Recorded in Amsterdam in 1988, the live Performance documents a set from the Perfect Prescription tour; the emphasis here is on the group's loud, noisy origins - only the closing "Feel So Good" hints at the more subdued atmospheres and textures which emerged as Spacemen 3's primary focus as they approached Playing With Fire. Among the highlights: "Take Me to the Other Side", "Walkin' With Jesus" and "Come Together."
Recorded in Amsterdam in 1988, the live Performance documents a set from the Perfect Prescription tour; the emphasis here is on the group's loud, noisy origins - only the closing "Feel So Good" hints at the more subdued atmospheres and textures which emerged as Spacemen 3's primary focus as they approached Playing With Fire. Among the highlights: "Take Me to the Other Side", "Walkin' With Jesus" and "Come Together."
FORMAT INFORMATIONColoured LP Info: Limited Magenta colour vinyl LP, download card included
Taken from ‘Future Echoes’, ‘Who’s Comin’ In’ gets remixed by Joe Goddard (Hot Chip, The 2 Bears). Here blissed out celestial tones stretch this gorgeous track into an eight-minute dance floor banger that has a ‘trip-hop subtleness bridged with a Caribou feel’ (Clash). The 12” also includes a remix of the same track from KT Tunstell. The critically acclaimed psych-pop record, ‘Future Echoes’, bursts with beautiful melodies, harmonies and lyricism with sublime production from collaborator Adem Illhan and additional production and mixing from Rob Jones (Sweet Baboo, Slow Club).
Witness the incandescent chamber-pop of ‘Get Back Down’: underpinned by complex jazz rhythms, and string and brass ﬂourishes, it manages to be both understated and epic as it explores a similar sonic terrain to Wild Beasts. Or there’s ‘Horns And Trumpets’, a haunting musical perambulation that burrows deep into Britain, a warm-hued hymn for future generations, and ‘Let Idle Hands’, which abandons restraint halfway through and, in a moment of musical epiphany, runs joyously to the horizon.
Meanwhile on ‘Phosphene Dream’ the honeyed harmonies of Emily Scott and Rob St. John wrap themselves around each other like Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazelwood had they holidayed in draughty Glasgow tenements. Or perhaps – as on ‘Disco’ – they come closer to Kylie and Nick Cave. “It’s an ever changing thing - an organism,” explains principle songwriter Emily of Modern Studies’ collaborative creative process, “there is space for each of the band to experiment.” Shared band listening habits include Yamasuki, Van Dyke Parks, Laurie Anderson, Philip Glass, Matthew E White, Basil Kirchin, and Nanci Griffith. Working at Pete’s Pumpkinfield studio in rural Perthshire through 2017, the band used a Creative Scotland grant to hire a chamber orchestra and a remote village hall to record them in.
Contributors include sisters, wives, toddlers, freeform saxophonists and The Pumpkinseeds, an ensemble featuring violins, violas, cellos, trombones and vocals, brought together to play Pete and Emily’s collaborative string, brass and vocal arrangements. Truly, a family affair. As well as further ﬂeshing out the sound with analogue synths, tube organs, drum machines and mellotrons, some inventive techniques were deployed – a decayed tape loop of Emily’s vocals used to create the stuttering rhythm in Mud and Flame for example, or prepared guitars recurring as percussion and drones. Now they proudly present ‘Welcome Strangers’, an album of modernist pop weirdness for the 21st century, a bricolage where classicism meets experimentalism and repeated listening unearths new stories for this contemporary age.
FORMAT INFORMATIONLtd LP Info: Indies store exclusive.
‘Future Echoes’ is the latest album from Pictish Trail, AKA Scottish singer-songwriter Johnny Lynch. These spectral songs are filtered through a sun-warped pop lens, where heart-pumping guitar shriek-outs collide with sampled gurgles and fractured lyrics figure-skate over sine-waves of glacial synth. ‘Future Echoes’ represents the most confident, cohesive and pop-savvy collection of music Pictish Trail has written to date. Limited edition ‘cosmic’ coloured double 12” LP with disc of extras. 1000 copies.
‘A Wolf In Sheep’s Clothing’ (2006) is an unusual album, first because it does things with classical music that aren’t usually done. The songs Josephine Foster sings here are classical pieces, written (the texts are German poems) by some of the greatest German composers of the 19th century, Franz Schubert, Robert Schumann, Johannes Brahms, and Hugo Wolf. “Foster has found perhaps the most appropriate vehicle yet for her singular and affecting talents – 19th century German art-songs, wholly reconstructed here via Foster’s skeletal arrangements of voice and guitar” Pitchfork. Remastered and repackaged with new artwork. 1000 copies.
Celebrating the band’s 40th anniversary with the reissue of the classic genre-busting debut album by the Bronx sisters ESG, ‘Come Away With ESG’. So the story goes Anthony H hooked up with Ed Bahaman and the band’s debut album, ‘Come Away With ESG’ was created. In the intervening years, it’s been sampled to death. Those in the know have hailed ESG as innovators who fashioned Hip hop and house music, who rewrote post punk and somehow, somehow they remain something of a secret. Limited edition orange vinyl complete with new artwork. 1000 copies.
1989: It’s nine years since John Lennon died, and five years since The Television Personalities have had an album released. Fire Records sign the latest incarnation of the TVPs and let them loose in a proper studio. Dan Treacy’s muse is overcome by the versatility of Swatch watches and Back To The Future II, he doesn’t allow the songs on ‘Privilege’ to bend to temptation. The world is still wrong; it’s still unreal; as evidenced by the guest list at ‘Salvador Dali’s Garden Party’. Elsewhere there’s a hint of ‘60s soap operas, from Cathy Come Home to The Wicker Man. Remastered on limited edition black and white marbled vinyl. 1500 copies.
‘Closer To God’, as with all TVP albums, is mightily personal. Dan Treacy provides the antidote to the opening of the ill-fated Disneyland Paris and the first McDonald’s in China – it’s a white knuckle ride through his innermost hopes and fears with off stage giggling, half heard dialogue and feedback that sounds like an opera is expiring in an adjoining L-shaped room. ‘Closer To God’ is a spiritual rollercoaster that sounds as poignant and pressing as ever. Remastered double LP on limited edition on marbled black and white vinyl. 1500 copies.
Widely considered the standout protonic pop song from Jane Weaver's unanimously revered Modern Kosmology, The Lightning Back sees the meteoric collision of micro-chip modulations and homespun harmonies courtesy of a self-sufficient artist who has in recent years become regarded as one of the countries finest in the field. This 3.5 minute pocket-pop implosion fuses subtle patch-bay arpeggios evoking the stylings of Wendy Carlos and (previous collaborator) Suzanne Ciani providing a deftly constructed framework for Weavers songwriting talents. Celebrating the intimacy and inhibition-free methodology found in her solo-power approach, The Lightning Back hears Jane's yearning lyricism rise through unique agile melodics seldom found in synthesised pop music. This limited vinyl single also comprises a B-side in the form of a remix from London based art-noise-jazz-rock supergruppen Sex Swing.
For all Pere Ubu's uncertainty, the band isn't arbitrary; its music has the off-the-wall unity of a Marx Brothers routine,” said Jon Pareles of The New York Times on ‘The Tenement Year’. One year later and things were further obscured with ‘Cloudland’ when they released “their industrial-strength equivalent of a class Beach Boys album from musicians more familiar with factories than surf.” (Greg Kot, Chicago Sun Times). Then, in 1991, ‘Worlds In Collision’ became “the most atmospheric, carefully sculpted recording in the band's 13-album catalog.” (Tom Moon, Spin). Here we have Pere Ubu between 1987 and 1991 with three phenomenal pop albums, together with the ‘The Lost Album’, an 11-track record of demos that sounds like they’d loosened the nut and bolts of the genre even further.
Four of these tracks, ‘Around The Fire’,’ Down By The River’, ‘Like A Rolling Stone’ and ‘Invisible Man’ were recorded as demos for the album originally designed to follow ‘Cloudland’. Referred to by the band as ‘The Lost Album’ they are now joined with songs from ‘Cloudland’ that wouldn’t fit on the original vinyl release due to the length limitations of vinyl. The record also includes a tribute to Van Dyke Parks ‘Wine Dark Sparks’ and ‘Bang The Drum’ inspired by a Van Dyke Parks song. Genius.
FORMAT INFORMATIONLP includes MP3 Download Code.
“Recalling the eerie, haunted ambience of Angelo Badalamenti/Julee Cruise’s Twin Peaks soundtrack, Stereolab/Broadcast’s experimental vision of ‘50s lounge muzak/exotica and French ‘60s pop, or the narcotic country-noir of Mazzy Star.” The Guardian
Following on from the deluxe reissue ‘Vampyr’ last year, comes Death And Vanilla’s unreleased live score of ‘The Tenant’ on limited edition magenta vinyl. Originally scored by Philippe Sarde, this release sees Death And Vanilla reimagine the film’s soundtrack four decades on for a new audience.
The haunting instrumental is a foreboding piece of dark and cinematic avant-garde music that’s alienated, lonely and melancholic. Moments of hallucination and delusion mirror the lead character Trelovsky. Recorded in 2015 at Cinemascore festival in Spain alongside a two-hour performance and screening of psychological thriller ‘The Tenant’ (1976). With the band at their most minimal, the accomplished musicians once again bring the dark narrative to life with their expansive and ethereal noir sound. The recording features them as a trio – Marleen Nilsson (Farfisa Compact), Anders Hansson (Hagstrom Kent, Roland SP-404 and Technics SL-1200) and Magnus Bodin (Moog Prodigy and Musser M55). Directed by Polish filmmaker Roman Polanski and based on the novel Le Locataire by Roland Topor, ‘The Tenant’ is the finale in his acclaimed apartment triology which included “Repulsion” (1965) and “Rosemary’s Baby” (1968).
FORMAT INFORMATIONColoured LP Info: Magenta LP with download card
Coloured LP includes MP3 Download Code.
Loved and lauded by the late Lou Reed and his wife Laurie Anderson, Jesus & Mary Chain, Mogwai and many more and acclaimed in the music press as such: “Dinosaur Jr guitar power with the glacial grandiosity of Black Mountain, as if Isobel Sollenberger is conjuring a thunderstorm with the sound of her voice and riding it across the heavens.” Stereogum // “One of underground rock’s most extraordinary enigmas” The Quietus // “They alter brain chemistry by the alchemical effect of distressed sound alone, aspiring to become engineers of the soul’s passage to alternate states of consciousness.” Tony Dale (RIP), Ptolemaic Terrascope, 2001 // “Fugazi on acid.” Noisey “Playing fuzzed out stuff of stoner dreams since the mid ‘90s.” Pitchfork //
FORMAT INFORMATIONLP includes MP3 Download Code.
Outside, zombies and demons roam and everyday aliens emerge from spaceships: it’s a technicolor film transcribed by Jad Fair and friends John Sluggett, Gilles-Vincent Rieder, Mick Hobbs and Jason Willett, their faces at the cracked window of their subterranean habitat looking out at the real world. They’re on a high from their last release: “After all these years, his wiry voice still hits every song with a shock that’s equal parts joy buzzer and defibrillator, each barely in-key bleat alternating between laughable and life-affirming,” said Pitchfork of their last opus ‘Hear The Lion Roar’.
To which All Music added that “after nearly 40 years of music-making, they're still creating some of the most engaging recordings of their lives, and that's truly something to believe in.” ‘Why Not?’ goes further. It’s an even more intense concoction, it’s further out there. It contains pieces of fluffy thought-provoking music, a bag of sentiments delivered with a real sense of wonderment at how the normal world revolves; all powered with heart and soul, some crunchy guitars, a cello and reverb set-to-kill infiltrating their storytelling. ‘Why’d They Do It?’ quizzes track 11. Because they can.
STAFF COMMENTSBarry says: Why not indeed?
“Love is a Four-Letter Word” was a song the band would play regularly live; it eventually evolved into “Love is Better Than War”. I Suppose You Think It’s Funny” displays Jowe and Daniels double-falsetto skills. “If You Fly Too High” was based on an encounter with Evan Dando of The Lemonheads in Berlin during a memorable gig with them at the Ecstasy Madhouse in December 1989, when the Berlin Wall was being torn down. The band jammed with Evan on stage that night, playing some tunes by Jonathan Richman and Johnny Thunders. The song also mentions Alan McGee, who was a great fan of the TVPS. Alan openly admits that he emulated Dan’s style of music, and influenced his decision to run a mod-psychedelic club, The Living Room, and to start his label, Creation.
FORMAT INFORMATIONLP includes MP3 Download Code.
Written in remote seclusion but recorded in the bustling heart of London, it reunites Pictish Trail with Adem Ilhan, who produces the majority of the record. Johnny and Adem previously wrote music together in 2010 under the name Silver Columns, releasing the hugely well received album Yes And Dance via London taste-makers Moshi Moshi. Future Echoes features additional production and mixing from Rob Jones (Sweet Baboo, Slow Club) and drumming from Alex Thomas (Fridge, Squarepusher, Air, Bat For Lashes) and was mastered by Guy Davie at Electric Mastering.
Throughout his career Pictish Trail has resolutely furrowed his own path, steadily creating a unique catalogue of recordings and performances through his own labels (Lost Map / Fence Records) while eschewing the blueprint of the predictable singer-songwriter in favour of something untidily intriguing. Born out of a compulsion to make infectious, melody driven music from a treasure trove of secret sounds, Pictish Trail’s spectral songs are filtered through a sun-warped pop lens, where heart-pumping guitar shriek-outs collide with sampled gurgles and fractured lyrics figure-skate over sine-waves of glacial synth. A very personal musing on mortality, the death of friendships and the finality of things, Future Echoes represents the most confident, cohesive and pop-savvy collection of music Pictish Trail has written to date.
The album’s opener and first single ‘Far Gone (Don’t Leave)’ takes its cues both musically and thematically from the Coen brothers’ Fargo, adding a tongue-in-cheek hip-hop beat, raspy Casio keyboard bassline and echo-slathered vocal over the top of a queasy sample based on that film’s theme tune. ‘Dead Connection’ is a dizzying and very danceable dispatch of ghostly electro all about attempted discourse with the dead and accepting that what is gone is gone. ‘Half-Life’ slows things down at the album’s half way stage for a by-turns shuddering and twinkling take on decaying and yet somehow still interminable relationships, while closer ‘After-Life’ is a twisted polyrhythmic psychedelic disco opus, with a chorus sung in a Jimmy Somerville-worthy falsetto, reflecting on reincarnation and life lived on repeat.
Their lush and tempered guitars are an almost Marr-approved Smiths-like foil for Caroline Landahl’s beautifully accented and accentuated vocal – it’s a heartwarming brew. “We know little of their home town, Malmo,” Peel might have mused, caught up in Hater’s minor chord world weariness, “other than that Roy Hodgson had a particularly successful time there… probably long before this young four-piece were actually born. Indeed. Hater are new to the game. Last year’s well-received debut album, ‘You Tried’ earned comparisons to Alvvays, The Pretenders and even Jefferson Airplane, eclectic for sure, but that’s just incidental. Their new EP distinguishes their very own super polished and intricate guitar-led dreamy pop.
Featuring their first single for Fire, the wonderfully forlorn and truly lovesick ‘Blushing’ (we’ve all been there) and ‘Rest’ with its haunting monosyllabic guitar break, a super-clean chiming motif that seems like a closing salvo before it regains momentum and brings proceedings to a suitable climax, welcoming back Landahl for one last chorus. The echoey eeriness of ‘Red Blinders’ could have come right out of the bubble blowing indie pop hey days of the early ‘80s, while ‘Penthouse’ is a chunkier c86 groove with a wind blowing through its motorik rhythm.
A weekend escape in the frozen industrial district of Bradford became an archive of improvisations that were later sculpted into an all-encompassing full length. Within minutes of the four playing together for the very first time their ideas quickly grew into one single-minded theory; that of free-thinking, acting on instinct and each having the patience to allow even the smallest of initial ideas to grow organically into fully-formed pieces of music. Condensed from 48 hours down to 48 intense minutes the group’s recordings create an all-encompassing new universe of sound with references from the mutated world percussion of Holger Czukay, the transportive saxophone of Pharoah Sanders, and the devotional music of Alice Coltrane. Over the course of the album’s wide-eyed exploration, the group’s first ever steps of creative collaboration unfold in unexpected ways, whether it be on the inhibition-free wonderment of lengthy opener ‘Birch Polygon’, or the hopeful, throbbing ambience of ‘Good Roads Fair Weather’, with its minimalist piano and vapour trails of saxophone.
This overflow of collective creativity was captured live via half a dozen haphazardly placed microphones before being mixed dutifully and beautifully by close and trusted companion of the band, Misha Hering, who’s one-take, effect-laden sonic portraits were very much in keeping with the free-improvisation of the original session. With a few choice overdubs placed in and amongst to add further texture, the result is nothing short of stunning; meditative and warmly fluorescent, like a half-recalled melody teetering on the edge of a pre-cognitive memory. A spiritual record, perfect for a late-night diversion set to heal the souls of those willing to take it into their hearts.
FORMAT INFORMATIONLP includes MP3 Download Code.
"Don't ask why, but for this album I decided to make the long-awaited(?) return to the style of the first few BF records. So it's back to the home recording facilities, and back to being the only person involved. So it's definitely worse than the recent stuff. (Feel free to disagree)," Frond mainman and, indeed the only Frond left standing on this opus, reasoned on the sleevenotes when it first sneaked out on the super cool Flydaddy label in the US. So, what is it all about? The trademark folk strum with multi-harmonies is there. There’s a slight nod to a country-ish CSN&Y thing, but that’s only for four bars. Who remembers that when there is the colossal ‘Garden Aeroplane Trap’, a proper wig out at 12 minutes 20. Elsewhere we have the kind of timeless psyche pop that people with ears really love, two songs that namecheck Elvis and a song about a dead man on a train. That was London in the late ‘90s. Hey, rock ‘n’ roll.
FORMAT INFORMATION2xLP includes MP3 Download Code.
FORMAT INFORMATIONLP includes MP3 Download Code.
Directly inspired by Hilma af Klint’s séances, spiritualism and the science of anthroposophy that formed the artist’s abstract paintings, Weaver finds herself in a transformative state channelling her inner spirituality, it’s place within her music and the cosmos. Shifting perspectives with her meditative vocal explorations and oneiric flow on ‘Code’. Eight-minute psych-pop opus ‘Element’ is richly melodic replete with pulsating analogue synths, unrelenting motorik rhythms and incessant beats. The perfect antidote to those longing for more music since the release of the critically acclaimed ‘Modern Kosmology’, the release features title track alongside unreleased new tracks and a special remix by Finders Keepers’ Andy Votel.
STAFF COMMENTSBarry says: Following on from her shop-adored recent album, Jane Weaver returns for an EP to keep you going on those dark autumn days. Featuring a rework by label head, and all-round sound-merchant, Andy Votel. No doubt this will be a hit as well.
Four albums, many visions… ‘Bath Of Bacon’ was an experiment in sound, conjoining that Ronco platter to Todd Rundgren, a guitar from Wes Montgomery’s cupboard and mentions of imaginary monsters set to some funky chops. “The sound of a few mates failing to take note that they’ve an LP to make!” claims the JB site. It’s pop meets bluesy scat with plenty of deadpan irony – a theme that will recur. ‘A Scandal In Bohemia’ took a “competent little rock band” with a bassist who’d served time in Bauhaus into a world chorused by multi-track vocals and bathroom ambience. “A top-shelf diamond of a record that is filled with excellent, memorable songs.” (All Music). ‘Sex And Travel’ offered a broadening perspective. Competence and European travel beget a narrative akin to an impressionistic cold war spy movie, a “mess of styles” that became coherent. “A great album,” muses All Music before comparing JB mainman Pat Fish to Ray Davies circa 1969.
FORMAT INFORMATION4xCD Info: 4 x CD with 20 page, hard back book.
FORMAT INFORMATION2xLP includes MP3 Download Code.
Frustrated by the mainstream, ‘Scum’ was a huge statement that set them apart from the beginning. Bark Psychosis’ sound was born out of their improvisations at makeshift studio within St John’s Church in Stratford. Taking a year to complete ‘Hex’ left the band on the brink of collapse and by the time of its release they had dissolved. Hailed as a masterpiece, it’s “mysterious, haunting, and breathtakingly visionary” (Allmusic). Breaking down their songs and rebuilding them in the studio brought distinguishing ambient soundscapes and an atmospheric experimental sound. Last year Fact Magazine deservedly gave the album further recognition with it claiming top spot in their ’30 Best Post-Rock Albums Of All Time’.
Following ‘Hex’ and the disintegration of the band, Graham Sutton went on to create seminal Drum ‘n’ Bass as Boymerang and hugely acclaimed production work for the likes of These New Puritans, British Sea Power, Silver Apples, Jarvis Cocker and East India Youth. He revived Bark Psychosis at the turn of the millennium, eventually releasing another album, the equally extraordinary ‘///Codename: Dustsucker’ Newly remastered in 2017 from the original analog tapes at Metropolis Studios by Graham Sutton and Stuart Hawkes, and reissued officially for the first time
She harks back to the earlier Donnie Darko-like strangeness of ‘Crazy Mary’, sketches small town America on the ‘Summer Of Drugs’ and welcomes Lou Reed for a duet on ‘Sweet Jane’. No Depression at the time enthused about a live show where 50 people were in touching distance of greatness. It was the perfect platform they believed, trying hard to still keep Victoria their own personal secret. This live set, with its laissez faire feel and impromptu vibe is as close as it gets to a personal performance. Van Dyke’s veneer is rubbed off and every song positively tingles right through to a gorgeous version of ‘Over The Rainbow’. It’s a fairytale to believe in.
Formed in Malmö, Sweden by Marleen Nilsson and Anders Hansson, Death and Vanilla utilise vintage musical equipment such as vibraphone, organ, mellotron, tremolo guitar and moog, to emulate the sounds of 60s/70s soundtracks, library music, German Krautrock, French Ye-ye pop and 60s psych. They revel in the warmth of older analogue instruments to create a more organic sound, each loose wire and off-kilter noise adding to the rich atmosphere. After a handful of successful releases including a debut EP in 2010, their self-titled LP in 2012 – which sold out on pre-order – and a beautifully designed 7” single, the experimental pop duo were invited to compose a live soundtrack for the classic horror film, Vampyr (1932), for the Lund Fantastisk Film festival in Lund. Now, newly signed to Fire, the band return with ‘To Where The Wild Things Are.’
Named after the Maurice Sendak children’s book, the album is comprised of pop music with a wild, dreamy and experimental edge, celebrating imagination and the ability to travel to stranger recesses of the mind. ‘Where the Wild Things Are’ starts off with some of the most “pop” songs they’ve ever recorded, typified in the sweet and melodramatic “Arcana”, and the classic pop inspired “Time Travel”. Like Sendak’s book of the same name, the album then proceeds into stranger and stranger territory, resulting in some of the most experimental material Death and Vanilla have produced, such as the six minute “Something Unknown You Need to Know” and the machine-like, surf-guitar track “The Hidden Reverse”.
The band recorded the new album themselves in their rehearsal space, using just one microphone – a 70’s Sennheiser – which they bought at a flea market for a tenner. It is this unconventional recording process that gives Death and Vanilla their unique personality; using a trial and error approach to recording has rewarded the album with a strangeness that would not have otherwise been achievable. Creating deliciously enticing soundscapes, full of moody moogs, swirling melodies and breathless vocals, their influences on ‘To Where the Wild Things Are’ are apparent and diverse, ranging from Ennio Morricone to Scott Walker, Tom Dissevelt to Norman Whitfield, The Zombies to Sun Ra, and Bo Hansson to The BBC Radiophonic workshop.
FORMAT INFORMATIONLP Info: Transparent Vinyl
FORMAT INFORMATION2xColoured LP Info: 500 only 2LP, black and white marbled vinyl, printed inners, gatefold sleeve.
The record includes “Hard Drive” and “All My Life” two tracks penned by Ben Lee and features contributions from producer/composer Jon Brion, producer Bryce Goggin, Tom Morgan, Giant Sand’s Howe Gelb, Calexico's John Convertino and Joey Burns, ex-Spacehog frontman Royston Langdon, Come's Chris Brokaw and Arthur Johnson. // “Dando has a flair for bruised melancholy that stands comparison with Gram Parsons and Alex Chilton.” Q Magazine // “A beautiful album of tender reflections on life, love and drug-induced folly set in soulful, country-tinged guitar pop.”
FORMAT INFORMATION2xCD & Book Info: 2CD Book-back with 24 page book
'ESG's fusion of sweet soul and punk attitude with an intuitive understanding of dance music remains.' - The Guardian
“This is still funk with an alien otherworldliness the likes of which George Clinton never envisioned, stripped to its barest essentials for maximum impact.' - All Music
'ESG are as cool as ever.' - Fact
STAFF COMMENTSAndy says: Jane Weaver has fully hit her stride. This record is the perfect companion piece to the incredible ‘Silver Globe’, with just as much invention, depth and attention to detail, but somehow more streamlined, more concise. Proving that our erstwhile Album Of The Year was no flash in the pan, ‘Modern Kosmology’ is just as magical, just as lovely, and most importantly just as full of top tunes!
FORMAT INFORMATIONColoured LP Info: Indies only Blue LP repress.
Coloured LP includes MP3 Download Code.
Deluxe LP Info: Deluxe LP for Cargo Collective Stores Only, 1000 only black 180g vinyl, deluxe metallic foil print sleeve, black inner, 24”x12” fold out poster, A6 download card.
LP Info: Standard vinyl edition.
LP includes MP3 Download Code.
CD Info: Digi-pack sleeve.
Emerging after The Lemonheads disbanded Evan Dando returned to music first with a solo tour and ‘Live At The Brattle Theatre’ then came his debut solo album ‘Baby I’m Bored’. During his hiatus he sobered up, got married and went straight. Taking four years to produce, his live shows funded the album’s recording sessions. Mature and autobiographical, ‘Baby I’m Bored’ is a stellar record that stripped Dando of his grunge label. At the time of recording, he was without the band which saw him lean more towards an achingly melodic alt-country rock sound. Self-deprecating, these are songs of decline and coming back from that. The record includes “Hard Drive” and “All My Life” two tracks penned by Ben Lee and features contributions from producer/composer Jon Brion, producer Bryce Goggin, Tom Morgan, Giant Sand’s Howe Gelb, Calexico's John Convertino and Joey Burns, ex-Spacehog frontman Royston Langdon, Come's Chris Brokaw and Arthur Johnson. This limited edition special Record Store Day 2LP ‘bookback’ reissue includes a disc of unheard unreleased tracks, singles, b-sides and rarities. “Dando has a flair for bruised melancholy that stands comparison with Gram Parsons and Alex Chilton.” Q Magazine / “A beautiful album of tender reflections on life, love and drug-induced folly set in soulful, country-tinged guitar pop.” The Independent
FORMAT INFORMATION2xLtd LP Info: 2LP plus 24 page book + DL Card.
"Following the acclaimed new album ‘Silver Bullets’ and last year’s Record Store Day release from The Chills comes 7” ‘Rocket Science / Lost In Space’. Ecologically and politically minded on their recent album, ‘Rocket Science’ similarly deals with the potential power of the populace to instigate change. Frontman Martin Phillipps comments ‘the lyric is more of a gentle dig at those passive pacifists who are disgruntled with the way things are going and who do not, as a result choose to participate in elections and so on”. Beginning life as a ten-minute riff from a jam-session during the making of ‘Silver Bullets’, the band ended up with so much new material that Martin wanted to give it time to develop and grow into the classic Chills rock song it’s become. Originally written in 1981, the accompanying B-side ‘Lost In Space’ is an adolescent song of alienation where Martin as a younger man reflects both inwards and outwardly on those around him. The song may well have made it onto the Chills’ debut but with six years passing newer material was chosen for the first album instead. Taken from an undocumented era of one of New Zealand’s most prolific bands, ‘Lost In Space’ sits poignantly next to ‘Rocket Science’ over three decades on. Recorded in Dunedin in November 2016 with the same enduring line-up as ‘Silver Bullets’, The Chills release ‘Rocket Science / Lost In Space’ for Record Store Day 2017. ""After three decades of near-misses and dark alleys, Phillipps has finally embraced his role as king of the underdogs.” Pitchfork.
FORMAT INFORMATIONLtd 7" Info: Limited edition 7", DL card, 1000 only.
FORMAT INFORMATIONColoured LP Info: Limited edition, black on white marbled vinyl, DL card, 1000 only.
FORMAT INFORMATIONColoured LP Info: Limited edition, black on white marbled vinyl +DL card, 1000 only.
FORMAT INFORMATIONColoured LP Info: Limited edition, black on white marbled vinyl + DL card, 1000 only.
These albums were the catalyst to finally uniting critics and the establishment to recognise that the band’s music was a force to be recognised, prompting four day festivals at the Royal Festival Hall in London, The Knitting Factory in NYC and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s event, ‘55 Years of Pain,’ honouring Pere Ubu along with fellow icons of the Cleveland scene, 15-60-75, in 1999. With current band members Michele Temple, Robert Wheeler and Steven Mehlman joining David Thomas here for the first time, it is a defining period for Pere Ubu. All studio albums and the 12” disc ‘Back Roads’ were remixed and engineered by David Thomas and Paul Hamann at Suma, in June 2016. ‘Raygun Suitcase’ (1995) “If underground rock had a Hall of Fame that gave awards for influence and creativity, Pere Ubu would be more decorated than Magic Johnson." Rolling Stone, 05/95 / ‘Pennsylvania’ (1998) “From the beginning they obviously understood the nuts and bolts of popular music, and then loosened them.” Mojo, 04/98 / ‘St Arkansas’ (2002) “Uncompromising is an epithet bandied around with frightening abandonment these days, and one which should really only apply to those who strive to push beyond musical boundaries and bend the parameters of modern music. Bands such as '70s art-punk collective Pere Ubu.
FORMAT INFORMATION4xLP Info: 4LP hard box, includes fold out poster
In 2010 Lou Reed and his wife Laurie Anderson invited them to perform at the Vivid festival they curated at the Sydney Opera House, not forgetting they were recently handpicked to support Jesus & Mary Chain at London’s Roundhouse as part of Mogwai’s 20th Anniversary and Stewart Lee chose them for the All Tomorrow’s Parties festival which he curated just last year. Hailed for their space rock, drone, shoegaze, noise and/or psychedelia, and in a super lengthy interview in Ptolemaic Terrascope enthused (back in 2001) that they were somewhere between John Cage’s silence on 4’33 and Japanese noisenik Merzbow’s total ear splitting cacophony. One of their finest albums to date and nearly three decades on, Bardo Pond are in it for the long haul and remain one of the most significant underground rock bands of our time.
The band are recognized as one of the most influential alternative acts to come out of the mid-90s and sowed the seeds for everything from anti-folk to the likes of Arcade Fire, Caribou and even Franz Ferdinand. On its original release, this album ranked #35 in the annual Village Voice Jazz & Pop Critics' Poll. Also, Spin proclaimed this album one of the ten best "you didn't hear" of 1996.
FORMAT INFORMATIONCD Info: Deluxe repackaging in new mini gatefold sleeve with TWENTY FOUR page poster booklet, this reissue includes the 'Everything Is' single and b-side 'Snow Song Pt.1' from the original 1994 7" release (also re-issued as a limited 500 copies only release).
FORMAT INFORMATIONColoured LP includes MP3 Download Code.
Mandel was a member of Canned Heat, appearing with them at Woodstock. He played on numerous John Mayall albums, and on the Rolling Stones' 1975 LP Black and Blue ("Hot Stuff", "Memory Motel"), having auditioned for Mick Taylor's job, which ultimately went to Ron Wood. Known for his "tapping" technique and sinewy, sustain-driven phrasing (thus his nickname, "The Snake"), Mandel's solo albums such as Cristo Redentor, Baby Batter and Righteous have been sampled and drooled over by guitar geeks, DJ's, and fans of funky, soulful, otherworldly composition.
Harvey's fifteenth studio LP and his first widely distributed album in 20 years, Snake Pit was recorded in two days at Fantasy Studios in Berkeley, CA. Harvey teamed with fellow Chicago-based musicians Ben Boye (keys), Ryan Jewell (drums), Brian Sulpizio (guitar), and Anton Hatwich (bass), who have all played with singer/songwriter Ryley Walker. Harvey and the band had not met previously, nor had they rehearsed. He played snippets of song ideas for the band on his iPhone, and then they would lay down a track in one or two takes. Hard to believe when you hear the album, but that's exactly how it went down.
Minimal overdubs with strings and percussion were added, but mostly what you hear is what happened spontaneously in the studio. The album contains six new original compositions by Mandel and two revisited songs : "Baby Batter" from his 1971 Janus LP of the same name, and "Before Six" by Larry Frazier, which appears on his first album,Cristo Redentor. Snake Pit marks a spirited return in a career that now spans six decades -- all the more intense and poignant given Harvey's recent battle with cancer.
Then there are tracks, like the glimmering finale Future Body, that focus on the strength of women and female friendship. As Richards explains, the group are acutely aware of misguided perceptions when operating within the paradigm of a male-female electronic duo. It’s a record made out of a union that is vital for the on-going evolution of the group. Reduced to their very nucleus, they now sound at their most natural, comfortably processing the boundless ideas that they previously eschewed and shaping them to work, pushing the pair ever further forward.
STAFF COMMENTSBarry says: Part Synth-pop part wonky electronic part indie, Forward Constant Motion is a grooving and dynamic trek through melodic anthems imbued with a playfulness and depth. Crackling synths and syncopated drums, all topped with those smooth-as-silk vocals breaking through the mix. Ambient interludes break through into triumphant clanging anthemic rock. Wildly varied, but brilliantly cohesive electronic indie.
includes ten perfectly formed stripped-back pop songs saturated with Aussie charm, with just the right amount of jangle and an instantly comforting hook. The album showcases Morgan's skills as a master storyteller and lyricist, delving in to complex and personal subject matter, while never forsaking the hooks, leaving the songs swathed in melodic hues and moods ranging from the bright to the very, very dark. The man who wrote iconic songs like "It's A Shame About Ray" and "Outdoor Type" delivers line after line of tongue-in-cheek genius, with darkly funny twists like "the outcome is bleak, the second time in a week" and "I'm not broke, I'm just not working" along with casual flirtations, winking as he delivers "this beauty before me, she's a bit of alright" and smiling through his days of holding back on the bus fare when a pretty girl sleeps over and remembering his full family history while picking up the bottle of wine for dinner at his mother's.
Tom Morgan has played in a plethora of bands, including fronting Aussie stalwarts Smudge, a tremendous 'slacker pop' trio who he formed in 1991 with drummer Alison Galloway (immortalized in The Lemonheads "Alison is Starting to Happen"). They quickly became known for Morgan's melodic, mini-pop masterpieces with his colourful lyrics and the band's low-fi approach to recording, releasing three albums (plus a collection of B sides and unreleased covers), a mini-album, a handful of singles, and appearing on several compilation albums. Fire has recently reissued their stellar Real McCoy, Wrong Sinatra and Manilow records. Long established as one of the finest lyricists of a generation of Aussie tunesmiths, Morgan was brought to wider attention when he paired with Lemonheads frontman Evan Dando for the albums It's a Shame About Ray and Come on Feel The Lemonheads. With Tom's lyrical dexterity and ear for a perfect pop song, their meeting bore immediate spoils, inspiring Evan to global acclaim as he began the more 'pop' direction of his career. He was so taken with Tom's tunes that he even covered some of Smudge's songs, with great commercial success. Following passing a guitar back and forth with Evan, Tom and Smudge continued in various guises before finally splitting in 1999, only to get together a few years later to play periodic shows. A prolific writer, he has been continuously working and creating, and is finally ready with a proper solo album, seeing him recording with his wife Leticia and producing some of the very best work of his career. It is clearly time to sit up and take notice of the pop songwriting masterclass that is "Orange Syringe", where finally Tom Morgan can take centre stage and receive the recognition he deserves.
FORMAT INFORMATION2xLP Info: Double LP, gatefold sleeve, printed inners, art insert, download postcard
FORMAT INFORMATION2xCD/DVD Info: 2CD and DVD book feature documentary 'Sno Angel Winging It
Hard back book, containing Martin Phillips – Live At The Moth Club CD and ‘The Curse Of The Chills’ documentary on DVD.
FORMAT INFORMATIONHardback Book Info: Hard Back Book.
FORMAT INFORMATIONColoured LP Info: Blue vinyl.
Fire Records now release the album on black/yellow splatter vinyl and CD alongside the ‘From Above’ 7” and their self-titled debut EP.
STAFF COMMENTSAndy says: Krauty, moog, hushed, library baroque pop that breezes along in a sultry fashion.
FORMAT INFORMATIONColoured LP Info: LP is yellow vinyl.
Few things bring more joy on Record Store day than the recent series of special Bardo Pond releases. This year features the fruits of an incredible collaboration with Japanese psych-experimentalists Acid Mothers Temple. Wrapping their psych rock wizardry and cosmic space noise around Isobel Sollenberger’s ethereal vocals and majestic flute playing, the collective brings out the best in one another, feasting on innovation and distortion while not losing the swirling lock groove. Classic rock riffs merge and morph into the surrounding world music influences to cook up an enchanting and meditative brew. The naming of each song after a colour only further reinforces the vibe heavy proceedings. Begun in 2013, the Bardo Pond Record Store Day series continues to be one of the major highlights of the day. The 2016 release is limited to only 1000 copies. This exclusive release comes on two split colour vinyl discs, with disc one in a blue and green convergence and disc 2 blazing red and orange. This is a vital release for any Bardo Pond or Acid Mothers Temple collection.
FORMAT INFORMATION2xColoured LP Info: 2xLP" 2 split colour LPs includes download.
Originally released to a fan base and music press that were unprepared for the band to move on from the punk fury of “Crossing The Red Sea”, The Adverts “Cast Of Thousands” has since been recognized as a lost classic of the time period. TV Smith’s cutting observational lyrics and sharp musical instincts saw his song writing grow and move in unexpected directions. The primal thumping was replaced by dynamic and driving drumming, acoustic guitars and probing solos emerged, and Tim Cross joined to add keyboards and fill out the overall sound. The one constant was the pounding throb of Gaye Advert’s bass. Encouraged to experiment by surprise producer Tom Newman (Mike Oldfield “Tubular Bells”) the band found themselves stretching creatively, both in song writing and recording techniques. They might agonize over the sound of recording a match being lit in the middle of one song, while doing a single take of a vocal via a microphone hung in the bathroom for another. Giant choirs were built meticulously over multiple tracks, while the sound of a rat running through the reverb room would be captured forever. The results wrapped some of TV’s best songs in strange and inventive sounds to compliment his anti-pop smarts and rock and roll heart.
They did not know it at the time, but the band was falling apart. Tensions would soon rise to the level that replacement players were called in to finish their final tour. Punk fans left them in droves. Critics skewered the singles from the album. Their record label had moved on to the next big thing. Feeling that they had reached a creative peak made the tumble even harder to swallow. Time has been very kind though, and fans discovering punk after the first wave have been able to hear “Cast” for what it is - a brilliant and biting collection of rock and roll. Still full of stomp and swagger even when stripped down on “My Place” or via the anthemic surge of “Television’s Over”, with TV’s hook factory on full display on the anti-love song “Love Songs”, and the band closing the album with the creeping ballad “I Will Walk You Home”; The Adverts had grown from a great punk rock band to a great rock band. Available on coloured vinyl for Record Store Day. Download includes two bonus tracks.
FORMAT INFORMATIONColoured LP Info: White vinyl.
Coloured LP includes MP3 Download Code.
Originally self-released by Nick Saloman and limited to just 500 copies, the debut from The Bevis Frond marked the beginning of a highly influential career in underground British neo-psych-rock. Armed with a four-track portastudio, the success of 1986’s “Miasma” saw it unexpectedly sell-out quickly with a repress not far behind. Sounding as bracing today as it did then, it collects some of Saloman’s finest songs. Having played in bands since the late 60’s, and constantly writing, Saloman had founded The Von Trap Family and played in Room 13. In fact, he had almost called it a day, but it was the popularity of “Miasma” that saw him continue onward and establish himself as an underground legend. A labour of love and fiercely independent, his prolific output has seen as many releases in as many years and an uncompromising vision under his own label Woronzow. Hailed as “a Hendrix devotee ever bit as tough and contemporary as the serrated guitar chorales of Sonic Youth and Pixies” by Rolling Stone’s David Fricke, his immense psych-stoner-rock has seen him become a cult figure in his own right. The Bevis Frond’s legion of loyal fans includes Teenage Fanclub, Dinosaur Jr and Mary Lou Lord, who have all covered his music. The release coincides with an invite to perform at comedian Stewart Lee’s upcoming curated ATP in Wales (UK). Available as a Record Store Day exclusive and limited in the U.S. to 500 copies and on transparent royal blue vinyl, the record also comes with extensive bonus tracks available via download.
FORMAT INFORMATIONColoured LP Info: 12” LP on transparent royal Blue vinyl includes download.
Following the unexpected success of The Bevis Frond’s debut, 1987’s "Inner Marshland" originally was recorded via the home studio four-track portastudio set up that was used for the debut album in Walthamstow, UK. Recorded over 12 months, "Inner Marshland” features the anglophile’s dreamscape of “Termination Station Grey”, the epic psych-blues-rock rave up of "I’ve Got Eyes in the Back of My Head” and so much more, with Nick Saloman’s guitar always leading the way. A labour of love and fiercely independent, his prolific output has seen as many releases in as many years, an uncompromising vision all under his own label Woronzow. Hailed as “a Hendrix devotee ever bit as tough and contemporary as the serrated guitar chorales of Sonic Youth and Pixies” by Rolling Stone’s David Fricke, his immense psych-stoner-rock has seen him become a cult figure in his own right. The Bevis Frond’s legion of loyal fans includes Teenage Fanclub, Dinosaur Jr and Mary Lou Lord, who have all covered his music. The release coincides with an invite to perform at comedian Stewart Lee’s upcoming curated ATP in Wales (UK). Available as a Record Store Day exclusive and limited in the U.S. to 500 copies and on transparent deep purple vinyl, the record also comes with extensive bonus tracks available via download.
FORMAT INFORMATIONColoured LP Info: 12” LP on transparent deep purple vinyl and download.
FORMAT INFORMATION6xLP Box Set Info: 6 title (8 disc) box set in hardboard outer slipcase includes download.
FREE SHIPPING This item has FREE UK shipping!
Arriving in 1975 on own label Hearthan, Pere Ubu’s debut seminal single was initially written during the short-lived early days of Rocket From The Tombs. When the group disbanded David Thomas was eager to release ‘Final Solution’ and ’30 Seconds Over Tokyo’. Taking its name from a Ted Lawson and Robert Considine book about the 1942 Doolittle Raid the song is about a World War II bomber squad’s “suicide ride”. “30 Seconds Over Tokyo” is “seven minutes of apocalyptic synth storms, metallic guitars and unnerving vocals” Tom Pinnock - Uncut Dec 2015. Written during a rehearsal, ‘Heart Of Darkness’ resulted in ‘Final Solution’ getting axed from the B-side. Limited to 1000 copies this special release for Record Store Day 2016, these tracks are as vital today as they were forty years ago.
FORMAT INFORMATIONLtd 7" Info: 7” Single included download.
Virginia Wing are not from the sedate school of dream-pop escapism…a hazy subversion of the traditional monochrome evocations of post-punk, a photo negative of an established form.” - The Quietus // “South London three-piece ally buzz and drone with sweetness and light” Guardian – New Band Of The Week // "A piece of noir-pop majesty that consistently pushes its own boundaries and frequently shatters the listeners’ sense of expectation" Loud and Quiet // "They possess a rare ability to dive deep beneath the skin.. a ghostly mix that flirts hard and fast with the avant garde while retaining a sly pop lustre" Mojo 4* // Following the 2015 release of their acclaimed debut album ‘Measures Of Joy’ on Fire Records, Camberwell based outfit Virginia Wing return with a striking new single. ‘Rhonda’, released for Record Store Day on 12” vinyl with a disco cut sleeve featuring artwork from longtime collaborator Florian Brooks. Recorded at Hackney-based Holy Mountain Studios with Misha Hering, ‘Rhonda’ sees the band expand the deep and varied sonic palette displayed on their debut ‘Measures Of Joy’. Featuring guest musician Koichi Yamanoha of Grimm Grimm, the single unfolds slowly as meditative incantations give way to a sprawling piece of experimental pop for the dance floor. The ambitious A-side flirts with disco beats and draws influence from a variety of schools of contemporary dance music whilst still remaining, at heart, a pop song. This is pop music with texture, depth and nuance; a daring and progressive piece. The B-side includes two new tracks: ‘Sisterly Love’ and ‘Daughter Of The Mind’ which further hint at the deviations we can expect on their second LP. Field recordings, ambient mediations and rhythmic experimentation abound; the new material sees Virginia Wing refining and reworking the sound conjured on their debut, a masterful workout and one that provides a thrilling incentive to await LP2 with baited breath. Following a headline European tour and a UK tour with Hookworms last year, Virginia Wing will be releasing their second album in autumn 2016. Forming in 2012, Virginia Wing are Alice Merida Richards, Sam Pillay and Sebastian Truskolaski.
FORMAT INFORMATIONLtd 12" includes MP3 Download Code.
The album features in new box set, ‘Architecture Of Language 1979-1982’, released in March. It gathers together ‘New Picnic Time’ with its companion releases, ‘The Art Of Walking’ and ‘Song Of The Bailing Man’ plus LP of extras, ‘Architectural Salvage’. Coed Jail! Spring dates mark the release of the LP box with a set list drawn exclusively from the recordings of 1975-1982. Tom Herman, guitarist from 1975 to 1979 and from 1997 to 2002, rejoins the band for the tour. The line-up is David Thomas, Tom Herman, Robert Wheeler, Michele Temple and Steve Mehlman. Wheeler and Temple have been in Pere Ubu since 1994, Mehlman since 1995.
The album features in new LP box set, ‘Architecture Of Language 1979-1982’, released in March. It gathers together ‘New Picnic Time’ with its companion releases, ‘The Art Of Walking’ and ‘Song Of The Bailing Man’ plus LP of extras, ‘Architectural Salvage’. Spring dates mark the release of the box with a set list drawn exclusively from the recordings of 1975-1982. Tom Herman, guitarist from 1975 to 1979 and from 1997 to 2002, rejoins the band for the tour. The line-up is David Thomas, Tom Herman, Robert Wheeler, Michele Temple and Steve Mehlman. Wheeler and Temple have been in Pere Ubu since 1994, Mehlman since 1995.
The second in the series of box sets, ‘Architecture Of Language 1979-1982,’ gathers together “the scariest album ever recorded,” ‘New Picnic Time,’ with its companion releases, ‘The Art Of Walking’ and ‘Song Of The Bailing Man.’ These are records of “unique beauty - a beauty marked by truth and thus also tragic and sometimes painful” (Sounds, Chris Cutler). Ian Penman, writing in 1980 in the New Musical Express, said “It is obvious that (the history of) Pere Ubu should not be thought of in terms of a linear development - reducing its entire operation and presence to an exclusive concern for working and succeeding in rock and roll. Unfortunately, most criticism - of Pere Ubu, of many other folks - assumes that words have one meaning, that desires point in a single direction, that ideas are logical; it ignores the fact that the world of language, noise and desire is one of lack, insecurity, interruption, struggle, blundering, disguises, ploys, embarrassed grins.”
Mastered by Brian Pyle, the original quarter-inch stereo mix tapes were digitally transferred by Paul Hamann at Suma at a 192khz / 24 bit resolution. From these the vinyl LPs were cut by Pete Norman with a Neumann VMS80 lathe. The Coed Jail Tour marks the release of the box with a set list drawn exclusively from the recordings of 1975-1982. Tom Herman, guitarist from 1975 to 1979 and from 1997 to 2002, rejoins the band for the tour. The line-up is David Thomas, Tom Herman, Robert Wheeler, Michele Temple and Steve Mehlman. Wheeler and Temple have been in Pere Ubu since 1994, Mehlman since 1995.
FORMAT INFORMATION4xLP Box Set Info: Box set, 4LPs, poster, download card.
Hotly tipped as ones to watch across all corners of the music press the "Rotterdam awkwardists churn underground noise with bracing warped pop appeal" (Mojo).
"Their hot blooded sound recalls the extra messy post-hardcore psychedelia of early Flaming Lips or less hi-fi King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizzard. Stay Tuned." MOJO.
“Especially impressive is the way they play with texture and rhythm, locating a sweet spot between snarling chaos and poised precision, and building on the signifiers of the genre’s forebearers.” The Quietus.
“Rats On Rafts don’t so much slow down and pull up to their terminal, but rather hammer their foot to the accelerator and drive straight off a cliff.” Loud & Quiet.
"Their songwriting is superb and shows a seasoned depth far beyond their years. This is a portrait of a band firing creatively on all cylinders. Their time is now. Don’t miss out." Blurt.
And, again, the bad penny shows up. Rocket From The Tombs is back. ‘Black Record’ delivers eight new tracks, as well as definitive recordings of Rocket classics ‘Sonic Reducer’ and ‘Read It And Weep’ and a cover of The Sonics’ ‘Strychnine.’ Still fighting mad. Fronted by founding members Crocus Behemoth and Craig Bell, ‘Black Record’ delivers anthems borne of decades of raw energy coupled with decades of experienced musicianship, firmly assuring its place in the extraordinary history of the band. Loud, hard and fast, ‘Welcome to the New Dark Ages,’ ‘Coopy (Schrödinger’s Refrigerator)’ and ‘I Keep A File On You’ are not breaking rules – the rules broke forty years ago. ‘Waiting For The Snow’ and ‘Spooky’ are not band-aids to malaise – they’re slap-in-the-face wake up calls. Every track is an assault. The band debuted June 16 1974. Between then and August 1975, when it finally crashed and burned, Rocket played a handful of shows, went through four drummers and wrote a set of songs that are now classics: ‘30 Seconds Over Tokyo,’ ‘Final Solution,’ ‘Ain’t It Fun,’ ‘Amphetamine,’ ‘Sonic Reducer,’ ‘So Cold,’ and ‘What Love Is.’ Pere Ubu, Saucers and The Dead Boys formed from the debris field. Over three decades, the band’s reputation spread through underground bootlegs, the cream of which were eventually officially released as ‘The Day The Earth Met The Rocket From The Tombs’ (2002).
Thirteen years earlier, a San Diego band, Rocket From The Crypt, inspired by those bootlegs, co-opted the name and went on to forge a notable career. Pearl Jam and Guns N’ Roses recorded covers of Rocket songs. RFTT invited fellow Clevelanders This Moment In Black History to contribute to ‘Black Record.’ "We've had a mutual admiration society going for years. I wanted them involved,” singer Crocus Behemoth said. “I wanted to feel a rival group’s eyes on us as we worked.”
FORMAT INFORMATIONLtd LP Info: Silver vinyl edition.
Ltd LP includes MP3 Download Code.
The album. “No Dreams” would continue to elevate her songwriting and soundscaping to new heights, with Pitchfork raving; “Sarah Lipstate creates miniature musical worlds, places that you feel like you’ll never leave as long as the record is playing.” Lipstate, a former member of Parts & Labour and Cold Cave, as well as a collaborator with such luminaries as Lee Renaldo and Jim Thirlwell, along with being a member of both Rhys Chatham’s Guitar Army and Glenn Branca’s 100 Guitar Ensemble, has emerged as one of the most exciting and interesting guitarists of this era. “No Dreams” cements her as a talent on the rise. Originally released as a limited edition on the experimental label Important Records, following the success of her most recent “Fantastic Planet” album, Fire Records is reissuing the album on 180 gram vinyl to a wider audience.
FORMAT INFORMATIONLP Info: 180gram LP.
With “Glacial Glow” Lipstate honed Noveller into what Pitchfork called “a stronger, bolder voice” giving “each track a distinct theme, telling wordless stories.” Originally released in 2011 as a limited edition on Weird Forest, following the success of her most recent “Fantastic Planet” album, Fire Records is reissuing the album to a wider audience.
Hook-laden throughout they unleash their wild yet tender new album ‘Illegals In Heaven’ which offers up freaked out reflections on life, love and circumstance. As knowing as the Chills or the Pretenders, loner ballads are as gnarled and world weary as Dylan in a cacophony as bruised as Royal Trux yet with the playfulness of Half Japanese.
Recorded and produced with Lawrence English (head of the Room40 label) on a late night at The Plutonium studio in Brisbane, the album sees them on their first foray into a recording studio. While it wasn’t exactly Abbey Road, it truly captures the chaos and majesty of the band’s formidable live shows.
It would be all too easy to say that ‘Illegals In Heaven’ is their finest work to date, but the simple truth is that Blank Realm have been without peers for a trilogy of albums, so it just might be as Sarah huskily intones, "Gold" too.
“Blank Realm are still bent on mixing the diamonds with the rough, and on Grassed Inn that particular swirl is at its most intoxicating.” Pitchfork 8/10
“Balancing the arty with the party to make for a set of danceable, hook-filled songs that bubble and bloom with an almost biological rampancy, shooting out tendrils of strange, snaking melody in every direction like vines enveloping a ruin” Guardian 4*
“A cracking selection of scuzzy, fuzzy psych-rock songs that recall Royal Truax and Sonic Youth” Uncut 8/10
“Blank Realm generate scruffy, VU’s-Sister-Ray-loving grooves, coloured up with blooping synths, and yowling, way-off vocals” Mojo 4*
STAFF COMMENTSAndy says: Catchy but cool as you like jangle'n'fuzz psych pop/rock from down-under. A big hit on the shop stereo.
FORMAT INFORMATIONLtd LP Info: A limited pressing of 500 Pink and white marble vinyl exclusive to UK Indies.
Ltd LP includes MP3 Download Code.
The Jean-Paul Sartre Experience
I Like Rain: The Story Of The Jean-Paul Sartre Experience
Emerging with one of the definitive songs from the scene, “I Like Rain”, TJPSE began as a band filled with charm at every turn. Making the most of limited recording budgets to find inventive melodies, harmonies, and percussion, and combining them into unique and oddly joyous kiwipop gems.,They also brought us one of the greatest band names in the history of indie rock. “Love Songs” captures all of those early EPs and singles, along with their earliest demos, that were previously delivered famously on cassettes in dog food tins.
A dark and confident JPSE would emerge with the bracing “The Size of Food”, awaiting their big break overseas. At the same time, their record label was seeking a corporate cash infusion that would come with heavy strings attached. The resulting delays would cause “The Size of Food” to stand as a lost classic of the era, released without fanfare almost 2 years later. TJPSE were doing their best to regain momentum and look ahead, but it wasn’t to be easy.
“The Size of Food” collects the US version of the album, including the crucial tracks “Cut Out” and “Mothers”. Also included as bonus tracks is the difficult and transitional “Precious” EP. Finally afforded a sizeable recording budget and surrounded by label glad-handing, “Bleeding Star” would see the songwriting axis shift, but also produce some of their strongest material. Able to embrace technology in the studio fully for the first time, the band vowed to make the most of their chance. Supported stateside by Matador Records, they would tour internationally, going from undeniably gleeful to slowly unraveling with each stop along the way. By the time they were ready to return to New Zealand, it was obvious that all 4 members would not be making this trip again. “Bleeding Star” collects the original album on LP for the first time, along with bonus tracks encompassing the final maxi-singles and EPs. Fully re-mastered and re-packaged with aching care, “I Like Rain: The Story of TJPSE” will allow old fans and new audiences alike to be able to enjoy the sound of what makes TJPSE so special.
"Specialising in lengthy abstractions, these wigged out Pennsylvanians do sprawling space rock" Q.
"Reliably transportative swathes of feedback-drenched psychedelica. Bardo Pond's genius lies in the collision of contrasts" Sunday Times.
Bardo Pond’ first Record Store Day EP ‘Rise Above It All’ was a breath of fresh air. Their explosive interpretations of Funkadelic's, ‘Maggot Brain and Pharoah Sanders' ‘The Creator Has a Master Plan’ are epic performance pieces, taking the listener through a range of emotions as the band explore their innermost creativity. "These tracks represent the apex of sublimity for us” explains Michael Gibbons, “They are archetypes for our way of making music. They both offer the listener a mainline to an emotional epiphany that can only be experienced through listening to these very songs. Through seemingly minimal means, gut wrenching tones and glorious repetition, a gateway opens, endorphins are released, illumination is attained.
With their humble ethos stunningly executed, RSD 2014 brought the second in what naturally started to look like a series. ‘Looking for Another Place’ was a continuation of their exploration and interpretations, this time they turned their attention to 'Ride Into The Sun' by the Velvet Underground and 'Here Come The Warm Jets' by Brian Eno. The results are astounding.
The final instalment (RSD 2015) ‘Is There a Heaven?’ closes the series. Bryan Ferry's 'In Every Dream Home A Heartache' and Albert Ayler's 'Music Is the Healing Force of the Universe' are the subject of Bardo Pond’s feedback drenched, heartfelt and considered attention. Loosely formed in 1989 by guitar wielding art student siblings, Michael and John Gibbons, Bardo Pond became a reality in 1991 with the addition of vocalist and flautist, Isobel Sollenberger, bassist, Clint Takeda and drummer, Joe Culver (replaced in 1999 by trainee librarian, Ed Farnsworth). Bardo Pond are the flagship band of Philly's "Psychedelphia" space rock movement, which also included the likes of Aspera, Asteroid No. 4, the Azusa Plane, and tangentially the Lilys.
Taking their cue from Lorca and La Argentinita's infectious 1931 recording of the songs, Josephine Foster and her partner Spanish musician Victor Herrero arranged the poetically rich collection for their acoustic band, formed while living in the Grenadine Sierra. Anda Jaleo is the band's live recording of "Las Canciones"; a visceral celebration of the persistence of popular anonymous song.
This new edition includes an additional track not featured on the original release, an interpretation of ‘Sones de Asturias’. La colección de "Canciones Populares Españolas" recopiladas y armonizadas por Federico García Lorca fue censurada en tiempos de Franco, y hoy en día la música sobrevive aunque de una manera vaga en el subconsciente del pueblo español. Inspirados por la contagiosa grabación de las canciones de Lorca y La Argentinita de 1931, Josephine Foster y su compañero el músico español Víctor Herrero han arreglado esta poética y rica colección para su banda acústica , formada mientras vivían en la sierra de Granada. Anda Jaleo es la grabación en directo de su versión de "Las Canciones"; una celebración visceral de la canción popular anónima y su persistencia. Following from Anda Jaleo, Josephine Foster and the Victor Herrero Band created a superb follow-up entitled Perlas (Pearls). It is a jewel of a collection, with songs and poems selected by Josephine herself, gathered from dusty old scores and brought vividly to the present with warm performances full of flesh-and-blood emotion. Made with a variety of stringed instruments and simple percussion, the songs were recorded live in the studio on to analogue tape by Paco Loco in Puerto de Santa Maria, Spain. Foster breathes new life into timeless traditional melodies, drawing from the Spanish-folk traditions of Castile, the Basque, Santander and the Costa Brava.
Faulty Superheroes has a tossed-off, effortless magnificence that the rash of indie-whatevers trailing in his wake from Bee Thousand to the present constantly strive for, and fail to achieve. The constant sense of surprise, of wonder, of discovery that you routinely find in superbly-structured instant bomp classics like "Faster The Great" is not something that can be taught, or learned, or imparted, or copied. Pollard pretty much abandoned the four-track for twenty years now and still gets tagged as "lo-fi," which is a word that makes even less sense now in the days of digital recording than it did then in the days of occasionally tape-hiss smothered coulda-shoulda- been hits. "Take Me To Yolita" in lesser hands could have been not much more than a bad one-liner stretched to fit a pop song, but Pollard reverse-engineers the titular pun to build a Kinks-like mini-epic that elevates the raw material of the song to transcendent heights. "She walks to him but that's not him." Damn. And so it goes. Are there bum notes here and there? Recording accidents-on-purpose left in like crushed empty beer cans strewn around the miniature, glimmering pop/ rock/ psych/ prog construction sites left standing in the wake of each of Faulty Superheroes' finished/unfinished songs? You betcha.
The Guided By Voices aesthetic was formed and developed and continues to be improved by Pollard, which makes all the more puzzling the hand-wringing that accompanies every announcement of a so-called GBV "break-up" (or for that matter, "reunion."). "You only need one," he sings on the song of that title. As long as we have Bob, we need nothing else. And we have Bob. If you're counting your blessings, don’t forget that one. It's kinda crucial.
Robert Pollard - Guitar, Vocals, Todd Tobias - Bass, Guitar, Keyboards. Kevin March – Drums. Stephen Hopkins - Bass on "What A Man".
Continuing their Fire deluxe reissues of the entire Half Japanese catalogue, Volume Three: 1990-1995 is the third of four volumes containing three LPs/CDs. This next set of Half Japanese LPs begins with 1990’s explosively, noisy and chaotic (sometimes improvised) ‘We Are They Who Ache With Amorous Love’ featuring their cover of the Them garage rock classic “Gloria” and two tracks “Titanic" and "Hand Without a Body” that were co-written with the like-minded Daniel Johnston. Two years later the notably more delicate and, dare we say, jangly, ‘Fire In The Sky’ (1992) arrived at a pivotal time for the group when they gained notable recognition from the likes of Sonic Youth, Nirvana, Teenage Fanclub and Yo La Tengo (whose Ira Kaplan guests on the record).
This highly anticipated third installation closes the trio with 1995’s ‘Hot’ which became MTVs album of the week on release, with Michael Goldbery writing “Hot, mixes Sonic Youth-style noise, Stooges primitivism and ’60s pop with excellent results. “Lucky Ones” is a simply charming number (“A good thing just got better/ As better as better can be”) reminiscent of Jonathan Richman, while “Drum Straight” is dose of feedback drenched skonk and “Vampire” rocks hard liken the Sonic’s “Bull In The Heather.” Fire’s colossal Half Japanese series began last year with the Record Store Day exclusive of ‘Half Gentleman/Not Beasts’, this set contains the records in their original form with extras that later appeared on CD formats available. It will also include original artwork from Jad Fair and liner notes by Half Japanese hall of famer Mark David Jickling. “Cutting straight to the gut. Jad’s phrasing matches surging sentiments, creating a counterpoint to the spot-on music. When they grind out a groove half-rhythmic/half-blank cadences, the woozy disconnect is oddly compelling” Pitchfork’s Best New Reissue (Volume 2: 1987-1989)
“An impressive and well-assembled study of one of this band's more interesting periods” - All Music.
“This should also lay to rest any questions about the importance of Half Japanese. Without them, we wouldn’t have the primitive pop of Beat Happening nor the id-bearing beauty of Daniel Johnston” - Paste Magazine.
David Thomas says “if we're going to have to endure crappy support bands then we'll do it ourselves. The Moon Unit plays a 30 minute show of songs made up from nothing.” ‘Nothing’ never materialised. Instead, there were half hour continuous performances that opened unique new pathways in the Pere Ubu sound. Songs were formed, the musicians pushed their own and each other’s boundaries, Thomas was Ringmaster, with sleight of hand and voice. Whilst unmistakably the ‘sound’ of Pere Ubu, these sessions were raw and fascinating, and it was only through chance that a recording was captured. This album was recorded at the Brudenell Social Club in Leeds, during the November 2014 tour of the UK. This intelligent and theatrical recording exudes the unrelenting energy that was witnessed by the audience during these ‘support’ sessions. It is an extraordinary and just addition to the Pere Ubu story. At the end, Thomas concludes with a suggestion to the observers, “If you were cool like Jimi Hendrix, or something, or Brian May… you’d turn that into a national anthem”.
Credit the players: bolstering the easy mastery of a dizzying array of song writing forms one naturally expects (and receives) from Pollard are the impressive instrumental prowess of fellow Daytonian Nick Mitchell ("no blood relation to Mitch," Pollard stresses), who can otherwise be found in near-weekly performance at Wings, an important Dayton sports bar, multi-instrumentalist and producer Todd Tobias, and "the worldly Kevin March," (Pollard again) who does double duty these days in Guided By Voices. These guys can play, and on I Sell The Circus, they play the fuck out of the songs. "The band named Ricked Wicky is significant in that it is the very first name I created for a non-existent band in my early teens," explains Pollard. Fourteen of its fifteen tracks were recorded at Cyberteknics in Dayton, a studio Pollard has come to use with increasing frequency due to its profusion of vintage analogue gear.
Used to great effect on ISTC: "Rotten Backboards" is as gorgeous and melancholic a tune as Pollard has ever written, and lyrically sounds a note of wistfulness that long-time fans will not find unfamiliar. "She can run, 'cause that's what I did," sings Pollard over a sublimely-textured background of synth-strings, arpeggiated guitar, piano, and clattery drums, and while it's tempting to read real regret into the content ("rotten backboards" as a metaphor for the debris of the past), it's always dangerous looking for autobiography in Pollard's mostly-fictional constructions. And anyway the misty wistfulness is cleared away immediately by the sharply propulsive prime-Who swagger of the next -- and final -- track "A Real Stab." Which seems to be about needles, or the messengers of Oz, or paper bags. It's one of the best songs on an album of standouts. "Some may wish to refer to us as a 'super group,'" says Pollard, tongue practically poking through his cheek, but as with a lot of the pronouncements made by the oracle of Huffman Prairie, as no one has ever called him or ever will, he's joking, but he's not joking. Ricked Wicky may not be a super group as the term is too-commonly used, but there's no real doubt they're a super group.
Roswell's own songwriting and voice recalls a solar-fried Bobby Gillespie, an artist he no doubt originally influenced with the Spacemen 3. Elsewhere, there's truly psychedelic excursions into outsiderdom which come off like The Seeds mutating ever larger into lysergic-dipped monsters." Any attempt to categorize Sterling Roswell, runs the risk of misrepresenting a true radical. Artist, musician, poet and producer, Roswell is all of these and more and over the years he has embraced a myriad of artistic forms to great effect. For the live shows he will be joined by the band The Psychedelic SRB featuring a rotating collective of musicians including the fantastic George Frakes (lead guitar), Syd Kemp (bass) and Tucker Nelson (drums). They not only bring the album The Call Of The Cosmos to the live stage but in the midst have created their own unique space age sound.
Live appearances, both solo and with The Psychedelic SRB, always hold audiences spellbound and is THE act to see in this new age of psychedelia. The Call of the Cosmos features the singles 'Interplanetary Spaceliner','Give Peace Another Chance' and 'a remix of The Girl From Orbit', cementing the elements which have infused Sterling's work since his days with Spacemen 3, his multi instrumental driving force behind The Darkside and his innovative psychedelic soundscapes as a studio engineer and producer. The album stands testament to a new message for Interplanetary Peace and features a truly fitting tribute to the late, great front man of THE SEED, Sky Sunlight Saxon with a cover of the song 'Tripmaker', which was originally featured in the Dennis Hopper and Peter Fonda movie The Trip in 1968. "Baudelaire once wrote, 'music excavates heaven'. Listen to this record and you might just have to agree." Andrew Weatherall / Mojo
Here's a song title: "Matthew's Ticker and Shaft a. come to breakfast b. the girl's c. division of swans d. when death has a nice ring." It starts with distorted guitar over a primitive snare-and-bass-drum beat (all instruments on all songs played by Pollard), shifts into an out-of-tune piano clumping along a simple seven-chord progression, lurches into a wall of distorted guitar as two tracks of Pollard wail wide-panned in each speaker, before finally resolving in a pretty harpsichord (or some synthesized version thereof) figure inelegantly trips over itself before trailing off into the next track: "The Instant American," which presents a multi-tracked Pollard vocals chanting over a background of what sounds like a bunch of people at a party drinking. These are not the two strangest tracks on the fifteen-song album, which clocks in at just over thirty minutes.
If there are times when Pollard's musical ambition seems to overwhelm his ability to present his ideas coherently, that's a feature, not a bug. The spazzy machine-generated beat of "A Guaranteed Ratio," the ham-handed church organ of "Good Mary's House," the off-key crooning, the awkwardly plucked possible-banjo on "All You Fought For" the general (but not always) sloppiness, the rumbling toms and slashing power chording of "New Light": it's all of a piece, and that piece adds up to a sense of urgency and what sounds an awful lot like unconstrained joy suffusing every single track on More Lies From The Gooseberry Bush. For those who like their Pollard stately, tuneful, and elegiac – sure, he can do that without effort, but that's not what Teenage Guitar is about. Teenage Guitar is about trying hard without seeming to try hard.
The result is that rare thing: a completely original album. Which is also a true delight, a sky-blue gem, a timeless and untimely cabinet of wonder. And by some few miles the greatest musical artifact your ears will have the pleasure of encountering this year.
Scraps is a distinctly unique artist borne directly out of her environment. Scraps has not gained her small but incredibly loyal and growing cult following through media saturation, blog hype, or a money backed promotional whirlwind. It has been acquired through the independent and uncompromising nature of her spirit, the authentic DIY quality of the music, and her honest approach to songwriting and performing. Strong releases on hometown Brisbane record labels Bedroom Suck and Disembraining Machine have complimented an already dense discography of hand made, self released material. Scraps has performed relentlessly all over Australia and abroad to a wide variety of people alongside an even wider variety of bands and artists. From drunken suburban house parties, inner city generator squat shows, art galleries, cafes and bookstores, museums, drug fuelled nightclubs, rural raves, reputable and disreputable pubs, to some of the biggest venues in town as international support. The fact that Scraps can effortlessly transcend these often starkly contrasting spaces is a testament to the quality of her abilities as a songwriter and performer.
Electric Oceans is a culmination of years spent lost in the independent music wilderness. Experience has been gained through Hill continuously pushing herself as a musician, artist and human. Scraps is not your typically modern spoilt rich kid flash-in-a-pan solo synth songsmith. Tough battles have been fought and either won or lost, both personally and creatively - the results of which are more than evident on this record.
Papini elaborates: "Most of the songs are about everyday environments that arouse anxiety or unease. The ocean isn't meant for people; we aren't supposed to be there, and some of the animals that live there are much bigger and faster than we are in the water. I think a lot of the songs deal with this 'out of place' kind of theme, feelings of unease and the questions of what is under you or what surrounds you." Trouble creates a space where conflicting sentiments and experiences are given room to coexist, where small and seemingly mundane observations pose big questions that hang in the air, unanswered and unanswerable. With a title referencing the artist's endless struggle in the battle between creativity and outside forces, Trouble also explores the universal themes of loss, love, and loneliness with Papini's trademark wit. Lines like "And if I'm lost and low / And need you / I'll disconnect the line" from "Inauguration" somehow make the ultimate kiss-off seem charming, while nature makes clear the loneliness felt when leaving someone you love behind in these lines from "I Miss Your Bones": "And all the stars will / Twinkle in the midst of a sea / Of black and lonely /An everlasting loss lack abyss." It's fitting that the album was hashed out in band practices that blurred the boundaries between work and leisure, darkness and light, creative collaboration and friendship.
Foregoing the usual night-time hours kept by musicians, the band chose to work on these songs during daily morning rehearsals that proved in many ways more demanding than characteristically relaxed night-time gatherings. Through these sessions, the band sought to take their music as far as they possibly could as a three-piece, to make sure that every small gesture fell into place and played a vital role in constructing the shape and feel of the songs. The band carried this daylight-infused clearheadedness with them into the studio with chief arranger Nathan Michel and engineer Matt Boynton acting as co-producers. Nathan describes the process: "We really wanted to avoid the ornamental, but I always like to add more sounds. Matt was helpful in keeping the arrangements as simple and direct as possible. We all wanted the record to have a warm and open sound." When put to tape, some of the songs for Trouble worked better than expected as fierce and focused trio performances, while others called for more substantial re-imaginings. "I Miss Your Bones" emerged almost entirely from a live performance, while "Inauguration" found the band ripping apart their live arrangement and reconstructing the song with drum machines and synthesizers. The album unfolds like a walk on the beach or a journey to a place you didn't know you were going. Perhaps a darker sound overall, but Trouble begins with the trademark Hospitality pop then unfurls to reward the listener with the more expansive stripped-down instrumentation of side B. And here, again, is that distinctively present silence, creating a space where an undulating synthesizer feels as alive and mysterious as a single voice in a room.
Putting today's garage pretenders to shame, the combo recorded two albums of rough and ready pop blasts, with the shake and stomp never losing Eric's sharp wit, or melodic punch. Hardly in step with the UK fads of the day, the trio toured with their own PA system, blasting out performances like each one could be their last. Soon, it would be, as they parted ways after two underground albums released in the space of a year, leaving behind a collection of smoldering gems. This reissue will finally make the albums widely available and have been lovingly re-assembled, including detailed and entertaining liner notes from Eric himself, taking us back to those days, warts and all.
Albums included in the Little Sand Box are :
1. Dreaded Brown Recluse
4. The Listener
5. Sno Angel Like You
6. Sno Angel Winging It
8. Some Piano….
"The solo albums came about as an afterthought", Howe explains, "loving better the notion of hiding inside a band like Giant Sand for the rest of my life. When life demanded something else, then they began to happen." At first severely home-made and lo-fi with "Hisser" during the days when Rainer was critically ill. Followed by the depressing "Confluence" when everything turned to shit in the late 90s. And back up again and running fine with "The Listener", which began the resurgence of the sonic spirit during a surprisingly long stint in Denmark. That path would then lead to the sizzling season with a full gospel choir attached in Ottawa, Canada with the release of "'Sno Angel", and shockingly Mojo's 5 star praise of it. Next would come the most gratifying time spent surrounded with guitars in discovering the city of Cordoba, Spain and recording "Alegrias". This recording, the Spanish critics declared, melded indie-rock pluck with the prowess of Flamenco strum in a rarefied way that was heralded significant instead of the usual 'touristo' failings to marry Flamenco with anything. It also attracted one of Spain's most famous guitarists into the session, maestro Raimundo Amador. Cordoba felt like the closing of a significant circle, feeling more like home then home, due maybe to my own DNA and probably the originating point of what one-day would become Tucson. The album was so wonderfully received in Spain and granted me a kind of peace, now in my 50s, to find myself in such exquisite company whereby the sonic pathways thru gospel and Flamenco all began with meeting Rainer (Ptacek)."
Their sound is an explosive brew concocted from the primitive, machine-like drumming of Jemi Hemi Mandala, the quicksilver synths of Mos Iocos, the intricate bass lines of EtonalE and the psychedelic biscuit tin guitar work of Baba Rossa. Chanted vocals bring a hypnotic, trance inducing element to many of the tracks, especially in the crowd favourite, Mind Over Might. Recorded onto 24-track tape at Outside Inside Studio, Montebelluna, Italy, this was the first time the band had recorded in a real studio. Sweaty summer nights, sleep-depriving mosquitoes and abundant fresh local fungi made for a magic combination, and the group banged out all the tunes in one or two takes. The vintage recording gear and mixing talents of Mojo Matt Bordin bring a garage quality to the bands’ ancient future funk, and NZ artist Kerry Ann Lee’s other-wordly landscapes and magic voodoo scenes adorn the album’s cover. Two weeks after recording, half the band’s gear was stolen from the back of their tour van in Poland. Now, somewhere in suburban Krakow, the Spheres’ unique homemade instruments, including the sexomouse marimba and electric gamelan, are changing the sound of the Polish underground for the better.
Mathew Sawyer is a renowned painter and artist and has a Masters from The Royal College of Art. He has exhibited all over the world (he was The Guardian's artist of the Week and his exhibition at the Rokeby Gallery was previewed in Time Out). He created a painting as cover art for Sleep Dreamt a Brother, which features a man raising his arms with death mirroring this action. They're a reflection of each other. They're brothers. In Greek mythology, Hypnos and Thanatos are brothers. They are Sleep and Death. The title Sleep Dreamt A Brother imagines Sleep dreaming his brother into being. The record views life and death as just a memory or a dream of the other, and tries to reconcile the gap between them. It considers the dream world to be just as valid an experience as the waking world, and that death is like a dream we'll have. Mathew says; "When I die, I'd like to die in the night time as dreaming in sleep is not of this world anyway. Lost in a dream is nothing to be afraid of." The album was recorded and produced by Sawyer at his home. "I like recording to be hand in hand with everyday living. The sound of cars come through the windows, the phone rings, floorboards creak. These sounds all played an important role in making this record. Studios are quiet and lifeless." Although this record is under his own name, previously he has gone by the name of Mathew Sawyer and The Ghosts, and before that just The Ghosts.
High school friends Ben Deily and Evan Dando, Lemonheads’ primary songwriters, co-guitarists and co-vocalists, first recorded together on 4-track cassette in the spring of 1985; by the end of the decade they—together with bass player Jesse Peretz, sometimes-guitarist Corey Brennan, and successive drummers Doug Trachten and John P. Strohm—had created a body of recordings which would see them on MTV’s fledgling “120 Minutes,” beating out the Grateful Dead on college radio charts, and entering the consciousness of a generation of music fans. Cited as influences by artists as varied as Billie Joe Armstrong and Ryan Adams, these fledgling Lemonheads recordings—part rock, part pop, part unique hybrid of the 80s punk styles beloved by the band members—mark the start of the trajectory that would eventually lead to “mainstream” success and stardom for a later version of the band. But they also represent a distinct, never-repeated phase of the band’s history: one that is finally receiving the attention it deserves.
Lick is the third full-length album by the Lemonheads, and the last to feature founding member Ben Deily. It was the group's last independent label-released album before signing to major label Atlantic. An odd mixture of brand-new, and considerably older, sounds, 1989’s Lick brings together the output of several distinct recording sources: six brand new songs recorded with Minneapolis-based band friend and producer Terry Katzman, and a collection of older, B-side and never-released material originally overseen by producer and engineer Tom Hamilton. The difficulties of writing and creating a new full-length album every year (Hate Your Friends and Creator were released in 1987 and 1988, respectively) are clearly in evidence on Lick. While the newest material (“Mallo Cup,” “A Circle of One,” “7 Powers,” “Anyway”) hints at promising new song writing directions for both Deily and Dando, there’s an almost valedictory sense of the past in the inclusion of versions of “Glad I Don’t Know” and “I Am a Rabbit” (from the band’s first-ever, self-released EP), and the now-classic track “Ever,” a previously-unreleased tune from the original 1986 Hate Your Friends sessions.
At moments, Lick almost sounds like an elegy for itself—or an elegy for a band that has reached the end of the beginning. Also audible in the heterogeneous songs are the tensions of line-up changes—and inchoate, growing frustrations. After various band break-ups or threatened break ups (such as Dando’s brief departure to play bass for Boston band the Blake Babies), the Lemonheads convened to record new material for Lick now featured Dando on drums, Peretz on bass, Deily on guitar (and “piano,” according to the album credits) along with the addition of long-time band friend—and former member of TAANG! labelmates Bullet LaVolta—Corey Loog Brennan on lead guitar. And yet the frenzied, quasi-ironic hammer-ons of Corey’s axe provide some of Lick’s most entertaining moments—like the unaccountably-translated-into-Italian paen to 70s detective Ironside, “Cazzo Di Ferro.” (The song’s music was originally composed by Brennan for his Italian punk band, Superfetazione.) After the album’s completion, Deily opted out of the subsequent European tour, before leaving the band permanently. Jesse Peretz stayed on to record their Atlantic records debut Lovey, but left after the supporting tour in '91. Since then, Dando has been the Lemonheads' sole permanent member.
BONUS TRACKS: Features bonus tracks including several never-before-released live tracks from a 1987 radio session, live tracks and an interview from the 1989 European tour, and the 4 tracks of the Lemonheads self-released debut EP, Laughing all the way to the cleaners.
Creator finds Ben Deily once again slipping in quotations from Emily Dickinson (“Burying Ground”) and references to Matthew Arnold (“Come to the Window”), while Dando breaks new ground in song writing complexity (the rich sonic tapestry of “Out”) as well as arrangement, ushering in the band’s first-ever acoustic recording (his cover of Charles Manson’s “Your Home Is Where You’re Happy”). At the same time, the band still fires off blistering punk rock (“Clang Bang Clang,” “Die Right Now,” “Take Her Down”) and finds time to lovingly trash Kiss’ 1977 classic “Plaster Caster.” Recorded in one coherent series of sessions—unlike its predecessor, Hate Your Friends, and its follow-up Lick—Creator is, for all its musical schizophrenia, arguably the most coherent of the Lemonheads’ TAANG-era recordings.
BONUS TRACKS: This Fire Records re-issue features bonus tracks including never-before-released live tracks from a 1988 radio session (featuring a never-before-heard configuration of the band, including guitarist Ben Deily on bass and vocals); also includes an original song (“Cease to Exist”) never released on any album, and a performance by Juliana Hatfield.
The roots of Hate Your Friends begin with the genesis of the band itself: when high school friends Ben Deily and Evan Dando—inspired by a shared love of the 70’s absurdist comedy troupe the Firesign Theatre, literature, and punk rock—began playing their own songs together in 1985. Dando and Deily first started out as a two-piece ensemble: swapping back and forth between a shared Guild guitar (and a crappy amp) and vocal mic, and pounding a drum kit “borrowed” from the high school jazz band. With the addition of classmate and friend Jesse Peretz on bass, the two-man outfit quickly became a power trio. With a handful of original songs, a passionate love for their favourite bands—from Husker-Du, the Replacements, Black Flag and the Germs, to the Saints, Wire and ‘77 UK punk—and a tiny recording budget, the Lemonheads set about their first studio session within days of their high school graduation in June of 1986.
During that summer, a significant amount of what would become the band’s debut album was recorded in Brookline, Massachusetts, with Deily and Dando sharing vocal, guitar and drumming duties. Above and beyond bass, Jesse proved pivotal as the band’s manager, booker and tireless promoter—helping arrange for the Lemonheads self-released debut EP, Laughing all the way to the cleaners, later that summer, and shortly thereafter helping establish the relationship with Curtis Casella of TAANG! records that paved the way to full-length LP Hate Your Friends. Finally, with the addition of full-time (and fairly short-lived) drummer Doug Trachten, the last songs of Hate Your Friends were recorded in the winter of 1986-7.
BONUS TRACKS: This Fire Records re-issue features bonus tracks including 12 never-before-released live tracks from a 1987 radio session, rare tracks from the early compilation Crawling From Within, and additional tracks not included on the original release of Hate Your Friends (“Buried Alive” and “Gotta Stop”).
The brainchild of the amiable and unashamedly charismatic Craig Dermody, Scott & Charlene’s Wedding offer a sonically charged take on the Lemonheads’ ramshackle melodicism and Pavement’s lo-fi drawl. Following the success of Critical Heights' recent reissues of the band’s debut album Para Vista Social Club and the follow-up EP Two Weeks, the new album sees their first new recordings for over two years capturing Dermody at a pivotal time in his life. He has further developed his gloriously ragged anthems to reach new heights of nonchalant perfection.
Having uprooted from Melbourne, Australia to New York, New York, the Big Apple has replaced Melbourne as inspiration his latest trials and tribulations. His heart-on-sleeve lyrics reveal tales of everyday Dermody life, somehow more absurdly unhinged, humorous and poignant than the lives of his peers. All coming from a man with a clear mission to update the rock’n’roll template beyond his inspirations and influences as Scott & Charlene's Wedding effortlessly sprawl across the generations, linking the vintage swagger of the Velvets to the off-kilter pop perfection of the Only Ones by way of the Stooges and Television. The eleven electrifying tracks taking us on an intimate journey with Craig Dermody and his daily struggles, like a peak in to his personal diary.
He documents his move from Melbourne to New York to follow a girl. ‘Fakin NYC’ sees him adjusting to life in a new city, having to find a new job and feeling out of place as a security guard for a trendy bar. ‘Lesbian Wife’ sees him being caught in the middle of the biggest storm ever to have hit NYC and feeling homesick for Australia.
"... the execution for his frustration is point perfect-- his sleepily conversational vocals fold into his sunny, jangling guitars seamlessly" Pitchfork.
2 track LP featuring covers of Funkadelic's 'Maggot Brain' and Pharoah Sanders' 'The Creator has a Master Plan'…. Bardo Pond return with a special release for Record Store Day in the form of a limited edition LP featuring their explosive interpretations of Funkadelic’s “Maggot Brain” and Pharoah Sanders’ “The Creator Has a Master Plan”. With “Maggot Brain” running to over 21 minutes and “Creator…” at fifteen minutes, these are epic performance pieces, taking the listener through a range of emotions as the band explore their innermost creativity. As Michael Gibbons from Bardo Pond explains : “These tracks represent the apex of sublimity for us. They are archetypes for our way of making music. They both offer the listener a mainline to an emotional epiphany that can only be experienced through listening to these very songs. Through seemingly minimal means, gut wrenching tones and glorious repetition, a gateway opens, endorphins are released, illumination is attained. We stand in the light emanating from these Pyramids of Sound. We humbly rolled them up in the Lemur House as a form of pilgrimage. Please partake. Thanks.” Loosely formed in 1989 by guitar wielding art student siblings, Michael and John Gibbons, Bardo Pond became a reality in 1991 with the addition of vocalist and flautist, Isobel Sollenberger, bassist, Clint Takeda and drummer, Joe Culver (replaced in 1999 by trainee librarian, Ed Farnsworth). Bardo Pond are the flagship band of Philly's "Psychedelphia" space rock movement, which also included the likes of Aspera, Asteroid No. 4, the Azusa Plane, and tangentially the Lilys. They favour lengthy, deliberate sound explorations filled with all the hallmarks of modern-day space rock: droning guitars, thick distortion, feedback, reverb, and washes of white noise.
The Half Japanese debut release ‘Half Gentlemen Not Beasts’ released in a 4LP box set featuring an extra 12” containing tracks not originally available on the debut and extra unreleased tracks. This deluxe set also includes a 32 page booklet, an original Jad Fair poster 30cm x 60cm and a download card. The CD version also contains a third CD containing the extra material not previously available and the 32 page booklet.’ In 1974 Jad Fair, along with his brother David, co-founded the lo-fi alternative rock group Half Japanese. Over the ensuing three decades, Half Japanese released fourteen albums (which are all due to be reissued on Fire Records throughout 2013), and in the process, attracted a solid base of fans passionate about the band’s pure, unbridled enthusiasm for rock and roll. Fire’s reissue series begins with Half Japanese’s first album Half Gentlemen/Not Beasts, a sprawling collection of the Fair brothers earliest home recordings. These stretch their DIY, lo-fi ethos to the limits featuring sound experiments cobbled together from guitar noise, electronics and odd effects, whilst throwing in some barely recognizable covers (such as tracks by The Temptations, Buddy Holly and Bob Dylan). Over the years Half Gentlemen/Not Beasts became something of a cult legend, partly helped by it’s scarcity and foreshadowed much of the lo-fi movement of early 90s indie rock. All Music Guide describes the album like this: “Although they would have you believe that their untuned, almost unlistenable, instrumental clatter is the result of being so enthusiastic that they didn't bother to learn how to play their instruments, it's just the logical, inevitable intellectual extension of Richman's naivete and the Velvet Underground's stripped-down guitar. Half Japanese is consciously primitive.” Fire’s reissue will feature new packaging, artwork, liner notes and designs by Jad Fair himself as well as never released extra tracks. The CD package will include three discs and there will be four LPs in the vinyl boxset version. This rare and much sought after treasure will now be available for all to enjoy and for fans to relish.
For all the well-deserved acclaim GBV's first two records this year have garnered, Bears is a step up in every sense. This isn't to say there's a whole lotta gloss going on, and certainly the album has its share of more casually considered songs, but from the relentless drum figure that fuels sure-fire-live-staple and obvious single "Hangover Child" ("the best thing [drummer] Kevin [Fennell]'s ever played" sez Pollard) to the chugging, melancholic, melody-mad "White Flag" ("I think you know this time it's real," Bob sings over an almost New Order-ish bass line) to the propulsive, early-R.E.M.-inflected album closer "Everywhere Is Miles From Everywhere," the 19-song 43-ish minutes long Bears delivers a gut-punch as sure and assured as anything the band's ever dished out. And that's without mentioning the stellar contributions of Tobin Sprout ("The Corners Are Glowing" and "Waving At Airplanes" are particular standouts), bouts of unrestrained whimsy like "The Military School Dance Dismissal," featuring what sounds like seven Robert Pollards singing in unison/harmony over a Beatle-esque piano line, the punning workplay of "She Lives In An Airport," or the staggering work of heart-breaking genius "You Can Fly Anything Right." Add to this Pollard's two excellent 2012 solo albums, a raft of festival appearances and some club touring, and you have possibly the most consistently productive output ever in one year from a band and a songwriter already noted for its/his insanely prolific nature. That said, in a year of highlights, The Bears For Lunch may well take the most cake.
12 NEW ITEMS
193 NEW ITEMS
Various ArtistsA Disco Fantasy - Inc. Sylvester, Louie Vega, Amp Fiddler, Sweet Tooth T & Greg Wilson
Various ArtistsSpider-Jazz - KPM Cues Used In The Amazing Animated Series - That We Are Not Allowed To Mention For Legal Reasons
Sun 20th - 11:47
Sat 19th - 11:22
Sat 19th - 9:05