule Du Soir) cd 11.98
Got us a kick ass split here, bringing together a band we had yet to hear (and can barely pronounce), Pyrifleyethon, and aQ faves Ophidian Forest (counting the man behind tUMULt's Botanist as a member!).
First up is Pyrifleyethon, hailing from Greece. We're told pretty much everything we need to know within the intro "Ignipotence", where guitar fuzz takes on the sound of a portal opening up into hell before launching into full on blasts of black metal fury with "Powers of The Second Sphere". Our favorite track from this horde is "Underneath", where the band expertly utilizes melancholy melodies with croaking troll vokills and machine gun riffery with all kinds of queasy runs up the fretboard. The final song, the perfectly named "Hades Landscape" begins with a spooky guitar melody and rides it for a good 5 minutes as a midtempo dirge before shifting gears and launching into full on black metal insanity.
Pretty bad ass stuff from Pyrifleyethon, but Ophidian Forest have no difficulty in staking out their own crazy identity on this split. OF's previous albums, which we gobbled up like crazy, gave us a roadmap for where things *might* go, but goddamn if this band hasn't upped the ante for totally confusional, totally fucked black metal mayhem. Given the band's international makeup and method of creating albums via file swapping, we wonder how these three manage to produce stuff this bizarre while still sounding completely together and musical. No doubt the most immediate reaction is to the keyboards, which almost sound like a jazzy organ at times. In terms of how they are worked into the mix, think maybe of Beherit's Drawing Down The Moon. The songs have a strange sepia-tone quality to them, and it sounds like they could be the soundtrack to some lost Jan Svankmeyer film. On "Never Wish To Sleep", the keyboards buzz about nefariously like a poison fog while the vocals sound like something creeping out of an underground bunker. The song is weird and hallucinatory with a cool end of the world vibe that we can definitely get behind. "The Tower" makes great use of the aforementioned "jazzy" keyboards, thrown in with guttural riffs and uber metal drumming. The song is almost proggy at times, like something Van Der Graf Generator might have made if they were a three strangers from disparate parts of the globe instead of a bunch of old English nutters. Ending with "Paladin Of The Blackest Heart", OF conjures elements of industrial sci-fi craziness and even hints of folk (we think anyway) while still sounding like... well, only themselves. Quite a feat, and highly recommended!
MPEG Stream: PYRIFLEYETHON "Powers Of The Second Sphere"
MPEG Stream: PYRIFLEYETHON "Underneath"
MPEG Stream: OPHIDIAN FOREST "Never Wish To Sleep"
MPEG Stream: OPHIDIAN FOREST "The Tower"

album cover RADIGUE, ELIANE Transamorem - Transmortem (Important) cd 14.98
Much of avant composer Eliane Radigue's work dating back to 1967 has yet to be heard, as she would construct her long form minimalism through feedback (for the earliest compositions) and synthesizers (particularly the Arp and occasionally Moog and Buchla) to be played back on a reel of tape with durations often lasting longer than an hour. After an installation or a performance, she would box up the results and work on something new. It wasn't until the advent of cds that technology allowed for her work to made commercially available, as she was unwilling to allow these pieces to be sliced into 20 minute excerpts for vinyl playback.
In 1974, she presented 4 nights of her work in New York - three nights at Phill Niblock's loft (where the man is STILL hosting shows!) and one at the Kitchen. A handwritten invitation to these gigs is included in the liner notes, mentioning various pieces that are now appearing on cd releases some 30 years later. Transamorem - Transmortem was one of these pieces, now part of the reissue series spearheaded by Manu Holterbach and reissued by Important. This 67 minute monolith undulates slowly through a series of "waves in tune" (as she calls them) from her Arp. The strategy is very simple, but the choices Radigue makes are perfect. Her tones are primal and earthen, grounded in plenty of low-end that gives the impression that whatever notion of the eternal she is seeking to describe, it's located physically in the here and now. This is a beautiful piece of minimalism, certainly ranking with her chilling Trilogy Of Death and Adnos.
MPEG Stream: "Transamorem - Transmortem"

album cover RIDE FOR REVENGE / UNDOR split (Bestial Burst) 12" 16.98
The return of our favorite Finnish black metal weirdos Ride For Revenge, who really are barely even black metal, and actually hardly metal, but they are definitely weird, and this latest sidelong jam definitely does nothing to convince us otherwise. Beginning the ridiculous (and best ever!) title: "Ridiculed By Ladies Of The Moon", the song begins with a long stretch of warbly synth drone, laced with feedback, slowly undulating, while in the background sounds clank and clatter, sounding either like someone building a robot or someone making dinner, this goes on for a while until BLAM, the drums kick in, the synthy/electronic buzz is joined by HEAVY buzzy bass, and the track is transformed into a stumbling bass heavy dirge, the drums super distorted, which is especially noticeable on the bizarre fills, then the vocals, and awesome alien croak, sick and sinister and totally fucking nuts, the song pounds away, the sound gradually becoming a sort of dirgey space goth doom, dramatic and demented, and then there's the last stretch a wild final few minutes, the drums gone haywire, totally chaotic, the buzz intensified, wreathed in squiggles of white noise, and the sonorous clang of metal on metal, either some distant bells, or more likely, the pots and pans from the above mentioned kitchen being hurled about, a twisted and baffling finish to another incredible warped chunk of sonic weirdness from these guys.
Which is a lot to live up to for Undor, who decide to not try to outweird RfR, but instead, offer up a sort of sonic analogue, a stretched out midtempo jam, that sounds like just drums and guitar, the guitar riffing away, but occasionally spiraling into some weird bit of atonal squiggle, or slippery abstract melody, or a brief bit of shred, but always returning to the stumbling, lumbering, lurching main rhythm/riff. The vibe is a bit mournful, at times it sounds a bit like Hypothermia crossed with Varghkoghargasmal, the vocals pushing it over the top, a wild hysterical shriek, that in some weird way balances the slightly more measured tone of the rest of the track. But only slightly.
LIMITED TO 250 COPIES!!

album cover SHLOHMO Bad Vibes (Tall Corn Music) 2lp 27.00
We don't care what the rest of the world says, we still love Witch House, or drag, or grave rave, or cave rave, or whatever you want to call it, we still can't seem to get enough of it, the murky slithery soundscapes of slo-mo rhythms, tarpit soul, slowed down vocals, everything wreathed in a cough syrupy haze, it's the perfect late night music, like a bastardized drug addled Portishead, which sounds amazing right? We've been particularly partial to the recent spate of groups crafting a sort of abstract soul, a minimal, washed out, woozy RnB that takes the tropes of the original sound and stretches 'em waaaay out and slows them waaaaay dooooown, the result being a blissed out sonic comedown, all lumbering shuffling beats, woozy washed out melodic swells, vocals alternatingly chopped and screwed or left to drift angelically amidst hazy clouds of druggy drift. Think How To Dress Well, Crypt Thing, D'eon, Holy Other, Dirty Beaches, Hype Williams and the like.
We had never heard Shlohmo before, and actually first discovered him via a recent local show featuring Water Borders, oOoOO, White Ring and other sonically similar soundscapers (think Witch House if you want, it's okay). Shlohmo definitely traffics in a similar sound. fans of any of the above mentioned bands, will no doubt dig Shlohmo as well, his sound leaning more toward the swirling slow motion melodicisim of Balam Acab or Clams Casino, the sound all slow strummed chords, wreathed in effects and layered beneath blurred vocals, occasionally deep and dramatic, but more often, a fluttery Prince like falsetto, spidery melodies, creepy rickety rhythms, slow motion stutters and woozy warble, those distinctly witch house-y female vox all layered into a sort of chordal thrum, the sounds here hovering mainly in some ethereal sun dappled Technicolor dreamworld, but once in a while the sounds gain momentum, and become darker, the sounds more caustic and crunchy, but even then, the vibe is more shoegazey and dreamily druggy, with the sound eventually slipping back into something much more drifty and ephemeral.
Gorgeous stuff. WAY recommend for fans of prettier dreamier drag (Balam Acab, Clams Casino, etc.)…
Packaged in a super swank full color gatefold sleeve, includes a download code as well.
MPEG Stream: "Big Feelings"
MPEG Stream: "Places"
MPEG Stream: "Anywhere But Here"

album cover SHUSHA Shusha / This Is The Day (BGO) cd 9.98
If Googoosh and Shirley Collins were somehow melded together into one incredible singer, you would have Shusha. Shusha was a Persian singer from the early seventies most famous for her debut album, Persian Love Songs and Mystical Chants from 1971. But her love of music extended beyond her native Iran towards the British folk of Shirley Collins and Sandy Denny and the American protest music of Dylan and Joan Baez. That is what inspired her on these two 1974 recordings, Shusha and This Is The Day. Reissued together for a very affordable price, these two albums of chamber folk-rock divide time between English-sung originals, covers and reworkings of traditional British songs and poems. No native songs here, the only inkling that we're given that Shusha is not English born is her woozy phrasing on some of the American covers such as Dylan's "Knocking on Heaven's Door" and the Elvis Presley social ballad, "In The Ghetto". But her singing really becomes transcendent on the British traditional material, where her range is allowed to soar around the song structures rather than being confined by them. This is an incredible discovery of two rare recordings by this amazing singer. Fans of Bridget St. John, Vashti Bunyan, and Joan Baez take note!
MPEG Stream: "Ariel"
MPEG Stream: "Wind of Keltia"
MPEG Stream: "South of The Great Sea"
MPEG Stream: "Bye Bye Johnny"

album cover SOLYST s/t (Bureau B) cd 17.98
While there is no shortage of vintage kraut worship going on these days, Germany's Kreidler are one of the groups who have been doing their country's rich '70s underground music scene proud, since they formed in the late '90s. In fact their last outing, Tank, might even be our favorite record from them yet. So when we found out that Kreidler's drummer Thomas Klein had a new solo project, we were super curious and excited.
And we're happy to report that Klein has delivered the goods, as this record is filled with a hypnotic and suspenseful tone which takes us to a dark underworld filled with tribal beats, dubbed out repetition, and kraut like precision and intensity. There is no doubt that Klein's playing comes out of the direct lineage to the krautrock forefathers that so influenced the sound of Kreidler, and his drumming in particular. We think of Jaki Liebezeit (Can), Mani Neumeier (Guru Guru), and Klaus Dinger (Neu). But we could also see this record really appealing to everyone who has been going crazy for all the great John Carpenter/Goblin worship that's been coming out lately like Zombi, Majeure, Umberto, and Jonas Reinhardt. One of those records that gets people asking what is playing whenever we have it blasted on the stereo in the store. So good!
MPEG Stream: "The Swell"
MPEG Stream: "Melville"
MPEG Stream: "Cape Fear"

album cover SOLYST s/t (Bureau B) lp 17.98
While there is no shortage of vintage kraut worship going on these days, Germany's Kreidler are one of the groups who have been doing their country's rich '70s underground music scene proud, since they formed in the late '90s. In fact their last outing, Tank, might even be our favorite record from them yet. So when we found out that Kreidler's drummer Thomas Klein had a new solo project, we were super curious and excited.
And we're happy to report that Klein has delivered the goods, as this record is filled with a hypnotic and suspenseful tone which takes us to a dark underworld filled with tribal beats, dubbed out repetition, and kraut like precision and intensity. There is no doubt that Klein's playing comes out of the direct lineage to the krautrock forefathers that so influenced the sound of Kreidler, and his drumming in particular. We think of Jaki Liebezeit (Can), Mani Neumeier (Guru Guru), and Klaus Dinger (Neu). But we could also see this record really appealing to everyone who has been going crazy for all the great John Carpenter/Goblin worship that's been coming out lately like Zombi, Majeure, Umberto, and Jonas Reinhardt. One of those records that gets people asking what is playing whenever we have it blasted on the stereo in the store. So good!
MPEG Stream: "The Swell"
MPEG Stream: "Melville"
MPEG Stream: "Cape Fear"

album cover SOULEYMAN, OMAR Haflat Gharbia: The Western Concerts (Sublime Frequencies) cd 16.98
We're not sure how a live Omar Souleyman record differs from any of his other records, which were all essentially recorded live, but these shows are distinctive for one reason in particular, they all took place in the West, in front of audiences outside of the Middle East, who most likely had never seen anything like it. And we were lucky enough to see Souleyman perform here in San Francisco, and we were blown away. The sound was incredible, that tangled Eastern psychedelic sound that is already so propulsive and rhythmic and mesmerizing, but cranked through a MASSIVE sound system, and suddenly, it was as if that was how it was supposed to sound all along. And to see a whole sweaty throng of SF hipsters, from punks to metalheads, losing their shit, and dancing wildly to these weird and wonderful sounds, it was pretty inspiring. We couldn't help but wonder how Souleyman felt, performing in these big dance clubs, maybe it just seemed strange to us, cuz really we can't imagine any crowd, no matter how big or small resisting these incredible grooves. So here are a handful of live performances, from America, Australia, Germany, Spain, Belgium, the UK and Denmark, all of the tracks here finding Souleyman in fine form, the music lively and wildly chaotic, psychedelic and groovy.
One thing this live record does gives us the chance to focus on is Souleyman's keyboardist / percussionist, Rizan Sa'id, who when we saw Souleyman, almost stole the show. Sure Souleyman was the master of ceremonies, pacing the stage, clapping and singing, hyping the crowd, but then off to the side was Sa'id, going totally nuts on the keyboard, providing ALL of the music, a veritable one man band, playing wild melodies, looping rhythms, triggering big rib cage rattling beats, but the best part was his keyboard had little drum pads, and all of those flurries of Middle Eastern percussion, those are actually being played live, his hands a blur over the keyboard, unfurling wild rhythmic tangles. We literally could not take our eyes off him. On these tracks, those two are joined by an electric saz player, who adds another glorious layer of psychedelic buzz, and as you might imagine, this is incredible, and fantastic and totally and utterly transcendent. Fans will want this for sure, and it's definitely a perfect introduction to Souleyman's spiritual sonic magic, and by all means, if you get the chance to see this stuff live, you won't be sorry!!
MPEG Stream: "Mawai Hejaz"
MPEG Stream: "Gazula / Shift Al Mani"
MPEG Stream: "Lansob Sherek"

album cover SUN ARAW Ancient Romans (Sun Ark Records) cd 14.98
For all the deserved attention and press the whole Los Angeles musical underground has been receiving in the last couple years, we still think that Sun Araw, aka Cameron Stallones, is perhaps the most unique musical visionary to come out of that scene. Beyond being so prolific, the quality of his proper records just gets increasingly better and better. On Patrol was one of our favorite albums of 2010, and with Ancient Romans, Sun Araw continues to move forward from that dubbed out blueprint and expand on what has become one of the most singular sounds of any new band of the last decade.
The moment the album starts, you immediately understand that you are at the beginning of a ceremony, some sort of stange sonic ritual, which requires the listener to open up to completely, wholly trusting in these sounds to carry you away. With dirty, hypnotic organs for the opening tones, setting the stage for the textured and layered dubbed out trip that will unfold over the next 80 minutes. More then almost any band we can think of, Sun Araw is a master of creating a unified vibe. The tracks on Ancient Romans just melt in and out of each other, you lose track of what song is playing, and instead just get lost deep in the fuzzed out grooves, and tripped out meditations. It's hard to explain when music feels this spiritual, it's just something you feel and trust. And with Sun Araw we get that feeling so intensely. It places you in some dusty, archaic temple that we could imagine was transported directly from Jodorowsky's Holy Mountain. Once inside the temple, you forget about the trivial details of the everyday, and instead leave your body and find yourself somewhere mystical, magical and totally transcendent. This is going to be a contender for record of the year!
MPEG Stream: "Lucretius"
MPEG Stream: "Fit For Caesar"
MPEG Stream: "Crete"

album cover SUN ARAW Ancient Romans (Sun Ark Records) 2lp 21.00
For all the deserved attention and press the whole Los Angeles musical underground has been receiving in the last couple years, we still think that Sun Araw, aka Cameron Stallones, is perhaps the most unique musical visionary to come out of that scene. Beyond being so prolific, the quality of his proper records just gets increasingly better and better. On Patrol was one of our favorite albums of 2010, and with Ancient Romans, Sun Araw continues to move forward from that dubbed out blueprint and expand on what has become one of the most singular sounds of any new band of the last decade.
The moment the album starts, you immediately understand that you are at the beginning of a ceremony, some sort of stange sonic ritual, which requires the listener to open up to completely, wholly trusting in these sounds to carry you away. With dirty, hypnotic organs for the opening tones, setting the stage for the textured and layered dubbed out trip that will unfold over the next 80 minutes. More then almost any band we can think of, Sun Araw is a master of creating a unified vibe. The tracks on Ancient Romans just melt in and out of each other, you lose track of what song is playing, and instead just get lost deep in the fuzzed out grooves, and tripped out meditations. It's hard to explain when music feels this spiritual, it's just something you feel and trust. And with Sun Araw we get that feeling so intensely. It places you in some dusty, archaic temple that we could imagine was transported directly from Jodorowsky's Holy Mountain. Once inside the temple, you forget about the trivial details of the everyday, and instead leave your body and find yourself somewhere mystical, magical and totally transcendent. This is going to be a contender for record of the year!
MPEG Stream: "Lucretius"
MPEG Stream: "Fit For Caesar"
MPEG Stream: "Crete"

album cover SURACHAI Plague Diagram (self released) lp 15.98
We didn't know too much about Surachai, or his record Plague Diagram, but from the way it was described to us, as a one man electronic / metal outfit, whose sound was equal parts black metal, doom metal, powernoise and avant garde, we were sorta convinced it would be right up our alley (and yours), and now that we're finally hearing this stuff, we're pretty sure we were right.
The metal sounds remind us of the more mechanical / industrial groups like Godflesh and Pitchshifter, the sound churning and chugging, the rhythms, precise and clinical, hard to tell if it's a real drummer or a machine, but it hardly matter, this is some serious heavy, downtuned crush, and even in the first track, there are hints that this is more than just a metal record. Little stutters here and there, chirps and glitches and squelches, subtle at first, before eventually, the metal dissipates, leaving a weird bit of black ambience, all bleating horns, looped low end, hazy shifting drones, fluttering backwards effects, gradually growing more and more abstract and tripped out, before giving way to the second track, which opens with a flurry of soft chaos, machine like rhythms erupt as do buzzing riffs, those bleating horns seeming to still be present, underpinning the relentless chug, the vocals harsh and howled, the arrangement mathy and precise, and then again, out of nowhere, the song splinters, and is barraged by strange electronics, mysterious sound effects, before slipping into another expanse of ambient drift, all muted distorted glitch, heaving low end melodies, all strangely cinematic.
The rest of the record plays out similarly, a churning and chugging electronic flecked metal gradually decays eventually leaving some sort of glitched out sonic shadow, a tangle of dense pulses and layered shimmer, of staticky squelches and grinding blackened melodies, the final few minutes of the record maybe our favorite, a strange sort of slowed down demonic IDM, all chirps and hisses and whirring, that gives way to an almost Aphex Twin sort of melodic drift, albeit just a bit twisted and slightly atonal, sounding a bit like a demonic Christmas Carol, before gradually being overtaken by another squall of black buzz.
Includes lots of strange guests: Richie Devine, Nordvargr, Otto Von Schirach and others, and is pretty nicely packaged, pressed on 180 gram clear vinyl, housed in a thick PVC plastic sleeve, with a printed insert and a sticker. LIMITED TO 500 COPIES.
MPEG Stream: "Isolation"
MPEG Stream: "Ashes"

album cover SUTEKH HEXEN Luciform (Wands) lp 14.98
Finally, the debut full length from this Bay Area black metal / blacknoise duo, who in recent months have garnered a whole lot of hype, based on a flurry of killer (albeit insanely limited) releases, and a recent West Coast tour, which found the duo playing outside of the Bay Area for the first time ever. And while we've raved about everything we could get our hands on from these guys, this is definitely the band's finest moment, albeit, weirdly their least noisy. But noisiness is all relative. Cuz this is still plenty noisy, it's just compared to some of their previous releases, and their blistering liver performances, this stuff is far removed from that black metal Merzbow sonic attack that defined their early days.
Here, the noise takes a backseat to the black metal, which is actually a good thing, the riffing, and prerecorded blast beats, weaving a woozy washed out buzzscape, which on their own, would make the sound a sort of soft focus Wold, all washed out and blackly buzzy, but over this blackened foundation, the duo add heapings of noise, the vocals, processed to oblivion, sound like gouts of white hot buzz, more guitars, extra layers of blackness, it's as if the black metal core is at the center of a swirling cloud of jagged, caustic blacknoise, the two seeming to function independently for the most part, but the band create dramatic dynamics with the twisted mix, which finds, various elements dropping out, only to erupt and explode back into action moments later, or the black metal riffing getting fused to the blacknoise creating a harsh wall of sound, which just as quickly separates leaving the blast and buzz to pound furiously, shadowed by streaks of hiss and hum, the sounds dramatically stereo panned too for further twisted effect.
The stretches of ambience are darkly effective, as are the weirdly mournful clean guitar parts, the band obviously capable of creating mood and mystery, and when the buzz kicks in, none of that mood or mystery is lost, instead, it's absorbed into the frenzied black chaos which transforms the sound into something more than noise, more than black metal, it's a darkly epic, strangely textured assemblage of buzz and blast, howl and pound, the sound a living black entity, sonic chaos given form, this is the real transcendental black metal, all should be worshipping before the altar of the priests of Sutekh Hexen.
LIMITED TO 350 COPIES!!!
MPEG Stream: "The Great Whore"
MPEG Stream: "In Worship, They Weep His Name"

album cover SWANSON, PETE I Don't Rock At All (Three Lobed) cd 11.98
We recently listed the amazing Not The Spaces You Know, But Between Them quadruple lp box set on Three Lobed, which contained exclusive sidelong tracks from Sun City Girls, Sonic Youth, Comets On Fire, Bardo Pond, Eternal Tapestry and more (we still have a handful of copies left! but only a few…), apparently folks who preordered copies direct from the label, got a little something special in their box. THIS. A brand new ep from Pete Swanson, who was one half of the late great noise/drone duo Yellow Swans, but who since then has been carving out a pretty decent niche for himself as a solo artist.
This latest disc is just about the prettiest thing we've heard from Swanson, a hazy, washed out bit of what sounds like solo guitar, or more specifically, sounds like it COULD be solo guitar, what it actually sounds like is warm lush layers of chordal shimmer, dreamy tangles of lilting melody, everything warm and sun dappled, distorted but not harsh, more sort of thick and smoldering and lush, the sound does get noisy, but again, it's the sort of dreamy noisiness we dig, a thick swirling cloud of psychedelic shimmer, all soaring guitars and whirling FX, in fact some of Swanson's playing here reminds us of legendary NZ guitarist Roy Montgomery - the same sort of hazy, brittle tone, a similarly constructed soundscape of blurred riffs and smeared melody, softly propulsive and dreamily druggy.
The final track might be our favorite, a gorgeous assemblage of keening high end tones, all woven into a darkly melodic bit of abstract, majestic drift, mournful, melancholy, but strangely and hauntingly epic, WAY too short at 9:29, would have been happy to have that track stretch out to fill up the rest of the cd. So nice.
Pretty sure this is limited to, we got a bunch direct from Swanson himself, but since most of these ended up on those boxsets, not sure how many more we'll be able to get when we run out...
MPEG Stream: "Know When To Say Wha?"
MPEG Stream: "Cocktail Champion"

album cover THOMAS JEFFERSON SLAVE APARTMENTS Burning Trash (Negative Guest List) 7" 12.98
For a very very brief moment in the nineties, Thomas Jefferson Slave Apartments were the next big thing, or if not that specifically, they were definitely super hyped, signed to a big cool label, and poised for some sort of success, which not surprisingly, never really came. And hearing these guys, it's really no surprise, this is not the sort of music made for anything but the pure love of making a racket. And the fact that within that racket lurked some of the most awesome songs ever, well, that was just a bonus. If you've yet to hear TJSA's all time classic "Negative Guest List", a song about something we all wish really existed ("Even if I pay I can't get in..."), you need to remedy that right quick. And hell if you're anything like us, that will no doubt lead you to a burning desire to own EVERYTHING these guys ever did, which is difficult seeing as almost all of it is out of print.
Which brings us to this, a pricey little gem of a 7", featuring two rare TJSA demos, which means the usual lo-fi basement-scuzz broken 4 track, old microphone recording quality that already helped defined their sound, seems positively high fidelity compare to this, but that sort of makes these jams sound even better. From 1995, two zoner garage punk scuzz pop gems, all woozy and druggy and swaggery and in their own way catchy as fuck, that should definitely show the current crop of garage rock noise poppers a thing or two about how it's really done.

album cover TRANSPARENT ILLUSION Still Human (Anna Logue) cd 17.98
Labels like Minimal Wave and Dark Entries had been chomping at the bit trying to reissue this long sought after slab of weird 'n' wonderful minimal synth pop circa 1981. But it's the German label, Anna Logue who get the prize, putting out Transparent Illusion's album at a time when its sounds are more relevant then ever.
A one man band, Roy Young used his synths and off kilter voice to create music that reminds us of a slightly drunk Gary Numan joining forces with R.L. Crutchfield during the early years of Dark Day. We also hear the blueprints of the sound that would make Mute one of the most successful labels of the '80s. But what makes Transparent Illusion so fucking cool is just how DIY it sounds and feels. This definitely also foreshadows the current wave of weirdo pop peddlers like John Maus, Genevieve Jacuzzi, and Gary War. Dark primitive synths injected with infectious melody and a sinister disposition that feels totally punk in spirit. Weird and fucking cool!
MPEG Stream: "Sections"
MPEG Stream: "Incubus"

album cover TRICOLI, VALERIO & THOMAS ANKERSMIT Forma II (Pan) cd 16.98
When Thomas Ankersmit performed in San Francisco a few years back while opening for Phill Niblock at 23five's Activating The Medium festival, he stood behind a Serge Modular Synth housed in a modified suitcase. At a rapid-fire pace, he tugged at the nest of patch cables before him, plucking just the right one that he would then move to a different input. Despite this frenzy of activity, Ankersmit mustered an intense, blossoming swarm of electrical noise, thrum, and buzz. We had known of his long-standing collaborations with Phill Niblock, as the stalwart minimalist had employed Ankersmit's circular breathing techniques on the saxophone for a number of performances and compositions; but this electronic side of Ankersmit certainly piqued our interest.
This collaborative album with Valerio Tricoli (of 3/4hadbeeneliminated) finds Ankersmit in this electronic framework. Ankersmit and Tricoli have been making the rounds of the European festival circuit, making this album the refinement of their live presentations - working with that aforementioned modular synth, laptop trickery, overdubbed sax-driven minimalism, and some rather obtuse field recordings as well. Compositionally, Tricoli and Ankersmit adopt the decentering approach to structure that the Hafler Trio mustered on his most complex collage works, although Tricoli and Ankersmit give the impression that their jaggly spliced electronics could have been generated in a live setting. Eerie passages of dissonant tones crackle with electromagnetic static and puretone chirpings of vibrating signals, shifting from insectoid chorales to spluttering polyphonic bloop circa 1965. When the sax comes out, Ankersmit molds longform, harmonic drones into metallic planes of shifting timbres and tonal dissonance, much more in keeping with his work with Niblock than anything normally sourced from a sax. But especially when it comes to the electronics, there is a sophistication to all Tricoli and Ankersmit's arsenal of noises that's miles beyond so many of today's retrogarde synthesists, and Forma II is all the better for it! One of the best electro-acoustic records to come along in quite some time.
MPEG Stream: "Zwerm Voor Tithonus"
MPEG Stream: "Brent Mini"
MPEG Stream: "Takht-E Tavus"

album cover TURDUS MERULA Herbarium (Le Crepuscule Du Soir) cd 11.98
This one is for all the folks who bought the Botanist 2cd on tUMULt, who have been hankering for another record of botany themed black metal. This one comes from the oddly monikered Turdus Merula (which is the taxonomic term for a kind of bird, the Common Blackbird), who are a Swedish one WOMAN black metal band, a rarity in black metal for sure, and what makes it even more rare is that this record is all about hallucinogenic and poisonous plants, which makes sense as the title, Herbarium, is of course, a collection of dried plants and flowers, and sonically, well, that's where the comparisons to Botanist end, although the opening track all old timey piano, wreathed in echo and washed out, is to these ears, quite evocative of some old botanist in his greenhouse, but that image soon fades about 2 minutes in when the guitars swoop in, a mournful downtuned buzz, depressive and dark, we were prepared for some plodding miserablism, when all of sudden, POW, the song explodes in a frenzy of super blown out in-the-red chug and churn and pound, the sound so heavy and loud and thick, the vocals a raspy wail buried beneath the furious sonic assault, the sound is pretty incredible, really powerful and thick, there's definitely a Burzum vibe, but TM's sound is so much more dense, and almost noisy, the riffing shifts occasionally to something more melancholy, but quickly returns to the black buzz crush.
The Burzum (and Xasthur to a degree) comparisons become a bit more noticeable as the record progresses, the second track is a pounding midtempo buzzscape, all minor key, with lush layered guitars, and moaning distant melodies, the guitar drenched in cool effects, that sound a little like the Smiths' "How Soon Is Now" but only in the way they pulse, creating a weird rhythmic effect, and as the record progresses, in some weird way it gets prettier and less heavy, with the second to last track, an epic nearly 14 minute sprawl sounding more like a sort of blackened buzz pop, with a bit of jangle and melody mixed into the swirly buzz, and that's not to mention the cool cinematic chamber music interlude about halfway through. The track before too is a droned out bit of mostly solo guitar, that only picks up drums about 4 minutes in, and continues on as a sort of moody downer pop dirge until finally the vocals surface, and the track becomes much more blackened, although without ever completely ditching the moodiness that came before. And after a final brief bit of blast and buzz, the record finishes off with another stretch of creepy, cinematic echo drenched, darkly distorted piano, a perfect finish, to a killer chunk of atmospheric depressive blackness that we've been digging way more than we expected to...
MPEG Stream: "Datura Stramonium"
MPEG Stream: "Conium Maculatum"

album cover UCHIDA, YUYA & THE FLOWERS Challenger (Phoenix) cd 17.98
For fans of Janis Joplin and/or Flower Travellin' Band... a reissue of the 1968 album from this Japanese Sixties psychedelic act, who later morphed into Seventies hard rockers and massive AQ faves Flower Travellin Band. This early incarnation of the FTB had a mostly different lineup, including female vocalist Remi Aso who does her best Janis (and Grace Slick), singing in either a delicate waver or a screeching wail, wow. And The Flowers back her up like Big Brother, total pros. There's also a male singer, Chiba Hiroshi, who belts it out on such songs as "Hey Joe". Yup there's lots of then-contemporary covers on here, including stuff by Hendrix, Cream, Jefferson Airplane, and Janis Joplin. So you've gotta be into the classic rock - with a Japanese twist. Apparently Uchida had just returned from a trip to England, hanging out there with John Lennon, and this record was his first attempt to take the Japanese "Group Sounds" scene into a new, more psychedelic acid rock direction to emulate the hipness happenin' in London and San Francisco at the time. The band got attention for that - and for their naked album cover photo, the band loitering about in an idyllic meadow someplace, in the buff, though any band members (ahem) who happen to be facing toward the camera also happen to be reading newspapers or magazines for some reason... Of course, Uchida pulled this stunt again with the first FTB album that came out a few years later, with the naked band on the cover riding choppers down the highway.
Besides the cover, the first thing anyone would notice about this album is the charming intro skit, at the beginning of track one, wherein a guy tells a giggling girl about this great new band from Tokyo, "these six guys and this chick", who "do some really fantastic Big Brother And The Holding Company stuff". And he's not kidding, as the rest of the record proceeds to prove. And let's face it, these are great songs, you might not want to hear the versions played on your local classic rock radio station ever again but the Summer Of Love seems a lot cooler when we're tuning in via Tokyo.
Numbered, limited cd edition in the usual Phoenix manner.
MPEG Stream: "Combination Of The Two"
MPEG Stream: "Greasy Heart"
MPEG Stream: "Stone Free"

album cover V/A Dubstep Allstars Vol. 8 (Mixed by Distance) (Tempa) cd 16.98
Number eight in this ongoing series, where various dubstep DJs and producers, put together sets of their favorite 12"s, creating killer mixes featuring the cream of the dubstep crop. The last few volumes seemed to be moving in a weird direction, toward a more mainstream strain of 'bass' music, but this one is back to business, featuring Distance, who for his mix is focusing on the classics, the jams that are the cornerstone of his DJ sets, which of course means a whole bunch of his own tracks, all of which kill, but also classic jams from Skream, Cyrus, Benga, and loads more.
We're long past the point where we're trying to win over new converts to dubstep. If that This Is Dubstep 2011 didn't convince you, then hell, we're not sure what will. But if that comp was the best dubstep comp EVER, which we so boldly proclaimed in the review, then this one would have to be in the running to place. At least. It's definitely not as weird, or all over the map, but what it is, is dark, and hard and heavy, this is some seriously sinister dubstep, the tone ominous and sinister, the bass thick and fat and distorted, the beats heavy and hard, the soulful vox kept to a minimum, a continuous mix of low slung bass heavy dancefloor destroying dubstep with some of the HEAVIEST bass ever, that huge speaker rattling warble that threatens to blow your woofers, it's everywhere, pulsing and throbbing beneath all manner of skitter and shuffle, with some of the drops absolutely devastating, you can understand how mental crowds must go when some of these get spun in the club.
If you're a fan of this strain of dubstep, the hard and heavy and dark, then this is exactly what you're after...
MPEG Stream: DISTANCE "Mind Control"
MPEG Stream: J KENZO "The Roteks"
MPEG Stream: V.I.V.E.K. "Out Of Reach"
MPEG Stream: KRYPTIC MINDS "Transcendent"

album cover V/A Groove Club Vol. 1: La Consfiserie Magique (Lion / Get On Down) cd 16.98
Any pop lover knows that when it comes to suave and sassy pop perfection, you can't beat France in the '60s and early '70s. With this collection the focus is put on the Parisian pop-psych scene, and what's really refreshing about this compilation is that it's not just filled with the usual suspects. So many names we weren't familiar with giving us such irresistible gems, and enough fuzz and weird elements on lots of the tracks to keep things interesting and not just saccharine sweet. Infusing elements of West Coast pop, the mod scene, and funked out burners, these are sounds that are just pretty impossible not to get swept up by. Filled with decadence and charm from folks like Cristal, Elisa, Les Hamsters (best name ever?!), Les Rover, Pax Quartet, and tons more.
No need to stress about what to throw on the next time you have people over for a little party, as all you will have to do is blast this, and watch as feet start tapping, and drinks start spilling, and everyone starts smiling!
MPEG Stream: LE COEUR "Bye, Bye City"
MPEG Stream: CRISTAL "Les Yeux Fermes (Eyes Closed)"
MPEG Stream: LES PARISIENNES "Un Rayon De Soleil Est Entre Dans Mon Lit (A Ray Of Sun Is Here In My Bed)"

album cover V/A Invasion Of The Mysteron Killer Sounds (Soul Jazz) 2cd 23.00
We are suckers for dancehall. Always have been. It's one of those sounds/musics (like black metal buzz, or THE DRONE), that we just can't ever seem to get enough of. That distinctive dancehall rhythmic stutter, so hypnotic and mesmerizing, it's irresistible, and then there's the wild toasting, all woven into this strange skeletal rhythmic party music, that manages to be fun and funky but also weirdly dark and heavy, especially on the first disc here, compiled by Kevin Martin, aka The Bug, who seems to have collected the weirdest dancehall jams around, even the opening track, a classic dancehall number, from way back in 1999, is pretty strange, the beat big and heavy, the vocals chopped up, some super cinematic strings, the toasting way off in the distance, buried way down in the mix, a dub seemingly gone haywire, which when you think about it could describe dancehall in general. Or at least the kind we love. And the first disc here is overflowing with it. Thick buzzing synth over low slung skitter, super effects heavy 8 bit stutter, weirdly produced so the sound slips from blown out and brittle, to murky and muddy, the sound laced with all manner of strange sound effects and WAY dubbed out drums, there's gypsy folk fiddles fused to clipped electronics and slithery basslines, or steel drum driven sunshiney party grooves underpinned by some seriously ominous low end, big skipping synth shuffles beneath snap and clam rhythms, and some swirling drugged out effects heavy vox, and so it goes, the first disc playing out like some twisted big beat experiment, that ranks up there with our favorite dubstep comps for speaker punishing beats, and fuzzy funky grooves, this one maybe the most twisted and far out yet, finishing off with a Bug track of course, Martin offering his own take on dancehall, this one a thumping chunk of bass heavy murk, that almost sounds like super charged double dutch, with some glitch electronics and echoey vocals, the sound slipping from gristly and crunchy, to hazy and washed out.
The second disc, ostensibly slightly more 'traditional', with more obvious nods to the dub and reggae that birthed dancehall, ends up being almost as wonderfully far out as the first, compiled by Soul Jazz head honcho Stuart Baker, disc two manages to shine a light on a different side of dancehall, but one that's just as twisted. Right off the bat, the opener sounds like a squelchy warbly dancehall-ed version of some classic hip hop jam, while the follow up is like some sort of dancehall / dubstep soundtrack to a futuristic sci-fi police chase movie, all fat bass warble and wah guitars, pulsing synth and BIG beats. The rest of the second disc plays out just as strangely as the first few tracks, slipping often into sounds more classically dub or dancehall, but even then, the beats get all twisted up, the loops warped, these tracks obviously chosen as the stranger examples of what was going on in dancehall, even King Tubby contributes some cool lo-fi Casio-driven dancehall weirdness, and near the end of the disc, the sound seems to gradually be slipping back toward a more traditional dub sound, but again, the far out aspects that define the tracks on the first disc, and to a lesser extant the first half of the second disc, remain present, just employed more subtly.
We make proclamations like this all the time, but this is quickly becoming our favorite dancehall comp, definitely the strangest, and most far out. WAY recommended of course. Even if you've yet to be won over by dancehall, if there was ever a record to do it, it would probably be this one. Besides the fact, that the whole thing is presented as an over the top concept collection, the music here apparently some sort of sound shield, to protect Kingston, Jamaica, where a crazy battle is set to take place, between the Alien Sound Lord Abductors, who are trying to recapture humanoid souls, and the Digital Defenders! And you can read all about it in the included comic book! So rad!
Also available, as so many of these Soul Jazz comps are, spread out over two separate vinyl volumes.
MPEG Stream: STEELY & CLEVIE "Streetsweeper"
MPEG Stream: STEREOYP (FT. ALLEY CAT) "Modern Times"
MPEG Stream: HARMONIC 313 "Bazooka Riddim"
MPEG Stream: REDLIGHT "M.D.M.A."
MPEG Stream: THE BUG "Aktion"

album cover V/A Invasion Of The Mysteron Killer Sounds Vol 1 (Soul Jazz) 2lp 26.00
Vinyl part one, here's the review we wrote of the complete 2cd edition:
We are suckers for dancehall. Always have been. It's one of those sounds/musics (like black metal buzz, or THE DRONE), that we just can't ever seem to get enough of. That distinctive dancehall rhythmic stutter, so hypnotic and mesmerizing, it's irresistible, and then there's the wild toasting, all woven into this strange skeletal rhythmic party music, that manages to be fun and funky but also weirdly dark and heavy, especially on the first disc here, compiled by Kevin Martin, aka The Bug, who seems to have collected the weirdest dancehall jams around, even the opening track, a classic dancehall number, from way back in 1999, is pretty strange, the beat big and heavy, the vocals chopped up, some super cinematic strings, the toasting way off in the distance, buried way down in the mix, a dub seemingly gone haywire, which when you think about it could describe dancehall in general. Or at least the kind we love. And the first disc here is overflowing with it. Thick buzzing synth over low slung skitter, super effects heavy 8bit stutter, weirdly produced so the sound slips from blown out and brittle, to murky and muddy, the sound laced with all manner of strange sound effects and WAY dubbed out drums, there's gypsy folk fiddles fused to clipped electronics and slithery basslines, or steel drum driven sunshiney party grooves underpinned by some seriously ominous low end, big skipping synth shuffles beneath snap and clam rhythms, and some swirling drugged out effects heavy vox, and so it goes, the first disc playing out like some twisted big beat experiment, that ranks up there with our favorite dubstep comps for speaker punishing beats, and fuzzy funky grooves, this one maybe the most twisted and far out yet, finishing off with a Bug track of course, Martin offering his own take on dancehall, this one a thumping chunk of bass heavy murk, that almost sounds like super charegd double dutch, with some glitch electronics and echoey vocals, the sound slipping from gristly and crunchy, to hazy and washed out.
The second disc, ostensibly slightly more 'traditional', with more obvious nods to the dub and reggae that birthed dancehall, ends up being almost as wonderfully far out as the first, compiled by Soul Jazz head honcho Stuart Baker, disc two manages to shine a light on a different side of dancehall, but one that's just as twisted. Right off the bat, the opener sounds like a squelchy warbly dancehall-ed version of some classic hip hop jam, while the follow up is like some sort of dancehall / dubstep soundtrack to a futuristic sci fi police chase movie, all fat bass warble and wah guitars, pulsing synth and BIG beats. The rest of the second disc plays out just as strangely as the first few tracks, slipping often into sounds more classically dub or dancehall, but even then, the beats get all twisted up, the loops warped, these tracks obviously chosen as the stranger examples of what was going on in dancehall, even King Tubby contributes some cool lo-fi casio-driven dancehall weirdness, and near the end of the disc, the sound seems to gradually be slipping back toward a more traditional dub sound, but again, the far out aspects that define the tracks on the first disc, and to a lesser extant the first half of the second disc, remain present, just employed more subtlely.
We make proclamations like this all the time, but this is quickly becoming our favorite dancehall comp, definitely the strangest, and most far out. WAY recommended of course. Even if you've yet to be won over by dancehall, if there was ever a record to do it, it would probably be this one. Besides the fact, that the whole thing is presented as an over the top concept collection, the music here apparently some sort of sound shield, to protect Kingston, Jamaica, where a crazy battle is set to take place, between the Alien Sound Lord Abductors, who are trying to recapture humanoid souls, and the Digital Defenders! And you can read all about it in the included comic book! So rad!
MPEG Stream: STEELY & CLEVIE "Streetsweeper"
MPEG Stream: STEREOYP (FT. ALLEY CAT) "Modern Times"
MPEG Stream: HARMONIC 313 "Bazooka Riddim"
MPEG Stream: REDLIGHT "M.D.M.A."
MPEG Stream: THE BUG "Aktion"

album cover V/A Invasion Of The Mysteron Killer Sounds Vol 2 (Soul Jazz) 2lp 26.00
Vinyl part two, here's the review we wrote of the complete 2cd edition:
We are suckers for dancehall. Always have been. It's one of those sounds/musics (like black metal buzz, or THE DRONE), that we just can't ever seem to get enough of. That distinctive dancehall rhythmic stutter, so hypnotic and mesmerizing, it's irresistible, and then there's the wild toasting, all woven into this strange skeletal rhythmic party music, that manages to be fun and funky but also weirdly dark and heavy, especially on the first disc here, compiled by Kevin Martin, aka The Bug, who seems to have collected the weirdest dancehall jams around, even the opening track, a classic dancehall number, from way back in 1999, is pretty strange, the beat big and heavy, the vocals chopped up, some super cinematic strings, the toasting way off in the distance, buried way down in the mix, a dub seemingly gone haywire, which when you think about it could describe dancehall in general. Or at least the kind we love. And the first disc here is overflowing with it. Thick buzzing synth over low slung skitter, super effects heavy 8bit stutter, weirdly produced so the sound slips from blown out and brittle, to murky and muddy, the sound laced with all manner of strange sound effects and WAY dubbed out drums, there's gypsy folk fiddles fused to clipped electronics and slithery basslines, or steel drum driven sunshiney party grooves underpinned by some seriously ominous low end, big skipping synth shuffles beneath snap and clam rhythms, and some swirling drugged out effects heavy vox, and so it goes, the first disc playing out like some twisted big beat experiment, that ranks up there with our favorite dubstep comps for speaker punishing beats, and fuzzy funky grooves, this one maybe the most twisted and far out yet, finishing off with a Bug track of course, Martin offering his own take on dancehall, this one a thumping chunk of bass heavy murk, that almost sounds like super charegd double dutch, with some glitch electronics and echoey vocals, the sound slipping from gristly and crunchy, to hazy and washed out.
The second disc, ostensibly slightly more 'traditional', with more obvious nods to the dub and reggae that birthed dancehall, ends up being almost as wonderfully far out as the first, compiled by Soul Jazz head honcho Stuart Baker, disc two manages to shine a light on a different side of dancehall, but one that's just as twisted. Right off the bat, the opener sounds like a squelchy warbly dancehall-ed version of some classic hip hop jam, while the follow up is like some sort of dancehall / dubstep soundtrack to a futuristic sci fi police chase movie, all fat bass warble and wah guitars, pulsing synth and BIG beats. The rest of the second disc plays out just as strangely as the first few tracks, slipping often into sounds more classically dub or dancehall, but even then, the beats get all twisted up, the loops warped, these tracks obviously chosen as the stranger examples of what was going on in dancehall, even King Tubby contributes some cool lo-fi casio-driven dancehall weirdness, and near the end of the disc, the sound seems to gradually be slipping back toward a more traditional dub sound, but again, the far out aspects that define the tracks on the first disc, and to a lesser extant the first half of the second disc, remain present, just employed more subtlely.
We make proclamations like this all the time, but this is quickly becoming our favorite dancehall comp, definitely the strangest, and most far out. WAY recommended of course. Even if you've yet to be won over by dancehall, if there was ever a record to do it, it would probably be this one. Besides the fact, that the whole thing is presented as an over the top concept collection, the music here apparently some sort of sound shield, to protect Kingston, Jamaica, where a crazy battle is set to take place, between the Alien Sound Lord Abductors, who are trying to recapture humanoid souls, and the Digital Defenders! And you can read all about it in the included comic book! So rad!

album cover V/A Sanity Muffin Label Sampler (Sanity Muffin) cassette 4.50
We only recently discovered Oakland label Sanity Muffin, but their first two releases kicked our asses, blackened Dutch doom/dirge/drone outfit Torture Corpse, and the project of the guy behind the SM label, Galena, a gorgeous collection of droned out blackened buzz. So here's a nice priced chance to check out some of the other stuff on Sanity Muffin. Not only do you get new and exclusive tracks from both Torture Corpse and Galena, you also get a hole mess of strange and wonderful sounds from a whole bunch of bands we'd never heard of. In fact, the only group we knew was hip hopper Odd Nosdam, but his track here is a whole different thing, a creeping, lumbering chunk of hazy, droney drift, swirly and abstract, crunchy and softly noisy, had us wishing all his records sounded like this!
The rest of the comp is all over the place, from thick distorted buzzing drones to blackened rumbling creep, to gorgeous and epic field recording flecked collaged post rock ambience to spacey psychedelic skitter, nearly 90 minutes, pretty much not a bad one in the bunch, and will for sure have you looking for more from a lot of these folks.
Super swank full color fold out covers, with photocopied inserts and a Sanity Muffing guitar pick!

album cover WHITE HILLS Measured Energy (Trensmat) 7" 5.98
One of two new 7"s from the Trensmat label, this one from big time aQ faves, space rockers White Hills, who offer up two tracks of ambient drift, the A side, a swirly bit of abstract shimmer, a softly pulsing two note melody, subtly mesmerizing, surrounded on all sides by strange melodies, little bits of glitch, headphone listening reveals much going on in the background, a slow shifting sprawl of mysterious sounds, that seem to surface and fade, constantly changing shapes, while that pulse remains constant, the sort of jam that sounds like it must have been cut from a much bigger sonic cloth, it's the sort of sound that would be so easy to get lost it.
As is the B side, a more dirgey bit of ambience, thick churning guitars, roiling away in a cloud of hazy whir and deep rumble, loads of echo and delay and reverb, softly swirling, a gauzy and washed out expanse of slo-mo buzz and thrum, that seems to almost become riffs, before those riffs melt into the sounds around them, a gorgeously entrancing stretch of cyclical mesmer, in the form of downtuned spaced out crush.
ALREADY SOLD OUT AND OUT OF PRINT AT THE LABEL. We got a whole bunch, but odds are they won't be around for long, so don't dawdle, or risk being disappointed...

album cover WIDOWSPEAK s/t (Captured Tracks) cd 14.98
While we have been digging lots of weird and lo-fi pop that's come out in the last few years, there's been a shortage of the kind of dreamy and focused pure pop records that make us wanna swoon for days on end. Luckily that has changed with the debut full length from New York's Widowspeak. We were already pretty much sold when we first heard their 7" earlier in the summer, which featured one track from this record and a Chris Isaak cover(!), but we had no idea that this was going to be a band who would be responsible for maybe one of the best pop albums of the year, this their self-titled debut. From the opening moments of the records lead off track, "Puritan" to the album's closer, "Ghost Boy", it's a record we'll be listening to repeatedly for a long time to come.
Widowspeak take elements of Cat Power, Beach House, and Mazzy Star, but somehow put them together in a way that countless other bands, all of whom take those same points of inspiration, never seem able to reach. Waves of warmth, and an economical approach to songwriting come together to create songs that make us just want to sway and linger as we stare into the eyes of someone we love, sounds that conjur up the memory of the one that we wish was still by our side.
We also love how as bittersweet and love soaked the songs can be, there are still these awesome and surprising moments that totally rock out and show sound both urgent and passionate, again in a way that many others treading similar terrain are never able to quite capture either.
This is that rare record rife with musical moments that both give us goosebumps as well as inspiring much shimmying and shaking. We might just have ourselves a new favorite band!
MPEG Stream: "Puritan"
MPEG Stream: "Hard Times"
MPEG Stream: "Nightcrawlers"

album cover WIDOWSPEAK s/t (Captured Tracks) lp 16.98
While we have been digging lots of weird and lo-fi pop that's come out in the last few years, there's been a shortage of the kind of dreamy and focused pure pop records that make us wanna swoon for days on end. Luckily that has changed with the debut full length from New York's Widowspeak. We were already pretty much sold when we first heard their 7" earlier in the summer, which featured one track from this record and a Chris Isaak cover(!), but we had no idea that this was going to be a band who would be responsible for maybe one of the best pop albums of the year, this their self-titled debut. From the opening moments of the records lead off track, "Puritan" to the album's closer, "Ghost Boy", it's a record we'll be listening to repeatedly for a long time to come.
Widowspeak take elements of Cat Power, Beach House, and Mazzy Star, but somehow put them together in a way that countless other bands, all of whom take those same points of inspiration, never seem able to reach. Waves of warmth, and an economical approach to songwriting come together to create songs that make us just want to sway and linger as we stare into the eyes of someone we love, sounds that conjur up the memory of the one that we wish was still by our side.
We also love how as bittersweet and love soaked the songs can be, there are still these awesome and surprising moments that totally rock out and show sound both urgent and passionate, again in a way that many others treading similar terrain are never able to quite capture either.
This is that rare record rife with musical moments that both give us goosebumps as well as inspiring much shimmying and shaking. We might just have ourselves a new favorite band!
MPEG Stream: "Puritan"
MPEG Stream: "Hard Times"
MPEG Stream: "Nightcrawlers"

album cover YAGHMAEI, KOUROSH Back From The Brink (Now Again) 2cd 21.00
We'd been hearing about this for a while, the first collection from legendary Iranian psychedelic rocker Kourosh Yaghmaei, who spent much of his career literally forbidden from performing or recording. We initially thought we had never heard anything from Yaghmaei, until we realized that he was responsible for one of our favorite tracks, on one of THEE best compilations ever, Forge Your Own Chains, his "Hajme El Khali", a sultry, brooding ballad, all spidery melody, whirring organ, chiming guitar, and powerful emotional vocals, the song moving and intense and so darkly passionate. He also showed up on the great B-Music Pomegranates compilation, that track open the proceedings here, a gorgeous chunk of piano driven melancholy, dusted with psychedelic effects, but it's all about the vocals, gorgeous and intense, and the cool little guitar filagree, wild little tangles, or slowly unwinding melodies, and a little Ventures-y surfy twang (The Ventures were apparently Yaghmaei's favorite group), and so it goes, this is quickly becoming a new favorite, which is saying something, since there is really no shortage of killer lost psychedelic classics.
But there's something about these songs. The vocals obviously, but Yaghmaei's guitar playing is so distinctive, his love of the Ventures and that era of American rock evident, but the classic folk music of his Middle Eastern upbringing finding their way into his sound, the recordings raw and intimate, surprisingly lush, with some of the tracks reminding us of classic Bee Gees, all warm whirling orchestral pop, while others, are fuzz drenched rockers, all wah wah guitars and sultry sinister swagger, while still others are dreamy ballads, heartfelt and sweetly melancholy, but no matter the sound, every once in a while, Yaghmaei cranks it up and unfurls some FIERCE psychedelic guitar leads, Hendrixy and distorted and awesome, and similarly, the organ will emit gouts of crunchy buzz, often offsetting what is otherwise some dreamy jangle. There are definitely hints of Bollywood, and other Middle Eastern musics you've perhaps heard before, but Yaghmaei's sound is definitely all his own, and should for sure appeal to fans of Ethiopiques, Sublime Frequencies, Finders Keepers and the like.
Pretty much all the songs here are incredible, and then there's the story of Yaghmaei's life which is equally incredible, told in the liner notes in his own words, which according to the compilers is a symbolic gesture to the many years of silence he suffered, unable to speak out, perform or record. So great.
The double cd version comes in a cool hardcover book style packaging.
MPEG Stream: "Gole Yakh"
MPEG Stream: "Dar Enteha"
MPEG Stream: "Hajme Khali"
MPEG Stream: "Paiz"
MPEG Stream: "Leila"

album cover YAGHMAEI, KOUROSH Back From The Brink (Now Again) 3lp 30.00
We'd been hearing about this for a while, the first collection from legendary Iranian psychedelic rocker Kourosh Yaghmaei, who spent much of his career literally forbidden from performing or recording. We initially thought we had never heard anything from Yaghmaei, until we realized that he was responsible for one of our favorite tracks, on one of THEE best compilations ever, Forge Your Own Chains, his "Hajme El Khali", a sultry, brooding ballad, all spidery melody, whirring organ, chiming guitar, and powerful emotional vocals, the song moving and intense and so darkly passionate. He also showed up on the great B-Music Pomegranates compilation, that track open the proceedings here, a gorgeous chunk of piano driven melancholy, dusted with psychedelic effects, but it's all about the vocals, gorgeous and intense, and the cool little guitar filagree, wild little tangles, or slowly unwinding melodies, and a little Ventures-y surfy twang (The Ventures were apparently Yaghmaei's favorite group), and so it goes, this is quickly becoming a new favorite, which is saying something, since there is really no shortage of killer lost psychedelic classics.
But there's something about these songs. The vocals obviously, but Yaghmaei's guitar playing is so distinctive, his love of the Ventures and that era of American rock evident, but the classic folk music of his Middle Eastern upbringing finding their way into his sound, the recordings raw and intimate, surprisingly lush, with some of the tracks reminding us of classic Bee Gees, all warm whirling orchestral pop, while others, are fuzz drenched rockers, all wah wah guitars and sultry sinister swagger, while still others are dreamy ballads, heartfelt and sweetly melancholy, but no matter the sound, every once in a while, Yaghmaei cranks it up and unfurls some FIERCE psychedelic guitar leads, Hendrixy and distorted and awesome, and similarly, the organ will emit gouts of crunchy buzz, often offsetting what is otherwise some dreamy jangle. There are definitely hints of Bollywood, and other Middle Eastern musics you've perhaps heard before, but Yaghmaei's sound is definitely all his own, and should for sure appeal to fans of Ethiopiques, Sublime Frequencies, Finders Keepers and the like.
Pretty much all the songs here are incredible, and then there's the story of Yaghmaei's life which is equally incredible, told in the liner notes in his own words, which according to the compilers is a symbolic gesture to the many years of silence he suffered, unable to speak out, perform or record. So great.
The double cd version comes in a cool hardcover book style packaging.
MPEG Stream: "Gole Yakh"
MPEG Stream: "Dar Enteha"
MPEG Stream: "Hajme Khali"
MPEG Stream: "Paiz"
MPEG Stream: "Leila"

album cover ZOMBIE ZOMBIE Plays John Carpenter (Versatile) cd 14.98
Ok, lately it seems like we're ALWAYS saying stuff reminds us of the suspenseful soundtrack synth music of film director John Carpenter - who, along with collaborator Alan Howarth, is known for composing the propulsive, sinister scores for his own movies. Music that's become a big influence on a lot of our favorite artists today. How many recent releases have we tagged with a Carpenter comparison? Umberto, D.A., Gatekeeper, Zombi, Xander Harris, Majeure, Roll The Dice, Steve Moore, Twins, Dylan Ettinger, Blizaro, Jonas Reinhart, Hyetal, Arrow Kleeman, Lazer Crystal, Maserati, Nightsatan, and more... Of course many of those are overt imitations of the master. Goblin is the other influence we usually cite for a lot of these too, but the future-disco, fright flick, sci-fi SYNTH sound is more about Carpenter.
So, this release makes perfect sense, the obvious next step in the current wave of Carpenter worship. Zombie Zombie is a French synth duo, 1/2 of which is in fact former AQ Record Of The Week honoree Etienne Jaumet (for his album Night Music), and they have decided to pay tribute to John Carpenter in the most direct way possible: a disc of all Carpenter covers! This 5 track, 28 minute mini-album includes their takes on the main themes from JC classics Assault On Precinct 13, Halloween, Escape From LA, and The Thing. Hmm, the latter of which was actually composed by Ennio Morricone, right? Though that's cool too. You also get ZZ's version of the music from the bank robbery scene in Escape From New York.
When we learned Jaumet was part of this, we knew ZZ would know their stuff and do JC right, and they sure do. All the skittery machine beats and eerie melodies, urgent shuffling chase-scene rhythms and ominous thick bass heavy synth burble, moody atmospheric drone and creepy tick-tock-ery of the JC originals is lovingly recreated via ZZ's not-far-removed but definitely updated, dancefloor/DJ friendly versions, which come across as somewhat heavier and a bit more tweaked than actual soundtrack recordings, also more "band-like" and less soundtrack slick. We haven't heard ZZ's other album, but we bet these sound like their own songs, y'know. Basically, if you like John Carpenter, or any of the stuff we're always mentioning JC in conjunction with, you will dig this! The only thing that would have made this better is if they'd made it a longer disc and also included cues from The Fog, They Live, and a few other of our JC faves. But these themes are pretty much the best of the best. And we'd LOVE to see 'em play this stuff live, which we hear they're doing. Come to think of it, we'd love to see Carpenter himself perform live, we wonder if he's ever even considered the idea, he'd probably be surprised at how many people would come out to see that, don't you think?
MPEG Stream: "The Bank Robbery (Taken From Escape From New York)"
MPEG Stream: "Halloween (Main Theme)"
MPEG Stream: "The Thing (Main Theme)"

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album cover NEWLYN, DAVID Brittle (Time Released Sound) 3"cd-r + old shellac record 36.00
We're really so excited to finally welcome local label Time Released Sound to the aQuarius family. We've yet to list anything, in part because their releases are so limited, but also, because they sell out so quickly. Every single release, every single copy is an incredible work of art. Each one hand crafted, individually assembled, numbered and hand stamped, letter pressed and printed, the packaging thematically linked to the sound within, with photographs, or old records, strange little knick knacks, clock hands, piano keys, they're really incredible, an absolute labor of love, with most of the limited versions taking hours to assemble, and the fact that Time Released Sound is just one man, makes it all the more impressive. So from here on out, we'll get a limited number of each release, they're quite limited already usually around 70-100 copies. And odds are we won't be able to get more than 10-15, but trust us, they're worth it, sonically beautifully, and visually stunning. There will be regular non-art editions of some of the releases, much less limited, and thus less expensive, but if you're after one of the limited editions, you'll want to act fast.
This one is already sold out, we have the LAST 6 copies, limited to just 78 copies (that number will make sense in a sec), this is a 3" cd, affixed to an actual 100 year old, 5.5" mini 78 rpm record, with the cd-r and the record with matching labels, both housed in a black, holed record sleeve, wrapped with a series of printed cards, those cards wrapped in vellum, with a tag affixed to the cards by string, the black sleeve hand printed. All of that housed in a stamped and stickered envelope, each with an actual stamp, it's quite stunning. And the 78 rpm is definitely playable, just be very very careful, those old records are incredibly fragile, and brittle, which is another way the art ties in with the music, Newlyn's record a series of delicate miniatures, lush pianoscapes, wreathed in reverb, occasionally flecked with strange machine like sounds, tinkling melodies, swirling strings, cinematic and hauntingly dreamy, a sort of otherworldly chamber music, hushed and intimate, melancholy and oh so lovely.
Be warned, these do NOT travel well, if you buy one of these, they need to be packaged like crazy! Tons of packing, loads of protection from the postman, or the other items in your order. The label suggested we only sell these locally, but we figured some of our mailorder folks would probably dig, so be warned re: the packaging, and if the shellac record does crack, we can't replace it, although maybe the label would see fit to send you a new 78!
MPEG Stream: "Incidental"
MPEG Stream: "Aesthetic Of This"
MPEG Stream: "Brevity"

album cover ORSI, FABIO Theft Of A Rose (Time Released Sound) 3"cd-r 23.00
We're really so excited to finally welcome local label Time Released Sound to the aQuarius family. We've yet to list anything, in part because their releases are so limited, but also, because they sell out so quickly. Every single release, every single copy is an incredible work of art. Each one hand crafted, individually assembled, numbered and hand stamped, letter pressed and printed, the packaging thematically linked to the sound within, with photographs, or old records, strange little knick knacks, clock hands, piano keys, they're really incredible, an absolute labor of love, with most of the limited versions taking hours to assemble, and the fact that Time Released Sound is just one man, makes it all the more impressive. So from here on out, we'll get a limited number of each release, they're quite limited already usually around 70-100 copies. And odds are we won't be able to get more than 10-15, but trust us, they're worth it, sonically beautifully, and visually stunning. There will be regular non-art editions of some of the releases, much less limited, and thus less expensive, but if you're after one of the limited editions, you'll want to act fast.
Another limited edition from Time Released Sound, this one from sound artist / dronescaper Fabio Orsi, whose Theft Of A Rose, is a sonic homage to Jean Cocteau's 1940 film Beauty And The Beast, and is a glorious piece of hushed and haunting minimal dronemusic, a lush, slow shifting expanse of warm swirling tones, lightly layered atmospheres, a luxurious slow build from a whispery drift, to a thick almost shoegazy shimmer, definitely reminiscent of Machinefabriek, mysterious overtones, pulsing buried rhythms, darkly dramatic and gorgeously ominous, so lovely, and well worth the price of admission alone, but the packaging is over the top!
Limited to just 100 copies, the cd is housed in a little black printed envelope, which along with an actual polaroid of a still from the film, and a lock of real hair tied with twine, is housed in a small plastic envelope, which in turn is placed in a vellum envelop, printed front and back, with a small tag affixed with twine, and inside the envelope are a handful of tiny sewn roses. So gorgeous!
MPEG Stream: "Theft Of A Rose (excerpt)"

album cover MAPS & DIAGRAMS Get Lost (Time Released Sound) cd 14.98
We're really so excited to finally welcome local label Time Released Sound to the aQuarius family. We've yet to list anything, in part because their releases are so limited, but also, because they sell out so quickly. Every single release, every single copy is an incredible work of art. Each one hand crafted, individually assembled, numbered and hand stamped, letter pressed and printed, the packaging thematically linked to the sound within, with photographs, or old records, strange little knick knacks, clock hands, piano keys, they're really incredible, an absolute labor of love, with most of the limited versions taking hours to assemble, and the fact that Time Released Sound is just one man, makes it all the more impressive. So from here on out, we'll get a limited number of each release, they're quite limited already usually around 70-100 copies. And odds are we won't be able to get more than 10-15, but trust us, they're worth it, sonically beautifully, and visually stunning. There will be regular non-art editions of some of the releases, much less limited, and thus less expensive, but if you're after one of the limited editions, you'll want to act fast.
The art edition of this one sold out to quick for us to get copies, but it's the first Time Released Sound release to get an actual proper cd release, which is a good thing too, cuz this stuff is way to gorgeous to be only heard by a handful of folks. A hazy droney drift, equal parts haunting ambience, mysterious field recordings, and abstract synth shimmer, these soundscapes are lush smoldering expanses of hypnotic sound, dreamily layered loops, judiciously applied effects, all woven into totally mesmerizing drones and sweetly melodic cinematic miniatures, from the soundtracky synth shimmer of "Below Sea Level" to the hazy, ethereal ambience of "Floating Sculptures", Maps And Diagrams, creates an otherworld of sound, a world of water, dominated by the sea, the sounds of water seep into many of the tracks here, a distant drizzle, the sound of a far away shore, but the music itself is evocative and lovely, simple melodies draped over lush landscapes, as much about texture and tone, mood and meaning as notes and chords, these blurred abstract drifts seem to hover ghostlike, before taking shape, only to fade into the ether once again. Dreamy and darkly divine, WAY recommended for all the aQ-ers into lush, mysterious ambience, and dreamily melodic dronemusic, fans of Jasper TX, Machinefabriek and other crafters of soundworlds hushed and haunting.
LIMITED TO 300 COPIES!
MPEG Stream: "Unordinary People"
MPEG Stream: "Below Sea Level"
MPEG Stream: "Floating Sculptures"

album cover PAPER RELICS Over Exposure (Time Released Sound) cd-r 13.98
We're really so excited to finally welcome local label Time Released Sound to the aQuarius family. We've yet to list anything, in part because their releases are so limited, but also, because they sell out so quickly. Every single release, every single copy is an incredible work of art. Each one hand crafted, individually assembled, numbered and hand stamped, letter pressed and printed, the packaging thematically linked to the sound within, with photographs, or old records, strange little knick knacks, clock hands, piano keys, they're really incredible, an absolute labor of love, with most of the limited versions taking hours to assemble, and the fact that Time Released Sound is just one man, makes it all the more impressive. So from here on out, we'll get a limited number of each release, they're quite limited already usually around 70-100 copies. And odds are we won't be able to get more than 10-15, but trust us, they're worth it, sonically beautifully, and visually stunning. There will be regular non-art editions of some of the releases, much less limited, and thus less expensive, but if you're after one of the limited editions, you'll want to act fast.
The super limited art edition of this release sold out before we could manage to get any copies at all, but we did manage to get a handful of the slightly less limited (100 copies) digipak cd-r version, which is much cheaper, and still worth grabbing for the music inside, a gorgeous collection of field recording flecked folk, hazy and pastoral, spidery steel string guitars unfurl a dreamlike Appalachia over a bed of chirping birds, and mysterious bits of random percussion, a lovely bit of back porch dreaminess, which is how most of the record plays out, slippery slide guitar hovers over woozy bass and the sound of a gently burbling brook, long stretches of steel string buzz underpin simple, sweetly melancholic acoustic guitar, a crackling fire in the background, much of the music here is moody and muted, the guitar occasionally bursting into a fiery bit of psychedelia, but more often than not, darkly strummed, intertwining melodies creating lush landscapes of twang flecked drift.
Fans of Scott Tuma, Ilyas Ahmed, Chris Smith, James Blackshaw and other Appalachian soundscapers would do well to check this out.
MPEG Stream: "Over Exposure (Prelude)"
MPEG Stream: "Soft Focus"
MPEG Stream: "Fading"

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----* Selected New Arrivals :
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album cover BLOSSOM TOES If Only For A Moment (Sunbeam) 2lp 34.00
Now reissued on wax!
The 1969 follow up to this British band's wonderfully twee and surreal first album, We Are Ever So Clean, from the paisley daze of 1967. But on this, they left the Sgt. Pepperisms behind for an even freakier, and occasionally heavier, direction. It's kinda like how The Pretty Things went from S.F. Sorrow to Parachute, but weirder. The Mothers Of Invention might have been an influence, certainly the lead-off track "Peace Loving Man" is crazy enough. Heavy too, with gruff vocals and loud guitar riffs. Yep, compared to the ornate, orchestrated psych-pop of We Are Ever So Clean this whole album is waaaay more (acid) Rock, but still full of melodic hooks and '60s zaniness. Delicate vocals are deployed alongside bombastic, bluesy guitars. Pretty cool. Unfortunately this was to be their last album, but their guitarist did go on to join Family (we mention for those into the rock family tree thing). He also appeared on Magma's Kohntarkosz as well, of all things, though certainly this last Blossom Toes record points in a prog direction.
MPEG Stream: "Peace Loving Man"
MPEG Stream: "Kiss Of Confusion"
MPEG Stream: "Postcard"

album cover CASSLE s/t (Shadow Kingdom) cd 13.98
While some reissue labels specialize in digging up the obscure '60s garage or '70s psych of collector's dreams, Shadow Kingdom's idea of a long lost gem is something like this, a pretty much unknown quasi-metal American rock act from the early '80s that went precisely nowhere with their strange brand of theatrical, "magickal", poppy, proggy hard rock / metal, despite a lot of spunk and even some talent too. This disc contains Cassle's 1983 ep plus a bunch of unreleased songs from the era filling it out to full-length cd status.
We say quasi-metal 'cause while they've got the medieval name of Cassle (i.e. Castle - it seems they liked to spell things differently, they were originally called Miraaj), and do indeed sport some fairly heavy, gritty guitars and fantasy/horror themes, they're really much more Rush than Maiden. And they've got keyboards. Yup, so '70s prog/pomp rock outfits like Rush, Styx, and Kansas were probably as big or bigger influences on 'em than the then-contemporary riffage of the NWOBHM. It's also a set of influences they share with another Shadow Kingdom band, Manilla Road.
But that's what gives this a lot of its charm, some kids from LA trying to do the pomp thing on a budget and without worrying much about being "cool". Well actually, they probably did think this was cool. And if you're like us, you might think it's cool too. How can you not love it when they actually sing "A dungeon, a dragon..." in one of their songs here, "Revenge (Cassle Walls)"?!
They're no Manilla Road but this is still pretty fun, it kinda reminds us of Sorcery's Stunt Rock soundtrack, and Legend US (From The Fjords), a bit. Cd booklet includes new liner notes, full lyrics, and color photos of the band back in the day.
MPEG Stream: "Midnight Fantasy "
MPEG Stream: "Revenge (Cassle Walls) "
MPEG Stream: "The Ringmaster "

album cover CLAMS CASINO Rainforest (Triangle) 12" 12.98
Now we have some of the vinyl version to list!
Another killer chunk of outsider electronic music from the Triangle label, who has also given us amazing records by witch house outfits oOoOO and Balam Acab, and while Clams Casino, a twenty something hip hop producer from New Jersey who's done production for Lil B and Soulja Boy, is not technically witch house, it's easy to see why he ended up on Triangle, cuz to our ears, many of the elements are the same, the sound woozy and warped, muddy and murky, washed out and ethereal, stuttering loops, disembodied voices wreathed in effects and layered into their own sort of rhythms, the sound a gorgeous creepy crawl, some seriously dreamy drag, everything blurry and indistinct, field recordings hover beneath smeared synths, and muted pulses, downtempo beats wrapped around sci-fi shimmer. Crumbling distortion envelops slooooowed down crooning, a sort of slo-mo soul laced with clanky percussion, and tinkling late night pianos, a little bit crunk, a little bit witch house, a swirling swoonsome sizurp vibe, that oozes into everything, the perfect wasted late night drift off zone out melting dancefloor alien chill out soundtrack for sure.
Definitely for fans of dark electronica, chopped and screwed hip hop, witch housers Salem, oOoOO, Balam Acab, and all the various strains of slo-mo soul and doped-up drag...
MPEG Stream: "Natural"
MPEG Stream: "Treetop"

album cover COHRAN, PHIL AND THE ARTISTIC HERITAGE ENSEMBLE Armageddon (Tizona) lp 21.00
NOW ON LP!
It's always a good day when we hear another new archival Phil Cohran and The Artistic Heritage Ensemble release. Not sure how much material is still out there to be released, but please keep it coming! Issued for the first time, this killer live recording from 1968 is one of his most intense, cosmic and out ensemble pieces to date, getting into some serious Sun Ra interstellar spiritual energy territory, as they delve into deep themes of the legacy of slavery, the atom bomb and the end of creation. Woah. The opener, "Motherless Child", sung by members of The Spencer Jackson Family, is slow and sorrowful, with just voice and a low rumbling of horns and drums that cascade around the singers instead of supporting them melodically, which leads into "The Creation of The Beast", an elephantine procession that revels in a sort of triumphant malevolence of marching brass and swirling leering horns. "The Window" is the most sedate of the five pieces, featuring a sparse but ominous frankophone riff that gradually interweaves with lilting horn motifs, while the longest and final track, "Armageddon" delves full throttle into the powers of the ensemble with battling and frenzied horns in a culminating fury of sound and vision that is as majestic as it is searing. Magnificent!
MPEG Stream: "The Warning"
MPEG Stream: "The Window"
MPEG Stream: "Armageddon"

album cover DMZ Radio Demos (Munster Records) lp 21.00
Jeff "Monoman" Conolly has gotta be one of rock 'n' roll's awesomest unsung legends. First off, he fronted DMZ, Boston's garage punk answer to the likes of the Stooges and the New York Dolls, in the mid-'70s. Then, out of the ashes of DMZ, he formed Lyres, who traded in some (just some) of DMZ's scuzzed out heaviness for retro Vox organ driven power poppiness in the style of the best '60s Nuggets outfits. There's a new cd that brings both bands together, half the disc DMZ demos from '76, the other half Lyres live in '82. It's also available as two separate vinyl releases, this one's the DMZ half, featuring 12 tracks recorded as demos at a Cambridge radio station in 1976. They rip it up here, doing a ton of rad covers, among 'em "Til The End Of The Day" by the Kinks, "Teenage Head" by the Flamin' Groovies, "Search and Destroy" by the Stooges, "Heart Of Stone" by the Stones, and "Someone's Gonna Get Their Head Kicked In Tonight" by Fleetwood Mac (also memorably covered by the Rezillos). Definitely the sound of a band reveling in their influences, gettin' ready to kick out their own jams, as well as some other covers, on their one and only studio album, which was released in '78 by Sire. (Note: there's no song overlap between this and that.)
MPEG Stream: "Boy From Nowhere"
MPEG Stream: "Teenage Head"

album cover HUMAN INSTINCT Stoned Guitar (Sunbeam) 2lp 34.00
NOW REISSUED ON VINYL!! Here's what we wrote about the cd version we listed a couple years back:
So as soon as we dove into the extensive liner notes of this seriously awesome reissue of New Zealand's heaviest (and only??) psych band Human Instinct, we realized that despite their failed commercial success, these dudes were really way ahead of their time. After relocating to the UK in the late sixties and undergoing a handful of line-up changes, Human Instinct hit the local bar circuit with an original formula of heavy ripping psych played at blistering, amp melting volumes. Inspired by Hendrix and other dudes pushing the limits of the newly evolved electric guitar, Human Instinct developed a sound that was completely unique and possibly influential on the heavy bands that followed. While we wouldn't exactly call this stuff proto-metal, more like heavy psych, it definitely was a major step in reaching the heavy blackened riffage that bands like Sabbath and Pentagram would later perfect. That said, the album definitely has songs worth listening to over and over and over, buuuuuut there are a few tracks ya might just want to skip over. Oh and did we mention these dudes were known for having a lead singer who ALSO plays drums standing up!!?? Yes its true, Maurice Greer not only has a wicked sweet voice, but his drumming style is truly unique!!
Track number one kicks things off with an awesome version of Dennis Wilson's "Black Sally". Definitely a track you can headbang to, it's easy to hear how their slow grooving heaviness could one day become the essence of doom. Needless to say, these guys were way ahead of their time, I mean according to the liner notes, they starting playing together in '58!! Crazy! "The Jugg-A-Jugg Song", our second favorite track on Stoned Guitar, starts off with a wall of psychedelic fury, blaring, amp frying guitar, rampant drum chaos, destroying eardrums and anything else that stands in the way! So good!! "Midnight Sun" follows with stoney (obviously), repetitive riffs layered with atmospheric fuzz solos that seem to launch into the sky, really kraut-like and hypnotic, not unlike Parson Sound or Wooden Shjips, sorta.
Stoned Guitar is fried out, in-the-red type blues perfection for fans of the recently reviewed Jerusalem, Bedemon, or even Flower Travelin' Band. We even hear some similarities to new psychedelic jammers Magic Lantern or Eternal Tapestry too. Take our advice and don't miss out on this super influential piece of psych glory! FYI, also in stock but not yet reviewed, vinyl reissues of Human Instinct's other two albums, Pins In It and Burning Up Years.
MPEG Stream: "Black Sally"
MPEG Stream: "Midnight Sun"

album cover IL BALLETTO DI BRONZO Ys (Polydor) cd 10.98
Got some more of this Italian prog classic in, much cheaper than before. Here's some of what we said about this a long time ago when we first listed it...
Every now and then we like to spring some crazy '70s Italian prog on y'all just to see who can take it. We're not just talking Goblin (though we love Goblin), or any of the more "mainstream" Italian prog acts of the period (PFM, Le Orme, Banco), who were cool but didn't go far beyond the Yes/Genesis/King Crimson template. We're talking weirder stuff like Osanna, Museo Rosenbach, New Trolls, Osage Tribe, I Teoremi, and Area.
Sure, Il Balletto Di Bronzo's nutzoid sci-fi keyboard attack will bring to mind ELP, but you'll also think of Magma (and their descendants Shub-Niggurath and Koenjihyakkei as well). Complex, powerful, heavy, precise yet darkly psychedelic, Ys (from 1972, the band's second album) is one of those timeless pieces of rock n' roll art that's definitely very '70s yet not entirely dated: you could imagine a Laddio Bollocko or Tarantula Hawk kicking out these jams, that is, except for the occasional operatic vocal chorus. This album's five long songs (plus a bonus track), with their acid guitar action, haunting female vocals, droning keyboards, martial drumming, baroque/classical motifs, and weird changes, are just about as good as over-the-top Italian prog can get, and that's pretty damn good. That is, if you are willing to get into it like we are. A top ten prog album (if Aquarius had a prog top ten, and please don't ask us for one, we'll be arguing for weeks).
MPEG Stream: "Introduzione"
MPEG Stream: "Primo Incontro"
MPEG Stream: "Epilogo"

album cover LYRES Live At Cantones, Boston 1982 (Munster) lp 21.00
Jeff "Monoman" Conolly has gotta be one of rock 'n' roll's awesomest unsung legends. First off, he fronted DMZ, Boston's garage punk answer to the likes of the Stooges and the New York Dolls, in the mid-'70s. Then, out of the ashes of DMZ, he formed Lyres, who traded in some (just some) of DMZ's scuzzed out heaviness for retro Vox organ driven power poppiness in the style of the best '60s Nuggets outfits. There's a new cd that brings both bands together, half the disc DMZ demos from '76, the other half Lyres live in '82. It's also available as two separate vinyl releases, this one's the Lyres half, with a line up featuring 4/5s of DMZ, live at an Italian restaurant that doubled as a punk rock venue by night, back in the day. As with the DMZ set, there's lotsa killer covers among these 15 tracks (The Wailers, The Sonics, The Young Rascals, Kenny and the Kasuals...) and they do a DMZ tune too - but the main attraction might be the raw, raucous versions of Lyres own songs, Conolly compositions that shoulda been big hits, like early single sides "Help You Ann" (Andee's favorite Lyres song EVER) and "I Really Want You Right Now". Considering that reissues of Lyres studio albums are not easy to come by these days (why oh why are they out of print?), the release of this live recording, which makes up for in sheer energy what it might lack in high fidelity, is quite a boon both to fans and folks who, upon hearing it, will immediately become fans!
MPEG Stream: "Help You Ann"
MPEG Stream: "Hang Up"

album cover PRURIENT Bermuda Drain (Hydra Head) cassette 13.98
NOW ON TAPE!!!
Dominick Fernow who runs Hospital Productions, a record store AND label, has had to keep his main, mostly noise project, that would be Prurient, on the back burner for a while now, as he is now also a full fledged member of electro cold wave pop troupe Cold Cave, and what with touring and recording, it's seems like it's been quite a while since we've heard anything new. In the past, Prurient records could go one of two ways, blistering noise and caustic crunch, or dark thick brooding blackened dronemusic, often some mix of the two. But after all this Cold Caving, we weren't sure what to expect, but it definitely wasn't this. We did expect some of the CC sound to rub off on him, how could it not, but orthodox noise freeks will be very confused and disappointed, cuz this is essential a blackened synth heavy coldwave noise rock blowout, and it actually kind of rules! The liner notes instruct the listener to "Listen on headphones at night while driving through tunnels in Europe", and that is sort of what it sounds like, a few of the tracks like supercharged noise drenched versions of Kraftwerk's "Autobahn", while others like meaner more brutal takes on Cold Cave. Fear not, there's still plenty of noise, and howling hateful vox, but those elements are doled out judiciously this time around, and its the juxtaposition between those harsher elements, and the more synthy/krautrocky/propulsive bits that make this so goddamn good.
Opener "Many Jewels Surround The Crown" begins with a wild distorted shriek, and a wall of distorted crumbling blackness, but then in swoop synths, swirling strings, it almost sounds like it could be the soundtrack for some Tron like film, all sleek and reflective, but a bit decayed and decrepit, a futuristic post apocalyptic soundscape, a voice intones beneath pulsing kosmische synths, barraged by blasts of distorted crunch, and thick swaths of blackened bass. This is quickly followed by some pounding electro-punk, the vocals a gruff bellow, over thick driving synths and blasting programmed drums, all laced with warm whirling melodies, total new wave for sure, but sounding like Majeure or Zombi remixed by Alec Empire.
The rest of the record plays out like some beautiful and bizarre soundtrack, slipping easily from sprawls of crunchy droned out noise, to lush, swirling string laden shimmer, to lumbering bass heavy synthbuzz thrum, to total Depeche Mode-is electro pop, but again, that pop flecked with shrieked almost black metal vocals, which totally changes the tenor, while other tracks drift along blissfully, layering distant muted throbs beneath ethereal streaks of washed out synth and sweetly melancholy melodies, and finally finishing off with the epic "Sugar Can Chapel", a sort of noise drenched M83 slow build shoegaze psychedelic synth blowout, that manages to be darkly atmospheric and blackly blissed out.
Easily the most accessible Prurient record yet, and anyone who wishes that new wave of retro synth stuff had a lot more blackened bit to it, well, this might just be what you were looking for.
NB we got this on vinyl too, but not as many as we'd hoped, we might still have just a couple so ask if you're interested...
MPEG Stream: "Many Jewels Surround The Crown"
MPEG Stream: "A Meal Can Be Made"
MPEG Stream: "Bermuda Drain"
MPEG Stream: "Sugar Cane Chapel"

album cover PUMICE Pebbles (Soft Abuse) lp 15.98
NOW ON VINYL, this NZ fave from back in 2007! Lp limited to 300 copies, remastered, comes with download.
From jaunty opener "Eye Bath" onward, this album is one that surprises and delights and offers so much interesting DIY recorded avant-drone *texture* along with its actually quite catchy indie-pop song-iness! We always knew we liked the music of New Zealander Stephan Neville, aka one-man-band Pumice (also a member of The Futurians), he's definitely been in there amongst all the cool, home-taped dronological sounds appearing on obscure cds, cd-rs, cassettes, lathe-cut vinyl and so forth from his entrancing island home that we've been geeking out about over the years. But all the releases tend to overwhelm. Not just Pumice's, but Birchville Cat Motel and Omit and Peter Wright and Antony Milton all the rest. We can't always devote our full attention. And actually, Pumice's previous album, Yeahnahvienna, released a year or so ago on Soft Abuse was a bit ho-hum we thought, we didn't even ever get around to reviewing it. A lot of it was too stripped down and acoustic, revealing too much of the vocals which aren't really Mr. Neville's strong suit. But we're glad we didn't miss this new album! It's different, dense, infectiously fuzzed, and really really good (one of those albums that gets all the AQers coming up to the counter to see what's playing when it's on). Actually our interest in Pumice was rekindled by the recent underground NZ comp on Xeric, Need For A Crossing. Neville, along with Pseudoarcana's Antony Milton, curated it, and it featured several cuts by Pumice and other projects of his, which were quite striking. So suddenly were were like, hmm, Pumice, hey let's be sure to check out this new disc Pebbles. And lo and behold, it's a winner.
Like we said, Pumice makes lo-fi indie rock, the Dead C and the Velvet U are both likely influences, also all the rich history of NZ indie awesomeness from labels like Xpressway and Flying Nun, artists like The Clean, Tall Dwarfs, and Alastair Galbraith. The music here is damaged, reverbed, distorted, as much about sound as song. Regarding Pebbles, Pumice claims Moondog and Simply Saucer as inspirations - while we might not have thought of those disparate outsider references, they're not so outlandish when we think about it. And although Neville has a reputation for gloominess, the sheer pop umph buried beneath the lo-fi grit and noise of these tracks can't be denied, and tends to balance the depressive effects of the doleful droniness also much in evidence. Yeah, there's moments of rollickin' destroyed rock as well as an experimental folkiness that Richard Youngs fans will dig... and again if you like ye olde Xpressway style NZ indie stuff this is gonna be a blast. Another reminder for us here at AQ that we need to make a New Zealand section in the store again, like we used to back in the day!
MPEG Stream: "Eye Bath"
MPEG Stream: "Stop Over"
MPEG Stream: "Greenock"

album cover REED, LES Girl On A Motorcycle (OST) (Get Back) lp 15.98
Newly Reissued on Vinyl!
Hot stuff! The liner notes for this soundtrack suggest that the movie, which paired the ultra sexy Marianne Faithfull with the equally irresistible Alain Delon, fell "somewhere between fetish and fantasy" and we'd venture to say that this soundtrack does too. Sooo perfectly '60s - bringing together the grand orchestra and the rock band! There's the expressive horns that frolic, chuckle, taunt and weep... the glorious strings and woodwinds that sweep you around a dancefloor or along an open road... oh and let's not forget the funky noodly electric guitars and keyboards. Now, punctuated the proceedings with some thunderous timpani drums, some enchanting Cleo Laine and Mireille Mathieu vocals and yes, some ambient sounds from the film itself like the roar of a motorcycle! Super sexy and stylin'. If you dig hip '60s flicks, this soundtrack and the movie is totally for you.
MPEG Stream: "Surrender To A Stranger"
MPEG Stream: "Sweet Souvenirs"

album cover TONES ON TAIL Weird Pop (Beggars Banquet / Beggars Archive) 2lp 22.00
With all the Cold Wave and Minimal Synth reissues from the late seventies and early eighties coming back into fashion, we knew it wouldn't be long before we'd see some goth, industrial and deathrock bands from that period being re-issued as well. Tones On Tail weren't all that obscure, coming out of the ashes of Bauhaus who disbanded in 1983, but they were very short-lived, only lasting about a year before Daniel Ash and Kevin Haskins reunited with Bauhaus bandmate, David J to become Love and Rockets in 1984. However, Tones On Tail produced an exceptional amount of material over one lp and numerous eps and singles. While best remembered for their club hit, "Go!", their output covered a range of gothic styles from gloomy pop to dark jazz, but always with an ear towards strong songwriting and evocative atmospherics. And we always liked them a bit more than Bauhaus anyway!
Weird Pop is a new double vinyl collection that covers most of the same ground as the older 2cd collection, Everything, with a few previously unreleased alternate versions of songs like the full original version of "Performance", the studio version of "Heartbreak Hotel", the single edit of "Go!" and the extended version of "Twist". But unless you want these tracks on vinyl, or you are a completist collector, you might not need this if you already have the Everything collection (which is also available to order from our website) as that features more tracks (24 tracks vs. 19 tracks on the vinyl). Nonetheless, it's always great to see one of our favorite bands get some more much-deserved attention!
MPEG Stream: "Lions"
MPEG Stream: "Movement of Fear"
MPEG Stream: "Rain"
MPEG Stream: "OK, This Is The Pops"
MPEG Stream: "You, The Night and The Music"
MPEG Stream: "When You're Smiling"

album cover TRIMBLE, BOBB The Crippled Dog Band (Yoga) lp 16.98
Now in stock on vinyl too!!
Wonders never cease. About four or five years ago, the Secretly Canadian label did a big favor to obscure music lovers everywhere and brought out deluxe, at long last legit reissues of the two rare private press albums that obscure DIY psych pop genius Bobb Trimble released in the early '80s. We love those two so much, we made both reissues Records Of The Week. Trimble's Iron Curtain Innocence (1980) and Harvest Of Dreams (1982) are timeless, cult artifacts, of which we said: "...you have just been handed the key to a secret realm, an alternate rock n' roll universe of dark despair, fragile hope, and gossamer beauty, a haunting personal soundworld that will always stay with you, within you...", and favorably compared to everyone from Lennon/McCartney to Pink Floyd to Roy Harper to Marc Bolan to Richard Youngs to Ariel Pink.
Well, we had no idea that those two albums weren't the entirely of Trimble's discography. But now, happily we learn that there was a THIRD even rarer Trimble lp, and it's just been reissued as well!!! And it too is a doozy.
Turns out that a year or two after Harvest Of Dreams was released into an uncaring world, the 20-something Trimble teamed up with a local Worcester, Massachusetts gang of teenagers (some of whom we think had been in the even younger group, The Kidds, who are heard on some songs on a song or two on Harvest Of Dreams) called The Crippled Dog Band, named after the three-legged dog seen on the cover of this album, presumably. Who doesn't love a three-legged dog? Together, they played shows - and, better yet, for us today - made an album, this one, in '84, which captures the outsider psych-pop brilliance of Trimble's songwriting in exuberant collision/collusion with youthful rock n' roll energy.
Yeah, compared to Trimble's two "solo" albums, this could be considered to be more rockin', more "punk", more band-like. And more '80s as well, if only 'cause of the sci-fi video arcade game sounds that appear here on the intro and outro tracks! The songs, while typically Trimble-poppy (and graced with his delicate, high and whispy vox) are also often loud and raucous and awash in feedback and FX. At times we're kinda reminded of The Dickies.
Most are in the 2-3 minute range, though they do a version of one of our favorite Trimble songs, "Armour Of The Shroud", that stretches out for over six minutes, as per the epic original that appeared on Harvest Of Dreams. They also do "Galilean Boy", a demo of which appeared as a bonus track on SC's reissue of HoD. The other "cover" here is a reinterpretation of The Beatles' "All Together Now", which Trimble and The Crippled Dog Band really make their own, converting it into a theme song of sorts, near the beginning of the album: "Singin' the Crippled Dog anthem / ruff ruff / ruff ruff!"
There's something so wonderfully charming about that, eh? And the teenage spark of Trimble's cohorts here is infectious, the band tearing it up, gritty garagey psych stomp style across much of this disc. Ferinstance, there's the distortodelic Eastern vibe of "Camel Song", and "Angel Eyes" is another that offers up some pretty heavy-duty, driving psych gunk for your earholes. And those are only a few of the punked up Pepperisms to be found on this delightful disc. Some songs are darker ("Undercovers Man"), others, pure fun ("Poker Game Of Life").
Apparently, the story goes, The Crippled Dog Band came to an end shortly after this was recorded, for whatever reason, and with no hope of selling 'em, almost all of original pressing of 500 lps was unceremoniously disposed of by Bobb in a dumpster! Good grief. Thankfully, the actual recordings weren't lost, and this reissue has finally arrived to allow The Crippled Dog Band to be heard again - it's certainly getting a lot of play here at AQ! Recommended, ruff ruff!!
MPEG Stream: "All Together Now"
MPEG Stream: "Live Wire "
MPEG Stream: "Angel Eyes"

album cover WIRE, THE #331 September 2011 magazine 9.98
Another issue of one of any weird music fan's must-reads... this time, Italian freeks My Cat Is An Alien get the cover spot. Also this ish: Prurient, Andy Stott, Jana Winderen, an "Invisible Jukebox" session with John Carpenter collaborator, soundtrack composer Alan Howarth, and more, including an article on Fela Kuti's London years, and an interesting piece by Not Not Fun's Amanda Brown about how filesharing etc. is destroying the DIY underground. Plus the usual reviews and news and suchlike.

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

album cover V/A Ongaku 70: Vintage Psychedelia In Japan (Hiruko) lp 25.00
French import, a vinyl-only comp of some excellent Japanese psych stuff from the Seventies!! We weren't able to get very many, it's now out of print, and we've got like 3 copies left, first come first served!
13 tracks, circa 1969-1978, including cuts by Les Rallizes Denudes, JA Caesar, Kuni Kawachi & His Group, The Apryl Fool, Sadistic Mika Band, Stomu Yamash'ta's Red Buddha Theatre, Akiko Yano, Toshiaki Tsushima, Harry Hosono & The Yellow Magic Band, Osamu Kitajima, Karuna Khyal, and more... Some we'd heard before (the ones that have seen full album reissues in recent years) but others we'd never even heard OF, and are utterly new finds for us. There's a very "Japanese" vibe indeed to these particular psych acts, and an arty one too. Cool!
There's a sequel too, Ongaku 80: Alternative Waves From Japan, that we sold out of already, but that one we're told we might see more of again in a few weeks...

album cover V/A Our Lives Are Shaped By What We Love: Motowns Mowest Story 1971-1973 (Light In The Attic / Mowest) 2lp 26.00
Now also here on vinyl!!
Out of all of Motown's small subsidiary labels, Mowest may have been the most stylistically diverse. Created as an outlet for Motown's West Coast based artists, its brief existence between 1971-1973 before Motown set up shop in Los Angeles full time, covered a fertile period of music-making that was freed from pre-defined genre constraints. Where else could the soulful exuberance of the Commodores, the slow proto-disco groove of Odyssey and The Sisters Love, the late-period vocal pop of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons and the stoner hippie vibes of Lodi commingle together? As usual, Light In The Attic does a stellar job of highlighting the amazing aspects of this brief label, re-introducing to the world some of its lesser known artists such as The Nu Page, Suzee Ikeda, and G.C. Cameron, while showing the early career promise of Syreeta and Thelma Houston. This is a side of Motown at its most adventurous yet relaxed, letting the sunny soulful vibes wash over us like warm ocean waves. Super Recommended!
MPEG Stream: ODYSSEY "Our Lives Are Shaped By What We Love"
MPEG Stream: THE SISTERS LOVE "Give MeYour Love"
MPEG Stream: FRANKIE VALLI &THE FOUR SEASONS "The Night"
MPEG Stream: LODI "I Hope I See It In My Lifetime"
MPEG Stream: THE NU PAGE "A Heart Is A House"

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

ALDEBARAN "Buried Beneath Aeons" (Parasitic) cd 12.98
ANGELS FROM HELL "(OST)" (Reel Time) cd 17.98
ARVAKH "Art.1 - La Haine Par Dessus Tout" (Le Crepuscule Du Soir) cd 11.98
ASCENSION "Consolamentum" (WTC Productions) cd 15.98
ATRIARCH "Forever The End" (Seventh Rule) cd/lp 9.98/13.98
AUTHORITIES, THE "Puppy Love" (Get Hip) cd 14.98
BAKER, GINGER & SALT "Live In Munich, Germany 1972" (Voiceprint) 2cd 13.98
BALAM ACAB "Wander / Wonder" (Triangle) cd/lp 16.98/19.98
BAMBA, SORRY "Volume One 1970-1979" (Thrill Jockey) cd/2lp 15.98/21.00
BARRETT, SYD "Madcap Laughs" (Vinilisssimo) lp 27.00
BEIRUT "The Rip Tide" (Pompeii Records) cd/lp 13.98/15.98
BESTIAL MOUTHS "Hissing Veil" (Dais) lp 21.00
BIANCHI, MAURIZIO "Industrial Murder / Menstrual Bleeding" (R.O.N.F. Records / Phage Tapes) cd 13.98
BIG TROUBLES "Sad Girls / Phantom" (Slumberland Records) 7" 4.50
BLACK BUG "Police Helicopter" (HoZac Records) 7" 5.98
BLACK LIGHT SMOKE "Lovework / Desicions" (Scissor & Thread) 12" 11.98
BLACK LIGHT SMOKE "Switchback / Black Stripe" (Scissor & Thread) 12" 11.98
BLACK MOTH SUPER RAINBOW "Dandelion Gum (Deluxe Reissue)" (Graveface) cd 13.98
BUCKNER, RICHARD "Our Blood" (Merge) cd/lp 14.98/17.98
BURNSIDE, R.L. "Sound Machine Groove" (Sutro Park) lp 16.98
CARROLL, CORKY & FRIENDS "Laid Back" (EM) cd 22.00
CHARLATAN "Triangles" (Digitalis) lp 19.98
CIRCUIT DES YEUX "Portrait" (De Stijl) lp 17.98
CORRUPTED "Garten Der Unbewusstheit" (Nostalgia Blackrain) cd 19.98
COSMONAUTS "s/t" (Burger) lp 16.98
CROSS, SANDRA (AND VARIOUS BUFFET CAR ATTENDANTS) "The MMs Bar Recordings" (Trunk) cd/lp 9.98/19.98
CULT OF YOUTH "Devil's Coals" (Blind Prophet Records) 7" 9.98
DADFAG "Probably" (Broken Rekids) lp 10.98
DANQUAH, GEORGE "Hot & Jumpy" (Secret Stah) lp 17.98
DARGAR "s/t" (Rising Beast Records) cassette 3.98
DEAD ELEPHANT "Thanatology" (Riot Season) cd 16.98
DEAD MOON "Defiance" (Mississippi) lp 14.98
DEAD MOON "In The Graveyard" (Mississippi) lp 14.98
DEAD MOON "Unknown Passage" (Mississippi) lp 14.98
DECEASED "Surreal Overdose" (Shrieks From The Hearse Records) cd 10.98
DECIMUS "Decimus 3" (Kelippah) lp 21.00
DEGADA SAF "No Inzre" (Mannequin) cd 17.98
DIKES OF HOLLAND "s/t" (Sundae Records) lp 14.98
DIRTY BEACHES / ELA ORLEANS "Double Feature" (La Station Radar / Atelier Ciseaux / Night People) lp 16.98
DIRTY GHOSTS "Shout It In" (Classic Bar Music) 7" 5.98
DREAMS, THE "Morbido" (Kill Shamen) lp 16.98
DUKES, THE "s/t" (Red Lounge) cd 23.00
EMME YA "Atavistic Dreams & Phallic Totems" (Cold Spring Records) cd 17.98
FUNGI GIRLS "Some Easy Magic" (HoZac Records) cd 12.98
GEORGE-EDWARDS GROUP "Archives" (Drag City) lp 15.98
GLITTER WIZARD "Solar Hits" (Archers Guild) lp 16.98
GRAVE BABIES "Pleasure / Deathwish" (Hardly Art) 7" 5.50
GUITAR WOLF "Spacebattleshiplove" (Guitar Wolf Records) lp 17.98
HARASSOR "Astral Psychosis" (Complicated Dance Steps) cassette 5.98
HUMAN INSTINCT "Burning Up Years" (Sunbeam) lp 24.00
HUMAN INSTINCT "Pins In It" (Sunbeam) 2lp 34.00
HURLEY, MICHAEL "Fatboy Spring" (Mississippi) lp 14.98
IKEDA, RYOJI "+/-" (Touch) cd 15.98
ILITCH "La Maieutique de la Quantique" (Beta-Lactam Ring) cd 15.98
IMPERIAL DOGS, THE "Live! In Long Beach (October 30, 1974)" (ID Music) dvd 22.00
JARSE "Alas" (Fonal) 7" 13.98
KENNEY, JESSIKA & EYVIND KANG "Aestuarium" (Editions Mego / Ideologic Organ) lp 21.00
KOPP, HERMANN "Nekronology" (Red Stream) cd 12.98
KOREKYOJINN "Tundra" (Skin Graft) cd-r 14.98
LE REVELATEUR "Fictions" (Gneiss Things) lp 16.98
LEWIS, JERRY LEE "s/t" (Rumble Records) lp 24.00
MAJUTSU NO NIWA "Ecstatic Crystalization" (Musik Atlach) cd 16.98
MARIACHI EL BRONX "s/t (II)" (ATO) cd 12.98
MIMINOKOTO "Hitoyogiri" (Important) cd 14.98
MOAB "Ab Ovo" (Kemado) lp 21.00
NERVEBREAKERS "We Want Everything!" (Get Hip) cd 14.98
OAKHELM "Echtra" (Forest Moon Special Products) cd 13.98
OGI "s/t" (Medical Records) lp 19.98
PART TIME "What Would You Say?" (Mexican Summer) lp 15.98
PATTON, CHARLEY "Founder Of Delta Blues" (Yazoo) 2lp 32.00
PILLARS AND TONGUES "Pass And Crossings" (Empty Cellar) lp 14.98
PLANET PATROL "s/t" (Traffic Entertainment Group / Tommy Boy Records) cd 16.98
PRISONERS GO GO BAND "Live! At The Butchery With Special Guests On Fire" (S.S.) lp 17.98
PUFFY AREOLAS "Gentleman's Grip" (HoZac Records) 7" 5.98
RAS G "Down 2 Earth (The Standard Edition)" (RAMP Recordings) cd 16.98
RED HORSE "s/t" (Type) lp 19.98
ROEDELIUS "Wasser Im Wind" (Bureau B) cd 17.98
ROOMMATE "Guilty Rainbow" (Antephonic) lp 14.98
ROTA, NINO "Federico Fellini's 8 1/2 (OST)" (Get Back!) lp 29.00
ROTA, NINO "La Dolce Vita (OST)" (Get Back!) lp 29.00
RUSSOM, GAVIN "Night Sky" (DFA) 12" 9.98
SCHNITZLER, CONRAD / BORNGRABER & STRUVER "Con-Struct" (M=Minimal) cd/lp 17.98/19.98
SEAWEED "Service Deck / The Weight" (No Idea) 7" 5.50
SERVANTS, THE "Youth Club Disco" (Captured Tracks) lp 16.98
SIC ALPS "Breadhead" (Drag City) 7" 6.50
SIMONE, NINA "Sings The Blues" (4 Men With Beards) lp 19.98
SLICES "Modern Bride / Chump Change" (Kemado) 7" 5.98
SMITH, PATTI "Outside Society" (Arista / Columbia / Legacy) cd/2lp 10.98/34.00
SONIC YOUTH "Hits Are For Squares" (Geffen) 2lp 30.00
STAIANO, MOE! "Tape Music" (Delphine Knormal Musik / EvanderMusic) lp 13.98
STOCKHAUSEN, KARLHEINZ "Mantra" (Doxy) 2lp 36.00
SUBMERGED "Before Fire I Was Against Other People" (Ohm Resistance) cd 15.98
SWIMMER, THE (MARVIN HAMLISCH) "OST" (Film Score Monthly) cd 17.98
SWITCHBLADE "s/t" (Trust No One) cd 18.98
SYDNEY DUCKS "Stray Dogs" (Sydney Town) 7" 4.98
TABOU COMBO "Respect..." (Secret Stash) lp 17.98
THEY MIGHT BE GIANTS "Join Us" (Idlewild) cd 14.98
TOTAL CONTROL "Henge Beats" (Iron Lung) lp 14.98
TRAMPLED BY TURTLES "Palomine" (Banjodad) cd 14.98
TUNNELS "The Blackout" (Thrill Jockey) lp 16.98
TWISTED SISTER "Under The Blade" (Armoury) cd+dvd 15.98
V/A "ŃChicas! Spanish Female Singers 1962-1974" (Vampisoul) cd 17.98
V/A "Adventures In Dub: Essential Bassline Business" (Metro Doubles) 2cd 9.98
V/A "Back And 4th" (Hotflush) 2cd 17.98
V/A "Brand New Wayo: Funk, Fast Times & Nigerian Boogie Badness 1979-1983" (Comb & Razor Sound) cd+book 24.00
V/A "Cult Cargo: Salsa Boricua De Chicago" (Numero Group) cd/2lp 17.98/24.00
V/A "D-Funk: Funk, Disco & Boogie Grooves From Germany 1972-2002" (Marina) cd 17.98
V/A "Record Store Record" (RRR) 2lp 42.00
V/A "Red Hot and Rio 2" (Red Hot Organization / eOne) 2cd 17.98
V/A "Rhythm" (Gruenrekorder) cd 16.98
V/A "Secret Museum Of Mankind: Central Asia - Ethnic Music Classics: 1925-48" (Outernational) 2lp 28.00
V/A "Son Of The Transcendental Maggot" (Tsuguri Records) cd-r 8.98
V/A "The Hidden Tapes" (Minimal Wave) lp 26.00
V/A "True Soul: Volume 2" (Now Again) cd + dvd 22.00
V/A "Welcome To The Beat Generation" (Beatnik) lp 16.98
V/A "Where The Soul Of Man Never Dies: A Treasury Of Caucasian-American Gospel" (Social Music) lp 13.98
VAN WISSEM, JOZEF "The Joy That Never Ends" (Important Records) cd 14.98
VRAHLAZEL "s/t" (Pesanta Urfolk) lp 17.98
WHITE FANG "Younger" (Marriage) 7" 6.98
WHODINI "Escape" (Traffic Entertainment Group / Jive) cd 16.98
WILD MAGNOLIAS, THE "s/t" (Get On Down) cd 16.98
ZAHIR, AHMAD "Hip 70's Afghan Beats!" (Guerssen) lp 28.00

_______________________________________________________________________

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) : $5.00 USPS Priority Mail via flat rate box

4+ CD, or any package with LPs in it (also books & box sets), any number of items: $9.95 UPS Ground

Also, please note that UPS will not ship to PO Boxes, so those packages that would have gone UPS will be sent USPS Priority for $9.95, or you may select USPS Media Mail instead, see below.

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

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

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

4+ items : $7.95 USPS Media Mail


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

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

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

Shipping rates are charged per shipment.


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

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


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

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

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

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


PAYMENT :
-------------------------------- We accept the following credit cards: Visa, MC, Discover, and Amex. We will not charge your credit card until your order is ready to ship.

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

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

We also accept payment by Paypal. If you opt for this payment method, we will send you a paypal total and payment instructions as soon as we've confirmed your order with you. Please do not send payment until you have received human contact from our mailorder department.

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


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

SOME SELECTED UPCOMING RELEASES

----} August 30th
Beirut "The Rip Tide" cd/lp on Pompeii Records
Male Bonding "Endless Now" cd/lp on Sub Pop
Jacuzzi Boys "Glazin'" cd/lp on Hardly Art
Dirty Beaches "True Blue" cd on Zoo Music
Future Shuttle "Water's Edge" lp on Holy Mountain
Cymbals Eat Guitars "Lenses Aliens" cd/lp on Barsuk

----} also in August
Bong "Live At Roadburn 2010" lp version on Roadburn
Pageninetynine (PG.99) "Singles" lp on Robotic Empire

----} September 6th
HTRK "Work (Work, Work)" cd/lp on Ghostly International
Shin Joong Hyun "Beautiful Rivers And Mountains" 2lp on Light In The Attic

----} September 13th
Omar Souleyman "Haflat Gharbia: The Western Concerts" 2lp version on Sublime Frequencies
Erkin Koray "Meashul: Singles And Rarities" lp version on Sublime Frequencies
Wooden Shjips "West" cd/lp+ltd.7" on Thrill Jockey
Barn Owl "Lost In The Glare" cd/lp on Thrill Jockey
Glenn Jones "The Wanting" cd/lp on Thrill Jockey
Anthrax "Worship Music" cd on Megaforce
Superchunk "Foolish" cd/lp on Merge

----} September 20th
Cave "Neverendless" cd/lp/cassette on Drag City
Bill Orcutt "How The Thing Sings" cd/lp on Editions Mego
Yob "Atma" 2lp vinyl version on 20 Buck Spin
Roll The Dice "In Dust" cd/2lp on Leaf
Opeth "Heritage" cd on Roadrunner
Picastro+Nadja "Fool, Redeemer" cd on Broken Spine
Weekend "Red" cd on Slumberland
Mikal Cronin "s/t" cd/lp on Trouble In Mind
Miles Davis "Live-Evil" 2lp reissue on 4 Men With Beards
Miles Davis "Dark Magus" 2lp reissue on 4 Men With Beards
Jim Haynes "The Decline Effect" 2lp on Helen Scarsdale
Sic Alps "Battery Townsley" 7" on Drag City

----} September 27th
Angel "26000" cd/lp on Editions Mego
Mark McGuire "Get Lost" cd/lp on Editions Mego
Big Troubles "Romantic Comedy" cd/lp on Slumberland
Walls "Coracle" cd/lp+cd on Kompakt
Twin Sister In Heaven cd on Domino
Shin Joong Hyun "Beautiful Rivers And Mountains" cd on Light In The Attic
Rangers "Pan Am Stories" cd/lp on Not Not Fun
Arthur Russell "Let's Go Swimming" cd/12" on Audika

----} also in September
Brutal Truth "End Times" cd/lp on Relapse
Fennesz "Seven Stars" cd version on Touch
Modulo 1000 "Nao Fale Com Paredes" lp reissue on Cherry Red Phonograph
Deuter "Aum" lp reissue on Cherry Red Phonograph
James Blackshaw "Holly" 12" ep on Important

----} October 4th
Zola Jesus "Conatus" cd/lp on Sacred Bones
Charalambides "Exile" cd/2lp on Kranky
Absu "Abzu" cd on Candlelight

----} November 1st
Takke "Noregs Vaapen" cd on Candlelight
Throne Of Katarsis "Ved Graven" cd on Candlelight

----} November 15th
Olivia Tremor Control "Music From The Unrealized Film Script: Dusk at Cubist Castle" 2lp reissue + 3 hours of bonus mp3s on Chunklet
Olivia Tremor Control "Black Foliage: Animation Music Volume One" 2xLP 2lp reissue + 3 hours of bonus mp3s on Chunklet

----} also upcoming sooner or later or sooner or later or sooner or later or whenever or we don't remember
Children Of Doom "Doom, Be Doomed, Or Fuck Off" cd on Emanes Metal
Manilla Road "Playground Of The Damned" cd/lp on Shadow Kingdom/High Roller
High Wolf "Atlas Nation" lp on Holy Mountain
Water Borders "Harbored Mantras" cd/lp on Tri Angle
Roedelius Schneider "Stunden" cd/lp on Bureau B
Gui Borrato "III" cd/2lp on Kompakt
Simon Scott "Bunny" cd/lp on Miasmah
Les Rallizes Denudes "Double Heads" 6cd box on Phoenix
Midnight Priest "s/t" cd on Stormspell
Wild "La Nueva Orden" cd on Stormspell
High Spirits "Another Night" lp version on High Roller
Bee Mask / Envenomist "Bee Mask v. Envenomist" lp on A Soundesign Recording
Erkki Kurenniemi & Circle "Rakkaus Tulessa" lp on Full Contact / Svart
v/a "This May Be My Last Time Singing: Raw, African-American Gospel On 45rpm (1957-1982)" 3cd on Tompkins Square
Circle "Maxim (live)" lp on Full Contact / Svart
Takayanagi Masayuki "Guitar Solo" cd on Jinya Disc
Takayanagi Masayuki "Meta Improvisation"cd on Jinya Disc
Low "Long Division" lp reissue on Plain
v/a "Groove Club Vol.1: La Confiserie" lp version on Lion
Circle "Infektio" cd/lp on Conspiracy
Tecumseh "Return to Everything" cd on Beta-Lactam Ring
Marijata "This Is Marijata" cd on Academy
Marijata "Pat Thomas Presents Marijata" cd/lp on Academy
Nurse With Wound "Skrag" cd on United Dairies
Jonathan Coleclough "Flutter" 2cd-r on October
Boduf Songs "Strait Gait" cd/lp on Latitudes
Anton Batagov "Passionate Desire To Be An Angel" cd on Long Arms Records
Leviathan "True Traitor True Whore" cd on Profound Lore
Dalek "Untitled" lp version on Latitudes

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Shutter and aQuarius recOrds present:

HTRK
Tropic Of Cancer
w / DJs Nako, Justin, and Omar

Wednesday, September 7 : 10pm
Public Works
161 Erie Street, San Francisco
http://publicsf.com/

Live electronic / noise / avant -rock act from Melbourne known for
their subtlety of gesture and stubbornly languorous performances, this
two-piece is capable of seducing audiences through disciplined waves of
sonics, crisp 808 beats and soft, calm threats.  From 2007-09,  HTRK
toured Europe extensively at the personal request of Liars, Yeah Yeah
Yeahs, Shellac, The Horrors, The Locust and Fuck Buttons. Their
defiantly underground pedigree derives from strong associations with the
late, great Rowland S. Howard and UK industrial legend Paul Smith whose
signed them to his Blast First Petite. HTRK sadly lost their bassist to
suicide in 2010 but have since returned with a comeback show at the ICA
London and will spend this year touring in support of their forthcoming
album entitled “WORK (work, work)”.

Here's what we had to say about HTRK: "The Birthday Party, Sisters Of
Mercy, and PJ Harvey came together within HTRK's very impressive 2009
album Marry Me Tonight, produced by Roland S. Howard who really
emphasized the skeletal, haunted aspect of HTRK's sound. That's quite
different from what you'll hear on their 2007 debut Nostalgia, which
still had a very strong Birthday Party sound especially with Stewart's
recapitulation of Tracy Pew basslines, but the band has buried
Standish's exhausted / exasperated vocals, Lee-Yang's swampy guitars,
and the minimalist electronic programming in a huge bath of reverb. The
spectral morass of all of the reverb really casts as a abjectly narcotic
to the feel of these songs."

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23five Incorporated presents

Leyna Marika Papach
Jerry Smith
Jim Haynes
Thomas Carnacki

Sunday  : September 4, 2011  :  7:30pm  : $6.00 - $10.00
Artists' Television Access  :  992 Valencia Street  :  San Francisco,
California  :  www.atasite.org

23five Incorporated presents an evening of expanded cinema at ATA.
Leyna Marika Papach will be collaborating with Jerry Smith on a
performance based on the idea of a game, with numbers, chance, and music
and image set in motion for a fantastical world. As an extension of his
corroded photography and sound design, Jim Haynes will screen a new body
of work involving surveillance cameras, optical trickery, cheap strobe
light, shortwave radio, magnetic sound fields, and found footage. The
Thomas Carnacki ensemble will collaborate with Jerry Smith, working with
the apparitional theme of a haunted architecture through projected image
and preternatural sound design.



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Lots of love from your devoted AQ staff

Andee Cup Jim AllanIrwinScottNickMattandAndrew


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