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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.


O Ikuinen (Sahko) 12" 12.98

album cover O LEVEL (INC. TEENAGE FILMSTARS) A Day In The Life of Gilbert and George: 1977-1980 (Artpop!) cd 17.98
We made the recent reissue of Teenage Filmstars' Star a Record of the Week, and plan on doing the same for the other TF records as soon as they're reissued. Furthermore, one person who works here even proclaimed TF better than My Bloody Valentine, and sticks by that inflammatory claim! But much like MBV, TF weren't always masters of tripped out backwards space psych, in fact long before TF became a swirling spaced out bliss rocking psychedelic juggernaut, they were a kick ass, old school jangly UK punk rock band. Teenage Filmstars mainman Ed Ball, and his partners Daniel Treacy and Joseph Foster also did time in the Television Personalities, and would later go on to start the Rev-ola, Artpop! and Creation labels. That's some serious pop star power for sure.
But back then, things were much simpler, especially the sound, many of these tracks are indeed credited to Teenage Filmstars instead of O Level, but TF were a whole different beast, channeling the sound of the Kinks, the Who, the Jam, the Undertones, the Rezillos (who even get name checked on one song), all angular post punk and groovy garage-y stomp, catchy and hooky and simple and rollicking and more pop than punk, whereas the O Level tracks seem a bit more abstract, a bit more out there, than the TF tracks, which are more catchy and energetic, but to be fair, if the tracks were uncredited to one band or the other it might be difficult to tell them apart. They are basically the same band after all.
There are some amazing tracks here, the all time classic "I Helped Patrick McGoohan Escape", the melancholy summery strum of "I Love To Clean My Polaris Missile", the Beatlesesque "Everybody's On Revolver Tonight", some tracks even a have a bit of ska guitar here and there, lots of bloopy dubby bass, the guitars are angular and jangly, the vocals are all over, a Cockney growl one minute, a sweet croon the next, and the songs are fun, catchy, noisy, poppy, the lyrics are super clever and snarky too, sometimes sharp and funny, other times subtly dark, all in all a killer comp of seminal UK punk / pop and a brilliant glimpse at the roots of a sound and scene that would eventually blossom into a serious obsession!
Amazing packaging, all the original tracks, tons of bonus tracks, lots of photos, super entertaining and confusional liner notes, almost as fun to read as the record is to listen to.
MPEG Stream: O LEVEL "Pseudo Punk"
MPEG Stream: O LEVEL "O Levels"
MPEG Stream: TEENAGE FILMSTARS "I Helped Patrick McGoohan Escape"
MPEG Stream: TEENAGE FILMSTARS "The Odd Man Out"
MPEG Stream: O LEVEL "Stairway To Boredom"
MPEG Stream: TEENAGE FILMSTARS "I Love To Clean My Polaris Missle"

album cover O SIRHAN O SIRHAN MAGAZINE Issue #1 magazine 7.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
This brand new indie magazine from Brooklyn is off to quite a running start! It's packed with lots of cool art and music to read about, look at and listen to. This debut issue includes an article on Henry Flynt, interviews with Animal Collective, People's Mary Halvorson and 7 Year Rabbit Cycle, drawings by Devendra Banhart, a photo diary by Deerhoof and a cd by Jorge Boehringer (Core of The Coal Man).

album cover O TERCO s/t (Discos Mariposa) cd 17.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
The latest from the increasingly awesome Discos Mariposa label, who have been providing release after satisfying release of Brazilian post-tropicalia rarities, is the 1972 second album from psych-progressives, O Terco. Featuring Luiz Simas from Modulo 1000 on mini-Moog, Terco starts off pretty heavy in a King Crimson fashion gradually settling into the dreamy pastoral psych that were used to from this label. Culminating in the 19 minute collage suite "Amanhecer Total" ("Complete Dawn"), where female vocals, acoustic guitar and percussion meld into heavier passages of electric guitar, and aggressive singing, then shift towards lo-fi keyboards, soft piano and a mantra-inflected finale. Two bonus tracks from an earlier EP round the disc out nicely.
MPEG Stream: "Voce Ai"
MPEG Stream: "Amanhecer Total"
MPEG Stream: "Adormeceu"

album cover O'BRIEN, JOHN Real Life (self-released) cd 11.98
From the get-go, John O'Brien's debut album Real Life sounds very much in the same sun-kissed, country-tinged vein as fellow Sfers Fojimoto. So it's not surprising that they've found each other - this album was recorded, mixed and co-produced by Marwan Kanafani of Fojimoto. Mr. O'Brien's boyish vocals also brought to mind those of Evan Dando of the Lemonheads. These are mostly warm and infectious pop songs with plenty of gentle strummy guitars, but there's also "Bottle On The Table" a rootsy raise-a-pint rollicker embellished with a little harmonica for good measure and the more solemn piano number "September 13" which also appeared on the "The Canvas Remembers September 11" compilation.
MPEG Stream: "Real Life"
MPEG Stream: "Bottle On The Table (Prozac)"

album cover O'CONNOR, JENNIFER Over The Mountain, Across The Valley And Back To The Stars (Matador) cd 13.98
On the back of the advance copy of this Jennifer O'Connor cd we received from Matador Records, the label conveyed the press quote from Time Out NY "another Liz Phair or Elliott Smith waiting to happen". While we definitely concur with the former on songs like "Turn It Down" (at least in regards to Phair's Exile In Guyville album NOT her more recent daliances), we disagree wholeheartedly with the latter. Casual, no frills, girl next door-ish. She's very much in tune with other female singer / songwriters along the lines of Shawn Colvin and Indigo Girls. In fact, if there was still a Lilith Fair, she'd fit the bill just right.
MPEG Stream: "Century Estates"
MPEG Stream: "Turn It Down"

album cover O'CONNOR, JENNIFER Over The Mountain, Across The Valley And Back To The Stars (Matador) lp 11.98
On the back of the advance copy of this Jennifer O'Connor cd we received from Matador Records, the label conveyed the press quote from Time Out NY "another Liz Phair or Elliott Smith waiting to happen". While we definitely concur with the former on songs like "Turn It Down" (at least in regards to Phair's Exile In Guyville album NOT her more recent daliances), we disagree wholeheartedly with the latter. Casual, no frills, girl next door-ish. She's very much in tune with other female singer / songwriters along the lines of Shawn Colvin and Indigo Girls. In fact, if there was still a Lilith Fair, she'd fit the bill just right.
MPEG Stream: "Century Estates"
MPEG Stream: "Perfect Match"

album cover O'CONNOR, SINEAD Collaborations (Capitol) cd 17.98
These Collaborations aren't new, no, they were compiled from the numerous guest appearances that the irrepressible Ms Sinead O'Connor has made on other folks' releases over the years. They sure do demonstrate the incredible breadth of her musical forays -- rock, folk, dub, worldbeat, you name it. Some feature O'Connor front and center on lead vocals, while on others her voice is a peripheral subtle embellishment. For all of you diehard fans, it's certainly nice to have them all of these great tracks in one place, instead of cluttering up your music library with a bunch of other artists' albums that you care nothing about aside from the single songs that she appears on -- many which you probably haven't heard since way back in the day. For instance, while Cup's not such a huge O'Connor fan, she admits to having a soft spot for the song "Heroine" which O'Connor did with U2's The Edge back in 1986 for the film Captive. She certainly wore out her vinyl copy of the soundtrack listening to just that one song! Also featured are collabs with Asian Dub Foundation, Bomb The Bass, Ghostland, Jah Wobble, Afro Celt Sound System, The Blockheads, The The, U2, Conjure One, Peter Gabriel, Moby, Aslan, Damien Dempsey, The Colourfield, Terry Hall, and it all begins with Massive Attack's slinking "Special Cases".
MPEG Stream: "Special Cases"
MPEG Stream: "Heroine"

album cover O'CONNOR, SINEAD Theology (Koch) cd 16.98

album cover O'CONNOR, SINEAD Throw Down Your Arms (That's Why There's Chocolate And Vanilla) cd 14.98
Her powerhouse of a voice still in top form, Sinead O'Connor bursts back into the public eye and ear with two releases -- one a compilation of her collaborations aptly titled Collaborations, and the other being this all reggae covers album, Throw Down Your Arms. We've already heard many folks guffaw at even the thought of this concept (admittedly even though we know that she's no stranger to dub music, our own eyebrows were certainly raised), but let's quash those grumbling right now 'cause y'know what? It totally works. Always one to walk to the beat of her own ever-changing drum, the perennially outspoken O'Connor shows a deep reverence, humility and connection to each of the songs which include straightforward renditions of Burning Spear's "Door Peep", Lee Perry's "Vampire" and "Curly Locks", and Peter Tosh's "Downpressor Man". The musicians backing her are themselves top notch veteran Jamaican artists including Mikey Chung on guitar and Dean Fraser on saxophone not to mention Sly & Robbie who also produced the whole proceedings in Kingston, Jamaica. It all just adds up to pretty darn great!
MPEG Stream: "Door Peep"
MPEG Stream: "Curly Locks"

album cover O'HAGAN, SEAN & JEAN PIERRE MULLER The Musical Paintings Volume 1 (Drag City) book+cd 17.98
High Llamas fans, you probably don't want to miss this! Indeed, you're probably already well aware that band leader Sean O'Hagan composes plenty of lovely music outside of his main band, right? But you probably weren't able to attend the various aural art installations he and Belgian pop-artist Jean Pierre Muller have collaborated on for the past half decade, were you? This new book+cd set, though nowhere near the actual experience of being in those environments, will have to do!
The 5.5"x6" 96-page hardcover book is filled with full color photo documentation of the first two installations' preparation, Muller's touch-sensitive art pieces as well as the attendees interacting with them.
The cd features O'Hagan's unmistakable soft-focus space age cocktail hour soundtracks which formed the interactive sonic loops in the installation. Their burbling dreaminess make for quite a languid contrast to the immediacy of the eye-poppingly vibrant paint and collage visuals!
MPEG Stream: "Almond Return"
MPEG Stream: "Ocean No Ocean"

O'JAYS Backstabbers (Columbia) cd 7.98
**SALE **SALE* *SALE**

album cover O'MALLEY, STEPHEN Cocon & Oiseau De Nuit (Editions Mego) cassette 14.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
We won't go into too much detail with this one. Another instance of something being way too limited, and us getting way fewer copies than we asked for. LIMITED TO 250 COPIES, and of that we got 10. Just ten. And it's the first in a series of 3, so if you manage to snag one of these, and want in on the other two in the series, best hit us up to preorder you one NOW.
And odds are you're probably gonna want this (and perhaps the other two), a 40 minute recording, captured back in 2006, related to O'Malley's Table Of The Elements 12" and his record on iDEAL, and for all of O'Malley's dabblings in various permutations of ambience and minimalism and guitar manipulation, Cocon & Oiseau De Nuit finds him doing what he does best, that sort of SUNNO))) guitar creep, thick swaths of pulsing rumbles, of crumbling distorted crunch, heaving slow motion melodies, wrapped in gauzy sheets of amp buzz, blissed out low end whirs, super saturated glacial heaviness, blurred and smeared into washed out blackened dronemusic of the highest order. Hypnotic and gorgeously grim.
Nice full color tape covers, with massive booklet (all the pages are black/blank, just adding to the overall blackness), and again, we only have 10 copies, and those will no doubt be gone in a flash.
Sorry...

album cover O'MALLEY, STEPHEN Keep An Eye Out (Table Of The Elements) lp 15.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
This is the one everybody's been waiting for. We sold out of these some months ago, before we even had a chance to list them, and have been waiting and waiting for them to press more, and finally here it is, Stephen O'Malley of SUNNO))), Khanate, KTL, Aethenor, Thorr's Hammer, Ginnungagap, etc... with his contribution to Table Of The Elements' 'Guitar' series.
And we're happy to report it's quite lovely, just acoustic guitar and oscillator, O'Malley weaves a gorgeous thrum of steel string shimmer, a softly swirling almost static stretch of deep surprisingly lush hum, very Niblock sounding for sure, a rich layered expanse of tones and overtones, subtly beating against each other, the steel strings emitting little clouds of almost-melody here and there, while throughout, subtle rhythms emerge from the miasma but just as quickly dissipate and drift off.
It's almost like an acoustic, and largely riff-less SUNNO))), the same sort of expansive sonic sprawl, building a thick epic drone, that manages to sound dense and ominous, but also delicate and crystalline, soft focus and dreamy, exactly the sort of thing, that we could listen to for hours and hours. Even at it's most intense, the sound still manages to be soothing and hypnotic, the whole thing a gorgeous, languorous soundscape of ethereal buzz and drift.
Pressed on orange swirl vinyl, one sided, the other side with an awesome etching by Savage Pencil, housed in a thick PVC sleeve, and of course, as always, VERY LIMITED!

album cover O'MALLEY, STEPHEN Petite Geante (The Tapeworm) cassette 7.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Latest in the Tapeworm series of super limited cassette releases, the first two were from Philip Jeck (now sold out) and Jean Baudrillard (not really Baudrillard, but a reading of his work), but this one might be the most anticipated, which makes the fact that we were only able to get only 10 copies even that much more of a bummer.
So yeah, a tiny handful of you will get lucky and will snag one of these, a gorgeous sidelong dronescape from Stephen O'Malley (of SUNNO))), KTL, Gravetemple, Aethenor, Ginnungagap, Lotus Eaters, Khanate, Burning Witch, Thorr's Hammer among others), buzzing rumbling guitars, throbbing low end, delicate shimmer, haunting field recordings, music from an art installation, gorgeous stuff, without even noticing, we listened to it 4 or 5 times in a row, the tape flipping over and over, and we could have listened to it 5 more times!
Again apologies for the tiny number of copies, but often we don't have any control over stuff like that...
LIMITED TO 250 COPIES, cool cover art by Savage Pencil.

album cover O'MALLEY, STEPHEN & ATTILA CSIHAR 6°F Skyquake (Editions Mego) cd 17.98
SUNNO))) freeks, heads up! This here is a super limited recording, of a piece used in an art show by Banks Violette. You might remember Violette from a dvd we carry featuring an installation he did Norwegian black metal outfit Thorns supplying the sounds.
We'd like to tell you more about what this piece is all about, but the description of the art, and the music, is in that insanely convoluted artspeak, so we'll just try to go it alone.
Originally recorded in 2001, this piece features Stephen O'Malley (SUNNO))) et al) playing a Travis Bean guitar through a Fender Twin Reverb amplifier, and Hungarian vocalist Attila Csihar (Mayhem, Aborym, SUNNO))), Tormentor), this recording is a portion of the original lengthy recording and finds the two crafting some sort of blackened sinister liturgical ceremony.
O'Malley's guitar is used mostly to make creaks and rumbles, piercing shards of feedback, crashing chordal fragments, but mostly it works as a tone generator, various bits of feedback allowed to stretch out and slowly shift, creating strange tonal variations and layered expanses of extreme sonics and minimal ambience.
Csihar contributes vocals, haunting and mesmerizing, delivered in a deep monk like chant. Lots of reverb and natural delay, the result sounds ancient, like some middle ages church ceremony. Those two elements O'Malley's tones, and Csihar's vocals combined, sound a bit like Ryoji Ikeda jamming along to vespers.
Not at all an easy listen, but definitely creepy and mysterious.
Cool oversized sleeve with photos of Violette's art as well as band photos, and the lyrics printed in both English and Hungarian.
LIMITED TO 500 COPIES.
MPEG Stream: "6¼F Skyquake"

album cover O'NEIL, TARA JANE A Ways Away (K) cd 14.98
You can sense it right away when you're hearing an artist truly find their voice, and in doing so, managing to create something magical that outshines everything else they've done before.
A Ways Away is by far Tara Jane O'Neil's most realized outing to date. While she has a healthy back catalog of woozy and pretty solo outings (not to mention some fine recordings with her old bands, Rodan and Sonora Pine), up until this point she's always been a solo artist we liked a lot but would never say we love. That has changed - we declare our full on love and devotion to Tara Jane with this totally gorgeous album. She has found a way to inject so much more mood and atmosphere into her songs, drifting and dreamy, rustic and lingering. Like she's tapped into the magic of those Georgia Hubley soothing and sad moments on Yo La Tengo records or when Mimi Parker takes to the mic for slowcore beauty with Low. Nothing sounds forced or out of place, the songs are given the room to breathe and circulate and Tara's vocals are as pretty and understated as ever. The instrumentation is as potent as the vocal delivery, making us think of what it might sound like if Mirah and Steven R. Smith joined forces or if Grouper got more rustic and even more song orientated but still left trails of such dreamy and hazy delight. Simply beautiful!
MPEG Stream: "Dig In"
MPEG Stream: "Biwa"
MPEG Stream: "Pearl Into Sand"

album cover O'NEIL, TARA JANE Bones (Preservation) cd 16.98
A brand new, limited edition collection of stark and compelling personal folk ambience from AQ fave Tara Jane O'Neil who has completely shed her post rock / post punk past (having played bass in the legendary Rodan, and more recently in Sonora Pine and Retsin) and become a dark and moody folk chanteuse of sorts. Spinnng ultra personal tales of love and sorrow over lilting folk and moody ambient soundscapes, O'Neil creates a sepia toned sonic world of gauzy, afternoon sunlit langour and late summer idyll. Recorded over the last few years all over the country and in all sorts of locations (apartments, ballrooms, etc) Bones also finds O'Neil experimenting with found sounds and electronic beats, adding more color to her usual greys and browns. Desolate and beautiful, Bones is maybe her best record yet!
MPEG Stream: "The Poisoned Mine"
MPEG Stream: "Famous Yellow Belly"

album cover O'NEIL, TARA JANE In Circles (Quarterstick) cd 14.98
Tara Jane O'Neil's latest solo outing doesn't stray far from the delicate structures of her previous efforts and that's a good thing. Unlike the latest recordings of her contemporaries, Neko Case, Beth Orton, and Chan Marshall, O'Neil, former member of Rodan and Retsin, eschews the full band songwriter mode and instead recorded these lilting and ethereal songs in various empty wooden houses around Portland, Or. The subtle sonic whirl and droning effects that begin most of the songs puts O'Neil closer to the Six Organs camp as the songs become folk-ish paeans to the mystical nature of the Pacific Northwest. Lovely!
MPEG Stream: "A Room For These"
MPEG Stream: "This Beats"

album cover O'NEIL, TARA JANE In the Sun Lines (Quarterstick) cd 14.98
Newest offering from O'Neil formerly of the mighty Rodan, although her post Rodan work bears little or no resemblance. Dark and twangy melancholia, rough around the edges, but rough the way your favorite warm coat is rough: frayed and tattered but still the coat you're wearing even though you have two new jackets hanging in the closet. Her best yet.

O'NEIL, TARA JANE Peregrine (Quarterstick) cd 14.98
Founding member of Sonora Pine, Retsin and Rodan is out with a new solo album replete with quiet vocals and layers of warm guitar, piano, banjo, etc.

album cover O'NEIL, TARA JANE TJO TKO (Mr. Lady) cd 13.98
I (Sadie) love Tara Jane O'Neil. She has been in tons of amazing bands: Rodan, Retsin and the Sonora Pine to name a few. And as a solo artist she is just so lovely. This record is totally beautiful, dreamy and sad with slow and sort-of-driving electronica beats beneath layers of gorgeous guitars and her breathtaking voice. It's the perfect music to lay in your front yard to, or listen to when falling asleep. It's calming and trancy and totally hypnotic. In a weird way, it reminds me of early Bjork, but I don't want to cheapen it by comparing it to other stuff, 'cause it's so unique and perfect. It accomplishes that difficult mixture of cold electronica and digital sounds with beautiful heart wrenching human sincerity. Perhaps her best work to date, this is her first record on Mr. Lady, and I'm glad. They seem like a good match, such a cool label, and a phenomenal artist.
RealAudio clip: "Prick"
RealAudio clip: "Welcome Back"

album cover O'NEIL, TARA JANE Where Shine New Lights (Kranky) cd 14.98
A stunning sun-dappled daydream of a record from Tara Jane O'Neil, whose last album, A Ways Away made us finally fall completely head over heels in love with her hushed and hauntingly lovely sound... Continuing on that upward trajectory, Where Shine New Lights fits right at home on the Kranky label. The production even more hazy and somnolently gorgeous, a reverent stillness gently unfolding as morning breaks, with a subdued kaleidoscopic reach into a foresty brightness of sound. The opener after the intro. "Wordless In Woods" pivots on a fender Rhodes groove reminiscent of Brightblack Morning Light, leading into the next track, "This Morning Glory", a lilting paean to awakening that is so lush and pretty, an angelic lullaby floating under a morning mist. Elsewhere, resonant meditations of sound unfurl through slow ritual percussion and brooding grounding tones that anchor O'Neil's gossamer vocal treatment. On some level this is the more subdued introspective counterpoint to the soulful vibrancy of Laura Mvula's Sing To The Moon, both sharing a dreamy Arcadian vibe with a natural sun-soaked reverie. Our favorite Tara Jane O'Neil record. So beautiful!
MPEG Stream: "Wordless In Woods"
MPEG Stream: "This Morning Glory"
MPEG Stream: "All Now Vibe"
MPEG Stream: "Bellow Below As Above"

album cover O'NEIL, TARA JANE Where Shine New Lights (Kranky) lp 14.98
A stunning sun-dappled daydream of a record from Tara Jane O'Neil, whose last album, A Ways Away made us finally fall completely head over heels in love with her hushed and hauntingly lovely sound... Continuing on that upward trajectory, Where Shine New Lights fits right at home on the Kranky label. The production even more hazy and somnolently gorgeous, a reverent stillness gently unfolding as morning breaks, with a subdued kaleidoscopic reach into a foresty brightness of sound. The opener after the intro. "Wordless In Woods" pivots on a fender Rhodes groove reminiscent of Brightblack Morning Light, leading into the next track, "This Morning Glory", a lilting paean to awakening that is so lush and pretty, an angelic lullaby floating under a morning mist. Elsewhere, resonant meditations of sound unfurl through slow ritual percussion and brooding grounding tones that anchor O'Neil's gossamer vocal treatment. On some level this is the more subdued introspective counterpoint to the soulful vibrancy of Laura Mvula's Sing To The Moon, both sharing a dreamy Arcadian vibe with a natural sun-soaked reverie. Our favorite Tara Jane O'Neil record. So beautiful!
MPEG Stream: "Wordless In Woods"
MPEG Stream: "This Morning Glory"
MPEG Stream: "All Now Vibe"
MPEG Stream: "Bellow Below As Above"

album cover O'NEIL, TARA JANE Who Takes A Feather (Map) book + 3" cd 20.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
We are down to our last two copies and pretty sure we won't ever be able to get more, so act fast. This is a gorgeous collection of Tara Jane O'Neil's drawings, paintings and prose all beautifully printed and published in a really nice oversized soft cover book, imported from Japan. Psst, there's also a lil' 3" cd tucked away in the back cover too, with three brand new exclusive tunes!!

album cover O'NEIL, TARA JANE Wings, Strings, Meridians (Square Root Books / Yeti) book+cd 14.98
Wings, Strings, Meridians is the latest release of audio and visual art by aQ fave Tara Jane O'Neil. The book is filled with her paintings, photographs and drawings. In the back of the compact 6" square softcover is a cd -- her tenth solo album!
Open your (or someone dear's) eyes and ears to the wonders of TJO. The pages are filled with loose tangles of thin, rough black lines shaded in earthy hues blurred in spots as if by rain or tears. Sometimes stark, sometimes busy, the images are populated by furry and feathered critters, human figures and abstract forms. Likewise, her music is an impromptu comforter woven from thread bare dusky melodies. Pretty great!
MPEG Stream: "Pearl Into Sand (Live)"
MPEG Stream: "Blue Light Room (Discovery 4-Track)"

album cover O'NEIL, TARA JANE You Sound, Reflect (Quarterstick) cd 14.98
If you've been following our reviews of Ms O'Neil's releases over the years, you might've noticed a trend. That is, we've used the words "beautiful" and "her best yet" (or words to that effect) on each subsequent release. We are more than pleased to report that the tradition continues with You Sound, Reflect. Damn, lady! You just keep getting better and better! Seriously, this is totally achingly beautiful from start to finish. One dozen hushed, lonely and contemplative songs carefully crafted from brittle, barely-there piano, banjo, fiddle, guitar and vocals. Recommended.
MPEG Stream: "The Poisoned Mine"
MPEG Stream: "Without Push"

album cover O'REALLY, DANNY An Evening With Danny O'Really: Music For Unusual People (Solitude) cd 13.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
This disc is another big mystery, but one we're thoroughly enjoying as we try to work it out. A copy was sent to us ages ago, and on first glance it looked like some disc of classic Irish music. An old sepia toned photo on the front, an Irish looking font with the text "An Evening With Danny O'Really". Hmmm. So we sort of ignored it for a while, but the photo on the front was sort of haunting, and finally we realized the man's eyes were sort of fucked up, green and alien. Bug eyed. Staring out creepily. So we had another look, and noticed the legend "Music For Unusual People". The we flipped it over to find a huge flat topped swirly eyed green demon with a forked tongue, ripping the front cover in half. Interesting. Inside a worried looking woman holding the very record we're reviewing, and then a gatefold inside, a blurred photo of a man wielding a guitar, head to the sky, hands held high. Okay, definitely weird enough to merit further investigation, so we threw it on and were totally blown away. Not at all what we expected, but not sure what we were expecting at all.
At this point we're not sure if Danny O'Really is a man or a band, or if it's a made up name or what the fuck is going on at all!! What we do know, is that this is an awesome collection of manipulated sound, of transformed guitars. It's sort of a drone record, sort of a processed guitar record, a fucked up glitched out electronic record, sort of all three of those tangled up into one chaotic whole.
The opener, sounds a bit like some sort of SUNNO))) / Fear Falls Burning style guitar experiment, but instead of murky sludge, or blissed out hum, it's an ADD explosion of skipping textures, of blown out buzz, chopped and spliced into little snippets of sound, then sewn back together into a strange grinding industrial metallic drone patchwork. Lots of hiss and shimmer, bursts of damaged crumble, aggressive and tripped out, and pretty amazing.
The second track is a tangle of skittery drums and buzzing steel strings, ringing out in clouds of metallic shimmer, bits of percussion drifting in and out, very free and abstract, eventually locking into a propulsive but unhinged buzzing blowout.
The third track, the longest at 23 minutes, is a Niblockian drone, various high end tones, sine waves, processed chords, all drawn out and stretched into slowly decaying streaks, until eventually exploding into some sort of alien jam, the guitars snarling and heaving and twisting, the drums more little bursts of hiss, the whole thing gradually growing more and more muted and gnarled, almost like the tape is decaying, the tape player's batteries dying, the speed changing, the whole song crumbling.
The last three tracks are variations on a theme, bits of high end, fragments of atonal guitar, swirls of effects, graduations of buzz and whir, disjointed melodies buried beneath, billows of metallic grind and shimmer, all spread out into a drifting cloud of soft noise.
Might be a bit much for the dronedoomdirge crowd, but definitely heady listening for free noise addicts and lovers of abstract ambience and weird dronemusic.
MPEG Stream: "1-03.56"
MPEG Stream: "2-02.48"
MPEG Stream: "3-23.13"

O'REGAN, TARIK / GUILLAUME DE MACHAUT / GAVIN BRYARS Scattered Rhymes (Harmonia Mundi) cd 24.00

album cover O'RILEY, CHRISTOPHER True Love Waits (Sony) cd 12.98
Probably the easiest way to describe this would be 'George Winston plays Radiohead.' And if you were me (Andee) that would be enough. I love Radiohead. And I love all things George Winston/Windham Hill. -Not ironically- I might add. But if you're not me, and thank your lucky stars you're not, then I guess we can elaborate a bit. Gorgeous shimmery solo piano versions of all your favorite Radiohead songs, from hits to distinctly-not-hits. The melodies are intact, as are the basic song structures, but the effect of -those- songs being played on a piano is quite lovely. Simplified and stretched out, strange atonal clusters of notes replace electronic weirdness, simple spacious reverb takes the place of million dollar production, and the result is a simple, soft, gorgeously serene performance that reveals Radiohead's songwriting genius and O'Riley's sympathetic ear. Definitely veers towards 'elevator music' but c'mon, wouldn't you rather hear Radiohead in the elevator than Billy Joel or Elton John? I sure would.
MPEG Stream: "Everything In Its Right Place"
MPEG Stream: "Knives Out"

O'ROURKE, JIM Bad Timing (Drag City) cd 13.98
Crowd-pleasing folk strum, very pretty but so close to Fahey that we can't tell if it's a parody or he's serious or what.

O'ROURKE, JIM Bad Timing (Drag City) lp 9.98
Crowd-pleasing folk strum, very pretty but so close to Fahey that we can't tell if it's a parody or he's serious or what.

album cover O'ROURKE, JIM Despite The Water Supply (Touch) 7" 8.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Latest in Touch's 7" series, this one folks have been clamoring for, comes from Mr. Jim O'Rourke, a name that should no doubt be familiar to most folks by now! Brise Glace, Gastr Del Sol, SONIC YOUTH, as well as about a million more, not to mention a vast body of solo work. Well before O'Rourke was an in demand producer, a guest guitarist, dabbling in noise rock and Appalachia, he was a master of the drone, and this 2 part single track 7" harkens back to those days, with an amazing and beautiful arrangement of buzz and whir, of excited strings and resonating metal.
It's almost a shame the track had to be split up on a 7" as the two parts flow so perfectly into each other. Beginning with a deep resonant buzz, sounds like a guitar, but could be a harmonium, wheezing and whirring, warm and thick and lustrous, bits of feedback lace the blurred drift, over the top delicate high end melodies, float and shimmer, becoming more and more active until they seem to be driving the piece, the whole thing strangely looped and weirdly melancholy, beneath the track, deep rumbling swells pulse and throb. By the second side, the sound has gotten more abrasive, much more scraping and metal buzz, electronic streaks, the sound tangled and constantly shifting, managing to sprawl into an expanse of beautifully noisy dronemusic.
As always beautiful cover by Touch head honcho Jon Wozencroft, and like the rest in the series, probably limited.

O'ROURKE, JIM Disengage (Staaltape) 2cd 21.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.

O'ROURKE, JIM Eureka (Drag City) cd 13.98
Everyone seems to be torn between being impressed by Mr. O'Rourke's amazingly all encompassing sonic palette, or just annoyed by his short attention span. While Bad Timing was quite an unexpected and pleasant Fahey-esque surprise, Eureka finds Jim O'Rourke experimenting with the lush pop that was hinted at on the last Gastr Del Sol record. If you like the orch-pop of Cardinal and Eric Matthews, the Supertrampish stylings of the High Llamas, or the real deal: Steely Dan/Seals and Croft, then there's bound to be something here to amuse or entertain you.

O'ROURKE, JIM Eureka (Drag City) lp 13.98
Everyone seems to be torn between being impressed by Mr. O'Rourke's amazingly all encompassing sonic palette, or just annoyed by his short attention span. While Bad Timing was quite an unexpected and pleasant Fahey-esque surprise, Eureka finds Jim O'Rourke experimenting with the lush pop that was hinted at on the last Gastr Del Sol record. If you like the orch-pop of Cardinal and Eric Matthews, the Supertrampish stylings of the High Llamas, or the real deal: Steely Dan/Seals and Croft, then there's bound to be something here to amuse or entertain you.

O'ROURKE, JIM Halfway to a Threeway (Drag City) cd 10.98
Jim O'Rourke, seemingly unsatisfied with his efforts on "Bad Timing" and "Eureka", has decided to mine his new found love of Bread, America, and Steely Dan to the motherlode on this three song ep.

O'ROURKE, JIM Halfway to a Threeway (Drag City) lp 8.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Jim O'Rourke, seemingly unsatisfied with his efforts on "Bad Timing" and "Eureka", has decided to mine his new found love of Bread, America, and Steely Dan to the motherlode on this three song ep.

album cover O'ROURKE, JIM I'm Happy, And I'm Singing And A 1,2,3,4 (Editions Mego) 2cd 23.00
NOW BACK IN PRINT WITH A BONUS DISC!!! Promoted as O'Rourke's electronic glitch album back in 2001, I'm Happy, And I'm Singing, And A 1, 2, 3, 4 is finally available again, and instead of being on Mego, it's now on Editions Mego, essentially the same label, but a new revitalized version. Just like Mego's uber talented Christian Fennesz, Jim O'Rourke fuses elements of antique melodic signatures within a Powerbook generated disfiguration into complex networks of sound that retain the timbre and colour of the original sounds in spite of the digital glitch manifestation. Initially, this album is nothing more than another pleasantly playful recombination of the millenial glitch aesthetic. He applies digital treatment to an accordion to dislocate the source material with a fluctuating system of interlocking repetitive samples sounding like a digitized update of Frippertronics or even Terry Riley's time lag generator. Nice, but it's completely overwhelmed by the same idea found on the Keith Fullerton Whitman album "21:30 For Acoustic Guitar" He follows this up with some fey dinner jazz piano lines and summertime guitar picking run through gossamer digitalized syncopations. Again, nice but nothing that Stephan Mathieu, Ekkhard Ehlers, or Fennesz haven't done better. *However* if you were to stop listening to these two tracks, before getting to the 20-plus minute finale, you would miss out on one of O'Rourke's finest moments alongside the criminally overlooked Disengage and slowly antagonistic Happy Days. "And A 1, 2, 3, 4" (it appears that the song titles are just fragments of the album's title) is a beautiful digital threnody with sombre violins passing through a Feldman like alternation through a harmonic series of notes.
The second disc begins and ends with some polite digital renderings of cutie-pie pixel pointing that erupt (on the first track) in a very Mego sounding blast of digital noise and Max/MSP irritation. The first cut is a track that only lasts for about 4 minutes before the highlight of the second disc begins. "Getting The Vapors" is a gaseous 40 minute, tonal excursion of long-form digitally agitated drones that cross-pollinate the Pop Ambient ethos with the arcing structures of Charlemagne Palestine.
MPEG Stream: "I'm Happy"
MPEG Stream: "And A 1, 2, 3, 4"
MPEG Stream: "Getting The Vapors"

album cover O'ROURKE, JIM I'm Happy, And I'm Singing, And A 1,2,3,4 (Mego) cd 14.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
There are those of us at this fine institution who wish to declare open season on Jim O'Rourke, and start blasting shotgun shells at him, his bunny suit, his 'post-irony' (whatever the fuck that is), and his chameleon-like approach towards all forms of music. Such a demonstrative proclamation would have been warranted on the basis of 2001's worst album, O'Rourke's "Insignificance." Given the prevailing atmosphere of hostility towards Jim O'Rourke , I (Jim) really wanted to hate this album. I mean I really wanted to give this a shitty review. But, in trying to be as honest as possible about the music that we carry, I can't.
Promoted as his electronic glitch album, "I'm Happy, And I'm Singing, And A 1, 2, 3, 4" has been conveniently released on the Austrian electronic glitch label Mego. Just like Mego's uber talented Christian Fennesz, O'Rourke fuses elements of antique melodic signatures within a Powerbook generated disfiguration into complex networks of sound that retain the timbre and colour of the original sounds in spite of the digital glitch manifestation. Initially, this album is nothing more than another pleasantly playful recombination of the current glitch aesthetic. He applies the Supercollider treatment to an accordion to dislocate the souce material with a fluctuating system of interlocking repetitive samples sounding like a digitized update of Frippertronics or even Terry Riley's time lag generator. Nice, but is completely overwhelmed by the same idea found on the Keith Fullerton Whitman album "21:30 For Acoustic Guitar" He follows this up with some fey dinner jazz piano lines and summertime guitar picking run through gossamer digitalized syncopations. Again, nice but nothing that Stephan Mathieu, Ekkhard Ehlers, or Fennesz haven't done better.
*However* if you were to stop listening to these two tracks, before getting to the 20-plus minute finale, you would have missed one of O'Rourke's finest moments alongside the criminally overlooked "Disengage" and slowly antagonistic "Happy Days." "And A 1, 2, 3, 4" (it appears that the song titles are just fragments of the album's title) is beautiful digital threnody with sombre violins passing through a Feldman like alternation through a harmonic series of notes. While it could be said that O'Rourke is *again* mimicking another artist, he does apply an ample amount of digtal signal processing (lots of warbled tremolo, granular dispersion, etc.) offering that which I've rarely heard from Jim O'Rourke: something "new."
RealAudio clip: "I'm Happy"
RealAudio clip: "And I'm Singing"
RealAudio clip: "And A 1,2,3,4"

O'ROURKE, JIM I'm Happy, And I'm Singing, And A 1,2,3,4 (Mego) lp 14.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
There are those of us at this fine institution who wish to declare open season on Jim O'Rourke, and start blasting shotgun shells at him, his bunny suit, his 'post-irony' (whatever the fuck that is), and his chameleon-like approach towards all forms of music. Such a demonstrative proclamation would have been warranted on the basis of 2001's worst album, O'Rourke's "Insignificance." Given the prevailing atmosphere of hostility towards Jim O'Rourke , I (Jim) really wanted to hate this album. I mean I really wanted to give this a shitty review. But, in trying to be as honest as possible about the music that we carry, I can't.
Promoted as his electronic glitch album, "I'm Happy, And I'm Singing, And A 1, 2, 3, 4" has been conveniently released on the Austrian electronic glitch label Mego. Just like Mego's uber talented Christian Fennesz, O'Rourke fuses elements of antique melodic signatures within a Powerbook generated disfiguration into complex networks of sound that retain the timbre and colour of the original sounds in spite of the digital glitch manifestation. Initially, this album is nothing more than another pleasantly playful recombination of the current glitch aesthetic. He applies the Supercollider treatment to an accordion to dislocate the souce material with a fluctuating system of interlocking repetitive samples sounding like a digitized update of Frippertronics or even Terry Riley's time lag generator. Nice, but is completely overwhelmed by the same idea found on the Keith Fullerton Whitman album "21:30 For Acoustic Guitar" He follows this up with some fey dinner jazz piano lines and summertime guitar picking run through gossamer digitalized syncopations. Again, nice but nothing that Stephan Mathieu, Ekkhard Ehlers, or Fennesz haven't done better.
*However* if you were to stop listening to these two tracks, before getting to the 20-plus minute finale, you would have missed one of O'Rourke's finest moments alongside the criminally overlooked "Disengage" and slowly antagonistic "Happy Days." "And A 1, 2, 3, 4" (it appears that the song titles are just fragments of the album's title) is beautiful digital threnody with sombre violins passing through a Feldman like alternation through a harmonic series of notes. While it could be said that O'Rourke is *again* mimicking another artist, he does apply an ample amount of digtal signal processing (lots of warbled tremolo, granular dispersion, etc.) offering that which I've rarely heard from Jim O'Rourke: something "new."

album cover O'ROURKE, JIM Insignificance (Drag City) cd 14.98
Upon close investigation into the gleefully genre-jumping career of Jim O'Rourke, a recurring theme becomes glaringly obvious: O'Rourke discovers a highly distinctive sound (i.e. John Fahey, Red Krayola, John Duncan, Sea and Cake), O'Rourke begins to communicate with the authors of the aforementioned sound, O'Rourke works with authors as a collaborator, producer, or engineer, and finally O'Rourke's next album bares more than a striking similarity to the artists with whom he's just worked. There's of course nothing wrong with an genuine homage, but you have to be careful or else it can become an ironic parody at worst or a sloppy pastiche at best. For the most part, O'Rourke has spoken the language of the homage with great skill, unusual dexterity, and usually a great deal of reverence for the original.
Yet sadly, it seems that on "Insignificance" this isn't quite the case. "Insignificance" has already become known as, quite simply, Jim O'Rourke's "southern rock" album. But O'Rourke's intentions towards southern rock seem far from homage, and it seems he may have slipped drearily down the path of the ironist. The opening cut -- with its (unwittingly?) apt title "All Downhill From Here" -- is a shameless rip-off of "Sweet Home Alabama," performed as if sung by Lou Reed, completed with Steve Miller Band backing "hoo-hoo"s and a terminally shitty drum production straight out of Robert Pollard's basement. O'Rourke sheepishly denies any intentional links between this song and Lynyrd Skynyrd, which seems a bit dubious. A couple of sub-Chicago / Bruce Hornsby ballads -- that do (to be fair) have that lush sound found on his Stereolab production work -- lead into another painful pop culture reference: Edie Brickell's "What I Am". Really.
If this is 'conceptual' art, am I supposed to believe what I hear? Is this is an homage to the losers who work at Guitar Center and who have saved $5000 to record their 'great southern rock opera' at a studio where the engineer doesn't give a fuck who's in front of a microphone as long as they're paying? That's not art. That's bullshit. Jim O'Rourke needs to have his tongue surgically removed from his cheek this time. Either that or we should bow down before our copies of The Wire and proclaim that we all love the emperor's new bunny costume.
RealAudio clip: "Get A Room"
RealAudio clip: "All Downhill From Here"

O'ROURKE, JIM Insignificance (Drag City) lp 14.98
Upon close investigation into the gleefully genre-jumping career of Jim O'Rourke, a recurring theme becomes glaringly obvious: O'Rourke discovers a highly distinctive sound (i.e. John Fahey, Red Krayola, John Duncan, Sea and Cake), O'Rourke begins to communicate with the authors of the aforementioned sound, O'Rourke works with authors as a collaborator, producer, or engineer, and finally O'Rourke's next album bares more than a striking similarity to the artists with whom he's just worked. There's of course nothing wrong with an genuine homage, but you have to be careful or else it can become an ironic parody at worst or a sloppy pastiche at best. For the most part, O'Rourke has spoken the language of the homage with great skill, unusual dexterity, and usually a great deal of reverence for the original.
Yet sadly, it seems that on "Insignificance" this isn't quite the case. "Insignificance" has already become known as, quite simply, Jim O'Rourke's "southern rock" album. But O'Rourke's intentions towards southern rock seem far from homage, and it seems he may have slipped drearily down the path of the ironist. The opening cut -- with its (unwittingly?) apt title "All Downhill From Here" -- is a shameless rip-off of "Sweet Home Alabama," performed as if sung by Lou Reed, completed with Steve Miller Band backing "hoo-hoo"s and a terminally shitty drum production straight out of Robert Pollard's basement. O'Rourke sheepishly denies any intentional links between this song and Lynyrd Skynyrd, which seems a bit dubious. A couple of sub-Chicago / Bruce Hornsby ballads -- that do (to be fair) have that lush sound found on his Stereolab production work -- lead into another painful pop culture reference: Edie Brickell's "What I Am". Really.
If this is 'conceptual' art, am I supposed to believe what I hear? Is this is an homage to the losers who work at Guitar Center and who have saved $5000 to record their 'great southern rock opera' at a studio where the engineer doesn't give a fuck who's in front of a microphone as long as they're paying? That's not art. That's bullshit. Jim O'Rourke needs to have his tongue surgically removed from his cheek this time. Either that or we should bow down before our copies of The Wire and proclaim that we all love the emperor's new bunny costume.

album cover O'ROURKE, JIM Tamper (Drag City) cd 14.98
If you're looking for the smarty-pants Mayo Thompson meets Van Dyke Parks meta-pop of albums like Insignificance or Halfway To A Threeway, you will not find it on Tamper. This album dates back to 1991, when a young Jim O'Rourke was emerging as a tremendously talented avant-garde composer bridging minimalist strategies with post-industrial intensity. At the time of this release, O'Rourke's name was always linked to his work in Chicago's stalwart ensemble Illusion Of Safety. His involvement with IOS lasted for a couple of years, having worked on two of the best Illusion Of Safety albums, Probe and Water Seeks Its Own Level. Throughout his chameleon-like career, O'Rourke has always worn his influences on his sleeve. Tamper is no exception, hedging itself between the electro-acoustics of Luc Ferrari, the grand minimalism of Phill Niblock, and the techgnosis of The Hafler Trio. The three long form pieces are exquisite exercises in synthesizing electronics with long-form tonal clusters from acoustic instruments, where the goal is a dynamic compaction of frequency and timber into a unsettling drone very much like those sounds from Niblock and the Hafler Trio. Even after almost 20 years, Tamper still sounds very impressive, making us wonder if O'Rourke would ever return to style. The only downside, the record's been repackaged with some stupid squiggly artwork.
MPEG Stream: "Spirits Never Forgive"
MPEG Stream: "Ascend Through Unspoken Shadow"

O'ROURKE, JIM Terminal Pharmacy (Tzadik) cd 15.98
Ah, the Tzadik label's lovely obis. Not that they tell you what the record Sounds Like, but still: "American composer/improviser/producer Jim O'Rourke has worked with Derek Bailey, Tony Conrad, Faust, the Red Krayola and Gastr del Sol -- electro-acoustic music is the thread that connects his varied activities and comprises his main compositional effort. These pieces, two years in the making, are his finest constructions to date."

album cover O'ROURKE, JIM The Visitor (Drag City) cd 14.98
You probably can't find a musician with a wider breadth of sound, or more sonically varied releases, than Mr. Jim O'Rourke. During his vast career he's made everything from harsh noise to delightful pop, was part of one of the more influential groups of the last few decades, Gastr Del Sol, collaborated with Nurse With Wound, became a member of Sonic Youth, was at the forefront of the '90s experimental electronic renaissance, made some crunchy rock albums with his Wilco pal Jeff Tweedy, and the list just goes on and on.
These days O'Rourke has slowed down his output considerably so a new release is both much more anticipated as well as a total unknown as to which side of Jim O'Rourke will be on display. With The Visitor, O'Rourke emerges with his first new full length in many years and wow the wait was worth it! The Visitor is one long track clocking in at around 37 minutes but it almost serves as some kind of early morning daydream song cycle with a spectrum of nuanced sounds that make us think of Van Dyke Parks arranging a John Fahey album or what a more restrained James Blackshaw record might sound like.
The record starts with very hushed noodling guitar and as the piece goes on the sounds expand in richness as extra flourishes of bells, piano and other lushness flesh out O'Rourke's delicate guitar playing. Hard to avoid this clichˇ, but The Visitor really is a total journey, at first you don't really know where it's going and you're not sure if you necessarily want to follow but as the piece evolves it completely grabs a hold of your attention until you are lost in its slowly unfurling sonic voyage. Highly recommended!
MPEG Stream: "The Visitor"

album cover O'ROURKE, JIM The Visitor (Drag City) lp 17.98
You probably can't find a musician with a wider breadth of sound, or more sonically varied releases, than Mr. Jim O'Rourke. During his vast career he's made everything from harsh noise to delightful pop, was part of one of the more influential groups of the last few decades, Gastr Del Sol, collaborated with Nurse With Wound, became a member of Sonic Youth, was at the forefront of the '90s experimental electronic renaissance, made some crunchy rock albums with his Wilco pal Jeff Tweedy, and the list just goes on and on.
These days O'Rourke has slowed down his output considerably so a new release is both much more anticipated as well as a total unknown as to which side of Jim O'Rourke will be on display. With The Visitor, O'Rourke emerges with his first new full length in many years and wow the wait was worth it! The Visitor is one long track clocking in at around 37 minutes but it almost serves as some kind of early morning daydream song cycle with a spectrum of nuanced sounds that make us think of Van Dyke Parks arranging a John Fahey album or what a more restrained James Blackshaw record might sound like.
The record starts with very hushed noodling guitar and as the piece goes on the sounds expand in richness as extra flourishes of bells, piano and other lushness flesh out O'Rourke's delicate guitar playing. Hard to avoid this clichˇ, but The Visitor really is a total journey, at first you don't really know where it's going and you're not sure if you necessarily want to follow but as the piece evolves it completely grabs a hold of your attention until you are lost in its slowly unfurling sonic voyage. Highly recommended!
MPEG Stream: "The Visitor"

album cover O'ROURKE, JIM & CHRISTOPH HEEMANN Plastic Palace People Vol. 1 (Streamline) cd 14.98
Plastic Palace Alice? Let's hear it for Scott Walker, first of all; but the mad genius of baroque pop has nothing in common with the long-form stupor and granular synthesis that these stalwarts of the avant-garde produced way back in 1991. At that time, O'Rourke was a recent graduate of music school with a head full of knowledge about vangarde composition, the whole Luc Ferrari back catalogue, and an standing invitation to perform / record within Chicago's preeminent postindustrial ensemble Illusion Of Safety; and Heemann was in the process of dissolving his seminal dada-montage project H.N.A.S. The two began a correspondence that led to him travelling to Germany where they jumped into a heady collaboration in Heemann's studio. Why none of these recordings have yet to see the light of day is anybody's guess, but here's what may be the first in a series of archival recordings produced by O'Rourke and Heemann.
A buzzsaw drone gradually introduces the first of three long-form pieces of stratified minimalism. As the piece grows and blossoms, an uneasy set of harmonic overtones dominates the stage, holding a firm grasp on the psychoacoustic properties that an epic Eliane Radigue or Phill Niblock piece can achieve. The track collapses through a weird gurgling of electronics only to swell back again with a chorus of LaMonte Young inspired drone-vocalization rasped through electronics and / or coupled with sympathetic drones from a guitar, only to mutate into a spasmodic explosion of electronic granularity and sine-tone modulation. Really amazing stuff, for sure! The second track, picks up with what we'll assume to be O'Rourke's buzzing guitar drones giving way to a devilish montage of vocalized growling, suffocating gaspings for air, and other grim sound poetics that look forward simultaneously to the lupine babbling of Sudden Infant and the tortured incidental black-metal ambience of Spektr. The profound spookiness of the second track dissolves into the pools of shimmered tone and radiant beauty of the third, as something of a harbinger of where Heemann would direct the Mirror project with Andrew Chalk almost a decade later. So nice!
Again, we have to wonder why the hell did it take so long for these recordings to come out? They are simply too good to have been sitting dormant on some shelf!
MPEG Stream: "Track 1"
MPEG Stream: "Track 2"
MPEG Stream: "Track 3"

album cover O'ROURKE, JIM & CHRISTOPH HEEMANN Plastic Palace People Vol. 2 (Streamline) cd 14.98

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