A unique 3 LP set featuring the classic LP from 1980 plus two bonus LPs of a live concert recorded in Lewisham, London in 1980 recently remixed from the original multi-track tapes A version never previously released on vinyl The set is on blue vinyl and also features a replica tour programme from the 1980 "Levitation" UK tour
Originally released in 1966, "What Now My Love" was the sixth album from Herb and his groovy, good time Brass band. By this stage the outfit had shimmied away from the Mexican angle and cut back on the manchego to focus on pop hits and broadway standards, in this case "It Was A Very Good Year" and "If I Were a Rich Man". Nonetheless, as the needle hits the groove we're overcome by the warm sun, sweet sangria and sweeter senoritas as Herb and the boys work their magic.
The series begins with the bright and breezy Latin jazz of his 1965 LP "South Of The Border" which features Herb's take on "The Girl From Ipanema", "Hello, Dolly!" and "Adios, Mi Corazon". Pour yourself an Old Fashioned and slip on your vintage sunglasses - this is proper Don Draper tackle.
So sit back and enjoy the one and only Horace Andy….
LIMITED EDITION RECORD STORE DAY EXCLUSIVE 400 ONLY VINYL LP, PRESSED ON NEON BLUE VINYL WITH DOWNLOAD CODE. FEATURING MEMBER OF HEY COLOSSUS & REIGNS
HENRY BLACKER have been up and down the country and into Europe relentlessly for the past 18 months, three times playing twice in a day, slamming heads in doors, raging left and right. Touring their debut, 'Hungry Dogs Will Eat Dirty Puddings' (Riot Season, 2014 Cat# REPOSELP039), and road testing the new tunes that have made up LP TWO: 'Summer Tombs'. Recorded in one brutal day, one voice-box shredding day. Westminster Brown (Part Chimp) at the desk, South London, back in September 2014.
Tunes are more complex, more speed, more frustrated, with the same vocal mangle and rhythmic splat. Seven tracks, 29 minutes, SET TO CRUISE CONTROL AND RIDE. In May they head out on tour with Torche in the UK, and other dates around it. ONWARDS.
"In 2016, a friend of mine randomly told me about a "…German Placebo album" - he was referring to the Marc Moulin led Belgian jazz fusion supergroup. Of course, this was an audacious comparison and he may have only used it to gain my attention. So he continues with "well, not really - but this album certainly has some breaks". He was talking about the Niedersächsiche Schlachteplatte - an album that I had neither seen nor heard about.
A few weeks later, I had a copy in my hands. Here was an LP that had been privately released in early 1977 by an artist collective as a protest action against the division and reformation of several rural districts close to Bremen. The original recording itself is an odd mixture of fusion jazz and "Platt", a northern German dialect, which is pretty hard to understand, even for most Germans. The idea for the project initially came from Mr. Gronau, a political activist and art teacher from Heiligenfeld. Assisted by Mrs. Traute Dittmann, they both provided the lyrics for the album. The musical background was written and composed entirely by Herbert Bodzin. I contacted Bodzin immediately when I heard the record. The story began.
Although Herbert Bodzin, born in 1936 close to Dortmund, may be little known within jazz circles nowadays, he was a prominent figure in the local scene in his day. He played piano, saxophone and flute and had been experimenting with synthesizers since the early 1970s. From 1957 until 1964, in the golden age of European modern jazz, he was in charge of the Jazzclub Hohenlimburg, in partnership with pianist Heinz Wendel. The scene nurtured countless fabulous jam sessions with local musicians and also led to contacts with other German and European jazzmen. Klaus Doldinger was invited a few times as well as the George Maycock Quintet from Düsseldorf, some of the best of the hard bop groups in Germany at that time. Bodzin even recalls how he used to jam with Peter Herbolzheimer in the mid 1960s, while legendary trombonist Albert Mangelsdorff and Dutch jazz pianist Jack van Poll inspired his playing as well.
While the public interest in jazz waned with the rise of the Beatles and other beat bands, Bodzin continuously sought out new developments within the genre. The days of Soul Jazz, Jazz Funk, and Jazz Rock came, bringing with them electrification and further tonal and rhythmic innovation. Meanwhile, Bodzin lived in Weye, close to Bremen - one of the districts that were about to be reformed. When it was time to perform the "Schlachteplatte”, he was ready with his Fender rhodes and his new synthesizers to provide what he called "Modern Jazz Rock", as noted on the back of the original album sleeve.
The recording session with the band took place in two days in late 1976 at Boccacio, a small studio in Bremen. On the third day, Bodzin went back into the studio to record the synth backgrounds. The band consisted of Hans Kämper, former member of the legendary Krautrock band Annexus Quam, on trombone and guitar. Bernd Szemeitzke and Peter Johannesdotter, both local artists, featured on drums and percussion, while Bernd Schöttner played electric bass. Though the quintet didn't exist for very long and was initiated originally for the recording session only, a few live performances at political events took place. One of the bigger ones was "Das große Schlachtfest" on February 27th, a major event among the many actions against the division and reformation of the local districts.
The record itself was released just six days earlier, on February 22nd, 1977. 500 copies of the album were pressed, recalls Mr. Bodzin. The price was 12 DM (German marks, roughly about 6 EUR). About 300 were sold to the local constituency, almost entirely within non-jazz circles. The name "Niedersächsische Schlachteplatte" is a play on words. Niedersachsen is the region in question, whereas "Schlachteplatte" is a German meal with sausages and meat - the name literally translates to "slaughter dish" - a reference to how the land of Hoya was to be slaughtered.
Even though the combination of jazz and spoken word was moderately popular during that time, because of it's extreme locality, and perhaps also because it was politically motivated, the album was never a huge success. The few jazz fans that were reached by this album could not relate to the artwork and prose, and many local listeners could not relate much to the progressive music. Hence, the Schlachteplatte slipped into obscurity.
Nevertheless, the compositions and themes, the instrumentation with drums and percussion, electric bass, trombone, Bodzin's delayed piano, the phased flute and his overdubbed synth "string arrangements" make this album a serious hidden treasure. It is arguably one of the most unique German jazz recordings from the 1970s. It stands apart from most contemporary fusion as it retains notable touches of Bodzin’s bebop and hard bop influences, yet builds progressive and even psychedelic elements into it. The musicians provided uptempo tunes such as Landswien Hoya (Land of Hoya), deep psychedelics on Kreisteilung (Flute of Freedom), 6/8 grooves on Ik kann di seggen (Let Me Tell You This) and more.
Due to the short run and its strictly local distribution the original record really never made it to the surface for jazz and rare groove collectors. Even in recent years and during the German rare groove trend in the late 90s it remained undiscovered. Unsurprisingly, the LP was not added to the Discogs.com database until late 2017. The aforementioned friend simply used it as a nice odd trade item with other vinyl collectors when original backstock copies of the album were being given away for a short time in 2013 at a local newspaper and later sold from a museum for a low price until they were gone.
Unfortunately, instrumental master tapes from before the vocals were overdubbed in a later session are inevitably lost. Either thrown away from the studio or, more likely, destroyed during a fire in September 1986 when an arsonist was active in Bodzin's hometown of Weye. One night, while he was away at a birthday ball, Bodzin's house - a 250 year old historical building - became engulfed in flames. Herbert Bodzin lost almost all of his personal belongings including an array of early synthesizers and his TEAC tape reels. Luckily and most importantly, his wife and four children were safe.
Because of the nonexistence of the master tapes, we carefully re-edited and re-mastered the material from a mint vinyl copy to a version whose quality surprised even us. All tracks still have a length of 4 minutes, the arrangements are intact and one surely will not miss anything. Any of the six tracks is a winner, and has something for everyone! Our approach to this album required fresh artwork and new title because of the omission of the original political speech and poetry. Even though we respect the political aspirations of the artists of the original work, and appreciate the lyrical approach of the "Platt" dialect, we hope that the new recording, "Revival", can finally reach the ears and hearts of jazz fans and fusion enthusiasts. It may not be "…a German Placebo", but Herbert Bodzin's brilliant compositions and beautiful production represents an important missing piece in German jazz history.
By the way, while in contact with Herbert Bodzin - who is now 80 years old and still active as steel artist, painter and musician - we were led to a totally unreleased recording employing experimental synths from 1982 that survived the fire. This unreleased masterpiece will be entitled "Revival II" and is slated to be our next project on "The Artless Cuckoo". "
On the album you can hear the sounds of legendary machines like the ARP 2600, the Korg PS-3300, the Roland System-700 Modular synthesizer, the PPG Waveterm and the PPG Wave 2.2 as well as classic synths like the Roland Jupiter-8, the Polymoog and the Prophet-5 – the same equipment used by big names of the German and international avantgarde electronics scene at that time. For example, the ambient “Red Ocean” was recorded entirely with the polyphonic Korg PS 3300, one of the most desired and biggest synths of all time. The project features Bernd Hollendiek, as well as Bodzin’s two sons, Stephan and Oliver Bodzin on additional synthesizers and partly on drums. The songs are a mixture of mostly ambient, deep, psychedelic, yet experimental and futuristic sounds as well as two more vibrant synth rock recordings with drumming.
We hope that this album will find its way to the hearts and collections of electronic music lovers – somewhere in between the classic albums of Tangerine Dream, Klaus Schulze, Cluster or Eberhard Schoener. As a side note, the album may also show early musical influences of Stephan Bodzin, who became world famous in the 1990s as one of the leading techno producers. Without any doubt, “Revival II” should be an exciting lost masterpiece of German electronic music and a must have for synth music lovers – revived and finally alive!
Now with these four latest cuts he once again shows off his unique, powerful style.
Opener Unconditional is a deep, driving track with firmly rooted drums and burrowing synth lines that get you in a state of hypnosis before the acidic stabs takes things up a notch.
Resonator is another perfectly planned bit of tunnel vision techno that is forceful and linear, racing forwards on bulky drums with subtle synths peeling off the groove.
Growth Chart then follows a similar path but with celestial chords lighting up the background and a curious lead synth line that gets your attention and pulls you deep into the groove.
Finally, the heavyweight Crossbow is another bulky techno roller that is designed for big warehouse spaces.
It is economical and efficient and makes for perfectly stripped back but striking techno.
This two disc set is the first ever career-spanning collection of his music, featuring tracks from classic albums such as ‘Plateaux Of Mirror’, ‘The Pearl’ and ’Lovely Thunder’, alongside collaborations with Brian Eno, Cocteau Twins and John Foxx.
2CD digipak with 16 page booklet. Sleevenotes by Mark Prendergast, author of ‘The Ambient Century’.
“I was handed this tape by Gavin Bryars [in the mid- Seventies]; it struck something very personal in me. It was music that could seduce; if there's only a conceptual underpinning and no seduction, that doesn’t make it for me. He came with this ability for making lovely minimalist music, and I was developing new techniques for making piano sounds at the point when recording studios had started to do these things well.” - Brian Eno
“I went to see him play in Manchester. I thought he was probably very precious and difficult to work with. He wasn’t. I immediately liked him. We went out for dinner and ate loudly and messily. Then I saw him play and I was mesmerised. There’s motivation in every note.” - Jah Wobble
“What he does is he just swims very gently against the tide all the time. He’s been doing it all his career. I think that is what he set out to do a long time ago. When you meet him you realise he's got steel in his soul.” - John Foxx
This is Hannah’s second EP and the follow up to her critically acclaimed debut EP ‘Silent Type’.
Extensive touring around the release of ‘Silent Type’ offered a fresh perspective on certain things in Hannah’s life. ‘It’s Your Love’ was written over this touring period and sees Hannah further experimenting sonically.
Produced by Hannah and mixed by Tarek Musa of Spring King, this EP offers an artist in full command of her voice.
‘Pleasure Boy’, like her debut ‘Child Bride’, was produced by Thomas Bartlett, aka Doveman, whose work with artists such as The National, Antony Hegarty and David Byrne singles him out as one of America’s current finest producers and collaborators, though he’s also a talented pianist. The dynamics of ‘Pleasure Boy’ was the result of Hannah and Bartlett, “bunkering down with my songs, experimenting with different tones and sounds, and layering them. My first record was so airy and roomy, I didn’t have patience for that again, I wanted more movement, something more mysterious and witchier, so we created this sound wall together.”
“I wanted the music to hurt, to have a visceral effect,” Hannah says. Her voice sometimes sounds delirious or icy; other times she recalls the vulnerable, piercing beauty of Harriet Wheeler (The Sundays) and Karen Peris (The Innocence Mission). But Pleasure Boy‘s sound wouldn’t exist without the vision that launched it. The album title arrived as the record took shape. “Pleasure Boy is a character of who it’s about, someone who represents gluttony and decadence and richness,” Hannah explains. She admits it was a tough record to make, given she was aiming to heal emotionally while feeling “devastated and hurt. But it wouldn’t be the record it is if I hadn’t done that.”
The new album "Twice" sees Hollie's obvious love of reggae joined by other influences including Bond-like strings, Brazilian percussion, dark disco and shades of Giorgio Moroder. She is joined on the album by Dennis Bovell, Omar, George Dekker and Winston Francis. The strings on the album are the Macedonian Radio Symphonic Orchestra and Choir. The album was produced by Prince Fatty.
STAFF COMMENTSDavid says: Ace sunshine reggae version of the nineties two step classic. The nights may be getting longer but it will always be summer when this is on.
Since leaving The Stranglers in 1990, Hugh Cornwell has made a series of well-received solo albums 25 years on from leaving the band, this album brings together 12 (super-high-quality remastered at Abbey Road) choice Cornwell classics taken from the fi rst 6 solo albums, plus one brand new studio recording, “Live It And Breathe It” (CD only) A solo acoustic tour of the UK in November 2015, will support the release of ‘The Fall And Rise Of Hugh Cornwell” and will feature many of the songs contained on the album, as well as some other fan favourites, and classics from his time with The Stranglers.
“New song “Live it and Breathe it has both bark and bite” - MOJO.
“Cornwell’s pop sensibility remains utterly intact” - Classic Rock.
‘On The Way To The Peak Of Normal’ is the third album by Holger Czukay, originally released in 1981.
After ‘Movies’, his first post-Can solo album, Czukay continued exploring the methods of sampling and laidback jamming on this follow-up. The side long ‘Ode To Perfume’ / ‘Fragrance’ coasts along on some heavily twangy guitar, shortwave static, treated vocals, and drunken trumpet, all in a hypnotic late night groove.
Intended as environmental music for some underlit, velvet clad chillout room, the album can be seen as one long rumination on improvised understatement.
New and unreleased versions of the legendary album (1981) by Can member Holger Czukay!
Recorded with Conny Plank, Jaki Liebezeit and the German post-punk band S.Y.P.H.
Pink vinyl including poster
Limited edition of 500 units worldwide
His oeuvre, which is in itself cinematic in nature, boasts a cast worthy of a Martin Scorsese film. Only the most interesting character actors were cast: Brian Eno, Phew, Rolf Dammers, David Sylvian, Annie Lennox, Jah Wobble, his Can bandmates… the list could go on and on.
Many of these masterpieces are now out of print, so Groenland Records, who already released the highly acclaimed retrospective ‘CINEMA’ to mark the occasion of Holger’s 80th birthday at the beginning of the year, has taken it upon themselves to release reissues of Holger’s music in order to make it accessible once again.
The music in this box set does indeed demonstrate masterful arrangements of sounds and sources, movement and melody, humour and seriousness, that can well be described as magical. It is also a set of unpredictable keys and ciphers, revealing a unique worldview where high artistic rigour meets continual openness to chance and serendipity. In this, Holger not only cut and pasted music, but time, place and mindsets, when such things in popular culture were not only technically near impossible, but virtually unprecedented. (Ian Harrison / Mojo)
FORMAT INFORMATION5xLP Box Set Info: This boxset contains 5 vinyl including previously unreleased material, a DVD, a VinylVideo, a lush 36page booklet and a download code.
FREE SHIPPING This item has FREE UK shipping!
His oeuvre, which is in itself cinematic in nature, boasts a cast worthy of a Martin Scorsese film. Only the most interesting character actors were cast: Brian Eno, Phew, Rolf Dammers, David Sylvian, Annie Lennox, Jah Wobble, his Can bandmates… the list could go on and on.
Many of these masterpieces are now out of print, so Groenland Records, who already released the highly acclaimed retrospective ‘CINEMA’ to mark the occasion of Holger’s 80th birthday at the beginning of the year, has taken it upon themselves to release reissues of Holger’s music in order to make it accessible once again.
Influenced by the works of Karl-Heinz Stockhausen and using techniques similar to those of Pierre Henry or Raymond Scott, Edler brought a psychedelic edge into electronic music just like Silver Apples had done in the USA. The album has also a strong rock attitude plus a certain pop sensitivity in some passages, not far from that of David Axelrod's, which confers it a distance from what used to be the more serious appeal of what most electronic pioneers had been doing, giving the album an accessivity that is closer to the electronic hits of artists such as Gershon Kingsley, Jean-Jacques Perrey or Dick Hyman. However, be it because of the songs being sung in Swedish or the outsider reputation Edler seems to have in the Swedish musical scene, this great LP remained an obscurity - hardly spoken of outside a small circle of connoisseurs and collectors.
"It really doesn't get much better than this. In these days of harsh turmoil to uncover a rock & roll sweetheart like Hans Edler it really proves the gods to be smiling. Bonafide electronic experimentation with a heart full of pop is a love potion most desirable. Listen to the religious Brian Wilson-meets-Jandek orayer hymns of young Edler and travel to a time when long haired girls and dope-laced boys were truly getting it "on". The hybrid fascination of electronic space composition and soul sweet pop-love in such a fresh state has me floating to my tombstone cloud." Thurston Moore (Sonic Youth).
"Hans Edler's Elektron Kukéso reflects a man who, musically speaking, is in a world of his own. Edler's music seem to be totally uninfluenced by the music of his day. On the contrary, Edler seemed to be making up his own musical rules, and if the rest of the world didn't follow, that was probably fine with him. As for his tunes...(they)... resemble folk music, but in a strange, contorted way. I have never heard an album that is so devoid of musical influence of others, and to me, that's what makes it remarkable." Dana Countryman (Cool and Strange Music Magazine).
FORMAT INFORMATIONLtd LP Info: Since the original LP was pretty short, seven bonus tracks not appeared on the original release have been added. These songs predate the LP tracks and are from 1969 / 1970. Remastered sound, an insert with photos and liner notes complete this great reissue of this legendary Swedish electronics LP.
Hanni returns after his triumphant album 'Moonlight' with the cover of D'Angelo for Record Store Day 2015 on pie picture disc 7" vinyl.
On his 2011 debut Will The Guns Come Out, Hanni El Khatib tried something he’d never tried before—making a bedroom-style recording of his stripped brand of rock‘n’roll mostly for the sheer joy of making it. For his ferocious 2013 follow-up Head In The Dirt, he tried something new again, enlisting Dan Auerbach as a producer.
But after Head In The Dirt’s release and almost a year of relentless touring, Hanni knew he needed to go past ‘unpredictable’ all the way to ‘unprecedented.’ He needed isolation, time and the chance to experiment. So after 30 days locked in hand-picked L.A. studio The Lair, the result is the most receent album Moonlight—the rarest and most welcome kind of album, made at that perfect point in life where confidence, experience, and technique unite to help an artist do anything they want.
That’s why it starts with a song that sounds like a Mobb Deep beat under a Suicide-style synth drone and ends with an ESG-meets-LCD Soundsystem gone italo-disco song about life and death. That’s why it collides crushing crate-digger drumbeats that’d be right at home on a Can LP or an Eddie Bo 45 with bleeding distorto guitar, bent and broken barroom piano and hallucinatory analog flourishes.
Originally, he’d hoped to explode the lingering idea that he was simply a blues-rock guitar player, but that’s why Savage Times touches on everything from garage rock to punk to disco, hip-hop and even some unexpected solo-guitar self-portraiture. But on the way, he also exploded his own idea of what he could do—even maybe who he was, or would be. Savage Times was an experiment as well as an experience, that touched on some of the most personal, social & political elements to date.
FORMAT INFORMATION3x10" LP Info: Limited-Edition Custom Hardcover Booklet with Three 10" Vinyl LP's & Download Card
Recorded at Sondor Studios, Montevideo, the album is the natural development of the original Opa sound, fusing Afro-Uruguayan rhythms, jazz harmony and heavy funk attitude, under Hugo’s unique musical vision.
Fusing Candombe (traditional rhythm of Uruguay) with rock, jazz, funk and other Latin American rhythms, Opa created a distinctive Afro-Uruguayan voice within the global jazz vernacular, influencing a generation of musicians throughout the seventies and beyond. Fattoruso also famously collaborated extensively with Airto Moreia, arranging and playing on a plethora of hit records including Fingers and I’m Fine, How Are You. More recently Fattoruso’s music has been sampled by the likes Flying Lotus and Madlib.
Recorded at the state of the art Sondor Studios in Montevideo’s iconic Barrio Sur district, the album features some of the world class musicians at the forefront of today’s Uruguayan jazz scene, including Hugo’s son Francisco Fattoruso on bass, Tato Bolognini on drums, Albana Barrocas on percussion and Nicolas Ibarburu on electric guitar. The album also features the Candombe drumming of the legendary Silva brothers, Mathias, Guillermo Diaz and Wellington, who give the album its Afro-Uruguayan identity, transporting the listener to Barrio Sur, the spiritual home of Montevideo’s Candombe heritage.
In Hugo’s own words “this is the sound of Opa today.” This is most prevalent on ‘Goldenwings’ the fresh take on the funk-fusion masterpiece which became an underground hit in London jazz clubs in the 80s ‘. The stripped back yet equally rip-roaring trio piece ‘Botijas’ is led by Hugo’s virtuosic piano playing and hypnotic wordless vocals, and backed by an inventive, heavy grooving fusion of Latin rhythms from Tato Bolognini on drums. The shining moments for the Silva brothers’ Tambor playing are ‘Candombelek’ - a beautifully moody Afro-Uruguyan groove with characterful rhodes and vocal harmonies - and ‘Candombe Alto’, a carnival-esque track, awash with soaring synth lead, wahwah guitar and pulsating keys.
Sno Angel Like You + Sno Angel Winging It
FORMAT INFORMATION2xCD/DVD Info: 2CD and DVD book feature documentary 'Sno Angel Winging It
Lead track "Nail In The Sky" is pure Howe, playful lyrics, a subtle sigh in the voice and those chords picked out just so, providing that fine patina that coats the best of Howe's sonic wardrobe, and with a chorus to rival Neil Young at his most populist. The remaining tracks finds Gelb and band taking a more bluesy rocking direction on a cover of Rainer’s "Worried Spirits", whilst Howe’s Americana-beatnik persona is more to the fore on "Neon Filler", and the Voices Of Praise provide a fitting crescendo on the closing "Chore Of Enchantment".
Albums included in the Little Sand Box are :
1. Dreaded Brown Recluse
4. The Listener
5. Sno Angel Like You
6. Sno Angel Winging It
8. Some Piano….
"The solo albums came about as an afterthought", Howe explains, "loving better the notion of hiding inside a band like Giant Sand for the rest of my life. When life demanded something else, then they began to happen." At first severely home-made and lo-fi with "Hisser" during the days when Rainer was critically ill. Followed by the depressing "Confluence" when everything turned to shit in the late 90s. And back up again and running fine with "The Listener", which began the resurgence of the sonic spirit during a surprisingly long stint in Denmark. That path would then lead to the sizzling season with a full gospel choir attached in Ottawa, Canada with the release of "'Sno Angel", and shockingly Mojo's 5 star praise of it. Next would come the most gratifying time spent surrounded with guitars in discovering the city of Cordoba, Spain and recording "Alegrias". This recording, the Spanish critics declared, melded indie-rock pluck with the prowess of Flamenco strum in a rarefied way that was heralded significant instead of the usual 'touristo' failings to marry Flamenco with anything. It also attracted one of Spain's most famous guitarists into the session, maestro Raimundo Amador. Cordoba felt like the closing of a significant circle, feeling more like home then home, due maybe to my own DNA and probably the originating point of what one-day would become Tucson. The album was so wonderfully received in Spain and granted me a kind of peace, now in my 50s, to find myself in such exquisite company whereby the sonic pathways thru gospel and Flamenco all began with meeting Rainer (Ptacek)."
From swearing like sailors while honoring Jimmie Rodgers' "Mule Skinner" to making alt-rockers Red Red Meat's "Carpet of Horses" sound like alt-country, the couple adds its own twist to each song covered. This juxtaposition between songs' traditional arrangements and Golightly's new musical interpretations keeps conjuring up surprises. Examples include the rockabilly swing on Big Maybelle's "Jinny Mule" and the Vaselines-style indie-pop vibe added to cowboy anthem "I Ride an Old Paint."
Golightly explores a wide range of musical approaches, making this a broad-reaching introduction for listeners who only know her White Stripes collaboration. For those who share her and Jack White's interest in unearthing musical history, prepare for a primer on everything from the Singing Brakeman to the legendary British race horse Stewball. - Flagpole
Thee Headcoats splinter group in 1991. She spent four years as a Headcoatee before breaking away to release her debut record, The Good Things, in 1995. Where the Headcoatees sound was a blend of girl group sounds and three-chord garage-rock with all the original songs coming from the pen of Billy Childish, Holly's solo sound is more a blend of pre-rock electric blues, folk rock, and less frantic rock 'n' roll. Apart from the wide range of covers of such artists as Willie Dixon, Ike Turner, Lee Hazelwood, Wreckless Eric, and Bill Withers, Golightly also writes most of her own material.
Holly Golightly is definitely the most interesting and diverse artist to come out of the Billy Childish school and is certainly one of the better singer/songwriters of the post-grunge era who gets better with every album. Since her debut in 1995, Golightly has been very prolific, releasing a string of classic long play records and loads of singles for a wide variety of labels as well as touring extensively in America, Australia & Europe. This double vinyl LP, (or single CD newly packaged in a digipack) compiles Holly's first twelve 7” singles, A & B-sides. It includes the bluesy 'No Big Thing' with its bar-room piano and harmonica backing, the dirty guitar-driven 'Til I Get, the shuffling brushed drums and double bass of 'Come The Day, the haunting vocal and bottleneck guitar of 'Stain' and finishes with a brilliant up-tempo cover of Pavement's 'Box Elder'.
Tired of the rock format and excited by the freedoms promised by electronic music, Harald Grosskopf quit Wallenstein, a conventional rock band, in the mid-seventies to turn his attention to electronica. Grosskopf thus became the first drummer to specialize in the electronic music field. He played drums on Klaus Schulze’s albums “Moondawn” and “Body Love” and on YOU’s “Electric Day”. When Manuel Göttsching from Ash Ra Tempel asked him if he would consider enrolling as the regular drummer in the group now rechristened Ashra, he did not need to think about it for long. Grosskopf changed course again in the eighties, this time in pursuit of commercial success: he played in the NDW (Neue Deutsche Welle) group Lilli Berlin and backed Joachim Witt on his best-selling “Silberblick” LP, which featured the hit “Goldener Reiter”.
Sky, the record company, were more than a little disappointed with the performance of Grosskopf’s first solo effort “Synthesist”, so there was no great sense of urgency as far as its successor was concerned. “They even halved my advance!” Grosskopf recalls. “Oceanheart” was released some six years after “Synthesist”. “The album title reflects my love of transcendental meditation, of course it might be taken for watery esoterics.” (A similar vibe was evident in the cover art, hence fresh artwork has been created for the reissue.) Musical equipment for the production was limited by the label’s ongoing thrift programme. The first “Oceanheart” recordings took place “under the roof” in the Lilli Berlin Studio, Kreuzberg. They were completed at the Spandauer Studio by former Tangerine Dream member Christoph Franke. “We mixed everything down and recorded the drums there.” Harald Grosskopf again played everything himself, except for the tablas. In keeping with its predecessor, “Oceanheart” was no bestseller, but, like “Synthesist”, it attained cult status, rediscovered in recent years through the internet by a younger generation. Harald Grosskopf himself needed time to appreciate the work: “I only really discovered the musical quality of ‘Oceanheart’ years later. I finally realized that I had created something quite special.” - Christoph Dallach
FORMAT INFORMATIONVinyl comes with CD version of the album enclosed.
But the truth is we hadn’t seen anything yet. H-Burns is back with a new album that proves once more that it’s possible to reinvent yourself endlessly while staying true to yourself. Calmer, more pop, cleaner, more Californian, but still as anxious and sorrowful, Night Moves was produced by the all too rare Rob Schnapf (who produced Beck, Elliott Smith and Guided By Voices’ greatest albums) with musicians as prestigious as A.A Bondy and Troy von Balthazar.
The result: 11 songs orchestrated around one main theme: night-time in Los Angles. A restless and troubled night with the insidious threat of an earthquake lurking in the shadows. There are ghosts there too, those of Elliott Smith, Brian Wilson, Neil Young, Roy Orbison and Bruce Springsteen.
All of the chosen material on “The Preservation Tapes” is unreleased, has only been heard by a handful of people and showcases a relatively unknown period in Bruce’s musical career where Bruce was recording for Sparrow Records (who billed themselves as "America's best Christian music record label”). Bruce’s signature Farad vocoder continues to feature prominently, but the lyrical content is decidedly more religious. Preservation Tapes is a small window into a largely unknown period of devotion in Bruce Haack’s life. Assembled from 218 raw 1/4” tapes, Preservation Tapes is comprised of 100% unreleased material ranging from deep groove, bubbly synth-pop, instrumental synth explorations, experimental tidbits and a heartwarming crooner ballad.
STAFF COMMENTSPatrick says: Telephone Explosion hook us up with a selection of previously unheard works from idiosyncratic synth oddball Bruce Haack. Though the tracks on this set were mostly recorded for a Christian music label, the vocoded lyrics and opiated synth arrangement suggest something altogether more arcane. Mindbending stuff!
In Passion For Vinyl a wide selection of DJ’s, musicians, label owners, designers, record dealers, collectors and engineers like Henry Rollins, Bernie Grundman, Hans Pokora, Chris Ellis, Steffi, Mala, Vaughan Oliver, Lee Dorrian, Jacco Gardner, John Dyer Baizley and many others share their unconditional love for vinyl. They muse about the first record that changed their lives, talk about their prized collectibles and explain why they were determined to keep vinyl alive. Passion for Vinyl also tells the history of Record Industry, the Dutch factory that has been pressing vinyl since the 1950’s.
This book is a tribute to vinyl, a format that is making a spectacular comeback recently, although for many music lovers it never really disappeared.
Passion For Vinyl is written by Dutch author, music journalist and incurable vinyl fanatic Robert Haagsma. With an introduction by American vinyl guru Michael Fremer.
FORMAT INFORMATIONHardback Book Info: 240 page hardback book. Individually numbered, with free 7” single
The duo of Matthew Aldworth and Andy Gardiner bonded over their passion for sounds born during a short period in the evolution of soul and funk at the end of the 1970’s when producers and artists were breaking ground in new forms of disco production. Den Haan’s compositions pay homage to these producers, Celso Valli (Azoto and Tantra), Franco Rago & Gigi Farina (behind the ‘Lectric Workers releases), the experimental excursions of Vangelis, the homo-disco cybernetics of Patrick Cowley and the atonal alienation of the soundtracks of John Carpenter and Claudio Simonetti. Sourcing original instruments and production equipment the duo sweat it out in the studiostriving to re-create as close to a version of this original approach to sound creation as possible. This commitment to process brings not only an authenticity to the productions but also to their explosive live performances.
“Gods From Outer Space” takes the listener on a journey through Den Haan’s fictitious universe;- titles like “Release The Beast” and “Nightshift” conjour up the sweaty nightclub scenes from “Cruising” all hyper-macho swagger and pungent sexuality, “Gods From Outer Space” recalls the endless cheap laser blasts of 80’s sci-fi also-rans, the pompous faux religiosity of concept prog synth albums, while interludes like “The Arrival” and “The End” give a short breath of contemplation – BBC Radiophonic workshop interludes reflecting the dichotomous dystopia/utopian divide in their film soundtrack influences - before you are propelled back into an exhilarating votex of flesh and fantasy. The music may seem to have a parodic quality, an in-built “cheese” factor - but that is resolutely not its intention. Den Haan are deadly serious in celebrating their musical influences. Its camp undoubtedly, but HIGH camp. Theirs is an aesthetic hip enough to appreciate trashy genius whilst simultaneously in awe of the craft and imagination that was employed to create it. This isn’t just a game, it’s a ridiculous reality.
“equal parts leather, amyl nitrate, Mr Flagio and Bobby O” – Guardian Guide
“forget Italo, this is Macho Disco” - DJ Mag
“there are still those who can deliver synth disco’s high camp drama without life-sapping irony or inanity” – The Wire
FAC51 - Messenger Bag
Hallucienda T-shirt - Black
Hallucienda was a Monday night event at the Hacienda. The name of the night was Anthony Wilson's idea. The image is a photo of a pollen grain. T-Shirts were also produced of the design - the first run were long sleeve black T's (it was the Madchester era after all!) with the Halluçienda logo printed on the sleeve. These new t-shirts feature the logo and image on the front chest.
Landing somewhere between Kassem Mosse, Levon Vincent and Chain Reaction, three highly textured tracks that spit, crackle and rumble off the wax beautifully. Simply titled, "2", the final track's epic chord progression, suspended pads and ghosted vox emit a spine-tingling gracefullness that should sugar coat any night of excessive revelry in a moment of unique bliss. Preceeding it, "Stays 3" and "HMU 2" are both impressive piece of sound design and dancefloor mechanics. Another steamer from Lister's crew. Recommended.
FORMAT INFORMATIONLP Info: Black vinyl edition.
LP includes MP3 Download Code.
Hackney Colliery Band / Henri-Pierre Noel
All Of The Lights / Diskette - Scrimshire / The Reflex Remixes
The EP kicks off with "Nothing Wrong", a track built around a compressed but bouncy bass line that adds extra funk and weaves around a clever vocal splicing. It's got me dancing already!
"In Me" goes deeper, keeping the beats on the slammin' side, but with ingenious stabs and warmer pads / vox. Ending the EP is Hade's solo number "Baphome". A bass-fuelled floor packer with nicely interwoven synths and a hypnotic house groove that remains present throughout the track.
A garage-esque belter with the right amount of wobbly bass to satisfy all your DJ and dancefloor needs.
For number nine in the series we see Bana Haffer step up to the dials and patch leads. "Endo" begins in a wash of low end drone, stepped frequency shelves jarring and shifting the orientation in different directions. After a couple of minutes the celestial arpeggios slowly start to converge on the mix, floating from overhead and glistening like plasma droplets as they drip viscously into the electrostatic soaked stems. As you'd expect, Haffer gets deeper and deeper into the controls as the track progresses, resulting in a truly cranium splitting exercise in modular synthesis and angelic patch bay programming! Honestly, this is the some of the most advanced and pleasurable synth work I've heard for ages (Barry agrees...). "Exo", begins its exercise with high pitched metallic rings and randomized mechanics, twisting some stuttered vox inside out through a series of envelops and grain reassembly. Slowly more epic, edge-of-your-seat synth patterns and sequences are introduced, steadily elevating the track closer and closer to the cosmos. A must for synth and modular heads, not to mention anyone with a penchant for the abstract, modern and experimental. Bana Haffer and Make Noise are truly pushing the envelope here, a source of inspiration for patch bay tweakers across the universe; highly, highly recommended!
Pressed to 12" Clear (140gm) vinyl and inserted into a black inner dust sleeve
and Matte Jacket w/ photography by Moe Espinosa and layout by Sean Curtis Patrick..
Written and composed by Moe Espinosa aka Drumcell
STAFF COMMENTSMatt says: Gonna get my stake in this before Barry big knobs comes through with his modular cru. This my friends, is the dogs bollocks. Face melting? Conciousness disolving!
rockers Royal Trux. Back in September of 2016, NMH and The Howling
Hex showcased an off-kilter garage stomp fused with avant-blues aggression.
The two songs presented here are the surest insight into the mind of someone
who helped redefi ne rock ‘n’ roll by completely destroying it, but has since
settled into more cogent outbursts.
• Hometown: Washington DC / Denver, CO
• Recorded September 23, 2016 in Third Man’s Blue Room
The Eleventh Hour was recorded at Sheffield’s Tesla Studio, produced by Chris and David Glover (with co-production from Joel), and mastered at Abbey Road. It encompasses various styles and moods, touching on the band’s love of soul, jazz, funk, psych and garage. With a sound hard to define, the eclecticism of Hague & White has been compared to anything from the sounds of Acid Jazz, to bands such as Elbow and The Last Shadow Puppets.
Album opener Distant Relative tackles the issue of mental health within a family, soundtracked by an atmospheric arrangement and breezy harmonies. Elsewhere songs such as Stranger To Your Love and first single Just Be True are upbeat pop numbers filled with instantly memorable hooks and melodies.
Over a slice of ‘60s garage, What Ya Gonna Do Now drives home the message to keep on keepin’ on in the face of adversity, whilst I Thought I continues this sentiment over a soulful romp. The groove continues apace on Put Me Where You Want Me, an anti-hero song, recognising that we sometimes need other people and we can’t do it all by ourselves.
The penultimate track on the album is the exquisite Don’t Hurt, a positive song about rescuing someone from a past abusive relationship. The album culminates with title track The Eleventh Hour, which asks philosophical questions of the time we have here on earth, full of social and political comment. It’s a song that showcases the band’s deep love of the type of ‘message music’ so common in the work of artists such as Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder and Curtis Mayfield.
Between 1982 and 1991 Paul Haig recorded a string of polished dance-pop singles for the label, including singles Justice, Heaven Sent, Big Blue World and Love Eternal, along with parent albums Rhythm of Life, Warp of Pure Fun and Coincidence Vs Fate. The various producers and collaborators featured on this ‘best of’ selection include Alan Rankine, Cabaret Voltaire, Bernard Sumner, Mantronik, Lil Louis, Alex Sadkin and Man Parrish.
Disc 1 collects together stand-out singles and album tracks from Paul’s decade at Twilight. Disc 2 includes all nine tracks from his lost second studio album from 1984, recorded with Alan Rankine of The Associates, but never before released in complete form. “It was meant to be more eclectic than the first,” explains Paul today, “although it didn’t necessarily turn out that way. Still, I never consciously tried to write hit records. I think you’d lose all credibility if you thought that way.”
Cover portrait by Charles Van Hoorick. Booklet includes archive images and track by track commentary by Paul Haig.
Disc 1 gathers together various singles recorded for Crepuscule in 1982, including Running Away, Justice, Blue For You and the EP Swing In 82, the latter a bold foray into Sinatra territory. The extended 12” versions of Running Away and Justice appear here on CD for the first time, along with compilation tracks such as Mad Horses and Christiania, and rare demo versions of Luck and On This Night of Decision.
Disc 2 features several projects recorded as Rhythm of Life, including four tracks recorded live on a Crepuscule package tour in February 1982, and two rare RoL singles on which Paul collaborated with infamous artist Sebastian Horsley, and fellow Edinburgh musician Stephen Harrison. Also included are all eight tracks from Drama, a DIY cassette of experimental electronica issued by Paul in 1981.
Cover art by Benoit Hennebert. Booklet includes archive images and track by track commentary by Paul Haig.
FORMAT INFORMATIONLtd 7" Info: Limited 7" packaged in a ridiculously lavish hand screenprinted, foil embossed die-cut sleeve. 500 copies only.
Paul’s fourth solo album for Crepuscule since 1983 was written and recorded over a three year period between 2015 and 2018, and explores glitchy, twisty sonic territories in the vein of Four Tet, Floating Points and Love Over Entropy.
‘We can think of the wood or forest as a metaphor for the mystery of the human psyche,’ says Paul. ‘Like the human soul, it can be a place of hidden meanings and unrevealed secrets. I wanted to try and evoke this through the music and worked hard on finding the right balance of electronic and organic sound samples across a broad range of musical genres.’
“It is an album about occupying your space, being proud of what you believe in and who you are,” says Sophie Barkerwood from the band. “It’s about making small life changes, making better decisions, writing better songs, having better conversations, knowing that these can lay foundations for change. It’s about finding who you are and not being dictated to about what you should be. It’s about celebrating others. It’s about making changes for a better future.”
This sense of solidarity and community prompted Haiku Salut to work with Glastonbury Brass on “Cold To Crack The Stones” and “The More And Moreness”, both of which marry the band’s ambitious interweaving of electronic and organic, natural and unnatural with the triumphant warmth of a brass band in full flow (with the former featuring a manipulation of a NASA recording of pulses emitted by lightning). It also provided the emotional core of the hypnotic electronic attack of “Occupy”, the genre-melting joy of “We Are All Matter”, and the startling “I Am Who I Remind You Of”, a seven minute pastoral symphony that sees treated vocals and glitched electronica blur into tradition, history and a sense of belonging, like waking up to sunshine after a long and dazzling dream.
‘Days Are Gone’ is a record that wrestles with that early live potential and fully realises it, showcasing the breadth of their collective and individual talents. Having performed live together on stages from a very early age, it’s that innate understanding of each other’s musicianship that acts as both the strength and catalyst behind everything the band do.
Plenty has already been made of the band’s R&B influences, but it’s a shimmering guitar-fuelled, West Coast pop that surfaces across the 11 tracks on the LP. Sharing all the songwriting between themselves, ‘Days Are Gone’ is a record that features songs that stretches right back to when the band first formed ('Forever', 'The Wire', 'Let Me Go'), and songs written in the latter stages of 2012.
Opening on their 2013 Spring EP release ‘Falling’, it’s smartly followed by the song that introduced them back in March 2012, ‘Forever’. ‘The Wire’, a huge live favourite and forthcoming single, receives a slick production but loses none of the energy and passion that makes it so enticing on stage.
The sultry ‘If I Could Change Your Mind’ is the first of four brand new songs that HAIM are yet to have aired live, ‘Days Are Gone’, ‘My Song 5’, and ‘Running If You Call My Name’. Another regular live track, ‘Honey & I’ is one of the many standout tracks on a record that is more than simply the sum of its parts.
STAFF COMMENTSPhilippa says: 'Tango In The Night' era Fleetwood Mac, the Bangles, Prince, Madonna and Debbie Gibson all mashed together in a west coast soft-pop shimmer.
FORMAT INFORMATION2xLP Info: 2 LP set pressed at 45 RPM on audiophile quality vinyl. Includes bonus track and digital download.
A concept album set in the future where Great Britain has retreated to a vast and secret network of abandoned nuclear bunkers and prays to a piece of silverware, referred to as the 'New Pagan Sun'.
This is a story of righteous rock n roll and how our three rock n roll animal friends, when not frolicking in the undergrowth, do battle with their most unrighteous nemesis – a fuck ugly bird (from Tyneside) made of steel and wire called The Angel Of The North.
Keiji Haino & SUMAC
American Dollar Bill - Keep Facing Sideways, You’re Too Hideous To Look At Face On
SUMAC’s tenure is much younger than Haino’s, though guitarist / vocalist Aaron Turner has covered a similarly large swath of musical territory across numerous projects and collaborations, from the sedated drones of recent projects with Daniel Menche and William Fowler Collins to the modern compositions of Mamiffer and all the way back to the restless evolutions of post-metal stalwarts ISIS. With his cohorts Nick Yacyshyn (Baptists, Erosion) on drums and Brian Cook (Russian Circles) on bass, Turner has dissolved
Throughout the course of its hour-plus length, ‘American Dollar Bill’ pushes and pulls at the strictures of metal and bends the stylistic formalities of improvised music to create a sonic purge unencumbered by convention.
FORMAT INFORMATION2xLtd LP Info: 2xLP pressed on virgin vinyl, packaged in a wide spine jacket printed on uncoated stock with custom slipcase also printed on uncoated stock with
metallic ink and free download card.
CD Info: CD packaged in a 4 panel mini-LP style gatefold jacket printed on uncoated stock with metallic ink and 4 panel booklet.
Keiji Haino /Jim O Rourke/ Oren Ambarchi
Now While It's Still Warm Let Us Pour In All The Mystery
The record begins with the trio joined by special guests Charlemagne Palestine and Eiko Ishibashi, conjuring ghostly tones from wine glasses as an accompaniment to Haino’s angelic vocals. This ten-minute piece, which moves from near silence and the sound of onstage footsteps to a stunning passage of clean guitar work from Haino, is steeped in the same mysterious atmospherics as Haino’s great folk-drone project, Nijumu. When Haino turns to the flute on the LP’s second track, a performance that clearly demonstrates the importance of the special concept of space and silence (ma) that Haino has developed from traditional Japanese aesthetics, O’Rourke and Ambarchi transform into the delicate and probing rhythm section of a classic 70s fusion side.
When the trio return to the crushing free-rock of their last two records, O’Rourke’s heavily effected bass rolling alongside Ambarchi’s tumbling rhythms as Haino’s guitar squeals and slashes above them, their performances display a new purposefulness and concision. Now truly operating as a band after a number of years of playing together, the pieces here feel like instant rocks songs, O’Rourke and Ambarchi instantly locking into solid riffs over which Haino alternates between jarring no-wave chords, intense soloing and his signature vocalisations. When the trio slow down and stretch out, the rhythm section plods like an abstracted Crazy Horse on the brink of collapse, and Haino elicits long, mournful solos reminiscent of the first classic Fushitshusha double live LP.
(Perhaps more accessible than the trio’s previous recordings because of its range and concision, ‘now while it's still warm let us pour in all the mystery’ exudes the dark, alien quality of Haino’s greatest recordings and testifies to the strength of the musical bond that has developed between these three players. Francis Plagne, Jan 2013.
are absolute, not extreme. No place here to a pedigree, no useless facts, this is not history yet - just check the web, if you're in need. Maybe grab their previous records on their own WATTSVILLE label. But just don't pass these people by, for someday you'll hear of them as legends."
(Paul-Marc De Luigi / Les Maîtres du Son magazine)
Linked to the record store of the same name in Perpignan in the deep South of France, Cougouyou Music has a focus on the local scene in Northern and Southern Catalonia.
•This is their first album since 2008
•Cut at Dubplates & Mastering, Berlin, 500 copies pressed
Working tirelessly at their craft since 2001, Hair Police are survivors of the rapidly dissolving US noise scene. Made up of Mike Connelly (aka Failing Lights), Robert Beatty (aka Three Legged Race) and Trevor Tremaine – the three Midwesterners have amassed quite a catalog between them, but somehow always hit hardest when they fuse their talents and work together.
‘Mercurial Rites’ is the trio’s first proper full-length since 2008’s ‘Certainty of Swarms’, and in typically obstinate form doesn’t pander to the noise scene’s mass exodus towards the dancefloor. Instead the record is as dirt-sodden and gruesome as the band have ever sounded, and marks an evolution in industrial noise without straying far from their original intentions.
They’ve always been a consistent band, but ‘Mercurial Rites’ does a pronounced job in distilling the raw energy of their defining early LP ‘Obedience Cuts’ and fusing it with the disturbing soundscapes of later records ‘Drawn Dread’ and ‘Prescribed Burning’. Tape-saturated bells and gongs push up awkwardly against pounding, funereal percussion and the kind of disembodied screams we last heard on 80s-era Whitehouse sides, and while the result might terrify some, it re-affirms what made the noise scene so alluring in the first place.
It’s an unsettling, punishing sound that revels in its own abstraction, yet every clank is meticulously placed, every screech of feedback so pointed that at times you forget the layers of distortion and fog altogether. We’re simply left with sparse vignettes of darkness, and in the empty silence in-between the blasts of synthesizer or white noise there’s more horror than you could possibly imagine.
Hairband formed in 2016, by Glasgow DIY standards that makes them veterans. Their instinctively intricate triple-guitar lines deftly weave counterpoint and melodies which interact with Sephi Lock and Emma Smith’s elastic, breathing rhythm section. The music here presents as streamlined pop but bubbling beneath the hooks is audacious instrumental work. Indeed, the tension at the heart of Hairband’s music is a group who can play without it sounding like a big deal. Is this a Glasgow thing, because Orange Juice were a bit like that, Sacred Paws too. Hairband even try on a little Marquee Moon-era Television on Sassy Moon and make it fit like the best charity shop find ever. They’re a band with five songwriters, each distinct with a uniqueness barely containable except within Hairband. The synergy of the group often means that individual personalities are immersed in the whole, so when Rachel Taylor’s voice is isolated at the end of Flying – a sweet but sure ode to gravity, about trying to stay grounded when the world is spinning - it’s all the more affecting. The play of light and shade throughout the record is deftly handled: opener Bee has an intricate rhythmic accompaniment, sounding a little like Life Without Buildings’ jittery polyrhythms married to a sweet ensemble vocal performance topped off with melodically nourishing guitar licks. It’s a formula repeated on Bubble Sword, with guitarists Rowan Wright and Simone Wilson’s twin chords criss crossing across the stereo-field before a straight down the line, loaded rock riff skewers the prettiness.
On the flip side, Hairband’s true instrumental prowess is on 10. Sassy Moon rolls out with the confidence of a band completely in tune with each other, Wilson’s vocal dancing across the treetops, Morricone-esque guitar slashes providing vivid colour. With Lock and Smith’s tight-but-loose rhythm loping purposefully and the group backing vocals washing over, suddenly the line “How do you feel? How do you feel… about the moon?” feels like the most important question you’ll ever be asked. White Teeth sums up every high on this epic self-titled debut. A stomping rhythm shrouded in soft melancholy emboldened by the band’s glorious sense of harmony. It could be a critique of beauty norms, a ghostly memory of an ideal unattainable but ultimately when the band are locked in like this it’s a source of pure joy, it goes beyond subject matter into wordless communication. Hairband is an ode to doing things differently, true, to standing together with your friends, to having respect for what’s gone before but also to carving your own niche. It’s simple, it’s not so simple, as Chic say, “celebrate good times”, Hairband seem to say, celebrate the times.
Sometimes, a musician has to suppress some of his or her particular tastes for the benefit of a project. In developing the sound of Mr James Bright, production is often taken care of by James' close friends at studios all across the globe. Over the years, however, James' urge to unleash his own monster sound had grown, and after a year in the making, his own sound is ready to be let out of the cage.
This is HAIRY HANDS. Fluid rhythms and lavish keys are strewn together to create a blend of beats and wonky folk that is particularly difficult to label. Tracks bounce between chorus and verse, dropping and twisting every few bars; this music is undeniably vibrant. A childlike approach to production, with everything and anything sprinkled from start to finish, causes the finished product to sound beautifully naive. There are no limits here, each track will get you in a headlock and re-arrange your perception of groove. Goodbye Mr.Music Snob, Hairy Hands has just turned your world upside down…
Harkening back to her 2011 release Golder, which featured two instrumental tracks, McCallum has taken the instrumental concept a few steps further in a bold musical statement which features no vocals. This time, McCallum’s musicianship and artistry take the lead. Transitioning from the erratic, synth-driven intro of "Credit Forever Part 1" into the deeply enchanting "Give Yourself Away", which blends piano melodies in the style of French Romanticism with the production stylings of Brian Eno to build a sonic landscape which is as lovely as it is uneasy.
In the stoner-metal burner "Syrup", McCallum’s lead guitar swaggers lazily over a fuzzed out, intense layer of distortion, featuring long-time collaborator and guitar wunderkind Jeremy Ylvisaker and Low's Steve Garrington on bass. The intimate and devastating "Pig Latin" showcases McCallum’s extraordinary gift for melody, carried by world class saxophonist Mike Lewis (Happy Apple, Bon Iver), tracked live in Haley's bedroom.
Mixed by Shuta Shinoda (Anna Meredith, Ghostpoet), McCallum’s production shines through in a new light. Sparsely interlacing the organic and digital, Pleasureland moves through the gamut of grief, perception, and empowerment, eliciting both the uneasiness of a world shifting unexpectedly as well as the innate capacity for goodness and beauty. Here, McCallum displays her long time mastery of simple and haunting melodies that remain with the listener long after, replacing explanation through words with a pallet of sonic exploration wrapped up into just twenty-seven minutes.
FORMAT INFORMATIONColoured LP Info: Indies exclusive white vinyl with red splatter.
Coloured LP 2 Info: White vinyl edition.
The Half Japanese debut release ‘Half Gentlemen Not Beasts’ released in a 4LP box set featuring an extra 12” containing tracks not originally available on the debut and extra unreleased tracks. This deluxe set also includes a 32 page booklet, an original Jad Fair poster 30cm x 60cm and a download card. The CD version also contains a third CD containing the extra material not previously available and the 32 page booklet.’ In 1974 Jad Fair, along with his brother David, co-founded the lo-fi alternative rock group Half Japanese. Over the ensuing three decades, Half Japanese released fourteen albums (which are all due to be reissued on Fire Records throughout 2013), and in the process, attracted a solid base of fans passionate about the band’s pure, unbridled enthusiasm for rock and roll. Fire’s reissue series begins with Half Japanese’s first album Half Gentlemen/Not Beasts, a sprawling collection of the Fair brothers earliest home recordings. These stretch their DIY, lo-fi ethos to the limits featuring sound experiments cobbled together from guitar noise, electronics and odd effects, whilst throwing in some barely recognizable covers (such as tracks by The Temptations, Buddy Holly and Bob Dylan). Over the years Half Gentlemen/Not Beasts became something of a cult legend, partly helped by it’s scarcity and foreshadowed much of the lo-fi movement of early 90s indie rock. All Music Guide describes the album like this: “Although they would have you believe that their untuned, almost unlistenable, instrumental clatter is the result of being so enthusiastic that they didn't bother to learn how to play their instruments, it's just the logical, inevitable intellectual extension of Richman's naivete and the Velvet Underground's stripped-down guitar. Half Japanese is consciously primitive.” Fire’s reissue will feature new packaging, artwork, liner notes and designs by Jad Fair himself as well as never released extra tracks. The CD package will include three discs and there will be four LPs in the vinyl boxset version. This rare and much sought after treasure will now be available for all to enjoy and for fans to relish.
This first volume starts with 1981’s ‘Loud’ and also includes ‘Our Solar System’ and ‘Sing No Evil’ to bring them through to 1985. New artwork from Jad Fair adorns the outer sleeve, which also contains a booklet with liner notes by Jad and David. Half Japanese were formed in 1974 by brothers Jad and David Fair. Despite being lifelong music obsessives, their approach to the craft of writing and the art of performing was utterly unique. Heavily inspired by Jackson Pollock, Half Japanese were always more of an art project than a musical journey. More important than technical ability, was enthusiasm and a thirst for creation. They eschewed traditional ways of playing to explore different tunings, allowing them to coax new sounds from their instruments. Their first release, a seven inch, EP called Calling All Girls was more of an art project than a business venture, with nine songs, a poster with inserts and a printed cover. They never really expected it to sell, but much to their surprise distributors quickly gobbled up all 500 copies, so they rushed to repress 500 more and began making plans for a second record. It was well and truly a calling card.
Fire Records continues their Half Japanese reissue campaign by bringing you the next three albums in the set, collected as Half Japanese: 1981-1985. In recording the follow-up, entitled appropriately as Loud, the band came into their classic line-up. Consisting of Jad and David Fair, as well as two Saxophonists; John Dreyfuss and Lana Zabko, and guitarist Mark Jickling, with Rick Dreyfuss on drums. Creating a barrage of enthusiasm and manic energy around rock and roll teen anthems and free jazz skronk, the band were well on their way to carving out a unique legacy. Our Solar System would bring further joys as they continue to focus on simple themes of love and romance and dancing with girls amongst the experimental noises sneaking out in the music, creating a soundtrack for a sock hop in an alternate universe. The album also featured covers of Buddy Holly, The Velvet Underground, Chuck Berry and Roky Erickson.
Their approach to covers is explained by David Fair: “We have covered many songs but never with the idea in mind of having it sound like the original. In fact, we often took only the words and made no effort, whatsoever, to recreate the melody.” On Sing No Evil, Half Japanese truly came into their own, with their DIY roots blending with free jazz touches to create a raucous indie rock classic. Containing songs like "Firecracker Firecracker" that remain set highlights even today, the band had established a voice like no other. This would be the last record with David in the core line-up, and all of the early records bear his powerful arty and experimental streak. Where would the future take Half Japanese with Jad at the helm? You will have to wait for Half Japanese: 1987-1989 to see.
FORMAT INFORMATION3xLtd LP Info: Just found one of these!
FORMAT INFORMATIONColoured LP includes MP3 Download Code.
STAFF COMMENTSDarryl says: After 13 years away, Half Japanese return to the scene with 'Overjoyed'. And they prove themselves to be as vital as ever, melodic indie-punk that keeps them ahead of the pack.
Perfect is a collection of songs that feature otherworldly sounds, chaotic rhythms, and weird time signatures, topped off with Jad’s brash vocals and oddball lyrics. Its tracks run the gamut from sweet love songs with overtly sincere lyrics to manic, almost abrasive tracks that seem to end before you can fully wrap your head around them. With Perfect, Half Japanese manages to combine elements of every genre imaginable into one strange, unpredictable, and undeniably-catchy package.
FORMAT INFORMATIONDeluxe LP Info: Limited coloured vinyl for UK indie stores only.
Continuing their Fire deluxe reissues of the entire Half Japanese catalogue, Volume Three: 1990-1995 is the third of four volumes containing three LPs/CDs. This next set of Half Japanese LPs begins with 1990’s explosively, noisy and chaotic (sometimes improvised) ‘We Are They Who Ache With Amorous Love’ featuring their cover of the Them garage rock classic “Gloria” and two tracks “Titanic" and "Hand Without a Body” that were co-written with the like-minded Daniel Johnston. Two years later the notably more delicate and, dare we say, jangly, ‘Fire In The Sky’ (1992) arrived at a pivotal time for the group when they gained notable recognition from the likes of Sonic Youth, Nirvana, Teenage Fanclub and Yo La Tengo (whose Ira Kaplan guests on the record).
This highly anticipated third installation closes the trio with 1995’s ‘Hot’ which became MTVs album of the week on release, with Michael Goldbery writing “Hot, mixes Sonic Youth-style noise, Stooges primitivism and ’60s pop with excellent results. “Lucky Ones” is a simply charming number (“A good thing just got better/ As better as better can be”) reminiscent of Jonathan Richman, while “Drum Straight” is dose of feedback drenched skonk and “Vampire” rocks hard liken the Sonic’s “Bull In The Heather.” Fire’s colossal Half Japanese series began last year with the Record Store Day exclusive of ‘Half Gentleman/Not Beasts’, this set contains the records in their original form with extras that later appeared on CD formats available. It will also include original artwork from Jad Fair and liner notes by Half Japanese hall of famer Mark David Jickling. “Cutting straight to the gut. Jad’s phrasing matches surging sentiments, creating a counterpoint to the spot-on music. When they grind out a groove half-rhythmic/half-blank cadences, the woozy disconnect is oddly compelling” Pitchfork’s Best New Reissue (Volume 2: 1987-1989)
“An impressive and well-assembled study of one of this band's more interesting periods” - All Music.
“This should also lay to rest any questions about the importance of Half Japanese. Without them, we wouldn’t have the primitive pop of Beat Happening nor the id-bearing beauty of Daniel Johnston” - Paste Magazine.
Outside, zombies and demons roam and everyday aliens emerge from spaceships: it’s a technicolor film transcribed by Jad Fair and friends John Sluggett, Gilles-Vincent Rieder, Mick Hobbs and Jason Willett, their faces at the cracked window of their subterranean habitat looking out at the real world. They’re on a high from their last release: “After all these years, his wiry voice still hits every song with a shock that’s equal parts joy buzzer and defibrillator, each barely in-key bleat alternating between laughable and life-affirming,” said Pitchfork of their last opus ‘Hear The Lion Roar’.
To which All Music added that “after nearly 40 years of music-making, they're still creating some of the most engaging recordings of their lives, and that's truly something to believe in.” ‘Why Not?’ goes further. It’s an even more intense concoction, it’s further out there. It contains pieces of fluffy thought-provoking music, a bag of sentiments delivered with a real sense of wonderment at how the normal world revolves; all powered with heart and soul, some crunchy guitars, a cello and reverb set-to-kill infiltrating their storytelling. ‘Why’d They Do It?’ quizzes track 11. Because they can.
STAFF COMMENTSBarry says: Why not indeed?
Includes all tracks from the now deleted Editor's Recommendation and Saucy Haulage Ballads.
The idea for this came after some bloke from Crickhowell suggested it whilst engaging the band in pleasant chit chat during a fire drill at Norton Canes Service Station.
STAFF COMMENTSBarry says: Another classic title from the HMHB camp, and fortunately the music is as entertaining as the cover is, with their trademark ska-lite jangle and throbbing spoken word oddities in full force, this is yet another superb outing.
FORMAT INFORMATIONVinyl comes with CD version of the album enclosed.
Slotting in neatly with the Breaker Breaker catalogue, the First Step EP smothers burly drums with woozy sampling that work together to build a trippy, floor-ready sound. ‘Temptation’ kicks things off with a gritty shuffle that propels playful Funk samples before ‘Day One And Two’ sets a loose-limbed plod under thick, palpable synth lines.
Fluorescent then sets rhodes keys flicking out with a certain Floating Points-esque flair and pushed on by a driving plod that rounds of a memorable set of dancefloor moments.
64 NEW ITEMS
Various ArtistsManchester North Of England - A Story Of Independent Music Greater Manchester 1977-1993
145 NEW ITEMS
Donny HathawayI Love You More Than You'll Ever Know (Timmy Regisford & Joaquin Joe Claussell Unofficial Edits & Overdubs)
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