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


album cover 10 Kitsch (Maybe Mars) cd 12.98
We continue to dig into the Chinese underground, as we do with every list lately, tapping into what has become a surprisingly vibrant scene as of late, and one of our recent favorites is this group called 10, whose sound is super tripped out and abstract, psychedelic, spacey and swirly, rife with drifting voices, glitched out electronics, shifting textures and mutant rhythms. Where lots of the Chinese stuff we've been digging has owed a great sonic debt to classic American indie / college / noise rock, 10 definitely move way beyond all that, maybe closer in spirit to another recent aQ fave White+, but unlike the psychedelic krautrockiness of White+, 10 seems to fall somewhere closer to Japanese weirdos the Boredoms, or maybe even Gang Gang Dance. Their songs are super rhythmic and effects heavy, with driving beats, motorik grooves, and truly strange female vocals, witchy and shamanic. 10's music is way less pop, or even rock, than a lot of those other Chinese bands, and way more experimental, almost industrial in some places, noisy and chaotic and psychedelic in others. Raw, lo-fi, primitive but also ambitious, lots of rhythmic texture, haunting ambience, dronescapes bleed into hazy ambience, which blossom into spaced out avant free-rock freakouts, which in turn devolve into tripped out minimal dirge pop, or FX drenched drifts, or sprawling textured noise, or abstract vocal mantras, draped over Nurse With Wound like sound design. Super cool, weird and wonderful, and way recommended.
MPEG Stream: "Mimi, Ua"
MPEG Stream: "Gajang"
MPEG Stream: "Catch It"

album cover 8 EYE SPY How Damn Far To YinMa Lane? (Maybe Mars) cd 12.98
Yet another cool band from China! 8 Eye Spy, like the awesome Muscle Snog, reviewed elsewhere on this week's list, tend toward the weirder side of the sonic spectrum. Where lots of the Chinese bands channel the spirit and sound of classic nineties US indie rock, 8 Eye Spy fall somewhere between the urgent bash and howl of Riot Grrl, and early Kim Gordon fronted Sonic Youth. The guitars are wild squalls of noisy crunch, and spidery angular minor key melody, the arrangements are fragmented and almost proggy, imagine Polvo covering Huggy Bear maybe? Or Pitchblende songs played by Heavens To Betsy, or even Sonic Youth if they were from North Carolina and recorded for Merge in the nineties. All of this tangly riffage, start stop crunch and chug, wild, loose limbed drumming, and woozy atmospheric ambience is woven into something that does actually at least touch on that era of American underground rock, but pulls it apart, and reassembles it in wholly new shapes, with LOTS of extreme noisiness, thick squalls of psychedelic swirl, perfectly structured songs will collapse partway through and devolve into blown out, feedback drenched noisescapes, and those selfsame noisescapes, will somehow transform and take the shape of proper pop songs, ones that will no doubt themselves splinter into something much more difficult and damaged. Shades of Melt-Banana surface throughout, that same sort of mathy, metallic skronk and bleat, but also much more mellow moodiness, droned out guitarscapes, simple tribal drumming, chiming harmonics, skittery rhythms, not to mention plenty of frenetic post punk crunch, alternatingly slipping into grinding punky pound, or totally abstract, falling-apart, noise drenched drift, and in most cases, some dizzying mix of the two.
Angular, atonal, aggressive, abstract, avant prog-punk weirdo pop, that is fast becoming another favorite. And stick around for the nearly 14 minute closer, that weds plink plonk melodies, to sheets of grinding feedback, simple guitar strums to wailed vocals, gradually building from hushed and contemplative, to full bore speaker shredding psychedelic guitarnoise. Fuck yeah!
MPEG Stream: "Street Spotted"
MPEG Stream: "Conditioning"
MPEG Stream: "After"

album cover AFTER ARGUMENT Furs Of Time (Share The Obstacles) cd 12.98
The Chinese indie rock / noise pop keeps coming. A handful on this week's list, including this, the first we've heard from After Argument, who have quickly become one of our favorites of the bunch, and who, like many of the Chinese bands we've been digging, are fully channeling American nineties indie rock, but unlike a lot of those bands, After Argument seem to be leaning toward the weirder side of that spectrum. Just check out the opener - if you're like us, you're hearing lots of Polvo and Pitchblende, and those sorts of bands, twisted chords, mangled melodies, angular and atonal, mathy and almost proggy, After Argument adding some cool but strange vox, multitracked or dueling in places, some sweet stop/start arrangements, but infusing this angular crunch with plenty of hooks, not to mention, furious bursts of psychedelic noise, streaks of feedback, the songs generally frenetic and energetic, but some, like the closer, are super creepy dirges, the sound tense and intense, brooding and moody. Fantastic stuff. This gets played in the store like crazy! For fans of angular math/post rock, as well as the weirder side of classic indie rock.
MPEG Stream: "1"
MPEG Stream: "2"
MPEG Stream: "3"

album cover AKA Hard Beat (Strawberry Rain) cd 16.98
Whoo-hoo! Here's a whole disc (or double lp) of music by a band from that great Those Shocking Shaking Days compilation of Indonesian '70s fuzz/funk/psych/prog we made Record Of The Week not long ago... one of the bands we liked so much we picked 'em for one of the sound samples accompanying our review of that comp. This best-of AKA collection is the first release on the Strawberry Rain label, formed by the very fellow who compiled Those Shocking Shaking Days, to reissue more vintage Indo-rock treasures. We're already salivating at the prospect; with this anthology Strawberry Rain is off to a pretty darn badass beginning. We imagine you'll agree, if you're into the international language of screaming vocals, acid rock guitar, swirling synth, and seriously funky grooves. Hard Beat is aptly titled.
According to the liner notes provided here, AKA started off in East Java, giving wild live performances playing material by such Western artists as James Brown, Jimi Hendrix and Grand Funk Railroad... and listening to this, we'd guess that some Deep Purple was probably part of their repertoire too. Eventually they started writing their own stuff, got signed to a label, and made eleven albums between 1971 and '77, selected songs from which are presented here - including the two tracks comped on TSSD, "Do What You Like" and "Shake Me", along with 12 others (13 on the cd, it's got a bonus track), all of 'em equally awesome, but varied between ants-in-the-pants JB's style funk (including their #1 in Australia hit, "Crazy Joe"), groovy psych-pop, and Purplish heavy rockers... several songs somehow managing to combine all of that, all at once, in fact!
For fans of sundry other purveyors of hairy funk freak rock from around the world, say like Los Dug Dug's, Speed Glue & Shinki, Modulo 1000, Black Merda, Bunalim, Ngozi Family, Juan De La Cruz, etc. Highly recommended; good grief this is good. Here's hoping Strawberry Rain do a Hard Beat volume two someday, though of course there's other bands from Those Shocking Shaking Days we'd like to hear more of too!
Compact disc packaged in gatefold mini-lp style sleeve, the double vinyl also in a gatefold, both limited editions.
MPEG Stream: "Reflecton"
MPEG Stream: "We've Gotta Work It Out"
MPEG Stream: "Cruel Side"
MPEG Stream: "Shake Me"
MPEG Stream: "Skip Away"

album cover AKA Hard Beat (Strawberry Rain) 2lp 28.00
Whoo-hoo! Here's a whole disc (or double lp) of music by a band from that great Those Shocking Shaking Days compilation of Indonesian '70s fuzz/funk/psych/prog we made Record Of The Week not long ago... one of the bands we liked so much we picked 'em for one of the sound samples accompanying our review of that comp. This best-of AKA collection is the first release on the Strawberry Rain label, formed by the very fellow who compiled Those Shocking Shaking Days, to reissue more vintage Indo-rock treasures. We're already salivating at the prospect; with this anthology Strawberry Rain is off to a pretty darn badass beginning. We imagine you'll agree, if you're into the international language of screaming vocals, acid rock guitar, swirling synth, and seriously funky grooves. Hard Beat is aptly titled.
According to the liner notes provided here, AKA started off in East Java, giving wild live performances playing material by such Western artists as James Brown, Jimi Hendrix and Grand Funk Railroad... and listening to this, we'd guess that some Deep Purple was probably part of their repertoire too. Eventually they started writing their own stuff, got signed to a label, and made eleven albums between 1971 and '77, selected songs from which are presented here - including the two tracks comped on TSSD, "Do What You Like" and "Shake Me", along with 12 others (13 on the cd, it's got a bonus track), all of 'em equally awesome, but varied between ants-in-the-pants JB's style funk (including their #1 in Australia hit, "Crazy Joe"), groovy psych-pop, and Purplish heavy rockers... several songs somehow managing to combine all of that, all at once, in fact!
For fans of sundry other purveyors of hairy funk freak rock from around the world, say like Los Dug Dug's, Speed Glue & Shinki, Modulo 1000, Black Merda, Bunalim, Ngozi Family, Juan De La Cruz, etc. Highly recommended; good grief this is good. Here's hoping Strawberry Rain do a Hard Beat volume two someday, though of course there's other bands from Those Shocking Shaking Days we'd like to hear more of too!
Compact disc packaged in gatefold mini-lp style sleeve, the double vinyl also in a gatefold, both limited editions.
MPEG Stream: "Reflecton"
MPEG Stream: "We've Gotta Work It Out"
MPEG Stream: "Cruel Side"
MPEG Stream: "Shake Me"
MPEG Stream: "Skip Away"

album cover ALPINE DECLINE Go Big Shadow City (Genjing) lp 17.98
As regular readers of the aQ list no doubt know by now, the current underground indie rock scene is China is blowing up, tons of amazing bands, in both Shanghai AND Beijing, killer record labels, so many incredible records, loads of shows and tours (in fact, Carsick Cars, White+ and others are touring the US right now!), but there are also a ton of American, European and Australian ex-pats in the scene, who have popped up in some aQ faves like Pairs, and now Alpine Decline, two Americans from Los Angeles now living in China, and making some sweet sounds as Alpine Decline. Hard to say where they fit in sonically, but it's definitely a sound we dig. Sort of hazy and druggy, a bit like a slo-mo shoegaze slowcore, loping, droned out noise rock ballads, wreathed in gristly distortion, simple motorik drumming, and wasted zoner vox, ethereal and drifty, the songs slipping from hushed creep, to swirling explosive psychedelia and back again. Just give a listen to opener "Mid-Level Functionary In A Criminal Syndicate", a gorgeous heavy brooder, that should definitely appeal to fans of True Widow and the like, dark and hypnotic, hushed and dreamy, but laced with some dense tripped out noisiness. Some of the tracks are a bit more propulsive, sounding a bit like old Sonic Youth, or some lost Homestead / Touch And Go band, a little bit gloomy and gothy, the guitars jagged and angular, swirling synths underpinning the urgent crush of these brooding jams, the vocals buried in the mix, and doused in reverb and delay, plenty of swagger too, the sound shifting from churning noise rock crunch, to woozy slowcore drift, to spaced out, dream-drone ambience (check out the gorgeous "Hang Around The Creases"), to fuzzy krautpop ("The Transmission Comes Apart"), with plenty of stops in between. We hear hints of other pretty disparate influences too, like Animal Collective, the Wipers, Galaxie 500, a weird concoction, but one that works, and makes AD a good fit with their newly adopted Chinese underground rock brethren, while displaying a distinctly American sonic lineage, that goes all the way back to some of the darker nineties stuff that we loved back then, and still love now.
Includes a download code!
MPEG Stream: "Mid-Level Functionary In A Criminal Syndicate"
MPEG Stream: "The Visions Run "
MPEG Stream: "Walk With Mask"
MPEG Stream: "Hang Around The Creases"

ANAND, VIJAYA Dance Raja Dance (Luaka Bop) cd 16.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Stellar compilation of South Indian film music. A great, complex hybrid of western pop and Asian classical & pop. A barrage of genres meet in beautiful and confounding ways. Sweet, perfect voices singing love songs -- translations provided. This is an absolutely essential, ALL TIME FAVORITE here at Aquarius.

album cover ANDROSACE Demo (self-released) cd-r 4.98
A friend of aQ has been travelling / living in China, and recently sent us some records by bands he discovered and dug and thought we would dig too. Elsewhere on this list you'll find the noisepop shitrock duo Pairs, who we've sort of flipped for, and then there's this, a demo from a group called Androsace, who while based in China, actually boast an international membership, with their co-ed ranks made up of musicians from China, as well as Italy and France, and their sound, well, the band actually describe it as 'minority grunge' (not sure whether they're joking or not), but it's maybe not that far off the mark, the music sinewy and yeah a bit grungy, the band's most distinctive feature being the female lead vocals, a sultry, witchy croon, that slips into a fierce raspy and abrasive wail, the guitars usually following suit, getting downright metallic, and yeah, grungy, we're reminded of groups like Dickless, and L7, although the band definitely have some punk rock / garage rock going on. But the grunge thing is undeniable, especially when they whip out the wah wah, and it's like some lost Sub Pop single from the nineties, which as far as we're concerned is most definitely a good thing. We also saw a review online that described them as sounding like a female fronted Motorhead, and while that sounds pretty appealing, not sure it's totally accurate, but once in a while it does come close, it is heavy, and metallic in places, and for sure noisy, and when the band erupt into grinding distorted punk, kick out the metal jams, we can see why they're one of the more hyped underground bands in China...
Packaged in nice homemade screened, folded brown paper sleeves, with all the song titles and other info written on each and every one by hand.
MPEG Stream: "Warm Pee"
MPEG Stream: "Mr. Laughter"

album cover APRIL & MAY Best Of (Riverman) cd 17.98
There are countless reviews on our site where we have to remind ourselves of that age old lesson about not judging a book (a record) by its cover. As all too often we have fallen in love with some amazing records that we were initially resistant toward because of their awful cover art. But every so often, our attraction to the cover pays off, as we discover a record that lives up to the joy of its cover. Such is the case with this wonderful 1973 Korean folk/psych gem. The cover shows the two men behind April & May hands locked as they run through a field, both of them clad in dapper duds and with big smiles on their faces. It's such a sweet and endearing image, and the sounds on this best-of collection seem to match those visual sentiments so perfectly.
While they often get billed as the Korean, Simon & Garfunkel, there is much more of a range to their sound. From catchy ye-ye like pop, to orchestral show stoppers, to stripped down folk, to candy color happy psych-pop. Equal parts Kuni Kawachi, The Free Design, Billy Nicholls, Francoise Hardy, Happy End, Hermans Hermits, and The Left Banke. We also would love to put some of these songs on a mix for folks like Belle & Sebastian, Cornelius, Jens Lekman, and Saint Etienne.
We so want to mimic the cover when listening to this record, putting on our favorite outfit and scarf and skipping down sidewalks and fields hand in hand with our best friend in the world. One of our favorite discoveries of the year.
MPEG Stream: "My Love"
MPEG Stream: "The Sea To The Mountain"
MPEG Stream: "The Song"
MPEG Stream: "Department Store (and)"

album cover AQUARIUS BUTTONS 2 x 1" buttons 1.00
Hey, we just got another batch of AQ buttons made up...
Spread the word! Show the world your true aQ colors! COOL COOL COOL aQ buttons, now in 6 different vibrant color combinations. 5 new color combos (blue on pink, red on dark grey, dark blue on blue, orange on black, and yellowish green on dark green) and a popular one we had previously (brown on yellow).
TWO FOR $1!!! Colors are random, but buy enough and you'll be guaranteed to get 'em all! And of course all feature our spiffy James Gang style logo!! So stylish!

album cover ARIESTA BIRAWA Vol.1 (Shadoks Music) cd 15.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
The world-wide search for RARE PSYCHEDELIC GEMS bears fruit yet again, with this cd reissue of an impossible-to-find LP from Indonesia, originally released in 1973. Beautiful, groovy stuff, that blends Western psych and prog stylings with a definite homegrown Indonesian touch (there's only one song sung in English, the rest in their native tongue). Much more light than heavy this is, but there's no lack of wailing guitar. Imagine, maybe, if you will (if you can!), Santana meets The Steps... The music of Ariesta Birawa provides plenty of yearning vocals, gentle flute, ethnic percussion, melancholic fragility, and sunshiney melodies that we figure any fan of the further-flung installments in Shadoks' Love, Peace & Poetry psychedelia compilation series should enjoy. Likewise for those who dig the Cambodian Rocks and Thai Beat comps...
MPEG Stream: "Si Ompong"
MPEG Stream: "Will Never Die"

album cover ATOMIC FOREST Obsession (Now-Again) cd 22.00
Talk about obsession! That's what produced this, a super deluxe collection of the fuzzed-out greatness that is Atomic Forest, the premier hard rock/psych act from India in the '70s (and the only one to make an album - in fact, they made two).
Some of you may already be aware of Atomic Forest from their track on an international fuzz-psych comp called Obsession that came and went a while back (yep, that comp took both its title and its cover artwork from the Atomic Forest's debut lp, Obsession '77). More likely, you've heard the brilliant Deep Purple cover "Mary Long" that they contributed to the Psych Funk Sa-Re-Ga! compilation of vintage sub-continental grooviness, seeing as we made that particular item a Record Of The Week and sold a ton of 'em.
Really, their name alone is almost reason enough to be obsessed with Atomic Forest. Also that their music is just so much fuzz-filled fun. So we're stoked that the Now-Again label, blessings be upon them, decided that it'd be cool to do a full-on Atomic Forest archival reissue, collecting ALL their extant recordings, from both their Obsession '77 album (recorded circa 1977, natch, but released in 1981) and their other one, Hit Movie Themes, recorded at the same time and also released in '81, under the name of bandleader/bassist Keith Kanga. Plus six previously unreleased bonus tracks (including an intense 7 minute live version of Hendrix's "Foxy Lady"), amounting to 17 tracks in total.
Of those 17, there's lots of covers - a weird wide variety of 'em in fact, ranging from tracks by the disparate likes of The Beatles, Osibisa, the aforementioned Deep Purple, to such "hit movie themes" indeed as the "Theme From The Godfather" and "Windmills Of Your Mind"! And that's no surprise, 'cause like so many bands of the era, Atomic Forest earned their bread - and their rep - on the live circuit, where you had to play the hits... As well as playing gigs at hotel discotheques, the Atomic Rooster guys also honed their chops in an Indian production of Jesus Christ Superstar, by the way. So they were versatile, to say the least. And thus the material here ranges from the heavy (Jethro Tull's "Locomotive Breath", Atomic Forest's own "Obsession '77" in either fast or slow versions) to somewhat softer stuff - like, well, "Windmills Of Your Mind"! But ALL of it is super groovy, and dosed with killer fuzz guitar and distorted tabla beats, and sometimes wild theremin-like electronics. That it's all by the same band at first seems a bit unlikely but then it all begins to come together, Atomic Forest (a bit like Indonesia's badass AKA) as fluent at playing moody jazz-funk as they are kicking out heavy rock jams, and no slouches at catchy pop psych either. And while this collection consists of mostly covers, their originals fit right in alongside these better known tunes, including two takes of a track called "Butterfly" that's a bit of a riff on the riff from "Freddie's Dead" by Curtis Mayfield, but infused with freaky synth.
This package represents the fruits of Now-Again head honcho Egon's obsessed quest to find out more about - and hear more of - Atomic Forest. And the packaging is deluxe, all right. Much like Now-Again's equally elaborate collection of Indonesian psych rarities, Those Shocking Shaking Days, where we first heard AKA, this comes slipcased, containing a thick, miniature-lp style sleeve holding the cd, tucked in there alongside a super thick, square bound 44 page booklet, its bright orange pages full of vintage newspaper clippings, rare photographs, and other ephemera - along with lengthy, extensively researched liner notes, discussing the history of the band and its members, the result of much diligent work tracking down the musicians and their relatives to share their stories. So this is really like getting a cd AND a book. The double vinyl version, likewise, is fancy, packaged with a similarly huge booklet in a sturdy sleeve. Nice!
MPEG Stream: "Obsession '77 (Slow)"
MPEG Stream: "Locomotive Breath"
MPEG Stream: "Theme From The Godfather"

album cover ATOMIC FOREST Obsession (Now-Again) 2lp 29.00
Talk about obsession! That's what produced this, a super deluxe collection of the fuzzed-out greatness that is Atomic Forest, the premier hard rock/psych act from India in the '70s (and the only one to make an album - in fact, they made two).
Some of you may already be aware of Atomic Forest from their track on an international fuzz-psych comp called Obsession that came and went a while back (yep, that comp took both its title and its cover artwork from the Atomic Forest's debut lp, Obsession '77). More likely, you've heard the brilliant Deep Purple cover "Mary Long" that they contributed to the Psych Funk Sa-Re-Ga! compilation of vintage sub-continental grooviness, seeing as we made that particular item a Record Of The Week and sold a ton of 'em.
Really, their name alone is almost reason enough to be obsessed with Atomic Forest. Also that their music is just so much fuzz-filled fun. So we're stoked that the Now-Again label, blessings be upon them, decided that it'd be cool to do a full-on Atomic Forest archival reissue, collecting ALL their extant recordings, from both their Obsession '77 album (recorded circa 1977, natch, but released in 1981) and their other one, Hit Movie Themes, recorded at the same time and also released in '81, under the name of bandleader/bassist Keith Kanga. Plus six previously unreleased bonus tracks (including an intense 7 minute live version of Hendrix's "Foxy Lady"), amounting to 17 tracks in total.
Of those 17, there's lots of covers - a weird wide variety of 'em in fact, ranging from tracks by the disparate likes of The Beatles, Osibisa, the aforementioned Deep Purple, to such "hit movie themes" indeed as the "Theme From The Godfather" and "Windmills Of Your Mind"! And that's no surprise, 'cause like so many bands of the era, Atomic Forest earned their bread - and their rep - on the live circuit, where you had to play the hits... As well as playing gigs at hotel discotheques, the Atomic Rooster guys also honed their chops in an Indian production of Jesus Christ Superstar, by the way. So they were versatile, to say the least. And thus the material here ranges from the heavy (Jethro Tull's "Locomotive Breath", Atomic Forest's own "Obsession '77" in either fast or slow versions) to somewhat softer stuff - like, well, "Windmills Of Your Mind"! But ALL of it is super groovy, and dosed with killer fuzz guitar and distorted tabla beats, and sometimes wild theremin-like electronics. That it's all by the same band at first seems a bit unlikely but then it all begins to come together, Atomic Forest (a bit like Indonesia's badass AKA) as fluent at playing moody jazz-funk as they are kicking out heavy rock jams, and no slouches at catchy pop psych either. And while this collection consists of mostly covers, their originals fit right in alongside these better known tunes, including two takes of a track called "Butterfly" that's a bit of a riff on the riff from "Freddie's Dead" by Curtis Mayfield, but infused with freaky synth.
This package represents the fruits of Now-Again head honcho Egon's obsessed quest to find out more about - and hear more of - Atomic Forest. And the packaging is deluxe, all right. Much like Now-Again's equally elaborate collection of Indonesian psych rarities, Those Shocking Shaking Days, where we first heard AKA, this comes slipcased, containing a thick, miniature-lp style sleeve holding the cd, tucked in there alongside a super thick, square bound 44 page booklet, its bright orange pages full of vintage newspaper clippings, rare photographs, and other ephemera - along with lengthy, extensively researched liner notes, discussing the history of the band and its members, the result of much diligent work tracking down the musicians and their relatives to share their stories. So this is really like getting a cd AND a book. The double vinyl version, likewise, is fancy, packaged with a similarly huge booklet in a sturdy sleeve. Nice!
MPEG Stream: "Obsession '77 (Slow)"
MPEG Stream: "Locomotive Breath"
MPEG Stream: "Theme From The Godfather"

album cover BAMSEOM PIRATES Seoul Inferno (Misanthropic Art Productions) cd 13.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Longtime readers of the aQ list and followers of Andee's tUMULt label are no doubt familiar with Pyha, whose Haunted House album still ranks as one of our favorite black metal records ever, made even more noteworthy by the fact it was created by a Korean teenager! It was a personal and intimate study (by a teenager) on loss and death, focusing on Korea's wars, the music bleak and blown out, weirdly atmospheric and hypnotic, any black metalheads out there who have yet to check it out, do yourself a favor. SO what the heck does that have to do with this new full length from Korean punk/grind duo Bamseom Pirates? Well, Mr. Pyha is all grown up, he's been in and out of the military (it's compulsory in Korea), he's engaged to be married, and he's still politically active, but his protests now come in the form of short sharp blasts of grinding punk rock. Granted, the Pyha connection might be a bit of a tenuous connection to convince metalheads to pick this up, and really, unless you're into punk rock and grindcore, odds are you're not gonna dig this. That said, there are plenty of metallic moments, and some of the grinding is wicked fierce, and as metal as anything else out there, but there's definitely a serious sense of humor running through the proceedings, and the more metallic grind numbers are outnumbered by the punk rock jams, so metalheads you have been warned, everyone else, this is pretty fucking ruling. Just bass and drums, the bass super distorted to the point that it basically sounds like a guitar, the vocals are yelped and howled and grunted and squealed, we're reminded of legendary power violence jokers Spazz as well as Japanese grinders Bathtub Shitter, all the lyrics in Korean, the booklet too, so much of the lyrical content, and any of the politics are definitely lost on non-Korean speakers, but if you're after some wild pounding punk and some seriously furious grind, with some twisted weirdness and a little bit of goofiness mixed in, this will definitely hit the spot. And if you're like us and CRAZY obsessed with Pyha to boot, well then even more reason to grab one.
MPEG Stream: "1"
MPEG Stream: "2"
MPEG Stream: "3"
MPEG Stream: "4"
MPEG Stream: "5"

album cover BATAGOV, ANTON & YUNGCHEN LHAMO Tayatha (Cantaloupe Music) cd 14.98
Tayatha is the latest release from aQ beloved composer/pianist Anton Batagov, and it just might be his loveliest and most haunting work to date. Which is saying a lot, considering how much we love pretty much everything we've heard from him, we've even made several of his records Record Of The Week, before this one, and his triple cd Wheel Of The Law remains one of our favorite modern minimal releases EVER (and would have also been a Record Of The Week, had we been able to get more). But this new one is something else entirely.
On past records, Batagov has enjoyed the act of collaboration, and has explored playing with rock bands, with experimental electronic musicians, incorporating electric guitar, pounding drums, different vocalists, Buddhist recitations, all a part of Batagov's idiosyncratic approach to modern composition, but never has one of his collaborations been so potent, and so moving, as on Tayatha. Yet another Buddhist based composition here Batagov is joined by Tibetan vocalist Yungchen Lhamo, and that's it, just piano and vocals. And it's stunning. Absolutely. Some of the most beautiful and lyrical piano playing we've heard from Batagov, the sound so rich and emotional, moving and personal, even sans vocals, Tayatha would be a revelation, but Yungchen's voice is a marvel, lush and lustrous, but super distinctive, slipping from rich throaty croon, to something more abstract, and back again, and similarly sans piano, this would be a gorgeous a cappella performance, in fact, Lhamo has been performing solo and a cappella for years, but it's how Lhamo's voice and Batagov's piano fit together so perfectly that makes this record so special.
It's hard to put into words what exactly it is about this record, but without sounding overly dramatic, we got chills the first time we put this one. It's lush and lovely, but definitely haunting, and subtly harrowing, Batagov and Lhamo somehow imbuing the sound with intense emotion, the music surprisingly personal and intimate. We won't pretend that there wasn't a potential for new age schmaltz, what with the female vocals and piano, and the rather new age-y looking cover, but don't be misled, this is a powerful collection of dark, dreamy, moody and meditative music that is truly transcendent. Might be best to just listen to the samples below, we find it hard to imagine you won't be immediately smitten.
And what's even cooler about Tayatha, is that the sound and the compositions are super varied, tracks like "Medicine Buddha" are almost poppy, it's not hard to imagine someone like Tori Amos or Regina Spektor performing the same song, but with dramatically different results, yet even in the hands of Batagov And Lhamo, the song swells dramatically, the piano melodies super intense and strangely catchy, the vocals too, since we don't speak the language, often act like another instrument, imbued with the power of the human voice, but not beholden to any sort of lyrical interpretation. Other tracks are more tranquil and meditative, some are lilting and and dreamlike, others brood and pulse with a mysterious dark energy, and at least one, "Flying Dakini", almost sounds like some 'Nighthawks At The Diner' Tom Waits style balladry, albeit in Tibetan and a bit more modern minimalist. But all the tracks here, every one, is heartbreakingly beautiful, the whole somehow is so much more than its constituent parts, repeated listens have transformed Tayatha into more than just voice and piano, it's almost liturgical, a mysteriously lovely spiritual sonic journey, that manages to turn sound into something divine.
MPEG Stream: "Medicine Buddha"
MPEG Stream: "Your Kindness"
MPEG Stream: "White Palace"

BERBERIAN, JOHN Middle Eastern Rock (Acid Symposium) cd 17.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Hey, all of you who've been digging the Middle Eastern '60s garage psych rock n' roll sounds of the "Hava Narghile" and "Turkish Delight" compilations, or that Devil's Anvil disc! We've come across another east-meets-west gem for your collection, the newly reissued "Middle Eastern Rock" from John Berberian & the Rock East Ensemble, a NYC-based outfit from the sixties that was quite a bit like fellow New Yorkers the Devil's Anvil group. Here's a quote from the original liner notes to the 1969 LP release: "Middle Eastern music and rock...two of a kind. The music of Armenia, Turkey, the Arab nations and Greece is about as nakedly emotional as you can get. The authentic music of the Middle East is the result of generations of hunger, persecution, frustration and suffering. It is explosively melodic...and incoherently mad with joy. It is filled with the heavy odor of animal magnetism. The motivations behind this music are all too familiar. They are the same very often repeated words and phrases that are used to describe the origins of the blues, of jazz and of soul. And all these kinds of closely related styles of music are the prime progenitors of the rock that we hear today." Out to prove these words true, Armenian-American band leader John Berberian's oud meets up with the acid rock guitar of Joe Beck right on the opening cut, the aptly titled "The Oud & The Fuzz". The Oud & The Fuzz!! What more do you need to hear? Well, they don't top that cut, but we do like the whole album. Berberian's band veers into jazzier territory on much of this disc, which is pretty great too. Taking a bunch of traditional Middle Eastern tunes and adapting 'em for the hip swinging young sixties crowd, these cats make some super-cool Middle Eastern jazz-flavored lounge music. This is certainly groovy belly dancing music, if not totally exotic garage psych rock n' roll like "The Oud & The Fuzz" promises. And, they do a track called "Iron Maiden"!
RealAudio clip: "The Oud & The Fuzz"
RealAudio clip: "Flying Hye"

BERBERIAN, JOHN Middle Eastern Rock (Cherry Red) cd 17.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Now reissued again, via Cherry Red... Hey, all of you who've been digging the Middle Eastern '60s garage psych rock n' roll sounds of the "Hava Narghile" and "Turkish Delight" compilations, or that Devil's Anvil disc! We've come across another east-meets-west gem for your collection, the newly reissued "Middle Eastern Rock" from John Berberian & the Rock East Ensemble, a NYC-based outfit from the sixties that was quite a bit like fellow New Yorkers the Devil's Anvil group. Here's a quote from the original liner notes to the 1969 LP release: "Middle Eastern music and rock...two of a kind. The music of Armenia, Turkey, the Arab nations and Greece is about as nakedly emotional as you can get. The authentic music of the Middle East is the result of generations of hunger, persecution, frustration and suffering. It is explosively melodic...and incoherently mad with joy. It is filled with the heavy odor of animal magnetism. The motivations behind this music are all too familiar. They are the same very often repeated words and phrases that are used to describe the origins of the blues, of jazz and of soul. And all these kinds of closely related styles of music are the prime progenitors of the rock that we hear today." Out to prove these words true, Armenian-American band leader John Berberian's oud meets up with the acid rock guitar of Joe Beck right on the opening cut, the aptly titled "The Oud & The Fuzz". The Oud & The Fuzz!! What more do you need to hear? Well, they don't top that cut, but we do like the whole album. Berberian's band veers into jazzier territory on much of this disc, which is pretty great too. Taking a bunch of traditional Middle Eastern tunes and adapting 'em for the hip swinging young sixties crowd, these cats make some super-cool Middle Eastern jazz-flavored lounge music. This is certainly groovy belly dancing music, if not totally exotic garage psych rock n' roll like "The Oud & The Fuzz" promises. And, they do a track called "Iron Maiden"!
RealAudio clip: "The Oud & The Fuzz"
RealAudio clip: "Flying Hye"

album cover BHATTACHARYA, DEBASHISH Calcutta Slide Guitar: Special Edition (Riverboat / World Music Network) cd+dvd 16.98
If you haven't already picked up this great record, now's the time, 'cause it's been re-released as a "special edition" with a bonus DVD disc featuring live footage...
Be ready to be blown away by absolute total beauty! Pandit Debashish Bhattacharya is one of the best slide guitar players on the planet. He creates his own guitars which he plays ragas on. He is credited as the first person to put resonating strings on a slide guitar back in the 1970's and also the first to put chickaree (drone) strings on the front. His three-finger picking technique allows him the ability to have lightning speed and most importantly create the hypnotic patterns that radiate throughout this record. While the technical aspect of what he does is so spectacular, it's the fact that he transcends his instrument, which is what truly makes Bhattacharya a special artist. You can't help but just get lost in the hypnotic quality of his playing and the ability of the music to take you off the ground. It's almost like hearing Ravi Shankar and John Fahey combining forces to see how breathtaking a record they could make together. While Debashish Bhattacharya's name might not be on the tip of people's tongues like the aforementioned are, here's hoping once this record is heard that he will be. Highly recommended!
MPEG Stream: "Nata raaj"
MPEG Stream: "Maha Shakti"

album cover BHATTACHARYA, DEBASHISH Calcutta Slide-Guitar (Riverboat) cd 16.98
Be ready to be blown away by absolute total beauty! Pandit Debashish Bhattacharya is one of the best slide guitar players on the planet. He creates his own guitars which he plays ragas on. He is credited as the first person to put resonating strings on a slide guitar back in the 1970's and also the first to put chickaree (drone) strings on the front. His three-finger picking technique allows him the ability to have lightning speed and most importantly create the hypnotic patterns that radiate throughout this record. While the technical aspect of what he does is so spectacular, it's the fact that he transcends his instrument, which is what truly makes Bhattacharya a special artist. You can't help but just get lost in the hypnotic quality of his playing and the ability of the music to take you off the ground. It's almost like hearing Ravi Shankar and John Fahey combining forces to see how breathtaking a record they could make together. While Debashish Bhattacharya's name might not be on the tip of people's tongues like the aforementioned are, here's hoping once this record is heard that he will be. Highly recommended!
MPEG Stream: "Nata raaj"
MPEG Stream: "Maha Shakti"

album cover BHATTACHARYA, DEBASHISH O Shakuntala! (Riverboat) cd 16.98
We've been waiting for this one for a while. The first time we heard the masterful playing of Debashish Bhattacharya was on his majestic and mind blowing Calcutta Slide Guitar album, a record which became an absolutely treasured all time favorite around here. Not only a master of Indian slide guitar, Bhattacharya also has the ability to infuse his playing with such truly transcendent emotion. It was a record that really felt like some magical amalgamation of Ravi Shankar and John Fahey. It's been several years since that release, but we had hoped something new might be on the horizon, as he performed live in San Francisco last year, a show that totally left us spellbound. It also made so much sense that when we looked around the audience, it was filled with so many of the Bay Area's best drone and bliss-out minded musicians, it was a little like seeing the teacher school his pupils.
O Shakuntala! is just as sublime and enchanting as Calcutta Slide Guitar was. This time out Bhattacharya merges two very classic Indian music traditions, Kanatic music from the South and Hindustani music from the North. But what makes his playing so special is that whether you have a rich knowledge of Indian music or are a total novice it doesn't matter at all, as he is able to cut through to the music's core and create an intimacy and intensity through his playing that is really the closest to absolute pure beauty we've heard in recorded form. Patient, slowly evolving, and with such innovation which most certainly elevates Bhattacharya to some entirely other level, a master among masters. He's backed by three percussionists on O Shakuntala!, including his brother on tabla, who completely blew us away when we saw them perform live. Some amazing genes that family must have!
The only negative thing we have to say about this disc has nothing to with the music, but there is no denying the cover art is pretty bad. Makes it seem like it must be some cheesy fusion record you would get at a store that sells incense and mood rings. But luckily it doesn't reflect the totally entrancing and stunning sounds inside. Highest of recommendations!
MPEG Stream: "Megha Re"
MPEG Stream: "Baarish!"
MPEG Stream: "Priyatameshu"

album cover BHOSLE, ASHA Best of Asha Bhosle (Manteca) cd 14.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
What with all these Bollywood soundtrack compilations coming out it's about time that there was a disc that features the work of one of the all-time greats in the genre. Asha Bhosle is, as stated in the liner notes, the "indisputed Queen of Bollywood." With over 20,000 recorded songs to her credit she is second only to her sister, Lata Mangeshkar, who holds the Guiness Book of World Records title for most recorded songs by a singer (at 25,000)! Born in 1933, Asha got her start in films in 1949, when she was only 16 and has been singing the songs -- which are the very backbone of Indian films -- for 50 years since. Given her lengthy and prolific career, this compilation of a mere 14 tracks is a paltry representation of her life's work. But as paltry as it is in scope it's still quite a great collection. The tracks here are taken mostly from films made during the 60's and 70's and feature all those things about Indian film music we love: beautiful string arrangements with all manner of additional instrumentation (east and west), be it electric guitar, organ, orchestral bells, harp, vibes, you name it, it's probably on here. There are a couple of disappointing things about this collection however; one is that a couple of tracks here -- most likely ones from the late seventies -- are a little heavy on the synth action, the other is that if you already own the excellent "Bollywood Funk" comp on Outcaste than you're getting a bit of redundancy, as two tracks overlap on both discs. You'd think that for someone with so fecund a recorded output, Manteca records wouldn't have managed to pick two gems that weren't also released on another collection the same year! But then again, one of 'em is one of the best, most infectious Bhosle tracks we've heard ("Dum Maro Dum" from the soundtrack to Hare Rama Hare Krishna)... regardless, it's still a grand sampling of great Indian film music, featuring a superb singer to boot.
RealAudio clip: "In Aankhon Ki Masti"
RealAudio clip: "O Mera Sona"
RealAudio clip: "Lekar Ham Diwana Dil"

album cover BOYZ & GIRL s/t (Maybe Mars) cd 12.98
As we mention in our review of the White+ album, one of this week's Records Of The Week, we've been digging all sorts of kick ass underground indie rock from China, one of our favorites being this one, the latest from a group called Boyz & Girl, named literally for the gender make up of the group, and whose sound falls somewhere between the the blown out shoegaze noise of My Bloody Valentine, the angular dissonance of Sonic Youth, and the quirky post punk poppiness of the Pixies. These guys (and gal) have obviously been raised on a steady diet of classic nineties indie rock and it shows, thick billows of distorted FX heavy guitars, laconic laid back vocals, driving rhythms, heavy and psychedelic, hooks buried throughout, wild tangles of guitars expand into droned out jangle, squalls of wild guitarnoise are harnessed into lush melodic drifts, we also hear hints of the Swirlies and Polvo, the group at their best when their dreamy pop gems are swathed in thick sheets of buzzing guitar, or driven by what sounds like junkyard percussion, "He Must Be" is our current fave, dreamy, poppy, but noisy as all get out, a cloud of constantly crumbling and swirling and howling guitarnoise over some perfect jangle, sweet sad boy vox, and loose propulsive drumming.
Amidst all this fuzzed out, noise drenched indie jangle, there's also plenty of experimental weirdness, "Cannot Touch" sounds like Blonde Redhead or Deerhoof, but deconstructed into something much more minimal and skeletal, "Cursed And Cursed Again" is a brief swirl of swooping backwards high end, "The Cold, The War", is a haunting reverb drenched brooder, dark and gloom poppy, but set on a bed of crunchy noise, muted and blurred into a lush and weirdly lovely backdrop. In fact most of the songs here have strange production, and cool weird guitar parts, equal parts jangle and crunch, buzz and spaced out swirl. Fans of that classic indie rock sound, who have been hankering for some noisy, shoegazey, jangle, will flip for this!
MPEG Stream: "Ghost Parade"
MPEG Stream: "He Must Be"
MPEG Stream: "Watchout! Akily Is Dead"

album cover BURMAN, R.D. A Bollywood Legend (Times Square) 2cd 16.98
Over the years we've fallen crazy in love with lots of compilations highlighting the power and energy and passion of Bollywood music. Collections like Indiavision, Sitar Beat, Bombay Connection, etc all share one common thread: R.D. Burman. Look closely at the credits on the songs on all the great Bollywood compilations and Burman's name is there almost every time. It should come as no surprise really, because if you've watched many Bollywood films made anytime from the early '60s to the mid '90s chances are it was Burman's music you were being swept away by, as his soundtrack work appeared in more then 300 films! His equally prolific wife Asha Bhosle adding her dazzling voice to many of his songs as well as her sister Lata Mangeshkar on some tracks as well. We're so happy there is finally a domestic collection of Burman's amazing music. Instead of being teased with single songs here and there on various compilations, now we have two whole discs worth of his forward thinking yet totally romantic and enchanting sounds. While Burman passed away over a decade ago he finally seems to be getting the respect in this country that he so rightfully deserves. One of the most gifted and prolific musicians and producers of the last half century for sure!
MPEG Stream: "Mera Naam Hai Shabnam (My Name Is Shabnam)"
MPEG Stream: "Tumne Mujhe Dekha (You Looked At Me)"

album cover CAR SICK CARS The Other 3 EP (Maybe Mars) cd-r ep 8.98
Got this super limited tour cd-r from one of our favorite Chinese indie rock outfits Carsick Cars who were just here on tour. This 5 song disc collects a handful of singles tracks and alternate versions, including two of our recent favorite CSC jams, one being a version of maybe the best track from the recent 3 album, which found the group getting super poppy, and heavily influenced by that classic Flying Nun sound (due in no small part to the fact that New Zealand indie legend Hamish Kilgour helped record that record), along with the group's track from the recently reviewed split with Flavor Crystals, a jam that we described as being super bubbly, poppy and sunshiney, all fuzzy guitars, fuzzy melodies, an effervescent blast of power pop, crunchy and jangly in equal measure.
The opening track too, sounds straight out of eighties NZ, albeit with a little bit of modern sheen, but got Flying Nun nerds who miss that sound, holy cow, the fact that it's NZ by way of China only makes it that much more confusionally cool! "Shelter" is more stripped down, a dark jangly brooder, while "She Will Wait" adds some drum machine, and pushes the sound into a slightly shoegazier noise poppier direction, that definitely suits them.
A great introduction to the band for sure, and essential if like us, you're turning into a Carsick Cars completist. SUPER LIMITED cd-r, once we run out, will have to get more from China, so act fast or be prepared to be patient...
MPEG Stream: "Yoko"
MPEG Stream: "15 Minutes Older"
MPEG Stream: "Untitled"

album cover CAR-SICK CARS 3 (Maybe Mars) cd 12.98
Carsick Cars was the first band we'd heard from this new crop of Chinese indie rock and noise pop bands, and we were initially intrigued cuz of the band name, but then ended up digging both their other records quite a bit. We'd been dying to hear this new one after getting a little tease/taste via their recent split 7" with Flavor Crystals. Their song on that 7" found the band sounding better than ever, super polished, and crazy catchy. We posited in our review of that 7", that part of the new sound might be due to the fact that it was recorded with Pete Kember, aka Sonic Boom, from Spacemen 3, and Hamish Kilgour of NZ pop legends the Clean. And it might just because we know that, but we're hearing a sound that definitely sounds like it's right between the druggy hypno-rock of Spacemen 3 and the fuzzy, NZ jangle of the Clean. Regardless, 3 is a stunner, from the very first track, a very nineties indie rock influenced instrumental groover that actually also reminds us a bit of Pell Mell, sort of driving and hypnotic and a little bit krautrocky. But it's on the second track, "15 Minutes Older", that the band get super poppy, and that Flying Nun / New Zealand influence really shines through. In fact, if you told us this was actually some long lost Flying Nun rarity, we would have totally bought it. Keening vocals, dreamy melodies, fuzzy, buzzy guitars, plenty of jangle, hooks galore, but with a bit of Sonic Youth style noisiness woven into the sound, it's infectious and pretty goddamn great. As is the whole record really, every song here a jangle pop gem, some sung in English, some not, some sort of proggy and mathy, others straight ahead pop, but all of them hooky and heavenly, and easily the best CsC record yet!
We have both the lp and the cd, apparently, they're both slightly different, different mixes, some songs are in English on one format, not on the others, we haven't really done a side by side A/B comparison, but we're guessing unless you're crazy anal or a super collector, you'll likely be happy whichever one you pick, if it matters, this review is of the vinyl version, which includes a download code as well!
MPEG Stream: "The Best VPN So Far"
MPEG Stream: "15 Minutes Older"
MPEG Stream: "Reaching The Light"
MPEG Stream: "Wild Grass"

album cover CAR-SICK CARS 3 (Maybe Mars) lp 17.98
Carsick Cars was the first band we'd heard from this new crop of Chinese indie rock and noise pop bands, and we were initially intrigued cuz of the band name, but then ended up digging both their other records quite a bit. We'd been dying to hear this new one after getting a little tease/taste via their recent split 7" with Flavor Crystals. Their song on that 7" found the band sounding better than ever, super polished, and crazy catchy. We posited in our review of that 7", that part of the new sound might be due to the fact that it was recorded with Pete Kember, aka Sonic Boom, from Spacemen 3, and Hamish Kilgour of NZ pop legends the Clean. And it might just because we know that, but we're hearing a sound that definitely sounds like it's right between the druggy hypno-rock of Spacemen 3 and the fuzzy, NZ jangle of the Clean. Regardless, 3 is a stunner, from the very first track, a very nineties indie rock influenced instrumental groover that actually also reminds us a bit of Pell Mell, sort of driving and hypnotic and a little bit krautrocky. But it's on the second track, "15 Minutes Older", that the band get super poppy, and that Flying Nun / New Zealand influence really shines through. In fact, if you told us this was actually some long lost Flying Nun rarity, we would have totally bought it. Keening vocals, dreamy melodies, fuzzy, buzzy guitars, plenty of jangle, hooks galore, but with a bit of Sonic Youth style noisiness woven into the sound, it's infectious and pretty goddamn great. As is the whole record really, every song here a jangle pop gem, some sung in English, some not, some sort of proggy and mathy, others straight ahead pop, but all of them hooky and heavenly, and easily the best CsC record yet!
We have both the lp and the cd, apparently, they're both slightly different, different mixes, some songs are in English on one format, not on the others, we haven't really done a side by side A/B comparison, but we're guessing unless you're crazy anal or a super collector, you'll likely be happy whichever one you pick, if it matters, this review is of the vinyl version, which includes a download code as well!
MPEG Stream: "The Best VPN So Far"
MPEG Stream: "15 Minutes Older"
MPEG Stream: "Reaching The Light"
MPEG Stream: "Wild Grass"

album cover CAR-SICK CARS s/t (Maybe Mars) cd 12.98
As we've mentioned in the past few lists, we've been getting more and more sounds from the Chinese underground, so many that it's been difficult to listen to them all, let alone get them reviewed. White+, Boyz & Girl, Dear Eloise, P.K.14, Duck Fight Goose, Snapline, Skip Skip Ben Ben, Streets Kill Strange Animals, just to name a few. The one we were most excited to review was this outfit, based partly on their name, as well as the crazy cartoon alien lazer gun 4-eyed fish cover art. It was only recently we were actually able to get enough to list. And while we may have been expecting something way weirder, we ended up digging their sound, which like much of this new wave of Chinese bands, owes much to the nineties US indie/college rock underground. Carsick Cars take classic fuzzy jangle pop and angular noise rock and fuse it into something hooky, catchy, dark and difficult, with boy / girl vocals, crunchy guitar, plenty of noise, tribal drumming, wild flurries of piano, the result falling somewhere between Sonic Youth and Pavement and Sebadoh and Polvo? They definitely sound like the kind of band that would have been on labels like Matador, Homestead, even Touch And Go back in the day. The songs tend toward fuzzed out noise pop / indie rock crunch for the most part, but there's a lot of weirdness going on, and plenty of more abstract experimental noisiness, with the two sides of the band's sound bleeding into each other throughout!
MPEG Stream: "Zhi Yuan De Ren"
MPEG Stream: "Gum"
MPEG Stream: "No Gu"

album cover CAR-SICK CARS You Can Listen You Can Talk (Maybe Mars) cd 12.98
Not sure what it is about the current underground rock scene in China, but it seems like it's heavily influenced by the US, which is maybe not a huge surprise, but also, more specifically, nineties college/indie rock. Check out some of the Chinese outfits we've reviewed recently: P.K.14, Skip Skip Ben Ben, Streets Kill Strange Animals, Boyz & Girl, all amazing, and all heavily indebted to the Pixies, Sebadoh, Dinosaur Jr, Sonic Youth, My Bloody Valentine, you get the picture. Jangly, crunchy, fuzzy, noisy, poppy, shoegazey, all stuff we, and presumably, lots of you love, so if you've been missing THAT sound, might be time to dig into some of the amazing Chinese noise pop / indie rock that's blowing up over there these days. Last list we reviewed the self titled debut from the awesomely names Car-Sick Cars, and like that record, this follow up, is a fantastic celebration of all the stuff we loved about nineties indie rock, chiming minor key guitars, shimmery atmospheres, laid back drawled sad boy vox, brooding slow build verses and crunchy, noisy choruses, lots of textures and tension, even the prettiest most straight ahead jams here flecked with all manner of experimental studio weirdness and squalls of psychedelic crunch. But unlike that record, which seemed to be brimming with youthful exuberance, this record is a lot more laid back, a bit more contemplative, a little brooding, with most of the tracks settling in a sort of Sonic Youth / Velvets sort of trance out, the guitars looped and layered, the rhythms motorik, stripped down and propulsive, the songs wreathed in woozy textures, the vocals buried in the mix, the songs sprawling, tranced out and hypnotic, and really really good.
MPEG Stream: "Intro"
MPEG Stream: "Dear Friend"
MPEG Stream: "She Will Wait"

album cover CAR-SICK CARS / FLAVOR CRYSTALS split (Mpls Ltd. / Genjing) 7" 9.98
Killer new split 7" featuring one of our favorite Chinese indie rock outfits, Carsick Cars, teamed up with a Minneapolis psych rock band we'd heard of, but hadn't actually heard until now. The Carsick Cars side is super bubbly, poppy, and sunshiney, fuzzy guitars, fizzy melodies, effervescent almost power pop, crunchy and jangly in equal measure, maybe the best sounding jam we've heard from these guys, which makes sense as it's an outtake from the sessions for their newest record 3 (which we'll review on the next list, and it's great! And we DO have them in stock, cd and vinyl, both kinda different too!), produced by NZ legend Hamish Kilgour and Pete Kember, aka Sonic Boom. It's kind of hard to figure out why this was an OUTTAKE, cuz it's a scorcher, and the Hamish Kilgour connection makes a lot of sonic sense, cuz this totally sound like it could be some lost Flying Nun rarity, which is high praise indeed!
The Flavor Crystals side is a bit more downcast, moody and broody, with gothy guitar shimmer over a lowslung bassline and motorik drumming, the vocals a reverby whispery croon, Moon Duo fans will definitely flip. Soon the surrounding sounds build, pulsing and pulsating, adding a dark sonic swirl to the proceedings, as the song proper follows suit, growing more dense and driving, heavy and hypnotic, before launching into some serious spaced out psych for the last few minutes, that will definitely hit the spot for fans of White Hills, The Heads, Moon Duo, etc. Definitely need to hear more from these guys.
Gorgeously packaged, super eye popping, over the top cartoon art sleeves, each with a different, equally eye popping postcard inside, and pressed on dark red vinyl! Oh, and probably pretty limited as well!
MPEG Stream: CARSICK CARS "Yoko"
MPEG Stream: FLAVOR CRYSTALS "Mirror In My Mind"

CARAVAN Man & Buffalo (Strawberry Rain Records) cd 17.98

album cover CHUI WAN White Night (Maybe Mars) cd 12.98
As much as we love all the indie rock and noise pop that's been coming out of China, and we do, hell, check elsewhere on this list for a couple new Chinese bands, we tend to become super obsessed with the more out there, experimental groups and records that have also been coming from the same scene. We made the latest record from White+ our Record Of The Week a while back, the sound like Yellow Magic Orchestra crossed with Neu!, or so the label suggested, to our ears it was way more far out and psychedelic. Out latest discovery / obsession comes from this Beijing based experimental four piece called Chui Wan, who according to the label, count Beach Boys, Arthur Russell, Les Rallizes Denudes and the Sun City Girls among their primary influences, but as always, there's no way a band could possibly sound like that, and Chui Wan, to our ears at least don't really sound like what we imagine that band math would produce, but that's not to say we don't dig it, we do, a LOT, in fact this is one of our favorite of all the Chinese records we've gotten in recently, but the sound is a bit harder to pigeonhole, the opener is a sort of loping, instrumental jangle pop jam, all blooping basslines, shimmering guitars, and motorik rhythm, surrounded by burbling cascades of swirling melodies, and chiming spidery guitars, so we were kind of prepared for a whole record of that, but then the second track swoops in, all distorted guitars, and driving drums, not to mention some strange echo drenched vocals, lots of swirling psychedelia, the track veering from spaced out mesmer to heavy, chaotic freakout, with brief bits of mathy angular pop, it's a weird mix, but it somehow works, at times sounding like a warped WTF version of Television, maybe with a little Boredoms mixed in, with plenty of spaced out psych jamming, and hypno-kraut grooves.
And amidst all this krautgroove and psychedelic drift, the band add swoonsome viola melodies, soaring ethereal vocal harmonies, plenty of almost proggy arrangements, subtly deployed samples, Eastern melodies, swirling electronics and FX, with some tracks sounding like psychedelic ragas, others blossoming into horn flecked almost-klezmer, and still others field recording laces tribal dirges. The record finishes with a nearly eleven minute closer, that's like some sort of doom-prog / kraut-folk, epic and majestic, weirdly recorded so the sounds are all blown out and crumbly, the arrangement strange too, in constant flux, the whole final half of the song peeling back all the noisiness, leaving just a gorgeous sprawl of processed horns, pointillist pianos, swirling synths, layered electronics and strange samples, super heady and hypnotic, tripped out and utterly mesmerizing.
WAY recommended, for fans of space rock, psych rock, experimental avant pop, and the weirder side of the new wave of Chinese indie rock...
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album cover CITY OF GHOSTS (VARIOUS ARTISTS, SOUNDTRACK) (Lakeshore) cd 16.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
This Matt Dillon directed mystery/thriller set in Cambodia looks like a real dog. Well, we haven't seen it yet, so less said about it the better... HOWEVER, the soundtrack to City of Ghosts is really, really good!
As our customer RP who turned us onto this wrote: "Great music from a so-so film. Features Dengue Fever (used over closing credits) covering 'Both Sides Now' [which does not appear on their album]. Also a boatload of great Cambodian 60's garage pop (probably similar to Cambodian Rocks) including three tracks from the goddess of Cambodian garage, Ros Serey Sothea. There's also a smattering of French pop, ancient country blues, and old-timey Hawaiian music. But the real star of the show is the great Cambodian pop stuff."
We concur! Beyond a slight problem in mastering levels (you'll have to wield the volume knob occasionally), this is simply a very well chosen comp of material -- works perfectly as a listen straight through, like a fantastic mixtape. And the eclecticism of the material is smart and challenging. *Highly* recommended.
MPEG Stream: DENGUE FEVER "Both Sides Now"
MPEG Stream: JACQUES DUTRONC "Et Moi, Et Moi, Et Moi"
MPEG Stream: CHOUN MALAI "Love Pillow"

album cover CUDAMANI The Seven-Tone Gamelan Orchestra From The Village Of Pengosekan, Bali (Vital Records) cd 14.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Back in stock, just in time to coincide with a US tour!! Here's what we had to say about the disc the first time we had it:
This release is actually quite exciting in that Gamelan Cudamani represents yet another revolutionary step in the ever changing state of gamelan in Bali. Ironically, it is the very thing that makes this gamelan (and others like it that are being built throughout Bali) new and revolutionary is also the thing that is connecting Balinese gamelan with its past. What makes Cudamani so special is the addition of a mere two pitches to its scale. In truth, those pitches are not a new thing, but contemporary gamelan in Bali since the 1920s have been built with only five (some, a bit less common forms, with only 4.) When the Balinese court dissipated at the turn of the 20th century and many gamelan melted down into modern sets, the repertoire disappeared as well. Lost with those two pitches were the various pentatonic subsets that were capable of being played only on a gamelan with all 7 pitches. I guess you could look at it as if you took all the black keys off your piano, which would severely limit your choice of keys in which you could play. With the music of the Balinese court however, different modes had very different and very strong associations to particular moods. So while all seven tones are rarely used within any given section -- or even composition -- the addition of those two notes opens up the possibilities for playing a huge repertoire of music and creating vast new ones. While this new (re)development has brought the present in closer connection with the past, it has also enabled an unprecedented level of innovation. On the first two pieces of this disc -- both composed by one of Cudamani's founding members -- all seven tones are used, with melodies being immediately recast in other modes and even played on top of one another in a bizarre sort of harmony. Another track included on this collection is a recording of the seminal kebyar piece Teruna Jaya -- as if to bring things full circle once more -- performed as it had originally been performed, including rarely heard sections that are not oft performed anymore. If the instruments and repertoire of Cudamani isn't impressive enough, the family centered group that performs on it is equally so. Though a private organization, the Cudamani is decidedly non-commercial and performs primarily for temple ceremonies and religious festivals. In addition, the Cudamani provides education in performance and dance for youth and adults alike. Cudamani is actually comprised of several performance groups, including the original founding members, there's an all female ensemble and several children's ensembles. The history of the group and very detailed descriptions of the gamelan and the music are included on 15 pages of liner notes.
MPEG Stream: "Geregel"
MPEG Stream: "Legong Candra Kanta"

album cover D!O!D!O!D! Ghost Temple (PSF) cd 17.98
The latest from Tokyo's PSF label isn't one of their usual offerings of free jazz, outsider improv folk, or garage psych... it's not even "Japanese noise". It's actually Chinese noise. Not that that sounds much different from the Japanese variety! The oddly named D!O!D!O!D! are a raucous n' rowdy guitar and drums duo hailing from Hangzhou, China. Guitarist Li-Jianhong and drummer Huang Jin lay it on thick here, freaking out with the best of 'em. Crashing, clattering drum battery versus scrabbling, feedback guitar overload. Non-stop madness. If loud n' noisy improv is your thing, if you dig Hijokaidan and Ascension and Rudolph Grey and Harry Pussy and suchlike skronk and skree, you'll be happy PSF hooked up with these two frenzied Chinese noisniks to bring you this disc. Includes liner notes in English translation.
MPEG Stream: " UnUnn?"
MPEG Stream: "Meen_Mo"

DAMADA 3 Kingdoms (self-released) cd 9.98

album cover DANCERS OF BALI: GAMELAN OF PELIATAN, 1952 (World Arbiter) cd 16.98
Is there an inherently more pleasing sound then that of gamelan music? We think not. Something about the tones and tempo of it that make our ears so damn happy. This is an amazing recording from 1952 of one of the first world tours of Gamelan music. An ensemble of Peliatan dancers and musicians trekked across the globe and gave Westerners a glimpse of the magic and spellbound bliss that is gamelan. So amazing that sounds made a half century ago still ring with so much vibrancy and color. Without a doubt so many of today's sonic explorers have been touched by the power of Gamelan music as you can't help but hear the influence of Gamelan on records by folks like Aphex Twin, Four Tet and Colleen. In fact so much of good electronic music aims for this height of rhythm, tone and effervescence. We could listen to these sounds all day and night. Something so great about how you can both have this on in the background or listen with attentive focus and each way you get something that feels so totally invigorating and satisfying from the experience.
Whether you are a Gamelan aficionado or a newcomer to the sounds, this can serve as both an introduction or as another wonderful document of these brilliant sounds.
MPEG Stream: "Kapi Radja"
MPEG Stream: "Angkat - Angkatan"
MPEG Stream: "Baris"

album cover DARA PUSPITA 1966-1968 (Sublime Frequencies) cd 21.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
We first heard about this Indonesian sixties all girl garage group when three of their records were reissued on Chicago label PlusTapes, we all went nuts for them, as did you, we couldn't keep them in stock, but sadly they were crazy limited. Even at the time, and even on tape, we wanted to make one or all of them Records Of The Week, but they disappeared before we had a chance. But now Sublime Frequencies swoops in and saves the day, reissuing on a compact disc all three of the Dara Puspita's records proper (all the stuff on the cassettes, and then some!). But what's so great about these ladies? Read on....
Dara Puspita (Flower Girls in English) were Indonesia's most successful girl group in the sixties, and one of the few -actual- bands, who played their own instruments as opposed to just singing with all male backing bands. Even though rock and roll was banned at the time, with some bands being jailed for performing rock music live (Koes Bersaudara in particular, whose Sublime Frequencies disc we reviewed a few lists back - Dara Puspita and Koes Bersaudara had very similar histories, their careers often directly influenced by each other, the whole story to be found in the copious liner notes). Dara Puspita took their influence from that banned rock music, borrowing liberally from the Rolling Stones, The Beatles (whose songs they were warned by the authority to not perform, the very songs that got Koes Bersaudara jailed!) and the like, but giving it their own twist.
Performing a mix of covers and originals, these ladies were legendary for their wild live shows, but they really shine on record, with a totally distinctive and keen pop sensibility, gorgeous lilting vocals, an awesome rhythm section and some really excellent guitar playing. Dara Puspita weren't avant garde or super far out, not really heavy or psychedelic, instead they were just a kick ass pop group, an awesome garagey rock and roll band, catchy and fun, super energetic and with a distinctly unique vibe that makes this sound so special. Just listen to the sound samples. You'll be hooked in no time.
Lavish packaging, a full color six panel digipak, with tons of photos, a huge booklet of liner notes, with the story of the band, of the recording, more about the state of Indonesia at the time, the producer and more more more. So great!!
MPEG Stream: "Lonely Street"
MPEG Stream: "Bertamasja"
MPEG Stream: "Mari Mari"
MPEG Stream: "Minggu Jang Lalu"
MPEG Stream: "A Go-Go"
MPEG Stream: "To Love Somebody"
MPEG Stream: "Aku Tetap"

album cover DARA PUSPITA A Go Go (PlusTapes) cassette 5.50
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
From the newly launched Plustapes cassette label comes THREE tapes from this Indonesian sixties all girl garage group. Do you really need to know any thing more? Indonesian. Sixties. All girl. Garage? We didn't think so, but just for the heck of it...
We were gonna write separate reviews for each of these, but they're so cheap, and so good, and odds are if you want one, you're going to want them all. So far pretty much everyone who has heard these has gone totally nuts for these kick ass garage rock girls.
Dara Puspita (Flower Girls in English) were Indonesia's most successful girl group in the sixties, and one of the few -actual- bands, who played their own instruments as opposed to just singing with all male backing bands. Even though rock and roll was banned at the time, with some bands being jailed for performing rock music live, Dara Puspita took their influence from that banned rock music, borrowing liberally from the Rolling Stones, The Beatles (whose songs they were warned by the authority to not perform) and the like, but giving it their own twist.
Performing a mix of covers and originals, these ladies were legendary for their wild live shows, but they really shone on record, with a totally distinctive and keen pop sensibility, gorgeous lilting vocals, an awesome rhythm section and some really excellent guitar playing. Dara Puspita weren't avant garde or super far out, not really heavy or psychedelic, instead they were just a kick ass pop group, an awesome garagey rock and roll band, catchy and fun, super energetic and with a distinctly unique vibe that makes this sound so special. Not to mention all the fuzzy record crackle, which only adds to the appeal! For us at least...
Each tape is strictly LIMITED TO 100 COPIES, each one hand numbered, the tapes are the same color as the covers, each of which sports original artwork from Plastic Crimewave!!
ONE PER CUSTOMER!!!
MPEG Stream: "A Go-Go"
MPEG Stream: "To Love Somebody"
MPEG Stream: "Aku Tetap"

album cover DARA PUSPITA Green Green Grass (PlusTapes) cassette 5.50
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
From the newly launched Plustapes cassette label comes THREE tapes from this Indonesian sixties all girl garage group. Do you really need to know any thing more? Indonesian. Sixties. All girl. Garage? We didn't think so, but just for the heck of it...
We were gonna write separate reviews for each of these, but they're so cheap, and so good, and odds are if you want one, you're going to want them all. So far pretty much everyone who has heard these has gone totally nuts for these kick ass garage rock girls.
Dara Puspita (Flower Girls in English) were Indonesia's most successful girl group in the sixties, and one of the few -actual- bands, who played their own instruments as opposed to just singing with all male backing bands. Even though rock and roll was banned at the time, with some bands being jailed for performing rock music live, Dara Puspita took their influence from that banned rock music, borrowing liberally from the Rolling Stones, The Beatles (whose songs they were warned by the authority to not perform) and the like, but giving it their own twist.
Performing a mix of covers and originals, these ladies were legendary for their wild live shows, but they really shone on record, with a totally distinctive and keen pop sensibility, gorgeous lilting vocals, an awesome rhythm section and some really excellent guitar playing. Dara Puspita weren't avant garde or super far out, not really heavy or psychedelic, instead they were just a kick ass pop group, an awesome garagey rock and roll band, catchy and fun, super energetic and with a distinctly unique vibe that makes this sound so special. Not to mention all the fuzzy record crackle, which only adds to the appeal! For us at least...
Each tape is strictly LIMITED TO 100 COPIES, each one hand numbered, the tapes are the same color as the covers, each of which sports original artwork from Plastic Crimewave!!
ONE PER CUSTOMER!!!
MPEG Stream: "Lonely Street"
MPEG Stream: "Bertamasja"

album cover DARA PUSPITA Jang Pertama (PlusTapes) cassette 5.50
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
From the newly launched Plustapes cassette label comes THREE tapes from this Indonesian sixties all girl garage group. Do you really need to know any thing more? Indonesian. Sixties. All girl. Garage? We didn't think so, but just for the heck of it...
We were gonna write separate reviews for each of these, but they're so cheap, and so good, and odds are if you want one, you're going to want them all. So far pretty much everyone who has heard these has gone totally nuts for these kick ass garage rock girls.
Dara Puspita (Flower Girls in English) were Indonesia's most successful girl group in the sixties, and one of the few -actual- bands, who played their own instruments as opposed to just singing with all male backing bands. Even though rock and roll was banned at the time, with some bands being jailed for performing rock music live, Dara Puspita took their influence from that banned rock music, borrowing liberally from the Rolling Stones, The Beatles (whose songs they were warned by the authority to not perform) and the like, but giving it their own twist.
Performing a mix of covers and originals, these ladies were legendary for their wild live shows, but they really shone on record, with a totally distinctive and keen pop sensibility, gorgeous lilting vocals, an awesome rhythm section and some really excellent guitar playing. Dara Puspita weren't avant garde or super far out, not really heavy or psychedelic, instead they were just a kick ass pop group, an awesome garagey rock and roll band, catchy and fun, super energetic and with a distinctly unique vibe that makes this sound so special. Not to mention all the fuzzy record crackle, which only adds to the appeal! For us at least...
Each tape is strictly LIMITED TO 100 COPIES, each one hand numbered, the tapes are the same color as the covers, each of which sports original artwork from Plastic Crimewave!!
ONE PER CUSTOMER!!!
MPEG Stream: "Mari Mari"
MPEG Stream: "Minggu Jang Lalu"

album cover DARA PUSPITA The Garage Years (Groovie) lp 32.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
After a couple fantastic cd reissues on Sublime Frequencies, of this incredible Indonesian sixties all girl garage rock group, a handful of those tracks have been gathered up and released on vinyl! Pricey import, but still quite cool...
We first heard about these Indonesian girl group garage rockers when three of their records were reissued on Chicago label PlusTapes, we all went nuts for them, as did the aQ legions, we couldn't keep them in stock, but sadly they were crazy limited. Even at the time, and even on tape, we wanted to make one or all of them Records Of The Week, but they disappeared before we had a chance. So when Sublime Frequencies swooped in and reissued on a compact disc all three of Dara Puspita's records proper (all the stuff on the cassettes, and then some!), we got to gush like crazy and indeed bestow Record Of The Week honors on these amazing ladies and their incredible music. And now, for those of you who were holding out for something on vinyl...
Dara Puspita (Flower Girls in English) were Indonesia's most successful girl group in the sixties, and one of the few -actual- bands, who played their own instruments as opposed to just singing with all male backing bands. Even though rock and roll was banned at the time, with some bands being jailed for performing rock music live (Koes Bersaudara in particular, whose Sublime Frequencies discs we reviewed a while back - Dara Puspita and Koes Bersaudara had very similar histories, their careers often directly influenced by each other). Dara Puspita took their influence from that banned rock music, borrowing liberally from the Rolling Stones, The Beatles (whose songs they were warned by the authority to not perform, the very songs that got Koes Bersaudara jailed!) and the like, but giving it their own twist.
Performing a mix of covers and originals, these ladies were legendary for their wild live shows, but they really shine on record, with a totally distinctive and keen pop sensibility, gorgeous lilting vocals, an awesome rhythm section and some really excellent guitar playing. Dara Puspita weren't avant garde or super far out, not really heavy or psychedelic, instead they were just a kick ass pop group, an awesome garagey rock and roll band, catchy and fun, super energetic and with a distinctly unique vibe that makes this sound so special. Just listen to the sound samples. You'll be hooked in no time. So great!!
MPEG Stream: "Bertamasja"
MPEG Stream: "A Go-Go"

DEAR ELOISE Castle b/w If It's Beautiful (Genjing) 7" 3.50

DEAR ELOISE Song For Her / Song For Him (Genjing) 7" 3.50

album cover DEAR ELOISE, Beauty In Strangers (Birds) (Maybe Mars) cd 12.98
As we get more and more new music from China in the shop, we do our very best to get as much of it reviewed as we can. We made the strange synth and drum duo White+ our Record Of The Week a while back. And raved about the most recent record from Boyz & Girl, and on the last list we reviewed a single from Dear Eloise, promising that we would review one of their full lengths eventually, and here it is. Like that single, Beauty In Strangers is a gorgeous collection of distortion drenched shoegaze twee pop. Minus the hazy buzz and squalls of soft focus feedback, this might be the sort of record you'd expect to find on Slumberland (or back in the day, maybe Sarah or K), but Dear Eloise take their lilting jangle pop and wrap it in thick warm swirls of shoegazey distortion, gauze-y sheets of buzz and thrum, the perfect prescription, lush noise pop bliss out, equal parts classic jangle pop and experimental shoegaze, just check out the opening two tracks here, the first a laid back, sun dappled dose of dream pop, opening with what sounds like TV static, and barking dogs, that static transformed into a shimmery backdrop for the crystalline guitars and angelic vox, simple melancholic melodies, and stripped down instrumentation, but then the second track (the titles are all in Chinese), is a whole different beast, opening with a squall of feedback, the sound way more hi-fi, laying down a driving bass and drum groove, a little bit gloom poppy, the vocals soaring dramatically over the top, soon, swells of crumbling static begin to surface, as well as some spidery guitar melodies, those guitars eventually growing more and more distorted until they finally explode into a a dense psychedelic swirl of feedback and grinding guitar noise, all the while the song pulses hypnotically and dreamily beneath. Which is pretty much the musical math of Dear Eloise, their sound a collision of classic twee pop songsmithery, and modern avant noise pop, Sonic Youth, the Swirlies and the like, both sides of the band equally appealing, but the band is at their best, when they land somewhere right in the middle.
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DEAR ELOISE, Castle b/w If It's Beautiful (Genjing) 7" 9.98
Chinese indie rock! Includes lyric sheet and download code. Limited to 500, numbered.

DEAR ELOISE, Song For Her b/w Song For Him (Genjing) 7" 9.98
Chinese indie rock! Includes lyric sheet and download code. Limited to 500, numbered.

DEAR ELOISE, The Words That Burnt (Phone) (Maybe Mars) cd 12.98

album cover DEAR ELOISE, Vanishing Winter (Share The Obstacles / Genjing / Boys Of The Decade / Tenzenmen / Big Love) 7" 9.98
We've been getting all sorts of music from China in recently, visitors to the store have no doubt noticed our overflowing Asia section, much of it from a blossoming Chinese indie rock scene which has spawned at least two aQ faves of late, a recent Record of The Week of abstract drums and synths spaciness from White+, and the shoegazey jangle pop of Boyz & Girl (both of which should be restocked soon, btw!). Another favorite that had yet to make it onto the list/site was a group called Dear Eloise, whose cds we constantly sell out of before getting enough to review. So we're happy to finally have enough of one of their records to be able to share Dear Eloise's fuzzy shoegaze dream pop with all our faithful, non-local aQ-ers.
This super limited 7" is some perfectly poppy, fuzz drenched jangle pop shimmer, all hazy washed out production, ethereal breathless vocals, everything wreathed in sheets of warm guitar buzz and laced with spidery melancholy melodies, wistful and woozy, the drums buried in the mix, more a rhythmic pulse than a proper rhythm, sun dappled and dreamily druggy, the A side is pure shoegaze bliss pop radness. While the B side gets a bit more experimental, laying down a sprawl of almost industrial rhythms, beneath billowing clouds of swirling hiss, and shimmery soft noise, buried within though are of course some dreamlike melodies, and lilting vocals. The song's swirling jangle pop core is tangled up in something a bit more abstract and psychedelic, making for a gorgeously blurred and fragmented avant shoegaze murk pop gem!
Pressed on clear coke bottle vinyl, and housed in hand screened covers, all different colors! And yeah, super limited of course...
MPEG Stream: "Vanishing Winter"

album cover DEAR ELOISE, / UNDERGROUND LOVERS Man Without A Name / Haunted (Acedia) (Rubber) 7" 9.98
We've been digging so much Chinese indie rock around aQ lately, including a recent Record Of The Week from synth/drum duo White+, the dissonant shoegaze Sonic Youth meets MBV of Boyz & Girl, and Dear Eloise, whose full length we reviewed recently, and who traffic in a sort of fuzzed out noisy jangly shoegaze, not that far removed from early Dun Dum Girls, that sound in full effect here on this new split, their track crumbling and noisy, washed out and dreamy, ethereal female vox over crunchy psychedelic guitar, laced with bits of twang and a woozy wandering bassline, lo-fi and fuzzy, a Velvets style minimal rock doused in distortion. The flipside features another Chinese group, Underground Lovers, who we had never heard before, and who deliver a sort of eighties style retro new wave jangle pop, the sort of thing you might hear from some Brooklyn band on Sacred Bones or Captured Tracks, boy girl vox and lilting lovely guitar jangle.
Housed in super striking silkscreened sleeves, and pressed on clear vinyl!

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