V/A Not The Same Old Blues Crap (Fat Possum) cd 4.98
Let's not forget the blues. New buget-priced label sampler from badass blues champions Fat Possum (now distributed by big punkcorporation Epitaph and set to conquer the world). Features some wild and wooly tracks from R.L. Burnside, Junior Kimbrough (R.I.P.), Hasil Adkins, T-Model Ford...i.e. lots of old fellers who'll put a boot up your backside. Plus some young 'uns, including Jon Spencer Blues Explosion side-project 20 Miles. So don't just get the blues and sit there depressed, get the blues, put this on, and break things! An excellent introduction to the many somewhat sensationalistic but genuinely non-crap artists on Fat Possum.
V/A Not The Spaces You Know, But Between Them (Three Lobed) 4lp box 80.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. This is another one of those compilations that seems custom made for aQuarius. And one that needs very little in the way of a description except for a list of the bands who contribute exclusive material to this sprawling quadruple lp celebration of Three Lobed's tenth anniversary. The packaging is out of this world, totally over the top, but before we get to that, let's give you that list, and odds are, some of you can stop there and add this gem to your cart and be done with it: SUN CITY GIRLS SONIC YOUTH BARDO POND COMETS ON FIRE ETERNAL TAPESTRY STEVE GUNN MOUTHUS D.CHARLES SPEER / WOODEN WAND Not too shabby for sure! Each band gets a whole side, and here's some more details on the contributions. The Sun City Girls tracks are live recordings from Emo's in Austin Texas from their final US show EVER. The Sonic Youth tracks were recorded over the space of 10 years, one in 2010, the other in 2000. The Comets On Fire side is a collage of various recordings made between 2006 and 2010. The Bardo Pond side is a 20 minute long exclusive track recorded in 2010. The Eternal Tapestry side is a reworking of an old track, slowed down, with lots of added organ! The Mouthus side features two new exclusive tracks recorded in 2010. The Steve Gunn side features a new recording, made earlier this year of a live staple, and finally, D. Charles Speer & The Helix and Wooden Wand share a side, the Speer tracks feature Dave Nuss from No Neck Blues Band. Phew. And that's just the music. This box is also a serious chunk of musical art. The vinyl is all pressed on super thick 140 gram vinyl, and each lp is housed in a full color printed inner sleeve. There's a big folded insert with liner notes from Wire / Pitchfork scribe Marc Masters, there is also a download card for mp3s of all the music, and the whole thing is stashed in a gorgeous, heavy Stoughton lp box. It's definitely incredible, and well worth the price. It is HEAVY though, so if you order this, it will NOT count as a single item, whatever your shipping, whether it's just this box, or this box along with other stuff, it will ship by weight. And besides all that, this thing is CRAZY limited. We got a whole bunch, but we're not sure how many are left, or how many we will be able to get (if any) once we run out, so best to grab one quick before they are gone for good.
V/A Nothing Comes Easy (Psychic Circle) cd 16.98
V/A Nothing Left To Lose: A Tribute To Kris Kristofferson (Incidental Music) cd 13.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Let's face it, most tribute albums suck. I can count on one hand the number of tribute albums I have *loved*. (Well, actually on one finger, namely the Roky Erickson trib.) Now along comes this FANTASTIC collection of songs performed by a perfectly-chosen array of alt country musicmakers, all paying their respects to Kris Kristofferson with achingly gorgeous renditions of his songs. I'm hard pressed to even name highlight tracks, because *all* of them are lovely. The mood is consistently downer, the performances retain the flavor of the individual contributing bands, but let the brilliance of Kristofferson's songwriting show thru. And who doesn't love "Me and Bobby McGee", "Help Me Make it Thru the Night", and my personal fave "Sunday Mornin' Coming Down"? If you're not a Kristofferson fan (yet), get this anyway -- it serves as a wonderful intro to the perpetual outsider with the progressive politics who mopped floors at a Columbia's Nashville studios just so he could slip Johnny Cash tapes of his songs! (The liner notes go into his life story a bit -- quite fascinating -- he was involved in the Central American conflicts, visited the Sandanistas, is working to free Leonard Peltier, etc.) Participants include Souled American, Calexico, Radar Brothers, Zmrzlina, Virgil Shaw (Dieselhed), Richard Buckner, Howe Gelb (Giant Sand), Grandaddy, Deanna Varagone (Lambchop), Court and Spark, Califone, Handsome Family -- all artists already established as wonderful. Hear them pay tribute. Take it from me, the picky tribute listener -- this one is GREAT. It will make you love Kristofferson while also providing a stunning snapshot of the current alt.country scene. Highly recommended!
CALEXICO "Casey's Last Ride" RealAudio clip:
ZMRZLINA WITH MILK CHOPPER "Me & Bobby McGee" RealAudio clip:
DIANA DARBY "Jesus Was a Capricorn" RealAudio clip:
HANDSOME FAMILY "Sunday Mornin' Comin' Down"
V/A Nothing Left To Lose: A Tribute To Kris Kristofferson (Incidental Music) cd 13.98
Let's face it, most tribute albums suck. I can count on one hand the number of tribute albums I have *loved*. (Well, actually on one finger, namely the Roky Erickson trib.) Now along comes this FANTASTIC collection of songs performed by a perfectly-chosen array of alt country musicmakers, all paying their respects to Kris Kristofferson with achingly gorgeous renditions of his songs. I'm hard pressed to even name highlight tracks, because *all* of them are lovely. The mood is consistently downer, the performances retain the flavor of the individual contributing bands, but let the brilliance of Kristofferson's songwriting show thru. And who doesn't love "Me and Bobby McGee", "Help Me Make it Thru the Night", and my personal fave "Sunday Mornin' Coming Down"? If you're not a Kristofferson fan (yet), get this anyway -- it serves as a wonderful intro to the perpetual outsider with the progressive politics who mopped floors at a Columbia's Nashville studios just so he could slip Johnny Cash tapes of his songs! (The liner notes go into his life story a bit -- quite fascinating -- he was involved in the Central American conflicts, visited the Sandanistas, is working to free Leonard Peltier, etc.) Participants include Souled American, Calexico, Radar Brothers, Zmrzlina, Virgil Shaw (Dieselhed), Richard Buckner, Howe Gelb (Giant Sand), Grandaddy, Deanna Varagone (Lambchop), Court and Spark, Califone, Handsome Family -- all artists already established as wonderful. Hear them pay tribute. Take it from me, the picky tribute listener -- this one is GREAT. It will make you love Kristofferson while also providing a stunning snapshot of the current alt.country scene. Highly recommended!
CALEXICO "Casey's Last Ride" RealAudio clip:
ZMRZLINA WITH MILK CHOPPER "Me & Bobby McGee" RealAudio clip:
DIANA DARBY "Jesus Was a Capricorn" RealAudio clip:
HANDSOME FAMILY "Sunday Mornin' Comin' Down"
V/A Notwave (Rong / DFA) cd 14.98
DFA Records thrives on the past. The debut track by label bossman James Murphy's band LCD Soundsystem, "Losing My Edge," humorously exposed his healthy record collection and grinningly unveiled current day, hipster cynicism. But one of the conundrums about DFA is that while their influences are timeless, much of their output simply isn't. This collaboration release with Rong reifies that sentiment. And while Notwave is certainly a catchy term, it isn't immediately obvious what it means, or what the common thread is that holds it together. Styles range from the Kraftwerk musique of Nonstop's "Hydration Explosion" to the New Romantic meets The Slits-ness of Striplight's "No Search No Entry," to the abstract, paranoid peyote-soul of former !!! members Free Blood to the Gwen Guthrie-style, b-side dub of Research. Everything is fine really, nothing is great. The Nonstop track is the only one that seems to standout. It's solid bedroom krautpop. Speaking of the past, Sal P of Liquid Liquid is present on a perfectly fine early '90s acid house-style Tussle remix, and James Chance & The Contortions live freakout/meltdown "King Heroin" shows up second to last. Then out of nowhere, we're right back in some mid-'80s electro-soul for one final track. DFA completists, desperate disco revivalists, or those looking for an extraterrestrial, extraneous house/dub cover of Spoon's "I Turn My Camera On" may want this.
NONSTOP "Hydration Explosion" MPEG Stream:
JAMES CHANCE & THE CONTORTIONS "King Heroin"
V/A Notwave (Rong / DFA) 12" 8.98
Three song 12" culled from the cd of the same name, featuring three tracks: Striplight "No Search For Entry (Tim Love Lee Dub), Tussle "Elephants Meandering (Sal Principato And Dennis Young Mix, and Welcome Stranger "Smoke Machine". The cd version is reviewed elsewhere, so check that review for more details.
V/A Nova Feedback (God Mountain) cd 19.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Possibly the most non-sensical compilation ever, this Japanese import features tracks from Costes (French vulgar vaudeville), Gastr del Sol, several Japanese hardcore/funk/metal units (including Gaji, who sound very similar to Melt-Banana), and improv music by Ikue Mori and others. Truly a bizarre item.
V/A Now We Are Ten (Trunk) cd 11.98
Marking their 10 year anniversary as THE purveyor of quaint, vintage, obscure and unflinchingly British ear candy, Trunk Records has released a splendid compilation of the cream from *most* of their best releases from the past decade. Most is the key word here as three of their best releases, the awesome soundtracks to "The Wicker Man", "Psychomania", and the unreleased film music of "Dawn of The Dead" are not represented. But Trunk has always been a mixed bag label, and odd horror scores were only one facet of their obsession, the others being pastoral jazz, long forgotten children's songs, off-kilter ad jingles, library music, documentary film scores, and cosmically avant-garde electronic compositions. If you were curious about any of their past releases such as the Fuzzy Felt Folk compilation of obscure children's folk, or the Sven Libaek anthology of underwater documentary soundtracks, or the Michael Garrick Trio's lost cosmic jazz, or any of Basil Kirchan's sublimely eccentric compositions (all of the above are awesome BTW!) but wary to commit to a full album then this compilation might be a smoother introduction to Trunk's unusual tastes. What's even better is that 7 of the 22 tracks are previously unreleased with inclusions from Delia Derbyshire, Herbie Hancock, Douglas Wood and Paul Lewis. Please note that the sound samples are from the unreleased selections because many of the Trunk releases we had already thoroughly reviewed, so if you are curious about what Michael Garrick, Sven Libaek or the Fuzzy Felt Folk comp sounds like, check out the reviews and samples elsewhere on our site. They are all worth your time. Congrats Trunk! PS includes the unlikely UK radio hit "The Ladies Bras" (all 36 seconds of it!).
DOUGLAS WOOD "Icicles" MPEG Stream:
PAUL LEWIS "Waiting For Nina" MPEG Stream:
BASIL KIRCHIN "Negatives"
V/A Nu Afrobeat Experience (Eko Star) cd 16.98
V/A Nuggets II: Original Artyfacts From The British Empire And Beyond 1964-1969 (Rhino) 4cd 73.00
This brilliant cd box set lives up to Rhino's slogan "We collect records so you don't have to." Covering the nether regions of 1964-'69, Nuggets II is a virtually hitless, yet absolutely priceless, collection of mod, psychedelic, British R&B, freakbeat, twee-pop, and countless other momentary genres. We're talkin' another four discs of treasures from the underground, including all the usual extras: a massive 100-page book with new essays from Bomp editor Greg Shaw and Nuggets II producers Alec Palao and Gary Stewart, plus complete track info by Ugly Things editor Mike Stax, and a lorry-load of rare pix. If you already have the first Nuggets box set of American garage rock, you'll know what to expect (and if you don't have that, well, there's another suggested purchase for you)! This collection covers England mainly (with classics from The Creation, Tomorrow, The Action, The Pretty Things, and many more mostly lesser-knowns) but also hits on the Far East (including a track from Japan's fab The Mops!) and Latin America. There is another one in the works that will cover the rest of the world. If you are going to buy one box set this year this should be the one!
CREATION "Making Time" RealAudio clip:
JOHN'S CHILDREN "Desdemona" RealAudio clip:
MOPS "I'm Just A Mops" RealAudio clip:
THOR'S HAMMER "My Life"
V/A OBEY The Giant Rock 'N' Roll Swindle (Fork in Hand) cd 14.98
You know those Obey/Giant (Andre the Giant has a Posse) stickers? Well for some reason here's a compilation of currently hip bands (indie, garage, pop punk, electronica) such as The Hives, Peaches, Gonzales, International Noise Conspiracy, Icarus Line, and Modest Mouse aligning themselves with that strange subcultural phenomenon. Maybe they're all skateboarders. The tracks on here don't seem to have any particular bearing on the "subject" nor are they all exclusive or anything. But obsessives into the Obey/Giant street art thing may want this.
V/A Obsession (Bully Records) cd 14.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Seems like every few months we're blessed with the release of another cool psych rock reissue compilation full of obscure gems... Prog Is Not A Four Letter Word, Neurotic Reactions, Cherrystones Word, Cambodian Rocks, the entire Love, Peace & Poetry series, just to name a few... It's amazing what can be dug up by the dedicated collectors and DJs who put these mixes together, folks who trawl the dusty record shops and flea markets of the out of the way corners of the globe looking for the freakiest sounds. In that tradition, this week's excellent example is entitled Obsession, a compilation named for the reason it exists! And the groovy, swirling, often harder-edged fuzz attacks found here are certainly worth obsessing over. Just little bits of flat plastic to some, but the best things in life to others! Obsession also sorta sounds like the name of a perfume, and if this was a perfume, it would be a very exotic scent indeed. We can kind of imagine that the Sun City Girls would have found a lot of this fairly inspirational to the "international rock" side of their output. Circa 1967-'73, the tracks here come from all over the world. A whole bunch from South America: Brazil's Quarteto Nova Era, Flavio Kurt, Novos Bahianos, Arnaud Rodriguez, Suely E Os Kantikus. Peru's Sonora Casino and Jean Paul. Uruguay's Ovni 87 and Los Chickichaka. And Argentina's La Barra De Chocolate. Then there's three from Turkey (Ersen, Arif Sag, and the beloved Erkin Koray, with a cut from his Bunalim-related band, Ter, meaning Sweat), and even outfit from India (Atomic Forest, whose track "Obsession '77" is actually what gave this comp its name). Best of all, most of 'em we'd never ever heard of before -- and yet the killer to filler ratio is muy excellente. You get everything from jungle sounds and loungey vibes to Middle Eastern bellydance fuzz guitar to Mutantes-style tropi-delic pop to slamming go-go dancing beats to swinging horns... and let's not forget the plethora of wild wah-wah'd psych guitar soloing found here. And this comp gets further points for including in the cd booklet full-color sleeve art from the rare original singles, and some textual information too, pertaining to each track.
ARIF SAG "Osman Pehlivan" MPEG Stream:
SUELY E OS KANTIKUS "Esperanto" MPEG Stream:
ATOMIC FOREST "Obsession '77"
V/A Off The Wall Volumes 1 & 2 (Past & Present) 2cd 25.00
V/A Oh Santa! New And Used Holiday Classics From Yep Roc Records (Yep Roc) cd 13.98
Some folks love it, some folks despise it. The latter have to grin and bear it 'cause it's pretty inescapable this time of year. We're talking about holiday themed music. The folks at Yep Roc have corralled a dozen members of their colorful musical family for this decidedly less conventional Christmas compilation -- you need only check out the song titles (example: "Your Christmas Whiskey" and "Something Funny In Santa's Lap") . to figure that out! Lots of garage rawk, Americana and pop levity from the likes of Los Straitjackets, Marah, Reverend Horton Heat, The Minus 5, Cities, The Moaners, and The Apples In Stereo and more!
LOS STRAITJACKETS "Holiday Twist" MPEG Stream:
APPLES IN STEREO "Holiday Mood" MPEG Stream:
MINUS 5 "Your Christmas Whiskey"
V/A Old Enough To Know Better (Merge) 3cd 14.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. We've said it before and we'll say it again... "Yay Merge!" They've always dished out the delightful (and very nicely priced) compilations. Well, this new one kicks things up a notch or three! In celebration of the label's fifteenth anniversary, they present Old Enough To Know Better, a triple disc compilation, with chucklesome liner notes by none other than the Rock Rot and Rule guy, Ronald Thomas Clontle! Discs #1 and #2 offer a fantastic stroll down the Merge memory lane with FORTY TWO (!) of your fave songs by Neutral Milk Hotel, Magnetic Fields, Lambchop, Buzzcocks, And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead, M. Ward, Destroyer, Pram, The Clientele, Versus, The Clean, Spaceheads, Breadwinner, Rock*A*Teens, The Beatnik Filmstars, Pipe, Butterglory, 3D's, Ganger, Matt Suggs, Portastatic, Third Eye Foundation, Spent, Ladybug Transistor, Imperial Teen, Ashley Stove, Bricks, Mad Scene, Karl Hendricks Trio, Seaweed, Music Tapes, The Rosebuds, Guv'ner, Annie Hayden, Polvo, East River Pipe, The Essex Green, David Kilgour, Erectus Monotone, Paul Burch, Spoon and of course Superchunk. The third disc contains NINETEEN (!) more songs of the rare and previously unreleased kind by many of the abovementioned artists as well as Camera Obscura, Shark Quest, Crooked Fingers, Richard Buckner, Radar Bros and Angels Of Epistemology. To boot, the label is donating all profits from the sale of this comp to the Future Of Music Coalition.
DESTROYER "Streethawk II" MPEG Stream:
DAVID KILGOUR "On The Outside"
V/A On The Brink (Psychic Circle) cd 16.98
Oh yeah! I'm sure you all remember in your youth, just going nuts on the dance floor, shaking and frugging and getting down to the latest smash from the likes of The Shock Absorbers ("It's Your Thing"), The Keith Mansfield Orchestra ("Soul Thing"), or Ken Woodman's Picadilly Brass ("Mexican Flier"), right? Whew, those were the days! What, you weren't making the scene in swinging sixties London? Well this comp should give you some idea what it maybe might have coulda been like, it's called On The Brink. Subtitled: Return Of The Instro-Hipsters. And the cover blurb goes on to state: "A happening and eclectic mix of vintage instrumental grooviness from the UK, with sitars, flutes, organs, horns and fuzz guitars." And that's no lie. This cd, compiled by none other than noted psych record collector Nick Saloman of the Bevis Frond, is a veritable cornucopia of late '60s/early '70s instrumental toe-tappers from studio-bound big bands and nightclub combos letting their hair down and getting their funk on, swank stuff that could be the soundtrack to the coolest cocktail party ever. Delightfully goofy, some of this, dated of course, and verging on the psychedelic for sure... especially Stanley Myers' "Organ Fantasia In D Major", now that's an awesomely groovy freakout. Myers is one of the few names we already know here, session sitar guy Big Jim Sullivan being another, but it's nice to also become acquainted with the often ephemeral likes of The Chris Barber Soul Band, Trax Four, The Mike Cotton Sound, The Les Reed Orchestra, The Fidd, The Vic Flick Sound, and all the rest. 20 bands, 20 tracks, jazzy and snazzy, lush and bombastic, racy and romantic... not a clunker in the bunch, though we might have to frown about how much The John Schroder Orchestra's "Nightrider" sounds sooo much like the famous theme to Batman. Definitely if you love library music, or those In-Kraut compilations, this is kinda like the UK version of the same sort of thing, almost... and being British and from the swinging sixties, it's also no wonder that a lot of this could fit nicely in a spy movie, some of it very James Bond/Austin Powers sounding. The cd booklet includes notes on each track, photos, and lots of bright color. Right on.
MIKE VICKERS "On The Brink" MPEG Stream:
STANLEY MYERS "Organ Fantasia In D Major" MPEG Stream:
WYNDER K. FROG "I'm A Man"
V/A Ongaku 70: Vintage Psychedelia In Japan (Hiruko) lp 25.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. French import, a vinyl-only comp of some excellent Japanese psych stuff from the Seventies!! We weren't able to get very many, it's now out of print, and we've got like 3 copies left, first come first served! 13 tracks, circa 1969-1978, including cuts by Les Rallizes Denudes, JA Caesar, Kuni Kawachi & His Group, The Apryl Fool, Sadistic Mika Band, Stomu Yamash'ta's Red Buddha Theatre, Akiko Yano, Toshiaki Tsushima, Harry Hosono & The Yellow Magic Band, Osamu Kitajima, Karuna Khyal, and more... Some we'd heard before (the ones that have seen full album reissues in recent years) but others we'd never even heard OF, and are utterly new finds for us. There's a very "Japanese" vibe indeed to these particular psych acts, and an arty one too. Cool! There's a sequel too, Ongaku 80: Alternative Waves From Japan, that we sold out of already, but that one we're told we might see more of again in a few weeks...
V/A Ongaku 80: Alternative Waves From Japan (Hiruko) lp 25.00
We've been trying to list this for ages now (we listed its predecessor, the Ongaku 70 comp, late last year), but our distributor kept running out, and then eventually it sold out totally and went out of print. Well, it's finally repressed and available again, but who knows for how long, so grab a copy before they're gone, cuz this stuff is so good, and so crazy, some of the coolest and weirdest minimal electronic and no wave music we've ever heard, and most of the groups were totally unknown to us. Sure there's Phew and Riuchi Sakamoto and Tako, but then there's also Daisuck & Prostitute, Gunjogacrayon, Lizard and so many more. For those of you who remember that awesome So Young So Cold compilation of seventies and eighties cold/new wave music from France, well, imagine an even more warped and whatthefuck Japanese version and you've got Ongaku 80. The sounds here are so varied and so all over the map, there's no way to really describe it as a whole, so might as well go track by track. EP-4 starts things off with "Robothood Process", which is in fact quite robotic, sounding a little like Herbie Hancock's "Rockit" at 16rpm, a funky bassline, little flurries of percussion, a weird machinelike voice, streaks of feedback, tolling bells, all wrapped into ramshackle groove. Sakamoto's "Riot In Lagos" takes the new wavey prog of Yellow Magic Orchestra (Sakamoto's group), and pulls it apart into something more robotic, unwinding long streaks of dubby rhythms, and a stuttery almost hip-hop groove, wreathed in all manner of beeps and bloops and synth blurts. "Modern Beat" by Lizard might be one of our favorites, a militaristic beat, some spidery guitar melodies, buried crooned vocals, lilting melodies, but over the top super loud dubbed out drums and a thick super distorted low end buzz, that erupts every once in a while like a squelchy rib cage rattling pppppthhhh, not to mention some squiggly Bollywood melodies. Portray Heads offer up "Elaborate Dummy", which is a killer slab of futuristic electro-punk with sweet crooned girl vox over the top, pulsing and pulsating synthscapes that should have fans of Zombi, Umberto and all the rest flipping their lids. Gunjogacrayon channel early P.I.L. and the Slits for a noisy chunk of super rhythmic punkfunk, wreathed in all sorts of effects and guitar scrabble and garbled wild vox. Flip the record over, and things start off with "Urahara" by Phew, a weird bit of stiff robotic funk, with cold sung/spoken female vox over theremin like melodies and an almost Kraftwerk like arrangement. Tako's "Funk Of The Hostage" is indeed funky, bit a sort of sinister soundtracky funk that slithers and swaggers, a creepy bit of stuttery broody psychedelic spacefunk, with processed vocal garble and shards of squealing feedback and fractured melodies, as well as flurries of atonal piano, and bursts of distorted yelps and swirling FX. The awesomely named Daisuck & Prostitute almost sound like they could be some sort of proto-Ruins project, progged out scrabbly lurching grooviness, peppered with horn bleats and strangled guitar squiggles, all beneath dramatic vox, the song slipping from frenetic skitter, to grooving post punk. Shinobu's "Earth" is another track that sounds like a mutated version of HH's "Rockit", this time pelted with all manner of spaced out swirl and stuttering swoosh, a collage of sliced and diced sonic fragments raining down on a mesmerizing sci-fi synth groove, with some bizarre bellowed vox. And finally, PTA's finish things off with their epic "Woo-Guy After Dark", which weds post punk guitar jangle to tribal percussion, swoonsome synth swells to sweetly crooned female vocals, a slow build to something that more resembles a lost Bollywood soundtrack or some strange Southeast Asian cassette reissued on Sublime Frequencies, the song slipping from dense and percussive to swirly and ethereal and back again, all the while super rhythmic and hypnotic. Phew! So good, and so awesomely crazy and over the top! So totally recommended. We definitely can't say how long these copies will last, or if we can get more once they're gone, so better probably to not risk it. You have been warned!
EP-4 "Robothood Process" MPEG Stream:
RIUCHI SAKAMOTO "Riot In Lagos" MPEG Stream:
LIZARD "Modern Beat" MPEG Stream:
PORTRAY HEADS "Elaborate Dummy" MPEG Stream:
DAISUCK & PROSTITUTE "Ziggurat Witch-Hunt"
V/A Open Strings (Honest Jon's) 2cd 22.00
Another amazing archival release from the seemingly infallible Honest Jon's, the fourth in their series of compilations collecting early 78s held in the EMI archives. Open Strings, is as the title suggests, a collection of songs by virtuoso stringed instrument players, hailing from Iran, Iraq, Egypt and Turkey, all recorded in the 1920s, an incredible selection of tracks, almost entirely unheard since they were first released. And wow. Every single track here is fantastic. Folks who have been obsessing over the Sublime Frequencies series best start paying attention to Honest Jon's as well, absolutely riveting, emotional, idiosyncratic, passionate, from wild musical flights of fancy, flurries of notes, tangled melodies, to warm whirring droning ragas, to playful folky lullabies, to wild, almost psychedelic workouts, to frenzied freakouts, to dark contemplative ballads, all warm and crackly and gorgeously aged, but at the same time absolutely timeless, this is some seriously magical music, lost treasures for sure. And although it's really unnecessary, considering how sublime the first disc is on its own, the bonus material, featuring contemporary raga / drone string players responding to the originals (without which there music would not exist, or if it did, it would be in an extremely different form) is also pretty fantastic. And no doubt, folks with very little interest in Middle Eastern string music from the 20s will probably pick this up anyway for the folks doing modern versions of said music, just check out the lineup: SIR RICHARD BISHOP, SIX ORGANS OF ADMITTANCE, STEFFEN BASHO-JUGHANS, MICHAEL FLOWER, CHARLIE PARR, BRUCE LICHER, PAUL METZGER, RICK TOMLINSON, MV & EE AND MICAH BLUE SMALLDONE. Not bad. And their interpretations/versions are quite varied and all quite cool, from dark hushed whispers, to effects laden psychedelic blowouts to longform raga buzz to delicate folky flutter. Hopefully folks who pick this up for the modern stuff, will dig deeper and discover a whole new world of sound. The cd comes in a gorgeous printed gatefold jacket, with thick printed inner sleeves, and the vinyl, WOW. Super extravagant printed box, 4 lps in printed inner sleeves, heavy and deluxe and thus, a bit expensive, but for vinyl obsessives, probably well worth it.
MOUSTAPHA BEY RIDA "Taxim Hugaz Kar Wahda" MPEG Stream:
NECHAT BEY "Rast Taxim" MPEG Stream:
SIR RICHARD BISHOP "Olive Oasis" MPEG Stream:
CHARLIE PARR "Paul Bunyan's Fall"
V/A Open Strings (Honest Jon's) 4lp 55.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Another amazing archival release from the seemingly infallible Honest Jon's, the fourth in their series of compilations collecting early 78s held in the EMI archives. Open Strings, is as the title suggests, a collection of songs by virtuoso stringed instrument players, hailing from Iran, Iraq, Egypt and Turkey, all recorded in the 1920s, an incredible selection of tracks, almost entirely unheard since they were first released. And wow. Every single track here is fantastic. Folks who have been obsessing over the Sublime Frequencies series best start paying attention to Honest Jon's as well, absolutely riveting, emotional, idiosyncratic, passionate, from wild musical flights of fancy, flurries of notes, tangled melodies, to warm whirring droning ragas, to playful folky lullabies, to wild, almost psychedelic workouts, to frenzied freakouts, to dark contemplative ballads, all warm and crackly and gorgeously aged, but at the same time absolutely timeless, this is some seriously magical music, lost treasures for sure. And although it's really unnecessary, considering how sublime the first disc is on its own, the bonus material, featuring contemporary raga / drone string players responding to the originals (without which there music would not exist, or if it did, it would be in an extremely different form) is also pretty fantastic. And no doubt, folks with very little interest in Middle Eastern string music from the 20s will probably pick this up anyway for the folks doing modern versions of said music, just check out the lineup: SIR RICHARD BISHOP, SIX ORGANS OF ADMITTANCE, STEFFEN BASHO-JUGHANS, MICHAEL FLOWER, CHARLIE PARR, BRUCE LICHER, PAUL METZGER, RICK TOMLINSON, MV & EE AND MICAH BLUE SMALLDONE. Not bad. And their interpretations/versions are quite varied and all quite cool, from dark hushed whispers, to effects laden psychedelic blowouts to longform raga buzz to delicate folky flutter. Hopefully folks who pick this up for the modern stuff, will dig deeper and discover a whole new world of sound. The cd comes in a gorgeous printed gatefold jacket, with thick printed inner sleeves, and the vinyl, WOW. Super extravagant printed box, 4 lps in printed inner sleeves, heavy and deluxe and thus, a bit expensive, but for vinyl obsessives, probably well worth it.
MOUSTAPHA BEY RIDA "Taxim Hugaz Kar Wahda" MPEG Stream:
NECHAT BEY "Rast Taxim" MPEG Stream:
SIR RICHARD BISHOP "Olive Oasis" MPEG Stream:
CHARLIE PARR "Paul Bunyan's Fall"
V/A Open Up And Say...@<%_|^[!] (Tigerbeat6) cd 4.98
Tigerbeat6 offer up a stunningly eclectic compilation to make your head spin, and with a price tag that won't make your wallet whimper! Two dozen tracks ranging from the hi-tech to the lo-tech, the sophisticated to the positively nerdy. Starring DJ Rupture, Stars As Eyes, The Bug, Com.a, Numbers, Cex, Total Shutdown, Electric Company, The Rip-Off Artist, Crack We Are Rock, Knifehandchop, Nudge, Terminal 11, Nathan Michel, Caro, Dwayne Sodahberk, Max Tundra, Original Hamster, Zeigenbock Kopf and of course Kid 606.
DJ RUPTURE "Bonechip" MPEG Stream:
COM.A "Bitches From Outerspace"
V/A Orang-utan (Goppa) cd 14.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. One of the guys in the Jimmy Cake (see past lists for gushing reviews of both their full lengths) hooked us up with a few copies of this compilation that one of his bandmates released and it's really pretty great. Features a live track from the Jimmy Cake, a droning buzzing ambient minimalist epic, as well as a new Nurse With Wound track that is a gorgeous burbling, slowly modulating low end rumble. Also features the Tycho Brahe (Cocktails meets Arab Strap with female vocals), Daniel Figgis (glitchy Oval-esque soundscape), Artificial Memory Trace (barren and cinematic, minimal and haunting), King Camera Meets Volcano The Bear (quirky, rhythmic electronic weirdness, with horns!), Aranos (jaunty, creepy gypsy folk) and more!
THE JIMMY CAKE "Pefect Smoke (live)" MPEG Stream:
NURSE WITH WOUND "Die, Flip Or Go To India (The Slightly Green Librarian Mix)"
V/A Orange Twin Sampler (Orange Twin) cd 6.98
Pipes You See Pipes You Don't, Great Lakes, Lovers, Good Ship, Instruments, Boom Box 2000, Major Organ, Jeff Mangum and Neutral Milk Hotel, amongst others. 16 tracks, since it's a sampler I guess all are previously released on other Orange Twin records.
V/A Overboard (YoYo) cd 12.98
Seventeen tracks including stuff by The Lookers, Cannanes, Some Velvet Sidewalk and others, notably the much-raved-about Japanese contingent of Kirohito, Seagull Screaming Kiss Her Kiss Her and Loud Machine 0.5.
V/A Oz Days Live 2cd 11.98
For a long time, this record was a Japanese psych holy grail, originally a super limited double lp, later a double cd, originally released to commemorate the closing of a club in Tokyo called Oz, where presumably all of these bands were recorded. The main reason this was such a sought after artifact is no doubt the presence of not one, but TWO all time Japanese psychedelic legends, Les Rallizes Denudes and Taj Mahal Travelers. In fact those of is who did manage to track down a copy, never even really listened to the first disc, since the second disc was so goddamn good. And odds are, most aQ Japanese psych obsessives stopped reading about two sentences ago and lunged for the 'add to cart' button. Cuz while this is/was quite a rarity, we just discovered a source for a bunch of copies, incredibly cheap too, and snapped 'em up, cuz we figured that there were enough folks out there like us, who would definitely be keen on more from either/both TMT and Les Rallizes. Juts in case you actually need to know what it sounds like (as if you couldn't guess), Les Rallizes offer up their usual dose of super distorted psychedelic blues, opening with a droned out guitar thing, before slipping into a surprisingly pretty and folky, and distortion free bit of strum and croon, might be a big surprise for Les Rallizes fans out there, in fact it almost sounds like a Japanese Grateful Dead, until about the last minute, when the guitars come out, offering up a surprisingly, sweetly distorted lead. The second track too, opens up with a wild squall of distorted guitar, only to slip right back into mesmerizing bit of dirgey folky drone rock, this time sounding more like the Velvets, with some seriously emotional wailed vox and more sweet psychedelic leads. And then finally, the appropriately titled "The Last One", find the band returning to much noisier distorted realms, thick wandering basslines, super distorted guitar crunch, pounding drums, an explosive intro, and while the rest of the song dials it back again, it's awesomely dirgey and droney, laced with lots of tangled guitars and swaths of distortion. Taj Mahal Travelers do what they do best, unfurling a long minimal dronescape, all sawed violin, distant chanted vocals, swirling muted melodies, wheezing harmonicas, all blurred into lush sonic swells, Kosugi's violin driving the sound here, but with all the other various instruments contributing their own more subtle elements, a hazy, drifty, tripped out bit of druggy psychedelic drift that is perfectly divine. Like we said before, worth it just for the second disc, but heck, there's a whole other disc, which we actually never dug into until NOW. Up first is Miyako Ochi, who are a sort of Group Sounds, Beatles worshiping rock band, all British style rhythm and blues, the songs could very well be covers, one sounds exactly like "Twist And Shout", then there's Minami Masato, who are a lot like Miyako Ochi, at least with their Beatles-esque opener, but after that, the sound shifts to a more contemplative folk music, again looking to the UK and the US for inspiration, subtle simple strummed acoustic guitar and woozy croon, again quite cool, but a strange mix to be paired up with Les Rallizes and TMT. But then there's Acid Seven, who we were already hoping would be a bit more bad ass based on the name alone, and while they are ANOTHER band that is doing that Group Sounds sound, they manage to inject it with some grit and swagger, shouted gang vocals, super distorted production, wild psychedelic leads, and a vocalist who has a pretty bad ass raspy bellow. The following track is a strange sort of jaunty sing along, with some rad slippery slide guitar and there's even a KAZOO SOLO! Finally, they finish things up with a bit of brooding dark folk, urgently strummed acoustic guitar, and some heartfelt almost anguished sounding vocalizing, surprisingly pretty, especially considering the wild biker rock bellowing that preceded it. All in all pretty great. Japanese psych obsessives NEED this, and heck for $12, dabblers can definitely afford to give it a chance. But don't dawdle, pretty sure we got every copy our distributor had, so not sure when/if we'll be able to get more. Packaged in a slim sleeve with brown paper wrapper, duplicating the presentation of the original lp.
TAJ MAHAL TRAVELLERS "Part 1" MPEG Stream:
LES RALLIZES DENUDES "Untitled" MPEG Stream:
ACID SEVEN "Part 4" MPEG Stream:
MIYAKO OCHI "Part 3" MPEG Stream:
MINAMI MASATO "Part 2"
V/A Painted Black (tUMULt) cd 11.98
The Painted Black project was begun forever ago, originally to be released on AQ staffer Jim's now defunct Petrol label, then bequeathed years later to Andee to release on his tUMULt label where the lineup and concept went through many changes (possibly because what was begun as an homage to a song Jim really liked, became a deconstruction of a song Andee really hates) and then an endless procession of waits, mastering, pressing, re-recording, battles with other labels over 'rights', as well as 4 different cover concepts that all had to be scrapped because they were seemingly too difficult for any printers to confidently take on. -sigh- So then it finally emerged... Was it worth the wait? Obviously we think so. Look at the lineup, a veritable who's who of AQ favorites: Acid Mothers Temple, Circle, Hrvatski, James Plotkin, Kit Clayton, Loren Chasse, Troum, the Tape-beatles, Mieskuoro Huutajaat, Fennesz, and Stilluppsteypa. And that's just the cream. Lots of tracks were left off, according to Andee in order to avoid the spotty/uneven flow of most compilation/tribute/cover records. He even opted to leave off the Melt Banana track, which was a tough, but important choice, since the spazzy grind of their track disrupted the droning meditative, hypnotic flow of what is now less just a compilation of random tracks, more an epic and gorgeous hour of dreamy droney creepy blackness. So what does it sound like? Well, while it does flow, and could perhaps pass itself off as a record by a single (quite eclectic) group, each track offers something unique, while still culling the sinister spirit and nihilistic 'rock' from the original (the inspiration for this comp). Finnish shouting choir Mieskuoro Huutajaat start things off with a brief, and shouted, acapaella version, in Finnish, and delivered with gusto! James Plotkin's Joy Of Disease turns it into a burbling, stuttering, electronic soundscape with hiccupping beats and backwards vocals. Somewhere between Boards Of Canada and Coil. Stilluppsteyppa took back their original track, a wash of glitchy yet melodic, musique concrete, and re-recorded/re-mixed it, removing most of the melody and adding even more space, resulting in a dark abyss of gorgeously perplexing minimalism. The Kit Clayton track is an ultra catchy, beat heavy SF glitch core workout, that obliterates the original melody but manages to keep the minor key tension and dark ambience. Ultra prolific Japanese space rockers Acid Mothers Temple turn the original into a wild pagan ritual, starting out with several minutes of Tsuyama's throaty chants, skipping nervously around that oh-so-familiar melody before the band stumbles in to join him for the remaining 10 minutes, with splattery percussion, freaked out reverb/retard guitar and squealing feedback. Hrvatski (aka Keith Whitman) claims that this Painted Black contribution is his favorite track that he's ever recorded and it's easy to see why: he actually sings, plays guitar, and weaves a thick wash of warm, langorous tones before it all crumbles beneath a speaker shredding cascade of sputtering drill and bass. Iowa's masters of plunderphonia, the Tape-Beatles use found sounds and actual(?) chunks of the original to create a tense and unnerving, noirish dreamscape, with disebodied screams, curious snippets of overheard conversations, and THAT meoldy sliced and diced, which all end up adding to the creepy vibe. German drone-sters Troum incorporate 'that' melody into a totally overpowering and molasses-thick drone, assembled from multiple tracks of guitar and accordion. The Fennesz track was previously released on an ep via Jim O'Rourke's Moikai label, and to us seems like Fennesz at his very best. Melodies and textures are spit out, stuttering and hiccupping from the cold, digital craw of the laptop, but somehow come out all warm and thick and coil around you like stuffed snakes and deliciously fragrant pipesmoke. Amazing. AQ faves Circle, do what they do best, taking the skeletal remains of the original, holding on to the barebones melody, and constructing a motorik, unwavering rhythm, that sounds like Tony Conrad and Faust's Outside The Dream Syndicate with just a little more melody and umph. And the record is finished off perfectly, spiralling slowly into 'black'ness, by AQ pal Loren Chasse (who as you probably already know is a pillar of the Jewelled Antler Collective, as well as a member of Thuja, the Blithe Suns, etc). He uses snippets of the original, slowed down hundreds and hundreds of times until it is a lugubrious almost-melody, and contact mic-ed strobe lights to create a static-y, humming, nighttime dronescape, like an otherworldy forest, complete with clattery insect buzz and moaning winds in the ancient trees. An almost perfect compilation and an amazing gathering of some of our favorite artists doing some of their best work. Essential.
JOY OF DISEASE "2" MPEG Stream:
TROUM "8" MPEG Stream:
L. CHASSE "11" MPEG Stream:
V/A Painting The Time: New Rubble Volume 6 (Past & Present) cd 17.98
The New Rubble series hits volume six with this collection of rare '60s pop psych singles, entitled Painting The Time. We haven't reviewed all the volumes in the series so far but this one's worth a mention, with enjoyable tracks by twenty different artists (the few we've heard of before being Aphrodite's Child, The Velvet Opera, The Orange Bicycle, and The Nashville Teens). The truth is, though, that we expected to sell a lot more copies of volume FIVE in this series than we did -- that was the girl-fronted freakbeat comp Scratch My Back we reviewed here last list. So go back and review that review, folks! It's a damn good comp. Not that this isn't pretty cool too, but doesn't have quite the same level of thematic unity as Scratch My Back. The common denominator here is that these tracks, many but not all of 'em by bands from the UK, have for the most part never been compiled before. So says complier and liner notator Nick "Bevis Frond" Saloman, at any rate, and he's obviously knows more about this stuff than you or I! So even if you're a rabid '60s psych comp collector maybe you haven't yet heard the songs by The Twilights, Andy Ellison, Abel Fletcher, Chris Kerry, Cats Pyjamas, The Bystanders, Herbie's People, The Executives, The Shame, and all the others found here. And the good news is that though obscure, these songs are definitey better than mere barrel-scrapings, many of 'em excellent uptempo fuzzy finger-snappin' popsters. So '60s fans, check this out...and definitely think about picking up vol. 5 too while you're at it!
THE TWILIGHTS "Cathy Come Home" MPEG Stream:
CHRIS ANDREWS "Hold On"
V/A Paisley Pop: Pye Psych [& Other Colours] 1966-1969 (Sequel) cd 12.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Here is a compilation of obscure British psych groups that, with the exception of a couple semi famous artists (the Flying Machine, the Status Quo), is comprised of a bunch of bands that never really were recognized here in the U.S.. There is quite a variety here, ranging from trancy, drugged out slow ones, to out and out goofiness with silly meaningless drabble, and then there's some great songs that illustrate what 60's psych / garage are all about. Some very Syd Barrettesqe moments. This is ideal for British psych fans that want to get their hands on some rare songs.
THE UGLY'S "The Quiet Explosion" RealAudio clip:
TIMON "The Bitter Thoughts Of Little Jane" RealAudio clip:
STATUS QUO "Black Veils Of Meloncholy"
V/A Papagayo! The Spanish Sunshine Pop & Popsike Collection (Toytown) cd 21.00
V/A Paprikazz Fel! Best Of The Hungarian Rockscene 1965-1971 (Grey Past) 2lp 48.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
V/A Patty Duke Fanzine #6: Love To Patty (Top Quality Rock & Roll) 2cd 17.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. The king of the Patty Duke fan club has just gotta be Mike Dereniewski of Detroit, MI. He's the man behind this musical mammoth ode to Ms Duke. His Patty Duke Fanzine has evolved over the last decade from a traditional cut'n'paste paper zine to one that included a 7" compilation with bands covering Patty songs to its current and final state, this double cd compilation. Talk about goin' out with a bang! Likewise, Mike D's musical periscope has stretched out beyond his early ultra pop focus, discovering and sharing sounds of all shapes and sizes from around the globe. Mind you, a big part of his record collection is still clearly reserved for the sweet sounds of girl groups. These two cds collect together tunes from past Patty Duke Fanzine releases and a whole lot more. You get an astounding fifty four tracks of music and almost as many dialogue snippits of Patty Duke from her tv shows and movies! Allow us to give you a mere sampling of the artists included: Asobi Seksu, Gore Gore Girls, His Name Is Alive, Jessica Bailiff, Kevin Blechdom, Mark Robinson, Rose Melberg, Slumber Party, Stereo Total, V/VM, and Windy & Carl. Wow!
ASOBI SEKSU "All Through The Day" MPEG Stream:
MELBERG, ROSE "I Love How You Love Me"
V/A PDX Pop Now! 2008 (PDX Pop Now!) 2cd 7.98
No doubt about it, there is so much great music and art coming out of Portland lately. Not to sound bitter, but we here in San Francisco have lost some of our most talented folks in recent years to the cheaper rent and more laid back lifestyle up in Portland and some of them (Yellow Swans, SubArachnoid Space) pop up on this great two disc collection, which features a wide variety of PDX music including talented folks like Yacht, Valet, Au, New Bloods, Pink Martini, Panther and a bunch more. Forty songs in all and for sure something for everyone on here. Compiled by the folks at PDX Pop Now, a really cool nonprofit in Portland that helps provide resources, venues and facilitate a true sense of community amongst the musicians and audience members in the independent arts scene in Portland. So cool.
VALET "We Went There" MPEG Stream:
AU "Are Animals" MPEG Stream:
YACHT "Ring The Bell (Premix)"
V/A Pepperisms (QDK Media / Normal) cd 15.98
Quite simply, this is a collection of bands from around the globe circa 1969, who have done their best to emulate "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" with very pleasing results. Quirky psychedelic pop from We All Together (Peru), Prudy (Czechoslovakia), Quentin E. Klopjaeger (South Africa), The Twilights (Australia), and more. From the same label who produced the "Peace, Love, and Poetry" compilations!
V/A Perfect As Cats - A Tribute To The Cure (Manimal Vinyl) 2cd 21.00
ATTENTION JESU OBSESSIVES!!! If you're -really- and -truly- obsessed with Jesu, and maybe money is no object, then you just might want to pick this up. A pretty cool version of "The Funeral Party" all done up Jesu style, a little bit blissed out and eighties sounding, definitely a good match, Jesu and the Cure. And as far as we know, this is the only place to find that track. 7 minutes = $21.00, you do the math. "But what about the rest of the tracks" you ask? Well, it's all Cure covers which could be cool, and the money made goes to charity, but quite frankly, the rest of the compilation is pretty bad. Some of it, just so-so to middling, but some of it GODAWFUL. Totally cringeworthy. Only a few bands we'd heard of: Dandy Warhols, The Muslims, Kaki King, Bat For Lashes, Indian Jewelry, Ex-Reveries. And sure there are a couple ok tracks tucked away in there, but for the most part, minus the Jesu song, you'd be much better off not wasting any of your valuable listening time here. But back to you Jesu freaks, if you'd pay $20 for some rare 7" on eBay, this might just be the same difference...
JESU "The Funeral Party"
V/A Perfect Un-Pop: Peel Show Hits & Long-Lost Lo-Fi Favourites Vol. 1 1976 - 1980 (Cherry Red) cd 17.98
Perhaps you have to be of a certain, somewhat advanced age to have the same nostalgic memories of huddling up next to your radio late at night, the record button on your tape deck ready to fire, listening for that one perfect song that perfectly captures every semi-embarassing angst-ridden teenage emotion you've felt that day. You might not even know the name of the band, or maybe you misheard the name of the song, and you're pretty sure that you're never going to be able to find the 7", but there is no doubt that the song will inhabit every mix tape you make for the next couple of months. You'll listen to that song over and over until the tape wears out or the radio brings you the next in a hopefully endless series of best-songs-ever. If there's one thing that the radio will always have over MySpace or YouTube or any other latter day source of musical instant gratification, it's that feeling of being secure in the knowledge that no matter how shitty your day was, or how much you hated your school, there are dozens or hundreds or thousands of other kids just like you, listening to those same songs at the same moment. Perfect Unpop harkens back to a golden era for DIY pop deliverance, when John Peel was the high priest of impeccable taste, bringing together the unwashed, spotty-faced masses every night through the power of BBC Radio. Much of the music on this collection falls neatly into the spectrum of spiky-haired, skinny tied, frenetic, punched up power pop, perfected by better known acts like The Jam, The Who, Elvis Costello, The Undertones, and Joe Jackson. However, a few tracks do veer more towards the brash, bratty sneer of the Sex Pistols (Eater's "Thinking of the USA" for one), while others opt for a darker, more austere, occasionally drum-machine backed groove that recalls Joy Division, Wire or some of the French cold wave bands that were undoubtedly starting to trickle across the channel. If you have even a passing interest in late-'70s DIY power-pop/punk, then there will be some familiar treats (The Vibrators, Swell Maps, Young Marble Giants, Kleenex, The Monochrome Set, Au Pairs, Vic Godard and the Subway Sect), but there are enough rarities here to keep all but the most obsessive reaching for the lovingly assembled liner notes from time-to-time. The music compiled on Perfect Unpop is awkward, fumbling, scrappy, (check out the unintentionally Coleman-channeling sax 'solos' on The Outcasts' "Self-Conscious Over You" or The Prefects "Going Through The Motions" to get a sense of bands definitely working at the outer limits of their technical abilities) but all the better for it - the roughness and lack of polish make the songs engaging and evocative in a way that more perfectly polished pop gems could never be. This is a compilation packed with perfectly fleeting moments of lo-fi perfection that will make you long for those late nights when a song on the radio could make you feel invincible. Essential!
GLAXO BABIES "This Is Your Life" MPEG Stream:
EATER "Thinking Of The USA" MPEG Stream:
KLEENEX "Hedi's Head"
V/A Perverted By Mark E.: A Tribute To The Fall (Zickzack) 2cd 25.00
A very strange and obscure tribute to the Fall featuring a handful of folks we know: Chris Knox, Chris Brokaw, the Black Eyed Snakes, Preston School Of Industry, Chris Cacavas and Barbara Manning as well as loads of bands we no nothing about: Egoexpress, S.Y.P.H., the Creeping Nobodies, Locust Fudge, Boy Division, Like A Stuntman and tons more. Super in-depth liner notes letting you know who all those bands are and why the heck they're so into the Fall.
BABRBARA MANNING "Paintwork" MPEG Stream:
PRESTON SCHOOL OF INDUSTRY "Mere Pseud Mag. Ed."
V/A Phantom Guitars: A Cool Collection of Twangin' Guitar (Psychic Circle) cd 17.98
Giddy up! Let's rumble! It's a plethora of twangorama on Phantom Guitars, the new disc from the fab Psychic Circle label, who have brought us a ton of cool comps of '60s and '70s prog and psych grooviness (some recent highlights including White Lace & Strange, Blow Your Cool, and Return Of The Instro-Hipsters). This one, like several of those, was compiled by Nick "Bevis Frond" Saloman, who we're beginning to think must have the most amazing record collection ever. This disc wanders back a few years earlier than usual for these comps, to delve into the way out world of British instrumental guitar combos circa 1961-'64. Well it's mostly instrumental, but for some non sequitur exhortations of excitement that might lend a song its title... Basically, before the Beatles, one of the biggest pop sensations of the era in the UK were The Shadows (sorta analogous to The Ventures over here in the USA, with a dose of Duane Eddy and a lick of Link Wray). The 25 tracks here are from some of the groups that followed in their wake, with monikers like The Falcons, The Champions, The Executives, The Cougars, The Players, Group X, The Gladiators, The Vengers, The Planets, The Hunters, The Violents, and The Phantoms, just to name a few of 'em. Generally awash in reverb, these cooler-than-thou guitar twangers specialized in surfy, cinematic Spaghetti Western suspensefulness and galloping grooves. Nick's picked a bunch of winners, not a duff track in the bunch if you're into these sort of vintage sounds. Zounds! If these bands were from Indonesia or Cambodia or someplace more exotic than the British Isles (or Sweden, he's included one Swedish band actually) we're sure we'd sell a ton of this disc, so c'mon why not give it a go anyway? FYI, one of the tracks was written by John Barry, another one produced by Joe Meek. How do we know? Well the cd booklet includes notes on each track, for which we are always grateful, though learning that for instance Group X was actually The Martin Jay Five and that they made only two singles but did manage an appearance on a TV show called Thank Your Lucky Stars isn't really as interesting as just groovin' to their catchy beat (in their case, boasting some jazzy sax along with the six string bendin'). Darn cool.
THE FALCONS "Stampede" MPEG Stream:
THE KREW KATS "Jack's Good" MPEG Stream:
DENNIS NEWEY "title unknown"
V/A Phoning It In (West Main Development) cd 7.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. **SALE **SALE* *SALE** Before we get going with this review, we figured we oughta just get your attention with the words NEW 30 MINUTE DANIEL HIGGS TRACK!!! That's right, we'll get to that in a minute though... Phoning It In is a radio show in Boston, where musicians call in and perform songs over the phone, which makes for super intimate performances, but which also give the recordings a cool, alien, lo-fi vibe (remember the vocals-recorded-from-jail on Bad Brains' I Against I record?!). This disc collects three recent guests on Phoning It In, The Caribbean, Don Zientara and Mr. Daniel Higgs. The first three tracks are solo acoustic numbers from the frontman of The Caribbean, and are quite nice, falling somewhere between the Mountain Goats and some more traditionally indie. The vocals lilting and sadboy, the guitar minor key, the tracks simple but quite lovely. Don Zientara, a legendary producer (whose name has graced almost every DC punk record you've ever owned) as well as performer, and here offers up two haunting acoustic numbers, long drawn out steel string tangles, simple strumming and angular fingerpicking, a sort of Appalachia / indie jangle hybrid, with a high croon that is actually quite reminiscent of Charles Manson or Captain Beefheart. The whole thing sounding like some unearthed demo tape from Laurel Canyon in the late sixties / early seventies. Most folks are probably gonna buy this for the Higgs track, and it's well worth it, a massive sprawling buzzing distorted raga epic, 25 minutes, total blown out super distorted lo-fi trance inducing beauty. It sounds like a pump organ (and at times like a guitar, and at others a Jew's harp...), wheezing out thick dense chords, with notes overlapping and beating against each other, pulsing and buzzing, some ancient primitive ritual, timeless and divine, completely mesmerizing, like alien bagpipe music, a keening high end drone that twists and changes shape, various notes peeling off in little curlicues of feedback, or flurries of jagged scrape, but always being reabsorbed into this surprisingly lush organic rumbling buzzing divine drone. Absolutely amazing of course. Packaged in a cool hand printed cardstock sleeve, with a mini printed insert.
V/A Pick A Winner (Load) dvd + cd 22.00
YEEEEAAY. What a wonderful service Load provides, bringing awesome musicians/artists from the dregs of Providence (and elsewhere) to all of us. Those guys live there so we don't have to. Well, Load's Pick A Winner compilation cd features some of our favorite artynoisebands from Prov: La Machine (ex-Six Finger Satellite and Landed), Lightning Bolt, Forcefield, Pixeltan, Pleasurehorse and even a tiny little glistening nugget of a song from (sadly, now defunct) Thee Hydrogen Terrors. The Load artists are not your typical noise bands, mind you. They are 100 percent a pertinent cataclysm of talent and ideas. And then there's the dvd. Holy shit! It's so great to see these videos. Most of the featured artists typically use whatever they have or can use around to make totally genuine two-dimensional magic with, and to see their work transcend into pure video conjury is truly inspiring. The package even comes with a deck of cards, each specially designed by Load artists, just to show they care about you, the consumer. So buy this cd/dvd now! In fact, buy three!! (Not advised for people with heart problems.) Oh, but unfortunately Load doesn't care as much about their artists, as there is no tracklisting to tell you who is what, etc. So our mp3 samples are listed as track numbers only.
"Track 01" MPEG Stream:
V/A Pillows & Prayers (Cherry Red) 3cd+dvd 42.00
A super awesome compendium of the bountiful music released by Cherry Red Records circa 1981 through 1984. 'Twas such a crazy flurry of wonderful UK music in such a short period of time. The box set brings back such warm fuzzy memories of the distinct slightly eccentric and brainy sounds of those years! It comes with the 2cd compilation Pillows & Prayers, a rarities disc and a dvd of music videos! Artists include many longtime aQ faves: Marine Girls and Everything But The Girl as well as Ben Watt and Tracey Thorn individually, The Monochrome Set, Eyeless In Gaza, The Misunderstood, Robert Wyatt, Kevin Coyne, Felt, and many many more!
V/A Plague Songs (4AD) cd 13.98
Eeurgh! This compilation's subject matter might fill you with terror -- being based on the ten biblical plagues and all -- but the music is mighty easy on the ears. You get ten songs from the 4AD label's odd bedfellows Stephin Merritt, Laurie Anderson, Rufus Wainwright, Brian Eno with Robert Wyatt, Imogen Heap, The Tiger Lilies, King Creosote, Cody Chesnutt, Klashnekoff, and Scott Walker, all addressing the plague-related unpleasantries such as boils, lice, locusts, flies, frogs, blood, death of livestock, hail, death of firstborn and darkness. Thematically perhaps not for those with delicate constitutions, but musically there's a little (predominantly adult contemporary leaning) something for almost everyone.
MERRITT, STEPHIN "The Meaning Of Lice" MPEG Stream:
ANDERSON, LAURIE "The Fifth Plague" MPEG Stream:
WAINWRIGHT, RUFUS "Katonah"
V/A Poly High: School Bands Play the Classics (Amalgamated Incorporated) cd-r 11.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Wow, things were awesome in the seventies. Sure, there was Watergate and an oil crisis and Vietnam...but there were also high school bands rocking out versions of Hendrix and Led Zeppelin! You loved the Langley Schools Music Project, right? Maybe you also dug the (now out of print) "Schoolhouse Funk" disc of high school marching bands doing funk covers. Here's the next must-have in this burgeoning 'genre', a collection of recordings of high school bands circa 1970-1976 doing their favorite rock hits of the day. From Foghat's "Slow Ride" to Santana's "Soul Sacrifice" to B.O.C.'s "Godzilla" this is pretty darn killer, a way to enjoy these 'oldies' without turning on classic rock radio -- the originals can't compare anyway. Check out the drum solo in "Moby Dick", or the way the kid's voice changes during "Purple Haze" (heck, he's probably 13 years old!). You'll hear from the Santa Monica Unified School District Music Dept., the Anaheim High School Original Rock and Popsannay, the Fairview High School "Excalibur" and Jazz Ensemble, the Baldwin Harbor Junior High Jazz/Rock Ensemble, among others. Was it square to be in band back then? 'Cause these kids sound pretty hip to us today. From crazy fuzz psych guitar leads that seem way beyond their years to sunny, Fifth Dimension style vocal choruses, these tracks are full of extra-curricular excellence. We were especially surprised and impressed by the Roswell New Mexico Goddard High School Stage Band's version of "Evil Woman" -- no, not the E.L.O. song, or even the one by Spooky Tooth, but the much more obscure composition by '60s garage band Crow that Black Sabbath covered on the UK version of their debut album! Cool, and weird.
"INSTANT FUNK" VENICE HIGH SCHOOL, CA "Moby Dick" MPEG Stream:
AMELIA HIGH SCHOOL ROCK ENSEMBLE "Dreammare" MPEG Stream:
GODDARD HIGH SCHOOL STAGE BAND "Evil Woman"
V/A Pop Electronique (Spinning Wheel) cd 16.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. German collection of weird experimental electronic pop tunes -- all previously unreleased by the likes of Moog pioneer Jean Jacques Perrey, Jean Michel Herve, Amadeo Tommasi, and Pell Mell(!).
V/A Pop Made In France (Magic) cd 15.98
Subtitled Les Plus Grands Groupes De Rock Des Annees 70 En France, here's a 23 track collection of, indeed, swinging '70s French rock n' pop... we imported 'em directly from France just about as soon as we found out about this and scoped the track list. It's on the same label that brought us those Sixties Girls comps, as well as the now out of print Les Variations and Triangle anthologies, amongst other goodies. Styles here vary, and not every track is a killer, but that's how comps go. We certainly found enough tres bon poppy psych, prog rock bombast, AM radio sunshine, melancholic balladry, glam production and fat beats and flutes and grooves and blues and more to enjoy, for sure! Some of it's seriously cookin', some of it's on the softer side, and either way for the most part we're falling for the combination of Gallic charm and '70 kitsch on display here. There's some groups here we'd heard of and many more we hadn't. Here's the line-up: Triangle, Time Machine, Les Variations, Dynastie Crisis, Jupiter Sunset, Ange, Alan Jack Civilization, Zoo, Costa-Yared-Costa, Trust, Tai Phong, Presence, Doc Dail, Martin Circus, Alice, Ilous & Decuyper, Labyrinthe, Trianglophone, Starshooter, Pop Tops, Total Issue, and two "bonus instrumentaux" from Le System Crapoutchik and Pachyderm. Too bad there's not much info given in the cd booklet about all these.
TIME MACHINE "Turn Back Time" MPEG Stream:
ZOO "City Break Down" MPEG Stream:
ALICE "Le Roseau" MPEG Stream:
TOTAL ISSUE "Les Marins"
V/A Pop Romantique: French Pop Classics (Emperor Norton) cd 13.98
Intriguing collection of diverse folks doing versions of classics like "Si Tu Dois Partir": Apples in Stereo, Ivy, John Wesley Harding, Lloyd Cole, Heavenly, Magnetic Fields, Sukia, Air featuring Francoise Hardy, and The Ladybug Transistor featuring Kevin Ayers!
V/A Pop Yeh Yeh: Psychedelic Rock From Singapore & Malaysia 1964-1970 (Sublime Frequencies) cd 19.98
By now, we're used to the idea of rock n' roll in its sixties heyday as a GLOBAL phenomenon, kids everywhere, East and West, North and South, rockin' to that crazy beat. Thanks to the dedicated efforts of quite a few internationally-digging DJs and collectors, the past few years have been especially fruitful ones for reissues of far-flung rock artifacts on labels like Sublime Frequencies, Now-Again, and Soundway. We've heard groovy groups from Turkey, Cambodia, Ghana, Thailand, India, Indonesia, and seemingly every place else. Certainly there's been a few releases that have delved into the scene in Malaysia and Singapore, but this fabulous new collection on Sublime Frequencies is THEE one to get if you want to learn about the great electric beat music being made by and for teenagers in that part of the world, circa 1964-1970. Despite the conservative nature of Malaysian society, the rock n' roll revolution took root among its youth too. This Pop Yeh Yeh comp proves it! (The term "Pop Yeh Yeh", by the way, referring to rock music sung in Malay, was apparently derived from the "yeah yeah yeah" chorus of The Beatles' song "She Loves You", though it may have been another British band, Cliff Richard and The Shadows, that was the bigger influence on the nascent Malay rock scene.) While the kids there didn't get as wild in the streets as they may have elsewhere, with drugs and sex and all of that, they were still happy to let their hair down (if only just a bit) to make some sweet rock n' roll records. 26 such tracks are collected here, full of catchy melodies, fuzzy guitars, warbling organs... There's energetic dance numbers, and lovely ballads both. Some have the twang of surf music, others the sultry singers and lush arrangements of Hindi movie soundtracks, which were another big influence on Pop Yeh Yeh, besides Western pop rock and traditional Malay folk music forms. This compilation is an obvious labor of love, years in the making, and can't be faulted for any lack of thoroughness. The physical product and depth of research set the bar pretty high for future collections of this type! It's a big package all right, colorful and informative. The tri-fold digipack contains not one but TWO thick booklets, they're both needed to contain all the extensive liner notes (book 1, a general essay on the history of rock n' roll in Malaysia and Singapore, plus lyrics to the songs on the cd; book 2, detailed write-ups on each and every track on the disc) plus tons of vintage photos of the sharp-dressed young men and women who made this delightful music, which despite all the interestin' reading, is still the main draw here after all! Another winner from Sublime Frequencies, guaranteed to put a smile on your face.
AZIZAH MOHAMED & ORKES NIRWANA "Syurga Idaman" MPEG Stream:
ADNAN OTHMAN & THE WANDERERS "Revolusi" MPEG Stream:
SITI ZAITON & THE TWILITES "Rindu" MPEG Stream:
NOOR HAMZAH & BAND MESRA "Sidia Siapa"
V/A Portable Supersound (Smalltown Supersound) cd 12.98
We really shoulda listed this comp a few weeks ago, since it's a sampler of all the cool new stuff out or about to be out on Norway's happenin' Smalltown Supersound label, some of which wasn't yet released when we first got this in. But hey some of it still isn't, though this does feature a track from that rad Sunburned Hand / Four Tet collab Fire Escape we highlighted last list, and a cut from the blissed-out Arp debut that showed up last week (and is highlighted elsewhere this list). Yep, Smalltown Supersound has been kicking ass lately, and if you want to cheaply and conveniently check out the who, what, and why of that bold statement, this is a great means of doing so. Suffice to say, if post-punk krautrocky space disco tracks (each one here being some and/or all of the above) float yr boat, then The Portable Supersound is a smart purchase -- unless you're planning to buy *every* Smalltown Supersound release anyway, which isn't such a bad idea either. From Scandinavia to San Francisco and beyond, there's a dozen cutting edge yet kinda clubby artists on here to get excited about... besides the already abovementioned, this also includes tracks from Kim Hiorthoy, Bjorn Torske, 120 Days, Tussle, Lindstrom, Mental Overdrive, diskJokke, Toy, Lars Horntveth, and last but not least, Japan's The Lift Boys, aka EYE from the Boredoms, whose full-Bore TECHNO! track taken from a 12" vinyl-only release is a good reason to get this all by itself.
BJORN TORSKE "Hatten Passer" MPEG Stream:
THE LIFT BOYS AKA EYE "Anarchy Way" MPEG Stream:
120 DAYS "Come Out, Come Down, Fade Out, Be Gone"
V/A Post-Asiatic: Lost War Dream Music (Urck) 2cd 16.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. We've been meaning to start stocking stuff from the Urck label for a while now. They had sent us a bunch of discs by a band with the strange name of Hop-Frog's Drum Jester Devotional, and to be honest at first we were fearing the worst, yeah we know, don't judge a book by its cover or a band by it's name, but we often judge band's by their names and it usually works out pretty well for us, Bathtub Shitter, Fuck I'm Dead, Pocohaunted, we could go on, but to be totally honest we were sort of expecting some sort of hippy jam band, you know hackey sacks and dayglo jester hats, but thankfully, we couldn't have been more wrong. The sound was devotional for sure, and the focal point was certainly drums, but the sound was more tribal and ethnic, spiritual and dark, more along the lines of Muslimgauze, lots of samples and voices, intricate rhythms, hypnotic and trancey. So we will eventually review a record proper from Hop-Frog's Drum Jester Devotional, but we figured an even better place to start would be this brand new double disc compilation, featuring lots of bands on the Urck label, as well as a whole bunch of bands we already dig. The comp is called Post-Asiatic Lost War Dream Music and is subtitled A Compilation Of Eastern Influenced Experimental Music, which pretty much nails it, but within that fairly broad descriptor, the bands veer into all sorts of varied sonic territory. Right off the bat, there's a handful of bands who would have made owning this comp worthwhile all on their own, Amps For Christ, who offer up a gorgeous sprawling nearly 11 minute long jam, folky and lilting, guitars and sitars woven into drifting dreamlike harmonies, the melodies sunny and wistful, all very free and abstract, but gorgeous and we would have been happy to hear this track stretched out to fill an entire record. Muslimgauze does a stripped down, pure rhythm track, shuffling skittering drums, looped and cyclical, very hypnotic, and very very abstract. Neung Phak deliver a blissy slab of laid back psychpop, whirring organ, simple subtle drumming, twangy guitar, all wrapped around a super catchy Eastern melody. Experimental guitarist Bill Horist delivers some super spare squeak and scrape, chime and clatter, shimmer and swell, eventually that minimal guitar is joined by some sort of fiddle, wailing out a lonesome tune. Z'ev joins up with someone called Ramona Ponzini, for a haunting metallic scrapescape peppered with tribal drumming and with creepy disembodied vocals. There's also several tracks from that amazing Indian Soundscapes record we reviewed a while back, as well as tracks from Soriah, Metal Rouge, Moe! Staiano and F-Space. But the bands we hadn't heard of are just as exciting as those we were already familiar with. The aforementioned Hop-Frog's Drum Jester Devotional unfurls a drum heavy ceremony, all pounding tribalism, and buzzing steel strings, sounding very East Asian, another track that we would have loved to hear stretched out to fill up the whole disc. Venerable Showers Of Beauty Gamelan, is just that, a DIY gamelan, chiming and resonant, the melodies definitely Asian influenced, but also a bit Western, with many of the tones allowed to drone on and on, giving the track a slightly ominous buzz. C.O.T.A. weave a dark slab of tribal dark ambience, lots of rumble and buzz, a thick bassy pulse and shimmering sitar like strings. We definitely need to hear more from these guys. And we could go on and on and on. This is after all two discs packed with all sorts of amazing music, and a whole clutch of new bands to discover and probably knowing us (and you we'd imagine) decide we need to hear more of. Recommended for fans of any of the above mentioned bands obviously, or anyone looking for into dark, dreamy, buzzy, blissful, tribal sounds. Everytime we play this in the store, someone comes up to ask what it is. Obviously, way recommended. Packaged in a super thick mini gatefold lp-style sleeve, with liner notes and credits inside.
AMPS FOR CHRIST "Happy New Year, Sibanjar" MPEG Stream:
NEUNG PHAK "Sadchatri 06" MPEG Stream:
MUSLIMGAUZE "Zahal End"
V/A Power For Passion... (Dionysus) cd 14.98