ADULT. Resuscitation (Ersatz Audio) cd 13.98
Strap on your electro pants, baby. 'Cause Adult. (don't forget that punctuation) are here. Witness the awesome android power of this Detroit duo - one half of which is Mr. Adam Miller, formerly of the mighty electro-kings known as LeCar. If you were a fan of said group or fellow Motor City techno duo Drexciya, what are you waiting for? Get on this now! Imagine a hard electro hybrid of Berlin, Add N to (X) and Miami booty bass beats - and although they utilize plenty of super '80s retro sounds, Adult. never get stuck in the past. Instead, they forge ahead cutting a very new and now path of fresh 'n' groovy tracks complete with a battery of wonderfully tweaked, effected vocals (as performed by Ms Nicola Kuperus - the other half of Adult. not to mention uber-cool photographer to boot). Check out the anxious twitch and sputter of "Minors at Night" and "Nausea". On their own Ersatz Audio label. Yes, quite recommended.
"Contagious" RealAudio clip:
"Nausea" RealAudio clip:
"Lost Love" RealAudio clip:
ADULT. Suck The Air / High Heels On Tile Floors (Ersatz) 7" 5.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. On "Suck The Air", vocalist Nicola Kuperus assumes a much more pissy-pouty tone than her usual cold android stare - aligning Adult. more with the punky rather than electro crowd. Think Glass Candy or the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. She's honed her sassily sneering delivery somewhat from their recent Anxiety Always album on which her vocals wavered dangerously close to the grating, shrill side of things. On the flipside, the rubbery beats and aquatic synth clangs of "High Heels..." aims the ear more towards the work of electro-technician Adam Miller. It's a fun no-frills track, but much too short to get the party fully rolling. Truly, this 7" should've been a 12"! Nonetheless, it (especially the A-side) shows the duo doing what they do best, crafting *single* tracks into terrific electro-pop.
ADVENTURES IN STEREO Alternative Stereo Sounds (Bobsled) cd 12.98
Imagine Jan and Dean meets Mamas and Papas with pretty, delicate female harmonies a la His Name is Alive.
ADVENTURES IN STEREO International (Bobsled Records) 7" 4.50
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. If you've yet to hear the loveliness that is Adventures In Stereo, what are you waiting for? Here's a prime opportunity to get a wee sampling of their swirling ribbons of pop sweetness. Two songs, one from their wonderful album "Monomania" and one unreleased.
ADVENTURES IN STEREO Monomania (Bobsled Records) cd 14.98
Beginning softly with some very retro dreamy balladry, this album then shifts into a bit of country guitar pickin' and on to perkier numbers, but the lovely high female vocal harmonies continue throughout. Very, very pretty swirling melodies from this pop sextet. Actually, these songs would have been very much at home on the Sarah record label or early SpinArt. Lovely.
ADVERTS, THE Crossing The Red Sea With... (The Devils Own Jukebox) cd 15.98
AE Love Your Smile (Fresh Air) cd 16.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
AEFFECT, THE A Short Dream (Fueled by Ramen) cd ep 7.98
Have to say that the current trend of new New Wave is right on with me. Love those old synth sounds and programmed beats... just as long as these new bands bring some fresh elements into the sound as opposed to simply rehashing Human League, Pet Shop Boys or New Order tracks. Unfortunately in the case of the Gainesville, FL trio known as The Aeffect, it seems to be leaning towards the latter. Perhaps they've not quite found their own boots, and in the meantime are trying on the ones of those mentioned above? I'm not quite sure, but Ladytron and The Faint do this much better. And to further puzzle me, the final track is an unexpected switch into a non-synth, piano prettiness.
AEGES The Bridge (The Mylene Sheath) cd 14.98
Been meaning to list this for a while now, the debut from a group we originally discovered due to the fact that it features members of longtime aQ faves, instrumental heavies Pelican. So we were expecting something similar, heaving atmospheric heaviness, slow burn post metal majesty, but instead, we discovered a sound much closer to the sludge pop of Torche - thick churning riffage, crushing drumming, clean soaring vox, hooks and harmonies galore, like a slightly less heavy Torche crossed with the post stoner rock heaviness of QOTSA, which for all the warped and weird shit we listen to, is actually a pretty badass combo to these ears. But actually, the more we listen, the more Aeges sounds like latter era Cave In, not the Radiohead period, but right after that, when they switched back to a heavier more metallic sound, but taking some of that stadium rock bombast back with them. Hooky as hell, with a sound that's massive and heavy, the guitar gnarled and buzzy, distorted and often thick, crumbling and corrosive, plus there are cool stretches of guitar riffing, where the sound is super processed and doused in effects, and those clean vox, slip occasionally into raspy glass gargling vokills, but almost always slips right back into something more melodic. We could go song by song for sure, but really if you dig super catchy, meldoic heaviness, and groups like Cave In, Torche, Queens Of The Stoneage, even Swervedriver and the heavier side of the shoegaze sound, this record will hit the spot big time. Aquarius pal Lauren came in the shop when we were playing this, and said it sounded like something that she would have listened to in the nineties, which is pretty spot on. Classic old school, heavy nineties style indie rock heaviness that is one of those sounds they just don't make like they used to, except in the rare cases, like this, when they DO!
"Wrong" MPEG Stream:
"My Medicine" MPEG Stream:
AELTER Dusk-Dawn (Wolvserpent) lp 23.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. One half of epic cinematic ambient black chamber doom soundscapers Pussygutt strikes out on his own to create an epic bit of abstract doom creep, that strips down the Pussygutt sound to its essence, and creates something equally as haunting and harrowing. Clean spidery guitars unwind over squalls of distorted rumble, drums offer the occasional thud, feedback streaks and shimmers, the sound subtly intensifying, but never really moving beyond a slow motion moonlit drift. It almost sounds like Slint at 16rpm, a glacial post rock, laced with hints of doom, allowed to creep and crawl through an ever shifting field of whir and buzz and shimmer. The song(s) continues on the B side, the drums and guitar dropping out leaving just a high end shimmer like a soft focus Sunroof! ur-drone, until some of the doom drifts back in, lush swells of ominous keyboard, muted chugs, sloooow minor key guitars, distant vocals, the overall affect way more pop and pretty than Pussygutt, but still retaining the same overall grim vibe, eventually finishing off with another soaring sheet of harmonized high end which gives way to that original spidery guitar line, drifting all by it's lonesome in an epic expanse of black, only to be joined by delicate pointillist piano for the slowly slipping away outro. So nice. Beautiful packaging, a silver on black silkscreened tri-fold sleeve, released on Pussygutt's Wolveserpent label. LIMITED TO 300 COPIES, hand numbered...
AELTER Dusk-Dawn / Follow You Beloved (Crucial Blast) 2cd 14.98
It's getting a little bit hard to keep track of their various permutations, but in a nutshell, first there was Pussygutt, a male/female duo from Idaho who trafficked in sprawling blackened folk flecked dronescapes. That band transformed into Wolvserpent, with the sound remaining essentially the same, weaving blackened drones, fluttery folk, and corrosive doomic dirges into something heavy and psychedelic, cinematic and atmospheric. So now we have Aelter, which just so happens to be the solo project of Blake Green, one half of Wolvserpent / Pussygutt, who takes the sound of WS/PG as a starting point, crafting something much more melodic and soundtracky, eschewing much of the metallic crush of the former in favor of shimmery deserty twang, swirling strings, lush layered drones, choral vocals. This double disc collects two super limited lps, and weirdly enough, the first half of disc one, sounds a little bit like Barn Owl, but infused with the spirit of Goblin, and with vocals (!), breathy and ethereal. The label mentions that this sounds more like something you'd find on 4AD, and we can definitely hear that, it's a delicate almost shoegazey dreamfolk blackdrone drift, which is less heavy than it is mesmerizing and hypnotic, the guitar twang, delicate piano and swoonsome synths woven deftly into the minimal downtuned riffage that again is less about metal, and more about mood. In fact, for folks who were looking for more Wolvserpent, this might be a bit of a let down, cuz this is something else entirely, a sort of soundtracky post rock, or atmospheric black ambient soundscape, the second disc offers up more of the same, hushed shimmer, melancholy melodies, distant drones, the drums do come into play on disc two, and there is a bit of a slowcore doom vibe, but even then, it's more darkly ominous than doomy, more haunting than heavy, but as a gorgeous lab of abstract ambience and cinematic soundscaping, it's pretty tough to beat. Fans of the current crop of Goblin / Carpenter worshippers who are after something a bit darker and a lot less synth heavy, might find this is just what they were looking for.
"Dusk" MPEG Stream:
AELTER Follow You Beloved (Wolveserpent) lp 17.98
We recently listed a double cd reissue from this blackened experimental soundscaper, which compiled two supposedly out of print lps, but good news for you vinyl fiends, after we posted that review, the band got in touch with us to let us know they had a stash of the Follow You Beloved half of that reissue, on vinyl, which we had never had before, so we got a handful of copies for the store... It's getting a little bit hard to keep track of their various permutations, but in a nutshell, first there was Pussygutt, a male/female duo from Idaho who trafficked in sprawling blackened folk flecked dronescapes. That band transformed into Wolvserpent, with the sound remaining essentially the same, weaving blackened drones, fluttery folk, and corrosive doomic dirges into something heavy and psychedelic, cinematic and atmospheric. And now we have Aelter, which just so happens to be the solo project of Blake Green, one half of Wolvserpent / Pussygutt, who takes the sound of WS/PG as a starting point, crafting something much more melodic and soundtracky, eschewing much of the metallic crush of the former in favor of shimmery deserty twang, swirling strings, lush layered drones, choral vocals. The label mentions that some of this sounds more like something you'd find on 4AD, and we can definitely hear that, it's a delicate almost shoegazey dreamfolk blackdrone drift, which is less heavy than it is mesmerizing and hypnotic, for folks who were looking for more Wolvserpent, this might be a bit of a let down, cuz this is something else entirely, a sort of soundtracky post rock, or atmospheric black ambient soundscape, on Follow You Beloved, it's all hushed shimmer, melancholy melodies and distant drones, and drums too, which don't normally play a big part in Aelter's sound, that rhythmic component adding a bit of a slowcore doom vibe, but even then, it's more darkly ominous than doomy, more haunting than heavy, but as a gorgeous lab of abstract ambience and cinematic soundscaping, it's pretty tough to beat. Fans of the current crop of Goblin / Carpenter worshippers who are after something a bit darker and a lot less synth heavy, might find this is just what they were looking for. Gorgeous red on black packaging, LIMITED TO 500 COPIES, each one hand numbered...
AELTER III (Handmade Birds) lp 17.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. We just reviewed the double disc reissue of Aelter I and II, a double cd reissue of two lps from this Wolvserpent / Pussygutt offshoot, the sound a sort of shoegazey dreamfolk blackdrone drift (as we described it in that review), so really we were expecting more of the same on the latest Aelter, his first for boutique outsider metal label Handmade Birds, but we were pretty surprised by what it actually ended up sounding like, both sides, part one and two of one album long song, dramatically different, and neither like anything we'd heard from Aelter before. The A side was maybe the biggest surprise, as it's all synths, no drums, no guitars, just swirling dreamy synths, a sort of Tangerine Dream / Emeralds style drift, hushed and layered and new agey, dreamily droning, the layers softly pulsing, all hazy and washed out, minimal and mesmerizing, until the last minute or so, where things turn dark, and the sound gets low and distorted, sounding almost like throat singing, which is right where the B side takes up, those throat singing like drones a backdrop for some dirgey woozy metal, definitely the most metal we've heard Aelter get, all low slung bass and dreamy almost shoegazey vox, peppered with almost atonal sounding crescendos, tense and haunting and quite dramatic, but that metal blossoms into something entirely different for the second half of the track, a gorgeous sprawl of hazy gloom pop, fuzzy bass, and swirling synths, and dreamy female vox, the shoegaze element in full effect, a gorgeous, surprisingly pop final movement! packaged in super swank purple and black covers, with a printed full color 12"x12" insert. And be warned, we got VERY FEW of these, way less than we wanted, and we won't be getting any more, they're out of print already, so grab one quick if you can (apologies if they're gone by the time you order).
AELTERS Volu Beit (Tigerbeat6) 3" cd 9.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Solo effort from a member of the Dat Politics crew. Much like his contemporaries, Aelters kicks out infectious shards of high frequency agitglitchfunk. If you like Blechdom and Dat Politics, you probably already have this. If you don't, there's very little reason to be concerned. Addictions are ugly.
"Volu Beit" RealAudio clip:
AELTERS, E El Frustrator (Skipp) cd 12.98
E. Aelters (a member of Belgian PowerBook band Dat Politics) specializes in really active, wacky electronica Fuckery (with a capital F) that resembles one one-man version of Dat Politics: hyperkinetic babble and grating drone abound. Also reminiscent of the more recent output from Mouse On Mars or perhaps Kid 606, without the drill & bass workouts. Very nice lo-attention span stuff.
AEMAE And Tongueless, I Can Conjure You At Will (Black Horizons) cassette 8.98
It's always been an easy criticism to make of people like Christian Marclay, Michael Gendreau, Otomo Yoshihide, or any artists whose main instrument is the abused turntable, that they should be only releasing their work on vinyl. The Bay Area's tactical noisenik Brandon Nickell (aka Aemae and the mastermind of the stalwart Isounderscore label) has taken to addressing this criticism through a different medium, with this recording, loaded with tape warble, presented on, yep, you guessed it, tape. Given the fate of all cassettes to eventually fail through tape breaks or jammed wheels, the sound of a warble always causes the listener to pause: is the tape gonna break? Is there something wrong with the tape deck? It is that sound with its lurching gate which opens And Tongueless, I Can Conjure You At Will. Applied to an uneasy drone splayed with harmonic undercurrents, this seasick swelling of tape warble abruptly stops upon a mangled collage stitched together from the results of some vocal exorcism. These guttural utterances and demonic utterances are intensely fucked-up expressions of digital manipulation. The closest thing we could think as a comparison would be Stalaggh reworking their infernal screams through the Hafler Trio's early collage techniques. After this nightmarish assault, Nickell is more restrained through a series of crumbling drones that again work well with the medium's noise, hiss, and static. Supposedly, this is going to be the final recording that Nickell will produce as Aemae, instead recording from here on out under his own name. Only 111 copies of this cassette-only release are in existence.
AEMAE Maw (Isounderscore) cd 5.00
**SALE **SALE* *SALE** Second full length full length from East Bay sound technician (and AQ customer) Brandon Nickell, who spent the last year painstakingly assembling the sounds that would eventually become this here disc. His previous full length, a big AQ fave was a blissed out collage of deep drones and thick soundscapes of high end skree, soft focus whispery minimalism and dense squalls of swirling noise. Even some shuffling skittering rhythms found there way into the mix. On Maw, Nickell's approach is similar, although the first track threw us for a loop. A strange spacious slab of music concrete, the focal point being a strange grunting gasping reverb drenched animal sound. Like some mysterious electronic beast, confined to a tiny pen and registering his displeasure as it ruts and calls out to others of its kind. Creepy but pretty dang cool. The second track returns to more familiar waters, a super tranquil drift of burbling barely there rumble and subtle electronic pulses. A slow lugubrious crawl beneath and within the tiny sounds that make up a mysteriously indistinct low end world. After that it's another visit to the strange electronic zoo, to observe the insect enclosure, where some seriously angry winged creatures buzz wildly as they careen back and forth in front of the glass. We move on into another long form stretch of abstract ambience, sparkling and glimmering like the glassy surface of a pond in the late afternoon, and then it's one more quick glimpse into the final enclosure, the beasts within are much more calm, lazing in the fading sunlight, their cooing and snorting, like some sort of shortwave radio static, interrupted by electronic birdcalls and the manufactured whoosh of a warm electronic breeze. So weird but strangely compelling and beautiful. There's some definite Nurse With Wound worship here, as well as nods to Coleclough, Hafler Trio, and the like, but Nickell knows enough than to just ape his heroes, instead he takes what he needs and does some serious exploring on his own... and we like it. Packaged in a super simple and striking white on white sleeve.
"PDE" MPEG Stream:
AEMAE The Helical Word (Isounderscore) cd 10.98
First record from longtime AQ pal / customer Brandon Nickell aka Aemae, two long years in the works and we dare say it was well worth the wait. A gorgeous and exquisitely crafted abstract free noise drone record. Dark and deliriously dense, a perfect amalgamation of the experimental dronework of the Hafler Trio, the sweeping skreescapes of Sunrooof! and Vibracathedral Orchestra and the abstract minimalism of Mirror or Jonathan Coleclough. As well, this has plenty of distinctly unique sonic elements. Heavily reverbed chimes and bells are smeared into a twinkling fog, slowly thickening into a dense slab of electrical impulses, woven together so tightly it resembles a buzzing ball of hornets, a throbbing thrumming drone. Strange steel drum like electronic pulses, an alien gamelan, pickes out a tranquil melody beneath swooping and blooping spaciness, sheets of industrial shuffle, scrape and rumble, leaving sparkling trails of dense and complex almost IDM skitter in their wake, albeit wrapped in thick gauzy veils of warm reverberant flutter. All stretched into distant, soft focus soundscapes of warbling whir and creaking ambience. Quite lovely and sublime!
"Walking Along Edges" MPEG Stream:
AEMAE / ARASTOO s/t (Isounderscore) lp 9.00
**SALE **SALE* *SALE** A long in the works collaboration from two aQ favorites, Aemae and Arastoo. We've listed both Aemae releases, but Arastoo has been a bit more elusive, with tons of super limited vinyl and cd-r releases, of which we've only ever managed to review 3. Well, the two have come together, to produce this, the first in a new salvo of Bay Area sound art from Aemae, aka Brandon Nickell's Isounderscore label. And a pretty fantastic start. Arastoo plays the piano, and then the two shape and mold the piano into two side long pieces, both quite impressive. The A side is mostly straight piano all the way through, some gorgeous fluid playing, some stunning arrangements, but the two subtly shape and twist throughout, adding mysterious little music box flourishes, sudden squalls of super high end skree, but those moments are actually quite controlled, the sounds sculpted onto dog whistle melodies, and haunting upper register textures. The subtle production tweaks really only augment, creating complimentary sounds, or add bits of ambience, allowing the piano to drift and sway and unfurl its melody, seemingly oblivious to what's going on around it. The B side however, finds the sound of the piano obliterated, transformed completely into long shimmering streaks of layered metallic reverberation, a bit industrial sounding, layers of constantly shifting whir and rumble and hiss and roar, like a choppy sonic sea, building to a buzzing crescendo before settling back down into a tranquil sea of black ambience, as the piano returns, unfurling gentle, yet ominous minor key melodies, all very creepy and cinematic, but also quite lovely. LIMITED TO 320 COPIES. Super striking silkscreened covers, with original artwork by Arastoo.
AEOLIAN STRING ENSEMBLE Eclipse (Robot) cd 16.98
In our review of the first Aeolian String Ensemble records, we attempted to discern who or what this British conglomerate was, postulating that perhaps Nurse With Wound's Steven Stapleton may have been involved with the Ensemble at some point. The truth is that we still have no clue who these people are or what else they've worked on. If he contributed anything to the Ensemble, Stapleton's contributions were in all likelihood minimal. Regardless, that first Aeolian String Ensemble record Lassithi / Elysium has long been one of our favorite drone-based albums. Similarly, we can again wholeheartedly endorse the second Aeolian String Ensemble album Eclipse. What is so striking about this album (and the Aeolian String Ensemble in general) is the single-minded approach to sound making that spans almost 20 years. Eclipse features 3 extended tracks from 1981, 1986, and 1998 respectively; and all of them share a very similar timbral quality in their melancholic, sweeping ambience rippled with generous amounts of reverb and delay. The Ensemble claims to generate everything from Aeolian Harps, which are stringed instruments designed to be excited by the wind; yet, the resulting sounds have a post-Kraut / late'70s prog-ambient sensibility closely resembling the synth and guitar driftspaces of Klaus Schulze and Popul Vuh, rather than actual aeolian harps. No matter, as their sonic poetry is utterly beautiful. Eclipse will certainly rank as one of the best drone records of 2005.
"Eclipse" MPEG Stream:
"K1" MPEG Stream:
AEOLIAN STRING ENSEMBLE Lassithi Elysium (Robot) cd 15.98
So happy to have this repressed and back in stock, after so many years - we originally reviewed this back on list #145! It's an all time dronological classic, so if you missed it way back when, here it is again: It's a little hard to say who or what the Aeolian String Ensemble is, but a few references point toward the Nurse With Wound encampments, as Christoph Heemann takes some credit for this album (as both a contributor to the ensemble and as the cover artist), and David Kenny (longtime Nurse With Wound / Current 93 collaborator) produced and engineered the record, and United Dairies was originally scheduled to release it. Rumors persisted for quite a while that Steve Stapleton himself was behind these Aeolian Strings, only later to be refuted by Stapleton himself. Regardless of the Ensemble's participants, this album is a gem of post-industrial, British dronology. Presumably the source material for the Aeolian String Ensemble is the aeolian harp, an antique instrument which gained popularity in the nineteenth century in English country gardens. The aeolian harp is fitted with a number of strings with different thicknesses but all tuned to the same key on top of a resonator box. Wind sets the strings in vibration in such a way that their harmonics are heard, rather than the fundamental note; thus creating an impressionistic chorus of droning sounds. From these harps and the subsequent post-production of judicious delay pedals and sustained reverb, the Ensemble coaxes some of the most beautifully immersive drones from these harps, on par with Andrew Chalk & Jonathan Coleclough's Sumac album, any of the Troum recordings, and the score to Tarkovsky's Stalker. A truly fantastic album that is fortunately back in print again!!
"Elysium" MPEG Stream:
AER Project (Touch) 7" 7.98
The newest entry in Touch's ongoing series of limited 7"s singles, with past installments from Oren Ambarchi, Fennesz, Philip Jeck and Chris Watson, this is the first one by an artist new to us, but it manages to fit well with the other releases in the series, and has us dying to hear more from the mysterious AER (actually the musical moniker of Touch design director Jon Wozencroft). Utilizing nothing but "four atmosphere recordings, radio and an organ stop" AER concocts a darkly minimal soundscape of field recordings and hushed melody. The sounds from the street outside, footstep, voices talking, singing, sirens, thunder (or automobile backfires, or perhaps firecrackers), interwoven with strange clicking, machine like chatter, like a spinning bicycle wheel, random clanks and clatters, room noise and other sonic detritus, while beneath it all, warm whirring melodies drift up from below, adding nuance and mood to what might otherwise be a straight field recording, a rhythm way off in the distance or buried way down in the mix, is sometimes discernible, but only barely, and in fact, could be a trick of the ears, random sounds falling into place, creating not-really-there rhythms. But it hardly matters, we hear them, and they offer a sort of ghostly structure to the proceedings. Quite nice, and we can't wait to hear more.
AEREOGRAMME A Story In White (Matador) cd 14.98
Wow, what a refreshing surprise of an album, sez Miss Windy. Aereogramme, a four-piece band started by Craig B of Ganger, play a super appealing combination of (get this) the theatricality and LOUD-soft dynamics of Mogwai, and the intensely emotional delicacy of Sparklehorse. Gigantic crashing guitars swell, voices scream in anguish (heartbreak, no doubt), then it all gives way to stillness: quietly tinkling piano, evocative strings, and sensitive barely-whispered vocals. There are very catchy, epic melodies throughout. The effect is extremely pleasant, folks! Aereogramme has released two 7"s and an EP, and this is their full length debut, on Matador via the respected Scottish label Chemikal Underground (Arab Strap, Mogwai, Delgados). Highly recommended if you like Mogwai or Sparklehorse, Badly Drawn Boy, Delgados, Red House Painters, etc.
"Post-Tour, Pre-Judgement" RealAudio clip:
"A Meaningful Existence" RealAudio clip:
"The Question is Complete" RealAudio clip:
AEREOGRAMME My Heart Has A Wish That You Would Not Go (Sonic Unyon) cd 14.98
Whoa, this new Aereogramme full length really unveils a new side of the band. They're downright gentle, romantic, and dare we say, emo even. Most notably they traded in their thick metal-leaning bottom end for spiraling stratospheric strings. Perhaps it's the altitude, but this album's overall sound comes across as much thinner and more brittle than last year's Seclusion, but no less epic. For the first half of My Heart Has A Wish That You Would Not Go, everything -- from the piano to the guitars to the strings to the percussion -- is played with a contemplative, often delicate touch. Drifting atop this spacey gauziness are timorously sensitive male vocals. Think more Flaming Lips and maybe Frog Eyes than Mogwai and Isis. The hefty Aereogramme of old does resurface briefly at the album's midpoint, the sixth song "Living Backwards", injecting an effective dose of tension and gravity into the proceedings.
"A Life Worth Living" MPEG Stream:
AEREOGRAMME Seclusion (Sonic Unyon) cd 10.98
Now released on this side of the pond by the Canadian label Sonic Unyon! And at a much friendlier price! Here's what we said about it late last year when we got in the UK import version: On their past two fine albums A Story In White and Sleep And Release, these Scots' waves of crashing dynamics have drawn comparisons to Mogwai, but on Seclusion they've taken their sound to such a heavy and dark place where perhaps even those Mogwai lads dare not tread. Although the album starts out sounding like it's gonna be a college radio ready emo-rock record with the song "Inkwell", a sense of emotional unravelling gradually seeps in over the course of the other five songs that rises to the distraught degrees of bands such as Xiu Xiu and Frog Eyes. Ahh, what d'ya know, we just noticed the third song's title... "The Unravelling". Some might find the stormier, near-metal moments on this album to be downright fierce, but the fever is broken by some truly lovely melodic, heartrending phrases as well as some brief bursts of mathiness. Another great one from Aereogramme, available as an import only for some reason we don't know. Recommended!
"Inkwell" MPEG Stream:
AEREOGRAMME Sleep and Release (Matador) cd 15.98
What we have here is a fantastic -- and to our ears widely appealing -- record which hopefully won't disappear underneath most folks' radar like their first one did. Aereogramme are a four-piece from Scotland, and even though this comparison might sound a wee bit too convenient, it is nonetheless true that they sound like the perfect distillation of fellow Scots Mogwai and the Delgados! They have the fragile delicacy and pure indie-rockness of Delgados (and Death Cab for Cutie, especially in the vocals), but you know how just when the sweetness is so sad and heartbreaking, you want something to scream, that's gonna mirror the despair and howl the pain? That's when Aereogramme lashes out with crashing metallic noisiness a la Mogwai -- although we think it sounds more authentically heavy like the Melvins or a Hydrahead metalcore band. And it *really* works as an album: the dynamic changes are not unpleasantly distracting; they're as skillfully executed as on Radiohead's "OK Computer", and the climaxes come exactly when you most need them too. There are also judiciously wielded violins and cello soaring above the warm guitars, some genuinely death metal, hoarse vocal roars, and guitar parts that could be from an authentic '70s prog or metal album. At one moment the tight discipline of Shellac, the next the delicate melodies of Sparklehorse, and then some sheer black metal creepiness...wow. Some might call their style a gimmick, though we can't when it's so satisfying and brilliantly executed! So this record should appeal to fans of all of the bands mentioned above, plus to fans of bands that are doing similar dynamic genre blends like emo-metalcore outfits Poison the Well, From Autumn To Ashes, and Cave In. Indeed, Aerogramme's debut "A Story In White" -- a favorite around here -- made good use of the same dynamics, but rather than simply mixing up their indie-rock with some surprisingly metal moments as on that disc, Aereogramme here sound like a genuine hybrid...like maybe it's the other way around, they're a metalcore band toying with utterly gorgeous indie-pop songwriting.
"Indiscretion #243" RealAudio clip:
"Wood" RealAudio clip:
"No Really, Everything's Fine"
AERIAL M As Performed By Aerial M (Drag City) cd 12.98
Dave Pajo (formerly of Slint and now of Tortoise).
AERIAL M M Is... (Drag City) cdep 4.98
A two-song EP of post-rock guitar explorations from David Pajo (Slint, Tortoise). The second song "Mountains Have Ears" with its inclusion of flute samples and programmed beats is considerably more kinetic than his usual ultra-soothing mellowness.
AERIAL M October (Drag City) cdsingle 4.98
As we never seem to tire of saying, "Aerial M is a solo project of David Pajo of Tortoise doing lonely things." Peaceful post rock guitar.
AERIAL M Post-Global Music (Drag City) cd 12.98
Remixes of ex-Slint-er Dave Pajo's solo work as Aerial M, by none other than Bundy K Brown of Tortoise, Tied and Tickled Trio, DJ Your Food, and Flacco.
AERIAL M Post-Global Music (Drag City) lp 12.98
Remixes of ex-Slint-er Dave Pajo's solo work as Aerial M, by none other than Bundy K Brown of Tortoise, Tied and Tickled Trio, DJ Your Food, and Flacco.
AERIAL MORGANUM As Performed By Aerial M (Drag City) lp 8.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Dave Pajo (formerly of Slint and now of Tortoise).
AERIAL RUIN 133306668 (self-released) cd-r 5.98
This 22 minute cd-r is the debut for Aerial Ruin, the solo project of Erik Moggridge (guitarist for SF's bearded metal stalwarts Old Grandad). He was assisted in this dark endeavor by Eric Peterson of fellow Bay Area hard rock vets Lost Goat. Don't be expecting a rush of thunderous volume, guitar solos and downtuned heaviness though! Taking a considerably different path, Moggridge has crafted a half dozen songs of somber acoustic folk. Very hushed and slow creeping. The man himself likened it to slowcore leaders Low, but we hear more shades of Mark Lanegan or the solo efforts of Neurosis' Steve Von Till and Scott Kelly.
AERIAN RAGE Fist Of Steel (Stormspell) cd 11.98
Hopefully you've delved into the metallic weirdness of the Max Planck compact disc reissue Kill The Pain we highlighted a few weeks back. Eccentric true cult heavy metal from the depths of the eighties. It was one of the first three releases in the Stormspell label's new archival "Red White Heavy Arcane Collector Series For The Initiated" (and if you read our list, consider yourself initiated), dedicated to rescuing obscure '80s metal demos that they consider hidden gems. Now we've got the other two they've done so far, Cry Of The Warrior by Battlecry from Belgium, and this one, Fist Of Steel from SoCal's unfortunately named Aerian Rage. We've already had to explain to a few customers that no, this isn't a Nazi black metal band!! Instead, they were young Orange County hair metallers with an aggro edge, who were clueless enough to just thing the name sounded cool. Their lead guitarist also thought the name Johnny Roxx sound cool, too, so there you go. As a friend of ours who really likes this a lot observed, "I can't think of a better band that wanted to be Motley Crue but also picked up on what early Metallica was up to." And that's true. Formed in 1981, Aerian Rage were influenced by thrash bands like Slayer (who they opened for) as well as the likes of WASP and Lizzy Borden (with whom they also played). So you get explosive spandex clad rockin' here, with a bit of a nasty vibe. Catchy songs, high pitched screams, guitar shred, tons of energy, the works. Even a full on noisy freakout at the end of theme song "On The Rage". Fans of certain other LA area bands of the era like Omen, Savage Grace, Leatherwolf, Armored Saint, and even Cirith Ungol, should love this. And you get a lot of bang for your buck, with 3 demos crammed onto this compact disc, tapes from 1983, '84, and '85, twenty tracks total. (Note: the tracklisting doesn't always seem to quite match up with the order of the songs, but you'll figure it out.) They're raw and rough garage demos but that's just part of the charm, they sure sound good to us, and beg to be cranked loud. Comes with a 12 page booklet, full of photos and lyrics and liner notes, including nostalgic reminiscences from each band member. Limited to 500 hand-numbered copies.
"Night Of The Wild" MPEG Stream:
"Kill Or Be Killed" MPEG Stream:
"On The Rage"
AERO-MIC'D 22:44 (self-released) cd-r 6.98
Aero-Mic'd began as a solo concern for local San Francisco artist Wayne Smith, but has over the years evolved into a three piece synth trio for live shows with the additions of Cliff Hengst (Troll) and our own Scott Hewicker (The Alps). Specializing in long form kosmiche explorations that gently shift into woozy bowed drones with a mixture of field recordings and ambient atmospherics, 22:44 is mostly culled from a live 2010 performance at San Francisco's Grace Cathedral, with subtle augmentations from other home recordings. Invited by the art and music publication entity Land and Sea to perform in the late great cathedral event series Episco Disco (where artists were invited to create installations and music events inside the hallowed space) , Aero-mic'd used the echoing acoustics and the substantial room ambiance to create a floating sound world of soft angelic otherworldliness. Layers of synth and computer-generated drones and loops, bass tones and field-recordings merge with sounds of sleigh bells, bowed guitar, kalimba, and murmurs and footsteps from the moving crowds. Limited to 50 copies. Play loud for full effect!
"Excerpt 1" MPEG Stream:
AERO-MIC'D I Think You're Great (Aero-Mic'd records) cd 7.98
Artist/Designer/Musician Wayne Smith's third outing as Aero-Mic'd (not including last years collaboration with the Sadnesses, Cloud Mama) is a family affair but not in the usual familial way. Made to coincide with a exhibition of new artworks at Queen's Nails Annex in San Francisco, I Think You're Great, includes many guest appearances from friends and local luminaries, including video artist Anne McGuire on vocals, writer Kevin Killian (intoning a series of tai chi movements on opening track "Cloud Hands"), and performer/painter Cliff Hengst, all of whom have been collaborating on each others' projects off and on for at least the past ten years. Smith is a master of mining magical significance through the filtering, manipulating and repetition of found sounds and images (celebrity, the cultic and the mundane play against each other constantly). On the title track, clocking in at over 15 minutes (an epic by Aero-mic'd standards whose songs normally clock in at under 2 minutes), he expands his sound from previous efforts by including excerpts from a live performance at the Headlands last year with William Collins from Mire on guitar and tibetan bowls and Cliff Hengst on percussion. Intermixed with the live and programmed bells and filtered guitars, Smith includes one of his signature sound pieces, "Hello", recorded by calling people randomly from the phone book and recording their standard but delightfully varied greetings. With I Think You're Great, the feeling is definitely mutual!
"Last Four Shakers" MPEG Stream:
"I Think You're Great"
AERO-MIC'D s/t (Aero-Mic'd) cd ep 7.98
From local musician Wayne Smith comes this *excellent* little slip of a 25-minute album. A record this genre-hopping might in lesser hands be a chore to listen to, but with Aero-Mic'd the first few minutes are just so good that you easily put your trust in wherever he's going to take you. It starts with echoing layers of nefarious percussion, then seamlessly moves into fucked up dub and then lots of gorgeous treated and looped guitar that sounds like the arty instrumentalism of Gastr del Sol mixed with the melodic electronica of Mouse on Mars. It also occasionally reminds us of His Name is Alive and Fennesz. Yeah, it's that good, and that fun to listen to. The arrangement and juxtaposition of the pieces is the key. With the aforementioned Gastr del Sol and Mouse on Mars leanings, plus droning layers of metallic tinny guitarness and shimmering pure, vibrating tones, this album displays so many of the general sounds and separate sub-sub-genres that the AQ-staff likes to listen to whole albums of, yet here they are compacted into short segments that build up to a perfect whole. A very good record, sez Windy, and the price is right too. (Fans of the Brian and Chris record will like this too.)
"A Flat Tax" RealAudio clip:
"Dead Ends" RealAudio clip:
AERO-MIC'D Under A Sun (self-released) cd 7.98
We sure loved the first Aero-Mic'd record from a few years ago, a genre hopping electronic excursion touching on melodic melancholy pop, laptop glitch, cinematic ambience, and arty instrumentalism. Hard to believe, but we may like this new one even more. It's much more focused and cohesive, with the focus this time on ambience and drone. Reminds us of a more vaired, less low-end Kopernik. Soaring Orb like ambient flutter, chirping birds, the sound of children playing, muted percussion, sing song-y melodies, fuzzy, whispery drones with melodic swells, industrial clatter under gauzy slowed down loops all coalesce into one seriously great listen.
"Lifesize Timeline" MPEG Stream:
AERO-MIC'D & SADNESSES Cloud Mama (Aero-Mic'd) cd-r 7.98
According to the back of this limited-to-100-copies cd-r release, the mathematical equation is as follows: Aero-Mic'd + The Sadnesses = Cloud Mama And if you ask us, that adds up perfectly well. It's no secret, we here at AQ have been mighty fond of the past two releases by SF's Aero-Mic'd, and this new collaborative effort with the likeminded Sadnesses is no exception. Ultra delicate glitchiness, wispy clouds of shimmer, whimsical sounds and song titles. Oh so nice 'n' soothing. We only wish it were longer than its fleeting 25 minutes.
"The Righter You Smell" MPEG Stream:
"Inefficiency Of Candy Clocks"
AEROSMITH Draw The Line (Columbia) cd 5.00
**SALE **SALE* *SALE**
AEROSMITH Night In The Ruts (Columbia) cd 5.00
**SALE **SALE* *SALE**
AEROSMITH Rock In A Hard Place (Columbia) cd 5.00
**SALE **SALE* *SALE**
AEROVONS, THE Resurrection (RPM) cd 16.98
What a find! This is a record made in 1969 by The Aerovons, a St. Louis quartet led by the talented 17-year old songwriter/producer Tom Hartman. But except for one 7" single that had 2 songs on it, The Aerovons' full length was NEVER released. This is its first proper showing, and it's a doozy. Made by fanatical Beatles fans, who even used the same model instruments their idols did, this record at times sounds just like a late-'60s Beatles album, especially in "Say Georgia" which sounds like "Oh! Darling" and "Resurrection" which sounds like "Across the Universe" and Tom's voice is just like Paul McCartney's. This is a good thing! It's a real pity the band never saw their debut released, cos for a while they had everything going for them. They were hits in their hometown, journeyed (with Tom's mum!) to London, got signed to Parlophone, jammed with the Hollies, hung with George Harrison, got Paul's autograph, even borrowed the Beatles' tambourine while recording at ABBEY ROAD. Can you imagine how stoked these kids were? Not just a hell of a backstory, but a fine Beatlesesque treat. Some folks might find some of the songs (like the aforementioned two) just a little TOO close to Beatles originals for comfort, actually, but we were charmed. After all, it takes a certain sort of teenage nerve to go ahead and rip off "Across The Universe" when it hadn't even been released yet -- the band simply got an Abbey Road engineer to play the Beatles' latest tapes for 'em, and then promptly repaired to their studio suitably inspired! Perhaps this doppelganger aspect is why the album never was released, or perhaps the label backed out fearing that the group would not be able to promote the album properly after one of the Aerovons split for the US due to personal problems. So goes a footnote in rock history, what could've been a major band. Still, thanks to RPM we've got our first chance to hear this real pleasure of a record, complete with copious liner notes, photos, article clippings, and four bonus tracks. The Aerovons. Who knew?
"World of You" MPEG Stream:
"Resurrection" MPEG Stream:
AESOP QUARTET Fables For A New Millennium (8thHB) cd 14.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
AESOP QUARTET s/t (8thHB) cd 14.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Chicago new jazz group, with Hamid Drake (well known Peter Brotzmann sparring-partner) on drums, Jeff Parker (of Tortoise) on guitar, Ernest Dawkins playing reeds, and Rollo Radford on bass. With special guests DJ Rob Swift of the X-ecutioners doing his turntable thing, and Reggie Gibson (1998 National Poetry Slam Winner, ack!) doing some spoken word stuff.
AESOP ROCK Bazooka Tooth (Definitive Jux) cd 16.98
It's been a constant and strangely evolving battle, in one corner, Cannibal Ox, El-P, Mr. Lif and the whole Def Jux crew, while in the other, Dose One, Why, Jel and the ever expanding Anticon stable, all doing their best to bastardise, distort, destroy, and/or reinvent hip hop. And it's been a tough race to call, both camps have lots to offer, bizarre samples, damaged drum loops, and weird and warped flows, from the nasal high pitched whine of Dose One to the langorous drawl of Aesop Rock. And while maybe Anticon would win for straight up weirdness, Def Jux are definitely more likely to sway the hip hop masses over to the darkside, with their mutated take on classic hip hop. The latest salvo comes in the form of Aesop Rock's Bazooka Tooth, a dense barrage of creepy crawly, lugubrious lo-fi hip hop weirdness, with stuttery, shuffling beats, dreamy eastern melodies and rhythmically machine-like scratching, the whole thing is swathed in a shimmery pot smoke haze like looking at the world through bongwater, everything distorted and dreamy, head nodding and hip swaying, with occasional spatters of crunchy drum and bass and skeletal junkyard funk, all anchored by Aesop's wordy worldly flow. Destroys most of the currently over-hyped avant/underground hip hop whatever (Atmosphere, Buck 65). Plus how often do you hear a rapper use the word "alacrity"?! Not often enough!!
"NY Electric" MPEG Stream:
AESOP ROCK Bazooka Tooth (Definitive Jux) 3lp 19.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. It's been a constant and strangely evolving battle, in one corner, Cannibal Ox, El-P, Mr. Lif and the whole Def Jux crew, while in the other, Dose One, Why, Jel and the ever expanding Anticon stable, all doing their best to bastardise, distort, destroy, and/or reinvent hip hop. And it's been a tough race to call, both camps have lots to offer, bizarre samples, damaged drum loops, and weird and warped flows, from the nasal high pitched whine of Dose One to the langorous drawl of Aesop Rock. And while maybe Anticon would win for straight up weirdness, Def Jux are definitely more likely to sway the hip hop masses over to the darkside, with their mutated take on classic hip hop. The latest salvo comes in the form of Aesop Rock's Bazooka Tooth, a dense barrage of creepy crawly, lugubrious lo-fi hip hop weirdness, with stuttery, shuffling beats, dreamy eastern melodies and rhythmically machine-like scratching, the whole thing is swathed in a shimmery pot smoke haze like looking at the world through bongwater, everything distorted and dreamy, head nodding and hip swaying, with occasional spatters of crunchy drum and bass and skeletal junkyard funk, all anchored by Aesop's wordy worldly flow. Destroys most of the currently over-hyped avant/underground hip hop whatever (Atmosphere, Buck 65). Plus how often do you hear a rapper use the word "alacrity"?! Not often enough!!
AESOP ROCK Daylight (Definitive Jux) cd 10.98
So now I (Windy) am feeling really stupid for not paying enough attention to Aesop Rock's last full length Labor Days, because this new followup cdep is so great! The title track "Daylight" is seriously geting multiple repeat plays here in the AQ-back office (it's also on Labor Days, fyi). "Daylight" is melodic (something I miss a lot in hip hop) and sort of smartly epic without being overly dramatic like the JayZ record I was listening to this morning. Hit us over the head with your sappiness, why don't you, JayZ. Aesop Rock's flow is just incredibly tongue-twisting and learned and thoughtful... I can't even describe it. Here, just read some of "Daylight" while you're listening to the soundclips: "Yo...put one up shackle me, not clean logic procreation I did not invent the wheel I was the crooked spoke adjacent While the triple sixers lassos keep angels roped in the basement I walk the block with a halo and a stick poking your patience" The remaining 6 tracks are similarly good. Blockhead provides most of the instrumental backup and man, I can't wait for a solo LP from this producer, he seems to have impeccable taste. One of the tracks is ever so timely -- "Nickel Plated Pockets" references "anthrax in the mailboxes and xanax in my tummy." Yeah, Aesop's got his finger on the zeitgeist. And there's a hidden track wherein he gives his full, real name, and proceeds to sincerely, poignantly thank four people who literally saved his life once. Another worthwhile title from the practically flawless Def Jux label.
"Daylight" RealAudio clip:
"Forest Crunk" RealAudio clip:
AESOP ROCK Daylight (Definitive Jux) 12" 6.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. So now I (Windy) am feeling really stupid for not paying enough attention to Aesop Rock's last full length Labor Days, because this new followup cdep is so great! The title track "Daylight" is seriously geting multiple repeat plays here in the AQ-back office (it's also on Labor Days, fyi). "Daylight" is melodic (something I miss a lot in hip hop) and sort of smartly epic without being overly dramatic like the JayZ record I was listening to this morning. Hit us over the head with your sappiness, why don't you, JayZ. Aesop Rock's flow is just incredibly tongue-twisting and learned and thoughtful... I can't even describe it. Here, just read some of "Daylight" while you're listening to the soundclips: "Yo...put one up shackle me, not clean logic procreation I did not invent the wheel I was the crooked spoke adjacent While the triple sixers lassos keep angels roped in the basement I walk the block with a halo and a stick poking your patience" The remaining 6 tracks are similarly good. Blockhead provides most of the instrumental backup and man, I can't wait for a solo LP from this producer, he seems to have impeccable taste. One of the tracks is ever so timely -- "Nickel Plated Pockets" references "anthrax in the mailboxes and xanax in my tummy." Yeah, Aesop's got his finger on the zeitgeist. And there's a hidden track wherein he gives his full, real name, and proceeds to sincerely, poignantly thank four people who literally saved his life once. Another worthwhile title from the practically flawless Def Jux label.
AESOP ROCK Fast Cars, Danger, Fire And Knives (Definitive Jux) cd 17.98
"Fast Cars" MPEG Stream: