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Nora Guthrie - Emily’s Illness / Home Before Dark (7")
Nora Guthrie - Emily’s Illness / Home Before Dark (7")Em Records
Nora Guthrie's ultra-rare "Emily's Illness" is a lost gem of songcraft originally released in 1967, now reissued in the same 7" vinyl format (b/w "Home Before Dark") as the original. Featuring the pure vocals of the 17-year-old daughter of Woody Guthrie, "Emily's Illness" was written by Eric Eisner (The Strangers) and impeccably arranged by Artie Schroeck. A romantic collaboration of psychedelia, pop, and acid-folk, but informed by the harmonic and rhythmic developments of João Gilberto and jazz.
Sam Wilkes - DRIVING (LP+DL)Sam Wilkes - DRIVING (LP+DL)
Sam Wilkes - DRIVING (LP+DL)Wilkes Records
Driving is Sam Wilkes’ Indie Rock record. Out October 6th, 2023, it is the first release on Wilkes Records, an imprint borne of the artist’s emergent need to self-release. The songs presented here exist comfortably within the ever-expanding Wilkesian cosmos, characterized as they are by virtuosity, torqued experimentalism, and collaboration with a range of talented musicians. But Driving’s influences, its sincerity, and its allegiance to a certain pop sensibility reflects a departure for an artist who has primarily staked his claim within the experimental jazz idiom. Take the first track, “Folk Home,” which inaugurates the album’s fecundity—a bright, green, humid, summer feel. A swirling, freakout coda of reversed vocals gives way, in no short order, to a caterwaul of flute work that conjures Van Morrison’s (in)famous Astral Weeks sessions. Standing beside Morrison, the usual suspects are all present, if somewhat abstractedly. Dylan, The Dead, Joni, the Fab Four. Wilkes has developed a reputation as an experimental jazz luminary, but his deep affinity for the pop/rock/folk idiom of the latter twentieth century rings clear throughout Driving. More so than any Wilkes release to date, Driving is a collection guided by and dedicated to the man’s attention to songcraft. Written and recorded during a period of rain-damage induced renter’s itinerance (and the attendant desire to produce a kind of therapeutic, self-soothing, home-feeling music), Driving loosely charts the trajectory/experience of “a protagonist,” both Wilkes and not, “who has figured out how to live an enlightened and fulfilled life, but is unable to do so because he thinks about it too much.” This friction is surely relatable — a symptom of our compulsively self-aware present. But Wilkes avoids the obvious pitfalls of public hand-wringing. Rather, Driving’s nine tracks evince a genuine, and mature searching-ness, both sonically and lyrically. The ending refrain of “Own” serves like something close to a thesis— “Letting go // isn’t a concept // it’s an action.” In an attempt to beat back ego, hyper-cogitation, language itself, Wilkes arrives at an axiom that feels so true and familiar, you’d swear you’d heard it one hundred times before. Driving’s final third is, fittingly, its most emotive and cathartic. Tracks seven and eight, “Again, Again” and “And Again,” form a diptych, joined most obviously by the jangling, recursive grooves of guitarist Daryl Johns. Wilkes is said to have encouraged Johns to go “full Lindsey [Buckingham]” (clearly a welcome and resonant prompt), but one also catches stray Knopfler vibes, some intermittent Fripp, and (perhaps more-so in tone than technique) the spirit of DIY prophet and jangling man himself, Martin Newell (the Cleaners from Venus). Wilkes has stated that he finds joy in creating musical environments suitable to the contribution and flourishing of his favorite musicians. Throughout Driving, and in these two tracks especially, he has more than succeeded. The record closes with the titular track: a story-song that, according to Wilkes, poured out of him (melody, composition, and lyrics) in a single sitting. The tale is told plainly, bravely, starkly; a mistake was made, regrets have been had, and all is wrapped up in the recollection of a deeply felt adolescent heartsickness—a time when the narrator was first afire with music and automotive freedom. The song captures the moment when meaning inexplicably falls into place, when a long-nagging memory suddenly assumes narrative form, and the subsequent sense of lightness and unburdening. It is fitting that Driving, a record conceived as a form of self-therapy, should culminate with a sense of humble revelation. That Wilkes is plainly eager to share the vulnerable fruits of this labor constitutes Driving’s joyful offering.
冥丁 - 古風 III (LP)冥丁 - 古風 III (LP)

Hailing from Hiroshima, Meitei, unveils the final chapter of his transformative Kofū trilogy. “Kofū III” marks the apex of a musical journey that began in 2020, unraveling an introspective exploration of the artist's psyche while delving deep into the essence of Japanese culture. This latest release invites listeners into the innermost sanctums of Meitei's existence — a passage filled with serenity, self-discovery, and the triumphant conquest of personal demons.

Meitei's journey has been deeply intertwined with his surroundings. His move from bustling Kyoto to the tranquil rural town of Onomichi in Hiroshima wasn't just a change of location but a profound shift in his life. Navigating through the ebbs and flows of mental well-being, Meitei found solace in the quiet, low-key energy of Onomichi, where he began creating his distinctive brand of "ambient" music dedicated to resurrecting ‘lost Japanese moods’.

"Kofū III" is not just a collection of songs; it's a window into Meitei's mind, where he reflects on ‘the Japanese mental landscape,’ as experienced during the period of his return to his hometown. This album stands as a testament to Meitei's evolution, from his tentative inner quest to a state of deep healing.

"Kofū” and its precursor, "Kwaidan,” germinated in the solitude of Onomichi, embodying the mysterious, vanishing essence of Japan that Meitei unearthed in the shadows of his hometown. With "Kofū III," this exploration reaches its zenith, weaving musical landscapes that transcend temporal bounds. Each track vividly paints bygone eras and vignettes, all while drawing on the rich tapestry of Japanese literature and mindscapes.

Meitei introduces listeners to the tranquil Hiroshima countryside in 'Reimei,' while 'Hiroshima' reflects upon the city's transformation. It explores Meitei's intricate relationship with the city and contemplates the ever-changing visage of contemporary Japanese progress.

Within the sonic fabric of "Kofū III," "Shisei" brings listeners to Japan's past, when tattoos bore the name "Shisei." Fueled by Junichiro Tanizaki's "Shisei" narratives, the song paints a sensual tale of a tattooed man adorning a woman with a spider tattoo.

Meitei's authenticity shines through in "Kofū III," where complex emotions metamorphose into a kaleidoscopic fusion of lo-fi bliss. In "Yume-jūya," Meitei recounts a peculiar dream and the lingering anxiety it left behind. Also, inspired by the famous Japanese writer Soseki Natsume's "Yume-jūya," Meitei's interpretation offers his own perspective on this comical and bizarre tale.

"Edogawa Ranpo" stands as a mind-bending loop track that pays homage to the genius of the lesser-known Japanese author Edogawa Ranpo, a pioneer of the mysterious and bizarre. This experimental piece melds folklore, electronic rapture, and distortion, echoing Meitei's fascination with Ranpo's work since his elementary school days.

At the core of "Kofū III" lies "Heiwa," originally titled "1945," encapsulating Meitei's profound reflection on peace education in his hometown and the weighty significance of acknowledging historical tragedies. Its renaming as "Peace" symbolizes his personal odyssey towards understanding and reconciliation.

As Meitei concludes his Kofū trilogy, global listeners are invited to embark on this voyage to unearth the hidden treasures of Japanese culture and the depths of the human soul. "Kofū III" is a meditation on the intangible threads that bind us to our past - a portal to Japan's veiled history, capturing the essence of Japan's elusive spirit through the enigmatic landscapes of Meitei's inner terrains.

"Kofū III" is slated for release on December 1, 2023, in 180g LP, CD, and digital formats via KITCHEN. LABEL. Both LP and CD format are presented in a debossed sleeve with obi strip and include an accompanying 32-page booklet. This album is mastered by Chihei Hatakeyama in Tokyo, Japan. 

Sam Dunscombe - Two Forests - Oceanic (LP)
Sam Dunscombe - Two Forests - Oceanic (LP)Black Truffle
Following on from the psychoacoustic concrète of Outside Ludlow / Desert Disco LP (BT075), Sam Dunscombe returns to Black Truffle with Two Forests / Oceanic. Dunscombe has been active in recent years on multiple fronts, including as a key member of the Berlin community of Just Intonation researchers and practitioners; working with composers like Taku Sugimoto, Mary Jane Leach, and Anthony Pateras; and the release of Horatiu Radulescu - Plasmatic Music vol. 1 (the result of many years performance research into the thought and music of this seminal Romanian spectralist). In parallel with these activities, Dunscombe has been deeply involved in research on the role of music in psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy, prompting these two side long pieces, composed using field recordings and digital synthesis. As Dunscombe explains in the accompanying liner notes, music plays a key role in psychedelic-assisted therapy, yet it is often restricted to stock forms of New Age, ambient and electronica. Taking seriously the potential for spatio-environmental sonic experiences to add to the therapeutic process, these two pieces are intended to suggest how ‘a music-as-environment approach may help to add options to the therapist’s toolbox’. ‘Two Forests’ begins in a central Californian sequoia grove. Bird songs and buzzing insect life are treated with a variety of time-based processing methods (slicing and recombination, primitive granular synthesis, delay, and so on), which strip the field recordings of their linear, documentary character, reframing them in an enchanted web of traces and echoes. Analysing the pitches found in the original recordings, Dunscombe used them to generate a large Just Intonation pitch set. These tones are woven slowly into the field recordings, gradually building in density and complexity until the forest has been transformed into an unreal space of infinite proportions. Emerging from this cosmic expanse in the final minutes of the piece, we find ourselves in the Amazon rainforest outside Manaus, Brazil. As Dunscombe writes, the piece creates ‘a sense of place-gone-strange, of space and time simultaneously expanding and contracting across octaves, miles, and minutes’. On ‘Oceanic’, several recordings of different beaches fade in and out to create a texture both homogenous and constantly shifting in both the rhythm of the waves and each recording's sense of depth and distance. Tones relating in simple ratios to the average rhythm of each beach float over each other, colouring the white noise texture of the field recordings with shifting hues. In both pieces, Dunscombe forgoes the easy consonance that bogs down much contemporary ambient music for a richer harmonic array informed by extended tuning practices and spectralism. The end results suggest a hitherto undreamt-of meeting of Radulescu’s undulating sonic masses and the discreetly processed location recordings of Irv Teibel’s ‘psychologically ultimate’ Environments. Looking beyond the insularity that can afflict experimental music culture, Dunscombe’s work is a moving argument for the healing power of expanded approaches to sound and music. Even outside of a psychedelics-assisted therapy, frequent immersion in Two Forests / Oceanic is almost guaranteed to produce beneficial psychological results.
Julia Reidy - World in World (LP)Julia Reidy - World in World (LP)
Julia Reidy - World in World (LP)Black Truffle
Black Truffle announce World in World, the latest solo offering from prolific Berlin-based guitarist-composer Julia Reidy. Where the recent trilogy of LP releases -- brace, brace (Slip, 2019), In Real Life (BT 051LP, 2019), and Vanish (EMEGO 288LP, 2020) -- focused on increasingly lush electronic settings for Reidy's propulsive fingerpicking and auto-tuned vocals, arranged into wide-ranging side-long epics, World in World finds Reidy refocusing on the core elements of their approach while simultaneously pushing into challenging new areas. Comprising nine pieces ranging between two and seven minutes in length, the album's opening title track promptly introduces the distinctive palette of just-intoned electric guitars, subtle electronic processing, and voice that is rigorously explored throughout. Where much of Reidy's guitar work on previous recordings explored rapidly pulsed cycling figures, here, notes often hang in the air in a more spacious, lyrical fashion. The elasticity of rhythm and non-linear repetition of pitches initially suggests improvisation until the listener becomes aware of the precise arrangements of spatialized lines. At times, World in World suggests classic bedroom electric guitar works of the 1990s such as Loren Connors's Airs (2015) or Roy Montgomery's Scenes from the South Island (1995); like those works, Reidy's possesses a wonderfully live ambience, with frequent pedal clicks adding to the music's powerful sense of intimacy. In Reidy's case, however, the yearning, melancholic mood of Connors or Montgomery is tempered by the unorthodox guitar tuning, which at points produces a unique and uncomfortable effect somewhere between the hyper-precision of Harry Partch or Lou Harrison and Jandek's slack-stringed descent into the void. While World in World plots out its terrain with a bold single-mindedness that allows some pieces to appear almost as variations on a common theme, subtle changes in emphasis distinguish each track. Tactile percussive interjections skitter across the tremolo tones of "Paradise in Unrecognisable Colours", while "Ajar" ramps up the role played by the electronics, with glitching pitch-shifted and back-masked textures threaded through the guitars and thickly harmonized vocal layers. Ranging from autotuned melodic lines to buried murmurs, Reidy's voice is a frequent presence throughout these nine pieces, at times creating the impression that a more conventional series of songs lurks underneath the chiming microtonal guitars. On the stunning "Poised", whispers and distant, ghostly wails surround the layers of guitars, at times suggesting the foggiest outer reaches of Liz Harris's Grouper. Both rigorously experimental and emotive, World in World
Ustad Zia Mohiuddin Dagar - Vrindavan 1982 (2LP)Ustad Zia Mohiuddin Dagar - Vrindavan 1982 (2LP)
Ustad Zia Mohiuddin Dagar - Vrindavan 1982 (2LP)Black Truffle
Black Truffle is thrilled to present a previously unheard performance by rudra veena master Ustad Zia Mohiuddin Dagar, recorded in the North Indian city of Vrindavan at the Druhpad Samaroh festival in 1982. Z.M. Dagar was a nineteenth-generation descendant of the Dagar family of musicians, famed for their profoundly meditative approach to the tradition of Hindustani court music. Perhaps the most revered members of the family were the brothers Mohinuddin and Aminuddin Dagar, who played a key role in reawakening interest in dhrupad in the mid-20th century. The great exponents of the tradition from whom Z.M. Dagar descended were all singers, and dhrupad is essentially vocal music. However, as Z.M. Dagar explained, the veena family of instruments plays an important role in the education and practice of dhrupad singers, especially as an aid to mastering the fine microtonal nuances of pitch essential to the genre. Introduced as a child by his father to the rudra veena, a large and low-pitched veena amplified by two enormous gourds, Z.M. Dagar became the first modern dhrupad musician to perform with it as an instrumental soloist, giving his first recital at the age of 16. Devoted to the instrument throughout his life, he made innovations to its design and materials, as well as introducing novel techniques (such as playing without the use of the traditional wire plectrum, resulting in the remarkable warmth of his tone). In the great Dagar family tradition, his approach to the various ragas that make up the dhrupad repertoire was stately, slow, and considered, with a great emphasis on the alap, the heavily improvised exposition section. True to form, in this recording of Dagar performing the night raga Yaman Kalyan, the alap section stretches out to more than forty minutes of slow-motion bliss, a frozen tanpura drone hovering above Dagar’s gracefully bent notes and elegantly twisting phrases. In the alap’s first half, Dagar’s figures are so intently focused on the lower reaches of the rudra veena’s range that they register more as shudders and moans than melodic patterns. As the performance continues, he slowly climbs in pitch, though continuing with the same intent focus on the articulation of single notes and subtle microtonal variations. This leads to the jod section of the performance, which, though still accompanied only by the tanpura, gradually takes on a more rhythmic character. Developing almost imperceptibly over the course of nearly thirty minutes, the jod moves from the stillness of the opening alap to a rapid pulse that announces the closing section of the piece, where Dagar is joined by Shrikant Mishra on the pakhawaj (a double headed hand drum). Where many performers use the final section of the raga as an exercise in unrestrained virtuosity, Dagar and Mishra subtly weave a web of finely shifting accents and hypnotic melodic variations, bringing the recording to a fitting conclusion while remaining within the meditative space occupied by the performance as a whole. Adorned with beautiful archival photographs of Dagar taken by Swedish percussion legend Bengt Berger and accompanied by detailed notes from Bradford Bailey, Vrindavan 1982 is a stunning document of music unmatched in its patient focus and mysterious emotional depth. .
Yusef Lateef - Live at Ronnie Scott's: January 15th 1966 (LP)Yusef Lateef - Live at Ronnie Scott's: January 15th 1966 (LP)
Yusef Lateef - Live at Ronnie Scott's: January 15th 1966 (LP)Gearbox Records

This is a previously unreleased 1966 live club performance from Yusef Lateef, the brilliant multi-instrumentalist whose mixing of jazz and Eastern music was a great influence on some of the finest musicians of the era including John Coltrane and Pharaoh Sanders.

Accompanied at Ronnie Scott’s by the house band of pianist Stan Tracey, double bassist Rick Laird and drummer Bill Eyden, most of the repertoire played comes from Lateef’s earlier recordings for Savoy and Prestige such as Jazz Moods and Eastern Sounds. Lateef plays flute on The Dreamer and Last Night Blues (it was the last night of the run). He plays the shenai - a kind of oboe - on Blues for The Orient, the xun - a Chinese flute - on Song of Delilah, and tenor saxophone on Yusef’s Mood.

The evening’s performance was recorded by Les Tomkins at the request of Ronnie Scott. The musicians were unaware they were being recorded as Scott believed they would be at their best and most unselfconscious this way. This record was mastered at Gearbox Records directly from the original 1/4” tapes.

Cut on Haeco Scully lathe with Westrex RA1700 series amps, Westrex 3DIIA cutting head and Telefunken U73B tube limiter; Maselec master control and equalisation.

Session Victim - low key, low pressure (LP+DL)Session Victim - low key, low pressure (LP+DL)
Session Victim - low key, low pressure (LP+DL)Night Time Stories

Session Victim’s 5th studio album ‘low key, low pressure’ feels like an anathema to today’s fast-paced, industry-driven musical landscape – and for all the right reasons.

Having released two intense, dancefloor-focused 12“s on Rhythm Section and Delusions Of Grandeur over the past year, their return to NIGHT TIME STORIES brings out their trippy, headsy side once again.

And despite the pandemic downtime being over, Hauke and Matthias remain holed up in the studio, jamming, head nodding to drum breaks, and churning out records like the one in front of you.

Spanning 10 tunes – 12 if you count the limited bonus 7“ that comes with the first pressing – the LP is undiluted Session Victim, with their occasional trio partner Carsten “Erobique“ Meyer as the sole musical guest on the library-esque SOFT LANDING, a tune reminiscent of something the boys would try to hunt down on one of their compulsive record store rummages to feed it to their Akais.

You’ll also find the sequel to one of their cornerstone tracks from their 2020 album NEEDLEDROP, Jazzbeat 07. (It’s JAZZBEAT 08, in case you were wondering.)

Having acquired a taste for the occasional cover version over the years, the duo closes the album out with their rendition of Instra:mental’s PHOTOGRAPH. Tackling such a classic is a daunting task which they approach in a gentle way, not swaying too far from the original, subtly reimagining the rhythmical foundation and exchanging the distinctive playground sounds from the original with field recordings of the locals populating the gritty area around their Neukölln studio.

Being longtime fans of Swedish organ player Bo Hansson, Hauke and Matthias tried to reach out to the people responsible for his cover artwork - who today are in their late 80ies and have not answered ever since.

Things came together in the most fortunate way when the pair were introduced to French artist Xavier d’espinay Saint Luc and his enchanting pencil wizardry. The outstanding result is what you’re holding in your hands right now.

But what do you really need to know? This is ‘low key, low pressure’. It’s got pristine drum chops to zoom in, hazy melodies to zone out, and all the texture you need to lose yourself in the details. 

Chihei Hatakeyama -  Late Spring (LP)Chihei Hatakeyama -  Late Spring (LP)
Chihei Hatakeyama - Late Spring (LP)Gearbox Records

“A sultry haze of shimmering ambient electronics and sparkling, effects-heavy guitar. Just what the ambient doctor ordered." - Electronic Sound

"Consumed in its entirety Late Spring is a soothing breeze, teleporting you directly to a grassy field in the sunshine – as transfixing as any record released thus far in 2021." - The Vinyl Factory

"The record sounds exactly like what you would expect with a name like Late Spring; it is a meditative, hypnotic look at the human condition and its emotional spectrum, as it attempts to grasp undefinable." - Far Out Magazine


Japanese musician Chihei Hatakeyama is set to release his new album ‘Late Spring’ on 9th April 2021. An album of a humble nature, ‘Late Spring’ gently unfolds as a shared journeying experience through a series of rich and outstanding encounters.

An extract from the liner notes by Nick Luscombe:

"For an artist who typically works quickly, Hatakeyama considers Late Spring to be one of the more time-intensive records of his career – he started working on it in 2018, and completed it towards the end of 2020. For Late Spring, Hatakeyama re-examined his approach to musical performance, using a new amplifier and microphone set-up to playback and record his guitar and synthesisers. From the cathedral organ-like opener Breaking Dawn with its sub-aqua resonances, to the subtle drift of the closing track Twilight Sea, this record is a masterpiece of dense and beatific melodies. Drawn from evolving synthesised sounds and shimmering slow motion guitars, it combines these with occasional sonic elements that are best described as evoking computer code running through the veins of the machines like artificial blood."

Chihei Hatakeyama is a sound artist, mastering engineer, and record label founder who was born in 1978 and lives in Tokyo. He has performed for years under his given name and also as one half of the electroacoustic duo Opitope alongside Tomoyoshi Date. From his first full-length album ‘Minima Moralia’ (“Excellent” 8.1 Pitchfork) in 2006, through the subsequent 70+ albums that followed, Hatakeyama has created a mighty canon of work. His catalogue is spread across a number of highly-regarded labels, including Kranky, Room40 and his own White Paddy Mountain imprint. His release rate is unquestionably impressive, but what is even more striking is the continual high quality of each alluring album.

Kakuhan - LIVE_0 (CD)Kakuhan - LIVE_0 (CD)
Kakuhan - LIVE_0 (CD)Kakuhan

Kakuhan, a unit of Hino and Hiroki Nakagawa, has released a self-released CD, which has been sold exclusively at live venues, on "Nakid," a hot label run by Koshiro Hino, who is also well known for his activities with goat and YPY and for running "birdFriend," and has released such powerful artists as Keith Fullerton Whitman and Mark Fell & Will Guthrie. The CD is a self-released CD by Kakuhan, a unit consisting of Hino and Hiroki Nakagawa, which has been sold exclusively at live venues and has won critical acclaim!

The CD includes a live performance by KAKUHAN, a unit consisting of YPY, Hino Koshiro, and cellist Nakagawa Hiroki, at the "Feldman meets freq 2022" event held at Kyushu University in February 2022.
KAKUHAN's first album "Metalzone", released at the end of 2022, was voted the 5th best release of 2022 by Boomkat and the 5th best album of the year by Music Magazine in the best electronic music category. The CD contains a total of six songs, including the previous night's "Prototype," a song from the same album, and includes a song that can only be heard on this CD.
As the unit name suggests, the various elements of both artists' activities-"electronic music/strings," "contemporary/club music," "traditional/contemporary," "physical/metaphysical," "composition/improvisation"-are literally "stirred" in the performance. It is highly recommended to listen to it together with "Metalzone"!

Mark Fell, Rian Treanor, Kakuhan - Promo (CD)Mark Fell, Rian Treanor, Kakuhan - Promo (CD)
Mark Fell, Rian Treanor, Kakuhan - Promo (CD)Nakid

A split CD commemorating the Japan tour by MARK FELL, RIAN TREANOR, and KAKUHAN in September and October 2023 is now available!

Known as a giant of electronic or experimental techno music since the 90's, they have released many works on labels such as Mille Plateaux, Line, Mego, and Raster Noton. In recent years, Mark Fell has been going beyond the boundaries of "techno" to offer a truly "modern" sound.
In 2023, NYEGE NYEGE TAPES will release "Saccades," a collaboration with Ugandan/Acholi fiddle player Ocen James, and RIAN FELL is creating music at the intersection of club culture, experimental art, and computer music, with new deconstructions and linkages. RIAN TREANOR creates music that involves new deconstruction and interlocking from the intersection of club culture, experimental art, and computer music.
KAKUHAN (Koshiro Hino and Hiroki Nakagawa), who started his activities in 2022 after various collaborations, "stirs" as the name implies, the poles/tunes possessed by various types of music such as "electronic music/strings," "contemporary music/club music," "composition/ improvisation," etc. that the unit is equipped with.
This 9-song split CD, which includes completely new compositions by these three artists, is not a mere "split (mish-mash)," but rather an approach that transcends and melds the boundaries of "physical/metaphysical" on the periphery of music after techno music is evident in each of the compositions. The ongoing attitude of the three artists toward music is truly and casually expressed in this work, which should be listened to beyond genres.

Pauline Anna Strom - Echoes, Spaces, Lines (4LP BOX)Pauline Anna Strom - Echoes, Spaces, Lines (4LP BOX)
Pauline Anna Strom - Echoes, Spaces, Lines (4LP BOX)Rvng Intl.
Echoes, Spaces, Lines collects Trans-Millenia Consort, Plot Zero, and Spectre, the first three albums by the late West Coast composer, healer, and medium Pauline Anna Strom. Exploring all corners of the multiverse through transpersonal form and freedom, Strom’s first three albums share a singular sensibility, different streams flowing from the same oracular font. Echoes, Spaces, Lines establishes Strom’s rightful place in the canon of great synthesists. Restored and mixed from the original reels by Marta Salogni, newly remastered, and adding Oceans of Tears, a fully realized but previously unreleased album exclusive to this box set, these are the first official reissues and the definitive encapsulation of Pauline Anna Strom’s prolific and visionary early work. This four LP box set includes a 12-page booklet containing liner notes, an unearthed interview with Strom, and unseen ephemera.
Mort Garson - Black Eye (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) (CS)Mort Garson - Black Eye (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) (CS)
Mort Garson - Black Eye (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) (CS)Sacred Bones Records
Mort Garson is the ultimate jack-of-all-trades. He is best known for his pioneering work in the field of electronic music - his albums from the 1960s and 1970s were among the first to use Moog synthesizers, and constitute a rich catalog in which the classic Plantasia stands proudly. In 1974, Mort Garson composed the music for the American neo-black action/blaxploitation film Black Eye, starring Fred Williamson. The Black Eye soundtrack shows yet another fascinating facet of Mort's remarkable composing talent. Strongly influenced by soul, funk and jazz, Garson cleverly fuses dynamic horn sections and funky bass lines with synthesizers, resulting in unconventional sonic textures that blend the classic sounds of the blaxploitation film soundtrack with electronic elements and experimental sounds.

Sarah Davachi - Long Gradus (2LP)Sarah Davachi - Long Gradus (2LP)
Sarah Davachi - Long Gradus (2LP)Late Music

A new longform commissioned work for any ensemble of four similar instruments. The definitive string quartet version of 'Long Gradus' is available as a 2LP and CD, and the collection of all four arrangements (strings, woodwinds, brass & organ, choir & electronics) is presented as the 'Long Gradus: Arrangements' 4CD set.

'Long Gradus' began in 2020 when Sarah Davachi was selected to participate in Quatuor Bozzini’s Composer’s Kitchen residency, which was to be a joint production with Gaudeamus Muziekweek in the Netherlands. With the postponement of the residency to the following year, the composer was given the opportunity to take a step back and look at the piece over a much longer period of time than would have ordinarily been possible. The resulting longform composition in four parts, written in its initial form for string quartet, was developed as an iteration of an ongoing preoccupation with chordal suspension and cadential structure. In this context, horizontal shifts in pitch material and texture occur on a very gradual scale, allowing the listener's perceptions to settle on the spatial experience of harmony. A system of septimal just intonation helps to further the production of a consonant acoustic environment. 'Long Gradus' uses a formalized articulation of time-bracket notation alongside unfixed indications of pitch, texture, and voicing that allow the players some discretion in determining the shape of the piece. A sense of pacing that is markedly different from that of mensural notation emerges accordingly, while the open structure of the composition results in each performance having a unique and unpredictable configuration.

The piece may be arranged in a quartet format for any instrumentation that can alter its intonation with some degree of accuracy or produce a natural seventh harmonic. Substitution of the string quartet with other instruments as desired or imagined, both acoustic and electronic, is entirely acceptable and indeed encouraged. To this end, Davachi has also offered the 'Long Gradus: Arrangements' 4CD set, which includes the string quartet version as well as arrangements for woodwinds, brass and organ, and choir and electronics. A 'gradus' is a sort of handbook meant to aid in learning a difficult practice; in this case, 'Long Gradus' is designed to considerably slow the cognitive movements of both listener and player, and to focus their attention on the relationships between moments. A rich harmonic landscape that is constantly shifting and which changes with each engagement is the listener’s return. For the player, 'Long Gradus' is an invitation to practice active listening and to immerse oneself in the stillness of psychoacoustic space and time.

Davachi comments: “I owe a huge debt of gratitude to Quatuor Bozzini for the opportunity to go through this process together, which is exceedingly uncommon in the context of chamber music. Typically, when writing for an ensemble or orchestra, the composer is given very few, if any, occasions to actually adjust their work in a meaningful way outside of perhaps one or two brief rehearsals of an essentially final score. It is extremely rare and an enormous luxury to begin with simple sketches or ideas and to actually construct a piece over a period of several months or more from a place of sonic assurance – that is, being able to listen and to explore and to continually fine tune in response to the sound itself, in conjunction with the performers. Part of the reason that my earliest compositional efforts arose within the domain of electroacoustic and acousmatic music is because of the control that it offered, to intuit sound in real time rather than through the indirect interpretation of future sound in the form of a score. Even now, when I compose work for chamber ensembles, I typically always start from a recorded version or from a demo – from the sound itself – and then work backwards to generate the score that will result in that music. It seems to be a vestige of conservatory thinking to view music performance, even in relation to new music, as a kind of reading of notes on the page that simply results in things just falling into place as expected. But, when the music goes beyond what’s on the page to include a dialogue with the acoustic space of the performance, and to require a certain patience and concentration on part of the performers, there needs to be a different approach; the Composer’s Kitchen residency offered that respect and curiosity.” 

Jamila Woods - Water Made Us (Arctic Swirl Vinyl LP)
Jamila Woods - Water Made Us (Arctic Swirl Vinyl LP)Jagjaguwar
On her expansive new album Water Made Us, Chicago musician and poet Jamila Woods shines anew as she asks the question, what does it mean to fully surrender into love? Across Water Made Us, Jamila embraces new genres, playful melodies, and hypnotizing wordplay, as she wades through the exhilarating tumult of love’s wreckage and refuge. While 2017’s HEAVN saw Jamila celebrating her community within a lineage of Black feminist movement organizing, and 2019’s Legacy! Legacy! reframed her life’s experiences through the storied personas of iconic Black and brown artists, Water Made Us is self-revelatory in an entirely new way. The upcoming album reveals a new side of Jamila never fully shared with her previous work, making this her most personal album yet. Coming out of her Legacy! Legacy! touring schedule and into 2020’s Covid-19 quarantine, Jamila wanted to challenge herself to write as many songs as possible, and spent several months in a state of deep creativity and self-reflection. But despite giving herself this freedom to write without worry, she still yearned for a story to tie her disparate songs together, a clear message to hold in the distance as a guiding light. Early songs “Bugs” and “Thermostat” revealed a simmering common thread: love, relationships, and the hard lessons learned in their wake. Journaling, therapy, and frequent consultations with a trusted astrologer all began to reflect Jamila’s own patterns in love and intimacy back to her. “I was able to understand these little things about myself and say ‘Okay, I want to write about every one of these feelings that I always return to, or patterns that I notice, and give language to them.’” After being connected with LA-based producer McClenney, the album’s story began to take shape, and the two worked together building each song from scratch across 2021 and 2022, first virtually, and then in-person at McClenney’s Haven Studios in LA. The albums sequence was then carefully and cleverly designed to echo the different stages of a relationship: the early days of easy compromising, flirtatiousness, and fun; the careful negotiation through moments of conflict or hurt; the grieving of something lost; and the tender realization at the end of it all that the person who is gone never really leaves, but stays with you as you find yourself ready to try again, refreshed and reassured. But it’s not just Jamila’s turn inward that makes Water Made Us a forceful and captivating reemergence. This album invites us to relinquish any preconceived notions we may have built about what kind of artist Jamila is, with a widespread range of infectious, resplendent production styles. The albums sprawling 17 tracks span everything from autotuned R&B on “Send A Dove”, to gentle acoustic folk rock on the heart wrenching “Wolfsheep”, and bubbly dreampop on dance anthem “Boomerang”. Across Water Made Us, Jamila admits unflinchingly to her mistakes and uncertainties. Twinkling percussive track “Tiny Garden” chronicles Jamila’s effort to prove her commitment to someone, despite the ways she struggles to make it clear. “I’m falling hard for you but I know I don’t show it” she sings over bouncy percussion. Spoken word interlude “I Miss All My Exes” is a solemn and aching ode to the most perfect moments spent with a lifetime of lovers. Each tender shared memory, inside joke, and bestowal of care is kept carefully bound and sealed in Jamila’s heart, even after the relationship has faded into the past. By album finisher “Headfirst”, Jamila seems to accept her own imperfections with gentle grace over a steady groove of shimmering guitar and thumping bass. With every new turn, the door to Jamila’s heart is blown open, revealing her both at her strongest and most vulnerable. But she never navigates love’s depths alone. In what now feels like a familiar staple to her work, Water Made Us is adorned with personal voice memos from those closest to Jamila during her time of deep reflection – Fatimah Asghar, Indya Moore, Krista Franklin, Jasminfire, and the particularly charming Great Uncle Quentin all make appearances. The family affair is rounded out with features from friends and fellow Chicago natives Saba and Peter CottonTale, and the NY-based singer and producer duendita. Every visiting voice serves as an anchor, reminding both Jamila and her audience that the place and people we come from can be a steady source of strength and guidance through our darkest moments of uncertainty. The album’s title is taken from a line in “Good News” where Jamila sings with comforting reassurance, “The good news is water always runs back where it came from/The good news is water made us.” The line is a reference to a Toni Morrison quote from a talk given at the New York Public Library in 1996. “You know, they straightened out the Mississippi River in places,” Morrison says. “To make room for houses and livable acreage. Occasionally the river floods these places. "Floods” is the word they use, but in fact it is not flooding; it is remembering. Remembering where it used to be. All water has a perfect memory and is forever trying to get back to where it was.” It’s this sentiment – of memory, place, and returning – that acts as a pillar for the album’s arc. “That idea that we’re all born, just babies, just happy,” Jamila says. “That’s always in us, that perfect contentment with just being. And so no matter what bad days we have, we’re on a set course back to that. We can just surrender and get out of the way of that.” Water Made Us reminds us that at its best love is a warm, still ocean. Deep, mystifying, and endless in its wonder. And at its worst love can be a riptide that takes us so far away from ourselves we can hardly find our way back, hardly even remember how to swim. And yet Jamila surrenders to this surf — every wave and undertow – because maybe even the most painful endings can in fact be an invitation that calls her back home, back to shore, back to herself.
Hilary Woods - Acts of Light (Translucent Red Color Vinyl LP)
Hilary Woods - Acts of Light (Translucent Red Color Vinyl LP)Sacred Bones Records
Hilary Woods builds on the airy mystery of 2021's genius 'Feral Hymns' with the crepuscular 'Acts of Light', featuring nine creeping dirges played with double bass, field recordings and sacred choral chants that sound like mournful, Celtic ghosts wailing into a moonlit woodland. Brilliant, gaseous material for anyone into Deathprod, Sarah Davachi, David Darling or Antonina Nowacka. That last album married Wood's surreptitious hooks with Lasse Marhaug’s petrified, doomcore production, a highly distinctive marriage of cursed atmospherics and memorable songs that still sounds like pretty much nothing else we’ve heard since. Her followup ‘Isolation Tank’ for our Documenting Sound series was essentially a screwed audio diary, creating rhythms out of the clicking whirr of her old polaroid camera, her voice drifting into abstraction. In other words, Woods is no stranger to getting deep into her process, and on 'Acts of Light' she increases the contrast, bringing out cracks of colour to contrast her Vantablack striations. Voices are blurred against microscopic sounds on 'Wife Mother Lover Cow', as euphoric pads swelter into mist; like spying a midnight ritual from a safe vantage point, watching forest nymphs dance to the beat of their own drum. Ghostly, choral vapours gather on 'Where the Bough has Broken', recorded with the Palestrina Choir at Dublin's Procathedral, and with Galway City Chamber Choir in Galway, crashing into environmental recordings Woods gathered during travels across Spain. The title track plays pitched vocals against low, nauseating murmurs, while strings provide an ominous sustained drone. Voices chatter in the distance, and a rhythmic thud sounds like a march to the afterlife. Woods strips things back further on 'Awakening', giving us a short break from the crippling gloom with angelic chorals and gauzy cello, before the disorienting heartbeat 'Blood Orange' transports us into another lysergic reality. 'The Foot of Love' is the album's most emotionally resonant moment, all poetic curls of ornate instrumentation and fogged-out dark ambience that wouldn't sound out of place on an Akira Rabelais album, leading masterfully into Woods' brief, subtle denouement, the aptly-titled 'Vigil', freezing phantasmagoric vocals in a sodden mess of cello and captured rainfall. It's the ideal finale to an album that escorts us through a magickal, dusky wilderness that's never oppressive, always tender in its own way. Music that’s as creakingly baroque as it is verdant and folksy. Acts of Light is a fugue comprised of nine slow hypnotic dirges. Vulnerability, majesty, and candour elicited with drone, double bass, cello, synth, viola, field recordings, electronics, noise, vocals, processing and sacred choral chant compose its private ritual. Following excavations and explorations in intuition and physicality through sound which culminated in her 2021 EP Feral Hymns, Acts of Light is a disquiet personal offering to wilderness, loss, absence, mystery and love supreme. Awakening hidden forms that emerge from the shadows with each listen, its rich and weighted lament is subterranean and chasmal whilst simultaneously detailed and tender. Textural dust and speckled light move slowly and expansively here through a deeply sonic and sensory rite of passage where Woods’ moving compositions confide in us feeling to be received with the entire body. Written, recorded, mixed and produced over a span of two years along the west coast of Ireland and Dublin, Woods recorded the voices of Galway City Chamber Choir, before recording the choristers of the Palestrina Choir in the Pro Cathedral Dublin. Strings were recorded by Jo Berger Myhre in Oslo, whilst field recordings were recorded nomadically throughout her time spent traveling through the north west of Spain.
Duke - Early Instrumentals (Blue Vinyl LP)Duke - Early Instrumentals (Blue Vinyl LP)
Duke - Early Instrumentals (Blue Vinyl LP)Nyege Nyege Tapes
Having toured the world with Mczo and been at the helm of his own studio Pamoja Records since he was just 18, influential Singeli producer Duke, now 25, is one of Tanzania's busiest club alchemists. On his acclaimed solo debut "Uingizaji Hewa" we were introduced to his idiosyncratic "hip-hop Singeli" sound, a slower cousin to the Dar Es Salaam-rooted hard 'n fast club template that takes as much special sauce from Busta Rhymes and Eminem as it does the 200BPM clatter of genre veterans Jay Mitta and Sisso. On September's "Sounds Of Pamoja," we were treated to a closer look into Duke's studio, and specifically at his work with the city's best young MCs like Dogo Kibo, Pirato MC and MC Kuke. "Early Instrumentals" allows us to witness the depth of Duke's evolution with a selection of unearthed genre melting Singeli mutations laid completely bare without vocals. This 11-track set features some of his most arresting hybrid dance music yet, expressing his visionary fusion of contemporary rave sounds, US rap attitude, and Tanzanian dance history. While the roots of Singeli are in taraab, a popular fusion of East African and Middle Eastern traditional dance rhythms and melodies, Duke steers the sound into a synth-led, syncopated firework display that sounds spry and futuristic. Centered arounda bumping staccato melody and urgent synth strings 'Dukelo Fl Sing' echoes the lo-swung swagger of early Dr. Dre productions, but kicks the tempo into overdrive, decorating any gaps with flickering late-nite synths. 'Beat Kali Duke' meanwhile drives carnival trance leads through hard and fast rolls of kick drums, whistles and woodblock cracks. It's not all completely high speed either: 'Duke Selecta' is almost afro-house, with slow, sexy bass and woozy vocal melodies, and 'KKKKKKKKKKKKKKK' absorbs the propulsive spirit of South African gqom. "Early Instrumentals" is the most varied picture we've been presented yet of Duke's rousing dance cocktail. IT's a physical call to action that assures listeners the genre is for movement, not headphone listening.
Jessika Kenney & Eyvind Kang - Azure (LP)Jessika Kenney & Eyvind Kang - Azure (LP)
Jessika Kenney & Eyvind Kang - Azure (LP)Ideologic Organ
Having each followed their own distinct trajectory of exploration for decades - interweaving rigorous experimentalism with transcultural conversations - and building upon roughly 20 years working as a duo, Jessika Kenney and Eyvind Kang return with Azure, their third full-length with Ideologic Organ. Among their most riveting outings to date, comprising five new compositions recorded in Seattle during the spring of 2022, this remarkable body of sonority culminates in a singular gesture of contemporary minimalism that slowly unfolds across the album’s length. Emerging from the Pacific Northwest, Jessika Kenney and Eyvind Kang have retained a strong presence within the context of North American experimental music since the mid 1990s, each producing some of the most grippingly original music to have appeared over the subsequent years. Kenney is a vocalist and composer internationally regarded for her spellbinding timbres and her in-depth study of oral traditions. Her work takes the form of sound installations, talismanic scores, music for film, electronics, and choir. She released the groundbreaking experimental gamelan album Atria (Sige) in 2015, and has collaborated with Lori Goldston, Holland Andrews, Niloufar Shiri, Tashi Wada, Alvin Lucier, Sarah Davachi, Melati Suryodarmo, Ensemble Nist-Nah, Sunn O))), and numerous others. Kang, a multi-instrumentalist, composer and arranger, works across genre and discipline, bringing subtlety, fluidity, and emotional intensity to each of his varied projects. In addition to creating a striking body of solo works that has traced its way across the last two and half decades - most recently including Sonic Gnostic (Aspen Edities, 2021) and Ajaeng Ajaeng (Ideologic Organ, 2020) - he has played on albums by Bill Frisell, Joe McPhee, Sun City Girls, Ikue Mori, Laurie Anderson, Blonde Redhead, William Hooker, Animal Collective, and numerous others. Since beginning to work together as a duo in the early 2000s, Kang and Kenney have collaborated on sound installations, music for orchestra, choir, and mixed ensembles in addition to releasing numerous widely acclaimed full-lengths: Aestuarium (2005), The Face Of The Earth (2012), Live In Iceland (2013), At Temple Gate (2014), Reverse Tree (2016), Seva (2017), The Cypress Dance (2020). A hypnotic return to the duo’s unique expression of “unison music", Azure is among Kenney and Kang’s most pared-down efforts in more than a decade. Its five compositions are underscored by allusions to the natural world and drifting temporalities, producing a profound calm that rises in arcs of tonal color. The album’s opener, Eclipse, is a composition built around the phrase “eclipse…inside the eclipse”, drawn from Theresa Hak Kyung Cha’s book, Dictee. Leaving aching silences between each utterance - Kenney’s sparse vocal interventions enmeshed with Kang’s delicate viola d’amore tones - the piece’s collective elements produce a remarkable tension bubbling within its spacious calm. The title track, Azure, takes its name from a pun on the Persian "az u" or "from her/him/them”, and is a meditation on the closing rhymes of ghazal 413 from the Divan of Hafez, such as mâh az u, râh az u, and âh az u, “the moon from them, the path from them, the sighs from them”. Imbued with sorrow and release, across the piece Kenney’s vocals and Kang’s viola d’amore weave and dance against a shruti drone, calling forth echoes of lost moments in far off worlds. This is followed by three pieces that incorporate traces of wide-ranging techniques into their forms. Ocean is an experiment with different intensities of pulsation, with inspiration from ring modulation’s use of two simultaneous frequencies, which assemble an enveloping expanse of intoxicating harmonics and vibrato. For Forest Floor, Kenney’s long-tone vocalizations play on the meanings of ‘tan’ or body, and ‘nur’ or light, and the town names of ‘Chegel’ and ‘Khotan’ from ghazal 327 from the Divan of Hafez. Dancing at the boundaries of sorrow and joy, her voice, paced in perfect harmony to Kang’s viola, seems to propose alternate realities of what ecstatic music might be. The album’s final piece draws upon Glenna Cole Allee’s book, Hanford Reach, incorporating photographs and words spoken within by interviewees living or working in the tribal territories of Wanapum, Yakama, Cayuse, Umatilla, Nez Perce, and many others on or near the Hanford Nuclear Site in the state of Washington. Among the album’s most dynamic and powerful efforts - drones and pizzicato tones playing counterpoint to Kenney’s soaring vocals - the duo, inexplicably, imbues strong impressions of that landscape. As Suzanne Kite states in the album’s liner notes, with each of Azure’s discrete expressions Jessika Kenney and Eyvind Kang “ask our ears to hold/stop/wait/listen closely to the edges of knowability, while the world continues around our sounding bodies… [they] draw our ears so closely that if we are not careful, the listener’s breath
WULFFLUW XCIV - Toxica (12")
WULFFLUW XCIV - Toxica (12")Hakuna Kulala
One of the first artists from outside of Africa to sign to Hakuna Kulala, WULFFLUW XCIV brings his borderless productions to the label's ongoing Whitelabel series following a slew of dancefloor agitations from T5UMT5UMU, Menzi & Scratchclart, and others. "Toxica EP" builds on the mutant fusion of 2020's acclaimed "Ngoma Injection", stripping back the woozy psychedelia and chromium ambience and replacing it with pure soundsystem pressure. 'Take a Ride' bends acid techno machinery around rubbery East African rhythms, anchoring block party hedonism with a 4/4 bump that wouldn't be out of place in Kreuzberg and vocal shakes straight from São Paulo. But this isn't a mindless mashup of aesthetics, its a conversation with the world's fringe agitators, using stylistic and rhythmic strokes to highlight commonality, not exclusivity. Hakuna Kulala's own Chrisman appears on 'Tetemeka', and the two producers adapt the syrupy tarraxinha inversions the Congolese engineer perfected on last year's "Makila" full-length. Low, resonant gqom atmospheres underpin the entire track, but WULFFLUW XCIV's squeaky toy synths prevent it from slipping into darkness. Elsewhere 'Kluck' distorts the timeline completely, wedging flute-led Latin American tribal sounds into a riddim vs. trap superstructure, and 'Exp' sublimes speed dembow into delirious trance and minimal techno vapors. The boundaries between dance subgenres are slowly dissolving, and WULFFLUW XCIV's digital-era intermixture sounds like the cyberpunk carnival we're all desperately in need of.
John McGuire - Vanishing Points / A Cappella (LP)
John McGuire - Vanishing Points / A Cappella (LP)Unseen Worlds
In his “Pulse Music” compositions of the mid-1970s, composer John McGuire forged a unique interpretation of European serialism. A student of Karlheinz Stockhausen, Krzysztof Penderecki and Gottfried Michael Koenig, McGuire moved to Cologne, Germany in 1970, where he become associated with the world-leading Studio for Electronic Music at Westdeutscher Rundfunk (WDR) in Cologne. Like Stockhausen, McGuire found his musical imagination both constrained and inspired by the technology that was available to him. A conversation with sculptor Hans Karl Burgeff led McGuire to think beyond the horizon and into limitless space. For “Vanishing Points” (1985–1988), McGuire used an entirely digital set-up for the first time: a digital sequencer, eight Yamaha DX-7 synthesizers and a Studer 24-track digital tape recorder. The piece was conceived as a “sequel” to the Pulse Music series, but also a step forward from it. Whereas the Pulse Music pieces had employed steady streams of pulses, with Vanishing Points McGuire employed pulse layers that accelerate or decelerate against one another, vastly increasing the resulting rhythmic complexity. McGuire's exploration of music technology continued in “A Cappella” (1990–1997), written for his wife, the soprano Beth Griffith, known for her recording of Morton Feldman’s “Three Voices” made in 1983. Using samples, he created a four-voice choir of voice samples and arranged them into interacting parts. The composition faced challenges due to the organic nature of the human voice compared to the precision of synthesized sounds. This process involved extensive editing and a negotiation between the "material" and the "original conception". This sort of negotiation applies as much to the composition of a single piece as it does to the work of two decades.
Speedy J - Ginger (2LP)
Speedy J - Ginger (2LP)Warp
Originally released in 1992
Joseph Shabason  - Welcome to Hell (Red & Black Vinyl LP)
Joseph Shabason - Welcome to Hell (Red & Black Vinyl LP)Western Vinyl
What does hell look like? The introduction of Toy Machine skateboard's seminal 1996 video Welcome to Hell with its pulsing overlay of the Stars and Stripes on top footage of police officers, businessmen, and fast food service workers, would appear to paint hell as the mirage of American exceptionalism. A thick, centuries-spanning unreality that may not outwardly trade in fire and brimstone, but if you turn your nose to the wind, you'll smell sulphur. What comes after that scene, born of — or despite — those apparent depictions of damnation, would become a cultural touchstone: skateboarding performed at the highest level, composed and displayed in a fashion that would influence and endear audiences for decades to come. Welcome to Hell features a unique and progressive patchwork of skateboarders, most of which would become icons in their world, and helped redefine what the modern skateboarding video could be. A young Joseph Shabason felt that impact. The acclaimed musician hit rewind on his VHS copy of Welcome to Hell hundreds of times in his youth, each watch as thrilling as the last. That invigorating, improvisational, full-body experience of skateboarding is one that Shabason likens to jazz, where a shared language exists between the wheels and woodwinds. The way the skateboarder and musician command that language is what distinguishes them, adding definition to the mercurial concept of "style." This connection becomes most apparent in collaboration; ensembles of skaters and musicians are a noisy, creative bunch. Reflecting on this relationship and the Toy Machine classic would ultimately lead Shabason to wonder: what does hell sound like? The answer was a concept album that, like his previous records, lives in the personal. One that, much like skateboarding itself, would push him to try something new: rescoring Welcome to Hell. The video's original soundtrack served as a musical awakening for many — an active, aggressive mix of songs from bands like The Misfits, Black Sabbath, and Sonic Youth. Here, you'll find that recontextualized, softened, yet no less energizing. Over the album's ten songs, Shabason plays with the angular and ambient, exploring large group melodies that move forward with the on-screen action, shifting the mood in subtle and substantial ways that reframe our understanding of this culture-defining skate video and the skateboarders in it. In Shabason's "Hell," quintessential "East Coast powerhouse," Mike Maldonado is backed by a sharp, driving modal composition that calls back to 1970s Miles Davis, the melodic sensibilities of Azimuth, and stands as a fascinating complement to Maldonado's hard-charging on-board approach. The debut of Elissa Steamer, a pioneer decades ahead of her time, is given fresh spirit with an off-kilter funk. Brian Anderson, whose virtuosic section was originally guided by a dour Pink Floyd track, now flies across the screen in jazzy fits and starts, punctuated by the joyous wail of Shabason's saxophone. Nowhere does the fluid and improvisational intersection of skateboarding and jazz meet and swell than with Donny Barley. His easy, instinctual cool flecked with tinkling synths and bass lines that echo the natural power of Barley’s abilities. Shabason then creates what could be rightly considered an audio portrait of Ed Templeton. The celebrated visual artist, photographer, and founder of Toy Machine cuts a distinct profile, which Shabason distills with a throbbing, slanted rhythm and an eerie layering of feedback and pressuring keys. The "curtains" section in Welcome to Hell belongs to Jamie Thomas, whose career-defining performance here would set the stage for a decades-spanning career and a level of influence in skateboarding that is still felt today. Shabason meets Thomas' epic with a commanding, angular rhythm that builds and flows with the momentum of his skateboarding. Airy group melodies mingle with a wonked-out vibraphone and tight percussion that lets loose in florid bursts before devolving into a finishing sequence of muscular improvisation — a fittingly bold interpretation of the work of one of skateboarding's most daring practitioners. Finally, as if ending with his thesis statement, the last song of Shabason's Welcome to Hell is a calming vocal harmony that lies atop the video's infamous "bail section." A horrific collection of skateboarders falling and twisting themselves into agonizing, unnatural shapes — a Hieronymous Bosch captured on VHS. It's the culmination of the unexpected made whole. Shabason's album a provocative reimagining that instills a new sense of awe in the 27-year-old classic, prompting the question first posed by the original: what if hell was a place you wanted to return to again and again?
Ash Ra Tempel (LP+Poster)Ash Ra Tempel (LP+Poster)
Ash Ra Tempel (LP+Poster)MG.ART
Ash Ra Tempel is the eponymous debut studio album by the Krautrock band Ash Ra Tempel. It features guitarist Manuel Göttsching with drummer Klaus Schulze and bassist Hartmut Enke. Engineered by Conny Plank it was recorded in March 1971 and released in June 1971 on Ohr Records. This 50Th Anniversary Album will be Released in Memoriam of all the Musical Contributors to this Release and on Manuel Göttsching´s MG.ART label. It´s the fourth and headlining edition in this series and was finalised, carefully overseen by Manuel Göttsching himself in the late Autumn of 2022. Much has been written about the record and band. Having finished a first musical chapter with their Steeple Chase Bluesband and still at very young age of only 17 and 18 years old Manuel Göttsching and Hartmut Enke met Klaus Schulze. Together they started to write and and compose what, to many, became one the holy grails of Psychedelic Rock and early Electronic Music - the German variant which was later also named "Krautrock": Ash Ra Tempel´s self-titled first album "Ash Ra Tempel". "The trio of Klaus Schulze, Manuel Göttsching and Hartmut Enke decided to abandon conventional composition and song writing, in favour of free-form improvising and developing a new musical language. As such, they became notorious for jams that could exceed 30 minutes." Says Discogs. "Some of these recordings can be found on Manuel Göttsching´s "The Private Tapes" releases", which will be re-released on MG.ART as well, following this edition. "Krautrocksampler" author Julian Cope mentioned it to be "… one of the greatest rock 'n' roll LPs ever made." (Julian Cope Presents Head Heritage | Unsung | Reviews | Ash Ra Tempel - Ash Ra Tempel". 15 March 2000.) AllMusic called the album "both astonishingly prescient and just flat out good, a logical extension of the space-jam-freakout ethos into rarified realms." Here we would like the Band to be heard, for what can easily be said as the first time in 50+ years, with the exception of some early Journalists for whom the young Manuel Göttsching wrote a statement of intent (the original text can be found inside this edition) as following: "Our musical concept is based on a combination of blues rock and delicate collages of electronic sound. These two elements should remain inseparable. And in their complex unity, the different musical philosophies of each musician find a common sweet spot. Our music is a permanently impulsive experience left to develop as it will, starting from a common fixed point of departure. This is where the difficulty of the music begins: No standardized formulation of our music can and should be possible. Only the constant reaction within the band can determine the musical result. And this requires constant listening with full concentration on the part of the creators. The idea of a particular musician will be - if flexible enough - absorbed by the others, transposed to their own instrument, and reflected back into the music as an individual contribution. This reciprocity within the band is then transferred over to the audience. And this process means that their reaction is not only a contribution to the end result; it actually makes them jointly responsible for the creation of the final musical product. … On our album, the track "Amboss" represents the first layer. Conventional instruments communicate familiar music which is in part expanded through electronic means. In the second track of the album - "Traummaschine" - the actual basic sound approach is dissolved into an electronic Nirvana which no longer allows the concrete identification of actual instruments. Innocent, virgin listening, free from any and every association, can finally begin - and the music can be absorbed and processed free from the limitations of categorization. That is the purpose of our music: To convey freedom without any predetermined criteria or traditions. Thank you for your attention." (Taken from the original A-R-T Bio 1970) Hartmut Enke, Manuel Göttsching and Klaus Schulze aka. Ash Ra Tempel travelled to Hamburg in March 1971 to record their debut, with assistance of another Icon, legendary engineer Conny Plank. The rest is history.
Hailu Mergia - Pioneer Works Swing (Live) (LP)Hailu Mergia - Pioneer Works Swing (Live) (LP)
Hailu Mergia - Pioneer Works Swing (Live) (LP)Awesome Tapes From Africa
12月下旬再入荷予定。オリジナルは$4,000で取引されたエチオピア産ジャズの77年金字塔的傑作『Tche Belew』を残したことでも知られるレジェンド中のレジェンドによる最新作!エチオピークの重鎮Mulatu Astatkeとも仕事を共にした伝説的ジャズ・キーボード奏者のHailu Mergia。2016年に録音していた秘蔵ライブ・レコーディング音源『Pioneer Works Swing (Live)』が〈Awesome Tapes From Africa〉より堂々アナウンス。2016年7月1日、ブルックリンの由緒ある非営利文化センター〈Pioneer Works〉で行われた彼らの激しいライヴを美しく捉えています。エネルギッシュかつ遊び心たっぷりに、エチオピアの様々なレパートリーから、ハーモニーとリズムの面白さを次々と引き出した現代のエチオ・ジャズの新たなる金字塔!

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