MAGIC MIX

folk . americana . blues . rock&roll

WEEK STARTING 24 Jan

Genre pick of the week Cover of Bonny Light Horseman by Bonny Light Horseman.

Bonny Light Horseman

Bonny Light Horseman

    The timeless qualities of traditional tunes can carry us across oceans and eons, linking us not only to the past but to each other as well. It was under the banner of these eternal connections that the trio of Bonny Light Horseman came together. From festival fields and a German art hub to a snowy upstate studio and everywhere in between, the astral folk outfit - comprised of Anaïs Mitchell (fresh from winning eight Tonys for her musical ‘Hadestown’), Eric D. Johnson (Fruit Bats, The Shins) and Josh Kaufman (The National, Bob Weir) - mix the ancient, mystical medium of transatlantic traditional folk music with a contemporary, collective brush. The resulting album, ‘Bonny Light Horseman’, is an elusive kind of sonic event: a bottled blend of lightning and synergy that will excite fans of multiple genres eras and ages.

    The album features fellow 37d03d artists-in-residence Michael Lewis (bass, saxophone) and JT Bates (drums), as well as Justin Vernon (Bon Iver), Aaron Dessner (Aaron Dessner), Kate Stables, Lisa Hannigan, The Staves, Christian Lee Hutson and more.

    Leaving the 2018 37d03d Berlin event with roughly 60-percent of a record, the band reconvened at Dreamland Studios in Woodstock, NY, in January 2019 to finish, bringing Lewis and Bates as well as engineer Bel la Blasko along with them.

    FORMAT INFORMATION

    Coloured LP Info: Indies exclusive ‘blue seaglass’ vinyl.

    Terry Allen And The Panhandle Mystery Band

    Just Like Moby Dick

      Iconic and iconoclastic Texan songwriter and visual artist Terry Allen’s heartbreaking, hilarious new album, his first set of new songs since 2013’s Bottom of the World, features the full Panhandle Mystery Band, including co-producer Charlie Sexton (Dylan, Bowie, Blaze), Shannon McNally, and Jo Harvey Allen; mainstays Bukka Allen, Richard Bowden, and Lloyd Maines; and co-writes with Joe Ely and Dave Alvin. The connections to Melville’s masterpiece are metaphorical and allusive, as elusive as the White Whale. The masterly spiritual successor to Lubbock (on everything), Just Like Moby Dick casts its net wide for wild stories, depicting, among other monstrous things, Houdini in existential crisis, the death of the last stripper in town, bloodthirsty pirates (in a pseudo-sequel to Brecht and Weill’s “Pirate Jenny”), the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan (in the “American Childhood” suite), a vampire-infested circus, mudslides and burning mobile homes, and all manner of tragicomic disasters, abandonments, betrayals, bad memories, failures, and fare-thee-wells.

      Just Like Moby Dick, his first set of new songs since 2013’s Bottom of the World, takes its title from the archetypal monster of American literature and the American imaginary. (Coincidentally—or not—his label Paradise of Bachelors also takes its name from a Herman Melville story.) “Memory shot her crystals as the clear ice most forms of noiseless twilights,” Melville writes, and for most of the novel, Moby Dick himself remains hidden, haunting Ahab as a crystalline monster of fathomless memory, a terrible fever dream from the depths. The whale remains a specter on Allen’s record too, appearing explicitly only in the briny final line of the last song “Sailin’ On Through,” and on the artist’s Side D vinyl etching and CD insert drawings, where he lurks menacingly beneath the roiling seas of Thomas Chambers, the 19th-century maritime painter whose floridly freaky nautical scenes adorn the album jacket.

      RIYL: David Byrne, Guy Clark, Bob Dylan, John Prine, Silver Jews, Sturgill Simpson, Townes Van Zandt.

      FORMAT INFORMATION

      2xDeluxe LP Info: Moby Dick etching artwork on side 4.

      2xDeluxe LP includes MP3 Download Code.

      “What Black Lips do so well is tease the horror out of wholesomeness and recast golden-age rock’n’roll in a strange, discomforting light” Pitchfork.

      “Cosmic country that comes strutting off a dusty back porch with gritted teeth” Consequence Of Sound.

      It’s country music but not as we know it which begs the question: Have these Bad Kids of 21st Century rock ’n’ roll finally grown up on their ninth studio album? Are they at peace with themselves? Have they made a record their parents could listen to? The Black Lips new album ‘Sing In A World That’s Falling Apart’ continues to flick the middle finger to one and all. This ain’t another gaggle of bearded southern sons fleeing their collective suburban upbringings and collegiate music education. There aren’t the usual clichés about drinking, honkytonks, and heartbreak. These are, after all, the same Black Lips who rescued the waning garage punk subgenre by not sounding or dressing their musical predecessors. They also dug contemporary hip-hop and punk and actualized themselves Like so many dramatic moments in the Black Lips career, ‘Sing In A World That’s Falling Apart’ was born out of crisis. The band’s stylistic evolution through decades of prolific touring and recording took them where no garage punk band had gone before - huge venues, network television shows, and major music festivals. Here Black Lips are at their grimiest, most dangerous and equipped with the best collection of songs since the aughts. Skidding onto the asphalt in a shower of sparks, they roll on with an unapologetic southern-fried twang, pacing the beast, every now and then dropping a psycho howl into the rubber room madness lurking underneath the truckstop fireworks. This ain’t your granny’s country album. And conversely this ain’t your mama’s Black Lips.

      STAFF COMMENTS

      Barry says: Just as the thigh-slapping hoedown starts, it fades away into rich psychy rock and swinging blues riffage. Black lips have always been one of the most distinctive bands that start with 'Black___' (of which there are A LOT), and 'In A World That's Falling Apart' provides a feelgood alternative to that exact scenario. Turn it up and don't stress. Black Lips got this.

      FORMAT INFORMATION

      Coloured LP Info: Indies only deluxe red vinyl edition, comes with a die cut spot gloss sleeve & poster. This is for Indies only.

      Coloured LP includes MP3 Download Code.

      CD Info: CD is in a gatefold wallet sleeve.

      Citizen Bravo, Raymond MacDonald & Friends

      Return To Y'Hup - The World Of Ivor Cutler

        Return To Y'Hup - The World Of Ivor Cutler Citizen Bravo, Raymond MacDonald and a host of friends from the crème de la crème of Scotland’s music scene present Return To Y'Hup: The World of Ivor Cutler, a celebration of the life and work of an artist of unrivalled musical and poetic vision. This ambitious project is a pioneering experiment in the field of imaginary archaeology: a sonic conjuring of a decades-old fictional island. The underlying concept of the album was to resurrect the mythical island of Y’Hup - a territory which Ivor Cutler dreamt up and described throughout his early recordings.

        Here, the island has been populated with distinct Scottish voices alongside new arrangements of Cutler's music, featuring a large number of high profile guest artists, including: Stuart Braithwaite (Mogwai), Tracyanne Campbell (Camera Obscura), Kris Drever (Lau), Alex Kapranos (Franz Ferdinand), Stuart Murdoch (Belle & Sebastian), Pictish Trail, Emma Pollock (Delgados), Karine Polwart, Rick Redbeard (Phantom Band) and James Yorkston. Visiting the island as distinguished guests are two English vocalists, Phyllis King (Ivor Cutler’s longtime companion and collaborator) and living legend, Robert Wyatt.

        Navarasa : Nine Emotions is the trio’s third record. The first fruits of their fantastic expedition entitled Everything Sacred appeared in 2016. The second, Neuk Wight Delhi All-Stars, followed in 2017. Navarasa : Nine Emotions takes their journey many, many leagues on.

        At the heart of YTK’s transporting new album is the subcontinent’s navarasa; the nine (nava) emotions or sentiments (rasa) of the arts. This central unifying underpinning is a centuries-old organising principle. The individual artistic emotions range from Shringara (love, beauty) through Hasya (laughter, mirth, comedy), Raudra (anger), Karuna (sorrow, compassion or mercy), Bibhatsya (disgust), Bhayanaka (horror, terror), Veera (heroism, courage), Adbutha (surprise, wonder) to Shanta (peace, tranquillity).

        Each song on YTK’s new album is connected to one of these emotions, and the first track to be shared from Navarasa : Nine Emotions is “Westlin’ Winds”, paired with Adbutha.

        “Westlin’ Winds” starts with the life-destroying Act I of Robert Burns’ poem ‘Now Westlin Winds, (And Slaught’ring Guns)’ and deliciously transplants its disjoined, nature-extolling and life-affirming Act II onto Indian soil with a composition “in Purbi, a specific dialect of old Hindi. I learnt the song,” says Suhail, “by listening to various qawwali [Muslim devotional song] singers singing at Hazrat Nizammuddin’s dargah [shrine] in Delhi. Its source is Hazrat Amir Khusrau.” Thus YTK unite one of the key spiritual visionaries and architects of Hindustani art music, the poet-philosopher Hazrat Amir Khusrau with the key literary visionary of Scottish and Scots-language culture, Robert Burns.

        This bricolage of diverse cross-cultural elements is apparent across Navarasa : Nine Emotions and all of what YTK create. James Yorkston weaves in Scottish folk, sangster and literary strands. Jon Thorne is grounded in jazz and groove. What the New Delhi-based, eighth-generation hereditary musician Suhail Yusuf Khan brings to this feast of pulses and cycles is northern Indian classical, light classical (thumri, for example) and Sufi devotional musical and literary forms. What binds these diverse musical strands together is, in James’ phrase, “a dark happiness”.


        FORMAT INFORMATION

        2xColoured LP Info: Limited edition double green coloured vinyl.
        Features three tracks exclusive to vinyl.

        2xColoured LP includes MP3 Download Code.

        Various Artists

        Wild Chile!

          A collection of rare and wild 60's Chilean Rock'n'Roll! Time to celebrate! Here we have a new installment of the Wild Series, focused on wild, untamed Latin American Rock'n'Roll from the sixties. This time we are lucky enough to visit the beautiful land of Chile for a rollercoaster of wild sounds and smashing and obscure hits. In Wild Chile you’ll find, of course, wild Rock’ n`Roll but also crazed out Twist, soul Stompers and a few fiery Instrumentals to boot. If you know the previous two volumes of this series you know what to expect: a record perfectly designed to make your next party explode, pure dynamite!


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