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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.


P.A.R.A. Mermalien (Olde Engish Spelling Bee) lp 17.98

album cover P.G. SIX Music From The Sherman Box Series & Other Works (Amish) cd 14.98
Parlor Tricks and Porch Favorites by Tower Recordings member P.G. Six (aka Pat Gulber), released in 2001, is definitely one of our very favorite albums from amongst the current crop of acid-folk revivalists, melding trad folksiness with 4-track DIY experimentation, something like the Incredible String Band checking into the Neutral Milk Hotel! And P.G.'s 2004 follow-up, The Well of Memory, was pretty great too. So that now the Amish label has brought out another P.G. Six album has us all excited. But wait, there's no singing? And no guitar?
Yet, what we're hearing is quite lovely, late-night string shimmer... dark and delicate... just something rather more abstract (and instrumental) than what we expected. Turns out that Music From The Sherman Box Series is all -harp- music, seven tracks for various sorts of harps and effects. For instance: "#2 For Prepared Wire Strung Harp With Tremolo Pedal", "#5 For Two Bray Harps", etc. We're told P.G. recorded these to accompany an exhibition of paintings and collages (made from Nat Sherman cigarette boxes, hence the title) by artist Christine Krol, on display in a Jersey City gallery for a month last year. P.G.'s mellifluous, electronically processed strummings and pluckings of these droning, buzzing harps must have sounded wonderful as a sonic installation, looped in the gallery space, but are surely just as nice heard on this disc. We're reminded of Steven R. Smith's work as Hala Strana, and also the unfolding atmospheres of James Blackshaw's steel string improvisations. Which means, quite recommended! And it still sounds like P.G., too -- in fact Kerry, not knowing what was playing on the stereo here, correctly guessed that this was the new P.G. Six just 'cause she recalled a particularly harp-y part from Parlor Tricks, and made the connection.
As a bonus, this disc concludes with two extra tracks. From P.G. Six's long out of print 1995 debut solo 7" there's the twelve-minute, hauntingly droney and drifting "The Book Of Rayguns For 6 Electric Guitars". And then there's also "Cartographies For Piano And Electronics", a stark piece in an avant-garde, 20th Century classical style. Both fit nicely with the seven harp explorations, which themselves bring some 20th century compositional (minimalist) adventurousness to folkier-feeling music.
MPEG Stream: "#3 For Bray Harp"
MPEG Stream: "#4 For Two Wire-Strung Harps"

album cover P.G. SIX Parlor Tricks and Porch Favorites (Amish) cd 14.98
Anyone into the magical vibe of late '60s/early '70s British psych folk must get this, the absolutely lovely solo debut from multi-instrumentalist and Tower Recordings founding member Pat Gubler. Together with percussionist/producer Tim Barnes, he's taken a few years to put together this album, one that combines an old-timey Brit-folk influence (there's even an Anne Briggs cover on here, she being a UK folksinger active in the early '70s) with rural American roots music and more contemporary bedroom 4-track indie-rock experimentation. It's a beautiful, melancholic, timeless slice of avant-indie-folk-psych that has garnered (and deserves) comparisons to the work of the Incredible String Band, Nick Drake, John Fahey, even Neutral Milk Hotel...and of course Tower Recordings. Really nice!! (It's Allan's new favorite disc.) On the same label that last brought us the equally timeless (but '70s inspired) krautrock of Metabolismus.
RealAudio clip: "The Divine Invasion"
RealAudio clip: "The fallen leaves that jewel the ground"
RealAudio clip: "When I Was A Young Man"
RealAudio clip: "The Shepherd"

album cover P.G. SIX Slightly Sorry (Drag City) cd 14.98
We didn't get to reviewing this right away even though we've been big fans of P.G. Six in the past (especially his debut album Parlor Tricks and Porch Favorites, an all-time fave here) maybe just 'cause the painting of the pink Cadillac on the cover made us a little wary. Someone should be "Slightly Sorry" for that artwork! But rest assured, the music on P.G.'s Slightly Sorry is again the mellow, melodic, timeless folk-indie-pop we expect from him, the influence of his '60s/'70s British folk scene inspirations still strong (the likes of Nick Drake, Fairport, Pentangle, Incredible String Band), with a Sandy Denny/Linda Thompson element added on two of the tracks by the guest female vocals provided by his Tower Recordings bandmate Helen Rush. But we also hear some Neil Young and Byrds too for sure, 'specially on the more "band" sounding cuts, though it's the hushed and intimate tracks with just P.G.'s acoustic guitar and his calm, plain voice that thrill us the most.
This album is definitely representin' the more polished side of the P.G. Six sound, and should please those who really loved Well Of Memory, as it's not so much about the rustic 4-track DIY experimentation of his Parlor Tricks disc, let alone the harp string dronology of last year's Music From The Sherman Box Series cd.
MPEG Stream: "The Dance"
MPEG Stream: "Lily Of The West"

album cover P.G. SIX Slightly Sorry (Drag City) lp 14.98
We didn't get to reviewing this right away even though we've been big fans of P.G. Six in the past (especially his debut album Parlor Tricks and Porch Favorites, an all-time fave here) maybe just 'cause the painting of the pink Cadillac on the cover made us a little wary. Someone should be "Slightly Sorry" for that artwork! But rest assured, the music on P.G.'s Slightly Sorry is again the mellow, melodic, timeless folk-indie-pop we expect from him, the influence of his '60s/'70s British folk scene inspirations still strong (the likes of Nick Drake, Fairport, Pentangle, Incredible String Band), with a Sandy Denny/Linda Thompson element added on two of the tracks by the guest female vocals provided by his Tower Recordings bandmate Helen Rush. But we also hear some Neil Young and Byrds too for sure, 'specially on the more "band" sounding cuts, though it's the hushed and intimate tracks with just P.G.'s acoustic guitar and his calm, plain voice that thrill us the most.
This album is definitely representin' the more polished side of the P.G. Six sound, and should please those who really loved Well Of Memory, as it's not so much about the rustic 4-track DIY experimentation of his Parlor Tricks disc, let alone the harp string dronology of last year's Music From The Sherman Box Series cd.
MPEG Stream: "The Dance"
MPEG Stream: "Lily Of The West"

album cover P.G. SIX Starry Mind (Drag City) cd 14.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.

album cover P.G. SIX Starry Mind (Drag City) lp 16.98

album cover P.G. SIX The Well of Memory (Amish) cd 14.98
P.G. Six is Pat Gubler from Tower Recordings and friends, and his 2001 debut album Parlor Tricks and Porch Favorites was a stand-out DIY psych-folk album from that -- or any -- year. Melancholic, beautiful indie-folk music by someone whose battered 4-track seemed possessed by the spirit of '60s Brit-folk like the Incredible String Band and Fairport Convention. So this new one was eagerly anticipated by quite a few of us and our friends, yourself perhaps included. Verdict: maybe it's not quite as magical as his first one...but then that's often the way it goes. Parlour Tricks we knew would be hard to beat. And this IS super nice. But just a little more polished sounding. The production is less Neutral Milk Hotel than before I guess you could say, more 'pro' (maybe he got a fancier 4-track, or went digital?)... But that's not much of a complaint when the results are this heavenly. The Well Of Memory is a fine, understated album, and can only add to what we someday may call the legend of P.G. Six. It's still full of both his old-timey acoustic folk stylings and electric guitar droning; a pleasant plethora of sad, slow psychedelic songs (and one incongrous rock number). Pat's tired, lilting vocals fit in equally well with trad. folk melodies and backwards guitar effects.
MPEG Stream: "Come In/The Winter It Is Past"
MPEG Stream: "Considering The Lateness Of The Hour"
MPEG Stream: "Old Man On The Mountain"

album cover P.G. SIX Well Of Memory (Perhaps Transparent) lp 13.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Now on vinyl! P.G. Six is Pat Gubler from Tower Recordings and friends, and his 2001 debut album Parlor Tricks and Porch Favorites was a stand-out DIY psych-folk album from that -- or any -- year. Melancholic, beautiful indie-folk music by someone whose battered 4-track seemed possessed by the spirit of '60s Brit-folk like the Incredible String Band and Fairport Convention. So this new one was eagerly anticipated by quite a few of us and our friends, yourself perhaps included. Verdict: maybe it's not quite as magical as his first one...but then that's often the way it goes. Parlour Tricks we knew would be hard to beat. And this IS super nice. But just a little more polished sounding. The production is less Neutral Milk Hotel than before I guess you could say, more 'pro' (maybe he got a fancier 4-track, or went digital?)... But that's not much of a complaint when the results are this heavenly. The Well Of Memory is a fine, understated album, and can only add to what we someday may call the legend of P.G. Six. It's still full of both his old-timey acoustic folk stylings and electric guitar droning; a pleasant plethora of sad, slow psychedelic songs (and one incongrous rock number). Pat's tired, lilting vocals fit in equally well with trad. folk melodies and backwards guitar effects.
MPEG Stream: "Come In/The Winter It Is Past"
MPEG Stream: "Considering The Lateness Of The Hour"
MPEG Stream: "Old Man On The Mountain"

album cover P.H.O.B.O.S. Anoedipal (Megaton) cd 28.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.

album cover P.I.G.S. Libido (Ormolycka) cassette 5.98
Not to be confused with SF heavy noise rockers Pigs, this P.I.G.S. is a mystery, like much of the stuff we get from our pal Jason's Ormolycka label, obviously it's an acronym, that must stand for something. And here is where we usually might offer up all the possible things it stands for, but this time we're gonna skip that, mostly cuz we can't figure out one that accurately describes the grinding, crumbling, speaker shredding assault of these particular P.I.G.S. Think Merzbow, or Incapacitants, there's definitely some old school harsh noise / Japanoise worship going on here. No skree or shriek, this is not high end aural punishment, instead the sonic palette is more low end, rumbles and crunches, a roiling blackened swirl of caustic crush. In fact, it sounds a little like the tape player ate the tape, got all tangled up, and then instead of spitting it out, just got more and more tangled, and the machine got more and more angry, spewing forth a wild tangled of blacknoise. Definitely not easy listening, and only for noise nerds, so if you have a shelf full of old RRR releases and/or have paid to see a long haired Japanese guy yell into a change purse or play something that looked like a wooden plank with effects pedals nailed to it, then this will probably be right up your alley. And yeah, also pretty limited, as these Ormolycka things generally are...

album cover P.K.14 1984 (Maybe Mars) cd 12.98
ALSO ON CD!!!!
We've been reviewing tons of amazing Chinese indie rock and experimental underground rock over the last year, we even made one record by the duo White+ our Record Of The Week, but have also raved about Boyz & Girl and Dear Eloise, and if you come in the store, you'll see a Chinese Rock section overflowing with artists and titles, that we're attempting to gradually get reviewed and up on the site. One of those groups is P.K.14, one of the longest running (going on 15 years now) and most respected bands in the Chinese underground, and beyond, having won lots of awards and performed with lots of big name bands, this newest record found the band flying to the US and recording with none other than Steve Albini. But don't be expecting any sort of noise rock, P.K.14 are more like Television, or maybe the Talking Heads, their sound stripped down and a little bit angular, the vocals in particular super distinctive, a keening croon, often soaring into a near falsetto, emotional and dramatic. But the music on 1984 definitely suits Albini's aesthetic, a darkly brooding hypnorock, that at times sounds a little bit like Nirvana, at others a bit like the Pixies, the sound slipping from angular jangle to moody minimalism, the traditional rock instrumentation augmented by piano, which is often employed in weirdly angular clusters, giving the sound a dark off kilter sound. And again, this is not super underground, not especially noisy or psychedelic or krautrocky or whatever. This is basically dark moody rock music, definitely bordering on mainstream, maybe an American analogue would be Radiohead, or the Editors, or something like that. But there's definitely some excellent songcraft going on here, and the production is fantastic. The lyrics are Chinese, which makes the sound more interesting as well, but on the lyric sheet they're translated into English too, so you can (sort of) follow along. Features some super twisted intense cover art, as well as a booklet with the aforementioned lyrics in Chinese/English and liner notes!
MPEG Stream: "You And Me"
MPEG Stream: "Ice Age"
MPEG Stream: "Flowers In Hand, A Crazed Woman"
MPEG Stream: "Egyptian Rain"

album cover P.K.14 1984 (Maybe Mars) lp 17.98
We've been reviewing tons of amazing Chinese indie rock and experimental underground rock over the last year, we even made one record by the duo White+ our Record Of The Week, but have also raved about Boyz & Girl and Dear Eloise, and if you come in the store, you'll see a Chinese Rock section overflowing with artists and titles, that we're attempting to gradually get reviewed and up on the site. One of those groups is P.K.14, one of the longest running (going on 15 years now) and most respected bands in the Chinese underground, and beyond, having won lots of awards and performed with lots of big name bands, this newest record found the band flying to the US and recording with none other than Steve Albini. But don't be expecting any sort of noise rock, P.K.14 are more like Television, or maybe the Talking Heads, their sound stripped down and a little bit angular, the vocals in particular super distinctive, a keening croon, often soaring into a near falsetto, emotional and dramatic. But the music on 1984 definitely suits Albini's aesthetic, a darkly brooding hypnorock, that at times sounds a little bit like Nirvana, at others a bit like the Pixies, the sound slipping from angular jangle to moody minimalism, the traditional rock instrumentation augmented by piano, which is often employed in weirdly angular clusters, giving the sound a dark off kilter sound. And again, this is not super underground, not especially noisy or psychedelic or krautrocky or whatever. This is basically dark moody rock music, definitely bordering on mainstream, maybe an American analogue would be Radiohead, or the Editors, or something like that. But there's definitely some excellent songcraft going on here, and the production is fantastic. The lyrics are Chinese, which makes the sound more interesting as well, but on the lyric sheet are translated into English too, so you can (sort of) follow along. Very few copies of these, got them direct from the label, features some super twisted intense cover art, includes a printed inner sleeve with liner notes and lyrics in Chinese/English, and a download coupon as well!
MPEG Stream: "You And Me"
MPEG Stream: "Ice Age"
MPEG Stream: "Flowers In Hand, A Crazed Woman"
MPEG Stream: "Egyptian Rain"

album cover P.K.14 City Weather Sailing (Maybe Mars / Tenzenmen) cd 12.98
We sold a whole bunch of the newest release from this Chinese outfit, one of the longest running and most respected groups in the Chinese underground, but as we explained in that review, not so underground. Unlike a lot of the other Chinese bands we've been championing of late, P.K.14 are extremely well known, and have won many awards, and performed with big bands at huge venues, but nonetheless, that record, 1984, was a big hit around here. Recorded in the US with Steve Albini, we described that record as sounding like Television or Talking Heads, so we were curious to hear what P.K.14 sounded like earlier on, assuming it would be more raw and less polished, which in fact proved to be true, but even here, several records before their 1984 album, the band sound pretty mature, dark and brooding, their sound more akin to maybe Radiohead or The National or the Afghan Whigs.
The opener is a ballady creep, all haunting piano, crooned vox, over a bed of distant static, and laced with little bits of electronic glitchery, spidery guitar filigree and barely there percussion, a brooding bit of minimal slowcore that leads directly into something a bit more upbeat, the second track laced with violin, guitars that jangle and chime, woozy wandering basslines, a little bit angular, all building to a soaring string laden chorus, dramatic and bombastic, and sonically very much more mainstream. And while they are essentially a mainstream band, that doesn't keep them from experimenting, the whole record rife with interesting sonic oddities, little stretches of hushed guitar texture, big booming drum blowouts, buzzing guitars processed to sound like synths, programmed drum machines, weird crumbling lo-fi riffs dotting more standard sounding rock songs, in fact while the songs themselves tend toward more standard rock forms, they're all separated by weird little experimental interludes, that experimentalism finding its way into many of the songs proper. Cool stuff for sure. Not nearly as freaky and far out as much of the Chinese stuff we champion, but if you dig modern rock, and wanna check out the Chinese equivalent, and/or if you dug their 1984 record, which we reviewed a while back, give this one a try (too)!
MPEG Stream: "1"
MPEG Stream: "2"
MPEG Stream: "3"
MPEG Stream: "4"

P.O.N. (Creative Man Disc) cd 21.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Members of Ground Zero play breakneck, heavy jazzpunkfusion a là Naked City.

album cover P:ANO Brigadoon (Mint) cd 14.98
Following their warm and wonderful chamber pop album The Den, P:ano shift gears into slightly more varied moods and an occasional peppier pace with Brigadoon. They kick things off in bright Beach Boys-y pop fashion for the first two tunes. Then, with its shining female vocals, the third song comes marching in sounding like it could be a Claudia Gonson-sung Magnetic Fields song. Nice! For the fourth "He Will Come Beck To Me" [sic] they hush things down a bit into their more familiar sounding slower lushness, but then it's right back into 'Fields-esque territory with synths and programmed beats. Plus we noted that much like Stephin Merritt, they'll (consciously or not) occasionally nab a melodic or lyrical phrase from an old tune and encorporate it into their own song. For example in the album's deliciously glorious tenth song "Pure Evil", the familiar lyric "break it to them gently when you tell them that I won't be coming home again" pops up. Hmmm, perhaps it's a sly fellow-Canuck nod to Burton Cummings (of '70s Canadian classic rockers The Guess Who) who originally wrote and performed the song "Break It To Them Gently" back in 1978? As well, they lyrically reference other songs by title -- slipping in mention of old classics like "I Only Have Eyes For You", "Ten Cents A Dance", and "I Could've Danced All Night" among others. They certainly apply all shades of the pop spectrum to their music, at times bringing to mind Danielson Family, Quasi, Rufus Wainwright (particularly the final song "The True Light") and a few of those Elephant Six Collective bands such as Of Montreal, Dressy Bessy, and The Minders. In a sense, the members of this band sing and play like learned music students who graduated at the top of their class, and this is their season finale stage performance. If you think of it that way, the broad selection of styles and references seems not at all surprising. The one tune that sticks out oddly is the very highschool musical sounding fourteenth song "Sweet Sweets". While P:ano certainly draw from stage-y theatrical influences (you might recognize the album title as also being the name of the old Lerner & Loewe musical), this single song comes across as a sorta wonky contrast to the more elegantly performances on the rest of the album. Ah, but there's 21 (!) other lovely, uplifting songs on the album that more than make up for it!
MPEG Stream: "Pure Evil"
MPEG Stream: "The True Light"

album cover P:ANO The Den (Zum) cd 11.98
Warm up your chilly spring eves (at least here in SF!) with this cozy album. Vancouver's P:ano craft unassuming, pretty-pretty, lush chamber pop. This is the follow-up to their 2002 debut When It's Dark and It's Summer. It's definitely more confident and composed than its hushed, slightly shamblin' predecessor. Each song's melodies are carried mainly on... yes, piano! with some great horn and swirling string accompaniments and the gentlest of percussion. Lilting laidback male and female vocals melt sweetly like marshmallows in your hot chocolate drawing fitting comparisons to Scottish dreamies The Delgados. Recommended.
MPEG Stream: "L.D."
MPEG Stream: "The Worst Thing Ever You Could Do"

album cover P:ANO When It's Dark And It's Summer (Hive-Fi / Zum Media) cd 11.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Shh! It's the debut P:ano album, and it's a quiet one! This Vancouver, BC-based group led by Nick Krgovich are hushed and somber, but not depressing at all, with muffled piano, sad drums foregrounded, non-cloying cello, and earnestly tooted horns. The dusty, reminiscing tone is quite similar to the Nashville collective Lambchop, and it also recalls the first, stellar Archer Prewitt (Coctails) album. The delicate, mostly male vocals totally remind me of Alan Sparhawk -- and that's not the only Low comparison that's appropriate with this very Low-inspired outfit, although P:ano is a little more sing song-y than Low is, a little lighter -- bittersweet instead of spooky, if you know what I mean. A trifle shambolic and about to fall apart, in a good way. A pleasant debut.
RealAudio clip: "All of November, Most of October"
RealAudio clip: "The Country Scene"

album cover PAAVOHARJU Laulu Laakson Kukista (Fonal) cd 17.98
Many of us can still remember the exact moment three summers ago that the Finnish group Paavoharju entered our lives. Their debut album Yha Hamaraa seemed to have come out of nowhere and soon became one of those records that we turned to again and again for an enveloping aural escape. So needless to say we've been anxiously anticipating this follow-up, and we're thrilled to say it's finally here. And in a day and age where quality control has been thrown out the window, it's actually pretty refreshing to find that there are still some folks out there with the patience and commitment to take their time in crafting their art, ensuring that it will live on in our ears and hearts for years and years to come. Paavoharju have done just that with their follow-up to Yha Hamaraa. With the subtly familiar yet fresh sounding Laulu Laakson Kukista, they have somehow raised the bar even higher, with a record that truly inhabits its own world. A place that is filled with flashbacks to a romantic and tragic old world, an oceanic daydream and a wide aerial view of lush green open fields where down below a secret magical world exists. It's actually quite tricky to try to describe the sound of this record as almost every song offers another view of their deliciously unique soundworld. Listening to Laulu Laakson Kukista is sort of like watching a Guy Maddin film, as the songs and sounds on the album feel as if they are at times in classic grainy black & white and other times in the most stunning and vibrant technicolor. There are songs that you could actually kind of maybe dance to ("Kevatrumpu"), songs that should be the theme of the Olympics the next time it's in Finland ("Uskallan"), and songs that conjure images of lost fairytales, musical radio plays, epic voyages, fantastical moments and interrupted daydreams.
It's actually so damn rare these days for a group to truly have its own sound but you just can't really compare Paavoharju to almost anyone else around. It might have been subconscious but after listening to this record several times we started hanging out a lot with David Bowie's album Low. As the otherworldly second side of that album brings us to a similar space as Laulu. We also imagine Kate Bush, Bjork, Robert Wyatt, Edith Piaf and Kurt Weill at the twilight of their careers, transported into the middle of nowhere in Northeast Europe, and dosed with some magic mushrooms before entering the forest to record a record together.
It's been a long while since a new recording has captured our imagination and allowed us to get as lost in its vision as this one has. Once again Paavoharju have created a collection of magical sounds that will continue to keep us warmly embraced and mesmerized with each subsequent listen!
PS: The vinyl came and went and we're waiting for more...
MPEG Stream: "Sumuvirsi"
MPEG Stream: "KevŠtrumpu"
MPEG Stream: "KirkonvŠki"

album cover PAAVOHARJU Laulu Laakson Kukista (Fonal) lp 17.98
Finally on vinyl!
Many of us can still remember the exact moment three summers ago that the Finnish group Paavoharju entered our lives. Their debut album Yha Hamaraa seemed to have come out of nowhere and soon became one of those records that we turned to again and again for an enveloping aural escape. So needless to say we've been anxiously anticipating this follow-up, and we're thrilled to say it's finally here. And in a day and age where quality control has been thrown out the window, it's actually pretty refreshing to find that there are still some folks out there with the patience and commitment to take their time in crafting their art, ensuring that it will live on in our ears and hearts for years and years to come. Paavoharju have done just that with their follow-up to Yha Hamaraa. With the subtly familiar yet fresh sounding Laulu Laakson Kukista, they have somehow raised the bar even higher, with a record that truly inhabits its own world. A place that is filled with flashbacks to a romantic and tragic old world, an oceanic daydream and a wide aerial view of lush green open fields where down below a secret magical world exists. It's actually quite tricky to try to describe the sound of this record as almost every song offers another view of their deliciously unique soundworld. Listening to Laulu Laakson Kukista is sort of like watching a Guy Maddin film, as the songs and sounds on the album feel as if they are at times in classic grainy black & white and other times in the most stunning and vibrant technicolor. There are songs that you could actually kind of maybe dance to ("KevŠtrumpu"), songs that should be the theme of the Olympics the next time it's in Finland ("Uskallan"), and songs that conjure images of lost fairytales, musical radio plays, epic voyages, fantastical moments and interrupted daydreams.
It's actually so damn rare these days for a group to truly have its own sound but you just can't really compare Paavoharju to almost anyone else around. It might have been subconscious but after listening to this record several times we started hanging out a lot with David Bowie's album Low. As the otherworldly second side of that album brings us to a similar space as Laulu. We also imagine Kate Bush, Bjork, Robert Wyatt, Edith Piaf and Kurt Weill at the twilight of their careers, transported into the middle of nowhere in Northeast Europe, and dosed with some magic mushrooms before entering the forest to record a record together.
It's been a long while since a new recording has captured our imagination and allowed us to get as lost in its vision as this one has. Once again Paavoharju have created a collection of magical sounds that will continue to keep us warmly embraced and mesmerized with each subsequent listen!
PS: The vinyl came and went and we're waiting for more...
MPEG Stream: "Sumuvirsi"
MPEG Stream: "KevŠtrumpu"
MPEG Stream: "KirkonvŠki"

album cover PAAVOHARJU Uskallan (Type) 7" 6.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
We love so much music coming out of Finland these days. Last year Paavoharju's debut Yha Hamaraa on Fonal Records charmed us silly. If you haven't heard it yet, by golly you'd better get with the program! So we were mighty excited to hear that the group has returned with a 2-song vinyl 7", allowing us another fleeting glimpse into their unique gloriously hazy dream world. Side A features an enchanting blurry folk number with male vocals, while Side B has a delicate, contemplative instrumental. It seems almost cruel to release this group's music in such a short format, for their music is so immersive it's utterly addictive. More please.

album cover PAAVOHARJU Yha Hamaraa (Fonal) cd 17.98
Oh how we adore the Finnish label Fonal Records -- home to the likes of Kemialliset Ystavat, Islaja, Kiila and Es. And now, won't you please kindly welcome the newest addition to the Fonal roster, Paavoharju! We can say that that welcoming 'em is not such a difficult thing to do 'cause they sure do make some wonderful music! In fact, Cup (and Jim for that matter) has listened to it almost every day since its release. It's true!
Note: We don't want to deny anyone the pristine 'first listen' magic that we experienced. We can attest that it was a sheer delight packed with many surprises, and our fondness has only grown with each listen. So if you want your introductory spin to be 'pure', please be forewarned that this review contains what some might call spoilers... that means stop reading now!
In many ways Paavoharju can be likened to fellow enchanting Finnish artists Lau Nau and Fonal labelmates Islaja, but their finely detailed yet loosely strung music is considerably more melted and collaged and electronic. Listening to Yha Hamaraa is almost like eavesdropping on a dream... or having someone else's heartbreaking memories come back to hazily haunt you. Sounds, voices and melodies drift in and out of focus, occasionally overlapping and seeping into one another. Sometimes it seems like you're listening to a rickety old radio with the dial set between stations so that the sounds somehow magically fit together. Odd faintly familiar elements make their presence felt such as in the ninth song where the male vocal melody brought to mind a twisted folk (and of course very Finnish) version of "Stairway To Heaven". The swooping, trebly female vocals find their own special place between Indian film music singers and the Southeast Asian voices that surface on the similarly (un)structured Sublime Frequencies travelogue field recording compilations. And reference must be made to Bjork as well! Now after having read this far in our review, you might find the very first track with its swell of distorted static-y noise to be somewhat unexpected, disorienting even, but we encourage you to go with it (and with us). Allow the wash of sounds to transport you into Paavoharju's intoxicating world. Completely and utterly breathtaking.
MPEG Stream: "Aamunuringon Tuntuinen"
MPEG Stream: "Vitivalkoinen"
MPEG Stream: "Kuljin Kauas"

album cover PAAVOHARJU Yha Hamaraa (Fonal) lp 21.00
NOW AVAILABLE ON VINYL!!! Oh how we adore the Finnish label Fonal Records -- home to the likes of Kemialliset Ystavat, Islaja, Kiila and Es. And now, won't you please kindly welcome the newest addition to the Fonal roster, Paavoharju! We can say that that welcoming 'em is not such a difficult thing to do 'cause they sure do make some wonderful music! In fact, Cup and Jim have both listened to it almost every day since its release. It's true!
Note: We don't want to deny anyone the pristine 'first listen' magic that we experienced. We can attest that it was a sheer delight packed with many surprises, and our fondness has only grown with each listen. So if you want your introductory spin to be 'pure', please be forewarned that this review contains what some might call spoilers... that means stop reading now!
In many ways Paavoharju can be likened to fellow enchanting Finnish artists Lau Nau and Fonal labelmates Islaja, but their finely detailed yet loosely strung music is considerably more melted and collaged and electronic. Listening to Yha Hamaraa is almost like eavesdropping on a dream... or having someone else's heartbreaking memories come back to hazily haunt you. Sounds, voices and melodies drift in and out of focus, occasionally overlapping and seeping into one another. Sometimes it seems like you're listening to a rickety old radio with the dial set between stations so that the sounds somehow magically fit together. Odd faintly familiar elements make their presence felt such as in the ninth song where the male vocal melody brought to mind a twisted folk (and of course very Finnish) version of "Stairway To Heaven". The swooping, trebly female vocals find their own special place between Indian film music singers and the Southeast Asian voices that surface on the similarly (un)structured Sublime Frequencies travelogue field recording compilations. And reference must be made to Bjork as well! Now after having read this far in our review, you might find the very first track with its swell of distorted static-y noise to be somewhat unexpected, disorienting even, but we encourage you to go with it (and with us). Allow the wash of sounds to transport you into Paavoharju's intoxicating world. Completely and utterly breathtaking.
MPEG Stream: "Aamunuringon Tuntuinen"
MPEG Stream: "Vitivalkoinen"
MPEG Stream: "Kuljin Kauas"

PABLO, AUGUSTUS Dub, Reggae & Roots From The Melodica King (Ocho) cd 18.98
Excellent Augustus Pablo collection, 21 tracks in all, some collaborations with King Tubby and Lee Perry.

album cover PABLO, AUGUSTUS Dubbing In A Africa (Get Down) cd 14.98

PABLO, AUGUSTUS Dubbing In A Africa (Abraham) lp 13.98

PABLO, AUGUSTUS Dubbing With The Don (Jamaican ) cd 16.98
Collection of 15 previously unreleased dubs by melodica master Augustus Pablo and taken from sessions recorded in the 1970's. A few of the tracks here are alternate versions of dubs that Pablo did with King Tubby on the "Meets Rockers Uptown" album, but most of the tracks here are completely new and all of them were taken directly from the master tapes making this some clean, pristine dub.
RealAudio clip: "Wayout Rockers"

PABLO, AUGUSTUS East Of The River Nile (Shanachie) cd 16.98

PABLO, AUGUSTUS East Of The River Nile (Wallboomers) lp 17.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.

album cover PABLO, AUGUSTUS El Rocker's (Pressure Sounds) cd 17.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
17 tracks. Classic '70s "Rockers" cuts with that "Far East" reggae sound by this recently-departed melodica-wielding genius. Most of us here are not HUGE reggae fans, but have been trying harder as of late to get into the good stuff, and Augustus Pablo gets our "ordinarily-wary-of-reggae-but-this-is-really-ok" seal of approval.

album cover PABLO, AUGUSTUS El Rocker's (Pressure Sounds) lp 17.98
17 tracks. Classic '70s "Rockers" cuts with that with that "Far East" reggae sound by this recently-departed melodica-wielding genius. Most of us here are not HUGE reggae fans, but have been trying harder as of late to get into the good stuff, and Augustus Pablo gets our "ordinarily-wary-of-reggae-but-this-is-really-ok" seal of approval.

album cover PABLO, AUGUSTUS In Fine Style (Pressure Sounds) cd 17.98
Nice collection of rare 7" and 12" mixes from melodica master Augustus Pablo, recorded between 1973 and 1979. It may concern some Pablo neophytes that most of the tracks here were issued as both 7" and 12" discomixes and even alternate versions of both, so that what you get is a great deal of rhythm repetition. Disregarding this redundancy in rhythm you still get 7 long tracks -- all rare and great -- and for what it's worth, if you can deal with that fact (such is life with Jamaican comps) the arrangements in each mix are completely different. Comes packaged with beautiful full color booklet which includes liner notes contextual to each rhythm family.
MPEG Stream: "Far East"
MPEG Stream: "Mountain View Dub (Version One)"

album cover PABLO, AUGUSTUS Ital Dub (Get On Down) cd 16.98

MPEG Stream: "The Big Rip-Off"
MPEG Stream: "Shake Up"
MPEG Stream: "Shake Down"

album cover PABLO, AUGUSTUS Ital Dub (Get On Down) lp 15.98

MPEG Stream: "The Big Rip-Off"
MPEG Stream: "Shake Up"
MPEG Stream: "Shake Down"

album cover PABLO, AUGUSTUS Jah Inspiration (Recall) 2cd 16.98
Low priced double disc anthology of Augustus Pablo, apparently part of a series of anthologies of Jamaican artists being released by Recall. Each collection comes with a fair amount of biographical notes on the artist and generally make good starting points if you don't have anything already. 30 dub tracks by the melodica king grace this collection, the second disc almost completely dominated by King Tubby's productions but the set in general seems to span his career from the early seventies on through the nineties. There aren't any rareties on here and a good deal of later recordings so if you have plenty of Augustus Pablo's recordings you're better off passing this one up but not a bad place to start for the beginner.
RealAudio clip: "Magnificent Dub"
RealAudio clip: "Pablo In Black Ark"

PABLO, AUGUSTUS King Tubby Meets Rockers Uptown (Deluxe Edition) (Shanachie) cd 16.98

PABLO, AUGUSTUS Meets Lee Perry at the Black Ark (Rhino) cd 16.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.

PABLO, AUGUSTUS The Mystic World of Augustus Pablo: The Rockers Story (Shanachie) cd + dvd 54.00

PABLO, AUGUSTUS This Is... (Above Rock) cd 14.98
Classic reggae album from 1974, now reissued with bonus tracks.

PABLO, PETEY Still Writing In My Diary: 2nd Entry (Jive) cd 16.98

album cover PACCHU, FRICARA Stories Of The Old (Fonal) 7"+book 17.98
FINNISH MUSIC FREEKS HEADS UP!!! A brand new release from a name you may not recognize, but you definitely know some of the bands he spent time in: Avarus, Anaksimandros, Maniac's Dream...
Fricara Pacchu may have a pretty illustrious Finnish underground musical resume, but weirdly enough, he began his musical career as a rapper, though you'd be hard pressed to tell from this, his debut solo 7".
And while you can definitely hear some of the above mentioned bands in these three songs, the sound is something else entirely, much more jangly and poppy, three little chunks of druggy, dreamy psychedelic confection. The opening track has a bit of a Krautrocky groove, some Eastern sounding sitar-like buzz, and swirling clouds of trippy FX, but they're wrapped around some sunshine-y jangle, it's like Avarus playing Olivia Tremor Control. The second track is more lo-fi and druggy, a gorgeously plodding tripped out drift of woozy piano, still MORE effects, spidery guitars, all coated in morning dew and dappled with sunlight.
The flipside is a bit less poppy, a sort of noisy soft industrial, lots of smeared grind and clank, but piled atop lovely melodies and hazy ambience, and distant moaning guitars, and with a strange staticky rhythm holding it all together. It definitely reminds us of our favorite Finnish free folk, but also like the Storm Bugs or some lost recording you might hear on one of those deluxe Vinyl On Demand reissues. A gorgeous slab of damaged experimental psychpop jangle, we can hardly wait for a full length.
The packaging is extra special. Included with the full color sleeve is a thick eye popping book of Pacchu's artwork, 7" x 4", stapled but on thick matte paper, drawings, collages, photos, squiggles, snakes, motorcycles, garish colors, intricate patterns, negative images and more. Folks who dug the Glomp books of Finnish art will definitely dig this too, and the images in the booklet seem like what you might see if you closed your eyes and played the record. The perfect visual analogue for Pacchu's druggy trippy soundworld.
Funnily enough, both Allan and Andee independently reviewed this, each unaware that the other was also writing a review. Whoops. The above is Andee's, below is Allan's for comparison (turns out their duplication of effort was remarkably similar, which is as it should be we suppose!):
First off, that cover art makes this pretty hard to resist. A simple painting of a weird-looking furry cat sitting next to a daisy... with the artist's incongruously black-metal suggestive logo floating overhead. That this 3 track, 11 minute 7" is from Finland, and on the ever-reliable Fonal label, is also a good thing. Fricara Pacchu being a member of such illustrious underground Finnish outfits as Anaksimandros, Avarus, and Maniacs Dream is further reason to be interested. But the proof's really in the pudding, or in our business, the music, so let's take a listen....
First track "Bianca's Beachparty" is an uptempo, uplifting utterly psychedelic instrumental home-recorded techno-disco number that immediately makes us think BOREDOMS. Crunchy, burbling synths zig and zag over a steady, insistent rhythm. Magic. We're sold. The other two tracks, "Upsidedown Wind" and "Text-Message From Beyond", are equally cool, woozy instrumental space-outs, not quite so "techno" tho. And what's also pretty cool is the 42-page, full-color booklet of Pacchu's cartoon/comic/collage art that comes with this 7"! Lots of insane eyeball-joy to be had here. If you liked those Glomp books we've listed, you'll dig this. This 7" package is presumably limited, we have just a few and may or may not be able to get more...

album cover PACHA, FEDAYI From The Oriental School Of Dub (Hammer Bass) cd 16.98

album cover PACHA, FEDAYI The 99 Names Of Dub (Hammerbass) cd 14.98
This isn't the latest release by Armenian dub experimentalist, Fedayi Pacha, but we were intrigued by the cover of this one, a goggled arab nomad brandishing what looks like a firearm (but what could also be a horn or a hookah) that we decided to check this one out first. And it's pretty awesome! We're generally a little wary of electronica with Asian or Middle Eastern influences, always reminding us of that nineties Asian underground scene that got a little too pervasive and cheesy really quick. Yet Pacha manages to reign in that sound, using traditional Middle Eastern instruments and influences with a dark and heavy dub sheen adding layers of complexity, mystery and subtle dread to the proceedings, reminding us of what groups like Muslimgauze used to do best. If you are looking for a different and interesting take on classic dub, this doesn't disappoint!
MPEG Stream: "Apricot Wood"
MPEG Stream: "Bhayrawi Steppa"
MPEG Stream: "Bhayravi Dub"
MPEG Stream: "Londoninstan"

PACHEKO Tryouts / Bi-Polar Bear (LoDubs) 12" 4.98

PACHEKO / DJ 100MADO Figure 8 / Trance 8 (Lo Dubs) 12" + cd-r 9.98

album cover PACIFIC RATE TEMPLE BAND / MONOPOLY CHILD STAR SEARCHERS split (Pacific City) cassette 9.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
We only have a dozen or so of these, and it's unclear whether we can get more of these, so we won't bother going into too much detail. A split release, from the Skaters' Pacific City label, this one featuring new aQ faves the Monopoly Child Star Searchers on one side, the new to us Pacific Rate Temple Band, who we will assume is another Skaters side project.
The MCSS are in fine form as always, creating a sound so fantastically alien, we're still unable to pinpoint how much of it is played, how much is sampled, what instruments are used. Regardless, it's a gorgeously tripped out tribal dronejam. With way more guitar (?) this time around keening and waiting over that distinctive Monopoly murky tribal rhythm. The sound sometimes hiccup when the tape jogs, but it only adds to the weirdness. Warbly and dizzying and another recording towards convincing us we just might dig MCSS more than the Skaters!
Pacific Rate Temple Band have a similarly hazy sound, but the percussion is more distant or buried, instead the focus is on long drawn out high end tones, a sort of upper register skree, layered notes, overlapping tones, all shifting and beating subtly against each other, very primal and tribal, sun dappled and shimmering. It almost sounds like a high end remix of the other side, or if it were possible, the two sides played simultaneously would probably sound amazing.
Either way, this is some gorgeous stuff, and is of course limited, and again we only have a dozen, so be warned...

album cover PACIFIC U.V. Longplay 2 (Warm) cd 13.98

MPEG Stream: "Alarmist"
MPEG Stream: "Need"
MPEG Stream: "Tremelo"

album cover PACIFIC UV s/t (Warm) cd ep 10.98

MPEG Stream: "Know"
MPEG Stream: "L.A.P.D. Vs. N.Y.P.D. (Eluvium Remix)"

album cover PACIONE, ADAM Dobranoc (Elevator Bath) picture disc 17.98
Adam Pacione's blissed ambience has quietly enthralled us over many years now; and he continues his relationship with the exceptional Elevator Bath label, who has issued this wondrous album through an ongoing series of picture discs that previously included work by Rick Reed, our own Jim Haynes, and Dale Lloyd. Pacione claims a bunch of sources for Dobranoc, including guitar, field recordings, analogue synth, Moog filters, and shortwave radio. He seems intent on extracting particular, harmonious colors from each of those materials and working them into a monochromatic blur of softened dronescaping and hushed ambience. The faintest of half-melodies work through Pacione's stately compositions; and it's easy to become lost in these extended moments on Dobranoc. Throughout, Pacione streams a series of delicate textures that could be snow coming through the radio, or it could be a light shower of rain that settles behind much of Pacione's sustained tonal flutterings. No matter the source, the slight abrasions of these sounds act as a ghostly counterpoint to the purity that Pacione gets out of his drones. The resulting wanderings through his radiant soundfields have much of the sense of mystery that Zoviet France managed on Shadow Thief Of The Sun or that emerged from the more minimal explorations of Stars Of The Lid. The picture disc features two blurred macro-lens images sporting oversaturated colors abstracted through the lens; these are suitable visuals to accompany Pacione's ethereal work. Limited to 268 copies.

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