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Last updated:
31 July 2015

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Just some of the Highlights of the week of 41 items on
NEW ARRIVALS List #480 (31 July 2015)

album cover CRYPT VAPOR Tombe Della Citta (Heavy Chains Records & Tapes) cd 10.98
Terror from Tasmania!! (Or perhaps from Italy, depending on what you wish to believe). The mysterious Crypt Vapor is the latest and one of the greatest, we think, in the realm of the New Wave Of Horror Soundtrack Sounding Stuff or whatever we ought to call it (there's gotta be a better name for this phenomenon, but we can't think of one right now). You know, underground musicians making Goblin and John Carpenter inspired, instrumental "imaginary soundtracks" that sound like they come from obscure '80s witchcult slasher flicks and badly-dubbed sci-fi suspense films. We're thinking of such VHS-loving artists as Umberto, The Night Terrors, Nightsatan, Zombi, Zombie Zombie, and of course John Carpenter himself, whose Lost Themes album on Sacred Bones we also made a Record Of The Week recently. If you loved that, you'll love this, though rather than an actual band recording, Crypt Vapor are very much a DIY, lo-fi deal, probably just one guy alone in a bedroom, basement (or crypt) with a 4-track and some secondhand electronic gear. Almost comes across like sinister "skwee" music at times.
A portion of this compact disc was originally released as cassette tape put out not long ago by the same outfit that now brings us this cd version, the cult Tasmanian metal label Heavy Chains Records And Tapes run by the front man for aQ-fave eccentric doomsters The Wizar'd (although, this is NOT metal, more like electronic music). In addition to including that prior (and already out of print on tape) Erotik Maniac ep, this disc features the brand new six-track Tombe Della Citta ep, and an additional three tracks from an earlier tape called Panic Night, for 17 tracks in all of Crypt Vapor's exceedingly spooky synth ditties, full of creepy drones and thudding heartbeat bass lines; urgent reverbed-out rhythms and eerie atmosphere. Plus a dose of almost-psychedelic synth soloing let loose here and there. Very effective, all of it, really pretty much exactly what we want from this sort of thing. Reminds us of what felt when we heard the very first Umberto cd-r, just YEAH, this perfectly captures that '80s synth-laden, hypnotically groovy, sinister soundtrack vibe. Crypt Vapor's style is simple and to the point, doing nothing unnecessary or unwanted. The synths are so raw and fuzzed out; the melodies eerie and earwormy. Ideal for listening to on a night drive through the wrong side of town, or waiting for the train on a desolate subway platform. If you dare.
Each moment of music on here, even the most danceable, sounds like it could be the last thing you'll ever hear - as your life is suddenly ended by the thrust of a knife in the back, or a blade across the throat. STAB! SNIP! Or, fade any track out, and it's a slow death, strangulation by black-gloved hands, or suffocation in the vacuum of space as the airlock is emptied... Anybody making a retro giallo horror movie or low-budget sci-fi thriller ought to sign up Crypt Vapor for the soundtrack, and seriously, some specialty label like Death Waltz or One Way Static should get on this, stat, and put out a fancy vinyl version for all the horror soundtrack obsessed LP collectors!
MPEG Stream: "Tombe Della Citta"
MPEG Stream: "Subway Crawler"
MPEG Stream: "Theme From Ritual (Panic Night version)"

album cover FLYING SAUCER ATTACK Instrumentals 2015 (Drag City) lp 27.00
We had almost given up on ever hearing from Flying Saucer attack ever again. After all, it's been 15 years since the last record (2000's Mirror), and now nearly twenty since Rachel Brook left the band to focus on Movietone. They (or now he really, as it's essentially been a David Pearce solo project for a while now) still rank amongst our all time favorite psychedelic shoegaze outfits EVER. And even on this new one it's easy to see why.
While not a proper new -album- per se, Instrumentals plays out more like a collection of sonic sketches, impressionistic textures and guitarscapes, still covering much of the same found that FSA did back in the day, be it chiming, pastoral psych-folk, or shimmering ambient drift, or distorted, washed out soft-noise. The songs are mostly short here, none breaking the 10 minute mark, and many hovering around 90 seconds or less, and yet somehow, it manages to sound cohesive, these ideas, sonic suggestions, these hazy movements, all flow and ooze and bleed into one another, the whole thing gorgeously amorphous and mesmeric.
Fans of the group probably didn't have to even read this far, news of a new FSA record is likely all it took, and those folks will not be disappointed. But somehow, Instrumentals serves as a perfect introduction to the group, an easy entree into a catalog of subtly difficult music. And there are difficult moments here too, guitars detune, explode into squalls, settle into hushed whispery thrum, but even at its most caustic or bombastic, there's a tranquility, a depth and weight to these sounds, that unfurl like pieces not songs, fragmented for sure, but the fragments are allowed to billow and expand, the layers piling up, and often peeling away, as much about texture, timbre and tone as mood and melody, if not more so. The songs are even named generically, as if to not color the listener's impression, allowing the sound to reveal what lies beneath, and within. And like all the FSA records, this is far from a high fidelity affair, the sound gritty, and grimy, amp buzz, and tape warble, hiss and hum, all subtle shadings in the sound, and in many cases, perfectly blended with the music itself, to add heft, or gravitas, or hell, just some extra noise.
Throughout, it's hard not to be swept away. Pearce conjures up a musical world that's at once magical and mysterious, the sound transcendent and transformative, minimal on the surface, but hiding a maximal energy within. And yeah, we're far from objective. We've loved this band forEVER, and were dying for this record when we first heard about it, and were definitely inclined to love it no matter what. But after repeated listens, what at first seemed like a sonic sketchbook (albeit good one at that), has blossomed into something more purposeful. There's a melancholic, meandering, musical path that runs through these 15 tracks, a path that leads simultaneously inward and outward, and coheres into a darkly delicate songsuite of somnambulant lullabies and softly psychedelic threnodies.
MPEG Stream: "Instrumental 3"
MPEG Stream: "Instrumental 7"
MPEG Stream: "Instrumental 11"

album cover ABYSSAL Antikatastaseis (Profound Lore) cd 13.98
The gloomy United Kingdom's most insane purveyors of twisted avant death metal bestow upon us once more a showering hailstorm of bludgeoning, smothering murk in the writhing form of their third full length. It's been a couple of years since their last album which we rightfully raved about, but time has clearly done nothing to temper the monstrous wild-eyed leviathan madness that propels Abyssal from the most lightless depths to the outer limits of the Lovecraftian cosmos. "Death Metal" is probably the easiest catch-all descriptor for these guys (especially considering the gurgling guttural quality of the vocals), but it doesn't really seem to do them justice. Indeed Abyssal have a tendency to genre hop a bit, mixing melted slatherings of doom, black metal, even post rock and shoegaze, into their swirling bubbling concoction. But their greatest strength lies not so much in genre hopping but in mood hopping, flipping from some of the most claustrophobic overwhelming death metal you've ever heard to a sudden glorious sun-dappled swell of glorious beautiful melody, all within a matter of seconds. It all serves to inflame the surreal dreamlike nature of the music, all dripping and morphing like an oil painting in the rain, and never is that more apparent than on "Veil of Transcendence", with its woozy plaintive piano repeating over and over atop a barrage of nonsensical death metal, seeming to drift at its own tempo regardless of what else is happening around it, until all of a sudden it locks perfectly into place and for a brief fleeting moment the world is beautiful & placid. That is before it all crumbles around you as quickly as it came together. That's Abyssal's motto: "Don't get too comfortable", and we wouldn't have it any other way.
MPEG Stream: "I Am The Alpha And The Omega"
MPEG Stream: "Veil Of Transcendence"
MPEG Stream: "Chrysalis"

album cover BEGG, MICHAEL / HUMAN GREED Hivernant (Omnempathy) cd 16.98
A very English sounding record, this Hivernant, oozing with dramatic dronescaping and cinematically empty ambience. In previous recordings and collaborations, Michael Begg has found himself in very good company alongside the likes of David Tibet, Colin Potter, Brian Eno, and Clodagh Simonds (amongst others), all of whom share a similar sense of melancholy and portent and resignation, as if it oozed out of the British sod and into their souls. Begg himself has stated that this album is the equivalent of watercolor sketches of a particular portion of Britain (East Lothian, to be exact), capturing the mood and psychic malaise which haunts that land through his darkened, impressionist compositions. Yet, these are most definitely not ephemeral vignettes. Begg carefully crafts the somber spaces with orchestrations of organ, piano, psalter, oboe, etc. that unfurl in and out of an electronic fog that has little in the way of the shoegazing reverberation of, say, Stars Of The Lid, though the arranged formalism and nocturnal pacing could find parallel there. His shimmering layers of sound will evolve into pure sonic forms of harmonically clashing drones only to dissolve into pools of melodic piano reminiscent of Eno's Thursday Afternoon or into a Tim Hecker-like tonal suspension of stained-glass sorrow, with the rather dramatic climax to be found on "Nana" that explodes with a sparse yet booming drumcorps. Hivernant is beautiful, haunting, languid, beguiling. Begg posits this a political album, though he admits an inability to articulate any specifics of these ideas. Yet, in the construct of an album that digs at the poetics of a very British sentiment without sinking into chest-thumping nationalism, his politics speak through the act of creation and not the polemics of division.
MPEG Stream: "Da Pacem (After Arvo)"
MPEG Stream: "Psalom (Live Dans L'Egilse Ste Kasey, Samoens)"
MPEG Stream: "Nana"

album cover BELLI, ANDREA PAVONI + FEDERICO RUSSO s/t (Sanity Muffin) cassette 9.98
Another amazing synth obscurity rescued by the Sanity Muffin label, this one is a strange theatrical composition out of early '80s Italy from this little known female (we think!) analog-synth duo, whose soundtrack to a play titled "CronoCosmo" is an utterly strange mix of romantic Baroque fugues and electro-acoustic avant soundscapes. The mixing of earthly and cosmic themes suggested by the play's title, allows a heady combination of haunting classicism with alien-like passages of spacious and sometimes piercing bloop-bleepery. A mesmerizing sonic portal akin to being in multiple headspaces simultaneously. In other words, a very curious listen! Made more curious by the fact that we couldn't find any mention of the duo (nor any sound samples) beyond the Sanity Muffin website. Hmmm....
Limited to 100 copies.

album cover BEZIER Telomeres (Dark Entries) lp 15.98
While best known as a reissue label, Dark Entries has also released quite a stellar selection of new records by modern artists which still manage to fit perfectly into DE's dark/synth/new wave aesthetic. One of our favorites of those is by San Francisco's own Bezier, whose debut Ensconced we still spin like crazy, even now. So obviously, we were super excited to get this new Dark Entries release by Robert Yang, also know as Bezier, and the minute the needle hit the grooves, and Yang's analog synth wizardry began to pulse from the speakers, we knew Telomeres was bound to be just as good, if not better than Ensconced!
It's almost as if Yang has discovered the perfect musical formula, taking the spaced out sci-fi sounds of electronic pioneers like Deila Derbyshire, Bruce Haack, and Kraftwerk, and reengineering them for the dance floor, a gloriously sizzling, drugged out sonic swirl. The opening minutes of the record made us think of the earliest incarnation of OMD, highjacked by Patrick Cowley's bathhouse jams.
Seeing Bezier live is so refreshing, in that we all know how stale it has become to see someone stuck behind a laptop, and instead when Yang is on stage he's commanding an army of analog synths, that he manipulates like the mad musical scientist he is. Luckily, that live energy and intense presence can be felt throughout these studio tracks, which find Yang's sound more melodic then ever, and yet somehow still oozing with after-hours sleaze.
MPEG Stream: "Telomeres"
MPEG Stream: "Fukushima"

album cover BOAN Mentiras (Holodeck) lp 21.00
Another winner from the Holodeck label, who have brought us stellar releases from Marie Davidson, Smokey Emory, Troller, Survive and Sungod and others mostly from the vital contemporary electronic scene in Austin, Texas. Boan is a collaboration between Ssleeperhold's Jose Cota and Mariana Saldana (ex - //TENSE//) who, outside of their lauded individual creative efforts, are widely known as two thirds of the now defunct electro-trio Medio Mutante. We dug Ssleeperhold's grave rave synth confections, and here with Saldana's detached goth-romance delivery, the duo have crafted a superb minimal wave acid dance classic. Brooding, sultry and hypnotic, utilizing an array of modern synths, sequencers and drum machines and recorded with the best studio production from Survive's Michael Stein, Boan offers a dark flip side to the retro Italo grooves of the Italians Do It Better label, even sounds like something unearthed by Dark Entries from Italy or Spain circa 1983. Fantastic!
MPEG Stream: "Babylon"
MPEG Stream: "Secretos"
MPEG Stream: "Boan Acid"

album cover BONNIE PRINCE BILLY On Raglan Road / Go Away From My Window (Royal Stable) 7" 7.98
BPB is back, once again. We got these direct from Will Oldham's own Royal Stable label (who also put out that self-titled Bonnie Prince Billy record we also carry). Being rather limited and all, we won't go into a ton of detail here, you probably know (if) you want one...
The A-side, he tells us, is a cover of an "almost-traditional" Irish tune (originally recorded by The Dubliners, we think), while the B-side is a version of a song written by the wonderful Appalachian balladeer John Jacob Niles. Both lovely and folky/old-timey of course, hushed and haunting, especially the a cappella Niles number. The plain white sleeves have the artist, title and number out of 500 scrawled on 'em by Will Oldham himself.
MPEG Stream: "On Raglan Road"

album cover BORROWED TIME s/t (High Roller) cd 11.98
We've been wanting to list this for a looong time, but only finally got some copies of the import-only cd to review. Now split up, Detroit heavy metallers Borrowed Time were old school inspired worshippers at the collective altars of Manilla Road, Brocas Helm, Cirith Ungol, and all the best/most obscure NWOBHM bands you ever/never heard of. They followed up their aptly titled Arcane Metal Arts ep, reviewed by us some years back, with this 2013 full-length debut put out by Germany's High Roller label, sadly also to be the band's swan song. And yes, it seriously rules - if the kinds of acts we just mentioned, i.e. legends from the shadowy kingdoms of cult metal buried by time and dust mean anything to you. Also anyone who got into the Lord Fist we listed not long ago will dig this too for sure.
Full of rip roaring Maidenesque gallops, chugging rocka rolla, plenty of fretboard frenzies, some herky-jerky Slough Feg-gery, some epic medieval melodies a la Solstice, a folky acoustic interlude (with the great title "Transcendental Knavery"), and even an instance of grand "Supertzar" style choirs, Borrowed Time's album delivers the goods with aplomb and a certain sort of aristocratic air/flair. Too bad they broke up, but enjoy this now that we've got it! (And also, fyi: their vocalist, whose flamboyantly soaring & shrieking singing was a big part of Borrowed Time's appeal, has joined up with Canadian epic doomsters Funeral Circle).
MPEG Stream: "Libertine"
MPEG Stream: "The Thaumaturgist"
MPEG Stream: "Pygmalion"

album cover CARLTON MELTON MEETS DOCTOR SPACE Live From Roadburn Festival 2014 (Lay Bare Recordings) 2lp 35.00
Another tripped out psychedelic missive from our pals in Carlton Melton, this one live, documenting the group's performance last year at the legendary Roadburn festival in Holland, where they were joined by the mysterious Dr. Space (from Danish space-psych crew Oresund Space Collective) and tore the roof off, with a sprawling set of wild, transcendental, psych-drone spaciness and tranced out FX heavy, hypno-rock.
The band, along with the good doctor, also tackled a couple covers (Pink Floyd's "When You're In" and Hawkwind's "Time We Left This World Today"), and as you might imagine, they sound right at home amidst the group's already druggy, heart-of-the-sun heaviness. That heaviness manifests itself most notably on the Pink Floyd cover, which sounds decidedly doomy, a blown out Sabbathy lumber, laced with wild leads, and driven by some seriously churning riffage. Their Hawkwind cover is also pretty heady, big riffs swaddled in swirling clouds of sci-fi that smooth out into total low slung hypnotic mesmer, woozy, washed out and darkly pulsing, before one final burst of heavy-psych bombast.
But before we get to the covers, were treated to nearly 75 minutes of CM classics old and new, running the gamut from bleary kosmische shimmer, to furious almost Stooges-y stomps, and from laid back, motorik kraut-psych to full bore lost-in-space lysergic freakouts. Not sure what else to say about these guys that we haven't already, other than the fact, that few modern psychedelic space rock outfits can simultaneously channel the past, and yet somehow sound totally modern, if not wildly futuristic, conjuring up some impossibly loose limbed, zoner-stoner sound field that entrances, mesmerizes and induces furious head banging all in the same set (and often all in the same song).
Be warned, this is LIMITED TO 300 COPIES!!! Includes a full color A3 poster, and is mostly sold out from the label, so odds are these are the only copies we'll ever have. Buy now or cry later.

album cover CHIPS & BEER Issue #9 magazine 7.00
Crude yet erudite, super idiosyncratic and Satanic. Yep, it's a new issue of our favorite magazine by/for the hippest of heshers, Chips & Beer. We'd like to think that we'd have to say nothing more than that his issue contains a ten page interview with guitarist/vocalist Bobbie Wright of cult San Francisco metallers Brocas Helm!!!!! to sell about a million copies, but of course we don't actually live in that particular fantasy world. However, hopefully it is a selling point. Said interview is entertaining to say the least. Also Brocas drummer Jack Hayes chats for a couple pages too... just too bad they couldn't get Brocas bassist 'The Wizard" to sit down for an interview as well. Anyway, in the Bob Wright Q&A, the interviewer describes Chips & Beer to him as being "kind of like a modern day Mad Magazine, but with horror movies and Heavy Metal". Yeah, ok, that's a pretty good summation.
Other radness getting the Chips & Beer treatment this time 'round includes Manilla Road, NWOBHM'ers Holocaust, Iron Maiden artist Derek Riggs, Mark Bell of Dust (and the Ramones), cryptozoologist Loren Coleman, and good ol' Blue Oyster Cult, the latter of which deservedly takes up a good chunk of this issue's 128 newsprint pages, with a couple of interviews, a detailed timeline, reviews of every album, cartoons, and even repros of old BOC magazine ads. And, yes, there's more, more interviews, the usual grouchy and/or confusional reviews, et cetra. So plonk down your seven bucks and join the party.

album cover COIL Unnatural History (Sanity Muffin) cassette 9.98
A grey area cassette reissue of the first Unnatural History collection from Coil. Originally this came out in 1990 on cd only, to gather the various compilation tracks, odds & ends, and unreleased material that dated back to the first recordings that Balance and Christopherson made in 1983. That cd pressing was amongst the many British discs manufactured through World Serpent at the time that were susceptible to disc rot. There were a couple of pressings that Coil issued through their Threshold House imprint as well as the inevitable Russian bootlegs. With the estates of Balance and Christopherson unresolved, we can't fault anybody for getting this material out there, as Coil were at the forefront of industrial culture and vangarde electronica. The tracks on this compilation feature the three incendiary tracks of doleful Fairlight melodies, cluster bomb explosions, and squealing pigs from the Sickness Of Snakes side project with Boyd Rice. There's also excerpts from some of Coil's soundtracks for Derek Jarman, snippets from the Zos Kia side project, and the longform gamelan minimalism of "How To Destroy Angels."
Limited to 100 copies.
MPEG Stream: SICKNESS OF SNAKES "Various Hands"
MPEG Stream: COIL "Here To Here (Double Headed Secret)"
MPEG Stream: COIL "S Is For Sleep"
MPEG Stream: COIL "Sicktone"

album cover ELPH VS. COIL Worship The Glitch (Sanity Muffin) cassette 9.98
A grey area cassette reissue of Coil's Worship The Glitch. Elph was the drug-addled name that Balance and Christopherson gave to their electronic equipment when particular sounds would emerge in unconscious / unplanned ways. Their approach to modular synths, samplers, computers, sequencers, and keyboards was both a reaction against the highly structured songs that Coil had written for Love's Secret Domain and a channeling of the automatic writing that had been so inspirational to many of their Surrealist forefathers. Both Balance and Christopherson had fully immersed themselves in the post-rave culture in England (and beyond), with the sounds found on Worship The Glitch refracted through their own perspective on chill-out / ambient textures. This album really has nothing to do with the clicks n' cuts sound that erupted a few years later blossoming around the likes of Oval and Alva Noto, but the album's title became the banner to this aesthetic framework. Worship The Glitch is much closer situated to the electronic lunar threnodies that Coil produced for their Musick To Play In The Dark series. While this work is perhaps towards the nadir of Coil's output, they were still light years ahead of the curve of the ambient drivel that was coming out at this time in mid '90s. Limited to 100 copies.
MPEG Stream: "Dark Start"
MPEG Stream: "The Halliwell Hammers"
MPEG Stream: "Hysteron Proteron Jewel"

album cover EXOTERIC CONTINENT Referendum (Hospital) lp 27.00
A mighty fine introduction to the work of Barcelona's Exoteric Continent via the ever savvy Hospital Productions. Arnau Sala (aka Exoteric Continent) is a structuralist exploring primitive electronic rhythms and noises, bridging the gaps between ascetic techno, musique concrete, and the industrially slanted aspects of minimal wave. He's recently issued cassettes on the eccentric techno label Opal Tapes and the noise imprint Second Sleep, which is mostly known for the harsh power electronics and the more extreme tangents of experimental musics. Blackened synths and crumbling drones flirt with the carcinogenic electronics that MB first produced way back on Symphony For A Genocide, which coincidentally got a reissue by Hospital in the not too distant past. Sala procures and re-engineers this keening uneasiness of sound through his asymmetrical patterning that will snap into focus with whipcrack punctuations of almost witch-house snares, crude sequences, and deep techno thumps. You'll find shadowy acid squelches which reflect favorably on a Plasticman tip circa Closer, as well as the sort of out-of-phased layerings that brought Mika Vainio into the spotlight, and plenty of dour industrial-hypno-trax aligned with the more Unitarian / non-denominational facets of Vatican Shadows. Totally fantastic stuff.
MPEG Stream: "Posicions"
MPEG Stream: "Definicio D'Estat"
MPEG Stream: "La Mirada Llarga"

album cover GARET, RICHARD 60' Cassette (The Helen Scarsdale Agency) cassette 7.98
Many, many moons ago, we championed an album by the Argentine outliers Reynols, entitled Blank Tapes. It was an album of blank tapes. Yes. Blank Tapes. The tapes in question were of dubious origin found throughout various Buenos Aires markets with the floornoise of these tapes being amplified and augmented into a form of austere if surreal minimalism. Of course, there was the art-school complaint about this conceptual endgame: "why the fuck didn't Reynols release that on cassette?" One rather sensible answer is that the clarity of digital media along with the dislocation from the original completed the project; but another answer is provided by Richard Garet, who continues to impress with this album of destroyed tape that's been released on tape. Garet tersely explains the process out in the liner notes: "Some blank. Some erased. Some demagnetized. Etc." But like the Reynols album, Richard Garet's 60' Cassette transcends the source material with in psychologically compacted crucible of distressed materiality.
The interference from motors and magnets upon the tape heads and bits of outspun tape get accumulated amongst compressed hiss, tactile crunches, chainsawed drone, foghorn bellowing, pneumatic secretions, and Kirlian sibilance. Garet's additive and subtractive processes leave so much residue behind that Garet he can loop all of these smears, smudges, crackles, and crumbles back into the system of tape immolation, as a very lo-fi reinterpretation of Lucier's "I Am Sitting In A Room", capturing the accumulated grit of an internal mechanism instead of the architectural resonance. Aesthetically and compositionally, Garet has long been an underappreciated composer; and he's really delivered a top notch piece of work of corrosion and decay that perfectly matches format and the concepts at hand.
MPEG Stream: "30' Number One"
MPEG Stream: "30' Number Two"

album cover KAKRABA, SK Yonye (Sun Ark) lp 19.98
Imagine the sound of Konono No. 1 if you took away the percussion, but not the distortion, and replaced the modified thumb pianos with an elaborately constructed xylophone called a Gyil (made from large wooden slats suspended over calabash gourds that have been fitted with resonators). That would you get close to the sound of master performer and instrument builder, SK Kakraba Lobi. Long used in funeral rites in his native Ghana, the Gyil has a deep hypnotic otherworldy tone that seems apt for carrying departing spirits into the afterlife.
Kakraba comes from a long ancestry of Gyil masters and is fast becoming a popularizer of his instrument, tribal traditions, folklore and songcraft now that he has moved to Los Angeles. There he resides with his American-born wife and builds xylophones in his garage in Highland Park and plays local markets, where he caught the attention of Cameron Stallones aka Sun Araw, who released Kakraba's third album on Stallone's Sun Ark imprint. Yonye is a compilation of traditional Lobi music from Ghana, whose loping rhythms hypnotize in spellbinding formations and deep meditations. Recommended!
MPEG Stream: "Pirifu"

album cover LES VAMPYRETTES (CONNY PLANK & HOLGER CZUKAY) Biomutanten / Menetekel (Stimulus Progression) cassette 8.98
One of the stranger one-off missives of early eighties post-kraut weirdness was the lone 12" of Conny Plank and Holger Czukay's Les Vampyrettes project, offered here in a limited cassette reissue. No kosmiche krautrock here, instead Les Vampyrettes is an homage to the dread factor in horror cinema offering a brooding melange of slow creeping bass, spine-tingling ritualistic sound scapery of cut up screams, chants, water drips and knife scrapes amid Satanic incantations in deep monstrous tones. Extraordinary sound design, but very bizarre! Listen at loud volume or on headphones in the dark for full fear effect. Uber-limited!
MPEG Stream: "Biomutanten"
MPEG Stream: "Menetekel"

album cover LORD TIME Drink My Tears (Universal Consciousness ) cd 11.98
NOW ON CD! Digipak, limited to 300 copies. Previously cassette-only, from 2013, also released by the Universal Consciousness label. Here's what we said about its original tape incarnation then:
Latest blast of nekro morbid death metal primitivism from the drummer of LA black metallers Harassor, and like on previous tapes, Drink My Tears is a twisted, lo-fi, blackened, psychedelic freakout, a warped strain of primitivism, the recording this time around even shittier (read: genius), the guitars brittle and buzzy, but not black metal buzzy, more sort of tinny, the drums cardboard box thumps, everything super distorted and in the red, the vocals a raspy grumbly croak, heavily processed, and made super trippy, the sound surprisingly melodic, with what sounds like piano, the recording not so black metal as damaged lo-fi dirge pop with black metal elements? Maybe. Well, really, it IS black metal obviously, but seriously mutated, black metal the way Circle Of Ouroborus is black metal, as much the mood and atmosphere and intent as the sound, cuz really some of the tracks here are weirdly hypnotic slabs of lo-fi psychedelic weirdness, that out of context, we might not even classify as black metal. But then there are tracks that are raw as fuck, and black as fuck, but those are far outweighed by the trippy, the tranced out, the droney, the woozy and wonderfully weird. Swirls of distorted guitar melodies emulate carnival organs, a sort of blackened kosmische, others are lurching lumbering dirges that again seem too heavy on the chiming clean guitar to be truly black metal, but fuck it, not of that matters, this is some super rad, super twisted, outsider sonic weirdness, that whether it sounds psychedelic, or grim and black, or freaky and WTF?, to you, or hell even all of the above, this is some amazing, inspired, dementedly genius stuff that is KILLING us. So totally and absolutely recommended.
MPEG Stream: "Side One (excerpt)"
MPEG Stream: "Side Two (excerpt)"

album cover MATTHEWS, CARL Aksu (Sanity Muffin / Keep Tapes Alive) cassette 9.98
One of our favorite cassette reissue labels Sanity Muffin returns with four new tapes (see the Coil cassettes as well as the Belli+ Russo tape elsewhere in this list), including this one, for which Sanity Muffin partnered with the Keep Tapes Alive label. It's a gem from obscure late seventies/early eighties synthesist Carl Matthews who originally self-released this long sought-after masterpiece on cassette in 1980. A reissue had been promised for over a decade to no avail, by a label that by all appearances looked like it went under before it could happen. So KTA stepped in, and now offers up a clean remaster of the original tape. Aksu is a beautifully strange release of sci-fi kosmiche, cut from the cloth of Klaus Schultze, Konrad Schnitzler and other German electronic pioneers, but instilling an unsettled alien quality of pensive wonder and foreboding all its own... Long desired in rare cassette and mutant synth circles, this tape will be sold out soon for sure. Limited to 100 copies.
MPEG Stream: "Encounter"

album cover NUIT NOIRE Inner Light (Seed Stock) lp 15.98
Our favorite 'faerical blasting punks' return. Well, not exactly. Inner Light was actually recorded way back in 2003, and remained essentially unreleased until now (barring some bootleg tapes floating around). Apparently, after all of the early demos, NN mainman Tenebras abandoned the blackened vokills of those early recordings, in favor of a new, strange, dramatic singing style, which defined Inner Light, would go on to define NN's unique sound, but at the time drove Tenebras's brother and bandmate Akhron from the band, after which, Nuit Noire would remain a one man band (literally, with Tenebras playing guitar, and singing, while simultaneously playing drums with his feet!).
Some of these songs were later re-recorded in one-man-band form, but the sound dramatically different than they do here. Impossibly lo-fi, murky and muddy and washed out, with less insectoid buzz, and more blurry swirl. The drums are wild and chaotic, and the songs are still peppered with the occasional feral howl, but for the most part, the vocals are a weird punish croon, that sounds a bit like some unholy mix of the Dickies, Crass, the Cardiacs and the Toy Dolls. When paired with frantic blackened buzz, it makes for a potent, and bafflingly brilliant combination. In addition, there's some strange sound effects going on too, like on the opening track, that's laced with weird boinky squiggles, that sound like a theremin, or scraped violin, or some primitive synth, and then somehow the drums are effected too, so it sounds like weird electronic drums. Very psychedelic, and very cool.
And there do seem to be strings, pizzicato plucks here and there, but all wound up into some furious galloping blackened punk, and soaring epic outsider metal majesty, and at times some super melodic almost post rock sounding atmospherics. The vocals get seriously unhinged and hysterical at times, the songs slipping into full on WTF mode before eventually settling into yet another sprawl of punked out black metal weirdness.
Essential, twisted, feral, primitive, demented, avant garde, black metal / crust punk / noise pop genius!!
MPEG Stream: "Inner Light I"
MPEG Stream: "Inner Light III"
MPEG Stream: "Inner Light IV"

album cover OWENS, ISAIAH You Without Sin Cast The First Stone (Mississippi) lp 15.98
About ten years ago, this great, remarkably raw gospel album came out on compact disc via the Casequarter label. Now it's on vinyl, given an additional stamp of approval by the Mississippi label. Here's more or less what we said back when the cd version was released:
Hmm. If Casequarter digs up some more gospel music like *this*, the godless here might have to consider actually going to church some Sunday... First they brought us that wonderful Rev. Charlie Jackson collection, and now this, a debut album of unique gospel blues guitar stylings and amazing singing from the 72-year old Isaiah Owens. And while the Rev. Jackson disc consisted of private-press singles released in the '70s, Isaiah Owens was playing this stuff live on the radio just a few years ago. It was 1998 when Casequarter's Kevin Nutt first heard Owens on Montgomery, Alabama AM station WMGY (and some of the tracks found here he taped off the radio then!). Of course, Owens had been musically active for some time before this, singing gospel since the '50s in a group called The Flying Clouds of Montgomery, but only picking up the guitar in the '80s! And being such a late starter on the instrument, he developed what you'll discover here to be a quite original style all his own. It's not intentionally avant-garde and atonal but let's just say that his self-taught playing is quite at odds with tradition... and makes for quite an accompaniment to his strong, accomplished vocals. With these raw, loud, rhythmic, dissonant chords he sure aims to get the attention of both the Lord and the radio listener. Casequarter suggests that Owens' guitar sounds like a sanctified Hasil Adkins... we'd concur and also add that if you've heard underground Japanese folk troubadour Makami Kan you will hear a parallel for sure. And like Makami Kan's music, this is certainly some honest, soulful stuff. God-lovin' fervor that can't be faked. You'll feel it. Quite recommended!
MPEG Stream: "You Without Sin"
MPEG Stream: "Yes Jesus Loves Me"
MPEG Stream: "I Wonder Do You Know"

album cover POPPY FAMILY, THE A Good Thing Lost 1968-1973 (What Are) cd 11.98
The Poppy Family have long been a favorite around here, as a cult '60s folk-pop group with psych-ish leanings, and it's good to finally see a top-notch collection of singles and album tracks at an affordable price. Fronted by husband and wife Terry and Susan Jacks and hailing from Canada, their signature sound was notably marked by the use of tablas and sitars that gave their songs a groovy but restless and searching edge, relevant to the flower-powered countercultural shifts at the time in the late sixties and early seventies. Like Shocking Blue, Bobbie Gentry mixed with Coven, or The Carrie Nations (the doomed fictional band in Russ Meyer's Beyond The Valley of The Dolls), The Poppy Family played a slightly druggy folk-pop filtered through the lens of a southern gothic sensibility. Songs like "Where Evil Grows", "Shadows On My Wall", "There's No Blood in Bone", and their biggest single, "Which Way You Goin', Billy? were laden with references to death, suicidal heartbreak and the supernatural.
They only recorded two albums, but sudden band line-up changes, and hectic touring issues forced the couple to go their separate ways. Terry Jacks subsequently scored the biggest hit of his career with "Seasons In The Sun", while Susan continued down her own career path in a more country crossover vein. A Good Thing Lost is an apt title for a band that for a moment could have had it all. These songs still sound so great!
Recommended for fans of any of the groups mentioned above, crate-digger psych breaks and incredible sixties studio production!!!
MPEG Stream: "Free From The City"
MPEG Stream: "There's No Blood in Bone"
MPEG Stream: "Shadows On My Wall"
MPEG Stream: "Evil Overshadows Joe"

album cover RADIOSON s/t (The Helen Scarsdale Agency) cassette 7.98
The men who stared at goats may or may not have been a work of fiction, as reported upon by journalist Jon Ronson, investigating the more fringe aspects of the American defense establishment. But leave it up to Russia to be the source for an even more fucked-up tale of parapsychological research into ESP as a potential addition to the arsenal of weapons of war and tools of espionage. The early Soviet psychological researcher Bernard Kazhinski posited the idea that the human nervous system might in fact influence (and be influenced by) radio signals and other forms of electro-magnetism, drafting a book on the matter back in 1923. His ideas had formed the basis to the research into the zombification of an enemy combatant by means of radio, with experiments being conducted on soldiers in the Soviet army, most of whom died as a result, with the exception of one - and he currently resides in a mental hospital. The validity of these claims is vague at best, but it sure as hell makes for a great story.
Enter Radioson - another project for the Russian psychonaut [S] who has recorded over the years as Five Elements Music and Exit In Grey, with this name coming from Kazhinski's "radio sleep." Where deep pools of nocturnal drone broadcast from those other projects, the cosmology of Radioson is distinctly conspiratorial and psychologically caustic. The recordings of Radioson are suitably grim and volatile yet hang from long-form compositional arcs that are emblematic of [S]'s other recordings. A languishing cosmic melody orbits the first of four lengthy track to this cassette, building a sci-fi desolation worthy of any classic '70s film of likeminded paranoia, conspiracy, and intrigue. Kirlian glows of psychic noise flare against the album's sustained analogue synth drones in the form of noxious radio transmissions, crusty static from accumulated tape hiss, and electro-static smolderings that might as well be the audio documentation of zombification experiments. The closing collage of numbers stations and shortwave jamming signals is an apt mimesis of the coded transmissions that would flood from those research laboratories, repleat with the dehumanized mechanization and the lethal hum of high-voltage wires. Another brilliant document from the mysterious [S].
MPEG Stream: "Radioson 1"
MPEG Stream: "Radioson 2"
MPEG Stream: "Radioson4"

album cover SALT Issue 11 magazine 5.00
It's always a happy day around aQ when a new issue of Salt shows up. A long running (15 years!) zine from the UK, lovingly curated and mostly written by aQ pal Kevin McCaighy. But this time around, that happiness is tempered with some bad news: after 11 issues, this is the very last Salt! Noooooo! How can that be??
Long time readers of the aQ list no doubt have experienced our gushing reviews of this distinctly DIY mag over the years, calling it out as one of our favorites and even wondering why other more mainstream mags didn't snap up McCaighy themselves (one eventually did!). Regardless, we're grateful for one last hurrah. And like the ten preceding issues, it's another good one. Covering all sorts of stuff near and dear to McCaighy's heart, whether that's obscure psychedelic noise rock, or professional wrestling. So what's going on this time around?
First, an article about aQ beloved weirdo UK noise pop misfits the Cardiacs, who if you've yet to check out, do yourself a favor. Progged out cabaret outsider pop GENIUS. Then there's Philly psych label Nod & Smile, who've released records by Numinous Eye, The Photon Band, Acid Mothers Temple and more. And it wouldn't be Salt without some wrestling, so how about a super in depth review of Wrestlefest 2013, which took place at a high school in Newark, California, and included some big names, and for the less wrestling savvy, some seemingly lesser known ones as well, but a fun read even if wrestling is not your thing. It's also accompanied by some rad wrestling comics as well.
Up next is Aleister X, who we have yet to hear, but sounds RIGHT up our alley, a fucked up guitar shred meets hip hop weirdo-glam WTF oddity that was co-released by the aforementioned Nod & Smile label and Andrew WK's Steev Mike label. Another unknown to us group, Batalj, also sound super interesting, a Swedish / Australian noise trio, and another record we're gonna have to track down. Relatedly is the Sixsixsixties label, who released a Batalj record and whose mastermind also performs in a group called Meddicine (who not surprisingly, we also wanna hear now!). And finally, fastcore/hardcore/grindcore/punk rock label Give Praise, and yet another bunch of cool sounding records to track down and check out.
There's more drawings too, and a heartfelt introduction and farewell from McCaighy. Again, like issues 1-10, this rules, and is a fantastic and fascinating read. We only got a handful, so if you want one, grab it quick before they're gone for good. And Salt is done forever.

album cover SCREATURE s/t (Ss) lp 15.98
We got some flak for being honest with our disappointment for the recent turn that Zola Jesus took away from the more feral approach of her earlier recordings on Sacred Bones and towards a more polished approach for her Mute records. Part of the criticism on our part has been that she's really never worked with a guitarist, instead going with electronics and sometimes live drums even during her earliest recordings. But if she WERE to have fronted an emaciated goth-punk quartet on a Christian Death / Rubella Ballet tip, it might have sounded as good Screature - a totally amazing deathrock outfit from Sacramento. This is their first album, from 2013, which originally was a self-released affair only to now get a small repress via Sacramento's punk-HQ, SS Records, produced by one of the dudes from A Frames. The biggest WTF? about this band might be that their debut show was opening for Death Grips. No pressure there. But with the full-bodied voice from Liz Mahoney at the foreground, Screature has nothing to worry about in terms of their confidence to belt, scream, yelp, and howl. She's got an amazing side kick in guitarist Chris Orr, who is Rik Agnew to her Rozz Williams (that being the infernal guitar / voice axis to the first Christian Death line-up). The rhythm section is pretty back-to-basics with duotone bass-synth hammerings courtesy Sarah Scherer and Dum Dum backbeats from Miranda Vera. These driving Siouxsie / X-Mal inspired songs are certainly driven by Mahoney's presence with the scalpel slicing / suburban gloom colored by Orr's guitar; and they make for one hell of a great record - yup, the one that Zola Jesus should have been making years ago.
By the way, this is their first album, but SS has also just released a brand new Screature as well, Four Columns, on both vinyl and cd, that we also have in stock and will doubtless be reviewing (and raving about) soon, too.
MPEG Stream: "All In All"
MPEG Stream: "Siren"
MPEG Stream: "Ditch"

album cover SHOOTING GUNS Wolf Cop Soundtrack (Dub Ditch) cd 13.98
How can you not love a movie called Wolfcop? Especially with a trailer like this:
The music in that trailer kinda rules huh? That just so happens to be the work of a Canadian combo of hard rocking, heavy riff merchants called Shooting Guns, who have sculpted their swaggery, stonery doom into soundtrack form, by fusing galloping grooves and metallic bombast to haunting, synthy swirl and ominous drones. At times Shooting Guns seem to be channeling the Fucking Champs, at others, John Carpenter, slipping easily from muscly hypnorock to psychedelic space rock to kosmische synthscapes, with plenty of moody, atmospheric stops in between.
While soundtrack nerds will dig this, the hard and heavy crowd will likely dig it too, cuz even though it's a 'score', a big chunk of the soundtrack is basically a crazy, bombastic, riff heavy psychedelic stoner rock blowout. "Barn Burner" sounds like Goblin and Pharaoh Overlord jamming with Red Fang, "Buda" is all low slung groovery, a bit like ZZ Top jamming out on "Spirit In The Sky", and "Spy In The Sky" is some sort of perfect Hawkwind / Carlton Melton hybrid.
Needless to say, if you dig big riffs, wild Bonham-esque drumming, psychedelic hard rock, creepy cinematic synths, moody, sinister ambience, tripped out FX and drunk cops that become werewolves, then hell, this is right up your alley. We had this for like a second when it was released on vinyl a short while ago by soundtrack specialists One Way Static, but now it's here on cd instead!!
Rad before/after werewolf cop cover art too!
MPEG Stream: "Lycanthrope"
MPEG Stream: "Hounds of God"
MPEG Stream: "Burchard Von Worms"
MPEG Stream: "One More Day"

album cover SMITH, CHRIS Bad Orchestra (Hermit Hut) lp 17.98
Our buddy Ben Chasny of Six Organs fame emailed us the other day to gently remind us about a couple cool releases his label Hermit Hut put out in the not so distant past, that we hadn't listed yet. One of 'em being this, which we actually HAD reviewed when it first came out on cd back in 2007, on the Death Valley label, a cd now out of print... So, here's that big thumbs-up review again for you lucky vinyl buyers...
Finally! After years of being a huge fan of Australian guitarist Chris Smith, and only being able to track down split eps and comps, or collaborations, we've finally got our hands on the latest, and seems only in-print cd releases from this amazing musician. Some of you might remember Smith from the split FatCat 12" he shared with Jewelled Antler outfit The Ivytree a while back, or more recently, the killer collaboration with fellow Australian Justin Fuller.
All of Smith's proper releases, even a stateside collection of 'greatest hits', are all out of print and unavailable, which is s massive shame as this man is a guitar genius. But where other records feature Smith mostly solo, using his guitar to weave magical landscapes of abstract sound, on Bad Orchestra, he seems to have put together an actual band (a Bad Orchestra?) and written some songs, for a record that is as rock as we've heard him for sure. Thankfully, Smith's rock is as good as his non-rock, dark and emotional, epic and intense, at times sounding like Dinosaur Jr. channeling Crazy Horse, right down to the vocals, a whiny plaintive croon, at others sounding a bit like a more moody meandering Dirty Three, and still at others unwinding into sparse deserty twang. The guitars thick and reverb drenched, the drums slightly distorted and heavy, acoustic guitars below sheets of psyche rock fuzz, that alone would have made Bad Orchestra a winner, but the rock tracks here are scattered amidst more abstract (and more familiar to us) pieces, guitarscapes and expansive ambience, the opener, a brief spell of Scott Tuma style Appalachian murk, to the forlorn sounding piano-in-a-warehouse of "Glue Factory" or the glistening high end raga of "Slight Problems (Intermission)", the Dead C like fractured noise pop of "Jimmy's Theme" to the blurred Tim Hecker like washed out soundscape of "Your Tunnel".
A pretty perfect mix of gorgeous ambient experimentalism, blown out RAWK, and haunting dark desert pop. Obviously WAY recommended.
MPEG Stream: "Living Dead Blues"
MPEG Stream: "Glue Factory"
MPEG Stream: "Grain Elevator Blues"
MPEG Stream: "The Orbit"

album cover SONIC YOUTH Evol (Goofin') lp 15.98
Evol - the fourth album by Sonic Youth - came out in 1986, and marked the debut of baby-faced SY drummer Steve Shelley. With Shelley's penchant for motorik rhythms and controlled velocity, the band began a trilogy of records that comprise what are arguably the three strongest records of their catalog: Evol, Sister, and Daydream Nation. Up until then, Thurston Moore, Kim Gordon, and Lee Ranaldo had cycled through a number of percussionists with varying degrees of success. Shelley's ability to handle the pop-punk grooves and the avant-garde tumble with equal aplomb provided the foundation for Sonic Youth to begin to flower into the avant-pop iconoclastic band that we now know and love today. The album's highlights are numerous - "Tom Violence", "Starpower", "Expressway To Yr Skull" (probably, the best shorthand descriptor for a song, an attitude, a state of mind, a philosophy that could be distilled from Sonic Youth) - all of which are produced through a graceful dissonance of the amazing slipstream of noise and melody, atomized well beyond their punk-as-fuck origins but never far from a pop-crush chorus. Sonic Youth's omnivorous appetite for pretty much every form of music - Madonna, Glenn Branca, LaMonte Young, Crime, Public Enemy, The Carpenters, Destroy All Monsters, etc. - was remarkably ahead of its time. For Sonic Youth, the intake of so many forms and their ability to synthesize such disparate elements was seen as a microcosm / macro-explosion of the Lower East Side as a wholesale form of arte povera. But some 30 years later, Evol is the kind of record that is expected for the contemporary audience, whereby every artist is supposed to know everything that came before and is completely aware of everything that is going on anywhere in the world. Logistical improbabilities of that being actualized by any current practitioner, Sonic Youth were able to see into the future beginning with Evol; and they achieved something that probably can't be replicated in the contemporary lens of social media. Here, punk rock has been reschristened as the combine, the assemblage, the collage - all of this goes into one of their legitimate masterpieces with a pitch-perfect sense of irony to match their non-pitch perfect anti-tunings. So what the fuck does all this mean? Just buy this goddamn record if you haven't already got it. Oh, and the cd (not the vinyl) still contains the bonus track that graced all of the previous cd versions. It's a cover of Kim Fowley's "Bubblegum!" (Ooh, bad timing for that now.)
MPEG Stream: "Tom Violence"
MPEG Stream: "Death To Your Friends"
MPEG Stream: "Expressway To Yr Skull"

album cover THOUGHT BROADCAST Social Acid (Personnel Records) cassette 7.98
Thought Broadcast continues mining a very particular zeitgeist - one that dates to the oblique DIY electronics that transmitted through industrial culture out of Japanese home studios circa 1981. The vacant, bleak minimalism that Thought Broadcast's Ravi Binning channels is such an aesthetic black hole, that it might have sucked the original authors into oblivion as they they recorded those synth-noise dub tracks for Vanity and Pinakotheca. Nord. Tolerance. Normal Brain. These are the artists who produced work of this ilk during that time period, only to have disappeared into obscurity. Though Broadcast's dirges of mechanized rhythm, echoplex murk, and atonal stabs of metallic flange electronics articulate a perfect mimesis of such form and recapitulate the conceptual frameworks of horror, paranoia, and social dread. The copy of the copy of a copy of a copied original, Binning would not deny that criticism. In fact, he embraces the strategy as something of a talisman. It's through the mutations, deviations, and distortions of his process and gear - old synths, clunky mixing boards, tape-spun delay fx, and lots of tape hiss - where his cold declarations of social vacancy, depersonalized mechanization, and industrial mystery as affixed to the human body whether or not we wanted that in the first place. Four tracks here, about 20 minutes in total. Limited to 100 copies, if we're even that lucky.
MPEG Stream: "Social Acid 1"
MPEG Stream: "Social Acid 2"

album cover TROUM & YEN POX Mnemonic Induction (Transgredient) cd 12.98
Previously out of print, but now available once more as a remastered CD digipak (which the group themselves claim sounds much better!). We have this at a lower price at the onset; but expect the price to go up on restocks.
Here's our original review from way back in 2002:
The German drone ensemble Troum and its predecessor Maeror Tri have been long-time favorites of Aquarius, never failing to deliver powerful recordings of bleak atmospheres densely folded upon fragile melodies. We are pleased to announce that Troum's collaboration with the American dark ambient duo Yen Pox is no exception. Both Troum and Yen Pox rely upon the metaphoric characteristics of the drone to evoke dream like states. Within their predilection for gossamer melodies from guitars, lutes, accordion, and flutes all buried under many layers of reverb, delay, and other blurring effects, Troum's work fixates upon the language of dreams and hypnogogic states (even their name is an archaic German translation for dream), as something of a semiotic / transcendental escape route from the confines of earthbound reality. On the other hand, Yen Pox relies upon the hauntings of nightmares to shape the contexts of their drones, often referencing the sci-fi paranoia of black holes or the Gothic invocations of unknown horrors found in the best Lustmord recordings.
On Mnemonic Induction, the two outfits seamlessly merge their respective sounds into a sublime droning hybrid that thrives on billowing oxygenated washes and delicate melodies floating up from a continuously thundering low-end rumble. Consequently, this album is far darker than anything that Troum / MT has ever done, but provides a greater focus beyond the scope of death-obsessed imagery common within the Yen Pox dark ambience.
This album should not be missed.
MPEG Stream: "(01)"
MPEG Stream: "(03)"

album cover TUJURIKKUJA File #07 (Computer Tapes) 10" 14.98
Tujurikkuja is the name of an Estonian television series which has run from 2008 to the present as a skit comedy show with a heavy slant towards the parody of other cultural forms coming from the both the east and the west into that tiny Baltic country. Nope, we've not seen it either; but the title translates as 'spoilsport' or 'party pooper'; and those Estonians have already been in touch with the San Franciscan project of the same name to pull down some videos they've posted to YouTube. The SF Tujurikkuja is a meeting of the minds for Chris Dixon (Earth Jerks, Death Sentence Panda, etc.) and Joshua Kit Clayton; and its hard to say which Tujurikkuja might the bigger killjoy, as the two tracks found on this 10" are bristling with dour and crumpled sicktones of heavy tape compression, skeletal micro-rhythm, sinewave generation, and dumptrucks full of hiss. At times, these two cuts possess the same lo-fi industrial hypnosis that we heard on the most recent Thought Broadcast tape; but there's the affirmation of a psychedelic tea glowing amidst those sinewaves these two are slowly surfing as heard in Dixon's recent spate of Earth Jerks short programmed releases. Like those outings, we can really submerge into the murky sounds of Tujurikkuja and hope that something longer will be forthcoming. But for now, there's a step up from the lathe-cut 7" from the first release to a full-fledged 10". Dixon mentions this was cut to heard at 45rpm, but yeah, we'll agree that it also sounds pretty damn awesome and even creepier at 33. Check it.
MPEG Stream: "Section 414-3.2"
MPEG Stream: "Section 614-2.2"

album cover WIRE, THE #378 August 2015 magazine 9.98
Lots of cool stuff in (and on - there's a cd sampler stuck to the cover) this issue of the UK's venerable new music mag, The Wire. #378's cover star is the long-running lo-fi Yorkshire psych act Ashtray Navigations, who have a new album out on VHF. Related to that, you also get a "Primer" giving instruction on Yorkshire Psychedelia (Ashtray Nav, Vibracathedral Orchestra, Astral Social Club, et. al.).
Also: a feature on the return of Flying Saucer Attack and a look back at the Bristol scene (FSA, Movietone, Crescent, Third Eye Foundation...), a piece on the late Ornette Coleman, and tons more, including of course the usual plethora of reviews. And yes, that Wire Tapper sampler cd too.

red dot See ALL of NEW ARRIVALS List #480...

Also, just a few of the Highlights of the previous week, of 30 items on
NEW ARRIVALS List #479 (10 July 2015)

album cover CHERUBS 2 Ynfynyty (Brutal Panda) lp 21.00
Austin, Texas weirdos the Cherubs are responsible for two of our favorite early nineties noise rock classics, 1992's Icing, and 1994's Heroin Man, which was released right after they broke up. That's right, broke up. 21 years ago. But this is the age of rock and roll reunions, when it's easier to think of bands that HAVEN'T gotten back together. And while we all have wish lists of bands we'd love to see play again (The Cows, Lubricated Goat, Dazzling Killmen, Slag...), probably a lot of bands on those lists already did just that: Slint, Killdozer, Failure, Swervedriver, the Grifters. Hell, some of those bands didn't just get back together for reunions, they actually made new records, and in many cases, those records are as good as anything they recorded back in the day.
Which perhaps surprisingly, is precisely the case with the Cherubs' new one. For a band that was a gloriously chaotic hot mess the first time around, you might think they would have trouble conjuring up the same energy at middle age, as they did in their prime, and to be fair, 2 Ynfynyty might be a bit more restrained than either Heroin Man or Icing, but really not by much. And the big changes are actually for the better. For one, the songwriting is killer, like proper pop hooks and real singing, positioning themselves closer to, say, the sludge pop of Torche, fusing melody to bash and howl, and the results are pretty fucking spectacular. Opener "Sandy On The Beach", is not only heavy and buzzy, but will get stuck in your head like crazy. Some of the tracks do get a bit more wild and psychedelic, the almost crooned vox on the aforementioned opener transformed into keening wails, but inevitably the sound slips right back into some impossible and improbable poppiness, "Monkey Chow Mein", is downright dreamy, with its vocal 'ooooohs', and zoned out fuzz guitar, the wailing vocals perfectly complementing the stonery swagger, sounding sorta like a noise rock Flower Travellin' Band, hazy, hypnotic and blissfully heavy, while "Cumulo Nimbus" (Longmont reference perhaps?) sounds like under appreciated grunge second stringers Love Battery gone noise rock shoegaze. A lot of the record sounds like some unlikely hybrid of the Melvins and Led Zeppelin, which obviously is a seriously good thing, and the final two tracks add a confusional coda to the proceedings - "Party Ice" is all bass driven distorto pop, with some almost Southern rock styled swagger, which gives way to weirdly sensitive closer "Sunday Mondays", which is straight up British Invasion strum and croon, wound in a cloud of distorted guitar squall, sounding not unlike some strange, but beautiful Guided By Voices outtake.
Weird and wonderful, And a pretty perfect return to form, the kind of comeback most bands can only dream about. Here's hoping we don't have to wait another 20 years for more!
MPEG Stream: "Sandy On The Beach"
MPEG Stream: "Crashing The Ride"
MPEG Stream: "Monkey Chow Mein"

album cover WELBURN, JAMES Hold (Miasmah) cd 19.98
Quite an impressive solo debut from British noiserocker James Welburn! His bio quips that he's been playing in various art/drone/noise rock outfits since the '90s, though a quick glance through the entire internet didn't provide much in the way of information on what those projects might be. However, we know that back in 2008, he had a release under the name Project Transmit, which also featured the fantastic drummer Tony Buck from trance-inducing Australian 'jazz' group The Necks. Now, Buck has joined forces with Welburn once again for Hold - a well-controlled album of darkly ascendant drone guitars guiding a well-heeled rhythm section that's crushingly muscular when it needs to be and skeletally restrained when called for at other times. Second track here "Peak" falls into the latter camp with Buck and Welburn conjuring the slow-core nocturnes from Low's first couple of albums, with a Joy Division-y spaciousness on the bass and Buck tapping metonymically on the ride. Welburn fills in the blanks with cinematic melancholy dripping from his guitar strings into pools of drone. Buck stomps hard on the accelerator for the next track "Shift" with a punk-as-fuck jackbooted riff on the black metal blast beat, albeit done on a jazz kit, with Welburn slipping the buzzsaw guitars into icy layers. The detuned bass that anchors "Duration" with a bloody-knuckled masonry on par with Todd Trainor of Shellac, with the guitars again crashing forward with drone-metal blurs and slabs of frigid noise. Swans and Godflesh are reasonably close neighbors of what Welburn is up to here, although these tracks are entirely instrumental with the songs hitting their dynamics through slow-burn and flame-out approaches to their compositional arcs. Just imagine if Welburn and Buck were to get a hold of two or three dozen guitarists with their slipstream noise perfectly in step with Welburn's compositional prowess. Look out, Branca. Look out, Chatham.
MPEG Stream: "Peak"
MPEG Stream: "Shift"
MPEG Stream: "Transience"

album cover CAMINITI, EVAN Meridian (Thrill Jockey) cd 14.98
Our Record Of The Week last week, the latest glorious solo outing from Evan Caminiti, is now also here in the compact disc format as well! (The gold vinyl we listed previously is now gone, but we did get a restock on regular black vinyl along with these cds, fyi.) The sound-sculpting Mr. Caminiti you probably know as being one half of the aQ fave duo Barn Owl, who on their last album V, had really begun to morph from making dusty guitar-based doom drone und twang into something whose shimmering psychedelic sonics were ever more reliant on synthesizers, electronics, machines...
Further electronic exploration continues on Meridian, wherein Caminiti conjures a mysterious, mostly electronic soundscape, having set his guitar aside to deftly orchestrate droning synths and processed field recordings in a densely detailed, actively ambient, Tangerine-Dream-y production. Cinematic and somber, and still very organic-sounding despite its electronic origins, Meridian is a gorgeous all-instrumental set of one-word-titled tracks ("Signal", "Arc", "Mercury", etc.), somehow both intimate and spacious, that should still very much appeal to Barn Owl fans despite the lack of ye olde guitar.
Caminiti's somnolent, sometimes sinister synth drones tend to be all frayed and glitchy around the edges, the listener slowly swimming/sinking through static buzzings. echoing tones and submerged hum. At times, suggestions of percussive beat-skitter comes to the surface, driving these darkling mood pieces forward into more rhythmic territory, drifting and pulsing and crackling with latent energies. Deep and lovely this is. Truly, we can understand being jaded about the glut of droney electronic music these days, but trust us, as you should expect from either of the Barn Owl boys, this is really good and worthy!
MPEG Stream: "Curtains"
MPEG Stream: "Steam"
MPEG Stream: "Signal"

album cover BIOSPHERE Microgravity (Biophon) 3lp 42.00
Biosphere's Microgravity was a watershed album for the burgeoning rave scene. In 1991, techno in particular found itself splintering into the 'arder / faster sounds that took acid house towards gabber, and the evolution of more complex variants through the innovations of Aphex Twin and Autechre. And then there was the chill-out / ambient crowd. It has to be said, that this was always the most problematic, as the bulk of efforts from this end of the spectrum was substantively vapid in taking up the ideas of kosmische electronica and watering it all down with drool cups and pacifiers. All of this without the benefit of a rhythm to trick the body into thinking that there was something revolutionary going on with these futuristic sounds. Biosphere was one of the few phenomenal exceptions to the more banal forms of ambient-techno - yes, the term is an oxymoron of a genre marker, but it stuck a long time ago. Geir Jenssen (aka Biosphere) cut his teeth in the late '80s in the ethereal-pop project Bel Canto, with Biosphere acquiring the dark sheen of Detroit techno from that time period. The rhythms which Jenssen programmed for Biosphere's debut Microgravity have a slinky groove that owes considerable gratitude to Juan Atkins' Cybotron and Model 500 recordings. The nocturnal, reverberant sprawl that became the signature of Biosphere's later recordings of drumless space was in its nascent phase, but he was clearly ahead of the curve; and Microgravity certainly holds its own some 25 years later. As a side note, the first recordings that Jenssen produced as Biosphere were initially rejected by Nettwerk back at the time, only to attain considerable notoriety when R&S released those tracks along with all of Microgravity in 1992. This reissue contains a bonus disc (or, with the vinyl version, a third lp) of unreleased material recorded back then.
MPEG Stream: "Tranquilizer"
MPEG Stream: "The Fairy Tale"
MPEG Stream: "Eternal "
MPEG Stream: "Search"

album cover BLACK CHANNELS s/t (Death Waltz) 10" 22.00
A teasing single of hauntological pop courtesy of the esteemed minds at Death Waltz. Nope, like their recent Pye Corner Audio 10" in this same series, this is not a soundtrack; but Black Channels would be well suited to the task of coming up with a score that could be witchy, gothy, gloomy, macabre, ghosty, spooky, Cronenberg-y, or any combination thereof. We're not given much in the way of informational background about this British duo, who simply credit themselves as Simon and Becky; and these three tracks certainly live up to the shorthand description of 'Broadcast meets HTRK'. Becky's breathy voice wavers between recalling the futurist dream-pop melodies that Trish Keenan once brought to Broadcast, and then diving into much darker territory with a seductive monotone akin to Jonnine Standish from HTRK; while the electronics, guitars, and rhythms are arranged into spacious and spectral tunes of slow-motion post-library music seances. Limited to a scant 450 copies, we must add.
MPEG Stream: "Oracles"
MPEG Stream: "Depth Of Field"

album cover BLACK DEVIL Disco Club (Anthology ) cd 13.98
While the vinyl reissue we listed quite recently is still unfortunately out of stock, on backorder with our suppliers, we did manage to now get copies of the cd version!!!
Finally, this rare 1978 French disco masterpiece sees the light of day in its original dark and sleazy form. A few years ago, the Rephlex label released a series of 12"s of tracks from this album claiming it was a rare discovery found in a French gas station, from an obscure French library release under the name Junior Claristidge, a pseudonym for Bernard Fevre. Everyone originally thought this was a hoax, and was a modern group trying to create a fake retro disco record, but then Bernard Fevre, a French library composer from the late seventies came out of the woodwork and confirmed its origins. Shortly after, Fevre created a new project called Black Devil Disco Club, based on the successful response to the Black Devil rediscovery and used it to make new music based on old unused dance recordings from that period. Fevre is now getting a full on rediscovery with three of his most sought after library records from the seventies being reissued for the first time: Black Devil, Suspense and Cosmic 2043.
While the Black Devil Disco Club records were good, their steely sheen was a little too polished compared to the sonic dirtiness of the Black Devil originals, which sound like Giorgio Moroder and Arthur Russell in a darkly exotic reverie of drugged out fleshy vice. Strobes pulsing in a painted black room, poppers popping, hands groping, lots of congo driven disco beat and vocodered male and female vocals. Imagine Bruce Haack's Electric Lucifer in a hedonistic night of orgiastic dancing after the fall of man, and you get the idea. Enter if you dare!
MPEG Stream: "H Friend"
MPEG Stream: "One To Choose"
MPEG Stream: "We Never Fly Away Again"
MPEG Stream: "Follow Me"

album cover CHALK, ANDREW A Light At The Edge Of The World (Faraway Press) cd 24.00
A return, of sorts, by the longstanding aQ favorite drone composer Andrew Chalk, who offers up another beautiful album of sparkle, glisten, and drift. In recent years, Chalk's recordings have reconfigured away from the static drama of high minimalism and into collections of miniatures - intimate, languid, sometimes haunted, always lovely snatches of sonic ephemera that could be pieced together as a koan of lost memory and forgotten landscape. It's the same filigree of impressionist tone and suspended atmosphere that is at work on A Light At The Edge Of The World, but he extends such passages and figures for over 40 minutes. Chalk cites his own 2012 album 49 Views In Rhapsodies' Wave Serene as the starting point for this album, in terms of recapturing the faded coronas that hang upon his clustered notes of electric piano and subtle analog synth articulation. An evanescent echo and artfully accreted drone trickle throughout the album, all of which are swimming in illumined, golden baths of hallowed light. Again, the allusions to Erik Satie's furniture music and Brian Eno's Music For Airports or Thursday Afternoon are quite apt on this lovely, lovely recording.
MPEG Stream: "A Light At The Edge Of The World"

album cover MONOS Sunny Day In Saginomiya (Fungal) cd-r 14.98
Sunny Day In Saginomiya is a Monos album that originally came out in 2001 on the American label Edition... (yes, the ellipsis is a part of the label's name) and it's been out of print for a very long time. Darren Tate of Monos has just reissued this as a super limited cd-r on his own Fungal imprint. Here's what we had to say about the album way back when:
Darren Tate has been releasing an impressive catalogue of tiny edition cd-rs by his project Monos, which began as a solo project although more recently he has partnered with Colin Potter (who had worked with Tate in the organic drone ensemble Ora). Working in Potter's ICR studios (which has not only produced likeminded work from Organum, Jonathan Coleclough, and Andrew Chalk, but also the Dadaist collages of Nurse With Wound), Monos applied thick patinas of reverb and electric synthesis to a set of field recordings provided by another occasional Ora contributor, Daisuke Suzuki. The first half of the album couples reverb saturated field recordings of birds with some eerie spectral guitar drone work from Darren Tate, recalling some of the early Main albums. The second half is far more Spartan as Monos works their magic on a Daisuke Suzuki recording of bells, gongs, and rattles occasionally marked by ascending delay patterns and gradually overcome by the analog electronics found on Nightfall Sunshine. Quite lovely.
MPEG Stream: "October"
MPEG Stream: "Sunny Day"

album cover SHIT AND SHINE Jealous Of Shit And Shine (Riot Season) lp 29.00
Originally issued on (long out of print) cd only back in 2006, NOW ON VINYL! In a remastered "vinyl-friendly" version no less. Jealous Of Shit And Shine was the aQ fave outfit's 2nd album, and here's what we wrote about it when the cd version was released:
Return of the mighty Shit And Shine, a massive sprawling noise rock collective from the UK [via Texas]. Multiple drummers, LOTS of guitars, even some lawnmowers and other noisemakers. This new disc takes their caustic freaked out psych-noise in a whole new direction, channeling their energy into blissed out sort-of krautrocky grooves, albeit still drenched in thick grinding crumbling grit with the needle ALL the way in the red. In fact -most- of the tracks here are some sort of hypnotic stripped down rhythm, just completely damaged and dinged up and pelted with thick slabs of hissy fuzz. Vocals struggly desperately to be heard, even the drums keep getting sucked under the massive swells of acidic sound, swirls of buzzing glitch and super blown out melodies are all draped over the endlessly propulsive rhythms, as they struggle to keep moving forward with layer after layer after layer of dense prickly buzz and drone piled atop them. A gloriously cacophonous caterwaul of rhythmic chaos.
Imagine the Psychic Paramount filtered through a Merzbow production and mastered by Masonna, pressed onto a lathe cut, then played a thousand times until the grooves all began to run together, then play it on a turntable made from an old microwave using a rusty nail as a stylus, and broadcast it through the blown out speakers in that junked car that's been sitting in your neighbor's yard for the last ten years. The record THAT sound, and broadcast it through a HUGE tuba shaped loud speaker with your head stuck all the way into the horn. Kinda like that. Imagine some Aufgehoben No Process, some Laddio Bolocko, some Wolf Eyes, some Butthole Surfers, even some Whitehouse and eighties no wave, but mix in a serious dose of Can and Faust and then douse it in thick swaths of noise, freeze it and shatter it into a million pieces. It all comes together on the album's 30 minute centerpiece "Practicing To Be A Doctor", a simple rock and roll drum beat, a million pounds of grinding low end, some grungy sludgy garage rock riffing, some buried mumbled vocals, and set the whole thing to just sort of lazily unfurl over the course of a lurching, druggy, damaged half hour. Suddenly we're also hearing some Brainbombs, some Terminal Cheesecake, even a bit of the Melvins, all wrapped up into endlessly motorik spaced out tribal sludge rock nirvana.
This first-ever vinyl edition is translucent neon pink colored (which you can see through the PVC sleeve), and is limited to just 300 copies, never to be repressed they say. Includes download.
MPEG Stream: "Here Come Vikings"
MPEG Stream: "When Extreme Dogs Go Wrong"
MPEG Stream: "Unchained Ladies Shopper"

album cover TAU CROSS s/t (Relapse) lp 23.00
Tau Cross is the magick-infused, forest-dwelling collaboration between Voivod drummer/conceptualist Away and 'The Baron' of UK crust legends Amebix (plus, the guitarists from neo-crust bands War/Plague and Misery). But if you're expecting some sort of crusty, proggy punk record though, think again. Tau Cross are not interested in rehashing the tropes of their past, instead crafting a pumping, riff-filled heavy metal record that oozes with mythology and power. At once catchy, heavy, and forlorn, Tau Cross' debut is as much Motorhead as it is Moonsorrow. Away trades his thrash-prog pound for a more mid-tempo crush, impressing more with what he doesn't play than what he does. Most noticeable and recognizable on this record are the throaty chants of The Baron, in perhaps his most subtle and least purely aggressive performance. This record isn't the future of metal, there's nary a thing on here that is especially forward looking, but these are expertly crafted tracks from some masters of heavy songwriting. Seriously, just TRY and not get absolutely pumped up during "Hangman's Hyll," the stone-stacking, twig-bundling riff of the year.
Could easily make the year end top ten lists of some of the metalheads around here, though actually in some ways it's not always so metal, in fact some of the tracks, with hushed vocals and acoustic guitar, remind us of Leonard Cohen at times - or a post punk blend of Pink Floyd and Current 93, even.
MPEG Stream: "Lazarus"
MPEG Stream: "Stonecracker"
MPEG Stream: "Midsummer"

album cover UNICORN Playing With Light (Fabrica) lp 23.00
How 'bout that, surprise vinyl reissue here of something we praised immensely when it first came out as a limited cd-r on the Housepig label a whole decade ago. Glad to be able to run our review of it again, now:
Goddamn this record is beautiful. We mean seriously beautiful. So beautiful it sort of has us at a loss for words. Not at all what we were expecting as our last exposure to Unicorn was a split with Bastard Noise. But this is definitely one of the most beautiful, and satisfying ambient / drone records in recent memory. Delicate and barely there at times, thick and dense at others, but always imbued with this haunting sense of dread, and loss and loneliness. Hard to put a finger on, but the overall impression is one of longing, a melancholy sense of something missing. Very evocative. From glistening crystalline shimmers atop barely audible melodic drones, with distant freaked out guitars all hazy and indistinct, to a thick fuzzy whir over brief snippets of overheard conversations, to simple melodies constructed from distorted overblown tones, backward rhythmic swells, and high pitched cricket like skree, to gentle, sepia toned ambience beneath chiming melodies and more distant sonic wails. So completely haunting and mesmerizing. And that's just the music. The disc includes a series of short films that the music was composed to accompany, and when coupled with the images, it's totally breathtaking. Strangely decaying home movies, found footage, quite stark and simple, but visually emblematic of lost innocence, or a bitter longing for stolen youth, or just a series of slightly sad memories, set to a music that lays out the sorrow in a way that words never could.
Good call by the Fabrica label for reissuing this on vinyl!!
MPEG Stream: "One "
MPEG Stream: "Two"

album cover V/A Des Jeunes Gens Modernes Vol. 2: Post Punk, Cold Wave Et Culture Novo En France 1978-1983 (Born Bad) lp 22.00
The first volume in this series arrived back in 2008 and had long been a popular staple here at aQuarius; so the second, long-awaited volume is quite welcome in these parts. Here we have a compendium of weird science post-punk tracks documenting the obscure French experiments in punk, Italo-disco, minimal wave, and prog electronica. As the neverending crate-digging for this period has shown in the high caliber reissues on Dark Entries, Vinyl On Demand, and here on Born Bad, French post-punk stands the test of time, perhaps much better than many of the other aesthetic banners from various times and places.
The multifaceted ADN'Ckrystall opens the anthology with an introverted bedroom ditty for muffled chanson situated on a framework of naive-sounding synth-wave minimalism. X Ray Pop and Eli & Janco keep things lighthearted with a couple of zany DIY cuts full of glam vamping and bubbly hedonism. A frenzied anxiety of electronic overload and dancefloor mania comes through the punchy bass-synth heavy number from Medikao, the cocaine-diva drama from KaS Produkt (whose So Young Young But So Cold was the titular anthem from another compilation of French post-punk a while back) and the Gang Of Four jitteriness of Les Stagiaires. The other tracks come by way of Les Fils De Joie, La Bande Au Col Roule, Radio Romance, A.R.T, Frantz Kultur & Les Krames, Meca Rythm, and Perspective Nevski. Thirteen tracks in all, five of which are designated as previously unreleased! Definitely recommended, like the original volume.
MPEG Stream: X RAY POP "La Machine A Rever"
MPEG Stream: A.R.T. "Foolish Virgin"
MPEG Stream: KAS PRODUKT "Holycow"

album cover VALKYRIE Shadows (Relapse) cd 14.98
A nice surprise! Shadows is a new one from retro-riff-rockers Valkyrie, a band we haven't heard from in a few years - good to know these Virginia boys are still around, and if anything now taking it to the next level with this, their Sanford Parker-produced third album. Clearly they didn't rush it, and it shows. They're on Relapse now, perhaps 'cause one of their guitarists also happens to be in popular Relapse act Baroness - or maybe just 'cause they're really darn good and Relapse realized it.
Shadows is dazzling in a laid-back way, the music heavy yet tender, glorious with guitar harmonies (their twin guitars are played by brothers, dunno if they're twins too or not). As we've mentioned before about Valkyrie, they do the '70s sounding metal thing, influenced by the likes of Pentagram and Thin Lizzy, with a Southern rock slant as well, that sometimes recalls Corrosion Of Conformity and Down. The warm, earnest vocals give this character, but Valkyrie are no doubt a GUITAR band, with psychedelic instrumental passages that Carlton Melton and Earthless fans could certainly bliss out to. And while this is stoner/doom metal, "Wintry Plains", for one, features a positively sunshiny soft rock interlude before the guitars rush in full force, so they are indeed as adept at the more soulfully mature, mellow stuff as well as (mountain) stomping riffage. We figure folks into Golden Void and Gypsyhawk, among others, will get off on this for sure.
MPEG Stream: "Mountain Stomp"
MPEG Stream: "Golden Age"
MPEG Stream: "Shadow Of Reality"

album cover WEAVER, JANE The Silver Globe (Deluxe Edition) (Bird ) 2cd 15.98
We listed the original version of this several months ago, if you missed it then, though, you're in luck 'cause it has just been issued again in a special deluxe edition, with a whole bonus disc added on! That's right, this widely-acclaimed 2014 album now is expanded to include a 2nd full-length disc entitled The Amber Light. Here's what we said about The Silver Globe proper, the first time we listed it:
Contemporary British psych/folk singer Jane Weaver has never had a proper aQ review, though she has appeared on many of our reviews of various Finder's Keepers comps such as Bearded Ladies and Bird Songs, and she is part of the Pre-Cert label super group Neotantrik with husband Andy Votel and members of Demdike Stare. Her sixth full length, The Silver Globe, has finally got our undivided attention, largely because it's a wild departure from the pastoral folk-psychedelia of her previous solo efforts and embraces a heavier cinematic electronic kraut-rock sensibility akin to Lorelle Meets The Obsolete, The Sound Carriers, and Death & Vanilla.
Named after the polish filmmaker Andrzej Zulawski's (Possession) incomplete sci-fi masterpiece from 1988, On The Silver Globe, which in turn was based on a 1901 polish sci-fi novel (written by Zulawski's granduncle Jerzy Zulawski) about an ill-fated moon expedition. The epic drama of grand fantastical desire and ruinous failure that mars both the fictional narrative and the actual real-life circumstances surrounding the making of both the book and film seems to be a perfect foil for Weaver's emotive vocals that are both cool and dreamy but have the ability to drive us through the various peaks and valleys of atmospheric lows and electric transcendent highs. Beautiful!
And then, regarding The Amber Light, well we just got it in, so the label's blurb on it will have to suffice: "The Amber Light carves a niche between new age motivational music, radiophonic folk, and snarling krautrock, echoing the kosmische stylings of The Silver Globe with the punk urgency of '80s domestic synthpop. The Amber Light's four original songs are accompanied by three exclusive instrumental themes (including a commissioned theme from an American vampire film), and three collaborative re-workings/duets based on tracks from The Silver Globe, with co-production from Tom Furse (The Horrors), Andy Votel, Suzanne Ciani, members of Demdike Stare, and original Silver Globe inhabitants Pete J. Phillipson and Martin King."
MPEG Stream: "Mission Desire"
MPEG Stream: "Electric Mountain"
MPEG Stream: "Your Time in This Life is Just Temporary"

album cover WHEN The Black Death (Editions Mego) lp 22.00
Editions Mego digs into a curious corner of AQ-approved musical obscurity/eccentricity to bring out this gatefold, first-time-on-vinyl reissue!
We've been huge fans of the 'band' When for years and years. Maybe you remember back in 2001 when we made a cd by When called The Lobster Boys a Record Of The Week - one of our most successful / best selling EVER. Seriously. Well, before The Lobster Boys was released, When's sole member Lars Pedersen had already been making amazing experimental music for almost a decade, We first heard about When from the completely baffling Norwegian metal magazine Nordic Vision, who heaped nothing but praise on this band we had never even heard of. The Black Death was When's fourth album, originally released on cd in 1992. And while this older material doesn't necessarily sound all that much like poppy The Lobster Boys it's still pretty intense stuff (but is not in any way metal, despite the Nordic Vision endorsement). The Black Death is a single, nearly 40 minute piece in two parts that blends military percussion, strings, foot steps, a choir of angelic voices, weird orc-ish growling and muttering, jaw harp, rain, rattles, chimes, woodpeckers, and all sorts of unexpected sounds. Sounds like it would be perfect incidental music for a Dario Argento film, or City of Lost Children, or a movie about Jack the Ripper, or any sort of mystery/thriller set in the grimy dangerous streets of some 19th century city. Dark and ominous and eerie. Tense and creepy, swirling musical malevolence. It's a concept piece, of sorts, based on a book of eerie drawings and poems called Svartedauden, from 1900, by Theodor Kittelsen (images from which have also been used by Burzum).
MPEG Stream: "excerpt 1"
MPEG Stream: "excerpt 2"

album cover WHITE POPPY Natural Phenomena (Not Not Fun) lp 14.98
NOW RELEASED ON VINYL, TOO! Here's what we said about the cd version last week:
White Poppy's gaze down the Pacific Coast requires quite a powerful telescope to get through all the fog, rain, mist, and redwood trees that are situated between her native Vancouver and the fun-fun-fun-in-sun hamlets of Santa Barbara, Laguna Beach, and of course Los Angeles. But, White Poppy's Crystal Dorval is an artist entertaining all of those warm and fuzzy thoughts of California dreaming from her Canadian perch without any of the malaise attributable to Hollywood overload, traffic congestion, Helter Skelter bad vibes, and ongoing draught conditions. Yes, things can look so much better at such a wide distance. These wistful tunes of bliss-pop imperfection make for a luminous continuation of her previous, eponymous album on Not Not Fun released at the summer's end, 2013. Natural Phenomena was granted a midsummer release in 2015; it would just seem wrong to listen to this stuff in the heart of winter. Ringing guitar lines free-float amongst optiganally sounding drum programming, cotton-mouthed synth warbling, and Dorval's breezy, drifting vocalizations. There is even more of a shot of Ducktails' elixir of tropical intoxication to this, to match White Poppy's sunkissed 'n' stoned productions of buoyantly cherry-colored psychedelia. Get it while it's hot (out).
MPEG Stream: "Exotic Realms"
MPEG Stream: "Midnight Sun"
MPEG Stream: "Ebb And Flow"

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