New Releases - 7/19/19
Thom Yorke - Anima CD/LP (XL)
Thom Yorke's new solo album Anima was produced by Nigel Godrich. The album features 9 tracks, with an extra track exclusively on vinyl. "The third solo album from Thom Yorke is the first one that feels complete without his band behind him. It floats through the uneasy space between societal turmoil and internal monologue." - Pitchfork (Best New Music) [exclusive indie vinyl] Free screen printed paper bag & sticker with purchase while supplies last!
The Flaming Lips - King's Mouth: Music And Songs CD/LP (WB)
The Flaming Lips' fifteenth album King's Mouth follows the band's 2017 release, Oczy Mlody and sees the iconoclastic outfit once again tread uncharted territory. These 12 new originals are threaded together by cinematic narration courtesy of The Clash's Mick Jones. Additionally, the music parallels front man Wayne Coyne's immersive art installation of the same name. A true handcrafted marvel, it consists of a giant metallic head that welcomes spectators inside. Once inside of the foam month, an LED lightshow begins in tandem with music from the album. Now, the record doubles as the sonic companion to the exhibit and allows fans to experience the aural side at any time. Further expanding this multi-faceted world and detailing a fascinating creation myth, the accompanying literary tome, King's Mouth: Immerse Heap Trip Fantasy Experience tells the story of the King's Mouth through words and visuals by Coyne, adds yet another dimension to the project, which ranks among the band's most ambitious thus far.
Julia Shapiro - Perfect Version CD/LP (Hardly Art)
When Julia Shapiro flew home from a cancelled Chastity Belt tour in April 2018, everything in her life felt out of control. Dealing with health issues, freshly out of a relationship, and in the middle of an existential crisis, she realized halfway through a tour supporting her band's third album I Used To Spend So Much Time Alone that she was going through too much to continue. "I was really struggling; I was really depressed. I felt like I couldn't sing or be a person," Shapiro recalls. "At that point I couldn't even imagine playing a show again, I was so over it." Returning home to a newly empty Seattle one-bedroom apartment, Shapiro had wanted for a long time to learn how to record and mix her own music, and out of the uncertainty of the future of her music career and her health, she began to record the songs that would become Perfect Version. What she created in the space of ten songs is an intimate and beautifully self-aware examination of feeling lost in the life you've created for yourself. It's an album of shimmering guitars and layered vocals that feels vast in the emotional depth it conveys and masterful in the way each song is intentionally crafted and recorded.
HUNNY - Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. CD (ANTI-)
Produced by Grammy Award-winner Carlos de la Garza (Cherry Glazerr, Culture Abuse, Paramore), Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. came to life in November 2018 during the Woolsey Fire and Camp Fire that devastated 96,949 acres of land in Southern California. At one point, while members Jason Yarger (vocals), Jake Goldstein (guitar), and Joey Anderson (drums) were inside Kevin Grimmett's (bass, keyboards) home demoing and writing, firefighters were in the backyard stopping the wildfire from encroaching onto the property. "They blocked off all the streets and we had to sneak into my place through this apartment structure," Grimmet recalls. "Thankfully my house is still standing, and the hills are a bright green." Inspired by their love for '80s new wave and '90s pop, Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. is an endless back-and-forth between heavy-hearted lyrics and bright-and-shiny melodies, lovesick confession, and addictively dancey rhythms. With the album centered on a narrative Yarger sums up as "I love you and I want to die," HUNNY wrote most of the songs on acoustic guitar, deliberately channeling a raw vulnerability into every line.
Tuxedo - Tuxedo III CD/LP (Funk On Sight)
Tuxedo, Los Angeles-based recording artist Mayer Hawthorne and Seattle-based producer Jake One, has been steadily making a name for themselves over the past five years, standing at the forefront of a new wave of gangster boogie - one that owes as much to G-funk as P-funk. This is the territory of pre- and post-hydraulic low riders: a mélange of Cali boom-bap, analog synth bass and elegant disco that resonates truth and authenticity in an era where so many are faking the funk.
Ider - Emotional Education CD/LP (Glassnote)
To understand the symbiosis that exists between Ider, you need only learn how the London duo's debut album got its name. "It came from a song that I had written," says Megan Markwick, referring to the raw electro-pop anthem "Saddest Generation", a beautiful examination of millennial malaise.
Generationals - Reader As Detective CD/LP+MP3 (Polyvinyl)
From their inception, Generationals have existed at the convergence of classic style and contemporary technique. Students of an analog school actualized in a digital medium, Grant Widmer and Ted Joyner have always felt most comfortable reveling in this juxtaposition. Grounded in a catalog of infectious pop hooks that feel both familiar and radically new all at once, Generationals mastered their distinct voice as a means to widen the path before them. Reader As Detective, their new full-length album, weds vintage pop canon and modern pop production in a way this duo has proven incomparably adept. [Limited edition colored vinyl pressing.]
Sleepwalkers - Ages CD/LP (Spacebomb)
Each track on Sleepwalkers' Ages feels like the title song to some lost Hollywood production of the late '70s to late '80s, those formative movies that shaped young imaginations, touchstones of humor, struggle, romance and adventure. Through 14 electrifying tracks, Sleepwalkers absorb the methodology of American pop production and the iconographies of American rock performance with tremendous depth and feeling. Ages is a bona fide party record that is able to convey a mood of bittersweet elation through a series of well-aimed emotional arcs. The follow-up to their '60s fanstastic, cult-favorite debut, Greenwood Shade (2014), it feels equally effortless, backed by the band's facility with the structures and language of pop music.
Ada Lea - What We Say In Private CD/LP (Saddle Creek)
Montreal, Quebec-based musician Ada Lea is also a painter and visual artist, and traces of her many creative abilities run throughout her debut album What We Say In Private, a beautifully colorful collection of profound pop songs. To her, music and visual art are different vessels for communicating similar ideas. Ada Lea's appreciation of female artists - including the writer Sylvia Plath, visual artists Frida Kahlo and Eva Hesse, and musicians Karen Dalton and Nina Simone - provides inspiration and guidance, informing her use of multiple art forms as tools for self-expression. Whether it's creating music or art, "It's a world that I can build around me and sit inside," she says. Through all her work, Ada Lea explores the concept of womanhood as it feels and looks to her, as well as love and how it transforms over time. She doesn't shy away from exploring uncomfortable and painful emotions, either.
Quiet Temple - Quiet Temple CD/LP (Wichita)
An amorphous musical collective put together by Rich Machin and Duke Garwood, with a rolling cast of players assembled from the likes of Soulsavers, Spiritualized, Stereolab and Julian Cope. Recorded live over the course of a week, there was no splicing of takes, as that would have defeated the concept. The result is a potent and nuanced record that beguiles as much as it charms.
Kit Sebastian - Mantra Moderne CD/LP (Mr. Bongo)
Mantra Moderne is a stunning, contemporary masterpiece that fuses Anatolian Psychedelia, Brazilian Tropicalia, '60s European pop and American jazz. A must for fans of Khruangbin, Portishead, Arthur Verocai, Goat, Caetano Veloso, Tom Zé, Os Mutantes, Cortex and co.
Mike Love - 12 Sides Of Summer CD (BMG)
Grammy winner and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame winner, Mike Love grew up under the Southern California sun where he soaked up a life of music, sports, and family traditions. Beginning his singing and songwriting career as a teenager, Mike and his cousin Brian Wilson frequently sang at family get-togethers and holiday gatherings. Mike's early influences, including his attendance at a culturally and socially diverse high school, served as inspiration to some of The Beach Boys most iconic songs. Throughout Mike's career, he has co-authored more than a dozen Top 10 singles, cementing The Beach Boys legacy alongside The Beatles and Michael Jackson, as the only artist to have produced twelve top ten singles within five years. Mike continues to write and record music 57 years after his legendary career began.
Scott Stapp - Space Between The Shadows CD/LP (Napalm)
New solo album from the Creed frontman. Space Between The Shadows documents a five-year journey to find meaning - and redemption - in a world where shadows lurk and the space between is a gauntlet towards the light.
Sum 41 - Order In Decline CD/LP (Hopeless)
The Grammy nominated rock band returns with their seventh studio album. Written, produced, mixed, and engineered by frontman Deryck Whibley, Order In Decline is a burst of uninhibited feeling, a page out of his journal, a window into his soul that reflects on extremely personal and vulnerable events.
Sebaton - The Great War CD/2xLP (Nuclear Blast)
"One can scarcely utter a word concerning European power metal outside of its most rigorously schooled core audience without Sabaton entering the conversation, and not without good reason. While they've never been the fastest, the most technical, or even the most over-the-top adherents to the style in this post-Helloween climate, they have carved a very unique niche for themselves that has continually set the apart from the pack despite a growing array of imitators." - Sonic Perspectives [Limited colored vinyl pressing.]
Live & in Concert
Gov't Mule - Bring On The Music - Live At The Capitol Theatre 2xCD/2xCD+2xDVD/Blu-ray (Mascot Label Group)
No two Gov't Mule shows are alike, as the band draws on the more than 300 songs in their repertoire (and often a host of special guests) to create a unique experience each time. Bring On The Music - Live at The Capitol Theatre was recorded at The Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, NY, on April 27th and 28th, 2018. The title is taken from Gov't Mule's song of the same name that touches upon the passing of time and appreciating life's journey, is a nod to the band's treasured relationship with their fans. The Capitol Theatre has been the backdrop of many unforgettable shows for the band and is one of Gov't Mule's favorite venues to play. Live At The Capitol Theatre is available in a variety of configurations: a 2xCD+2xDVD deluxe package (the CD and DVD feature entirely different track lists and includes bonus videos of "Soulshine" and "Traveling Tune"), two separate double-vinyl packages, digital, Blu-ray and a 2xCD package (featuring audio from the film). [Limited transparent purple (Vol.1) and blue (Vol.2) colored vinyl pressing are also available.]
Reissues & From The Archives
Brian Eno - Apollo: Atmospheres And Soundtracks [Reissue/1983] CD/2xCD/2xLP (Capitol)
Apollo: Atmospheres & Soundtracks was written, produced and performed by Brian Eno together with his brother Roger and Daniel Lanois. The music was originally recorded in 1983 for a landmark feature-length documentary, For All Mankind, directed by American journalist, film director and screenwriter, Al Reinert. In celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, this remastered, extended edition of the album adds 11 new instrumental compositions reimagining the soundtrack to For All Mankind. [Single CD reissues also available.]
Airto - Samba de Flora [Reissue/1989] CD/LP+MP3 (Soul Jazz)
The impact of Airto Moreira in both the world of American jazz and in Brazilian music is unparalleled. At the start of the 1970s Airto was invited to join Miles Davis groundbreaking electric group, which with albums such as the seminal Bitches Brew helping Davis regain his title from John Coltrane as the most important jazz artist of all time.
Steve Goodman - Affordable Art [Reissue/1983] CD (Omnivore)
Steve Goodman - Artistic Hair [Reissue/1983] CD (Omnivore)
Despite his success as a beloved singer and songwriter, Steve Goodman was an unassuming sort of guy. His songs shared simple truths while relating songs about everyday individuals who were content to celebrate the essence of life and living.
Hamell On Trial - Choochtown [Reissue/1999] CD/LP (New West)
Even cult heroes have anniversaries to celebrate. New York folk-punk iconoclast Ed Hamell -mark the 20th anniversary of his Choochtown album with a remastered reissue bolstered with 11 previously unreleased bonus tracks. "20 Years! Wonderful to know that Choochtown still holds up, continues to roam the streets at midnight, spray painting slogans of rebellion on corporate store fronts ... For those of you that champion the disenfranchised, the square pegs in the round holes, those gazing from the shores of sanity and witnessing the tides of hatred and fascism slithering closer to the sands, Bobby, Chooch, Nancy and all the gang down in Choochtown that refuse to be blown to the dusts of oblivion want to buy you a drink. They welcome you..." [Limited pink colored vinyl pressing also available.]
Live - Throwing Copper [Reissue/1994] CD (Geffen)
Digitally remastered and expanded edition featuring three previously unreleased tracks.
New on Vinyl
Prince - Originals 2xLP/2xLP+CD (WB)
Now available on vinyl! A 15-track album featuring 14 previously unreleased recordings that illuminate the vital, behind-the-scenes role Prince played in other artists' careers. Several of the iconic songs found on Originals were considerable hits for the artists who recorded them. Sheila E.'s "The Glamorous Life" reached #1 on the dance charts in 1984, while the enormous success of "Manic Monday" propelled the single and its accompanying album, The Bangles' Different Light, to the #2 spot on the pop charts. [Deluxe purple vinyl pressing also available.]
Various Artists - Woodstock - Music From The Original Soundtrack And More[Reissue/1970] LP (Rhino)
Various Artists - Woodstock Two [Reissue/1971] LP (Rhino)
Rhino recently announced a robust slate of boxed sets focusing around the 50th Anniversary of Woodstock, including Woodstock - Back To The Garden: The Definitive 50th Anniversary Archive, an unprecedented 38xCD collection featuring a near complete chronological reconstruction of every artist performance at the festival. To continue the celebration of that generation-defining moment in popular music history, Rhino is also launching the Summer of '69 - Peace, Love and Music campaign with a series of vinyl releases. The Summer of '69 series opens in July 2019 with colored vinyl versions of the two classic Woodstock collections everyone knows and loves - Woodstock: Music From The Original Soundtrack And More and Woodstock Two. A cornucopia of cool Woodstock swag awaits with purchase.
Mick Ronson - Just Like This LP (Easy Action)
Just Like This was recorded in November and December 1976 at Bearsville Sound Studio shortly after Mick Ronson, David Bowie's right-hand man in the Spiders From Mars, finished touring with Bob Dylan as his guitarist on the Rolling Thunder Revue. It was supposed to be Ronson's third solo album after Slaughter On 10th Avenue (1974) and Play Don't Worry (1975), but due to low sales RCA refused to release the record and it wasn't issued until six years after Ronson's death in 1999.
Thee Oh Sees - Grave Blockers [Reissue/2006] LP (Castleface)
Recently released on CD - now available on vinyl. Encased in a brown paper wrapping like a forgotten bit of smut from behind the beaded curtain, this unassuming disc is a time-capsule back to John Dwyer's early SF days, janglingly fingerpicked wisps of melody and electronics baking in the all-too anemic sunshine of San Francisco's elusive summer. Like a seashell to the ear, one can hear within it Baker Beach bike ride excursions, holding court and gently harassing passers-by on a Haight street stoop, and midnight rambles with friends from out of town, daring the sun to come up.
L7 - Detroit LP (Easy Action)
Limited green colored vinyl LP pressing. Capturing the group at a pivotal point in their development - in this case a gig coinciding with the initial release of the six-track Smell The Magic EP by Sub Pop - L7's performance in Detroit at Clutch Cargo in September 1990 preserves the raw, kinetic energy of the era. Fast & Frightening - a double-CD collection of rarities, cover versions, tracks only found on compilations or one -off split 7" singles & a rare radio session is out next week.
Gorillaz - The Fall LP (WB)
Vinyl reissue of the fourth studio album by the British virtual band.
Keb' Mo' - Oklahoma LP (Concord)
Recently released on CD - now available on vinyl. Fresh off the Grammy-Award winning album TajMo, his collaboration with Taj Mahal, prolific blues musician Keb' Mo' returns his first solo record in five years. Sonically timeless but lyrically relevant, Oklahoma solidifies Keb' as a modern master of American roots music, a reputation he has held and expanded on throughout his 25+ year career.
Chick Corea - The Spanish Heart Band - Antidote 2xLP (Concord)
Recently released on CD - now available on vinyl. New release from the jazz legend. The Spanish Heart Band - Antidote is a musical cure for a turbulent time, bringing together artists from diverse cultures to make harmonious music together. In addition to this stellar new ensemble, the recording features guest appearances by the acclaimed Panamanian vocalist Rubén Blades and gifted singers Gayle Moran Corea and Maria Bianca.
Thank You Scientist - Terraformer LP (Evil Ink)
Thank You Scientist is an eclectic, vibrant and well-hydrated progressive rock band from New Jersey.
Collective Soul - Blood LP (Fuzze-Flex)
This year, Collective Soul celebrates their 25th anniversary as one of rock's most influential bands. The band's new album BLOOD is the culmination of a quarter-century of assessing not only where they've come from, but also where they're going. "I think BLOOD expresses where we've been on this life journey," observes frontman Ed Roland. "And we've done so with songs featuring piano and strings to those with a lot of guitar riffs. BLOOD is an accumulation of all the different styles we've used over the years - but it's still Collective Soul. I think it's the best we've ever done." Your Old Droog - Transportation LP (Nature Sounds) Acclaimed Ukrainian-American rapper Your Old Droog recently made waves with the unexpected release of It Wasn't Even Close, an album that drew widespread attention and endless praise after dropping in April with no advance warning. Fresh off this success, your old pal is returning less than two months later with Transportation.
Low Leaf - Baker's Dozen LP (Fat Beats Records)
The 12th installment of Fat Beats' celebrated instrumental series, featuring harpist, pianist, guitarist and producer Low Leaf. "Being planted in the periphery of Los Angeles, I have witnessed the musical landscape's ever-evolving terrain from a spiritual perspective. I've come to learn the gravity of music's inherent healing quality through life experiences. By way of meditation and prayer / listening and speaking, we are capable of connecting to endless musical realms within. These are sounds that forever feel familiar, for they bring the spirit home; the return to peace and understanding."
The Deli - Vibes 3 LP (Cold Busted)
Vibes 3, the crucial 2016 album from Austin hip hop beatrepreneur The Deli, gained massive attention upon its release - and it continues to grow in appreciation from worldwide hip hop heads. The album's 18 cuts serve up proper old school vibes, dropping beats that'll make one reminisce while also anticipating the new. In addition to the delightfully breezy streaming hit "Flowers," the album contains other worthy contenders like the smooth "Luv Shxt," which grooves with gentle jazz guitar and a lonely horn under a snappy beat; "Rain" and its simple introspection; the lovely lazy ride of "4Tina;" and album opener "1B4W" which sets things properly on the smoky late-night-lounging tip.
Boogie Belgique - Volta LP (Cold Busted)
"Nostalgic, soulful and, of course, boogie-woogie." That's how Belgian DJ producer Boogie Belgique (Oswald Cromheecke) describes the enticing combination of styles and sources from different decades that make up his music, as he takes vintage inspirations, most notably from swing and jazz eras, and merges them with contemporary beats and textures. Jungle ambience gives way to tough hip-hop beats and funky live guitar, shot through with ghostly swinging big band jazz. Elsewhere, uptempo broken beat rhythms are blended with bouncy bass guitar, snippets of string loops, and a lovely, forlorn vocal line that echoes the past. Volta is a satisfying trip in an aural time machine
Michael Orr & the Book of Life - Love Will Rise LP (High Jazz Records)
Amazing private gospel modern soul/boogie LP originally released in 1981, featuring an incredible alternate version of the dance floor killer "Spread Love". Having grown up in rural West Virginia, Michael Orr is a marvelously talented musician and accomplished singer, songwriter, and producer. His first full record, 1975's "Spread Love," became an international classic. In 1979 he recorded his second and much lesser known album "Love Will Rise" in Los Angeles and released it on the Birthright record label, dedicating the title track to The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. A gem of a smooth soul album - completely rare in the original, and a fully honest soul testament from Michael Orr. Orr's got a real talent for a song - and his commitment to strong vocals can be heard in his mix of styles that recall bits of Andy Bey, Jon Lucien, Gil Scott-Heron, and DJ Rogers.
Sofia Kourtesis - Sofia Kourtesis 12" (Studio Barnhus)
On her self-titled debut EP, Sofia Kourtesis channels experiences of her transatlantic existence between hometowns Lima and Berlin through a torrent of sounds, rhythms, voices, and loops. The first appearance of this MPC-busting, Gold Panda-collaborating "travelling bedroom producer" was with 2018's "WinWin San", a sparkly, razor sharp dance diamond which was received as one of the highlights of Studio Barnhus Volym 1. Sofia started the process of writing her debut solo outing with a journey into the Amazon jungle, and later made stops in front of a dusty Juno 106 in her Berlin bedroom and a Tokyo flea-market.
Stereo Total - Ah! Quel Cinema! LP (Tapete Records)
Musically, this Stereo Total disc, their twelfth, cannot be readily aligned with anything at all. If earlier albums resonated with influences from chanson, trash, or disco to punk, rock'n'roll and NDW (German New Wave), Stereo Total have now arrived in their very own musical universe which pays no heed to stylistic devices. Brezel Göring draws on his favored array of instruments more likely to be found in the hands of children in households where a musical education is not on the agenda: plastic baby organ and dreadful mouse piano, accompanied by home-made guitars glued together by less than gifted artisans. Stereo Total continue to make electronic music with flea market Casio sounds which fly in the face of what is generally accepted to be electronic music. Stereo Total continue to play lo-fi garage rock music which makes a mockery of all the masculine clichés associated with guitars. When Françoise Cactus plays the drums, the rhythms of feminism, anti-professionalism and subversive dilettantism come to the fore.
Dive Reflex Service - Dive Reflex Service 01 LP (Limbo Tapes)
Deeply enthralling downtempo sketches from one of the most mysterious outfits operating on the fringes of the Bristol underground. It's hard to pigeonhole Dive Reflex Service's sound, which is no doubt why he/she/they have found a home here -- Loosely hip-hop related, heavy with dub-wise production techniques -- thick washes of atmospherics and dense layers of stretched vocal phrases flow between low passed beats and high-end FX. Flecks of eskibeat and dancehall jut through at points, never fully materializing, it's these hints that keep the whole album fresh and very re-listenable. Immediately enjoyable and deeply rewarding upon repeated listening.
E B U - Hinge LP (No Corner)
E B U casts a sonic and visual universe of her own, referring to her distinct sound as "swamp pop". Unnatural sounds and pitches exhale in melodic chants, ominous basslines resound and eerie loops fixate in this macabre ensemble. Moments of haunting clarity keep you wondering where she will take you next whilst strange narratives unfold. Her sound captures elements of the radiophonic qualities by electronic pioneers such as Delia Derbyshire, through to unlikely melody and harmony akin to that of Ryuchi Sakamoto or Laurie Anderson, sonically capturing the colorful intensity of Alejandro Jodorowsky's Holy Mountain (1973), or perhaps sounding like a much more out-there, much more convincingly extra-terrestrial Space Lady. Give in to sweet disorientation as you slip into a whirlpool of shape-shifting melody, harmony and frequency.
Kali Malone - The Sacrificial Code 2LP (Ideal Recordings)
Nearly two hours of concentrated pipe organ pieces governed by a strict acoustic and compositional code. Over the course of three parts performed on three different organs, Malone's minimalist procedure captures a jarring precision of closeness, both on the level of the materiality of the sounds and on the level of composition. The pipe organs are close-miked to eliminate environmental identifiers as far as possible, and the pieces are then further compositionally stripped of gestural adornments and spontaneous expressive impulse. With its slow, purified, and seemingly austere qualities, The Sacrificial Code is a uniquely satisfying exercise in transcendence through self-restraint -- a stunning realization of ideas borne out of academic and conceptual rigor which gradually reveals startling personal dimensions. It has a perception-altering quality that encourages self-exploration free of signposts and without a preordained endpoint -- the antithesis to the language of colorless musical platitudes we've become so accustomed to.
Mister Water Wet - Bought the Farm 2LP (West Mineral Ltd.)
A rich seam of ambient jazz sampledelia by Mister Water Wet, a Puerto Rican artist with a gift for conveying in-between, gently altered states of mind and the logic of the natural world. Bought The Farm yields an elementally cool and breezy spirit guided by a first thought/best thought intuition through 55 minutes of crackly, hand-built music riddled with ephemeral soul. In terms of texture and structure, it's a sound maybe best compared with Jan Jelinek at his most frayed, essentially rendering a distinctive style that hovers between heavy-lidded, Afro-Latinate jazz, sampled indigenous instrumentation, and strains of gently bucolic, ambient introspection. In ten parts ranging from zoned-out drifts to pockets of sweetly psychedelic delirium, Mister Water Wet uses a patented blend of sampled artefacts and dusty magic to literally and metaphysically connote his conception of a spiritual home, while immersing listeners in his lushly verdant, oasis-like bosques, or naturally sprawling woodlands and iridescent rivulets of sound.
Felicia Atkinson - The Flower and the Vessel 2LP (Shelter Press)
French poet and ASMR auteur Félicia Atkinson has frequently fixated on the elusive interwoven relationship between microcosms and macrocosms -- how even the quietest creative act ripples outward, a whisper with no fixed meaning. The songs on her latest solo release span whispering textures, opaque moods, and surreal spoken word, leading the listener through a mirrored hall of beguiling mirages. Melancholic piano motifs repeat then retreat into a radiant frost of shivering frequencies; processed voices recite cut-up poems and interviews over delay-refracted Rhodes and Wurlitzer; iPad gamelan patterns flutter from meditative to melancholic and back, offset by pointillist patches of delicate software synesthesia. Field recordings from Tasmania and the Mojave Desert murmur beneath hushed reverberations of gong, vibraphone, and marimba, softly processed into an elegant emptiness, alternately eerie and serene.
Spaza - Spaza LP (Mushroom Hour Half Hour)
An entirely improvised live album recorded in one take in the inner city of Johannesburg, featuring some of the city's finest experimental musicians, namely Siya Makuzeni (vocals, FX, trombone), Nosisi Ngakane (vocals), Joao Orecchia (synthesizers, electronics), Waldo Alexander (electric violin with FX pedal), Gontse Makene (percussion), and Ariel Zamonsky (upright bass). This loping, expansive recording brings together musicians already adept at creating on the fly and playing in unlikely set-ups with their instruments of choice. Spaza is at once opaque, direct and an unyielding morass of joy melding with pain, furtiveness caressing boldness. This could be the sound of the city turned inside out, ruminating on its troubled history and uncertain future, the sound of celebration and pensiveness. The results are that of continental astral travel, a sonic reading of Johannesburg's dreamscape.
Joshua Sabin - Sutarti LP (Subtext)
Joshua Sabin draws influence from the compositional structures and psychoacoustic properties that exist within early Lithuanian folk music, exploring the emotional potency of the human voice through the manipulation of elements of archival recordings from a Lithuanian Ethnomusicology archive. Sabin felt a particular resonance with the extensive library of vocal recordings and specifically the song forms of the Sutartinė, a distinct canonic song style consisting of two or more voices that purposefully clash creating extremely precise dissonances and the phenomena of aural "beating". Sabin sought to compose directly with the recordings them-selves as a raw material, while also incorporating instrumentation such as skudučiai and fiddle, as well as field recordings of Lithuanian forest ambiences. Sabin hopes that the radical recontextualizations speak universally to the power and versatility of the voice as a communicator of meaning and emotion.
Maurizio Abate - The Maadi Sessions LP (Backwards)
Abate on The Maadi Sessions: "I visited Egypt for the first time in October 2016. The first impact with the city and its inhabitants was definitely strong: I had trouble defining the energy which pervades the streets 24 hours a day and the feeling of perpetual movement one gets from it. Although this vortex was fascinating, it sometimes originated some kind of alienation and estrangement on my behalf. During my first visit, I was especially struck by the sounds, so I recorded some of them over my following stay, and I tried to mix them with my electric guitar using new techniques and effects, a sort of conversation between the inner world and the outside one."
Metome - Shibboleth 12" (Superpawerz)
With the Shibboleth EP, Osaka-based artist Metomedelivers a fierce sonic collage: experimental to its core, it presents a vibrant embroidery of sound where the spaces in between are as important as the stitches themselves. Arrangements composed of fluoro synth leads, Rhodes chords, tumbling bass, chopped vocals, pitch modulation salvos, and nuances that evade definition fester and rub up against one another. These intensely tactile and flexible elements are rendered through an intricate filter shaped by pop music, grime as well as nu-jazz into punctured grooves that aim to knock the listener askew.
Select Level - Select Level LP (Wax Thematique)
Seattle multi-instrumentalist Andy Sells, best known as the limber drummer for soulful fusion explorers Afrocop, has established that he can get weird and far out in various situations. His self-titled debut as Select Level was inspired by wild dreams about homelessness, authoritarian governments, social media's problematic algorithms, and other harbingers of a dystopian future, but finds Sells veering off on a tangent into the realm of sleek music geared for dancing and romancing, with the eight songs here acting as an antidote for said dark times. Sells' love of disco, post-punk, funk (in its smooth and rugged forms), electro, and Afrobeat all surface on Select Level. "I like just about anything with a hooky bass line and some dirty drums," he says, and you can tell.
Howard Shore - Silence of the Lambs OST LP (Mondo)
The expanded score to the 1991 classic. This edition is produced by Neil S. Bulk, supervised by Howard Shore himself, and mastered by Doug Schwartz from the original two-track stereo session tapes, courtesy of MGM. Featuring original artwork by Rich Kelly, liner notes by Tim Greiving comprised of all new interviews with composer Howard Shore and star Jodie Foster.
Compilations, Best Of's, & Sundry Collections
Keith Haring/Various - Soul Jazz Records Presents: The World Of Keith Haring 2xCD/3xLP+MP3/3xLP+7"+MP3 (Soul Jazz)
The art of Keith Haring is today one of the most recognizable of any visual artists of his generation, defining 1980s New York during an intense period when downtown artists and musicians collaborated like never-before. Haring's musical inspiration took in the punk/dance downtown sounds of clubs like The Mudd Club, underground disco at Larry Levans Paradise Garage, as well the early days of hip-hop and electro. The music here includes the work of many of Haring's close friends, including Jean-Michel Basquiat, Yoko Ono, Larry Levan, John Sex and George Condo (The Girls), as well as healthy dose of rare disco, early electro and New York punk/dance tracks. [Vinyl was delayed]
Chuck Klosterman - Raised In Captivity: Fictional Nonfiction BK (Penguin Press)
Microdoses of the straight dope, stories so true they had to be wrapped in fiction for our own protection, from the best-selling author of But What if We're Wrong? Raised in Captivity does not slot into a smooth preexisting groove. If Saul Steinberg and Italo Calvino had adopted a child from a Romanian orphanage and raised him on Gary Larsen and Thomas Bernhard, he would still be nothing like Chuck Klosterman. They might be good company, though. Funny, wise and weird in equal measure, Raised in Captivity bids fair to be one of the most original and exciting story collections in recent memory, a fever graph of our deepest unvoiced hopes, fears and preoccupations. Ceaselessly inventive, hostile to corniness in all its forms, and mean only to the things that really deserve it, it marks a cosmic leap forward for one of our most consistently interesting writers.