[ international ] titles at Aquarius Records
search by:
view shopping cart

home
newest arrivals
about mailorder
catalog / list archive

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O
P Q R S T U V W X Y Z Other

-
20th century composers
compilation / split
country/folk/blues
country/folk/blues ("no depression")
dvd / video / film
electronic
exotica / novelty
experimental
finland
found sounds, field recordings, oddities
hip hop
hip hop (turntablism)
hiphop
hiphop (turntablism)
international
international (africa)
international (asia)
international (central / south america)
international (cuba)
international (europe)
international (french pop)
international (latin american psych/tropicalia)
international (middle east)
japan
japan (noise/free/psych)
japan (pop)
jazz
local
metal
metal (black metal)
metal (stoner rock)
metal (stoner/doom)
new zealand
print
reggae/dub
rock/pop
rock/pop ('60s psych/garage)
rock/pop (goth/industrial/darkwave)
rock/pop (krautrock)
rock/pop (prog rock)
rock/pop (punk/hardcore)
soul/funk
soundtracks
spoken word & comedy

Records of the Week
Alison's Favorites
Allan's Favorites
Andee's Favorites
Andrew's Favorites
Antaeus's Favorites
Ashley's Favorites
Byram's Favorites
Cameron's Favorites
Christine's Favorites
Cup's Favorites
Frank's Favorites
Harry's Favorites
Irwin's Favorites
Jenny's Favorites
Jill's Favorites
Jim's Favorites
Jon's Favorites
Kerry's Favorites
Kirk's Favorites
Lauren's Favorites
Matt's Favorites
Michael's Favorites
Nick's Favorites
Pam's Favorites
Sally's Favorites
Scott's Favorites
Sydney's Favorites



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 HORNORKESTERET Fjaer Og Jern (Panot Audio Forlog) cd 15.98
We have a long history of obsession with strange sounds from Scandinavia, whether it's all the hypnorock weirdness from Finland, grim blackness from Norway and Sweden or music performed on instruments made from ice, there's something about that stuff that we find irresistible. Not just sonically, but also conceptually. Which makes the provenance of this disc's arrival at aQ all the more wonderful. One day in the mail, a cd with a moose, standing in front of an open refrigerator, set amidst a sunset lit landscape of snow. On the back, drawings of men all wearing white hooded body suits, and all seemingly holding deer skulls and antlers. We were already sold, but the deal was sealed with the legend: "Originals and traditionals performed on stringed reindeer antlers." Which is exactly what this is, a series of haunting soundscapes, performed primarily on stringed and contact mic'd reindeer antlers, the strings and antlers bowed and plucked and scraped, those mysterious sounds accompanied by all manner of sticks, logs, rocks, bones and various field recordings, those field recordings giving the proceedings the air of some surreptitiously captured ancient ritual. There are more traditional instruments as well, drums, flutes, fiddles, guitars, but those are employed judiciously, and most often merely to color the background over which the antler skulls hum and thrum, shimmer and moan.
It's no surprise that David Tibet of Current 93 is a fan, and maybe even less of a surprise that so is Fenriz of Darkthrone (who even did a '90s acid techno remix of 'em which works surprisingly well! Not included here, sadly...), the sound of Hornorkesteret definitely plays into C93's ritualistic ambient folk, and Darkthrone's Norwegian pride, but beyond that, the sounds here are unlike anything you've heard. If we had to compare it to anything, we might mention Avarus, No Neck Blues Band, the aforementioned ice instruments of Terje Isungset, there's definitely a murky, primitive, tribal krautrock vibe, not to mention a certain hauntological bent, especially on the first track (more on that in a second), but ultimately, this is some fantastic raw sonic exploration, a mysterious songsuite, atmospheric, haunting and strangely psychedelic in its own way.
This disc collects the group's best recordings from the last ten years, and begins with what might be the weirdest one, "Elegi For Roald Amundsen", which begins with a staticky shortwave broadcast, a lost radio transmission of a voices speaking in Norwegian, beneath which, the stringed antlers rumble and hum, weaving a dark shimmery drift, driven by a low pulsing thrum, all the while wreathed in a warm crackle, totally mesmerizing and strangely evocative of some impossible melding of ancient tribal ritual and 'modern' technology. It had us imaging some ancient Norwegian tribe, who discovered an old transistor radio, which they assumed must have come from the gods, and every mysterious broadcast was a message from beyond, which they paid tribute by accompanying on their bowed skulls and stringed antlers. Elsewhere, the group weave darkly meditative and ominously rhythmic soundscapes of thrum and rumble, over beds of rushing water and birdsong, or pounding stretches of almost Dead C worthy abstract atmospheric psychedelia, or groaning surreal ambience that reminds us quite a bit of an even more abstract take on Nurse With Wound's Salt Marie Celeste. The tracks vary greatly, from spare and minimal, to dense and rhythmic, at one point detouring into pure Norwegian folk, and at another into something almost funky, a sort of super rhythmic kraut-groove, but for the most part, spends the majority of its time in some haunting sonic otherworld, a transmission from a lost time, delivered in a lost language of sound, the stories and lives and memories conveyed via this strange music, performed on skulls and bones, captured here for eternity.
MPEG Stream: "Elegi For Roald Amundsen"
MPEG Stream: "Morgenstimmung Am Nebelsee"
MPEG Stream: "Horny Guru"
MPEG Stream: "Hvalrossjakt"
MPEG Stream: "Barrieren"

album cover HOT & COLD Border Area (Moniker) lp 16.98
As we're sure you've noticed, over the past year, we've been reviewing tons of Chinese indie rock / noise pop / experimental music, and based on the response we've gotten, you're all digging it as much as we are. Even on this list, you'll find a bunch more cool weird Chinese stuff, including this one, from Hot & Cold, which oddly enough comes by way of Chicago label Moniker, but once you get an earful of these guys, it'll make perfect sense, cuz H&C are a perfect fit on Moniker, their sound a sort of zoner-psych, kraut-drone psychedelia, all programmed rhythms, loping stoned basslines, wasted Velvets vocals, and some blown out distorto organs, giving it all a kick ass lo-fi psych-garage vibe, that while not necessarily distinctly Chinese sounding, definitely hits the spot, falling somewhere between Moon Duo, Suicide, the Velvet Underground, Spacemen 3, and the like, all dirge-y, druggy outsider/weirdo mesmer. Border Area is killer blast of minimal, psych garage kraut-boogie that we have been digging like crazy!
Includes a download code too!
MPEG Stream: "Out Of The Grey"
MPEG Stream: "No Dreams Tonight"

album cover HOT AND COLD Any Monkey Is Dangerous (Maybe Mars) cd 12.98
On the last list, we reviewed an lp from Hot & Cold, a Chinese group who somehow found their way to Chicago label Moniker, and as we mentioned in that review it was a perfect fit, as H&C's twisted brand of lo-fi noise pop / minimal psych kraut / psychedelic noise rock was pretty well removed from much of the other Chinese stuff we've been reviewing lately, which tends more toward the jangly/fuzzy end of nineties style American indie rock. But we (and lots of you) dug that lp, and wanted more, so here's another blast of FX drenched weirdo pop noisiness, and if anything, it's equal to the Moniker lp, right from the get-go, opening with a feral blast of distortion drenched, feedback slathered, bass heavy crunch. Siren like melodies swirl atop a bed of tangled high end squiggles, some fierce distorto bass buzz, yowled Mark E. Smith style vox, all wreathed in a weird cloud of sculpted industrial feedback, and driven by a clipped minimal electro beat, and it's so good! One of those opening tracks we had to listen to 5 or 6 times before we could make ourselves listen to the rest of the record. Which is equal to that opener, albeit not all nearly as noisy and chaotic. "Simon's Angry Song" doesn't sound nearly as angry as that opener, but does deliver a tense sprawl of loping noise rock mesmer, with some crunchy guitar buzz, another drum machine beat, the vocals buried in the mix this time, but as we've come to expect, it doesn't take long for the song to splinter into full on WTF freakout, a twisted squall of wild psychedelic noise, and glitched out weirdness, all still draped over that original hypnotic groove. "Knife Fight" sounds like a more wasted, WAY more abstract Stooges, a single riff looped and layered into something super tranced out, like the other tracks, gradually getting more and more twisted and trippy. We could probably go through the whole record track by track, cuz every song here is a twisted weirdo gem, hazy zoner-psych krautrock style kosmiche, to loping, stuttering electro-murk grooviness, that explodes into damaged outsider rhythmic meltdown, to super blown out, noise rock damage, to druggy dirgey mesmer, that sounds a bit like Spacemen 3 and the Velvets, melted down and doused in hallucinogens, to crunchy, robotic new wave noise-pop...
Seriously twisted, WTF avant pop electro noise radness, an oddball sonic outlier amidst all the killer Chinese indie rock and noise pop that we've been reviewing recently, but one that's quickly revealing itself to maybe be one of our favorites so far!
MPEG Stream: "Helen's Interiors"
MPEG Stream: "Simon's Angry Song"
MPEG Stream: "Knife Fight"
MPEG Stream: "Dance"

album cover HUUN HUUR TU Ancestors Call (World Village) cd 21.00
Huun Huur Tu are probably the most famous musical export from Tuva, known to most for their unique style of throat singing, in which the singer sings multiple notes: a drone, and then whistle like overtones, enabling the singer to create harmonies and multiple melodies, it's quite fantastic, and unlike almost anything you've ever heard. We've often fantasized about a black metal band finding a throat singer for a vocalist. We've actually seen John Gossard (Weakling, Asunder, Dispirit) at a Huun Huur Tu performance, trying to figure out exactly how they do it.
But the music of Huun Huur Tu is much more than just throat singing. Formed in the early nineties, the group performs and preserves traditional Tuvan folk music, singing in the traditional style, but also performing on traditional instruments, hand drums called Tungurs, a long necked Tuvan lute, called a Doshpuluur, a bowed two string instrument called an Igil, and perhaps as distinctive as the vocals, the Khomus, which is a Tuvan Jew's Harp. The sound they create is incredible. The above mentioned performance had 500+ people absolutely enraptured. Four guys in traditional Tuvan garb, boots and headdresses and furs, with those gorgeous instruments, the band wove a sonic spell that was impossible to resist. A sound that was surprisingly loud and powerful as well.
Ancestor's Call is their latest collection, and reflects the various facets of the group's sound and of the Tuvan folk music they pay homage to, from gorgeous solo vocal ballads, to galloping grooves (the galloping rhythm meant indeed to be horselike), the vocals a deep raspy almost Popeye sounding croon, easily slipping into throat singing, that whistling tone soaring impossibly over that deep buzz, some of the vocal harmonies are incredible, 4 impossibly deep voices woven into a lush harmony that rivals ANY drone music you've ever heard, rich and thick and dense and layered and when they begin to add those throat singing overtones, it's totally mesmerizing. The band do incorporate more traditional Western instruments (flutes, acoustic guitars), but they're deftly woven those into the group's sound, and they only serve to add to the gorgeous textures, especially on "Odugen Taiga" which sounds like Tuvan new age, or some Tuvan group making a record for Root Strata, but that's quickly followed by the gorgeous monk like chanting vocals of "Prayer", and it's then, more than ever, that you can feel the true power of their voices. So haunting and intense and emotional.
Of all the group's records, this one seems more stately, and restrained, darker and more melancholy, heavier on the ballads, the focus on the voices, not just the throat singing, but the vocal and instrumental interplay, the more rollicking numbers taking a back seat to the darkly dreamy moodiness of Huun Huur Tu's incredible sound and the fantastic musical legacy of Tuva. Nice slipcover packaging as well.
MPEG Stream: "Mazhalyk-Ta"
MPEG Stream: "Kozhamyk"
MPEG Stream: "Orphan's Lament"
MPEG Stream: "Konguroi"

HUUN-HUUR-TU 60 Horses In My Head (Shanachie) cd 17.98

HUUN-HUUR-TU If I'd Been Born An Eagle (Shanachie) cd 17.98

album cover HYUN, SHIN JOONG Beautiful Rivers And Mountains: The Psychedelic Rock Sound Of South Korea's Shin Joong Hyun 1958-1974 (Light In The Attic) cd 15.98
Wow, we've been waiting for someone to tell the definitive story behind one of Korea's most influential but sadly obscure guitarists and bandleaders. How influential? Well, Fender Guitars has recently made the 72 year old psych-rock veteran his own Custom Shop Tribute Series Guitar - the sixth one ever, after Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Jimi Hendrix and Eddie Van Halen. How obscure?
Well, every past review in which we've ever mentioned him, his name has had a slightly different spelling. We couldn't find much written about him except that he was considered the "Godfather of Korean Rock". His signature song, the 18 minute epic, "Beautiful Rivers And Mountains" has been featured on two other releases we reviewed but with different titles and lengths. An edited version closed the Asian installment of the Love, Peace and Poetry series under the title, "Korean Title A2" by Jung Hyun and The Men, and the Shin Jung Hyun and The Men cd we listed in the past, credits the song as "Beautiful Country", at least that one had the full length version.
The edited 10 minute version is featured here too, but it's understandable given that this is a compilation that highlights how multifaceted his career has been through this fertile 16-year period, often playing behind singers who got top billing (Kim Sun, Kim Jung Mi, Jang Hyun and Lee Jung Hwa) or in a variety of Ga-yo (pop-rock) groups (Golden Grapes, ADD4, Bloozetet, Club Date, The Donkeys, etc.), But Shin Joong Hyun's signature guitar style, moody and soulful, but with a fuzzy, distorted grooviness, is evident throughout. What's even more amazing is Hyun's arranging skills, often augmenting his guitar sound with trippy psych organ and big booming drum tones (check out the opening break on "The Man Who Must Leave" to see what we mean).
Hyun got his start in the late fifties when he found lucrative work playing on American army bases after the Korean War. The opening track "Moon Watching" is from that period. It also afforded him the opportunity to stretch out stylistically away from the Korean traditional pop sound, into more western influenced pop, R&B and psychedelic styles. But while Hyun's songwriting and arranging is often hook-inflected and groovy, there is a serious soulfulness to the songs that give them a powerful melancholic quality. For instance, Kim Jung Mi's "The Sun" sounds like a song Galaxie 500 might have ripped off and made their own (maybe they did?). Jang Hyun's "Sunset" could have easily been featured on that Forge Your Own Chains comp of Heavy Dirges we raved about recently too (Oops, that's because it is on there, under the name "Twilight"!). As Hyun's career hit the seventies, he was more interested in expanding his guitar sound with his band and moving away from the shorter poppier numbers of his sixties past. "'J' Blues 72" is the longest track on here at 15 minutes and it's all just fuzzy acid-groove freakout.
But it's the title track here that takes the prize for most amazing song. One of our favorite Asian psych tracks ever, it's really interesting to hear the incredible story behind it, as it was sadly the song that led to Hyun's professional undoing and to the beginning of a seven year forced musical exile. It turns out a representative of the corrupt leader of South Korea, Park Jung-hee, called upon Hyun to write a song about him, but he refused. The leader than asked him to write a song about the government and Hyun refused again. So perplexed and understandably, a bit paranoid about the exchange, Hyun retreated and wrote his own song about his feelings toward his country and brought it to his band to record. Since it was an eighteen minute song recorded live, the process of recording was unusually grueling, because if any mistakes were made, the band had to start over. Getting it onto a release was difficult as well because of its length but was eventually added to the B side of the singer Jang Hyun's album, originally called Jang Hyun and The Men which Shin Hyun later renamed Shin Jung Hyun and The Men (which is why we figure there have been many different names of the song and credits). Finally having it recorded, Hyun had the opportunity to perform it on TV. The song, with its simple depictions of how Korea is made up of beautiful nature and people, angered the leader and led to a subsequent country-wide musical ban, and years of interrogation, probation and oppression, until the leader's eventual assassination in 1979. Shin Joong Hyun's return to music after this period has been slow and much more low-key.
Light In The Attic has done a tremendous job compiling these tracks and doing the research into Hyun's topsy-turvy life and career, even getting the man himself to annotate all the recordings with his own personal stories of how they came to be made. With a 40 page full color booklet with photos of record covers and all of the great pop acts Hyun worked with over the period. This is not just a great document of an amazing musician, but a great view into the sixties and seventies pop-world of a little documented region of Asian music. Fans of other old and new Asian psych we love like He 6, San Ul Lim, Korean Black Eyes, Mops, Acid Mothers Temple, Up-Tight, Onna, and Satoshi Sonoda will find much to love here. Highest Recommendation!
MPEG Stream: "Beautiful Rivers And Mountains"
MPEG Stream: " Sunset"
MPEG Stream: "The Sun"
MPEG Stream: "The Man Who Must Leave"
MPEG Stream: "I've Got Nothing To Say"

album cover HYUN, SHIN JOONG Beautiful Rivers And Mountains: The Psychedelic Rock Sound Of South Korea's Shin Joong Hyun 1958-1974 (Light In The Attic) 2lp 26.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Wow, we've been waiting for someone to tell the definitive story behind one of Korea's most influential but sadly obscure guitarists and bandleaders. How influential? Well, Fender Guitars has recently made the 72 year old psych-rock veteran his own Custom Shop Tribute Series Guitar - the sixth one ever, after Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Jimi Hendrix and Eddie Van Halen. How obscure?
Well, every past review in which we've ever mentioned him, his name has had a slightly different spelling. We couldn't find much written about him except that he was considered the "Godfather of Korean Rock". His signature song, the 18 minute epic, "Beautiful Rivers And Mountains" has been featured on two other releases we reviewed but with different titles and lengths. An edited version closed the Asian installment of the Love, Peace and Poetry series under the title, "Korean Title A2" by Jung Hyun and The Men, and the Shin Jung Hyun and The Men cd we listed in the past, credits the song as "Beautiful Country", at least that one had the full length version.
The edited 10 minute version is featured here too, but it's understandable given that this is a compilation that highlights how multifaceted his career has been through this fertile 16-year period, often playing behind singers who got top billing (Kim Sun, Kim Jung Mi, Jang Hyun and Lee Jung Hwa) or in a variety of Ga-yo (pop-rock) groups (Golden Grapes, ADD4, Bloozetet, Club Date, The Donkeys, etc.), But Shin Joong Hyun's signature guitar style, moody and soulful, but with a fuzzy, distorted grooviness, is evident throughout. What's even more amazing is Hyun's arranging skills, often augmenting his guitar sound with trippy psych organ and big booming drum tones (check out the opening break on "The Man Who Must Leave" to see what we mean).
Hyun got his start in the late fifties when he found lucrative work playing on American army bases after the Korean War. The opening track "Moon Watching" is from that period. It also afforded him the opportunity to stretch out stylistically away from the Korean traditional pop sound, into more western influenced pop, R&B and psychedelic styles. But while Hyun's songwriting and arranging is often hook-inflected and groovy, there is a serious soulfulness to the songs that give them a powerful melancholic quality. For instance, Kim Jung Mi's "The Sun" sounds like a song Galaxie 500 might have ripped off and made their own (maybe they did?). Jang Hyun's "Sunset" could have easily been featured on that Forge Your Own Chains comp of Heavy Dirges we raved about recently too (Oops, that's because it is on there, under the name "Twilight"!). As Hyun's career hit the seventies, he was more interested in expanding his guitar sound with his band and moving away from the shorter poppier numbers of his sixties past. "'J' Blues 72" is the longest track on here at 15 minutes and it's all just fuzzy acid-groove freakout.
But it's the title track here that takes the prize for most amazing song. One of our favorite Asian psych tracks ever, it's really interesting to hear the incredible story behind it, as it was sadly the song that led to Hyun's professional undoing and to the beginning of a seven year forced musical exile. It turns out a representative of the corrupt leader of South Korea, Park Jung-hee, called upon Hyun to write a song about him, but he refused. The leader than asked him to write a song about the government and Hyun refused again. So perplexed and understandably, a bit paranoid about the exchange, Hyun retreated and wrote his own song about his feelings toward his country and brought it to his band to record. Since it was an eighteen minute song recorded live, the process of recording was unusually grueling, because if any mistakes were made, the band had to start over. Getting it onto a release was difficult as well because of its length but was eventually added to the B side of the singer Jang Hyun's album, originally called Jang Hyun and The Men which Shin Hyun later renamed Shin Jung Hyun and The Men (which is why we figure there have been many different names of the song and credits). Finally having it recorded, Hyun had the opportunity to perform it on TV. The song, with its simple depictions of how Korea is made up of beautiful nature and people, angered the leader and led to a subsequent country-wide musical ban, and years of interrogation, probation and oppression, until the leader's eventual assassination in 1979. Shin Joong Hyun's return to music after this period has been slow and much more low-key.
Light In The Attic has done a tremendous job compiling these tracks and doing the research into Hyun's topsy-turvy life and career, even getting the man himself to annotate all the recordings with his own personal stories of how they came to be made. With a 40 page full color booklet with photos of record covers and all of the great pop acts Hyun worked with over the period. This is not just a great document of an amazing musician, but a great view into the sixties and seventies pop-world of a little documented region of Asian music. Fans of other old and new Asian psych we love like He 6, San Ul Lim, Korean Black Eyes, Mops, Acid Mothers Temple, Up-Tight, Onna, and Satoshi Sonoda will find much to love here. Highest Recommendation!
MPEG Stream: "Beautiful Rivers And Mountains"
MPEG Stream: " Sunset"
MPEG Stream: "The Sun"
MPEG Stream: "The Man Who Must Leave"
MPEG Stream: "I've Got Nothing To Say"

album cover HYUN, SHIN JOONG & YUP JUNS s/t (Lion) cd 14.98
A while back we made the Shin Joong Hyun anthology Beautiful Rivers And Mountains put out by the Light In The Attic label a Record Of The Week, and it was deservedly very popular. So hopefully you already know all about this legendary Korean rock n' roller, but if you don't, you could go read that lengthy review for a lot more information. He certainly has had an interesting life and career, with lots of ups and some serious downs; he began playing rock music back in the '50s for the G.I.'s on American military bases, saw a lot of success in the '60s writing hits for an assortment of singers, by the '70s his rebellious rock n' roll attitude landed him on the conservative South Korean government's shitlist, he wound up getting busted for pot and was tortured in an insane asylum and blacklisted, but eventually things changed for the better and his work resumed, though not the same as before, and he still makes music to this day.
What we have here is a 1974 album, the debut from a three-piece unit Shin formed called the Yup Juns ('brass coins'). None of the songs here appear on that Light In The Attic compilation except for one, there in an alternate recording that was used on a film soundtrack. But if you liked what we described in that review as the guitarist's signature style of being "moody and soulful, but with a fuzzy, distorted grooviness" then this album is full of that - awesome Korean '70s poppy psych action that's VERY GROOVY indeed, with an exotic, Asiatic flair. Halfway through the album, the track "I Love You" seems to channel some traditional Buddhist chant, with bells and percussion in lieu of Shin's guitar, a placid interlude amidst the other songs which look to get heads bopping and hips swivelling out on the dancefloor.
The compact disc version of this comes in a miniature-lp-style sleeve, and includes a thick 20 page booklet with extensive liner notes, lyrics and photos, which are also included with the 180 gram vinyl version. And it's an official release, in cooperation with Shin Joong Hyun himself. Nicely done, so happy to have this.
This week we happen to be listing another reissue from 1974 by another international psych guitar great, Erkin Koray. What Erkin Koray is to Turkey, we suppose you could say Shin Joong Hyun is to South Korea. We recommend getting both albums, while they draw from totally different cultures and traditions (well, except for rock n' roll), they're both great and it'd be tough to decide between the two...
MPEG Stream: "Beautiful Woman"
MPEG Stream: "Think"
MPEG Stream: "Long, Long Night"

album cover HYUN, SHIN JOONG & YUP JUNS s/t (Lion) lp 21.00
A while back we made the Shin Joong Hyun anthology Beautiful Rivers And Mountains put out by the Light In The Attic label a Record Of The Week, and it was deservedly very popular. So hopefully you already know all about this legendary Korean rock n' roller, but if you don't, you could go read that lengthy review for a lot more information. He certainly has had an interesting life and career, with lots of ups and some serious downs; he began playing rock music back in the '50s for the G.I.'s on American military bases, saw a lot of success in the '60s writing hits for an assortment of singers, by the '70s his rebellious rock n' roll attitude landed him on the conservative South Korean government's shitlist, he wound up getting busted for pot and was tortured in an insane asylum and blacklisted, but eventually things changed for the better and his work resumed, though not the same as before, and he still makes music to this day.
What we have here is a 1974 album, the debut from a three-piece unit Shin formed called the Yup Juns ('brass coins'). None of the songs here appear on that Light In The Attic compilation except for one, there in an alternate recording that was used on a film soundtrack. But if you liked what we described in that review as the guitarist's signature style of being "moody and soulful, but with a fuzzy, distorted grooviness" then this album is full of that - awesome Korean '70s poppy psych action that's VERY GROOVY indeed, with an exotic, Asiatic flair. Halfway through the album, the track "I Love You" seems to channel some traditional Buddhist chant, with bells and percussion in lieu of Shin's guitar, a placid interlude amidst the other songs which look to get heads bopping and hips swivelling out on the dancefloor.
The compact disc version of this comes in a miniature-lp-style sleeve, and includes a thick 20 page booklet with extensive liner notes, lyrics and photos, which are also included with the 180 gram vinyl version. And it's an official release, in cooperation with Shin Joong Hyun himself. Nicely done, so happy to have this.
This week we happen to be listing another reissue from 1974 by another international psych guitar great, Erkin Koray. What Erkin Koray is to Turkey, we suppose you could say Shin Joong Hyun is to South Korea. We recommend getting both albums, while they draw from totally different cultures and traditions (well, except for rock n' roll), they're both great and it'd be tough to decide between the two...
MPEG Stream: "Beautiful Woman"
MPEG Stream: "Think"
MPEG Stream: "Long, Long Night"

album cover HYUN, SHIN JUNG & THE MEN s/t (World Psychedelia Ltd) cd 17.98
Another one for everybody who loved the groovy HE 6 album we listed not long ago! Guitar player Shin Jung Hyun was a big deal in the South Korean rock n' roll scene, going as far back as the '50s, when he played for the GIs on American military bases. His music even was apparently the subject of a tribute album a few years ago. In the late sixties/early seventies psychedelia took hold, and Shin Jung Hyun did it as well or better than anyone... totally funky, tripped-out, acid-rock freakdom. Lots and lots of acid-fuzz guitar jamming with bass, drums, organ and some flute too. Maybe for that reason this reminds us a bit of Dungen, actually. The material on this album (which may actually be entited It's A Lie, we're not sure) dates around 1972 or so. Though 44 minutes long, there's just three songs here, "Beautiful Country", "It's A Lie" and "Woman In The Mist", all consequently long and meandering (yet rhythmically tight, believe it), and mostly instrumental. It seems that these three might have originally been the extended flip-sides to shorter, more commerical cuts, compiled onto this disc for the benefit of anyone into far-out psych jamming as wedded to Asian pop of the era. Not so much heavy as it is simply seriously groovy and right-on, Shin Jung and The Men blend garage rock/surf/Frisco ballroom styles into a head-nodding, toe-tapping, mind-blowing, utterly dazzling unravelling of whatever "song" it seems they started off playing. That means: the singer does some nice kinda soft psych pop crooning to start things off, but he soon disappears and the band just takes off into outer realms, doing their thing and stretching out without care for commerical (radio play) considerations. Eventually the singer shows up again, but it's as if he left the room and then came back in some minutes later to finish the song, utterly unaware of what his band had been up to in the interim! We can only imagine what their live shows were like, must have been killer -- as this disc is, killer.
MPEG Stream: "Beautiful Country"

IBRAHIM, ABDULLAH Senzo (Sunnyside) cd 16.98
Beautiful understated solo piano from this multitalented South African artist. Gorgeous!
MPEG Stream: "Corridors Radiant"
MPEG Stream: "Meditation/Mummy"
MPEG Stream: "Jabulani"

IGRA STAKLENIH PERLI S/t (Acme) lp 25.00
"Anachronistic Belgrade prog/psych record from 1979. Heavily influenced by Pink Floyd, Can Hawkwind and Herman Hesse."

album cover ILAIYARAAJA Fire Star: Synth-Pop & Electro-Funk From Tamil Films 1985-1989 (Bombay Connection) cd 17.98
The Maestro strikes again! You should already know prolific South Indian film score composer Maestro Ilaiyaraaja and his "Electronic Pop Sound" from a couple Finders Keepers compilations we've highlighted: his own Solla Solla, and also the one featuring singer K.S. Chithra, with music by the Maestro. If you thought those two discs were over the top and irresistible, just get a load of this new one! (And even if you missed those, well, you probably have an idea of what we're talking about, if you've been exposed to any Bollywood/Kollywood/Lollywood craziness, as represented by other recent collections like Bollywood Bloodbath and Life Is Dance.)
Compared to those other Ilaiyaraaja's, this is similar, but with perhaps even more "video-game-iness" in the goofily orchestrated mix. It's VERY '80s electro synth sounding, and groovy too, as the subtitle promises. There's a big kitsch/cheese factor no doubt, but that's a big part of this genre's charms, really! Plus, this shit's tight, every element - electronic beats and sweet vocals and synthesized string sections and ethnic instruments and startling sound FX - in its place, everything and everybody dancing to the tunes of the Maestro. Hott stuff. 16 tracks, 65 minutes, you'll be grinning gleefully the whole time.
And you gotta love the cover, right? Icing on the cake of this swank trifold digipak, which includes a 30 page booklet with info on each of the films from which music was taken.
MPEG Stream: "Thangamana Raasa"
MPEG Stream: "Oruvar Vaazhum Aalayam"
MPEG Stream: "Punnagai Mannan"

album cover ILAIYARAAJA Fire Star: Synth-Pop & Electro-Funk From Tamil Films 1985-1989 (Bombay Connection) 2lp 28.00
Sweet! Now on lp, that great cover pic thus bigger and better on this swank gatefold sleeved vinyl version.
The Maestro strikes again! You should already know prolific South Indian film score composer Maestro Ilaiyaraaja and his "Electronic Pop Sound" from a couple Finders Keepers compilations we've highlighted: his own Solla Solla, and also the one featuring singer K.S. Chithra, with music by the Maestro. If you thought those two discs were over the top and irresistible, just get a load of this new one! (And even if you missed those, well, you probably have an idea of what we're talking about, if you've been exposed to any Bollywood/Kollywood/Lollywood craziness, as represented by other recent collections like Bollywood Bloodbath and Life Is Dance.)
Compared to those other Ilaiyaraaja's, this is similar, but with perhaps even more "video-game-iness" in the goofily orchestrated mix. It's VERY '80s electro synth sounding, and groovy too, as the subtitle promises. There's a big kitsch/cheese factor no doubt, but that's a big part of this genre's charms, really! Plus, this shit's tight, every element - electronic beats and sweet vocals and synthesized string sections and ethnic instruments and startling sound FX - in its place, everything and everybody dancing to the tunes of the Maestro. Hott stuff. 16 tracks, 65 minutes, you'll be grinning gleefully the whole time.
MPEG Stream: "Thangamana Raasa"
MPEG Stream: "Oruvar Vaazhum Aalayam"
MPEG Stream: "Punnagai Mannan"

album cover ILAIYARAAJA Ilectro (B-Music) cd 15.98
Yay, more delightful music from Ilaiyaraaja, illustrious composer for South India's Kollywood (not Bollywood, but close) film industry. Finders Keepers / B-Music has previously brought us a couple other comps full of Ilaiyaraaja's tremendously enjoyable and unusually arranged tunes, so hopefully you know all about him already and are eager for more, 'cause look out, here's another seventeen tracks of the man's colorful and creative East-West mashup music, circa the synth-pop Eighties (his prime), full of electro funk drum machine grooves, '80s future shock synthesizer (Yamaha DX7 keyboard in the house!), orchestral flourishes, and the often amorously impassioned vocalisations of a variety of famous playback singers including K.S. Chitra, aka the "Tamil Nightingale".
Ilaiyaraaja himself can lay claim to the honorific "The Maestro". He's also been called "The Crown Prince Of Tamil Pop", and it's easy to hear why from this disc of so very lively and infectious and not overly-serious music, joyful songs designed to get characters in Tamil films - and maybe you too - singing and dancing.
Apparently Ilaiyaraaja, currently 69 years of age, has written/recorded over 4,500 songs in his career (and counting), so we can probably look forward to more collections from Finders Keepers and other equally hip labels, but don't let this one slip by, it's got a lot of gems on it. Imagine if Axel F went to India...
Extensive, interesting, informative (as usual) liner notes from DJ Andy Votel are included, the disc having been compiled by Votel and Doug Shipton.
Import double vinyl version also forthcoming, by the way, we should have that in time for our next list.
MPEG Stream: "Adi Rani"
MPEG Stream: "Ponmani"
MPEG Stream: "Sangeetham"

album cover ILAIYARAAJA Ilectro (B-Music / Finders Keepers) 2lp 28.00
And now here's the import double vinyl version!
Yay, more delightful music from Ilaiyaraaja, illustrious composer for South India's Kollywood (not Bollywood, but close) film industry. Finders Keepers / B-Music has previously brought us a couple other comps full of Ilaiyaraaja's tremendously enjoyable and unusually arranged tunes, so hopefully you know all about him already and are eager for more, 'cause look out, here's another seventeen tracks of the man's colorful and creative East-West mashup music, circa the synth-pop Eighties (his prime), full of electro funk drum machine grooves, '80s future shock synthesizer (Yamaha DX7 keyboard in the house!), orchestral flourishes, and the often amorously impassioned vocalisations of a variety of famous playback singers including K.S. Chitra, aka the "Tamil Nightingale".
Ilaiyaraaja himself can lay claim to the honorific "The Maestro". He's also been called "The Crown Prince Of Tamil Pop", and it's easy to hear why from this disc of so very lively and infectious and not overly-serious music, joyful songs designed to get characters in Tamil films - and maybe you too - singing and dancing.
Apparently Ilaiyaraaja, currently 69 years of age, has written/recorded over 4,500 songs in his career (and counting), so we can probably look forward to more collections from Finders Keepers and other equally hip labels, but don't let this one slip by, it's got a lot of gems on it. Imagine if Axel F went to India...
Extensive, interesting, informative (as usual) liner notes from DJ Andy Votel are included, this having been compiled by Votel and Doug Shipton.
MPEG Stream: "Adi Rani"
MPEG Stream: "Ponmani"
MPEG Stream: "Sangeetham"

album cover ILAIYARAAJA Solla Solla Volume 1: Maestro Ilaiyaraaja And The Electronic Pop Sound Of Kollywood 1977-1983 (Finders Keepers) lp 24.00
Yay!! Now in stock, in quantity, on nice fancy import vinyl, in two parts. And each of the lps contains a bonus track not found on the compact disc version! Here's what we said about the cd:
If any album on this week's list is gonna put a smile on your face and spring in your step, this is the one! First off, we love Bollywood stuff to begin with, and then that this was curated by the Finders Keepers / B-Music folks, you know it's gonna be good... And indeed the stuff they've dug up for this compilation is so fantastic, fun, energetic, absurd, over the top, and catchy, yeah it's Bollywood at its best. Well, except that actually to be precise it's KOLLYWOOD not Bollywood, 'cause this is is all music from films produced by the Tamil-language film industry, based not in Mumbai (formerly Bombay) but in the South Indian city of Chenai (formerly Madras), in a neighborhood called Kodambakkam, thus "Kollywood" (and remember, there's also Pakistan's Lollywood too, based in Lahore, and Nollywood in Nigeria...).
In any case, there's 16 tracks here [18 on the vinyl, spread over the 2 lps], each more groovy and insane than the last. Furthermore, they're all the work of composer Ilaiyaraaja (meaning, Prince), aka The Maestro, a very creative and hard working fellow indeed, responsible for the scores to over 900 films in his long career!!! Thanks to Finder Keepers, who've selected these gems, sourced from rare 45 rpm singles and such, we're now big fans. Reminds us A LOT of one of our very favorite Bollywood and/or Kollywood collections ever, an all time AQ fave disc in any genre in fact: the long out of print Vijaya Anand "Dance Raja Dance" cd on Luaka Bop from years ago, another amazing batch of songs from South Indian musical cinema.
Solla Solla, like Dance Raja Dance, Dance, is simply irresistible. A lively, genre defying mash up of Eastern and Western, kitschy pop and chaotic exotica, psychedelic sometimes intentionally, sometimes otherwise, full of sudden surprises and sweeping melodies, crazy rhythms, wild vocal outbursts, funky fat synths, big bands doing disco beats... Wow!!
These songs, presumably for whirling, ADD action sequences / dance numbers, often feature quasi-orgasmic murmurs and squeals from the female lead vocalists, giggles and screams as well. Along with plenty of lovely singing, too, of course. And from the men, lots of "Huuh!!" and "Hey!!". Quite bombastic, and ecstatic, and definitely dance-floor DJ fodder for when you really want the party to get goin'. Absolutely delightful!!!
Again, all music composed, produced, and arranged by Ilaiyaraaja. Various veteran "playback singers" like S.P. Balasubrahmanyam and T.M. Soundararajan appear on here. The liner notes by Doug Shipton go into depth about Ilaiyaraaja's career, and plenty of photos/graphics are provided.
MPEG Stream: "Thanimayil (Featuring Vani Jairam & Chorus)"
MPEG Stream: "Solla Solla (Featuring S.P. Balasubrahmanyam)"
MPEG Stream: "Sorgam Madhuvile (Featuring S.P. Balasubrahmanyam & Chorus)"

album cover ILAIYARAAJA Solla Solla Volume 2: Maestro Ilaiyaraaja And The Electronic Pop Sound Of Kollywood 1977-1983 (Finders Keepers) lp 24.00
Yay!! Now in stock, in quantity, on nice fancy import vinyl, in two parts. And each of the lps contains a bonus track not found on the compact disc version! Here's what we said about the cd:
If any album on this week's list is gonna put a smile on your face and spring in your step, this is the one! First off, we love Bollywood stuff to begin with, and then that this was curated by the Finders Keepers / B-Music folks, you know it's gonna be good... And indeed the stuff they've dug up for this compilation is so fantastic, fun, energetic, absurd, over the top, and catchy, yeah it's Bollywood at its best. Well, except that actually to be precise it's KOLLYWOOD not Bollywood, 'cause this is is all music from films produced by the Tamil-language film industry, based not in Mumbai (formerly Bombay) but in the South Indian city of Chenai (formerly Madras), in a neighborhood called Kodambakkam, thus "Kollywood" (and remember, there's also Pakistan's Lollywood too, based in Lahore, and Nollywood in Nigeria...).
In any case, there's 16 tracks here [18 on the vinyl, spread over the 2 lps], each more groovy and insane than the last. Furthermore, they're all the work of composer Ilaiyaraaja (meaning, Prince), aka The Maestro, a very creative and hard working fellow indeed, responsible for the scores to over 900 films in his long career!!! Thanks to Finder Keepers, who've selected these gems, sourced from rare 45 rpm singles and such, we're now big fans. Reminds us A LOT of one of our very favorite Bollywood and/or Kollywood collections ever, an all time AQ fave disc in any genre in fact: the long out of print Vijaya Anand "Dance Raja Dance" cd on Luaka Bop from years ago, another amazing batch of songs from South Indian musical cinema.
Solla Solla, like Dance Raja Dance, Dance, is simply irresistible. A lively, genre defying mash up of Eastern and Western, kitschy pop and chaotic exotica, psychedelic sometimes intentionally, sometimes otherwise, full of sudden surprises and sweeping melodies, crazy rhythms, wild vocal outbursts, funky fat synths, big bands doing disco beats... Wow!!
These songs, presumably for whirling, ADD action sequences / dance numbers, often feature quasi-orgasmic murmurs and squeals from the female lead vocalists, giggles and screams as well. Along with plenty of lovely singing, too, of course. And from the men, lots of "Huuh!!" and "Hey!!". Quite bombastic, and ecstatic, and definitely dance-floor DJ fodder for when you really want the party to get goin'. Absolutely delightful!!!
Again, all music composed, produced, and arranged by Ilaiyaraaja. Various veteran "playback singers" like S.P. Balasubrahmanyam and T.M. Soundararajan appear on here. The liner notes by Doug Shipton go into depth about Ilaiyaraaja's career, and plenty of photos/graphics are provided.
MPEG Stream: "Kholapurase Kudasathrivasi (Featuring S.P. Sailaja & Chorus)"

album cover ILAIYARAAJA Solla Solla: Maestro Ilaiyaraaja And The Electronic Pop Sound Of Kollywood 1977-1983 (Finders Keepers) cd 15.98
If any album on this week's list is gonna put a smile on your face and spring in your step, this is the one! First off, we love Bollywood stuff to begin with, and then that this was curated by the Finders Keepers / B-Music folks, you know it's gonna be good... And indeed the stuff they've dug up for this compilation is so fantastic, fun, energetic, absurd, over the top, and catchy, yeah it's Bollywood at its best. Well, except that actually to be precise it's KOLLYWOOD not Bollywood, 'cause this is is all music from films produced by the Tamil-language film industry, based not in Mumbai (formerly Bombay) but in the South Indian city of Chenai (formerly Madras), in a neighborhood called Kodambakkam, thus "Kollywood" (and remember, there's also Pakistan's Lollywood too, based in Lahore, and Nollywood in Nigeria...).
In any case, there's 16 tracks here, each more groovy and insane than the last. Furthermore, they're all the work of composer Ilaiyaraaja (meaning, Prince), aka The Maestro, a very creative and hard working fellow indeed, responsible for the scores to over 900 films in his long career!!! Thanks to Finder Keepers, who've selected these gems, sourced from rare 45 rpm singles and such, we're now big fans. Reminds us A LOT of one of our very favorite Bollywood and/or Kollywood collections ever, an all time AQ fave disc in any genre in fact: the long out of print Vijaya Anand "Dance Raja Dance" cd on Luaka Bop from years ago, another amazing batch of songs from South Indian musical cinema.
Solla Solla, like Dance Raja Dance, Dance, is simply irresistible. A lively, genre defying mash up of Eastern and Western, kitschy pop and chaotic exotica, psychedelic sometimes intentionally, sometimes otherwise, full of sudden surprises and sweeping melodies, crazy rhythms, wild vocal outbursts, funky fat synths, big bands doing disco beats... Wow!!
These songs, presumably for whirling, ADD action sequences / dance numbers, often feature quasi-orgasmic murmurs and squeals from the female lead vocalists, giggles and screams as well. Along with plenty of lovely singing, too, of course. And from the men, lots of "Huuh!!" and "Hey!!". Quite bombastic, and ecstatic, and definitely dance-floor DJ fodder for when you really want the party to get goin'. Absolutely delightful!!!
Again, all music composed, produced, and arranged by Ilaiyaraaja. Various veteran "playback singers" like S.P. Balasubrahmanyam and T.M. Soundararajan appear on here. The liner notes by Doug Shipton go into depth about Ilaiyaraaja's career, and plenty of photos/graphics are provided.
FYI, we also have (or can get) this on import vinyl, in two volumes, $24.00 each. Vol.1 contains a bonus track.
MPEG Stream: "Kholapurase Kudasathrivasi (Featuring S.P. Sailaja & Chorus)"
MPEG Stream: "Thanimayil (Featuring Vani Jairam & Chorus)"
MPEG Stream: "Solla Solla (Featuring S.P. Balasubrahmanyam)"
MPEG Stream: "Sorgam Madhuvile (Featuring S.P. Balasubrahmanyam & Chorus)"

album cover ILILONGA, RIKKI & MUSI-O-TUNYA Dark Sunrise (Now-Again) 2cd 24.00
If you have never heard of Rikki Ililonga or his influential band, Musi-O-Tunya, you are not alone. As it goes in the rediscovery of important music especially outside North America, the true innovators of a sound and a scene are often the last to be rediscovered, and Rikki Ililonga is a case in point. Followers of the aQ list have no doubt been aware of the recent spate of "ZamRock" reissues, most lately, from Witch, and Tirogo, and farther back, gems from Ngozi Family, Chrissy Zebby Tembo, The Peace, and Amanaz, that really have shown the influence of Jimi Hendrix and heavy psych on this part of Southern Africa. Well, Rikki Ililonga through his band Musi-O-Tunya and subsequent solo records were there from the beginning, releasing the very first pop and rock records after Zambia gained its independence, thus pioneering the birth of "ZamRock".
The Now-Again label has done an incredible job of compiling two discs of recordings from the years 1973 through 1976, one disc devoted to Musi-O-Tunya, and the second disc to Ililonga's solo recordings. The first disc traces the band's roots from its Afro-beat beginnings with bass and horn funk rhythms to more lo-fi fuzzy garage rock singles band then to a heavier psych powerhouse singing full on in English. The centerpiece single being the title track, "Dark Sunrise", should get any heavy seventies I-rock head salivating. The second disc compiling Ililonga's first two solo records is a more varied affair as he goes through many seventies styles and tropes. There's still plenty of heavy psych with searing guitar leads, but there's also some Thin Lizzyish power rock, baroque rock balladry, heavy sexy blues and even some rhythmic Afro-pop.
The cds are housed in a 32 page full color hardback book compiling photos and interviews, liner notes and ephemera, and the triple lp vinyl version is even fancier, a massive boxset containing 12 page booklet, and individual, exact reproductions of Ililonga's original 3 albums (thus tracklist of the vinyl format is somewhat different than the way the cds are organized, as described above). Whooo yeah!
MPEG Stream: MUSI-O-TUNYA "Tsegulani"
MPEG Stream: MUSI-O-TUNYA "Dark Sunrise"
MPEG Stream: MUSI-O-TUNYA "Smoke"
MPEG Stream: RIKKI ILILONGA "Sansa Kuwa"
MPEG Stream: RIKKI ILILONGA "Musamuseka"
MPEG Stream: RIKKI ILILONGA "Take It Light"

album cover ILILONGA, RIKKI & MUSI-O-TUNYA Dark Sunrise (Now-Again) 3lp box 60.00
If you have never heard of Rikki Ililonga or his influential band, Musi-O-Tunya, you are not alone. As it goes in the rediscovery of important music especially outside North America, the true innovators of a sound and a scene are often the last to be rediscovered, and Rikki Ililonga is a case in point. Followers of the aQ list have no doubt been aware of the recent spate of "ZamRock" reissues, most lately, from Witch, and Tirogo, and farther back, gems from Ngozi Family, Chrissy Zebby Tembo, The Peace, and Amanaz, that really have shown the influence of Jimi Hendrix and heavy psych on this part of Southern Africa. Well, Rikki Ililonga through his band Musi-O-Tunya and subsequent solo records were there from the beginning, releasing the very first pop and rock records after Zambia gained its independence, thus pioneering the birth of "ZamRock".
The Now-Again label has done an incredible job of compiling two discs of recordings from the years 1973 through 1976, one disc devoted to Musi-O-Tunya, and the second disc to Ililonga's solo recordings. The first disc traces the band's roots from its Afro-beat beginnings with bass and horn funk rhythms to more lo-fi fuzzy garage rock singles band then to a heavier psych powerhouse singing full on in English. The centerpiece single being the title track, "Dark Sunrise", should get any heavy seventies I-rock head salivating. The second disc compiling Ililonga's first two solo records is a more varied affair as he goes through many seventies styles and tropes. There's still plenty of heavy psych with searing guitar leads, but there's also some Thin Lizzyish power rock, baroque rock balladry, heavy sexy blues and even some rhythmic Afro-pop.
The cds are housed in a 32 page full color hardback book compiling photos and interviews, liner notes and ephemera, and the triple lp vinyl version is even fancier, a massive boxset containing 12 page booklet, and individual, exact reproductions of Ililonga's original 3 albums (thus tracklist of the vinyl format is somewhat different than the way the cds are organized, as described above). Whooo yeah!
MPEG Stream: MUSI-O-TUNYA "Tsegulani"
MPEG Stream: MUSI-O-TUNYA "Dark Sunrise"
MPEG Stream: MUSI-O-TUNYA "Smoke"
MPEG Stream: RIKKI ILILONGA "Sansa Kuwa"
MPEG Stream: RIKKI ILILONGA "Musamuseka"
MPEG Stream: RIKKI ILILONGA "Take It Light"

album cover IMARHAN TIMBUKTU Akal Warled (Clermont Music) cd 14.98
Tinariwen, Group Inerane, Bombino, Koudede, Tartit... there's quite an amazing scene of North African groups making groovy guitar sounds out in the desert, isn't there? Add Mali's Imarhan Timbuktu to the list - though they're not that new, having been around since 1993, regularly playing the Festival au Desert as well as touring further afield in Europe and the States (in fact, they just played SXSW). They also share members with the aforementioned Tartit. But this is the first recording we've had from this Tuareg ensemble, lead by guitarist/vocalist Mohammed Issa Ag Oumar El Ansar (also simply known as Medissa). It's largely a family affair with Medissa and his brother on interwoven electric guitars, and their two sisters backing them up with traditional hand drums. There's also a bass player, and someone rockin' the calabash (a gourd-based percussion instrument). Together they provide more of that rhythmically satisfying, intricate desert blues goodness we've come to expect from all these exciting groups from the Sahara. Proud musical transmissions from a culture in turmoil and transition, protest music that's definitely danceable, with twanging, jangling, sometimes searing guitar, and jubilant, mellifluous vocal lines. Great stuff.
FYI, just on cd for now, but there's a limited vinyl version upcoming for Record Store Day!
MPEG Stream: "Aicha Talamomt"
MPEG Stream: "Akal Warled"
MPEG Stream: "Amassakoul In Tenere"

album cover IMARHAN TIMBUKTU Akal Warled (Clermont Music) lp 22.00
Released on limited edition vinyl for Record Store Day, almost all gone though. Here's what we said about the cd version (still in stock) a few weeks' back:
Tinariwen, Group Inerane, Bombino, Koudede, Tartit... there's quite an amazing scene of North African groups making groovy guitar sounds out in the desert, isn't there? Add Mali's Imarhan Timbuktu to the list - though they're not that new, having been around since 1993, regularly playing the Festival au Desert as well as touring further afield in Europe and the States (in fact, they just played SXSW). They also share members with the aforementioned Tartit. But this is the first recording we've had from this Tuareg ensemble, lead by guitarist/vocalist Mohammed Issa Ag Oumar El Ansar (also simply known as Medissa). It's largely a family affair with Medissa and his brother on interwoven electric guitars, and their two sisters backing them up with traditional hand drums. There's also a bass player, and someone rockin' the calabash (a gourd-based percussion instrument). Together they provide more of that rhythmically satisfying, intricate desert blues goodness we've come to expect from all these exciting groups from the Sahara. Proud musical transmissions from a culture in turmoil and transition, protest music that's definitely danceable, with twanging, jangling, sometimes searing guitar, and jubilant, mellifluous vocal lines. Great stuff.
MPEG Stream: "Aicha Talamomt"
MPEG Stream: "Akal Warled"
MPEG Stream: "Amassakoul In Tenere"

IMO BROTHERS Ije Love / Journey of Love (Original Music) cd 13.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
If you're looking for some punchy high life to dance you butt off to, then the Imo Brothers' Eastern Nigerian recipe is for you. Though recorded in the early 80's, the authenticity is still here and the good track lengths will attest to a healthy workout!

album cover IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE (SOUNDTRACK) (Higher Octave) cd 17.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Wong Kar Wai's In the Mood for Love was one of the best films of 2001. At least that's the thought round here! Starring Tony Leung and Maggie Cheung as starcrossed lovers married to others and too proper to consummate their relationship, it's a wonderful movie. And let's just pause for a moment to recall how fucking gorgeous Maggie is in her Chinese dresses. When I saw the film, the people in the theater audibly gasped everytime she entered a scene with a new outfit.
Anyway, Wong wanted the soundtrack to reflect the era during which the film is set -- the mid-'60s. Thus we have a few Latin-tinged Nat King Cole numbers plus some extra special, ever so charming Chinese pop songs of the day. Rounding out the album is a lot of moody sad violin soundtrack stuff from Michael Galasso, and a single composition by Umebayashi Shigeru which is the main theme of the film. It's mostly achingly sad violin and it's simply gorgeous. The entire record evokes the film -- a success, no throwaway material. Recommended!
RealAudio clip: UMEBAYASHI SHIGERU "Yumeji's Theme"
RealAudio clip: DENG BAI YING "Shuan Shuan Yang"
RealAudio clip: ZHANG YUN XIAN & LI HONG "Shuang Ma Hui"
RealAudio clip: NAT KING COLE "Quizas, Quizas, Quizas"

album cover INSTITUT FUER FEINMOTORIK (IFF) Abgegriffen (Marriage) lp 16.98

album cover INVISIBLE HANDS Teslam (Abduction) cd 16.98
The cliff notes version of Invisible Hands might read something like "spaghetti-western cow-punk from Cairo with one of dudes from the Sun City Girls." The dude in question is the curmudgeonly Alan Bishop (aka Alvarius B.) here working with four Egyptian musicians, two of whom had been in the Egyptian rock band Eskenderella. As we mentioned before in the previous review about Invisible Hands' first album, this is a remarkably sensible project for Alan Bishop, known for his confrontational fuck-you-in-eyeball attitude and discordant avant-folk splutter. Where the first album had a sand-blasted alt-rock prettiness about akin to Giant Sand and Calexico, Teslam finds Bishop pushing more of the insidious, diabolical aesthetics for which he is known. "Eyes In The Back Of Your Head" is a blackened, sardonic waltz with Bishop and Co. alternating between languid Morricone-esque melodies and harshly plucked Brechtian venom, all in the steampunk time of three. When Bishop and fellow Invisible Hands Aya Hemeda sing in tandem as on "Slaughterhouse" and "The Great Implosion", it's akin to the unkempt harmonies that Exene Cervenka and John Doe delivered in X.
MPEG Stream: "Slaughterhouse"
MPEG Stream: "Places"
MPEG Stream: "Eyes In The Back Of Your Head"

album cover INVISIBLE HANDS Teslam (Abduction) lp 21.00
The cliff notes version of Invisible Hands might read something like "spaghetti-western cow-punk from Cairo with one of dudes from the Sun City Girls." The dude in question is the curmudgeonly Alan Bishop (aka Alvarius B.) here working with four Egyptian musicians, two of whom had been in the Egyptian rock band Eskenderella. As we mentioned before in the previous review about Invisible Hands' first album, this is a remarkably sensible project for Alan Bishop, known for his confrontational fuck-you-in-eyeball attitude and discordant avant-folk splutter. Where the first album had a sandblasted alt-rock prettiness about akin to Giant Sand and Calexico, Teslam finds Bishop pushing more of the insidious, diabolical aesthetics for which he is known. "Eyes In The Back Of Your Head" is a blackened, sardonic waltz with Bishop and Co. alternating between languid Morricone-esque melodies and harshly plucked Brechtian venom, all in the steampunk time of three. When Bishop and fellow Invisible Hands Aya Hemeda sing in tandem as on "Slaughterhouse" and "The Great Implosion", it's akin to the unkempt harmonies that Exene Cervenka and John Doe delivered in X.
MPEG Stream: "Slaughterhouse"
MPEG Stream: "Places"
MPEG Stream: "Eyes In The Back Of Your Head"

album cover INVISIBLE HANDS, THE s/t (Abduction) cd 15.98
What?! A somewhat sort of sensible Alan Bishop recording? We had thought the amazing Baroque Primitiva from 2011 might have been the most polite thing the former Sun City Girl had ever released; but his latest project under the moniker Invisible Hands might just take the cake, as this one can be downright lovely, not too far from Giant Sand or Calexico weirdly enough. Nope, there's none of the misogyny or misanthropy which Bishop routinely tosses into his lyrics for the Sun City Girls or as Alvarius B, and most definitely nothing as rude and wild and over the top as his Uncle Jim pseudonym; and that may have to do with the company he's keeping. The Invisible Hands ensemble is comprised of members of the Egyptian rock band Eskenderella; and they recorded this album in the summer of 2011 after the ousting of Hosni Mubarak and the upheaval that spread throughout Northern Africa. Perhaps, the timing was such that it would be unwise to record an album with the sorts of provocative subjects that Bishop is generally known for; but then again, it might have been equally improper to have recorded an album that might have been offensive to an Egyptian sensibility. To Bishop, it might be one thing to offend his politically correct audience in America and another thing to offend his hosts in Egypt, 'cause that would be rude. Eh. Or hell, maybe we're just getting a glimpse of a lesser seen sonic side to this musical misanthrope...
Either way, the album's arrangements are lovely and spacious, mostly driven by acoustic guitar with plenty of those Morricone nods common to the Bishop songbook, but there's some more aggressive turns with the theatrical gravity of Tom Waits and a few incendiary psychedelic moments that had us wondering aloud "Hey, when is somebody gonna reissue Torch Of The Mystics?" In fact, one of the songs here "Black Weather Shoes" is a pretty radical reinterpretation of an old Sun City Girls track from their record Grotto Of Miracles. We've been told that there's an Arabic version of these recordings under the Arabic name El Ayadi El Khafeyya, but that's only being sold in the Middle East. Major bummer, dude! That would be a very cool thing to hear, although this is cool as it is. Let's petition the White House and force them to comment on an Alan Bishop record!
MPEG Stream: "Black Weather Shoes"
MPEG Stream: "Black Blood"
MPEG Stream: "Death Zoo"

album cover ISHRAQIYUN (SECRET CHIEFS 3) Perichoresis (Web Of Mimicry) cd 13.98
Not strictly a Secret Chiefs record, Ishraqiyun is the Chiefs' "neo-Pythagorean electro-folk" side project, which essentially consists of the non-rock based music the band routinely perform live, in non-Western tunings, and on non-Western instruments. But they're not played entirely straight, with most of the tracks sounding a bit like Master Musicians Of Jajouka by way of Don Caballero, with lots of bowed buzzing strings, tabla-like percussion, Eastern rhythms, a serious world music / international folk vibe, but then wedded to wild mathed out drumming, and swoon some cinematic strings, the arrangements intricate and the sound exotic, some mutant strain of math-prog-world music maybe?
Ishraqiyun for this debut recording is made up of various Secret Chiefs past and present, including Eyvind Kang and Ches Smith, and of course led by former Mr. Bungle weirdo and SC head honcho Trey Spruance. All the songs are exclusive to this record, although many have been performed live over the years, and anyone who's seen SC live, will definitely recognize some of the tracks here, and recorded they're just as mesmerizing and hypnotic, sprawling world-folk grooves, lush and layered and psychedelic, the sound like some alien Sublime Frequencies release. The title track is apparently the first recorded composition to feature Spruance's "evolving system of musical ideas patterned upon the specific geometrical relationships found in certain polyhedra and the tessellating patterns from which they are derived" Phew! And while maybe understanding what the heck that means might give you an insight into the mad musical genius at work here, it's not a requirement to dig these sounds. Not at all. And while most of the record is as described above, buzzing strings and will percussion, often wound around fierce propulsive proggy drumming, some tracks, like "Base Phive Futur Cossacks" mixes in some of the band's avant garde tendencies, some moments harkening back to the WTF? days of Mr. Bungle, others the band's obsession with John Carpenter style soundtrackiness, with sounds cutting in and out, swirls of mutated samples, thick buzzing synths, weird blurts of baroque pop, all draped over a woozy world music framework, and what at first sounds chaotic and on the verge of collapse, quickly becomes one of the record's highlights. And while the next two tracks (including the epic 16+ minute title track) dial back the weirdness, and deliver more whirling dervish folk prog and brooding hypnotic world music psychedelia, the final track gives us one final taste of that weird international synth-prog space-psych exotica, this time with even more synthy swirl, wild splatters of piano, blown out, distorto psychedelic guitar buzz, plenty of studio fuckery, wild edits (and if not edits, some impossibly dexterous playing), all in a swirling sonic tangle that has to be some of the most seriously dizzyingly next level, psychedelic, avant prog, faux world music we've ever heard!
MPEG Stream: "The 15"
MPEG Stream: "Base Phive Futur Cossacks"
MPEG Stream: "Aptarshi"

album cover ISHRAQIYUN (SECRET CHIEFS 3) Perichoresis (Web Of Mimicry) lp 17.98
NOW ON VINYL! Here's what we wrote about the cd version when it came out last year:
Not strictly a Secret Chiefs record, Ishraqiyun is the Chiefs' "neo-Pythagorean electro-folk" side project, which essentially consists of the non-rock based music the band routinely perform live, in non-Western tunings, and on non-Western instruments. But they're not played entirely straight, with most of the tracks sounding a bit like Master Musicians Of Jajouka by way of Don Caballero, with lots of bowed buzzing strings, tabla-like percussion, Eastern rhythms, a serious world music / international folk vibe, but then wedded to wild mathed out drumming, and swoon some cinematic strings, the arrangements intricate and the sound exotic, some mutant strain of math-prog-world music maybe?
Ishraqiyun for this debut recording is made up of various Secret Chiefs past and present, including Eyvind Kang and Ches Smith, and of course led by former Mr. Bungle weirdo and SC head honcho Trey Spruance. All the songs are exclusive to this record, although many have been performed live over the years, and anyone who's seen SC live, will definitely recognize some of the tracks here, and recorded they're just as mesmerizing and hypnotic, sprawling world-folk grooves, lush and layered and psychedelic, the sound like some alien Sublime Frequencies release. The title track is apparently the first recorded composition to feature Spruance's "evolving system of musical ideas patterned upon the specific geometrical relationships found in certain polyhedra and the tessellating patterns from which they are derived" Phew! And while maybe understanding what the heck that means might give you an insight into the mad musical genius at work here, it's not a requirement to dig these sounds. Not at all. And while most of the record is as described above, buzzing strings and will percussion, often wound around fierce propulsive proggy drumming, some tracks, like "Base Phive Futur Cossacks" mixes in some of the band's avant garde tendencies, some moments harkening back to the WTF? days of Mr. Bungle, others the band's obsession with John Carpenter style soundtrackiness, with sounds cutting in and out, swirls of mutated samples, thick buzzing synths, weird blurts of baroque pop, all draped over a woozy world music framework, and what at first sounds chaotic and on the verge of collapse, quickly becomes one of the record's highlights. And while the next two tracks (including the epic 16+ minute title track) dial back the weirdness, and deliver more whirling dervish folk prog and brooding hypnotic world music psychedelia, the final track gives us one final taste of that weird international synth-prog space-psych exotica, this time with even more synthy swirl, wild splatters of piano, blown out, distorto psychedelic guitar buzz, plenty of studio fuckery, wild edits (and if not edits, some impossibly dexterous playing), all in a swirling sonic tangle that has to be some of the most seriously dizzyingly next level, psychedelic, avant prog, faux world music we've ever heard!
MPEG Stream: "The 15"
MPEG Stream: "Base Phive Futur Cossacks"
MPEG Stream: "Aptarshi"

album cover ISLAJA Ulual Yyy (Fonal) cd 17.98
On her first two records, Finland's Islaja completely swept us off our feet and delivered us to an enchanted world of mystery, warmly wrapped in delicate layers of a unique beauty that just doesn't come around that often. Definitely reminiscent of Brigitte Fontaine's experimental leanings or maybe what we imagine Bjork might sound like stuck deep in a Finnish forest.
With her latest outing Islaja has done it again! She's conjured up a handful of songs that immediately begin to melt into your consciousness the roots going deeper and deeper with every listen. With the subtle addition of horns and electronics to her already dense and seductive sound, Islaja shows once again what a unique vision she possesses. Imagine Patty Waters joining White Magic at a late-night seance... Ulual YYY is like sinking into some warm dreamy state, eyes clouded with wisps of smoke until everything becomes a hazy blur. You're not sure where you are or what to do, but you are absolutely sure there is no where else you would rather be than deep inside Ulual Yyy's alluring and mystifying world. Highly recommended!
MPEG Stream: "Pete P"
MPEG Stream: "Muukalais-Silma"
MPEG Stream: "Sydanten Ahmija"

album cover ISLAJA Ulual Yyy (Fonal) lp 21.00
On her first two records, Finland's Islaja completely swept us off our feet and delivered us to an enchanted world of mystery, warmly wrapped in delicate layers of a unique beauty that just doesn't come around that often. Definitely reminiscent of Brigitte Fontaine's experimental leanings or maybe what we imagine Bjork might sound like stuck deep in a Finnish forest.
With her latest outing Islaja has done it again! She's conjured up a handful of songs that immediately begin to melt into your consciousness the roots going deeper and deeper with every listen. With the subtle addition of horns and electronics to her already dense and seductive sound, Islaja shows once again what a unique vision she possesses. Imagine Patty Waters joining White Magic at a late-night seance... Ulual YYY is like sinking into some warm dreamy state, eyes clouded with wisps of smoke until everything becomes a hazy blur. You're not sure where you are or what to do, but you are absolutely sure there is no where else you would rather be than deep inside Ulual Yyy's alluring and mystifying world. Highly recommended!
MPEG Stream: "Pete P"
MPEG Stream: "Muukalais-Silma"
MPEG Stream: "Sydanten Ahmija"

album cover ISLAJA / TV-RESISTORI split (Fonal) 7" 6.50
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Two new songs by two of favorite Finnish artists. They couldn't be more different, but this reminds us of why we love and have such a soft spot for split 7"s. Groups that sound nothing alike but share geography or friendship with each other. And with the increasing price of making vinyl, split 7"s are truly a labor of love and such a sweet token, as really its quite impossible to make money from them. First be forewarned as it will become obvious that the single was labeled wrong and the side that says Islaja is TV-Resistori and vice versa. TV-Resistori give us more of their upbeat totally fun synth pop that if we didn't know better we'd think they were another great Japanese pop band. And a new song by Islaja is of course something to rejoice about. Tiding us over until whenever her next album comes out, her track is so lovely and will for sure get you standing up every few minutes to reach for the needle to hear it over again and again.

album cover IXTAHUELE Pagan Rites (Subliminal Sounds) cd 15.98
The Swedish musical oddities never cease to amaze us, whether it be the hermetic psych of Joakim Skogsberg or the voodoo heaviness of Goat, Swedish musicians always seem to extremely commit to whatever thematic conceit informs their musical output. When we first got this release by Ixtahuele, we thought it was indeed a reissue of some obscure pagan exotica record from the fifties, but a closer look at the photo of the blonde lads on the back cover decked out in forties tuxes, one wearing a fez, just seemed a tad too modern and lo and behold, we realized Ixtahhuele is indeed a modern ensemble mining the sounds of Arthur Lyman, Les Baxter and Martin Denny! Using classic exotica instrumentation, of you know, marimbas, piano, stand-up bass, and all sorts of exotic percussion: bongos, gongs, taiko drums and cymbals, this group does a pretty stellar job of performing original classic sounding music without trying to put a modern spin on the sound. Instead of overdoing the hipster tropes of tiki bars and island girls, the band does its best to get to the heart of the alluring spell-binding qualities of true exotica: ritual dances, evil flora, island fever, stone relics and sun gods, the music oceanic and dreamy, beautifully hypnotic and sometimes fraught with an uncertain sense of danger, mystery and intrigue. Nice!
MPEG Stream: "Black Sand"
MPEG Stream: "Dengue Fever"

album cover IXTAHUELE Pagan Rites (Subliminal Sounds) lp 30.00
The Swedish musical oddities never cease to amaze us, whether it be the hermetic psych of Joakim Skogsberg or the voodoo heaviness of Goat, Swedish musicians always seem to extremely commit to whatever thematic conceit informs their musical output. When we first got this release by Ixtahuele, we thought it was indeed a reissue of some obscure pagan exotica record from the fifties, but a closer look at the photo of the blonde lads on the back cover decked out in forties tuxes, one wearing a fez, just seemed a tad too modern and lo and behold, we realized Ixtahhuele is indeed a modern ensemble mining the sounds of Arthur Lyman, Les Baxter and Martin Denny! Using classic exotica instrumentation, of you know, marimbas, piano, stand-up bass, and all sorts of exotic percussion: bongos, gongs, taiko drums and cymbals, this group does a pretty stellar job of performing original classic sounding music without trying to put a modern spin on the sound. Instead of overdoing the hipster tropes of tiki bars and island girls, the band does its best to get to the heart of the alluring spell-binding qualities of true exotica: ritual dances, evil flora, island fever, stone relics and sun gods, the music oceanic and dreamy, beautifully hypnotic and sometimes fraught with an uncertain sense of danger, mystery and intrigue. Nice!
MPEG Stream: "Black Sand"
MPEG Stream: "Dengue Fever"

album cover JACOPO Mai Come Ora (Last Stop Records) cd 9.98
Jacopo Di Nicola is an Italian singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist whose band is locally based here in San Francisco. Inspired by European cafe rock, Tropicalia and global rhythms, Jacopo manages on his debut cd to show a wide variety of styles and directions but keep it encapsulated as a satisfying whole. Treading a path between the baroque pop of Lucio Battisti and the frenetic rhythms of Manu Chao, Jacopo manages to charm with infectious songs sung in both Italian and English and unique instrumentation including mandolins, hand percussion, and some rather masterful kazoo playing! Nice!
MPEG Stream: "La Mia Citta"
MPEG Stream: "Stati Emozionali"
MPEG Stream: "Stolidi Pensieri"

album cover JARVINEN, ANNA Jag Fick Feel (Hapna) cd 16.98

album cover JAYARAMAN, LALGUDI G. Violin Soul: South Indian Classical Music (Dunya) cd 17.98

album cover JAYUS, I NYOMAN'S BAMBOO ENSEMBLE FROM THE NORTHWEST OF BALI Jegog: The Rhythmic Power of Bamboo (Multicultural Media) cd 14.98
Jegog is a style of gamelan particular to Western Bali and consisting -- in most cases -- of instruments made entirely of Bamboo. The resulting sound, as one can imagine, is quite unique and yet not entirely alien to the sound of the typical bronze gamelan. Not only are the essential structural elements of gamelan retained and the intricate interlocking (kotekan) of the faster and higher pitched instruments included, but there is an earnest attempt at recreating the timbre of many of the deeper instruments of a bronze gamelan. This is no small feat given that bamboo, much like wood, has a rapid decay where metal instruments can ring for long periods if not dampened with the fingers after playing. In order to create the impression of an extended decay, the lower pitched instruments in a jegog are struck quite rapidly in unison with very heavy and very soft mallets producing a sustained drone. The sound is an almost eerie hum, almost like a chorus of deep voices. An interesting side note: the very deepest pitched instruments in some jegog are so large -- due to the size of the massive resonators affixed to them -- that the players must sit atop their instruments to play them. Unlike much music and arts in Bali, jegog is not connected with any ritual practices unless you count water buffalo racing, which jegog seemed to be the most common accompaniment for in rural Western Bali since its beginnings in 1912. Given the sound of the jegog, it seems proper that it should be the soundtrack for such an event. Considering the sheer mass of buffalo, I imagine them relatively slow to reach top speed, but impossible to stop once their momentum gets established. In a similar way, the music of jegog has this deceptively mild way of beginning before suddenly bursting in a teeth clenching clap of wooden instruments spanning several octaves.
RealAudio clip: "Trungtungan (excerpt 1)"
RealAudio clip: "Trungtungan (excerpt 2)"

album cover JEMAA EL FNA Morocco's Rendezvous Of The Dead: Night Music of Marrakech (Sublime Frequencies) dvd 21.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Those expecting a documentary in the traditional sense, wherein a huge film crew with lighting rigs and hired security take over a small village while an authoritative voice-over gives you a blow by blow account of what unfolds before your eyes may be disappointed. This is a one man, one camera production. Shot entirely at night, relying on the good will of the participants, and leaving the interpretation up to you, the viewer, filmmaker Hisham Mayet takes us on a tour of Marrakech, Morocco's Jemma El Fna -- "the central square of the final outpost before one ventures into the great beyond of the western Sahara desert". All along the square people, mostly men, gather in circles around individual and groups of musicians. playing oud, banjo (!!!), various bowed instruments and percussion, the performers are accompanied by singers ranging from seasoned veterens working the crowd to youthful amateurs. In one section a young girl, maybe 7 or 8 years old sings and dances as an envious peer looks on. Perhaps one of the coolest moments though is when our cameraman stops by a gentleman set up in the square with his portable turntable and classic 7"s, sampling for us some of his favorites, crackly with age, and carefully wiping off the beautiful but worn jackets for us to see. Clocking in at 50 minutes, there's not a dull moment on this disc. While we forwarn those living overseas that this disc is NTSC, it is also region-free for those with multi-region players.

album cover JERI-JERI 800 Percent Ndagga (Ndagga) cd 17.98
A few lists back we made a record called Ndagga Versions our Record Of The Week, that record was released at the same time as this one, and we essentially a 'dub' version of this record, as in less vocals, a bit more tripped out. But we loved that record so much, as did loads of you, that we figured we oughta list the record proper. And a funny thing happened when we returned to this one to review it, we realized that even though this is the 'vocal' version, the vocals are still a pretty minimal component. That said, some of the vocals are fantastic, and it's nice to hear them incorporated into the dense Senegalese rhythms. Needless to say, some folks who bought Ndagga Versions, might feel like they don't need this one, or more of this sound, but we're guessing lots of folks who read the aQ list are like us, and ALWAYS need more. So this is essentially the same review as Ndagga Versions, slightly altered, so just know that it's much of the same music, but with more vocals, check out the sound samples to hear what we mean, and read on, we recommend 800 Percent Ndagga almost as much as Ndagga Versions... And if you don't have either, you might actually want to start with this one, if you like to hear singing.
Mark Ernestus is probably best known as one half of the Basic Channel production team and record label (along with Moritz Von Oswald). The two also ran the Chain Reaction label, and both continue to make and release music, Ernestus most notably recently remixing tracks by Konono No.1 and Tony Allen as well as co-releasing the amazing Shangaan Electro compilation we reviewed a while back. Apparently, over the last few years, Ernestus became increasingly obsessed with Senegalese Mbalax music, which is super rhythmic, featuring multiple drummers playing wildly syncopated rhythms, the drums augmented with marimba like synths, the music wild and tangled, dense and driving, groovy and funky, dubbed out and super trancey - it's not hard to see why a techno visionary would find this stuff utterly mesmerizing. And thus was born Jeri-Jeri, a collaborative project between Ernestus and a griot clan of Senegalese drummers. At first we were maybe expecting a sort of African/techno hybrid, but wisely, Ernestus let's the drummers and other musicians do their thing, while he mostly mixes and produces. And that THING is track after track of hyper rhythmic grooviness that definitely speaks to the sort of looped mesmer of techno music, here accompanied by a handful of amazing vocalists including Baaba Maal and Youssou N'Dour doing their own thing over these rhythmic workouts. Even with vocals, the drums are obviously the focal point, but there's also sinewy basslines, the occasional keyboard and synth, often adding yet another rhythmic component, and some subtle melodies, some guitar jangle here and there, adding some minimal tonal coloration, and echoes and fragments of the various vocal lines surface throughout, dubbed out and heavily effected even on the non 'version' version, but really, every track here is a glorious celebration of rhythm and sound, of drums as divine, and they sound so divine here, with most tracks featuring both a complement of Sabar drummers as well as a drummer on a traditional kit, the overlapping rhythms, the syncopated grooves, the barrage of beats, cascading grooves, all wound around simple looped melodies, and locked tight, it's totally irresistible, the sort of singular sound that is both dancefloor ready, but also dense and nuanced enough for headphone listening, some track wild and raucous, others tightly wound and darkly groovy, all of them sublime, emotional, and energetic, lush and organic and ALIVE. Drummers, and fans of drum music will be in heaven, but really, anyone and everyone who is drawn to the rhythm in sound, whether it be techno music, world music, metal music, will be hard pressed not to be totally mesmerized by these sounds.
MPEG Stream: "Gawlo (With Baaba Maal)"
MPEG Stream: "Xale (With Mbene Diatta Seck)"
MPEG Stream: "Ndeye Gueye (With Doudou Ndiaye Rose)"

album cover JERI-JERI 800 Percent Ndagga (Ndagga) lp 22.00
A few lists back we made a record called Ndagga Versions our Record Of The Week, that record was released at the same time as this one, and we essentially a 'dub' version of this record, as in less vocals, a bit more tripped out. But we loved that record so much, as did loads of you, that we figured we oughta list the record proper. And a funny thing happened when we returned to this one to review it, we realized that even though this is the 'vocal' version, the vocals are still a pretty minimal component. That said, some of the vocals are fantastic, and it's nice to hear them incorporated into the dense Senegalese rhythms. Needless to say, some folks who bought Ndagga Versions, might feel like they don't need this one, or more of this sound, but we're guessing lots of folks who read the aQ list are like us, and ALWAYS need more. So this is essentially the same review as Ndagga Versions, slightly altered, so just know that it's much of the same music, but with more vocals, check out the sound samples to hear what we mean, and read on, we recommend 800 Percent Ndagga almost as much as Ndagga Versions... And if you don't have either, you might actually want to start with this one, if you like to hear singing.
Mark Ernestus is probably best known as one half of the Basic Channel production team and record label (along with Moritz Von Oswald). The two also ran the Chain Reaction label, and both continue to make and release music, Ernestus most notably recently remixing tracks by Konono No.1 and Tony Allen as well as co-releasing the amazing Shangaan Electro compilation we reviewed a while back. Apparently, over the last few years, Ernestus became increasingly obsessed with Senegalese Mbalax music, which is super rhythmic, featuring multiple drummers playing wildly syncopated rhythms, the drums augmented with marimba like synths, the music wild and tangled, dense and driving, groovy and funky, dubbed out and super trancey - it's not hard to see why a techno visionary would find this stuff utterly mesmerizing. And thus was born Jeri-Jeri, a collaborative project between Ernestus and a griot clan of Senegalese drummers. At first we were maybe expecting a sort of African/techno hybrid, but wisely, Ernestus let's the drummers and other musicians do their thing, while he mostly mixes and produces. And that THING is track after track of hyper rhythmic grooviness that definitely speaks to the sort of looped mesmer of techno music, here accompanied by a handful of amazing vocalists including Baaba Maal and Youssou N'Dour doing their own thing over these rhythmic workouts. Even with vocals, the drums are obviously the focal point, but there's also sinewy basslines, the occasional keyboard and synth, often adding yet another rhythmic component, and some subtle melodies, some guitar jangle here and there, adding some minimal tonal coloration, and echoes and fragments of the various vocal lines surface throughout, dubbed out and heavily effected even on the non 'version' version, but really, every track here is a glorious celebration of rhythm and sound, of drums as divine, and they sound so divine here, with most tracks featuring both a complement of Sabar drummers as well as a drummer on a traditional kit, the overlapping rhythms, the syncopated grooves, the barrage of beats, cascading grooves, all wound around simple looped melodies, and locked tight, it's totally irresistible, the sort of singular sound that is both dancefloor ready, but also dense and nuanced enough for headphone listening, some track wild and raucous, others tightly wound and darkly groovy, all of them sublime, emotional, and energetic, lush and organic and ALIVE. Drummers, and fans of drum music will be in heaven, but really, anyone and everyone who is drawn to the rhythm in sound, whether it be techno music, world music, metal music, will be hard pressed not to be totally mesmerized by these sounds.
MPEG Stream: "Gawlo (With Baaba Maal)"
MPEG Stream: "Xale (With Mbene Diatta Seck)"
MPEG Stream: "Ndeye Gueye (With Doudou Ndiaye Rose)"

album cover JERI-JERI Ndagga Versions (Ndagga) cd 17.98
Mark Ernestus is probably best known as one half of the Basic Channel production team and record label (along with Moritz Von Oswald). The two also ran the Chain Reaction label, and both continue to make and release music, Ernestus most notably recently remixing tracks by Konono No.1 and Tony Allen as well as co-releasing the amazing Shangaan Electro compilation we reviewed a while back. Apparently, over the last few years, Ernestus became increasingly obsessed with Senegalese Mbalax music, which is super rhythmic, featuring multiple drummers playing wildly syncopated rhythms, the drums augmented with marimba like synths, the music wild and tangled, dense and driving, groovy and funky, dubbed out and super trancey - it's not hard to see why a techno visionary would find this stuff utterly mesmerizing. And thus was born Jeri-Jeri, a collaborative project between Ernestus and a griot clan of Senegalese drummers. At first we were maybe expecting a sort of African/techno hybrid, but wisely, Ernestus let's the drummers and other musicians do their thing, while he mostly mixes and produces. And that THING is track after track of hyper rhythmic grooviness that definitely speaks to the sort of looped mesmer of techno music, even moreso here, as this is the instrumental version of the Jeri-Jeri record, the 'versions' in dubspeak. Which is not to say the record proper is not great, it is, and features a handful of amazing vocalists including Baaba Maal and Youssou N'Dour doing their own thing over these rhythmic workouts (and we do have copies in stock, just ask!), but stripped of the vocals, it somehow becomes even more mesmerizing, the drums obviously the focal point, but there's also sinewy basslines, the occasional keyboard and synth, often adding yet another rhythmic component, and some subtle melodies, some guitar jangle here and there, adding some subtle tonal coloration, and remnants of the original vocals surface here and there, dubbed out and heavily effected, but really, every track here is a glorious celebration of rhythm and sound, of drums as divine, and they sound so divine here, with most tracks featuring both a complement of Sabar drummers as well as a drummer on a traditional kit, the overlapping rhythms, the syncopated grooves, the barrage of beats, cascading grooves, all wound around simple looped melodies, and locked tight, it's totally irresistible, the sort of singular sound that is both dancefloor ready, but also dense and nuanced enough for headphone listening, some track wild and raucous, others tightly wound and darkly groovy, all of them sublime, emotional, and energetic, lush and organic and ALIVE. Drummers, and fans of drum music will be in heaven, but really, anyone and everyone who is drawn to the rhythm in sound, whether it be techno music, world music, metal music, will be hard pressed not to be totally mesmerized by these sounds.
MPEG Stream: "Lignou Mome"
MPEG Stream: "Casamance Version"
MPEG Stream: "Sama Yaye Version"
MPEG Stream: "Xale Rhythm"

album cover JERI-JERI Ndagga Versions (Ndagga) lp 22.00
Mark Ernestus is probably best known as one half of the Basic Channel production team and record label (along with Moritz Von Oswald). The two also ran the Chain Reaction label, and both continue to make and release music, Ernestus most notably recently remixing tracks by Konono No.1 and Tony Allen as well as co-releasing the amazing Shangaan Electro compilation we reviewed a while back. Apparently, over the last few years, Ernestus became increasingly obsessed with Senegalese Mbalax music, which is super rhythmic, featuring multiple drummers playing wildly syncopated rhythms, the drums augmented with marimba like synths, the music wild and tangled, dense and driving, groovy and funky, dubbed out and super trancey - it's not hard to see why a techno visionary would find this stuff utterly mesmerizing. And thus was born Jeri-Jeri, a collaborative project between Ernestus and a griot clan of Senegalese drummers. At first we were maybe expecting a sort of African/techno hybrid, but wisely, Ernestus let's the drummers and other musicians do their thing, while he mostly mixes and produces. And that THING is track after track of hyper rhythmic grooviness that definitely speaks to the sort of looped mesmer of techno music, even moreso here, as this is the instrumental version of the Jeri-Jeri record, the 'versions' in dubspeak. Which is not to say the record proper is not great, it is, and features a handful of amazing vocalists including Baaba Maal and Youssou N'Dour doing their own thing over these rhythmic workouts (and we do have copies in stock, just ask!), but stripped of the vocals, it somehow becomes even more mesmerizing, the drums obviously the focal point, but there's also sinewy basslines, the occasional keyboard and synth, often adding yet another rhythmic component, and some subtle melodies, some guitar jangle here and there, adding some subtle tonal coloration, and remnants of the original vocals surface here and there, dubbed out and heavily effected, but really, every track here is a glorious celebration of rhythm and sound, of drums as divine, and they sound so divine here, with most tracks featuring both a complement of Sabar drummers as well as a drummer on a traditional kit, the overlapping rhythms, the syncopated grooves, the barrage of beats, cascading grooves, all wound around simple looped melodies, and locked tight, it's totally irresistible, the sort of singular sound that is both dancefloor ready, but also dense and nuanced enough for headphone listening, some track wild and raucous, others tightly wound and darkly groovy, all of them sublime, emotional, and energetic, lush and organic and ALIVE. Drummers, and fans of drum music will be in heaven, but really, anyone and everyone who is drawn to the rhythm in sound, whether it be techno music, world music, metal music, will be hard pressed not to be totally mesmerized by these sounds.
MPEG Stream: "Lignou Mome"
MPEG Stream: "Casamance Version"
MPEG Stream: "Sama Yaye Version"
MPEG Stream: "Xale Rhythm"

album cover JESUS LIZARD Down (Touch & Go) cd 14.98
We love the Jesus Lizard. Hell, who doesn't? But with the band's entire Touch And Go discography now reissued, we're faced with the awkward task of reviewing records that are so ingrained in our minds that we're almost at a loss for words. What exactly do you say about albums that are pretty much beyond any sort of criticism? Well, first of all, we can tell you that these Albini/Weston remasters sound better than EVER, and if for some freakish reason you missed out the first time around, or maybe you were just too young, GET THESE NOW!!! And to those with worn out copies of these essential albums, likewise, GET THESE NOW!!! The best thing about re-examining these discs, however, is the fact that the Jesus Lizard sound as powerful, menacing, and balls out INSANE as they always did and always will. There's no further need to approach the Jesus Lizard discography with some bullshit pseudo-intellectual attempt to place this band within a certain point in history (which is not to downplay their significance within time or place by any means, duh). Instead, you can simply bask in the furious glow of one of the best rock bands of the last 25 years (at the very least)!!! Still, as record purveyors, we feel it necessary to dish out a brief description before talking about the albums individually.
Shit. Where do you begin when describing this band? David Wm. Sims and Mac McNeilly, on bass and drums respectively, are one of the tightest and most intimidating rhythm sections in the history of indie rock (which, honestly, is probably not the best genre to lump a band like the Jesus Lizard in, but it sure is better than calling them a "pigfuck" band). On pretty much every song, Sims and McNeilly sound like they're walking you through the soundtrack to your potential murder, a quality that is only enhanced by David Yow's completely unhinged vocals. And what do you say about a guy like David Yow? He is without precedent and totally peerless, his crazed delivery and bizarre lyrics were the perfect ingredient to make the Jesus Lizard one of the best and most unique bands to ever walk the earth. Oh, but then we certainly can't forget the band's brilliant guitarist, the legendary Duane Denison, whose unique, super trebly guitar playing slashed alongside the band's muscular rhythm section like a rusty, disease-ridden knife. The Jesus Lizard are indeed one of those bands where every member was equally essential in bringing forth their amazing trademark sound.
1994's Down was the band's final record for Touch And Go before jumping ship to Capitol a year later. Despite its status as most peoples' least favorite of their Touch And Go albums (which certain aQ staffers will disagree with on every level), the band stills tears shit up relentlessly and mercilessly. Opener "Fly On The Wall" retains a lumbering, pounding groove with Denison's appropriately insect-like guitar buzzing all over the place as Yow tells the tale of his spiraling insanity caused by the titular character. Throw in a chorus that is the noise rock equivalent of a massive heart attack, and you know the Jesus Lizard mean business. The manic rocker "Queen For A Day" storms out like an evil, bluesy tornado, with Dennison shredding out some amazing noisy guitar solos over the ominous throb of Sims and McNeilly. All the while, a manic Yow screams out his hilariously frightening, creepy as fuck lyrics that manage to reference Dante's Inferno. Woah. The melodically charged "Destroy Before Reading" makes use of awesome sustained, droney chords and a steady rhythmic flow, and is sort of like journeying through a surreal dream in the darkest corners of Yow's crazed brain, as he spits out choice lyrics like "Mingus and Parker fuck for breakfast / cause jazz is a slut again." Right. Fucking. On. Melancholy instrumental "Low Rider" (enhanced by some maniacal Yow screams at all the appropriate moments) creaks and sways with bits of chorus inflected guitar and bass, serving as a perfect interlude to separate the album's two halves. "Horse" pummels at a steady rhythm with a cool underwater organ moving hazily under the band's nihilistic dirges, while the spacious, slow moving "Elegy" is surprisingly melodic and - gasp! - kinda "beautiful", even as Yow verbally defiles your rotting corpse with the barely composed delivery of a serial killer.
So yeah, wherever Down may rate in the canon of the Jesus Lizard to some folks, we're all for it on every conceivable level. This reissue also also includes the amazing single versions (all made available on Inch, but whatever) of the songs "White Hole", "Glamorous", and "Deaf As A Bat", as well as "Panic In Cicero" from the Clerks soundtrack. Hopefully others will give this album the listen it deserves, because there really is everything that's great about this band on full display, if you ask us. GET THIS NOW!!!
MPEG Stream: "Fly On The Wall"
MPEG Stream: "Queen For A Day"
MPEG Stream: "Destroy Before Reading"

album cover JOHANSSON, JERRY Next Door Conversation (Kning Disk) cd 14.98
Sitar raga music from Sweden? Sure! On the Swedish label Kning Disk, who last brought us cds by Wolf Eyes and James Blackshaw -- so we'd expect just about anything (interesting) from them. Composer/arranger Jerry Johansson is a sitar player (who studied with sitar master Roop Verma, who was taught by Ravi Shankar). Here he presents his piece "Next Door Conversation", in two parts, 53 minutes total. His sitar is the lead instrument, and in traditional style he's accompanied by santour and tambura -- but also by a violin/violin/viola/cello string quartet from the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra! Shades of Kronos, eh?
It's a dreamy, slowly unfolding, sitar n' strings soundscape, the Eastern twang of Johansson's sitar calmly contrasting with the more cinematic sweep of the string quartet, each recontextualizing the other. With sounds from the subcontinent and Swedish folk motifs both incorporated, this is a gorgeous East-West hybrid indeed, and crosses over other borders to somehow remind us of everything from Spaghetti Western soundtracks to Chinese orchestral music. Gosh, there's not much more to say other than, enjoy!
MPEG Stream: "Next Door Conversation Part I (excerpt 1)"
MPEG Stream: "Next Door Conversation Part I (excerpt 2)"

album cover JOHN WIZARDS s/t (Planet Mu) cd 14.98
We weren't sure what to make of this one at first, a mix of modern electronica, and traditional African music, the story of how these two guys got together is a good one, John Wizards, aka John Withers, was living in Africa, when he met Rwandan singer Emmanuel Nzaramba, the two talked music, while Nzaramba was at work, and Withers was walking around with a guitar, they then parted company, Nzaramba losing his job and his cellphone, only to meet a year later, in a different city, at which point the two decided to work together. The results are pretty strange, but wonderful too, minus the vocals, this might be some idiosyncratic Planet Mu oddity, but the vocals root the music in the traditions of classic African folk music. The sound is a dizzying hodgepodge that aQ-ers might imagine would result from a mix of Shangaan Electro, Music From Saharan Cellphones, and some of the weirder Sublime Frequencies releases. The first two tracks deliver what sounds like a plunderphonic collage of sounds and influences, swirling calliope like melodies, twangy guitars, reverbed piano, disco-y drumming, groovy psychedelic synths, handclaps, what sounds like a looped field recording, transformed into a woozy melody, whistles, thick bass buzz, steel string guitars, wild psych jams, drum machine stutter, all of which gives way to some stripped down drums, and what must be Nzaramba talking to Withers over a strangely electrified version of African high life, then some autotuned vox, and the song unfurls as some warped modern day variation of classic African music, laced with all sorts of warbly electronics, dubbed out drum beats, mutated synths, the song stripped of all the weirdness might be too saccharine and straight, but as imagined by Withers, it becomes something super freaky, and super fun. And so the whole record goes, the songs leaping from sound to sound, style to style, groovy disco-funk, stuttery R&B, woozy slow jams, mellowed out dubstep, cheesy eighties MTV style pop, dreamy collages glitchery, and pretty much every twisted variation in between, the recording super loose and abstract, with some of the songs just stopping, allowing us to hear Withers and Nzaramba talking in the studio, before the song bursts back into action. So good, so strange, and so fun. Easily the coolest, weirdest 'world' music record we've heard in a while. Anyone into the above mentioned comparisons (Sublime Frequencies, Music From Saharan Cellphones, Shagaan Electro), should definitely check this out...
MPEG Stream: "Tet Lek Schrempf"
MPEG Stream: "Lusaka By Night"
MPEG Stream: "Limpop"
MPEG Stream: "Muizenberg"
MPEG Stream: "iYoungwe"

album cover JOHN WIZARDS s/t (Planet Mu) lp 15.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
We weren't sure what to make of this one at first, a mix of modern electronica, and traditional African music, the story of how these two guys got together is a good one, John Wizards, aka John Withers, was living in Africa, when he met Rwandan singer Emmanuel Nzaramba, the two talked music, while Nzaramba was at work, and Withers was walking around with a guitar, they then parted company, Nzaramba losing his job and his cellphone, only to meet a year later, in a different city, at which point the two decided to work together. The results are pretty strange, but wonderful too, minus the vocals, this might be some idiosyncratic Planet Mu oddity, but the vocals root the music in the traditions of classic African folk music. The sound is a dizzying hodgepodge that aQ-ers might imagine would result from a mix of Shangaan Electro, Music From Saharan Cellphones, and some of the weirder Sublime Frequencies releases. The first two tracks deliver what sounds like a plunderphonic collage of sounds and influences, swirling calliope like melodies, twangy guitars, reverbed piano, disco-y drumming, groovy psychedelic synths, handclaps, what sounds like a looped field recording, transformed into a woozy melody, whistles, thick bass buzz, steel string guitars, wild psych jams, drum machine stutter, all of which gives way to some stripped down drums, and what must be Nzaramba talking to Withers over a strangely electrified version of African high life, then some autotuned vox, and the song unfurls as some warped modern day variation of classic African music, laced with all sorts of warbly electronics, dubbed out drum beats, mutated synths, the song stripped of all the weirdness might be too saccharine and straight, but as imagined by Withers, it becomes something super freaky, and super fun. And so the whole record goes, the songs leaping from sound to sound, style to style, groovy disco-funk, stuttery R&B, woozy slow jams, mellowed out dubstep, cheesy eighties MTV style pop, dreamy collages glitchery, and pretty much every twisted variation in between, the recording super loose and abstract, with some of the songs just stopping, allowing us to hear Withers and Nzaramba talking in the studio, before the song bursts back into action. So good, so strange, and so fun. Easily the coolest, weirdest 'world' music record we've heard in a while. Anyone into the above mentioned comparisons (Sublime Frequencies, Music From Saharan Cellphones, Shagaan Electro), should definitely check this out...
MPEG Stream: "Tet Lek Schrempf"
MPEG Stream: "Lusaka By Night"
MPEG Stream: "Limpop"
MPEG Stream: "Muizenberg"
MPEG Stream: "iYoungwe"

« 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 »

top of page