180-gram LP version with embossed chessboard artwork print and printed inner sleeve. In celebration of the 2016 35th anniversary of the December 12, 1981, recording of Manuel Göttsching's legendary E2-E4, one of electronic music's most influential recordings, Göttsching's MG.ART label presents an official reissue, carefully overseen by the master himself. Includes liner notes by Manuel Göttsching, archival photos, and an excerpt of David Elliott's review in Sounds from June 16, 1984. "As the story is sometimes told, Göttsching stopped in the studio for a couple of hours in 1981 and invented techno. E2-E4 is the most compelling argument that techno came from Germany-- more so than any single Kraftwerk album, anyway. The sleeve credits the former Ash Ra Tempel leader with 'guitar and electronics', but few could stretch that meager toolkit like Göttsching. Over a heavenly two-chord synth vamp and simple sequenced drum and bass, Göttsching's played his guitar like a percussion instrument, creating music that defines the word 'hypnotic' over the sixty minutes . . . A key piece in the electronic music puzzle that's been name-checked, reworked and expanded upon countless times." --Mark Richardson, Pitchfork
Coastlines is the self-titled long player from the new Japanese production unit of DJ and producer Masanori Ikeda and solo artist, session musician and Cro-Magnon keyboard player Takumi Kaneko.
Masanori and Takumi have been part of the Japanese dance music scene for years and Coastlines was born out of their working together on soundtracks for video projects. The pair wanted to make laid-back listening music for now, laying Takumi’s playful keys over Masanori’s widescreen balearic jazz-fusion to conjure beautiful and breathtaking “coastlines”.
A couple of two-track 7"s put out in late 2018 and early 2019 on Japanese house music label Flower Records soon sold out. Those four tracks were expanded to a full album of music, “a joyous, relaxing, summery soundtrack for everyone’s after hours wind down” that was released just in time for summer. It certainly soundtracked many a Be With BBQ in 2019.
The album opens in the horizontal with the sophisticated, cocktails-by-the-pool groove of “Sunset Reflection”. A lush, beatless wonder. Their re-imagining of Ralph MacDonald’s “East Dry River” removes all the original’s bells and whistles (quite literally) and re-gears it with a subtle balearic chug. The result is a percussive gem.
“Coastline” is a beach-jazz noodle. “Drifting Ice” is as chilled and glacial as its title would suggest, yet Masanori’s head-nod slo-mo house beats throb not far below the surface. “My Fire” is another soft killer, all swelling, swirling organ over muted kicks and snares. An elegant boom-bap.
A pair of insistent tunes of the deeply balearic variety raise the tempo, but not by too much of course. On “Woods And My Guitar” a half-heard vocal refrain breathes life into the synthetic xylophone and guitar. Deft piano-work turns “Half Moon Shadow” into lounge-house for the sophisticated beach bum. A classy duo.
The self-assured re-work of Azymuth’s “Last Summer In Rio” is arguably the album’s centrepiece. Ten minutes of casually propulsive slapped bass, steel pans and slick 80s soul beats. Cue the steel drum interlude of “Maracas Bay” before album closer “Down Town” transitions us on with a shuffling, string-hinted hit of ethereal, euphoric piano bliss. Gentle disco for the new decade.
As former Test Pressing scribe Dr. Rob observed on his ever-reliable Ban Ban Ton Ton blog, the Coastlines fusion is very much in conversation with their 80s counterparts, both at home and along the coastlines of different continents. So among the nods to revered Japanese artists like Hiroshi Sato, Sakamoto and Casiopea, there are also hints of Marcos Valle and Mtume, of the aforementioned Azymuth. “The production though is very much now, not then. Not retro, just proper”. We couldn’t put it better ourselves.
Coastlines was originally a CD release only available in Japan, with HMV putting out a super-limited vinyl version a few months later for Japanese Record Store Day. But this music is just too good, so when Be With was asked via Ken Hidaka to take care of a vinyl version for the whole world it wasn’t a tough decision.
Mastered by Simon Francis and cut by Pete Norman, this magnificent double LP has been pressed by the good people at Record Industry.
With their debut album, "Isn't Anything," released in 1988, the band revolutionized alternative music and introduced a new approach to guitar music in the years that followed. Their sound became the template for numerous sub-genres and presented a groundbreaking approach to guitar music and studio production. The genderless vocals of Kevin Shields and Bilinda Butcher, who sing in the same vocal range and blend perfectly together, serve as another melodic layer that complements the dizzying intensity of Shields' guitar. The album is characterized by the eerie sense of space present in many of the recorded tracks, which range from intensely propulsive to quiet and unsettling.
Japanese obi included.
Mastered from original 1/4" analog tape using Studer A80 VU-PRE and Neumann VMS 80
180g vinyl weight
Standard gatefold outer sleeve
Four 300 x 300 mm art prints enclosed
Includes DL code (24-bit | 16-bit | mp3)
Otherworldly beat science from the currently vibrant Washington DC underground. The heavily processed MCing of NappyNappa weaves in and out of the skewed electronics and stuttering percussion of Patrick Cain. Loosely affiliated with the Future Times crew and featuring contributions from Dolo Percussion (aka Max D).
In the duo’s own words “a collaborative experiment in liberated sound, vision, and performance“, Model Home orbit in their own universe, with glimmers of light from distant galaxies refracted in their sound. The spirit of free improvisation pervades the tracks, a sound evolving from two artistic sensibilities bouncing off each other without a set plan and creating a third pathway to unknown worlds.
One Year compiles tracks from 8 different self-released mixtapes made during an intense initial 12 month period of musical activity that birthed the project. Approached with the same archival sensibility that Disciples has brought to albums-that-never-were from Black Lodge, Bogdan Raczynski and His Name As Alive, but with the idea of creating a framework to present an underground NOW sound. A Jamaican style ‘showcase’ album for these outliers from the District of Columbia.
Meitei’s 2020 album 'Kofū' was the bold bookend to an expedition, where sounds were first navigated and then subverted in 2018’s 'Kwaidan' and 2019’s 'Komachi'.
All three albums were Meitei’s attempt at immersive storytelling, reimagining moments of Japanese history he felt were being washed away – not least by the unforgiving sands of time – through wistful compositions that stretched across ambient music, hauntology, and musique concrete.
When it came to finalizing 'Kofū', Meitei found he was left with over 60 fully realized tracks, bursting with ideas that fired in divergent, curious directions. Meitei was content with the 13 tracks he had selected. But when it came time to begin his next album, he found that it had been sitting in front of him all along. He realized his work wasn’t over yet.
Meitei sounds right at home celebrating the past he first reimagined in his previous work. The merriment is palpable in its first two tracks of 'Kofū II' – a loop of cheery whistling amidst the clanking of wood leads into strings, cricket sounds and flutes, all united in bustling harmony.
'Happyaku-yachō' is where it comes into focus. Pitch-shifted vocal samples roam around in the crowded sonic field. “My image of this music is that it expresses the vibrant mood of Edo's merchant culture,” says Meitei, “where old Japanese dwellings were densely packed together in a vast expanse of land.” The affair becomes bittersweet as the track leads into the desolate 'Kaworu', a compositional piece lifted from his 'Komachi' sessions – a final requiem to his late grandmother.
The album is bursting with spectral vignettes of wandering samurais, red lanterns, ninjas, puppet theatres, poets, even a vengeful assassin ('Shurayuki hime', known to Western audiences as ‘Lady Snowblood’).
'Saryō' is as elegant and refined as you would expect. It induces stillness in its repetition, with each synth note a brushstroke. It was inspired by a Sengoku-era tea house he once visited, designed by national icon Sen no Rikyū. Meitei tied it to the reaction he felt while poring over the ink paintings in his grandmother’s house. “The decayed earthen walls and faded tatami mats gave me an emotional impression,” he says. “And the cosmic flow of time drifting in the small room. I decided to put my impression of this into music.”
In 'Akira Kurosawa', an appropriately thunderous track, Meitei finds deep resonance in his vast filmography, which drew equally from Japan’s rich heritage and troubled circumstances post-WWII.
'Kofū II' is not a leftovers album, nor is it a straightforward companion piece. In this album, Meitei has his biggest reckoning with the Japanese identity yet. Over the years, he has attempted to peel back what he believes has defined Japan and its people. After seeking answers with three full-length albums, his fourth poses more questions.
If his first three albums inspired a sense of longing – or, perhaps inevitably, fed an irreparable nostalgia doomed to history – 'Kofū II' compels us to reassess our relationship with the past. By constantly looking back, are we ever afforded a clearer present? After capturing the “lost Japanese mood”, where does that leave its country in the modern world? Meitei offers no immediate answers with 'Kofū II'. It forces you to sit with its disparate moods, to meditate amidst the textured fragments.
'Kofū II' will be released on 180g LP, CD and digital format on December 10, 2021 (LP expected to land January 28, 2022) via KITCHEN. LABEL. Both LP and CD format are presented in a debossed sleeve with obi strip and include a 16-page insert with words in Japanese and English from Meitei, printed on premium paper stock with design by KITCHEN. LABEL founder Ricks Ang, and is mastered by Chihei Hatakeyama in Tokyo, Japan.
Cold Spring proudly presents the new studio album from MERZBOW. As a life-long campaigner of animal rights, Masami Akita has delivered a brutal assault on those that cage and murder animals. 'ANIMAL LIBERATION - UNTIL EVERY CAGE IS EMPTY' is 5 tracks (49 mins) of total noise assault that only the King of Japanese Noise can provide.
"There is a theory that Covid-19 broke out from the poor conditioned wet markets where live animals are sold. If there were no poultry farms, there would be no mass destruction of chickens due to the spread of bird flu. Human beings' cruelty to animals, animal abuse and species discrimination are all adding up to a disaster for mankind and the whole planet. The pandemic is an opportunity to reflect on the relationship between animals and humans. Veganism is the future for humanity" (Masami Akita, 2021).
The artwork is a reflection of the animal rights and anarcho-punk movements of the 80's. Proceeds from this release will benefit animal rights charities.
A collection of stunning Persian-tuned piano pieces cut from Iranian national radio broadcasts made for the Golha programmes between 1956 & 1965...
Morteza Mahjubi (1900-1965) was a Iranian pianist & composer who developed a unique tuning system for the piano which enabled the instrument to be played in all the different modes and dastgahs of traditional Persian art music. Known as Piano-ye Sonnati, this technique allowed Mahjubi to express the unique ornamental and monophonic nature of Persian classical music on this western instrument - mimicking the tar, setar & santur and extracting sounds from the piano which are still unprecedented to this day.
An active performer and composer from a young age, Mahjubi made his most notable mark as key contributor and soloist for the Golha (Flowers of Persian Song and Poetry) radio programmes. These seminal broadcasts platformed an encyclopaedic wealth of traditional Persian classical music and poetry on Iranian national radio between 1956 until the revolution in 1979.
Presented here is a collection of Morteza Mahjubi's stunningly virtuosic improvised pieces broadcast on Golha between the programme's inception until Mahjubi's death in 1965 - mostly solo, though at times peppered with tombak, violin & some segments of poetry.
The vast collection of Golha radio programmes was put together thanks to the incredible work of Jane Lewisohn & the Golha Project as part of the British Library's Endangered Archives programme, comprising 1,578 radio programs consisting of approximately 847 hours of broadcasts.