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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 KOWALSKY, GREGG Tape Chants (Kranky) cd 14.98
Finally, a second release from Mr. Kowalsky, with all his heavy electronic /cassette wizardry, he has been a long time favorite for us at aQ, and we couldn't be more impressed with Tape Chants. After spending several years working and reworking these aptly named tape and oscillator compositions, Gregg offers up his opus, a beautifully sculpted expanse of midnight meditations and thick, buzzing walls of analog radiance. Working with digital composition and software, and becoming frustrated with the seemingly unlimited possibilities of digital music-making, Gregg challenged himself to work with more organic, analog-rich source material. The result was a live performance that involved placing 6 to 10 cassette recorders around a space, and playing them simultaneously to create an experiment in live mixing and psychoacoustics. While Tape Chants is not meant to be a document of these live performances, it attempts to channel the mood and aesthetic of these live invocations. And take it from us, the result is an extremely deep and entrancing listen, beaming with melodic overtones and hypnotic pulsing, Tape Chants is like being at the center of a gong or inside a bell tower. Long tones ringing out through a low-lit cavern or cathedral, slow creeping layers of shruti box and mixer feedback thicken the mix to an overwhelming, otherworldly bliss. And unlike most minimalist composition, this record is super engaging, lots of subtle details and deliberate movements that keep you fully immersed. Not that dissimilar from recent releases on Root Strata or Miasma. If you couldn't tell by now, this is highly recommended and a must have!
MPEG Stream: "I-IV"
MPEG Stream: "V"

album cover KOWALSKY, GREGG Tape Chants : Live In Chicago (self-released) cd-r 9.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Super limited release from this long time aQ fave, continuing on in his recent Tape Chants direction, where, tired of working digitally, decided to work with tapes and old tape players, the results of which were displayed on the Tape Chants disc on Kranky reviewed back in May. These particular Tape Chants were recorded live, and were pressed up as a cd-r (in super swank screenprinted sleeves BTW) for his current US tour.
Like the cd proper, Kowalsky works magic with his tapes, on the first lengthy track, creating a symphony of bells and chimes and gongs, letting the overtones drift and overlap and bleed into one another until they begin to crumble and buzz, and on the second track, where similar sounding bells are set amidst a field of deep grinding rumbles and softly buzzing low end, the bell like tones bobbing as if on some soft black sea. Softly percussive, almost nautical sounding, whirring and hypnotic, meditative and ethereal.
Gorgeous stuff. Obviously grab one of these while you can, before we run out, and if you get the chance, don't hesitate to see him live conjure these sonic mysteries in the flesh!
MPEG Stream: "Chants I-IV For Tuned Percussion"
MPEG Stream: "Tape Meditation on Tuned Percussion"

album cover KOWALSKY, GREGG Tape Chants A Million (Root Strata) cd-r 7.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Some of you may remember Kowalsky from his first solo record released on Kranky back toward the beginning of this year, a pleasant slab of smeared indistinct ambience, shimmery and soft focus, a delicate soundscape of abstract sound that was definitely perfect late night listen.
With his first release for Root Strata, Kowalsky continues in the same direction, this time utilizing a much more eclectic array of source material: tape cassettes, sine oscillators, contact mics, bells, bird callers and a computer. Recorded live on KFJC in May, this half hour epic is another gorgeous slab of abstract ambience, those disparate sounds smoothed into thick warm swells, billowy swirls of smeared melody, and huge stretches of blissy whir. This is another one of those records that perfectly captures that sound we can't ever get enough of, a testament to the power of the drone, completely mesmerizing and hypnotic, when the music finally stops, your ears and your head feel empty, and it's only a matter of moments before we can't help ourselves, press play again and fill them back up.
LIMITED TO 100 COPIES!!!! We will not be able to get more. Packaged in gorgeous cardstock half sleeve, a printed paper insert, and a folded over QSL ham radio card from overseas holding the cd in place. Cool!
MPEG Stream: "Tape Chants A Million"

album cover KOWALSKY, GREGG Tape Chants: Early Experiments (Arbor) cassette 8.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Oof. Already out of print from Arbor, but we've got as many of these as we could!
It makes perfect sense that a selection of the early experiments from Kowalsky's ongoing collection of Tape Chants would end up as a cassette release. More of a method of working than a complete body of work, the Tape Chants material involves a bunch of drones, tones, and clustered notes that are played back on an arsenal of handheld cassette decks in any given performance space. The spiralling web of crossed frequencies and compacted echo patterns always make for one hell of a good performance, and they made for a pretty damn good album as well, like the one Kowalsky released on Kranky in 2009. This tape is a collection (as the title suggests) of his earliest manifestations of his Tape Chants, selected by Darwinsbitch. For the most part, Kowalsky presents grey smears of pedal driven feedback tones and electrical sinewave drones that are caught in loop patterns and abraded with some occasional distortion (possibly an effect, possibly an artifact of overdriven 4-track compression). There's one extract on the first side that is more percussive in nature, with Kowalsky gently tapping out pseudo-Gamelan rhythms on various bells, gongs, and resonant metals. Limited to 125, and as we mentioned already out of print.

album cover KOWALSKY, GREGG Tendrils In Vigne (Root Strata) lp 9.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Latest release from this Bay Area composer, electronic musician and dronologist Gregg Kowalsky. A one sided lp documenting part of his Master's Thesis, which entailed taking one of his electronic compositions, scoring it for a live ensemble and then conducting the performance.
Kowalsky enlisted the Contemporary Performance Ensemble, directed by Fred Frith, who also contributed violin. Recorded in 2005 at Mills college, the result was sublime. A gorgeous organic piece that references Feldman and Part and Melnyk as much as Kowalsky's previous works.
The strings are low and buzz and throb dramatically, the piano is minor key and delicate, fluttering in brief little flurries, streaks of high end run through the swirling moodiness, over the top voices soar in choral fragments, washes of cymbals sizzle, horns moan, all manner of instruments are smeared into a heaving organic whole, shakuhachi, vibraphone, flute, a sonic cloud constantly expanding, intensifying chordal whir, like some moody rock band with the bones pulled out, leaving just a gloriously amorphous sound shape, slithering and drifting, creeping and billowing, building and building, some sort of classic chorale stretched out into a shimmering dreamlike blur. On the surface, it's a dark drift, but beneath the surface, sounds are roiling and churning, a sonic sea of tension and emotion, subtly psychedelic, a gorgeous, organic, orchestral drone.
Packaged in a thick cardstock sleeve, with a Xeroxed yellow paste on cover.
LIMITED TO 300 COPIES!!

album cover KOWALSKY, GREGG Through The Cardial Window (Kranky) cd 14.98
Having earned an MFA under the tutelage of Fred Frith at Mills College, Gregg Kowalsky landed his debut album on Kranky, a perfect home for his polite and pleasant swatches of ambient music. Kowalsky blurs all of his diverse source material (i.e bowed acoustic guitar, sounds he composed for the Mills Ensemble, and even samples from Isis!) into a twinkling mass of harmonically aligned tones. Furniture Music for the 21st Century.
MPEG Stream: "That In Allepo Twice"
MPEG Stream: "Coral Gables"

album cover KOWLOON WALLED CITY Container Ships (Sea Of Droids Music) cd 10.98
This recent Record Of The Week is now available on cd, housed in swank, letter pressed mini sleeves - and for all you cd folks out there, it is in fact Record Of The Week again!
Full length number two from these SF heavies, and while they haven't sacrificed any of their Teutonic crush, or noise rock heft, they do display a surprisingly melodic side on Container Ships, a soft white sonic underbelly that was hinted at on their recent split 7" with Thou, on which they covered a Low track, and it feels like much of the sensibilities that not only drove that choice, but determined what they did with it as well, are all over Container Ships. And while nothing here is quite as darkly delicate, the band do definitely dial back the heaviness, letting the sounds linger, letting clean guitars spread out and set the mood, and when the hammer does fall, the sound this time around is much more crisp and lush, even when the guitars are downtuned, churning and chugging, they ring out, the sounds reverberant and rich. The debt to the Unsane and Helmet no longer so obvious, at least not all the time. On the opener, which might be the prettiest song here, the band offer up their own sort of slowcore minimal math rock / noise rock sprawl, subtly nuanced, and super melodic, another big change on display here is frontman Scott Evans' vocals, which have transformed from a gruff bark, to a serious croon, still rough around the edges, but way more emotive and the perfect match for the band's ever developing sound.
But fear not, get an earful of the second track, "50's Dad", which is all loping, chugging noise rock crush, Evan's vocals higher than on past record, which definitely changes the vibe throughout, and makes even the heaviest tracks here, less of a knuckledragging vibe, and more of an emo edge, which again totally suits them, especially when the band lock into a weird loping groove, and Evans sings himself ragged, his voice rough and raw and impassioned. Not to mention the burst of tangled psychedelic guitar leads that are wrapped around the middle of the track.
The guys have been busting their asses for years now, and we always sort of wondered why they weren't huge, but goddamn if this record doesn't change all that nothing will.
The whole record is a sort of push and pull between the muscled mathy noise rock of the early records, and this desire to make beautiful music, even if it's dark, mean, ugly, hard and heavy beautiful music, which this most certainly is, and it's that balance that makes this record, and these guys so good. The title track here is a dirgey doomy drag, the chords ringing out, the vocals carrying all the melodic weight, and transforming a dirgey chugfest into something epic and intense, the song revealing a grasp and mastery of dynamics that was most definitely underutilized on past records, but gets a serious workout here.
"Cornerstone" is about as poppy as these guys get, and again, they not only mange to pull it off, they also make it this hook heavy noise-pop fit seamlessly into the way heavier rest of the record, not to mention demonstrating another element the band have in their arsenal but obviously choose to employ very judiciously. The record finishes off with the 9 minute epic "You Don't Have Cancer", which again reveals their slowcore proclivities, and demonstrates their ability to subsume that sound into their own, the resulting hybrid another sprawling, gut wrenchingly emotional, crushingly heavy, surprisingly melodic epic, that would, and does, put most other heavy bands to shame.
MPEG Stream: "The Pressure Keeps Me Alive"
MPEG Stream: "50's Dad"
MPEG Stream: "Beef Cattle"
MPEG Stream: "You Don't Have Cancer"

album cover KOWLOON WALLED CITY Container Ships (Brutal Panda) lp 16.98
Full length number two from these SF heavies, and while they haven't sacrificed any of their Teutonic crush, or noise rock heft, they do display a surprisingly melodic side on Container Ships, a soft white sonic underbelly that was hinted at on their recent split 7" with Thou, on which they covered a Low track, and it feels like much of the sensibilities that not only drove that choice, but determined what they did with it as well, are all over Container Ships. And while nothing here is quite as darkly delicate, the band do definitely dial back the heaviness, letting the sounds linger, letting clean guitars spread out and set the mood, and when the hammer does fall, the sound this time around is much more crisp and lush, even when the guitars are downtuned, churning and chugging, they ring out, the sounds reverberant and rich. The debt to the Unsane and Helmet no longer so obvious, at least not all the time. On the opener, which might be the prettiest song here, the band offer up their own sort of slowcore minimal math rock / noise rock sprawl, subtly nuanced, and super melodic, another big change on display here is frontman Scott Evans' vocals, which have transformed from a gruff bark, to a serious croon, still rough around the edges, but way more emotive and the perfect match for the band's ever developing sound.
But fear not, get an earful of the second track, "50's Dad", which is all loping, chugging noise rock crush, Evan's vocals higher than on past record, which definitely changes the vibe throughout, and makes even the heaviest tracks here, less of a knuckledragging vibe, and more of an emo edge, which again totally suits them, especially when the band lock into a weird loping groove, and Evans sings himself ragged, his voice rough and raw and impassioned. Not to mention the burst of tangled psychedelic guitar leads that are wrapped around the middle of the track.
The guys have been busting their asses for years now, and we always sort of wondered why they weren't huge, but goddamn if this record doesn't change all that nothing will.
The whole record is a sort of push and pull between the muscled mathy noise rock of the early records, and this desire to make beautiful music, even if it's dark, mean, ugly, hard and heavy beautiful music, which this most certainly is, and it's that balance that makes this record, and these guys so good. The title track here is a dirgey doomy drag, the chords ringing out, the vocals carrying all the melodic weight, and transforming a dirgey chugfest into something epic and intense, the song revealing a grasp and mastery of dynamics that was most definitely underutilized on past records, but gets a serious workout here.
"Cornerstone" is about as poppy as these guys get, and again, they not only mange to pull it off, they also make it this hook heavy noise-pop fit seamlessly into the way heavier rest of the record, not to mention demonstrating another element the band have in their arsenal but obviously choose to employ very judiciously. The record finishes off with the 9 minute epic "You Don't Have Cancer", which again reveals their slowcore proclivities, and demonstrates their ability to subsume that sound into their own, the resulting hybrid another sprawling, gut wrenchingly emotional, crushingly heavy, surprisingly melodic epic, that would, and does, put most other heavy bands to shame.
MPEG Stream: "The Pressure Keeps Me Alive"
MPEG Stream: "50's Dad"
MPEG Stream: "Beef Cattle"
MPEG Stream: "You Don't Have Cancer"

album cover KOWLOON WALLED CITY Gambling On The Richter Scale (The Perpetual Motion Machine) cd 8.98
Now on cd! Packaged in super sweet, hand screened origami style sleeves...
More and more every day we miss that brief period in the nineties when rock music was heavy, and noisy, and LOUD. Not necessarily metal, although to some ears it probably sounded like metal. It was more about BIG riffs, lumbering tempos, huge pounding drums, throat shredding vox. Think: Unsane, Halo Of Flies, Today Is The Day, Tad, Killdozer, Tar, Helmet, Lubricated Goat, Karp, Unwound, we could go on and on, but you understand what we're talking about.
There are very few modern bands who can channel the same sort of sonic energy without being retro, and typically, the heavier they are, the more they get lumped in with some metal subsect. But goddamn if there doesn't seem to be a bit of a modern noise rock scene brewing, bands popping up here and there, pushing all those noise rock buttons, and totally hitting the spot.
Which brings us to local boys Kowloon Walled City, whose recent Turk Street ep knocked us on our asses with it's noise rock / doom sludge hybrid. Weirdly enough, with this here debut full length, Gambling On The Richter Scale, the band somehow sound WAY heavier, but at the same time way less metal. Tapping into the rich noise rock history, and creating a disc that's both intense and punishing, melodic and heavy, and yeah, still a bit metallic here and there..
Opener "Annandale" is a churning hook filled noise rock jam, with big guitars, some killer melodies, harsh vox, wild dense drumming, some awesomely soaring high guitar parts, as well as the occasional burst of super melodic almost indie rock, before lurching back into the chug and crush. The sound definitely veers closer to a band like Torche or Floor than Neurosis or Eyehategod.
The second track though totally reminds us of the Unsane, with its roiling distorted bass, looped churning riffage, and weirdly mathy arrangement, some cool dynamics and some stop / starts that definitely had us in math rock heaven. But even here, the band inject some clean guitars, and some downright pretty melody before getting all aggro again.
It's a pretty relentless record, but thankfully KWC mix it up, changing up tempos, letting the drums breath here and there, giving riffs space to ring out and decay once in a while, stretching out into spaced out slowmo ambient drifts, pulling tracks apart into almost groovy sounding doomy dirges, slipping in plenty of subtle pop, heavy hooks galore. The title track is a monster, beginning with some clean guitar strum, minor key and tense, before lurching into a fierce chugging plod, with some Maideny guitar harmonies, plenty of palm muted guitar throb, an impossibly heavy downtuned chorus, and subtle melody mixed in throughout.
The record finishes off with the 6+ minute "More Like The Shit Factory", a sprawling slowjam, the guitars droning out in long streaks, peppered with bursts of downtuned crunch, the drums never really kicking in, the guitars all intertwined and layered, beating against each other, a cloud of swirling overtones, while the vocals howl, the drums sporadically pound, eventually everything dropping out entirely, leaving just a blown out psychedelic dual guitar drone, which crumbles and gradually fades out over the last minute, although. we'd have been perfectly happy had they let those guitars drone endlessly and fill up the rest of the record. Next time maybe.
So yeah, if you're in the market for some heavy, catchy as fuck, NOISE ROCK, okay, maybe call it metal, then Gambling On The Richter Scale is IT, and by the sounds of this record, they probably destroy live. On that same label that that brought us Catalyst, another bad ass noise rock band well worth checking out.
MPEG Stream: "Annandale"
MPEG Stream: "Diabetic Feet"
MPEG Stream: "More Like The Shit Factory"

album cover KOWLOON WALLED CITY Gambling On The Richter Scale (The Perpetual Motion Machine) lp 10.98
More and more every day we miss that brief period in the nineties when rock music was heavy, and noisy, and LOUD. Not necessarily metal, although to some ears it probably sounded like metal. It was more about BIG riffs, lumbering tempos, huge pounding drums, throat shredding vox. Think: Unsane, Halo Of Flies, Today Is The Day, Tad, Killdozer, Tar, Helmet, Lubricated Goat, Karp, Unwound, we could go on and on, but you understand what we're talking about.
There are very few modern bands who can channel the same sort of sonic energy without being retro, and typically, the heavier they are, the more they get lumped in with some metal subsect. But goddamn if there doesn't seem to be a bit of a modern noise rock scene brewing, bands popping up here and there, pushing all those noise rock buttons, and totally hitting the spot.
Which brings us to local boys Kowloon Walled City, whose recent Turk Street ep knocked us on our asses with it's noise rock / doom sludge hybrid. Weirdly enough, with this here debut full length, Gambling On The Richter Scale, the band somehow sound WAY heavier, but at the same time way less metal. Tapping into the rich noise rock history, and creating a disc that's both intense and punishing, melodic and heavy, and yeah, still a bit metallic here and there..
Opener "Annandale" is a churning hook filled noise rock jam, with big guitars, some killer melodies, harsh vox, wild dense drumming, some awesomely soaring high guitar parts, as well as the occasional burst of super melodic almost indie rock, before lurching back into the chug and crush. The sound definitely veers closer to a band like Torche or Floor than Neurosis or Eyehategod.
The second track though totally reminds us of the Unsane, with its roiling distorted bass, looped churning riffage, and weirdly mathy arrangement, some cool dynamics and some stop / starts that definitely had us in math rock heaven. But even here, the band inject some clean guitars, and some downright pretty melody before getting all aggro again.
It's a pretty relentless record, but thankfully KWC mix it up, changing up tempos, letting the drums breath here and there, giving riffs space to ring out and decay once in a while, stretching out into spaced out slowmo ambient drifts, pulling tracks apart into almost groovy sounding doomy dirges, slipping in plenty of subtle pop, heavy hooks galore. The title track is a monster, beginning with some clean guitar strum, minor key and tense, before lurching into a fierce chugging plod, with some Maideny guitar harmonies, plenty of palm muted guitar throb, an impossibly heavy downtuned chorus, and subtle melody mixed in throughout.
The record finishes off with the 6+ minute "More Like The Shit Factory", a sprawling slowjam, the guitars droning out in long streaks, peppered with bursts of downtuned crunch, the drums never really kicking in, the guitars all intertwined and layered, beating against each other, a cloud of swirling overtones, while the vocals howl, the drums sporadically pound, eventually everything dropping out entirely, leaving just a blown out psychedelic dual guitar drone, which crumbles and gradually fades out over the last minute, although. we'd have been perfectly happy had they let those guitars drone endlessly and fill up the rest of the record. Next time maybe.
So yeah, if you're in the market for some heavy, catchy as fuck, NOISE ROCK, okay, maybe call it metal, then Gambling On The Richter Scale is IT, and by the sounds of this record, they probably destroy live. On that same label that that brought us Catalyst, another bad ass noise rock band well worth checking out.

MPEG Stream: "Annandale"
MPEG Stream: "Diabetic Feet"
MPEG Stream: "More Like The Shit Factory"

album cover KOWLOON WALLED CITY Turk Street (self-released) 10" 11.98
Pretty much every metalhead in SF went to see Carcass at the Grand Ballroom the other night (in fact, we were joking that a well placed incendiary device could have wiped out the entire scene in one fell swoop). And yeah, of course Carcass destroyed, but the very same night, all the way across town, a band called Kowloon Walled City were faced with the daunting task of laying waste to a room not exactly full of the few metalheads who for whatever reason were not at the Carcass show.
And listening to this, the debut release from this SF foursome, we'd be hard pressed to say that the folks at Carcass, ourselves included, didn't miss out on something serious. Thankfully, unlike Carcass, KWC are a going concern, so we'll get another chance, but until then, get a load of this five song ep, of fierce, furious, crushing heaviness. Think Unsane, old Helmet, the Melvins, Buzzov-en, Neurosis of course, this is some seriously heavy shit. The guitars massive and downtuned, a relentless sea of roiling chug and churn, the drums dense and pounding, the vocals a throat shredding howl. The AmRep vibe is all over these songs, the sound incredibly thick and corrosive, the rhythms alternatingly pounding and lurching, most often settling into a lumbering almost-groove, the melodies buried amidst the crunch and rumble, sometimes surfacing as the band slips into something more dynamic, letting the guitars moan and keen, the drums getting all spacious, sheets of Eyehategod style feedback, a weirdly doomy sort of abstract sludge, before slipping back into a furious grinding metallic crush. Pretty fucking excellent, and definitely has us looking forward to finally seeing what we missed that fateful night.
The vinyl is limited to 300 copies, and is pressed on cool swirled red and black vinyl. The cd-r is limited to 100 copies, packaged in super nice, silkscreened cardstock style sleeves with a printed insert, each one hand numbered.
MPEG Stream: "Another Corporate Takeover"
MPEG Stream: "Turk, Taylor, and Jones"

album cover KOWLOON WALLED CITY Turk Street (Howling Mine / Feast Of Tentacles) 10" 11.98
Finally repressed and available again (on black and red swirled vinyl), the crushing debut from these local heavies, here's our review from when we first listed this way back in 2008:
Pretty much every metalhead in SF went to see Carcass at the Grand Ballroom the other night (in fact, we were joking that a well placed incendiary device could have wiped out the entire scene in one fell swoop). And yeah, of course Carcass destroyed, but the very same night, all the way across town, a band called Kowloon Walled City were faced with the daunting task of laying waste to a room not exactly full of the few metalheads who for whatever reason were not at the Carcass show.
And listening to this, the debut release from this SF foursome, we'd be hard pressed to say that the folks at Carcass, ourselves included, didn't miss out on something serious. Thankfully, unlike Carcass, KWC are a going concern, so we'll get another chance, but until then, get a load of this five song ep, of fierce, furious, crushing heaviness. Think Unsane, old Helmet, the Melvins, Buzzov-en, Neurosis of course, this is some seriously heavy shit. The guitars massive and downtuned, a relentless sea of roiling chug and churn, the drums dense and pounding, the vocals a throat shredding howl. The AmRep vibe is all over these songs, the sound incredibly thick and corrosive, the rhythms alternatingly pounding and lurching, most often settling into a lumbering almost-groove, the melodies buried amidst the crunch and rumble, sometimes surfacing as the band slips into something more dynamic, letting the guitars moan and keen, the drums getting all spacious, sheets of Eyehategod style feedback, a weirdly doomy sort of abstract sludge, before slipping back into a furious grinding metallic crush. Pretty fucking excellent, and definitely has us looking forward to finally seeing what we missed that fateful night.
MPEG Stream: "Another Corporate Takeover"
MPEG Stream: "Turk, Taylor, and Jones"

album cover KOWLOON WALLED CITY Turk Street (self-released) cd-r 8.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Pretty much every metalhead in SF went to see Carcass at the Grand Ballroom the other night (in fact, we were joking that a well placed incendiary device could have wiped out the entire scene in one fell swoop). And yeah, of course Carcass destroyed, but the very same night, all the way across town, a band called Kowloon Walled City were faced with the daunting task of laying waste to a room not exactly full of the few metalheads who for whatever reason were not at the Carcass show.
And listening to this, the debut release from this SF foursome, we'd be hard pressed to say that the folks at Carcass, ourselves included, didn't miss out on something serious. Thankfully, unlike Carcass, KWC are a going concern, so we'll get another chance, but until then, get a load of this five song ep, of fierce, furious, crushing heaviness. Think Unsane, old Helmet, the Melvins, Buzzov-en, Neurosis of course, this is some seriously heavy shit. The guitars massive and downtuned, a relentless sea of roiling chug and churn, the drums dense and pounding, the vocals a throat shredding howl. The AmRep vibe is all over these songs, the sound incredibly thick and corrosive, the rhythms alternatingly pounding and lurching, most often settling into a lumbering almost-groove, the melodies buried amidst the crunch and rumble, sometimes surfacing as the band slips into something more dynamic, letting the guitars moan and keen, the drums getting all spacious, sheets of Eyehategod style feedback, a weirdly doomy sort of abstract sludge, before slipping back into a furious grinding metallic crush. Pretty fucking excellent, and definitely has us looking forward to finally seeing what we missed that fateful night.
The vinyl is limited to 300 copies, and is pressed on cool swirled red and black vinyl. The cd-r is limited to 100 copies, packaged in super nice, silkscreened cardstock style sleeves with a printed insert, each one hand numbered.
MPEG Stream: "Another Corporate Takeover"
MPEG Stream: "Turk, Taylor, and Jones"

album cover KOWLOON WALLED CITY / FIGHT AMP / LADDER DEVILS Lose Lose Lose (Brutal Panda) lp 14.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Killer 3 way vinyl split of extreme heaviness, starting off with SF's own Kowloon Walled City, who by now really have to be one of the best and one of the most criminally under-hyped heavy bands in the city, super brutal and intense, their sound dense and crushing and epic, equal parts modern metal and old school AmRep style noise rock, a hybrid few can pull off as well as these guys, yet outside of a select few, it seems these guys have yet to be discovered by the world at large, but with every record, it seems like they can't remain a secret much longer.
And here they bring the noise (rock) big time, their first track a lurching stop/start mini-epic, the guitars corrosive and downtuned and THICK, driven by some seriously kick ass thumping drum damage, the vocals a frenzied (but still melodic) yowl, the arrangement strange and super dynamic, the whole thing hooky as hell, one of those tracks that had it come out in 1997 as a single it would probably be one of your most treasured 7"s. Their second track is totally different, reigning in that wanton bash and crush for something a bit more low slung and brooding, a weird sort of Neurosis / Killing Joke hybrid, super melodic, dark and moody, but with no shortage of extreme sonic crush.
We had never heard (or heard of) Ladder Devils before, but they're a pretty good match for KWC, they too have a sort of noise rock thing going on, their take a bit more punky and grungy, still hyper rhythmic and heavy as fuck, but way more loose, some awesomely howled vocals, thick syrupy low end, chugging guitars, hooky riffs, both tracks rule, even recorded evoking wild and sweaty live cub destroying chaos. Definitely psyched to hear more.
And finally Jersey metallic post rock sludgelords Fight Amp, who are only now making their first appearance on the aQ site, even though a few of us have been fans for a while. Fight Amp have a sound not all that far removed from folks like Baroness, Kylesa and the like, a sort of Southern sludge via slow brooding Neur-Isis style heaviness, and their two tracks here offer up a seriously heavy heaping helping of just that, churning and thick and epic, a little groovy, WAY downtuned, a little mathy and proggy too, giving it a sort of Voivod feel, albeit quite a bit more crusty and sludgey, but it's a pretty killer combo, and again, a pretty perfect match for both Ladder Devils and Kowloon Walled City...
Killer packaging too, a thick PVC style jacket, hand silkscreened, housing a printed folded sleeve, the back half of the sleeve cut away to reveal the clear vinyl and the printed images beneath it. LIMITED TO 300 COPIES!

album cover KOWLOON WALLED CITY / THOU July (Hell Comes Home) 7" 9.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
What more do you need to know, than this is two of our favorite heavy bands, doing killer (and WAY unlikely) covers, on by Low, and one by Soundgarden? OK, how about the fact that this was a super limited installment of a subscription only series, really the only way to get your hands on one of these was to subscribe, unless, the guys in KWC offered us a little handful of their copies, the LAST copies in fact, so you should know what that means by now, grab one before they disappear.
KWC tackles Low's "July", and besides cranking up the guitars, and adding some downtuned crunch, stay pretty true to the original, and wisely got a guest vocalist, Lisa Papineau, who we had never heard of before, but who has sung for Air, M83, Farflung and others, but who is the perfect fit, here vocals emotional and powerful, darkly tinged, one of those rare, practically perfect covers, where the cover manages to be as good as the original, different enough to be interesting, but faithful enough to make not singing along impossible.
Thou take on Soundgarden's "4th Of July", and like KWC, stay sort of faithful to the original, changing it up a bit, like with the KWC track, via the vocals. In place of Thou's usual throat shredding shrieks, the band unveil some seriously powerful crooning, a kick ass voice that definitely has us wondering what these guys would be capable of if they chose to go in that direction. But fear not, not only is the main riff an oozing, downtuned creep, but after that first verse, the more recognizable Thou vocals come in, but instead of replacing the clean vox, they team up, for a really bizarre duet, and some twisted not-quite harmonies, the song itself, unfurling as a lumbering, surprisingly still super melodic, dirge doom monster.
Rare that we dig both sides of a split this much, but both these tracks totally KILL. And again, super limited, we have about 15 copies, these are the last ones we'll be able to get. Not sure you can even still sign up for the subscription series, so probably better to get one now, before you're kicking yourself later. Insanely gorgeous cover art / design as well!
MPEG Stream: KOWLOON WALLED CITY "July"
MPEG Stream: THOU "4th Of July"

album cover KOWTON Shuffle Good (Boomkat Editions) 12" 17.98
We had never heard of Kowton before, aka producer Joe Cowton, and picked this up initially for the Andy Stott remix (more on that in a second), but were pleasantly surprised to discover that Kowton trafficked in a strain of dark minimal techno we can't seem to get enough of. Fans of Function, Shed, Raime, Terrence Dixon, Andy Stott obviously, and even Demdike Stare will immediately feel right at home. Or as home as one can feel when surrounded by bleak, abstract, sinister skitter and raspy rumbling low end crunch.
The A side is all spare hauntological stutter, peppered with strange shards of industrial clatter, bell like tones, distant swirling strings, fuzzy synth squelch and thick bass blorps, all dubbed out and super minimal, with headphones the sound sucks you right into its creepy sonic maw. The B side starts out all murky and washed out, a bit of a Caretaker vibe, all hazy and faded, but then Cowton crafts a brittle metallic beat, sounding like struck metal and super processed crunch, woven into a looped dubby breakbeat, that sounds a bit like some old jungle beat slowed way down and stretched out, all the whole those murky sounds in the background continue to swirl and pulse. And then finally, the A side gets reworked by Andy Stott, and it's just as good as you might expect, all blurred and smeared, laced with thick bass pulses, and super sharp shards of glitch and buzz, it's a sort of disembodied dub, one that doesn't really get going until almost 4 minutes in, at which point the beats get super skittery and chaotic, the bass do rumbles and buzzes ominously, the whole thing transforming into some sort of avant spectral minimal avant house music, the sort of sound that should have fans of Stott (and Demdike) freaking out big time...
MPEG Stream: "Shuffle Good"
MPEG Stream: "Shuffle Good (Andy Stott Remix)"

album cover KOZELEK, MARK Finally (Caldo Verde) cd 15.98

KOZELEK, MARK If You Want Blood (Badman) 2lp 19.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Limited edition double lp featuring all the tracks from both of Red House Painter Mark Kozelek's solo albums ("Rock n' Roll Singer" and "What's Next To The Moon"). So if you didn't already buy those cds, you now can get Kozelek's acoustic AC/DC interpretations / reinventions on vinyl. Maybe the ghost of Bon Scott insisted. And there's two bonus live tracks as well, to tempt those who did already get the cds.
RealAudio clip: "Find Me, Ruben Olivares"
RealAudio clip: "Up to My Neck in You"
RealAudio clip: "What's Next to the Moon"
RealAudio clip: "You Ain't Got a Hold On Me"

album cover KOZELEK, MARK Little Drummer Boy - Live (Caldo Verde) 2cd 14.98
Joining in with Aimee Mann and Sufjan Stevens who've already raised their full glasses, er, cds of holiday cheer, Mr. Mark Kozelek (of Sun Kil Moon, Red House Painters) offers his limited edition Little Drummer Boy - Live album. Be forewarned though, it's a bit deceivingly named. While the title suggests a whole live performance of Santa songs, the title track is the lone tinsel tune. Recorded during his recent North American and European tours, the nineteen other songs are sort of a 'best of Kozelek' culled from his vast song catalog as a solo artist and frontman for Red House Painters and Sun Kil Moon. You also get a handful of covers (he takes tunes originally by The Cars, AC/DC and Modest Mouse and makes 'em his own) plus two previously unreleased cuts!
MPEG Stream: "Little Drummer Boy"
MPEG Stream: "Four Fingered Fisherman"

album cover KOZELEK, MARK Lost Verses (Caldo Verde) cd 13.98

KOZELEK, MARK Rock'n'Roll Singer (Badman) cd 13.98
Windy's new favorite record. Totally gorgeous solo album from the leader of Red House Painters, Mark Kozelek, who comes across as more direct, lush, warm, and poignant. Just perfect. Everyone is loving this album, as the underground word of mouth is spreading. Somehow reminds me of early, mournful Bruce Springsteen, and of course Nick Drake but Kozelek is in a class of his own. You will love this record! And this album's big surprise: four of the songs are covers, one of a song by John Denver, and the other three are...drum roll...AC/DC tunes!! (Totally unrecognizable.)
RealAudio clip: KOZELEK, MARK "Find Me, Ruben Olivares"

album cover KOZELEK, MARK What's Next To The Moon (Badman) cd 14.98
As if the three AC/DC covers on Kozelek's recent "Rock 'n Roll Singer" album weren't enough, this new cd is composed solely of AC/DC songs -- ten of them. The emotional depth that Kozelek imparts to these very serene, meditative versions is remarkable and fun. Does contain the three songs from his previous album, but I believe these are new substantively different takes. Wonderful! Those waiting for the new Red House Painters album (which is finally going to see the light of day this spring) should wait no longer -- this is prime sadcore from one of its inventors.
RealAudio clip: "Up to My Neck in You"
RealAudio clip: "What's Next to the Moon"
RealAudio clip: "You Ain't Got a Hold On Me"

album cover KOZELEK, MARK White Christmas Live (Sub Pop) cd 14.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Limited to 5000 copies and mainly available only thru web and direct distribution channels, we're pleased to be carrying this live album from Red House Painters' Mark Kozelek. It's got three of the AC/DC covers we love so much, delivered somber-Kozelek-style of course, along with other Red House / Kozelek favorites. If you can believe it, the tone and mood of this album is even MORE intimate than his already-intimate studio recordings. A nice intro to his music, if you're not already familiar with him. Also a nice collectors item for uber fans. He does "White Christmas"!
RealAudio clip: "Evil"
RealAudio clip: "White Christmas"

KRABATHOR Dissuade Truth (System Shock) cd 14.98

album cover KRABATHOR Unfortunately Dead (System Shock) cd 14.98
Czech death metal vets Krabathor's new disc continues their brutal career, never letting up on the heaviness or the crazy Morbid Angel-ish guitar solos. They've drafted American death icon Paul Speckman (ex-Master) into their ranks, but that thankfully did not impair their wonderful English as a second language song titles: "They Are Unfortunately Dead", "The Eagles You Can Have", "Living On The Threat Of One Finger"...

album cover KRADDY Truth Has No Path (Refiner) cd 10.98
Kraddy's shadowy, sinewy, jagged electronic sounds bring to mind the deeply textured tracks of many late-'90s IDM artists. It's odd, we've not seen many releases of this ilk in some time... many of the artists who were part of the IDM flurry a few years ago (with the exception of the aforementioned Plaid) have fallen silent as of late. That said, one of the notable differences between 'then' and 'now' is Kraddy's surprisingly basic programmed beats, as opposed to the considerably more complex ones of earlier artists. If you've a been seeking a lengthy late night listenin' album filled with prickly shards jutting out of thick droning swells, you're ready to roll!
MPEG Stream: "8 Electrodes"
MPEG Stream: "Looking In Windows"

KRAFTWELT Electric Dimension (Hypnotic) cd 14.98
"Dedicated to Ralf & Florian" it says, and though it seems like this should sound like a Kraftwerk tribute/ripoff, actually what you get is quite fine dancey electronica more in the vein of something like James Bong.

KRAFTWERK 1 (Germanofon) cd 15.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Restocks of the first two Kraftwerk records, the ones with traffic-cone covers. Both are electronic masterpieces, melodic Krautrock classics, and while far more challenging than the popular later Kraftwerk albums, all the more lovely.

KRAFTWERK 2 (Germanofon) cd 15.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Restocks of the first two Kraftwerk records, the ones with traffic-cone covers. Both are electronic masterpieces, melodic Krautrock classics, and while far more challenging than the popular later Kraftwerk albums, all the more lovely.

album cover KRAFTWERK And The Electronic Revolution (Sexy Intellectual) dvd 21.00
It goes without saying that Kraftwerk is one of the most influential groups in pop music history, their influence having touched pretty much every style of music to come since. In the wake of the psychedelic explosion of the late '60s and early '70s, the group's obsessively precise music set them apart from everything else. In a sea of guitar based rock bands, the strange, machine like rhythms and pioneering use of synthesizers made clear to the world that their was nothing remotely rock n' roll about Kraftwerk's approach to music. The albums produced during their classic period (generally recognized from 1974's Autobahn to 1980's Computer World) still sound without precedent, coming across as emotionally detached, yet extremely melodic and melancholy. Of course, nobody could have just created that sound out of thin air, and before venturing into such revolutionary territory, Kraftwerk evolved from the exceptionally fertile experimental German music scene of the early 1970s. Band leaders Ralf Hutter and Florian Schneider established an aesthetic that separated Kraftwerk from their contemporaries, creating a mystique that remains to this day.
This well researched documentary takes a deservedly scholarly approach to Dusseldorf's legendary Man Machine, charting their path from the pre-Kraftwerk group, Organisation, to their implosion in the mid 1980s. Despite percussionist Karl Bartos being the only member of Kraftwerk open to interview, well informed journalists and key figures from the German scene are able to shed as much light as we'll probably ever see, given the group's notorious standoffishness.
The downside to this film is its lack of actual Kraftwerk performances (check out YouTube for some truly remarkable footage), and at 180 minutes, it may be a bit much for the casual observer. Krautrock obsessives, however, will find much to love.

KRAFTWERK Autobahn (Kling Klang) cd 32.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.

album cover KRAFTWERK Autobahn (Kling Klang / Astralwerks) cd 17.98
It's about time. Dusseldorf's most famous export, the Godfathers of electronic pop music, Kraftwerk, finally see their classic albums remastered and reissued for the 21st century (although, unfortunately, not yet their EARLIEST classics, the ones with the traffic cone covers). Given the group's notoriety for demanding nothing but absolute perfection, you can safely bet that these sound AMAZING after years of tireless mixing and mastering in Kling-Klang studios. That's probably the main selling point here, as Kraftwerk was never really a "bonus material" kind of band, and there is none of that here; if it was released, it pretty much meant it was labored upon until being deemed suitable for public exposure. These reissues have also got some pretty fancy expanded artwork, with simple but bold slip covers housing the actual cds. Of course, if you don't already have these albums in some form or another, you should probably do yourself a favor and purchase every single one of them immediately.
Autobahn was originally released in 1974, and it was in most cases the band's introduction to the rest of the world with the surprise hit single of the title track, edited down significantly for airplay. It was also the point where Kraftwerk began to combine a classic pop approach with their intense Teutonic experimentation (which remains considerable here). What was seen by some people in the mid-1970s as somewhat of a novelty (which is total bullshit, but it was the '70s...), however, laid the foundation for one of the most innovative music groups to ever exist. Clocking in at almost 23 minutes, "Autobahn" may be one of the most evocative songs ever, especially considering how minimal it really is. Synthesizers give you the impression of traveling throughout Germany by car, through many different environments and observational states, as the vocal melody classically apes the Beach Boys "Fun, Fun, Fun". The song also marked the beginning of the band's reliance on vocoders and drum machines, which would from this point forward would play an integral role in defining Kraftwerk. The other songs here retain many of the sonic qualities of earlier Kraftwerk, but it's now plainly apparent where things are heading: Pop Immortality!
Oh, and a note to vinyl obsessives, these reissues will be coming out in that format next month, we're told!
MPEG Stream: "Autobahn (excerpt 1)"
MPEG Stream: "Autobahn (excerpt 2)"
MPEG Stream: "Kometenmelodie 1"

album cover KRAFTWERK Autobahn (Kling Klang / Mute) lp 21.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Now reissued on vinyl too!
It's about time. Dusseldorf's most famous export, the Godfathers of electronic pop music, Kraftwerk, finally see their classic albums remastered and reissued for the 21st century (although, unfortunately, not yet their EARLIEST classics, the ones with the traffic cone covers). Given the group's notoriety for demanding nothing but absolute perfection, you can safely bet that these sound AMAZING after years of tireless mixing and mastering in Kling-Klang studios. That's probably the main selling point here, as Kraftwerk was never really a "bonus material" kind of band, and there is none of that here; if it was released, it pretty much meant it was labored upon until being deemed suitable for public exposure. These reissues have also got some pretty fancy expanded artwork, with simple but bold slip covers housing the actual cds. Of course, if you don't already have these albums in some form or another, you should probably do yourself a favor and purchase every single one of them immediately.
Autobahn was originally released in 1974, and it was in most cases the band's introduction to the rest of the world with the surprise hit single of the title track, edited down significantly for airplay. It was also the point where Kraftwerk began to combine a classic pop approach with their intense Teutonic experimentation (which remains considerable here). What was seen by some people in the mid-1970s as somewhat of a novelty (which is total bullshit, but it was the '70s...), however, laid the foundation for one of the most innovative music groups to ever exist. Clocking in at almost 23 minutes, "Autobahn" may be one of the most evocative songs ever, especially considering how minimal it really is. Synthesizers give you the impression of traveling throughout Germany by car, through many different environments and observational states, as the vocal melody classically apes the Beach Boys "Fun, Fun, Fun". The song also marked the beginning of the band's reliance on vocoders and drum machines, which would from this point forward would play an integral role in defining Kraftwerk. The other songs here retain many of the sonic qualities of earlier Kraftwerk, but it's now plainly apparent where things are heading: Pop Immortality!
MPEG Stream: "Autobahn (excerpt 1)"
MPEG Stream: "Autobahn (excerpt 2)"
MPEG Stream: "Kometenmelodie 1"

KRAFTWERK Computer World (Elektra) cd 10.98

KRAFTWERK Die Mensch-Maschine (EMI) cd 24.00
German import of the original Man Machine album, with lyrics in German. That's why the lofty price.

KRAFTWERK Expo Remix (Kling Klang) cd 10.98
The requisite remix single of Kraftwerk's comeback last year's single features Orbital, Francois K, DJ Rolando, and Underground Resistance. Maybe if you really dig UR records, this would do it for you.

album cover KRAFTWERK Minimum-Maximum - Live (Astralwerks) 2cd 21.00
If you witnessed a Kraftwerk performance during their 2004 worldwide tour, you may want this 2-disc live recording as a token reminder of your experience. Especially if you attended a show in Warszawa, Ljubljana, Riga, Moskwa, Paris, Berlin, London, Budapest, San Francisco, Tokyo or Tallinn -- the cities from which these virtually perfect live performances are culled. The first eight songs from disc one are absolutely incredible live recordings, most notably "The Man-Machine", "Planet Of Visions", and "Vitamin". The clarity and bombacity of its sound is impressive. Would you pay the extra money it would cost if this came with an implantable chip that would project their video at one meter in front of you while walking around listening? Hmmm, I would. Unfortunately, this is not available. Simply listening to this, however, will help you to recall your live Kraftwerk experience.
Speaking personally, I attended their concert in Amsterdam. At the Heineken Arena. So imagine how many people fit into an "arena". Now imagine, of all those people, about 50 are women. The remaining thousands, all men. And not just regular Dutch dudes out to see a show, but men outfitted in one of two styles of dress: 1. in affected Kraftwerk/Sprockets ensemble -- black leather pants with combat boots and a black turtleneck, or 2. in Classic Man-Machine Kraftwerk -- black suit with sharp red tie. Oh how I wished I had my little minidv cam for filming Kraftwerk Parking Lot. No matter how fascinating the crowd was, the show was somehow even better. From the three 30 meter x 30 meter video panels displaying their minimal but powerfully effective video accompaniment (much of which is available to view on their website), to the actual robots backlit behind a scrim, then exposed and moving, to the mind-blowing clarity and depth of sound (which is hard to do right in a large space like that) the aural and visual orchestration reeked of utter Kraftwerkian perfection.
And of course, if you did NOT get a chance to see them last year, here's your chance to pick up an incredible aural document of some of their best performances from all over the world!
MPEG Stream: "The Man-Machine"
MPEG Stream: "Planet Of Visions"
MPEG Stream: "Vitamin"

album cover KRAFTWERK Radio-Activity (Kling Klang / Astralwerks) cd 17.98
It's about time. Dusseldorf's most famous export, the Godfathers of electronic pop music, Kraftwerk, finally see their classic albums remastered and reissued for the 21st century (although, unfortunately, not yet their EARLIEST classics, the ones with the traffic cone covers). Given the group's notoriety for demanding nothing but absolute perfection, you can safely bet that these sound AMAZING after years of tireless mixing and mastering in Kling-Klang studios. That's probably the main selling point here, as Kraftwerk was never really a "bonus material" kind of band, and there is none of that here; if it was released, it pretty much meant it was labored upon until being deemed suitable for public exposure. These reissues have also got some pretty fancy expanded artwork, with simple but bold slip covers housing the actual cds. Of course, if you don't already have these albums in some form or another, you should probably do yourself a favor and purchase every single one of them immediately.
1975's Radio-Activity is the first album where Kraftwerk REALLY became Kraftwerk as history knows them. It introduced their classic lineup and did away all acoustic instrumentation (believe it or not, there were actually some guitars on Autobahn), and is the perfect precursor to Trans Europe Express, arguably their finest moment. Like all Kraftwerk albums, this one is highly conceptual, with a dual emphasis on radio-activity from a scientific standpoint AND the emergence of the new(ish) culture based around the radio. How Kraftwerkian of them. Even with its moments of darkness, Radio-Activity may also be one of Kraftwerk's most "fun" albums, with the joyful pop propulsion of "Airwaves" and the playful minimalism of "Antenna". Then there is the title track, a masterpiece of slowly brooding German melancholy if there ever was one. This is the album where the boys truly found themselves able to consolidate their more experimental tendencies into a solidly pop format, resulting in some of the most imaginative and original music, well, EVER. It's strange that as the group became more poppy, they also became weirder and developed a sound that was pretty much unprecedented. But hey, that's how Kraftwerk does things.
Oh, and a note to vinyl obsessives, these reissues will be coming out in that format next month, we're told!
MPEG Stream: "Radio-Activity"
MPEG Stream: "Airwaves"
MPEG Stream: "Antenna"

album cover KRAFTWERK Radio-Activity (Capitol) lp 12.98
This 1975 follow-up to their internationally successful Autobahn LP pays tribute to the mechanical catalyst that helped create that success, the radio and the power of broadcast communications. While more obtuse and less successful than its predecessor, the songs on Radio-Activity utilize more concrete forms than ever before with sounds of static, Geiger counters, oscillators and Cage-ian moments of silence to recreate the sense of radio transmission. This also marks the first time Kraftwerk recorded vocals in English and made use of robotic voices that would come to the forefront in subsequent releases.

album cover KRAFTWERK Radio-Activity (Kling Klang / Astralwerks) lp 21.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Now reissued on vinyl too!
It's about time. Dusseldorf's most famous export, the Godfathers of electronic pop music, Kraftwerk, finally see their classic albums remastered and reissued for the 21st century (although, unfortunately, not yet their EARLIEST classics, the ones with the traffic cone covers). Given the group's notoriety for demanding nothing but absolute perfection, you can safely bet that these sound AMAZING after years of tireless mixing and mastering in Kling-Klang studios. That's probably the main selling point here, as Kraftwerk was never really a "bonus material" kind of band, and there is none of that here; if it was released, it pretty much meant it was labored upon until being deemed suitable for public exposure. These reissues have also got some pretty fancy expanded artwork. Of course, if you don't already have these albums in some form or another, you should probably do yourself a favor and purchase every single one of them immediately.
1975's Radio-Activity is the first album where Kraftwerk REALLY became Kraftwerk as history knows them. It introduced their classic lineup and did away all acoustic instrumentation (believe it or not, there were actually some guitars on Autobahn), and is the perfect precursor to Trans Europe Express, arguably their finest moment. Like all Kraftwerk albums, this one is highly conceptual, with a dual emphasis on radio-activity from a scientific standpoint AND the emergence of the new(ish) culture based around the radio. How Kraftwerkian of them. Even with its moments of darkness, Radio-Activity may also be one of Kraftwerk's most "fun" albums, with the joyful pop propulsion of "Airwaves" and the playful minimalism of "Transistor". Then there is the title track, a masterpiece of slowly brooding German melancholy if there ever was one. This is the album where the boys truly found themselves able to consolidate their more experimental tendencies into a solidly pop format, resulting in some of the most imaginative and original music, well, EVER. It's strange that as the group became more poppy, they also became weirder and developed a sound that was pretty much unprecedented. But hey, that's how Kraftwerk does things.
MPEG Stream: "Radio-Activity"
MPEG Stream: "Airwaves"
MPEG Stream: "Antenna"

KRAFTWERK Ralf And Florian (Germanofon) cd 16.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.

KRAFTWERK Somewhere In Europe lp 14.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Two live sets of Kraftwerk captured with reasonably fine fidelity, one from a 1976 show in Paris (performing tracks from Ralf & Florian and Autobahn) and the other from a 1981 show in Utrecht (performing tracks from Computer World and Man Machine).

album cover KRAFTWERK The Man Machine (Capitol) lp 12.98
Taking Cues from the Russian Constructivist movement for its cover, 1978's The Man Machine was the most removed album to that date from Kraftwerk's krautrock origins. Taking on the form of automatons, the music is cold, and mechanical pop about robots, models, and urbanization that opened up the floodgates for new wave and electro. It is also one of the best and most realized albums in their evolving career.

album cover KRAFTWERK The Man-Machine (Kling Klang / Astralwerks) cd 17.98
It's about time. Dusseldorf's most famous export, the Godfathers of electronic pop music, Kraftwerk, finally see their classic albums remastered and reissued for the 21st century (although, unfortunately, not yet their EARLIEST classics, the ones with the traffic cone covers). Given the group's notoriety for demanding nothing but absolute perfection, you can safely bet that these sound AMAZING after years of tireless mixing and mastering in Kling-Klang studios. That's probably the main selling point here, as Kraftwerk was never really a "bonus material" kind of band, and there is none of that here; if it was released, it pretty much meant it was labored upon until being deemed suitable for public exposure. These reissues have also got some pretty fancy expanded artwork, with simple but bold slip covers housing the actual cds. Of course, if you don't already have these albums in some form or another, you should probably do yourself a favor and purchase every single one of them immediately.
The Man-Machine was originally released in 1978, a year after the artistic and commercial triumph of Trans-Europe Express. Obviously there was a lot to live up to following TEE, and Kraftwerk had little difficulty doing so. The Man Machine is likewise a genre-defining masterpiece, containing at least two of their most well known songs with "The Robots" and "The Model". It also features one of their strangely overlooked songs, the too-awesome-for-words "Spacelab". The cold, mechanical approach Kraftwerk had been striving for is perfected on this record, also expertly conveyed from a visual standpoint on the cover, where the group appears all angular and unsmiling in their matching red shirt/black tie getup. It's pretty crazy to imagine the reaction this must have received right in the middle of the punk explosion. As the rest of the world reveled in sloppy, wide-eyed rock n' roll, Kraftwerk became more precise and jettisoned the most recognizable traces of human emotion usually reserved for the pop market. Still, though the most noteworthy traits here bring to mind a glum, dystopian future, like on the title track and the ominous "Metropolis", there is also a good deal of humor and an implied human warmth, as Kraftwerk themselves, more than anything, take the role of detached observers in a world that defines itself more and more through technological progress. Sound familiar?
Oh, and a note to vinyl obsessives, these reissues will be coming out in that format next month, we're told!
MPEG Stream: "Spacelab"
MPEG Stream: "Metropolis"
MPEG Stream: "Neon Lights"

album cover KRAFTWERK The Man-Machine (Kling Klang / Astralwerks) lp 21.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Now reissued on vinyl too!
It's about time. Dusseldorf's most famous export, the Godfathers of electronic pop music, Kraftwerk, finally see their classic albums remastered and reissued for the 21st century (although, unfortunately, not yet their EARLIEST classics, the ones with the traffic cone covers). Given the group's notoriety for demanding nothing but absolute perfection, you can safely bet that these sound AMAZING after years of tireless mixing and mastering in Kling-Klang studios. That's probably the main selling point here, as Kraftwerk was never really a "bonus material" kind of band, and there is none of that here; if it was released, it pretty much meant it was labored upon until being deemed suitable for public exposure. These reissues have also got some pretty fancy expanded artwork. Of course, if you don't already have these albums in some form or another, you should probably do yourself a favor and purchase every single one of them immediately.
The Man-Machine was originally released in 1978, a year after the artistic and commercial triumph of Trans-Europe Express. Obviously there was a lot to live up to following TEE, and Kraftwerk had little difficulty doing so. The Man Machine is likewise a genre-defining masterpiece, containing at least two of their most well known songs with "The Robots" and "The Model". It also features one of their strangely overlooked songs, the too-awesome-for-words "Spacelab". The cold, mechanical approach Kraftwerk had been striving for is perfected on this record, also expertly conveyed from a visual standpoint on the cover, where the group appears all angular and unsmiling in their matching red shirt/black tie getup. It's pretty crazy to imagine the reaction this must have received right in the middle of the punk explosion. As the rest of the world reveled in sloppy, wide-eyed rock n' roll, Kraftwerk became more precise and jettisoned the most recognizable traces of human emotion usually reserved for the pop market. Still, though the most noteworthy traits here bring to mind a glum, dystopian future, like on the title track and the ominous "Metropolis", there is also a good deal of humor and an implied human warmth, as Kraftwerk themselves, more than anything, take the role of detached observers in a world that defines itself more and more through technological progress. Sound familiar?
MPEG Stream: "Spacelab"
MPEG Stream: "Metropolis"
MPEG Stream: "Neon Lights"

album cover KRAFTWERK Tour De France Soundtracks (Astralwerks) cd 17.98
They should've left well enough alone. They should've left well enough alone. They should've left well enough alone... but alas, they did not. Now that we've gotten that out of our system... The major disappointment with this new Kraftwerk is not that it's a poor album. Let us stress, that is NOT the case at all. Actually it sounds remarkably like the work of many many fine current electronic artists (or rather, *they* sound just like Kraftwerk!), and THAT is the major point of contention here. Tour De France Soundtracks simply doesn't sound like the work of great sonic revolutionaries. Arguably they reached the pinnacle of their innovations with Computer World -- making astounding, ground-breaking music that sounded unlike ANYTHING at the time nor many years to follow. Granted it took a very long time, but over the years Ralf, Florian and co. spent devoted to cycling the globe, it seems the world finally caught up to Kraftwerk.
MPEG Stream: "Chrono"

album cover KRAFTWERK Trans Europe Express (Kling Klang / Astralwerks) cd 17.98
It's about time. Dusseldorf's most famous export, the Godfathers of electronic pop music, Kraftwerk, finally see their classic albums remastered and reissued for the 21st century (although, unfortunately, not yet their EARLIEST classics, the ones with the traffic cone covers). Given the group's notoriety for demanding nothing but absolute perfection, you can safely bet that these sound AMAZING after years of tireless mixing and mastering in Kling-Klang studios. That's probably the main selling point here, as Kraftwerk was never really a "bonus material" kind of band, and there is none of that here; if it was released, it pretty much meant it was labored upon until being deemed suitable for public exposure. These reissues have also got some pretty fancy expanded artwork, with simple but bold slip covers housing the actual cds. Of course, if you don't already have these albums in some form or another, you should probably do yourself a favor and purchase every single one of them immediately.
Arguably, Kraftwerk's best recording, Trans-Europe Express from 1977 marries the Kosmiche minimalism of the Ralf and Florian record with the technological sublime sound of Autobahn while at the same time foreshadowing the robotic dance pop of The Man-Machine and Computer World. We also see for the first time, the image of the band as a uniform commodity dealing with post-modern themes of surface, reflection, repetition and reproduction that would thoroughly dominate their later output.
MPEG Stream: "Europe Endless"
MPEG Stream: "Showroom Dummies"
MPEG Stream: "Trans Europe Express"

album cover KRAFTWERK Trans Europe Express (Kling Klang / Astralwerks) lp 21.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Now reissued on vinyl too!
It's about time. Dusseldorf's most famous export, the Godfathers of electronic pop music, Kraftwerk, finally see their classic albums remastered and reissued for the 21st century (although, unfortunately, not yet their EARLIEST classics, the ones with the traffic cone covers). Given the group's notoriety for demanding nothing but absolute perfection, you can safely bet that these sound AMAZING after years of tireless mixing and mastering in Kling-Klang studios. That's probably the main selling point here, as Kraftwerk was never really a "bonus material" kind of band, and there is none of that here; if it was released, it pretty much meant it was labored upon until being deemed suitable for public exposure. These reissues have also got some pretty fancy expanded artwork. Of course, if you don't already have these albums in some form or another, you should probably do yourself a favor and purchase every single one of them immediately.
Arguably, Kraftwerk's best recording, Trans-Europe Express from 1977 marries the Kosmiche minimalism of the Ralf and Florian record with the technological sublime sound of Autobahn while at the same time foreshadowing the robotic dance pop of The Man-Machine and Computer World. We also see for the first time, the image of the band as a uniform commodity dealing with post-modern themes of surface, reflection, repetition and reproduction that would thoroughly dominate their later output.
MPEG Stream: "Europe Endless"
MPEG Stream: "Showroom Dummies"
MPEG Stream: "Trans Europe Express"

album cover KRALLICE Dimensional Bleedthrough (Profound Lore) cd 13.98
Nice. Black Metal supergroup Krallice return with record #2, and much like the first self-titled album, Dimensional Bleedthrough is full of nonstop, dizzying musical virtuosity that will send your jaw dropping to the floor. This stuff sounds IMPOSSIBLE to play, which for most mortals, it would be. But Krallice count among its ranks avant indie-metal guitar gods Mick Barr (Crom Tech, Orthelm, Ocrilim, etc.) and Colin Marston (known usually for his bass duties in groups like Dysrhythmia and Behold the Arctopus), as well as the hot-shit drumming skills of Lev Weinstein and the burly basslines of Nick McMaster. It's cool to hear what many people would have written off as a side project really take off into new territory where the music is allowed to shine through instead of hiding behind a facade of what black metal should be. In the end, Krallice effortlessly lay waste to so much of the black metal out there these days. The complexity of these songs is pretty unbelievable, but luckily things remain very musical throughout. The songs are forceful but super melodic and catchy, and listening to Krallice is like taking off on a mind altering journey. The vocals here are great and classically black metal, and anyone familiar with Barr's high pitched shrieking days in Crom Tech might be a bit surprised to hear him passing the test with flying colors. Soundwise, Krallice adhere to the template perfected by groups like Weakling and Wolves In The Throne Room, but they definitely put their own unique spin on things. Things get a bit proggy here and there, but not in a bad or dorky way at all. This is really the sound of dudes who know their way around their instruments like few others, and they have combined their talents to deliver hands down one of the most impressive metal records this year.
MPEG Stream: "Dimensional Bleedthrough"
MPEG Stream: "Autochthon"

album cover KRALLICE Dimensional Bleedthrough (Gilead Media) 2lp 22.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Hey! Now on vinyl!!
Nice. Black Metal supergroup Krallice return with record #2, and much like the first self-titled album, Dimensional Bleedthrough is full of nonstop, dizzying musical virtuosity that will send your jaw dropping to the floor. This stuff sounds IMPOSSIBLE to play, which for most mortals, it would be. But Krallice count among its ranks avant indie-metal guitar gods Mick Barr (Crom Tech, Orthelm, Ocrilim, etc.) and Colin Marston (known usually for his bass duties in groups like Dysrhythmia and Behold the Arctopus), as well as the hot-shit drumming skills of Lev Weinstein and the burly basslines of Nick McMaster. It's cool to hear what many people would have written off as a side project really take off into new territory where the music is allowed to shine through instead of hiding behind a facade of what black metal should be. In the end, Krallice effortlessly lay waste to so much of the black metal out there these days. The complexity of these songs is pretty unbelievable, but luckily things remain very musical throughout. The songs are forceful but super melodic and catchy, and listening to Krallice is like taking off on a mind altering journey. The vocals here are great and classically black metal, and anyone familiar with Barr's high pitched shrieking days in Crom Tech might be a bit surprised to hear him passing the test with flying colors. Soundwise, Krallice adhere to the template perfected by groups like Weakling and Wolves In The Throne Room, but they definitely put their own unique spin on things. Things get a bit proggy here and there, but not in a bad or dorky way at all. This is really the sound of dudes who know their way around their instruments like few others, and they have combined their talents to deliver hands down one of the most impressive metal records of 2009.
Gatefold double vinyl via Gilead Media, the cd version released last year was on Profound Lore.
MPEG Stream: "Dimensional Bleedthrough"
MPEG Stream: "Autochthon"

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