MAGIC MIX

indie

WEEK STARTING 18 Jan

Genre pick of the week Cover of About The Light by Steve Mason.

Steve Mason

About The Light

    Having written most of his previous albums alone, About The Light marks a change in approach for Steve.

    “I decided with this album that I wanted to get my live band involved at every stage because I wanted to capture the energy that we produce when we play live shows, so this time the band and myself worked on a collection of songs over the course of last year,” he explains.

    Picking Stephen Street to produce the album, and with a very clear plan in mind, from the off the goal was to capture the songs live and draw out their soulful elements.

    Talking about the process, Stephen Street says, “Steve explained that he wanted to make this album with his band playing more ‘live’ than on some of his previous offerings and also to augment the songs with brass and female backing vocalists. I felt this approach of first stripping back the songs to a more ‘live’ feel to create more space for the more ‘soulful’ elements to breathe in was an interesting one and we got down to work!”

    Recorded at studios in London and Brighton, About The Light, sees a subtle yet noticeable evolution in Steve’s sound.

    “When I listen to this album it feels and sounds like the first ‘legitimate’ record that I have ever made. It’s hard to explain but it sounds like a ‘real’ album. I think that is partly the production, the playing and the work that I did with the band for all those months in our rehearsal room on the South Coast,” says Steve.

    “It’s a beautiful, confident, positive, angry, loving and gentle album which once again moves what I do forward,” he adds. “David Bowie said that you should always be slightly out of your comfort zone if you want to achieve greatness, and for the first time perhaps ever, I deliberately pushed myself into that place. Who doesn’t want greatness?”

    FORMAT INFORMATION

    Coloured LP Info: Limited indies exclusive silver vinyl edition.

    Angelic Milk

    Divine Biker Love

      Angelic milk, the Saint Petersburg based project from Sarah Persephona, is back with their long-awaited debut album Divine Biker Love. After a few Bandcamp-only releases angelic milk signed with PNKSLM Recordings in 2015 for the release of the IDK How single, which immediately brought them the attention of the likes of Stereogum, SPIN, KEXP, BrooklynVegan and many more. Their first studio recordings, the Teenage Movie Soundtrack EP, arrived the following summer to continued acclaim, before the band retreated to the studio to work on the debut album. Two years later the band emerged with Divine Biker Love, a distinct collection of songs where Persephona’s grunge pop sensibilities meets influences from shoegaze and dream pop, as well as hard rock - a collection of songs that couldn’t have been made by any other band.

      The self titled album Bardo Pond is the first new release from Philadelphia's psychedelic rock unit to be released on Fire.

      'The first time I saw Bardo Pond, I was, as probably most people are when they first encounter this batch of beatific weirdos, horribly unprepared. To describe the experience as "psychedelic" is an understatement on the order of saying that whacking oneself in the nuts with a ball-peen hammer is "mildly irritating." Needless to say, priorities were rearranged, etc.

      Fast-forward 15 yrs, and Bardo Pond have put out many LPs, most of them named after hallucinogens that make you throw up all night and see things - which was kind of them, I always thought. Let ya know what you were in for. All of this recorded output is pretty staggering to me, because, without exception, they seemed able to toss a lasso around some sort of ineffable hoodoo that felt like it was a million yrs old. If Carl Sagan would have 1.) smoked a little more weed and 2.) not croaked, I'm hoping he would have cut a BP track onto that gold LP that they put on the Voyager units. Would've been a way better representation of the best parts of the human spirit than Chuck Berry, I say.

      Anyhoo. One night not long ago in the Bardo Compound in Philly, Michael says in a kinda offhanded way, "Hey man, you wanna hear this? ..." And there I was, being bathed in the songs you've got in yr grubby little mitts right now.

      I was, once again, unprepared.

      This cauldron is a bit of a different brew. It made total sense to me (as it will to you) when he later told me the name of the LP is just "Bardo Pond." Why? It's a distillation. Two decades of playing together have sandblasted away everything unessential and left us with what we have here. It was like no one else before them had ever gotten near the plagal cadence, not Lou Reed or the Stooges or 2,000 yrs of church music. They invented it all over again, independent of any of that, after gawd knows how many yrs of flailing away and burning themselves up.

      I fucking love these songs. And while I hate writing almost as much as I hate third-degree burns, I have to say it is a joy to be able to tell you about this record. I feel like Neil Fucking Armstrong.

      It took years for them to get here, but this record is the most goddamned beautiful thing they've ever done. Sorry for the superlatives. But really, the only thing left for them to do at this point is explode'. - Fire Records.

      John Gibbons: Guitars
      Michael Gibbons: Guitars
      Isobel Sollenberger: Voice, flute
      Clint Takeda: Bass, next-level comedy
      Aaron Igler: Electronics
      Jason Kourkounis: Drums

      with
      Jeremiah Misfeldt: Farfisa
      Dan Baltzer: Harp


      Bewitcher

      Bewitcher

        Bewitcher is a Satanic speed metal band from Portland, Oregon. Here is their manifesto: “Rock ’n’ roll is the devil’s music, and heavy metal is it’s bastard child. In the 1980s, the radical fundamentalist Christian right-wing in America waged a war against this music, bringing it’s practitioners and it’s unholy muse to the forefront of the public consciousness. Over a quarter-century later, the devil’s rock ’n’ roll is still alive and well, but the war is far from over. And so it came to pass...

        “In the year of Thirteen of Satan’s third millennium, a new force rises to defend the ways of old. Bewitcher is the ancient black flame of magic, mayhem, freedom and liberation, burning in blatant opposition to the laughable norms of this modern age . Instead they look to that bygone era, before it’s pollution by imitators of a lesser intention, when heavy metal in all it’s glory truly represented the tenets it was founded upon .

        “May your children be corrupted, may your foundations be shaken, may your mundane existences be forever altered, for this spell cannot be broken. Fall and obey! And beware the curse of the Bewitcher!” “Throw a dart at the track list and come up with a winner no matter where the needle lands. As perfect a summoning of hellish rock ’n’ roll traditions as you’re likely to come across in 2016.”

        Buke & Gase

        Scholars

          “No other bands sound quite like the duo of Buke & Gase.” - NPR Music

          ‘Scholars’ is Buke & Gase’s third album and their first in six years. The New York duo have reinvented themselves, emerging with a more concise, electronic and emotional sound, in sync with our most forward-thinking contemporary artists.

          Since 2013 the band have served as hand-picked opening act for The National, Battles, Lou Reed, Shellac, Deerhoof, Owen Pallett and Mike Patton’s metal supergroup Tomahawk.

          For fans of Dirty Projectors, Animal Collective, James Blake.

          The Callas With Lee Ranaldo

          Trouble And Desire

            The Callas upcoming album is a post-punk burner brimming with frenzied energy with a swirl of droning-art-rock ambiance. The group collaborated with Lee Ranaldo.(Sonic Youth). THE CALLAS is the tip of an artistic squad producing music, artworks, films, magazines, events, art shows, initiated by the brothers Lakis & Aris Ionas. The group worked with Lee Ranaldo on the soundtrack of their new feature film “The Great Eastern” and on their new full-length album, “Trouble and Desire” which is due for release on October, 26th 2018 on Inner Ear and Dirty Water Records. Their last two albums, "Am I Vertical?”and “Half Kiss, Half Pain" were produced by Jim Sclavunos (Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, Lydia Lunch, The Cramps). “As multi-media artists and filmmakers, they approach music making from a very different perspective than the average musician and come up with some quite unexpected results,” says Sclavunos.

            “The sonic palette of the new album is diverse and exploratory, with songs that range in style from dreamy subversive pop to brutal post-punk skronk to deconstructed rebetiko.” Lee Ranaldo described his experience on collaborating with the Callas: “It’s been a pleasure for me to know and collaborate with The Callas on their new album Trouble and Desire - we met a few years ago and I’ve been drawn into their artistic world in Athens. I’m a fan of their visual art tapestries and their art studio/venue and I’ve been having a great time making music with these like-minded travelers. Our collaboration took off quickly and was such a natural fit - we speak the same language and the performances we’ve done together have been a total blast! I love the community of artists that they have gathered around them, and I hope we will do more collaborations in the future”. 

            Cranes

            Self-Non-Self

              After releasing their first EP Fuse, Cranes expanded to a four-piece band and recorded Self-Non-Self. The increased textures and drum slams showing their improvements. The dark sounds are a combination of industrial and post-punk music. “One From The Slum” is an instrumental piece and one of the highlights of this versatile record. Alison Shaw’s lonely voice is setting the tone on this breathtaking album. She’s singing with deeper tones on a track like the industrial “Focus Breathe”. The re-release bonus tracks include the live song “Reach” and the rough and doomy “Nothing In The Middle, Nothing At The End”.

              Siblings Alison and Jim Shaw formed the band Cranes back in 1989. They recorded several successful albums, including 1991s Wings of Joy and 1994s Loved.

              Self-Non-Self limited 30th anniversary edition of 1.000 individually numbered copies is pressed on coloured (black & pink mixed) vinyl.

              Dark Fog

              Make You Believe

                "This is the soundtrack to being trapped in a mudslide on crystal meth in the middle of the worst thunderstorm you've ever seen. Whereas I don't recommend that you ever put yourself in that situation, I do recommend that you GET THIS RECORD and imagine what it would be like to be that fucked. GREAT STUFF!"

                "spacey psych-rock is still alive and fighting, but the Fog is a distinct pedigree. They’re dimension-shifting. They’re sound is both muddy and translucent, but never stagnant. The band members play not as themselves, but as a presence, generating one continuous sound surge that vibrates through the decades, alluding time. You need gills to breathe their oxygen, it’s that thick."

                "Like other hard-psych-revisionists, these guys seem to have learned some of their guitar and vocal moves in a post-Dinosaur universe, but we were never too big on yappy emotive vocals anyway (unless it was Stackwaddy). Dark Fog manages to conjure up a good wad of psychedelic guitar overload." Byron Coley

                "A future underground classic like they made in the good old days, you know you want some." (Simon Lewis/Terrascope)

                "Literal comparisons music duo with Hawkwind, Amon Düül II, Spacemen 3, My Bloody Valentine, Flaming Lips, Dinosaur Jr., Acid Mothers Temple, Dead Meadow, Pharaoh Overlord, etc., Abused by foreign writers, was not taken seriously. DARK FOG successfully absorb all of the above and more, and from himself tricked out something different - in any frame does not fit. Just and still is - to relate to the music of another phenomenon of the "new musical aesthetics (psychedelic)." Inquiring students, researchers recommend!"

                The Dead C

                Ravers

                  Disguised as the meandering outpourings of vacant thought and activity dialed simultaneously from zero and ten. Formed in the cauldron of a fevered mistake resolute. Surrounded by ignorance, dis-interest, and the attention of the carefully self-selected. Recorded and burned through a thousand galaxies of dust and doubt and endless infinite wonder, transforming both time and space. Forever exiled to the very bottom of the world to reflect on the struggling desperate pile above. Recognizing any contribution as miniscule and insignificant when placed within the greatness of the other, the dominant insolent preening satisfied, continually shouting the pre-eminence of the first world order.

                  Death In Vegas

                  The Contino Sessions

                    Scorpio Rising is the third album by British electronica band Death in Vegas, which features guest vocalists Liam Gallagher, Hope Sandoval, Nicola Kuperus, and Paul Weller. Death in Vegas’ Richard Fearless and Tim Holmes created one of their finest records by combining synths with guitar rock and psychedelia. A taste of “My Bloody Valentine” and some electro pulses are thrillingly constructed in the different parts of the album. They’re using different samples in their sounds, so you can hear classics like “Rock Around the Clock” (Bill Haley & His Comets) and “Goin’ Back” (The Byrds). Several songs on the album have appeared on film soundtracks, “Girls” is featured on the soundtrack to the 2003 film Lost in Translation and “Hands Around My Throat” is featured on the Animatrix soundtrack.

                    Richard Fearless is the only active member of the original Death in Vegas line-up. Their sound is influenced by rock, dub and industrial music.

                    .

                    STAFF COMMENTS

                    Andy says: Iggy Pop, the Mary Chain's Jim Read and Primal Scream's Bobby Gillespie all feature on this classic genre-busting album.

                    FORMAT INFORMATION

                    2xColoured LP Info: The first pressing of Scorpio Rising is available as 2.500 individually numbered copies on red vinyl.


                    Deerhunter

                    Why Hasn't Everything Already Disappeared?

                      As thrilling and unpredictable as anything in Deerhunter’s near 15-year career, Why Hasn’t Everything Already Disappeared? was recorded in several strategic geographic points across North America, and produced by the band, Cate LeBon, Ben H. Allen III, and Ben Etter. Forgetting the questions and making up unrelated answers, Deerhunter’s eighth LP is a science fiction album about the present. Exhausted with the toxic concept of nostalgia, they reinvent their approach to microphones, the drum kit, the harpsichord, the electromechanical and synthetic sounds of keyboards. Whatever guitars are left are pure chrome, plugged straight into the mixing desk with no amplifier or vintage warmth.

                      FORMAT INFORMATION

                      Coloured LP Info: Grey coloured vinyl.

                      Coloured LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                      Detroit Cobras

                      What More / I Can't Go Back

                        Hooray, Detroit Cobras are delivering "What More" b/w "I Can't Go Back," featuring two covers of soul rarities. The 7", their first release since the 2008 7" "Ya Ya Ya (Looking For My Baby)" b/w "As Long As I Have You,. Fresh off a tour with the MC50, the Cobras were inspired to judiciously cherry-pick two soul rarities to record and press 'em hot in Detroit! The familiar sounds of Rachel Nagy's sultry vocals and Mary Ramirez's garagey guitar backed by a solid crew of veteran Detroit players -- Dale Wilson, Eddie Baranek, and Kenny Tudrick -- help to retool these vintage jams. "What More" is an uptempo, rug-cutting gem penned by Z.Z. Hill that gets a newly realized guitar crunch intro. In classic Detroit Cobras flip-the-script style, Rachel begs the question, "What more can I do?," while "I Can't Go Back" is a soulful, smooth and haunting ballad about lost love.

                        Go Dark

                        Neon Young

                          Go Dark are out there on the fringes, two lone figures working in the twilight to illuminate the world. 21st Century cyberpunk that touches on the sickness of modern life, Ashley ‘Crash’ Gallegos and Adam ‘Doseone’ Drucker are bound by an incommunicable sense of purpose, the two merging completely on scorched debut album ‘Neon Young’.

                          “Go Dark is music for women of my kind, the striving maniac animal,” says Crash. “bitches that wear skirts and knives who can go into the woods and track things.”

                          Dose adds: “A lot of music is meant to take you to a place you’d rather be, but this is meant to be a score for the way it is.”

                          Go Dark emerge from digital ghettos, torn up synths and blunt, punk-edged Brutalism that conjures John Carpenter-style visions of futuristic dystopia - except it’s happening right here, right now.

                          FORMAT INFORMATION

                          LP Info: LP format includes digital download code.

                          Steve Gunn

                          The Unseen In Between

                            For over a decade, guitarist/vocalist Steve Gunn has been one the American music’s most pivotal figures-conjuring immersive and psychedelic sonic landscapes both live and on record, releasing revered solo albums ranking high on in-the-know end of year lists, alongside exploratory collaborations with artists as diverse as Mike Cooper, Kurt Vile, and Michael Chapman (whose most recent studio album he produced). Gunn is known for telling other people's stories, but on his breakthrough fourth album, The Unseen In Between, he explores his own emotional landscapes with his most complex, fully realized songs to date. 

                            'Well..I think its universally agreed its been a terrible year for world leaders momumentally screwing the world over! So I wanted to end the year with a nice positive bouncey pop record to blow away the grey and see 2019 in with some much needed love and cheer! And thats what Husbands are about. This Ohio group make joyous jump-up guitar party pop - from the opening singalong of "Karlstad" (yup.. it's named after their favourite piece if Ikea furniture), the romping fun of "I Don't Wanna Die" to the beautiful closer "Youth Group", its an EP of varied styles. 7 tracks in total plus more in the downloads, one of which is a cover of "Believe" by Cher - which is just awesome! Trust me..' - Kev Beard (Box Bedroom Rebels)

                            Yes folks it's another winner from the 'Rebels. Husband are rawkus, boiyant and postive - there's flecks of vintage Cali / San Francisco, a bit of Best Coast and even a bit of garage punk a la The Queers / Ramones... It's a celebratory affair, not as navel-gazing as previous BBR's have (proudly) been. Yes indeedy, Kev's deifnintely attempting to veer us away from the current cycle of doom and gloom and for that we should all rejoice!

                            Limited copies as per - move quick to snag the action! 

                            STAFF COMMENTS

                            Matt says: Box Bedroom Rebels blast us out of our Winter depression with a brilliant, jam packed 7" of pop-psyche-indie-rock business that's impossible not to crack a smile too... always remember to moisturize!

                            FORMAT INFORMATION

                            Ltd 7" Info: 7 track 33rpm EP which comes in one of 3 coloured double sided sleeves with a double sided insert and envelope containing a 10 track download code, BBR Letter, Husbands confetti Popcard#4 which is in honour of Nicolas Roeg who died recently.

                            Back in stock Cover of I Am Kloot - Coloured Vinyl Reissue by I Am Kloot.

                            I Am Kloot

                            I Am Kloot - Coloured Vinyl Reissue

                              I am Kloot is the second album of the band by the same name. Their music is haunting, melodic and smooth. This second piece yielded five singles, including the hits “Life in a Day” and “3 Feet Tall”. It’s much more than just a standard rock album as it’s expanse their dark and fractured sound. Songs like “From Your Favourite Sky” and “Proof” are just brilliant and shows how they developed after their first release from two years earlier. It’s all a bit more streamlined than before but that’s the strength of the band. John Bramwell is a fine songwriter who created this beautiful marvel.

                              I am Kloot was as one of the most interesting bands of its time. Formed from the ashes of The Mouth they stood up and released some very successful releases

                              FORMAT INFORMATION

                              Coloured LP Info: 180 gram audiophile vinyl.
                              Gatefold sleeve including insert.
                              Limited edition of 1000 individually numbered copies
                              on transparent vinyl.

                              Khana Bierbood

                              Strangers From The Far East

                                This is their first full length LP. Produced by Go Kurasawa (Kikagaku Moyo) in Tsubame studio in Tokyo. Starting with the track ‘Rustic Song’ from the jet sound at the beginning you will realise you have arrived in Thailand. ‘Starshine’ has the surf vibe but different to the West coast surf music. The topnotch is the B1 track ‘Badtrip’ where you can hear lo-fi garage with heavy doomy fuzz jam. For fans of: Oh Sees, La Luz or Thai’s morlam music and Dengue Fever.

                                Lost Under Heaven

                                Love Hates What You Become

                                  A startling, thought-provoking record, it follows their 2016 debut, Spiritual Songs for Lovers to Sing. Shot full of incisive social commentary, Love Hates What You Become captures the couple at their most musically raw and visceral.

                                  The band wrote the album in Ellery’s native Manchester before traveling to Los Angeles to record with producer John Congleton, known for his Grammy-winning work with St. Vincent, Swans, Explosions in the Sky and Sigur Rós. Congleton introduced the band to Swans drummer Thor Harris, who plays on the record. “We were without a drummer or a real band,” explains Ellery. “I just concentrated on writing the songs rather than making a sound. We turned up in LA with that as our starting point, this collection of Guitar & Piano demos that I’d sent through.”

                                  Those demos included some of the most accomplished song writing of his career to date, such as momentous album closer ‘For The Wild’. “I started writing that song years ago almost as a pastiche of trying to write real this rock’n’roll saviour,” he reminisces. “The rock’n’roll revolutionary feels such a culturally irrelevant cliché now, we’re living in a mechanised world seemingly indifferent to the longings of the human soul.”

                                  A striking difference from their debut record is the prominence of Ebony’s vocals, notable on the album’s formidable ‘Bunny’s Blues’. “Creating this character of Bunny began with a performance piece I did back in Amsterdam,” Ebony explains. “She became a playful tool to confront how male-dominated society attempts to control both women and nature without having any real understanding or respect for their being and innate power.”


                                  FORMAT INFORMATION

                                  Coloured LP Info: Red vinyl

                                  Machinefabriek

                                  With Voices

                                    With Voices is the newest recording by Dutch composer Rutger Zuydervelt under the moniker Machinefabriek. True to its title, the album’s eight pieces exhibit Zuydervelt’s use of tone generators, radios, synths, and other hi-fi curio to construct bewildering aural architecture around vocal contributions from Marissa Nadler, Peter Broderick, Richard Youngs, and others. The track “III” (the tracks are simply titled with Roman numerals) slowly winds like ivy through staccato phrases spoken by Peter Broderick, whose micro-incantations skip along mechanically only to telescope into monastic grandeur at the track’s midpoint. On “VIII” Marissa Nadler leads the suite to its lullabic endpoint with overlapping wisps of harmony devoid of accompaniment concluding the album on an angelic note. Throughout much of With Voices, warm-blooded arteries seem to have grown around bits of well-designed artifice to form something warmly alien, soberly futuristic, and inherently satisfying. More than simply an album of collaborative features, With Voices is a mutating collage of modern minimalism that challenges as often as it comforts. There is an alchemical, metallurgical quality that arises from Zuydervelt’s unique way of merging humanness with abstraction, harshness with beauty, and unintelligibility with familiarity on what may be the most affecting Machinefabriek release to date. 

                                    Mercury Rev

                                    Deserter's Songs - Reissue

                                      Fully cementing Mercury Rev’s rebirth as purveyors of a cosmic brand of the popular American songbook, Deserter’s Songs is an album of grandiose proportions. Merging jazz, folk, sweeping orchestration, and a dose of 60’s rock, the album was intended as the band’s swan song and therefore made with utter abandon. However, it became the band’s most acclaimed platter and remains one of the essential records of the past 30 years. Deserter’s Songs was released to huge worldwide acclaim and went on to be named album of the year in 1998 by NME, MOJO and many other publications, quickly propelling the legendary iconoclasts into living rooms worldwide and pioneered the launch of a new genre of music, heard today in bands like Arcade Fire and Beirut. Available on vinyl once again on the band’s own imprint Excelsior Melodies.

                                      Night Beats

                                      Myth Of A Man

                                        Fronted by Texan native Danny Lee Backwell, Myth Of A Man is Night Beats' fourth studio album, and their second for Heavenly Recordings following the release of Who Sold My Generation in 2016.

                                        While Blackwell has always fed off the musical legacy of his Texas roots—Roky Erickson and the 13th Floor Elevators, The Red Krayola, The Black Angels and more paving the way for the the napalm-coated psych-rock headtrip of past albums—Myth Of A Man has him pulling from the surrogate wellspring of Nashville, Tennessee.

                                        It was there that he worked with the eminent Dan Auerbach, and a murderer’s row of battle-worn session musicians—the combined weight of experience that comes from working with every legend from Aretha Franklin to Elvis not lost on Blackwell. “I was just humbled by being accepted,” he explains, “Big hearts all around.”

                                        In short, it’s an album that holds its own next to the classics, less of the bloodshot acid trip of Sonic Bloom (2013) and Who Sold My Generation (2016) here, Blackwell has recalibrated them, slowed them down just enough and allowed them the space to breathe and exist as something new. It’s the same book, just a different chapter. The moody organ comps and slow stroll of the 12-string on “Her Cold Cold Heart” evoke the noxious feeling and hypnotic state of toxic love, the spirit of Bill Withers is flowing through the acoustic guitar and sun-soaked shuffle of “I Wonder,” and string-trimmed ballads like “Footprints” and “Too Young To Pray” evoke the imaginative, cowboy psychedelia of fellow Texan, Lee Hazlewood. “Let Me Guess” with its searing riff and Elevators-esque organ assures us that the scuzzy sound we know and love is alive and well, while “One Thing,” a song about being used and abused—or as Blackwell sharply puts it, “being rolled up and smoked”—has plenty of fuzzed-out guitars to let us know he might just be happy about it.

                                        Written during a particularly destructive period of the band, the album is populated by fallen angels, blood-sucking wanderers, and vindictive lovers—sketches of people the band has surely come across during their cosmic roving through the underground—but the character most present is Blackwell, himself. “Myth Of A Man can be summed up as a personal display of vulnerability and guilty conscience,” he explains, “Destroying the mythos of what it means to live and function in society.” With its bold steps forward, Myth Of A Man serves as both a takedown and reintroduction of the band as we know it—the strongest evidence that you’ll never be able to pin Night Beats down. 


                                        FORMAT INFORMATION

                                        Coloured LP Info: Red vinyl.

                                        Ohtis

                                        Runnin

                                          The brand new single from US band Ohtis, formed of Sam Swinson, Adam Pressley & Nate Hahn. ‘Runnin’ is the A side from the forthcoming 7” out on Full Time Hobby on 30th November 2018. The band, formed in Normal, Illinois, bring the vivid storytelling wit of Josh T. Pearson and the shufflin’ Americana of Wilco and Phosphorescent. The band have finished their new album which is due for release in Spring 2019.

                                          Old Mexico

                                          Old Mexico

                                            In 2016 Dead Meadow’s Jason Simon ventured north to San Francisco to take part in the Family Folk Explosion: a Last Waltz-style concert series hosted by Trans Van Santos and what the SF Weekly has called "his band of Merry Pranksters." Simon picked a handful of songs to perform with the Trans Van Santos band, leaning heavily on unrecorded material and selections from his last solo album. When he arrived in San Francisco for rehearsals he was immediately taken with the band’s much jazzier interpretations of his songs; a particular revelation coming from the loose and idiosyncratic swing of San Francisco drummer and Spirit Jazz elder Dave Mihaly (known for his work with Jolie Holland and his own group; Dave Mihaly & The Shimmering Leaves Ensemble).

                                            Of all the songs that Jason Simon brought to the table that evening, none were more important to the future NorCal/SoCal collaboration between these two sonic tribes than “Past the Western Wall;" a song Simon felt necessitated a Free Jazz approach that had proven difficult to capture. Not so in San Francisco, where the song became the lengthy and searching centerpiece of the set. Behind Dave Mihaly’s inspired work on the trap kit, Jason Simon’s exploration of Indian motifs on lead guitar, and the Bob Weir-like rhythmic accompaniment of Trans Van Santos, the song found its wings, stretching freely in the open landscape of the songs middle section. Clocking in at nearly fifteen minutes, “Past the Western Wall" was the clear highlight of a show that featured more than a few bright moments. The next morning Jason Simon drove back to Los Angeles with a copy of Dave Mihaly’s most recent album and an invitation to join Trans Van Santos at the TVS2 sessions in Joshua Tree, California the next month.

                                            Jason Simon listened to the Dave Mihaly album on the drive back to Los Angeles and then he listened to it again, and again. The next month in Joshua Tree he presented Trans Van Santos with a proposition to record an album featuring material from the three songwriters. They pow-wowed and smoked the peace pipe and formulated a plan: the album was to be recorded in both San Francisco and Los Angeles, in the northern reaches of Old Mexico, and feature contributions from members of their respective solo projects. Songs would be recorded live over a couple of sessions with very few overdubs. “Western Wall" would be the foundation that the album would be built upon. Jason Simon would produce and steer the ship through the process and toward completion. This album is the fruit of that cross genre and multigenerational collaboration out on the edges of West. Welcome to Old Mexico.

                                            Richard Pinhas

                                            Iceland

                                              Originally released in 1979, Iceland is Richard Pinhas’ third solo album and his first following the breakup of Heldon. While moving away from the maximalism of his old band, paring down Heldon’s hybrid of otherworldly sci-fi imagery and pummeling psych-prog riffs, the journey through Iceland is decidedly more inward. Consisting of longer, brooding synth-based pieces as well as short proto-industrial études and interstitial sketches, Iceland features Pinhas’ delay-ridden electric guitar, pulsating machine rhythms and analog synthesizer washes—all vivid in texture and timbre, notwithstanding an undeniably chilling ambience. This first-time vinyl reissue includes “Wintermusic,” an immersive 25-minute bonus track recorded in 1983 and appearing here on vinyl for the first time. Pinhas’ excursions channel the season’s stillness and sublimity, its majesty and its threat. Without a doubt, one his finest moments. Recommended for fans of Cluster, Mica Levi and Fripp & Eno.

                                              Groove Curse is Rakei’s long-awaited follow up to highly-acclaimed debut EP Franklin’s Room, his modern take on reggae-infused soul music. Groove Curse takes an evolved turn, with a sound Rakei describes as “raw, vocal-driven, groove”. With the first single off the EP, Street Light featuring Gwen Bunn (vocalist and Grammy nominated producer of Schoolboy Q’s Collard Greens feat. Kendrick Lamar), the release celebrates the skills of upcoming young musicians who are writing, self-producing and taking full advantage of their vocal and multi-instrumentalist talents.

                                              FORMAT INFORMATION

                                              Ltd 12" Info: Long out of print repress from 2014.

                                              Snakes Don't Belong In Alaska

                                              Snakes Don't Belong In Alaska

                                                Strap yourself in and get ready for Snakes Don't Belong In Alaska. Somewhere between The Cosmic Dead flying and The Myrrors High Evolutionary Transcendance - Snakes Don't belong In Alaska have it in fucking spades my friends and as an introduction to them Cardinal Fuzz have packed 2 of their releases pressed onto vinyl and packed as a double LP - Mountain Rituals and Ancient Alien Temple Ritual.

                                                Newcastle collective Snakes Don't Belong In Alaska have been slowly but steadily making a name for themselves on the UK psych circuit, hosting numerous international touring acts and putting out some radical self-released (and highly limited) recordings under their own Infinity Mirror imprint. This however is the band's first widely available release - an absolutely monumental tome of heavy, droning kosmische freakout that blows away all preconceived ideas of what this group is capable of. Drawing on an aural temple map leading straight from Ash Ra to Acid Mothers, "Mountain Rituals" climbs from a deep earth drone into the sort of mind-warping guitar bliss that will leave you scrambling for the repeat button over and over again.

                                                Stolen emerge from the new world and ready to rock your all nite techno-rock discotheque!

                                                An amalgamation of styles - namely: Simian Mobile Disco, New Order, LCD Soundsystem and Justice - Stolen create proper songs with full and varied arrangements and have already been receiving plaudits from John Robb, Bernard Sumner!

                                                There's a definitive 'proggy' lean to these detailed sonic canvasses, with dynamic shifts, proper verse-chorus structures and a sprawling, quite cinematic take on the whole 'techno-rock' cannon.

                                                Produced by Mark Reeder - ex-Factory Records rep and an important producer from Berlin's embryonic period when punk, techno and a DIY sprit encompassed the city; he's joined by a group of Chinese musicians who make up Stolen. Directed by Liang Yi, the sextet has a dreamy trance-like sound and focuses on translating into sound the social aspects of life in China. Their songs seem like anthems for a lost damned generation with ironic hints on socio-political aspects of living in China and a radiography of Chinese society.

                                                'This is the Chinese musical underground at its raw beginnings and we hope you will join and celebrate with us, this great new band from China and help them to open up a brand new playing field for us all...Stolen are not only spearheading a new generation of creative Chinese bands, they are changing the face of chinese music... and the sound of MFS.' - Mark Reeder (MFS)


                                                FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                2xLtd LP Info: Double LP in gatefold sleeve comes housed in 'Stolen From China' black carrier bag.

                                                The Twilight Sad

                                                It Won't Be Like This All The Time

                                                  From their unassuming origins as a group of school friends drawn together by a shared passion for music to the global touring force (supporting The Cure and Editors at arenas and stadiums), they have quietly become, The Twilight Sad’s ascent has been forged the old way with grit, graft and four exceptional studio albums. Now signed to Mogwai’s Rock Action Records, the bands fifth album does not disappoint and will certainly not disappoint fans of their previous works. It will also appeal to fans of The Cure, Frighten Rabbits, The National, Interpol and Editors.

                                                  FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                  2xColoured LP Info: Indies exclusive heavyweight blue vinyl.

                                                  2xColoured LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                                                  2xLP includes MP3 Download Code.

                                                  Unknown Mortal Orchestra

                                                  Unknown Mortal Orchestra (Reissue)

                                                    Unknown Mortal Orchestra (U.M.O.) was conceived as a home recording project by Ruban Nielson after spending years playing and touring in an award-winning New Zealand punk band (on the legendary Flying Nun label). The band broke up after re-locating to Portland, OR and Ruban was ready to move away from his nomadic past. His recordings as U.M.O., mainly created for his personal amusement, have now taken on a life of their own. 

                                                    Ruban’s vision of creating “junkshop record collector pop” culminated in the creation of sprawling Beatles-esque guitar melodies over hammered out break-beats, spliced with an individual touch of gentle weirdness. The results deliver a surprisingly unified fusion of several influential elements - classic psychedelic rock, Krautrock rhythms and proto-hip hop beats – all interacting to create a cohesive album. 

                                                    Though the songs were never intended to be performed live, the last six months has seen the project gather pace behind a wave of critical acclaim. A sold-out limited edition EP lead Ruban to construct a live band consisting of skilled producer Jake Portrait on bass and a brilliant teenage drummer named Julien Ehrlich.

                                                    FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                    Coloured LP Info: Independent record store exclusive on Sky Blue vinyl. Limited to 1,500 units worldwide.

                                                    Sharon Van Etten

                                                    Remind Me Tomorrow

                                                      Remind Me Tomorrow comes over four years after the release of Are We There, a top 10 critically praised album of 2014, and reckons with the life that gets lived when you put off the small and inevitable maintenance in favor of something more present. Throughout, Van Etten veers towards the driving, dark glimmer moods that have illuminated the edges of her music and pursues them full force.

                                                      Written while pregnant, going to school for psychology, after taking The OA audition, Remind Me Tomorrow was written in stolen time: in scraps of hours wedged between myriad endeavors — Van Etten guest-starred in The OA, and brought her music onstage in David Lynch’s revival of Twin Peaks. Off-screen, she wrote her first score for Katherine Dieckmann’s movie Strange Weather and the closing title song for Tig Notaro’s show, Tig.

                                                      The songs on Remind Me Tomorrow have been transported from Van Etten’s original demos through producer John Congleton’s arrangement. He helped flip the signature Van Etten ratio, making the album more energetic-upbeat than minimal-meditative. The songs are as resonating as ever, the themes are still an honest and subtle approach to love and longing, but Congleton has plucked out new idiosyncrasies from Van Etten’s sound. Joined by Van Etten’s longtime collaborator and bandmate Heather Woods Broderick, plus Jamie Stewart, Zachary Dawes, Brian Reitzell, Lars Horntveth, McKenzie Smith, Joey Waronker, Luke Reynolds, and Stella Mozgawa, Remind Me Tomorrow was recorded at studios throughout Los Angeles.

                                                      For Remind Me Tomorrow, Van Etten put down the guitar. When she was writing the score for Strange Weather her reference was Ry Cooder, so she was playing her guitar constantly and getting either bored or writer's block. At the time, she was sharing a studio space with someone who had a synthesizer and an organ, and she wrote on piano at home, so she naturally gravitated to keys when not working on the score - to clear her mind. Lead single “Comeback Kid” was originally a piano ballad, but driven by Van Etten’s assertion that she “didn’t want it to be pretty,” it evolved into a menacing anthem. Remind Me Tomorrow as a whole shows this magnetism towards new instruments: piano keys that churn, deep drones, distinctive sharp drums. There are dark intense synths, a propulsive organ, a distorted harmonium.

                                                      The breadth of Van Etten’s passions (musical, emotional, otherwise), of new careers and projects and lifelong roles, have inflected Remind Me Tomorrow with a wise sense of a warped-time perspective. This is the tension that arches over the album, fusing a pained attentive realism and radiant lightness about new love.


                                                      FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                      Coloured LP Info: Limited edition pink vinyl.

                                                      M. Ward

                                                      What A Wonderful Industry

                                                        Last June M.Ward surprised fans with the digital release of his ninth solo album, What A Wonderful Industry. The record finally receives a proper physical release via M.Ward Records. Over the last decade Ward has released a string of acclaimed solo albums, as well as six LPs with Zooey Deschanel in the duo She and Him. Ward is also a member of the group Monsters of Folk alongside My Morning Jacket’s Jim James, Bright Eyes’ Conor Oberst, and Mike Mogis, as well as a producer on albums for Mavis Staples, Jenny Lewis, and Carlos Forster.

                                                        Via Ward: “This is a record inspired by people in the industry I have known - heroes and villains in equal measure. There’s some beautiful moments when you travel for a living, and I’m grateful for being part of an industry that’s taken me around the world so many times - but you quickly learn there’s a perfectly imperfect balance of cold-blooded and warm-blooded animals in the zoo. This record visits the most memorable characters. There’s a lot of very inspirational people I’ve had the pleasure to work with but there are also a few I wish I’d never met. It all tragically ends with an imaginary Griffin Mill-inspired murder ballad. This album is a reminder to keep your friends close, your enemies closer and don’t let the ones that just need an extra couple hours of therapy bring you down. Anyway I hope you like it. All names have been changed to protect the innocent".

                                                        FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                        Coloured LP Info: Limited edition clouded clear vinyl.

                                                        Various Artists

                                                        American Noise Vol. 2

                                                          American Noise Vol. 2 is the anticipated second limited edition vinyl release soundtrack companion to The Smart Studios Story , a groundbreaking documentary about the history of Madison, Wisconsin’s Smart Studios and its role in recording and supporting DIY / independent music in the Midwest. The critically acclaimed film chronicles thirty years of Midwest rock history and links early indie bands to the larger story of American rock history.

                                                          While American Noise: Vol 1 shared the earliest Butch Vig recordings of local, unsigned bands, Vol 2 includes artists who traveled from other scenes in the US to record at the fledgling studio between 1987 and 1993.This era coincides with the growing reputation of producers Butch Vig and Steve Marker—two self-taught, DIY studio owners whose skills took the raw sound of local bands and created polished, powerful analog recordings.

                                                          Through touring bands, college radio, and The Sub Pop Singles Club, their early work, most notably with Killdozer and Die Kreuzen, caught the attention of credible indie labels like Sub Pop, Touch And Go, and Alternative Tentacles.Following the release of Nirvana’s pivotal Nevermind, both Vig and the studio received an explosion of attention.

                                                          More and more artists sought to record with him and many of them wanted to do it in the crumbling, two-story red brick building on East Washington Avenue. All of the tracks on American Noise Vol. 2 come out of this period. Sonically, it spans the broad spectrum of Smart’s clientele at the time. Pop, acoustic, beat and the heaviest of heavy, chuck full of dirt, growl and thump the way Smart was always able to deliver.

                                                          Various Artists

                                                          Rough Trade Shops Counter Culture 18

                                                            It's that time of year again, here is the annual round up of what Rough Trade loved from 2018! Everyone at Rough Trade Shops has helped choose/select/reject tracks - this year seems to be better than ever! From the electronic wizardry of Black Midi and funky bass-heavy strut of Boy Azooga on disc 1, to the superb jazzy vibes of Nubiya Garcia and punk-rock stomp of idles on the second disc, this really spans the whole scope of modern music. 


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