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The Mars Volta

QueDios Te Maldiga Mi Corazon

    The Mars Volta - Que Dios TeMaldiga Mi Corazon (acoustic album of The Mars Volta) After the successful worldwide release of the studio album "The Mars Volta", the band also releases the album as an acoustic album. The harmonic album "Que Dios TeMaldiga Mi Corazon".

    The Mars Volta plays a similar game: it is subtly subversive – end- lessly inventive, but never at the cost of the song. Many of the same val- ues that made The Mars Volta’s previous albums so ground-breaking, so acclaimed, are still present here, but they are employed in different, adroit ways. The Caribbean rhythms that powered their blistering earlier records still flourish across The Mars Volta – they aren’t the foreground now, but they ripple underneath each of these tracks.

    Similarly, the big rock moves and proggy complexities of their landmark releases have given way for more sonic subtlety, for immediacy and directness. But while The Mars Volta shies away from Grand Guignol flourishes, it remains a dark, power- ful and affecting listen, mature and deeply satisfying in its restraint.


    TRACK LISTING

    1. Blacklight Shine  (acoustic)
    2. Graveyard Love (acoustic)
    3. Shore Story (acoustic)
    4. Blank Condolences  (acoustic)
    5. Vigil (acoustic)
    6. Que Dios TeMaldiga Mi Corazon (acoustic)
    7. Cerulea (acoustic)
    8. Flash Burns From Flashbacks (acoustic)
    9. Palm Full Of Crux (acoustic)
    10. NoCaseGain (acoustic)
    11. Tourmaline (acoustic)
    12. Equus 3 (acoustic)
    13. Collapsible Shoulders (acoustic)
    14. The Requisition (acoustic)


    The Mars Volta

    The Mars Volta

      Breaking a decade of omertà, The Mars Volta reawaken from their lengthy hiatus with an eponymous track that radically reshapes their paradigm. Formed by guitarist/composer Omar Rodríguez-López and singer/lyricist Cedric Bixler-Zavala, The Mars Volta rose from the ashes of El Paso punk-rock firebrands At The Drive-In in 2001.

      On a mission to “honour our roots and honour our dead”, The Mars Volta made music that fused the Latin sounds Rodríguez-López was raised on with the punk and underground noise he and Bixler-Zavala had immersed themselves in for years, and the futuristic visions they were tapping into.

      The albums that followed were one-of-a-kind masterpieces, their songs of breath-taking complexity also possessing powerful emotional immediacy. After the group fell silent, a legion of devotees (including Kanye West) kept up an insistent drum-beat for their return. Now – a year after La Realidad De Los Sueños, a luxurious 18-LP box-set compiling their back catalogue, sold out its 5,000 print run in under 24 hours – the duo are back, accompanied this time by founder bassist Eva Gardner, drummer Willy Rodriguez Quiñones and keyboard-player Marcel Rodríguez-López.

      This song shakes loose some of The Mars Volta’s long-standing shibboleths and the dizzying, abrasive prog stylings of earlier albums absent. Instead, The Mars Volta pulses with subtle brilliance, Caribbean rhythms underpinning sophisticated, turbulent songcraft.

      This is The Mars Volta at their most mature, most concise, most focused. Their sound and fury channelled to greatest effect, The Mars Volta finds Rodríguez-López’s subterranean pop melodies driving Bixler-Zavala’s dark sci-fi tales of the occult and malevolent governments. Distilling all the passion, poetry and power at their fingertips, The Mars Volta is the most accessible music the group have ever recorded.

      TRACK LISTING

      1. Blacklight Shine 
      2. Graveyard Love 
      3. Shore Story 
      4. Blank Condolences 
      5. Vigil 
      6. Que Dios Te Maldiga Mi Corazon
      7. Cerulea 
      8. Flash Burns From Flashbacks 
      9. Palm Full Of Crux 
      10. No Case Gain 
      11. Tourmaline 
      12. Equus 3 
      13. Collapsible Shoulders 
      14. The Requisition

      The Mars Volta

      Landscape Tantrums - Unfinished Original Recordings Of De-Loused In The Comatorium

        Landscape Tantrums Lost for two decades, the recent rediscovery of Landscape Tantrums the first attempt at recording the music that would become The Mars Volta’s De-Loused In The Comatorium revealed an important and hitherto missing chapter in the group’s evolution. Selfrecorded by Omar (assisted by Jon DeBaun) at Burbank’s Mad Dog Studios within a head spinning four days, Landscape Tantrums captures De-Loused in somewhat embryonic form, though much of what would make The Mars Volta’s debut album such an electrifying, sublime experience was already in place: the fearless invention, the fusion of futurist rock elements and traditions from outside of the rock orthodoxy, the sense of virtuosity working in service of emotional effect. From a distance, The Mars Volta must have seemed as if they were on a high when they walked into the studio to record what they expected to be their debut album (“I didn’t think of it as demos or a dry run,” Omar says). The group had recently played the Coachella festival to rave reviews, a vindication of the quixotic risk Omar and Cedric had taken, quitting At The Drive In to lead such an uncompromising musical proposition.

        Their debut EP, Tremulant, had similarly signalled their singular vision, and been rewarded with similarly positive feedback. But the truth was that The Mars Volta entered Mad Dog in tatters, scarcely believing anything other than failure lay within their reach. They’d recently lost their bassist, Eva Gardner, and parted ways with keyboard play Ikey Owens. Tensions were brewing with drummer Jon Theodore, too himself a replacement for founding drummer Blake Fleming Omar questioning Theodore’s commitment to the group. And sound manipulator Jeremy Michael Ward’s drug problem had gotten so far out of hand that he’d been sent to rehab, and wouldn’t return until two days into the Landscape Tantrums. The pressure upon Omar was intense, and it began to manifest in the form of physical and emotional breakdowns. His art was his life, but now he began to wonder if it was actually going to kill him. Under such heavy manners, miracles occurred at Mad Dog. Surely that’s the only way to describe the music contained on Landscape Tantrums, as Omar fashioned early versions of Inertiatic ESP, Drunkship Of Lanterns and Eriatarka that rivalled the Rick Rubin produced versions that ended up on De- Loused for intensity, precision and immediacy, as Cedric delivered a powerfully intimate reading of Televators, and as a bare bones version of the group sketched out the peaks of what would become their debut masterpiece in barely half a week, on a shoestring, and believing they wouldn’t last long enough to see it hit the shelves. Listening to Landscape Tantrums now, with the benefit of hindsight and the knowledge of what these songs will become, one notices Cedric has yet to fully find the voice that will lend The Mars Volta their devastating authority, that Eriatarka will evolve even further under Rick Rubin’s watch, and that the lyrics to De-Loused’s climactic chapter, Take The Veil Cerpin Taxt, have yet to be penned. But one also notices how lithe the group sound here, how hungry, and one appreciates the raw edge that Rubin would later polish to a venomous sharpness. More than mere historical curiosity, Landscape Tantrums is an essential text for the dedicated Mars Volta aficionado, and a breathtaking album in its own right.

        TRACK LISTING

        Side A
        1. Roulette Dares (The Haunt Of) [Unfinished Original Recordings Of De-Loused In The Comatorium]
        2. Son Et Lumière (Unfinished Original Recordings Of De-Loused In The Comatorium)
        3. Inertiatic ESP (Unfinished Original Recordings Of De-Loused In The Comatorium)
        4. Drunkship Of Lanterns (Unfinished Original Recordings Of De-Loused In The Comatorium)
        5. Eriatarka (Unfinished Original Recordings Of De-Loused In The Comatorium)

        Side B
        1. This Apparatus Must Be Unearthed (Unfinished Original Recordings Of De-Loused In The Comatorium) 
        2. Televators (Unfinished Original Recordings Of De-Loused In The Comatorium)
        3. Take The Veil Cerpin Taxt (Unfinished Original Recordings Of De-Loused In The Comatorium)

        The Mars Volta

        The Bedlam In Goliath - 2022 Reissue

          The Bedlam In Goliath Received wisdom has it that to toy with the occult is to enter into a Faustian pact that will bite you on the ass somewhere down the line. Magic, myth and sorcery had been recurrent themes within The Mars Volta’s output for some time and served as the dominant motifs for their previous full length, Amputechture.

          So it was almost inevitable that, at some point, luck, kismet, karma, serendipity whatever you want to call the metaphysical forces that exert hidden influence upon our mortal world would visit the group and enact some kind of payback. Whatever debts the group had accrued came due with The Bedlam In Goliath, the group’s fourth full length, and an album whose creation was, in every sense of the word, cursed. The production of the album was regularly scuppered by technical problems that erased whole takes from their computer hard drives, a phenomenon Omar’s in studio right hand man Rich Costey an experienced producer/engineer in his own right found impossible to explain.

          Meanwhile, Omar’s home studio flooded and was plagued by severe electrical problems, and at least one member of the engineering staff working on the album quit the sessions after suffering a psychotic episode. At the time, all this accumulating bad juju was ascribed, by the more superstitious members of The Mars Volta, to a ouija board Omar had reputedly pur chased while travelling in Jerusalem and gifted to Cedric upon his return. What is certain is that Omar returned from his travels with tapes of field recordings he’d made in Jerusalem, from his wanderings around the city’s Jewish, Muslim and Christian quarters, which were later mixed into the track Soothsayer, a mystical epic elevated by strings.


          The Mars Volta

          Amputechture - 2022 Reissue

            Amputechture Beneath the technical flash, the fury, the fearless creative brinkmanship of the first two Mars Volta albums lay a potent seam of the blues, an existential vexation that powered every twist and turn of Omar and Cedric’s imaginations. That mournful vibe would come to the surface of the group’s third full-length Amputechture, a simmering/blistering set that was unquestionably the group’s darkest yet. There was no overarching theme here, no interlinking concept binding the songs together, though Cedric concedes that, lyrically, the album was influenced “by a lot of stuff I was going through, a really bad break-up and a lot of other crazy stuff, and trying to put that feeling into the record.”

            But Amputechture – its name another of the late Jeremy Michael Ward’s invented words – was no downbeat bummer. Opener Vicarious Atonement might’ve been a deliciously gloomy, slow-burning thing, capturing Cedric in delirious duet with Omar’s swooning guitar lines, accompanied by squalling saxophone by Adrian Terrazas-Gonzales and dream-frequency fuckery by the group’s new sonic manipulator, former At The Drive- In member Paul Hinojos. But second track Tetragrammaton swiftly set pulses racing, an epic-in-miniature and containing more ideas within its 16 minutes than most bands manage over an entire career, its proggy, complex guitar figures tessellating in infinite configurations and converging as if conforming to mathematical formulae from another reality.

            TRACK LISTING

            Vicarious Atonement
            Tetragrammaton
            Vermicide
            Meccamputechture
            Asilos Magdalena
            Viscera Eyes
            Day Of The Baphomets
            El Ciervo Vulnerado

            The Mars Volta

            Frances The Mute - 2021 Reissue

              Frances The Mute was no De-Loused Part Two. For one thing, the band’s configuration had changed, in the most painful way. Shortly before the release of De- Loused, sound manipulator and founder member Jeremy Michael Ward passed away, a wound Omar says the group never recovered from. But even though his inspired fucking- with-the-sonic-parameters is absent from Frances The Mute, his spirit and influence can still be determined, the album’s concept derived from a diary Ward had encountered in his day-job in repossession.

              “Jeremy picked up lots of interesting stuff when he was a repo man,” remembers Cedric. “Weird things, including this diary, He let us read it a bunch of times. It was by a guy who’d been adopted and was searching to find his real parents. It was very surreal, it didn’t make much sense – the guy might’ve been schizophrenic – but it was very inspiring. It felt like how certain music helps you escape your boring every-day life. The names and scenes in the diary directly inspired these songs.” Some of the tracks pre-dated De-Loused, having their origins in early demos Omar recorded at the duo’s Long Beach home Anikulapo, songs such as The Widow and Miranda The Ghost Just Isn’t Holy Anymore. Cedric had heard these jams in their embryonic state and began working in his mind on what he could bring to them. “I was attracted to The Widow like you would be to a lover, right?” Cedric remembers. “I sang over it with Omar while we were touring De-Loused in Australia on the Big Day Out, like, ‘Okay, I’ve got something for this.’” A potent ballad, laden with emotional crescendos and evoking the epic drama of Ennio Morricone – an effect aided by an elegiac trumpet part performed by Flea – The Widow would become The Mars Volta’s first song to chart on the Billboard Top 100, capturing the album’s potent sorrow and widescreen sprawl in miniature. Indeed, the lush sound of the album, the depth of detail and breadth of instrumentation, belies its grungy roots. Having tasted the luxury of Rick Rubin’s mansion, Omar veered in the opposite direction when recording Frances, cutting the album in what he describes as “a shithole... Basically a warehouse with one little air conditioner on its last legs, awful wiring and a console you couldn’t rely on. We were there night and day – I would literally lock engineer Jon DeBaun in there. He slept on a mattress in the vocal booth.”

              A considerably more complex and ambitious album than its predecessor – four of its five tracks lasted over ten minutes in length, with its closing epic Cassandra Gemini spanning over half an hour – Frances The Mute wasn’t recorded “live” by an ensemble, but with the individual musicians coming into the “shithole” and recording the parts Omar had scripted for them separately. “They had to have absolute trust in me,” Omar remembers, “Like actors trust their director.” In addition to the core band – now fleshed out with incoming bassist Juan Alderete, and Omar’s brother Marcel on keyboards and percussion – the album featured guitar solos from John Frusciante, saxophone and flute by future member Adrian Terrazas-Gonzales, a full string section, and piano played by Omar’s hero, salsa legend Larry Harlow. “It was a childhood dream come true,” Omar says. “We recorded with him in my hometown in Puerto Rico, and my father flew in to watch the session. Larry was a perfect gentleman, and a very lively spirit.” The album’s fevered intensity infected even the staid string section, Cedric remembers. “When they performed the part on Cassandra Gemini, ’25 wives in the lake tonight’, one of the guys in the orchestra played so hard he broke his bow, this real old, antique bow. And you could see his ‘classical’ side come out – like, ‘I broke this playing a fuckin’ rock song??’ He was pissed off. But I was like, ‘Fuck yeah, man, that’s on the record! You’ve got to realise things like that are cool.’” The album also features field recordings of “the coqui of Puerto Rico” during the opening minutes of Miranda That Ghost Just Isn’t Holy Anymore. “We took a page out of the Grateful Dead’s book there,” laughs Cedric. “They recorded air. We recorded fuckin’ frogs in Puerto Rico.”

              The Mars Volta

              La Realidad De Los Sueños

                La Realidad De Los Sueños means “the reality of dreams” – and there is no title more fitting for this unbelievable box-set. This represents a dream come true for the many, many loyal fans of progressive alternative rock giants, The Mars Volta, across the world.

                Working intensely with Omar Rodríguez-Lopéz, Clouds Hill has brought out an all-encompassing and wonderfully designed vinyl box-set.

                The box-set, limited to 5000 copies worldwide, includes 18 LPs (180 grams, black vinyl). 

                The vinyl only set, (there are no CDs, downloads, or streaming) contains the following albums (remastered specifically for vinyl) and products: - Tremulant EP - De-Loused In The Comatorium - Frances The Mute - Amputechture - The Bedlam In Goliath - Octahedron - Noctourniquet - Landscape Tantrums (Unfinished Original Recordings Of De-Loused In The Comatorium) - A Plague Upon A Hissing Children & Eunuch Provocateur (Unreleased Version From The De-Loused In The Comatorium Session) on double etched vinyl - A book of exclusive behind the scenes photography - 2 pins

                TRACK LISTING

                Disc 1 - Side A 1. Cut That City / 2. Concertina

                Disc 1 - Side B 1. Eunuch Provocateur

                Disc 2 - Side A 1. Roulette Dares (The Haunt Of) [Unfinished Original Recordings Of De-Loused In The Comatorium] / 2. Son Et Lumière (Unfinished Original Recordings Of De-Loused In The Comatorium) / 3. Inertiatic ESP (Unfinished Original Recordings Of De-Loused In The Comatorium) / 4. Drunkship Of Lanterns (Unfinished Original Recordings Of De-Loused In The Comatorium) / 5. Eriatarka (Unfinished Original Recordings Of De-Loused In The Comatorium) / 6. Take The Veil Cerpin Taxt (Unfinished Original Recordings Of De-Loused In The Comatorium)

                Disc 2 - Side B 1. This Apparatus Must Be Unearthed (Unfinished Original Recordings Of De-Loused In The Comatorium) / 2. Televators (Unfinished Original Recordings Of De-Loused In The Comatorium)

                Disc 3 - Side A 1. Son Et Lumière / 2. Inertiatic ESP / 3. Roulette Dares (The Haunt Of)

                Disc 3 - Side B 1. Tira Me A Las Arañas / 2. Drunkship Of Lanterns / 3. Eriatarka

                Disc 4 - Side A 1. Cicatriz ESP / 2. This Apparatus Must Be Unearthed

                Disc 4 - Side B 1. Televators / 2. Take The Veil Cerpin Taxt

                Disc 5 - Side A 1. Cygnus....Vismund Cygnus / 2. The Widow

                Disc 5 - Side B 1. L' Via L' Viaquez

                Disc 6 - Side A 1. Miranda That Ghost Just Isn't Holy Anymore

                Disc 6 - Side B 1. Cassandra Gemini

                Disc 7 - Side A 1. Tarantism

                Disc 8 - Side A 1. Vicarious Atonement / 2. Tetragrammaton

                Disc 8 - Side B 1. Vermicide / 2. Meccamputechture

                Disc 9 - Side A 1. Asilos Magdalena / 2. Viscera Eyes

                Disc 9 - Side B 1. Day Of The Baphomets / 2. El Ciervo Vulnerado

                Disc 10 - Side A1. Aberinkula / 2. Metatron / 3. Ilyena

                Disc 10 - Side B 1. Wax Simulacra / 2. Goliath / 3. Tourniquet Man / 4. Cavalettas



                Disc 11 - Side A 1. Agadez / 2. Askepios / 3. Ouroborous

                Disc 11 - Side B 1. Soothsayer / 2. Conjugal Burns

                Disc 12 - Side A 1. Since We've Been Wrong / 2. Teflon

                Disc 12 - Side B 1. Halo Of Nembutals / 2. With Twilight As My Guide

                Disc 13 - Side A 1. Cotopaxi / 2. Desperate Graves

                Disc 13 - Side B 1. Copernicus / 2. Luciforms

                Disc 14 - Side A 1. The Whip Hand / 2. Aegis / 3. Dyslexicon

                Disc 14 - Side B 1. Empty Vessels Make The Loudest Sound / 2. The Malkin Jewel / 3. Lapochka

                Disc 15 - Side A 1. In Absentia / 2. Imago / 3. Molochwalker / 4. Trinkets Pale Of Moon / 5. Zed And Two Naughts

                Disc 15 - Side B 1. Vedamalady / 2. Noctourniquet

                Disc 16 - Side A 1. Eunuch Provocateur

                Disc 17 - Side A 1. A Plague Upon Your Hissing Children

                Disc 18 - Side A 1. Mr. Muggs

                Disc 18 - Side B 1. Mr. Muggs

                The Starless Room is the debut solo album by Gallon Drunk mainman and PJ Harvey cohort James Johnston.

                The Starless Room - The results are a revelation, and not just for James Johnston. Vast in its scope, visceral, intimate and instinctive - " I just followed whatever triggered an emotional response in me".

                The Starless Room represents a remarkable distillation of both his lyrical obsessions and prodigious, arguably under-acknowledged talent. Suitably, it's the title track that encapsulates the romantic sweep of the record best, with its star at his most intense and Sebastian Hoffman's string arrangements at their most ambitious. For James Johnston, however, the greatest pleasure of all is a simple one: the songs' slow tempos, "Something I adore, like a lot of the Isaac Hayes or Ray Charles albums that I love. It almost feels like I'm listening to someone else's record." But it's not. It's James Johnston's debut solo album, The Starless Room. Like he said, it feels just right.

                James Johnston - As well as playing with Gallon Drunk, James Johnston has spent considerable time working with others: A mid 90s spell as a touring guitarist in The Bad Seeds led to a full role in Nick Cave's band between 2003 and 2008, and he's performed regularly with other iconic acts, including Lydia Lunch, Faust, and, currently, PJ Harvey, on whose The Hope Six Demolition Project Johnston appears. But if it sounds like he's softened on this album, he argues powerfully otherwise. "The band's records have quite an earthy feel, but in a way this is rawer, more focused and direct, musically and emotionally. The last Gallon Drunk record's my favourite, and it was certain elements of that which I really wanted to take further, to strip away the dissonance and anger, to reject the more familiar sounds in order to free it all up again. So the instrumentation is very different, led by piano and voice, and the overall sound is lush yet intimate. Overall it's far more reflective of me, both as a person and the sort of music I actually listen to."

                " It felt right, and when that happens, you just go with it," says James Johnston of his decision, well into a third decade as frontman of Gallon Drunk, to record The Starless Room, his unexpectedly sumptuous, long-awaited, debut solo album. Over eight albums, Gallon Drunk have carved out a reputation as a savage live act whose work has increasingly revealed a bold sophistication, growing from the psychotic fury of 1991's You, The Night… And The Music up to 2014's epic The Soul Of The Hour. A solo album by their co-founder, though? That had somehow never come to pass. Especially one this lavish.

                "It wasn't something I'd really considered before," Johnston admits, and even now he appears a little startled by the turn events have taken. "But that's where the writing was going. I've always poured all my ideas into Gallon Drunk, but we'd done two great records in fairly quick succession, and I really didn't want to repeat myself, so I was writing in a different way, one that didn't feel like it would work as Gallon Drunk. The moment the decision was made to go ahead with a solo album it freed a lot of things up for me, letting it go somewhere different without any constraints or expectations."

                The Starless Room is distinguished by its grandeur and romance as much as its refreshing musical approach.

                As well as playing with Gallon Drunk, Johnston has spent considerable time working with others: a mid 90s spell as a touring guitarist in The Bad Seeds led to a full role in Nick Cave's band between 2003 and 2008, and he's performed regularly with other iconic acts, including Lydia Lunch, Faust, and, currently, PJ Harvey, on whose The Hope Six Demolition Project Johnston appears.

                Given the licentious nature of much of his previous work, that this newly mature, refined sound is indicative of Johnston's character may be unforeseen. His influences, however - "Big Star's Third, John Cale's 70s albums, Lee Hazlewood, Nina Simone, that sort of thing" - remain much as they were, if arguably employed with a new, more thoughtful perspective. Furthermore, his considered approach is indicative of a man with a musical education, both formal and informal.

                Suitably, it's the title track that encapsulates the romantic sweep of the record best, with its star at his most intense and Sebastian Hoffman's string arrangements at their most ambitious. For Johnston, however, the greatest pleasure of all is a simple one: the songs' slow tempos, "something I adore, like a lot of the Isaac Hayes or Ray Charles albums that I love. It almost feels like I'm listening to someone else's record." But it's not. It's James Johnston's debut solo album, The Starless Room. Like he said, it feels just right.

                STAFF COMMENTS

                Barry says: Heartfelt anthems ruminating on life and love, existence and everything inbetween. Slow string swells and bombastic build-ups fade into mournful piano territory, all driven along by Johnston's heartfelt crooning vocal delivery. Sensitive soaring rock equally at home in the front room or belting out over a stadium PA.

                TRACK LISTING

                1. I'd Give You Anything
                2. St. Martha's
                3. Starless Room
                4. Cold Morning Light
                5. Dark Water
                6. Frozen Time
                7. Heart And Soul
                8. The Light Of Love
                9. Let It Fall
                10. When The Wolf Calls


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