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Baligh Hamdi - Instrumental Modal Pop of 1970's Egypt (2LP)Baligh Hamdi - Instrumental Modal Pop of 1970's Egypt (2LP)
Baligh Hamdi - Instrumental Modal Pop of 1970's Egypt (2LP)Sublime Frequencies
Sublime Frequencies finally unleashes it’s ESSENTIAL compilation from 1970’s Egypt. Modal instrumental tracks from Baligh Hamdi - one of the most important Arabic composers of the 20th Century (writing for legends Umm Kalthum, Abdel Halim Hafez, Sabah, Warda, and many others). Features his legendary group the “Diamond Orchestra” with Omar Khorshid on guitar, Magdi al-Husseini on organ, Samir Sourour on saxophone, and Faruq Salama on accordion. All of these musicians were discovered and recruited by Hamdi to interpret his vision of a modernized, hybrid Arabic music. Under Hamdi’s direction, this orchestra charted a new melodic direction and created a new musical language. This compilation is culled from a specific era of Hamdi’s long career, a decade where he fully realized an international music which incorporated beat driven Eastern tinged jazz, theremin draped orchestral noir, tracks that feature searing guitar solos from none other than Omar Khorshid, and a selection of buzzing, sitar driven, Indo-Arabic tracks establishing a meeting of mid-east and eastern psychedelic exotica, and a vision that created some of the hippest music coming out of the Middle East from the late 1960’s and throughout the 1970’s.
V.A. - Even A Tree Can Shed Tears: Japanese Folk & Rock 1969-1973 (Purple Vinyl 2LP)
V.A. - Even A Tree Can Shed Tears: Japanese Folk & Rock 1969-1973 (Purple Vinyl 2LP)LIGHT IN THE ATTIC

There was something in the air in the urban corners of late ‘60s Japan. Student protests and a rising youth culture gave way to the angura (short for “underground) movement that thrived on subverting traditions of the post-war years. Rejection of the Beatlemania-inspired Group Sounds and the squeaky clean College Folk movements led the rise of what came to be known in Japan as “New Music,” where authenticity mattered more than replicating the sounds of their idols.

Some of the most influential figures in Japanese pop music emerged from this vital period, yet very little of their work has ever been released or heard outside of Japan, until now. Light In The Attic is thrilled to present Even a Tree Can Shed Tears, the inaugural release in the label’s Japan Archival Series. This is the first-ever, fully licensed collection of essential Japanese folk and rock songs from the peak years of the angura movement to reach Western audiences.

In mid-to-late 1960s Tokyo, young musicians and college students were drawn to Shibuya’s Dogenzaka district for the jazz and rock kissas, or cafes, that dotted its winding hilly streets. Some of these spaces doubled as performance venues, providing a stage for local regulars like Hachimitsu Pie with their The Band-like ragged Americana, Tetsuo Saito with his spacey philosophical folk, and the influential Happy End, who successfully married the unique cadences of the Japanese language to the rhythms of the American West Coast. For many years Dogenzaka remained a center of the city’s “New Music” scene.

Meanwhile a different kind of music subculture was beginning to emerge in the Kansai region around Osaka, Kyoto, and Kobe. Far more political than their eastern counterparts, many of the Kansai-based “underground” artists began in the realm of protest folk music. They include Takashi Nishioka and his progressive folk collective Itsutsu No Akai Fuusen, the “Japanese Joni Mitchell” Sachiko Kanenobu, and The Dylan II, whose members ran The Dylan cafe in Osaka, which became a hub for the scene.

Even a Tree Can Shed Tears also includes the bluesy avant-garde stylings of Maki Asakawa, future Sadistic Mika Band founder Kazuhiko Kato with his fuzzy, progressive psychedelia, the beatnik acid folk of Masato Minami, and the intimate living room folk of Kenji Endo.

Nearly 50 years on, this “New Music” is born anew.

Eddie Suzuki - High Tide (Orange LP)
Eddie Suzuki - High Tide (Orange LP)Aloha Got Soul
A beautiful album celebrating Hawaii’s warmth and spirit. Enterprising composer and musician Eddie Suzuki made his own path throughout his lifetime. Born on October 4, 1929, Suzuki worked as a young shoeshiner in 1940s Honolulu, saving enough money to take piano lessons. In high school, he led a big band orchestra of 16, and sometimes up to 40 members. By the age of 18, he owned a piano shop that pivoted to become Honolulu’s top guitar store. For Eddie Suzuki, music always came first. In 1973, after performing and composing songs for many years, Eddie Suzuki and his group, New Hawaii, recorded the now impossibly rare album, High Tide. The LP isn’t a rock-outfit, local music journalist Wayne Harada ruminated in a 1973 review. Rather, it’s one man’s vision and version of the now Hawaii. A seasoned mix of psych, Hawaiian, and pop sensibilities, the music on High Tide gave the listener a look into Eddie’s singular vision celebrating the sights and sounds (and spirit) of Hawaii.
Fumio Miyashita - Waterfall Symphony (CD)
Fumio Miyashita - Waterfall Symphony (CD)Personal Affair
ジャパニーズ・シンセ・プロッグの先駆け的存在であるFar East Family Bandでの活躍でも知られ、自身の音楽を「ヒーリング・ミュージック」と題して、膨大な数の作品を大いに編み出した日本屈指のニューエイジ・ミュージック作家/ミュージック・セラピスト、宮下富実夫。1999年に残された最後の未発表音源がアナログ・リリース。66年に音楽家としてのキャリアを始動、69年には東京のロック・ミュージカル「Hair」にも結成メンバーとして参与、伊藤詳や深草アキ始め、多くのニューエイジ作家を輩出したジャパニーズ・サイケデリック/プログレ・バンドの金字塔、Far East Family Bandを結成。同バンドは、今もその威光衰えることのない、4枚の傑作アルバムを残しています。高校の頃には黒帯になるほど、空手に熱中したことから東洋思想にも関心を持ち、さらにステージでの負傷を鍼治療のみ(!)で癒してからは東洋医学にも接近していくことに。本作はNHKが日本の名瀑を紹介する番組に関連して日本を代表する名瀑こと那智の滝にて宮下が奉納した演奏から得たインスピレーションをもとに制作。リバイバル以降の現行ニューエイジとも遜色ないセンスに満ちた響きを聞かせる、音楽の音絵巻のような極上アンビエント作!
Sonic Youth - Daydream Nation (CS)
Sonic Youth - Daydream Nation (CS)Goofin'

Daydream Nation was Sonic Youth’s sixth full-length, their first double-LP, and their last for an indie label before signing with Geffen. 

Widely considered to be their watershed moment, the album catapulted them into the mainstream and proved that indie bands could enjoy wider commercial success without compromising their artistic vision. 

More recently, Daydream Nation has been recognized as a classic of its era: Pitchfork ranked it #1 on their “100 Greatest Albums of the 1980s”; Spin listed it at #13 on their “125 Best Albums of 1985-2010”. Daydream Nation was one of 50 recordings chosen by the Library of Congress to be added to the National Recording Registry in 2006 and it was voted "One of the Greatest Albums of All Time" by Rolling Stone. 

Eliane Radigue - Jetsun Mila (2CD)
Eliane Radigue - Jetsun Mila (2CD)Lovely Music
The long-awaited repress! The 1987 masterpiece (original cassette) of Guru Eliane Radigue (1932-), which combines drone master Tibet and electronic music, is reissued on 2CD! The best drone under Tibetan esoteric Buddhism, with a cloud-like drone that is too deep and a cloud of sound that has more presence than any other work of her. Similar to "Mila's Journey Inspired By A Dream" released shortly after this, it is a work inspired by the life of Tibetan Buddhist saint Milarepa, and is a meditation with a lot of overtones and the esoteric continuation of the ARP synthesizer. The polar region of the target drone. The second piece is a storm of spiritual sustaining sounds that invites you to the deep oriental spiritual world, where the Buddhist chanting of the monks mixes with the drone. If you are interested in Tibetan Buddhism or meditation, this is a historical masterpiece that you should definitely experience.
Benoit B - Kismet (LP)
Benoit B - Kismet (LP)Natural Selections
Natural Selections are proud to present “Kismet”, Benoit B’s long-awaited debut LP: a dream journal of short stories collected between Berlin and Athens. “Kismet” is a comprehensive mirroring of the french producer’s playful and inimitable style, a clever balance of analog warmth and digital precision resulting in a lucid fantasy. Shuffling subaquatic pads and sharp silvery drums into highly detailed arrangements, Benoit B takes the listener on a singular voyage through his signature sound.
Tobias. - Hall ov Fame
Tobias. - Hall ov FameConcentric Records
“I have movies in my head” describes Tobias Freund the source that inspired his new album to fill it with a fantastic life of its very own. Consequently, each of the eight tracks represents a scene out of a fictitious short film, some of them with a claustrophobic and tense atmosphere while others appear light and hopeful on the screen of imagination. What they have in common is an adventurous spirit that is inherent in and played out by three main characters: repetitive electronic and acoustic patterns, voices from far away and field recordings of obscured origin. All the episodes combined introduce this “Hall Ov Fame” as a psyche-cinematic event which resonates with “ambience in its natural shades” to evoke the whole range of sensations that make a proper, suspenseful mind movie.
Deaf Center - Pale Ravine (2LP+DL)
Deaf Center - Pale Ravine (2LP+DL)Miasmah Recordings
2022 Miasmah edition of the now classic debut album by Deaf Center, originally released on Type records in 2005. Full-lenght album version, includes the tracks that were previously only on the CD edition + a 20 minute side of unreleased material from the same timeframe. Released as a gatefold 2xLP with original extended artwork. ‘Pale Ravine’ is the debut full-length realization of Erik K Skodvin and Otto A Totland under the Deaf Center moniker. More recently known for solo recordings under their own names on the Sonic Pieces label. The album, back then made in their mid 20ies, is an other-wordly sound collagé to Norwegian nature, theatricality and old silent films. The two musicians have looked deep into their own family histories to piece together a dusty and nostalgic epic, blending elements of classical and electronic music with an array of field recordings and a lot of fog.
Francis Plagne - The Refrain (LP)
Francis Plagne - The Refrain (LP)Black Truffle
Black Truffle proudly presents The Refrain from Melbourne-based artist Francis Plagne, whose growing catalog of collaborative and solo releases range from song-based work to abstract audio collages. Closely aligned with Plagne's Moss Trumpet LP (released by Penultimate Press in 2018), The Refrain’s two side-long tracks mix sounds of the mundane with the otherworldly; rising, receding and overlapping. The result feels like being led through a series of scenes devoid of context or direction. Furthermore, it’s hard to define the scenes as either inviting or disconcerting, as they’re often both at the same time. As the record progresses sounds reappear and are juxtaposed so as to only hint at the familiar. A hall of mirrors, perhaps? Completed in 2020 using material recorded from 2012-2020, the record uses tapes of shelved, unfinished, and forgotten projects that featured field recordings from various locations, domestic sounds of plastic bottles, bubble wrap, creaking chairs, voice, and instrumental recordings, including an appearance from crys cole on Casio. These pieces were re-amped, processed and edited, then additional instrumental pieces featuring synths, guitars, plastic saxophone, melodica, and percussion were added, the results shaped into drifting, episodic assemblages. Although essentially a tape piece, The Refrain presents as a crude, non-idiomatic composition that feels both timeless and transitory. It’s a million miles from the polish and rigour of GRM, perhaps more in line with Jacques Bekaert’s eponymous Igloo LP, or Costin Miereanu’s Luna Cinese. The Refrain could be read as a psychedelic Krapp’s Last Tape; one man’s response to listening through forgotten and discarded tapes, reflecting, reconciling, and forging a new path. A potent tonic for these absurd times." -- Nick Hamilton, August 2021
BGM - Back Ground Music (LP)
BGM - Back Ground Music (LP)Studio Mule
japanese living legend electronic music producer “takayuki shiraishi”, this album is his debut album on legendary experimental music label in osaka in late 70’s to beg 80’s which was run by yuzuru agi when shiraishi was high school student. shiraishi had a big influence from the music of post punk, new wave ,kraut rock…, this album is his unique mixture of that kind music style. one of the most demanded alternative music album in japan is finally reissued. remastered from original tape and mastering by kuniyuki takahashi.
V.A. - Le Grand Sud-Est - 1979-1986 (LP)
V.A. - Le Grand Sud-Est - 1979-1986 (LP)Les Editions Vermillons
Les Éditions Vermillon stem from virtual friendships built around forgotten music. Navigating an aesthetical repertoire ranging from funk to soul, gliding by jazz and reaching toward the birth of electronic music, the friends’ musical exchanges transcend egotistical visions in the hope of shared emotions. Théo (G2S), Hugo (Tiny Albert), Baptiste (Acquired Taste) and Elise Kravets decided to embody this feeling in a record label. Choosing Lyon as their starting point, the desire to appreciate a forgotten musical legacy quickly extended to a regional scale with the aim of shedding light on the diversity and effervescence of local scenes. With the goal of reproducing the fullness of these sounds and textures, the search and selection of titles quickly gave way to the hunt for original tapes and sources. Several stages of audio restoration and digitization were undertaken to deliver a compilation of the highest possible quality. For its first release, the label offers a stroll along the Rhône river to discover, through forgotten songs, the funkiest sides of the Provençale and Rhône-Alpes 80’s scene. Although the music portrays a diverse palette, from Digen, with its meticulous Jazz-Funk straight from Lyon’s heart, the clubbesque rhythmic section and cheeky bass of Dans Tes Bras (VCA Mix), and the summer balearic anthem Tropique Du Cancer, to the soft “French Boogie” theme of Fun Safari, the soul-filled choirs of Patchwork, the pastoral getaway that is L’Anthropofemme, the scathing ode of prehistoric reptiles in Fill Le Crocodile and the Jazz-Funk incantation Fai Tira Marius; they all sweat funk. Having not known the top 50 in their first lives, this compilation aspires to bring these pieces of music to the top 8.
Sade - Smooth Operator (12")
Sade - Smooth Operator (12")Portrait
A masterpiece of Sade's British pop / soul masterpiece "Smooth Operator", which was formed as a successor to the funk group "Pride" who was a famous band of British soul / smooth jazz and made a name for themself from London. A masterpiece that became a single cut from the debut album "Diamond Life". A must-have killer vinyl for AOR / City Soul fans!
The Mallory Hall Band - The Last Special (LP)
The Mallory Hall Band - The Last Special (LP)Outernational Sounds
Outernational Sounds very proudly Presents The Mallory-Hall Band "Song of Soweto" & "The Last Special". Limited, fully licensed digital and vinyl reissues of two crucial South African sessions led by Charles Mallory and Al Hall, Jnr., featuring Kirk Lightsey, Marshall Royal, Rudolph Johnson, Billy Brooks and more! Essential companion pieces to Kirk Lightsey’s legendary ‘Habiba’. Featuring tracks: Song Of Soweto: Side A – ‘Song of Soweto’, ‘Hamba Samba’; Side B – ‘Cape Town Blues’, ‘Moroka Rock’, ‘The African Night’ The Last Special: Side A - ‘The Last Special’, ‘Princess of Joh’Burg’; Side B - ‘Amafu (Clouds)’, ‘Blue Mabone’ Never released outside South Africa, and out of print since 1974, Outernational Sounds presents two long-lost Johannesburg sessions from the Mallory-Hall Band – an all-star review of West Coast jazz stars who toured apartheid South Africa in the mid-1970s. Sanifu Al Hall, Jnr. is a musician’s musician. During a storied career stretching across six decades, Hall has recorded with the greats of the music including Freddie Hubbard, Doug Carn, and Johnny Hammond, and leads his own Cosmos Dwellerz Arkestra. But until recent years, the only records on which he had appeared as leader were a brace of rich, funky LPs, Song Of Soweto and The Last Special, issued only in South Africa under the moniker of The Mallory-Hall Band (named for Hall and his co-leader, guitarist Charles Mallory – musical director for Martha Reeves and the Vandellas, Mallory was conductor for Dusty Springfield touring bands, and had worked with John Lee Hooker, Stevie Wonder, and many others). Neither LP had any wider release, and both have remained out of print since 1974. How did a young stalwart of the Los Angeles jazz scene end up in a recording studio in apartheid South Africa? Al Hall, Jnr. and Charles Mallory had arrived in South Africa as part of the touring band for the singer Lovelace Watkins. Sometimes billed as ‘the Black Sinatra’, the Detroit-born Watkins sang standards and ballroom classics on the Las Vegas circuit. He never made it big in the US, but in his 1970s heyday he was a huge star in southern Africa, and 1974 he hired a jazz big band to accompany him on a tour of South Africa – Hall and Mallory were part of the line-up, alongside Mastersounds bassist Monk Montgomery, pianist Kirk Lightsey, tenorist Rudolph Johnson, drummer Billy Brooks, and Marshall Royal, musical director of the Count Basie band. The tour was a huge success, and during downtime from performing, members of the group managed to independently record no fewer than three albums. Lightsey and Johnson’s stunning Habiba was the first (reissued as Outernational Sounds OTR.013), and it was followed by two crucial sessions led by Hall and Mallory – Song of Soweto and The Last Special, issued on the local IRC imprint. Visiting apartheid South Africa in 1974 was a controversial choice for any artist. Numerous artistic and cultural bodies around the world had already announced that their members would boycott the country in solidarity with the struggle against apartheid, and working in South Africa was severely frowned on by anti-apartheid activists everywhere. For a Black band, touring the country to play to mostly white audiences could have been seen by many both inside and outside South Africa as a questionable decision. ‘It was a batch of mixed reactions when I choose to visit South Africa whilst apartheid policies were in place,’ Hall recalls. ‘To me the choice was a simple one – “I wanna see for myself!” I also wanted to be a part of breaking down racial barriers, having been down some of the same roads in my own country.’ The albums were recorded by a twelve-piece band at Johannesburg’s Video Sounds Studios in December 1974, and feature the legendary pianist Kirk Lightsey, Black Jazz recording artist Rudolph Johnson, and the rest of the touring band. Both records are superbly arranged slabs of peak 1970s funky big band soul jazz, with tasteful Latin inflections and more than a nod to South Africa’s upful township jazz sound. They are the sonic traces left by a seasoned African American band who were touring South Africa in the depths of the apartheid era, and who immediately moved beyond the segregated hotels and ballrooms to build links with local South African players and audiences. Never previously available outside South Africa, Outernational Sounds’ new editions of Song of Soweto and The Last Special (alongside our edition of Kirk Lightsey’s Habiba) represents the first time these albums have been in print for nearly fifty years. Fully licensed from Gallo Records and pressed at Pallas in Germany from Gallo’s original masters, they feature new sleeve notes from Francis Gooding (The Wire) based on interviews with Al Hall, Jnr., and a reminiscence from pianist Kirk Lightsey.
Kitchen Cynics - Beads Upon An Abacus (LP)
Kitchen Cynics - Beads Upon An Abacus (LP)The Trilogy Tapes
Curious, eccentric pop experiments, steeped in the melody of the Far Eastern tradition. Strange, hypnotic incantation and another winner on The Trilogy Tapes!
Company - Epiphanies VII-XIII (3LP)
Company - Epiphanies VII-XIII (3LP)Honest Jon's Records
Prime improvisations from masters of the genre such as Fred Frith, Keith Tippett, Derek Bailey and Ursula Oppens on this unearthed treasure where violin, guitar, double bass, flute and sax (the latter compared to a flock of geese) all vying for attention. The music is both ear hurtingly spiky and humorously daft as the musicians seemingly go into battle with their various instruments.
David Behrman - ViewFinder / Hide & Seek (LP)
David Behrman - ViewFinder / Hide & Seek (LP)Black Truffle
Black Truffle is thrilled to announce ViewFinder / Hide & Seek, a new release from acclaimed American experimental composer David Behrman, presenting recordings made in collaboration with Jon Gibson and Werner Durand between 1989 and 2020. Last heard from on Black Truffle as part of the collaborative art song/live electronics madness of She’s More Wild, these recordings find Behrman continuing the pioneering work in interactive electronics that have established him as one of the major living experimental composers. Side A presents excerpts from two live realisations of Unforeseen Events (1989), the fourth in a series of pieces focussing on the interactions between instrumental performers and responsive software. Like the classic earlier works in the series, On the Other Ocean (1977), Interspecies Smalltalk (1984) and Leapday Night (1986), Unforeseen Events is an “unfinished composition” in which a computer system listens for and responds to specific pitch cues from an instrumentalist. Performed by the composer on electronics and Werner Durand on soprano saxophone in Berlin in 1989, the first realisation immediately ushers the listener into an environment of long soprano notes, lush, sustained synth harmonies, randomised percussive interjections and distantly burbling arpeggiated patterns. The 1999 realisation recorded in New York with Jon Gibson on soprano shows how much room for the instrumentalist to affect the course of the music exists in Behrman’s interactive pieces, in which, as he notes, ‘performers have options rather than instructions’. Beginning in a roughly similar area to the version with Durand, this later recording eventually becomes substantially more active, as polyrhythmically layered arpeggios and percussive patterns respond to fast chromatic lines and dynamic phrases from the saxophone, moving Gibson in turn to respond with cycling figures and moments of extended technique that touch on the soprano languages pioneered by players like Steve Lacy and Evan Parker. Yet even at its most active, the lack of conventional forward movement in the music allows it to retain what Behrman’s friend Jacques Bekaert called its ‘fragile tranquillity’, as episodes of activity appear only as momentary disruptions of an underlying calm. On the B side, we are treated to a new collaborative work from Behrman and Werner Durand, building on the 2002 installation work ViewFinder, in which a camera detecting physical motion triggered changes to electronic sound. The piece presented here is a long-distance studio construction, recorded by Behrman in the Hudson Valley and Durand in Berlin, offering up an expansive duet between Behrman’s lush, gliding synth tones and the alien, untempered tones of Durand’s invented and adapted wind instruments. Presented in a stunning gatefold sleeve with art from Terri Hanlon, archival photographs and new liner notes from Behrman and Durand,ViewFinder / Hide & Seek is an essential release showcasing the continuing vitality of a legendary figure in experimental music.
Andrew Pekler - Tristes Tropiques (LP+DL)
Andrew Pekler - Tristes Tropiques (LP+DL)Faitiche

Tristes Tropiques is an album of synthetic exotica, pseudo-ethnographic music and manipulated field recordings.
Find out more about Andrew Pekler’s Tristes Tropiques in the following interview:
Jan Jelinek: You’ve titled your album Tristes Tropiques – a reference to Claude Lévi-Strauss’ famous account of his travels among native peoples in the Mato Grosso. If I remember correctly, the book can be read in two ways: as an ethnographic study of indigenous Brazilian tribes, and as a critique of anthropological methods. What exactly about Tristes Tropiques inspired you? The melancholy travelogue, or the formation of a new, critical school of thought?

Andrew Pekler: Both. Lévi-Strauss’ constant reflection on the purpose of his work and the often melancholy tone of his writing constitute an internal tension which runs throughout the whole book. Tristes Tropiques is many things; autobiography, traveler’s tale, ethnographic report, philosophical treatise, colonial history. But ultimately, it’s the author’s attempt to synthesize meaning from fragments of his own and other cultures that resonated most strongly with me – and led me to a new perspective on how I hear and make music.

JJ: Listening to Tristes Tropiques I noticed a certain oscillation between references, which is what I really like about it. Obviously, your music alludes to the beloved fairytale kitsch of exotica, but it also repeatedly shifts to a mode of ethno-poetic meditation music that seems to have no beginning or end. Where do you yourself locate the tracks gathered here?

AP: As a listener and as a musician, exotica music of the 1950s and 60s has always been a constant reference point and inspiration. And perhaps my listening has been ‘ruined’ by exotica, but as I have dug deeper into ethnographic archives of ‘traditional’ music, I’ve come to the realization that all recordings that evoke, allude to, or ostensibly document other musical forms have a similar effect on my imagination: I am most intrigued when I perceive some coincidentally familiar element within the foreign (a tuned percussion recital from Malawi that immediately brings to mind Steve Reichian minimalism, or the Burundian female vocal duet that sounds uncannily like a cut-up tape experiment, etc.). I suppose this album is an attempt to recreate the same kind of listening experience as what I’ve described, just with the electronic means that I have at hand.

JJ: I know that you perform Tristes Tropiques not only as music, and that there is visual and spatial aspect to the presentation. Can you reveal more about this?

AP: I made an accompanying video – mainly close-up footage, shot in Thailand, of various tropical flora. The video was recorded at very slow speed and this gives the plants, flowers, trees, bamboo, etc. the appearance of rather abstract objects. In live performance, this abstracting effect is further emphasized through real-time modulation of the colors, brightness and other parameters of the video image. There is also an installation version of the video that is meant to be projected on multiple screens / walls and with its own soundtrack of heavily manipulated field recordings captured in the same locations in the jungle.

JJ: We can get an idea of what this looks like from the beautiful video stills on the back cover of the album.

Blank Gloss - Melt (LP+DL)
Blank Gloss - Melt (LP+DL)Kompakt
Melt is the debut full-length album by Blank Gloss, the Sacramento duo of Patrick Hills and Morgan Fox. Attentive listeners will recall their lovely contribution to Kompakt’s Pop Ambient 2021, “Of A Vessel”, which reappears here; others might know their 2020 mini-album, January, released on the stylish Miami label Night Young. With Melt, Blank Gloss make a heavy contribution to Kompakt’s ongoing explorations of the hundreds of hues of Pop Ambience. A lush dream of an album, it’s a remarkable index of the gilded eternities that you can magic from a reduced tonal palette: glistening guitars, ruminative piano, warps and weaves of subtle drone and hum. The two members of Blank Gloss met through their shared involvement in punk and experimental music. Fox’s band had recorded at Hills’ Earthtone studio a number of times; they hit it off and made the decision to explore making music together. Their initial explorations resulted in their mini-album, January; for Melt, they aimed for something more minimal and improvised. “We tried to go into it without many preconceived notions,” Fox recalls. “We tried not to overthink what was happening or spend too much time hyper-focused on any one thing. We found it more enjoyable to make and to listen to when we just let whatever was happening happen.” This process freed Fox and Hills to make music that’s guided by intuition, inhabiting the moment and reaching for the next surprising possibility. The long reels of e-bow guitar that wind through opener “Those Who Plant” ease the listener into an album that says plenty by doing less: witness the dream scripts that play out through pieces like “Hollowed Out” and “Of A Vessel”, the gentle weightlessness of “Almost Home”, or the clusters of guitar, expressive yet restrained, that sculpt “Rags” into being. It’s an album that feels sui generis, somehow, much as it clearly sits within a number of fields – pop ambient, touches of new age and drone music. Some provisional clues, though, for music that echoes Melt’s loveliness: the humble ambience of the artists on Cold Blue Music; the eventless horizon of Bark Psychosis’ “Pendulum Man”; the emotive pointillism of Labradford; some of the snippets of song that drift through Pieter Nooten & Michael Brook’s Sleeps With The Fishes. Like all of this music, Melt embraces a radical ambiguity, one that allows the listener to enter the frame and inhabit the corners of the duo’s music. There’s pleasure and joy here too, of course – you can hear it in the ease of the playing and the beauty of the melodies that Blank Gloss carefully dapple across the tonal field. Reflecting on the sessions for Melt, Fox sums it up perfectly: “Being able to sit together in the little room and document the process of experimentation and bouncing ideas back and forth was really fun and rewarding. I hope that comes through on the album.”
Arovane - Atol Scrap (2021 Remaster) (2LP+DL)
Arovane - Atol Scrap (2021 Remaster) (2LP+DL)KEPLAR

The story of each re-release begins with the original. In the late 90s, Uwe Zahn (Arovane), along with Robert Henke (Monolake) and Stefan Betke (Pole), began releasing music on Torsten Pröfrock’s (Dynamo) newly launched DIN label. This was a very inconspicuous undertaking, but fans of the flourishing IDM, glitch, and constantly evolving abstract techno genres quickly picked up on the quality of sound coming out of Germany. After a few successful EPs, Zahn began working on his debut full-length, Atol Scrap. The release was a success, at least in the underground circles, where followers of the melodic harmonies, stuttering off-beat rhythms, and, most importantly, advanced sound design feverishly consumed the imprint’s output. There was only one thing missing – the album was never pressed on vinyl, and for decades remained in the digital domain. The fans, of course, inquired. There were multiple offers on the table, but Zahn retained control until he was assured that it was properly attained. “I thought of taking everything into my own hands and releasing the record myself,” says Zahn, “but at the end of last year, Matthias from Keplar asked me to re-release Atol Scrap on vinyl.” The label and its owner revolve in the Morr Music universe, and so it made sense for Zahn to trust the platform to treat the record right.

Listening to Atol Scrap over twenty years later it is inane not to admit how well it has held up. Where other genres clearly aged, becoming stale, bland, and dull, the music on eleven tasty tracks still keeps the neurons tickled with each note. More than an echo of the past, the bottled sound truly has matured. Many of the newly evolving techniques are recognizable on the album. “I created the digital artifacts with a digital multi-track recorder, the Fostex D80,” recalls Zahn. “The thing had a scrub wheel with which I could achieve wonderful glitch effects by winding through the audio data. I have sampled and further processed these artifacts.” And this approach is still embedded in Zahn’s sound design. “I still use my 24-track analog desk from Tascam to mix my audio. I love to use hardware synths and samplers. I’ve definitely built upon my studio experience in the 90s.” From this debut to the most recent output, Arovane’s sound has evolved to become more intricate, detailed, and pronounced. “My music has become much quieter and much slower. But that’s probably also due to the noise in the world.” And just as Atol Scrap reminds Zahn of the past, retaining charm preserved in a container traveling through time, it also jitters memories of long ago, when we were twenty years younger, less experienced, and bold. For me, among the many records of the time, this album held a special place in life, my heart, and many CD boxes moved across the world. And now I’m only happy to restock the vinyl space, where Atol Scrap belongs among the beloved records. Welcome home. - Mike Lazarev

Tatsuhisa Yamamoto - Ashioto (LP)
Tatsuhisa Yamamoto - Ashioto (LP)Black Truffle

Black Truffle is pleased to announce Ashioto, the first international solo release from Japanese drummer-percussionist-composer Tatsuhisa Yamamoto. Active for over a decade, Yamamoto has performed and recorded extensively with artists such as Jim O’Rourke, Eiko Ishibashi and Akira Sakata, as well as participating in innumerable improvised and ad hoc groups.

Ashioto presents two wide-ranging pieces that combine Yamamoto’s percussion work with piano, field recordings, electronics, and contributions from guest musicians Daisuke Fujiwara and Eiko Ishibashi.

Beginning with a passage of chiming metal percussion, the first side slowly builds into a rolling, open groove reminiscent of Yamamoto’s work on Eiko Ishibashi’s acclaimed Drag City LP The Dreams My Bones Dream. Spacious piano and synth notes, along with Ishibashi’s spare melodic figures on processed flute, hover above this propulsive rhythmic foundation, the whole effect adding up to a more abstract take on the area explored on Rainer Brüninghaus’s ECM classic Freigeweht.

The LP’s second side opens up a cavernous space filled with ominous electronics and shimmering metallic percussion, which organically transitions into a passage of rumbling piano chords and mysterious concrète sound. Later in the piece, Daisuke Fujiawara’s saxophone enters, playing melancholic melodic fragments that are looped and layered, creating a seasick swaying effect familiar to listeners of James Tenney’s works with tape delay systems. Beginning as delicate bass drum pulses, Yamamoto’s accompanying percussion eventually builds the piece into a raging torrent of free-improv splatter, processed sax and fizzing electronics.

Though grounded in instrumental performance, Ashioto is very much a studio construction, making inventive use of electro-acoustic principles in its editing and mixing. Together with its sister Ashiato – a different take on the same ‘script’ released simultaneously on Japanese label Newhere – Ashioto demonstrates to an international audience for the first time the true breadth and ambition of Yamamoto’s work.

Angel 1 - Purple Haze (CS+DL)
Angel 1 - Purple Haze (CS+DL)Constellation Tatsu
Try and up that feel-good jam and ride worlds with spinning city’s. Now delete scene. Where’s the fucking high?!
Roland Kayn - Scanning (10CD BOX)Roland Kayn - Scanning (10CD BOX)
Roland Kayn - Scanning (10CD BOX)Reiger Records Reeks

A hitherto-unreleased electronic masterpiece from Roland Kayn, singular pioneer of cybernetic music.

Over a period spanning the late 70s through the early 80s, Kayn (1933–2011) issued a quintet of extended works that quietly but definitively redrew the map of electronic music. Informed by cybernetics and a desire to actualise analogue circuitry as an agency in the compositional process, this music adopted a form that can only be described as oceanic, as side after side of vinyl allowed a wholly new vocabulary of electronic sound to find its shape.

In the decades that followed, these multi-LP boxed-set releases became hallowed documents of contemporary music (as well as highly prized collectors’ items). Kayn’s initially subtle influence belied a gradual shift towards the widespread adoption of his ideas and practices in the 21st century, incorporating both the rise in popularity of modular synthesis as a music-making tool, and the huge advancements in machine learning and AI.

Following the recent reissue of ‘Simultan’ (1977) and the first-time release of late work ‘A Little Electronic Milky Way of Sound’ (2009), it was clear that a new generation of listeners and musicians were eager to discover Kayn’s vision in all its vastness.

Kayn's own label, Reiger Records Reeks, has been reawakened by his daughter Ilse, and her long-cherished dream of releasing this music is now finally a reality. Across 10 CDs of immersive audio, expertly remastered by Kayn aficionado Jim O’Rourke, listeners are now finally able to digest Kayn's little-known masterpiece, and to inhabit sonic territory that has waited unspoilt for decades.

Roland Kayn - Tektra (5CD BOX)Roland Kayn - Tektra (5CD BOX)
Roland Kayn - Tektra (5CD BOX)Reiger Records Reeks

A masterpiece returns.
The last five years have seen the reemergence of a towering figure of electronic music. Through multiple boxed set releases, and a dedicated Bandcamp page releasing unheard works at an unfaltering pace, the work of pioneering cybernetic composer Roland Kayn has reached a wider audience than ever before.
Now, a bedrock work in establishing this reputation is available once more, as Tektra, his overarching landmark work of the early 1980s, is finally restored to availability after decades out of print.
Reissued by Reiger Records Reeks – the composer’s own label, now presided over by his daughter Ilse – Tektra here unfolds across 5 CDs. The new edition was mastered by Jim O’Rourke from a transfer of the original tapes present in the Lydia and Roland Kayn Archive. It implements Kayn’s directions on crossfades and edits as fully as possible, while also reincorporating almost 5 minutes of music previously unavailable in digital format.
Kayn’s glacial, otherworldly electronic landscapes have always been somewhat at odds with the world of contemporary composition his background and training located him within. His rejection of compositional dogma and traditional musical structures eventually led him to discover a source of endless inspiration in the cybernetic generation of material, and the curatorial act of listening itself.
Perhaps this is why Kayn’s recognition is only approaching its zenith today: his work is far from the passive, unobtrusive world of “ambient”, but its embrace of extended duration, drone-like textures, and the exploration of space as timbre are undeniable shared attributes. Today’s most forward-looking musical practitioners – many of whom cite Kayn as a direct influence – have perhaps discovered a similar territory, at the threshold point where mindblowing complexity approaches the overwhelming sensation of true immersion.

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