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Sufjan Stevens - Carrie & Lowell (LP)
Sufjan Stevens - Carrie & Lowell (LP)Asthmatic Kitty Records
¥2,564
In "Carrie and Lowell," Sufjan Stevens is a child again or, more specifically, the child character in the family of man drama that often but not always centers on the story of love given, or love forsaken, but isn't that the same thing to the poet? That the love Stevens sings about having left or given or been born to--thank you, Carrie--is a perceptible wound not only on the singer's throat, but his sleeve: he wears love's incomprehensibility, and the deep incomprehensibility of being a son, like a backing vocal on "Carrie and Lowell," which is also filled with colors, hearts, trees, conclusions, and beginnings, all adding up to the kind of intimacy that caught my eye the morning I sat in the diner waiting for the sun to get stronger as I saw intimacy pass by while going about it's business, like something sung and felt by Sufjan Stevens on his new beautiful solitary and rich record filled with faith and disbelief and the resurrection of trust and dreams. - HILTON ALS
Cool Maritime - Big Earth Energy (Transparent Green Vinyl LP)Cool Maritime - Big Earth Energy (Transparent Green Vinyl LP)
Cool Maritime - Big Earth Energy (Transparent Green Vinyl LP)Western Vinyl
¥3,157
Having crested the west coast modular-ambient wave in just a few releases- including 2018's Sharing Waves on the influential LA experimental imprint Leaving Records- Sean Hellfritsch has swapped the mossy analog synth improvisations of his prior output for refined melodic arrangements dressed in sprightly dawn-of-digital textures. Big Earth Energy plumbs the depths of Hellfritsch's multimedia mind and naturalist heart, spinning an impressionistic narrative world off of cultural touchstones like the PC game MYST, and the work of Studio Ghibli composer Joe Hisaishi. Inspired by the aforementioned, and guided by Hellfritsch's experience as an animator and filmmaker, Big Earth Energy is the soundtrack to a hypothetical video game with a pointedly ecological premise, and a twist of psychedelic charm. In Hellfritsch's imagined virtual journey, the player assumes the perspective of a treefrog sixty-five-million years ago, hopping epochs with each new level, forming a comprehensive picture of the massive hanges the planet has gone through over the eons. The ultimate goal of the game is not to amass resources, defeat enemies, or gain power, but to fully witness the unfolding of one of the biggest systems of energy imaginable- or as the album's creator puts it- "to explore the incomprehensibly vast energetic expression and mystery that is Earth." Big Earth Energy is steeped in exploratory RPG intrigue, possibility, and contemplation, lovingly overlaid with Miyazaki-an sentiments and aesthetics. The through-composed, organic, meandering synthesis heard on previous Cool Maritime albums has been fully replaced by meticulous polygonal arrangements that recall the computerized sheen of late 80s work by composers like Hiroshi Yoshimura, and Yoichiro Yoshikawa- using true-to-period gear no less. Even given it's referentiality, Big Earth Energy comes off as forward-facing where so much reminiscent music remains fixed to a bygone moment in pop culture. Hellfritsch has created a musical world where the endless verdancy of the biosphere finds it's parallel in the golden age of early 1990s video games, and late 80s Japanese environmental music, all while pointing to a hopeful planetary and artistic future that vindicates the motives of all of these muses.
V.A. - Music from Saharan WhatsApp (LP)V.A. - Music from Saharan WhatsApp (LP)
V.A. - Music from Saharan WhatsApp (LP)Sahel Sounds
¥3,048
In 2020, Sahel Sounds hosted a project called Music from Saharan WhatsApp. This series consisted of ephemeral digital EPs, documenting live performances by some of the most exciting acts in the Sahel playing music, including Nigerién techno, wedding rock, Woodabe guitar, WZN, traditional music, Mandingue music, and more. Responding to an open call from our network of artists, musicians recorded a handful of tracks on their cellphone and sent them over the popular mobile app WhatsApp. Each session was hosted for a month on Bandcamp and sold on a sliding scale, with all profits wired directly to the musicians. After a month, the EP would disappear, replaced by another one. Now, some of the label's favorite tracks from this series are collected for the first time outside of Bandcamp as the Music from Saharan WhatsApp compilation LP. This LP features tracks by established Sahel Sounds artists such as Etran de L'Aïr, Hama, Alkibar Jr, Amaria Hamadaler (of Les Filles de Illighadad), and artists new to the label like Bounaly and Andal Sukabe.
V.A. - Numero 95 (LP)V.A. - Numero 95 (LP)
V.A. - Numero 95 (LP)Numero
¥3,591

As escapism from corporate banality turned the corner in the ‘90s, a new generation of vibrant, software generated soundscapes emerged. Communal access to the internet propagated the new hive mind of ideas online, giving way to smoother, stress-free textures. The PC revolution opened the gateway to ray-traced playgrounds of color and light, allowing for visions of utopic proportions to manifest themselves on screensavers far and wide. Boot up your machine, load the software on this floppy diskette, and drop out of a reality bounded by the physical laws of the universe.

Numero 95 is the soundtrack to the screen saver fever dream we’re all trying to climb back into. Eight droplets of proto-vaporwave, synthesized in vinyl (or digital) form, fresh from Numero’s archive of forgotten sounds. Are you looking for that half way point between smooth jazz and new age? Mac and PC? Quantum Leap and the X-Files? This software is for you. 

Housed in a replica floppy diskette, Numero 95 explores an early computer music unbound by scene or region. Eight solo pioneers vibing out at home in their headphones, traveling as far as the sound card would allow. This is music that barely escaped the hard drive and yet percolates at the edges of the algorithm 30 years later. 

Welcome to Numero 95.

Antena - Camino Del Sol (Blue & Orange Splatter Vinyl 2LP)
Antena - Camino Del Sol (Blue & Orange Splatter Vinyl 2LP)Numero
¥4,512
1982, Brussels: The former au pair for Rick Wakeman of Yes and two of her teenage friends are at the doorstep of Les Disques Du Crepuscule, ready to cut an album with Gilles Martin. Living on busking wages and next door to Tuxedomoon, their work results in a contemporary bossanova record that would provide a missing link between Antonio Carlos Jobim and Kraftwerk. Camino Del Sol was issued and promptly forgotten, with Isabelle Antena moving toward jazz in Asia and the others returning to France. Twenty years later, it was findable only as a VG+ LP with a sticker price of $4.99. Intrigued by the striking cover’s sunlit patio furniture emptiness basking in the south of France, we scooped up Camino Del Sol and grouped the extant Antena recordings from that exceptional period by session. Our definitive 2LP reissue of the original five-song mini-LP adds the group’s first 12” (a cover of Jobim’s “Girl From Ipanema,” naturally), the Seaside Weekend 12”, compilation tracks, and two previously unissued cuts, recasting this short-lived combo’s forward-thinking milemarker as a modern-day masterstroke.
Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith & Emile Mosseri -  I Could Be Your Dog / I Could Be Your Moon (Transparent Blue Vinyl LP+DL)Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith & Emile Mosseri -  I Could Be Your Dog / I Could Be Your Moon (Transparent Blue Vinyl LP+DL)
Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith & Emile Mosseri - I Could Be Your Dog / I Could Be Your Moon (Transparent Blue Vinyl LP+DL)Ghostly International
¥2,987
Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith, Emile Mosseri, and Ghostly will be making a donation from today’s Bandcamp Friday sales of their collaborative album, I Could Be Your Dog/I Could Be Your Moon to support reproductive rights via Noise For Now. "His music filled me with the urge to connect with the world," Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith says of Emile Mosseri. She first heard his work while watching the 2019 film The Last Black Man In San Francisco; just minutes in, she paused it to look up who did the score and wrote to him immediately. "I love Emile's ability to create melodies that feel magically scenic and familiar like they are reminding you of the innocence of loving life.” Those talents saw recognition in 2020 with an Oscar nomination for Mosseri’s original score to the film Minari. He was already a fan of Smith’s and became increasingly intrigued by her impressionistic process as they started to talk. "The music feels so spiritual and alive and made from the earth," Mosseri says. "I think of her as the great conductor, summoning musical poetry from her orchestra of machines." I Could Be Your Dog / I Could Be Your Moon, their two-part collaborative album, introduces an uncanny fusion of their sonics. Constructed using synthesizer, piano, electronics, and voice, this soft-focus dream world is lush, evocative, and fleeting. It finds two composers tuning their respective styles inward as an ode to mutual inspiration, a celebration of the human spirit and its will to surrender to the currents of life. Early into their correspondence, Smith and Mosseri realized they were neighbors in Los Angeles and met up for a few hikes. Their conversations led to a musical exchange over email. The exercise became a sketch, the start of their first song together, "Log In Your Fire,” with Mosseri finding flourishes in Smith’s cathartic synth lines to intonate and harmonize alongside. Lyrically, it's a beautiful, open-ended sentiment. "Being a log in someone's fire, to me, means letting go, and surrendering to that feeling," says Mosseri. From there, the pair composed a series of musical foundations, trading files from afar, nurturing the eventual expansion as the remote days of 2020 set in. Smith likens the collaborative experience to the exciting uncertainty of starting a garden, "doing what I can to facilitate growth while enjoying the process of being surprised by what will actually grow." In the summer of 2021, the duo finished work on the sequel, I Could Be Your Moon, expanding their musical language as the first part reached its September release. Songs from these more recent exchanges find them even more synced, forging into percussive and harmonic experiments, leaning further into their “unused musical muscles,” as Smith and Mosseri put it. A unified vocal presence emerged. “As the friendship grew I think we both learned how to support each other more and musically that was communicated through singing together,” adds Smith. Now taken as a full album set, I Could Be Your Dog / I Could Be Your Moon moves fluidly from track to track, panning through textural vignettes. Two roughly 17-minute halves, the set evokes the bittersweet sense of something too bright or rare to last, a short-lived glimpse into a golden hour. "Moon In Your Eye" sends a choral refrain skyward; we stay behind, watching it haze away in the heavens. "Brush" bubbles with Smith's characteristic wonder and curiosity, expressed in a flutter of horn-like sounds, leading into the album's central expression, its titular track. Above pulsing harmonies, in his tender falsetto, Mosseri repeats variations of the mantra, "I don't want to feel / lost anymore /I can’t make you what I am." He says the idea they are reaching for is more abstract and universal, "It could mean I could be your friend / buddy, I could be someone / something else, I could transform, I could be your companion, etc. What I like about it is it could change based on what that means to you, or what the word dog means to you." The orchestral march of 'oohs and ahhs' on "Blink Twice” could register as both triumphant and tragic. "Moonweed," strays closer to the latter, with low and slow piano keys guiding the alien hums of a starlit goodbye. I Could Be Your Moon, the second installment and side B of the record, opens with the striking “Green To You.” Depicting a dream or a need for renewal — to be new in the eyes of another, all excitement of seeing and being seen as imagined, idealized versions of ourselves — the song unveils the duo’s newly fused voice. “I only want to be green to you,” they sing, as an organ phrase swirls underneath. There’s a wistful sense that bleeds into instrumental “Amber” and continues across “Standing In Your Light,” a piano ballad-turned-mini-symphony that traces over feelings of remorse (“I was distracted / overreacted… come to your senses”). “Shim Sham” starts woozily in anticipation before flipping on a drum break, becoming the collection’s energetic apex; their hums dance with the beat, wordless yet undoubtedly expressive. Once introduced, the percussion stays and syncopates for “Golden Cow,” another radiant duet that reads like a playful plea, or a reminder to their creative selves (“slow down / be careful now / you’ve done this one before”). The record ends inside “Radio Replacement,” a swan song in the lineage of somber album outros; lyrically they reflect on past loves and the passage of time, personifying the music (“I would really love to be / your favorite melody / for a while”). There is a dreamy, elemental intention to this music, which Smith and Mosseri say came naturally, as they both embraced intuitive interplay throughout their creative back-and-forth. The stylistic threads of each composer are recognizable yet become more ambiguous as the album progresses, sewn into a singular vision. "I'm so grateful that my musical ideas could dance with hers with some grace and harmony," says Mosseri. Smith adds that this experience helped her "remember that music can be a connecting layer of friendship, especially in a time when the usual ways were out of reach."
Coil - Musick To Play In The Dark (Milky White Vinyl 2LP)Coil - Musick To Play In The Dark (Milky White Vinyl 2LP)
Coil - Musick To Play In The Dark (Milky White Vinyl 2LP)Dais Records
¥4,187

Few groups in recent history forged as confounding and alchemical a body of work as Coil, the partnership of Peter 'Sleazy' Christopherson and John Balance. From album to album and phase to phase their recordings spelunk perplexing depths of esoteric industrial, occult electronics, and drugged poetry, both embodying and alienating parallel currents of their peers. The late 1990's in particular were a fertile era for the duo, embracing chance, chaos, and collaboration, enhanced by recent advancements in synthesis and sampling. Fittingly, at the summit of the decade's long, intoxicated arc, their divergent strains of interstitial ritual congealed into one of Coil's most celebrated and hallucinatory creations: Musick To Play In The Dark.

Convening at Balance and Christopherson's vast Victorian house / studio in the coastal town of Weston-super-Mare, they began a series of ambitious sessions aided by inner circle associates Thighpaulsandra and Drew McDowall. Although the creative process was admittedly “iterative” and “a bit of a drug blur,” the results are astoundingly inventive and well realized, winding through shades of divination dirge, wormhole kosmische, noir lounge, ominous humor, and black mass downtempo, guided by Balance's cryptic lunar muse, which he announces on the opening track: “This is moon musick / in the light of the moon.”

What's most remarkable about the album 20 years after its release is how brazen, insular, and unpredictable it still feels. The songs follow an allusive, altered state logic all their own, warping from microscopic ripples of glitch and breath to widescreen warlock psychedelia and back again, as much hyper-sensory as inter-dimensional. Even within a catalog as eclectic as Coil's, Musick is a mystifying collection, oneiric evocations of desire, decadence, dinner jazz, and dietary advice, far beyond the pale of whatever gothic industrial ambiguity birthed such a journey.

The record closes with a slow, starlit shuffle, bathed in seething sweeps of spectral texture and high cathedral keys, like approaching the altar of some arcane temple. As the trance thickens Balance's voice rises, processed into an increasingly eerie, gaseous haze, but he resists these unseen forces, intent on delivering a final sermon: “Through hissy mists of history / the dreamer is still dreaming / the dreamer is still dreaming.”

Reissued for the first time in over 20 years, now on double vinyl LP with the complete, unedited versions of each song and an exclusive "D-side" vinyl art etching. Packaged in a sturdy matte jacket with embossed lettering and spot-gloss design elements. The compact disc version mirrors this design, and comes housed in thick tip-on "LP style" packaging. Both formats are completely remastered by engineer Josh Bonati with restored artwork and layout by Nathaniel Young - all under the project supervision of Drew McDowall and Thighpaulsandra. 
credits

kelz - 5am and I Can't Sleep (CS)kelz - 5am and I Can't Sleep (CS)
kelz - 5am and I Can't Sleep (CS)Bayonet Records
¥1,463
Kelz’s debut ‘5am and I Can’t Sleep’ delivers us a frothy dream-pop introduction to the mind of Vietnamese-American producer and multi-instrumentalist Kelly Truong. Written and recorded in the middle of the night in her Orange County, California home, these songs tell a nostalgic yet hopeful story following loss. For kelz, carefully looping beats, tinkering with synthetic waveforms, and interweaving guitar picking serves as a meditation--a mode of processing emotions and the inevitable passing of time. Front and center are her airy vocals, recorded in a whisper so as to not wake people in the other room. Each song folds in on itself like a wave’s undertow, reorienting infectious melodies from tracks previous. When asked about the tracks, kelz reflects on the process as “feeling like running towards something” but not knowing what it is. Escape with kelz on a long night drive with this effervescent electro-pop debut.
Silvia Kastel - Xantharmony (CD)Silvia Kastel - Xantharmony (CD)
Silvia Kastel - Xantharmony (CD)Youth
¥2,579
Returning from a self-imposed musical hiatus, Silvia Kastel materialises on YOUTH with a long-incubated follow-up to her 2017 'Air Lows’ album for Blackest Ever Black. It’s an oddly rendered trio of soundscapes somewhere in the vicinity of Madalyn Merkey, Lucy Duncombe or Maja SK Ratkje - beatless - and far from straightforward. Inspired by Toshiya Sukegawa’s Bioçic Music series, which Kastel describes as both calming and eerie, ‘Mantide’ manifests a mix of raw directness and conceptual subtext. Featuring loud birdsong recorded outside her Berlin apartment, Kastel foregrounds her subjects against strafing choral motifs in a way that refuses to inhabit new age environmentalism. It’s all genuinely unsettling - on paper it reads like a calming listen, but instead plays into something much more angsty, and hard to define. On 'Spoons' Kastel takes pointers from electronic music pioneer Carl Stone (who is supposedly working on his own version of the track for future release), as well as "Îles Resonantes", a short documentary about Éliane Radigue. It’s a slowly keening smear of quizzical chords and ribboning tendrils that wrap up into what she intends to “sound and feel like a long goodbye hug…surging and overdriven at times, quiet and soft at others… “ Xantharmony closes the EP on its weirdest flex, constructed entirely out of layered and processed vocal elements. It recalls Lucy Duncombe’s clipped theatric melodrama and Maja Ratkje’s more guttural vocal acrobatics, but follows its own hackle-raising logic, acting more like a cue, or trigger, for sudden and overwhelming feelings of unease. And in our book - that’s high endorsement for continued, closer listening.
Rat Heart - Ratty Rids The Clubs From The Evil Curse Of The Private School DJ’s (Clear Vinyl 2LP)Rat Heart - Ratty Rids The Clubs From The Evil Curse Of The Private School DJ’s (Clear Vinyl 2LP)
Rat Heart - Ratty Rids The Clubs From The Evil Curse Of The Private School DJ’s (Clear Vinyl 2LP)Shotta Tapes
¥4,872
Gassing the tempo and playing it loose & tracky as f*ck, Rat Heart’s 5th solo album in the space of 18 months twists his grimy kaleidoscope to spy a more manic, ruffcut batch of warehouse scrappers and basement brukkouts injected with levels of scuzz and blunted vocals. It’s an instant classic shot at the rise of cosplaying posh DJs, alongside thee rudest steppers and spannered grime. Aye, you’re in for a treat - Massive RIYL Michael J. Blood, H-Fusion, Demdike Stare, Actress, Laswell, Hints of this sound are strewn across Tom Boogizm’s gush of Rat Heart releases, but never quite so intently and single-minded as on ‘Ratty Rids The Clubs From The Evil Curse Of The Private School DJ’s’. Under that canny titular nod to Scientist’s classic album, he makes absolutely no bones about his antipathy toward the way dance music - traditionally a working class past-time - has been cuckooed and blanched by the British middle/upper class in the past decade (obvious correlations with 12 years of Tory dickheads?). To be fair, the politics aren’t overbearing - he’s not trying to be Wigan’s Chumbawumba - but they’re inherent to what makes him tick, and patently result in a brilliantly dare-to-differ sound. Taking a big lick of the salty chip, he comes off like MES meets H-Fusion in ‘A Poem 4 The Modern Day DJ Private School Online Activist’, before cycling thru some of his strongest uptempo shit, keeping toes off the ground between the ghettotech percs of ‘Stressss’, his outstanding rimshot stepper ‘Teeth Like a Burnt Fence M8’, and lip-bitingly tight hi-hat thizz on ‘Leigh via Hag Fold’, plus the Sockethead-adjacent ace ‘Yeye’ and a Devil mix style mutation ‘No Tick 4 Lads in V-Neck Shirts (Brave Lil Piggy Mix)’. There’s something else happening on this one too; a very specific je ne sais quoi that’s giving us momentary flashbacks to Laswell, Jean-Michel Basquiat’s ‘Gray’, even John Cale’s super distinctive production style on 'Squirrel And G-Man Twenty Four Hour Party People Plastic Face Carnt Smile (White Out)’ - bits like the claggy ambient of ‘$hatterdance’ and hot-boxed grogginess of ‘Wot Happens if U Just Eat Crisp’ - all designed to ideally temper the flex.
Arve Henriksen & Kjetil Husebø - Sequential Stream (LP)
Arve Henriksen & Kjetil Husebø - Sequential Stream (LP)Smalltown Supersound
¥4,135
Properly transcendent deep-dream jazz fantasy from prolific trumpet virtuoso Arve Henriksen (Supersilent) and Norwegian pianist Kjetil Husebø, together shaping an album that’s much, much more than the not so inconsiderable sum of its parts. Like a fever-dream comedown, it takes us from insanely rich sounding 4th world topographies to fizzing, electric ambience and fluttering prepared piano, perfectly soundtracking the humid un-reality we’re living through. If you’re into Jon Hassell, Miles Davis, Don Cherry/Codona, David Sylvian - read on. We’ve been snagged on Henriksen’s work since his ‘Chiaroscuro' album appeared back in 2004 - it’s 'Opening Image’ often cited here as basically the last word in cinematic framing. But It's his work alongside Helge Sten (Deathprod) and Ståle Storløkken in Supersilent that’s perhaps thrown us furthest down the Henriksen rabit hole in the years since, his distinctive shakuhachi-style playing often accenting their finest recordings. 'Sequential Stream' is Henriksen’s first collaboration with pianist Kjetil Husebø, the pair assembling the album remotely from their respective studios in Gothenburg, Sweden and Oslo, Norway over the course of 2019 and 2020. Henriksen plays Trumpet alongside synths, various electronics and - on ‘Single Sentence’ - a striking vocal delivery that eschews his usual wordless/soprano in favour of a more dense Tenor. Husebø plays grand piano, synths and samplers, and veers from cascading to more abstracted styles as the album progresses. In one sense the album functions in a traditional mode of Jazz reflection, aided considerably by a beautifully pristine recording and subsequent mastering by Helge Sten. Every note skips and shimmers with abundant clarity and depth - like the most affecting Jazz, played on the most luxurious systems; it just sounds rich and impossibly clear on even the most modest setup. At the same time, the pair’s avant garde instincts gradually make an indelible mark - be it through the prepared piano backbone on the remarkable 'Slow Fragments’ or the percolating, Conjoint-esque electronics on 'Sonic Binoculars’, piping in atmospheric depth and disjointed detail like some seismic event rippling through the ocean. Not usually drawn to the Jazz orthodoxy, 'Sequential Stream' presents us with something of a paradox - it feels like Henriksen’s most approachable work in years, but also his most complex and multi-faceted. If you’re looking for a late night soundtrack to the most celluloid moments of your life - it works on that level. Dig a little deeper, and you’ll discover much more ambiguous, subterranean delights.
D.K. - Gate Of Enlightenment (Clear Vinyl LP)
D.K. - Gate Of Enlightenment (Clear Vinyl LP)Worship
¥3,835
Dang-Khoa Chau aka Đ.K. gives up a self-released treat, sidewinding into psychedelic realms of radiant gamelan and slow, humid bangers, highly recommended if yr into ’Forest of Evil' period Demdike, early Shackleton, DJ Python. A pivotal presence in the Parisian scene thanks to his rounds for Antinote, L.I.E.S., Second Circle, and most recently 12th isle & Good Morning Tapes; Đ.K now takes matters into his own hands to issue some golden material, drawing on his South East Asian heritage and sultry, stylized nEuropean club music for a properly hypnotic seven track trip. In deep pursuit of atavistic urges, and modelled with electronic futurism, his ‘Gate Of Enlightenment’ calls up a spectra of spirits that invoke altered states; vocal swirls meet purposeful gamelan in ‘Enlightenment Process’, aligning for the deftly weight trample of ‘Middle Path’ with its mystic horns, and a slippery sort of dancehall swivel in ‘Sacred Creatures.’ ‘His ‘Day of Mourning’ makes room for contemplation with sound sensitive instincts heightened to unnerving degrees, while ‘Metal Frames’ yokes back to the ‘floor with something like an industrialised echo of the Ghost In The Shell OST, while the closing couplet see his percussive proprioceptions at their most devilish and immersive.
AVR - Sankofa (LP)
AVR - Sankofa (LP)Little Butterfly Records
¥3,978
Sankofa is the debut album by Avr (Alvaro Silva), a work that takes form through the research and fusion of Candombe and other Afro rhythms from Río de la Plata region with hip-hop and Black American Music. Avr, the great-grandson of Juan Julio Arrascaeta (one of the first Afro-descendant poets to be published in Latin America) writes throughout the album, using several "Africanisms" and lost words that date back from colonial and slavery times, giving the lyrics a connection with his great-grandfather's work, introducing himself as a skillful MC who travels through past, present, and future while using several Candombe rhythms in his flow. Highlighting several personalities from the Afro-Uruguayan culture and from across the American continent, it also presents itself as a valuable work for those interested in researching cultural figures of Black America, especially, Uruguayan. Under the production of Felipe Fuentes, an album knitted with tons of messages, some direct, some to be discovered, came to life. Sankofa means "to look back, to go forward" which is exactly from the beginning what this musical journey is, from a very heavy and dense, ancestral, drum presence, to complex harmonic compositions and arrangements, a work that counts with important contributions of some of the main Afro-Uruguayan artists. A musical "guiso" (South American stew), Sankofa is the vision of the world of a young black male, his way of feeling and interpreting the past, present, and future; and how to transform it in order to generate something new. Includes contributions by Hugo Fattoruso and Ruben Rada.
Tenka - Hydration (LP)Tenka - Hydration (LP)
Tenka - Hydration (LP)Métron Records
¥3,479
Following the release of his album trilogy (Kwaidan, Komachi and Kofū), Meitei has established himself as a defining voice in contemporary Japanese music. By sharing intricate sonic stories and impressions of his nation's rich culture, he has built an aural world around his notion of the ‘lost Japanese mood’. His latest project, under the new moniker Tenka, aims to work without the boundaries of theme, storytelling or audience expectations. Spending many hours in the mountain forests that he lives close to, his latest project Hydration explores the rich sensory pleasures of his natural surroundings, focusing on colour, sound, smell, humidity, touch, atmosphere and taste. “For me, making music is not a concept of enjoyment or pleasure, but something that becomes a part of my life, a record of my daily activities, like seeing something with my eyes or breathing in something with my lungs.” A lot of the music on Hydration was created back in 2019, but Tenka felt that there was something missing in the final delivery of the work. Eventually this led to a conversation with the Berlin based, Japanese born scent designer, Ryoko, in which the pair discussed collaborating on a scent to pair with the audio. Designed as a way to give the listener a deeper connection to their own senses and the experience of the music’s author, the combination of ollifactory and aural components connect a shared love of Japanese ecosystems and traditions. ‘I began to feel that in addition to music, there needed to be another essential element - and that it must be a "fragrance”.’ Hydration is available from September 14 on LP, CD and digital formats. The fragrance can be purchased directly from the Métron Records Bandcamp page and comes in a 10ml bottle of diffuser oil, great for home diffusers, as well as an empty 10ml spray bottle in order to create a body or room mist by mixing the oil with water (instructions included for best results). All customers who purchase the fragrance will receive a copy of the album on CD with a companion booklet with words from Tenka and Ryoko about the project.
Arushi Jain - Under the Lilac Sky (2LP)Arushi Jain - Under the Lilac Sky (2LP)
Arushi Jain - Under the Lilac Sky (2LP)Leaving Records
¥4,289
There it is...!!! This is one of the best of the year, it's amazing, really. Six tracks and 48 minutes of superb ambient synthesizer raga! New York-based Arushi Jain is an Indian-born, US-based composer, modular synthesizer player, vocalist, technician, and engineer. Focusing on reinterpreting his roots in Indian classical music through the lens of electronic music, she continues in the spirit of electronic music legends such as Suzanne Ciani and Terry Riley, while personally exploring her own musical heritage and upbringing, reconstructing ancient sounds within a contemporary framework. This album is intended to be listened to during the sunset hours, thereby inviting the listener into the depths of their own being. This album is similar to the ethereal and devotional appeal of labelmate Ana Roxanne, but is more cosmic and cosmic in nature. It's heavenly meditation music. As you would expect from Leaving, they bring in great people after such strong names as Sam Gendel and Green-House. I can't take my eyes off the vibrant LA scene any longer. Her music is also a celebration of Indian culture, and for this occasion, she is asking for donations on her bandcamp release page. Limited to 300 copies.
Dominique Lawalrée - First Meeting (Clear Vinyl LP)Dominique Lawalrée - First Meeting (Clear Vinyl LP)
Dominique Lawalrée - First Meeting (Clear Vinyl LP)Catch Wave / Ergot
¥4,297

Dominique Lawalrée (b. 1954) is a composer born and based in Brussels. First Meeting is Lawalrée's first archival release to date. Culled from four different albums originally self-published on his private label Editions Walrus, circa 1978-1982, this compilation highlights the composer's unique sense of ambient and minimal composition. Originally considered for release on Brian Eno's Obscure Records, Lawalrée's music is now no longer hidden. 

In this collection the listener finds the sounds of piano, synthesizers, percussion, wurlitzer, organ, and voice, all performed by Lawalrée. Using these tools Dominique creates miniature themes that gallop across the speakers in slow motion, stretching our normal sense of dynamics and color, effortlessly widening the stereo plane. On “Musique Satieerique,” Dominique pays homage to the influence of Satie with simple repeated piano figures and a lush field of organs and flutes. And on other selections, like “Le Maison Des 5 Elements,” he takes a more wistful, ambient approach, layering keyboard lines, and invoking found/tape sounds to create a hypnogogic world of his own. Childlike in its playfulness and surreal to the bone, the music spins like a carrousel placed inside the Rothko Chapel. Lawalrée’s sense of timbre, tone, and overarching composition is like an impression of a home movie whose charm lies in its knowledge of intimacy, shared by few. An incantation of innocence. 

"a quiet, understated music that is both touching and elegant" - Gavin Bryars 

Mark Fell & Gábor Lázár - The Neurobiology of Moral Decision Making (2LP)
Mark Fell & Gábor Lázár - The Neurobiology of Moral Decision Making (2LP)The Death Of Rave
¥4,572
Mark Fell & Gábor Lázár’s masterclass in shearing computer hyperfunk is one of its decade’s best; a peerless exploration of displaced dancefloor meter and warped chromatic tone, with mind and body-bending results. Finally re-issued in new artwork to sate demand. Still in a zone of its own, ‘The Neurobiology of Moral Decision Making’ is the result of Mark Fell’s trip to Budapest in 2014, where he and his acolyte, Gábor Lázár practically unravelled the vernacular of contemporary computer and club musics and re-stitched them into brilliantly new & devious designs. Decimating elements familiar to 2-step, footwork, electro, flashcore and f*ck knows, they arrived at a mutual conclusion of sleekly turbulent minimalism in 10 jaw-dropping permutations that dance in the integers of rave music. In the process they effectively re-programmed limbic and motor systems in-the-moment with a wickedly diffractive sense of rhythmic anticipation and shockingly crisp sound for a pinnacle of modern experimental dance music. With benefit of hindsight, we can now hear this album as a watershed moment for both artists, and this style of production. Since its release, Mark has notably moved away from the sound to work with acoustic instrumentalists, while Gábor has firmly picked up the baton and run with it on the likes of 2018’s ‘Unfold’ album, and more recently ‘Boundary Object’ with Planet Mu. It’s not hard to hear it as a logical peak of Mark’s practice in this mode, solo and with SND, as much as a springboard for Gábor’s future work, while also catalysing a new wave of operators ranging from Rian Treanor to Kindohm, Kirk Barley’s Church Andrews, and Rhyw, who’ve all harnessed these sort of energies to their respective wills. No doubt the tunes still scare the shit out of DJs with their spasmodic flux, but brave cnuts will recognise the genius on show and let instinct kick in, finding proper club shockers in the slippery 2.1 step whorl of ‘Track 2’ and the scudding dancehall accelerationism of ‘Track 6’, while advanced adventurers will get theirs in the greased straightjacket laser-intensity of ‘Track 7’ or the devilish dexterities of its closing 12 minute zinger. It’s all just blindingly strong stuff for insatiable ravers and computer music neeks alike, properly future-proofed by its makers’ unyielding tenacity and visionary ingenuity.
Debit - The Long Count (Clear Vinyl LP)
Debit - The Long Count (Clear Vinyl LP)MODERN LOVE
¥4,281
Modern Love debut from Delia Beatriz aka Debit; a study of Mayan wind instruments from the late post classical period, rebuilt as synth instruments and deployed with ultimate heft and wooooze. Delia Beatriz’s musical output straddles two distinct artistic poles; her debut solo album, 2017’s acclaimed “Animus”, oozed from sensual, beatless soundscapes to high-octane club music, while her 2019-released 'System' harnessed tribal guarachero elements while simultaneously scraping ideas from industrial techno. On 'The Long Count', the Mexican-American producer has inked her most rigorous statement to date, sublimating opaque ancestral knowledge into vaporous AI-stirred fog banks, activating an ancient rite that reaches into tomorrow. It’s audacious electro-acoustic archaeology that sounds disorientating, anachronistic and arcane. 'The Long Count' is rooted in research Beatriz made into Mayan wind instruments - whistles, ocarinas, flutes and trumpets - using the archive of the Mayan Studies Institute at the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, the oldest and largest collection of its kind. Developing a set of digital instruments that could be played using different types of temperaments and scales, Delia processed these sounds using machine learning techniques to shuttle the distant past into our extant artistic universe, peering into Mexico’s pre-colonial history and weaving those ideas into complex tonalities gleaned from musique concrète and contemporary electro-acoustic music. Beatriz describes the Mayan instrumentation as ancestral technology, part of a world that’s not so much been forgotten, but purposefully erased. And although it’s impossible to know exactly how Mayan music may have sounded, it’s feasible to converse with history using modern technology to conduct a ceremony of remembrance. Featuring soundscapes that are haunted by indistinct, shared memories and centuries of pent-up emotion, the material here is as intentional, direct and meticulously crafted as the work of Deathprod or Thomas Köner; Debit's microtonal compositions are psychedelic to their core, shapeshifting through dimensions and painting complex mental images while retaining a stylistic focus and lucidity that’s all too rare. Although 'The Long Count' was nurtured by machines, human experience is coded into its DNA - an ancient-future heirloom that whispers through countless generations. File under: magick concrète.
Ulla - Tumbling Towards A Wall (LP)
Ulla - Tumbling Towards A Wall (LP)Experiences Ltd.
¥4,483
Ulla Straus is a Philadelphia-based ambient artist who has released a number of masterpieces of acoustic dub/ambient music under the direction of Huerco S. collaboration with Pontiac Streator on West Mineral, a label that is now recognized as a sacred place, caused quite a stir. This album was released in 2020 under a different name from a new label [Experiences Ltd] started by uon, a special guest DJ who is an important acoustic dub act at [West Mineral]. It's so beautiful and so deep, you can sink into it forever. This album is built around chant sampling and piano, and is a further exploration of the world of "Big Room", a masterpiece ambient cassette released last year on [Quiet Time]. Mastered by D&M and amp; cut to perfection. Limited to 400 copies. Don't miss it if you like "Mono No Aware" or "bblisss", not to mention [West Mineral] works!
Exael - Collex (LP)
Exael - Collex (LP)West Mineral Ltd.
¥3,767

reversals and slippage toward glass, reconfigured
smasht past it
smeared the oil cross currents
and me
plant rotting its container, or, grains lovingly
no warm water to spit back
no cloth to tie

i glance back
refractions stack right.

a kiss that will stew until it evaporates
scuffed across my feet, feet crossed

bubbled trash that spilt intermittently,
who cleaned the air with a smudgey for you.

uon - Untitled (LP)
uon - Untitled (LP)West Mineral Ltd.
¥3,998

Huerco S’ West Mineral label follow Pendant’s sublime 'Make Me Know You Sweet' album with uon’s wholly absorbing study in brownian motion and isolation tank ambience; a hypnotically lush exploration of underwater romance. If you're into the impeccable run of Vainqueur releases on Chain Reaction, this one's for you.

It’s the 2nd release from the enigmatic project, whose debut 12”s in 2017 was among the year’s standout ambient and dub-related releases. On this new one uon poetically describes three different behaviours of water and its amorphous states through a gently elemental push and pull of forces best considered in the vein of Basic Channel, Wolfgang Voigt’s Gas or the shimmering convections of Ross 154.

Beautifully elusive but crucially watermarked with a sense of originality in personalized style, Solaris opens the set with a 17 minute cut - a seemingly infinite journey through swells of diffracted chords and silty filters, simultaneously connoting sensations of opiated amniotic safety and oceanic infinity.

Where the A-side feels like floating in a lush mass, the bass-heavy articulation of his B-side’s J may well urge listeners onto the ‘floor with the same, inexorable traction of classic Vainqueur records, and in a way smartly reflects uon’s mutable DJ style, before the aqueous qualities of his final track Bus soothes to a deeper blue state of loved-up introspection which, like Solaris, could have have easily taken up a side to itself.

Bliss.

Christos Chondropoulos - Relics (Clear Vinyl LP)Christos Chondropoulos - Relics (Clear Vinyl LP)
Christos Chondropoulos - Relics (Clear Vinyl LP)The Death Of Rave
¥4,572
Following releases for The Tapeworm and 12th Isle, Christos Chondropoulos lands on The Death Of Rave with this incredible album of "Athenian Primitive” riffs on ancient Greek music and proto-techno prisms, highly recommended if yr into Paul DeMarinis, Rashad Becker, Jonathan Bepler’s soundtracks for Matthew Barney, Black Sabbath or Aphex Twin. Continuing Christos’ singular fascination with, and reappraisal of, Ancient Greek modes, ’Relics’ further excavates the deeptime topography of Greek music prior to the ban of “oriental” or 1/4 tone microtonal modes nearly 100 years ago. Clandestine, euphoric, hyperreal and otherworldly; it takes shape as faintly familiar forms of new age folk, avant-techno and metal musicks, but with an alien appeal that treats the past almost like another planet, never mind a foreign land. Christos studiously raids the past for lost treasure, navigating his tuned instincts as an improvising percussionist, and lover of non-Western composition, to create a uniquely absorbing soundworld that resembles an AI’s dreams after ingesting encyclopaedia entries on thousands of years of Greece prior to 1936. In the process, the album acutely questions his and our relationship to the past, and what has become lost in translation with reliance on prelaid templates and the “wisdom” of elders. Bursting to life with the iridescent arps and new age AI chorale of ‘First Love Fereter’, and concluding with bone-clacking raverie of ‘Jungle X’, the album offers a stunning advance of the themes and aesthetics in Christos previous records, from the self-released free jazz of ‘Fingerpainting’ (2013) to 2021’s 12th Isle released ‘Athenian Primitivism.’ Thanks to meticulous detailing, ‘Relics’ allows a finer play of textured light and almost tangible - yet entirely generated - voices into his music: most strikingly on the sublime songcraft of ‘Regret’ and ‘I Dream Of You’, while the likes of ‘Asham’ are bathed in deeply uncanny atmosphere, and his percussive proprioceptions are most heightened in the delirious battery of ‘War Horns’ and ‘Sacrifice’, with ‘Cyber Crust’ calling up demonic, cthonic pagan spirits resembling Black Sabbath undergoing regression therapy.
Time Wharp - Spiro World (CS+DL)Time Wharp - Spiro World (CS+DL)
Time Wharp - Spiro World (CS+DL)Leaving Records
¥1,954
Spiro World (or One Must First Become Aware Of The Body) is the definitive Time Wharp full-length coming of age collection. Unhinged to any particular music scene, Spiro’s (in reference to prescription drug spironolactone) unabashed yet vulnerable all genre album story by its Brooklyn-based artist Kaye Loggins describes somatically profound personal experiences of derealization, the endocrinological mixolydian heaven & pharma hell on earth, and love letters to New York. Imagining and creating futures can be frightening, joyous, difficult, effortless, inevitable.
Sam Gendel - AE-30 (LP)Sam Gendel - AE-30 (LP)
Sam Gendel - AE-30 (LP)Leaving Records
¥3,553
AE-30 is both a film and audio album of the 2021 Sam Gendel x Roland AE-30 / Aerophone / Pro Digital Wind Instrument documentary. In August, musician Sam Gendel and filmmaker Marcella Cytrynowicz traveled to Iceland and filmed Gendel performing the instrument in unique locations outdoors around the country - most locations remote and accessed only via their friend Viktor, a search-and-rescue volunteer for Iceland who expertly navigates the country's challenging terrain in his modified Toyota Land Cruiser. The full documentary film and audio companion album will be released December 8th 2021 via Leaving Records.

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