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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.


R Humps (Radon) cd 13.98

album cover R.E.M. Accelerate (Warner Bros) cd 17.98
While so much of the mainstream press surrounding this new R.E.M. record offers up phrases like 'the return of R.E.M.' the truth is that R.E.M. have really been a rare example of a band who has sold millions of records and reached the highest kind of success a rock n roll band can achieve, while still continuing to make quality music throughout their entire career. Yes, their last outing Around The Sun was their weakest to date, but many of us here have loved other recent records by them like Up and Reveal. Of course probably everyone at AQ has an early R.E.M. record that they still hold dear to their hearts. Accelerate is for sure the most rocking and 'loud' R.E.M. record in many years, probably since Monster. But we're not always sure if we need R.E.M to totally rock anymore, some of the more subtle and textured atmospheric pop they were creating on Up and Reveal was really exciting, innovative and even rivaled indie mainstays like Yo La Tengo. Stipe and company always know their away around a song and if you like your R.E.M. with guitars turned up high and the rock on full throttle you will find lots to like on Accelerate. While there are moments that can feel a bit forced, and the more laid back tracks tending to please our ears the most, you have to give R.E.M credit as most of their peers who began in the early '80s either faded away or began making records that were totally embarrassing and cringeworthy, and while Accelerate is no Murmer or Reckoning, it's another strong and worthwhile album from one of the better bands of the last three decades.
MPEG Stream: "Supernatural Superserious"
MPEG Stream: "Houston"
MPEG Stream: "Horse To Water"

album cover R.E.M. Around The Sun (Warner) cd 16.98
With Around The Sun, R.E.M.'s album discography reaches a baker's dozen and they start it off with a total heartstring pulling, major motion picture soundtrack-ready song "Leaving New York". Is this how far they've come (or more specifically, how far they've strayed) from their early days? Apart from the presence of Stipe's unmistakable voice, these songs are for the most part faceless. When taken on its own for what it is, it's really not that, uhh, bad. They've simply become an extreme example of 'mellowing with age' (others might use the less kind word 'bland'). Newer R.E.M. fans will probably still find plenty to love on Around The Sun, but old schoolers might doze off after a few songs. As if to spice things up, Q-Tip drops in to lend some vocals on one song "The Outsiders", but they seem jarring and out of place -- sorta like when your ol' Uncle Louie tries to get hip with the kids by donning some ass-draggin' pants and a backwards baseball cap. It just doesn't fit now, does it?
MPEG Stream: "Leaving New York"
MPEG Stream: "The Outsiders"

album cover R.E.M. Collapse Into Now (Warner Bros.) cd 17.98

album cover R.E.M. Collapse Into Now (Warner Bros.) cd 17.98

album cover R.E.M. Collapse Into Now (Warner Bros.) lp 26.00

album cover R.E.M. Collapse Into Now (Warner Bros.) lp 26.00

R.E.M. Reveal (Warner) cd 17.98

album cover R.O.T. L'Ecurie (KRAAK) lp 10.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Warehouse find! We've been cleaning house and found a handful of this awesome record from five years ago. Now at a sale price.
First vinyl release from this mysterious Belgian free music collective. Recorded in various locations, abandoned churches, old factories and the like, R.O.T. unfurl dark and murky soundscapes, clouds of electric skitter and rumbling outer space interference. L'Ecurei is a dark ambient trawl through some creepy, dimly lit soundworld of campfired crackle and feeding back guitars, transmitted through a thick haze of abstract murmur, clattering percussion, haunting whirs and random bits of rumble and low end hum. Sounds like a very stoned Starfuckers jamming at the bottom of an emptied swimming pool, or like an alien army of sentient music making machines left to hum and rattle and drone until their batteries slowly run out. Really cool.

album cover R.Y.N. Archaic Techniques Of Ecstacy (Equation) lp 15.98
BACK IN STOCK! And way cheaper than when we first listed this ($12 less)!!!
Super deluxe lp from these architects of grim drone and black ambience, after a gorgeous Drone Records 7", and two full lengths, Astral Death and Cosmic Birth, both brimming with dark waves of glacial crush and blurred abstract shimmer, comes Archaic Techniques Of Ecstacy, another fantastic exploration into dark sonic depths and empty black space.
In the past we've compared these guys to Sunroof!, SUNNO))) and Wolf Eyes, and it's always worth noting that R.Y.N. includes a member of UK doomdrone heavyweights Marzuraan, but R.Y.N. are definitely their own beast, unafraid to deviate dramatically from 'their sound', or to take that sound and pull it apart only to reassemble it into something even darker and more abstract. Which is sort of what seems to be happening on Archaic Techniques Of Ecstacy, two side long tracks that creep and drift, that ooze and crawl, a haunting collection of muted clatter, and creaking industrial ambience, like a field recording of some abandoned mining colony in the middle of nowhere, the wind shifting bits of metal, the resultant clang and clatter, groan and hum strangely musical. Long streaks of buzzing whir, like an airplane passing overhead, way off in the distance, the shimmer of soft breezes, the various elements casting flickering shadows, moonlit and menacing. Eventually the sounds coalesce into something more dronelike, a raw, minimal, layered bit of lowercase rumble, but infused with all manner of smeared texture and deep subterranean hum.
The flipside is even more harrowing, a soft squall of dense tones and blackened reverberations, a whirling swirling black hole of sound, metallic buzz muted into greyed streaks, laced into and layered over an endless abyss of abject minimal whir, a roiling churning sea of slowed down chimes, or blurred vibrations, or melted tones, like a black sonic cloud eating away at the very fabric of its surroundings, a crumbling grim decay rendered in sound, fantastically haunting and totally mesmerizing.
As with all Equation stuff, the packaging is incredible, a cool 3 panel dark brown on light brown fold over jacket, with a super heavy stickered inner sleeve, as well as a handful of inserts on nice thick textured paper liner notes, woodcuts, and of course LIMITED to 233 COPIES, each one hand numbered. So nice.

album cover R.Y.N. Cosmic Birth (Turgid Animal) cd 7.00
**SALE **SALE* *SALE**
We were pretty into the R.Y.N 7" we reviewed a while back on the mighty Drone Records label. But this is the first full length we've gotten our hands on (apparently there's another companion full length released earlier this year) and it's pretty amazing. Huge tectonic slabs of glacial doomic drone, equal parts Sunroof!, Sunn 0))), Wolf Eyes, deep grinding low end, shimmering black expanses of churning, washed out murk, blurred and smeared into apocalyptic dirgescapes. Deep dense and ominous, but strangely pretty as well. What we didn't know until quite recently, was that R.Y.N. features the man behind long time aQ faves Marzuraan, which makes sense when you think about it, as most of the R.Y.N record sounds like it could be the early stages of a Marzuraan album, or more accurately, a Marzuraan record with all the metal and pummel removed, no vocals, no buzzing downtuned guitars, just the blackened shadows beneath, and the guitars that DO surface, are blurred into long sheets of undulating washed out muted buzz, wreathed in sheets of feedback, often building to high end symphonies that threaten the very fabric of your inner ear, before slowly subsiding into something much more tranquil and dronelike. And these aren't simple tones either, these are rough edged crumbling sonic expanses, rife with metallic buzz, haunting overtones, layered and dense, a sound active and ALIVE, a burning buzz that often sounds like it's barely being restrained. Often slipping into something soft and smooth, drifting in the distance, lulling the listener before exploding into a sound much more fierce, white hot and glimmering violently like a collision between two sonic suns, with the tracks that follow, like the aftermath, long glowing streaks of sound, unfurling in an endless expanse of blackness, peppered with soft focus glimmers, and barely audible rumbles.
The sound of R.Y.N. manages to shift from krautrocky new age to post industrial black ambience and back again, often finding a sonic space right in between that we probably didn't think even existed.
By now, it should be obvious if this is your thing, but here's a few other names, that if found in your collection, probably speaks to the likelihood that you need this: Atavist, Hlidolf, Encomiast, Troum, Blue Sabbath Black Cheer, Fear Falls Burning, Expo '70, Half Makeshift, Sorc'Henn, Xela.
MPEG Stream: "Cosmic Birth"
MPEG Stream: "Brain Pictures"
MPEG Stream: "Catacombs"

album cover R.Y.N. Whistle And I'll Come To You / A Warning To The Curious (Drone) 7" 9.98
We love Drone records. And their series of ultra limited, hand assembled 7"s. There's even a forthcoming 2cd on Andee's tUMULt label collecting a handful of the early long out of print 7"s. We can only ever manage to get a tiny handful of these singles since they're so limited, but when we do we try to list them, and it's definitely lucky for the tiny handful of you who are quick on the buy-it-now trigger. Some of the best drone and dark ambient music around.
R.Y.N. deliver a thick machinelike whir, like a slightly more industrial Sunroof!, a mighty metallic drone, buzzing and reverberating like an army of metallic resonators, close listening reveals all sorts of sonic color and hidden melody. The flipside takes the industrial drone from the first side and submerges it in thick dark water, a glimmering, murky and gauzy underwater sonic journey. Nice.
First Edition. LIMITED TO 300 COPIES! Clear purple vinyl. Multicolored kaleidoscopic full color cover, with a black and metallic silver ink insert.

album cover R/R COSEBOOM Beneath Trembling Lanterns (Dynamophone) cd 13.98
We've got a couple more fine releases from Dynamophone Records, the SF indie label we were raving about last list (also see: Balustrade Ensemble, Halou, Po, Pornopop, A Lily, Curium, and Disinterested)! Beneath Trembling Lanterns begins with the distant peal and tinkle of bells and glassy chimes. An enchanted beckoning. Ms Coseboom's cooed vocals are quite akin to retro sugar of Julee Cruise or the womanly knowingness of Jane Siberry. However, the album's overall impression is more modern a la Lamb or Portishead -- a beautiful blend of old and new sounds, styles and instrumentation. Sweet, soft, slow and soothing.
MPEG Stream: "Visitor Hummingbird"
MPEG Stream: "Little Dust Wing"

album cover R/S ONE Snow Mud Rain (Erstwhile) cd 14.98

album cover RA Ev.Panic Redone (Planet Mu) cd 10.98

MPEG Stream: "Ev.Panic (Original)"
MPEG Stream: "Ev. Panic (Venetian Snares 3rd X Thry 3v3rything Rmx)"

album cover RA RA RIOT The Rhumb Line (Barsuk) cd 14.98
Ever since Death Cab For Cutie made the leap to a major label, it seems that everyone's been waiting to see what new band on Barsuk fills that indie void. While Ra Ra Riot do have a similarly earnest and sensitive poppy vibe, their delivery is much more peppy and their brand of pop has more chamber undertones and classic power pop chops that the more classic indie rock sounds of DCFC. But judging on the number of folks that had been hounding us to get this in stock after their sold out show at the most recent Noise-Pop fest they may soon be glowing in some bigtime popularity. We hear lots of Elvis Costello and some of the songs sound like The Strokes covering Arcade Fire. We give them some bonus points for covering Kate Bush's "Suspended In Gaffa". Not breaking any new ground but certainly delivering catchy tunes in a fine tradition, and who knows, they might just be the next big thing?
MPEG Stream: "Ghost Under Rocks"
MPEG Stream: "Dying Is Fine"

album cover RAAGNAGROK Man Woman Birth Death Infinity (Lotus House) cd-r 8.98
There's a crazy story behind this record supposedly, something about a mysterious package, containing some strange jewel, one that when exposed to certain frequencies would 'sing', emitting fantastic tones, the jewel itself resilient to all manner of abuse, according to the notes, "its lusterless surface could not be broken." Not sure what that has to do with the record itself, we were imagining that perhaps the conceit was that the tones on this record were produced by that strange object, but regardless of that story's veracity, the music itself, created by this duo, is suitably mysterious and mesmerizing on it's own. A heady, collection of lysergic spaced out psychedelic dronemusic, crafted from guitars, synths and electric sitar, each track a slow burn sonic smolder, long tones, minimal pulses, hushed and rhythmic, total kosmische bliss out, fans of Expo 70 and Tangerine Dream, and all the rest of the sonic space rock explorers, Man Woman Death Birth Infinity is another vehicle in which to escape the bonds of this earth, of this time, and this universe, immerse yourself in these otherworldly sounds, and drift heavenward, floating atop streams of ionic pulses, of tangled psych-drone melodies, of thick, pulsating drones, some of the tracks here anchored by super distorted rhythms, and laced with distorto-shred psychedelia, others introduce chugging electric guitar, and warp them in clouds of swirling electronics and spaced out FX, and still others unfurl hypnotic strands of heady buzz over processed field recordings, building lush layered ragas, every track here some kind of sonic gateway, total trip-out ur-drone bliss, like Spacemen 3 jamming with Sunroof!, which if that doesn't sound crazy good, then you might just be reading the wrong list. Fantastic, spaced out, drone-y, druggy mesmer, that is absolutely and wholeheartedly recommended.
MPEG Stream: "Elephanta Gateway"
MPEG Stream: "Man"
MPEG Stream: "Woman"

album cover RAAIJMAKERS, DICK Complete Tape Music Of Dick Raaijmakers (Basta) 3cd 33.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Three cds worth of vintage Dutch tape music from one of the masters, Dick Raaijmakers! Maybe you remember him from the Popular Electronics box set on Basta. This is the second edition of this collection, nicely presented in a colorful cardboard box, with 124 page booklet with text in English. Raaijmakers was active in the Philips Labs in the late '50s, and this contains material from 1959 all the way up to 1996, mainly from the '60s. Those big into early electronic music will want to check this out, as will anyone who gets turned on to Raaijmakers thanks to the the nifty various artists tribute comp also reviewed this list.

album cover RABBITS Lower Forms (Relapse) cd 14.98
We reviewed a split 7" from these Colorado noise rockers a while back, where we described them as sounding like "some sort of modern version of big ol' post punk sludge groove, hard not to hear some Scratch Acid in there. Ultra grimy downtuned guitars, super dense and mathy arrangements, woozy basslines, blown out fuzz guitar, growled/shouted vocals. Almost like a way darker, way more punk Pelican in a way." Apparently they liked that enough to put it on the cover (!), and some of that definitely still applies (not the Pelican thing so much here), this is some seriously heavy, crusty, noisy, pigfuck, distorto filth, raw and nasty, think classic AmRep, think Karp, a sort of post metal heaviness wrapped around dirgey punk rock pummel, dense distorted knuckle dragging caveman crush, the vocals a throat shredding howl, somewhere between death metal growl, Killdozer Yowl and Muppety howl, the music buzzy and blown out, super rhythmic, downtuned, heavy and hypnotic. Kinda weird to think Rabbits are from Portland and is made up of guys from Angel Hair / The VSS / Pleasure Forever, cuz damn if this don't sound pretty Midwest to us. Regardless, this is some thick as molasses, punked out sludgy noise rock that KILLS. Total doom sludge metal punk bliss. Fuck yeah. We've got compact disc and colored vinyl.
MPEG Stream: "Burn, Sun, Burn"
MPEG Stream: "A Tale Of Tales"
MPEG Stream: "Rot"

album cover RABBITS Lower Forms (Relapse) lp 17.98
We reviewed a split 7" from these Colorado noise rockers a while back, where we described them as sounding like "some sort of modern version of big ol' post punk sludge groove, hard not to hear some Scratch Acid in there. Ultra grimy downtuned guitars, super dense and mathy arrangements, woozy basslines, blown out fuzz guitar, growled/shouted vocals. Almost like a way darker, way more punk Pelican in a way." Apparently they liked that enough to put it on the cover (!), and some of that definitely still applies (not the Pelican thing so much here), this is some seriously heavy, crusty, noisy, pigfuck, distorto filth, raw and nasty, think classic AmRep, think Karp, a sort of post metal heaviness wrapped around dirgey punk rock pummel, dense distorted knuckle dragging caveman crush, the vocals a throat shredding howl, somewhere between death metal growl, Killdozer Yowl and Muppety howl, the music buzzy and blown out, super rhythmic, downtuned, heavy and hypnotic. Kinda weird to think Rabbits are from Portland and is made up of guys from Angel Hair / The VSS / Pleasure Forever, cuz damn if this don't sound pretty Midwest to us. Regardless, this is some thick as molasses, punked out sludgy noise rock that KILLS. Total doom sludge metal punk bliss. Fuck yeah. We've got compact disc and colored vinyl.
MPEG Stream: "Burn, Sun, Burn"
MPEG Stream: "A Tale Of Tales"
MPEG Stream: "Rot"

album cover RABBITS Sloth And Bees (self-released) 7" 2.98
We listed a split lp a little while back, that featured these guys teamed up with the equally strangely named Under Mountains. We dug both bands so much we decided to get our hands on whatever we could, thus, this latest 7" from Rabbits. Who are WAY heavier than their cute and fluffy name might lead you to believe. Rabbits are some weird post punk, angular sludge rock hybrid, a super chaotic screamo groove outfit, corrosive guitar lines, totally spastic drumming, howled vocals, a massive heaving swirl of post punk grooves and unhinged post rock fury. Dense and complex, blown out and droney, there's some Scratch Acid in there, but way more revved up and wild, careening like some sort of PCP dosed yeti. The second side slows it way down into some serious sludge territory, sounding almost Melvins-like, with downtuned riffing, relentlessly pounding rhythms, the whole thing heavy as fuck!
Packaged in super cool black on black sleeves, each side visually depicting the song titles (sloth on one side, bees on the other) and includes a thick hand screened red cardstock insert.

album cover RABBITS / UNDER MOUNTAINS split (Eolian Empire) lp 9.98
These guys dropped into the store and left some records for us to check out and holy shit did we have our asses handed to us. It's very rare that we'll hear a split lp with two bands we've never heard of, that will knock us for a loop, BOTH bands kicking serious ass, but here you go. There seems to bee some sort of Colorado connection (Angel Hair, VSS, etc.) and you can hear it once in a while, but this is a lot darker and lot heavier. Both bands have a similar sound, so much so that you could be forgive for assuming they were the same band, but closer listening reveals lots of important differences. Rabbits are some sort of modern version of big ol' post punk sludge groove, hard not to hear some Scratch Acid in there. Ultra grimy downtuned guitars, super dense and mathy arrangements, woozy basslines, blown out fuzz guitar, growled/shouted Yow-like vocals. Almost like a way darker, way more punk pelican in a way. Which is most definitely a good thing.
Under Mountains counter with their own furiously dense and heavy, sort of sludgy post-math rock. Lots of angular guitars, some strangely Maiden-ish moments here and there, super complicated drumming, heavy and sludgy but also groovy and pretty dang catchy. They, like Rabbits, could definitely fit comfortably alongside the modern crop of instruMETAL rockers, but both bands, especially UM are a lot mathier and grimier. Reminded us a bit of the recent more rock releases on Rise Above, like Capricorns, Taint, etc.
Killer stuff!

RABE, FOLKE What?? (Dexter's Cigar) cd 14.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Minimalist Swedish electronics, from way ahead of its time, circa 1970. Two tracks, one a half-speed version of the first, for advanced exercises in drone-absorbtion.

album cover RABE, FOLKE What?? (Important) cd 14.98
We first heard this beautiful, hypnotic recording when it was reissued on compact disc back in 1997, on the Dexter's Cigar label that Jim O'Rourke used to do, via Drag City. It was one of the best Dexter's Cigar releases we remember, but sadly has been our of print for many years. But, we're certainly not the only folks to consider it a classic, as now Important has reissued it again on cd for those who missed it before. It's an album of minimalist electronics, sounding way ahead of its time, recorded in 1967 in the studio of Swedish Radio, Stockholm, by a young composer (and former jazz trombonist) named Folke Rabe. There's two tracks here, the second a half-speed (and thus, one octave lower) version of the first, for advanced exercises in drone-absorption. The first 25 minute version of "What??", originally released on vinyl by the Wergo label in 1970, consists of gentle, wavering drone-tones, shimmering blissfully, continually morphing, forming pulsating, fluttering "beats" as the various vibrations interact. The subtle shifts of these pulsations seem somehow to come into being from nowhere, even though your ears must be perceiving the gradual changes. This is active dronework, there's a lot going on here, over time, despite the "minimalist" tag. We suspect a Terry Riley influence on this piece, and not just because we know that Rabe was an associate of Bo Anders Persson, of Parson Sound/International Harvester/Trad Gras Och Stenar, also big Terry Riley fans.
Not that the first track by itself wouldn't be enough to transport you to drone nirvana with its pulsing shimmer and glimmer, but the second version of "What??" found here, 50+ minutes long, slower and lower, and if anything even more glowing, will REALLY send you into a trance!
It's so great to have this deceptively simple, but so effective, obscure avant-electronic classic back in print.
MPEG Stream: "What?? (version 1)"
MPEG Stream: "What?? (version 2)"

RABE, FOLKE / JAN BARK Argh! (Kning Disk) cd 16.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.

album cover RABELAIS, AKIRA ...benediction, draw. (Orthlorng Musork) cd 14.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Mirroring Keith Fullerton Whitman on his stellar "Playthroughs" album, digital wizard Akira Rabelais has plugged an electric guitar into what he calls Argeiphontes Lyre, an alchemical piece of software of his own design, to produce his third exceptional album "...benediction, draw." Yet Whitman and Rabelais look toward different historical precedents in the construction of their albums, inevitably shifting the resultant sound. Where Whitman found inspiration in Terry Riley's time lag accumulators and Christoph Heeman's ambient slippages, Rabelais earnestly professes Erik Satie as his mentor, proclaiming that this album "in the best sense of a musique d'ameublement (Satie's famous aphorism for 'furniture music') shows itself as an acoustic state rather than a sonic wallpaper." True enough, Rabelais presents these digital abstractions as a fluttering series of sublimated half-melodies and tonal fluctuations that embrace the spirit of Satie's compositions. There is a jewel-like preciousness to this construction, as his digital transmutations open into cascading washes of variable glints, shimmerings, and flickers -- guitar passages that very rarely resemble anything like a guitar. This is a magical album from one of the truely unique proponents of digital synthesis. Very very nice.
MPEG Stream: "Pleure de le Voir Gai Comme un Oiseau des Bois"
MPEG Stream: "Retrouve L'ambroisie et le Nectar Vermeil"

album cover RABELAIS, AKIRA Caduceus (Samadhisound) cd 16.98

MPEG Stream: "Seduced By The Silence"
MPEG Stream: "Then The Substanceless Blue"
MPEG Stream: "Where To Let Our Scars Fall In Love"

album cover RABELAIS, AKIRA Eisoptrophobia (Mille Plateaux) cd 16.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Not just another member of the electronica community who programs code by day and is a Mille Plateaux superstar by night, Akira Rabelais has wonderfully romantic bone in his body that affects everything he does, including programming. If his cheerleaders are correct in their praise of his software applications, then Rabelais may in fact be programming code with the same jouissance that can be found in the magic realist writings of Borges. That's pretty heavy praise, and while we've not explored his software (the Argeiphontes Lyre - his most notable software - supposedly mutates pre-existing sound with subtle digital distortions and digitally knotted re-sampling techniques), his musical productions which employ his own programming creations are simply stunning. "Eisoptrophobia" is Rabelais' second album, consists of digital re-interpretations of piano pieces by Satie, Bartok, and Carte. Fortunately, these recordings are not wildly timestretched pieces of digital destruction (i.e. Speedranch, Janski-Noise, etc.); rather, they are incredibly spartan and dreamy. Rabelais leaves the structures of the pieces intact, at times extending into tone float drifts which merely hint at the original melody, others quietly reflect a Philip Jeck-like aura of fragile antiquity, and other resemble something far more acoustic in origin like Cage's prepared pianos. Altogether, a very successful album in terms of process, concept, and execution!
RealAudio clip: "Aposiopesis"
RealAudio clip: "Gymnopedie No.2"
RealAudio clip: "Notturno (loverly remix)"

album cover RABELAIS, AKIRA Eisoptrophobia (Argeiphontes) dvd 25.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Los Angeles' Akira Rabelais may be one of the very few programmer-musicians with the touch of a poet, bringing a labyrinthian elegance to the techniques of digital corrosion. Last year, Rabelais released the masterful "Eisoptrophobia" as a series of dreamy reinterpretations of the piano works of Satie, Bartok, and Carte. These early 20th Century compositions had been delicately distressed and filtered to the point of fragility through the convoluted digital knots and slippages of his own Argephontes Lyre program. Even at this point, Rabelais had developed an incredibly complex series of intertwining metaphors cast down from the title (eisoptrophobia is the fear of mirrors) through the romantic melodies of those piano lines and their digital recombination as an outward projection of memory, nostalgia, and oblique surrealism, that keeps true to Satie's notion of 'furniture music.'
Yet, the purely aural experience of a CD was not enough for Rabelais to explore all of the ideas he had for "Eisoptrophobia." Hence, Rabelais has now released the DVD version of the album, complete with short films to accompany his music and a collection of remixes. Rabelais explained that his incorporation of the video adds another element to the metaphoric twists of the Japanese concept of wabi-sabi - the aesthetic principles of beauty found in the states of being and in the transient nature of all things being imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete. The films are vignettes describing the subtle events of domesticity through light and shadow which are cast across the visage of a woman in the midst of a number of mundane actions (taking a bath, staring out the window, doing yoga, etc). The images in conjunction with the music are incredibly calming, emotionally evocative, and certainly romantic, as if Merchant-Ivory films had been directed instead by Steve McQueen (the miminalist video artist, not the actor).
The remixes -- from Frank Bretschneider (aka Komet of Raster Noton), Neina, Ekkehard Ehlers, and Darren Verhagen -- offer a much different visual direction, as they have been paired with the streaming patterns of their own soundwaves in brilliant reds and greens. Musically, they tend to eradicate the references to piano, which Rabelais had been so keen on maintaining in his own work.
The DVD of "Eisoptrophobia" is quite an interesting work, from an artist who seems to be the Pablo Neruda of glitch.
RealAudio clip: "Aposiopesis"
RealAudio clip: "Gymnopedie No.2"
RealAudio clip: "Notturno (loverly remix)"

album cover RABELAIS, AKIRA Eisoptrophobia (self-released) cd-r 13.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
This long out of print gem finally gets reissued, by Akira himself. It's elegantly packaged in a cardboard box and tied with twine, the disc and liner notes wrapped in a gorgeously emboidered cloth, beneath a sprig of Queen Anne's Lace. Fancy! It's a cd-r this time around, but that's made up for by the amazing packaging and a bonus track not on the original! Here's what we had to say about Eisoptrophobia before:
Not just another member of the electronica community who programs code by day and is a Mille Plateaux superstar by night, Akira Rabelais has a wonderfully romantic bone in his body that affects everything he does, including programming. If his cheerleaders are correct in their praise of his software applications, then Rabelais may in fact be programming code with the same jouissance that can be found in the magic realist writings of Borges. That's pretty heavy praise, and while we've not explored his software (the Argeiphontes Lyre -- his most notable software -- supposedly mutates pre-existing sound with subtle digital distortions and digitally knotted re-sampling techniques), his musical productions which employ his own programming creations are simply stunning. "Eisoptrophobia" is Rabelais' second album, and consists of digital re-interpretations of piano pieces by Satie, Bartok, and Carte. Fortunately, these recordings are not wildly timestretched pieces of digital destruction (i.e. Speedranch, Jansky-Noise, etc.); rather, they are incredibly spartan and dreamy. Rabelais leaves the structures of the pieces intact, at times extending into tone float drifts which merely hint at the original melody, others quietly reflect a Philip Jeck-like aura of fragile antiquity, and other resemble something far more acoustic in origin like Cage's prepared pianos. Altogether, a very successful album in terms of process, concept, and execution!

album cover RABELAIS, AKIRA EN/OF 031 - limited edition autographed 12" (Bottrop-Boy) 12" 30.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
The Bottrop -Boy label has been releasing ultra limited musician / artist collaborations in a series called EN/OF. Participants have included Ekkehard Ehlers, Heimir Bjorgulfsson, Stephan Mathieu, Jan Jelinek, TV Pow, the Rip-Off Artist, Tarentel, Pan American, David Grubbs, Nobukazu Takemura, Steve Roden, Merzbow, Tim Hecker, Jazzkammer, His Name Is Alive and Akira Rabelais. Each one teamed up with a photographer, and the result is a vinyl 12", signed and numbered, featuring original music, and an original photgraph, limited to 100 copies and ridiculously expensive. So expensive and limited in fact that we have yet to actually get any of these. However, AQ pal Akira Rabelais, got a dozen copies of his 12", minus the artowrk, the 12" ONLY, no photo, or fancy sleeve, just the 12" (pressed on ultra thick vinyl) in a plain black sleeve signed by Rabelais in silver marker. And he nicely allowed us to have all 12 to sell to folks who can't afford or weren't quick enough to get one of those 100 copies. And it's all about the music anyway right? And the music here is awesome. Side A is an Austin radio station blasting some sort of Tex Mex, that is quickly subsumed by radio static and is slowly smeared into a warm fuzzy whir, with minimal melodies, chirping crickets, haunting viola, all very dreamy and indistinct, like Jeck or Basinski. Side B features an L.A. radio station, already manipiulated beyond recognition, a fuzzy dreamscape of ahunting barely discernable melodies, chiming in the distance like ghosts, all over layers of white noise smoothed into a warm bed of static and crackle. Lovely. And yeah, it's still expensive, but hell, that's how much they cost us and it's limited to 12 COPIES!!!

RABELAIS, AKIRA Hollywood (Schoolmap) cd 22.00

album cover RABELAIS, AKIRA Spellewauerynsherde (Samadhisound) cd 17.98
The tongue-twistingly titled Spellewauerynsherde is another hauntingly beautiful record from the enigmatic electronic composer Akira Rabelais. As with his previous albums, Rabelais offers a labyrinth of elliptical allegories, subtle chance operations, and impressionistic romanticism as an accompaniment for his elegant sound constructions. Given the incredible amount of semantic engineering that went into this record, it is certainly possible that Rabelais deliberately arranged to have this album released at the same time as Bjork's Medula. You see, the source for Snellewauerynsherde is a collection of traditional Icelandic accapella songs recorded in the late 1960s or early 1970s on Ampex tapes and then forgotten about. The first few tracks of Snellewauerynsherde present the raw recordings Icelandic songs, sanitized of their tape hiss and debris. The content may remain foreign to our ears, but the songs' existential sadness transcends any language barriers. When he actually processes these sources, he extracts a mournful etherialism that he stretches into a gracefully solemn minimalism that falls between Steven Stapleton's production of Current 93's A Little Menstrual Night Music, Eliane Radigue's evocative timbral compositions, and Arvo Part's late period chorale pieces. Rabelais continues to distance himself from the clicks 'n' cuts electronica of his contemporaries and situate himself as an artist with a complex mythology, that given the right marketing climate, could be as important as Matthew Barney's.
MPEG Stream: "Wyclif Gen. ii 7"
MPEG Stream: "Glower Conf. II 20"

album cover RACCOO-OO-OON Behold Secret Kingdom (Release The Bats) cd 14.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Here at AQ, we're well acquainted with multiple 'o's. Most often used in reviews of ultra doom records, you know Moss, Monarch, Asunder, Catacombs, Celestiial, Bunkur, and usually used to denote -more- doom. The slower and the filthier, the sludgier and the more buzzing and trudging, the more 'o's. So describing a band as doooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooom is not at all unheard of around here. But we rarely see multiple 'o's anywhere else. So what's the deal with Raccoo-oo-oon? What are all of those extra 'o's for? Do they mean anything? And what about the hyphens? What the heck are they all about? Is that how you pronounce the band name, ra coo OO oon. 4 syllables. Or just the more traditional two, as in the middle 'oo' is silent?
No matter how you interpret the 'o's and hyphens, it's strange and unusual and not a little bit confusing. Which pretty much perfectly captures the essence of these guys' sound. A dizzying collision of free rock splatter, jazzy skronk, stumbling outsider folk, and full on noise. What makes Raccoo-oo-oon special is the fact that they somehow manage to sound like all of those things at once. An ultra dense blitzkrieg of sounds, that impossibly manages to be heavy and free, skronky and melodic, spastic and pretty all at the same time.
We've listed a few other releases from these guys, a clutch of lps and a cd, all of which kicked our asses big time, but as much as we dug those discs, Behold Secret Kingdom trumps them all. Songs, sound, it's all so much more focused, the melodies are catchier, the blown out blasts are even more caustic and abrasive, the vocals are much more 'present', a strange sort of howled primitive wail, the guitars are heavier, more dense, the rhythms, groovier, a surprising amount of 'swing' for a noiserock combo.
With Behold Secret Kingdom, Raccoo-oo-oon have sort of emerged as super distinctive noisemakers, in a scene rife with same sounding combos, these guys don't really sound like anybody else.
Right out of the gate, the sound is a wall of thick guitars, swirling and keening, loads of buzz and squealing feedback, the drums a dense tribal blow out, the vocals drifting over the top, some strange invocation. It's equal parts krautrock, noiserock, and post rock, all smeared and tangled into a glorious blast of super fresh, garage-y psychedelic free rock whatthefuck. The next track veers into some angular synth drenched new wave noisiness, with squiggly synths, droning high end guitars, thick buzz swaths of sound, relentless, almost funky drumming, and moaning atonal speaking-in-tongues vocals. As hard as it might be to imagine, it sounds a bit like some impossible mash up of Crash Worship, Excepter and Faust, but with some weird new wave-y sheen.
The songs are definitely rhythm based, the propulsive drumming guiding everything, the vocals sort of trailing after the drums, the guitars, at once riffing and defining the shape of the songs, but at the same time drifting and swirling totally free, unmoored from any sort of traditional song-based structure and wrapped around the jams like thick tangled ropes of sound. There is occasional sax, which is where a lot of the skronk element comes from, but even sans sax, the songs retain a bit of skronkiness, angular and atonal as often as warm and melodic (maybe more often in fact.
Occasionally, the band -really- let loose, the guitars erupt in acidic squalls, the drums splattery and abstract, everything spinning wildly, the result a huge dense cloud of super distorted psychrock freakout. And just as often, they lock into some strangely new wavey garage rock stomp, like a less misanthropic, more groovy and druggy Brainbombs, and as if that weren't confusing enough, they also often just let loose and engage in endless dopesick jamming space rockery, a roiling blown out FX drenched space rock pound, relentless and so goddamn good. And like we mentioned before, the magic here is that Raccoo-oo-oon don't just switch gears from space rock to weird free rock jam and back, all of those different sonic sides bleed into each other, and all over each other, one at a time but then ALL AT ONCE, a slithering, shimmering, constantly shifting, shape changing organic sound sprawl that is as amazing to hear as it is difficult to describe.
And if we were in fact, to apply the same sort of rules regarding the extra 'o's, to these guys, that we do in our doom reviews, then we might as well begin calling these guys Raccoo-oo-oooo-oo-ooooooo-oo-o-o-o-ooo-oo-oooo-ooo-oo-oo-oo-ooooooo-oon. Fuck yeah.
MPEG Stream: "Black Branches"
MPEG Stream: "Mirror Blanket"
MPEG Stream: "Visage Of The Fox"

album cover RACCOO-OO-OON Behold Secret Kingdom (Release The Bats) lp 14.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Here at AQ, we're well acquainted with multiple 'o's. Most often used in reviews of ultra doom records, you know Moss, Monarch, Asunder, Catacombs, Celestiial, Bunkur, and usually used to denote -more- doom. The slower and the filthier, the sludgier and the more buzzing and trudging, the more 'o's. So describing a band as doooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooom is not at all unheard of around here. But we rarely see multiple 'o's anywhere else. So what's the deal with Raccoo-oo-oon? What are all of those extra 'o's for? Do they mean anything? And what about the hyphens? What the heck are they all about? Is that how you pronounce the band name, ra coo OO oon. 4 syllables. Or just the more traditional two, as in the middle 'oo' is silent?
No matter how you interpret the 'o's and hyphens, it's strange and unusual and not a little bit confusing. Which pretty much perfectly captures the essence of these guys' sound. A dizzying collision of free rock splatter, jazzy skronk, stumbling outsider folk, and full on noise. What makes Raccoo-oo-oon special is the fact that they somehow manage to sound like all of those things at once. An ultra dense blitzkrieg of sounds, that impossibly manages to be heavy and free, skronky and melodic, spastic and pretty all at the same time.
We've listed a few other releases from these guys, a clutch of lps and a cd, all of which kicked our asses big time, but as much as we dug those discs, Behold Secret Kingdom trumps them all. Songs, sound, it's all so much more focused, the melodies are catchier, the blown out blasts are even more caustic and abrasive, the vocals are much more 'present', a strange sort of howled primitive wail, the guitars are heavier, more dense, the rhythms, groovier, a surprising amount of 'swing' for a noiserock combo.
With Behold Secret Kingdom, Raccoo-oo-oon have sort of emerged as super distinctive noisemakers, in a scene rife with same sounding combos, these guys don't really sound like anybody else.
Right out of the gate, the sound is a wall of thick guitars, swirling and keening, loads of buzz and squealing feedback, the drums a dense tribal blow out, the vocals drifting over the top, some strange invocation. It's equal parts krautrock, noiserock, and post rock, all smeared and tangled into a glorious blast of super fresh, garage-y psychedelic free rock whatthefuck. The next track veers into some angular synth drenched new wave noisiness, with squiggly synths, droning high end guitars, thick buzz swaths of sound, relentless, almost funky drumming, and moaning atonal speaking-in-tongues vocals. As hard as it might be to imagine, it sounds a bit like some impossible mash up of Crash Worship, Excepter and Faust, but with some weird new wave-y sheen.
The songs are definitely rhythm based, the propulsive drumming guiding everything, the vocals sort of trailing after the drums, the guitars, at once riffing and defining the shape of the songs, but at the same time drifting and swirling totally free, unmoored from any sort of traditional song-based structure and wrapped around the jams like thick tangled ropes of sound. There is occasional sax, which is where a lot of the skronk element comes from, but even sans sax, the songs retain a bit of skronkiness, angular and atonal as often as warm and melodic (maybe more often in fact.
Occasionally, the band -really- let loose, the guitars erupt in acidic squalls, the drums splattery and abstract, everything spinning wildly, the result a huge dense cloud of super distorted psychrock freakout. And just as often, they lock into some strangely new wavey garage rock stomp, like a less misanthropic, more groovy and druggy Brainbombs, and as if that weren't confusing enough, they also often just let loose and engage in endless dopesick jamming space rockery, a roiling blown out FX drenched space rock pound, relentless and so goddamn good. And like we mentioned before, the magic here is that Raccoo-oo-oon don't just switch gears from space rock to weird free rock jam and back, all of those different sonic sides bleed into each other, and all over each other, one at a time but then ALL AT ONCE, a slithering, shimmering, constantly shifting, shape changing organic sound sprawl that is as amazing to hear as it is difficult to describe.
And if we were in fact, to apply the same sort of rules regarding the extra 'o's, to these guys, that we do in our doom reviews, then we might as well begin calling these guys Raccoo-oo-oooo-oo-ooooooo-oo-o-o-o-ooo-oo-oooo-ooo-oo-oo-oo-ooooooo-oon. Fuck yeah.
MPEG Stream: "Black Branches"
MPEG Stream: "Mirror Blanket"
MPEG Stream: "Visage Of The Fox"

album cover RACCOO-OO-OON Mud Mound (Gilgongo) 7" 5.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
A gentle dreamy little sonic addendum to one of this week's records of the week, the latest from the strangely named Raccoo-oo-oon. But is it really that dreamy and gentle? Well, sort of. Beginning with softly plucked atonal strings and simple pots and pans percussion, all of a sudden lurches into a strangely new wave-y synth jam, propulsive drums, fuzzy slithering synth melodies, sounds sort of like Avarus jamming with Mates Of State. Weird, but pretty dang cool. The flip side begins in a similarly laid back fashion, a super abstract percussion jam, lots of cymbals and bells, clangs and sizzles and clatter, with hollering and hooting way back in the distance, before the band once again explode in a frenzy of fuzzed out rock, this time though, it, a buzzy, slightly jazzy space rock freak out, all thick bass, pounding drums, throbbing synths and moaning and honking alien horns buried beneath the sonic swirl. Killer stuff, and just like the full length, it's impossible to figure out where in the world these guys are coming from, and equally impossible to predict what's gonna happen next, which is precisely why we're digging it so much.

album cover RACCOO-OO-OON Mythos Folkways Vol. 1 (Woodsist) lp 16.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
We only just discovered this bizarrely named outfit, this being the third release in almost as many lists, but they continue to kick our asses, and ruin our hearing, and send our minds a spinnin'! This is tripped out, stumbling jazz-flecked psychedelic skree. The drums are the thing. Huge and heavy, complex but not overplayed, relentlessly hard hitting but somehow at the same time sort of jazzy as well. They form the massive framework that supports wild wah guitars, sheets of corrosive acid riffing, swooshing synths, garbled vocals, wild squiggly tangles of distorted melodies, and thick washes of squealing feedback. This is Hawkwind unhinged, er... MORE unhinged. A totally psychedelic freakout, that only occasionally blisses out into weird stumbly lo-fi shimmer, usually only to lurch back into a doped up frenzy moments later.
Cool silkscreened orange and green sleeves with a photocopied insert. LIMITED TO 300 COPIES!!!

album cover RACCOO-OO-OON Mythos Folkways Vol. III (Woodsist) lp 14.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
More blissed out full moon music from these multi syllabic musical mammals (say that ten times fast!). Four tracks spread out over 2 sides... And if the last Mythos Folkways lp is any indicator, blink and you'll miss this...
The first half begins all fluttery and folky, dreamy melodies drifting amidst swirls of percussive thrum, all tangled up into some sort of fracture folk, peppered with random free jazz skitter, garbled vocals and dense clouds of FX. It sounds like a band -about- to stumble into action, -about- to fully rock out, tense and dense and abstract and mysterious, for most of the side, but then they DO rock out and it's awesome. A blown out mathy psych jam, drums and cymbals everywhere, guitars grinding and growling and swooping and soaring, all wrapped in thick swaths of reverb and delay and distortion, eventually petering out and finishing off with some soft blissy drift.
The flip side follows a similar sonic pattern, beginning with more abstract skree and clatter, a haphazard improvised ramble, which gradually builds into a tripped out alien krautrock jam, still abstract, but with little propulsive lurches, draped with bizarre falsetto vocals, haunting harmonies, all unwinding into a slithery garage-y groove.
Cool hand screened covers, photocopied insert, and of course way limited...

RACCOO-OO-OON s/t (Release The Bats) cd 9.98
Man do we hate good-byes. Whether to an old friend or to a favorite band, saying farewell ain't easy. Especially for Iowa City's Raaccoo-oo-oon, who offer up this self-titled lp as their official last release. And though we'll miss tediously typing out all the necessary c's and o's to correctly spell the bands name, we feel this last record is a worthy farewell gesture. Seems like they really gave it all they got here, blown out noisy post-everything chaos, they nobly go down with the ship on this one. Noise rock annihilation, highly recommended for fans of Dead C or Skull Defekts! Don't miss your chance to say goodbye!

album cover RACCOO-OO-OON s/t (Not Not Fun) 2lp 26.00
Man do we hate good-byes. Whether to an old friend or to a favorite band, saying farewell ain't easy. Especially for Iowa City's Raaccoo-oo-oon, who offer up this self-titled lp as their official last release. And though we'll miss tediously typing out all the necessary c's and o's to correctly spell the bands name, we feel this last record is a worthy farewell gesture. Seems like they really gave it all they got here, blown out noisy post-everything chaos, they nobly go down with the ship on this one. Noise rock annihilation, highly recommended for fans of Dead C or Skull Defekts! Don't miss your chance to say goodbye!

album cover RACCOO-OO-OON The Cave Of Spirits Forever (Time-Lag) cd 14.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Probably the best part of this record has been getting to hear Allan pronounce it exactly how it looks. "Hey Andee, did we get more of those Raccoo - Oo - Oon cds?" "I'm sorry which ones did you say?" "You know, the Raccoo - Oo - Oon cds!" Hee Hee.
Okay, maybe that's the -second- best thing, cuz you know what? This disc is pretty dang kick ass. We get so used to all these labels doing cd-r's and limited run cd's and lathe cuts of dark and droney dreaminess, soft folkiness, it's easy to forget that there's a whole underground of ROCK. And that lots of these dreamy folk rockers can actually rock. And on the first track here, Raccoo-Oo-Oon do indeed ROCK, albeit a tweaked and twisted sort of rock.
It's a sweaty, snarling, slithering chunk or rawk, barbed blasts of pounding angular new wave garagestomp, fuzzy. murky production, a clattering kitchen sink drum kit, super blown out, scrabbly psych guitar and howled crazyman vocals. Like the Make-Up if they had been attacked by an actual raccoon with rabies, and then forced to play anyway, twitching and frothing at the mouth.
But the rock then dissipate, as if Raccoo-Oo-Oon got it out of their system, at least for the most part. The next track is a weird lo-fi jazzy shuffle, with a warm horn melody, big simple drumming, like a free folk / free jazz mashup. The next track takes off in yet another direction entirely, a blown out guitarscape, drenched in sun dappled reverb and sizzling cymbal shimmer, so dreamy and drifty. The rest of the tracks sort of meander and wander, through sunny meadows, and shaded woods, fluttering flutes, shimmering guitars, warm wheezing organs, drifting horns, occasionally little fragments of that opening rock song resurface, a brief blast of super punishing riffing, only to be quickly dragged back down and picked apart, the various bits and pieces reincorporated into the dreamlike sound, spread out and stretched into more and more layers of sound, tripped out, schizophrenic, psychedelic and pretty fucking great!
Gorgeously packaged like everything on Time-Lag, this time in a deluxe 3 panel, hand screened sleeve, and a REAL cd, not a cd-r, but still limited, of course.
MPEG Stream: "Cave Of Spirits"
MPEG Stream: "Under The Deck"

album cover RACCOO-OO-OON / WOODS Pre-American Lands (Not Not Fun) lp 14.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
These two bands are a match made in hell. Assuming hell is some backwoods primitive pagan free folk jazz flecked noiserock jam session taking place during a full moon in the heart of some dark forest. In this corner, we have the impossible to pronounce Raccoo-oo-oon, from Iowa of all places, who fill up their side of this lp with a length, shimmery almost-jazzscape rife with scrabbly electric guitars, haunting washes of some distant horn section, angular riffing, muted trumpets doused in wah wah, this is some sort of alien psychedelic free jazz. Sort of. Abstract and space, this is an epic space rock jazz freakout fantasy, spacey FX, big waves of skronk and skree collide with tranquil drifts of jangly guitar and simple caveman percussion, a few minutes in, the record skids to a halt as some beast made out of speaker shredding digital glitches and grinding spastic in-the-red guitar rips everything to shreds, but the record quickly picks back up and drones on in a hypnotic blissed out jazz flecked krautrock freefolk groove.
And you thought that was way out, the flipside is the work of Brooklyn's Woods, who are a pretty good match for Raccoo-oo-oon, donning a similar cloak, equal parts deconstructed free jazz and avant noise rock. Swooping atonal guitars slip wildly through a dense tangle of staggering stumblin freejazz Neanderthal percussion, surrounded by clouds of dizzy guitar squiggles and swirling psychedelic distortion. Woods are like the damaged offspring of the No Neck Blues Band and Sunburned Hand Of The Man, the child they keep locked in the basement, the one who pounds on the door until they through raw meat down the stairs to calm him down. Mix in some weirdly rock riffs (at points it almost sounds like the band will lock in and rock out, although they never do) and some splattery jazz weirdness, and you've got the wonderfully weird world of Woods.
Elaborately packaged in a hand painted, silk screened, sleeve, garish green and black and brown, purple photocopied insert. Pressed on super thick swirled yellow opaque vinyl, and each disc comes with a different colored rabbit's foot attached to the sleeve!

album cover RACEBANNON In the Grips of the Light (Secretly Canadian) cd 13.98
The Secretly Canadian label is generally known for stuff (like Songs:Ohia and the Danielson Family) much more quiet and gentle than this, the debut album by a "PA destroying" crew of raucous rockers from Nebraska. They word on these guys was: Heavy (a la Melvins/Blue Cheer) and Spastic (a la Beefheart/Melt Banana)...so, needless to say, we were interested, but kinda doubtful. Probably the only bands to really pull that combo off are Japan's Ruins, and Oxbow, and Alboth!, and a few others. And while these guys are no Ruins, they are indeed sludgy and spastic, yes, doing noisy originals and a suitably messy, rockin' cover of Captain Beefheart's "Electricity". At first this album seemed like a typical avant-punk sloppy blend of distorted guitars and voices not really going anywhere but up their own ass(es), but these elements gradually coalesce into interesting songs if you devote some attention and let your ears get pummelled by the relentless repetition, electronic effects, and the multi-layered screams of their endlessly ranting vocalist(s). The songs on here seem to get better towards the end of each, as the band starts winding down and individual parts are given more space, and get more distinct. Altogether, on "In the Grips of the Light" Racebannon are more noisy than heavy, but either way will interestingly impact your skull. File with other American avant-hard-rockers like Clawhammer, Mount Shasta, US Maple, Liquor Ball, Dazzlingkillmen, Lightning Bolt...
RealAudio clip: "Sober and Sad"
RealAudio clip: "Electricity"

album cover RACEBANNON IV: Acid Or Blood (Southern) cd 14.98
Jeepers it's been a while since we've reviewed an album by these heavynoisyspasticartpunkrock dudes from Nebraska, and we almost neglected to list this new one, but thought we should since there's bound to be a few AQ customers who groove to Racebannon's weird brand of manic, maybe-metallic mayhem, one part Melvins, one part Dillinger Escape Plan, one part anything on Skin Graft or Toyo (RIP).
Sounds like: screaming sneering vox, jagged guitar distortion, wiseass brutality... When you're in the mood for it, great! When yr not, well, the 22 separate, entirely silent 7 second tracks that come between track 10 and 33 will be among your faves here.
If on the other had you want even more of Racebannon's earhole abuse, keep an eye out for their next release, a 12" entitled Merzbannon, which is apparently one of their previous albums "remixed" by you-know-who.
MPEG Stream: "Awaken"
MPEG Stream: "Bad Case Of..."

album cover RACEBANNON IV: Acid Or Blood (Tizona ) lp 16.98
Look out, now it's on vinyl too... Here's what we said about the cd version last year:
Jeepers it's been a while since we've reviewed an album by these heavynoisyspasticartpunkrock dudes from Nebraska, and we almost neglected to list this new one, but thought we should since there's bound to be a few AQ customers who groove to Racebannon's weird brand of manic, maybe-metallic mayhem, one part Melvins, one part Dillinger Escape Plan, one part anything on Skin Graft or Toyo (RIP).
Sounds like: screaming sneering vox, jagged guitar distortion, wiseass brutality... When you're in the mood for it, great! When yr not, well, the 22 separate, entirely silent 7 second tracks that come between track 10 and 33 will be among your faves here. [However, we didn't check to see if these occur on the vinyl as well.]
If on the other had you want even more of Racebannon's earhole abuse, keep an eye out for their next release, a 12" entitled Merzbannon, which is apparently one of their previous albums "remixed" by you-know-who. [Still haven't seen this, sadly.]
MPEG Stream: "Awaken"
MPEG Stream: "Bad Case Of..."

album cover RACEBANNON Satan's Kickin' Yr Dick In (Secretly Fuckin' Canadian) cd 14.98
Ok, first off, someone in Racebannon needs to be flogged for that title. That aside, this is a fine disc of crazed and metallic art-punk weirdness. More mayhem than a bunch of old Skin Graft bands fighting in an alley with the Load records roster. A real rumble. Refer to our review of their previous album "In The Grips Of The Light" for more descriptives -- this disc is pretty similar but if anything more metal and crushing and, well, Satanic. Actually there's some sort of weird narrative concept to this album that has to do with a character named Rhonda Delight, and the Devil, but figuring it all out to explain to you would require too much reading of what appears to be a libretto in the cd booklet, so you'll have to check it out for yourself.
RealAudio clip: "untitled track 5"

RACHEL'S Handwriting (Quarterstick) cd 14.98

RACHEL'S Music for Egon Schiele (Quarterstick/Touch & Go) cd 12.98
Second time around, Rachel's is just 3 musicians. The music was composed for a play about the artist Egon Schiele. Someone described it as chamber music for indierockers, and that does pretty much sum it up. Such lovely chamber music, it is!

RACHEL'S Music for Egon Schiele (Quarterstick/Touch & Go) lp 11.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Second time around, Rachel's is just 3 musicians. The music was composed for a play about the artist Egon Schiele. Someone described it as chamber music for indierockers, and that does pretty much sum it up. Such lovely chamber music, it is!

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