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El Ten Eleven

El Ten Eleven (15th Anniversary Edition)

    15 years ago Kristian Dunn & Tim Fogarty released their ST debut album as El Ten Eleven. The self-released LP received only modest attention initially, but the project would go on to defy all expectations, gradually attracting a significant cult audience of loyal fans. "It was a glacial pace," Dunn said of the process. "When we first put it out there was very little reaction. But the reaction we did get was very passionate, which was exciting for us because we felt like we were on to something." Defying expectations is standard operating procedure for El Ten Eleven. Seriously, who would expect two instrumentalists to create such a large and complex sound? But thanks to inventive arrangements and a masterful use of looping, Dunn (bass/guitar) and Fogarty (drums) developed a pulsating sound full of atmospheric intensity.

    Early on Dunn feared the quirkiness of the group's 2 man band approach would overshadow their music. "When we first started and we made that first record, I was really worried that people would only be interested in the novelty of us looping and playing everything by ourselves as just two people," Dunn shared. "I was worried that they wouldn't be moved by the music. The music of El Ten Eleven has been embraced by fans of many genres - from math rock, to jazz, to lo-fi hip-hop. The duo's sound is sharply evocative in mood and feeling, yet simultaneously abstract and meditative. The combination of these qualities has stimulated the imagination of the group's fans, and gives space for listeners to assign their own value and meaning to the sounds. When El Ten Elven was released in 2004, on-demand music streaming services were still in their embryonic phase. The growth of those services would be a consequential factor in introducing El Ten Eleven's music to the world. Dunn views the development of digital music distribution services as a liberating force for artists, an effective channel to sidestep the suffocating control of corporate media. "Really, this is a Golden Age of music," Dunn observed. "I think this is the greatest time in history to be a musician. We don't have to rely on MTV or a radio station to be heard. If you make something great people will find it. I'm not saying what we did was great, but that's what we were aiming for. I figured people would find us and they did. It took a long time, but it worked." For all the band's fans who discovered this album via online streaming services, JNR's deluxe vinyl reissue of El Ten Eleven provides an excellent opportunity to bypass the compromised bitrates and crappy laptop speakers associated with digital listening, allowing listeners to experience this music in all of its full-frequency high-fidelity glory. Meanwhile, Dunn remains humbled by the ongoing interest in El Ten Eleven's debut. It's surpassed my expectations for longevity and impact, and of course we're happy about that." 

    FORMAT INFORMATION

    Coloured LP Info: Amber Coloured indies-only vinyl with bonus flexi.

    Highly anticipated second album, 1.5 years after their critically acclaimed debut LP. Featuring members of the now-defunct band The Drones. RIYL: King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard, Nick Cave, The Slits, Protomartyr, The Drones, Gang of Four, IDLES.

    “I've invented fake news as a genre of music,” Gareth Liddiard observes with a laugh. He's talking about “Maria 63”, the closing track on Tropical Fuck Storm's sophomore LP ‘Braindrops’. The song takes aim at the once-marginalized alt-right conspiracy theories that now seem to be a driving force behind the rise of fascism in global politics. “It may be the most stupid song ever written,” Liddiard jokes. He's wrong, “Maria 63” is emblematic of Tropical Fuck Storm's keen ability to mine the extreme edge of pop culture's periphery for potent musical and conceptual spice.

    Tropical Fuck Storm were formed around 2017 in the city of Melbourne, Victoria along Australia's south-eastern coast. The band released their debut long-player A Laughing Death in Meatspace on Joyful Noise Recordings in 2018. Each of the band's four members bring considerable experience to the group. Liddiard and Fiona Kitschin were part of the long-running and critically-acclaimed act The Drones, while Erica Dunn and Lauren Hammel have performed in a variety of well-received projects. Perhaps it's that wealth of rock and roll experience that allows Tropical Fuck Storm to so expertly deconstruct and distort the genre's norms.

    “Everything we do, we try to do it in a weird way. The whole album is full of weird beats, and just weird shit everywhere,” Liddiard explains. He cites Doc at the Radar Station-era Captain Beefheart as a key sonic touchstone, and Braindrops certainly shares the Captain's penchant for pounding abstract grooves. Tropical Fuck Storm have achieved a uniquely off-kilter sound on Braindrops Liddiard partly credits this to the group's use of unconventional equipment, “We use lots of techno gear to make rock and roll because rock and roll gear is boring, and all sounds like Led Zeppelin.”

    Liddiard's own description of Tropical Fuck Storm's sound is nearly as interesting and evocative as the music itself. He describes the LP's title track as “Fela Kuti in a car crash,” and talks of creating a sonic atmosphere that “sounds like chloroform smells” for “Maria 62”. A recurring theme on Braindrops concerns the various ways the human brain can be manipulated and controlled for exploitative gain. The bracing “The Planet of Straw Men” is a study of human behavior inside the social media comments section, a place where otherwise reasonable people are seen gleefully engaging in psychotic chest-thumping rhetoric. Listening to Braindrops is a jarring and exhilarating experience, full of pulsating grooves, dissonant experimentation, and unsettling dystopian plot-lines. Braindrops is an unrelenting work, from an unrelenting musical ensemble. “Tropical Fuck Storm is a full on thing,” Liddiard offers. “Everything we do, we do it to death.”

    STAFF COMMENTS

    Barry says: A completely nuts, clashing collection of fragmented melodies and post-punk spirit, encompassing psychedelic freeform, spoken word vitriol and arty noise into a confounding but strangely addictive listen.

    FORMAT INFORMATION

    Dinked Edition LP Info: • Limited exclusive edition of 500.
    • Highlighter Yellow & Electric Blue split-colour vinyl.
    • Includes bonus 7” featuring a Missy Elliott cover.
    • Numbered.
    • Includes download.

    Coloured LP Info: Hot Magenta coloured vinyl.

    Coloured LP includes MP3 Download Code.

    J Fernandez

    Occasional Din

      Occasional Din is a sunny shoebox diorama for the eternal pessimist. Over the past decade, songs by Chicago artist J Fernandez have appeared like unexpected gifts, each time invoking a holiday we didn't realize existed. Like all good holidays, his songs are imbued with a mythical energy, full of curious moods, charmed settings and the timelessness of a familiar moment. J Fernandez started as the eponymous home recording project of Arkansas born Justin Fernandez, who came to Chicago in 2008 to work for map company Rand McNally.

      After three EPs, his 2015 debut LP, Many Levels of Laughter, attracted high praise from the music press – including 8/10s from UNCUT and NME, plus end of year nods from Under The Radar and Brooklyn Vegan, who called it “one of 2015’s most underrated albums”. That year also saw him share the stage with the likes of Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Alvvays, Mitski, and Ezra Furman. Fernandez is a hunter of what is lost and a seeker for that which is forgotten, spending his free time photographing missing gloves which have been split from their other half, or scouring the Craigslist collectibles section for treasures otherwise consigned to oblivion. He celebrates the mundane, allowing it to permeate his music and its surrounding ephemera - the album’s minimal artwork is even designed to look like packaging, more like a candy bar or box of cigarettes than an album cover.

      Fernandez starts skeletons of songs with an organ and a Casio drum machine. Through endless revisions and tweaks, he builds and rebuilds each into complex arrangements. With Occasional Din, he mines the sound of the past; drawing influences from vintage Italian pop and soundtrack composers like Bruno Nicolai, Alessandro Alessandroni, and Mina, as well as their American contemporaries like The Free Design and Margo Guryan. 

      FORMAT INFORMATION

      Coloured LP Info: Amber coloured vinyl.

      Dumb Numbers

      Stranger EP

        Recommended If You Like : Melvins, SWANS, Dale Crover, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Mogwai, David Lynch.

        In September 2015, The Lemonheads invited us to join them on a short West Coast tour. A week before we were scheduled to leave, our drummer Murph had to drop out. Bonnie and Steve had already purchased their flights from Melbourne to LA so we were committed to playing these shows, but the thought of trying to find another drummer to emulate Murph's parts just felt wrong. We decided to throw away our planned set list of "Murph songs" and instead enlisted Aniela Perry to join us on electric cello for some very slow, cinematic and open-ended interpretations of “our songs.” We all really enjoyed playing these shows, and experiencing the songs opening themselves up, with space to stretch out and breathe and be as long as they wanted to be. It was a very freeing experience, so much room for improvisation from night to night. After the tour we decided to document these new renditions, so we booked a day at Toshi Kasai’s Los Angeles studio and recorded our set live.

        Along with some epic drumming and percussion by the legendary Dale Crover (Melvins), we also welcomed the beautiful Thor Harris (Swans) into the family, who added tubular bells, gongs and additional percussion to our new version of "Without." "I Am Nothing" is not an Electric Wizard cover, but rather takes its name from the spoken word performance by another talented Melbourne family friend, Elissa Rose, who added her poetry to the improvised instrumental section we started our set with each night. And last but not least, another Aussie member of the Dumb Numbers family, Geordie Stafford from Golden Bats, added some crushing elemental guitar to "Sometimes." We sincerely hope you enjoy the music, and recommend listening at night with some mood lighting, incorporating the experience into your night-time ritual. 


        FORMAT INFORMATION

        Coloured LP Info: Vinyl Includes Download, Limited to 500 Hand-Numbered Olive & Oxblood Swirl Color Vinyl Edition.

        The Low Anthem would beckon you into the salty sea. Formed in 2007 by best friends, Ben Knox Miller and Jeff Prystowsky, The Low Anthem grew from DIY ethos in the late-aughts to semi-accidental success. Having originally self-released What The Crow Brings and Oh My God, Charlie Darwin (which sold a combined 100,000+ copies), the group signed with Nonesuch, toured the world, and were reluctantly lumped in with the so-called "folk revival".

        However, night after night of performing their early material was not ultimately where they wanted to land: “The moment was losing its mystery. We were scared of becoming robots,” said the band after six years of reflection. So, in the winter of 2012, the group came back to their hometown of Providence, RI, with an eye toward re-exploring their musical understanding from the ground up. Largely abandoning the international folk movement they were a part of, the group instead poured their energy into their local community by rehabbing a vaudeville-era theater, and building their own recording studio. It’s in this newly restored vaudeville theater-studio that The Low Anthem found new direction.

        The band began recording in increasingly experimental and meticulous ways (using various non-instruments and painstakingly tracking hundreds of hours of material). It was an exercise in complete musical deconstruction - scrambling and reassembling their musical ideas – which eventually resulted in the album Eyeland. A complexly experimental album, the release of Eyeland was tragically cut short after four shows due to a crippling car accident, leaving the band hospitalized and the tour cancelled. It was through this whole journey that The Low Anthem were able to boil-down their musical ideals and find their true voice.

        With their new album The Salt Doll Went To Measure The Depth Of The Sea, The Low Anthem present 12 short songs that are fragile, nuanced, and honest. In contrast to the existential freakout that is Eyeland, or the folk-faithful incubator albums, The Salt Doll... feels delicately purposeful. Acoustic arrangements are peppered with subtle and fragmented electronic elements. Rhythms are physically composed on the center loops of vinyl records. These elements weave songs that sound at once organic and highly-conceptual.

        STAFF COMMENTS

        Barry says: Stunningly delicate in parts, but imbued with a bright and peaceful electronic counterpoint, 'The Salt Doll...' takes all the best parts of the 'Folktr*nica' (don't make me say it) craze of yesteryear, but deshittens it significantly. Properly lovely this.

        Goblin Cock is a band from beyond time, beyond space, beyond your naive concept of dimension in METAL. Since before your pathetic "god" had supposedly "created" you and your kind, Lord Phallus was hunkered in a cybertimeship/fun dungeon skating the layers of what was considered "true metal" in all societies and in all generations. Eventually His Majesty realized that he really didnt care and launched a full-scale war against bland metal with and emphasis on ACTUALLY HAVING A GOOD TIME! "Bagged and Boarded" was the first assualt on your laughable 5 senses (Lord Phallus and his kind have 32), followed by the sonically intense "Come With Me if You Want to Live". 

        Being in a band can be like being in a marriage, for better or for worse. Dumb Numbers is more like an open relationship. There is no definitive lineup. I have an amazingly talented bunch of friends from all across the world who contribute to recordings, but there is no commitment beyond that. This makes live performances a rare occurrence. Basically if My Bloody Valentine want us to open we'll be there! But otherwise Dumb Numbers is mostly a recording project. With that being said, The new album from DUMB NUMBERS features ADAM HARDING with LOU BARLOW (Sebadoh, Dinosaur Jr), DALE CROVER (Melvins), DAVID YOW (the Jesus Lizard/Scratch Acid), MURPH (Dinosaur Jr), KEVIN RUTMANIS (Cows/Melvins) ALEXANDER HACKE (Einstürzende Neubauten), BOBB BRUNO (Best Coast), BONNIE MERCER (Grey Daturas) and STEVE PATRICK (Useless Children). 

        In 1974 Jad and David Fair teamed up to form a band called Half Japanese. The route was simple, at first. If one pounded on drums the other could squeeze sounds from an electric guitar. There were no other band members to stay in tune with, so there was no particular reason for them to worry about tuning the guitar in a traditional manner or learning traditional chords. They were free from the start to express their music in their own way. They traded off the guitar and drumming rolls. Whichever one sang the words also played the guitar and the other one drummed. For a couple of years they wrote, recorded and performed this way, without the convention of more members. When they did decide to expand they went big. They first thought of recruiting an outside drummer, so that both could play guitars at the same time.

        In 2014 Jad and David stripped things back to the roots. They went back to recording as a duo. One sang and played guitar, the other one drummed. 40 years had passed, but they slipped right back into the original roles and churned out a number of breath-stealing songs. 40 years later; 40 years better. One pick, two sticks and heart-warming vocals...... That's all they needed; two brothers, still rockin' the same damn deal! 

        Recorded in Joshua Tree, CA, "Command Your Weather" sees Big Business return to its original two-man lineup of Jared Warren and Coady Willis. It's a haunting dream about the struggle for dominance of will over the power and unpredictability of nature. Or it's just a really great rock record, it depends on how weird you're willing to get. But you've never had so much fun being crushed in the cogs of the universe's great machine, that much is for sure! I mean, there's no law against having a couple cold beers while we all burn in the fire of time, am I right?!

        Recorded by Dave Curran of UNSANE/PIGS/BIG BUSINESS' previous record fame. Founded in 2003 in Seattle, WA., Big Business has spent the last 13 years touring the world and making records. In 2006 Jared and Coady joined forces with the Melvins and moved to Los Angeles. Performing as members of the Melvins and staying autonomous as their own band, they have been there ever since. 

        Half Japanese is one of the most influential bands in rock history. Founded by brothers Jad & David Fair in 1975, the band is credited with pioneering the DIY and lo-fi movements and influencing everyone from Sonic Youth and Neutral Milk Hotel to Daniel Johnston and Kurt Cobain (who asked the band to open some of the dates on Nirvana’s In Utero tour.) Known for dismissing conventional music basics like melody, song structure and chords (and for Jad’s famous line “the only chord I know is the one that connects the guitar to the amp”), Half Japanese operated under the premise that rock music should be accessible to anyone who wanted to play.

        Perfect is a collection of songs that feature otherworldly sounds, chaotic rhythms, and weird time signatures, topped off with Jad’s brash vocals and oddball lyrics. Its tracks run the gamut from sweet love songs with overtly sincere lyrics to manic, almost abrasive tracks that seem to end before you can fully wrap your head around them. With Perfect, Half Japanese manages to combine elements of every genre imaginable into one strange, unpredictable, and undeniably-catchy package. 

        FORMAT INFORMATION

        Deluxe LP Info: Limited coloured vinyl for UK indie stores only.

        Announcing "Overjoyed", the first album in 13 years from legendary punk band Half Japanese. One of the most influential bands of all time, Jad Fair and Half Japanese spearheaded the DIY and Lo-Fi movements, influencing countless bands such as Sonic Youth, Neutral Milk Hotel, Daniel Johnston, and perhaps most notably, Kurt Cobain (who ranked Half Japanese amongst his top 50 favorites, had them open the "In Utero" tour, and was wearing their t-shirt when he died). Without exaggeration, Half Japanese is one of the most important bands in the history of music. "Overjoyed" was recorded and produced by John Dieterich of Deerhoof, and ranks amongst the best albums of the band's catalogue.

        STAFF COMMENTS

        Darryl says: After 13 years away, Half Japanese return to the scene with 'Overjoyed'. And they prove themselves to be as vital as ever, melodic indie-punk that keeps them ahead of the pack.

        RIYL: Randy Newman, Paul Simon, Kishi Bashi, Van Dyke Parks, music!

        Lewis and Addison Rogers are brothers who make pop-music together. When they do this, they go by the name Busman’s Holiday. Lewis plays guitar, and Addison plays his modest drum kit, complete with suitcase bass-drum. Independently, the brothers have performed with artists such as Jens Lekman (Addison drumming and providing backing vocals on his recent tour) and Sleeping Bag (Lewis was the original guitarist). “A Long Goodbye”, the first proper album from Busman’s Holiday was recorded by Mark Lawson (Arcade Fire) and mixed by Drew Vandenberg (Toro Y Moi, Kishi Bashi). The band has been featured on WNYC’s Radiolab.

        Announcing 'Golden Tickets' - the latest mini album from WHY? The Wolf brothers' pop-inflected psychedelic folk-hop was nominally referred to as hip-hop at the beginning of their career. At this point - certainly on 'Golden Tickets' - the project has outgrown any easy genre-categorization. With the musical eclecticism, pop-twist, and experimental bent of artists like the Flaming Lips or Beck. WHY? shimmers on this album in vibraphone stippled, sweetly riffed songs with characteristically gut-wrenching subtext.

        Dumb Numbers is a brand-spankin' new band featuring a pretty unbelievable cast... With his debut album, Australian songwriter Adam Harding has teamed up with Lou Barlow (Sebadoh, Dinosaur Jr., Folk Implosion), Dale Crover (Melvins), Murph (Dinosaur Jr.), Bobb Bruno (Best Coast), CR Matheny (Emperor X) and others to create an impressive breadth of material.

        Dumb Numbers walks a line between the aggressive and the emotional. In just 36 minutes the album manages to move from feedback-drenched pop ("Last Night I Had A Dream") to Melvins-leaning rock ("Lost Inside"), to monastery doom metal ("Without"), to sentimental piano pieces ("The Broken Promises"), to balls-out guitar shredding ("Redrum"). Such a wide range of sounds contained on one album would usually result in an artistic train-wreck, but expert musicianship and an undefinable cohesion tie these songs together.

        The result is an unpredictable and masterful debut album. The band’s debut self-titled LP walks a line between the aggressive and the emotional. Not heavy enough for metal, and not tame enough for indie rock, the music of Dumb Numbers is at once feedback-drenched and catchy, touching on everything from doom-metal to Kim Deal covers.

        STAFF COMMENTS

        Ryan says: Full of heavy, feedback-filled pop & at the same time leaning towards doom. Great stuff!

        Stripped-down, unblighted, bedroom pop songs... about girls. "Women Of Your Life" is the intimately facile sophomore album from indie-slackers Sleeping Bag. The Bloomington, Indiana based trio is spearheaded by Dave Segedy, who is the group's drummer, songwriter and primary vocalist (that's right: a drummer who writes and sings all the songs!). Specializing in simple and honest songwriting, Malkmus-deadpan vocal delivery, and unusually addictive melodies, Sleeping Bag craft songs that are at once familiar and fresh. The band's debut s/t album was released on Joyful Noise in August 2011, receiving praise from Under The Radar, Impose Magazine, Village Voice, RCRD LBL, and My Old Kentucky Blog.

        With their second album, the trio have matured in the ways one might expect: songs are a bit longer, lyrics a bit more personal, and arrangements more developed. But all of Sleeping Bag's signature elements are well represented throughout: the heartfelt ("In The Pocket", "Still Life"), the playful ("Allison Cole", "Saturday Night") and the unbelievably catchy ("Soccer Ball", "Walk Home"). Segedy's effortless melodies, accompanied by the distinctively jangling guitar work of Lewis Rogers and the tastefully minimal bass of David Woodruff, combine to form a sound that summons the energy and earnestness of 90s rock, while sidestepping throwback territory. Familiar influences are organically reconstructed into relevant,
        captivating pop. These are instantly accessible songs which gain surprising depth with each obsessively repeated listen.

        Like the shrinking car whose disappearance is mapped out on track 5, the sophomore album from New York City's Hi Red Center moves from poignant, nostalgic musical terrains toward a kind of pure, beaming, quantum velocity. Vibraphones, barbershop quartet harmonies, sung rounds, and a cleanliness and clarity of instrumentation are neatly nestled together with noisy guitars, highly controlled melodic breakdowns, asyncopation, false starts and sudden endings. Yes, they are sometimes a difficult band. Their musical influences range from Lionel Richie to Captain Beefheart. But they sincerely want to make music that you will love.

        Originally forming in 2003, this NYC area band released their debut Architectural Failures on Pangaea Recordings (now Natural Selection Records) back in 2006. The band's second album "Assemble" moves in more clear, concise direction while somehow containing instrumentation that, here and there, seems to slide off its track, breaking into weirdly juxtaposed parallel trajectories. But for all of their esoteric and almost academic experimentation a cheerful soulfulness comes through on this album that distinguishes HRC from many of their musical contemporaries.
        Throughout the album, the intellectual rigor of its composition is energized and animated by a manic gleefulness: the unpolluted self-enjoyment produced in the process of generating such nimble patterns in sound. Particularly on tracks like "Toothless Beau" and "Symmetry Chameleon" there is a kind of giddy, child-like ecstasy that comes through in both the instrumentation and the vocals. And while much of this album can be appreciated by those who have suffered through upper-level music composition classes, schooling is not a requirement to enjoy this music. With "Assemble" Hi Red Center have created an endearingly odd album - challenging and strange, but also honest and unpretentious.


        Deriving their name from information reading proteins on the cell surface of the brain, this northern California duo creates strikingly original prog-influenced / semi-improv soundscapes from their secluded Mt Shasta studio. Musically the sound can be reminiscent of everything from Can to Sonic Youth, to early Floyd and Coil. The instrumentation is diverse, yet focused; some-what minimalist yet always interesting. Receptor Sight has developed as a vehicle to push musical boundaries while dually serving as a sort-of consciousness exploration. If you allow it, this album will take you places far beyond the normalcy of reality. With "Cycles And Connections", the groups sophomore effort, Receptor Sight has come into their own sound; and admirably, not a single computer or synthesizer was used in the recording of this album. Expanding upon their influences of psychedelic rock, Receptor Sight has created a sound which has yet to be truly categorized. Synchronicity is the theme here, a coincidence of sounds that, once they are played, seem to be meaningfully related. The energy which permeates the universe will flow from your speakers.


        Latest Pre-Sales

        172 NEW ITEMS

        Happy Pride everyone. Our door is open to all. https://t.co/KL1FeMVnG5 #vinyl #pride https://t.co/OFrfHWMmNE
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        This Sunday (August 25) we are down @ThePilcrowPub next to the CIS building celebrating the launch of our new beer… https://t.co/ng2LNvz2SY
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        Our very own Ryan here looking very happy with his new @HorsebeachBand album ‘The Unforgiven Current’ which is out… https://t.co/5hvcgSqC3w
        Fri 23rd - 1:02
        Coloured vinyl from Ghost Funk Orchestra, Tropical Fuck Storm aka @tfs_theband Augustus Pablo Meets King Tubby and… https://t.co/gwcS9ATOYT
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        Out day. @work1ngmensclub 7” ‘Teeth’ Limited to 500 copies only. Don’t sleep. https://t.co/2zZgwq94dq Label… https://t.co/Chh4EcsdiT
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