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Ustad Ali Akbar Khan - Sarod Recital No.2 - Raga Puriya Kalyan (LP)
Ustad Ali Akbar Khan - Sarod Recital No.2 - Raga Puriya Kalyan (LP)His Master's Voice
$33

Media Condition: NM  Sleeve Condition: VG+

A1 Raga Puriya Kalyan
B1 Raga Averi-Bhairabi with Ragamala

Jaime Roos - Aquello (LP)
Jaime Roos - Aquello (LP)ORFEO
$29

Uruguayan groove and multicultural sophistication – 40th anniversary special edition, 500 copies, including 20 page booklet. 
With a unique mix of music roots and cosmopolitan sounds Jaime Roos would become one of the most successful and significant artists of Uruguayan music.
Aquello, his third album, recorded in France in 1980 with an impressive cast of international musicians, reflects Europe’s multicultural landscape during the late seventies. Psychedelic folk, afro-candombe, murga, rock, new tango and jazz-fusion are combined in a surprising way in a one-off album that exudes strangeness and sophistication.

Ustad Ali Akbar Khan - Raga Lankadahan Sarang / Raga Maligaura (LP)
Ustad Ali Akbar Khan - Raga Lankadahan Sarang / Raga Maligaura (LP)His Master's Voice
$26

Media Condition: NM  Sleeve Condition: EX

A Raga Lankadahan Sarang
B Raga Maligaura

Ustad Latafat Husain Khan - A Gem Of Agra Gharana (LP)
Ustad Latafat Husain Khan - A Gem Of Agra Gharana (LP)His Master's Voice
$53

Media Condition: EX  Sleeve Condition: VG

A Khayal Patdeepki - Dekho Ri Ek Jogi - Vilambit : Ektaal / More Anganwa Aao Ji Maharaj - Drut : Tritaal
B khayal Bageshwari Bahar - ja re ja re kagwa ja - Vilambit : Ektaal / ritu basant men apni umang son - Drut : Tritaal

Ustad Latafat Husain Khan - Raga Miyan Ki Todi And Gara Kanda (LP)
Ustad Latafat Husain Khan - Raga Miyan Ki Todi And Gara Kanda (LP)Music India
$135

Media Condition: EX  Sleeve Condition: VG

A1 Raga : Miyan Ki Todi = राग मियाँ की तोडी
A2 Raga : Gara Kanda = राग गारा कानडा

Sultan Khan & Raghunath Seth - Jugalbandi (LP)
Sultan Khan & Raghunath Seth - Jugalbandi (LP)His Master's Voice
$26

Media Condition: EX+  Sleeve Condition: EX

A Jugalbandi : Sarangi & Flute - Raga Maru Behag : Tritaal
B1 Flute Solo : Raga Gorakh Kalyan : Jhaptaal
B2 Sarangi Solo : Raga Ras - Mohini Taal Roopak

Pandit Ram Narain - Sarangi Solo (LP)
Pandit Ram Narain - Sarangi Solo (LP)His Master's Voice
$33

Media Condition: EX  Sleeve Condition: EX

A Raga Gujari Todi - Vilambit Teen Taal,Drut Teen Taal
B1 Raga Lalat - Vocal And Instrumental - Teen Taal
B2 Raga Bhairavi - Keherwa

Pandit Ram Narain - Sarangi (LP)
Pandit Ram Narain - Sarangi (LP)His Master's Voice
$47

Media Condition: VG+  Sleeve Condition: VG

A Raga Saraswati - Alap Vilambit Gat Tala Teen Taal, Drut Gat Taal Teentaal
B1 Raga Marubihag - Tala Teentaal
B2 Raga Pilu Thumri - Tala Deepchandi

Ustad Hafiz Ali Khan - Raga II Chandrabhankar (LP)
Ustad Hafiz Ali Khan - Raga II Chandrabhankar (LP)His Master's Voice
$40

Media Condition: EX+  Sleeve Condition: EX

A Raga Chander Bhankar - Alap
B Raga Chandar Bhankar - Gat In Teen Taal

Company - 1981 (2LP)
Company - 1981 (2LP)Honest Jon's Records
$24

Previously unreleased recordings by various lineups drawn from Derek Bailey, Tristan Honsinger, Christine Jeffrey, Toshinori Kondo, Charlie Morrow, David Toop, Maarten Altena, Georgie Born, Lindsay Cooper, Steve Lacy, Radu Malfatti and Jamie Muir.

Journalists often make the brief history of Free Improvisation conform to the idea that the history of music is a nice straight line from past to present: Beethoven… Brahms… Boulez. Thus Derek Bailey, Evan Parker and John Stevens — together with Brötzmann and co across the Channel — were the trailblazing ‘first generation’, forging a wholly new language alongside contemporary avant-garde and free jazz. Figures like Toshinori Kondo and David Toop, willing as they were to incorporate snippets of all kinds of music, were the pesky ‘second generation’, happily cocking a snook at the ‘ideological purity’ of Bailey’s non-idiomatic improvisation.
‘Company 1981’ shows up the foolishness — the wrongness — of such storylines. Check the eclectic collection of guests Bailey invited to Company Weeks over the years. He had clear ideas about the music, but he was no ideological purist.

One of the founders of Fluxus, Charlie Morrow injects blasts of Cageian fun into half the recordings here, whether blurting military fanfares from his trumpet, or intoning far-flung scraps of speech. Cellist Tristan Honsinger and vocalist Christine Jeffrey join in the joyful glossolalia, while Bailey, Toop and Kondo contribute delicious, delicate, hooligan arabesques, by turns.
The remainder are performed by a different ensemble: Bailey, bassist Maarten Altena, former Henry Cow members Georgie Born and Lindsay Cooper on cello and bassoon, the insanely inventive Jamie Muir on percussion, and trombonist Radu Malfatti, showing his mastery of extended technique. Were that not enough, there’s the inimitable purity of Steve Lacy’s soprano ringing high and clear above the melee. Glorious!

There’s always been this idea that Free Improvisation is somehow Difficult Listening, but when the doors of perception are thrown open and prejudice cast aside, you realise that it’s not difficult at all. “Is it that easy?” chirps Morrow, at one point. Indeed it is.
Enjoy yourself.

Mohamed M. Kooshin - Layla (LP)
Mohamed M. Kooshin - Layla (LP)Little Axe Records
$16

Mohamed M. Kooshin was one of a rarified group in Somali music, a master of the kaban who followed in the footsteps of the legendary players of the kaban such as Qarshe, Hudeydi, and Omar Dhuule. Kooshin was the youngest member of Somalia's esteemed national music group Waaberi before leaving Somalia in the early 1990’s and moving to Toronto, Canada. In Canada Kooshin produced a string of releases for Waberi Studio and Arts, collaborating with Sahro Ahmed , writing and recorded out of his home studio. Kooshin passed away on December 27th 2018 leaving behind a legacy of beautiful music and loving fans across the global Somali diaspora. 

Kooshin played the the kaban which has a special place in Somali music. It was a foreign instrument that, upon its arrival to Somalia in the 1940’s, became the centre of the immensely popular style of music known as qaraami. For many Somali music fans the sound of qaraami — poetic lyrics accompanied by the sparse sounds of the kaban and bongo drums — is the quintessential Somali sound. 

A joint release with Wait And See from Toronto, Canada and the first in a series of Somali recordings from Toronto.

V.A. - Wallahi Le Zein! (LP)
V.A. - Wallahi Le Zein! (LP)Mississippi Records
$16

Originally released as a double CD in 2010, Wallahi Le Zein! has persisted as a cult classic, a collection of a rarely heard and utterly unique underground music scene, raw and unfiltered.

The LP, cassette & digital version we now present is intended as an immersive entry into this music: gnarled and virtuosic electric guitars weave hypnotically throughout melismatic sung poetry and exclamations, pulsing hand drums, party chatter, buzzing rigged desert sound systems, and all manner of the ambient sounds of Nouakchott wedded to oversaturated cassette in all its swirling, breathing, psychedelic glory. Operating entirely outside of any local recording industry, these songs were collected from bootleg tape stalls, wedding souveniers, and networks of musicians, expertly curated, researched and produced by Matthew Lavoie.

Drawing from the deep well of Mauritanian classical music, the gamut of musical modes and the tidinitt lute repertoire are transposed to the electric guitar - often with frets removed or additional frets installed, “heavy metal” distortion pedals and phasers built into guitar bodies, blurring the lines between Haratine and Beydane musical cultures, the ancient and the futuristic. At times transcendent and transfixing, and conversely a furious and cascading intensity that commands jaw-dropping attention.

Moondog - On The Streets Of New York (LP)
Moondog - On The Streets Of New York (LP)Mississippi Records
$16
Moondog (1916-1999) is a rare figure whose music, with its vitality and creativity born from the depths of humanity, has influenced all kinds of people, from jazz to experimental music. This is a co-release by [Mississippi Records] and [Lucia Records]! This is a treasure trove of material from live performances on the road, where even the breath of the spirit dwells, to Schwartz's studio, to the rooftops of New York City. The songs on this album were selected directly from the original tapes stored in the Library of Congress, and have never been released before. The album includes a previously unreleased version of "Why Spend The Dark Night With You? The complete version of "Nocturne Suite" and "On The Streets Of New York" EP, which was released on 7". This is a collection of extremely rare material. The liner notes include a never-before-seen interview with Moodog by Tony Schwartz. Includes liner notes with a complete, unpublished interview with Moodog by Tony Schwartz. an old-school tip-on cover.
The Same - Sync or Swim (LP+DL)The Same - Sync or Swim (LP+DL)
The Same - Sync or Swim (LP+DL)Freedom To Spend
$16

Before there was Rimarimba, Suffolk-born, Felixstowe-based musician and home recording enthusiast Robert Cox assembled a cast of friends, some musicians and some not so much, for an experiment in group exploration and ecstatic expression under the name The Same. Sonically and gravitationally defined by Cox’s collaboration with guitarist Andy Thomas (a partnership which formed in 1976 to record as General Motors), Sync or Swim, The Same’s one and only album, also featured keyboards by Florence Atkinson and Paul Ridout, and vocals by Robert’s sister Rebecca.

Originally released in small cassette and vinyl quantities on Unlikely Records, Cox’s imprint and a meeting point for many other musicians found at the fringe, the back cover of the original album jacket is as much a map of the personnel, place, and process fundamental to Sync or Swim as it is a table of contents for DIY music-making at the beginning of the 80s: “Recorded in peaceful Wiltshire between September 18th and October 6th 1981 (using a miscellany of home made devices) onto a Teac A-3300SX via a Teac A-3440. No noise reduction systems were used.”

Cox’s own definition of British psychedelia is “folk music meeting technology and going bonkers.” It’s by this definition that Sync or Swim takes unexpected forms, from tape-speed tomfoolery, concrète sound collage and analog delayed marimbas, to the colorful spectrum of interwoven guitar play between Cox and Thomas reminiscent of Ghanaian Highlife but more accurately indebted to Jerry Garcia.

On the album’s culminating final track, “E Scapes,” all of these elements are brought together in twenty-minute journey through layers of chiming guitar loops and spritely solos, keyed percussion, and tape experiments, all played as though the sun were rising over the standing stones of Salisbury Plain. Cox would later go to similarly greath lengths with certain solo sound endeavors, but the confluence of musicians on “E Scapes” pushes the piece to exceptional, unforgettable heights.

Transferred and remastered from the original tapes, The Same’s Sync or Swim arrives June 4, 2021 on Freedom To Spend, just in time for the album’s 40th anniversary.

Charlemagne Palestine - Godbear (LP)
Charlemagne Palestine - Godbear (LP)Black Truffle
$15
"The first vinyl release of Charlemagne Palestine's Godbear, a 1987 solo piano recording originally scheduled to sit alongside Sonic Youth and Swans in the catalogue of Glenn Branca's Neutral Records but eventually released on CD by the Dutch Barooni label in 1998. Although Palestine has worked in an enormous variety of media, his long form performances for solo piano are perhaps his most acclaimed works. Palestine immersed himself in the study of overtones throughout the 1960s, working first with carillons and then with electronic synthesis, searching for the 'golden sound'. Beginning in the early 1970s he continued his exploration of the complexities hidden within seemingly simple tones and intervals on the Bösendorfer Imperial Grand Piano, the 'Rolls Royce' of pianos. With the piano's sustain pedal constantly depressed, Palestine hammers out rapidly repeated notes, allowing a complex cloud of overtones to rise above the percussive texture of the struck keys. Initially working with simple intervals such as octaves and fifths, Palestine gradually expanded the harmonic range of his piano performances over the years, while still retaining their ecstatically single-minded nature. Revisiting his signature piano style in 1987 after several years focusing on visual art, Godbear presents three distinct variations that demonstrate the development of his piano music after the classic recordings of the early 1970s. Occupying the entire first side, 'The Lower Depths' stages a slow descent from the piano's mid-range to the Bösendorfer's cavernous additional low octave, building into a thundering swarm of booming overtones. Breaking entirely with the stereotype of clinical minimalism, Palestine's journey to the depths embraces passages of darkly romantic melody before slowly ascending to its starting point. The version of 'Strumming Music' performed here condenses the developmental arc of the piece into eleven minutes, fanning out from a single octave to a complex harmonic wash that calls to mind Palestine's enthusiasm for Debussy and Ravel. 'Timbral Assault' is like an evil twin of 'Strumming Music,' transforming its insistency and harmonic complexity into aggressive intensity and creeping dissonance, foreshadowing Palestine's later collaborations with Christoph Heemann. A classic release, and one that, because of the variety of approaches surveyed within, serves as an ideal introduction to Palestine's ecstatic and mysterious sound world" --Francis Plagne. Remastered and cut by Rashad Becker at Dubplates & Mastering, Berlin. Presented in a deluxe gatefold sleeve designed by Stephen O'Malley.
Piry Reis (2x7")
Piry Reis (2x7")New Dawn
$19
Brazilian music at it's finest! 2x7" set of four beautiful Piry Reis recordings from the 70s and 80s. Disc one is a reissue of his 1975 single on Som Livre, 'Heroi Moderno', which features the highly sought after 7inch version of 'Cisplatina' on the flip. The second disc holds the rare cuts 'Reza Brava' (1970) & 'Céu De Manágua' (1984). The project came together with the blessing of Piry Reis himself, and is released on the sub-label of Rush Hour recordings, New Dawn. Artwork by Amsterdam's Sekan with a touch by Megin Hayden. New Dawn, set up for less electronic but equally adventurous releases by artists we love.
Seefeel - Succour (Redux) (3LP+DL)Seefeel - Succour (Redux) (3LP+DL)
Seefeel - Succour (Redux) (3LP+DL)WARP
$30

The pioneering electro-acoustic band Seefeel, which had a major influence on the birth of "post-rock," has announced a reissue campaign covering their material released on Warp and Rephlex in the mid-90s!

The long-discontinued studio albums "Succour" and "(Ch-Vox)" are now available in an expanded edition with bonus tracks, the EP collection "St / Fr / Sp", and the 4-CD box set "Rupt & Flex", featuring material from 1994-96.

All of these releases include previously unreleased bonus material, all of which has been remastered from the original DAT tapes by acoustic techno genius Stefan Betke, aka Pole. The album also features new artwork by The Designers Republic (Succour is an updated version) and liner notes by Seafeel members Mark Clifford and Sarah Peacock.

After gaining attention with their debut album Quique on Too Pure, the band signed with Warp in 1994. Initially, they were associated with the shoegaze sound of My Bloody Valentine, Ride and Slowdive, but their penchant for electronic sounds and sampler-driven style led them to be associated with the burgeoning IDM sound. This image was further strengthened when Aphex Twin, who had professed to be a big fan of Seafeel, provided a remix of his early track "Time To Find Me" and signed him to his own label, Rephlex.

Steve Beckett, founder of Warp, explains how the success of his first album, Quique, led him to sign with Warp. "Seafeel was the first guitar band Warp signed.... It took a lot of courage for them to sign with us because they were older in the family and had been accused of breaking the unwritten rule that they should be a pure dance label.

After hearing Seafeel's first EP, Robin Guthrie invited Mark Clifford to the Cocteau Twins studio, and soon afterwards Seafeel accompanied the Cocteau Twins on tour. Mark later remixed four songs for the Cocteau Twins (on their EP, Otherness), helping to bring their music to a new audience.

Their second album, Succour, released on Warp in March 1995, was a departure from the melodic, guitar-driven sound of the first album, and explored more rhythmic, quasi-industrial textures. A six-song mini-album, (Ch-Vox), released on Rephlex in 1996, took a more experimental direction, with most of the songs produced by Mark Clifford alone. Most of the songs were produced by Mark Clifford alone. It was also the catalyst for his later releases on Warp under the names Woodenspoon and Disjecta.

The band stopped playing in 1997, but a live performance at Warp20, celebrating Warp's 20th anniversary (with a new lineup that included DJ Scotch Egg and ex-Boredoms drummer Kazuhisa Iida), led to the release of a self-titled album on Warp in 2010. In 2010, he released another self-titled album on Warp.

Ilyas Ahmed & Jefre Cantu-Ledesma - You Can See Your Own Way Out (LP+DL)
Ilyas Ahmed & Jefre Cantu-Ledesma - You Can See Your Own Way Out (LP+DL)Devotion
$23
You Can See Your Own Way Out is the first collaborative record between Ilyas Ahmed and Jefre Cantu-Ledesma. Long-time friends and satellites orbiting the same communities and scenes, You Can See's inception was never really a question of if, but when. Combining Ahmed's explorative guitar/synth-work and Cantu-Ledesma's field recording, sound processing and electronics, the result presents as a book of short stories or vignettes highlighting their individual strengths. At times evoking pastoral landscapes, others frayed edges of disintegrating photographs, there's always the suggestion of a forked path or a promised destination.
John Frusciante - Niandra LaDes And Usually Just A T-Shirt (2LP)
John Frusciante - Niandra LaDes And Usually Just A T-Shirt (2LP)Superior Viaduct
$27

Niandra LaDes And Usually Just A T-Shirt is the first solo record by John Frusciante. Between 1990 and 1992 the guitarist made a series of 4-track recordings, which at the time were not intended for commercial release. After leaving the band Red Hot Chili Peppers in 1992, Frusciante was encouraged by friends to release the material that he wrote in his spare time during the Blood Sugar Sex Magik sessions.

Originally released on Rick Rubin's American Recordings label in 1994, Niandra LaDes is a mystifying work of tortured beauty. Frusciante plays various acoustic and electric guitars, experimenting with layers of vocals, piano and reverse tape effects. Channeling the ghosts of Syd Barrett and Skip Spence, his lyrics are at once utterly personal and willfully opaque.

Frusciante's rapidfire, angular playing shows how key he was in the Chili Peppers' evolution away from their funk-rock roots. His cover of "Big Takeover" perfectly deconstructs the Bad Brains original with laid-back tempo, twelve-string guitar and a fierce handle on melody.

The album's second part – thirteen untitled tracks that Frusciante defines as one complete piece, Usually Just A T-Shirt – contains several instrumentals featuring his signature guitar style. Sparse phrasing, delicate counterpoint and ethereal textures recall Neu/Harmonia's Michael Rother or The Durutti Column's Vini Reilly.

On the front cover, Frusciante appears in 1920s drag – a nod to Marcel Duchamp's alter-ego Rrose Sélavy – which comes from Toni Oswald's film Desert in the Shape.

This first-time vinyl release has been carefully remastered and approved by the artist. The double LP set is packaged with gatefold jacket and printed inner sleeves.

Henry Kawahara - Cybernetic Defiance and Orgasm: The Essential Henry Kawahara (3CD)
Henry Kawahara - Cybernetic Defiance and Orgasm: The Essential Henry Kawahara (3CD)Em Records
$27

Here is a portal to a vast and relatively unknown world, the Japanese cyber-occult underground media scene of the early 1990s; our guide is the late Henry Kawahara, a media artist and electronic music producer whose expansive and visionary conception of digital technology merged with a desire to break free of the constraints of mere rationality. This collection, the first-ever archival release of his work, is drawn from recordings released during the period 1991-1996, an exceptionally fertile time for Kawahara. Originally released on CD by a few Japanese independent labels including Hachiman Publishing, a cyber-occult/new-age book specialist, the releases were available mainly in book stores, so this sumptuous and prescient music has remained relatively unknown. The original titles and tag lines of the CDs give clues about Kawahara’s interests and the music itself: Digital Mushroom, Subtropical Illusion, Never-ending Asia, and so on. This 15-track gateway compilation is available on double 12” vinyl and DL; the CD version has two extra discs featuring sound from two art installations entitled "Dysteleology - α" and "Dysteleolog - β" from the 1990s. All formats feature extensive English liner notes. 

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Henry Kawahara has been called “the Jon Hassell of Japan”, but upon closer inspection one finds that his work operates on very different terms. Like Hosono's forays into computerized Ryukyu folk “sightseeing music” or Tsutomu Ōhashi's Ecophony trilogy, Kawahara's world projected ancient musical traditions and notions of cultural identity onto the modern digital plane through a fusion of cybernetic thinking and pan-asian cultural introspection that makes Western attempts to do the same seem quaint in comparison. Kawahara's omnidirectional sound “illusions” were constructed not as albums but psychological experiences, billowing with a then-nascent notion of early 90s cybernetic spirituality that was proliferating on both sides of the Pacific as the hyperlinked state of global connectivity we know today was just beginning to crystalize. Through digital representations of folk instruments, shifting MIDI sequencing and custom binaural recording technology he aimed for psychoacoustic effect as much as artistic, all via a countercultural form of distribution untethered from the commercial expectations of post-bubble modes of artistic production. This EM collection draws out the best of his fruitful early-mid 90s period into a revelatory sequence, generously opening Kawahara's world to all. —Spencer Doran (Visible Cloaks) 

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Henry Kawahara's deal is Intimate, Intuitive, Adventurous, and Acidy! Spice is added to all, whether its ethereal guitar, nature effects, gamelan club trance, or LSD experimentations. In the vibe of Coil's “Love Secret Domain” and out there clubgamelan. The creative force of the jungle is mutated and interchanged with further sound palettes, and his effex palette has the schwing of a 90s grunge guitarist. His musical tendencies are natural and his scope and variety are dangerous. —Spencer Clark (The Star Searchers / Pacific City Discs)

Shintaro Sakamoto x VIDEOTAPEMUSIC - A Night in Bangkok (12")
Shintaro Sakamoto x VIDEOTAPEMUSIC - A Night in Bangkok (12")Em Records
$14
This collaboration by Tokyo producers/musicians Shintaro Sakamoto and VIDEOTAPEMUSIC is the first of two EM Records 12-inch vinyl-only “tribute releases” in support of the film “Bangkok Nites”, produced by Kuzoku. Based on samples from Dao Bandon, Hongthong Dao-udon, Phairin Phonphibun, Thailand and Tokyo dreamworlds meet in these songs.
Federico Mompou / James Rushford - Música Callada / See the Welter (2CD)
Federico Mompou / James Rushford - Música Callada / See the Welter (2CD)Unseen Worlds
$11

The imagery of musical forms emptied of earthly meaning, of solitude, and of a connection to the divine were irresistible to Federico Mompou. A desire to be alone had shaped Mompou’s early musical direction: as natural shyness ended his ambitions to be piano virtuoso, after studies at the Paris Conservatoire he turned to composition instead. His approach remained introspective – far removed from the overt and public expressions of the avant-garde, both before and after the Second World War – and pursued a line inwards, towards Catalan traditional music, idiosyncratic technique, and a spiritually clarified instinctivism inspired particularly by Erik Satie. The four books of pieces are considered by some to be Mompou’s masterpiece. Música callada creates a sort of musical negative space, in which presence (of external references) creates lightness, and absence (of formal complexity, of counterpoint, of thematic or harmonic development) creates weight and substance.

Metaphors such as these also lie behind James Rushford’s See the Welter, composed as a companion piece to Música callada in 2016. In See the Welter, Rushford introduces a concept of ‘musical shadows’. The aim is not a recognisable transcription or recomposition of Mompou’s twenty-eight pieces, but a sort of Proustian ‘sieving’, in which memories and sensations – such as finger pressures, resonances and harmonic rhythm – are projected across a new surface, in new forms, and as new memories. Just as a shadow both intensifies and diffuses the form of the object by which it is cast, so Rushford’s piece transforms and scatters the details of Mompou’s collection while intensifying its essence. Compositionally, the piece is the inverse of Mompou’s: a single block in place of a multitude of fleeting impressions; its long shadow. Expressively, however, See the Welter explores the same territory, if seen through the other side of the glass: resonances and absences, silences within sounds, luminosity and intensity, bodies within spaces.

Sharp Veins - Lips The Same Color (CD)
Sharp Veins - Lips The Same Color (CD)Youth
$15

Southern gothic shoegaze soul from Sharp Veins, debuting on Andrew Lyster’s YOUTH with a sorely affected album distilling aspects of A.R. Kane, B.o.C, and SALEM with fugged-up bedroom atmospheres in a brittle but tender style.

Finding his place on the Manchester label between Sockethead’s cranky blatz and the smoked-out downstroke of Dijit, ‘Lips The Same Colour’ reveals Sharp Veins’ burned-out soul at its most vulnerable and absorbing. It’s a lushly depressive come-down from the giddy rush of his self-released album ‘Armor Your Actions Up In Quest’ in 2020, and previous excursions on Different Circles and NYC’s UNO, betraying a syrupy emotive core dematerialised in clouds of reverb and harmonised pads, anchored in some of his most disciplined nods to rugged US hip hop drums and emo rap tropes. 

In slowing down and opening up his sound to downbeat, pop-wise levels, Sharp Veins comes into his own amid a new wave of artists expressing the melancholy of modern life, with a personalised sound design that says as much as his bleak lyrics and ohrwurming melodies. Everything feels eviscerated and held in suspended animation, attempting to expunge ubiquitous emotions.

Between the numbed doomy tension of ‘Unless’, with its plagent vocal lament, to the gutted cry of “what the f*ck am I doing here?” in ‘Bastard Swarm’, Sharp Veins strikes a nerve on the tinny shimmer of ‘Glue Forest’ and continues under the skin with the B.o.C.-like wooze of album centrepieces ‘Paste 1’ and the Paddy McAloon-on-blues screw of ‘Paste 2’, with a deeply disarming moment to be discovered in ‘A Promise’ and unmistakeable echoes of A.R. Kane on the radiant elegy ‘For Gigi.’

University Challenged - Oh Temple! (2LP+DL)
University Challenged - Oh Temple! (2LP+DL)Hive Mind Records
$26

UNIVERSITY CHALLENGED are Ajay Saggar (“Bhajan Bhoy”), Oli Heffernan (“Ivan The Tolerable”) and Kohhei Matsuda (“Bo Ningen”). The trio began in 2019, playing shows in Holland, where they gained a reputation for delivering highly dynamic sense-rattling shows, ranging from gentle melodic orchestral spinouts to epic power jams, all backed by beautiful self-made films in the background. 

The plan had always been to record an album, and get the collective musical force and spirit cemented to vinyl. Many months of hard work and focus paid dividends with the majestic eight track double album “Oh Temple!” ready to be delivered to the world at large. 

This is a beautiful collection of tracks where the pioneering spirit of the three artists allowed them to cross musical boundaries with their bold and accomplished playing to forge 8 unique and mesmeric numbers. While there is commonality in the artists approach to music, there are a wide variety of styles - kosmische musik, electronic experimentation, deep spiritual jazz, modern classical, pastoral guitar soli, and more. 

These tracks sound fresh and revealing now, and will certainly do so for a long time to come. 

It will be released on Hive Mind Records (Brighton UK)....home of Sonny Sharrock and Maalem Mahmoud Gania amongst many others...on Friday 29 January 2021

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