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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 KIDUDE, BI Zanzibara 4 : The Diva of Zanzibari Music (Buda Musique) cd 15.98

album cover KIILA Tuota Tuota (Fonal) cd 17.98
Of all the Finnish bands we love, and all the bands on Finnish label Fonal, Kiila might just be the most traditionally indie rock. But then that's really relative, since we're talking about Finland, and the fact that Kiila is made up of members of other, much more far out bands like Es, Kemialliset Ystavat, Avarus, Anaksimadros. So you can figure that even though Kiila traffic in indie rock, it's unlike most indie rock you know.
Right off the bat the first track reminds us of a much more blissed out folkier Animal Collective, chiming guitars, delicate fingerpicking, softly tangled harmonies, reverbed abstract vocals, sunshine-y and dreamy, really quite lovely. The rest of the record is not so blissed out though, the second track is a fiddle laced bit of indie rocking, jangly guitars, propulsive drumming, lots of swirling drone-y organs, and much more traditional sounding vocals, in fact it almost reminds us a little of Wilco, albeit filtered through the cracked Finnish pop sensibility. The rest of the record continues in a simialr direction, channeling much of what we love about indie rock, but infusing it with plenty of twang, Finnish forest folkiness, and plenty of off kilter weirdness, whether it's thick sheets of undulating buzz, fluries of birdsong, streaks of tripped out effects or thick swells of rumbling low end crunch, those various elements are deftly woven into more traditional pop smithery.
A few tracks revisit the dreamy folkiness of the record opener, stripped down to just acoustic guitar, fiddle and voice, while others are almost entirely vocal harmony drive, and at least one is a gorgeous droned out synthscape, and another is a ramshackle horn flecked, chaotically percussive tripped out free jam.
The sounds are lush and beautiful, jangly and poppy, and just a little bit twisted and fractured, they may be the most 'traditional' sounding of all our Finnish faves, but that still means this is weirder and more awesomely abstract thatn 90 percent of music out there.
Gorgeous Fonal packaging as always, the cd in a full color 6 panel cardboard gatefold jacket, with a printed inner sleeve which includes liner notes and lyrics and cool printed Japanese style obi, the vinyl in a normal but quite colorful sleeve.
MPEG Stream: "Viisi Hirvasta"
MPEG Stream: "Kevatlaulu"
MPEG Stream: "Portaissa"

album cover KILLING JOKE s/t (2003) (Zuma) cd 14.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
It would be a considerable understatement to say this new Killing Joke album is a sobering listening experience -- it's a fierce, visceral, and bleak call to battle. It rocks and rages with echoes of their 1981 debut (and first self-titled) album's feel and spirit. Yes, genuinely punk, and yes, genuinely metal... although those stifling labels can't and won't adhere to this band. Frankly, very few artists today can capture the pure seething energy that this, Killing Joke's second self-titled album, has harnessed.
Jaz Coleman tears out of your speakers like a man possessed. His deeply inspired vocal performance delivers some of his most inhuman gutteral growls, anguished howls and demonic hisses. Birlliant. His lyrics, brutally direct, are steeped in immense disgust and despair, with hard-hitting political critiques -- cross-hairs unquestionably zeroing in on Bush, September 11th and America -- interestingly, a lot of the heavy duty ones are omitted from the liner notes.
Geordie Walker's thunderstorm of guitars drill and grind, at once both tightly clenched and loosely slung -- pelting your ears with metallic shards and sinewed debris. Original bassists Youth and Paul Raven consume any remaining air with glowering lines that boil and stew. With each song, the unrelenting roar of Killing Joke closes in around you.
Drummer Dave Grohl -- apparently not busy enough with Foo Fighters and Queens Of The Stone Age -- does an excellent job immersing himself in the Killing Joke realm, closely resembling the pummeling precision and tribal thrash of Martin Atkins. Hopefully Grohl's presence (his name is stickered prominently on the front of the cd) will draw younger audiences to this venerable band.
Unlike other bands from the past who've regrouped recently for one last hurrah or to cash in on the latest retro trends, it's clear Killing Joke have resurfaced because they truly have something vital to convey (just as they did back in 1990 with Extremities... dirt... etc). They don't churn out albums year after year to fulfill record contract obligations -- they make music with a piercing focus when they feel the need and when it is needed.
Andy Gill's production is beautiful and huge (but not too 'modern rock'), making for a generally accessible and current sounding album (although some of the tracks are overly long) -- one that should have hard music fans clambering.
If you were ever into Killing Joke, check out this album! If you're new, this is a pretty good place to start.
MPEG Stream: "Dark Forces"
MPEG Stream: "Total Invasion"
MPEG Stream: "Implant"

album cover KIM JUNG MI Now (Lion) cd 14.98
All of you who loved Light In The Attic's career-spanning collection of music by Korean psych guitar maestro Shin Joong Hyun, that we recently made Record Of The Week, should be happy about this. It's an brand new official reissue, the first in a series, of Shin Joong Hyun related albums. As you perhaps recall, soothing psych-pop-folk singer Kim Jung Mi, backed by Shin Joong Hyun and his group The Men, appeared on that Beautiful Rivers And Mountains anthology with a song called "The Sun", which we said reminded us of Galaxie 500!
This 1973 full-length from Kim Jung Mi, as masterminded by Shin Joong Hyun, is also quite special. "The Sun" is just but one of the ten dreamily melodic tracks found here, including a four minute version of the song "Beautiful Rivers And Mountains" itself, a signature Shin Joong Hyun tune. Other titles include "Wind", "Blow Spring Breeze", "It's Raining", and "Lonely Heart", and although the lyrics are all in Korean, we get the idea that love and nature form much of the subject matter here (actually, the thick cd booklet provides English translations of the lyrics, along with EXTENSIVE, ultra-laudatory liner notes and lots of full-color photos of the sexy young chanteuse). In those liner notes, Shin Joong Hyun is quoted as having said: "There is no person who can sing Psychedelic music as well as Kim Joong Mi".
Kim Jung Mi's lovely voice will go straight to your heart, and the emotive music accompanying her is moodily lush, majestically melancholic... it's not really about hard-edged fuzz guitars, though they surface occasionally, as more often do propulsive psych "beat" grooves, but for the most part this album seems to hover on a higher, more heavenly pop plane of psychedelia than that suggests... The groovier stuff, though, reminds us of Serge Gainsbourg's Historie De Melody Nelson at times (on "Your Dream" especially). And it's no stretch that the liner notes call Kim Jung Mi the "Francoise Hardy of Korea". Recommended to any fan of the Forge Your Own Chains comp, in addition to those who already heard her on that Shin Joong Hyun collection. Gorgeous!
Comes nicely packaged in a miniature lp-style sleeve, with that aforementioned info/photo packed booklet. There's a vinyl version forthcoming as well, fyi.
MPEG Stream: "Wind"
MPEG Stream: "Your Dream"
MPEG Stream: "Beautiful Rivers And Mountains"

album cover KIM JUNG MI Now (Lion Productions) lp 21.00
Yay! Now reissued on nice thick vinyl too! Here's more or less what we said about this when the cd reish came out some weeks back...
All of you who loved Light In The Attic's career-spanning collection of music by Korean psych guitar maestro Shin Joong Hyun, that we recently made Record Of The Week, should be happy about this. It's an brand new official reissue, the first in a series, of Shin Joong Hyun related albums. As you perhaps recall, soothing psych-pop-folk singer Kim Jung Mi, backed by Shin Joong Hyun and his group The Men, appeared on that Beautiful Rivers And Mountains anthology with a song called "The Sun", which we said reminded us of Galaxie 500!
This 1973 full-length from Kim Jung Mi, as masterminded by Shin Joong Hyun, is also quite special. "The Sun" is just but one of the ten dreamily melodic tracks found here, including a four minute version of the song "Beautiful Rivers And Mountains" itself, a signature Shin Joong Hyun tune. Other titles include "Wind", "Blow Spring Breeze", "It's Raining", and "Lonely Heart", and although the lyrics are all in Korean, we get the idea that love and nature form much of the subject matter here. In the extensive liner notes, Shin Joong Hyun is quoted as having said: "There is no person who can sing Psychedelic music as well as Kim Joong Mi".
Kim Jung Mi's lovely voice will go straight to your heart, and the emotive music accompanying her is moodily lush, majestically melancholic... it's not really about hard-edged fuzz guitars, though they surface occasionally, as more often do propulsive psych "beat" grooves, but for the most part this album seems to hover on a higher, more heavenly pop plane of psychedelia than that suggests... The groovier stuff, though, reminds us of Serge Gainsbourg's Historie De Melody Nelson at times (on "Your Dream" especially). And it's no stretch that the liner notes call Kim Jung Mi the "Francoise Hardy of Korea". Recommended to any fan of the Forge Your Own Chains comp, in addition to those who already heard her on that Shin Joong Hyun collection. Gorgeous!
Comes nicely packaged, with obi, and large full-color 4-page insert with photos and those aforementioned liner notes.
MPEG Stream: "Wind"
MPEG Stream: "Your Dream"
MPEG Stream: "Beautiful Rivers And Mountains"

album cover KING, PETER Shango (Afrostrut) cd 16.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Nigeria-born, London-schooled bandleader Peter King started his career in the '60s playing highlife and jazz before venturing into the James Brown inspired realms of afro-funk, of which "Shango" (named after the Yoruba god of thunder) is a prime example. These mostly instrumental tracks (there are some chanted vocal parts, often with a political message like "Freedom!") are super jazzy and groovy, with King's sax and flute joined by a bunch of other horns, percussion, and electric guitar/bass/drums. Recorded in 1974 but actually never released at the time, "Shango" was rediscovered when the Afrostrut label was putting together the excellent "Nigeria 70" compilation -- King's wife remembered the recording, and it turned out the tapes had actually been sitting beneath the bed of Peter King's son for who knows how many years! You'd think having something this funky under your bed would keep you up at night... Anyway, it's cool they found this, anyone into the soulful sounds of the "Nigeria 70" comp or all the other Afro-funk stuff that's been getting reissued recently will be glad to hear this.
RealAudio clip: "Mystery Tour"

album cover KINGSLEY, GERSHON God Is A Moog (Reboot Stereophonic) 2cd 16.98
Reboot Stereophonic is a new label with a mission to rescue from flea-market obscurity rare recordings that take Jewish identity into some surprising musical directions. What better, then, than this for one of their first releases? God Is A Moog is a double disc compiling the religious-themed compositions of Moog maestro Gershon Kingsley, of Perrey-Kingsley and "Pop Corn" fame. File under: Exotica/New Age/Judaism. And Rock Opera.
Subtitled "The Electronic Prayers Of Gershon Kingsley", this mostly features music recorded circa 1968-1974, much of it never before released. Disc one starts with a five-song suite called "Maven On The Moog", featuring cantor Harold Orbach singing Yiddish traditional folk songs accompanied by Kingsley's space-age synth. Then it gets more far-out sound-wise with "The Jewish Experience" parts 1-5. As this collection progresses, you'll also hear wise words from the Torah gravely intoned over bleepy-bloopy Moog backing, a track with a Bruce Haack-style computerized voice ("I Have A Little Brain", made on Kingsley's Macintosh in 1999) as well as much in the way of over-the-top rock opera a la Hair or Godspell, which is simultaneously the best and worst stuff here, perhaps. Kingsley's Moog-laden rock opera efforts ("Shabbat For Today" and "The Fifth Cup") are to be found on the second disc, which has got the most groove and weirdness and inadvertent laffs of the two. Some of these songs are just SOOOO kitschy and, well, let's just be honest: bad. Not the music so much, but some of the lyrics and singing are really terrible (though of course very well-meant). But it's in that so bad it's good, or well not good but darn funny category. Wait 'til you hear the song about the extinct dinosaurs, or the one about the ten plagues. Maybe the word we should use isn't terrible, it's awesome. Awesomely absurd. And sincere, you've gotta give it that. Moog for Moog's sake fans might prefer disc one (and/or yearn for an instrumental version of all of this), but anyone into unfettered goofball expressions of spiritual feeling, and Vietnam-era pop-prog silliness should be quite entertained by these tracks.
Complete with its interesting and informative liner notes, this whole thing is definitely a cool and unusual addition to the discography of Moog-related recordings!
MPEG Stream: "The Jewish Experience Part 5"
MPEG Stream: "L'cho Adonoy"
MPEG Stream: "1984 - One, One Is One"

album cover KINK GONG Xinjiang (Discrepant) lp 24.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
We've been meaning to review this for a while now, a fantastic release from composer / ethnomusicologist / field recordist Laurent Jeaneau, who is also a contributor to the Sublime Frequencies series, which makes sense listening to Xinjiang, a gloriously mesmerizing world music audio collage, named for the province in China where all of these sounds were captured. Xinjiang has a similar vibe as those 'Radio' collections on Sublime Frequencies, a dizzying sampling of local musics, but also the sounds of the city and the country and the people, a series of seamlessly arranged soundscapes made up of gently manipulated field recordings, voices from the radio, rural folk music, the sounds of animals, the clip clop of horses' hooves, bowed and plucked strings, simple percussion, mournful melodies, the various recordings varying dramatically in tone and timbre, some lush and vibrant, as if you were right there, others tinny and warbly, as if being broadcast from the past, but all blurred into a mesmerizing whole.
In places the music gets super frenetic with wild percussion and manic melodies, but for the most part, the vibe is much more meditative and laid back. The sound slipping effortlessly from almost bluesy twang to dense melodic tangle, often rhythmic and tranced out, at times sounding like some sort of Chinese court music, with fluttering woodwinds, strange detuned string buzz and martial percussion, while other times like some timeless folk music. The A side is much more varied, and peppered with much of the more obviously constructed elements, while the B side is much more tranquil, stripped down and mostly acoustic. The collage aspect is really quite subtle throughout, with much of the record sounding more like an actual recording of indigenous musics, complete with the ambient sounds of the locations, the only overtly collaged aspect is the mix of the broadcasts, and the occasional shortwave interference, but strap on some headphones, or crank those speakers, and the machinations become a bit more obvious, and the record reveals itself as a gorgeously and meticulously arranged sonic construct, all of which only somehow makes it that much cooler.
LIMITED TO 300 COPIES!

KIRALY, ERNO Phoenix: The Music of... (ReR) cd 15.98
Eastern European composer and instrument builder Kiraly combines old gypsy folk violin with modern tape music techniques, and more. Great collection.

album cover KIZILOK, FIKRET Anadolu'Yum (Pharaway Sounds) cd 17.98
This compilation of singles circa 1971-1975 by new-to-us Anatolian folk-psych singer and guitarist Fikret Kizilok has been blowing our minds this week We don't much about Kizilok, except he was a dentist who, inspired by the Beatles, got into music, and recorded with Baris Manco, which led to a friendship-ending affair with his girlfriend. He is also rumored to be one of the first Turkish musicians to introduce the sitar into Turkish popular music (a bit hard to believe, and strangely there is no sitar on these recordings, but nevertheless that is what a cool-looking photo from a music magazine in the liner notes seems to state). However, Kizilok's hypnotic psych-tinged folk music, played with both electric and acoustic instruments (including lots of hand percussion and electric organ provided by Mogollar's Turhan Yukseler!), is impossible to ignore. Equally dreamy, moody, groovy, complexly arranged and politically driven, this is another great Turkish-psych discovery right up there with Selda, Mogallar, Cem Karaca, 3 Hur-el and Edip Akbayram. Also if you loved those Psych 101 compilations, this will be right up your alley!
MPEG Stream: "Gun Ola Devran Done (1971)"
MPEG Stream: "Leylim Ley (1972)"
MPEG Stream: "Ask§n Olmad§g§ Yerde (1974)"

album cover KIZILOK, FIKRET Anadolu'Yum (Pharaway Sounds) lp + 7" 32.00
This compilation of singles circa 1971-1975 by new-to-us Anatolian folk-psych singer and guitarist Fikret Kizilok has been blowing our minds this week We don't much about Kizilok, except he was a dentist who got into music, inspired by the Beatles, recorded with Baris Manco, which led to a friendship-ending affair with his girlfriend. He is also rumored to be one of the first Turkish musicians to introduce the sitar into Turkish popular music (a bit hard to believe, and strangely there is no sitar on these recordings, but nevertheless that is what a cool-looking photo from a music magazine in the liner notes seems to state.). However, Kizilok's hypnotic psych-tinged folkmusic played with both electric and acoustic instruments (including lots of hand percussion and electric organ provided by Mogollar's Turhan Yukseler!) is impossible to ignore. Equally dreamy, moody, groovy, complexly arranged and politically driven, this is another great Turkish-psych discovery right up there with Selda, Mogallar, Cem Karaca, 3 Hur-el and Edip Akbayram. Also if you loved those Psych 101 compilations, this will be right up your alley!
MPEG Stream: "Gun Ola Devran Done (1971)"
MPEG Stream: "Leylim Ley (1972)"
MPEG Stream: "Ask§n Olmad§g§ Yerde (1974)"

album cover KNIFE, THE Deep Cuts (Rabid / Mute) cd 15.98
This Swedish duo had all the cool kiddies' panties in a delirious knot at their recent totally sold-out show here in SF. Hot stuff! So needless to say, it's a more than perfect time for this reissue!
Last time we carried this cd, we had this brief summation: If you dig Miss Kittin or Adult., well here's The Knife! Electro-punky tunes with punchy female vocals seemingly very inspired by Debbie Harry / Blondie.
That having been said, we'll elaborate a bit: If you happened to start your love affair with The Knife with their Silent Shout album, it'll surely continue to burn hotter than the sun with Deep Cuts. This brother and sister team combine the detached chill of electro and techno with the engaging catchiness of pop with a childlike musicbox wonder. Ultra tweaked and strange. Includes a dvd!
MPEG Stream: "She's Having A Baby"
MPEG Stream: "You Make Me Like Charity"

album cover KOES BERSAUDARA Koes Bersaudara 1967 (Sublime Frequencies) cd 17.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Another incredible archival discovery from Sublime Frequencies, this the first in a series of releases chronicling Indonesian popular music from the fifties through the seventies. Koes Bersaudara were a band of brothers, heavily influenced by the Beatles, the Everly Brothers, the Byrds, and this collection is the first ever reissue of two of their impossible to find recordings, most notably, To The So-Called "The Guilties", considered by music historians THEE Indonesian garage rock masterpiece. And it is fantastic, jangly guitars, soaring vocals, some awesome guitar playing, super catchy, very poppy, but with hints of darkness running though many of the songs, which is not surprising, considering how difficult it was to be a rock band in Indonesia at the time, especially one playing Western styled rock and roll. In fact at one point, the brothers were jailed for three months for performing Beatles covers. Another interesting fact, is that aQ faves Dara Puspita (whose PlusTapes reissues we carried a while back) were performing around the same time, and rumors were circulating about various power plays, the Koeswoyo brothers being perhaps considered too difficult to control, with their flagrant disdain for authority, not just covering the Beatles, but for writing songs about the leader that imprisoned them ("Poor Clown") and many songs chronicling their time in jail ("In Jail", "The Ballad Of Room 15")
Once out of jail, their old label didn't want to have anything to do with them, but as the climate became more conducive to the modern styles of music, they found a new home, and recorded To The So-Called "The Guilties", the first album in Indonesian history to challenge the ruling regime. Their story is so fantastic and inspiring, it's strange to hear this music, which on the surface seems so innocuous, knowing just how controversial it was and how much of a harbinger of change it would be for Indonesian music.
But for fans of classic '60s garage rock, regardless of the back story, this is some seriously good stuff, the power and energy of life surrounding the music only infusing it with a passion and energy that transforms it from simple rock and roll to something more. This reissue includes the To The So-Called "The Guilties" lp, a 10" recorded the same year, with a bonus compilation track, extensive liner notes, chronicling the history of the band, the recording of these albums, the producer, and the music scene in Indonesia at the time. Tons of photos too, all in a swank digipak, the nicest Sublime Frequencies packaging yet. WAY recommended.
MPEG Stream: "Hari Ini (Today)"
MPEG Stream: "To The So-Called "The Guilties""
MPEG Stream: "Poor Clown"
MPEG Stream: "Balada Kamar 15 (The Ballad Of Room 15)"
MPEG Stream: "Djadikan Aku Domba Mu (Make Me Your Sheep)"

album cover KOES PLUS Dheg Dheg Plas & Volume Two (Sublime Frequencies) cd 16.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Another release in the continuing series of archival releases of Indonesian popular music brought to us by the always awesome Sublime Frequencies, this one comes from Koes Plus, the "Beatles of Indonesia", perhaps the most beloved pop group ever in Indonesia, who began life as Koes Bersaudara, and whose music was collected on another recent Sublime Frequencies compilation, but for all the promise shown by the controversial Koes Bersaudara, who were jailed for covering the Beatles, it's when they streamlined their sound, and became Koes Plus that they EXPLODED, recording more than 40 albums throughout the seventies, even going so far as to record albums in specific styles catering to fans of different genres. And it all paid off. According to the liner notes, TODAY, there are Koes Plus fanclubs in nearly every city, there are more than 60 Koes Plus cover bands on the island of Java ALONE, there are multiple radio shows dedicated to the group's music, all that and they have remained relatively unheard and unknown outside of Indonesia.
This collection compiles their first two insanely rare albums, Dheg Dheg Plas and Volume Two, both fantastic examples of the group's mastery of Western pop music, the Beatles comparisons are definitely apt, but they did more than ape their heroes, these songs are fantastic, catchy and melodic, jangly and dreamy, vocal harmonies, intricate guitar playing, it's not just the Beatles they're indebted to either, the Byrds, the Bee Gees, and judging from "Pent Juri Hati (Heart Stealer)", even the Monks, it's a DEAD ringer, fuzzed out guitar, wild drumming, and howled vocals that sound JUST like the Monks, definitely the odd track out, but it hints at where these guys could have ended up had things been a bit different.
But for fans of classic garage rock, and sixties / seventies psychedelic pop, Indonesian music of all stripes, this stuff is really fantastic, it's still difficult to believe virtually no one outside of Indonesia has heard this stuff until now. Some folks have suggested that had these guys been based in the UK or the US during the sixties or seventies, they would have been one of the most popular bands in the world, and listening to them now it's not hard to believe.
Housed in a fancy 6 panel digipak, with a huge booklet, packed with liner notes and loads of rare photos.
MPEG Stream: "Kelelawar (The Bats)"
MPEG Stream: "Derita (Suffer)"
MPEG Stream: "Awan Hitam (The Black Cloud)"
MPEG Stream: "Tiba Tiba Aku Menangis (Suddenly I Cried)"
MPEG Stream: "Bergembira (Have Fun)"

KONG LAVRING Den 2den (Pan Records) cd 24.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.

album cover KONG LAVRING s/t (Pan Records) cd 24.00
After marvelling (if you're at all of our mindset) at the cover painting, which features some sort of dulcimer, an electric guitar, and an amplifier itself decorated with a painting of a dead tree and a sunset, the first thing that'll grab you about this 1977 Norwegian folk-rock reissue is that it's so superbly recorded -- crystal clear, not too slick or over produced, just simply sterling, live-in-your-room sound that belies this album's misty '70s origin. Though ordinarily we find dusty, crackly, low-fi recordings of long-lost folkesque psychedelia to be preferably evocative and mysterious, this just sounds *amazing*. So, your ears will rejoice at how great Kong Lavring sounds...and then, the songs. So good. Kong Lavring made a terrific mix of traditional Norwegian folk music and electric rock instrumentation, with the choppy bite of "Liti Kjersti" being a particularily stellar example of such. With both male and female vocals -- Viking style male choirs chanting it up, and lovely sweet female vocals, capable of exquisite unaccompanied beauty. Though never particularily popular (they made only two albums, of which this is the first), Kong Lavring could be considered a Norwegian version of Fairport Convention, to make a loose comparison. Also recommended for fans of Turid, Kebnekajse, Arbete Och Fritid, and other Scandinavian folk/rock outfits -- perhaps even those of the black metal variety like Storm. The aforementioned cover art suggests a lot to those of us enamoured of the '70s hippy folk vibe, and this disc is indeed as good as the cover portends.
MPEG Stream: "Liti Kjersti"
MPEG Stream: "Fagre Piker"

album cover KONONO NO.1 Assume Crash Position (Crammed Discs) cd 16.98
From the very first notes of Assume Crash Position, we're immediately transported right back to Kinshasa in the Congo, a bustling town square, people going about their business, cars zooming past, children playing and shouting, people sitting at tables on the sidewalk drinking, eating, catching up, birds perched in the trees, chirping, just a regular bustling African city, except maybe for a certain group of musicians, creating their own soundtrack to daily life, conjuring up a gorgeous, rhythmic, hypnotic and strangely psychedelic racket, equal parts classic African folk music, High Life, and junkyard percussion. The musicians are wielding a strange array of hand built instruments, there's lots of rusted metal, car batteries, old cracked loudspeakers, various drums, and most notably, some fantastic looking, and even more fantastic sounding amplified thumb pianos. By now, regular readers of the aQ list most likely know we're talking about the truly amazing Konono No.1, quite possibly one of our favorite African ensembles ever, past or present. When we first hear them a few years ago, we were blown away, the super distorted thumb pianos spitting out clouds of rapid fire chiming notes, tangled melodies, all locked into super hypnotic drum driven grooves, call and response vocals, simultaneously festive and danceable, dark and mysterious, raw and feral, primitive and DIY, lush and melodic and like nothing we had ever heard before.
When we first threw on Assume Crash Position, our first thought, was that very little had changed, and to a certain degree that's true, all of the above mentioned elements are still present, the wild thumb pianos, still the focal point, their sound curious but so warm and sweetly melodic, the call and response vocals, the tribal percussion, the groovy rhythms, but from the first track it IS in fact evident that some things have changed. That opening track, "Wumbanzanga", is far more melodic, far more pretty and almost more like some of the other traditional African music we've heard in the past, with great female vocals, the vibe super festive, but those thumb piano melodies definitely add a distinctly Konono vibe. Then the next track, "Thin Legs" explodes in a frenzy of whistles and tribal drumming and vocals, that's it, but it too manages to be super melodic and totally effusively celebratory.
It's not until "Mama Na Bana" which opens with that Konono style stop start THRUMP THRUMP THRUMP, where the whole group locks in, before launching into classic Konono, it's really hard to describe, but those fuzzy buzzing metallic melodies wrapped around the repetitive rhythms and the super emotional vocals, the whole rest of the record is classic, albeit a bit more polished and melodic, Konono junkyard Congotronics...
Some of the highlights this time around include "Makembe", with its buzzing melodies, crooned vocals, and the sounds of kids playing and birds chirping, before there's a BIG crash, apparently the sound of a concrete wall collapsing, a wall the vocalist was moments earlier leaning against, and then the band launches into one of the best jams on the disc. Or the gorgeous closing lullaby of "Nakobala Lisusu Te", with muted thumb pianos, super tangled melodies, and a sweet soulful croon, so dreamy and blissful, the perfect way to unwind after a wild, sweaty, funky, groovy, Congotronic workout.
The packaging is cool too, with tons of photos of the local scrap yard / junkyard, where the band gather up most of the material they use to build their instruments, not to mention a shot of that collapsed wall that crumbled mid-song. As with past Konono's, utterly and absolutely wholeheartedly recommended!
MPEG Stream: "Wumbanzanga"
MPEG Stream: "Thin Legs"
MPEG Stream: "Mama Na Bana"
MPEG Stream: "Makembe"

album cover KONONO NO.1 Congotronics (Crammed Discs) cd 16.98
Probably the biggest "hit" record here at AQ of the past year. We're super excited that they'll be coming to San Francisco to play at the Jazz Fest in November, by the way! Here's our review of Congotronics from when we first listed it back in January:
So here it is! Hard to believe it's finally here -- some of us have been waiting forever for this record, or at least ever since we discovered a tiny, super compressed, thirty second long sound clip on the internet over a year ago. In all of half a minute, we became OBSESSED. Completely captivated by this band's totally alien, lush, organic 'world music' weirdness. We eventually tracked down a (great) live record by Konono No.1, which we listed here a few weeks back, and then after tons of internet sleuthing and a bunch of emails we finally managed to get in touch with someone at the Crammed label in Belgium who was willing to sell us this brand new studio album directly, since they are without US distribution. Phew! So was it worth it? Hell yeah! Anyone who heard that infamous sound sample (which was from this album), or who got to hear the live record, knows that this band is totally amazing, and indeed this record is beautiful, wild and wonderful, chaotic and festive, totally perplexing but completely mesmerizing. For those who missed out on the live record (which we've also just restocked!) or are new to the wonders of Konono No.1, here's the story: twenty five years ago, Konono formed in Kinshasa (the capital of Zaire), performing their own version of traditional Bazombo trance music, incorporating the then-unwanted distortions of their haphazard homemade sound system. They left the bush and settled in the capital where they were forced to compete with the harsh sounds of the city: cars, trains, buses, shouting, etc. So with very little to work with they fashioned pick-ups, microphones, loudspeakers and amplifiers from stuff they could find on the street -- old car batteries, pots and pans, magnets, even branches. Their main instrument is the likembe, a kind of thumb piano. Konono features three of 'em (bass, medium and treble) and the sound of the electrified and amplified likembe is what defines their sound. Accompanied by dancers and percussionists, the likembes wail and drone, buzz and moan, totally overblown and distorted, sounding a little like sixties fuzz guitars, turning a glorious high life jam into something much more strange and wonderful. Super rhythmic, and thick with the buzzing melodies of the likemebe's, Konono weave a massive sound. It's the wildest weirdest street party you've ever been to. Throbbing with energy and emotion, rambuctiously rollicking and totally infectious. Seven lengthy tracks that all sort of bleed and fuse into one epic world-psych jam. The African high life Hawkwind? So so great!
Check out this video clip:
http://www.crammed.be/craworld/movies/konono_promo.mov
MPEG Stream: "Lufuala Ndonga"
MPEG Stream: "Masikulu"

album cover KONONO NO.1 Congotronics (Ache Records) lp 16.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
The vinyl version of AQ mega-fave Congotronics is BACK IN STOCK! Here's our review from way back when we first listed the cd:
Some of us have been waiting forever for this record, or at least ever since we discovered a tiny, super compressed, thirty second long sound clip on the internet over a year ago. In all of half a minute, we became OBSESSED. Completely captivated by this band's totally alien, lush, organic 'world music' weirdness. We eventually tracked down a (great) live record by Konono No.1, which we listed here a few weeks back, and then after tons of internet sleuthing and a bunch of emails we finally managed to get in touch with someone at the Crammed label in Belgium who was willing to sell us this brand new studio album directly, since they are without US distribution. Phew! So was it worth it? Hell yeah! Anyone who heard that infamous sound sample (which was from this album), or who got to hear the live record, knows that this band is totally amazing, and indeed this record is beautiful, wild and wonderful, chaotic and festive, totally perplexing but completely mesmerizing. For those who missed out on the live record (which we've also just restocked!) or are new to the wonders of Konono No.1, here's the story: twenty five years ago, Konono formed in Kinshasa, an area between Congo and Angola, performing their own version of traditional Bazombo trance music, incorporating the then-unwanted distortions of their haphazard homemade sound system. They left the bush and settled in the capital where they were forced to compete with the harsh sounds of the city: cars, trains, buses, shouting, etc. So with very little to work with they fashioned pick-ups, microphones, loudspeakers and amplifiers from stuff they could find on the street -- old car batteries, pots and pans, magnets, even branches. Their main instrument is the likembe, a kind of thumb piano. Konono features three of 'em (bass, medium and treble) and the sound of the electrified and amplified likembe is what defines their sound. Accompanied by dancers and percussionists, the likembes wail and drone, buzz and moan, totally overblown and distorted, sounding a little like sixties fuzz guitars, turning a glorious high life jam into something much more strange and wonderful. Super rhythmic, and thick with the buzzing melodies of the likemebe's, Konono weave a massive sound. It's the wildest weirdest street party you've ever been to. Throbbing with energy and emotion, rambunctiously rollicking and totally infectious. Seven lengthy tracks that all sort of bleed and fuse into one epic world-psych jam. The African high life Hawkwind? So so great!
Check out this video clip:
http://www.crammed.be/craworld/movies/konono_promo.mov
MPEG Stream: "Lufuala Ndonga"
MPEG Stream: "Masikulu"

album cover KONONO NO.1 Live At Couleur Cafe (Crammed Discs) cd 12.98
Yay! These AQ faves -- everyone's faves -- from Kinshasa are back with another exciting dose of their "Congotronics". Chances are, especially if you're a regular AQ customer, that you know all about 'em already, and maybe even got to see them at one of the shows that (lucky for us!) they've played over the past couple years in San Francisco. Live is where it's at for them, a sweaty, joyous, unstoppable, never-ending groove heavily laced with the sound of their signature instrument: the DIY homebuilt electric amplified African thumb-piano (called a likembe). In the hands of Konono No.1, it produces a bright, burbling, somewhat distorted, almost-electronic-keyboard sort of sound that we immediately fell in love with way back when we first heard the band. But that of course is not all, there's plenty of percolating percussion underpinning the likembe melodies, over which they do exuberant vocal toasts and call-and-response chants. When they get going full-on, you'll want to turn it up LOUD and let the whole neighborhood enjoy the energetic density of Konono No.1.
Eight tracks, 52 minutes total, recorded live (sounding great!) in Belgium. Some songs you might recognize from versions on the previous two Konono discs (Lubuaku and Congotronics), others are previously unrecorded. All will get your body moving, guaranteed. This is dance music, nothin' but. At home alone, unwilling to dance? It'll still bring a mesmerized smile to your face for sure.
MPEG Stream: "A.E.I.O.U."
MPEG Stream: "Nsimba & Nzuzi"

album cover KONONO NO.1 Lubuaku (Terp) cd 18.98
We have been totally obsessed with these guys (as have the rest of you judging from how many folks have called and emailed about them and already bought a ton of copies from us before this review even was written) for at least a year if not more and until now there hasn't been a thing (other than a minute long mp3 sample available on Crammed Discs' website) which has been taunting us with the promise of a full length from these guys. So until that fabled Crammed Discs release actually comes out we've got this little nugget to tide you over. And it's no small shakes neither. Though we only learned of them recently Konono No.1 have been around for some 25 years. Hailing from Kinshasa, Congo, Konono No.1 are true African punk rock. They are real D.I.Y. Not putting on shows and printing zines, no, how about building their own instruments from found scraps and dismantled machinery and retrofitting and electrifying traditional instruments! For instance the lead musician Mingiedi Mawangu has taken his likembe (thumb piano), rigged it up to pickups (self-built from hammered parts purloined from car starter motors) and amplified it with a custom built amplifier driven by a car battery, using microphones built out of copper wire and branches. How cool is that! And the sounds these instruments produce is amazing. The likembe, with its muted gentle melodic thrum, is turned into an overdriven buzzing melodic powerhouse that sounds like nothing you've ever heard. Well, sometimes it sounds a bit like some sort of psychedelic alien fuzz guitar, but mostly it just sounds amazing and bizarre. The songs are all very melodically similar and mesh into one massive hour long jam, with wild percussion, chanted vocals, and of course the wailing Likembe. So completely amazing. Every time we play this in the store, someone buys one. Immediately.
Seven extended tracks, recorded live and released on the Ex's label Terp.
MPEG Stream: "Ditshe Tshiekutala"
MPEG Stream: "Ku Hollande"

album cover KONONO NO.1 / THE DEAD C Split Series 18 (Fat Cat) 12" 6.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
If there was ever a more unlikely split record, we sure can't think of one. But if there was ever a split we'd most like to see, it would be hard to do better than Konono No1 and the Dead C. Not sure if the two bands are a perfect fit, or just happen to satisfy our weirdly eclectic tastes, but this split 12" is fucking amazing. Two new tracks from Konono No 1, who if you are an avid reader of the AQ list are no doubt already familiar with ( we carry both their full lengths, their live record Lubuaku, as well as their studio album Congotronics). An African ensemble led by a trio of amplified Likembes (thumb pianos) and whose equipment is cobbled together from car parts, branches, batteries and other urban detritus. The sound is wild and joyful, rollicking and totally exuberant, the likembes sounding like some alien underwater psychedelic guitars. Wow. And then there's the Dead C. What can you say? One of the most important bands to ever come out of New Zealand. The masters and originators of the NZ free rock sound that has influenced hundreds of bands and been copied by hundreds more. The first 5 tracks are locked grooves, but skip past those (or not!) and you'll find three brand new tracks, 17 minutes of the Dead C in clattery chaotic rock mode, bursts of stumbling, distorted, propulsive free rock, like some lost Krautrock classic, played through crappy practice amps and on a beat up old drum kit, everything drenched in tape hiss and recorded in some cavernous space. Now if they had only managed to get Konono to record WITH the Dead C...
MPEG Stream: KONONO NO1 "Masikulu"
MPEG Stream: THE DEAD C "2"
MPEG Stream: THE DEAD C "3"

album cover KOPERNIK s/t (Eastern Development) cd 13.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
This record is so goddamn beautiful. Hard to know how to describe it. It reminds me of the sonic equivalent of those time lapse films where you watch the seasons pass in a matter of minutes, sunrise, sunset, plants slowly unfurling and blossoming, before wilting and falling to the ground, snow and then rain and then sun, everything moving at an accelerated pace, but blending and merging into a completely mesmeric and hypnotic fugue. Sort of like that. The tag on the cd mentions Godspeed and the Rachel's, and while those are the easiest comparisons (Godspeed because it's so epic, and the Rachel's because it's sort of chamber music) they don't at all hint at the complexity and depth of this Kopernik record. Thick and throbbing, undulating bass is the foundation, cellos, and upright basses, double basses, bowed and plucked, create a viscous and dense bed of rumbling, pulsing low end over which delicate, glistening melodies are sprinkled. This is ambient music, but so rich with layer after layer of delicate sound, that form an impossibly complex and challenging and beautiful listen. While rooted in this bass heavy, epic classical ambience, these songs do stretch in all sorts of improbable directions. Gorgeously lush chamber music, with digital glitches and hiccups, reminscent of Oval's Diskont, but instead of sounding underwater it sounds like it's floating in midair. A medieval court music, sort of grand and pompous, but also a bit forboding, like a much more GRIM Penguin Cafe Orchestra with burbling bass and loping melodies. Dark and cinematic, suspenseful and harrowing noirscapes with thick walls of lower register thrum with heavily affected backward vocals. Lonely and desolate, but so sincere and emotional. A perfect late night record of soothing dreaminess and nocturnal mesmer, but unlike many similar records, it can stand up to serious listening, offering even more when time is taken to explore its rich mysteries.
MPEG Stream: "Ondoyany Et Divers"
MPEG Stream: "Theme For Grace"
MPEG Stream: "Man, Myth, And Magic"

album cover KORAY, ERKIN 2 (World Psychedelia Ltd) cd 17.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Anyone who dug last year's cd reissue of Erkin Koray's Elektronik Turkuler LP probably also will want to suck on this aural hookah, the man's second album (we would assume from the title -- the English language info here is scant -- but it might actually be his third!) from the mid-seventies. It's another fantastic, psychedelic foray into the East-West juxtaposition of Turkish folk and acid guitar rock...well, compared to Elektronik Turkuler this is perhaps a blend somewhat less psych, more traditional, but still totally great. We just can't get enough of this stuff (see elsewhere this list for another fine example, the Edip Akbayram & Dostlar album!) and we're pretty sure you can't either. On 2, Turkish guitar god Koray's middle eastern grooves move from stately and orchestrated to more lively, rockin' rhythms, all the tracks drawn from singles circa '72 to '76, plus earlier non-album bonus cuts going back to 1967, including an acoustic version of one of the Elektronik Turkuler hits.
MPEG Stream: "Estarabim"
MPEG Stream: "Gonul Salincagi"

album cover KORAY, ERKIN 2 (Dogan) lp 32.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.

album cover KORAY, ERKIN Elektronik Turkuler (Dogan / World Psychedelia Ltd.) cd 17.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
The Middle Eastern psych rock obsession continues to rage here at Aquarius! Nothin' better than the exotic sounds of swingin' sixties Istanbul (or a close approximation). Here's a cd reissue of a 1974 album by guitarist/vocalist Erkin Koray, known as the Jimi Hendrix of Turkey. Maybe that comparison isn't the most accurate (there's nothing as heavy as "Purple Haze" here), but at least it gives you an idea of the East-meets-West grooves found on Elektronik Turkuler. Two cultures, one counterculture, it seems. With sinuous "belly-dancing" tunes rocked up with distorted electric guitar, rock n' roll beats, some wild flute playing, and the occasional lysergic organ freakout, this is an authentic "magic carpet ride" as it were, culminating in the 9-minute "Turku" complete with spoken word incantations and freaky sound effects. The traditional-sounding vocals are all in Turkish, some of the tunes are clearly adaptations of traditional Turkish music as well. Anyone who really dug the John Berberian Middle Eastern Rock disc we listed a few months back, or loves those great Turkish Delights or Hava Nargile compilations (both of which feature Koray tracks), should check this album out.
MPEG Stream: "Karli Daglar"
MPEG Stream: "Inat"

album cover KORAY, ERKIN Elektronik Turkuler (Pharaway Sounds) cd 17.98
Nice new reissue of this old fave, yeah! It's been a while since we've had it, in the meantime we've been lucky enough to meet Mr. Koray personally, when he did a meet-and-greet autograph signing right here at aQ last year. What a great guy. We learned then that he hasn't been making any money from most of his recordings, thanks to the Turkish music industry being controlled by what amounts to the Mafia, but hopefully some of the proceeds from the sale of this legit reish will make it into his pockets, since we get it from the same place we get the Sublime Frequencies one that we know he does for sure get paid for.
Here's some of what we said about this when we stocked an earlier version way back when:
The Middle Eastern psych rock obsession continues to rage here at Aquarius! Nothin' better than the exotic sounds of swingin' sixties Istanbul (or a close approximation). Here's a cd reissue of a 1974 album by guitarist/vocalist Erkin Koray, known as the Jimi Hendrix of Turkey. Also the Chuck Berry of Turkey, and the Godfather of Turkish rock music. Maybe the Hendrix comparison isn't the most accurate (there's nothing as heavy as "Purple Haze" here), but at least it gives you an idea of the East-meets-West grooves found on Elektronik Turkuler. Two cultures, one counterculture, it seems. With sinuous "belly-dancing" tunes rocked up with distorted electric guitar, rock n' roll beats, some wild flute playing, and the occasional lysergic organ freakout, this is an authentic "magic carpet ride" as it were, culminating in the 9-minute "Turku" complete with spoken word incantations and freaky sound effects. The traditional-sounding vocals are all in Turkish, some of the tunes are clearly adaptations of traditional Turkish music as well. Koray is accompanied by, among others, the bassist from Bunalim. Considered by many to be Koray's best single album - we haven't heard 'em all ourselves but seems likely.
So, nice to have this back in on cd, looking better than before, and now on gatefold vinyl as well.
MPEG Stream: "Karli Daglar"
MPEG Stream: "Inat"

album cover KORAY, ERKIN Elektronik Turkuler (Pharaway Sounds) lp 28.00
Nice new reissue of this old fave, yeah! It's been a while since we've had it, in the meantime we've been lucky enough to meet Mr. Koray personally, when he did a meet-and-greet autograph signing right here at aQ last year. What a great guy. We learned then that he hasn't been making any money from most of his recordings, thanks to the Turkish music industry being controlled by what amounts to the Mafia, but hopefully some of the proceeds from the sale of this legit reish will make it into his pockets, since we get it from the same place we get the Sublime Frequencies one that we know he does for sure get paid for.
Here's some of what we said about this when we stocked an earlier version way back when:
The Middle Eastern psych rock obsession continues to rage here at Aquarius! Nothin' better than the exotic sounds of swingin' sixties Istanbul (or a close approximation). Here's a cd reissue of a 1974 album by guitarist/vocalist Erkin Koray, known as the Jimi Hendrix of Turkey. Also the Chuck Berry of Turkey, and the Godfather of Turkish rock music. Maybe the Hendrix comparison isn't the most accurate (there's nothing as heavy as "Purple Haze" here), but at least it gives you an idea of the East-meets-West grooves found on Elektronik Turkuler. Two cultures, one counterculture, it seems. With sinuous "belly-dancing" tunes rocked up with distorted electric guitar, rock n' roll beats, some wild flute playing, and the occasional lysergic organ freakout, this is an authentic "magic carpet ride" as it were, culminating in the 9-minute "Turku" complete with spoken word incantations and freaky sound effects. The traditional-sounding vocals are all in Turkish, some of the tunes are clearly adaptations of traditional Turkish music as well. Koray is accompanied by, among others, the bassist from Bunalim. Considered by many to be Koray's best single album - we haven't heard 'em all ourselves but seems likely.
So, nice to have this back in on cd, looking better than before, and now on gatefold vinyl as well.
MPEG Stream: "Karli Daglar"
MPEG Stream: "Inat"

album cover KORAY, ERKIN Mechul: Singles & Rarities (Sublime Frequencies) cd 16.98
Originally highlighted this last year back on New Arrivals #380, and we're listing it again now 'cause, as you may have heard, Mr. Koray is going to be paying us a visit tomorrow! So if you've somehow missed out on Koray's stuff before, this one will clue you in about why we're such fans.
Uh, c'mon, how could this NOT be awesome? Sublime Frequencies never fails us, first off. AND we're already fans of vintage Turkish psych in general, guitarist/vocalist Erkin Koray in particular. So this release, with its excellent eyeballs-shooting-purple-rays-from-space-or-whatever cover painting, was eagerly anticipated at AQ. And yeah it's awesome. As the subtitle says, this consists of singles and rarities circa 1970-'77 from this Middle Eastern psych rock master, founder of "the first underground group of the Orient", a living legend whose career stretches back to the '50s. Rarities? Well, compiler Mark Gergis notes in the liners: "This collection features tracks not found on the many unauthorized Erkin compilations and LP reissues that have emerged in the west over the years." And indeed these eleven tracks were provided to Sublime Frequencies by Koray himself, sourced from his personal vinyl collection! So, listen up, 'cause this is the stuff Erkin wants us to hear, and well, if you're any sort of Turkish psych fan like us, you NEED to hear it. Tracks like "Kendim Ettim Kendim Buldum" and "Hadi Hadi Ordan" are going to make you very happy. Swirling and shimmering, twanging surfy electric saz (or is that oud?), melodic deep droning vocals, bellydancing folk motifs, stirring orchestration, and YES some wild blasts of psychrockguitar distortion, it's the exotic East (lots of East) meets West sort of thing we just love! While some of this is wonderfully moody, a lot of it rocks, all right, ferinstance just crank up "Krallar" (a '75 single from whence that striking cover image comes) with its especially dramatic vocals to match its uptempo urgency.
We originally ended this review with the following: Is it too much to hope that Sublime Frequencies will get Erkin to undertake a Western tour like labelmate Omar Souleyman, one of these days...? Still hoping, and it seems more and more likely, doesn't it?
MPEG Stream: "Mechul"
MPEG Stream: "Ve..."
MPEG Stream: "Hadi Hadi Ordan"

album cover KORAY, ERKIN Mechul: Singles & Rarities (Sublime Frequencies) lp 25.00
YAY! REPRESSED ON VINYL! Sublime Frequencies lps rarely get repressed, but due to demand for this one in Turkey, they decided give this a second pressing!
Uh, c'mon, how could this NOT be awesome? Sublime Frequencies never fails us, first off. AND we're already fans of vintage Turkish psych in general, guitarist/vocalist Erkin Koray in particular. So this release, with its excellent eyeballs-shooting-purple-rays-from-space-or-whatever cover painting, was eagerly anticipated at AQ. And yeah it's awesome. As the subtitle says, this consists of singles and rarities circa 1970-'77 from this Middle Eastern psych rock master, founder of "the first underground group of the Orient", a living legend whose career stretches back to the '50s. Rarities? Well, compiler Mark Gergis notes in the liners: "This collection features tracks not found on the many unauthorized Erkin compilations and LP reissues that have emerged in the west over the years." And indeed these eleven tracks were provided to Sublime Frequencies by Koray himself, sourced from his personal vinyl collection! So, listen up, 'cause this is the stuff Erkin wants us to hear, and well, if you're any sort of Turkish psych fan like us, you NEED to hear it. Tracks like "Kendim Ettim Kendim Buldum" and "Hadi Hadi Ordan" are going to make you very happy. Swirling and shimmering, twanging surfy electric saz (or is that oud?), melodic deep droning vocals, bellydancing folk motifs, stirring orchestration, and YES some wild blasts of psychrockguitar distortion, it's the exotic East (lots of East) meets West sort of thing we just love! While some of this is wonderfully moody, a lot of it rocks, all right, ferinstance just crank up "Krallar" (a '75 single from whence that striking cover image comes) with its especially dramatic vocals to match its uptempo urgency.
Is it too much to hope that Sublime Frequencies will get Erkin to undertake a Western tour like labelmate Omar Souleyman, one of these days...? (The meet-and-greet he did here this year at AQ was great, but we want him to come play his music too.)
MPEG Stream: "Mechul"
MPEG Stream: "Ve..."
MPEG Stream: "Hadi Hadi Ordan"

KORAY, ERKIN s/t (Turkuola) lp 33.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.

KORAY, ERKIN Silinmeyen Hatiralar (Turkuola) lp 33.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.

album cover KOREAN BLACK EYES, THE s/t (PlusTapes) cassette 5.50
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
After a flurry of contemporary releases, Chris Connely, Chicago Thrash Ensemble, Mako Sica, PlusTapes returns with another mindblowing archival release, this one comes from Korea, and is the collected works of an all girl trashy rock and roll garage band called the Korean Black Eyes, who totally kick ass. Brash and snotty and groovy. The opening jam, is all buzzing bass, reverbed surf guitar, pounding drums, bleating sax, and some seriously raspy bad ass lead vocals, complete with wild throat shredding screams, her voice rough and raw and so passionate. The second track finds the Black Eyes getting all groovy and funky and soulful, adding some warm whirring organ to the mix, channeling Sly Stone and Funkadelic, but giving it their own twist. The vocals are amazing, and pretty much make the band, sung in English, but with a SUPER thick accent, and it's that total rock bad girl voice, weathered from whiskey and cigarettes, but still so sexy and sultry.
The interesting thing, as with many of these bands, is how did a band like this survive in Korea in the early seventies? In a time when this sort of rock was not at all encouraged. And most certainly not by women.
But we're so glad they did. And we're so glad PlusTapes tracked this stuff down. The B side even gets all ballady, opening with a Moody Blues cover, but it's not at all cheesy, their version is smokey and mysterious, sung in Korean, the sax slithery and slippery, the sound humid and heavy. And then they go off and finish the record with "Jesus Christ Superstar", epic and groovy, and subtly psychedelic, and again the vocals just seal the deal. It's criminal how good these women are. In different circumstances they could have been, should have been huge, and certainly the vocalist would have been a superstar with her tough and sexy Tina Turner / Janis Joplin yowl. Total kick ass bad girl garage rock and roll genius.
LIMITED TO 100 COPIES!! Pink tapes, each one hand numbered and hand decorated, with cover art by Plastic Crimewave.

album cover KOUDEDE Guitars From Agadez Vol. 5 (Sublime Frequencies) 7" 9.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Do we even have to tell you this is cool? Basically this is something you should want as soon as you read the words "Guitars From Agadez" and "Sublime Frequencies" on the sleeve. Being a limited 7" single also ought to seal the deal.
Everything so far from SF in their Guitars From Agadez series (records from Group Bombino and Group Inerane) has been killer, and this introductory taste of the talents of another North African axe master, Koudede Maman, follows suit. Koudede & his band unleash some smoking, sinuous, hard edged grooves on both hypnotic sides of this single, recorded live on tour last year. Wish we'd been there, sounds like a funky good time. And we most certainly hope that SF has a full-length in the works!
Limited to 600 copies.

album cover KOUDEDE Guitars From Agadez Vol. 6 (Sublime Frequencies) 7" 9.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
The fantastic Sublime Frequencies "world music" label brings us another installment of incredible North African guitar music, in the vein of Group Inerane and Group Doueh. We first heard the talents of young Tuareg six-stringer Koudede & his band on Sublime Frequencies' previous Guitars From Agadez Vol. 5 single, and when we reviewed that we said we hoped there was a full-length in the works, 'cause we wanted to hear more of Koudede's hypnotic, hard-edged grooves. Sadly, though, with this release comes the news that Koudede was tragically killed in a traffic accident in October this year, while travelling back to Niger from playing a show in Burkina Faso. So while Vol. 5 was an exciting introduction to his music, Vol. 6 must be a tribute to his memory, and what might have been. The two tracks here were recorded live by SF's Hisham Mayet at a tumultous concert Koudede played in January 2012, in the midst of ethnic strife in Mali.
Limited edition of 700 copies (Vol. 5 is long gone already).

album cover KOUDEDE Guitars From Agadez Vol. 7 (Sublime Frequencies) 12" 16.98
After two 7"s, Sublime Frequencies has released the final four tracks recorded by Tuareg guitarist and vocalist Koudede Maman, the last ones recorded shortly before his tragic death in a car crash while traveling to Niger from Burkina Faso last year. Koudede was a rising star in the nomadic community, a powerful performer and voice for the plight of his people against both the suppression of their ancient traditions and the rise of modern nation-states that usurp the natural resources of the land which the nomadic people desperately need. Most of Koudede's music was created in strife, but sought to create unity in a tumultuous region that saw very little of it. Though listening to him perform, one can only truly sense pure joy. A beautiful and heartbreaking release.

album cover KOUYATE, BASSEKOU & KGONI BA Segu Blue (Out Here) cd 16.98

album cover KOUYATE, BASSEKOU & NGONI BA I Speak Fula (Sub Pop / Next Ambiance) cd 14.98
With all the recent reissues of lost '70s West African musical gems, it's important to remember that there is amazing music being made RIGHT NOW over there, of course. And with so many of today's indie bands like Animal Collective and Vampire Weekend borrowing so much from African music its nice to go right to the source and hear some brand new sounds from that region, that are overflowing with such beauty and the rich tradition of storytelling through song that has long been a part of Ngoni culture.
Bassekou Kouyate has been a major player in the West African music scene for years, from back in his days playing in a trio with Keletigui Diabate and Toumani Diabati and then branching out to form his own ensemble, where he has invented and perfected his own instrument known as the bass ngoni, which has the ability to reach such rich harmonic states of sound. On I Speak Fula, the first release on Sub Pop's new international imprint Next Ambiance, Kouyate and his band show how rich, peaceful yet trance inducing the music they create can be. With guest spots from his former musical partner Toumani Diabate as well as vocals from Vieux Farka Toure on a few tracks, this is such an amazing display of some of the most talented musicians in West Africa today. So much on the record reminds us of some of our favorite releases on Terp, like Lanaya or Djibril Diabate, only with the addition of some seriously enchanting vocals. The first, fantastic release from a new label that definitely seems poised to bring us more great unfiltered sounds from across the globe. So good!
MPEG Stream: "Musow - For Our Women"
MPEG Stream: "I Speak Fula"
MPEG Stream: "Saro (Featuring Vieux Farka Toure)"

album cover KOUYATE, BASSEKOU & NGONI BA Jama Ko (Out Here Rec) cd 16.98
Bassekou Kouyate is like the Steve Vai of Mali. About as close as you'll get to a shredder. His instrument of choice the ngoni, an African lute which is an early ancestor of the banjo. Bassekou builds his own ngonis, at at some point decided he just didn't have enough strings, so started adding MORE, and eventually formed Ngoni Ba, the first ever group formed around FOUR ngonis, augmented by percussion and of course soulful stirring vocals, but it's the ngonis that are the star. Apparently, when Bassekou was a young man, he observed guitar players moving to the front of the stage to solo, and as luck would have it, Bassekou had outfitted his ngoni with a strap, and while most ngoni players traditionally sat to play, when it came time for his solo, he stood up, headed for the front of the stage and proceeded to blow everyone away. Signaling his radical intentions for the instrument. He also developed his own unique style of picking, a unique version of slide guitar technique as well, a style that was quickly adopted by a new crop of young ngoni players in Mali.
Jama Ko is the latest from Kouyate and his Ngoni Ba, and is easily the best thing we've heard. His Sub Pop records (!) didn't quite capture the raw energy and emotion, but here, the songs are dreamy, haunting, emotional, passionate, the vocals a huge part of the sound, with the ngonis weaving a lush melodic backdrop, but it's when the ngonis take center stage that things get really good, the sound very reminiscent in places of Konono No.1, the lead ngoni, super distorted and buzzy, unfurling wild tangles of melody, but every song here is incredible, the sound of four ngonis divine, easily slipping into wild psychedelic swirls, with at least half of the record spent in some sort of Afro-psych mode, but just as easily, weaving soft lushly layered textures, over which the group lays down swoonsome minor key melodies, and delivers heartfelt vocal driven Afro pop dreaminess. So great!
MPEG Stream: "Jama Ko"
MPEG Stream: "Dankou"
MPEG Stream: "Ne Me Fatigue Pas"
MPEG Stream: "Kele Magni"

album cover KOUYATE, BASSEKOU & NGONI BA Jama Ko (Out Here Rec) lp 27.00
Bassekou Kouyate is like the Steve Vai of Mali. About as close as you'll get to a shredder. His instrument of choice the ngoni, an African lute which is an early ancestor of the banjo. Bassekou builds his own ngonis, at at some point decided he just didn't have enough strings, so started adding MORE, and eventually formed Ngoni Ba, the first ever group formed around FOUR ngonis, augmented by percussion and of course soulful stirring vocals, but it's the ngonis that are the star. Apparently, when Bassekou was a young man, he observed guitar players moving to the front of the stage to solo, and as luck would have it, Bassekou had outfitted his ngoni with a strap, and while most ngoni players traditionally sat to play, when it came time for his solo, he stood up, headed for the front of the stage and proceeded to blow everyone away. Signaling his radical intentions for the instrument. He also developed his own unique style of picking, a unique version of slide guitar technique as well, a style that was quickly adopted by a new crop of young ngoni players in Mali.
Jama Ko is the latest from Kouyate and his Ngoni Ba, and is easily the best thing we've heard. His Sub Pop records (!) didn't quite capture the raw energy and emotion, but here, the songs are dreamy, haunting, emotional, passionate, the vocals a huge part of the sound, with the ngonis weaving a lush melodic backdrop, but it's when the ngonis take center stage that things get really good, the sound very reminiscent in places of Konono No.1, the lead ngoni, super distorted and buzzy, unfurling wild tangles of melody, but every song here is incredible, the sound of four ngonis divine, easily slipping into wild psychedelic swirls, with at least half of the record spent in some sort of Afro-psych mode, but just as easily, weaving soft lushly layered textures, over which the group lays down swoonsome minor key melodies, and delivers heartfelt vocal driven Afro pop dreaminess. So great!
MPEG Stream: "Jama Ko"
MPEG Stream: "Dankou"
MPEG Stream: "Ne Me Fatigue Pas"
MPEG Stream: "Kele Magni"

album cover KRISHAN, GOPAL The Art of the Vichitra Veena (Ocora) 2cd 42.00
When Allan said that we were getting a CD of recordings of the "Hawaiian guitar of India", I had visions of Gabby Pahinui being backed up by fast and furious tablas. In reality, the music of Gopal Krishan and the vichitra (or strange) veena is nothing like Hawaiian music, so clean that out of your head. No, the reason why Hawaiian guitar is mentioned in connnection with this strange veena instrument is due to the fact that, unlike the sitar, this zither has no frets and instead the performer utilizes a pieces of stone (glass, or wood), much like a Hawaiian guitar, over the strings to reach the proper pitch. This slide guitar like way of performing allows not only for much longer sustained notes -- the decay resulting from bending a pitch via applying pressure to the string on a sitar or sarod is much quicker -- but greater precision and variability of pitch: hence, greater possibility for expression. Another item that apparently makes this veena particularly strange is that, unlike other instruments in the veena family which don't generally have sympathetic strings, it does. And not only that, because the plucked strings are quieter than normal, the sympathetic strings sound much louder relative to the melody. As far as performers of the vichitra veena, Mr. Krishan is pretty much it. The guy has an unintentional monopoly on the instrument and as such, gets to travel far and wee to play it for fascinated crowds. Each disc contains one track, that divided into three parts: a solo prelude by the veena and then two sections accompanied by tabla, the second faster than the first. Beautiful and sublime. Comes with a heaping portion of liner notes in French, English and German.
RealAudio clip: "Raga Jog - Alap"
RealAudio clip: "Raga Jog - Teen Tal Drut"

KRONOS QUARTET Caravan (Nonesuch) cd 16.98
The Kronos Quartet maps the world of sad nomadic musics from Yugoslavia, Portugal, India, Mexico, Romania, Iran, Lebanon, Argentina, and the semi-real land where Terry Riley is from (you know... California). Pleasant background music for white people who like to get drunk on sangria, then lie about how intoxicated they are, all the while dancing like a rhythmless idiot and talking on a cell phone to some poor sap who can't get them off the phone.

album cover KRONOS QUARTET AND ASHA BHOSLE You've Stolen My Heart: Songs From R.D. Burman's Bollywood (Nonesuch) cd 21.00
We've already sold a ton of these. It's not hard to see why. Everybody loves Bollywood film music, and Asha Bhosle is the queen of Indian cinema singers. And the always-adventurous chamber group the Kronos Quartet are pretty cool as well, aren't they? So the idea of Kronos teaming up with Bhosle to record a bunch of the best film songs written by famous Bollywood composer Rahul Dev Burman (1939-1994) is a fine one, and it's worked out marvelously on this disc. Rather than the hyperkinetic, energetic style of music that accompanies the big production dance numbers so often characteristic of Bollywood film, these tracks are of a more languid, moody variety, full of tender sentiment and romantic yearning. Perfect for the sad yet uplifting strings of Kronos (with help on tabla and other percussion from guest Zakir Hussain, and also Wu Man on pipa). And of course perfect for the lovely voice of Bhosle, who sang so many of these songs originally. We said "moody" but these moods do range widely, from sad to seductive to joyous.
This package (which comes ensconced in a nice metallic cardstock slipcase) includes a thick booklet full of detailed notes and photos. You get lyrics and even a synopsis of each of the films in which these songs first appeared, generally back in the early '70s. All in all, gorgeous tribute to Burman and his classic Bollywood ballads, and mostly likely a worthy introduction to them for many.
MPEG Stream: "Dum Maro Dum (Take Another Toke)"
MPEG Stream: "Mehbooba Mehbooba (Beloved, O Beloved)"
MPEG Stream: "Nodir Pare Utthchhe Dhnoa (Smoke Rises Across The River)"

album cover KUBAN, ALI HASSAN From Nubia To Cairo (Piranha) cd 21.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Anyone captivated by the hypnotic grooves found on the great "Ethiopiques" series should check out this not-dissimilar music by one of Ethiopia's neighbors to the north. The late Egyptian bandleader Ali Hassan Kuban, who passed away this summer at the age of 72, had a thirty-plus year career playing his unique brand of Nubian dance music. Indeed, he was a major million-selling artist known as "The James Brown of Nubian Music", and this new cd collects some of his biggest hits. Blending Sudanese, Egyptian, and Western traditions and technologies (from early on, his band utilized electric guitars, basses and organs along with horns and various ethnic instruments), his music is fun, funky and infectious!
RealAudio clip: "Amira"
RealAudio clip: "Yah Nasma Yah Halina"

album cover KUBAN, ALI HASSAN Real Nubian (Piranha) cd 21.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
A fairly recently recorded collection by the "James Brown of Nubian music." Ali Hassan Kuban has been both celebrated for fusing jazz / popular music with traditional Nubian music by many and reproved for debasing it by others. Nevertheless, Kuban made an indelible mark on Nubian and Egyptian popular music, selling millions of copies of his records in his 72 years. "Real Nubian" was recorded between 1997 & 2000 and demonstrates that Kuban was not shy, even in his golden years, to incorporate new and modern elements into his arrangements. So it should come as no surprise that this album has a greater presence of synthesizer and electric bass, but also harmonica, saxophone, bagpipes and even a little bit of vocal processing a la Cher's "Believe" on one track. It all gets a little too Peter Gabriel at times and maybe a little rich for some palates, but if you can get past the chilled white wine and restaurant dining al fresco production values of this album the same Ali Hassan Kuban spirit and inventiveness remains there underneath it all.
RealAudio clip: "Gammal"
RealAudio clip: "Koma Wo Beda"

KUTI AND THE AFRICA '70 WITH GINGER BAKER, FELA Live! (MCA / Universal) cd 15.98
Oh my god! We're overwhelmed with this sudden spasm of Fela Kuti reissue activity -- a dozen cds (many of them containing two LPs worth of music) in the last couple weeks alone, with more on the way! Needless to say, we're not YET able to offer reviews of each individual disc, but when we've plowed through them perhaps we'll re-list any especially stand-out gems. On the whole, though, we're pretty certain you can count on the majority to be essential '70s Afro-Beat from the originator and master of the style.

KUTI, FELA Army Arrangement (MCA / Universal) cd 17.98

KUTI, FELA Beasts Of No Nation (MCA / Universal) cd 17.98
Here's three more in the continuing onslaught of reissues of classic records by the King of Afro-beat. Since we're still working sifting through the last dozen, again we'll just list that we have these and hopefully provide some more specific reviews at some future date!

KUTI, FELA Best Of The Black President (Knitting Factory Records) 2cd 21.00

MPEG Stream: "Lady"
MPEG Stream: "Water No Get Enemy"
MPEG Stream: "Coffin For Head Of State"
MPEG Stream: "ODOO"

KUTI, FELA Coffin For Head of State / Unknown Soldier (Universal) cd 16.98

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