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IMPORTANT (Please read to avoid confusion):
Some items below may be tagged with a bold, red, all-caps "out of print/unavailable" notice. This does NOT mean that all other items not so tagged are, in fact, in stock -- or for that matter, in print and available, though there's a good chance they are. Some folks get confused on this point, and we can see why, so please read this for further clarification and other important before-you-order information. Unlike some mailorder websites, we don't have an electronic inventory system linked to our site, so you can't be sure of what we actually have or don't have in stock at any given moment without asking us -- please email our mailorder department for availability status -- or better yet, just go ahead and place your order using our shopping cart function and we'll get back to you with the status of each item. If you have general non-mailorder questions, email the store.


album cover S.A. SMASH Smashy Trashy (Definitive Jux) cd 13.98
Latest blast of damaged hip-hop-ic mayhem from the Def Jux camp and it's maybe one of the best so far. And of all the Def Jux releases, for some reason it's gotten the least attention. Not sure why, but it's a shame. Def Jux has done nothing but impress from day one, Cannibal Ox, El-P, RJD2, Company Flow, Aesop Rock, Mr. Lif and on and on. A perfectly, off-kilter, damaged and demented take on hip hop. Super innovative production, funky and bouncing beats, wild, weird flows, and most importantly a sense of humor. S.A. Smash fit in perfectly, playing the goofy country cousins to the big city Def Jux nuclear family. The record starts off with a skit, I know, I hate 'em too, but this one's pretty fucking funny. And there are a few more scattered throughout the record, but they sort of fit in the whole scheme of things. Skits aside though, this record kills. Banging, booming beats, weird but totally catchy production. The sound is a wild mix of Nelly bounce, Clipse grind and Cannibal Ox outerspaceness, which perfectly complements Camutao and Metro's free form flow, equal parts Onyx intensity, Redman goofiness and Method Man scratchy drawl. The El-P produced "Lilly" is quite possible the jam of the year, with an incredibly catchy, looped bassline, and a hook that just won't stop. Why this isn't all over the radio we will never understand. And the rest of the record is just as slamming. Fans of all things Definitive Jux, Mush, Anticon need this, and folks who get all their hip hop from MTV and Power 106 gotta get schooled.
MPEG Stream: "Smash TV"
MPEG Stream: "Robot"
MPEG Stream: "Clout"

album cover S.E.T.I. Above Black (Ash) cd 14.98
This is the second pressing for the S.E.T.I. "Above Black" album, originally released in 1998 as part two in a trilogy of paranoiac / isolationsist sound constructions that include "Knowledge" (1995) and "Pod" (2000). Throughout this series, S.E.T.I. (aka Andrew Lagowski who spent time in the early IDM scene with recordings for GPR, and who worked on Lustmord's apocalyptic ambient masterpiece "Heresy" as well) crafts beguiling soundtracks mired in the mythologies of contact with extra-terrestrial beings, both optimisistic and conspiratorial. The title "Above Black" comes from a book of the same name authored by Dan Sherman, a former agent for the NSA, who while on active duty in the US Air Force claimed to have firsthand evidence of the US government's dealings with alien lifeforms. Lagowski may have genuine allegiances with Sherman's claims, but wisely sites his sound productions within the realm of sci-fi metaphor. The source material for "Above Black" appears to be shortwave radio transmissions, in particular the enigmatic repetitions and crackling bleches from utility signals. Whether they overtly function as voice frequency telegraphy, differential global positioning, or air controller communication, it's not a big leap that the intrinsic mysteriousness of these transmissions across the shortwave band are part of some conspiracy. Lagowski accentuates these references through a well-designed sound-narrative aiming for psychological tension and punctuated with shivering electrical drones, bursts of garbled communications, and distant cracklings from the ether.
RealAudio clip: "Revelation"

S.E.T.I. Pod (Ash International) cd 15.98
"Pod" is the final installment to Andrew Lagowski's alien trilogy, which has dealt with the secrecy surrounding extra-terrestrial intelligence and the so-called Grey Projects of research & development of the defense applications of ET technology. Thematically, Lagowski posits a different metaphor for "Pod" away from the control of information and closer to an escape mentality that was embraced by the members of the Heaven's Gate cult. Within this context, Lagowski has crafted an evocative collage of crackling VLF recordings, air-traffic control transmissions of UFO sightings, and other cosmic transmissions.

S.O.B. Gate Of Doom (Blackend) cd 16.98

MPEG Stream: "Delusions Of Terror"
MPEG Stream: "Trapped In Cancer"

S.O.B. Vicious World (Blackend) cd 16.98

MPEG Stream: "Crisis Prophecy"
MPEG Stream: "Killing Field"

album cover S.O.B.-KAIDAN Noise, Violence & Destroy (Alchemy) cd 21.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Holy shit. The title kinda says it all. This is a reissue of an older Alchemy classic, originally released on cd in 1992 (recorded live a few years before that, circa 1988-89), that pits Japan's Kings Of Noise, Hijokaidan, featuring guitarist Jojo Hiroshige, against seminal Japanese grindcore act SxOxB, who started back in 1983 and whose discography includes several full albums released internationally in the '90s, as well as a split 7" with Napalm Death amongst others...
Or rather, it pits 'em both together vs. YOUR eardrums and sanity. Makes sense these two Osaka-based bands would collaborate, being leading proponents in Japan of two strains of quote unquote extreme quote unquote music as it existed at the time!
With "song" titles like "Fuck Or Die", "Rising Hell", "Look Like Devil", this is about as punk as you can get, really. There's short blasts, and extended workouts. Gruff shouting (throat abuse from original S.O.B. vocalist Tottusan, who tragically ended his life in 1995 by jumping in front of a train) rains hell over psychedelic sheets of guitar skree from the 3 guitarists on hand, each pretty much doing their own thing all at the same time -- grinding riff frenzy, spaced out soloing -- as loud as possible to compete with the constant drum pummel. It's an abstract cacophony of noise, violence & destroy, yes it is. And guess what? 10 of the 12 tracks feature special guest (on, what else,"noise") Eye Yamatsuka of Boredoms. Good grief, did they think they really needed the help?
MPEG Stream: "Noise, Violence & Destroy"
MPEG Stream: "Not Me"

album cover S.O.C.M.Z. Seance Orchestra's Cosmic Mind Zoo (self-released) 2 x cassette 10.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
This one is a mind bender. The strangely named Seance Orchestra's Cosmic Mind Zoo offer up two cassettes of ultra abstract, minimal soundscapery, one tape is all buzzing electronic hum, flittering fields of tinkling glass percussion, massive speaker shaking low end swells, grinding throbbing stuttering bass buzz that is so thick and dense it almost swallows the rest of the sounds completely up, angular crumbling guitar distortion, bits of voice and vocals, while the other tape is heavier and much more brutal, a definite Dead C style skree, but muted and spread out into a strange hissy staticky pulse, that throbs and emits a strange subtle melodiousness, murky and prickly and weirdly warm and washed out.
Two tapes, a color insert and some stickers all housed in one of those massive plastic multiple tape cases, that usually house language tapes or self help tapes, the artwork some complex bit of electronic diagramming.
As with all things like this, ultra limited, so if you want one don't be hemming and hawing...

album cover S.T.R.E.E.T.S. Invaders From Gnars (Riot Style) cd 13.98
You gotta love this band. First off, best band name EVER. Really. Except for the fact that it could get 'em confused with the British rapper The Streets, this band's acronymic moniker S.T.R.E.E.T.S., which stands for Skateboarding Totally Rules, Everything Else Totally Sucks, can't really be beat as a band name. The album title is pretty good too, as is the skeletal skater carvin' in the prog parody cover art complete with faux Roger Dean logo. Or at least that's what we think, and we don't even skate! Too bad they broke up (members went on to Bison B.C., Pink Mountaintops, and Children, the latter of whom were possibly named after one of the songs here). But at least this, their third and final album, originally released in 2005, is again available, now reissued in a digipack with 5 bonus tracks! Keep the dream alive!!
The disc starts off with a skit, yes about aliens invading from the Planet Gnars... there's pretty piano, sci-fi warfare sound FX, and a portentous voice-over... before the face-melting retro-trash skatecore riffage of track two "Keep The Dream Alive" kicks in and the band goes off. Spiralling guitar frenzies, chugga chugga riffs, throat ripped vocals, gang shouts, pick squeals, adrenalized hook in mouth songwriting stylez. We're hearing many parts Megadeth, Iron Maiden too (the wooahh-ooaha-ooohs!" of "Peace On Earth" ferinstance, and some galloping action elsewhere), some D.R.I. crossover of course, Suicidal too, a touch of Motorhead, and maybe even we're catching a hint of Heart's "Barracuda" in here someplace. Sweet. But whoops, then when you've got 'em pegged as whirlwind skankin' skate party thrash metal, they'll do somethin' like suddenly slow it down and get all moody and post rock there for a minute, like right in that very first song in fact. So S.T.R.E.E.T.S. has some twists, obviously a sense of humor ("Armageddon Wasted" is a song title here... geddit?), and most importantly, they totally rip. Simply bad ass and infectiously grin-inducing, surprisingly melodic mosh fodder.
The ironic thing is that the S.T.R.E.E.T.S. motto that forms their name is proven to be untrue, by the band themselves. Cause they couldn't possibly be skating and playing this music at the same time, and this disc definitely falls into the Rules, as opposed to Sucks category. Basically there's NOTHING that's not ruling about this. They're even Canadian (from Vancouver). It'd be stupid not to have this in your collection, since you're gonna wanna be spinning it all the time, and looking at that cool skeleton on the cover. Equally recommended to fans of 3 Inches Of Blood, and Annihilation Time...
MPEG Stream: "Keep The Dream Alive"
MPEG Stream: "Living Future"
MPEG Stream: "Blackout"

S.T.S. Systeme Solaire (GT ) cd 17.98
We know that Magma mainman/genius Christian Vander is back on the scene with a new, updated version of that classic monster prog rock band of the seventies. And he's been doing quite well (as the lucky few who saw Magma perform at '99 SF Progfest know) at maintaining Magma's formidable reputation as France's amazing prog-rock answer to both John Coltrane and Richard Wagner. But what of his '70s Magma bandmates, who aren't involved with the current line-up? Here's a disc that shows what bassist extraordinaire Jannick Top (best known for his proto-Ruins composition "De Futura" on Magma's 1976 album "Udu Wudu") has been up to lately. STS is his trio with sax player Eric Seva and drummer Claude Salmieri, and "System Solaire" is a live concert recording from '97, for which they were joined by guest guitarist Thibault Abrial. The nine planetarily-aligned tracks are both moody and energetic, dark jazz fusion with heavy Magma touches (Top and the drummer lock into some unmistakably Magmoid grooves), and the guitar adds a definite psych-rock element. The booklet features a photo of bald-headed Top looking very metal indeed in shades and leather.

album cover S.V.E.S.T. Coagula (L'Ether du Diable) (End All Life) cd 17.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
We recently discovered the mysterious S.V.E.S.T., a bafflingly enigmatic black metal horde from France, who have been lurking in the shadows of giants, Mutiilation, Deathspell Omega, Antaeus, etc. not so quietly biding their time, concocting impossibly buzzy and blurry black epics. Each track a mind bending psychedelic swirl of furious tumultuous buzz and howl, every riff a blur repeated ad infinitum until it's an indistinct metal drone, vocals are thick swaths of agitated growl and shriek, another layer in an impossibly dense blacksoundscape. This is ultra grim, classic black metal buzz, but agitated into such a state that it's some impossibly chaotic monstrosity. There are melodies, and some sort of guitar leads, but they are just little smeared tangles in a giant prickly swirl of sound. Don't let the brief but jaunty folky intro fool you, after that it's all a head spinning, mind blowing, lo-fi blackened blur. The first two lengthy tracks are from the ultra rare Scarification Of Soul demo, while the last three tracks are from the equally rare Death to Macrocosm demo. And we though the first few tracks were blurry and confusingly black and blown out, the last few tracks take that same recipe, and add to the mix, an impossibly lo-fi, overblown speakers, degrading cassette tape production, that adds a whole 'nother layer of sonic crumble and speaker shredding distortion, everything even more obscured by fuzz and hiss and whir, turning Coagula into some strange drone metal soundscape. Amazing.
MPEG Stream: "The Black Art"
MPEG Stream: "Alpha Wolf Anger"

album cover S.V.E.S.T. Urfaust (End All Life) cd 14.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Talk about cult, S.V.E.S.T. seem to be a total mystery. Almost no information to be found anywhere about these guys. other than they are another one of those French black metal bands (Mutiilation, Deathspell Omega, Malicious Secrets, etc.) who are routinely spoken of in hushed worshipful whispers. And much like their countrymen, they are a total revelation. It's hard to do something totally new and original within the rigid framework of black metal and still remain TRUE, but S.V.E.S.T. pull it off in a big way.
We talk about black metal being drone-y and buzzy, so much so that in extreme cases, the result is more drone than metal, and that's never been more true than with S.V.E.S.T. Three lengthy epics, each a swirling lo-fi entropic buzzy black free for all. Riffs drift and spin, a dizzying concoction of fuzzed out white noise, blinding streaks of incendiary blackness, drums so fast and fuzzed out they just sound like blasts of static, melodies so murky and indistinct they sound more like Hecker or Jeck than anything traditionally black metal. So fast and chaotic and blurry and blackly psychedelic that they sound like some sort of black metal EVP, lost metal transmissions being broadcast through the ether and barely breaking through some staticky short wave broadcast. Fucking awesome!
MPEG Stream: "Putrefiance Redemptrice"
MPEG Stream: "Nuit De Walpurgis"

album cover S.V.E.S.T. Veritas Diaboli Manet In Aeternum: Le Diable Est Ma Raison (End All Life Productions) cd ep 12.98
Released In conjunction with the new Deathspell Omega ep (reviewed elsewhere on this list, and both are available together on a single lp, also on this list), Veritas Diaboli Manet In Aeternum heralds the return of an old favorite, French duo S.V.E.S.T., who strangely enough haven't released a proper record since 2003 (2005's Coagula compiled older demos), but within 30 seconds, we were totally reminded exactly why we loved these guys so much. And they're a perfect foil for Deathspell, their sound equally fractured and convoluted and fucked up, but where DSO go for something darker and moodier and more melodic, S.V.E.S.T. go in the other direction completely, spitting out frenzied swaths of blurred buzz and wild squalls of intense tangled blackness. These three tracks, are so awesome, we almost, and we're well aware of the sacrilege involved here, but we just might like them as much as, if not even more than the Deathspell half of the split.
Their sound is hard to describe. The first track opens with a dizzying swirl of squiggly guitars, woozy riffs, wild splattery drumming, that seems already like it's bordering on total meltdown, yet that's just the intro, and the band launch into a frenzied assault even more fucked up and dense, but pepper it with cool little melodies and parts that almost sound Viking, albeit buried beneath a roiling black blowout. The guitar does these cool little descending trills, the song lurches and stutters, the drums are relentless, mind blowingly fast and heavy and intricate, until part way through, the sound shifts, and there's a bit of doomy crawl, before leaping right back into the fray. Throughout, there are bursts of total drumming chaos, extra guitars howling and adding yet more layers of buzz. It's so thick and heavy and dense, it takes close listening to pick out all the amazing stuff going on beneath the buzzy black surface.
The second track continues on in much the same vein, with the guitars even more twisted and gnarled, the drums still relentlessly mathy and intricate, slipping from total chaotic black noise, to stumbling groove, to cool pounding dirge, the drums leaping out from the mix, the guitars thick and raw, but soaring majestically at the same time. The sound manages to be epic and classic and technical while also murky and lo-fi, the sounds all blurring together, a heaving mass of constantly shifting blown out blackness, still rife with all manner of tangled little melodies, and sweeping epic ambience.
The closer is short and sweet, the weirdest and creepiest of the bunch, beginning with a staccato machine gun burst of drums and riffage, before slipping into a swirling high end guitardrone, all woozy and overlapping, disembodied riffs and smeared melodies, dizzying and mesmerizing, growing more and more intense, the drums barely there, just those high end guitars glowing hotter and hotter, until finally, the drums kick in, and the track resolves in a totally twisted soaring post rock black metal what the fuck epic outro, that fades out WAY too soon. Holy shit. These guys need to deliver a full length ASAP. and we definitely don't want to wait another 6 years.
As mentioned above, S.V.E.S.T.'s three tracks are actually half of a split, released in conjunction with a new record from Deathspell Omega, reviewed elsewhere on this list, and equally as essential.
And again, vinyl folks, you are in luck, both the DSO material and the S.V.E.S.T. songs, while released as separate cds, are available together on a single lp!
MPEG Stream: "Et La Lumiere Fut, Comme Un Coup De Scalpel"

S.Y.P.H. s/t (Captain Trip) cd 14.98
S.Y.P.H. was a German punk quartet who originally released this album in 1980 and sound as if late 70s Gang of Four / Mekons were covering Malaria's angular and certainly Teutonic new wave.

album cover SA-RA CREATIVE PARTNERS Nuclear Evolution: The Age of Love (Ubiquity) 2cd 16.98
After the amazing job they did with production on last year's Erykah Badu record New Amerykah Pt.1, we were really anxious to hear what the Sa-Ra Creative Partners would brew up on this new album of their own. Taking the best of psychedelic soul's past and placing it into a kaleidoscopic vision of hip-hop's future this ambitious double disc proves that Sa-Ra really are at the forefront of modern day leftfield soul/hip-hop/funk. You can for sure hear the aesthetic they laid down on Erykah Badu's latest as well as healthy hints of De La Soul, J Dilla, and lots of nods to funk luminaries like Prince, Zapp, Cameo and Parliament. This is the kind of record you can blast out loud for late night hang sessions or through headphones for an ultra stylish, personal and intimate, interstellar psychedelic soul experience.
MPEG Stream: "He Say She Say"
MPEG Stream: "Spacefruit"
MPEG Stream: "Hangin By A String"

album cover SAADA BONAIRE s/t (Captured Tracks) cd 15.98
If you never heard of this obscure eighties female fronted world-pop outfit, get in line. An unlikely mix of Teutonic new wave and dubby balearic dance pop created in Bremen, Germany, Saada Bonaire only released one single in their lifetime. Now Captured Tracks, through its new imprint Fantasy Memory, has brought to us the complete recordings of this short-lived outfit, and it's pretty amazing, especially if you are into lost post-punk disco rarities as much as we are. Created by Bremen DJ Ralf Behrendt in 1982, and recorded in Kraftwerk's studio by legendary dub-punk producer Dennis Bovell (The Pop Group, The Slits) featuring an array of jazz and world musicians hired from the local immigrant center, Saada Bonaire was fronted by Stefanie Lange and Claudia Hossfield, whose sultry but blase delivery make their sound a sort of hybrid between the domineering dance music of Gina X and Grace Jones and the breezy dub of Brenda Ray. The aforementioned single "You Can Be More As You Are" is an infectious post-disco club classic, that probably had a lot more traction in southern Europe than in the west. Their music, with its exotic flourishes and dreamy tropical rhythms, seems tailor-made for warmer climates, and we can easily see these tracks being played in sunrise dance sets after a long night of clubbing. Definitely a band that should have been a lot bigger than they were, their lack of success the fault of EMI's A&R man who notoriously went over budget with the acts he developed. After going over 5x the budget for Tina Turner's Private Dancer, EMI pulled the plug on Saada Bonnaire and they were rarely heard from since. This anthology covers everything the band recorded between 1982 and 1985, but still remains surprisingly modern sounding for being 30 years old.
MPEG Stream: "You Could Be More As You Are"
MPEG Stream: "Invitation"
MPEG Stream: "Shut The Door"
MPEG Stream: "Joanna"

album cover SAADA BONAIRE s/t (Captured Tracks) 2lp 34.00
If you never heard of this obscure eighties female fronted world-pop outfit, get in line. An unlikely mix of Teutonic new wave and dubby balearic dance pop created in Bremen, Germany, Saada Bonaire only released one single in their lifetime. Now Captured Tracks, through its new imprint Fantasy Memory, has brought to us the complete recordings of this short-lived outfit, and it's pretty amazing, especially if you are into lost post-punk disco rarities as much as we are. Created by Bremen DJ Ralf Behrendt in 1982, and recorded in Kraftwerk's studio by legendary dub-punk producer Dennis Bovell (The Pop Group, The Slits) featuring an array of jazz and world musicians hired from the local immigrant center, Saada Bonaire was fronted by Stefanie Lange and Claudia Hossfield, whose sultry but blase delivery make their sound a sort of hybrid between the domineering dance music of Gina X and Grace Jones and the breezy dub of Brenda Ray. The aforementioned single "You Can Be More As You Are" is an infectious post-disco club classic, that probably had a lot more traction in southern Europe than in the west. Their music, with its exotic flourishes and dreamy tropical rhythms, seems tailor-made for warmer climates, and we can easily see these tracks being played in sunrise dance sets after a long night of clubbing. Definitely a band that should have been a lot bigger than they were, their lack of success the fault of EMI's A&R man who notoriously went over budget with the acts he developed. After going over 5x the budget for Tina Turner's Private Dancer, EMI pulled the plug on Saada Bonnaire and they were rarely heard from since. This anthology covers everything the band recorded between 1982 and 1985, but still remains surprisingly modern sounding for being 30 years old.
MPEG Stream: "You Could Be More As You Are"
MPEG Stream: "Invitation"
MPEG Stream: "Shut The Door"
MPEG Stream: "Joanna"

SABATA Man For My Lady (Numero Group) 12" 8.98

album cover SABBAH, DJ CHEB I As Far As - A DJ Mix (Six Degrees) cd 16.98
Legendary SF DJ Cheb I Sabbah returns with a DJ mix drawing from Asia, Arabia and Africa -- or tracks at least influenced by music from those parts of the world. Included are cuts by Asian Dub Foundation, Najma, Trilok Gurtu along with remixes by Sabbah of Don Cherry, Paul Horn and Solace.
MPEG Stream: "Natacha Atlas: Soleil d'Egypte"

album cover SABBAH, DJ CHEB I Devotion (six degrees) cd 15.98

album cover SABBAH, DJ CHEB I Krishna Lila (Six Degrees) cd 16.98
Local DJ Cheb i Sabbah returns with the third installment in his trilogy of Indian classical music infused electronica. Divided in two parts: North & South, Krishna Lila takes as its inspiration the devotional musics of Northern and Southern India. Recorded in Madras, Bombay and New Delhi, India with a score of Indian musicians and then augmented with electronics and Bill Laswell via Pro Tools in New York & San Francisco. Those looking for pumping four on the floor dance music with token sitar, tabla and sundry other Indian samples thrown in for flavoring should look elsewhere as DJ Cheb i Sabbah's approach is nearly the antithesis of this. I guess this is what one could call, in the parlance of dance culture, "chill out" music. Using an already solid foundation of recordings DJ Cheb very tastefully adds a beat here and there, but never overwhelms what's been laid down by the musicians. Much of the time in fact, it is hard to tell that he's done anything at all to the original tracks. Fans of Talvin Singh should definitely take note of this one.
RealAudio clip: "Narajanma Bandage"
RealAudio clip: "Tum Bin Shyam"

SABBAH, DJ CHEB I MahaMaya: Shri Durga Remixed (Six Degrees ) cd 16.98
Local DJ makes good! Yes, the East-meets-West DJ masterwork that was Sabbah's very popular "Shri Durgah" album now gets the remix treatment, from Transglobal Underground, Fun Da Mental, Bally Sagoo, Bedouin Descent, State of Bengal, TJ Rehmi, and DJ Cheb I Sabbah himself. Fans of the "Asian Underground" need no further recommendation.

SABBAH, DJ CHEB I Shri Durga (Six Degrees) cd 15.98
This legendary local DJ assembles brilliant musicians (Ustad Salamat Ali Khan, K. Sridhar, Ustad Sultan Khan, Mala Ganguly and the unavoidable Bill Laswell) to create beautiful ambience and soundscapes, bringing together classical Hindustani music and the chill room. "Traditional ragas meet 'DJ science'" it says here. Fans of Talvin Singh, for one, should find this to their liking.

album cover SABBAT Sabbatical Satanichrist Slaughter (Nuclear War Now! Productions) 3 x 6" 25.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Okay, this one is pretty much just for you obsessive metalheads. But even if you're not a metalhead, those of you into weird stuff and cool packaging still might want to check out this amazing release. The packaging/concept is insane!! A 7" sleeve, letterpressed with metallic gold foil, that unfolds into a massive upsidedown cross, with a Japanese samurai painting on the inside by local tattoo artists/AQ pals Jef Whitehead and Tim Lehi. And this is no 7", oh no, this is a triple 6" (geddit, 666!). So cool. Seminal Japanese thrash, chaotic and speedy, noisy and brutal. Some of you may also remember Sabbat as the band with the guy who wears nothing but black speedos and a bullet belt. Again, so cool! Two tracks from 1986, one from 1999, one from 2001 and two from 2002, although they all sound straight up 1983! Classic thrash! Comes with a lyric sheet and a silkscreened poster. Needless to say VERY VERY LIMITED!!!

album cover SABBAT Sabbatrinity (RIP 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.
Huh, we haven't really ever reviewed any Sabbat before... except for one crazy out of print triple 6" vinyl release, a long time ago. That's despite the fact that all the troo cvlt metalheads here at AQ have lots of Sabbat in their collections. We're talking about the Japanese Sabbat here, by the way, not the thrash '80s British one - though these guys are thrashy and '80s sounding too, and also totally black metal. Heck they did that triple six inch, after all! Can't get much more Satanic than that.
So, about time we reviewed something else by them. They've got a massive discography spanning the years, from way back in 1985 'til now, many full-length albums but also a bewildering array of eps and splits, with an unlikely preponderance of their releases being super limited edition LIVE recordings. Sometimes as many as nine in one year. Weird. Who do they think they are, Pearl Jam?
Anyway, at long last, this is a new studio recording, and while it's not presented in as quite a "cult" format as that aforementioned 3x6", it's still a fetish object of sorts, the packaging fiendishly glimmering and glittering, with the art and logo in metallic red ink on a white background. And even though it's a domestic US release, they've included a Japanese-style obi strip, nice. A band that gets this lavish attention, either definitely deserves it, or made a pact with the Devil, in this case, probably both!
So, for those who have yet to come to the Sabbat, let's explain what you're in for: total raw black metal mayhem, a la Venom and early Slayer, played with infectious enthusiasm by Japanese maniacs so old school and true that they make Darkthrone look like posers. With some NWOBHM elements (this band's Cronos, bassist/vocalist Gezol, is also a member of Metalucifer, after all) they display real heavy metal musical chops even amidst the thrashing, noisy chaos that these songs deliver with such high speed and seeming insanity.
That insanity partially manifests this time via a focus on witches, there's no less than four songs here that factor "witch" into the title: "Witchflight", "Witch Hammers", "Witch's Torches", and the instrumental "Witch's Weed"! Don't ask why, or witch. Stereotypically Japanese with such obsessiveness, Sabbat are as over the top as ever on this new album.
While our other favorite Japanese black metal band, Sigh, took off in weird avant-garde directions from their Venom-worshipping beginnings, Sabbat stay true to the source, earning a special place in the pantheon of all-time underground black metal greats. Sabbatrinity is further testament to that.
MPEG Stream: "Black Metal Scythe"
MPEG Stream: "Witch's Torches"
MPEG Stream: "Karmagmassacre"

SABBAT Sabbatrinity (Iron Pegasus) cd 10.98
German edition, red cover...
Huh, we haven't really ever reviewed any Sabbat before... except for one crazy out of print triple 6" vinyl release, a long time ago. That's despite the fact that all the troo cvlt metalheads here at AQ have lots of Sabbat in their collections. We're talking about the Japanese Sabbat here, by the way, not the thrash '80s British one - though these guys are thrashy and '80s sounding too, and also totally black metal. Heck they did that triple six inch, after all! Can't get much more Satanic than that.
So, about time we reviewed something else by them. They've got a massive discography spanning the years, from way back in 1985 'til now, many full-length albums but also a bewildering array of eps and splits, with an unlikely preponderance of their releases being super limited edition LIVE recordings. Sometimes as many as nine in one year. Weird. Who do they think they are, Pearl Jam?
Anyway, at long last, this is a new studio recording. For those who have yet to come to the Sabbat, let's explain what you're in for: total raw black metal mayhem, a la Venom and early Slayer, played with infectious enthusiasm by Japanese maniacs so old school and true that they make Darkthrone look like posers. With some NWOBHM elements (this band's Cronos, bassist/vocalist Gezol, is also a member of Metalucifer, after all) they display real heavy metal musical chops even amidst the thrashing, noisy chaos that these songs deliver with such high speed and seeming insanity.
That insanity partially manifests this time via a focus on witches, there's no less than four songs here that factor "witch" into the title: "Witchflight", "Witch Hammers", "Witch's Torches", and the instrumental "Witch's Weed"! Don't ask why, or witch. Stereotypically Japanese with such obsessiveness, Sabbat are as over the top as ever on this new album.
While our other favorite Japanese black metal band, Sigh, took off in weird avant-garde directions from their Venom-worshipping beginnings, Sabbat stay true to the source, earning a special place in the pantheon of all-time underground black metal greats. Sabbatrinity is further testament to that.
MPEG Stream: "Black Metal Scythe"
MPEG Stream: "Witch's Torches"
MPEG Stream: "Karmagmassacre"

album cover SABBATH ASSEMBLY Restored To One (Ajna) cd 14.98
And here it is, now on compact disc as well as the vinyl we highlighted last time, saying thusly:
Got something here for fans of Jex Thoth, the No Neck Blues Band, AND weird religious cults... there's probably some overlap there, we imagine! The Ajna Offensive, best known for black metal releases by the likes of Deathspell Omega and Funeral Mist, and also that fancy Bobby Beausoleil box set not long ago, now bring us the Sabbath Assembly, singing "glorious songs of praise to Lucifer, Satan, Christ, and Jehovah". Huh? These are indeed REAL hymns, and all from one church. Some would say, cult. The explanation: ever heard of the Process Church Of The Final Judgment? This is their music, "reProcessed" by a contemporary psychedelic (super)group of underground musicians, including Jex Thoth of, um, Jex Thoth on vocals, David "Xtian" Nuss (NNCK, Angelblood, Under Satan's Sun), and Randall Dunn (Master Musicians Of Bukkake)! So you can expect this will be ominous and esoteric.
The subject of a recent Feral House book, the Process Church was a '70s phenomenon, of course, a kind of apocalyptic Jesus-freak cult with radical political dimensions. We're told they wore black cloaks (always cool) and had German shepherds (really?). We first heard of 'em years ago thanks to George Clinton's band Funkadelic, who for a while in the early '70s were, if not followers, at least supporters of the Process Church, who presumably had a chapter in Detroit. Several Funkadelic lps feature Process Church teachings (propaganda?) on the sleeves. The music of the Sabbath Assembly doesn't sound much like Funkadelic, though. Not quite that funky! Nor are they metal as you might assume from the label... it's actually often pretty, mellow stuff, presumably sounding close to what the Process Church folks themselves sounded like when singing the Lord's (or Lucifer's?) praises back in the day, these hymns very hippie sounding, churchy and folky, but also garagey, with twangy guitar and groovy organ, building into throbbing rhythmic psych workouts. It even gets a bit jazzy in spots ("The Power That Is Love"). Still, while this isn't heavy in the guitar dep't the way Jex Thoth's regular band is, it is definitely "heavy" in terms of subject matter. Jex is the perfect vocalist for this, her dramatic, devotional delivery at once both innocent and intense, sincere and sinister. Her exaltations and exhortations rise from a delicate whisper to commanding, demanding heights, sometimes unaccompanied, at others, with backing vocals reinforcing the message.
Be warned, this ain't Sunday school. When Jex asks "will you serve the will of God?", it seems like you had darn well better answer (yes!). Dunno if the Process Church is still around (haven't read the book yet) but if they are, there's a good chance this record might recruit some converts... And at least, it's certainly making us curious to read that book. Creepy, yes, and quite catchy too, we can understand why these folks were drawn to reinterpreting these songs. Though of course curious about what the original source material was (lyrics? vintage recordings?). Perhaps it says somewhere inside the lp packaging, we haven't checked for liner notes as yet. This was produced in association with Feral House, so it would seem the Sabbath Assembly had access to whatever inside archival info there was on the Process Church's musical activities.
As "religious" recordings go, this is what we dig! For fans of Jex of course, and Yahowah 13, Family Jams, Sounds Of Ascension, and other "cult" audio... recommended!
MPEG Stream: "Glory To The Gods In The Highest"
MPEG Stream: "Hymn Of Consecration"
MPEG Stream: "Judge Of Mankind"

album cover SABBATH ASSEMBLY Restored To One (Ajna) lp 17.98
Got something here for fans of Jex Thoth, the No Neck Blues Band, AND weird religious cults... there's probably some overlap there, we imagine! The Ajna Offensive, best known for black metal releases by the likes of Deathspell Omega and Funeral Mist, and also that fancy Bobby Beausoleil box set not long ago, now bring us the Sabbath Assembly, singing "glorious songs of praise to Lucifer, Satan, Christ, and Jehovah". Huh? These are indeed REAL hymns, and all from one church. Some would say, cult. The explanation: ever heard of the Process Church Of The Final Judgment? This is their music, "reProcessed" by a contemporary psychedelic (super)group of underground musicians, including Jex Thoth of, um, Jex Thoth on vocals, David "Xtian" Nuss (NNCK, Angelblood, Under Satan's Sun), and Randall Dunn (Master Musicians Of Bukkake)! So you can expect this will be ominous and esoteric.
The subject of a recent Feral House book, the Process Church was a '70s phenomenon, of course, a kind of apocalyptic Jesus-freak cult with radical political dimensions. We're told they wore black cloaks (always cool) and had German shepherds (really?). We first heard of 'em years ago thanks to George Clinton's band Funkadelic, who for a while in the early '70s were, if not followers, at least supporters of the Process Church, who presumably had a chapter in Detroit. Several Funkadelic lps feature Process Church teachings (propaganda?) on the sleeves. The music of the Sabbath Assembly doesn't sound much like Funkadelic, though. Not quite that funky! Nor are they metal as you might assume from the label... it's actually often pretty, mellow stuff, presumably sounding close to what the Process Church folks themselves sounded like when singing the Lord's (or Lucifer's?) praises back in the day, these hymns very hippie sounding, churchy and folky, but also garagey, with twangy guitar and groovy organ, building into throbbing rhythmic psych workouts. It even gets a bit jazzy in spots ("The Power That Is Love"). Still, while this isn't heavy in the guitar dep't the way Jex Thoth's regular band is, it is definitely "heavy" in terms of subject matter. Jex is the perfect vocalist for this, her dramatic, devotional delivery at once both innocent and intense, sincere and sinister. Her exaltations and exhortations rise from a delicate whisper to commanding, demanding heights, sometimes unaccompanied, at others, with backing vocals reinforcing the message.
Be warned, this ain't Sunday school. When Jex asks "will you serve the will of God?", it seems like you had darn well better answer (yes!). Dunno if the Process Church is still around (haven't read the book yet) but if they are, there's a good chance this record might recruit some converts... And at least, it's certainly making us curious to read that book. Creepy, yes, and quite catchy too, we can understand why these folks were drawn to reinterpreting these songs. Though of course curious about what the original source material was (lyrics? vintage recordings?). Perhaps it says somewhere inside the lp packaging, we haven't checked for liner notes as yet. This was produced in association with Feral House, so it would seem the Sabbath Assembly had access to whatever inside archival info there was on the Process Church's musical activities.
As "religious" recordings go, this is what we dig! For fans of Jex of course, and Yahowah 13, Family Jams, Sounds Of Ascension, and other "cult" audio... recommended! 180 gram, gold-colored vinyl.
MPEG Stream: "Glory To The Gods In The Highest"
MPEG Stream: "Hymn Of Consecration"
MPEG Stream: "Judge Of Mankind"

album cover SABBATH ASSEMBLY Ye Are Gods (Svart / Ajna) cd 13.98
Once more, it's time for Church. The Sabbath Assembly has reconvened to sing the songs of the idiosyncratic '70s hippie religious organization (some might say, "cult") known as the Process Church Of The Final Judgment. Not your everyday hymns here, folks! These are songs of praise to both Christ AND Satan. If you've heard Sabbath Assembly's 2010 debut Restored To One, which we highly recommended, you sort of know what to expect. Arcane Jesus/Satan Freak music reinterpreted by a psychedelic rock outfit helmed by David Nuss of the No Neck Blues Band. The results: lovely, atmospheric, sing-song catchy, sometimes soulful; slightly sinister, yet strangely uplifting (as it was meant to be).
Ye Are Gods is mostly gentle and folky, sometimes jazzy and trippy, and kinda Comus-y, with sudden dramatic eruptions and majestic excursions. We wouldn't call it at all metal, yet at certain times, this reminds us a bit of SF's own operatic prog-power metallers Hammers Of Misfortune - perhaps not surprising since one of Nuss's other bands is the very much Hammers-influenced Under Satan's Sun. And, aha, in fact, none other than former Hammers (and Wolves In The Throne Room) vocalist Jamie Myers turns out to be Sabbath Assembly's lead singer on this recording, having taken over the mic from their previous frontwoman/high priestess, Jex Thoth. While some might miss Jex, Myers' delicate, dulcet tones admirably fill the void. The full on gospel pop sound of "Exit" was a surprise, but she pulls it off!
Also new on board this time, Genesis P-Orridge. Her presence brings a Current 93 element to the proceedings, Genesis doing the David Tibet thing, providing portentous spoken sermonizing, credited in the role of "Sacrifist". Ye Are Gods also features performances by Imaad Wassif, Eyvind Kang, Kevin Rutmanis (ex-Cows/Melvins), and quite a few others eager to embrace the Process message (or at least, who find it intriguing?).
The deluxe digi-book cd packaging is quite handsome, and contains lyrics, original sheet music, Biblical quotations, and various other related texts. The similarly-fancy vinyl version also includes this material, in a lp-sized booklet. Nice. While most of us here aren't regular church-goers, you can believe we'll be spinning this a lot, and twice on Sundays...
MPEG Stream: "We Come From The One"
MPEG Stream: "Bless Our Lord And Master"
MPEG Stream: "The Love Of The Gods"

album cover SABBATH ASSEMBLY Ye Are Gods (Svart / Ajna) lp 15.98
Once more, it's time for Church. The Sabbath Assembly has reconvened to sing the songs of the idiosyncratic '70s hippie religious organization (some might say, "cult") known as the Process Church Of The Final Judgment. Not your everyday hymns here, folks! These are songs of praise to both Christ AND Satan. If you've heard Sabbath Assembly's 2010 debut Restored To One, which we highly recommended, you sort of know what to expect. Arcane Jesus/Satan Freak music reinterpreted by a psychedelic rock outfit helmed by David Nuss of the No Neck Blues Band. The results: lovely, atmospheric, sing-song catchy, sometimes soulful; slightly sinister, yet strangely uplifting (as it was meant to be).
Ye Are Gods is mostly gentle and folky, sometimes jazzy and trippy, and kinda Comus-y, with sudden dramatic eruptions and majestic excursions. We wouldn't call it at all metal, yet at certain times, this reminds us a bit of SF's own operatic prog-power metallers Hammers Of Misfortune - perhaps not surprising since one of Nuss's other bands is the very much Hammers-influenced Under Satan's Sun. And, aha, in fact, none other than former Hammers (and Wolves In The Throne Room) vocalist Jamie Myers turns out to be Sabbath Assembly's lead singer on this recording, having taken over the mic from their previous frontwoman/high priestess, Jex Thoth. While some might miss Jex, Myers' delicate, dulcet tones admirably fill the void. The full on gospel pop sound of "Exit" was a surprise, but she pulls it off!
Also new on board this time, Genesis P-Orridge. Her presence brings a Current 93 element to the proceedings, Genesis doing the David Tibet thing, providing portentous spoken sermonizing, credited in the role of "Sacrifist". Ye Are Gods also features performances by Imaad Wassif, Eyvind Kang, Kevin Rutmanis (ex-Cows/Melvins), and quite a few others eager to embrace the Process message (or at least, who find it intriguing?).
The deluxe digi-book cd packaging is quite handsome, and contains lyrics, original sheet music, Biblical quotations, and various other related texts. The similarly-fancy vinyl version also includes this material, in a lp-sized booklet. Nice. While most of us here aren't regular church-goers, you can believe we'll be spinning this a lot, and twice on Sundays...
MPEG Stream: "We Come From The One"
MPEG Stream: "Bless Our Lord And Master"
MPEG Stream: "The Love Of The Gods"

album cover SABERS Specter (Neurot) cd 14.98
Sabers? What's this? The picture on back is one of those band equipment in the studio photos that resemble a sculptural art gallery installation, all wires and mic stands and pedals and mixers and drums and amps. Interestin'... well, as you may know, the Neurot label has done us darn right of late, with several recent releases being AQ-list highlights (House Of Low Culture, Grails). Here's another one that also impressed the heck out of us, the debut from NYC's Sabers. They're a two-man band, one guy on guitar and effects and the other on percussion and effects. Not a little effects, a lot of effects. And a lot of amps -- it's a baritone guitar they use that goes through a multitude of bass and guitar amps. These two guys and their gear make glorious, miasmic music -- sparse, rhythmic and wholly instrumental abstractions that ought to appeal to both Starfuckers and Skullflower fans to use two relatively obscure references (sorry). Sabers' heavily droning yet quietly restrained soundscapes are also a bit like Neurosis stripped of most instruments, vocals, song structure, and aggression (but not menace). Artful, original, and extremely moody. Massive and mysterious. We like.
MPEG Stream: "Loess Kindchen"
MPEG Stream: "Golden Green"

album cover SABIANS, THE Beauty For Ashes (The Music Cartel) cd 14.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Now this was a surprise. Two former members of Bay Area stoner sludge metal heroes Sleep (not the guy who's now in High On Fire) venture back into the rock n' roll arena with a new band called The Sabians that we have to admit we really hadn't heard many good things about (we'd been told they were terrible live). And, upon hearing this, their debut album, I can kinda understand the naysayers... Number 1, this sure *doesn't* sound like Sleep (it IS heavy, but very different -- High On Fire sounds MUCH more like Sleep for sure) and number 2, it's, well, weird. Just read the sticker on the album cover: "the Sabians' sound is a combination of punk, folk, metal, and chant." What? So we were a bit apprehensive ourselves. But, the truth is, this is kinda cool, and, yeah, weird! Stoner/Sleep fans will have to admit that even track one has its moments of Sabbathian rifferama but it also reminds us of The Pogues! (That's the folk bit.) As the album progesses, it remains dark and dynamic and different, with the sounds of acoustic strum, metal guitar, and even falling rain welded together into earnest, anthemic songs with polished production courtesy Alex Newport. Definitely the one thing you have to get used to is the vocals (a clearly-enunciating Michael Stipe? no, that's not it. A wimpier James Hetfield with a fake European accent?) but if you do, you might really like this. Really, one of the weirdest things about this band is how melodic they are! They actually kinda sound like a hypothetical catchy, radio-friendly Neurosis -- or an art-rock Metallica. But if Tool could get big (another band these guys remind us of) then maybe The Sabians will someday be heard on Live105 too. Anyway, kudos to these guys for trying to do something different and original, and more-or-less succeeding.
RealAudio clip: "Via Dolorosa"
RealAudio clip: "Downcast"

album cover SABIANS, THE Shiver (The Music Cartel) cd 14.98
This hard-to-categorize, paradoxical Bay Area bunch are back with their second album of doubtlessly avant-garde and original yet at the same time almost totally mainstream rock/metal. The Sabians feature former members of seminal SF doomsters Sleep, the guys who *didn't* go the expected stoner rock route a la the ex-Sleeper who formed the popular High On Fire. Nope, though The Sabians are still a heavy proposition, they've pretty much nixed the overt Sabbath worship in favor of a much more modern, melodic mixture of Tool (lots o' Tool) and Metallica, with maybe some hints of an Irish/Pogues thing. Dark, rockin', heavy, hummable, and a bit weird. If you liked their debut from last year, this too will def float yr boat. Still haven't heard 'em on the radio, but if they keep at it, who knows?
MPEG Stream: "One By One"
MPEG Stream: "Bullet"

album cover SABISTON, WILLIAM s/t (Jyrk) 3" dvd-r 7.98
Sabiston is an ex-member of Axolotl, and records under the name Ball Lightning, we had a totally kick ass cd-r from BL a while back. A mindblowingly inventive percussionist, Sabiston is also a pretty amazing video artist as well.
This ultra limited 3" dvd-r features three short films, each one in glorious super lo-res black and white, filmed using a Pixelvision camera, one of those failed toys that became a prized possession for those who could find 'em. The Pixelvision uses regular old cassette audio tapes to capture super lo-fi video, high contrast black and white, very creepy and beautiful and alien looking. It's like watching an ultrasound, weird shapes stutter and jump, lines move, static drifts and wiggles, sort of like video feedback, but even more simple and abstract. So gorgeous and haunting. Each film features original music from Sabiston, a swirling fuzzscape of sound, stuttery glitchy skitter flitting over deep rumbling bass thrum, while buried within are soft snippets of looped melody, everything occasionally blissing out into dubbed out pulses and cavernous low end throbs.
Packaged in a mini 3" plastic DVD case, with black and white artwork.
LIMITED TO 90 COPIES!!!! Already out of print, these are the last copies ever...

SABOT Once Upon A Mind (Cesla) cd 9.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Bass and drums boy/girl duo who were popular in San Francisco before taking off to the Czech Republic. Urgent, angular stuff that's as weirdly hyper as the early Minutemen. Both punk and prog in a lo-fi fashion. We're lucky that their latest album made it all the way here! Comes in a cd-sized little fold out book with two pop up panels. We have only three copies in stock.
RealAudio clip: "Forever"
RealAudio clip: "Road Rage"

SABOT Somehow, I Don't Think So/Vice Versa (Broken Rekids) cd 10.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Whereas *this* drums/bass duo (male and female) relocated from San Francisco to Prague, for a much more prog sound than COA. Also, they are all instrumental. This is their second album, it's quite nice.

SABU Palo Congo (Blue Note) lp 12.98

SACASAS, ANSELMO Y SU ORQUESTA Sol Tropical (Tumbao) cd 13.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Pianist and arranger Anselmo Sacasas was one of the founding members of the renown Orchesta Casino De La Playa in 1937. In 1940 he moved to New York and formed his own group and, being one of the most amazing Cuban pinaists and arrangers, his orchestra became one of the most popular in the New York scene during throughout the decade. Featuring vocals from Octavio "Cuso" Mendoza and Ruben Gonzalez, these recordings were made in New York between 1945 and 1949.

album cover SACHER PELZ (MAURIZIO BIANCHI) In Hoc Urbia Miazi (Old Europa Cafe) cd 16.98
Here's another reincarnation of Maurizio Bianchi's Sacher Pelz project. Back in the late 70s, the Italian industrialist self-published a handful of cassettes for super primitive musique concrete recordings culled from turntable / needle abuse upon LPs by Kraftwerk, Neu!, and Conrad Schnitzler. In 1979, he picked up some new gear and changed his nom de plume to M.B. through which he fabricated some of the best power electronic / post-industrial noisescapes of that era. Recently, the man has been excessively prolific, getting somewhere near the Aidan Baker and Merzbow quantities for output; and In Hoc Urbia Miazi is the second album that he's released using this name again. While many of the recent Maurizio Bianchi albums have been all over the map with some decent ambient constructs, some brilliantly droning grim 'n' gloom, and some curious forays into cybernetic rhythms, it appears that Bianchi has reserved the Sacher Pelz project for noisy projects based around tape hiss and rough hewn musique concrete. In Hoc Urbia Miazi is just that: a boiling mess of looping tape hiss, varispeed accelerations, and razor cut edits between between the white noise chorus of tape hiss piled densely on top of itself. The label made references to the classic Come Organisation sound made famous by Whitehouse; but Bianchi's Sacher Pelz shares more in common with the blank tape experiments by Reynols heard on their self-evidently titled album Blank Tapes or by the obscure Australian turntablist project Gum.
MPEG Stream: "M Your Eyes - Biolche"
MPEG Stream: "In Hoc Signo Vinces"

album cover SACHER-PELZ Mutation For A Continuity (E'est / Alga Marghen) 4cd 43.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
"Sacher Pelz offered up burnt offerings, and finally they began to say to the other: 'The true MB is the giver of acts of vengeance to us," quoting Maurizio Bianchi from the obtusely apocalyptic liner notes to his 4 CD box of his earliest material as Sacher-Pelz. In the late '70s, the enigmatic Bianchi produced four cassettes as Sacher Pelz that he had given to a handful of his friends and to the very few proponents of experimental music in his native Italy. These recordings were self-described as musique concrete albums, but are clearly situated outside of the realm of academia and the institutionally driven music of Pierre Schaeffer or Pierre Henry. Instead, Bianchi had fused the most primitive application of musique concrete (music composed with tape and a razorblade) with the principles of Throbbing Gristle's "entertainment through pain" and William Bennett's extremist Come / Whitehouse projects. Within the Sacher-Pelz cassettes -- which have been resurrected this box set on E'est / Alga Marghen -- Bianchi could easily be crowned as one of the '70s forefathers of 'anti-music' alongside Lou Reed for his legendary "Metal Machine Music" and Boyd Rice with his "Black Album."
Stephan Kraus' well researched website on the history of Bianchi (which can be located at Brainwashed) indicated that much of the original source material from these cassettes was taken from Bianchi's abused Kraftwerk vinyl, then vastly recontextualized into monotonous loops, completely devoid of anything sounding like Kraftwerk. I guess it could be the music of Kraftwerk, but if "Autobahn" had been exhumed from a lengthy burial in a murky swamp.
"Cainus" is Bianchi's very first outing, finding him enthralled by the looping technology of a varispeed tape machine. An entirely decentralized affair, this recording takes those post-mortem tones from his beaten Kraftwerk albums and warbles arrhythmically through several repetitions then shifts into a different loop. "Venus" is similar in the arrhythmia of looping textures, but finds Bianchi experimenting with the varispeed and with an additional synthesizer bleeding through the turgid noise. Even within these recordings which are decidedly primitive, Bianchi makes it very clear that the monotony and dullness of his records are an intentional pursuit for his music, as exorcisms of the existential frustrations of life. "Cease To Exist" progresses more into the sinister dense collage work that precedes his masterpieces as MB, "Endometrio" and "Carcinosi." The final Sacher Pelz recording "Velours" is the most advanced of the four with the loops showing a much broader spectrum from clarity to abstraction, with some of his samples coming directly from Neu! "2" (an interesting choice as that album was a remix of Neu!'s earliest recordings!), but most distorted into a bass-heavy muddle of Merzbow proportions.
It must be stated that while this Sacher-Pelz boxset is an fascinating document of Bianchi's earliest work, this box isn't nearly as good as the truly depressing but totally overwhelming MB recordings.
RealAudio clip: "Crime Uberall (from "Cainus")"
RealAudio clip: "Venus (from "Venus")"
RealAudio clip: "Exterminans (from "Cease To Exist")"
RealAudio clip: "Sans Sang (from "Velours')"

album cover SACHER-PELZ / M.B. (BIANCHI, MAURIZIO) Clerzphase (Stridulum) cd-r 15.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
As for the reasons for the reprise of the Sacher-Pelz moniker, maybe we'll never know; regardless, Maurizio Bianchi has returned to the name that started his illustrious career of sinister, industrial abstraction some thirty years ago. In the late '70s, Bianchi recorded a handful of cassettes as Sacher-Pelz using little more than a turntable, a varispeed 4-track, some well worn Kraftwerk, Neu!, and Conrad Schnitzler LPs as source material, and lots of rough-cut tape splicing in a primitive attempt at a ghastly variation on musique concrete with a few moments of toxic brilliance. Four of those early cassettes had been reissued in a Sacher-Pelz box through E'est / Alga Marghen (who were also responsible for the reissues of the 10 classic M.B. recordings from the early '80s). That box set evaporated from the market very quickly, along with most of those classic M.B. records. For the 2006 incarnation of Sacher-Pelz, Bianchi cites as his source material "concretonic irradition for concrete noises, efflorescent loops, and foetologic guitar." Ah, yes, Bianchi has always had a way with the English language! The sounds that he musters from those sources has much more in common with those that he generated as M.B. particularly found on his 1983 masterpiece The Plain Truth. Clerzphase swarms with a post-mortem atmosphere as cold cold cold electronic vibrations offer little room beyond intense claustrophobia. Hints of horror film minor key melodies and megaphone-distorted vocals may be lurking in the mix, yet Bianchi's vibrating patterns are so relentless as to obfuscate every undergirding sound to the Sacher-Pelz death-ambient mantras.
Limited to 250 copies.
MPEG Stream: "Sunev"
MPEG Stream: "Tsixe Ot Esaec"

album cover SACHIKO Anro (Utech) cd 14.98
From our friends at the mighty fine Utech label comes this heady blast of spaced out Japanese psychedelic ritualistic minimalism, part of the same batch of releases which also included the dark droning minimalism of Owwl and the blackened spacedrift of Sky Burial. Sachiko is in fact a member of amazing Japanese psych rock combo Overhang Party, as well as Kousokuya, but here veers quite far from the psych rock path, and instead forges a droned out drift worthy of late great Japanese Fluxus psychdronelords Taj Majal Travellers, a 37 minute sprawl of primitive percussion, layered thrum, garbled vocalizations, woozy buzz and swirling shimmer, whistles and bells, electronics and fluttering flutes, bowed strings and spidery melodies, all blurred and woven into an epic stretch of raga like swirl. The track surprisingly dynamic, shifting from dense and chaotic, to hushed and hypnotic, but all woven together by warm whirring drones and strange almost Yoko Ono like mewling vox, the sound organic and alive, pulsing, and pulsating, a throbbing rhythmic core driving the track subtly from within, the surface a frenzy of microtonal shifts and constantly transforming overtones, headphones definitely required, allowing the listener to sink deep into Sachiko's lush mysterious soundworld. So gorgeous. And fantastically and psychedelically mesmerizing. Essential for Japanese psych freeks, but folks into more modern raga-psych a la Sunroof! or Our Love Will Destroy The World and the rest, might find this to their liking as wellÉ
Houses in a super striking minimal oversized sleeve. LIMITED TO 500 COPIES!!
MPEG Stream: "Anro (excerpt 1)"
MPEG Stream: "Anro (excerpt 2)"

album cover SACHIKO M Derive (NAIM) cd 16.98

SACRED FLESH Original Soundtrack (Cold Spring) cd 14.98
"Sacred Flesh" is an erotic lesbian nun film made by Nigel Wingrove who commissioned Band Of Pain's Steve Pittis to score the soundtrack. Using a similar dialogue-recycling technique that John Duncan used for his "John See Soundtracks," Pittis incorporates echoed voices (some of religious incantations, some of sexual ecstacy) directly into the soundtrack dominated by deep washes of dark ambience. Or as the guy who writes the Relapse catalog blurb says "I've got to see this movie!!" You'll understand after you see the booklet photos. In any event, another fine Band of Pain release.

SACRED STEEL Bloodlust (Metal Blade) cd 16.98
These self-styled German "Wargods of Metal" return with their third album of pure, unrepentant, and ever-so-slightly ridiculous heavy metal. Definitely an acquired taste, but one that Allan has definitely acquired! Like their European brethren Hammerfall, these guys are all '80s and epic, but are a lot heavier and rawer. No keyboards, no ballads. Previously, most of their songs were not just metal, but ABOUT metal (as with this album's "Metal Is War" for instance). But with this release Sacred Steel have forged a concept album of sorts, the songs linking together to tell a story of an ancient empire and alien gods or something. Anyway, you'll either love them or hate them, and the main deciding factor is what you think of the singer's voice. He's no boring blond-tressed clone, but styles himself after the bizarre banshee wail of original Saint Vitus vocalist Scott Reagers. The result, however, sounds closer to what you might imagine (if you can) Jello Biafra would sound like singing power metal at a high pitch. In other words, warbly and weird. But I love it. He's got personality, a factor totally lacking in most metal "singers". He sounds a bit silly, and I think he knows it. But it's how he wants to sing, he's expressing the unbridled spirit of metal within himself and somehow it really works (for me anyway). Better than the smooth, generic croon of that Hammerfall dork!
RealAudio clip: "Master Of Thy Fate"
RealAudio clip: "Throne Of Metal"

album cover SACRED STEEL Carnage Victory (Massacre) cd+dvd 17.98
More metal than thou, by far!!

album cover SACRED STEEL Hammer Of Destruction (Massacre) cd 17.98
Gotta mention the latest from these German wargods of metal. Speedy, yelpy metal in the '80s Metal Blade tradition that is. Some of us here are big fans of this metal for metal's sake band, in part 'cause of the love 'em or hate 'em vocals of lead warbler (it says here "communicative siren channel", actually) Gerrit Mutz, who, as we've said before, sounds like what we'd think Jello Biafra would if he decided to front a power metal band. Gerrit puts his all into his dramatic vox, which range from high-pitched shrieks to melodic crooning to deathly growls. Meanwhile, the other members of Sacred Steel crank out the fist-pumping tuneage, their ragin' retro riffage totally catchy and exciting and utterly without any pretense or sense of irony.
Sacred Steel are all about madness, metal, Satan, speed, slaughter - sophisticated stuff like that. So we'd suggest that more "mature" folks, cool kids, and of course poseurs should stay far away! If you're a true metalhead though (particularly one who already digs Mutz' vox) this album is a headbanging delight, taking at least one doomy detour with the slowly chugging, grandiosity of the track "The Black Church". Oh, and there's a computer-playable videoclip included for the track "Maniacs Of Speed".
MPEG Stream: "Where Demons Dare To Tread"
MPEG Stream: "Impaled By Metal"

SACRED STEEL Iron Blessings (Massacre) cd 17.98
TROO metal!

album cover SACRED STEEL Slaughter Prophecy (Massacre) cd 14.98
Not to be confused with that whole genre of spiritual lap-steel playing! No, this is metal...
Faster and more brutal than before, these German speed metallers return with their fourth album, first for new label Massacre (I guess they won't be playing "Crusaders of the Metal Blade" anymore). If you don't know 'em, let's just say Sacred Steel are a band that makes metal music by, for, and about metalheads. They're massive fiends for '80s metal obscurities, and with "Slaughter Prophecy" they seem to be especially inspired by the heavier, speedier section of their record collections: Nasty Savage, Slayer, Agent Steel, but also the epic and doomy likes of Candlemass and Cirith Ungol. As a result, this album is a double bass driven metal fist in your face. They even do a song called "Raise The Metal Fist"!
Lead singer Gerrit Mutz is the reason you'll hate this (if you're a poser): his singing can only be described as ridiculous, yet he's got the balls and the charisma to pull it off. If you're insecure about liking something with silly but sincere vocals, you won't like Mutz or Sacred Steel. Me (Allan), I love Mutz's vox! Imagine Jello Biafra trying to sing like a metalgod. Mainly inspired by the weirdisms of old Saint Vitus vocalist Scott Reagers, Gerritt wails and warbles in a completely insane, over the top fashion. But he also indulges in a death metal growl upon occasion (sounding not unlike King Fowley of Deceased), moreso than on previous Sacred Steel releases.
I would suggest their last album, "Bloodlust" (a R.E. Howard / H.P. Lovecraft weird tales inspired epic) as being the best Sacred Steel to start with, but "Slaughter Prophecy" is maybe slightly more accessible to fans of "extreme metal" (black, death, etc.). Eccentric traditional METAL you'll either love or hate. In digipak w/ bonus track "while supplies last".
RealAudio clip: "Sacred Bloody Steel"

SACRIFICE POLES s/t (Robodog) cd 10.98
Side project of ALL the members of Cave In recorded during the off time of the sessions for their last record. No, it's not a return to their abandoned-in-favor-of-Radiohead-emulation metalcore roots, or even an extension of the "OK Computer" style art-rock found on their last brilliant album "Jupiter". Instead, Sacrifice Poles are all about post rock jamming. Repetitive, dreamy and directionless.

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