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IMPORTANT (Please read to avoid confusion):
Some items below may be tagged with a bold, red, all-caps "out of print/unavailable" notice. This does NOT mean that all other items not so tagged are, in fact, in stock -- or for that matter, in print and available, though there's a good chance they are. Some folks get confused on this point, and we can see why, so please read this for further clarification and other important before-you-order information. Unlike some mailorder websites, we don't have an electronic inventory system linked to our site, so you can't be sure of what we actually have or don't have in stock at any given moment without asking us -- please email our mailorder department for availability status -- or better yet, just go ahead and place your order using our shopping cart function and we'll get back to you with the status of each item. If you have general non-mailorder questions, email the store.


album cover I Between Two Worlds (Nuclear Blast) cd 16.98

MPEG Stream: "The Storm I Ride"
MPEG Stream: "Warriors"

album cover I AM A LAKE OF BURNING ORCHIDS Morning / Hands (Loveswirls) cd-r 9.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Along with the reactivation of the Khrystanthoney label (check out reviews of Korouva and Melankoli elsewhere on this week's list), comes the introduction of a new label, a Khrysanthoney sub-label, the first two releases, both EXTREMELY limited eps from UK 'dreamo' outfit I Am A Lake Of Burning Orchids, whose sounds is a gloriously distorted, ultra blown out, electronics heavy blackened, crumbling shoegaze. And it's just as good as that sounds. Just check out the first track on "Summer In My Veins" from the group's first ep, which sounds like My Bloody Valentine, Mohinder, Tim Hecker all blended up and mixed by Alec Empire, or something. It's a dizzyingly dense tangle of ultra buzzy crumble, grinding distorto electronics, shrieked vox buried in the mix, lilting minor key melodies transformed into jagged streaks of furious fuzz, the production too, warped and woozy, almost Faxed Head style, with the sound swooping in and out, fading to near silence, then exploding into blow out speaker shredding howls, the sound stuttering and glitching out, often woven into strangely dynamic sprawls of start stop psychedelic noise, just as often smeared into prismatic FX drenched swirls. Some of the music sounds a bit like a crappy old Casio keyboard run through a million distortion pedals and then broadcast through a wall of Marshall amps, some sounds like pure abstract electronic komische melted down into pure, swirling, crystalline noise, and some sounds like malfunctioning techno, draped with harsh vokills and then doused in gouts of distortion and fuzz. Glorious, ear melting, head spinning, rainbow colored, blown out, buzz drenched, metallic dreamo bliss out of the highest order.
Morning - Hands is IAALOBO's second ep and explores a different side of the group, harnessing many of the same sounds and textures, but trading in the Melt-Banana style short-sharp-shocks for long sprawling dronescapes, total Tim Hecker style epic crumble, like a super distorted blown out Caretaker record, the tracks here rumble and smolder, the sound delivered in swells, that build and build, before decaying into abstract swirls of sound the opening salvo is just total droned out heavy psychedelic dream-noise mesmer, but the second half is much more abstract and ambient, slipping from hushed hazy drift, all warm soft swirls and muted gauze-y crackle, to an almost krautrocky like komische, albeit one doused in distortion and effects, and finally, a sprawl of processed field recordings, which gradually blur into a murky sprawl of grey thrum, before dissipating and once again revealing the found sounds within. Both eps are SO GREAT, such a crime they're so limited. How limited? THESE ARE LIMITED TO JUST 50 COPIES!!! We have only a handful of each, and then they're gone for good. Beautifully packaged in an 8" x 17" fold out insert, housed in a translucent envelope, hand numbered in metallic ink.
MPEG Stream: "Waiting"
MPEG Stream: "Transit"
MPEG Stream: "Sojourn"

album cover I AM A LAKE OF BURNING ORCHIDS Summer In My Veins (Loveswirls) cd-r 9.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Along with the reactivation of the Khrystanthoney label (check out reviews of Korouva and Melankoli elsewhere on this week's list), comes the introduction of a new label, a Khrysanthoney sub-label, the first two releases, both EXTREMELY limited eps from UK 'dreamo' outfit I Am A Lake Of Burning Orchids, whose sounds is a gloriously distorted, ultra blown out, electronics heavy blackened, crumbling shoegaze. And it's just as good as that sounds. Just check out the first track on "Summer In My Veins" from the group's first ep, which sounds like My Bloody Valentine, Mohinder, Tim Hecker all blended up and mixed by Alec Empire, or something. It's a dizzyingly dense tangle of ultra buzzy crumble, grinding distorto electronics, shrieked vox buried in the mix, lilting minor key melodies transformed into jagged streaks of furious fuzz, the production too, warped and woozy, almost Faxed Head style, with the sound swooping in and out, fading to near silence, then exploding into blow out speaker shredding howls, the sound stuttering and glitching out, often woven into strangely dynamic sprawls of start stop psychedelic noise, just as often smeared into prismatic FX drenched swirls. Some of the music sounds a bit like a crappy old Casio keyboard run through a million distortion pedals and then broadcast through a wall of Marshall amps, some sounds like pure abstract electronic komische melted down into pure, swirling, crystalline noise, and some sounds like malfunctioning techno, draped with harsh vokills and then doused in gouts of distortion and fuzz. Glorious, ear melting, head spinning, rainbow colored, blown out, buzz drenched, metallic dreamo bliss out of the highest order.
Morning - Hands is IAALOBO's second ep and explores a different side of the group, harnessing many of the same sounds and textures, but trading in the Melt-Banana style short-sharp-shocks for long sprawling dronescapes, total Tim Hecker style epic crumble, like a super distorted blown out Caretaker record, the tracks here rumble and smolder, the sound delivered in swells, that build and build, before decaying into abstract swirls of sound the opening salvo is just total droned out heavy psychedelic dream-noise mesmer, but the second half is much more abstract and ambient, slipping from hushed hazy drift, all warm soft swirls and muted gauze-y crackle, to an almost krautrocky like komische, albeit one doused in distortion and effects, and finally, a sprawl of processed field recordings, which gradually blur into a murky sprawl of grey thrum, before dissipating and once again revealing the found sounds within. Both eps are SO GREAT, such a crime they're so limited. How limited? THESE ARE LIMITED TO JUST 50 COPIES!!! We have only a handful of each, and then they're gone for good. Beautifully packaged in an 8" x 17" fold out insert, housed in a translucent envelope, hand numbered in metallic ink.
MPEG Stream: "Summer In My Veins"
MPEG Stream: "I Hereby Promise"
MPEG Stream: "My First Kiss Was In The Rain, It's Gone Downhill Since Then"
MPEG Stream: "Garden Of Light I - The Flowers Of Crete"

album cover I AM SEAMONSTER Nebulum (Basses Frequences) cd-r 10.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Another amazing release from Basses Frequences (and no, that's not a typo), a new-ish (mostly) cd-r label from France, whose gorgeous sounds and lovingly packaged super limited releases have definitely been hitting the spot lately. They're up to 6 or 7 releases by now, we listed the Tamagawa a few lists back, and elsewhere on this list you'll find a new release from Aidan Baker, and the latest from Irish drone outfit Wereju.
But here, we have the debut (as far as we know) from the curiously (and cooly) named I Am Seamonster, and we knew we were were in for something special, after only a few seconds of "Nebulum". It's definitely drone music, but this is not cavernous doomy low end rumbles, or delicate high end shimmer (although we do love both), no, this is something much more akin to Fennesz or Tim Hecker or Philip Jeck. Washed out and gauzy, blurred and ethereal. It's like someone removed a 2 or 3 second chunk from a perfect pop song, and stretched it out to 500 times that, simple melodies pulled apart into indistinct streaks, notes and chords transformed into deep glowing slow burning drones. Or perhaps imagine taking some shimmery bit of pop and examining it under a microscope, glimpsing past all the surface stuff and examining the mysterious world within, the textures revealed offer up a whole new world of sound, all the various microscopic parts, music at the atomic level, a blurred soundscape of massive slow moving shapes, of slowly shifting textures, the sound all grainy and blurred, you can almost imagine this as the first shot in the musical version of that film when the camera pulls back from the inside of the molecule all the way back to the furthest reaches of the universe. Who knows what sort of song, or what kind of music might be revealed if we pulled back from the soft, intimate dreamlike sounds of I Am Seamonster, but it hardly matters, because if anything, we actually want to get closer, to go deeper, to shrink ourselves down and lose ourselves in I Am Seamonster's mysterious microscopic soundworld...
Amazing packaging. The cd is seated in a black tray within a hinged metal tin, with a paste on front cover, full color sticker, and a sticker inside too with the liner notes.
LIMITED TO ONLY 100 COPIES!!!
MPEG Stream: "Nebulum"
MPEG Stream: "Constellatrix"

I AM SPOONBENDER 'Blue Print' Poster (IAS) poster 15.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Limited edition large poster screenprinted on blueprint paper - so each is one-of-a-kind! Features the face of Crack: We Are Rock member Erin. Designed by Slang (who's responsible for a number of other stunning, highly covetted, non-paper posters for SF artists like Church Steps, Sounds Of The Barbary Coast, Kit Clayton, and O.S.T. go to: www.slanginternational.org).

album cover I AM SPOONBENDER 'Telepathic Antiquity' Poster (2nd North American Tour, 2003) (IAS) poster 4.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
These limited edition posters were designed by IAS (imaginatively illustrated by Cup!) for their 2nd North American tour, 2003. 'Hair Is Real', indeed. Very few copies remain. 11"x17" heavy paperstock.


album cover I AM SPOONBENDER 1" logo button (IAS) button 1.00
1" button: uniquely shiny chrome with black print of the band's head-bending-fork logo.

album cover I AM SPOONBENDER 1" three forkmen button (IAS) button 1.00
1" button: uniquely shiny chrome with black print of the Teletwin logo.

album cover I AM SPOONBENDER 1.25" Buy Hidden Persuaders button (IAS) button 2.00
A brand new IAS 1.25" button to go with their brand new album! Uniquely shiny chrome with black print of the 'magic/magnetic hand' image from the front cover of their Buy Hidden Persuaders limited edition album (based on a poster design by gig poster artist Lil Tuffy!).

I AM SPOONBENDER antique fork design sticker (IAS) sticker 0.50
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
The original IAS sticker design! 8"long by 1.5"wide vinyl sticker with silver band name and shiny black antique fork design on matte black background.

I AM SPOONBENDER band logo sticker (IAS) sticker 0.50
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
2" high by 5"wide vinyl sticker with white band name and silver logo on matte black background.

album cover I AM SPOONBENDER Buy Hidden Persuaders - Special Limited Edition (Mesmer Detector Ltd.) cd 13.98
By the time this is read, I Am Spoonbender will have played their first show in 3 years (at the Mezzanine here in SF, May 11, 2007). A meticulously planned and extensively elaborate sonic and visual feast for the eyes and the ears. In honor of this rare and long overdue live performance, IAS have made a limited cd pressing of their latest full length album, which was previously only available as a cd-quality free download from their website. It too is meticulous and elaborate, both sonically and visually!
From the beginning, IAS have always had their feet planted firmly outside the traditional trappings of what it means to be a band. Instead, they are more aligned with the tradition of performance art, multimedia immersion and ongoing dialogue, which sometimes takes the shape of albums and songs while other times is expressed through imagery, mirrors, card sets, film scores, and their psychedelic 1.1.1 alter-ego.
Buy Hidden Persuaders finds IAS in the unique position of being both avant-minded yet so immediate and musical. They are an all-encompassing group who can turn on a dime from artful tech-y prog ("ESPionage" and "Project Spellbinder") to unhinged contortions ("Chapped Lip Hypnotist") to evocative abstracted atmospherics ("So, It Turns Out That Life Was A Movie They Saw?") to kaleidoscopic pop (the lovelorn "Three Folded Words", the vigorous puzzling "Love Of The Evolved" and the dreamy "Meeting Yourself: I'm You") to all of it all at once ("Dear Mirror - Who Are We Now?"). With conviction and agility, they craft a music so rife with futuristic undertones, personal reflections and oh so undeniable melodies. Elements of electronic prog greats Heldon and prime-time Gary Numan may still be integral threads in the IAS fabric, but the group's sound is entirely their own. Following their 3-song ep Shown Actual Size which favored more electronic sounding percussion, this album marks the return of sorts of vocalist and multi-instrumentist Dustin Donaldson's intricately geometric complexities on an acoustic drum set which were arguably the keystones of their early releases and which have drawn comparisons to Jaki Leibezeit and Bill Bruford. BHP (which is presented in three chapters or stages -- 1. You Have Been Suggested, 2. Penetrate To Deeper Levels, and 3. Slowly Replaced In Mirrors) is the sound of a new propaganda created by examining the effects on the psyche of the onslaught of insidious images and ideas, the ones we are bombarded with on a daily basis. BHP fights fire with fire, or more specifically with a driving and rhythmic musical flame much like the trick candles on a birthday cake that refuse to ever go out. Inextinguishable, it will burn images and ideas into your mind until you're armed with new questions, and no simple answers. A contagious conflagration and confrontation in musical form.
Presented in a special lp-sized gatefold (with cover art based on a poster design by gig poster artist Lil Tuffy!), with their trademark immaculate packaging and filled with stream of consciousness text that further underscores their ongoing desire to create, illuminate and compel.
Very limited pressing only available from us and direct from the group!
MPEG Stream: "Which Brand Are You?"
MPEG Stream: "The Drug Companies Did A Good Job"
MPEG Stream: "ESPionage"

album cover I AM SPOONBENDER Egyptian motif sticker (IAS) sticker 0.50
New I Am Spoonbender stickers are now here! Striking Egyptian motif. Bright orange, black and white weather-proof vinyl. 2" wide by 6" high.

album cover I AM SPOONBENDER limited edition 1.5" tour button (IAS) button 2.00
Limited edition 1.5" button: uniquely shiny chrome with black print of the phrase "I went to see I Am Spoonbender and all I got were memories."

album cover I AM SPOONBENDER limited edition mirror (IAS) mirror 2.98
Back in stock! An unexpected I Am Spoonbender object for your multidimensional delight and reflection. It's a limited edition 2.25" circular mirror! These were formerly only available from the group at their performances and have been long long gone. However, to commemorate the release of their latest album Buy Hidden Persuaders which has mirror themes running throughout, IAS have made a fresh batch. We've got a small quantity here at aQ. The back is imprinted in black with their logo and the phrase "this is a 2 way mirror" (Who is on the other side? And where are they watching from?) on the same sleekly unique chrome finish as their 1" buttons. Perfectly stylin' and perfectly handy.

I AM SPOONBENDER Plastic Lips (Contact) 7" 5.50
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Ultra-super-limited pressing of this Japanese import only available in the U.S. from us here at AQ. Features two songs: the A-side is a retitled "Replaced By Toys" from their first album "Sender/Receiver" now called "Plastic Lips" The exclusive B-side is an electro-op-pop cover of the wonderful Young Marble Giants' song "Searching For Mr. Right"! Note: if you're quick like a bunny you might even get one of the extra-ultra-super-limited number of these that were pressed on white vinyl. Definitely buy now or cry later.

album cover I AM SPOONBENDER Sender / Receiver (Gold Standard Laboratories / Mint) cd 11.98
The debut album from the San Francisco avantgardists I Am Spoonbender is quite a brilliant fare, in which the telephone operates as metaphor to semiological, aural, and sidereal transmissions (Andee's interpretation: "They sing into phones"). But this object finds itself in need of repair, disrupting and re-interpreting the original signals of This Heat and Gary Numan into mutant grooves propelled by Dustin Donaldson's post-Jaki Leibezeit percussion and Brian Jackson's prog bass angularity. On top of all of this rhythmic disruption, Cup's delicate vocal / synth melodies fall somewhere in between the tropes of late '70s new wave and Nurse With Wound's Soliloquy For Lilith. Yeah, I already run the risk of making this review far more advanced than it really need be, so I say that this -- the aural equivalent of Avital Ronell's Telephone Book -- is one of my favorite records of the year. No shit.


MPEG Stream: "Replaced By Toys"
MPEG Stream: "Waking Dream Seance"
MPEG Stream: "Mr. Knife Miss Fork "

album cover I AM SPOONBENDER Sender / Receiver Picture Disc (Gold Standard Laboratories) lp 19.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
We have the scant few remaining copies of this now out-of-print vinyl release!! 'Twas the first and only time on vinyl, and in the form of a beautiful picture disc at that!
The only thing that is missing from this version of I Am Spoonbender's first full length is the epic final track "Mr. Knife Miss Fork". Unfortunately due to the time constraints of the vinyl format, the track simply would no fit. Nevertheless even without the final track, the debut album from the San Francisco avantgardists I Am Spoonbender is quite a brilliant fare, in which the telephone operates as metaphor to semiological, aural, and sidereal transmissions (Andee's interpretation: "They sing into phones."). But this object finds itself in need of repair, disrupting and re-interpreting the original signals of This Heat and Gary Numan into mutant grooves propelled by Dustin Donaldson's post-Jaki Leibezeit percussion and Brian Jackson's prog bass angularity. On top of all of this rhythmic disruption, Cup's delicate vocal / synth melodies fall somewhere in between the tropes of late '70s new wave and Nurse With Wound's Soliloquy For Lilith. Yeah, I already run the risk of making this review far more advanced than it really need be, so I say that this -- the aural equivalent of Avital Ronell's Telephone Book -- is one of my favorite records of the year. No shit. Limited pressing.
MPEG Stream: "Replaced By Toys"
MPEG Stream: "Waking Dream Seance"

album cover I AM SPOONBENDER Shown Actual Size (Gold Standard Laboratories) cd ep 10.98
During the two years between I Am Spoonbender's Teletwin EP and the Shown Actual Size 3-song EP, electro-revivalism -- or perhaps better known as the stupid cliche 'electroclash' (who's fighting anyway?) -- has commerically peaked and artistically self-destructed. Once a succinct manifestation of perfectly machined rhythms and plastic passion with an android sheen (e.g. Kraftwerk / Adult.), electro-revivalism is now just a vapid stylistic coke dream of robot sex and perfectly coiffed hair. Indeed, occasionally-mistaken-for-electroclash I Am Spoonbender have developed a tight, very flashy live persona complete with choreographed lighting, op-art film references, and sharp stagewear. However, there is a difference: beneath their 'total environment' agenda, IAS remain dedicated to crafting a unique avant-pop homunculus out of the same overall creative mind-set as This Heat, Laurie Anderson, Throbbing Gristle and Gary Numan. Perhaps alternately stated, IAS strive to rock without guitars. Has being peripherally involved with 'electro' simply been a convenient vehicle for IAS to attain some of their goals -- art? popularity? world domination? all of the above??
That said, Shown Actual Size actually is the most straightforward sounding release from I Am Spoonbender. Acoustic drums are replaced this time by Dustin Donaldson playing an electronic drumkit. The usually predominantly instrumental songs are this time centered upon the vocal duets of Donaldson and Cup fronting punchy synthetic grooves and metronomic electrical sparks. These two voices bounce between fractured narratives that not only imply a humanistic optimism about extracting meaning out of miscommunication, but also a cautiousness towards the technologies which may be complicating the lives that they seek to improve. IAS are clearly NOT electroclash, as they value musicality over fashion. Hopefully, more material will soon follow these far too brief 13 minutes.
The album cover is a vintage '70s Hipgnosis piece, used here -- with enthusiastic permission -- from Storm Thorgerson, the man behind the design firm responsible for the images of many legendary album covers (Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath and tons more).
Mixed by Skinny Puppy's Ken Marshall with IAS.
Oh yeah, the bass guitar on Shown Actual Size is played by Dave Edwardson of Neurosis!

MPEG Stream: "I Went And Had My Knives Sharpened"
MPEG Stream: "Remover-Installer"
MPEG Stream: "Re-Dial Meant Remember"

album cover I AM SPOONBENDER Shown Actual Size (Gold Standard Laboratories) 12" 10.98
During the two years between I Am Spoonbender's Teletwin EP and the Shown Actual Size 3-song EP, electro-revivalism -- or perhaps better known as the stupid cliche 'electroclash' (who's fighting anyway?) -- has commerically peaked and artistically self-destructed. Once a succinct manifestation of perfectly machined rhythms and plastic passion with an android sheen (e.g. Kraftwerk / Adult.), electro-revivalism is now just a vapid stylistic coke dream of robot sex and perfectly coiffed hair. Indeed, occasionally-mistaken-for-electroclash I Am Spoonbender have developed a tight, very flashy live persona complete with choreographed lighting, op-art film references, and sharp stagewear. However, there is a difference: beneath their 'total environment' agenda, IAS remain dedicated to crafting a unique avant-pop homunculus out of the same overall creative mind-set as This Heat, Laurie Anderson, Throbbing Gristle and Gary Numan. Perhaps alternately stated, IAS strive to rock without guitars. Has being peripherally involved with 'electro' simply been a convenient vehicle for IAS to attain some of their goals -- art? popularity? world domination? all of the above??
That said, Shown Actual Size actually is the most straightforward sounding release from I Am Spoonbender. Acoustic drums are replaced this time by Dustin Donaldson playing an electronic drumkit. The usually predominantly instrumental songs are this time centered upon the vocal duets of Donaldson and Cup fronting punchy synthetic grooves and metronomic electrical sparks. These two voices bounce between fractured narratives that not only imply a humanistic optimism about extracting meaning out of miscommunication, but also a cautiousness towards the technologies which may be complicating the lives that they seek to improve. IAS are clearly NOT electroclash, as they value musicality over fashion. Hopefully, more material will soon follow these far too brief 13 minutes.
The album cover is a vintage '70s Hipgnosis piece, used here -- with enthusiastic permission -- from Storm Thorgerson, the man behind the design firm responsible for the images of many legendary album covers (Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath and tons more).
Mixed by Skinny Puppy's Ken Marshall with IAS.
Oh yeah, the bass guitar on Shown Actual Size is played by Dave Edwardson of Neurosis!
MPEG Stream: "I Went And Had My Knives Sharpened"
MPEG Stream: "Remover-Installer"
MPEG Stream: "Re-Dial Meant Remember"

album cover I AM SPOONBENDER Spoonbender Sleep Research Team: 'Hypnotic Trance Pamphlet' - Series 1 (Seismic Seance) card set 9.98
'You have been suggested': This is the 1st of 3 in a series of what I Am Spoonbender call 'Hypnotic Trance Pamphlets' -- sort of an 'Oblique Strategies' for the memetic engineering mindset. Ten 2" by 3" cards unique to each series, imprinted with an array of provocative IAS word/image concepts, thoughts and musings enclosed in a hand-numbered red vellum envelope. Tres sublime. Each edition will be limited to 333 copies. When I snap my fingers, you will not snooze on this...

album cover I AM SPOONBENDER Spoonbender Sleep Research Team: 'Hypnotic Trance Pamphlet' - Series 2 (Seismic Seance) card set 9.98
This is the 2nd series of 'Hypnotic Trance Pamphlets' by the Spoonbender Sleep Research Team (the printed-word annex of I Am Spoonbender). Enclosed in each metallic anthracite-hued paper, die-cut envelope are ten 2" by 3" cards (unique to each series), imprinted with an array of provocative IAS word/image concepts, thoughts and musings. Think a sort of 'Oblique Strategies' for the memetic-engineering mindset, although this set has some sociomagico narrative-generating possibilities... mix 'em up! Tres sublime! As with the 1st (and forthcoming 3rd edition), these are limited to 333 hand-numbered copies. Hypnotico! Arouseo! Awakeup!

album cover I AM SPOONBENDER Teletwin (Mint) cd 11.98
After the tricky 3-sided-but-on-a-single-12" vinyl release, I Am Spoonbender offers the (one-sided) cd version of Teletwin.
This 41-minute ep starts with an altered version of "Stopwatch Static" (here titled "Clocks Grow Old" to expand the meaning of the original), one of the avant-pop numbers from their 1998 album Sender / Receiver which then fades into "Infinity Limiter", a Steve Reich-ian tune for synths, which has become a staple in the I Am Spoonbender live 'Dream Set'. "Where Do Words Go?" at first appears to be a pretty straightforward cover of Berlin's new wave classic "The Metro" -- but upon closer inspection you realize that it is a 'tele-twin' of sorts, with completely different lyrics exactly set to the original melody! This makes IAS' version an imposter -- passing for the original, but actually completely different. Lyrically and conceptually, this now places the song entirely within the IAS ethos (illusion / reality, etc). Furthermore, the song eventually detours into layers of melodic deconstructions and time signature shakeups which somehow all reconvene back into the original song structure for its finish. For "Frozen Dog Futurist", IAS generate Heldon-esque synths with an obsessive bassline matching the disorienting punch of Dustin Donaldson's live drumming. This decomposes into digital glitch manipulated organ drones which could easily have origins in the soundtrack to the classic, freaky film Carnival Of Souls. That is followed by "October Blurred By", a hypnotic rhythmic track of flanged bass repeating a complex anti-funk groove that could be mistaken for a Tones On Tail out-take! "They Don't Have Mirrors" continues the aural relay with a caustic electronic wash which gives way to a blast of percussive math cluster bombs topped by slippery bass distortion before breaking down into thick recordings of steam engine horns with backwards digital skittering... and then erupts back into the aforementioned structure.
For all of the plastic / new wave sheen that I Am Spoonbender applies to their songs, their structures may in fact be closer to This Heat's experiments with fracturing electronica by shifting rhythmic elements in and out of atmospheric moods. Note: we have both the Canadian import version released on Mint Records which features extra-stylin' black jewelcase packaging as well as the domestic version released on Little Army Records.




MPEG Stream: "Clocks Grow Old"
MPEG Stream: "They Don't Have Mirrors"
MPEG Stream: "Frozen Dog Futurist"

I AM SPOONBENDER Teletwin (Little Army) 12" 17.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Please note: there are plans in the works for this record to be reissued as a picture disc. Stay tuned.
A tricky 3-sided vinyl release, that is, one side has two concurrent grooves -- allowing chance to dictate what you hear.
This 41-minute ep starts with an altered version of "Stopwatch Static" (here titled "Clocks Grow Old" to expand the meaning of the original), one of the avant-pop numbers from their 1998 album Sender / Receiver which fades into "Infinity Limiter", a Steve Reich-ian tune for synths,
which has become a staple in the I Am Spoonbender live 'Dream Set'. "Where Do Words Go?" at first appears to be a pretty straightforward cover of Berlin's new wave classic "The Metro" -- but upon closer inspection you realize that it is a 'tele-twin' of sorts, with completely different lyrics exactly set to the original melody! This makes IAS' version an imposter -- passing for the original, but actually completely different. Lyrically and conceptually, this now places the song entirely within the IAS ethos (Illusion / reality, etc). Furthermore, the song eventually detours into layers of melodic deconstructions and time signature shakeups which somehow reconvene back into the original song structure for its finish. For "Frozen Dog Futurist", IAS generate Heldon-esque synths with an obsessive bassline matching the disorienting punch of Dustin Donaldson's live drumming. This decomposes into digital glitch manipulated organ drones which could easily have origins in the soundtrack to the classic, freaky film Carnival Of Souls. That is followed by "October Blurred By", a hypnotic rhythmic track of flanged bass repeating a complex anti-funk groove that could be mistaken for a Tones On Tail out-take! "They Don't Have Mirrors" continues the aural relay with a caustic electronic wash which gives way to a blast of percussive math cluster bombs topped by slippery bass distortion before breaking down into thick recordings of steam engine horns with backwards digital skittering... and then erupts back into the aforementioned structure.
For all of the plastic / new wave sheen that I Am Spoonbender applies to their songs, their structures may in fatc be closer to This Heat or Funkstorung's experiments with fracturing electronica by shifting rhythmic elements in and out of atmospheric moods.
Released on the record label run by Chunklet Magazine's Henry Owings.

album cover I AM SPOONBENDER T SHIRT Buy Hidden Persuaders t-shirt (IAS) t-shirt 13.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
A brand new I Am Spoonbender t-shirt design to go with their brand new album! Black 50/50 t-shirt with metallic silver and red print of the 'magic / magnetic hand' image from the front cover of the Buy Hidden Persuaders limited edition album (based on a poster design by the awesome gig poster artist Lil Tuffy!). Various sizes available. Please inquire.

album cover I AM SPOONBENDER T SHIRT glow-in-the-dark t-shirt (IAS) t-shirt 13.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
This black 50/50 t-shirt is graced by a white telephone handset design that glows in the dark! It's surrounded by thin red lines. Adult extra large only.

album cover I AM SPOONBENDER T SHIRT logo t-shirt (IAS) t-shirt 12.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Black 50/50 t-shirt with metallic silver print of the band's head-bending-fork logo. Various sizes available. Please inquire.

I AM SPOONBENDER T SHIRT telephone t-shirt (IAS) t-shirt 12.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Black 50/50 t-shirt with red telephone and white lines design. Large only.

album cover I AM SPOONBENDER T SHIRT three forkmen t-shirt (IAS) t-shirt 12.98
Black 50/50 t-shirt with metallic silver print of the three forkmen from the Teletwin album. Various sizes available. Please inquire.

album cover I AM SPOONBENDER W/ KID 606 AND SLAVES/PLEASURE FOREVER 'Telekinetic Disassembly' 2001 Show Poster (IAS) poster 4.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
These limited edition posters were designed by IAS for their first ever headlining show at SF's Great American Music Hall. Very few copies remain. 11"x17" cardstock.

album cover I AM SPOONBENDER W/ MAN OR ASTRO-MAN? 'Inner Space Vs. Outer Space' (Noise Pop 2000 Poster) (IAS) poster 4.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
These limited edition posters were designed for IAS by Spacebase (aka Justin Wright, the man behind those recent Expo 70 cdrs!) for the Noise Pop 2000 show at the Great American Music Hall. Very few copies remain. 11"x17" cardstock.

album cover I AM SPOONBENDER W/ PLEASURE FOREVER 'Ouija Board' Poster (1st North American Tour, 2001) (IAS) poster 4.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
These limited edition posters were designed by IAS to commemmorate their first U.S. tour back in the spring of 2001. Very few copies remain. We've heard reports that some clever folks have laminated theirs for use as table placemats! 11"x17" cardstock. Planchette not included.

I HATE MYSELF s/t (No Idea) cd 11.98

album cover I ROBOT Et Cetera (Immigrant Sun) cd 14.98
The retrospective compilation of the short-lived NY hardcore band known as I Robot includes three previously unreleased tracks, as well as a couple of 7" cuts and a live performance on KXLU Radio. Most notable about the music here is the contrasting vocals of Matt Grande and Peter Bisso (now in Homesick For Space) - an acidic, shriek-yell assault much like that of The Locust in which any moment you expect to be hit in the eye by a projectile tonsil versus a considerably more gentle emo-boy approach. And the music is right there along with them alternating from moments of subdued, lulling guitar post rock to more imposingly raging walls of guitars.
RealAudio clip: "The Answer"
RealAudio clip: "He Who Cares Not Loses In The End"

I ROY Dread Bald Head (Jackpot) cd 14.98
1976 recordings of some classic toasting by I Roy. Produced by Bunny Lee and Recorded at King Tubby's studio.

I ROY Dread Bald Head (Jackpot) lp 12.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
1976 recordings of some classic toasting by I Roy. Produced by Bunny Lee and Recorded at King Tubby's studio.

I SAW IT ALL HAPPEN FROM BEGINNING TO END AND SOMETIMES I CAN'T BELIEVE WHAT I SAW Life Everlasting, Amen. (Firework Editions) cd 17.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Members of the hypnogogic nation state Elgaland-Vargland (one of whom is the UK Ambassador), I Saw It All Happen... present a field recording of a life support system in its relentless quest to keep the patient alive and in doing so becomes part of the patient's living flesh. As one could gather from watching any given episode from the daytime soaps on which somebody named Montana or Dakota would be in a coma for six weeks until their contracts expire, the life support machine emanates a hypnotic pumping of mechanical whirs and beeps. Packaged with grainy photos and text dropping innuendos of the patient's inevitable death, this is a conceptual listen to the end.

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

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

album cover I SHALT BECOME Louisiana Voodoo (Inspired Hate / Saadi Saati) cd 10.98
The latest from Illinois one man black metal band I Shalt Become bears the strange title Louisiana Voodoo, not sure if this some sort of bizarre concept record, but sonically, it does pretty much start up right where 2010's Poison left off, the muddy, Burzumic, Xasthur-like murk of the earlier releases, transformed into something twisted and symphonic, the sound more strings and orchestra than black buzz, but fear not, ISB's finest moments, are when the two collide, creating a sort of symphonic black doom creep that fuses washed out murky guitar buzz, and buried barely there drum plod, to swirling symphonic strings, dramatic piano, even some Carpenter like synths, all topped with raspy, demonically croaked vokills. It's strange stuff for sure, but as much as we loved Poison, we're digging Louisiana Voodoo even more, all of the twisted symphonic elements, and the newly expanded sound palette, are even more expansive and wonderfully warped this time around, Louisiana Voodoo sounding like some sort of Broadway black metal production of Phantom Of The Opera, all bombastic and dramatic, creepy chamber music wrapped in swaths of grim black buzz, it's almost like a more lo-fi home brewed version of Dimmu Borgir or Fleshgod Apocalypse, but somehow even less metal, or at least less buzzing and blasting, instead more creepy and loping, lumbering and muddy, sweeping and soundtracky, it's not difficult to imagine these sounds accompanying some twisted big budget art film, the arrangements are intricate and epic, the sounds majestic and soaring - think Xasthur via Arvo Part, or Make A Change Kill Yourself performing with a symphony. Although it's obvious that ISB is not just cramming some fake orchestra sounds into a black metal template, this stuff is meticulously crafted, and the results are stunning, and while there's still plenty of metal going on, metal references definitely don't do this justice, instead, think of some blackened hybrid that's equal parts Devil Doll, Death SS, Jacula, Gnaw Their Tongues, Xasthur, Seirom and Dimmu Borgir. Awesome.
MPEG Stream: "Brief Glimpses Of Death"
MPEG Stream: "The Rats In The Walls"
MPEG Stream: "Lust"
MPEG Stream: "Strangers"

album cover I SHALT BECOME Poison (Moribund Records) cd 15.98
A brand new record from Illinois one man black metal I Shalt Become is always cause for much excitement around here. The aQ metalheads can't get enough of ISB's haunting Burzumic creep, dirgey and doomy and depressive, but as we've mentioned before, ISB takes Burzum's black template and transforms it into something much more lush and washed out and dreamlike, incorporating strings, and swaths of shoegaze-y ambience, we often compare ISB's black metal to very UN black metal soundmakers like Philip Jeck and Tim Hecker, it's got that sort of warm gauzy quality, all blurred and bleary and otherworldly. Which is what we were expecting on Poison, and while that is still present, the sound seems to have shifted dramatically, with the blackness and the buzz taking a backseat, to the orchestration, cellos and violas, symphonies, synthesizers, pizzicato violin melodies, swirling clouds of frenzied cinematic strings, it's kind of shocking, not because classical music and black metal are strange bedfellows, but more because of how the two are mixed here, the result at first is jarring, and as much as we were imaging more of that lush textured murk, this is something way more far out, and fucked up and awesome. It's almost like a black metal score for some Hollywood blockbuster, dramatic and emotional and intense, but those soundtracky elements underpinned by howling metal shrieks, and droning buzzing riffage, that stuff in the background, as opposed to the other way around, it's weird, but seriously cool.
The opening track is all classical fanfare, until the drums come in, and some growled groaned vokills, but they're almost more textural, as horns moan, and the strings soar, it's depressive, but in a wholly different way than we're used to, the drums are matched up with booming tympanis, choral arrangements are rendered in shades of grey and black, there are moments of buzz, but those usually dissipate into something much more atmospheric, letting strings, or orchestral swells drive the tracks, the murky buzzing blackness off in the background, in some ways it's almost more like industrial music, that sort of martial neo classical, MZ412 or Toroidh or Von Thronstahl, Teutonic, epic, majestic, just a bit more metal, but only a bit.
Lots of metalheads will probably be screaming foul, as it was, ISB's sound was already bordering on the avant garde, more minimal and dreamlike, than grim and black, but this has definitely pushed the sound even further afield, but it sounds incredible to us, and just leaves us one question, when is some visionary Hollywood director gonna hit this guy up to score a film??
MPEG Stream: "No Quarter at the Somme"
MPEG Stream: "Harlow's Vertical Chamber Apparatus"
MPEG Stream: "Black Swan Events"

album cover I SHALT BECOME Requiem (Moribund Records) cd 15.98
Newest disc from this long running depressive funereal black metal outfit. Originally formed in 1995, This Midwestern one man band has averaged about one record every four and a half years, although it seems that the band actually spent a good long stretch inactive, since the other two ISB records we reviewed were both recorded before the turn of the century, one under a different monicker.
So, in fact, this is the first full length in almost a decade, and it sounds fantastic, even better than the other two discs, the sound beefed up and much more produced, but without losing any of the sound's miserable grimnity, a record of swirling murky buzzy slow motion doomscapes, distinctly USBM, very reminiscent of Xasthur actually, but ISB is even more blurred and indistinct, most songs having only one or two parts, locked into a mesmerizing looped crawl, the guitars buzzy, but blurred into soft waves of low end, churning and throbbing, everything bathed in a warm gauzy patina, a sea of shimmering keyboards, all very epic and majestic, but so layered and washed out, that it barely sounds metal at times. Instead sounding like some drone drenched super distorted Godspeed, huge crashing waves of sound, everything bleary eyed and smeared into shadows and shapes, even when the metal components drop out, leaving a simple keyboard line to repeat hypnotically or a minor key guitar melody to loop over and over, the sound is more akin to Philip Jeck or Tim Hecker than any sort of black metal, and when the guitars and drums and buzz do return, that doesn't really change. It's still some sort of hazy smoky impressionistic ambient black metal, washing over you like dreamy soft black waves of buzz and whir. Sometimes this feels like the sort of black metal band those guys would actually start. Imagine Tim Hecker, Philip Jeck, Christian Fennesz and William Basinski, all in corpsepaint, lurking in a wintry forest, hunched over their instruments on a dimly lit stage, unfurling these roiling waves of gauzy blackness and looped blur. So intense and hypnotic and beautiful. If you ever wanted to get someone into black metal, this could very well be the record to do it with. WAY recommended.
MPEG Stream: "An Atteridgeville Horror"
MPEG Stream: "Cleansed"
MPEG Stream: "Enigma"

album cover I SHALT BECOME Requiem (Darker Than Black) lp 19.98
This epic 2008 slab of blissed out, droned out, depressive funereal black metal from this Midwestern one man band has FINALLY been reissued on vinyl. Here's what we had to say about the cd version when we originally reviewed it way back on list 297:
Requiem is the first full length in almost a decade from I Shalt Become, and it sounds fantastic, even better than the other two discs, which we loved, the sound beefed up and much more produced, but without losing any of the sound's miserable grimnity, a record of swirling murky buzzy slow motion doomscapes, distinctly USBM, very reminiscent of Xasthur actually, but ISB is even more blurred and indistinct, most songs having only one or two parts, locked into a mesmerizing looped crawl, the guitars buzzy, but blurred into soft waves of low end, churning and throbbing, everything bathed in a warm gauzy patina, a sea of shimmering keyboards, all very epic and majestic, but so layered and washed out, that it barely sounds metal at times. Instead sounding like some drone drenched super distorted Godspeed, huge crashing waves of sound, everything bleary eyed and smeared into shadows and shapes, even when the metal components drop out, leaving a simple keyboard line to repeat hypnotically or a minor key guitar melody to loop over and over, the sound is more akin to Philip Jeck or Tim Hecker than any sort of black metal, and when the guitars and drums and buzz do return, that doesn't really change. It's still some sort of hazy smoky impressionistic ambient black metal, washing over you like dreamy soft black waves of buzz and whir. Sometimes this feels like the sort of black metal band those guys would actually start. Imagine Tim Hecker, Philip Jeck, Christian Fennesz and William Basinski, all in corpsepaint, lurking in a wintry forest, hunched over their instruments on a dimly lit stage, unfurling these roiling waves of gauzy blackness and looped blur. So intense and hypnotic and beautiful. If you ever wanted to get someone into black metal, this could very well be the record to do it with. WAY recommended.
MPEG Stream: "An Atteridgeville Horror"
MPEG Stream: "Cleansed"
MPEG Stream: "Enigma"

album cover I SHALT BECOME The Pendle Witch Trials (No Colours) cd 16.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
A new disc from one man black metal outfit I Shalt Become is always welcome around these parts. The washed out weary blackened blurscapes are for us, the black metal equivalent of Tim Hecker or Philip Jeck, a sort of black metal Pop Ambience, the various sounds distinctly black metal, but in ISB's strange otherworldly drift, rendered in shades of grey instead of black, the guitars warm whirring smears, the drums murky pulses, the vocals a croak barely audible over the heaving swells of soft buzz. The melodies mournful and miserable, the tempos lugubrious, the vibe grim and forsaken, depressive black metal nirvana for sure.
Sonically, ISB probably has the most in common with Xasthur, but where Xasthur's sound is distinctly lo-fi, almost stumbling at times, the music of ISB manages to be both lo-fi and incredible lush, the sheets of dreamlike buzz spun into lush expanses of warm shimmer, traditional blast and buzz has no place in ISB's windswept sonic wasteland, instead, the buzz is worn smooth, and spread out like gauzy low hanging clouds, there is no blast, only plod and pound, lope and lumber, there are keyboards everywhere, but they are at one with the guitars, adding dense texture, creating soft shadows, occasionally manifesting as super dramatic streaks of sonic melancholia.
The songs tend toward one, maybe two parts, hypnotic and so mesmerizing, almost looped sounding, repeating over and over, totally trancelike, blackly blissful and dismally dreamy.
Near the end of the record, several of the tracks grow fairly aggressive and get about as heavy as any ISB gets, but even then, the sound is infused with the strange choral sounding atmosphere, the instruments wreathed in delay and reverb, everything slowly melting together into one gorgeously bleary and blown slow motion sprawl, culminating in the two chord, storm drenched bliss drone outro.
Some seriously gorgeous depressive black metal for sure, that like past releases, is so blurred and blissy, that it might possibly appeal to folks into stuff like Nadja, Jesu, Fear Falls Burning and other dronedirgedoom outfits as well.
MPEG Stream: "Enstasy (The Theory Of Maxwell's Demon)"
MPEG Stream: "The Serpent Song"
MPEG Stream: "A Ritual Killing"

album cover I SHALT BECOME Wanderings (Moribund) cd 16.98
Originally released in 1996, this slab of suicidal blackness finally gets unearthed and resurrected by the doomed souls at Moribund. I Shalt Become inhabit a completely bleak and barren world of abject misery. A doomy minor key slow motion black metal miserabilism. There's Burzum worship, and then there's taking your Burzum worship to an even more anguished and desolate, wretched and forlorn extreme. Think Xasthur, Burzum, Krohm, Make A Change... Kill Yourself, but then imagine those bands even more despondent, more hopeless, recording with razor blade inches from exposed wrist. A gorgeously bleak and buzzy expanse of minor key arpeggiated guitars, draped like black cloth over thick swirls of monochrome buzz. Riffs are looped and repeated, melodies become murky mantras and the vocals are so distorted and buried in the mix they just sound like whispery squalls of static. So mournful and melancholy. Wanderings is often so slow and fuzzy, so dreamlike that it almost ceases being metal, and becomes some abstract experimental drone music, an ambient soundscape of reverb drenched guitars, a loping black doom waltz, so goddamn sad sounding and so so beautiful.
This reissue tacks on three bonus tracks, not quite as murky and lo-fi but just as tortured and tormented: Two Judas Iscariot covers and of course, an even more morose (is that were even possible?) version of Burzum's "En Ring Til AA Herske".
MPEG Stream: "Fragments"
MPEG Stream: "The Funeral Rain"
MPEG Stream: "Winter Lights"

album cover I SIGNORI DELLA GALASSIA Iceman (Medical Records) lp 19.98
This might be the coolest, weirdest release yet from Medical Records, which is saying a lot considering how much cool, weird stuff they put out. From the French synth pop of Mathemetiques Modernes, to the twisted WTF? guitar & synth one man band Lou Champagne System (a previous Record Of The Week!), and from the space-y psychedelic synthscapery of Axxess (another past ROTW!), to Swiss teenage electro poppers Guyer's Connection, it's all so good, and we could go on, but you get the picture. We love this label, and their ability to consistently dig up the most amazing, baffling, brilliant gems, maybe none so brilliant and baffling than this rarity, a 1979 record from an Italian outfit called I Signori Della Galassia, who play cosmic prog space disco, but with plenty of sonic twists and turns.
Might as well start with the cover, a stunning super surreal painting of a stylized naked woman, whose bottom half is a tree, her roots and branches disappearing into the sand of what looks like an alien beach. Flip the record over, and peep the band members' photos, they all look like regular seventies rockers, that is except for the giant collars on their different colored capes/jumpsuits!!! Holy cow, everything is screaming PROG so far, and opener Proxima Centauri (prog title too, no?) does not disappoint, 8+ minutes of pulsing sci-fi, futuristic chase music, swirling synths, wild percussion, loads of FX, crazy catchy melodies, the beat is definitely disco, but it's pretty progged out too. Fans of groups like Majeure, Zombi and Umberto, will FLIP. The Carpenter and Goblin vibe is obviously huge, but when combined with some pulsing Euro-disco propulsion, the track explodes into some serious space-disco-prog radness!
It sounds like the follow up track is more of the same, if anything, even MORE prog, heavier, with some fuzzy acid riffing, the vibe darker, laced with swirling soundtracky strings, and this time vocals, super dramatic, alternately pushing the sound toward something more disco, but then something poppier and proggier. Super dynamic, super psychedelic, and pretty goddamn heavy!
Things slow down around track three, the sound growing even more cinematic, pulsing and puslating, droned out and ominous, tinkling synth melodies over a bed of cosmic shimmer, and sinister low end thrum, some acoustic guitars, as well as strange voices, and mysterious effects, and then suddenly, about halfway through, the song explodes into a weird, almost jaunty groove, proggy and funky, and SO GOOD!
And so it goes, the band laying down carnivalesque keyboards, fuzzy guitars, and then BLAM, track 4 turns into what sounds like the music for Christmas On Ice, goofy and playful, the main motif totally holiday, but all the while, Eastern guitar melodies swirl in the background, a push pull between festive and exotic, at one point sounding a bit like a disco-prog version of Perrey And Kingsley! And it only gets weirder from there on out. Slipping into some seventies yacht rock balladry, lush and heartfelt, before flitting right back into more disco-prog, this time heavier on the disco, it's not hard to imagine some alien discotheque, I Signori the house band, the dancefloor looking like the Cantina scene in Star Wars.
Later, the sound is transformed into creepy cosmic balladry, Tangerine Dream synths wrapped around grooving hard rock drums, Queen like guitars, and some super twisted processed vocals, before finally moving into a songsuite that is total cosmic disco-prog bliss out, swirling synths, wild drumming, complex arrangements, the sound lush and epic, spacey and psychedelic, until the very strange closer, which begins like it might be another pulsing prog out, even when the vocals come in, it's total classic Italo-prog, a synth driven chorale, that is suddenly transformed into some treacly seventies yacht pop, which is somehow still peppered with bursts of tangled prog, not to mention some weirdly abrupt stops and starts. So weird, and SO GREAT!
Like all Medical Records releases, elaborately packaged, pressed on 180 gram silver vinyl, and LIMITED TO 600 COPIES!!!
MPEG Stream: "Proxima Cantauri"
MPEG Stream: "Puoi Sentirmi"
MPEG Stream: "Fermate La Reazione"

album cover I TEOREMI s/t (Akarma) cd 15.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Bombastic '70s progressive rock proto-metal from Italy! I Teoremi were a quartet who really kicked out the jams hard, specializing in muscular, complex stuff that, amazingly enough, at its most extreme reminds us of the prog-punk of much more recent bands like Stinking Lizaveta, Breadwinner, and Ruins! Seriously. For 1972 (when this, their only album, was released), they're one of the heaviest and most spazz-tastic we've heard. Sure, you have to enjoy some grandiose vocals in the typical dramatic Italian prog style, but mostly this is about their instrumental ass-kicking. With its herky-jerky riffing and spiralling guitar patterns, "Il Dialogo d'un Pazzo" could be a song off of one of the first two albums by Greg Ginn's Gone for gosh shakes! This reissue on Arkarma, in one of their mini-lp style digipaks, includes two bonus tracks (which might not date from the same sessions). Everyone into early '70s hard prog and metal needs to hear this.
RealAudio clip: "Passi da Gigante"
RealAudio clip: "Il Dialogo d'un Pazzo"

album cover I TEOREMI s/t (AMS) lp 39.00
Bombastic '70s progressive rock proto-metal from Italy, now reissued on pricey but fancily packaged import vinyl, in a nice textured gatefold sleeve with extra flap. The compact disc reissue we reviewed way back on list #137 is long out of print, so all you prog & proto-metal freaks with turntables, you're the ones in luck now.
I Teoremi were a quartet who really kicked out the jams hard, specializing in muscular, complex stuff that, amazingly enough, at its most extreme reminds us of the prog-punk of much more recent bands like Stinking Lizaveta, Breadwinner, and Ruins! Seriously! For 1972 (when this, their only album, was released), they're one of the heaviest and most spazz-tastic we've heard. Sure, you have to enjoy some grandiose vocals in the typical dramatic Italian prog style (which we do), but mostly this is about their instrumental ass-kicking. With its herky-jerky riffing and spiralling guitar patterns, "Il Dialogo d'un Pazzo" could be a song off of one of the first two albums by Greg Ginn's Gone for gosh shakes!! Everyone into early '70s hard prog and metal needs to hear this.
FYI, we got the last few copies at our supplier, dunno if we can ever get more...
MPEG Stream: "Passi da Gigante"
MPEG Stream: "Il Dialogo d'un Pazzo"

album cover I'M ALAN PARTRIDGE Series 1 (Warner / BBC America) 2dvd 34.00
A-haaaaaa! Laughing is fun... and healthful too! We're quite partial to a hearty belly laugh now and then. And if you share our sense of humor -- which we're pretty sure many of you do (test questions: did you love the original BBC series The Office more than the US version? Are you becoming dangerously obsessed with Peep Show, the UK's version of Curb Your Enthusiasm?!)-- then you'll be doing lots of it too while watching this dvd which has finally been released domestically!
Stateside awareness of Steve Coogan, the British comic madman of many less than savory personas, has certainly grown significantly in the past year, mostly due to his prominent appearances in hip movies such as Tristram Shandy and Marie Antoinette. That said, this is the one and only Coogan domestic release that truly matters... at least where Cup is concerned. This dvd showcases Coogan at his best, most wickedly funny, most uncomfortable. It's amazing how completely immersed he is in this character. The title is no lie! We're talking about a remarkably fully realized, deceptively complex, alternately despicable and pitiful, genuine wince'n'cringe individual. It oozes from his pores, revealing itself in every word and mannerism, both conscious and unconscious.
The fictional story in a nutshell: Once upon a time, Partridge was a former TV variety show host (his program was called "Knowing Me Knowing You" -- yes, he has a thing for ABBA which in itself equals more brownie points with Cup) and news show The Day Today's sports reporter, but is now a small town early bird radio show DJ living in a motor lodge, and desperately in pursuit of his former 'glory'. Partridge vacillates between helpless, awkward manchild and horseblinder-ed arrogant wanker. But one thing is for sure, all that he does, he does with absolute conviction and determination with his own (distorted to everyone but himself) sense of logic -- regardless of (and oblivious to) the degree to which he may be making an appalling, insensitive ass of himself. His interactions with others, namely the small staff at the Linton Travel Tavern and his dutiful P.A. Lynn, are nothing short of priceless. One of the brilliant-est things about this show is that there's not only plenty of the 'holy shit, that's hilarious!' kind of moments, but also the gradual cumulative squirm that we find somehow ever so perversely irresistible. This is razor sharp, brutally frank, but equally subtle television comedy as only the Brits can do, and they've been doing it for years! Hard to believe that this series originally aired back in '97.
Stateside comedies simply can't touch 'em (and really should stop trying!), and invariably end up coming off as forced, trying too hard for shock value, and ultimately missing all of the key nuances. Really, the only American shows that have come anywhere close to this delicious discomfort are maybe Curb Your Enthusiasm and the ahead-of-the-curve Larry Sanders Show, and the latter's release on dvd got stalled at Season One... yeesh. Actually for those of familiar with the The Office (UK) and The Larry Sanders Show, think of this as the missing link between the two. Oooh! (or should that be "Ewww!") Doesn't that sound good? C'mon now, get "up with a Partridge!"

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