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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 SOGGY s/t (Memoire Neuve) lp 32.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Now we can perhaps prove that old adage that one YouTube clip is worth a thousand words! Go watch this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o49KyJQl-Og
Ok, you're back? Now just try to tell us you don't want to buy that band's record! After seeing that clip of Soggy kicking out the jams live on French TV in 1980 (thanks to our pal Brian Turner at WFMU for turning us on to it) we knew that if they had an album, we had to have it! A bit of research and we learned that indeed they did, newly reissued as a vinyl-only, limited edition. And now here it is, while they last. It's an expensive import, but it's also a deluxe gatefold package, with the super-thick LP in one pocket of the sleeve and a freakin' HUGE Soggy poster in the other (now when other records claim they come with a 'poster' they'd better step up!). And who cares how much it costs, didn't you just watch that video??!
For those for whom YouTube is somehow forbidden, we'll just say that Soggy (what a name!) were a French band circa 1980-82 who sound a lot like a more metallized version of The Stooges, obviously their biggest influence (end of side one here is cover "I Wanna Be Your Dog"). The skinny, shirtless singer is about as Iggy as you can get, with the added shake appeal of sporting a giant Rob Tyner (MC5) style Afro! Though they're about ten years after the Francais Metal de Proto scene we've obsessed over lately, they're more like Francais Metal de not-so-Proto, they'd fit right in, all heavy and punk and psychedelic. And they're even more obscure than those other French Stooge worshipers Angel Face, but just as badass. In fact, before they broke up the were supposedly slated to open a Judas Priest tour. What else do you need to know? Oh yeah, before they were Soggy, in the '70s some of these guys were in a band called the Hardfuckers!
All right, why are we still writing this? We don't need to, just watch that YouTube clip!! And yes, that song ("Waiting For The War") is included here. Act fast though 'cause this is limited to 500 copies and while we got a bunch we're sure they'll go quick.

album cover SOIL SING THROUGH ME (Manhand) cd-r 8.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
FEATHERS and SUNBURNED HAND OF THE MAN! Not much else to say. Especially since we only managed to get about a dozen of these, and as with all SHOTM related releases, it's very likely we will never see these again. So if you do want one, be quick on the buzzer or be prepared to be disappointed.
Soil Sing Through Me is a wild whirring improvised abstract free for all collaboration between folks from both of these two underground outfits. The sound seems to fall much closer to the Sunburned end of the spectrum, with huge freeform dirges, wild Dead C like drumming, layers of whirring distortion and amp buzz and gritty reverb. Sonically, this definitely sounds like some lost release from NZ, some unreleased Xpressway cassette, Dead C, Trash, Gate, This Kind Of Punishment, A Handful Of Dust, a whirling suffocating skree, a dense drone dripping freerock space jam, psychedelic and totally mind melting. AWESOME!
Packaged in a super trippy, massive psychedelic fold out poster.
And again, only about a dozen of these, so odds are these will be gone before you can blink...
MPEG Stream: "Four Hands Carveed The Figure With Four Breasts"
MPEG Stream: "Sick Mothers"

album cover SOIL SING THROUGH ME MEETS KOHOUTEK New Milk (Wabana) cd-r 13.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Second release we've been able to get our hands on from Soil Sing Through Me, a sort of underground freak folk supergroup featuring members of Feathers and Sunburned Hand Of The Man, who for this disc have teamed up with DC outfit Kohoutek for an evening of communal music making, the results should be no surprise, a druggy blown out meandering laid back psychedelic folk free for all. Blasted, stoned, groovy and fucked up.
You can definitely hear more SHOTM than Feathers, or maybe it's Kohoutek who we had never heard anyway, but this is not so much folky as sort of spaced out and trippy. Simple propulsive tribal rhythm jams and simple stripped down rock beats are the framework for these inner space excursions, wah guitar and slivers of silvery feedback drift to and fro, melodies are spread out over the proceedings like a tattered old blanket, there seem to be vocals too, but they are minimal and are usually buried under a ton of FX and psychedelic shimmer, keyboards buzz and huge spacious expanses offer the players plenty of space to stir up subtle bits of percussive clatter, glistening flurries of blurry buzz, strange spidery little melodies all tangled up amidst the stumbling drums and rumbling bass. This definitely has a Dead C vibe, but then what improvised noise rock psych jam doesn't? No good ones, that's for sure.
The usual suspects will eat this up. Sunburned Hand obsessives for sure need this, as do all you free folk noise rock cd-r freaks...
LIMITED TO 200 COPIES, most likely already out of print. Packaged in the instantly recognizable skull and crossbones Wabana purple painted digipak.
MPEG Stream: "III"
MPEG Stream: "VI"

album cover SOILED MATTRESS AND THE SPRINGS Honk Honk Bonk! (Upset! the Rhythm) cd 15.98

SOILENT GREEN Confrontation (Relapse) cd 14.98

album cover SOILWORK A Predator's Portrait (Nuclear Blast) cd 13.98
Intense melodic death metal from this Swedish band, this album (their third) having being eagerly anticipated at Aquarius since previous Soilwork records have become favorites of ours. At The Gates and Carcass are the key comparisions here, although this band also professes an influence from Accept and MSG! As with their other releases, great guitarwork and catchy songwriting together with brutal velocities and vocals, and just a little bit of keyboard atmosphere make this new disc another winner for Soilwork. Allan and Andee both give this a very metal recommendation.
RealAudio clip: "Bastard Chain"
RealAudio clip: "Like The Average Stalker"

album cover SOILWORK Natural Born Chaos (Nuclear Blast) cd 14.98
The newest release from these Swedish metallers marks a rather dramatic change in direction. Taking the best parts of In Flames, At The Gates and 'Heartwork' era Carcass, Soilwork have always been a huge favorite around here -- we consider them to be of the best Swedish death melodic metal bands around. So after three practically flawless records, where can you go? You can't really get faster, or heavier, but you could get -gasp- more melodic. So that's what they've done. They got Devin Townshend of Strapping Young Lad to record the record and they've embraced power metal with open arms. But it makes for a great mix. The songs feature crushing, lightning fast verses with shrieked vocals, but followed by super melodic choruses with gorgeous harmony vocals. With dual guitar leads, amazing production, and some of the catchiest metal songwriting of their career. Yet they remain exceedingly fierce and aggressive. Fans of Children Of Bodom, In Flames, etc will totally dig this. And power metallers who might be up for trying something a little heavier should definitely give this a try. One of Andee's favorite metal records of the year!
RealAudio clip: "Follow The Hollow"
RealAudio clip: "As We Speak"
RealAudio clip: "The Flameout"

SOILWORK The Chainheart Machine (Century Media/Listenable) cd 14.98
Sophomore effort from this excellent Swedish death metal outfit, in the vein of classic "Heartwork" era Carcass. Totally raging melodic machinegun metal, so to speak.

album cover SOKAI STILHED Second (self-released) cd-r 8.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Sokai Stilhed is the stage name for the soft-spoken Heather Cullen, whose vocal and sound-sculpting abilities should be taken quite seriously given the strength of her work on this hand-spun release. There's plenty of things that Cullen employs that immediately give us pause. First of all, there's the perpetual crackle of old vinyl achieving a golden patina which accentuates her otherworldly reverberations; but most importantly is her voice which drawls haunting reconstructions of Appalachian psalms which crosshatch a world-weariness with a hallowed adoration for the divine. Even as she pushes her own voice deep in the recesses of the faux-tape compression and dreamily droning ambience, there is a potency and strength to her voice. Given the opportunity, she could belt out a bluesy, a capella number at a Baptist church that would give many people the shivers; but instead of that well-trod path, she fragments her own voice to complement the delicate artifacts from guitar, autoharp, field recordings, and her trusted Loop Station. These tracks emerge as if stitched from spider webs, catching hold of whatever may fall into the web, but they are ephemeral if nothing else. If Philip Jeck were given unrestricted production over a Cat Power record, it would sound pretty close to this. These editions are handmade by Cullen featuring a candle-burnt and wax sealed piece of paper mounted to the cover and also featuring the album's track titles. It remains to be seen just how limited these are... A fantastic release, no matter how you look at it!
MPEG Stream: "Speak Easy"
MPEG Stream: "First"
MPEG Stream: "Ikiru"

SOKEA PISTE Valikasi (Ektro) cd 15.98

album cover SOL Black Cloud Of Becoming (Golem Tapes) cassette 9.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Latest from this Danish doomlord, whose last record, Let There Be A Massacre, was a huge hit around here, sure we hauled out the extra o's, it was supremely dooooooooooomy after all, but not sludgey funereal ultradoom, it was more a classic doom, with soaring and majestic melodies, proper songs, not just huge slabs of black rumble (not that we don't love that too). This new one though, actually starts off with some super minimal dronemusic, all layered tones and undulating swells of low end, atmospheric and ambient, it's not until about 5 minutes in, when something other than low end surfaces, but instead of a blast of doomy crush, it's an accordion / harmonium, emitting yet more drones, but these melodic and melancholy, drifting atop that sea of roiling blackness, and then when the church organ comes in, it's epic and intense, the sound so powerful and haunting, the whole first side of the tape, this gorgeous bit of blackened almost folky ambience.
But then flip it over, and that's where the doom comes in, a massive, crushing, lumbering slab of howled anguished depressive doom, the vocals a throat shredding yowl, over the downtuned churn of the guitar, and the Teutonic pound of the drums, all underpinned by atmospheric synths, the sound does shift into something more melodic, all spidery melodies and almost post rocky arrangement, before slipping right back into more abject doom. The track continually drifts between the two, before finally bleeding into the final track, which begins all wheezing organ drone and simple drum plod, hypnotic and weirdly krautrocky (reminding us actually of that Tony Conrad and Faust collaboration, so much so we sort of wished it kept doing that for the entirety of the song), until the guitars and vocals kick in, but instead of getting super doomy, the guitar is weirdly twangy, the vibe almost like a doomy Morricone, the shrieked vox the only concession to true doom, otherwise it would sound like some weird sort of Scenic / Barn Owl hybrid. Weird and quite cool.
LIMITED TO 50 COPIES! Packaged in a gorgeously printed textured paper J-card, the tape held shut by a printed Japanese style obi.
MPEG Stream: "Womb"
MPEG Stream: "Yielding To The Sound Of Clouds"

album cover SOL Let There Be A Massacre (Van) cd 13.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Finally, time to clear away the dirt, drag that huge concrete slab to the side, reach way down into the ancient gloom and haul that old wooden crate up from the depths, pry open that rusted padlock, unwind the heavy chains, and pull out the nails, one by one, until we can remove the lid, and unleash the many many 'o's stashed there long ago. Confused? Well, it's been a while since we needed a bunch of extra o's for a doom review, but now that we finally have enough copies of Sol's Let There Be A Massacre to review, all of these o's are most definitely going to come in handy.
And yes, this is most definitely doooooooooooooom, but not of the slow motion near static sludge variety, no the doom of Sol is much more classic, and epic, melodic and majestic, almost like a Paradise Lost or My Dying Bride record slowed down, fucked up, and turned into something at once, totally familiar, but also strangely twisted and bizarre. The work of one man, a Danish dude called Emil Sol Brahe, and while he definitely has his fundamentals in place. Lumbering tempos, mournful melodies, thick buzzing guitars, howled demonic vox, the sound of Sol is anything but typical doom. It's another one of those instances where if you stripped away the distortion, it would almost be some gorgeously lilting slowcore post rock. The main guitar soars and sings, over a swirling wash of droning buzz, pounding drum plod. And the rumbling guttural vocals. The first track almost sounds like some strange mix of Skepticism and Godspeed, You Black Emperor. Very cinematic, and emotional, not evil or brutal as much as melancholy and haunting.
Check out the third track "Boginki", with its strange martial drum intro, the sound of the drums weirdly effected, the cymbals a distorted sizzle, the guitar comes in, a warped downtuned looped churning almost static riff, and then the vocals, super distorted and anguished, all wrapped up by a strange almost jig like synthesizer melody. In some weird way it almost sounds like Laibach. Which is definitely not a bad thing. There are occasional stretches of folky acoustic guitar, murky drones, and roiling buzz, but for the most part, Brahe and his Sol unfurl thick heaving slabs of that gorgeous epic doom majesty they just don't seem to make that much anymore. The final track is a weary woozy lament, all muted rhythmic thump and wheezing minor key accordion, finishing off with creepy minimal backporch banjo, folky and somber, mysterious and quite lovely, but in some strange way just as crushingly sad and funereally heavy as the rest of the disc.
Definitely essential for doomlords and doomaidens, and for anyone who has been lamenting the recent lack of multiple o'd reviews, but also, just melodic and pretty enough to possibly appeal to fans of apocalyptic doomfolk like Kiss The Anus, Ignatz, Woven Hand, Svarte Greiner, as long as they can handle their doom folk, HEAVY on the DOOOOOOOM...
MPEG Stream: "Centuries Of Human Filth"
MPEG Stream: "Boginki"
MPEG Stream: "Apocalypse"

album cover SOL / BLODTRU Old Europa Death Chants (Paradigms) cd 17.98
We've heard Sol before, the one-man Danish dooooooooooomster whose debut on Van we compared to both Skepticism and Godspeed You Black Emperor!, and recommended also to fans of such acts as Svarte Greiner and even Woven Hand, due to the "apocalyptic doomfolk" elements of Sol's sound. Now, we've got some new Sol, a collaboration on the always interesting Paradigms label with another Danish artist named Blodtru, and it's even more of a mashup of ultra doom, militaristic neo-folk, ambient, goth, and classical (the first track adapting music by 17th century English baroque composer Henry Purcell). Instrumentation ranges from accordion and glockenspiel to feedback and programming... Musically, it's both menacing and melodic, usually molasses-like and mesmeric. Across the six long tracks of this 77 minute disc, you'll encounter rumbling low-end bass, some sombre singing, shimmering cymbals, martial drum rolls, acoustic string pluck, and long lovely stretches of quietly wavering electronic drone. The occasional vocals sound somewhere between Antony of Antony & The Johnsons and Gregorian monk chant, or get scarier with a guttural black metal like rasp. Stunningly effective, super heavy when it's heavy, totally blissed out when it's blissed out, sometimes both at once, so atmospheric, and recommended! Could equally appeal to fans of Der Blutharsch and OM, Kiss The Anus Of A Black Cat and Aun. Limited to 500 copies.
MPEG Stream: "Crippled By Emotions We Die In Solitude"
MPEG Stream: "Where Did We Fall"
MPEG Stream: "Death Chants For Old Europa"

SOLA TRANSLATIO Mother Sunrise (Hypnos) cd 15.98

album cover SOLAAR, MC Cinquieme As (Sentinel Ouest) cd 17.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Brand new album from French hip hop superstar MC Solaar. Pretty good album, certainly the best since Prose Combat: heavy beats, nice production and even some decent scratching. To be sure, there are a few weak slow jams on the album, but somehow they don't sound all that bad. I think this is partly due to the fact that they're sung in French, which not only sounds nicer than English, but also saves us (the Franco-ignorant that is) from hearing the lyrics. Then again I'm a big supporter of more English speaking artists in the popular music realm either picking up a second language or dropping the words all together. But that's another story. Besides, all we really care about here in the States is image: Has it got a sexy cover? And it does. It's got a sexy cover featuring a bare chested Solaar. What more do you need?
RealAudio clip: "Degats Collateraux"
RealAudio clip: "L'Aigle Ne Chasse Pas Les Mouches"

SOLAAR, MC Prose Combat (Cohiba) cd 16.98

SOLACE 13 (MeteorCity) cd 13.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.

album cover SOLACE A D (Small Stone) cd 13.98
It's been more than 3 years since the last Solace full length, and it's been close to 7 since their last appearance on the aQ list. Not exactly sure why that is, the heavy rockers around here are way into these Jersey stoner metallers, so we were pretty excited to find out there was a brand new record, this one in fact, but were thrown for a loop by the opening track, the grungy noise rock crush of "The Disillusioned Prophet" which sounds more like Soundgarden via AmRep than Kyuss, with angry vocals, but hell, we were digging it big time, some seriously heavy stoner noise rock? What's not to love?
Ends up that track is a bit of an anomaly though, from track two on, A D hews much closer to more traditional stoner rock, BUT, and that's a big important but, the sound remaining grungy and is way heavier, and way more metal than rock. Which is definitely a good thing. We're definitely reminded of Kyuss, you can't be stoner rock and not have a little of that in ya, but we also hear some Raging Slab style twang flecked heaviness, not to mention lots of Ozzy era Sabbath, the vocals often falling in a distinctly Ozzyish croon, the riffs big and crunchy plenty of serpentine guitar harmonies, there's definitely a HUGE Monster Magnet vibe happening, which pretty much seals the deal. C'mon, if someone told us there was a record that sounded a bit like Kyuss mixed with Raging Slab mixed with Monster Magnet, fuck, we'd be all over it. And that's sort of what this Solace sounds like, heavy, groovy, stonery, metallic, hooky, poppy too, it's a pretty potent, and goddamn near irresistible combination. But why would you want to try to resist anyway?
Folks who have been digging recent records by bands like Freedom Hawk, Leeches Of Lore, Sardonis, Iota, Humo Del Cairo, will most likely dig this too. Of all the heavy stuff we've gotten in lately, this one ends up being one of the ones we listen to the most, make of that what you will!
MPEG Stream: "The Disillusioned Prophet"
MPEG Stream: "The Immortal, The Dead And The Nothing"
MPEG Stream: "Six Year Trainwreck"

album cover SOLACE Hammerhead (Land O'Smile) 10" 5.98
We haven't heard from East Coast stoner rockers Solace for ages, but fuck if they don't sound better than ever. This three song 10" is an absolute killer. The first track is a cover of "Hammerhead" by early seventies prog outfit Rare Bird, and it somehow comes out sounding more like some NWOBHM classic, all groovy riffs and killer leads, an incredible hook and great vocals. The second track is an original and is way heavier and meaner, with howled vocals, cool harmonic breakdowns and a more fuzzed out aggressive feel. The funny thing about that song is the riff is dangerously similar to one of our favorite metal songs ever, "Warriors Of Genghis Khan" by Bad News, the Spinal Tap like alter ego of UK comedy troop the Young Ones. Amazed that no metal band has covered it yet.
The B side is a super stretched out version of Link Wray's "Rumble" which might be the Ur-song of all heavy metal, even though it's a rockabilly instrumental. But somehow here it also ends up sounding like a New Wave Of British Heavy Metal band, maybe like some rad Iron Maiden outtake, with tons of amazing guitar leads, in fact the whole second half of the track is nothing but dueling leads. So killer!
Cool painting on the cover, horses, warriors, swords and bloodied bodies. Also bonus points for one of the best label logos ever, a parody of the Land O Lakes logo, but with the Indian squaw holding a huge skull instead of a box of butter!

SOLANGE Sol-Angel And The Hadley St. Street Dreams (Geffen) cd 12.98
Beyonce's little sister has some magic of her own! Not all of this is great but it for sure has its moments and we'll be curious what shape her future outings take.

album cover SOLANKE, JIMI Storyteller (Eko Star) cd 16.98

album cover SOLAR ANUS Skull Alcoholic: The Complete Solar Anus (tUMULt) 2cd 14.98
It's hard to believe, but it's true. SOLAR ANUS IS HERE! It took almost 5 years, but it was well worth it! But what exactly is Solar Anus? An essay by French writer/philosopher Georges Bataille... a burst of plodding pummel from UK freedrone outfit Skullflower... but also, and as far as we're concerned more importantly, a band whose music conjures up a mysterious land of legendary monsters, ancient customs, cult beliefs and ritualized incest, all hidden just below the surface of our everyday world, a place only accessible through Matsuri, a group trance during which music and sound, lights and pictures help transport participants back to those mysterious other worlds and ancient times.
Such is the strange world of Japan's mighty tranced-out psychedelic doomlords Solar Anus, whose sound most definitely exists as Matsuri, a music designed to lull us into a trance and carry us off... mesmeric, hypnotic and HEAVY.
Here, for the first time ever readily available outside of Japan, is the entire recorded output of the legendary Solar Anus, all collected into one massive head crushing, mind melting double cd.
Skull Alcoholic chronicles the band's dizzying trajectory, from stumbling, buzzing, bloody-stumped, sludge doom behemoths to druggy, tranced out psychedelic outer space visionaries, swinging wildly toward both extremes the whole time. An impossible blend of Black Sabbath, Hawkwind and the Boredoms, Flower Travellin' band, Pink Floyd, Boris and the Melvins.
Beginning life as a dizzy and druggy, slow motion stoner doom outfit, with their 1997 album On, Solar Anus channeled both the garagey spacestomp of old Monster Magnet, the epic miserablist doomscapes of Candlemass, and the purposefully obtuse sludge riffery of the Melvins, taking all of these disparate but distinctly heavy sounds and incorporating all manner of primitive percussive rituals, drifting dronescapes, 16 rpm Krautrock groove, dreamy angelic female vocals, massive fuzzed out guitars, huge in-the-red monster drums and swirls of creepy crawly dirge into a truly epic dronedriftdoomgroove sound.
The band's blend of propulsive tripped out krautrock, dizzying drum jams and glacial stoner sludge is at once ominous and swoonsome, crushing and psychedelic, lurching wildly from tripped out tribal Can worship to massive bulldozing metal grooves to super abstract druggy dreamscapes, often within the same song.
Album number two, 1999's Trance!! found the band trudging even more resolutely into a bleak and blown out world of dark doom, sounding more and more like classic doomsters, My Dying Bride, Paradise Lost and Cathedral, but completely tweaked of course, and confusingly blended with epic stretches of lurching lo-fi psychedelic Krautrock blow outs a la Amon Duul II.
By the release of their final album, 2000's Next World News, the band had stretched out yet again, dragging their druggy doom into a head spinning world of cracked skull outerspace trance, spinning even further into the void, not so much heavy as blissed out and psychedelic. Lots of abstract rhythmic workouts, like a more demented, damaged version of Finnish dronerockers Circle, a swirl of confusionally dense and relentless FX drenched Krautrock spacejams rife with belching foghorn brass, squawking birds, dizzyingly dense tangles of hippy drum freakouts, chanted vocals, as well as all sorts of studio fuckery, chopped up tape loops, warbly pitch shifts and layer after layer of fuzz and buzz and psychdrone blur.
Each languorous stretch of fuzzed out metallic groove is swathed in blown out clouds of Hawkwind bongsmoke, but broken up by bleary expanses of chilled out 4am trancemusic, but instead of a post-rave laid back Ecstasy come down, it's like crashing and burning in some dirty back alley from an all night PCP binge, silvery streaks of electronic glitch laid over a pulsing techno throb, surrounded by thick washes of processed tribal drums, the whole thing a very Boredoms like primitive percussive ritual, hypnotic and heavy, sprinkled with all kinds of sparkling sonic twinkles and drifting chimes, and underpinned by a wasted moody muted sixties psychedelia.
A quick look at the band's convoluted thanks/inspiration list gives another glimpse into their twisted musical world: German Oak, Crash Worship, Twink, The Electric Prunes, Stooges, Nebula, Pungent Stench, Timothy Leary, Monster Magnet, Ash Ra Tempel, Sodom, Sleep, Amon Duul II, Exit-13, Cathedral, Joel Peter Witkin, Saint Vitus, Church Of Misery, Corrosion Of Conformity, Romain Slocombe, Jimi Hendrix, Gong, Funkadelic, Budgie, Guru Guru, Electric Wizard, Brutal Truth, the Beatles and more. Phew.
And for all you Asian psychrock obsessives: The Solar Anus track "Dear Mother Coral" is actually a cover of a classic tune by Japanese psych legends JA Ceasar!
One of the weirdest, wildest, heaviest collections of druggy, dreamy, dirge-drone-doom-kraut-space-noise-sludge rock EVER!
Mind blowing psychedelic collage cover art, housed in a super deluxe die-cut 'solar anus' slip cover. Includes a massive 12 page booklet, with the original album art and liner notes. These two discs contain every single bit of Solar Anus ever, including their final recording, the previously unreleased nine minute title track, "Skull Alcoholic"!
Once again, it's the year of the anus! SOLAR ANUS!!!!
ONE TIME PRESSING OF 2000 COPIES!!!
MPEG Stream: "Skull Alcoholic"
MPEG Stream: "Dear Mother Coral (JA Ceasar)"
MPEG Stream: "Don't Run"
MPEG Stream: "Conceive Bang"
MPEG Stream: "Die In The Space"
MPEG Stream: "Nightfall New Year"
MPEG Stream: "The Extreme North"

album cover SOLAR BEARS She Was Coloured In (Planet Mu) cd 14.98
When we first heard Ireland's Solar Bears, for whatever reason we sort of pegged them as another eighties style retro Carpenter / Goblin worshipper, and while there is an element of that in what they do, and we of course LOVE that stuff, there's so much more going on, their sound at once futuristic, but also pastoral, droney and a little sci-fi, but also blissed out and a little new agey, organic and poppy, jangly and dreamy, an incredible mix of so many different sounds we love, which perhaps seem like they wouldn't work together, but somehow, She Was Coloured In ends up sounding practically perfect.
Beginning with a reverbed sample, laid over a murky lo-fi loop, and a skeletal bit of rhythmic skitter, the track blossoms with prismatic synth swirls, fuzzed out swells of distorted chordal shimmer, it's like some sort of shoegazey dreampop, before the track shifts into something almost funky, with fat fuzzy stuttery bass and some sci-fi soundtracky synth, which gives way to gorgeously hazy folky steel guitar strum, which in turn leads into some almost Ariel Pink sounding FM radio retro pop, all warm chiming melodies, vocodered vocals, low slung basslines and little flurries of guitar jangle.
As if it wasn't already good, starting with the third track, "Twin Stars", it gets even better, deep fuzzed out low end drones, thrum and throb, darkly melodic, then some programmed beats swoop in, looped and stuttery, some melancholy synth melodies surface, all very soundtracky, still more melodies, a counterpoint to the original melodies, all very emotional and intense and dramatic, until that gives way to swirly bit of Reichian synth loop shimmer that could go on forever. The title track begins with stately cellos, or cello-like synths, some woozy bass, lush melodic swells, and then the song transforms into some sort of post rock lope, chiming guitars simple drums, swoonsome strings, a little twang, a little psychedelic crunch, so lush and subtly epic, which leads directly into two minutes of glimmering new agey bliss in the form of "Head Supernova", which gradually transforms from muted murky thrum, to weirdly majestic pomp.
"Crystalline (Be Again)" is another strange hybrid, beginning as a minimal bit of subtle synth drift, before crunchy psychedelic guitars transport the track into the realm of propulsive space kraut drift, and then into tripped out new wave, more loping bass, swirling space age synths, looped riffs, building to a seriously soundtracky bit of retro futurism.
The record is so varied, and the sound so ever shifting, that it's difficult to describe without going track by track, yet for all of the record's varied sounds and songs, it all flows so perfectly, like the score for some lost sixties psychedelic film, or the soundtrack to some super strange European television show, so evocative and ethereal and atmospheric, but with moments of spaced out rocking, or blissy shoegazey drift, or hypnotic krautrock throb. Fluttering flutes intertwine with delicate Appalachian folk, strings soar and sing, tinkling chimes drift over sixties Stereolab style Europop, synths distort and crunch, and weave pulsing science fiction electronic groovescapes, with moments definitely reminding us of Zombi and Majeure, but then as quickly as those bits explode into action, they recede leaving gently lilting drifts of hushed new age folky ambience, or layered droney buzz, or even minimal soundtracky groovepop that reminds us of Rockford Kabine's audio experiments, elsewhere looped sixties vocals are layered over warped fuzz bass and shuffling percussion, strings slip and slide, house-y rhythms sink into thick swaths of sun dappled chordal crunch, and super sweet melodies swoop and soar above handclaps and clipped drum machine, a weirdly propulsive sunshiney electro space pop, and then finally, there's a gorgeously lush and somber closer, with reverbed piano, more flutes, simple strummed acoustic guitars, warm soft swells, building to a lush tangle of guitar melody and dark piano chord drift, eventually leaving just a bit of flute flecked layered and distorted dronemusic, finishing with the ka-chunk of the stop button being pressed on an old tape player, as if we were listening to some old tape, or even better, like we were listening to this very record, only in some alternate future, the future as envisioned by pretty much every eighties movie and TV show, one where where cassette tape technology was still the preferred method of audio playback, even in our flying cars, and automated houses.
We love this record.
MPEG Stream: "Forest Of Fountains"
MPEG Stream: "Children Of The Times"
MPEG Stream: "Twin Stars"
MPEG Stream: "Crystalline (Be Again)"

album cover SOLAR BEARS She Was Coloured In (Planet Mu) lp 17.98
When we first heard Ireland's Solar Bears, for whatever reason we sort of pegged them as another eighties style retro Carpenter / Goblin worshipper, and while there is an element of that in what they do, and we of course LOVE that stuff, there's so much more going on, their sound at once futuristic, but also pastoral, droney and a little sci-fi, but also blissed out and a little new agey, organic and poppy, jangly and dreamy, an incredible mix of so many different sounds we love, which perhaps seem like they wouldn't work together, but somehow, She Was Coloured In ends up sounding practically perfect.
Beginning with a reverbed sample, laid over a murky lo-fi loop, and a skeletal bit of rhythmic skitter, the track blossoms with prismatic synth swirls, fuzzed out swells of distorted chordal shimmer, it's like some sort of shoegazey dreampop, before the track shifts into something almost funky, with fat fuzzy stuttery bass and some sci-fi soundtracky synth, which gives way to gorgeously hazy folky steel guitar strum, which in turn leads into some almost Ariel Pink sounding FM radio retro pop, all warm chiming melodies, vocodered vocals, low slung basslines and little flurries of guitar jangle.
As if it wasn't already good, starting with the third track, "Twin Stars", it gets even better, deep fuzzed out low end drones, thrum and throb, darkly melodic, then some programmed beats swoop in, looped and stuttery, some melancholy synth melodies surface, all very soundtracky, still more melodies, a counterpoint to the original melodies, all very emotional and intense and dramatic, until that gives way to swirly bit of Reichian synth loop shimmer that could go on forever. The title track begins with stately cellos, or cello-like synths, some woozy bass, lush melodic swells, and then the song transforms into some sort of post rock lope, chiming guitars simple drums, swoonsome strings, a little twang, a little psychedelic crunch, so lush and subtly epic, which leads directly into two minutes of glimmering new agey bliss in the form of "Head Supernova", which gradually transforms from muted murky thrum, to weirdly majestic pomp.
"Crystalline (Be Again)" is another strange hybrid, beginning as a minimal bit of subtle synth drift, before crunchy psychedelic guitars transport the track into the realm of propulsive space kraut drift, and then into tripped out new wave, more loping bass, swirling space age synths, looped riffs, building to a seriously soundtracky bit of retro futurism.
The record is so varied, and the sound so ever shifting, that it's difficult to describe without going track by track, yet for all of the record's varied sounds and songs, it all flows so perfectly, like the score for some lost sixties psychedelic film, or the soundtrack to some super strange European television show, so evocative and ethereal and atmospheric, but with moments of spaced out rocking, or blissy shoegazey drift, or hypnotic krautrock throb. Fluttering flutes intertwine with delicate Appalachian folk, strings soar and sing, tinkling chimes drift over sixties Stereolab style Europop, synths distort and crunch, and weave pulsing science fiction electronic groovescapes, with moments definitely reminding us of Zombi and Majeure, but then as quickly as those bits explode into action, they recede leaving gently lilting drifts of hushed new age folky ambience, or layered droney buzz, or even minimal soundtracky groovepop that reminds us of Rockford Kabine's audio experiments, elsewhere looped sixties vocals are layered over warped fuzz bass and shuffling percussion, strings slip and slide, house-y rhythms sink into thick swaths of sun dappled chordal crunch, and super sweet melodies swoop and soar above handclaps and clipped drum machine, a weirdly propulsive sunshiney electro space pop, and then finally, there's a gorgeously lush and somber closer, with reverbed piano, more flutes, simple strummed acoustic guitars, warm soft swells, building to a lush tangle of guitar melody and dark piano chord drift, eventually leaving just a bit of flute flecked layered and distorted dronemusic, finishing with the ka-chunk of the stop button being pressed on an old tape player, as if we were listening to some old tape, or even better, like we were listening to this very record, only in some alternate future, the future as envisioned by pretty much every eighties movie and TV show, one where where cassette tape technology was still the preferred method of audio playback, even in our flying cars, and automated houses.
We love this record.
MPEG Stream: "Forest Of Fountains"
MPEG Stream: "Children Of The Times"
MPEG Stream: "Twin Stars"
MPEG Stream: "Crystalline (Be Again)"

album cover SOLAR BEARS Supermigration (Planet Mu) cd 14.98
We first heard from Irish psychedelic electronic space synth duo Solar Bears via their 2010 debut She Was Coloured In, which we made Record Of The Week, and it remains one of our favorites, a tripped our collection of prismatic dream pop, mysterious vocodered vox, woozy retro psychedelic grooves, Carpenter / Goblin like synthscapes (well, before it was such a THING), string swept slowcore drift, and hazy washed out psychedelic ambience, and here we are three years later, and these guys have finally returned with a sequel of sorts to She Was Coloured In, and in some ways, their M.O. remains unchanged, although the sound has certainly shifted a bit.
After a haunting collaged symphonic intro, which seems to be preparing us for something much darker than we might have expected, the sound explodes immediately into a swirl of cascading minor key synth melodies, tense and moody, their Goblin / Carpenter obsession obviously still in full effect, but SB add had claps, squelchy bass, and soon when the song kicks in proper, they reveal a sound that's more poppy, sounding a bit like a more sinister Phoenix, a dark electro groove slithering beneath that swirl of kosmische synths, and it still sounds pretty goddamn great. Be prepared for the next track though, one of the records' sonic missteps, a bit of cringeworthy electro pop, which on its own might be a little light, but with the dreamy female vox, it becomes something way too twee and fey. But it does signal a sonic change, which is further reflected by the next track, which sounds like the High Llamas gone sci-fi, a sort of Steely Dan retro pop vibe, all woozy electric piano groove, some soulful backup vox, it definitely sound like some classic rock B side transported to the future.
The rest of the record seems to strike a balance between songs like "The Girl That Played With Light" and "Komplex" which channel the dreamy kraut-lite grooves of Stereolab through Solar Bears' warped sonic prism, sounding darkly soundtracky, but simultaneously dreamily psychedelic, and more far out kosmische shimmer, minimal pulsing sprawls of future drift and cosmic psychedelic swirl, with the only other duffer being "Our Future Is Underground" which finds that band returning to that folky female vocal driven twee electro pop, which sounds just a tad out of place.
The best track here is probably the epic (and epically titled) "Happiness Is A Warm Spacestation", a totally killer slab of futuristic psychedelic spaced out synth pop, sounding like the chase scene from some eighties B movie, or the end credits from some lost seventies television show, dreamy melodies tangle around strange sound effects, lazer blorps and pulsing sequenced synth churn, all driven by a dense driving programmed beat, the main 'riff' doused in FX and constantly mutating, sounding a bit like a more avant Daft Punk, stripped down and sinister. Too bad the whole record wasn't this good, but still a pretty enjoyable psych-pop electro-synth ride!
MPEG Stream: "Happiness Is A Warm Spacestation"
MPEG Stream: "Cosmic Runner"
MPEG Stream: "Love Is All"
MPEG Stream: "The Girl That Played With Light"

album cover SOLAR BEARS Supermigration (Planet Mu) lp 15.98
We first heard from Irish psychedelic electronic space synth duo Solar Bears via their 2010 debut She Was Coloured In, which we made Record Of The Week, and it remains one of our favorites, a tripped our collection of prismatic dream pop, mysterious vocodered vox, woozy retro psychedelic grooves, Carpenter / Goblin like synthscapes (well, before it was such a THING), string swept slowcore drift, and hazy washed out psychedelic ambience, and here we are three years later, and these guys have finally returned with a sequel of sorts to She Was Coloured In, and in some ways, their M.O. remains unchanged, although the sound has certainly shifted a bit.
After a haunting collaged symphonic intro, which seems to be preparing us for something much darker than we might have expected, the sound explodes immediately into a swirl of cascading minor key synth melodies, tense and moody, their Goblin / Carpenter obsession obviously still in full effect, but SB add had claps, squelchy bass, and soon when the song kicks in proper, they reveal a sound that's more poppy, sounding a bit like a more sinister Phoenix, a dark electro groove slithering beneath that swirl of kosmische synths, and it still sounds pretty goddamn great. Be prepared for the next track though, one of the records' sonic missteps, a bit of cringeworthy electro pop, which on its own might be a little light, but with the dreamy female vox, it becomes something way too twee and fey. But it does signal a sonic change, which is further reflected by the next track, which sounds like the High Llamas gone sci-fi, a sort of Steely Dan retro pop vibe, all woozy electric piano groove, some soulful backup vox, it definitely sound like some classic rock B side transported to the future.
The rest of the record seems to strike a balance between songs like "The Girl That Played With Light" and "Komplex" which channel the dreamy kraut-lite grooves of Stereolab through Solar Bears' warped sonic prism, sounding darkly soundtracky, but simultaneously dreamily psychedelic, and more far out kosmische shimmer, minimal pulsing sprawls of future drift and cosmic psychedelic swirl, with the only other duffer being "Our Future Is Underground" which finds that band returning to that folky female vocal driven twee electro pop, which sounds just a tad out of place.
The best track here is probably the epic (and epically titled) "Happiness Is A Warm Spacestation", a totally killer slab of futuristic psychedelic spaced out synth pop, sounding like the chase scene from some eighties B movie, or the end credits from some lost seventies television show, dreamy melodies tangle around strange sound effects, lazer blorps and pulsing sequenced synth churn, all driven by a dense driving programmed beat, the main 'riff' doused in FX and constantly mutating, sounding a bit like a more avant Daft Punk, stripped down and sinister. Too bad the whole record wasn't this good, but still a pretty enjoyable psych-pop electro-synth ride!
MPEG Stream: "Happiness Is A Warm Spacestation"
MPEG Stream: "Cosmic Runner"
MPEG Stream: "Love Is All"
MPEG Stream: "The Girl That Played With Light"

SOLAR FIRE TRIO Breakthrough / External Threat (Invada) 12" 19.98

SOLARIZED Neanderthal Speedway (Man's Ruin) cd 11.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
A perfectly titled album in which 4 longhaired stoners jam on low-IQ thud rock loaded with huge riffs and solos. Pretty soon, you're liking it. Members of Monster Magnet, dude.

album cover SOLARS Eyes (Vacant Tapes) cassette 7.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
So, for those poor folks who missed out on the first cassette we listed from our absolute favorite Vancouver psych/drone duo Solars, here's your chance to pick up their latest slab of gloriously executed, beautifully layered drone-gazeeee!
Eyes begins as a faint wave creeping up from beneath the tides, only to slowly shift into a blossoming crescendo of layered electric guitar, vocal decay and an avalanche of ecstatic, chakra-melting bliss. Imagine Eliane Radigue somehow jamming with Slowdive, then picture those recordings mixed by William Basinski, and you pretty much have this tape. Swarming overtones arching from the wavering drones, rich synth-like low end hovering under the placid wash of shimmering, heavy nu-new age. Similar to the heavy-gazing alchemy of their first cassette Shadow/Cave, this single-sided, long form track is patiently sculpted with close attention to sonic detail, each new listen revealing a hidden world of buried beauty. If you can't tell already, this is criminally limited to an edition of 50. Yep, only 50 of these out there, not sure if we can get more than the 10 we already have, so act fast if you want one! Don't want folks missing out TWICE....

album cover SOLARS Shadow / Cave (Pop Drones) cass 7.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
If you're a loyal aQ follower, you already know how much we love to discover new and awesome music from all over this dusty planet. And you probably already know that what makes us even more excited is being able to share it with all of our fellow music nerds! With that in mind, we absolutely could not wait to share with you our newest obsession and latest discovery, Vancouver's best-kept dream drone secret, Solars!
This brand new tape from the heavy hitting drone-gaze duo completely hits the spot, super unique and magical stuff here. Imagine the slow creep of distant bells growing louder and louder until you're bundled in a blanket of rich, metallic swell, then massive layers of thick guitar wash expand over you into monolithic chords that shimmer and morph in the blinding sunlight. Like taking the crushingly heavy, melodic smear of MBV's loveless, and combining it with the melodic richness and orchestral detail of Stars of the Lid, and there you have Solars' Shadow/ Cave, their debut cassette on Pop Drones Records. Somber melodies wrapped in cocoons of fuzz and buzzing heaviness, echoing electric guitar lulling you deeper and deeper into the night's hazy mist, completely blissed out and amazing!! Though the duo have also released a 7" in the past, this is their most recent release and a fine representation of what these sonic magi can conjure up. With a tape debut as killer as this, we seriously cannot wait to hear what else these Canadian conjurers cook up in the future. Super duper limited to an edition of 30, we only have a few, so you better be quick if you want one, they will be gone in no time!!
MPEG Stream: "Shadow"
MPEG Stream: "Cave"

album cover SOLDIER, DAVE Yol K'u Sonal Yil Yinhatil Nab'en (Mulatta Records) cd+dvd 15.98
The man behind awesome and bizarre musical adventures like the Thai Elephant Orchestra teaming up with Mayan Indian schoolchildren to create joyous sounds that make us think of some cool mix of El Guincho and Konono No. 1.
MPEG Stream: "Oracion De La Cruz"
MPEG Stream: "Xan Matin Mix"
MPEG Stream: "B'erech Kaxlanh"

album cover SOLDIERS OF FORTUNE Ball Strenth (Mexican Summer) 12" 19.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.

MPEG Stream: "Yes To Everything"
MPEG Stream: "Tunnel Rats"

SOLE cd 14.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Originally a tour only cd, we managed to snag a handful of these full length cds from Anticon all-star Sole. Recorded, according to the liner notes, "in midnight rampages" and assisted by Odd Nosdam, Jel, Why? and Dose One, this stacks up pretty well against his other two full lengths considering this was done on the fly. A little more lo-fi than his proper albums, Mansbestfriend still manages to capture all the stuff that makes Sole, and Anticon for that matter, so exciting: Dark and creepy ambience, weird and unlikely samples, off-kilter and stuttering beats, and of course Sole's spastic, whiny flow, extrapolating on everything from politics to dreams to sex to outer space to sucka mc's to the enviornment and anything else that strikes his fancy. The lo-fi production actually works in his favor, adding lots of distortion and crunch and grit to the already expansive sonic palette.
MPEG Stream: "Poor Is Cool"
MPEG Stream: "The Devil's A Travelling Man"

album cover SOLE Bottle Of Humans (Anticon) cd 14.98

album cover SOLE Learning to Walk (6Months / Anticon) cd 14.98
Man, these Anticon folks are prolific. Seems like someone from this crew has a new disc every couple weeks. This is a collection of previously recorded stuff spanning 1994-1998 from Anticon head honcho Sole. The tunes on 'Learning To Walk' sound a lot more simple and less experimental than a lot of the Anticon stuff. That's not to say it isn't good, 'cause it is. It's just straight ahead. But it still manages to be dark and creepy and catchy, with Sole's nimble white boy flow over looped downtuned guitars and simple funky beats. If you dug the Them record and the Aesop Rock definitely check this out.
RealAudio clip: "3rd Person"
RealAudio clip: "Prosperity"

album cover SOLE Live From Rome (Anticon) cd 14.98
Live From Rome is not in fact live at all. And was not recorded in Rome. But IS the new record from Sole. And the latest in the neverending Anticon onslaught. And as always, it's a perfectly peculiar slab of outsider hip hop full of tweaked samples, unlikely arrangements, skittery loops, and weird white boy flow, dense and tongue twisting and confusionally clumsy, but in a good way. Production duties are split between the usual Anticon suspects: Odd Nosdam, Alias, Telephone Jim Jesus, and Controller 7 except for two tracks which are produced by Gooom bliss pop hip hoppers Abstrakt Keal Agram, and those two tracks are probably the strangest of the lot, which is saying a lot since on most Anticon records ALL the songs are strange. AKA add some of their Gooomy magic to the mix, a little disco groove, some fuzz guitar, some shuffling glitch and bass, some weird sing songy pop, and plenty of cut and paste and stop and stutter. Those may be the weirdest tracks but the record as a whole still manages to push the musical envelope just a little further, twisting and tweaking traditional hip hop into weird and wonderful new sonic shapes.
MPEG Stream: "On Martyrdom"
MPEG Stream: "Drive By Detournment"

album cover SOLE Live From Rome (Anticon) lp 14.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Live From Rome is not in fact live at all. And was not recorded in Rome. But IS the new record from Sole. And the latest in the neverending Anticon onslaught. And as always, it's a perfectly peculiar slab of outsider hip hop full of tweaked samples, unlikely arrangements, skittery loops, and weird white boy flow, dense and tongue twisting and confusionally clumsy, but in a good way. Production duties are split between the usual Anticon suspects: Odd Nosdam, Alias, Telephone Jim Jesus, and Controller 7 except for two tracks which are produced by Gooom bliss pop hip hoppers Abstrakt Keal Agram, and those two tracks are probably the strangest of the lot, which is saying a lot since on most Anticon records ALL the songs are strange. AKA add some of their Gooomy magic to the mix, a little disco groove, some fuzz guitar, some shuffling glitch and bass, some weird sing songy pop, and plenty of cut and paste and stop and stutter. Those may be the weirdest tracks but the record as a whole still manages to push the musical envelope just a little further, twisting and tweaking traditional hip hop into weird and wonderful new sonic shapes.
MPEG Stream: "On Martyrdom"
MPEG Stream: "Drive By Detournment"

album cover SOLE Mansbestfriend cd 14.98

album cover SOLE mansbestfriend pt 3 myownworstenemy cd 13.98

album cover SOLE New Single (Anticon) 12" 6.98

album cover SOLE Selling Live Water (Anticon) cd 14.98
As much as I love almost everything on Anticon, the two MC's who can seem to do no wrong are Dose One and Sole. And on this, Sole's sophmore full length, he proves himself to be the one true Anticon visionary. Like all the Anticon records that came before, the production is out of left field, totally off kilter with unlikely loops and bizarre samples. But the production manages to stay totally head nodding and super funky. Unlike the hyper-production-centric Def Jux camp, here it's ALL about the flow. And the flow is mind boggling, a stacatto and relentless avalanche of tongue twisting, verbally dense extrapolations on white boy blues, hip hop haters, as well as ruminations on all sorts of more esoteric topics. All delivered in a manic whine-y white boy drawl. This is most definitely the future of hip hop, lyrically challenging, musically complex, totally original and weird as fuck. A contender for 2003 record of the year and it's still only January!!
RealAudio clip: "Da Baddest Poet"
RealAudio clip: "Shoot The Messenger"

SOLE Selling Live Water (Anticon) 2lp 14.98
As much as I love almost everything on Anticon, the two MC's who can seem to do no wrong are Dose One and Sole. And on this, Sole's sophmore full length, he proves himself to be the one true Anticon visionary. Like all the Anticon records that came before, the production is out of left field, totally off kilter with unlikely loops and bizarre samples. But the production manages to stay totally head nodding and super funky. Unlike the hyper-production-centric Def Jux camp, here it's ALL about the flow. And the flow is mind boggling, a stacatto and relentless avalanche of tongue twisting, verbally dense extrapolations on white boy blues, hip hop haters, as well as ruminations on all sorts of more esoteric topics. All delivered in a manic whine-y white boy drawl. This is most definitely the future of hip hop, lyrically challenging, musically complex, totally original and weird as fuck. A contender for 2003 record of the year and it's still only January!!

SOLE Skin Deep (Dreamworks) cd 16.98
Our newest discovery, thanks to KMEL keeping us company as we tool around town, imagining that our crappy little tape deck is actually a 'boomin' system'. Sole manages to out-nasty even Lil' Kim and Foxy Brown. Wicked stuttering Timbaland style beats and streams of nasty sex style vitriol.

album cover SOLEFALD In Harmonia Universal (Century Media) cd 14.98
Been meaning to review this for a while now. But we realized we would be hard pressed to come up with a review better than this one from AQ pal Roberto's Maelstrom Descent online magazine (www/maelstrom.nu) written by mysterious Maelstrom staffer The Condor:
Not sure what it is that turned Solefald from their grim blackness into a goofy electronic/metal hybrid, then into a super technical genre hopping 'modern' black metal band and finally into a melancholic dark metal prog band. But whatever it is, I love it. Very few bands have been so interesting to watch and remained so totally unpredictable. While this unpredictability has not always served them well (the musical mis-step that was the sort of appalling Neonism) it has managed to keep them sonically original and served to alienate their core fan base with every new release. And c'mon, you gotta love a band with that sort of single mindedness. This time around their overt weirdness is blunted a bit and it serves them well. The songs are still weird, but subtlely, in structure and melody, rather than the brick-in-the-face, over the top weirdness of their past efforts. The sound here is melancholy and mournful, with lots of acoustic guitars and piano, chantlike clean vocals and really catchy hooks. The first band I thought of when I threw this on was definitely Katatonia. Midtempo minor key epics with gorgeously sorrowful melodies and amazing production. The occasional circusy/ prog rock keyboards or Gerry Rafferty (remember "Baker Street"?) saxophones won't let you forget that you're still listening to Solefald, and the once-in-a-while bursts of furious blast beats and growled guttural vocals help remind us that the band we're listening to was actually once a real black metal band. Not their best record by a long shot (that would be the amazing and fucked up Pills Against the Ancient Ills) nor the heaviest (that would be their debut, The Linear Scaffold) just a gorgeous chunk of sad heaviness, and the next perfectly illogical step in Solefald's musical evolution.
MPEG Stream: "Epictetus Irreversibility"
MPEG Stream: "Mont Blanc Providence Crow"

album cover SOLEFALD Pills Against The Ageless Ills (Century Media) cd 14.98
The first Solefald record 'The Linear Scaffold', knocked our fucking socks off. Furiously heavy and relentlessly crushing (with amazing cover art courtesy of Norwegian artist Odd Nerdrum). So we were so excited for the arrival of their second album 'Neonism' only to be surprised, and completely disappointed. 'Neonism' was all silly techno metal or industrial pop metal, with stupid lyrics about Calvin Klein and crap like that (that album marked the birth of their 'Designer rock and roll' concept). So we were a bit worried about the new record, only to be surprised and completely AMAZED. This record is so fantastic, falling somewhere between Solefald's two extremes, managing to be weird but not stupid, heavy and totally metal, but not in the least bit generic. Crushing blasts of black metal are sparsely dotted throughout a landscape of soaring melodic vocals, catchy pop songs cleverly disguised as metal, garage-y bits complete with jangle guitar and tambourine, and weird new wave parts with eighties synth and faux British accents. The record starts off with weeping violin that is buried beneath a furious avalanche of black metal noise with some of the best singing we've heard in black metal, and we mean -SINGING-, as in: great voice, belting it out, not like that fake Viking chanting bullshit that is the 'clean singing' on most black metal records. And the record continues to get weirder and catchier and is coming dangerously close to being my favorite metal record of the year. Weird vibrato guitar melodies, and super melodic syncopated math-rock rhythms butt up against gently strummed guitars and super catchy vocal lines. Staccato strings and harmony vocals weave in and out of massive riffs. The sound veers crazily from Nordic black metal to Faith No More to Katatonia while the vocals similarly flit from Faith No More-era Mike Patton to the melancholy sorrowful wail of Katatonia, to that sort of half sung / half spoken Einsturzende Neubauten vocal to sexy Marilyn Manson-ish growls to a spot-on Richard Butler (Psychedelic Furs) complete with the British accent. Made Allan and Andee think that if those punks in The Breakfast Club listened to black metal we'd be hearing Solefald on the radio two decades later instead of the Simple Minds. This record is so good it seems hard to believe these guys are even slightly joking, but you be the judge. This is from their website:
"We all know how difficult it is to cultivate good taste in music. If you do have good taste in music, of course you know about SOLEFALD! We are the only band in Metal music with good taste.
But what about the music? Do we laugh at our music? Of course not. We are Metal's sensitive guys. You know us. We can safely affirm that NOTHING is more serious than our music. Yes, correct! We can even affirm that nothing is more IMPORTANT than our music!
Our music is perfect. What does it mean that it is perfect? It means that you will die when you listen to it. Death will sweep you under Solefald's wings like seven winds sweep seven oak leaves swiftly away into the winter sky!
But we can assure you: You will not die if you listen to our advice. Solefald believe it helps talking about the things that hurt. How can we help you? It is nothing Solefald want more than to be able to help you. Sit down and relax. Have something to drink, and try to forget about death. If you still feel bad, let us talk about it.
We are good boys. Our music, though, is so perfect it is lethal. It is not our fault that we are just TOO good.
Solefald dream about a happy life for everybody. That is why we make an effort to warn you. We warn you because we care about you. Because we want to live with you and everybody else in the best of all possible worlds! Be reasonable, burn our album before it burns you.
We called it Red Music with Black Edges.
We called it Radical Designer Rock'n'Roll.
IT DID NOT HELP. THEY DIED ANYWAY."
If only all records were this unpredictable and exciting and kick ass. Andee's metal record of the year for sure!!
RealAudio clip: "Hyperman"
RealAudio clip: "Pornographer Chin"
RealAudio clip: "Charge Of Total Affect"

album cover SOLEFALD Red For Fire (Season Of Mist) cd 15.98

SOLENOID Services Rendered (Emanate) cd 11.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
New on Emanate (if.then.else, o.s.t., sybarite, lilienthal), Portland's David Chandler's latest release is a schizophrenic collage of Aphex-Twin skitter, Eno ambient, Adult electro and Reichy-Glasssisms. Nice.
RealAudio clip: "Batesian Mimicry 2"
RealAudio clip: "Nuprecon"

SOLENOID Services Rendered (Emanate) lp 11.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
New on Emanate (if.then.else, o.s.t., sybarite, lilienthal), Portland's David Chandler's latest release is a schizophrenic collage of Aphex-Twin skitter, Eno ambient, Adult electro and Reichy-Glasssisms. Nice.

album cover SOLEX Laughing Stock Of Indie Rock (Arena Rock Recording Co. ) cd 12.98
Instantly engaging, Ms Elisabeth Esselink returns with another lively frolic-filled Solex full length. It's another funky cut'n'paste style collection of songs pieced together from fragmented samples of saucy horns, piano tinkles, and sound effects over which she applies her own effected girlish vocals, electric guitars, assorted percussion and the wonderfully bizarre deeep voice of guest vocalist Stuart Brown. After all the dizzying, off kilter numbers, she brings the listener gently back down to the ground with the comparatively somber final track "You've Got Me". If you haven't already discovered the smart, fun, action-packed rollercoaster ride that is Solex, you should definitely check this gal out. Although she does have some earlier releases that are fine introductions, this new one is a pretty great place to start too. Dunno about that title though! If, we assume, she's being self-deprecating, it's totally off base 'cause she's creatively and skillfully head and shoulders above most slouchy 'indie rock' folks.
MPEG Stream: "Yadda Yadda Yadda No. 1"
MPEG Stream: "On An Ordinary Day"

album cover SOLEX Low Kick and Hard Bop (Matador) cd 14.98
Dutch solo gal Elisabeth Esselink creates some real trippy, dippy music incorporating and manipulating found sounds into her mix. Check out the sly "Peter Gunn"-esque bassline on "Comely Row" or the funky rhumba shake of "Not A Hoot!". Although her voice can be a bit shrill / nails-on-a-chalkboard at times, her music's definitely all about the kooky, groovy fun, and she succeeds once again. Playful, campy and ramshackle - drawing on somewhat more tiki-jazz sounds than previous efforts. For fans of Cibo Matto, StereoTotal, and Tipsy.
RealAudio clip: "Comely Row"
RealAudio clip: "Not A Hoot!"

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