MAGIC MIX

folk . americana . blues . rock&roll

WEEK STARTING 18 Oct

Genre pick of the week Cover of Somebody's Knocking by Mark Lanegan Band.

Mark Lanegan Band

Somebody's Knocking

    ‘Somebody’s Knocking’ is the eleventh album from Mark Lanegan. The album pulsates with energy echoing the punch of Eighties garage metallers Raw Power and the sweep of brooding atmosphere concreted by late Joy Division. With his love for electronic dance dating back his youth, tracks on ‘Somebody’s Knocking’ act as a callback to these days whilst simultaneously signifying a definitive shift in his sensibilities and very approach to songwriting.

    It’s unsurprising then that ‘Somebody’s Knocking’ was cowritten by Rob Marshall - of Exit Calm and collaborator on 2017’s Gargoyle - alongside Martin Jenkins of electronica project Pye Corner Audio. In Lanegan’s own words, he approached working with the two “from the perspective of a fan.” This is unsurprising; Lanegan’s love for European dance music even led to Jenkins contributing album remixes for both 2015’s ‘A Thousand Miles Of Midnight’ and 2017’s ‘Still Life With Roses’, Pye Corner once again proving to be the perfect foil for Lanegan’s more overtly electronica infused approach.

    Mostly recorded in LA over an eleven-day session, ‘Somebody’s Knocking’ is a shift in perspective for Lanegan, showcasing his maturing approach to songwriting and remaining instinctive, elusive and unflinchingly honest.

    STAFF COMMENTS

    Barry says: Lanegan's newest outing is full to the brim with gritty, southern rock drive and the undeniable musicality we've come to expect from him over the past 30 years, only this time we get the more electronic-leaning production of Martin of Pye Corner Audio and Rob Marshall of cooking vinyl, a match made in music heaven.

    FORMAT INFORMATION

    Coloured LP Info: Limited heavyweight blue vinyl, limited to initial pressing.

    Coloured LP includes MP3 Download Code.

    Will Burns & Hannah Peel

    Chalk Hill Blue - Deluxe Edition

      ‘Chalk Hill Blue’ is the first album by poet Will Burns and musician and composer Hannah Peel: a record of electronic ruralism channelling lives threaded through the chalk landscapes of Southern England.

      Existing and reacting off each word and sounds in the studio together; with the words of poet Will Burns, the analogue electronic compositions of Hannah Peel and the overarching eye of producer Erland Cooper, all tracks were produced and recorded in their entirety within 12 hours.

      The spoken words and sound worlds often seem to emerge from subliminal processes of call and answer; a fertile blurring of collective inspiration and intention circling this abstracted chalk landscape.

      This deluxe edition of ‘Chalk Hill Blue’ also includes a 7” single featuring a pair of new pieces from Hannah Peel and Will Burns, combining the same evocative, powerful sonic palette and plainspoken poetry as their acclaimed album.

      A commission to create a new collaborative work for the BBC resulted in ‘Moth Book’, an elegiac mediation on loss which flowers into a driving, hypnotic synth workout, perfectly offset by the haunting flipside track, ‘Wendover, Bucks’.

      Dwight Druick was born in Montreal to a professional gambler and an ex-Radio City Rockette. One of five children, he grew up in a family buoyed by music and beleaguered by the vagaries of miscalculated risk. After attaining a McGill University bachelor’s degree in Art History, Dwight fully embraced both music and risk by traveling to London, where he signed a contract with Pye Records and Joe Cocker’s management company. The ensuing record, "Druick & Lorange" was released to critical acclaim and relative success. After returning to Canada, Dwight recorded two albums with Phil Vyvial: "Midnight" and "Minuit". Recorded with the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section in Alabama, the duo’s work achieved airplay success in Quebec and across Canada. Dwight subsequently released his first French language solo album, "Tanger", released in 1980 by the Canadian label, Bobinason.

      Today quite hard to find in its original version, "Tanger" is first of all an incredibly solid album, clearly underrated and deserving more credit. Mostly known by collectors and DJs for the stunning cover of Toto’s classic hit, “Georgy Porgy”, which was produced and arranged with the help of George Thurston (Boule Noire), it includes many other tasty titles, with amongst them another fine rendition of “Open Your Eyes” by The Doobie Brothers. In fact, with its brilliant mix of Modern-Soul, Disco and AOR styles, the whole album is already considered by many connoisseurs as a classic, and clearly a must have for anyone enjoying this musical blend.

      Never reissued on vinyl until now, here's a chance for blue eyed soulboys, yacht rock obsessives and the Balearic crowd to grab their copy.

      Produced in coordination between Be With, Efficient Space and the artist, this definitive reissue is restored from original masters with vivid reproductions of the Down On The Road By The Beach exhibition catalogue, intended to accompany its original release, and extensive liner notes penned by fellow Steve Hiett obsessive Mikey IQ Jones.

      Near-ambient arrangements that float in a space between The Durutti Column, Steve Cropper and Ashra, Down On The Road By The Beach also crowns Hiett the master of recontextualization with his zero-gravity blues visions of Roll Over Beethoven, Santo & Johnny’s Sleep Walk and the 1967 Eddie Floyd soul hit Never Found A Girl.

      For the first time since its inception 36 years ago, Steve Hiett’s elusive Down On The Road By The Beach is finally made available outside of Japan. Most recognized in the fashion sphere as an English photographer and graphic designer, Hiett‘s transportive audio portraits amplify his serpentine guitar to the infinite blue, recorded across Paris, Tokyo and New York with no coastline in sight. Now widely celebrated as a desert island disc, very little is actually known of its unfathomable genesis.

      A career devotee of Brian Wilson’s ground breaking harmonies, Hiett shot The Beach Boys for Rolling Stone - as well as The Doors, Miles Davis and Jimi Hendrix (in one of his final performances at the 1970 Isle Of Wight Festival) - while establishing himself as a fashion photographer. Decamping to Paris in 1972, he began what would become 20-year collaborations with Vogue Paris and Marie Claire, printing his signature warm, saturated and vibrantly hued snapshots.

      In 1982, representatives from Tokyo’s Galerie Watari visited him to propose a solo exhibition. Asking if he could insert a 7” of original music into the back of the exhibition catalogue, Hiett laid down ‘Blue Beach - Welcome To Your Beach’ in a Parisian radio station, playing all of the instruments himself, and two more cuts in New York with Yoko Ono, The Doobie Brothers and Steely Dan hired-gun Elliot Randall. Once dispatched, the phone began ringing off the hook with requests for him to fly to Tokyo. Assuming these long-distance callers were wanting him to check proofs for the book, it wasn’t until he arrived that he discovered CBS/Sony had facilitated an entire album. Heitt hastily gripped some petty cash, bought a guitar and retreated to his hotel room to start writing.

      Entering the studio the following day, he was further surprised by a waiting room of session players known as Moonriders - one of Japan’s most acclaimed rock bands of the 1980s. Intimidated by their indecipherable sheet music, Hiett suggested Randall join them and with money being no object for major labels at the time, his wingman was on the next plane out of New York to finalise the high production indulgence.


      FORMAT INFORMATION

      Ltd LP Info: First re-issue since its original release in Japan in 1983, remastered from the original masters, 140g vinyl, gatefold sleeve, 16 page photography book with liner notes.

      CD Info: First time on CD, remastered from the original masters, digipack, 6 page photography book with liner notes.

      Three emotional years in the making, Be With and Efficient Space finally present Steve Hiett’s Girls In The Grass. Pressed alongside the long awaited reissue of his one-shot masterpiece Down On The Road By The Beach, these ten balearic soul instrumentals are of equal necessity; unrivalled beauty rescued from the fashion photographer-guitarist’s Paris Tapes (1986-1997).

      Hiett’s guitar sings with the same clean, crisp tone as Down On The Road, animated by a carefree weekend groove. Unlike his defining album which was boiled under pressure, these subsequent sessions have all the time in the world. The naïve melodies chart a missing link between Vini Reilly’s ventures into electronica and Booker T, sounding like sun-warped takes on wordless, fractured non-hits from his heroes The Beach Boys.

      While recordings unintended for release should often be approached with caution, this is a rare case of unheard material being assembled as an indispensable and coherent piece. Girls In The Grass is something super special. The light and shadow that defines Hiett’s music is arguably more compelling here. It speaks to us in a language that feels profound, yet entirely comforting and familiar.

      Girls In The Grass reintroduces Hiett’s languid electric blues boogie, crafted on Saturday afternoons with fellow art director Simon Kentish. Kentish would cook, pour some wine and then utilise his arsenal of technology. He’d dial up a chugging rhythm, together with some ambient pads or keyboard textures, and anchor the weightless gauze of Hiett’s six-stringed touch.

      Remastered for public pleasure by Simon Francis, these private moments are adorned with Hiett’s singular photography and feature typically idiosyncratic liner notes from Mikey IQ Jones.


      FORMAT INFORMATION

      Ltd LP Info: Previously unreleased material from Steve’s private recordings, remastered from the original masters, 140g vinyl, 4 page photography insert with liner notes.

      CD Info: CD is INDIES ONLY with previously unreleased material from Steve’s private recordings, remastered from the original masters, digipack, 6 page photography book with liner notes, 2 bonus tracks not on the vinyl version.

      Jason Isbell And The 400 Unit

      Here We Rest - Reissue

        Originally released in 2011. This reissue was remixed by Dave Cobb and remastered by Pete Lyman. Like the two albums before it, Here We Rest shines a light on Jason Isbell’s softer side, illuminating the sad-faced country tunes and bluesy ballads that rarely popped up during his time with Drive-By Truckers. Written in northern Alabama during a break in Isbell’s touring schedule, these songs focus on the archetypal characters that populate most struggling Southern towns: the barflies and ball players, the heartbreakers and the heartbroken, the war vets who return home and the starry-eyed kids who leave. Isbell’s hometown was hit hard by the Great Recession of 2008, and he captures his subjects somewhere between the realization that their lives have been impacted and the sad resignation that they’ve been irrevocably changed. The details are bittersweet, but there’s an air of resilience, too, which Isbell underscores with a sympathetic soundtrack of folk, country, and bar band rock & roll.


        FORMAT INFORMATION

        Coloured LP Info: Indies exclusive edition on transparent blue vinyl.

        Coloured LP includes MP3 Download Code.

        Jason Isbell And The 400 Unit

        Jason Isbell And The 400 Unit - Reissue

          Originally released in 2009. This reissue was remixed by Dave Cobb and remastered by Pete Lyman. 

          FORMAT INFORMATION

          2xColoured LP Info: Indies exclusive edition on transparent green vinyl.

          Matana Roberts

          Coin Coin Chapter Four : Memphis

            Matana Roberts returns with the fourth chapter of her extraordinary Coin Coin series - a project that has deservedly garnered the highest praise and widespread critical acclaim for its fierce aesthetic originality and unflinching narrative power. The first three Coin Coin albums, issued from 2011-2015, charted diverse pathways of avant modern composition - Roberts calls it "panoramic sound quilting" - and ranged sequentially from large band to sextet to solo, unified by Roberts' archival and often deeply personal research into legacies of the American slave trade and ancestries of American identity/experience. Roberts also emphasizes non-male subjects and thematises these other-gendered stories with a range of vocal and verbal techniques: singspeak, submerged glossolalic recitation, guttural cathartic howl, operatic voice, gentle lullaby, group chant, and the recuperation of various American folk traditionals and spirituals, whether surfacing in fragmentary fashion or as unabridged set-pieces. The root of this vocality comes from her dedication to the legacy of her main chosen instrument, the alto saxophone.

            On Coin Coin Chapter Four: Memphis, Roberts convened a new band, with New Yorkers Hannah Marcus (guitars, fiddle, accordion) and percussionist Ryan Sawyer (Thurston Moore, Nate Wooley, Cass McCombs) joined by Montreal bassist Nicolas Caloia (Ratchet Orchestra) and Montreal-Cairo composer/improviser Sam Shalabi (Land Of Kush, Dwarfs Of East Agouza) on guitar and oud, along with prolific trombonist Steve Swell and vibraphonist Ryan White as special guests. Memphis unspools as a continuous work of 21st century liberation music, oscillating between meditative incantatory explorations, raucous melodic themes, and unbridled free-improv suites, quoting archly and ecstatically from various folk traditions along the way. Led by Roberts' conduction and unique graphic score practice, her consummate saxophone and clarinet playing, and punctuated by her singing and speaking various texts generated from her own historical research and diaristic writings, Coin Coin Chapter Four is a glorious and spellbinding new installment in this projected twelve-part Gesamtkunstwerk

            FORMAT INFORMATION

            LP Info: 180gram vinyl includes multiple art inserts + MP3.

            Anna St. Louis

            First Songs

              Despite her last name, Anna St. Louis was born and raised in Kansas City. She grew up a painter and singing in punk bands, eventually leaving her hometown to attend art school in Philadelphia. After graduating she made the move to Los Angeles where she began teaching herself guitar, writing songs and recording them on her own in her bedroom.

              First Songs is the sound of someone discovering their talent in real time—a peak into the collage of a wonderful mind that is absorbing their new surroundings and using new tools to put them into the room. Listening to this collection you can feel the sun coming in through the window—St. Louis on the foot of the bed with a guitar on her knee, finding her voice. She wears her influences well—think Patsy Cline singing over John Fahey—but has a style all her own. And while one can take the artist out of the midwest, one can’t take the midwest out of the artist—so let this be known: this is Midwestern music ran through a California filter. Anna St. Louis will have many more releases in her lifetime, but let it all begin here—First Songs. “a low dangling cigarette of psychedelic folk.”

              Various Artists

              Negro Folklore From Texas State Prisons

                The recordings on this album were made in Texas prison farms in July 1964. Bruce Jackson had gone there in the hope of recording black convict worksongs, a tradition that derived from slavery and, before that, was imported from Africa. Many of the prisons in Texas, Mississippi and Louisiana, where such songs had been sung, had been built on the sites of slaverytime plantations. It was as if the owners changed but not much else.

                Bruce found far more than worksongs. Prison is a place where people live: when they go there, they bring with them pieces of free world culture, just as someone migrating from one country to another brings cultural knowledge and practice to the new home. In addition to the worksongs he heard spirituals, blues, toasts (recited poems) and much more. In this album he tries to give a sense of that range of material.

                This iconic album has now been re-mastered and features original artwork in full.

                FORMAT INFORMATION

                LP Info: LP Includes 22-page lyric book and digital download code for complete album.


                Barry is all over this Vic Mars @VicMarsmusic album ‘Inner Roads and Other Paths’ released earlier this month on… https://t.co/9LGcceRgty
                Thu 17th - 1:09
                Massive thank you to @state808 today who played a great set and signed a few copies of their new album ‘Transmissio… https://t.co/Ez3Cd7yuy4
                Sat 12th - 7:11
                Haha. No problem. Thanks for sharing. https://t.co/VKvgqJfreB
                Sat 12th - 6:55
                Ready for National Album Day @AlbumDayUK Open from 10 - 6 today as usual. Follow the link to this week’s albums… https://t.co/8AzifY3uYo
                Sat 12th - 8:07
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