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JOYFUL NOISE

Tropical Fuck Storm

A Laughing Death In Meatspace

    A Laughing Death in Meatspace, delivers a fraught vision of algorhythmic apocalypse. Featuring Gareth Liddiard and Fiona Kitchin from Australian heroes The Drones, Tropical Fuck Storm is an end-of-days consciousness-stream across nine seething tracks. The debut dive-bombs into the realms of mortality and immortality, moralizing and amorality; the passing of time, and how little we have left. These are lurid songs, urgently told through Gareth Liddiard's barbed and byzantine lyricism, abrasive guitar slashes, drum adrenalin, raunchy bass and electronic undercurrents.

    They're raging, rapscallion, and funny, lyrically delving into everything from internet shaming to the kuru “laughing death” disease of the PNG highlands to Russian chess great Gary Kasparov’s portentous loss to an IBM computer. Live, Tropical Fuck Storm are a force of nature, conjuring chaos at every blistering performance, with zero shits to give for corporate music hegemony. "Kneel down by the advertising, don’t you make a single false move" calls out the female chorus of Fiona Kitschin and Erica Dunn echoing the dismay of our time as we bear witness to the sinister seductions which social media surveillance has entangled us. A Laughing Death in Meatspace doesn’t show us the way out of this situation, but it howls along with us as we peer into the maelstrom ahead. 

    FORMAT INFORMATION

    Coloured LP Info: Green Slime vinyl.

    In 1970 the Southern soul music maverick Jerry Williams, Jr. made the most radical move of his career. Frustrated with music business politics Williams reinvented himself as Swamp Dogg, an irreverent anti-hero smashing the conventions of commercial R&B music. Swamp Dogg’s debut release Total Destruction to Your Mind featured a post-apocalyptic take on the Muscle Shoals’ sound, with lyrics inspired by the revolutionary politics and psychedelic drugs of the late ‘60s. The music on Total Destruction to Your Mind stood worlds apart from the formulaic pop tunes Williams started cutting in 1954 under the name Little Jerry, and Swamp Dogg hasn’t looked back since. Now, nearly fifty years after his debut release, Swamp Dogg stands on the precipice of another radical reinvention.

    His latest creation is titled Love, Loss, and Auto-Tune a nine song collection featuring production by Poliça’s Ryan Olson. Love, Loss, and Auto-Tune finds Swamp Dogg’s bluesy southern soul colliding head-on with 21st Century electronic music production techniques. The reference to Auto-Tune in the title is not incidental, the album’s sound is built around Swamp Dogg’s experimentation with the ubiquitous vocal processor. While Auto-Tune has become a fixture of the modern pop music landscape, this is Swamp Dogg’s first major exploration of the device. “Every time I listen to some new music that everybody thinks is the greatest thing since hot biscuits, it's full of Auto-Tune,” Swamp Dogg says.

    His use of Auto-Tune technology is not gratuitous. Like Kanye West on 808s & Heartbreak, Swamp Dogg utilizes the cold digital tone of Auto-Tune to convey a sense of emotional detachment during the album’s most anguished moments. "The songs are about being lonely,” Swamp Dogg says of Love, Loss, and Auto-Tune. The feeling of loneliness is particularly palpable on the hauntingly beautiful “I’ll Pretend,” which features vocals from Justin Vernon. Swamp Dogg describes the song as a character study about “a guy sitting in a restaurant by himself losing his fucking mind because he’s hoping his woman is gonna walk by, but she's at a Ramada Inn somewhere fucking somebody else to death." Despite the record’s overriding theme of loss, Swamp Dogg’s warped sense of humor is still intact. 

    FORMAT INFORMATION

    Coloured LP Info: Limited indies-only gold vinyl.

    Ohmme

    Parts

      OHMME (aka the duo of Sima Cunningham and Macie Stewart) amalgamate the aggressive and the meditative on their bold debut full-length album, Parts. The duo are multi-instrumentalist, singer-songwriters with a special penchant for two instruments in particular. "Well the band started because we knew we could sing well together we wanted to make some noise with the guitar,” says Cunningham. Elaborating, Stewart finishes, “Sima and I are both trained classical pianists and we know many of the sonic spaces keyboards have to offer. Since we were interested in experimenting and creating something different from what we had both done in the past, we chose guitar as our outlet for this band. We wanted to create parameters for ourselves that were both new and uncomfortable to force ourselves into a different creative space.” These guitar-heavy experiments are sometimes earthy and resounding, at other times shimmering and buzzing—swirling around the duo's expertly crafted vocals while creating a chaotic bed of harmony. Cunningham's smoky croon complements Stewart's higher-register coo, all underpinned by the restrained yet highly inventive polyrhythmic percussion of drummer Matt Carroll. Think Amber Coffman and Angel Deradoorian-era Dirty Projectors—but quietly more imaginative and compositionally more eccentric. 


      With Parts, OHMME "wanted to capture a moment in time instead of something perfect.” The results are thrilling: from the pure pop opening track “Icon” to the candied sludge of "Peach" to the skipping rhythms of "Parts" and the dusky closer "Walk Me," Parts draws from influences as diverse as Kate Bush and Brian Eno's Here Come the Warm Jets to jazz and improvisational music, making for an electric debut listening experience. This range from sweetly shiny 2-minute hypnotic bangers to woozy and sprawling 7-minute long tracks boasting moodily atmospheric wafting guitars and piercing feedback shows a band colliding thoughtfulness and creative ingenuity to produce music as unique as it is earworm - worthy. With Parts, OHMME manage to organically marry a breadth of divergent styles into an album that is cohesive, daring, and distinctly their own. 

      FORMAT INFORMATION

      Coloured LP Info: Indies Only silver vinyl.

      Coloured LP includes MP3 Download Code.

      Richard Edwards

      Verdugo

        Margot & the Nuclear So and So’s, Elliott Smith, Neil Young & Big Star. Richard Edwards felt almost human when he returned to Los Angeles to record songs for what became Verdugo. It’s the follow-up to the Indiana singer’s 2017 album Lemon Cotton Candy Sunset, a beautiful, personal release that was deeply unpleasant to make. Not only was he afflicted at the time by an intestinal ailment that often left him unable to stand, let alone sing, his marriage fell apart midway through making the album. If Lemon Cotton Candy Sunset ended up being a record about letting go, Verdugo is the album where Edwards pulls himself up after falling down.

        “The making of it was kind of my recovery from all the stuff,” says Edwards, who worked again with producer Rob Schnapf (Elliott Smith, Beck) in L.A. “I went back and wasn’t as sick, so making the second one, and finishing it, was a much, much more joyous event.” Verdugo features 10 new songs that showcase Edwards’ considerable and longstanding talent as a writer, and also a new way of singing: Edwards’ chronic pain meant finding a vocal approach that didn’t make him feel like throwing up. “I sing in a half-falsetto high range that came out of not being able to belt stuff out for a year,” Edwards says. His new vocal style deepens the air of melancholy on the atmospheric “Strange,” takes on a wistful cast on “Beekeeper” over subtle drums and a distinctive guitar part, and is lifted aloft on a soaring blend of guitars, drums and backing vocals on “Minefield.” “They kind of disappear in this weird sky sonically now, because of this range,” he says.

        “They don’t feel rooted anymore, they fly all over, and that falsetto — if you’re looking at it as a picture, it goes higher up in the room than it used to.” This is Edwards’ second solo album after more than a decade leading the Indianapolis band Margot & the Nuclear So and So’s, which he founded in 2004. When health problems made touring with Margot impossible, Edwards turned inward and began writing songs “loosely inspired by all one learns, and fails to learn, while dealing with one’s own mortality,” as he wrote in a piece for Talkhouse. Verdugo is completely Edwards, the result of an agonizing stretch of dissolution and, over time, regeneration. Best of all, it’s not an end point, but merely the next station on a continuing journey. “It’s somewhere between that last record and what will happen after that, and what was going to happen before,” he says. “It comes from three years of having to get really quiet, and figure out what grows out of that.” 

        FORMAT INFORMATION

        Coloured LP Info: Limited red vinyl.

        Coloured LP includes MP3 Download Code.

        No Joy / Sonic Boom is Jasamine White-Gluz and Pete Kember. You know Jasamine from her eight-years (and counting) stint as a founding member and principal songwriter of Canadian shoegaze / noise-pop band No Joy. And Pete Kember is Sonic Boom, of Spacemen 3, Spectrum, and E.A.R. While neither can accurately recollect how they met, the pair first touched on the idea of working together in an exchange of emails during the fall of 2015. No Joy had just finished touring on the back of LP More Faithful (their third full-length on the Mexican Summer imprint, and their heaviest to date), and Jasamine was eager to walk a new path. “No Joy functioned as a four-piece ‘rock band’ for so long,” she says. “I wanted to pursue something solo where I collaborated with someone else who could help me approach my songs from a completely different angle. Pete is a legend and someone I’ve admired for a long time. Being able to work with him on this was incredible.”

        What started as a sonic exploration between two friends—passing songs back and forth intercontinentally, with Jasamine writing and producing songs in Montreal and Pete writing, arranging, and producing in Portugal—soon grew into a project of substance, the result being four glistening tracks that dance along the lines of electronica, trip-hop and experimental noise. “I wrote some songs that were intended for a full band and handed them off to Pete, who helped transform them. I barely knew how to use MIDI so I was just throwing him these experiments I was working on and he fine-tuned my ideas. There are barely any guitars on this album, because I was focused on trying to find new ways to create sounds.” The No Joy / Sonic Boom EP begins with the 11+ minute epic “Obsession,” a disco-y dream trance jam that ebbs and flows, before “Slorb” slinks in, casting its seductive spell. “Triangle Probably” rings triumphant, an industrial beat thumping below, the track interwoven with Jasamine’s silvery vocals. “Teenage Panic” begins in celebration, brimming with hope and excitement, and then—a full stop—before striking back in the form of a droning loop that gathers more and more layers as it spins out into the infinite void.

        FORMAT INFORMATION

        LP Info: Pink coloured vinyl.

        Oneida

        Romance

          Oneida has been a cornerstone of the Brooklyn underground for nearly two decades. Always evolving, the group has been a beacon of musical exploration and enthralling unpredictability, gaining legendary status among heads that know and expanding the limits of what it means to be a rock band. With a discography spanning over a dozen full-lengths, plus live releases, EPs, singles, and limited one-offs, Oneida has demonstrated a mastery of collective improvisation, off-kilter songwriting, complex composition, and everything in between. In 2011 Oneida lost its home base, its studio dubbed the Ocropolis in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, due to the pervasive gentrification and over-development of the neighbourhood that was once a thriving arts community.

          After watching the Monster Island building that housed the Ocropolis transform into a pile of rubble, the band began an intense period of exploration and discovery, retreating from the studio in favor of the stage, and birthing a panoply of limited, uncompromising releases that documented the band’s continuously unfolding journey. Six years after the release of A List of the Burning Mountains, the final emission from the Ocropolis, the band will release their newest studio creation Romance, their first album for Joyful Noise Recordings and a record marked by wild eclecticism, even for a group known for its shape-shifting nature. Recorded over several years in various locales, the 11 songs on Romance are built around deeply developed long-arc rhythm/phase concepts, noise, yearning, blind guitar rage, longing, the lurch of dying electronics, and a multi-modal embrace of human fallibility and artifice. From the crackling synth-led opener “Economy Travel” to the expansive 18-minute epic “Shepherd’s Axe,” Romance is an album in constant flux.

          On “Bad Habit” the band employs phasing between organ and guitar to great, disorienting effect, while the primitive riffs of “Cockfight” offer a contrasting vision of rock minimalism. Listen closely on “Lay of the Land” and you will hear constant rhythmic development, with drummer Kid Millions eschewing repetition in favor of morphing patterns of hi-hat and snare. As with all mystery, Romance reveals more through closer attention and multiple listens. Oneida, always formidable in the live environment, will be touring throughout the year.

          Kid Millions remains one of the most in-demand drummers in New York, exploring the outer reaches of percussion music with his own Man Forever project, as well as playing with Laurie Anderson, Royal Trux, and People of the North with Oneida compatriot Bobby Matador. Bobby also takes part in the psych-pop duo Nurse & Soldier, and recently formed yet another duo called New Pope. Guitarist Shahin Moita is a co-founder of underground stalwarts Ex Models and Knyfe Hyts. Through it all Oneida remains a powerful collective voice, a propulsive force for wildness and excitement, with Romance heralding the return of the epic, artful ballad version of the journey. 

          Sound Of Ceres

          The Twin

            Produced by Alex Somers (Sigur Rós, Jónsi). Features members of The Drums. Sound Of Ceres = formerly Candy Claws. Features short story by Alastair Reynolds. The mysterious tale of The Twin, the second full-length from Sound of Ceres, exists in myriad permutations, too: a new album, a mesmerizing live show, videos, an Alastair Reynolds short story... and others in-between. While their 2016 debut Nostalgia for Infinity responded to the hugeness of time and space, now Sound of Ceres explore the strangeness of being just one human outcome amidst an infinitude of possibilities.

            The adventure begins with one of the great works of 20th century German literature, The Magic Mountain by Thomas Mann. As Ryan Hover read the tale of Hans Castorp (named for one of the twins of Gemini), whose life as a shipbuilder gets sidetracked by a visit to a rest home in the Swiss Alps, new chords, melodies, and lyrical ideas seized his imagination. Elements from the novel – the snow and isolation of the mountains, echoes of Grimm’s Fairy Tales, a fixation with the number seven – took on a new form as the fantastic universe of The Twin took shape. Karen Hover and Ryan gave voice to early versions of the songs, exploring the sound of words even as they teased out lyrical ideas. Rough sketches were dispatched to bandmates Derrick Bozich, Jacob Graham, and Ben Phelan, and then Ryan fashioned their instrumental contributions into new arrangements.

            But just as Hans in The Magic Mountain undergoes a great transformation as from the flatlands through the narrow gauge to the Alps, The Twin underwent great changes as it began to travel – in this case, to Iceland. Ryan, Karen, and Jacob arrived at the Reykjavik studio of producer Alex Somers (Sigur Rós, Julianna Barwick) with the original mixes of what seemed like more-or-less finished songs. And then they went through a different door. Guitars andharpsichords gave way to more analog synthesizers and melodic percussion. As the music’s dynamic range grew wider, timbres chilled, and more layers of vocals were woven into the background, a new twin of The Twin emerged. Hints of ‘60s exotica, ‘70s AM radio, and even symphonic grandeur weave through layers of rippling synths and shifting rhythms. Ideas drawn from the past and future fold together, creating a sound that exists outside any particular time or trend. 

            FORMAT INFORMATION

            Coloured LP Info: Limited edition indies only cream vinyl.

            Coloured LP includes MP3 Download Code.

            Psychic Temple

            IV

              Records like Psychic Temple IV aren't made anymore. Maybe they never were. There is a magic present that some mistake for "tubes" or "tape" but it's no more complicated than putting the right musicians together with the right songs. Produced and composed by band/cult leader Chris Schlarb, Psychic Temple IV was recorded in Los Angeles over a series of eight large scale sessions. In the spirit of the classic Wrecking Crew sessions for Phil Spector and the Beach Boys, the band was often tasked with recording four songs per session. Vocals were added as soon as the rhythm section tracks were cut with British rock legend Terry Reid, Arlene Deradoorian, and Nedelle Torrisi joining Chris in the studio to work out harmony parts and sing live together. Schlarb's melodies are soulful yet unpredictable, and yet the exploratory spirit of the first Psychic Temple album still abides. The music has been poured over with both care and abandon. There is magic in Psychic Temp le IV. It's no more complicated than that. 

              Jason Loewenstein

              Spooky Action

                Jason Loewenstein has been a major force behind lo-fi pioneers Sebadoh ever since their pivotal 1991 record, “III”. Along with fellow partner in crime Lou Barlow, Loewenstein has co-created some of the most influential releases in indie-rock, including the pivotal 90's albums “Smash Your Head on the Punk Rock”, “Bubble & Scrape”, and “Bakesale”. Way back in 2002 Jason Loewenstein released his first solo album “At Sixes And Sevens” via Sub Pop. Now 15 years later, the follow-up has finally arrived. “Spooky Action” contains 13 new songs of unwavering rock. The self-recorded, self-produced album is as solidly engaging as anything in Loewenstein's formative lineage. Tracks: Intro, The One, Navigate, Machinery, Correction, Dead, Sunset One, New Rocker, Superstitious, The Fuck Out, Hey Hey, Fall Into a Line, Light The Room.

                Sleep Party People

                Lingering

                  Sleep Party People is the brainchild of Brian Batz, a Danish multi-instrumentalist with a boundless imagination. The one-man home recording project took shape in 2008 when Batz began experimenting with an old battered piano in his apartment. Coupled with a strange electronic alteration of his recorded voice, he created eerie, hypnotic sounds and haunting melodies forming the basis of Sleep Party People's self-titled debut album (2010). With the release of 2012's 'We Were Drifting On A Sad Song' and 2014's 'Floating', Sleep Party People began touring as a five-piece band, gaining the attention of fans worldwide.

                  Without the support of a U.S. label, the band was able to harness a groundswell of attention from far reaches of the globe. Throughout Asia, Eastern Europe, South America, and even parts of the Middle East it's not unusual for SPP shows to draw thousands of spectators. Sleep Party People releases their first album on Joyful Noise, titled 'Lingering'. Written, recorded, produced, and performed by Batz, the new album develops beyond the band's more overtly post-rock efforts. With 'Lingering', Batz has found a voice as a unique songwriter, and has captured a singular warmth within his densely layered, futuristically choreographed instrumentation. 

                  Freedays is almost in a way a debut album. Mike Savino's previous two albums, still having the songwriting stamina to welcome any music lover in, were birthed in a collaborative band setting. In 2015, Savino took a much-needed respite from New York City, where he had spent a decade and a half honing his craft, and assumed the role of sole caretaker at an abandoned health retreat nestled in the green mountains of North Georgia. The Bird's Nest, as it was called, completely surrounded by national forest, provided the freedom and space to work without time constraints or interruption.

                  Composed and recorded over a period of eight months, Freedays tells the story of a man in transition and documents an artist alone at the crossroads of the life he has and the one he wants. The album begins with "Backroads", which drops the listener into a darkened forest amidst a chorus of wailing coyotes and quickly takes off on a midnight drive. Tracks like "Being There", "A Place to Call Yo ur Own", and "CLC" provide an honest look into the author's thought process and decision making. Although it's often hard to imagine, most of the sounds on the album are experiments with the banjo, and they all reflect the innovative musings of one of the freshest sounds to come out of the Appalachians in decades

                  FORMAT INFORMATION

                  Ltd LP Info: Limited white Vinyl.

                  Ltd LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                  Joan Of Arc

                  He's Got The Whole This Land Is Your Land In His Hands

                  Twenty years now there’s been this thing, our band, Joan of Arc. We have shifted shapes and modified our approaches quite a number of times in the course of twenty years. And we’ve done so always aiming to stay true to ourselves at that moment, by instinct and with conscious intent. This time, it took us a long time to figure out how to start back up. We threw away a lot of songs and started over, over and over. But here’s the thing: We are getting better at being ourselves. So many of the postures of youth just fall away with time. Most bands break up by that point, or become caricatures of their younger selves. Because money is tricky, or I should say, it comes to be that energy is tricky to muster after all of it goes into the basics of sustaining yourself.

                  Every day, at some point, it occurs to me that Richard Brautigan killed himself at the age that I am now. But I got this community of weirdo collaborators to lean on that he never had. We’ve never had an audience that gets any validation of its coolness through liking us. We’ve mangled, juxtaposed, and collaged too many elements for that social contract. But we trust each other. This time, finally, we trusted each other enough to throw all the songs away, to even throw away every preconceived idea about which one of us should take position at which instrument. We hit Record and played, and our collective tastes emerged. And they, our tastes in the moment, were the only standards in all the expanse of the stupefying and beautiful unknown universe, that we regarded as relevant in the least. 

                  The new album by Busman’s Holiday, Popular Cycles, is a vehicle to the lives of others. It is a continuation and elaboration of their previous albums, A Long Goodbye and Old Friends. While their earlier efforts pulled in for portraits at close range, their new collection zooms in to capture the private moments in a family’s back yard, then gazes up at the macrocosm, turning to planets and tree-crushing storms. The writerly duo is detail-oriented and lyric-driven; they uncork the hidden champagne. Much like the lyrical content, the musical landscape of Popular Cycles spans grandly, from the booming of a 21-piece orchestra to the solitary sound of a singing bowl. . Recorded at Arcade Fire’s Sonovox Studio, the writing of the album concluded in a snowed-in apartment above. Arranger Matt Nowlin and producer Mark Lawson helped them capture a more adventurous sound, riding forward on pulsing acoustic rhythms. Busman’s Holiday imitated sounds they’d heard in electronic music with acoustic instruments, the way a mockingbird mimics a car horn. The resulting sound is both familiar but fresh. From western soundtracks to a drone of 12-strings, tones of forgiveness sweet enough to taste, funky drummers, the splish-splosh of fingers & palms, and melancholy chanting. At the end of a Busman’s Holiday show, you leave with a sense of community, humor and melody. Addison & Lewis Rogers place importance on joy

                  FORMAT INFORMATION

                  Coloured LP Info: Limited Orange vinyl

                  Coloured LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                  Rafter

                  XYZ

                    Rafter Roberts stands no taller than your average human male, yet his fiery red-haired head is filled with the minutiae of music, swirling and churning constantly. Fortunately this leaves little room for fear, of which Rafter has nearly none. His fearlessness has led him to do just about everything he sets his mind to, which of course includes free-for-all rowdy sweatiness, hanky panky, and rolling on the stage, yelping. (Not to mention playing in bands since the age of two, fatherhood and marriage, running a business, goin' to shows, building recording studios, makin' his own music, recording bands and eating vegan... all without going too furiously nuts.) His is a strong will tempered by humor. One of the most intense and powerful music nerds you may ever meet, there is a refreshing lack of poseur hipness to Rafter Roberts. In its stead is a pure enthusiasm for people, for doing it yourself, and the helping hand, for kicking against the pricks and kicking out the jams. Track listing: I’ve Done The Strangest Things, Lonely World, You Are the Last of Your Kind, Lifelike, Oblivion, The Things I’ve Learned From Reggae, When I Die I Wanna Get Some of My Blood on Them, Rafter Vs Maimai, We Could Be Monsters, Weird Animal.

                    FORMAT INFORMATION

                    Coloured LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                     After his two previous studio albums (”151”a & “Lighght”) and his “String Quartet Live!” release, Kishi Bashi was at a musical impasse. “As I sat down to write songs last summer, I went to all my usual conduits of creation: violin loops, guitar, piano, and I came up with the musical equivalent of fumes”, says Kishi Bashi. “I tried to create orchestral pop recordings that I assumed were my forte, and in turn I found myself standing in front of a creative wall of frightening heights.” At this very same moment of musical uncertainty, K’s personal life was falling apart… He and his wife of 13 years had briefly separated and were struggling to keep their marriage together. In his own words, “Touring and its accompanying lifestyle took a heavy toll on my soul and my family”. As an outlet, K submerged himself in a new musical direction. Sonderlust emerged as a direct result of this personal struggle taking place at an artistic crossroads. With the help of producer Chris Taylor (Grizzly Bear), engineer Pat Dillet (Angelique Kidjo, David Byrne) and drummer Matt Chamberlain (Morrissey, Fiona Apple, of Montreal), Kishi Bashi has created his most personal and artistically adventurous work to date. “This album is straight from my soul. I questioned everything about what it means to love and desire. The difference between loving someone and being in love.” 

                    FORMAT INFORMATION

                    Coloured LP Info: Limited LP pressing on Gold & Black Split-coloured vinyl.

                    Coloured LP includes MP3 Download Code.


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