CDs + Vinyl:
Joey Alexander – Eclipse CD (Motema Music)
Fourteen-year-old pianist Joey Alexander has already recorded two Grammy-nominated studio albums – 2015’s My Favorite Things and 2016’s Countdown. Recorded over a three-day period, his third album, Eclipse, features the pianist with a stellar rhythm section of bassist Reuben Rogers and drummer Eric Harland, and guest appearances by saxophonist Joshua Redman on three tracks.
Bad Stream – Bad Stream CD (Antime)
Having grown up with and on the internet, Martin Steer (1986) has transformed its pull into a concept album that is just as immediate and intangible as the digital world. Bad Stream is guitars and machines vanishing in the spaces between Radiohead and Nine Inch Nails only to reemerge amidst ambient, noise, and drone.
Matthew Barber – Phase Of The Moon CD/LP (Outside Music)
New stirring and soulful offering from the Toronto singer-songwriter.
Gary Barlow – Open Road [Reissue/1997] CD/LP (Sony)
Had Gary Barlow’s run of hits dried up when Take That originally split he would still be regarded now as one of the U.K.’s most successful songwriters of all time. But instead he went on to hit a series of new highs with the launch of his own solo/songwriting career, the magnificent rebirth of his ’90s boy band and a successful musical on Broadway. After Take That split in 1996 the inevitable solo career beckoned and this started with a pair of U.K. No. 1 singles (“Forever Love” and “Love Won’t Wait”) and U.K. No. 1 album (1997’s Open Road).
Kenny Barron Quintet – Concentric Circles CD (Blue Note)
Blue Note debut from the esteemed pianist, composer, bandleader and educator. The sublime set features new originals plus interpretations of songs by Caetano Veloso, Thelonious Monk, and Lenny White, and finds the 11-time Grammy nominee introducing a new edition of the Kenny Barron Quintet with saxophonist Dayna Stephens, trumpeter Mike Rodriguez, bassist Kiyoshi Kitagawa, and drummer Johnathan Blake.
Nik Bärtsch’s Ronin – Awase CD/2xLP (ECM)
Awase, a term from martial arts, means “moving together” in the sense of matching energies, a fitting metaphor for the dynamic precision, tessellated grooves and balletic minimalism of Nik Bärtsch’s Ronin. Six years have passed since the last release from the Swiss group. In the interim, trimmed from quintet to quartet size and with new bassist Thomy Jordi fully integrated, Ronin has become a subtly different band. Bärtsch speaks of a new-found freedom and flexibility in the approach to the material, with “greater transparency, more interaction, more joy in every performance.”
Belly – Dove CD/LP (Belly Touring)
Dream-rock band Belly blazed a bright trail in the ‘90s, releasing two albums full of taut, yet wondrous music that was memorable for its rumbling bass lines and insistent drumming as it was for its glittering riffs and airy vocals. Long-awaited new album Dove, their first full-length studio effort since 1995’s King, places Belly back on that trail, bridging the gaps between reverbed-out bliss and spaghetti-western drone and muscular, hook-forward pop. Dove’s dozen songs nod to past glories while also showcasing the four members’ growth as songwriters and musicians, adding dramatic flourishes like strings and vibed-out guitars to the group’s already widescreen sound. [Limited edition colored vinyl pressing also available.]
Bennett Wilson Poole – Bennett Wilson Poole CD/LP (Aurora)
Danny Wilson (Danny And The Champions Of The World, Grand Drive), and Robin Bennett (The Dreaming Spires, Goldrush, Saint Etienne) join forces with Tony Poole (Starry Eyed And Laughing), producer extraordinaire, and king of the electric twelve-string Rickenbacker. Their voices, guitars, and songwriting combining to marvelous effect in a collection of songs that began as uplifting acoustic music and grew into something far more wide-ranging and transcendent. Pulling on influences from the ’60s pop of The Byrds, The Beatles, and The Beach Boys, through to the harmonies of Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, with dashes of Petty and Springsteen thrown in for good measure, perhaps the most remarkable thing is that what shines through all of this is the quality and originality of the songwriting.
Birds Of Chicago – Love In Wartime CD/LP (Signature Sounds)
Recorded against a backdrop of political division and dread, Love In Wartime, the new release from these Americana darlings, is a rock ‘n’ soul suite under the influence of the epic music generated by artists of the ’60’s and ’70s.
Black Moth Super Rainbow – Panic Blooms CD/2xLP (Rad Cult)
Panic Blooms, the long-overdue sixth album by Black Moth Super Rainbow, is a f**ked up and bleeding account of depression and the shadow side of human frailty, full of gorgeous warped melodies that exist as their own genre, somewhere between late ‘90s Warp Records, dub, and chopped and screwed codeine drip. It’s not drug music, it’s dragged music, oozing through the muck of the present moment, past mutating the present, demon melodies filtered through the vain search for light. This is why Pitchfork claimed BMSR mastered “the balance between the grotesque and beautiful,” SPIN hailed their “consistently great records of mind-altering, sugar-coated, vocoder-heavy psychedelic pop” and Stereogum saluted their “excellent haze.” Encoded in a syrupy fog, Tobacco’s lines stab with more ferocity than ever before. From the first track, the knives are out and slashing with chimerical violent imagery: mouths bleeding from razor blades stashed in tangerines and the ominous sensation of feeling haunted.
Black Rainbows – Pandaemonium CD/LP (Heavy Psyche Sounds)
Stoner-occult riffing a la Black Sabbath, but in a heavier way. [Limited edition silver colored vinyl pressing also available.]
Paul Bley Trio – Bremen ’66 CD (Hi Hat)
Paul Bley Trio, live from Lila Eule, Bremen, Germany on September 27th, 1966. The young Paul Bley earned his spurs playing with legends including Charles Mingus, Art Blakey, Chet Baker, Jimmy Giuffre, Ornette Coleman, and Bill Evans. As the 1960s progressed, he increasingly embraced the avant-garde, with arguably his greatest successes coming in the piano trio format. Originally broadcast on Nordewestradio in the autumn of 1966, and featuring material by Bley and his wife Carla, this fiery set typifies his approach at the time.
Daniel Blumberg – Minus CD/LP (Mute)
Minus, the debut solo album from Daniel Blumberg, is an astonishing work; one that weds an improvisational, free-music ethos to the rawest emotional songwriting, rooted deep in the personal turmoil the artist experienced whilst making the record. Minus is an album about breakdowns: relationship breakdowns, mental and physical breakdowns, breakdowns in communication, and the breaking down of received methods and practices. And situated at the broken-down heart of the record lies a pathological preoccupation with a breakdown of trust.
Leon Bridges – Good Thing CD/LP+MP3 (Columbia)
Good Thing is the follow-up to Grammy nominated R&B singer/composer Leon Bridges’ breakout 2015 debut Coming Home. The goal for the new album was for Leon to take his music in a more modern R&B direction while retaining his renowned style. Good Thing is born from the song “Bad Bad News,” and its lyrics “They tell me I was born to lose, but I made a good good thing out of bad bad news.” Leon’s story is well known; He went from working as a dishwasher and battling on the open mic scene in his hometown, Fort Worth, TX to being a Grammy-nominated artist, performing at the White House, attending the Met Gala and appearing on SNL in a period of two years. Now, an artist with more experience, shows us an album that illustrates the path of a man of small opportunity who embraces the world stage. If Coming Home was Leon Bridges in black and white, then Good Thing is Leon Bridges in Technicolor.
Roy Buchanan – Live At Town Hall 1974 2xCD (Real Gone Music)
Roy Buchanan is the guitarist’s guitar hero. Singularly uninterested in rock stardom and the trappings of fame that go with it, Buchanan never achieved the popularity of his six-string peers; yet his unfathomable technique and ferocious Telecaster tone put him near the top of any serious listing of the greatest guitarists of all time. This double-CD set that captures his 21-track, two-part performance at New York City’s Town Hall on November 27, 1974, which was previously released as the slimmed-down Live Stock in 1975.
The Buttertones – Midnight In A Moonless Dream CD/LP/Cassette (Innovative Leisure)
In 2017 The Buttertones put out Gravedigging, but on their newest, Midnight In A Moonless Dream, they’re digging deeper and discovering something dark. If Gravedigging felt like an over saturated spaghetti-western desertscape, Midnight is much more biting – music made for the swampland that spit out Australia’s mad Scientists, or for the Mickey Spillane night city where the Cramps met all those garbagemen and werewolves.
The Cleveland Steamers – Best Record Ever CD/LP (Smog Veil)
Third release from this ClePunk supergroup, starring Cheese Borger (Pink Holes), Nick Summa (Floyd Band), Meredith Rutledge-Borger (Singing Angels), and the O’Connor brothers (Archie and the Bunkers). “… free wheelin’ affair that’s far poppier than what you’d expect from a guy affiliated with one of Cleveland’s most outlandish punk bands.” — Cleveland Scene Magazine
Alice Coltrane – Carnegie Hall ’71 CD (Hi Hat)
From 1977 to 1992, Live Under the Sky was one of the top jazz festivals in Japan, presenting legends from around the world. This two-disc set features performances from the 1986 and 1987 festivals at Yomiuri-Land Theatre East, Tokyo, Japan, broadcast on NHK BS Channel 1, including selections from Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea, Ornette Coleman & Prime Time Band, Wayne Shorter Quartet, Al Di Meola, Larry Coryell, and Miles Davis. Also features The Chick Corea Elektric Band and Herbie Hancock Quartet.
Joey Cool – Joey Cool CD (Strange Music)
Joey Cool, a staple of the Kansas City rap scene, releases his Strange Music self-titled debut album. With a style and flow all his own, it’s no doubt the just-in-time-for-summer album will be impactful and establish Joey Cool as an up-and-coming force to be reckoned with on the Strange Music artist roster.
Rita Coolidge – Safe In The Arms Of Time CD/2xLP (Blue Elan)
Safe In The Arms Of Time is colored by Rita’s pivotal role in the Los Angeles singer-songwriter scene of the 1970s, where she made her bones as a top backup singer before embarking on a platinum-selling solo career. [Limited white colored vinyl pressing also available.]
Gaz Coombes – World’s Strongest Man CD/LP (Caroline)
Third solo album from the British singer/songwriter, best known as the lead vocalist and guitarist of the English alternative rock band Supergrass. Inspired variously by Grayson Perry’s The Descent Of Man, Frank Ocean’s Blonde, California weed, British woodlands, unchecked masculinity, Neu! and hip-hop, World’s Strongest Man is a collection of 11 deeply personal songs each set to expansive, addictive melody.
Max Cooper – Balance 030 CD (Balance)
Cooper’s mesmeric live shows blend dazzling, synchronized visuals that harness concepts borrowed from the natural world and from the mathematical structures of reality itself. This left-of-center approach makes for a truly timeless mix for the 30th edition of the Balance Series, which Tom Pandzic (founder and director of Balance) describes the sound and attitude of the release as the embodiment of what the series represents.
Simon Crab – Demand Full Automation CD (Klanggalerie)
Simon Crab has a long history in music. He is anti-capitalist, a practicing anarchist and strongly against material acquisition. Many years ago, he offered the complete back catalogue by his former band Bourbonese Qualk as free downloads. Nevertheless, people like product, so the Qualk catalogue will be-reissued physically, and Klanggalerie are happy to release his second solo album on compact disc.
J Dilla – Rough Draft: Dilla’s Mix 2xCD (Pay J)
When Ruff Draft saw its initial release in 2003, J Dilla possessed production skills on par with anyone in hip-hop technically and creatively. At the top of his game, says longtime friend and collaborator, Karriem Riggins. After years of building while modestly deferring to others of both greater and lesser notoriety, Dilla finally completed the first solo endeavor on his own label, entirely on his own terms. This CD issue features first Dilla’s original sequence of the EP and then presents Dilla’s alternate sequence, with tracks unreleased in 2003, as well as instrumentals.
Dimmu Borgir – Eonian CD/Cassette (Nuclear Blast)
Eerie shadows are lurking in the dark corners of spring 2018; the spirit that denies, a force able to distort our conception of space and time. Over seven years, deathlike silence has filled the halls of the world’s biggest black metal forge, Dimmu Borgir, whilst powers have been gathering to resurrect the band right in time for their 25th anniversary. Now they finally mark their return with a vicious work of art that can be defined as timeless in the truest sense of the word: Eonian.
From a musical point of view, the band explores their boundaries in every direction with this new record, with the black metal parts even rougher and darker than before, and the epic, orchestral moments pushed to their ultimate limits. [Vinyl edition due June 22.]
DJ Koze – Knock Knock CD/2xLP+7”/2xLP+12”+7” (Pampa)
One of the best-known DJs in the world, DJ Koze returns with his first album since the breakout Amygdala in 2013. Featuring guests from Bon Iver, Jose Gonzalez, Kurt Wagner, Roisin Murphy, Sophia Kennedy, and Speech from Arrested Development. [Limited box set edition with accompanying instrumental 12”, 10” including three exclusive tracks, 7” and album art poster also available.]
DJ Raph – Sacred Groves CD (Noland)
DJ Raph is an electronic musician, producer, and DJ from Nairobi, Kenya. He is an outstanding figure in the growing Kenyan underground electronic scene. His debut album Sacred Groves is a rare gem of a record; considered, emotional, and contagious. DJ Raph builds rich, textured electronic music from pan-African ethnographic field recordings.
Fats Domino – The Ballads Of Fats Domino CD (Bear Family)
32 Fats Domino classics from his voluminous Imperial Records catalog.
Brian Eno – Music For Installations 6xCD/9xLP (Astralwerks)
A collection of new, rare and previously unreleased music, all of which was recorded by Brian Eno for use in his installations covering the period from 1986 until the present (and beyond). Over this time, he has emerged as the leading exponent of “generative” music worldwide and is recognized as one of the foremost audio-visual installation artists of his time. Eno’s visual experiments with light and video have proved to be the fertile ground from which so much of his other work has grown and they cover an even longer span of time than his recordings, paralleling his musical output in recent decades. These highly-acclaimed works have been exhibited all over the globe – from the Venice Biennale and the Marble Palace in St. Petersburg to Beijing’s Ritan Park and the sails of the Sydney Opera House.
The Eternal Chord – Semper Liber CD (Touch)
Semper Liber consists of a series of duets featuring Marcus Davidson, Hildur Gudnadottir, Mike Harding, Charles Matthews, Clare M Singer, Maia Urstad, and Anna von Hausswolff and are drawn from recordings made at Spire events since 2009. Mixed by its curator, Mike Harding, at the Völlhaus, and mastered by Mark Van Hoen, this powerful four track collection — to be played as one piece — explores the sonics of the mighty organ in all its thundering glory.
Fan – Barton’s Den CD/LP+7”+MP3 (Polyvinyl)
After spending a decade as one-half of indie rock duo the Dodos, singer/guitarist Meric Long began writing music on two synthesizers he inherited from his father and embracing a wealth of childhood influences, including Nintendo soundtracks, Devo, Brian Eno, and Prince. [LP pressed on 180gm midnight blue vinyl. Limited quantities include a bonus 7”.]
Eleanor Friedberger – Rebound CD/LP (Frenchkiss)
In contrast to her lauded 2016 album New View, which Eleanor Friedberger arranged and recorded with her touring band, Rebound was recorded mostly by the artist alone with assistance from producer Clemens Knieper. The resulting collection is an entirely new sound for Eleanor, exchanging live instrumentation for programmed drums, a Juno synthesizer, and muted guitars, creating a sonic landscape where influences range from Stereolab and Suicide to Lena Platonos and Yellow Magic Orchestra. Rebound is the incredible next step in a lauded, brilliant recording career by one of the most prolific, daring independent artists of our time. From her days spent in The Fiery Furnaces, creating melodically off-kilter, idiosyncratic mini-epics, to her three acclaimed previous solo albums, she continues to create exactly what we need to hear when we need to hear it. Always anchored by her plaintive, velvety alto, and Dylan-esque lyrical treatises, Rebound is Eleanor Friedberger at her very best and a welcome addition to her rich, celebrated catalog.
Yonatan Gat – Universalists CD/LP (Joyful Noise)
Yonatan Gat is a guitarist, producer and experimental composer based in NYC, known as one of the world’s top performers as founder/guitarist of Monotonix. In 2014 he released the Iberian Passage EP, his solo debut that maintained his signature raw energy while switching the focus away from the shock-performance style of Monotonix to a more ritualistic, improvised, shamanic musical exploration. In 2015, the genre-bending full-length Director was released. Composed mostly of live-to-tape improvisations by his trio and field recordings made by Gat, the record was a mind-melting exploration through many different styles of music, from Brazilian psych and Afrobeat to free jazz, surf, and 20th century avant-garde. Three years on, Gat returns with Universalists, an album that marks an ambitious and expansive next step. As on Director, Universalists once again showcases the muscular trio of Gat on guitar, Gal Lazer on drums, and Sergio Sayeg on bass. The performances are breathtaking, showcasing a band of fire and finesse. Charged with a confrontational urgency and hurtling through space on a helter-skelter global time warp, this is a record that bursts with transcendent energy – ripping punk, brutal noise, composed moments of pristine beauty, live-to-tape improvisation, cutting-edge vocal sampling, all brought together by Gat’s sui generis guitar playing.
The Glitch Mob – See Without Eyes CD/2xLP (Glass Air)
The Glitch Mob, consisting of three multi-talented individuals born out of the Los Angeles bass driven beat-scene, made a name for themselves with their unique performance style that showcases a grasp on advanced music tech and an emphasis on creativity. Over a decade later the trio is still setting the standard for live electronic production. Their last album, Love Death Immortality, debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Independent Albums Chart in 2014 and follow-up See Without Eyes impresses yet again. Lead single “How Could This Be Wrong” feat. Tula is constructed with the innate precision, oozing with both personality and energy. Built on lush vocals, intricate soaring synths and grinding wobbles, it’s a larger-than-life album track.
The Goddamn Gallows – The Trial CD (Sailors Grave)
In 2004, The Goddamn Gallows began their rough and tumble voyage and haven’t looked in the review mirror since. Leaving six studio albums in their path, they have been reinventing their music with every record. Building upon their twanged-out, punk rock gutterbilly (Life Of Sin, 2004 and Gutterbillyblues, 2007), they began picking up stray musicians along the way and adding to their sound; washboard, accordion, mandolin and banjo (Ghost Of The Rails, 2009 and 7 Devils, 2011) creating a style referred to as hobocore, gypsy-punk and Americana-punk. Enter 2018 and The Goddamn Gallows have reinvented themselves once again with The Trial. From rockabilly, psychobilly and punk rock, to bluegrass and metal, The Trial infuses disparate sounds into a new strange recipe of seamless genre bending profundities.
Eddie Henderson – Be Cool CD/2xLP (Smoke Sessions)
An expansive set of music by the 77-year-old jazz trumpet legend encompassing jazz, funk, boogaloo, blues, ballads, modal, tin pan alley and more.
Holly Golightly And The Brokeoffs – Clippety Clop CD/LP (Transdreamer)
Clippety Clop is the tenth long-player credited to Holly Golightly And The Brokeoffs. It opens with “Mule Skinner,” an irreverent and plucky country blues that effectively sets the album’s mood. Holly and longtime partner Lawyer Dave sound like a bigger band, extracting the most mileage out of the least number of instruments. Dave’s lean, distorted guitar lines juxtapose wonderfully with the down-home vibe. The duo’s ragged-but-right harmony (and/or unison) vocals convey the album’s spirit: equal parts punk-era England and timeless classic American country. And occasional slower numbers like “Carpet of Horses” evoke a Southern Gothic atmosphere.
Shakey Graves – Can’t Wake Up CD/2xLP (Dualtone)
Can’t Wake Up, Shakey Graves’ second official studio album is, to quote the artist himself, “…a dense album…hectic and a little uncomfortable…the most I’ve ever intentionally worked on a project, musically speaking, in terms of the scope of it and how much thought went into it.” After a listen, you’ll find no exaggeration in that statement. Can’t Wake Up is the result of a broad metamorphosis from his previous work, setting aside the Americana singer/songwriter persona he’d cultivated thus far and opting for a more experimental, dream-like direction. The record is full of interlacing musical and lyrical themes, and always has a slight sense of disorientation, almost as if the listener is immersed in a new dimension and hearing the voices of its inhabitants. Alejandro Rose-Garcia, the man behind the Shakey Graves moniker, also reflected that it’s a record for those who need to hear it; it’s for those who are walking in or have seen someone walk in darkness.
Gunesh – Гунеш [Reissue/1980] CD/LP (Everland Jazz)
The Gunesh Ensemble was founded in 1970 in Ashkhabad, Turkmen Soviet Socialist Republic, then part of the Soviet Union. They started out as a vocal group with supporting musicians from Turkmenistan State Radio and TV. Later several young musicians came to play with them and the band’s music became much more modern. The group began to play jazz-rock tightly intertwined with traditional Oriental music.
Mats Gustafsson / Jason Adasiewicz – Timeless CD (Corbett Vs. Dempsey)
Indefatigable saxophonist Mats Gustafsson and intrepid vibraphonist Jason Adasiewicz decided to compose new pieces for one another. The resulting tracks — which also include a hallucinogenic arrangement of Timeless, dedicated to its composer, the recently deceased guitarist John Abercrombie — show a markedly different side of both musicians. Quiet, at times tender, this meeting of like-minded musicians evoked a new kind of tension, not one birthed out of screams and wallops, but instead one marshaling the power of restraint.
Beaver Harris and Don Pullen 360º Experience – A Well-Kept Secret [Reissue/1984] CD (Corbett Vs. Dempsey)
Of all the never-issued-on-CD items in history’s dustbin, A Well-Kept Secret is perhaps the most egregious. The beautiful studio recording, made under the watchful ear of überproducer Hal Willner, was first issued on LP in 1985 on Willner’s own Shemp label. With its unconventional lineup featuring steel drums, Latin percussion, and French horns, along with the co-leaders’ drum-kit and piano, it is among the most wonderful outings of its decade.
Eddie Harris – Listen Here: The Very Best Of Eddie Harris CD (Varese Sarabande)
Eddie Harris’ blend of genres made him a pioneer during the ‘60s and ’70s. This is the first collection to feature the rare single edits (many never on CD) of his most well-known songs, including “Listen Here,” “Compared To What,” with Les McCann and “Freedom Jazz Dance” which quickly become a jazz standard covered by Miles Davis. The album also features “I’ve Tried Everything” featuring a backing band of Rick Grech (Blind Faith), Ian Paice (Deep Purple), Steve Winwood, Albert Lee and Jeff Beck.
Häxxan – The Magnificent Planet Of Alien Vampiro II CD/LP (Slovenly)
Sophomore full-length from Tel Aviv psychedelic rockers Häxxan (pronounced ‘chasan’). Riff heavy and overdriven power trio madness that brings the rock hard, laced on occasion with subtle sound effect trickery and soaked with only the juiciest of hooks.
Jon Hopkins – Singularity CD/2xLP (Domino)
Jon Hopkins makes his long-awaited return with Singularity, his first since the Mercury Prize-nominated 2013 breakthrough, Immunity. Singularity begins and ends on the same note: a universe beginning, expanding, and contracting towards the same infinitesimal point. Where Immunity charted the dark alternative reality of an epic night out, Singularity explores the dissonance between dystopian urbanity and the green forest. It’s a journey that returns to where it began – from the opening note of foreboding to the final sound of acceptance.
Shirley Horn – Shirley Horn With Friends 2xCD (Verve)
Though she began late in her life, Shirley Horn was a very popular performer who attracted other musicians eager to play with her on her albums. Among the many “friends” who contributed their own talents on the tracks selected were Miles Davis, who had “discovered” her, Wynton Marsalis, Ahmad Jamal, Gary Bartz, Ron Carter and Herbie Hancock.
Horse Feathers – Appreciation CD/LP+MP3 (Kill Rock Stars)
Horse Feathers feels like a secret you dont really want to share. Over twelve years and five albums, a passionate fan base has experienced this band as a precious commodity that they want to keep close to their hearts. On Appreciation, the signifiers of the band are there: Justin Ringles warm tenor and taut lyrics that speak of work, love, and other struggles. But on this album less of the song dynamics are achieved with strings and more with an exciting new rhythm section steeped in Northern Soul, creating a sound that leaps into the spotlight. [Limited white colored vinyl pressing also available.]
Hundred Year Old Man – Breaching CD (Gizeh)
Debut album from the Leeds-based, six-piece, post-metallers. An epic, monolithic voyage full of texture, depth, aggression.
Iceage – Beyondless CD/LP+MP3 (Matador)
Beyondless is the fourth LP from Iceage, produced by the band and Nis Bysted, recorded all-analog by Mattias Glavå at Kungsten Studios Göteberg, and mixed by Randall Dunn at Avast Studios Seattle. Pay attention to the journey, from “New Brigade”, a juvenile delinquent take on post-punk, full of cold, distant condemnation, and onto the ecstasy of “You’re Nothing”, shedding the more aggressive hardcore influence and dragging in more light, a tendency followed on “Plowing Into The Field Of Love”. The intoxication is consistent, this has always been drunk music, but it’s less a stumbling confusion and more a sturdy heartfelt confession with each record.
Ihsahn – Amr CD/2xLP (Spinefarm)
Having refined and redefined black metal with the now legendary Emperor, Norway’s foremost musical extremist has spent the last decade establishing himself as a fearless and wildly idiosyncratic solo artist. Ihsahn’s seventh solo album, Amr, morphs fluidly from mellifluous art rock ambience to vicious extreme metal, and covering all points in between.
Ragnar Johnson – Crying Bamboos: Ceremonial Flute Music from New Guinea Madang 2xCD/2xLP (Ideologic Organ)
Crying Bamboos is a translation of the pidgin description of the sound of sacred flutes: “Mambu i cry, i cry, i cry”. Sacred flutes are blown to make the cries of spirits by adult men in the Madang region of Papua New Guinea. Pairs of long bamboo male and female flutes are played for ceremonies in the coastal villages near the Ramu River. There are seven male initiation flute cries from Bosmun, four flute cries from Bak: Borai with occasional single garamut percussion and two flute cries from Kaean, one with vocals and hand drums. The flute players were of the last generation to have learned this skill during a complete cycle of male initiation. These previously unreleased recordings were made by Ragnar Johnson in 1979.
Damien Jurado – The Horizon Just Laughed CD/LP+MP3 (Secretly Canadian)
Like previous albums, Damien Jurado’s The Horizon Just Laughed started with a dream – though that’s where things change, as they often do. It is Jurado’s first self-produced album in a 20 plus year career, more personal and more rooted than even his Maraqopa trilogy, as though after so much time on the road he’s stumbled upon his home. The Horizon Just Laughed feels like a beautiful collage – its narrative pieced together through letters and postcards, with each part contributing to its greater whole, and providing snapshots of one’s journey to find a sense of place and connection to a changing world.
Mat Kearney – Crazytalk CD (Tomorrow Music)
On his fifth album, Crazytalk, Mat Kearney mixes his most timeless songwriting to date with a wide, genre-bending set of interests. There are organic instruments, electronic samples, chill house grooves, tropical sounds, and collaborations with DJs like AFSHeeN, Filous, and RAC all glued together by an emphasis on ageless hooks and thought-provoking lyrics. The result is one of the most adventurous, nuanced albums of his acclaimed career, filled with EDM drops one minute and acoustic guitars the next. It’s a sound that nods to Kearney’s history as a melody-driven songwriter, even as it pushes him into new territory. [Vinyl edition due June 15.]
Steve Lacy – Stamps [Reissue/1979] 2xCD (Corbett Vs. Demspey)
With the classic lineup of Lacy’s soprano saxophone, Steve Potts on soprano and alto sax, Irene Aebi on cello (and singing on one track), Kent Carter on bass, and Oliver Johnson on drums, the recording catches the band live, performing Lacy’s angular, intervallic compositions, using arrangements that leave the rough patina, rather than buffing things to a smooth shine. This is the first time the important music has been reissued on CD, adding a bonus track, all remastered from the original tapes.
Jack Ladder & The Dreamlanders – Blue Poles CD/LP+MP3 (Terrible)
With his fifth album, we find ourselves in Jack Ladder’s blue period. A time for melody to take control. A time to rest between darkness and light. A time for romance, the kind that comes with tragedy and comedy, the sight of a clown lost in back streets after midnight clutching a rose and a purse and wearing no shoes. A crowd of musical influences – the kitchen sink drama of 60’s Scott Walker, the frenetic assault of early Brian Eno, the existential country of Will Oldham and the cold confidence of I’m Your Man era Leonard Cohen – combine to form an idiosyncratic sound that could be only his.
Lake Street Dive – Free Yourself Up CD/LP (Nonesuch)
In many ways, Free Yourself Up is Lake Street Dive’s most intimate and collaborative record, with the quartet working as a tightly knit unit to craft its 10 songs. They also drafted touring keyboardist Akie Bermiss to join them in the studio which freed up the band to explore a wider range of instrumental textures, construct more full-bodied arrangements, and build on their well-known background harmonies.
The Lazys – Tropical Hazards (Golden Robot)
Co-written by Ian D’sa (Billy Talent) and produced by D’Sa and Eric Ratz (Big Wreck, Danko Jones, Monster Truck), this album is a high-octane, hell-raising rock ‘n’ roll riot. [Limited red colored vinyl pressing also available.]
Leftover Salmon – Something Higher CD/2xLP (Soundly Music, LLC)
With their new album, Something Higher, longtime Americana purveyors Leftover Salmon taps into everything from horn-blasting R&B to reverb-drenched desert noir, from the cosmic roots music sound they helped create to neo-New Orleans-meets-Appalachia liquefaction. There’s an unmistakable evolution to Leftover Salmon’s sound here, and Something Higher has an edge to it that feels entirely new.
Sam Lewis – Loversity CD/LP (Sam Lewis)
New release from the Nashville-based singer/songwriter – a soul-filled, catchy collection of reminders that diversity and unity can co-exist. While most songs are originals, Loversity includes “Accidental Harmony”, a lullaby that fellow Nashville songwriter John Mann wrote for his first-born child, and “Natural Disaster”, a Loudon Wainwright song that Lewis felt drawn to. And while each song varies in tone, they all circle back to one universal theme. “This is the closest thing I’ll ever write to a concept album. The idea is that we are all trying to get somewhere – all running from something and toward something. We’re all together in it, though.”
Lik – Carnage CD (Metal Blade)
New album from the Stockholm Sweden death metallers.
Fred Lonberg-Holm and The Amphibians Of The Everglades featuring Gustavo Matamoros – Bow Hard At The Frog CD (Corbett Vs. Dempsey)
Never one to shy away from unusual projects, cellist Fred Lonberg-Holm set out into the mosquito-infested swamps of Florida’s Everglades in search of a host of amphibious collaborators. In the night air, he bowed and plucked in conversation with the environment, especially the vocalizing frogs, which seemed to take him on as an exotic member of their own. Impeccably documented by the experienced soundscape artist and field recordist Gustavo Matamoros, working like a perverse herpetologist, Lonberg-Holm may have created a whole new genre of experimental audio: outdoor interspecies improvisation.
Malagasy Guitar Masters – Volo Hazo CD (Buda Musique)
Malagasy Guitar Masters is the meeting of three musicians from Madagascar. Three generations rub shoulders there: Teta, guitarist with the fingers of fairy, undisputed grand master of the tsapiky. Chrysanto Zama, young prodigy guitarist, combines virtuosity, originality and richness of the compositions. Joel Rabesolo, perfectly masters all the styles of the Malagasy guitar.
Hugh Masekela – ’66–’76 3xCD (Wrasse)
47 track, three-CD set covering the definitive albums by the legendary South African flugelhorn and cornet player from 1966-76.
Matt and Kim – Almost Everyday CD/LP (The Fader Label)
Matt and Kim began writing the music for Almost Everyday following a challenging time for the band after Kim suffered an onstage injury in early 2017. Forced to take a year off from touring – the longest they have ever stayed off the road – the band used the time during Kim’s extensive recovery to create one of their most intimate albums to date. On single “Like I Used To Be” the duo reminisces about being young and carefree, mirroring the personal sentiment that runs throughout the album about darker times and the need for change and perseverance. Guest vocalists on the album include Mark Hoppus, Clairo, King Tuff, Flosstradamus, Santigold, Kevin Morby, Cole and Max Becker from SWMRS, Kevin Ray from Walk The Moon, Travis Hayley from Night Riots, HXLT, Dave Monks from Tokyo Police Club, Van William from Waters, and Fletcher C. Johnson. [Limited red colored vinyl pressing also available.]
Barry McGuire & The Doctor – Barry McGuire & The Doctor [Reissue/1971] CD (Real Gone Music)
Produced by Lou Adler and two of Barry’s former pals from the New Christy Minstrels (Nick Woods and Art Podell,) Barry McGuire and the Doctor was a freewheeling collaboration with blues guitarist “Doctor” Eric Hord, so called because of his wizardry on guitar. It was recorded at a dark time in Barry’s life when he was, in his words, “out of control.” There was a lot…a lot…of white powder at the sessions, but in spite of that (and, perhaps, a wee bit because of that) the album stands as Barry’s finest work in the opinions of blues/rock critics. Essentially a series of country blues jam sessions reminiscent of some of Fred Neil’s more outre work, the music is a marriage of Hord’s artistry on blues guitar and McGuire’s storytelling charms.
Menin – Lord Of Pain CDEP/12” (Doom Stew)
“Lord of Pain launches Portland-based Menin’s unrelenting heaviness into the farthest corners of the universe for to behold. Each track explores the power and wrath of creator/destroyer gods from works of science fiction and fantasy.”
Middle Kids – Lost Friends CD/LP (Domino)
On their eagerly-awaited debut album, Lost Friends, Australian trio Middle Kids bring back their knack for haunting hooks, lyrical poignancy and irresistible indie rock appeal that critics praised in their self-titled first EP from 2016. This radiant collection of new songs conjures melodic nostalgia for some of songwriting’s very best, rich in heartfelt build and beautiful simplicity. It’s the kind of album that sucker-punches you in the gut, revealing its nuances only after repeated listens. The songs’ edges are jagged, the production clean, stray imperfections imbue warmth and a human touch. Middle Kids craft classic hooks and riffs here that tangle up in your brain like taffy and choruses that linger long after the song has faded.
Parker Millsap – Other Arrangements CD/LP (Okrahoma)
Oklahoma-born singer-songwriter Parker Millsap’s three prior full-length releases – 2012’s Palisade, 2014’s self-titled LP, and 2016’s The Very Last Day – showcased a primal mastery of acoustic folk rock, with their flourish for revelation and fiery dynamics, all recorded with extreme precision, purpose, and efficiency. But as he began work on his new album, Other Arrangements, Millsap opted for a change, allowing himself the time and space to let the work evolve in a new and distinct light. The result is his most accessible collection of songs to date, filled with tunes whose inspiration trades divinity for ubiquity – and some you can even dance to. Tracks like “Fine Line,” “Let A Little Light In,” and “Gotta Get To You” crackle with urgency and an upbeat energy, while the album-ending “Come Back When You Can’t Stay” shines with some of the more stirring and familiar gospel qualities fans of Millsap will recognize. But songs like “She” and the title track boast a slow-burning self-assuredness that showcase the singer’s control of perhaps his most impressive instrument: his powerful, earthy, wise-beyond-its-years voice.
Monolink – Amniotic CD/2xLP (Embassy One)
It is the experiential nature of Monolink’s music that defies the muddy definition of modern live electronic music. Armed with a singular blend of Berlin underground culture with the pop-leaning sensibility of American electronica, Steffen Linck aka Monolink transports listeners into his own realm of sonic exploration.
Williams Murphy – She Is My Woman [Reissue/1981] CD (PMG)
Williams was a stalwart of the Nigerian music scene, joining Godwin Omabuwa’s Cassanova Dandies at 17 before becoming one of the two lead vocalists of The Apostles from Aba.
She Is My Woman is Murphy William’s loose, funky and spontaneous call to the dance floor. It’s an infectious collection of good-time tunes that the band seem to be enjoying as much as the listener.
Nickodemus – Long Engagement CD (Wonderwheel)
In the five years following his last solo album Moon People, Nickodemus has continued to spread his global sound through endless DJ tours, recording in studios, and scouting new music for his acclaimed Wonderwheel label. He’s made some new friends along the way too, with his constant journeying helping culminate in the new full-length A Long Engagement, a sonic portrait of 25 years of connecting people through music. [Vinyl edition due May 25.]
Palace Winter – Nowadays CD/LP (Tambourhinocerous)
Cinematic psych-pop from Copenhagen.
Mark Peters – Innerland CD/LP (Sonic Cathedral)
First-ever solo album by Engineers co-founder/songwriter and Ulrich Schnauss collaborator, Mark Peters. Innerland is a collection of instrumentals, with nods to Brian Eno, Talk Talk, Richard Thompson, Vini Reilly, and Felt’s Maurice Deebank, Innerland highlights Mark’s incredible musicianship, positioning his guitar rather than his voice as the focal point of the music.
Parkway Drive – Reverence CD/LP (Epitaph)
Parkway Drive channel their furious energy into thrashing rhythms and ferocious vocal work while delivering deeply infectious melodies on their new album.
Liz Phair – Exile In Guyville [Reissue/1993] CD/2xLP (Matador)
Liz Phair – Girly Sound To Guyville 3xCD/7xLP (Matador)
2018 marks the 25th anniversary of Liz Phair’s landmark Exile In Guyville album, now reissued on CD and vinyl. The expanded package, Girly Sound To Guyville, is an extensive limited edition box set containing the first-ever official release of the legendary Girly-Sound songs which have been restored from their original three cassettes. The Girly Sound set also contains a 44-page book containing an extensive oral history, essays by Liz Phair and journalist Ann Powers, never-before seen photographs, artwork and ephemera.
Glen Phillips – Swallowed By The New [Reissue/2016] CD/LP (Compass)
Expanded edition of this 2016 solo release from the Toad The Wet Sprocket frontman. This updated edition of the album features the bonus track “Nobody’s Gonna Get Hurt” which was co-written with Lori McKenna and showcases backing vocals from Amber Rubarth.
Thorsten Quaeschning – Cargo (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) CD/LP (Invisible Hands)
Tangerine Dream continues making incredible, futuristic electronic music under the leadership of Thorsten Quaeschning with the Cargo soundtrack.
Reef – Revelation CD/LP (earMUSIC)
Reef’s new studio album, Revelation, is the revitalized west-country quartet’s first studio effort since 2000’s Getaway and their first with new guitarist Jesse Wood. It was recorded in Ireland and was produced by long-time collaborator George Drakoulias (The Black Crowes, Primal Scream, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers). If you attach credence to the name of Reef’s albums allegorizing a specific phase of the band’s history, Revelation is a special one. The band – without a doubt – have evolved musically well beyond their initial charm. Revelation gives insight into this advancement, without giving any doubt that it is a true Reef album. With songs like lead single “My Sweet Love” (featuring Sheryl Crow), “Revelation” and “Like A Ship (Without A Sail),” the band doesn’t simply try to relive their past sound but cleverly fuse their past musical experiences into today.
Reuben And The Dark – Arms Of A Dream CD/LP (Arts & Crafts)
Reuben And The Dark’s sophomore album features the spirited folk outfit’s most vivid and enveloping music to date. Led by songwriter and vocalist Reuben Bullock, the album’s eleven songs explore the inversion of imagination and reality in the light of dreams. This is Reuben And The Dark at its most empowered, both heartened and broken-hearted, tracking a sound as momentous as the determination within.
Royce Da 5’9″ – Book Of Ryan CD (E1)
Seventh album from the rapper featuring guest contributions from J. Cole, Eminem, Marsha Ambrosius & Robert Glasper, Jadakiss & Pusha T, Favolous, and more. [Vinyl edition due June 1.]
Saint Ballantine – All Saint’s Day CD/LP (Snow Dog)
The Brooklyn-based duo’s new album, All Saint’s Day, celebrates the moody and ethereal, its layered soundscapes as much a sharp, angular pop record as one that stays poised, watching in the wings as an outsider. The humanized synthetics are sure to catch the ears of fans of The Weeknd, H.E.R., Frank Ocean, Porches, and Børns.
Shinedown – ATTENTION ATTENTION CD/2xLP+MP3 (Atlantic)
Shinedown’s sixth studio effort is a mental, emotional and physical journey that follows an individual from life’s lowest lows to the highest highs as anxieties dissipate and demons disappear. Ominous opener/lead single “Devil” is a rush of unpredictable rhythms and roaring guitars that sets the stage for what’s to come. The story that unfolds as the album progresses is a powerful and enduring statement about the resolve of the human spirit, our will to overcome struggles, and the importance of respecting and leaning on one another. On “Kill Your Conscience,” a percussive march and a snarling refrain are instigated by the pitfalls of social media. Elsewhere, “Get Up” is an encouraging lyrical ode set to lush piano chords that speaks to struggles with depression. The energized distortion of “The Human Radio” is a rousing call to action to keep fighting together for survival and truth. Closer “Brilliant” packs a punch as fears finally evaporate and strength returns.
Frank Sinatra – Standing Room Only 3xCD (Capitol)
includes Sinatra’s rare and previously unreleased performances at The Sands, Las Vegas (Jan 28, 1966) where Frank has a 14 year residency, his show at The Spectrum, Philadelphia (1974) where Frank performed in-front of a 17,000 strong crowd, and his show over a decade later at Reunion Arena, Dallas (1987).
Snoopy Dean – Wiggle That Thing [Reissue/1977] CD/LP (Everland)
Live archive release from the iconic crooner. The late Nathaniel “Snoopy” Dean is one of those many underrated southern soul and blues men who never reached great fame outside their home ground. His 1977 album Wiggle That Thing is a unique combination of deep, southern soul, funk, and blues.
Tábor Radosti – Hávamál [Reissue/2003] CD (Klanggalerie)
This Czech Republic band has a very unique sound that includes drone, voice, samples, but also beats and analogue instruments.
The Temptations – All The Time CD/LP (UMe)
The Temptations are back a new group lineup led by founding member Otis Williams. 10 tracks, seven of which are organic, high-caliber covers by Sam Smith, Bruno Mars, John Mayer, Maxwell, Ed Sheeran, Michael Jackson & The Weeknd.
Linval Thompson – Linval Thompson Presents Dub Landing Vol. 1 [Reissue/1981] 2xCD/2xLP (Greensleeves)
Linval Thompson – Linval Thompson Presents Dub Landing Vol. 2 [Reissue/1982] 2xCD/2xLP (Greensleeves)
Authorized reissues of two all-time classic dub albums, originally released by Starlight Records in 1981 and 1982, respectively. Each has been paired with a second disc of original vocal versions and previously unreleased tracks.
Thy Catafalque – Geometria CD/2xLP (Season Of Mist)
Composer Tamás Kátai returns with Thy Catafalque and the new brand-new album Geometria. Thy Catafalque, Kátai’s longest-running studio project, is in the vanguard of heavy music’s most daring and avant-garde. Often times mesmerizing, and at other times dense and unyielding, Geometria synthesizes swatches of electronica and house, Katia’s native Hungarian folk, and deft synthwork into heavy rock without sacrificing any of the genre’s heft and bite.
Trampled By Turtles – Life Is Good On The Open Road CD/LP (Banjodad)
Tracking for Trampled By Turtles’ new album, Life Is Good On The Open Road, was completed in just six days at Pachyderm Studio in Cannon Falls, MN and mixed the following week. The band produced the album themselves with the help of Pachyderm’s house engineer, Nick Tveitbakk, recording everything live to tape. When discussing the album, band members Dave Simonett (guitar, lead vocals, harmonica) and Erik Berry (mandolin, backing vocals) toyed with the phrase “return to form,” suggesting that it captures something pure and essential about the Trampled By Turtles sound. Throughout Life Is Good On The Open Road, Trampled By Turtles weaves their instruments together like a seamless tapestry, laying down a bed that seems to float underneath Simonett’s expressive voice. Each song seems to tell its own story, from tales of nights gone wrong to love that’s been lost and dreams that need chasing, and the group shifts in unison from tender ballads to barn burning hair-raisers, sometimes in the same song. Simonett’s lyrics, which have grown ever sharper over the years, occasionally rise up to shoot an arrow directly through the heart. Although no songs directly address the band’s time apart, there are metaphors that speak to the experience of putting Trampled By Turtles to bed and waking it back up again.
Frank Turner – Be More Kind CD/LP (Interscope)
Be More Kind represents a thematic and sonic line in the sand for Frank Turner. The new album combines raw political and personal universal anthems with the intricate folk and punk roar trademarks of Turner’s sound imbued with new, bold experimental shades. “I wanted to try and get out of my comfort zone and do something different,” says Turner.
Tutt Band – Tutt Band [Reissue/1988] CD (Everland)
This is the only album from the Tutt Band known to ever be recorded. The ultra-rare and sought-after boogie-funk LP on Spoonful Records out of Phoenix, Arizona was released in 1988, but style-wise it sounds much more like being recorded in 1983 or 1984. It contains ten very solid and good tracks — both club tunes and slow jams — that all hit the required spot.
Tyndall – Reflexionen [Reissue/1982] CD/LP (Bureau B)
Tyndall – Durch Die Zeiten [Reissue/1983] CD/LP (Bureau B)
CD and vinyl reissues of the Berlin-based electronic duo’s third and fourth albums. A mix of synth-pop and electronic krautrock.
Vandermerk & Snow – Duol CD (Corbett Vs. Dempsey)
Although he is best known as a groundbreaking experimental filmmaker, one of the architects of structural cinema, and visual artist, Michael Snow has been active as a musician since the 1950s.
A brilliant keyboardist and occasional trumpeter, Snow was a key figure in Toronto’s improvised music scene, performing and recording with the ensemble CCMC, and as an improvising pianist he’s worked in myriad contexts with many of the world’s leading free players. Saxophonist, clarinetist, and composer Ken Vandermark first learned about Snow as a film student in Montreal, where the classic work Wavelength (1967) confounded and fascinated him. In 2015, Vandermark and Snow performed together for the first time as a duet, resulting in three astounding long-form improvisations.
Various Artists – Live Under The Sky ’86 ’87 2xCD (Hi Hat)
From 1977 to 1992, Live Under The Sky was one of the top jazz festivals in Japan, presenting legends from around the world. This two-disc set features performances from the 1986 and 1987 festivals at Yomiuri-Land Theatre East, Tokyo, Japan, broadcast on NHK BS Channel 1, including selections from Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea, Ornette Coleman & Prime Time Band, Wayne Shorter Quartet, Al Di Meola, Larry Coryell, and Miles Davis. Also features The Chick Corea Elektric Band and Herbie Hancock Quartet.
Various Artists – Ed Motta Presents: Too Slow To Disco Brasil CD (How Do You Are?)
Too Slow To Disco take a dive into an often-overlooked side of Brazilian music: Brazilian soul, funk and AOR.
Various Artists – Skinhead Hits The Town 1968-1969 CD/LP (Kingston Sounds)
The skinhead sound grew from the music that was coming out of Jamaica around 1968 to 1971 and was adopted by the British youth. The music seemed tailor made for their sharp look and natty dress style, a style that was heavily influenced by the Jamaican rude boy look. Features Derrick Morgan & Owen Grey, The Versatiles, Derrick & Patsy, Bunny Lee Allstars, Stranger Cole & Lester Sterling, Ronald Russell, Derrick Morgan, Lloyd Robinson, Young Freddie, The Termites, Eric Barnett, Dervon & The Tartans, and Max Romeo.
Venetian Snares x Daniel Lanois – Venetian Snares x Daniel Lanois CD/LP (Planet Mu)
Recorded live in a former Buddhist temple-turned-studio in Toronto, Venetian Snares x Daniel Lanois travels to new zones in what Lanois describes as “a body of work driven by exploration.” Like all the best collaborations, it’s brought something new out of both musicians. Equipped with their production acuity, they let their natural workflow guide them through uncharted waters. Aaron Funk aka Venetian Snares laid the groundwork with drums while Daniel Lanois rode the pedal steel, weaving their sounds together in a new sonic tapestry. The two ultimately landed at their destination, their work ready to be shared with those willing to explore.
John Williams – Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope [Reissue/1977] CD (Walt Disney)
John Williams – Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back [Reissue/1980] CD (Walt Disney)
John Williams – Star Wars: Episode VI – Return Of The Jedi [Reissue/1983] CD (Walt Disney)
John Williams – Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace [Reissue/1999] CD (Walt Disney)
John Williams – Star Wars: Episode II – Attack Of The Clones [Reissue/2002] CD (Walt Disney)
John Williams – Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of The Sith [Reissue/2005] CD (Walt Disney)
Digitally remastered editions.
The Word Alive – Violent Noise CD (Fearless)
Since 2008, The Word Alive have steadily ascended to the forefront of alternative music and continue that upward trajectory with their fifth studio album Violent Noise. The Phoenix-based trio tosses and turns between visceral metallic power and entrancing emotionality encased in swathes of otherworldly electronics. [Vinyl edition due June 1.]
Dennis Young – Synthesis: Electronic Music 1984-1988 CD/LP (Bureau B)
Dennis Young is best known as the percussionist of the New York band Liquid Liquid. Synthesis features tracks from 1984-1988 which have never been previously released.
DVDs + Blu-ray:
Shonen Knife – Alive! In Osaka DVD+CD (Good Charamel)
After over 35 years of releasing music, touring the globe and winning over scores fans including the alt rock elite, Japan’s most recognized indie rock import, Shonen Knife return to their hometown of Osaka on Alive! In Osaka – a 21 song live set of new and old fan featuring new and old fan favorites.
This Week’s Vinyl Exclusives:
The Aquabats – The Fury Of The Aquabats [Reissue/1997] 2xLP (Goopy)
Recently released on CD – now available on vinyl. Expanded reissue. One-part punk, one-part ska, one part Devo. Neon green colored vinyl pressing.
Aquilo – ii 2xLP (Harvest)
Hailing from the UK Tom Higham & Ben Fletcher introduced themselves as Aquilo in 2014 with a larger than life cinematic sound, and since released four EPs and debut album Silhouettes produced by highly regarded Icelandic producer Ólafur Arnalds and ever brilliant SOHN. This sophomore album continues their progression from bedroom-based laptop producers to inimitable innovators.
The Beatnuts – The Beatnuts (Street Level Deluxe) [Reissue/1994] 2xLP (Traffic)
The self-titled record called The Beatnuts, or more affectionately referred to as Street Level, is the full length debut album by the Queens trio. It was released in June of 1994 by just a year after their impressive debut EP, Intoxicated Demons, had turned the hip-hop world on its ear. The cutting edge production is supplied by Juju and Psycho Les themselves, with contributions from V.I.C. and Lucien (A Tribe Called Quest). It features guest appearances by Grand Puba (Brand Nubian), Miss Jones and DJ Sinister (The X-Ecutioners) amongst others.
Jeff Beck – Blow By Blow [Reissue/1975] LP (Friday Music)
Limited audiophile clear vinyl reissue of the rock guitarist’s second album.
The Bloody Beetroots – The Great Electronic Swindle 2xLP (Last Gang)
The Great Electronic Swindle is the third studio effort from The Bloody Beetroots (aka Sir Bob Cornelius Rifo). Lead single “My Name Is Thunder” features Jet and marks the Australian rockers first recording in over seven years while politically charged follow-up “Pirates, Punks & Politics” features modern rock innovator Perry Farrell and superstar drummer Tommy Lee. Other collaborations on the album also came from deep within the rock world such as Gallows, Anders Friden of In Flames, and Deap Vally.
Blues Lawyer – Guess Work LP (Emotional Response)
Combines punk-like pace and concision with a measure of pop sentiment and wit, eliciting comparisons to bands such as Television Personalities, the Vaselines, and Wire.
Louis Bock – Repetitives In Illocality LP (Feeding Tube)
A lovely hover between out-chamber-jazz, new music and the unknown tongue. Using cello, sax and treated lap harp, Louise Bock creates surfaces that are sometimes as chopped as ice sculptures made with a chainsaw, and at other moments as smooth as the soft expanse of Brian Eno’s forehead.
Bong Oddyssey – Gareth Liddiard & Rui Pereira – Recordings 1993-98 2xLP (Bang)
What was before The Drones and even before The Gutterville Spledour Six? This! Gareth Liddiard and Rui Pereira seeding the seed of noise and distortion in the period 1994-1998 in this Bong Oddyssey project which recorded this never before released, brutal album of what is 100% The Drones’ sound.
The Caretaker – Everywhere At The End Of Time – Stage 4 2xLP (History Always Favours The Winners)
The Caretaker slips beyond recognition in the first “post awareness” stage of Everywhere At The End Of Time. The ability to recall singular memories gives way to confusions and horror. It’s the beginning of an eventual process where all memories begin to become more fluid through entanglements, repetition, and rupture. Though the metaphoric device of worn-down ballroom 78s and Jack Nicholson’s descent into madness in The Shining (1980), The Caretaker connotes the transitory cognitive breakdown of moderate into severe late stage dementia.
Casual Hex – Zig Zag Lady Illusion LP (Water Wing)
Casual Hex is a three-piece formed in Seattle, WA, in 2015. Drawing influence from a variety of genres (post-punk, no-wave, noise rock), The band relies on the contrast of heavy, catchy, minimal, and dissonant. It’s difficult to draw a direct lineage, but flashes of Pylon, The Contortions or early Sonic Youth come to mind.
Catapult The Dead – A Universal Emptiness LP (Doom Stew)
A bleak journey into the deep realms of darkness hidden in the human psyche. Catapult the Dead plays the soundtrack to your own self destruction. Oakland’s Catapult the Dead bring to the genre their own version of musical sorrow, despondency, and longing. This unique and haunting outfit is as beautifully devastating as it is callous and brooding. [Limited clear and splatter-colored vinyl pressings also available.]
Drew Daniel / John Wiese – Continuous Hole LP (Gilgongo)
The fruit of over ten years of home recordings in San Francisco, Los Angeles and Baltimore, Continuous Hole melds improvisation and musique concrète composition into a uniquely sweaty document of labor-intensive rhythm. A finger puzzle of reconciled opposites: lockstep structure and constant flux.
Sarah Davachi – Let Night Come On Bells End The Day LP+CD (Recital)
“Using Mellotron and electric organ, the Canadian minimalist teases echoes of Baroque music and post-rock while honing in on the idea of the drone as a phenomenological, time-bending experience.” — Pitchfork
Benjamin Lazar Davis – Nothing Matters LP (11A)
Debut solo album from the New York musician who has played with Okkervil River, Joan As Policewoman, and Cuddle Magic. Written and recorded in his childhood bedroom in Saratoga Springs, Nothing Matters showcases Davis’ tranquil melodies and fluid lyricism and includes co-writes with Alex Toth of Rubblebucket and Kimbra.
The Dynospectrum – The Dynospectrum  3xLP (Rhymesayers)
Appearing on vinyl for the first time, this special colored 3xLP edition, just like Rhymesayers recent Overcast! 20th Anniversary vinyl release, has been completely re-mixed from the original reel-to-reel tapes and remastered, complete with bonus unreleased material from those same recording sessions. The Dynospectrum is a landmark release in the Rhymesayers catalog, regarded to this day as a cult classic.
Fra Lippo Lippi – Golden Slumbers LP (Rune Grammophon)
The Norwegian synthpop band went from post-punk/goth origins to a more sophisticated style that saw them produced by Walter Becker and scoring worldwide hits with the likes of “Shouldn’t Have To Be Like That”. Former member Rune Kristoffersen founded the revered label Rune Grammofon, on which this, their first compilation to appear on vinyl, is released.
From Ashes To New – The Future LP (Better Noise)
Recently released on CD – now available on vinyl. Sophomore album from the PA nu-metal/rap metal outfit.
Les Halles – Zephyr LP (Not Not Fun)
The welcome and wondrous return of Lyon musician Baptiste Martin’s aerial ambient identity, Les Halles, following a year’s sabbatical from recording, Zephyr takes its name from a light westerly wind, which aptly evokes the warm, weightless, whispering spirit of these beguiling ambient designs. Working entirely with a computer for the first time, Martin’s sample bank swelled in both depth and detail, giving his compositions a crisper focus and finer grain. Slovakian fujara flutes shudder and shimmer, offset with rippling PVC panpipes, chimes, and gentle webs of delay.
Hellbound Glory – Streets Of Aberdeen LP (Black Country)
Hellbound Glory is an American country and roots rock band featuring singer-songwriter Leroy Virgil.
Jan Jelinek – Zwischen LP+MP3 (Fatiche)
Faitiche releases a short version of the radio play Zwischen (German for ‘between’). Devised and produced by Jan Jelinek for German public broadcaster SWR2, Zwischen brings together twelve sound poetry collages using interview answers by public figures. Each collage consists of the brief moments between the spoken words: silences, pauses for breath and hesitations in which the interviewees utter non-semantic sound particles. These voice collages also control a synthesizer, creating electronic sounds that overlay and merge with the voices to make twelve acoustic structures.
Jan Jelinek & Computer Soup – Improvisations And Edits, Tokyo 26.09.2001 LP+MP3 (Fatiche)
On vinyl for the first time. Jan Jelinek and the Japanese trio Computer Soup (Satoru Hori – trumpet, Osamu Okubo – toys & electronics, Kei Ikeda – toys & electronics) presented eight tracks all recorded one afternoon in the trio’s living room in Tokyo. They are excerpts from a joint group improvisation that subsequently underwent rudimentary editing, on which Jelinek and Computer Soup worked separately.
Billy Joel – River Of Dreams [Reissue/1993] LP (Friday Music)
Limited 180gm translucent blue vinyl pressing.
The Just Measures – Flagellation [Reissue/1983] LP (Emotional Response)
Vinyl reissue of a very rare and acclaimed 1983 avant-punk masterpiece.
Kalmah – Palo LP(Spinefarm)
Recently released on CD – now available on vinyl. “A piece of unbridled all-consuming wildfire of melodic death metal mastery.”
Karen Meat – You’re An Ugly Person LP (Emotional Response)
Glitters with memorable beats, ’60s-girl-pop inspired vocals, and guitar flights of fancy.
Sughai Ken – Tele-n-Tech-Da LP (Discrepant)
Japanese artist Sugai Ken presents a kaleidoscopic radio play inspired by the traditional Japanese art of Mingei.
Carole King – Her Greatest Hits (Songs Of Long Ago) [Reissue/1978] LP+MP3 (Sony Legacy)
Her Greatest Hits: Songs of Long Ago is Carole King’s first compilation album. The original release features twelve songs which had previously appeared on her studio albums Tapestry, Music, Rhymes And Reasons, Fantasy, Wrap Around Joy and Thoroughbred.
Los Supremos – Atiza y Ataja [Reissue/1971] LP (Vampisoul)
Grounded firmly in the Cuban style of La Sonora Matancera, with a prominent piano and crisp trumpet sound augmented by an additional double sax, Los Supremos were also influenced by the NYC salsa dura and bugalú of Willie Colón, while also managing to include coastal Colombian tropical music like cumbia and currulao, throwing in some improvised descarga jamming as well, making for a varied and hard-edged mix for one of Discos Fuentes’ first, and finest, forays into making salsa records.
Osmar Milito – …E Deixa O Relógio Andar! [Reissue/1971] LP (Vinilisssimo)
First vinyl reissue of Osmar Milito’s debut album, originally released on Som Livre in 1971 – one of the most sought after Brazilian records.
Nas – I Am… [Reissue/1999] 2xLP (Sony Legacy)
Vinyl reissue of the Nas’ third studio album.
New Heart – Feel The Change LP (Blood & Ink)
New album from the Indiana straight edge band. Taking notes from hardcore legends such as Gorilla Biscuits and Youth Of Today, the album is a straight-edge proclamation of individuality and never backing down.
Nocturnal Projections – Complete Studio Recordings LP (Dais)
Nocturnal Projections – Intimates In Images LP (Dais)
Formed in Stratford, near New Plymouth, New Zealand in 1981, Nocturnal Projections was the explosive project of legendary and prolific brothers Graeme and Peter Jefferies (who would later form This Kind Of Punishment before launching their solo careers), who along with friends Brett Jones and Gordon Rutherford, created some of the most explosive, dark, and influential avant-garde punk rock to emerge from the country. Complete Studio Recordings comprises the band’s three original highly sought-after vinyl releases on one record—remastered, Inmates In Images collects the band’s best and rare material recorded right off the board at key gigs, capturing their unique and unbridled on-stage energy.
Tess Parks & Anton Newcombe – Right On 12” (A. Recordings)
The third offering from Tess Parks and Anton Newcombe, contains four tracks. “Right On” is on the forthcoming Tess and Anton full-length LP, the three other tracks are exclusive to this EP. The track “Grunewald” was written in 2015 and proved such a success through the 2015 tour of the band, that they decided to record and release it. White 180gm vinyl.
Zach Phillips – How To Slip Away LP (Feeding Tube)
“Zach enlists a lineup of singers to sing songs he wrote. Super cool way to make a record and showcase some amazing talents on top of his totally unique composition style. Getting to witness how beautiful Ani Ivry Block’s voice is when she’s not screaming in Shimmer or Palberta (both would be on this list if I hadn’t worked on those releases) is a real treat. “Roll Like and Apple [Mike Kolb]” was stuck in my head for a week.” – Post Trash
P!nk – I’m Not Dead [Reissue/2006] 2xLP+MP3 (RCA)
P!nk – Funhouse [Reissue/2008] 2xLP+MP3 (RCA)
P!nk – Truth About Love [Reissue/2008] 2xLP+MP3 (RCA)
First-time on vinyl — limited colored pressings.
Polonio – Bload Stations * Syntax Error [Reissue/1981] LP (Vinilisssimo)
Syntax Error is an astounding work that will give the listener a new perspective of the Spanish musical avant-garde from the mid- ‘70s to mid- ‘80s. An essential pieces of Spanish electronic music.
Riot V – Armor Of Light 2xLP (Nuclear Blast)
Released last week on CD – now available on vinyl. New album from the power metal pioneers.
Max Romeo & The Upsetters – War Ina Babylon [Reissue/1976] LP (4 Men With Beards)
Produced by Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry at his Black Ark Studios, with backing by his superb band The Upsetters, War Ina Babylon has Perry’s trademark gritty, swampy sound while the socially and politically conscious songs and the musicians’ performances show all involved at the height of their powers. This is a classic of the roots era and an essential record for reggae fans. On translucent red vinyl.
Rotting Christ – Rituals [Reissue/2016] 2xLP (Season Of Mist)
Red colored vinyl repress.
Santana – Caravanserai [Reissue/1972] LP+MP3 (Sony Legacy)
Vinyl reissue of Santana’s fourth album. Caravanserai marked a major turning point in Carlos Santana’s career as it was a sharp departure from his critically acclaimed first three albums. The sound contrasted greatly with Santana’s trademark fusion of salsa, rock, and jazz, and concentrated mostly on jazz-like instrumental passages.
Simon & Garfunkel – Greatest Hits [Reissue/1972] LP+MP3 (Sony Legacy)
Vinyl reissue of this classic 1972 collection. The album was a mix of original studio recordings and four previously unreleased live recordings. The 10 studio songs comprise nine singles released between 1965 and 1972.
Skyzoo – In Celebration Of Us 2xLP (First Generation)
Released in February on CD – now available on vinyl. Famed lyricist, Skyzoo is back. After dropping off the Peddler’s Theme EP last year, he returns with an album that celebrates himself, his culture, and his people. Unapologetically pro-black with its message, it is being delivered at the beginning of Black History Month. Features production credits from Grammy-nominated producer, !LLMIND, Apollo Brown, and more.
Spacemen 3 – Playing With Fire [Reissue/1988] LP (Superior Viaduct)
Spacemen 3 – Recurring [Reissue/1990] LP (Space Age/Superior Viaduct)
Spacemen 3 – Taking Drugs To Make Music To Take Drugs To [Reissue/1990] 2xLP (Superior Viaduct)
Proper artist sanctioned vinyl reissues of Spacemen 3’s third and fourth albums, along with a repress of the collection Taking Drugs To Make Music To Take Drugs To. [These titles have also been reissued by Space Age on CD.]
Stars – Heart  LP (Last Gang)
First-time pressing. “When an album starts off with each member of the band announcing ‘I am ____, and this is my heart,’ you should probably know straight off what you’re getting into. The key word here would be ‘heart’ (not coincidentally the name of the album), as in ‘wears on his sleeve’ or ‘in her mouth’ or ‘-shaped candies with cute little phrases on them.’ Stars have come to rock the master of your cardiovascular system, and if you’re not prepared to accommodate a healthy serving of lyrical earnestness, you should probably just Remove All from your [Spotify playlist] and go play some street hockey, you manly man you.” — Pitchfork
Robert Storey – Come Up And Hear My Etchings LP (Emotional Response)
Unsung hero of the DIY underworld, Robert Storey has been plowing his own furrow with a quiet fervor and understated elegance since the late ‘70s. Part of the London collective Club Integral and Resonance FM, Storey regularly pushes experimental music from the more interesting but less celebrated side of the scene, spreading a message of sonic exploration and creativity. Come Up And Hear My Etchings is a career spanning compilation, encompassing engaging highlights from a remarkable man with a back catalogue.
Sun Ra And His Intergalactic Myth Science Solar Orchestra – On Jupiter [Reissue/1979] LP (Art Yard)
A mixture of live recording and studio post-production, On Jupiter sounds unique to any other album Sun Ra made. The Arkestra reflects a disco pulse right back on itself and delivers one of the most cohesive albums of their career. The title track is a masterpiece of gentle atonal harmony, while “UFO” pushes along at a cracking disco-like pace with fierce brass and spacey dub effects.
Tommy Jay & The General – Florida Songs LP (Feeding Tube)
Florida Songs is a classic raunchy rock formulation by every known standard. Although the mood and tone shift mightily from song to song, the main thrust of the music here is brain-spattering rock of the pre-punk variety.
Tross – The Overview Effect LP (Hoga Nord)
The band focuses more than before on rhythm. Here they have fallen deeper into disco and jungle funk, approaching the nerve of their live appearances clearer than on their previous records, creating dance music for spaced-out kids.
The Buttertones – Midnight In A Moonless Dream (Innovative Leisure)
In 2017 The Buttertones put out Gravedigging, but on their newest, Midnight In A Moonless Dream, they’re digging deeper and discovering something dark. If Gravedigging felt like an over saturated spaghetti-western desertscape, Midnight is much more biting – music made for the swampland that spit out Australia’s mad Scientists, or for the Mickey Spillane night city where the Cramps met all those garbagemen and werewolves.
Dedekind Cut – Tahoe (Hospital)
Northern California producer Fred Welton Warmsley III’s solo work as Dedekind Cut has evolved from fractured industrial design into increasingly subdued and sublime ambient meditations across two years of dedicated activity. His second full-length collection, Tahoe — so named after the mountain lake town he now calls home — swells with widescreen grandeur, evoking vistas both inner and outer. Includes cassette-only exclusive bonus track.
Dimmu Borgir – Eonian (Nuclear Blast)
The band explores their boundaries in every direction with this new record, with the black metal parts even rougher and darker than before, and the epic, orchestral moments pushed to their ultimate limits.